Trip's Brain-Sucking Web Site


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Trip's Life (Recent episodes)

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2018-08-18:  "Peasprout Chen" by Trip
2018-08-18:  "worldcon readings" by marithlizard
2018-07-15:  "Madness" by Jeremy
2018-06-18:  "Re: Freecycling" by marithlizard
2018-06-18:  "Freecycling" by Jeremy

18 September 2018 - Tuesday

Marith has been taken over by a swarm of microbes. It is very sad.

The Book of Ages for 13th Age is a supplement for fleshing out the history of the 1st through 12th Ages. This pre-release PDF is still in the "see page XX" and "<<layout element>>" stage, but otherwise seems both complete and workable. Each player gets a faction (explicitly not the same as an icon), maybe the GM gets some, each faction gets some events (overall high point, overall low point, crossover, etc) and independently assigns them by die roll to the range of Ages. Then, starting from the earliest Age with events, everyone goes through the Ages in order and the GM takes the roll of a chronicler asking experts leading questions about what happened to the various factions in that age. ("I heard your faction's greatest stronghold of the 4th Age was here, but now there's just a big crater. What happened?") There are lists of leading questions for GMs who can't think of any, and a pile of premade Ages for those points in the calendar where no one has any events. (The premade Ages come with not just icons, but also sample monsters, spells/powers/talents, and magic items.)

My interest in 13th Age is somewhat revived, but the system still bugs me, so now I'm thinking about what it would take to add Apocalypse Power to 13th Age and still be distinctively 13A. One Unique Things are absolutely fine, they aren't supposed to give you any powers, just be something that is fictionally true about your character. There are no skills in DW, so backgrounds are not relevant. Classes are mostly the same, because D&D.

DW has alignment, which 13A doesn't, and has both fewer and less significant races, but switching to drives and backgrounds and making race just a descriptor should cover both of those.

Magic items in DW are to magic items in 13A as magic items in 13A are to magic items in D&D3, which is probably fine.

Icon relationship dice are the trickiest because they are so metafictional. "Bag of books" and "adventuring gear" in DW have a little of that nature, but they are sufficiently constrained by the fiction ("You had what in your backpack? Get real.") that it's not an issue. Icon relationship benefits, at least at our table and possibly everywhere based on what I see on the Internets, are completely open-ended within the vague theme of the Icon. Contacts? Gear? Secret knowledge? Highly-specialized magical powers? It's all possible, and there's not even the minor downside of taking up inventory space. Of course this could be shoehorned into DW as-is, but that's like saying you can type any letters in any order: you can do it, but that doesn't mean the result will be aesthetically pleasing or even legible.

Words: 157. No TV, but apparently too much Love Nikki.

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17 September 2018 - Monday

Things I managed to do today:

Things I did not do:

  • Get sick even though my flatmate is full of germs
  • Watch TV
  • Any significant amount of work

Words: 508.

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16 September 2018 - Sunday

I managed to do a little bit of shopping, but that was about it.

Netflix had Lilo & Stitch, which they hadn't last time we looked, so we watched it. There was more alien hijinx than I remembered. Later, tumblr told us about the final fate of Pudge the fish.

AW has moves like seize or hold by force, which is much more interesting than DW's hack and slash. But, I thought, if the PCs are trying to seize something by force, who makes the roll? And then I had the important insight that AW PCs are all major characters in the same story, but they are not a team, and are at least sometimes antagonistic to each other. (It's not like this is a secret, just read the examples, but I hadn't realized the significance until now.) In AW, a move can be the whole plan, or at least a big chunk of it, but in DW, a move has to be just one person's part of the plan, which is a much smaller part of the action.

I think there's probably still some room to raise the level of moves for Glorantha, but maybe not very much, and it might be more trouble than it's worth. I mean, "kill them to death" is a perfectly valid goal for many fights in Glorantha (like broos).

Words: 223.

Weekly total: 1582.

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15 September 2018 - Saturday

Why, oh why, does Apple not just display a time stamp with every text? It can do it for literally every other event that happens on a phone, but not texts? Gaaaaaah.

Boo for not setting an alarm! Hurray for turkey chili!

  • Sailor Moon S 32-33: You can tell we're getting close to the end of the season by the way Witches N is decrementing faster and faster.
  • Laid-Back Camp 10: I expected Rin to go with the "we're not camping together, I'm just camping in the site next to yours at the same campground", but no.
  • My Hero Academia 40-41: No, in fact you cannot take these kids anywhere without supervillains attacking. Also my brain hurts because in my WiP, "pussycat" is a racial slur against catgirls.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.6: Those two are just about the cutest ever. Also Dark Flame Master is remarkably non-horrible for a teenaged guy in anime. Maybe he can give Mineta some tips on not deserving death.

Words: 215.

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14 September 2018 - Friday

Coworker M, who is in NC (but well inland) reports he is doing okay. Whew!

  • The Good Place 23-26: Wow, excitement and bonding and smooches and jurisprudence and reboot! That's the end of season 2, I wonder what season 3 will bring?

Words: 183.

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13 September 2018 - Thursday

Giant bug robot!

  • The Good Place 22: Wow, teamwork!

Marith cooked food again! It was entirely like dinner, although we both agreed it could have used more alliums.

I was actually wrong about the Ernalda priestess's favors of the earth. It has only at-wills and dailies, but it's random which ones you get to use, so still annoying.

Anwyay, the basic equation is, impress the priestess with your mightiness and she'll give you some mojo. This is very different from the usual D&D formula, so that's good. But how does it translate into DW?

Details of a die roll don't matter, the trigger has to be something like "bring me the head of the goblin chief", or something equally significant if not as murdery ("bring me the regalia of the heretical temple"). Can we rely on the player to choose reasonable things, and not "bring me that rock"? Probably not, but I'm not sure how to word the requirements.

In 13G, the favor gets awarded to the next person to do the thing, but there are multiple favors per battle, so theoretically the mojo couldn't be hogged by one person. DW has shorter battles, which could lead to more competition, which is probably Orlanthi (warriors, not soldiers), but do we as players want that? But on the other hand, DW doesn't have an initiative clock to show who was first if multiple acts ("bring me a goblin head") could trigger the favor, so maybe that's okay?

Giving other people mojo is also not a big DW thing, but healing is fine, and +1 forward is also a thing. It could even be +damage or +armor forward, if we want to get really crazy.

Words: 328. Probably because we only watched one episode of The Good Place tonight.

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12 September 2018 - Wednesday

The thing that didn't work yesterday works today, for no reason. The Random Tech Support Excuse Generator says, "someone changed DNS". I figure it has at least a 0% chance of being correct.

13th Age is cancelled, Jus has the Regurgitations and no one wants to risk getting those. Except me, because I don't care about common or garden germs, but I don't want to be out playing Gloomhaven until a million o'clock on a work night, so all fun is still cancelled.

Instead I watched TV with Marith.

  • The Good Place 19: This is one of the other episodes that was nominated for a Hugo. Poor Chidi.
  • The Good Place 20-21: I am glad Janet's subplot is getting continued. I like Janet.

I could use runes for PbtA Glorantha stats, actually, since the Orlanthi have a reasonably small set of runes they are associated with (Air, Movement, Man (because human), Earth (from Ernalda), Harmony (likewise), Life (because not undead)), but I think then non-Orlanthi playbooks would have to have different runes and probably different moves, which sounds like a lot of work.

Moving on to classes, the Earth Priestess in 13G has three main schticks: at-will summoning of one Earth spirit/elemental to fight for her, occasional spellcasting (a couple of dailies), and favors of the earth: she announces that the next one of her allies to do X gets buff/healing Y, where X is some combat thing like score a crit or reduce an enemy to 0 HP, and Y is one of a list of buffs/heals with varying recharge. (I've already ranted about the long lists of powers with limited recharge.) I like favors of the earth, but DW doesn't really do buffs, that's what aid another is for, and healing is not that exciting, so I'm not sure how to translate it. (Sure, I could invent a bunch of buffs, +1d4 damage forward and whatnot, but I don't think that would really be appropriate for DW.) It also doesn't have critical hits or other fiddly little mechanics things to hand the rewards on. Bah.

The Trickster is also a problem. Their powers are a dozen variants on doing something stupid and ineffectual to give an ally a bonus or let an ally escape harm, and I don't think I can build an entire class around a single basic move. I don't say no one can, but I'm pretty sure I don't get the Trickster, probably because I have no sense of humor.

Words: 131.

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11 September 2018 - Tuesday

I spent like four hours on the line with a customer whose thing was not working after he took it apart and put it back together (with software, it's harder to see whether there are pieces left over; you have to look under the sofa), and did not even get it working, although we did get past many intermediate errors on our way to the day's final error.

I did a date with Avalon, but we were both lethargic, so it was not that sparkling.

Marith made fried rice with chicken marinated in soy sauce and honey, which is probably more advanced cooking than has ever happened in this apartment.

I thought about renaming the stats for PbtA Glorantha for the kinds of people who exemplify them, Fierce/Wary/Stubborn/Charming/Thinky/Touched -> Warrior/Scout/Farmer/Chief/Sage/Priest, but that seems like it could lead to confusion with the class names. I also, of course, thought about naming them for runes, but that would definitely be confusing when runes come up in some other mechanical context (even though I don't yet know what context that would be), and also it seems wrong to use just a subset of the 20-odd runes that apply at a human scale. Maybe verbs are good? Attack/Spot/Endure/Lead/Know/... See (as in seer)? Transcend? Perhaps I can't come up with a verb that covers everything lumped fuzzily into that one stat because it really needs to be some other number of stats. But even though magic is common and not necessarily well-delineated from other parts of Gloranthan life, it feels wrong to just say that social skills work the same on spirits as they do on people. Magic needs to be at least slightly numinous and uncanny, right? Or at least magician and face should be different character types.

If I'm using active verbs, maybe I should look at Blades in the Dark-type actions? There are more of them than stats, so using runes could be a possibility. But BitD is a much more constrained game, so a set of essentially twelve basic moves works okay there where it would probably not in a more wide-open game, so probably not. (Also I like specialized moves.)


Words: 336.

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10 September 2018 - Monday

Yuck, Monday.

A new playbook for DW should have at least three starting moves (not counting race/alignment/background/drive), but I've only been able to come up with that many for a couple of the simplest Glorantha playbooks.

The Storm Bull berserker:

You start with these three moves:
Sense Chaos: Add to the list of questions for discern realities, "Is Chaos manifest here?"
Berserker: When you roll 10+ on hack & slash, you must take the option to do more damage.
Smash It!: <cut and past from the Fighter's Bend Bars, Lift Gates>

The Humakti:

You start with these three moves:
Deathbringer: When using your personal blessed sword, your damage die is d10 instead of d8.
Death is Near: When you reduce someone to 0 HP, they are just dead. They don't get to make the take a mortal wound move, they can't be healed, they're just dead. The same goes for you when you drop to 0 HP.
Bond of Truth: When you parley, your oath as a Humakti counts as concrete assurance, because they know what happens if you break it.

But at least one move for each is a passive two-edged sword, so this probably isn't enough, and that's not even considering advancement moves (although I'm using AW-style advancements, so +1 to primary stat, +1 to either secondary stat, or +1 to any stat are all valid entries, which cuts down on that a little). Maybe I don't know enough Glorantha lore, or maybe it just matters that I know there is Glorantha lore to be known. ("Draw Maps, Leave Blanks" doesn't really work for Glorantha, when legions hundreds? of fans have spent fifty years filling in all the blanks. But that's only a principle, a technique for following the Agenda ("Portray a Fantastic World", "Fill The Character's Lives With Adventure", "Play to Find Out What Happens"), so I don't think DW is completely undone by this. I might be wrong.)

Words: 166.

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9 September 2018 - Sunday

After a month without, we have PAD&D5 again!

Having struck some kind of deal with their enemy [SPOILER], who turns out to not be as invested in the villainous plan as some others, the Heroines of Red Larch travel to [SPOILER], where they encounter a steampunk space hamster (named Bruce) and some assorted locals (also named Bruce, except for Stephanie) who introduce themselves as a recon squad of the resistance against the local depradations of one of the Heroines' enemies from the Red Larch area. The Heroines are immediately drafted into the resistance, because they have a magic item associated with the enemy that they picked up a while back (when Rimardo stared down a [SPOILER]). Of course they are up for that!

After a quick ambush to get the pursuers off their tail and avoid giving away the location of the Redoubt, the Heroines arrive and are introduced to the leader of the space hamster resistance, their old frenemy (and possible admirer of Lam), [SPOILER]. They are just in time for the massive assault on the villain's headquarters by the entire resistance, because it has go forward immediately now that the Heroines have brought the [SPOILER] back into the region.

While the mass combat plays out across the surface of the airless mesa, the Heroines and [SPOILER] assault the main fortress, only to meet the Big Bad and his two hulking minions (one with shoulder-mounted brother of [SPOILER]) out front. Akrá has the implement of boss-slaying, so they're the designated boss-slayer, while everyone else tries to distract and flank and harry. Surprisingly, it works (it helps that Rimardo can still banish one of the minions), or at least [SPOILER] gets beat down enough that [SPOILER]'s mom can appear and crush the Big Bad. Overwhelming victory!

After the victory party, the Heroines will finally get to return to [SPOILER]!

Marith made raviolis more tasty by breading and pan-frying them, which seemed like a lot of work. Good results, though!

  • The Good Place 16-18: Wow, Michael is really not very competent if he can be outsmarted, even a fraction of a percent of the time, by Jason.

In Under the Pendulum Sun (Jeannette Ng), Victorian missionaries try to take Anglicanism (which is of course synonymous with Civilization) to Fairyland. This goes about exactly as well as you would expect.

Also the author is probably an escaped Love Nikki character.

Words: 124.

Weekly total: 1297. I suck.

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8 September 2018 - Saturday

I wanted to play Masks with Carl at Big Bad Con so I can learn how to suck less at the Apocalypse, but that meant being home at 12:00 on the dot to click the "Sign Me Up" button as soon as it appeared, so my daily routine was all thrown off and I didn't get to the grocery store until things were selling out.

I did sign up for Masks vs Parental Expectations, though!

  • Laid-Back Camp 9: Oh no, germs!
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2.1-2: After the 10-episode flashback, time seems to be moving ahead faster, but I'm not sure just how fast. Rakugo is definitely in dire straits, though.
  • My Hero Academia 39: A recap episode and a pool episode are both mandatory, so they're just being efficient. Also not much fanservice.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.5: Finally, Kumin gets to shine!

Words: 218.

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7 September 2018 - Friday

Everyone, go get your flu shot! Protect the kids of antivaxxers so they can grow up to become sensible people!

I went over to Ken and Dave's to play Gloomhaven again, to give it a fairer try. I failed miserably by running out of cards, but we did win the second scenario on normal mode, even if we didn't get the chest that was probably full of clues.

I would be up for playing more, but if we don't even start until past 20:00, then I don't get home until a million o'clock because someone moved further away to make gaming less convenient.

Words: 118.

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6 September 2018 - Thursday

Hey, I caught up from Worldcon!

A couple of good parodies of yesterday's NYT kerfuffle (both from We Hunted The Mammoth): McSweeney's, and Slate.

Marith is now all caught up on Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju.

Ah, it was the finale of the first season of The Good Place that was up for a Hugo this year (and an episode from second season which we haven't seen yet). I was spoiled for the big reveal, but how it played out was still good. I like how the consequences are being played out in the first part of the second season, too. Go Eleanor!

The Dreaming Stars (Tim Pratt) is the sequel to The Wrong Stars, which brings the alien menace somewhat more on-screen and thereby diminishes it. But people still don't escape unscathed in body or mind, so that's good. (Except for them.)

Rebecca Roanhorse won the Campbell award for Best New Writer, and seemed awesome, so I picked up Trail of Lightning and it was pretty good, a combination of post-apocalytic with Navajo mythology (which I know a tiny bit of from growing up in New Mexico, but is not something I have seen much of in books since perhaps Eye of Cat). The main character is definitely a badass monster killer, perfectly capable of dealing with mythological annoyances, and so very unprepared to have a hot guy foisted on her.

Words: 144.

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5 September 2018 - Wednesday

Once again, it is time for 13th Age and CPK (which we would probably normally spurn, but there's some kind of fundraiser thing for Jus and Nonny's school). We managed to avoid all the fights this time, although we did get dropped into a pit by an enraged earth elemental, and pinned most of the evils of the world on Mike's character. A good evening's work!

Words: 168.

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4 September 2018 - Tuesday

Hurray, Avalon is alive! And spent the weekend productively, unlike me.

Words: 219.

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3 September 2018 - Monday

I did not do anything useful today. I did not even join a union.

Instead of watching Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju like we were supposed to, Marith and I watched more of The Good Place. Well. That was terrifying in a different way than I expected, but I am glad Eleanor was paying attention during class. Also, I am surprised by Janet's subplot.

Chococat made me lie down and snuggle him, and while I was down there, I read Weird Little Games vol 1, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. Want to be an Azumanga Daioh girl with the serial numbers filed off? Want to be a member of the US Presidential Line of Succession (Extended Remix) in a mecha? Want to be the soul at risk in a Chick Tract? Ewen Cluney has you covered.

Words: 306.

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2 September 2018 - Sunday

After being super-useless all day (I even took a nap!), I went over the in evening to play Gloomhaven with Ken, because he is super-excited about it. I feel like a bad friend for not appreciating it enough, but despite the flavor text, it's just a tactical combat boardgame, and one with a core mechanic that is designed to produce frustration (you start out with good cards, and have to slowly discard them, never getting new ones). Also, I played it when I was hungry and grouchy, so I wasn't as happy about being a weird little ghoul-rat with brain powers as I could have been.

So how do I make 13G more palatable? Add some Apocalypse Power, of course!

Dungeon World is good for a base, but the D&D stats (both in the sense of Strength and Dexterity being stats, and of having a vestigial 3-18 value) must go. New stats: Fierce, Wary, Stubborn, Charming, Thinky, Touched (names not final, okay!), on the usual PbTA -1 to +3 scale. Also levels should go away, advancements and advanced advancements are fine. Hit points and damage dice can stay, no need to revert to the harm clock.

Most of the DW basic moves are fine, tweaked for the new stats. Ditch Final Breath for Take a Mortal Wound (unconscious but stable/unconscious and dying/dead), add one for coming back from the dead. I don't think we need specific moves for general battle magic, that's just the excuse for why a PC has like three times the hit points and twice the average damage of an NPC with similar job description. Maybe make magical healing a basic move, as in 13G, since healing magic isn't as restricted as in D&D.

What are the playbooks? One per cult is obvious, but I don't think that's right. 13G has like four classes based on Orlanth, which is legit because Orlanth is both the primary god so has a portfolio that includes a lot of stuff and is the god of rampaging around going out and getting things done, which covers all kinds of adventuring. I am dubious about troll PCs, so we can leave those classes out for now, but that still leaves Orlanthi warrior, Humakti murderhobo, Storm Bull berserker, Orlanthi rebel, Orlanthi storm sorcerer, Ernalda summoner priestess, Eurmal asshole, and Ernalda/Yelm shield-based martial artist. I'd also like to see Lhankor Mhy sword sage, Babeester Gor avenging daughter, Yinkin hunter, maybe Issaries messenger? That's twelve, which seems like a lot, but probably a reasonable start? Okay, really the reasonable start would be to write a paragraph about each and then only create moves for the ones that people want to play (which is none of them, because people only play D&D).

Words: 114.

Weekly total: 1348. Meh.

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1 September 2018 - Saturday

Marith very kindly woke up well in advance of work to make sure I was not sleeping through my doctor appointment. She is a hero of the revolution.

Having my ear vacuumed was quick and produced a great bounty of cerumen, but it was like an action movie where the edge of the cliff is crumbling away in different-sized chunks, only happening inside my ear canal.

  • Sailor Moon S 31: Down to Witches 3!
  • Laid-Back Camp 8: But ghost stories are an essential part of Japanese camping!
  • My Hero Academia 37-38: Victory: the protagonist!
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.4: I can't argue with Dekomori's logic: if reading the holy texts causes someone to writhe in pain, they must be a bad person.

Jade City (Fonda Lee) is the first book of a secondary-world wuxia gangster epic set on the one island in the world that produces the jade that gives people of the local ethnicity wire-fu powers. Conflict ensues. Despite being secondary-world, it's at a mid-C20 level of civilization: banks, cars, landline phones, military-industrial complexes. Family intrigue, family expectations, combat-drug addiction, white people trying to exploit the local resources, all the usual gangster stuff.

Words: 280.

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31 August 2018 - Friday

Because my ear doesn't work, if I sleep on the wrong side, I can't hear my alarm. This is bad.

Three more episodes of The Good Place. Michael seems to be showing character growth, but I don't trust it. Also, I am personally offended by the Bad Place people, even though they have a train.

Heroine's Journey (Sarah Kuhn) is the third book in the series, the one the author read the beginning of at Worldcon. It is from the PoV of yet another member of the superhero team/found family, the former annoying-little-sister who is now all grown up, really. Like the other characters, she is pretty messed up, because how can you even write about humans who aren't? But these romances are way too straight.

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist (SL Huang) is the queer reversed "Little Mermaid" that the author read from at Worldcon. It has all the important bits, including complete doom.

Words: 217.

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30 August 2018 - Thursday

I skipped work in the morning to go to urgent care and have a very nice nurse irrigate my ear, but it remained barren of sounds. I will have to go back on Saturday for a specialist, because I am just that defective.

Troika is a super-minimal RPG, old-school but not OD&D-based. It has like two stats, and a mandatory roll on d66 for a character background that sets skills (and spells). Pretty much the whole setting (such as it is) is encoded in the backgrounds, for example, 14 Cacogen You are Those Filthy Born, spawned in the hump-backed sky lit only by great black anti-suns and false light. Your mother was sailing on the golden barges or caught in some more abstract fate when she passed you, far from the protective malaise of the million spheres. You were open to the power and the glory at a generative time and it shows in your teratoid form. or 16 Claviger The key masters wander the universe fathoming the workings of all entry ways they can find. Though they're quite fascinated with simple chests and doors, they are most excited by metaphysical and metaphorical barriers. You might find small conclaves of clavigers camped around the feet of demon gates, debating appropriate methods of attack or building obscure machines of entry. Seems cool, and I'm not even sure I'd have to convert it to PbtA.

The Good Place 4-6: Now we know what's up with [SPOILER], but the characters don't seem to be addressing the obvious question that raises. Once again, divide and conquer is the MO of the overclass. (Not that the overclass is coming off as all that superior, extra dimensions aside.)

I've been slowly reading through 13th Age Glorantha, but although I like many of the ideas, I'm not sure I like it as a game. Even more than standard 13th Age, it relies on a profusion of small, slightly useful, special case rules that only come up once in a while. A good example is the standard bonus for a rune gift in the healing category: it gives you an extra recovery, but you can't just increase your max recoveries by 1 and carry on, because this recovery is Special and has different rules than all other recoveries, so you have to track it separetely and decide, every time you heal with a recovery, whether this is the right time to use it. And everything is like that: rune gifts (the equivalent to magic items) and class abilities are almost all "daily" or "recharge" abilities, meaning you get to use them once or an unpredictable but small number of times every few sessions (a month or more of player time) and have to keep track of their availability and decide which one to use at every opportunity. Class abilities (spells, etc) at least give you some amount of bang in exchange for the cognitive load, but rune gifts are just large enough that you'll suffer if you try to blow off the system.

I expect that Dave, Mike, and Ken will all love this, because it's very board-game like and they like finding the synergies among ten million different rules, but the idea feels me with a deep lack of interest in jumping through those hoops. Or playing D&D at all, really. It's 2018, FFS!

Words: 110. I blame capitalism television.

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29 August 2018 - Wednesday

My ear seems to have stopped working. I tried both water and over-the-counter stuff, but no dice. Unless it spontaneously clears up overnight, I guess I will have to go to the doctor tomorrow. Like an old defective person who is falling apart.

No 13th Age, Ken is something.

Marith shared her raviolis with me. She is a good flatmate.

Words: 226.

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28 August 2018 - Tuesday

Heroine Worship (Sarah Kuhn) isn't the book the author read from at Worldcon, but comes between that one and the one I read. It's from the PoV of the person the protagonist of the first book felt steamrollered by, because of course she has her own emotional burdens to bear. Also there's a plot, or something, that's not really the point of the book.

Words: 181.

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27 August 2018 - Monday

No date tonight, Avalon's brain is exploding. 8(

Words: 220.

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26 August 2018 - Sunday

No PAD&D5 today, Jeremy has been afflicted with humans at work or something.

I don't think I accomplished anything at all today. Because I pretty much suck.

Words: 253.

Weekly total: 1408.

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25 August 2018 - Saturday

A routine Saturday. Well, alternate Saturday, since we had cleaners.

  • Sailor Moon S 30: Well, that's not ominous at all.
  • Laid-Back Camp 7: Ghost stories are important!
  • My Hero Academia 36: Of course we had to cliffhanger before Deku's exam.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.3: The Boop episode!

Words: 248.

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24 August 2018 - Friday

Yay, Avalon is still alive!

Snotgirl vol 1 (Bryan Lee O'Malley, Leslie Hung) is about a fashion blogger in LA who is kind of a terrible person, but probably all you need to know to decide whether to read it is that it's by the Scott Pilgrim guy, but is mimetic rather than magical realism.

Words: 150.

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23 August 2018 - Thursday

I don't seem to have any brain at all this week.

Marith and I watched the first three episodes of The Good Place, because two episodes (of a later season) were up for Hugos. Now she has Theories.

Sworn to the Night and Detonation Boulevard (Craig Schaefer) are the first two of a trilogy that seems to be tying together the author's two related urban fantasy/horror series and one secondary-world series. I'm here for lesbian antihero romance struggling against doom from before history and also rich assholes getting destroyed, but the interdimensional fantasy stuff doesn't seem to fit very well with the horror stuff, even though it's pretty dark fantasy.

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Henry Lien) is about as adorable as the title. It is about girl power and figure-skating-style martial arts and political intrigue.

Words: 169.

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22 August 2018 - Wednesday

We had everyone for 13th Age, so we finished the sword-smithing fight and ate Wuhan food.

Cool, my 13th Age Glorantha are here! This makes it more likely that we will play 13G after Eyes of the Stone Thief wraps up.

Words: 165.

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21 August 2018 - Tuesday

Boss K is in town, and made me and coworkers S and T go to dinner because talking work at work is not enough. No one knew where to go, so I guided them to Taiwan. They weren't overtly repulsed, and I got to walk home conveniently, so I guess it worked out okay.

Coworker S's new Tesla 3 is pretty spiffy, but seems to have some software issues.

Words: 142.

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20 August 2018 - Monday

There was a little more Worldcon programming today, but I needed a day to be passively useless and do things like grocery shopping and laundry and drinking too much Diet Dr Pepper.

Marith, who went to anime on Saturday instead of abandoning most of her friends, got me all caught up on My Hero Academia.

  • My Hero Academia 33-35: Beginning of the finals! Froppy and Cool Bird Boy are still best! Sticky Head Bulbs is still the worst, and should get fed to a supervillain! All Might is surprisingly scary when he's not being cheesy!

The Harbors of the Sun (Martha Wells) ties up the plot that started in Edge of Worlds, while opening room for many more. I mean, surely no one will be upset by [SPOILER], right?

Words: 281. Of course, now I have to write something that takes everything I may have learned at Worldcon into account, so I'm still doomed, but being around other people who were talking and thinking about writing has improved morale.

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19 August 2018 - Sunday

Fourth day of Worldcon!

  • Macro to Micro: Worldbuilding Workshop with NK Jemisin was more geography-building, on spherical planets, and then deriving culture from that, with audience input, so I was not that interested, even though possibly I should have been, and bailed out halfway through.
  • The conclusion from We Dressed Those Girls: Subverting Tropes or Reinforcing the Status Quo? was that subverting tropes is hard, and claiming that acknowledging the tropes constitutes subverting them and people who don't understand are the Real Sexists™ does not count.
  • Body Language - How to Improve Your Awareness and Use It in Fiction had a cartoonist as well as some writers, so that was an interesting additional perspective. Anyway, body language is a huge deal, people don't even know they're reading it, everyone should definitely include it in their dialogue all the time. Watching humans is good for learning how humans do body language.
  • All the panelists who made it to How Hollywood Gets It Wrong were doctors, so it was very medically focused, but "every way possible" probably holds for most other fields. Useful takeways for oppressing characters: everything takes longer to heal than they show on TV, and the best place for a disabling but nonfatal wound is the thigh, to the outside of the femur.
  • YA vs Adult Fiction: Defining Boundaries was mostly panelists who have written both, so there was a lot of talk about what they thought the differences were vs what their agents thought the differences were, and how most of the dividing criteria are flexible anyway because writing, man. It would have been better without the white guy on the panel talking over people though.
  • Reading: Kat Tanaka Okopnik was only okay. I think her work is not entirely to my taste, which is fine. (I think Cat liked it more.) She is down with social justice, which is good enough for me.
  • I think all the panelists for Disability in the Future were disabled, so it was definitely a better perspective than might have been found in the past, and I think they were right that there will always be disabilities of some kind ("Sorry, ma'am, your neural architecture is just not compatible with the ISO cyberware standards."). But it felt like they were most interested in what was coming out nowish alleviate their particular ailments, and less in how those ailments could be eliminated altogether. (Some of them said that they wouldn't want their disability to be gone, because having it made them the person they are today.) I understand this, but I think it made the panel not as future-oriented as would have been interesting to me. Maybe we do need to be not terrible about disabilities now before we can have a good discussion about the future, but that wasn't the stated goal of the panel. I dunno, I'm relatively able-bodied, I probably don't get a say here.
  • Earl and Cat escaped before dinner, so I had to go eat very unhealthy things all by myself. Sniff!
  • I tried to go to another Mary Crowell concert, but it was mysteriously cancelled in favor of a scary old lady telling people what to filk.
  • And finally, the Hugos! Unlike the masquerade, the results are already known, and the MC was Efficient, so we got through the entire slate in about two hours. Lots of women, some PoC, no obvious Nazis (suck it, Sad Puppies!). Rebecca Roanhorse, who is black and indigenous, got both the Campell and a Hugo, NK Jemisin got her third Hugo in a row for the third book in her recent trilogy, which everyone agrees was well deserved, Murderbot got a Hugo, Bujold got another Hugo, all was good. Hurray!


Words: FAIL.

Weekly total: 545, but that's with four days off for Worldcon. Without that, I would have broken 1000 for sure! Probably!

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