Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 May 2004 - Monday

Yay! Kithug has made it to 6th level! But he can still only handle the very wimpiest part of Mt McLargeHuge, sniff. At least with green pixel potions he can recover from trying the eXtreme Slope and getting crushed by orcish snowboarders.

Dancegronk and Vermicioulli have made it to level 4 and level 3, respectively, but they don't seem to be advancing as fast. I'm not sure if that's because I'm impatient, because they don't have clans, or because Mr Accessory makes it more viable to fight normally than to use their special class abilities.

Well, okay, no clan is probably a large part of it. Pizza, yum!

* * *

Adam and I tried to see The Day After Tomorrow, but failed due to incompetence on the part of the theater staff, so instead we had to see Shrek 2. (Adam had already seen it, so it was not our first choice.)

It was pretty good! Like the first one, there were a lot of jokes that probably went over the kids' heads, and I have to wonder how much kids these days actually know about fairytales, but I liked it, and that's what counts, right?

Or maybe I just liked the Fairy Godmother.

* * *

We failed to contact the Bertanis for dinner, but found them walking along Castro near Sue's Indian Restaurant, so it all turned out well. Yum, Indian food.

* * *

The pro-Anti-Pool contingent successfully prevented Everway from even being discussed seriously (that the image cards should be labelled "Not for use by smartasses" was probably a factor), so Anti-Pool it is!

This weighty question having been discussed, we spent the remainder of the evening playing Fluxx.

* * *

Christy and Chrisber both play KoL, and we got Adam intrigued enough to at least check it out. Muahahahahahaha!

Kithug? by kit (Tue Jun 1 11:00:18 2004)

Kithug? laugh!

Re: Kithug? by Trip (Tue Jun 1 14:53:21 2004)

I couldn't use "space_parasite" so I had to improvise! At least my clan title is "wump wump wump".

Re: Kithug? by kit (Wed Jun 2 09:34:57 2004)

laugh! Wump wump wump!

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30 May 2004 - Sunday

I seem to have spent the entire day working to make a browser window imitate a very limited subset of the functionality of a spiral-bound notebook. Why did I do this, instead of, say, writing? Or working on the Paradise Mislaid adventure I have to run tomorrow?

Because I am a huge stupid geek, that's why!

* * *

After finally unplugging my brain from the computer, I watched the first disc of the Nuku Nuku TV series, but it wasn't very good, so I took the rest of it off my GreenCine request list.

I wonder when GreenCine ships? Probably not over holiday weekends when there's no postal service. Ah well.

Make a comment!

29 May 2004 - Saturday

Oog. Another night of not-so-good sleeping. Perhaps I have been forgetting to take my meds? I have made sure to take them today, at least.

* * *

Vermicioulli is now a full member of the League of Chef-Magi, and has the first saucerer attack skill, Stream of Sauce! Unfortunately, it took his very last adventure to get enough meat to buy the skill, so I haven't been able to try it out for effectiveness. Dancegronk spent his money on a terrarium, so now he has a 3-pound mosquito familiar, which sucks hit points out of his enemies and injects them into him. W00t!

* * *

After continuing to feel not quite the thing through lunch and into the early afternoon, I came to the surprising conclusion that exercise would do me good. So, I walked briskly down to Lee's to get the volume of Those Who Hunt Elves that I missed when it first came out, and then walked briskly back, with a brief stop to get a burrito to go. Including both stops, it took me 1:20 to walk about 5½km, so my average speed was a little under 5km/hr, which is indeed brisk. Go me!

And, indeed, I feel better.

* * *

The contest manuscript acceptor person for the RMFW contest dropped me a line saying that my resubmission met all required standards and even praising it! I take the latter with a grain of salt since a) I'm an elitist rat-bastard and view myself as competing with the likes of Kit famous Luna author C E Murphy rather than the likes of B1FF, and b) the phrasing of the compliment could, just possibly, be a sarcastic slam instead. But I don't think it was, so I am still tolerably well-pleased. Go me!

* * *

I blithered on at substantial length about The Pool (really, Anti-Pool) and Everway to my Paradise Mislaid players, because that's what was in my brain. It's not like real writing, but it is intellectual activity to pass the time until I get more KoL turns. :)

* * *

I finally dug up the GreenCine gift certificate Liralen gave me for my birthday (over two months ago, <sweatdrop>) and used it. I should soon have anime DVDs winging their way toward my snailbox!

Have I mentioned that my friends are really nice?

* * *

Ken disappeared to one of the Memorial Day Weekend conventions to LARP vampirically, so Ayse, Marith, and I went to a coffee shop and worked on homework, new Button Men, and such until the band showed up and made things loud.

Sicilian smoothies are wonderful, and there is parasite-safe flavor syrup, so I can indulge to limit of my tolerance for half-and-half. Happy, HAPPY parasite creature!

When the band appeared, we fled the coffe shop for Ayse's place, where Marith did more homework and Ayse and I playtested Button Men using a perl random number generator and a spiral-bound notebook. This was sort of laborious, but enlightening. Also there was some reading, and some petting of the cat.

elitist rat bastards :) by Kit famous Luna author C.E. Murphy (Sat May 29 18:43:04 2004)

I don't really have anything to say, I just thought the strikeout was funny. :)

erm by kit (Sat May 29 18:43:38 2004)

except I apparently screwed up my html

*slinks off in humiliation*

Re: erm by Trip (Sat May 29 23:40:44 2004)

But HTML is only your day job, not real writing! Anyway, I have unscrewed it. (Poor frustrated HTML!)

re: erm by kit (Sun May 30 12:19:36 2004)


Make a comment!

28 May 2004 - Friday

I slept terribly, and sleeping in didn't help, so there was the morning shot. I never did get around to doing writing stuff, but I did get some shopping done. Yay organizational supplies!

* * *

When I returned from the second shopping trip, Marith and Ayse abducted me to Fresh Choice and made me eat way way too much salad. Oops. But then we went to Ayse's and admired Button Men and Dover catalogs and extremely cute kitties and Kingdom of Loathing, so it was all okay.

Have I mentioned that I like my friends?

* * *

Kithug has defeated the seal demon and taken his scalp to use as a hat, learned the first of the seal-clubber special skills, and made it to level 5 (Penguin Frightener)! Yay!

Friends! by Ayse (Sun May 30 23:38:00 2004)

Liking your friends is a good thing, because this friend certainly likes you!

Re: Friends! by Trip (Mon May 31 13:28:23 2004)

That's good! It would be sad to have a friend who didn't like me!

Make a comment!

27 May 2004 - Thursday

Vermicioulli is now 3rd level! And while jumping Dancegronk through the newbie hoops, I noticed that one of the things the hermit has for trade is sweet rims, which I'm pretty sure are an essential component of the legendary Bitchin' Car!

Oh. Yah. I should be doing something productive with my day, shouldn't I?

* * *

Well, at least I finished shooting up with a hit of web. But now jets are making strafing runs over Mountain View or something.

* * *

I wasn't going to give money to KoL, because of the whole no-job issue, but then I considered how much enjoyment I seem to be deriving from it, and how little a donation is compared to what I spend weekly on comics <sweatdrop> so I went ahead and contributed. Now each of my characters has a Mr Accessory: +15 to all stats! Raar!

* * *

Despite that inauspicious beginning (and er middle) to the day, I eventually buckled down and got some stuff done.

  • Went through the first five chapters of SMS, removing the high-falutin' words and replacing them with words slightly more appropriate to the protagonist. This needs to be done, but after doing it I realized that I'm still doinking around at paragraph level and below, which is guaranteed to not address large-scale structural issues. I think this leads to my having to read the whole thing, not in vi (but on a monitor because stupid STUPID printer creature) and spontaneously learning to consciously recognize large-scale structural issues. Bah.
  • Removed the drift of old mail, unread books, piles of gaming stuff, and random crap that was eating half my livingroom. Also, took out several bags of mixed paper to recycle.
  • Instituted the ruthless "old magazines get recycled" rule. In theory this could be bad -- what if I want to reread something? -- but it hasn't come up since long before I moved, so I will thumb my nose at the tyranny of clutter in this small way.
  • Set up the table that's been lurking behind my couch since I moved, so that I can put my incoming mail, gaming stuff, and book signout cards both near the front door and not on the floor.

Sadly, my cleaning fits are neither frequent nor long-lasting enough to keep the apartment actually neat, but I will revel in my small victory against the forces of entropy nonetheless.

* * *

Marith came over and read some more How to Become King. Then we watched the new disc of Inuyasha. Doom! Doom for everyone! (Well, okay, mostly doom for the villain.)

* * *

Yep, the sweet rims were the last thing I needed for Kithug to make himself a Bitchin' Meatcar. Vroooom!

Now he can uh drive someplace to spend 500 meat he hasn't got. Maybe later. :)

Make a comment!

26 May 2004 - Wednesday

SMS reformatted, printed, and mailed. Wheee!

* * *

In a fit of weakness, I made two more KoL characters, so I have one for each stat. I now have:

  • Kithug (level 4 seal-clubber, member of the Evil Kittens clan)
  • Vermicioulli (level 2 sauceror)
  • Dancegronk (level 3 disco bandit)

Disco bandits get Moxious Moves (spend a Do Cool Stuff point to have a better shot at taking out a monster), but it's still not clear to me what saucerors do. They must have some schtick even at low levels, because their buff is only half as effective as a seal-clubber's or a disco bandit's, but I'm not seeing it. Or maybe it'd like old D&D where you have to suck for a few levels before you attain Infinite Power?

* * *

Yay! We had dinner with a KIT! A real live KIT! Yay!

There was much conversation and about 9346293 dishes of Chinese food and gelato (well, not for me) and then we had to put Kit on a train and send her AWAY, which was very sad, but still! We had dinner with a KIT!

Other people who are surprisingly not dead: Ambar, Angie, Carl, Tersa@LJ (whose real name I don't know how to spell).

Other people who were known to not be dead, but it was nice to have it confirmed: Me, Laura.

My fortune: You are a person of culture. (Nothing to say about this one.)

* * *

In what is obviously chronic, rather than acute, weakness, I blew all of Kithug's hundred-odd turns before going to bed. Erp. But at least I dragged my clan karma up from rock-bottom to more than the starting allotment. It could be a lot higher, but I'm waffling over whether to use the concentrated Magicalness pill and giant Moxie weed to make myself less lame, or put them into the clan stash so that characters who really depend on those stats can use them.

Make a comment!

25 May 2004 - Tuesday

Wheee Millbrae.

* * *

Hey, cool, we had everyone for anime! And Stacy did not flee screaming from Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi! In fact, she borrowed the DVD so she could catch up.

It is not clear to me why I like MSAA when I didn't like Excel Saga.

* * *

Bah! There is the email telling me that my hardcopy of SMS is not in compliance with standards. Fortunately I will be allowed to resubmit, so I can be laughed out of the contest fair and square.

* * *

In a fit of weakness, I used some of my KoL turns instead of saving them for tomorrow. Oop.

Make a comment!

24 May 2004 - Monday

Accomplished nothing today. I suck.

Make a comment!

23 May 2004 - Sunday

Today was the second half of my Home Front adventure, and as predicted, it sucked. Not only did I not give the PCs any reason to get involved in the final fight, but the pacing was terrible. You know it's bad when the players get up and wander off in the middle of the session. :(

Well, at least this should stop people from wanting me to run stuff.

* * *

Yum, sushi.

* * *

I was too full of sushi to eat the cornbread with mascarpone cheese when it was warm, but it was still good cold!

Also we watched the main arc of Shamanic Princess, which is still cool.

Make a comment!

22 May 2004 - Saturday

I spent much of the afternoon poking at SMS, but not only does all the dialogue need rewriting, but all the internal monologue does too. Argh. This would be so much easier if I could write worth beans.

Make a comment!

21 May 2004 - Friday

Somehow, Friday just isn't the same with no job.

* * *

Argh! Gretchen has gotten me hooked on Kingdom of Loathing, a bizarre and entertaining little web game! However, unlike Button Men Online, KoL has a strict limit on how much you can play per day, so it is a frustrating addiction, rather than a time-eating one.

* * *

I now feel that I should be working on SMS instead of hiding from it, even though rewriting still causes my ganglia to leap from my cephalothorax. This is probably for the best.

* * *

Finished watching Kare Kano anime! Sadly, it comes to a fairly abrupt end at about volume 8 of the manga, and after spending a whole episode digressing into something not in the manga. I guess they suddenly lost funding for a second season, or something.

Make a comment!

20 May 2004 - Thursday

Oops. I seem to have slept until 15:00. Admire my mighty phase shifting phu. :(

Perhaps I should just stay up until tomorrow evening. :(

* * *

Wow. SCOOS is still being talked about. When I wrote it, I didn't think even people I know would remember it four years later!

As always when SCOOS rears its many-eyed head, I feel renewed motivation to work on Lovecraft Country. As always when I think about working on LC, I run into the problems of sanity loss and combat.

One shouldn't ask mechanics to be humorous, but the (in)sanity system should allow for humor. It should also not take characters out of the game, nor out of their players' control, while still being a definite impediment to the character's plans.

Likewise, the combat system should allow for humor. I don't think this means it can't be fatal or gory, but it should not often permanently kill named characters (mooks can drop like flies). The big question is how to handle swords, guns, and other lethal attacks; in TFOS, they just make people dive for cover, but that doesn't feel right for LC. Even sanity loss isn't enough.

Also, in the mentions above, it sounded like the humanized monster characters (catgirl from Saturn, dark jailbait of Shub-Niggurath) were most popular, so perhaps I should rethink my earlier position about PCs being humans. Yum, hybridization!

* * *

Darn, it looks like the motorcycle tour of Chernobyl story is probably fake. Oh well.

* * *

Finally finished rereading Azumanga Daioh, which I've been saying I'm going to do since seeing the first episode of the anime. I have even more sympathy for Kaorin now, although mostly I just wanted to pick Sakaki up and huggle her and give her a nice cat.

SCOOS! by mony (Fri May 21 06:45:10 2004)

It's because SCOOS is a very clever and enjoyable idea that looks like it would be a blast for spending several afternoons on. :)

Azu! by Carl (Sun May 23 00:13:38 2004)

I really adore Azumanga Daioh, both anime and manga, and am much looking forward to the 2nd volume of the anime next month. A really nice job of adapting. Poor Kaorin. If it were Kimagure Orange Road, she could wind up as a cat, and solve her problem and Sakaki's at one swoop.

Kino's Journey makes me want to run Gamma World, mixed with Kurogane Communications and Yokohama Shopping Trip.

And congratulations on the longevity of SCOOS' popularity. I haven't read it, but I still have fond memories of your Team MTV submissions, such as Glory-of-the-Void and Cylinder.

SCOOS! by Carl (Sun May 23 01:48:41 2004)

Oh wait, I did see SCOOS once upon a time. Very cute concept.

But now the Salt Baked Space Parasite can make a guest appearance wumwumwum

Re: Azu! by Trip (Sun May 23 09:56:29 2004)

Hey, cool, thanks for the link. I had heard good things about Yokohama Shopping Trip, but not actually seen it.

Make a comment!

19 May 2004 - Wednesday

Oy. This is the week when all the manga TPBs come out. Perhaps I should look into cutting back on my comics habit...

* * *

Bah! Bevmo is out of Diet Stewart's Orange Creme Soda! Bah!

* * *

Eeep. I took too long making dinner, so I was the last person to show up for Hounds of Balazar. It is my fault that we had to break halfway through the broo fight. :(

It was a good fight, though! Neither of the players of our actual combat characters ever shows up, so we were at like half combat strength and facing four mighty broo warriors (including a saber-toothed tiger broo!), but at the time we broke for the night, we had taken down the scariest one and put the rest to flight. Next session, I expect we will mop them up pretty easily and rescue the kidnapped hunters. Dragging them to the nearest Chalana Arroy priestess for abortions will probably take us out of the Great Hunt, but I don't think we'll have trouble holding up our heads among our peers. (Saber-toothed tiger broo! Augh!)

* * *

I found out how Marith and Kit and Ambar have been conspiring against me! Yike! I am already not worthy, and I haven't even gotten the physical object yet!

All praise Ursula!

* * *

Yay! Kit cut down the parasite picture to less than 100 pixels on a side, so now when I leave inane comments on people's LiveJournals, at least I look good!

Make a comment!

18 May 2004 - Tuesday

Wow, vampires in Hellsing are scary. And vampire hunters in Hellsing are nuts.

Make a comment!

17 May 2004 - Monday

Today's accomplishment: sending the story that got rejected to a new market, and submitting the first bit of SMS to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Wombat contest. Due to several miscalculations on my part, this took much longer than it should have, but the dead trees are now irretrievably in the mail.

Summer, yuck.

* * *

There is no Paradise Mislaid, because Adam is out of town. I could have played ToME all night, but instead I watched the first disc of Kaleido Star. It is not only hardcore shoujo, but very much in the subgenre of Chance Pop Session: Plucky Young Heroine With A Dream, Enigmatic And Intimidating Mentor, Stuck-Up Rival, two Loyal Friends, Loving But Unsupportive Family, and a Love Interest.

Bouncing back! by Carl (Sun May 23 00:22:39 2004)

But also trampolines! "Hang in there, Usagi-chan!"

It reminded me a lot of Angelic Layer, except with her jumping around instead of her doll. Err, although there's sort of a doll, come to think of it.

Have you read BESM: Hearts, Swords, Flowers yet?

Re: Bouncing back! by Trip (Sun May 23 10:02:25 2004)

And trapezes! But I think the essential themes are the same.

I have Hearts, Swords, Flowers, although I'm not convinced it's as shoujo as it thinks it is. Also, Genevieve is a strange and twisted person.

Make a comment!

16 May 2004 - Sunday

While lying sluggishly abed (but not as sluggishly as yesterday!), I finished reading Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought (by Pascal Boyer). It is a little dry, but very interesting. Boyer immediately discounts all the common and common-sense explanations for religion and dives into how human minds work, down where we can't consciously observe the mechanisms, and how the various inference engines that kept our ancestors alive on the savannahs of Africa support ideas of gods and ghosts as easily as the idea that a dog is chasing a rabbit because it wants to prey on it.

Along the way he considers important issues like what just what religion is, how people think about the supernatural (and what they don't think) regardless of what The Church tells them, and why dead bodies are so disturbing.

Read. Learn. Evolve.

* * *

Finally finished Slayers Try! Now there is no more Slayers to watch, which is very sad, but on the other hand, we've seen 78 episodes of Slayers, which is pretty good!

Also, we finished the first disc of Azumanga Daioh, which remained extremely silly throughout.

Religion by liralen (Wed May 19 22:43:48 2004)

Oooo! Now I have to find that book!!

Make a comment!

15 May 2004 - Saturday

Too Much Sloth. (Yes, there is such a thing; I can tell because it gives me a headache.)

* * *

"Hey," I realized. "I could go watch Troy, which Kit and mony say is the Best Movie Ever in the Whole World!" So I did!

I don't think it was the BMEitWW, but it was pretty good! Obviously a two-hour-odd movie can't cover the whole ten years of angst and doom, but I think they got the essentials: two guys, a dame, and a hired thug; oldest story in the world.

Interestingly, it was a completely non-supernatural telling of the story. You could see how someone prone to blaming everything on the gods (*cough*Priam*cough*) could interpret the events in a supernatural way, but no magic actually appeared on-screen: human folly was more than enough to drive the tragedy.

Historical accuracy was probably not a major priority (is it ever?) but the sets and especially the costumes gave a good feel of a different time and place, which many movies allegedly set in Classical or pre-Classical times fall down on. I didn't think Helen was that cute, but I'm known to be perverse, so don't mind me.

Poor Hector. If any member of the royal family of Troy had listened to him even once, they could have avoided practically all the doom. But then, if it was plausible that being honorable, loyal and competent could save you from tragedy, the world would be a lot different.

(No, that wasn't a spoiler. This is a spoiler: THE CITY SINKS.)

* * *

While waiting for the bus home (which never showed up, so I had to walk, hmph), I finished reading the Baen reprint of a bunch of Murray Leinster stories. Wow, we know a lot more now than we used to. Not just that women are people, but cognitive psych, anthropology... I'd say biology, but I suspect even in the 50s people knew giant bugs wouldn't work, and Leinster did get the themes of small-arthropod behavior right.

Man, writing SF would have been so much easier back then. (At least, if I knew what I know now, which of course I wouldn't.)

* * *

More ToME, and also Troy geeking with Kit and mony. Poor Hector!

Make a comment!

14 May 2004 - Friday

Earl proposed using The Pool (or one of its many variants) for Home Front, instead of mucking about with a representational system, and there is some merit to his idea. (The Nemesis variant rule seems particularly fitting.)

* * *

Today, I am a Real Writer: I have received my first rejection slip from a professional publication! Go me!

(It's kind of a lame rejection slip, but it is only my first. I figure I'll have to work up to multi-page explanations of how every single word in my manuscript is exactly wrong. :)

* * *

Too Much ToME.

Risus by Carl (Fri May 14 16:51:44 2004)

Have you looked at Risus?

Re: Risus by Trip (Fri May 14 19:25:01 2004)

Yah, I even have a copy somewhere around here (or used to; that was before the move).

Hoorah!! by liralen (Fri May 14 20:08:47 2004)

Congratulations on becoming a REAL writer!! grin yay!

jealous! by mony (Sat May 15 15:19:57 2004)

I don't have any yet! Of course, I haven't submitted anything yet. You're sooooo much cooler than me! :)

real writers by kit (Sun May 16 23:08:34 2004)

I am so very, very proud of you. beam

Make a comment!

13 May 2004 - Thursday

Man, this is what Nexus games should be like, I'm pretty sure.

I'll be over here in a pit.

* * *

I wouldn't say the tradition of mummification is alive and well, but it's at least shambling around trailing bandages and internal organs.

* * *

At least tonight I stayed up too late reading manga instead of playing ToME. That's better, right?

Nexus by Dave (Fri May 14 15:27:28 2004)

Ack. Need paragraph breaks.

Make a comment!

12 May 2004 - Wednesday

Also in Monday's Mysterious Package was Sex and Sorcery, which of course I didn't receive or read until after last week's Hounds of Balazar events.

Reading Ron Edwards always makes me want to stop trying to game and just peer out from under my rock at real gamers, but Sex and Sorcery specifically makes me want to stop playing female characters and stop trying to GM.

But, bonus points for the ToC entry, "An appalling diagram"!

* * *

Now Marith has seen all of Escaflowne! She didn't hate it!

Now we must decide what else to watch!

Make a comment!

11 May 2004 - Tuesday

Okay, the d20 version of Slayers is pretty cool. I'm not sure about some of the spell DCs, given that we hardly ever see anyone boof a casting in the show, but otherwise it looks good.

Ayse squeaked and leapt up and down when I gave her her copy. Hee hee!

* * *

Millbrae was about a lot of stuff, none of it astoundingly striking.

* * *

CZR, Neil, and Stacy all bailed on anime tonight, the bums! Ray saw the appeal of depriving people who don't like him of anime, but of course then next week everyone would want to borrow everything they missed. So instead we watched the first Gundam movie, which is all seminal and classic and so very very dated. It was kind of strange seeing it after having already watched Martian Successor Nadesico, a series which probably couldn't have been created without the prior existence of Gundam.

* * *

You know, some of the ideas from Slayers d20 could be cannibalized to assist with the long-standing D&D3 issue of "multiclassing spellcasters suxx0rz".

Split magic into multiple categories, like Slayers' Black/White/Shamanic/Common. You could do this exactly along existing class spell-list lines, although a more setting-specific division would probably be better.

Each new spell-casting class gets +1 Base Casting Bonus for one type of magic and +1/2 BCB for each other type of magic, per class level. A class that does two types of magic would probably get +3/4 for each and +1/2 for all the rest.

Eliminate the "at level X, you get two more spells of level Y and one more spell of level Z" thing. Instead, when gaining a level, you get some number of spell knowledge points, possibly modified by Int/Cha/Wis/Con/feats/graft. Each spell takes up some number of points, and may also have a BCB requirement. Spells that aren't of the primary type(s) for the level you just gained cost double (and the BCB requirement is for the type of magic the spell is, natch).

When casting a spell, the BCB serves as effective Caster Level, and could factor into attack rolls, save DCs, or whatnot. You probably don't have to roll cast a spell normally, although BCB rolls could take the place of Concentration rolls.

d20 mechanics geeks are encouraged to mock me.

Slayers DCs by Ken (Wed May 12 21:26:28 2004)

It looks to me like the DCs for the spells don't have anything to do with succeeding at casting them , just taking drain afterwards. You cast the spell regardless. Then you make a will save at that dc, with various bonuses. If you fail badly, you have to make a concentration check against that DC (with the same bonuses) to keep the spell from going out of control, with potentially bad effects.

So if you learn a spell, you can cast it, no matter what. You just can't neccessarily survive or control it, which seems pretty in line with Slayers.

I actually really liked the magic system in it, to be honest. Particularly the multiple casters and defensive barriers things.

Re: Slayers DCs by Trip (Thu May 13 11:36:54 2004)

Failing the control roll means failing to cast the spell (p63, bottom of the first column). There may be painful backlash if it's a big spell, but regardless, the spell doesn't do its thing. So, even if you know Dragon Slave (DC 50, 40 for control roll), failure is possible if your spellcasting bonus is less than +39, and guaranteed if it's less than +20. Although, hm, I guess you can get +15 with name, incantation, and having the life sucked from your body, so in theory someone with a mere +5 could cast Dragon Slave, and someone with a +24 is guaranteed to be able to cast it once. Okay, I guess that's not so bad.

Re: Slayers DCs by Ken (Fri May 14 17:35:27 2004)

And don't forget that if you've got a spellcasting class, you get to add your level to the check, which makes the DC 35 (or 25 if you fail that) willsave a little less atrocious.

Re: Slayers DCs by Trip (Fri May 14 19:12:46 2004)

Sure, if you're high level! Although there's probably not much point playing Slayers with low-level characters.

Re: Slayers DCs by Ken (Sat May 15 12:03:29 2004)

Oh, yeah, and there's spell mastery, a feat which gets you a plus five with a couple of spells. And I could definitely see playing slayers as low level characters, going around and basically having the quest be "fix the collateral damage Lina et al do", with the party regularly not quite being in the blast radius.

Though I suspect you'd really need to convert hit points to "bonk points" or somesuch, since it's pretty tough for people to get killed in slayers. I point you to all the spuds who take dragonslaves to the face and end up getting flung into orbit, or turning all black and having to make witty comments amounting to "ouch", or whatever.

Oh, and I'm idly trying to come up with ways to use the basic Slayers magic system in a more standard DnD game. At some point we should ramble at each other about it and stuff.

Make a comment!

10 May 2004 - Monday

Good mail day! Not only did the Feds send me a check for almost 30 cents for every Kitling I've been swarmed by, but when I got back from grocery shopping and found a "tried to deliver package" slip in my mailbox, I was able to chase the postman down and get my package. Now I can cackle fiendishly at Ayse! Muahahahaha!

* * *

Rewriting is hard; let's go die in a pit.

* * *

Because I could, I went to see Van Helsing. Sadly, mony has moved to the far side of nowhere, so I had to go all by myself, but there are worse fates.

It was pretty darn cheesy, but not unenjoyable, at least not so long as one has a proper appreciation of cheese. The beginning was a bit heavy on backflips and music that didn't stay in the background, but eventually it settled down a bit. Kate Beckinsale isn't much of an actress, but she made a good Gypsy princess in tight pants and corset.

Pulling all the stories together was good, although they then had to add more unexplained bits. The Monster was good. Dracula wasn't bad. The Brides were awfully latexy in monster form, but I guess there's no help for that in modern America's naked-babe-hating Puritan culture.

Anyway, if you are one of those snobs who wants sense or tight plotting or good acting, this is not the movie for you. Pulp-style romp all the way!

* * *

Staying up until 23956129561 o'clock playing ToME is like dying in a pit.

yay! by kit (Tue May 11 10:26:07 2004)

Yay Trip! $$ for Kitlings and Mysterious Packages! Yay!

Mysterious packages! by Ayse (Tue May 11 19:51:20 2004)

Best mysterious packages ever!!!

movies with trip! by mony (Wed May 12 17:14:44 2004)

sniff!! I miss going to the movies with Trip!

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9 May 2004 - Sunday

Home Front! It could have been good, but I had to run, so it was only okay. Also, half the players didn't show, but at least their characters were sorely missed, which is as it should be.

Creepy pigeons! Radio rifles! Attack of the Buzzard Brothers! And we didn't get anywhere near done, so I have to run again in two weeks. Maybe I'll add some more plot complications, since Yan and her soul-o-vision will greatly speed up resolution of the existing plot.

* * *

Today we do have Dave, so we were able to finish the penultimate disc of Slayers Try. Back to seriousness!

* * *

We had to knock off early to let Ken rest up for his week of extra surprise bonus work, so I rounded out my evening of animewatching with the first disc of Saikano.

It is peculiar. And tragic. Very tragic. And gives me ideas for the universe of SMS, which I still think could be used for good.

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8 May 2004 - Saturday

I spent today staring dolefully at SMS, and occasionally poking at individual words. I still have a list of changes that need to be made (mostly, things which need to be added); I'm just not sure how to implement them.

* * *

We couldn't get hold of Dave (it turns out he was off helping an old girlfriend of CZR's move from a second-floor apartment in one complex to a third-floor apartment in another), so instead of watching Slayers we played Brine Shrimp of Cataan. I felt very oppressed during the first half of the game, when we rolled more 2s than 6s, but the final score was 12-9-9-9, which is about as even as it can get when there are two points floating around in one easily-seizable lump.

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7 May 2004 - Friday

Bah, no AQoJ for us! Marith has to do fieldwork for a class, and Ken got surprise extra vital work for next week so can't risk exposure to even a single germ, never mind a house with three small kids.

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6 May 2004 - Thursday

I wonder if I will do any writing today?

* * *

A little, apparently, although I still can't help the feeling that all the doinking I'm doing with SMS is making it worse instead of better. :(

* * *

I did, at least, get in touch with the Taos contact that Bernie found for me. Perhaps I will be a productive member of society again soon!

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5 May 2004 - Wednesday

Even less writing today than yesterday. I blame Ayse for making me play ToME! The fiend!

* * *

I only baked the apple-oatmeal-pie-cobbler-thing Christy made me yesterday afternoon just before going to Whisman Station, but I have already eaten it all. Your Terran concepts of "moderation" are very confusing.

* * *

Yay! Hounds of Balazar!

Hrm. So while we were pillaging the tomb of our second-most-famous ancestor (in a good cause!), the person we ended up sending into the grave chamber was the one female character whose player showed up. The fire spirit guarding the tomb was supposed to kill her, but ended up impregnating her so that moments later she gave birth to some sort of fire spirit thing. (Since the original spirit was no longer there when we went back to get what was left of her gear, our working hypothesis is that it incarnated itself and escaped the bindings. Or something.) Dusana didn't seem to take any permanent harm, and I don't think any of the players were offended, but my brain is still going "What are the quantifiable differences between this and the infamous 'female character gets raped and knocked up so the icky girl will go away and not mess up our manly D&D game' horror story?"

What's different by Al_with_a_long_enough_name_to_satisfy_your_server (Fri May 7 14:42:31 2004)

I think all I can say about it is 'social contract'. There have been a number of gender/sex-related issues in HoB before now (not least the agreement that Dusana had very likely had a liason with Blueface, which was in fact directly connected to the fire-spirit events). We've handled issues of sex and violence before -- these being in a sense consequences of what I hope is a fairly quasi-realistic quasi-neolithic setting.

I think the fact that we're reasonably non-life-disabled thirtysomethings instead of socially maladjusted 18+/-3's might help. I made some amount of effort to provide a bit of, well, discretion in how the event was conveyed.

But mostly I think it's because the players all /know/ I didn't do this to make an icky girl go away, but as a plausible consequence of the circumstances and a means to further the story. And Laura gets to choose the aftereffects for Dusana, including whether she remembers the event at all.

Re: What's different by Trip (Fri May 7 16:55:51 2004)

Yah, I think that probably covers it.

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4 May 2004 - Tuesday

Overall, I accomplished about ten minutes's worth of writing stuff today. :(

* * *

Even knowing that the end of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi makes sense doesn't make the beginning any less silly.

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3 May 2004 - Monday

I had planned to have my brain back today, so I could start revising chapters 2-17 of SMS, but things did not work out that way. I did, at least, reservate a hotel room for Writer's Weekend, so I guess I'm going.


* * *

Bizarrely, we actually played Paradise Mislaid tonight! Our Heroes didn't do so well musically, but they defeated the terrorist loons and saved the local dynasty, which was declared to be a net victory.

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2 May 2004 - Sunday

Still no brain. Still ToME. Finally defeated the stupid troll army and their stupid STUPID hru creatures.

* * *

Jehane and Alazaïs killed a wyvern! Well, okay, they had help, and they also had help carrying the head all the way back to town, but they returned in triumph and glory nevertheless!

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1 May 2004 - Saturday

Having unwisely stayed up late playing ToME, I didn't get up quite as early as I had hoped, but still significantly earlier than any time these past few weeks. Fortunately, I was able to do most of the finicky formatting at home, with Open Office, and I now have some idea what the hell I'm doing in Word (not a big idea, but some idea), so I was able to zoom in and out of Kinko's fairly expeditiously and reach the post office well before closing.

Whatever mistakes I made in either writing or formatting are now beyond recall.

To celebrate, I let the bookstore tempt me into an accident and then ate Thai duck.

* * *

No brain. ToME.

* * *

Slayers Try! We're about halfway through the season, and the thot is either plickening or moving to New Jersey. Not sure which.

* * *

Ayse enlightened me on how to look for some of the quests in ToME, so I stayed up way too late doing them.

Yay Trip! by mony (Sat May 1 19:36:03 2004)

Trip, Trip, wonderfulest Trip! Yay! Good luck in the contest!

I am jealous about the Thai duck.

Slayers Try by Dave (Tue May 4 13:51:16 2004)

It's possible the producers noticed exactly the same thing we did - even as we commented that, boy, Slayer Try was awfully serious, it suddenly started having a lot of less serious episodes.

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