Previously, in Trip's Life...

29 September 2002 - Sunday

Sovereign Powers today! Things looked dicy for a bit, but we did eventually save the mayor of Chicago and 499 other dignitaries. Fulgurite got all the chicks, although only Warden got to rip anyone's clothes off.

* * *

Trader Joe's is always out of everything on Sunday night. Perhaps I need to try harder to shop earlier in the day, or even on Saturday (although that gives my produce an extra day to rot before the next Friday).

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28 September 2002 - Saturday

Well, at least I didn't sleep until after dark this time! I did spend the day flopping around brainlessly, though, which was not very much at all like writing. Then I went to Armadillo Willy's and ended up with way too much food, so when I got home I was all blearghy and continued not writing. Kit will probably beat me with sticks. :(

sticks by kit (Mon Sep 30 18:47:39 2002)

No beating with sticks. That would be mean. I will merely continue to encourage you to write! Wumwumwum!

Re: sticks by Trip (Mon Sep 30 19:51:20 2002)

Yay! No sticks! But I am still sad, because I do not have any ideas that are going anywhere.

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27 September 2002 - Friday

Yay, Friday at last!

* * *

Chrisber and Christy have successfully returned from Abroad! I know this, because we had dinner at Chef Chu's and heard many fine stories and they weren't dead at all!

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26 September 2002 - Thursday

Blargh, pep rally.

* * *

UPS delivered two large boxes from Amazon! Now I have a Very Large Stack of Dorothy Dunnett books, the new Jim Butcher book, and a couple of others. Muahahahahahaha!

Actually, this pile of Dunnett is kind of scary...

* * *

Today's new anime series is Phantom Quest Corp, which is silly, but not as silly as Maho Tsukai Tai.

Crest of the Stars is still very slow, but otherwise good.

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25 September 2002 - Wednesday

Al did finally send Gloranthad20 mail! Whew!

* * *

SCHLORP!

* * *

Glorantha d20 was playtested. Some bugs were found and corrected. Then some bugs ate the PCs.

Overall, it was a success, and we look forward to the next rev!

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24 September 2002 - Tuesday

Al better send out Gloranthad20 mail soon, or it's STAR MUNCHKIN for everyone tomorrow!

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23 September 2002 - Monday

Yay! No more oncall! Not that it was bad; I think I got called a total of twice, neither time while I was doing anything important.

Sniff! No Tokyo Tower, because at least 2/3 and maybe all of my players are off having fun without me. Ah well.

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20 September 2002 - Friday

Stupid STUPID VTA creatures don't run any busses out to AltaVista's neck of the woods except during the early morning and late afternoon/early evening commute hours. So although I was able to return from my doctor's appointment in Sunnyvale to Palo Alto without difficulty, I had no way to travel from El Camino Real to the wilds of Hillview except walking many kilometers along Arastradero. I asked my boss if he really needed me in the office, and he allowed as how nothing much was actually happening, so I am working (and updating my webpage) from home. Blargh.

* * *

I escaped to Thai City for yummy salmon food! Yum! On my way back, a strange person in a pickup pulled up to the bus stop and offered me a ride. (Hey, anyone who works in the AV NOC is strange, after they start if not before.) Thanks, Ron!

Stupid Stupid VTA creatures by Raymond (Thu Sep 26 11:53:19 2002)

I just want to note that this is NOT MY FAULT

Re: Stupid Stupid VTA creatures by Trip (Thu Sep 26 16:20:10 2002)

Sure. You work for a living.

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19 September 2002 - Thursday

Surprise lunch with Ambar today! Ambar is not dead, despite her adventures in horse-breeding, and looks noticeably thinner (which she has been trying to achieve for years).

Yum, mouth-peel beef.

* * *

Tonight at Whisman Station Anime we saw the last episode of Boogie Pop Phantom, in which all was explgk wow I can't even say that as a joke. But points for best use of a theremin in anime!

We also finished the Maho Tsukai Tai OAVs, but we start the TV series next week, so that doesn't really count.

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18 September 2002 - Wednesday

Someone stole my peaches out of the fridge. I guess Facilities taking down the DO NOT STEAL signs magically transformed the contents of the fridge into communal property.

* * *

After only a week of whining "The sun... how it burns..." every morning, I have finally used some of the thousands of unwanted AV posters lying around to reduce the transparency of my cube. Now I can't see out the window, but I couldn't see anything before because if I looked out, the sun was shining right in my face.

* * *

The phrase of the day: "...much akin to the thrill one might get from watching stoned ferrets try to mate inside a gumball machine during a nuclear holocaust.".

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17 September 2002 - Tuesday

Wow, the one Diet Dr Pepper I had this morning is really buzzing me out! My caffeine resistance has expired, or I got enough sleep last night, or something.

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16 September 2002 - Monday

Sniff. I'm on-call again.

* * *

Chrisber and Christy were spotted in London over the weekend, so even if they aren't here to entertain me, at least they entertained Geni.

* * *

Today's shrink homework: think about who I am, instead of just what I'm not.

* * *

I tried Phillipine food tonight, since there is a Phillipine restaurant just down the street from where I got my prescription filled. Sadly, it was very greasy and quite salty, even the dish that the lady gave me when I admitted it was my first time eating Phillipine food. Ah well. Now I know.

Okay, what is the adjectival form of "The Phillipines"?

Re: adjectival form of Phillippines by Marith (Tue Sep 17 09:24:07 2002)

Filipino. Geni and Merlin spell it "Philipino". but they're weird. Possibly it's just a simple desultory Philippic.

Re: adjectival form of Phillippine by Trip (Tue Sep 17 10:15:15 2002)

I know the people are called Filipino, but I wasn't sure if that was the general adjective. But now I know! (Geni and Merlin are weird, I'm pretty sure.)

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13 September 2002 - Friday

Oh, look, it must be Friday.

* * *

I was pleased to find that the opening song to the anime I borrowed from Ray (Himiko-Den aka Legend of Himiko) is one of the ones I like best on Marith's Animechoes mix CD.

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12 September 2002 - Thursday

Today's new feature at Whisman Station Anime: Crest of the Stars, which has space elves, only they're called something else. It is very slow, and so far the space elves seem to be fully-dressed1, so I don't know if we'll force Ray to buy any more of it.

1: The scars from Those Who Hunt Elves never fully heal, no.

Episode 5 of Cowboy Bebop was obviously written by someone who had watched all of John Woo's movies immediately previous. Or maybe they were on in the background while he pulled an all-nighter to finish the screenplay.

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11 September 2002 - Wednesday

Insert obligatory mention that it's 9/11 plus one year here: > <

Okay, that's out of the way.

* * *

As is common lately, only Dave and Al showed up to Wednesday Night Fun, so we played Roborally again. I came from behind to win, and there were not one but two phases where Dave and I faced each other across the flag's forcefield and brought it down with simultaneous laser fire.

Al claims that he'll do his Glorantha d20 playtest thing at the next WNF (in two weeks). This may make more people show up.

If he doesn't deliver, everyone will have to play Elfs!

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10 September 2002 - Tuesday

For Angie.

* * *

I have broken my usual routine! Instead of staying up too late pointlessly frittering away my time, I stayed up too late watching the end of the last Buffy season!

'cause, uh, watching TV isn't like frittering my time away. Not at all. Really.

"Gwack!" I say! Gwack!

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9 September 2002 - Monday

Day three of All Gaming All The Time: Tokyo Tower at Chrisber & Christy's!

Aieeeee!

Actually, it wasn't that bad; certainly it moved along better than last session. Our Heroes valiantly slew rats (this was actually valiant, considering the rats were bigger than one of them), explored part of a cave, slew a head-eating cave squid and three empty spider shells, and finally staggered back out bearing the marks of their bravery. After healing up, they will either try again or sneak out of town, but I have four weeks to prepare for either possibility, since the next session is cancelled due to lack of players.

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8 September 2002 - Sunday

Day two of All Gaming All The Time: Sovereign Powers at Dave's!

Having discovered the trilobites' lair, Team Justice (minus its still-hospitalized leader but plus Fulgurite's old partner Bombshell) decides to just burst in and start busting up trilobites; any attempt at cleverness might give the villains a chance to boot up the trilobites and that would be a Bad Thing. End result: one trilobite ignited by its own power system, one damage and sunk, one captured intact; one freight ship sunk; several agents captures; no supervillains captured. It turns out that Saber, who Our Heroes fought in their first adventure, built the trilobites, so he clearly must be Dealt With.

* * *

Grocery shopping. Whee.

* * *

Tonight's anime: Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis. The art was a weird mix of varyingly-exaggerated cell art and cheap (by current standards) CGI, but it worked pretty well, I think. If I were smarter, I would be able to determine all sorts of things about Japanese culture by taking the parallax of Metropolis to BGC 2040, but oh well.

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7 September 2002 - Saturday

Day one of All Gaming All The Time: Amber High School at Dave's!

Vampires attacked the city near Our Heroes' stronghold, so they rallied the citizens to self-defense and broke the siege! Omar and Cloud figured out how to detect vampires at a distance, so elite vampire-eradication squads followed the vampires and demonic machines to their daytime hiding place and destroyed them all! This is quite possibly the first triumph humans have scored against the vampires and machines in hundreds of years, so there was much rejoicing. Tia considers the episode a success because Justice admitted the Eagle Knights were helpful, and the other PCs asked to have more of them imported.

Tia told them that the people of the Sun would be best for getting rid of vampires, and now they have to believe her!

* * *

Yummy Burmese dinner at Rangoon deteriorated into FLtD geeking. Hmph.

* * *

I finally watched the Escaflowne movie, which was not bad. The story line bore a vague resemblance, but was actually different, not just a condensation of the series. Most of the named characters from the series appeared in varyingly similar form, but only Hitomi (who was quite different), Van, and Falken got much development at all, which wasn't surprising. Many innocent bystanders were slain.

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4 September 2002 - Wednesday

Trader Joe's keeps not having the yummy chicken chile verde burritos or rice pudding that I like, but I persuaded them to tell me when they would have them, and today it was, so I stocked up! Yum!

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3 September 2002 - Tuesday

Darn cool.

* * *

Today's interesting gaming thing: Trollbabe, another game from Ron Edwards, creator of Sorcerer and Elfs!. Edwards is an experimental gamer, but without the pretensions of one who is convinced he is Single-Handedly Leading the Gaming Community out of the Darkness of the Gygaxian Era, and his ideas are often interesting, so I coughed up the ten bucks to download Trollbabe.

Trollbabe is about as dramatist as a game can be and still use dice, but in a non-scripted way. There are no skill ratings or target numbers, there are no combat rounds, there are barely any wound levels. There are only Conflicts (trolls and humans both want this land, the evil shaman wants to kill the were-lynx kid who doesn't want to be killed, etc), Scenes, and each trollbabe's goal for each scene. Well, and probability of success for achieving the scene goal through violence, magic, or talking. You can reroll up to three times if you fail the roll for whichever action you choose, but have to check off an excuse for a reversal each time you reroll (max of three times per roll), and when you run out of excuses... There are specific rules about which parts get narrated by the GM and which by the player, and what a player can put in a request for a scene. It is part of the rules that no Conflict gets resolved except through the actions of a trollbabe.

It's pretty cool, it's only ten bucks to download, check it out!

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2 September 2002 - Monday

It is very annoying that Caltrain only runs about twice a day on holidays.

It is also very annoying that it is STILL TOO BLOODY HOT.

On the upside, I have gotten some reading done.

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1 September 2002 - Sunday

I got up bright and early and finished reading Silver Age Sentinels and did laundry and wrote a bit more about Chrysos, but then I slowed down and fell over because it is TOO FUCKING HOT today. Blargh. Still, I accomplished something, and maybe I will be more useful later in the evening when it is less hot.

* * *

Silver Age Sentinels doesn't need as much reviewing as some games, because mechanically it is very much like Big Eyes, Small Mouth except using d10s and with a 1-10 scale for powers (instead of d6s and 1-6 scale). It is about as effect-based as Hero, though less tactical and much less fiddly. High production values, lots of examples, emphasis on playing superheroes but with the acceptance that some people are big freaks, fairly extensive writeup of alternate-history NYC ("Empire City") so you can blow up named locations if you want to use their setting, what's not to like?

When it is NOT SO HOT I will try to rewrite some of my Champions characters in SAS and see how well it works. I'll have to go back to initial conception, of course, since SAS implements quite a few things differently than Hero, but that's okay. Wouldn't be much point to it if it didn't.

SASsy! by Bryant (Mon Sep 2 01:29:29 2002)

I have two objections to SAS, neither of which keep me from wanting to play it.

a) the combat system has the GURPS nature in that defenders must roll under a static defense value to avoid an incoming attack; this means that no matter how good an attacker you are, a good defender can avoid you. The risk is static fights. Might be OK in superheroics, since most blows miss anyhow in genre.

b) the powers system suffers slightly from lack of definition. This is pretty much a tendency in superhero systems, since if you rigorously classify your power limitations you wind up with Hero all over again. I'm not sure what the difference between a Reduction and a Restriction is.

But otherwise it looks pretty cool.

Re: SASsy! by Trip (Mon Sep 2 10:01:51 2002)

I don't know how the defense roll thing works in practice, since the one time I ran BESM I hacked it to use stat + skill + 1d6 - 1d6 vs target number (Nexus lives!) instead of 2d6 vs stat + skill. (Yes, I made major changes to the system before ever playing it.) But now I'm thinking perhaps the system as written wouldn't be completely dysfunctional, even if the "Apply Modifiers Equally" sidebar on p109 amounts to a rant in favor of target numbers.

I agree that the difference between a Reduction and a Restriction is not entirely clear, or at least that there's a big grey area in the middle. It would almost be a fairly clear-cut distinction of what the power does vs when you can use it, except that "less frequent usage" appears on the Reduction examples list. :(

Sadly, you're moving to Boston, or we could attempt to find out how these things work out in practice.

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