Previously, in Trip's Life...

28 February 2007 - Wednesday

Anime: FAILURE. Cat is sick, so no Tenshi ni Nerumon for us. And the USPS hasn't delivered discs from Greencine, so instead I will be a complete lump.

Brain Devourment: I really try to close the virus 2 window, really I do! Sometimes I even succeed! But it keeps coming back! It's not my fault!

Cats: If I had anime to watch, I could have sat with kitties in my lap, but I didn't. So very sad!

Writing: Check.

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27 February 2007 - Tuesday

Anime: Neil did show up with all the DVDs, so we were able to have Tuesday Night Anime, despite the Wet Socks Incident.

I still think Bocca should blow off Sayoko in favor of Coco, although I admit her sneaking technique needs work.

Gankutsuou has SO. MUCH. DOOM.

Cats: So oppressed by my refusal to leave the heater running when I'm not at home!

Writing: Check.

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26 February 2007 - Monday

Work: Blahhhhhhhhh.

Cats: So orange!

Writing: Check, and check again. That sort of makes up for yesterday.

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25 February 2007 - Sunday

Television: Farscape. That's a lot of doom.

Gaming: Not having quorum for Agon or other gaming for this Sunday, we played Ken's D&D game out of phase, and executed the plan we devised on Wednesday. We survived, thanks to Dave's quick thinking, but the rewards were not that impressive, probably because we came over all law-abiding when we realized that this stuff did have a owner. Dungeons are much more profitable than basements.

I'm still a lousy gamer.

Cats: Dani's mucus monsters are getting loose and ravaging the apartment. :(

Writing: FAILURE. I have no excuse, I just suck.

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24 February 2007 - Saturday

Anime: Haré+Guu disc 3. Still moderately amusing.

Cats: Orange!

Writing: Check, but easy stuff. Bah.

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23 February 2007 - Friday

Modern Medicine: I had to get up way too early for my first appointment this morning, because it was someplace in Sunnyvale I'd never been, but it turned out to be not too horrible to reach. The endocrinologist was a nice older guy who, in addition suggesting courses of action, cut the Gordian knot of trying to get the appropriate bits for my widget by giving a new widget that fit the bits the pharmacy had given me.

I am waffling about the weight-loss program he recommended, because it sounds pretty intense and alarming, but I should at least get the information on it.

My regular doctor was pleased at the results of my ichorometry.

Anime: You're Under Arrest movie, which might have been exciting had I not been crushed under the weight of sleep rays emitted by Dani.

Cats: Sleep rays!

Writing: Check.

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22 February 2007 - Thursday

The Future: Laser cannon! (Yes, I link about high-energy military lasers a lot. Too much Traveller at an impressionable age, I guess.)

Dump waste heat for better performance!

The Distant: I want my starship now.

Cats: I was a little worried about the new food/water locations, even after I showed them to the cats, but I have seen Dani eat and drink without my having put her up there, so apparently all is well.

Writing: Check.

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21 February 2007 - Wednesday

Modern Medicine: Allegedly the doctor's office has my prescriptions straightened out, and will communicate this to the pharmacy tomorrow. I am skeptical, but optimistic.

Gaming: No Mike == no Dragon-Blooded, so we tried to play Adventures of Jehanne & Alazaïs. We did succeed in getting Dave's and Ayse's characters converted to 3.5, and made a plan, but did not have time to either execute the plan or reap the rewards. Stupid need for sleep before working the next day.

Cats: Inspired by an article in the Chronicle, I moved the cats' favorite drinking vessel from the bathroom floor to the bathroom counter, and their food dish from the kitchen floor to the top of the cat tree. (This latter operation required duct tape, as otherwise the cats would soon use gravity.) We'll see if it entertains them at all.

Writing: Check.

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20 February 2007 - Tuesday


* * *

Weirdness: Move Under Ground (Nick Mamatas). Beatniks vs Cthulhu! How can you go wrong?

Modern Medicine: Argh, I was too busy trying to get to anime on time to notice that my prescription was messed up. This is not a major problem, but bah!

Anime: Is it sad that full attendence at Tuesday Night Anime is only four people? Oh well.

  • Melody of Oblivion: Wow, it's like plot!
  • Ghost in the Shell: More character backstory.
  • Bleach: What an obnoxious villain.
  • Gankutsuou: Oh, the doom! So much doom!

Marith is a terrible person.

Cats: Marmalade was so lovey when I got home from anime!

Writing: Check, if I get to count what I did yesterday (which I do, since I haven't used it for a check yet).

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19 February 2007 - Monday

The Future: vat-grown teeth.

Modern Medicine: Bah, the pharmacy hasn't received my prescription, and the doctor's office is closed for Presday!

Television: Marith and I watched the last two episodes of Dead Like Me. That was definitely an ending, although not much like any ending we expected. Huh.

Gaming: In the process of converting Alazaïs to 3.5, I spent much of the evening typing in spell summaries so I can have a handy cheat sheet. Didn't finish. Too many spells. Preparing spells ahead of time sucks.

Cats: So much love from Marmalade at bedtime! Even the cutest kittytromping is not like sleep, though.

Writing: FAILURE. I did write a little, but not quota. See above about spells.

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18 February 2007 - Sunday


* * *

Television: First few episodes of The Venture Brothers. At first I was dubious -- you can only have so much stupid before it stops being ironic and becomes regular stupid -- but it might be growing on me. Or not.

Modern Medicine: I can't comply with my doctor's orders, because the pharmacy has not received a prescription for the necessary substances. Bah!

Gaming: Worked on converting Alazaïs to 3.5. I'm still not qualified to play in a fantasy game, but at least the character can be done.

Cats: Marmalade chasing his tail is SO CUTE! (I know he's doing it on purpose, because at one point he just sat down and washed his tail normally.)

Writing: Check. Double check, in fact. I wonder how that happened.

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17 February 2007 - Saturday

Modern Medicine: Returning to the doctor to have the effects of my medication checked involved much too much waiting. Bah. But the medicine is in fact working, which is good.

Gaming: I tagged along with Ayse and Ken to Dundracon, where Liralen and Carl and Earl were hiding in a room gaming. I am still the worst gamer ever, but they let me game with them anyway.

The afternoon game was The Prince's Kingdom. I suspect none of our characters acted much like real kids (after all, I myself was never 11), but the problem was solved and no one had to be drowned or fed to mermaids. I only messed up the game a little.

After a dinner in the presence of some of Carl's other gaming buddies (or one of his gaming buddies and some of his gaming buddies, I'm not sure) we returned to the room and tried to playtest Carl's adaptation of Dogs in the Vineyard mechanics to a distant descendant of the Shadowrun setting. Apparently I am not qualified to play in fantasy games, because I am the worst gamer ever. But we knew that.

Food: Chicken marsala with spinach is sort of like okay!

Cats: No reduction in orangeness!

Writing: FAILURE. Didn't get back from San Ramon until after 1:00.

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16 February 2007 - Friday


* * *

Modern Medicine: I took today off from work for doctor appointments, which sadly involved getting up earlier than if I had gone to work. Bah!

My regular doctor was Very Cross with me. Now I have new medicine and Firm Instructions about how to be a better parasite, which mostly translate to "never eat anything tasty ever again". Meep. Also I have to go back tomorrow to see if the medicine works, and see some other group.

The optometrist was less condemnatory, but there is a strange spot in my eyestalk, so I have to make yet another appointment with a different group.


Anime: Haré+Guu. Enh.

Cats: Orange orange kitties!

Writing: Check.

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15 February 2007 - Thursday

Work: Hm. [Spoiler].

Cats: Orange orange orange!

Writing: Check. In fact, triple check, but two don't count because they were easy.

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14 February 2007 - Wednesday

Calendar: Happy Horny Werewolf Day!

... "beginning to be something
That no one has ever been and lived through"
(via Stranger Fruit)

So many stories in that line.

Gaming: Reading these session writeups of Mortal Coil games makes me want to try Mortal Coil. Good thing I own it. Now I just need players. Er, and some talent.

Anime: We showed Cat (Augh! Neko-mimi! So cute!) the first couple of episodes of Tenshi ni Nerumon (English title, I'm Gonna Be An Angel). She seemed to enjoy it. It is still so freaky. (Tansu Dansu! Deli-chan! Giant rice!)

Episode two reminded me of these video clips (especially the second one on that page).

Cats: Still orange, despite my horrible neglect!

Writing: Check, but it was easy stuff. Tomorrow, when I have some chance of getting home before 22:00, I must do better.

Mortal Coil by Carl (Thu Feb 15 23:38:11 2007)

I want to run Mortal Coil! Do you suppose it might work for Shadowrun?

I also like the idea of Pantheon High, and Reservoir Gods.

"Six forgotten gods try to steal the power of the throne of heaven, and things go as badly as they possibly could. Now what?"

Re: Mortal Coil for Shadowrun. by Trip (Fri Feb 16 12:31:11 2007)

Mortal Coil is very big on the players and GM collaborating to design the setting and define it further during play, so if you have a Vision for your setting, Mortal Coil might not be ideal. That aside, I don't see why it shouldn't work. It's got magic, it's got stats and skills, it's got passions that grow or fade or get replaced during play.

If stealing the power of the throne of heaven goes as badly as it possibly could, I'm not sure there is a now anymore.

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13 February 2007 - Tuesday

The Modern World: Had to stop eating at 20:00 last night so that I'd have twelve hours of fasting before this morning's phlebotomization. As it turned out, I could have kept eating until 20:45 or so. Bah. And then, already too late for the train I wanted to take to work, I got to the station and learned that one track was shut down (someone who recognized me but who I did not recognize (maybe it's for the best that I have an optometrical appointment Friday) said someone got hit by a train, but I haven't been able to confirm this) and trains were running an hour and a half behind. Double bah!

Work: Taos people kidnapped me to pick my brain about Google stuff, because they're thinking of installing a relative of the product I did tech support for during my previous assignment. I still remembered enough to be vaguely useful.

Anime: No Neil this week. Apparently Stacy's relatives didn't get the "no dying" memo. We watched anime anyway, and there was doom for everyone! We turned out to both start and end with episodes involving labyrinths, so that was cool. Marith called it right about the new Bleach villains.

Cats: It is very difficult to type the letter A when you have a catbutt overhanging the left end of your keyboard!

Writing: Check, although I kind of cheated by writing easy stuff.

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12 February 2007 - Monday


(Matteo gets three exclamation marks and an underline because he's new here.)

Calendar: An evolutionary Darwin Day to all!

Work: That's not the bottleneck either.

Weather: Check. There's water falling from the sky! How weird is that?

Cats: Still so very adorable!

Writing: Check.

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11 February 2007 - Sunday

Gaming: Today we tried Agon, the competitive RPG of Greek heroes being annoyed by the gods. Chrisber ditched us, but Jeremy, Earl, and Dave all showed up, so I had a decent-sized party to abuse.

Years of playing Champions and D&D, where failure of teamwork means doom (and possibly the influence of Carl "Unit Integrity is Everything" Rigney) has really atrophied our competitiveness. Tasks were assigned according to ability, everybody helped heal whoever was most wounded without demanding oaths, no one called in oaths even when they wanted to look good... it was terrible!

The mechanics worked okay, although I think we may not have been in tune with the abstractness of them. Also, budgeting Strife is hard.

My GMing was terrible, as usual, and we didn't finish even the relatively short quest (at least partially because I threw in an initial encounter to familiarize us all with the system), but Jeremy will be out of town next fortnight so I have a month to figure out how to suck less. Also how to get more Strife.

Television: Marith and I watched the antepenultimate episode of Dead Like Me. Poor Mason. He can't even be doomed properly.

Cats: Dani snuggled so cutely on Marith while we watched TV! I foiled Opacity-kun by moving the table he was sitting on out of my line of sight.

Writing: Check. Emotions are hard.

Must be thinking of someone else by Carl (Mon Feb 12 18:34:38 2007)

I thought my motto was "There's always time for PC infighting!" So if everyone's being all cooperative, I blame D&D. As for Champions, was Teamwork a hallmark of Force 10? (Although remembering the Battle of Akron, I guess it was.)

Would it be wrong to run My Life with Master with the Master as GM, minions as players? OK, sure. But would it be really, really wrong?

Re: Must be thinking of someone else by Trip (Mon Feb 12 18:36:25 2007)

Maybe it was you in a previous incarnation.

Yes, that would be really, really wrong. Sort of like playing Champions at midnight.

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10 February 2007 - Saturday

Weekend: Accomplished more or less nothing today.

Board games: Ken's sister Jamie and her boything Dan appeared and forced us to play Ticket to Ride, a light game based on an undirected graph with a railroad them. Edges have lengths and colors, you get to build an edge when you accumulate $length cards of $color, which gets you some points immediately. There are also cards with pairs of cities, which give you points at the end of the game if you connect those cities. However, if you have a card and don't fulfill it, the points get subtracted. This hosed Dan big time, and me somewhat. If only Dave hadn't ended the game one turn too early, I could have improved my position by half the spread between first and last! I wouldn't have won, or anything, but still! So close!

Anyway, it's a quick (maybe one hour?) light game that requires little brain, which is all good with me.

Then we played Fluxx, which requires no brain (unless you also have no TV).

Cats: Marmalade is super affection-demanding cat today!

Writing: Check.

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9 February 2007 - Friday

Objects: Marith gave me a sushi pillow! I put it with my plush animals, many of whom are the sort of creatures who would like sushi.

Anime: Finished the disc of Fencer of Minerva. I don't think the person who came up with that title ever did any research on Classical deities...

Cats: Yes, still orange! And adorable!

Writing: Check.

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8 February 2007 - Thursday

Work: Well, that isn't where the bottleneck is. Bah.

Webcomic: DM of the Rings. I don't know if it more makes me want to play D&D or ashamed of playing D&D (so badly), so I'd say it accomplishes its goals admirably.

Anime: I meant to finish the disc of Fencer of Minerva so I could exchange it for something less Gorean, but was so spastic about laundry and stuff that I failed entirely. Bah.

Gaming: I meant to experiment with Agon, but see above about being too lame to accomplish anything tonight. Bah.

Cats: Hail the great hero Marmalade Mighty vs String, son of Torchy! (+2 to positioning rolls when fighting string, +1 to damage against string)

Writing: Check. Double check, actually, but most of was on stuff that was so easy to write that I don't see how it can really count for full points. Bah.

DMotR by kit (Tue Feb 13 08:52:33 2007)

I love DM of the Rings. :) I usually go read it every couple of months so I can enjoy a lot of doom at once. :)

Re: DMotR by Trip (Tue Feb 13 13:32:02 2007)

I think I'm settling on "ashamed of playing D&D so badly", because I suck.

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7 February 2007 - Wednesday

Quote: "You can't get a leopard to change his spots. In fact, now that I come to think of it, you can't really get a leopard to appreciate the notion that it has spots. You can explain it carefully to the leopard, but it will just sit there looking at you, knowing that you are made of meat. After a while it will perhaps kill you."

-- Geoffrey K. Pullum, Professor of Linguistics, UCSC

(via Whatever)

Anime: Fencer of Minerva. Gah, it's Gor!

Gaming: Yay, NPCs and Minions for Agon! I should run a test battle before Sunday, though, so I can pretend like I have some idea what the hell I'm doing.

Cats: Oh no, it's the Marmalarmclock!

Writing: Check.

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6 February 2007 - Tuesday

Game Design: This post about bringing the ratio of die rolls to stuff happening closer to unity makes me think. I'm not sure what it makes me think, except silly schemes for eliminating the attack roll in D&D (since, as admitted in previous editions, hit points are partly not getting hit or at least not getting hurt, so ability to hit should just get folded in to damage, which gets applied directly to enemy hit points), but I must use it for evil.

Anime: Yay Tuesday Night Anime!

Marith thinks some of the characters may survive Gankutsuou intact. I'm not so sure.

Like many shonen series, Bleach is probably not a good world to be a female character in.

Cats: Orange!

Writing: Check. Writing about people is hard!

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5 February 2007 - Monday

Work: Oh. Reading the instructions does help.

Television: More Farscape. Remember, immaterial energy beings are not trustworthy! Also, they should just space Rygel now before he successfully kills someone.

Cats: Watching TV lets Dani snuggle in my lap for extended periods of time.

Writing: Check. Double check, even!

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4 February 2007 - Sunday

Weekend: It's not a bookstore accident if I throw myself into it. I'm still stupid and funny-looking, but I have two shopping bags full of new books!

Ayse had threatened to demand sushi after she finished teaching Girl Scouts to kick people in the head, but she was too worn out, and sounded like her sore throat might be relapsing. I hope she gets better soon!

Television: Marith and I watched two more episodes of Dead Like Me. Only three episodes of DOOOM remain!

Later, I watched some Farscape. Aliens are nuts.

Gaming:No D&D for us, because Ayse is flat!

But now I have an island, three gods, and some evil plots for Agon. I still need sub-objectives for the quests, and NPC writeups, but then the doom should be ready for next Sunday.

Also, I am sad that the next available date for AQoJ keeps moving away. I like AQoJ, and last session we weren't very successful at the adventure-having.

Cats: Still so orange!

Writing: Check.

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3 February 2007 - Saturday

Weekend: I managed to fritter away the entire afternoon shopping and reading and eating and going back to find the book I lost. Lame parasite.

Books: The book I read, lost, and then found again was Alabaster, by Caitlín Kiernan, a collection of short stories about angel-haunted albino monster-hunter Dancy Flammarion. In accordance with the new policy of not displaying my inability to understood books, I will say only that it wasn't bad.

Games: Ate pizza with Ken and Ayse, and we (ADKMT) tried the tower expansion to Carcassonne. We had fun, but the towers introduce too much of a PvP element, in addition to tying up already-scarce guys. Dave ran out of guys early on, in fact, and was unable to do anything for most of the game. He might have won anyway, because he cleaned up on fields, but we forgot to keep track of laps around the scoring track, so we aren't sure who actually won.

Cats: Miau miau MIAU!

Writing: Check.

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2 February 2007 - Friday

Anime: Finished the disc of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie. Enh. I might watch more, since it's free.

Gaming: Yah, Agon would probably work for Amber High School. Name dice start at d4, but go up to d6 (at least) during the campaign. You also get a lineage die which represents your parent's influence × how much they care about you; if you have a Secret Parent you get only the base d4. One or two descriptors (eg, Jaguar Knight: +2 Athletics and +2 Spirit; High Priestess: +2 Lore and +2 Divination; Princess: +2 Cunning in politics and +2 Oratory; Raised by Platonic Solids: +2 Lore and +2 Cunning when trying to confuse people). As for abilities, Might, Grace, Spirit, Insight, Athletics, Lore, Cunning, and Oratory (aka Leadership) all transfer straight across. Four magic skills: Protection, Healing, Cursing, and Divination. Combat skills might be a problem, since there's a much broader range of possible fighting styles. Maybe have two skills, Melee and Missile, and you take a -2 when using any weapon/style that you haven't spent two advances on. Possibly Lore should be like that too, since there's a lot more things to know in Amber's more complex society. You'd always use base Lore for learning and remembering random facts, though (what's high school without cramming for quizzes?). Some number of d4s to allocate to abilities, and then some number of die-size increases, so you can be pretty good at some things but not have the broad base of skills that you will when an adult. Buying a new ability at d4 costs two advances. Rename Legend to Cool, and apply the +2 Orate bonus against anyone with less Cool, instead of just the most Cool PCs against the others.

I'm not saying this would be a good idea, mind you, but I think it could be done.

Cats: So many cats! And so orange!

Writing: Check. Also tried a Stupid HTML Trick to get the lines to not be as long, because that makes it easier to read (for me) and gives a better impression of length.

Agon High School by Chrisber (Sun Feb 4 22:29:13 2007)

Not having read the actual rule book, only your descriptions and the expurgated player pdf file while pretending to work, I think you might be onto something here.

Re: Agon High School by Trip (Mon Feb 5 10:01:37 2007)

I mentioned that you get Glory (xp - and look, Pendragon tie-in!) not just for succeeding at things, but also for doing better than your rivals fellow PCs, right?

The big problem I haven't found a good solution to yet is integrating quests from the gods older generation into a school setting. Possibly this means more subtly-conveyed quests within the school ("Amber's diplomatic budget could be reduced by 10% if Alkahest and Borogrovia were unified. Fortunately, the crown prince of A and the crown princess of B will be at your school dance next week."), or perhaps it's the traditional school setting that has to bend. Queen Faiella's Caravan of Knowledge, anyone?

Re: Agon High School by Trip (Wed Feb 7 15:26:12 2007)

Probably only comprehensible to people who are already familiar with Agon.

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1 February 2007 - Thursday

MUDding: Too 13 is up! New db, but there is still some hope that a copy of the old db can be found.

Gaming: Hm, would Agon be a good system for Amber High School? Probably not really, but it does have the whole competitiveness aspect, and putting your important parent in your name, and travelling to strange locations, and getting orders from the people who rule the universe (just ask them!), and stuff.

Anime: Finished the second disc of Doki Doki School Hour, immediately transferred it to Book Buyers stack. Then, first three episodes of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie, which is so very TFOS. And shonen, of course (can you even do shojo TFOS?), but with sort-of actual romance underneath, or something. (Okay, so the love interest spends most of her time devolved to a kid, but the happy ending would clearly be that she gets her mojo back, and her not doing so would be a tragic ending.)

Cats: Dani's intellect was impugned again, but it was widely agreed that she is a super-sweet sweetie-pie. Her official response was to sit in my lap and purr.

Writing: Check. I forgot some important bits, but can put them in tomorrow.

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