Archive for February, 2013

RHCSA? Need a bit’o studyin…

So now that I’m back at an employer that does consulting work, I am re-contemplating getting some certifications simply so I look more valuable on paper. I figure, what the hell, might as well look at an RHCE or RHCSA, so I googled around and found Redhat’s evaluation exam- Here’s the results from the 80 question evaluation:

Topic Evaluation
Software Management Some Understanding
Network Management Unfamiliar
Managing SELinux Limited Knowledge
NTP Server Configuration Deep Understanding
Centralized and Secure Storage Limited Knowledge
Web Server Additional Configuration Limited Knowledge
Basic SMTP Configuration Deep Understanding
Caching-Only DNS Server Deep Understanding
File Sharing with NFS Deep Understanding
Securing Network Services Deep Understanding
Troubleshooting Boot Process Deep Understanding
Tuning and Maintaining the Kernel Deep Understanding
Enhance User Security Deep Understanding
BASH Scripting and Tools Limited Knowledge
Network Configuration and Troubleshooting Limited Knowledge
Administering Users and Groups Limited Knowledge
Manage System Resources Substantial Knowledge
Installing and Managing Software Deep Understanding
Administer Remote Systems Deep Understanding
Deploy and Secure File Sharing Services Deep Understanding
Managing SELinux Limited Knowledge
Managing Simple Partitions and Filesystems Limited Knowledge
Logical Volume Management Deep Understanding
Essential Command-Line Operations Deep Understanding
Managing Simple Partitions and Filesystems Limited Knowledge
Managing Flexible Storage with Logical Volumes Some Understanding
Controlling access to Files Substantial Knowledge
Installing and Managing Software Limited Knowledge

I wish they provided more feedback on what questions I failed- I know that I botched a chunk of the yum, lvm and SELinux questions, but I don’t know which scripting and networking questions I failed. In either case, it’s not a bad starting point. With a good round of studying I’d imagine I should be able to tackle this test.

Hey, what’s that? Part 9: The Traveler

Lets look at another type of location generation: the Traveler.   There are lots of travelers on the road these days. Perhaps its a traveling merchant, or a dignitary, or a messenger. Perhaps it’s a god or dragon in human form. Maybe a gypsy or a caravan; traveling circus or conmen.  Perhaps it’s a mercenary who’s lost returning from a botched job. Maybe its a tax collector with a load of cash. Perhaps there’s rumors of highwaymen. They could be on foot, horseback, wagon, or something more unique. How are they dressed- rich, poor, strange? Are they pale, tanned, barbaric, civilized, filthy? any religious markings?

During your travels, you run across [fellow travelers/a fellow traveler] [heading the same way/the other way/at a crossroad/stopped by the road]. From the look of their clothing, you’d guess they are [a beggar/merchant/adventurer/dignitary/messenger/etc]. A careful eye picks up [thievescant/a holy symbol/a noble’s ring].   Their general attitude seems to be [jovial/hurried/upset/scared/demoralized].

When they see you they [don’t seem to care/become nervous/cautious/defensive/hostile]. They appear [mildy/hardly/overly] [unconcerned/paranoid/protective] of their possessions.The traveler[s] look [exhausted], [unuse/use] to the dangers of travel. [He/She/They] appear to have been on the road [for some time/for merely hours/for days] and are [close/far/near] their destination. The [cart/horse/caravan/wagon] that they’re traveling with seems [worn/new/expensive].

I just realized that a “spoiler” section would be a cool addition- DM notes that are hidden by default.

Hey, what’s that? Part 8: The Herd

So what else can our locationGenerator describe? How about cows. Lots of them. A full herd of animals.

Technically it doesn’t need to be cows, or even a herd, just a large mass of animals that doesn’t constitute a military unit, which we’ll deal with later. So a herd of cows or buffalo, or it could just as easily be a flock or a pack, gaggle or parliament.

Where is the herd? what is it? what are they doing? where are they going? are they hostile or friendly? Do they see you? is there anything else around them? Why are they there?


During your travels, you stumble across a [herd/flock/gaggle] of [dozens/hundreds/thousands/countless] [seals/goats/cows/etc] [crossing the road/standing by the road/traveling down the road/standing in a field]. They [have/haven’t] spotted you, and will [likely/unlikely/probably] act [friendly/cautious/hostile] towards you if you approach. The herd appears to be [migrating/moving/grazing] [towards/away] from you. In the distance you catch a [wolf/cougar/predator] stalking the herd.  You [can/can’t] safely pass the herd without drawing attention to yourself.


Hey, what’s that? Part 7: The Object

So what else can our locationGenerator describe? How about an object. A simple object is something that you could pick up and take with you. Perhaps as small as a glowing grain of sand on a dark deserted Highway, or as large as broken cart.

So, what kind of objects are you likely to find? perhaps something mundane or magical, common or creepy. A toy, instrument, book, tool? What about a cheese wheel or loaf of moldy bread? A weapon, armor, or simply dung. Whats it’s condition, and who was a likely owner? was it stolen? hidden or otherwise packaged? Is someone missing it or looking for it, or was it tossed because it was broken, or even cursed. Is the object intrinsically valuable, or worthless. Does it show signs of wear? what color and texture is it?


During your travels, you stumble across a [new/old/pristine/worn/damaged] [book] [hidden/visible] [along the side of the road/off the beaten path/in the middle of the road]. Something about the book makes you feel [disturbed/estatic/cautious/amused].  The [book] looks vaguely [elvish/orcish/human], and the wear suggests it  [has/hasn’t] [been here a while/had many owners]. A design is on the cover showing a dragon eating a mushroom and is written in a [familiar/unfamiliar] [script/language]. Browsing through it, it appears to be a [history] book. The [book] appears incredibly valuable. You have no idea why this object was left here; perhaps it was [left behind by a thief/accidentally dropped/purposefully dropped/dropped in a panic/cursed].

During your travels you stumble across a[n axe/ sword/ mace] on the road. Something about the weapon leads you to think it’s [seen too many battles.] The weapon appears [pristine/rusted/worn/well maintained] and [well crafted/poorly crafted].

During your travels, you stumble across a worn bag in the middle of the road. Inside you find a damaged book…

And this one will require a lot of variation for each type of object.

Hey, what’s that? Part 6: The Building

So what else can our locationGenerator describe? How about a building. Unlike ruins, buildings are usually inhabited or at least inhabitable. What you find will somewhat be determined by the type of building.

What kind of buildings can we have? pretty much anything that you could find in a small town or city is eligible. A simple farmhouse, a brothel, a tavern an Inn. Perhaps a trading post, fortress, windmill, waterwheel or castle.  Is it still in use? What specie or species runs it? Is it magical or mundane, good or evil? dirty or clean? What does the surrounding area look like? Any items laying about?

During your travels, you stumble across a [small/medium/large] [farmhouse/brothel/tavern/inn/tradingpost/fortress/windmill/waterwheel/castle] standing alone [on a clutch of trees/in a field/by the road]. It appears to be [in decent repair/in disrepair/in good shape/immaculately clean/filthy/cobbled together]. Around the [farmhouse/etc] you see various [tools/barrels/carts/bones] [littered/stacked/strewn/organized] around it.

The [farmhouse/etc] [is/was] owned by a [human/etc] and often [frequented/visited] by [other humans/elves/etc] travelers. You have no idea who or what waits within, but sense [nothing/something] [mundane/magical/good/evil/natural/unnatural] about the place.

Hey, what’s that? Part 5: The Trail

So what else can our locationGenerator describe? How about a trail.

There are many types of trails you can stumble upon- a trail of destruction, a trail of blood, of slime; perhaps a bandit left a trail of coins or breadcrumbs.  Are there foot prints, hoofprints, sled tracks, moose tracks? Is it an animal, a humanoid, a machine or a monster? is the weather affecting it? how old is it? Is it dangerous? what makes it interesting? where does it go? where did it come from?

During your travels, you stumble across a [strange/odd/visible] trail [joining/crossing/splitting from] your path. The trail seems to be [footprints/tracks/dragmarks] made in [ mud/blood/slime/gravel/].

The trail may have been made by a [wild animal/traveler/monster] several [minutes/hours/days/weeks] ago and is [untouched/worn] by the weather. You sense [danger/foreboding/serenity/nothing/magic] while studying the trail. The trail appears to run [directionA] to [directionB], leading [to/from/towards] a [mound/hill/cave/swamp/forest/field/settlement].

Stories tell of a [hated/beloved/legendary/unknown] [monster/beast/pixie] that may be responsible for the trail, and investigation may well lead to [reward/riches/derision/death].

Hey, what’s that? Part 4: The Vegetation

So what else can our locationGenerator describe? How about some odd vegetation.

How can vegetation be odd? Perhaps its a dead zone? Scorched from a dragon? locusts have ruined it? A drought? Perhaps it’s unusually sized? Does it look healthy or sickly? Is there a creature that has contaminated it, made it better, or is dependent on it? are there corpses nearby?

Is it grasslands? a clutch of trees? an orchard or field? is it wild and over grown or cultivated?

Is there signs of magical or natural contamination? Does it serve some cultural or natural importance to this region? is it harvest time? Are druids or rangers involved?

Is anyone upset by the current status of the vegetation? is anyone currently eating it?

During your travels, you stumble across a [beautiful/sickly/peculiar/bizarre] [field/orchard/forest/growth] that catches your eye. The [field/etc] appears [lush/dead/sickly/ruined], and shows signs of [drought/dragon fire/locusts/manicuring/harvesting] in the [distant/recent] past.

The plants appear [wild/cultivated/overgrown/neglected] and the fruit appears [harvested/plentiful/grazed upon/suspicious]. A quick search reveals [corpses/animal tracks/farm implements] nearby.

[Local Rumors/Legends, Bards tales] [suggest/hint/suspect/indicate] that a [monster/beast/diety/demigod/farmer/druid] is responsible for the  [beautiful/sickly/peculiar/bizarre] appearance of the [field/etc], however some hold a local [monster/beast/diety/demigod/farmer/druid] responsible. Most locals are [aware of/oblivious of/knowledgeable about] the [field/etc]

As you approach, you see [recent/ancient/no] signs of life.

It is [noon/evening/midnight]. The air is [cold and thin/humid/hot/sticky]. [Grey/White/Purple/Dark/Ominous] clouds [streak/cover] the sky [in the distance/overhead]




Hey, what’s that? Part 3: The Sculpture

Lets look at the third type of location generation: the Sculpture.

What type of sculpture is it, a statue? relief carving? stone, wood, metal? lifelike or abstract? is the artist unknown, minor or famous? how big is it? how do the locals feel about it? what is the lore related to it? Does it have any type of power?


During your travels, you stumble across a [small/medium/large] [stone/granite/wood/oak] [carving//engraving/statue] of a [creature/human/elf/orc/man]. The details were carved with a [measured/experienced/crude] hand. You’d estimate that is is potentially [days/weeks/years/decades/centuries] old from the wear and weathering and appears to be in [excellent/average/poor] condition.

A careful study of the artwork reveals [minor/no/copious] text in an [unknown/ancient/connom/recognizable] language. It appears to have been created by a[n unknown/renown/famous] artist named [name] who is [native/foreign] to the region. It is said to represent [bullshit artsy stuff].

Locals are [aware of/familiar with/unfamiliar with/oblivious of] the sculpture, however those who see it view it with [distrust/trepidation/reverence].Local lore says this area was used for [sacrifices/prayers], of which the sculpture played [no/a major/a minor] role. Some even say that the statue [contains/lacks] power over [the weather/crops/evil] often attributed to it.

As you approach, you see [recent/ancient/no] signs of life.

It is [noon/evening/midnight]. The air is [cold and thin/humid/hot/sticky]. [Grey/White/Purple/Dark/Ominous] clouds [streak/cover] the sky [in the distance/overhead]

Hey, what’s that? Part 2: The Battleground

Continuing on with my location generation, lets look at another type: the Battleground.

What do we know about battlegrounds? are they fresh? ancient? how are they recognized? is there lore? are they well known?

During your travels, you stumble across the site of a[n ancient/ recent] battle.

The field is [several/dozens of/hundreds of] yards in length and littered with bones and rusted weapons. Nearby you find the signs of a mass grave. [trenches/barricades/towers] still stand over the site.

Legends hint that this battle was waged between [regionX] and [regionY/a horde] over [territory/taxes/politics/sovereignty]. After [a few/several/dozens of] [hours/days/years] of war, [regionx/regiony/the horde] won a [decisive/slim/miniscule] victory. Stories of the battle are [rare/plentiful/common/unknown]. Local settlements [love/hate/avoid/loathe] talking about the battle. It is seen as a [decisive/uniting] moment in the region’s history.

This was also the battle where [name] the [adjective] was [first seen/killed/betrayed]. With [his/her] trusty [axe/sword/bow] in hand, [he/she] fought for [regionx/regiony] until his eventual [victory/defeat/death/betrayal].

As you approach, you see [recent/ancient/no] signs of life.

It is [noon/evening/midnight]. The air is [cold and thin/humid/hot/sticky]. [Grey/White/Purple/Dark/Ominous] clouds [streak/cover] the sky [in the distance/overhead]

What else could I add?

Hey, what’s that? Part 1: The Ruins

So my CityGenerator is cool and all, but cities aren’t the only interesting thing to stumble across in the world.

So what else is there? What else would an adventurer run into that isn’t an “encounter”? I’m looking for things that people can run across that lead to encounters and further flesh out the world.

So far I have them broken into the following types:

  1. ruins
  2. battleground
  3. sculpture
  4. vegetation
  5. trail
  6. building
  7. object
  8. herd
  9. traveler
  10. magical
  11. disaster
  12. military
  13. holy
  14. sign
  15. landform

So lets start with the Ruins. What types of ruins are there? what are some interesting features? What else would be of value? Lets try a few examples:

During your travels, you stumble across an ancient ruin. It looks to be the remains of a [fortress/castle/village/keep/tower] that was abandoned [several/dozens of/hundreds of] [years/decades/centuries] ago. Several walls have crumbled to the ground, and those that stand are covered with [moss/vines/weeds].

As you approach, you see [recent/ancient/no] signs of life.

It is [noon/evening/midnight]. The air is [cold and thin/humid/hot/sticky]. [Grey/White/Purple/Dark/Ominous] clouds [streak/cover] the sky [in the distance/overhead]

What else could I add?

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