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This is a little side project of mine. (I know. I have dozens of side projects.) This will be a short 6 or 13 episode anime. The Title is something you’ll figure out part of in the 3rd episode but there is much more to this whole story. Believe me, these two chunks are just a taste of the story. 

 

{ {A white screen} 

VO:
This is a dream. My dream. A dream that has no ending and no beginning. 

{FADE IN to a side rail of a hospital bed as a man rests his arm on the far rail and rests his face on his arm looking towards the face of the person in the hospital bed. A Doctor walks in to check the vitals.} 

DOCTOR:
You come here everyday, Kouji. 

KOUJI:
What can I say, doc. I’m just that kind of guy. How’s he doing today? 

DOCTOR:
Same as usual. There’s no change in his status. 

KOUJI:
So when do you think he might wake up? 

DOCTOR:
Kouji, I wish you would stop asking me that. In his state, as long as he has been in a coma, his chances of ever waking up are slim. You need to begin to prepare yourself for the fact that he may never wake up. We have. 

KOUJI:
Juuichi. 

DOCTOR JUUICHI:
What? 

KOUJI:
I know. 

JUUICHI:
I’m sorry, Kouji. It’s just hard watching you. 

{Kouji gets up.} 

KOUJI:
I know. I’ll see you tomorrow.
JUUICHI:
Tomorrow? Isn’t it Sayuka’s graduation tomorrow? 

{Kouji hesitates at the door.} 

JUUICHI:
Has she still not forgiven you? Or have you still not forgiven yourself? 

{a Beat} 

{Kouji opens the door and walks out. The door closes in slow motion. The doctor turns back towards the man in the bed.} 

JUUICHI:
That was cruel of me wasn’t it little brother? Ah, it’s almost lunchtime. I’m gonna go get some food. You want anything? 

{a Beat} 

JUUICHI:
I guess not. Geez, You’re always so quiet anymore. I miss my loud obnoxious little brother. The one who used to borrow my CDs and never return them. The house is so much quieter without you around. Just me and Dad. 

{The doctor looks out the window, at the spring sky for a long time.} 

{FADE OUT to WHITE} 

VO:
This is a dream. My dream. A dream that has no ending and no beginning. At least not anymore. 

{FADE IN to an open field where two boys and a girl are playing catch.} 

BOY 1:
Sayuka-chan! That pitch sucked! How can you call yourself an athlete when you can’t even throw a ball straight! 

SAYUKA:
Shut up! You pitch like an old woman, Hiro!
BOY 2:
Ha ha ha! She got you there, Hiro! 

HIRO:
Like you have any room to talk, Kouji! I’m all sweaty because I keep on having to run to pick up your baby pitches! Mom throws better than you! 

KOUJI:
Ha ha ha !!! 

HIRO:
What are you laughing about?!? 

KOUJI:
I just love watching you play fetch. 

HIRO:
Kouji!!! 

[HIRO throws the ball as hard as he can at KOUJI. KOUJI catches it.] 

KOUJI:
Now that’s a pitch. 

[KOUJI throws the ball high and hard. It goes way out past HIRO.] 

KOUJI:
Fetch! 

HIRO:
You bitch! 

[HIRO turns and goes after the ball. KOUJI grabs SAYUKA’S hand.] 

KOUJI:
Let’s run for it. 

SAYUKA:
That’s mean. 

KOUJI:
How else will he learn his lesson? Run! 

[They take off as HIRO grabs the ball and turns to throw it.] 

HIRO:
Hey! Wait! 

[FADE OUT to WHITE] 

VO:
They say you can relive your whole life in a single dream. I wish I could fix all the mistakes I made. All the promises I couldn’t keep. All the people I let down. Just dream the pain away. Dream everyone’s pain away. And dream of a world without trains. 

[FADE IN to a mangled kid’s bike beside railroad tracks.] 

VO:
All they do is bring pain anyways. 

[MONTAGE of train wrecks then FADE OUT to BLACK] 

VO:
It’s funny, the things you remember in dreams. They say, “You can’t escape the past,” and, “Memories can haunt you.” But, the truth is, I don’t think we want to. Not really. ‘Cause if we did, it’d be the same as erasing the people most important to us away. I used to think it would be better to forget the bad things in life. But now I realize, if you do, you erase the good ones too. 

[FADE IN to a kitchen as a woman in an apron is wrapping up bentos.]
[She wipes her head with her forearm.] 

WOMAN:
Hiro! Did you find your goggles yet? It’s almost time to go, hun. 

[CUT to a 9 year old HIRO as he digs through his closet. The room is a mess.] 

HIRO:
No not . . .yeah! I found’em mom! Alright! 

[He grins wildly and holds up his goggles like a trophy.] 

MOM:
Good, Honey. Now, will you please go help Kouji and your father. I think they’re still trying to overload the car. 

HIRO:
Okay! 

[HIRO jumps out of his closet mess and runs out of his room while holding out his arms and making airplane noises.] 

[CUT to his MOM looking out the kitchen window. Outside she can see his DAD trying to fit a surfboard through the back window of a new PT Cruiser.] 

MOM:
And tell your father to strap that thing to roof. We need to be able to sit in the car. 

HIRO:
Okay! 

[The door slams shut and HIRO enters the window scene]
[ZOOM IN through the window. DAD is pulling the pink surfboard back out of the car. A 14 year old KOUJI is sitting on the car’s roof texting on his flip phone. A tackle box and fishing rod sit next to him.] 

HIRO:
Mom said. . . 

DAD:
I know. I heard. 

HIRO:
I didn’t know you used to surf. 

DAD:
I didn’t. Your mom did. 

HIRO:
Really. 

DAD:
Yeah! You should’ve seen her. She used to dance on the waves like the wind. 

HIRO:
Cool! 

DAD:
They used to call her, “Queen Air,” ‘cause she would do all these jumps off of the big waves. If fact, that’s how I met her. I was still in med school, on summer break in Hawaii . . . 

[TRANSITION to a 24 year old DAD on a sunset beach scene. The beach’s one side leads to a cliff face as the other is sandy. A surfer is riding a wave straight for the cliff face. DAD get up and runs towards the cliff.] 

DAD:
Hey!!! Watch out! 

[A the last minute the surfer changes direction and drops in the wave’s tunnel. She rides the wall of the tunnel and glides back up the top and into the air. She rides the tunnel again and lands ashore near DAD. He stares in awe.] 

DAD:
That was dangerous, you know. You could’ve been badly hurt or even killed.
MOM:
Yeah, but if there wasn’t a risk it wouldn’t be half the fun. 

DAD:
Are you crazy!?! 

MOM:
No, I’m Sarah. Sarah D’Floria. But everyone just calls me “Air.” 

DAD:
Air? 

MOM:
Yeah, “Queen Air.” It’s my nickname ‘cause I can get some serious airtime. Hell, I just got like 12 feet off of that wave, didn’t I? 

DAD:
Uh . . . I guess. 

MOM:
So what’s your name, Mr. Concerned Citizen? 

DAD:
Uh. Oh, Mathew Oketani. 

MOM:
You’re japanese? 

DAD:
Half-Japanese. My mom was stationed in Okinawa after World War II. 

MOM:
Really? Same thing with me. My mom moved from Hokkaido to the Cali after the war. 

DAD:
Cali? 

MOM:
Cal-i-forn-i-a. You live under a rock or something? 

DAD:
. . . No. 

MOM:
I just moved to Tokyo last year for nursing. Well, okay, not really for nursing. I sorta wanted to see where I come from. I knew my dad’s side of the family, but I never met my mother’s until this year. 

DAD:
Was it weird, . . .you know, meeting them for the first time? 

MOM:
Yeah. I mean in my house we used to always talk in japanese and english, so my japanese is fine, but it’s like. . . a culture shock. My dad’s family is so loud and friendly. Warm, you know? But my mom’s parents are so, ah, mellow. Just the typical nice old japanese people. It was just so weird. I’m so used to my sisters making noise and the TV always on. They didn’t even have a TV! I stayed there for like a week and the only noise was the sound of that little bamboo water chime thing. 

DAD:
Oh. 

MOM:
So where are you from? 

DAD:
Tokyo. 

MOM:
Really! 

DAD:
I’m going to Med School right now. 

MOM:
Man, it’s a small world. You gonna be a surgeon or something? 

DAD:
No, Child Psychiatry. 

MOM:
Oh that’s so nice. 

DAD:
You think so? 

MOM:
It’s like “nice guy” medicine. You’ll be able to help little kids out and stuff. That’s sweet. 

DAD: That doesn’t mean I’m a nice guy though. 

MOM:
Who just tried to save me from a cliff? 

DAD:
I just was worried you’d be injured. 

MOM:
Oh, come on. We both know you just wanted to give me CPR. You pervert. 

DAD:
What?!? No, I couldn’t even tell you were a girl from here! 

MOM:
Oh, so men are more your type. 

DAD:
No!!! It’s not like that! 

MOM:
Here I thought some cute guy wanted to save me. 

DAD:
Huh?!? 

[MOM leans over and kisses DAD on the cheek as she gets up to leave.] 

MOM:
Well, maybe I’ll see you around partner. 

DAD:
What? Wait. Partner? 

MOM:
Yeah, it means… oh never mind. 

[TRANSITION back to the DAD holding the surfboard talking to HIRO.] 

DAD:
I was so confused! She was so forward and cool. An all-american girl. And you’ll never guess where I saw her next. 

HIRO:
Where? 

DAD:
Every year in Hawaii they have this big surfing tournament. She was in it. She came in first place! 

HIRO:
Wow! Mom’s a surf pro! 

DAD:
I know, that’s what I thought too! She even was on the cover of a few magazines! 

HIRO:
Really? 

DAD:
We meet again in Shibuya. . . 

[TRANSITION to Youyogi Park. Bands are playing. DAD is with some friends. MOM is alone sitting on a low wall eating takiyuki.] 

GUY FRIEND 1:
Wow! Hey check out that girl. She’s hot! 

GUY FRIEND 2:
That’s it, get me in trouble. 

FRIEND 2’S GIRL:
That’s right. That’s what I’m for. 

GUY FRIEND 1:
That’s fine. I was talking to Oketani anyway. 

DAD:
Me? 

GUY FRIEND 1:
Yeah? See that girl sitting on the wall over there? 

[DAD realizes it’s MOM just as MOM waves at them.] 

DAD:
That girl? 

GUY FRIEND 1:
I’m gonna invite her out to karaoke and get a love hotel later. I bet she’s easy. Just my type. 

FRIEND 2’S GIRL:
You are such a pervert. I hope she beats you to death. 

GUY FRIEND 1:
Just you watch and learn. 

[GUY FRIEND 1 walks towards MOM as she jump down off the wall with a smile.] 

GUY FRIEND 1:
Hey there pretty lady my name’s… 

[MOM walks past him.] 

MOM:
Matt! I told you it’s a small world. 

GUY FRIEND 1:
She…didn’t…even…notice…me. 

DAD:
Air, right. 

MOM:
Hey, you remembered! 

DAD:
You’re hard to forget. 

GUY FRIEND 1:
When did Oketani get game? 

[GUY FRIEND 1’s cell phone vibrates. It says 1 new text message. He opens it up. The message reads, “So much for that love hotel, huh?”]
[He looks over at GUY FRIEND 2 who waves with a smile.]
[GUY FRIEND 1 gets another text. It reads, “Strike Out!!!” GUY FRIEND 2’S GIRL waves.]
[He cries.] 

 
 

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A WORLD WITHOUT TRAINSEPISODE 3 (Rough) 

SARA:
[Calling up the stairs] Juuichi, Hiro, I’m leaving. 

[Juuichi runs down. Hiro sits at the top of the steps.] 

JUUICHI:
Mom can you guys pick up the new anime I wanted on the way home? 

SARA:
We’ll see. Give me a hug you two. 

[Juuichi gives Sara a hug.] 

JUUICHI:
I love you, Mom. 

SARA:
I love you, too. 

[A beat] 

SARA:
Where’s my hug from you, Hiro? 

[Hiro stands up.] 

HIRO:
You two should just buy a second car to drive to work. Riding the train is so stupid. 

[Hiro walks away.] 

SARA:
Hiro! 

JUUICHI:
I think he’s still mad about getting grounded. 

SARA:
Well, I’m gonna miss the train if I dawdle around here any longer. Tell Hiro not to be such a sour puss and take care of him for me. 

JUUICHI:
I will. Bye Mom. 

SARA:
Bye, Little Bear. 

JUUICHI:
Sheesh, Mom. I’m not that little anymore. 

SARA:
Maybe. But you’ll always be my little bear. Laters! 

JUUICHI:
Laters! 

[Sara leaves.] 

JUUICHI:
You know it’s your own fault you’re grounded you brat. We were all worried about you. All you do is hang out with Sayuka and Kouji. Their parents may not care, but when you don’t get home until midnight, be damned if you don’t get punished. You’re 9 for Christ’s sake. What’s wrong with you? 

HIRO:
Shut up. 

JUUICHI:
Burn in hell. Loser. 

[FADE OUT to WHITE] 

EARTHQUAKE SCENE LATER IN THE DAY 

[FADE IN to the AIZAWA living room. The phone rings on screen. It’s one of those old looking ones with the bent brass barbell shape. JUUICHI answers it.]
JUUICHI:
Hello Aiza. . . 

MATT:
Juuichi! You’re both safe right? 

JUUICHI:
Yeah, Dad. We’re fine. Some dishes bro. . . 

MATT:
Good. Good. [He’s sobbing.] That’s good. 

JUUICHI:
Dad are you and mom okay? 

MATT:
The hospital is just flooded! I got to go! I want you two to stay inside today. I’ll be back home later. 

[CLICK. DIALTONE.] 

JUUICHI:
What was that all about? It wasn’t even that bad. Hey, Hiro. It looks like I’m making dinner tonight. Instant Ramen it is. Hiro. Hiro! 

[JUUICHI runs up the stairs. JUUICHI opens HIRO’S DOOR.] 

JUUICHI:
Did you hear me, Hiro? 

[The Room is empty.] 

JUUICHI:
Hiro? That little punk. 

[FADE OUT to WHITE] 

[FADE IN on HIRO & SAYUKA sitting outside Sayuka’s house. On the back porch.] 

HIRO:
I’m glad you’re okay. 

SAYUKA:
My mom and dad grabbed me and the cat and ran outside. I was so scared. Is your family okay? 

HIRO:
Me and my brother were home. We’re fine. My dad and mom are at the hospital probably busy with all the car accidents. 

SAYUKA:
That’s good. 

HIRO:
[Jokingly] What the car accidents? 

SAYUKA:
No, you idiot. I meant that they’re all okay. 

HIRO:
Yeah, I know. Oh shoot, I need to get back before anyone notices I’m gone. They might call and ask for me. 

[Hiro gets up and leaves in a jog.] 

HIRO:
Laters! 

SAYUKA:
Tomorrow. I doubt they’ll cancel school for this. 

HIRO:
Yeah. See ya. 

[HIRO takes off around the corner. FADE OUT to WHITE.] 

[FADE IN on Hiro leaving for school. Kouji and Sayuka are outside waiting.] 

KOUJI:
Hey Hiro. 

SAYUKA:
Hurry up, Hiro. We’re gonna be late. 

HIRO:
I know. I know. Mom didn’t wake me up and niether did Juuichi. 

KOUJI:
They didn’t come home? 

HIRO:
There must have been busy at the hospital. Dad called yesterday to see if we were okay. But, that’s it. 

[FADE OUT to white] 

SCHOOL SCENES 

[FADE IN to Hiro opening his front door.] 

HIRO:
I’m home. 

[Hiro takes off his shoes and begins towards the kitchen. As he passes the living room entrance…] 

MATT:
Hiro. 

[Hiro peeks in the darkened room to see his father. HARD ANGLE of the glass of scotch in his father’s left hand as it dangles over the arm of the dark leather loveseat with brass tacks. He moves it slowly in a circle. It sloshes lightly. You can see Hiro partly hidden by the glass.] 

MATT:
Sit down, son. 

HIRO:
What did I do now? I swear whatever Juuichi said was a lie. I was home all day, yesterday. And I didn’t mean to be mean to mom. . . 

[MATT DROPS his GLASS. As he goes to pick it up Hiro goes to help. MATT HUGS HIRO.] 

MATT:
Sara’s dead. Your mom’s dead. Mommy died, son. She died. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t. She died and I couldn’t save her. 

HIRO:
[Shocked] Mom . . . How? What happened? How could . . . 

MATT:
It was a subway train. . . 

[FADE OUT to BLACK] 

[CUT to Sara on a crowded subway platform. The BIG MAN beside her has a large duffle bag. The train is coming in the distance. The ground begins to shake. People try to step back from the edge of the platform. The BIG MAN and SARA turn. His bag knocks her off balance and she falls onto the tracks. The BIG MAN drops his bag and goes to reach for her.]
BIG MAN:
Miss, take my hand! Quickly! Miss! 

[SARA stands up. DAZED. The TRAIN screeches trying to stop.] 

SARA:
Oh, my god!  

[SARA goes to reach for the man but the train is too close. She ducks into the recess under the platform just as the train misses her. The wind from the train lifts her coat tail and a lose rivet grabs it. It rips her off her feet and her legs sprawl out for balance. Her coat rips and both her legs end up going towards the wheels.] 

[An arc of blood sprays up from between the stopping train and the platform edge.] 

BIG MAN:
Oh, my god! 

WOMAN:
Did you see that?!? 

MAN:
That poor woman! 

[FADE OUT to RED] 

[CUT to MATT and HIRO crying] 

MATT:
By the time anyone got to her she was gone. I’m sorry, Hiro. I’m so sorry. 

[HIRO sobs in his father’s arms.] 

[CUT to Juuichi crying into his mom’s pillow, curled in a ball on his parents bed.] 

[FADE OUT to BLACK] 

VO:
It was like a horrible nightmare. That whole night. The whole week that followed. The funeral. The condolences. 

[FADE IN to a Funeral Service] 

[FADE OUT to BLACK] 

[FADE IN to HIRO curled into a ball, on his bed, tears wet on his face, his eyes wide open. The window opens and arms wrap around him.] 

SAYUKA:
I’m here for you Hiro. 

[HIRO CLOSES his EYES. FADE OUT to BLACK.] 

VO:
That was the last night I ever slept well. I didn’t have a single dream or nightmare. It was just black. She stayed with me the whole night. She left in the morning before the sun came up. I don’t think her parents ever knew. If they did, she never said anything about it. 

[FADE IN to HIRO’S pitch black room. Light enters as the door cracks open and it shine on Hiro’s shoulder and Sayuka’s arm wrapped around him. 

[CUT to His father’s torso and legs in frame a glass of scotch in his hand. He sits down on the bed and strokes Hiro’s hair then Sayuka’s. She pretends to sleep.] 

MATT:
My wife used to do the same thing. Take care of my son, okay. He’s a good boy. 

[Matt gets up and closes the door slowly as he leaves. Sayuka opens her eyes.] 

[FADE OUT to BLACK] 

VO:
My father never knew either. I could only imagine what he would’ve done if he found out. 

END of EPISODE 

 

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Okay, so I have an abundance of Osage Orange growing all around where I live, by the groves. I have bamboo nearby, but nothing near 6 cm. Both of those will take forever to dry out. I might go take some of those down but I still want to make a bow in the mean time. I could by red oak again and repeat the process up until where I was at or I could do something else. Now while I like to stay as traditional as a can (barring choice of wood and the use of pre-made glues and power tools), my patience will not wait a year for larger bamboo and the osage to dry out.That said, I’ve been researching alternative materials via my own theories of materials. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

For Tension-

Raw Silk/Epoxy Materials

Woven Raw Silk/Epoxy Layers

Fiberglass reinforced Raw Silk/Epoxy Materials

For Compression-

Homemade diamond wood (It’s thin veneers of wood impregnated with epoxy under pressure. They make nearly indestructible bokken and are expensive as hell! But also heavy. They sink in water.)

My thoughts on these materials.

3 yd2 of raw silk @ $17/yd

Bamboo veneer @ $34 for 20 yd2

A hell of a lot of Epoxy!

Ideally: I’d layer it so that it was bamboo/silk/bamboo/silk/etc., folding the silk back and forth between layers then I’d have a flat mold made out of plywood so it fits snug inside and I’d sit my car on top of it to apply pressure for like 15 minutes. Then, take it out wrap it in saran wrap and wind nylon as tight as I could around it with no more than a 5 mm gap. Then, bend it into shape and wait for it to dry before I rasped/sanded the hell out of it.

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So I pulled the steamed wood off the frame used to steam it yesterday. I tested it’s flex to make sure it was dry enough to hold the shape and >Crack!< . It took me a few seconds to figure out why. One, the wood had dried out too much. Two, it snapped where I had carved it some to use it as a self bow. Three, because of how I had steamed it (over the stove) the one side had been indirectly heat treated. Hence why the wood had dried out so quickly. But I’m not sure if this last one really would aid in causing the bow to snap or not. It snapped only the last 5 inches of the top, so I could still use it to make a long bow, but I’m not going to. I want a Yumi to be my first bow.

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Chinese Philosophy” – compiled by Wing-Tsit Chan“Anthology of Chinese Literature” – compiled by Cyril Birch

A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters” – by Kenneth G. Henshall

Holy Blood, Holy Grail” – by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, & Henry Lincoln

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Why I Choose to Make My Own d20 Based Game

In truth, to say this is a d20 Based Game is almost a lie. It’s like saying Sonic was an RPG. Let me just keep this post short. D&D, AD&D, & 2nd Edition were too rigid. 3.0 was a vast improvement. 3.5 even better. Warhammer 4.0, I mean WoW 4.0, I mean “D&D” 4.0 . . . Need I say more.
 I don’t play DnD because I like miniatures. I like helping, shaping, trudging my way through a world that is not this one. I like roleplaying. I like killing things. I don’t pull out minis unless someone is unclear about where they are positioned at any given point. (You’d be surprised to know that is only maybe once every 6 or 7 sessions.) And I don’t used prefab crap. If I wanted to know where and how an adventure was going to end I would write a book, not DM.
 I have to use my head and my wits at all times with my players. Why? Two physics paradigms; Newton’s Laws of Motion and The Butterfly Effect.
How do these apply? Let’s take a look:
 My players create their characters and they tell me where they are from. With that information alone I am supposed to hook them and lead them by the nose towards a prefab. No. If they want to adventure, they better find an adventure their damn themselves! So they (the characters in game) hit up adventurer’s guilds or the message boards in bars. They check out the jobs and classifieds in the newspaper, flip through the news channels and look for something interesting. Now this is not an easy thing for the DM to do, all the breaking news stories and posts that are created on the spot or have been thought up over the last week or so. Some I think I would love to do, but the players go, “Next.” And I don’t cater to their egos either. If they go after a trail that leads to very powerful or very weak enemies it’s not my fault. It is as close to the real world as I can get a fantasy RPG to be. Some people might consider it a drawback or too hard to pull off as a DM but, in truth, the experience is much more rewarding in the long run.  In my world, in my game, your character is only as good as you are at making him and using him. My players sometimes bitch that I made enemies too tough. My response is one of two things. One, well maybe you shouldn’t’ve gone in there. Two, It’s not my fault you suck/rolled bad/made a bad character. In essence, my games don’t have hooks or lifelines, no “Deus ex Machina” to save you and that makes you wary of what could be around the corner, paranoid your enemy is smarter than you, and proud as hell when you win. In my games, my players have outwitted Mephistopheles, fought whole kingdoms by leading armies, saved the world time and again, built shops, had families, murdered children for fun (it was an evil campaign), become knights, barons or dukes, nuked a house because a door wouldn’t open (overkill I know. It killed an additional 4,400 people in a nearby town.), or just said screw it and walked away. My last campaign they hunted down and found the head of a corrupt network of extortionists. How’d they solve it. You gotta read this:
 It was four people who controlled the whole thing. They were taking 60% of each town’s crop yeild and selling it overseas. So the players kill the three others leave the most powerful one in place. Why would they? And how did they stay there? They hired druids to help cultivated the land in each village, took 50% instead of a 60%. Which means with double the crop yield the farmer’s feel that it isn’t extortion but payment for services provided by the druids and their new cavavan gaurds (thanks to the need to protect the organization’s profits). They negotiated to have the revenue split equally among the four of them (the original bad guy, and the three PCs) and now with more trustworthy partners, twice the profit, and no one hunting her down due to the new legitimacy of her business, the big baddy becomes an asset not a threat. They all got super rich and have their own Holidays!
 With out that DM Prefab lifeline with a Deus ex Machina hook on the end my players have to think hard and fast to survive most of the time they may hate it at times but nothing beats the shear joy and pride they feel when they really earn being called “Heroes”.
 Heroes are heroes because they have done not what someone else wouldn’t do, but what no one else could.
 This core, this feeling, is what drove me to say fuck D&D. I once tried to make myself as a character in D&D. I ended up as 52nd Lvl with like 5 classes and prestige classes! It was ridiculous! To get what I needed, I got all this stuff I didn’t! I ended up having to create my own class (The Remier). Finally, I was “normal” and only 9th level this time. Thank God!
 What made it so hard?
 I have an IQ of 152 (That’s Int of 20 almost a 21 and a lot of skill points and skills). I have a Rage Disorder (Barbar all the way there.) I know ten different martial arts at varying proficiencies (Aikido the most.) And here’s the hard stuff; I can see ghosts and demons (my whole family can). I do necromancy (not black magic) to help or exorcise them. No one can trip me in a fight (I do Ninjitsu Ice Training. Even Mouy Tai and Monkey can’t trip me.) And My mind turns into a cold, logical physics engine, (calculating angles, speed, leverage etc.,) in a Rage, much more so than if I’m just street fighting. My Vertical Jump is 24”. My High Jump Record is 5’9”, an inch taller than myself. My Standing Long Jump is 6’4”. My Running Long Jump is 15’3”.
 So you see, as is, I needed some serious levels and new feats to accommodate myself in standard DnD! I was forced to make a class just for me. Even then it still felt off. Hence one reason for a new gaming system.

 Changes:
No Levels.
No Classes.
Mp.
13 School of Magic.

How it works:
While I won’t go too far into the details now, You Choose a race, Choose an Archetype, and spend your starting Bp (Bonus Points), The Bp converts to Exp when Spent. Exp is the vague ruler similar to Character Levels.
How can you take out Character Levels?
 Easy. You use your Bp to buy Hit Die and Caster Levels.
How do you gain Bp?
 In Short, Fighting. Just like D&D.
How about B.A.B., Saving Throws, Feats, Class Abilities, etc.,?
They’re still there. Some have been completely reworked (Weapon Focus can be purchased over and over) some are exactly the same (Iron Will).
I hate power gaming players, as a DM, it is such a pain to deal with them. How did you compensate for that I this game?
 I didn’t have to. Since everything besides Archetypes & Race can be bought, the Exp of a character tells you at a glance if the PC’s on par with the party and the unspent Bp tells you what is their stored up potential to screw up your game once you start. Also, everything is scaled. So, those higher powered abilities can be bought but they cost more and more (Ex: Dodge 160 Bp, Great Cleave 560 Bp, Superior Two-Weapon Fighting 4,230 Bp.) Spells work in a similar way.
Can I just up my B.A.B to astronomical proportions and kill everything easy?
Umm. . . Yes & No. Your HD is your limit cap so you’d have to buy your next HD first to be able to buy your next +1 to Base Attack. So, in that way, Yes. But, everything is scaled so each Hit Die and +1 to BAB costs more and more and while you may survive lesser encounters you would have really low saves, no feats or class-like abilities (Aspects), low Ability Scores, and a much lower Hp than you could have. So, No. Unless your goal is to pull a samurai and make one hit with certainty before dying very, very quickly.
It sounds really complicated.
It is and it isn’t. The number crunching is the hard part but I have designed a Character Sheet in Excel that does almost everything for you. All you have to do is Read the Wiki, find your Spells and Aspects, type them in and Print. Your Skill points total is displayed and you choose where they go. If you put in more than you can, it tells you. Same for everything that has a Limit Cap. Plus while your playing, if you are arguing the rules or forget what something does the Wiki has a Search Bar! No more flipping through the books for twenty minutes or checking an index to find it doesn’t list it! When Released it will come as stand-alone software and I am so against needing the internet to play the game that it won’t require it, unless you want the errata or new add-on updates. And this will be so easy to import, it is just point and click. In fact, it already is (I’m using WikidPad’s Original Gadfly and Sean uses Open Office instead of Office ‘07 for the Character Sheets. Both are Free.) Ultimately, I want the game to be so user-friendly that the aspects come on a drop-down menu and add themselves but that is well from my beta testing at this point. If you want a comparison think of Final Fantasy’s Sphere Grid but with even more control and flexibility.
“Organic” and “Freedom” have been the driving motto of this new system. Through & Through. No two characters will ever be the same. Unless you copied them.
So everyone can take Cure Light Wounds, huh?
Well, yeah. Problem is in what it will cost you in Bp. A Cleric Archetype gets it for 300 Bp (They have to buy the Caster Levels) but a Fighter ends up paying 2,347 Bp (300 Bp for 2 CL + 2,000 Bp for The School + 47 Bp for the Spell). Like I said, it balances itself.
What Exactly is an Archetype?
Each of the Standard D&D Character Classes were different from one another. I broke down those classes to their core. I sat there thinking, “what makes it its own? How is it separate?” That little “seed” is what became the archetype.
How so?
Well, let’s take a look at the Barbarian and Fighter Archetypes:
BARBARIAN
*Aptitudes*
 A barbarian gains a +1 Intrinsic bonus that to his Survival Skill for every Hit Die he gains. 
     A barbarian gains a +1 Intrinsic bonus that may be added to his Prowess or Weapon Damage for every Hit Die he gains. A barbarian also gains a +1 Intrinsic bonus that may be added to his Melee or Ranged Attack for every Hit Die he gains. These points need not be allocated th same way each time they are gained.
 A barbarian can buy any [Combat Aspects], [Hunter Aspects], or any aspects with the word “Rage” in their title for 30 Bp less than the given price.
   
 FIGHTER
*Aptitudes*
A fighter can buy any [Combat Aspects] and may boost their Melee and Ranged Attack for 30 Bp less than their given price.
A fighter may choose any two of the following skills at creation:
    [Balance], [Climb], [Concentration], [Hide], [Jump], [Knowledge] (Anatomy), [Knowledge] (Tactics)], [Move Silently], [Ride], or [Tumble].
Henceforth, he gains a +1 Intrinsic bonus to these two skills for every Hit Die he gains.
The difference is subtle but at the same time very pronounced.
I’ve played D&D for years now and I don‘t want to learn a whole new system of rules.
You really don’t have to. The same mechanics behind 3.5 are the same in Apex.
My biggest pet peeve with all the new editions is that it’s nearly impossible for me to take my character from say 2nd Edition and convert it to 3.5 or 4.0. I lose a whole bunch of stuff and gain a whole bunch I didn’t want. I bet I couldn’t play a 2nd Edition character in Apex, right?
Wrong. Take your old character sheet, copy your abilities over (paying for them with Bp). When your done, your character will be the exact same. Except no THAC0 and now you have skill points. And now that you’ve bought everything with Bp it becomes your total Exp which means it’s extremely easy to see how powerful you are as an Apex Character. It take me about twenty minutes to convert my 3rd and 3.5 characters over to Apex and that’s just typing and finding time. With a little thinking 2nd Edition characters wouldn’t be that hard either.
Any other “tweaks” you want to talk about?
Many, but lets just go for my biggest pet peeve. The Simple, Martial, and Exotic Weapon categories. As a martial artist, I don’t think the guys that designed this have ever used half of these weapons. Based on my experience the weapon categories have been rearranged, retooled, and using a little common sense fixed. There is a lot of weapons that any idiot could use. (Idiot = Simple weapons) There are weapons that need at least a little time and practice with to use well (Katana = Martial). And there are weapons that require serious training to uses at all effectively (Kusari-gama = Exigent).
Any other comments or questions?

 

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Osage Monkeys?!?

I hear all these bowers go on about this wood called, ‘Osage Orange’. I’d never heard of it in my life. I just figured it was some exotic wood like Lignum Vitae or Brazilian Blackheart or Purpleheart. So I looked it up. Here I’m reading through Wikipedia, the whole time thinking, “So it is some rare wood.” Then, as it talks of the fruit, it show a picture. My jaw dropped, literally.
A few seconds passed, and then I broke the silence with, “Are you shittin’ me?” These green fruit (which more than mildly resembles a popcorn ball in size, shape, & texture) grow everywhere around where I live. We call’em “Monkey Balls”. What a serendipitous irony, that this wood I thought was exotic just so happened to be not only just down the street, but in an overripe abundance! There has to be 400-500 of these trees with in maybe a 10 mile radius of me at this exact moment. Probably, 200 of which grow along a stretch of highway that passes my old high school. My only problem now is how to harvest a TREE in the MIDDLE of town! They are all around town but I don’t know of any outside of it, another irony, I guess. Oh, wait, they’re along the bike trail too! There’s my target! . . . heh, heh, heh . . . (. . . ふ, ふ, ふ . . .)

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