Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 November 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

Textual Educations: V S Ramachandran has devoted his entire career to the human brain, so it's not surprising that The Tell-Tale Brain takes a radical pro-human-brain stance. I'm not entirely convinced that other species are as completely lacking in some qualities as Ramachandran is (corvids FTW!) but his speculations on which human faculties evolved from what more general animal faculties is interesting. He also explores various human faculties (mostly subconscious) and the way they can produce bizarre psychiatric conditions by mismatching, speculates on what it is the human brain might find appealing about art, and generally assumes the previously-mentioned pro-human-brain stance.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Is that other high-level jewelcrafting vendor new, or did I just never notice her before?

Cats: Twelve paws!

Make a comment!

29 November 2011 - Tuesday

Work: When the number of actual emergencies reaches the number of support monkeys to work on them, and other customers still want everything immediately, sadness abounds.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Star Driver 23: Only two episodes left to play out the consequences of the cliffhanger!
  • Baccano! 1-2: That train definitely has Too Many Named Characters.
  • Platonic Chain 9: We were betrayed by the torrents, but Carl saved us! Now we know about the Headband.
  • Platonic Chain 13-15: These are getting weirder and creepier. Also, PlaChe is totally Juiz.
  • Gosick 14-15: Backstory and foreshadowing! Also, Avril is completely doomed to fail. Maybe she can hook up with Drillhead.

Cats: Failure to heater my room leads to cats trying extra hard to help me sleep.

Make a comment!

28 November 2011 - Monday

Work: IT fixed a Windows problem without requiring me to reboot. I didn't know that was even possible!

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Due to flailure and incompetentism, I was only able to get Zmorcia through half of the Deepholm dailies. But she rescued the little rock guy!

Cats: Miau! Also, miau! Also, AUGH GET AWAY FROM ME!

Make a comment!

27 November 2011 - Sunday

Gaming: Between the books I got in the gaming store in Roseville (why do they have a gaming store?!) and the ones in the Powell's shipment that Ayse received and brought to Roseville with her to distribute, I have many things to read. For the moment, however, I am admiring how they form a large pile of potential that could be realized at any moment.

Textual Entertainments: The fantasy/death/SF/erotica stories in Dying For It (ed Gardner Dozois) were not bad, but did not do it for me. I think Sirens And Other Daemon Lovers is still teh w1nz0r.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia has triumphed over Deepholm! She saved the world, got the achievements for exploring the zone and doing most of the quests, and has access to the portal to the place where daily quests are handed out.

Next, Uldum?

Visual Entertainments: Finished third disc of Eureka Seven, but it was only the mid-season recap episode.

Cats: Even though I have fed them, they remain affectionate (except Aspen). Either they like me, or it's cold.

Make a comment!

26 November 2011 - Saturday

Vacation: Even more leftovers! Also, lazing around. Ken is threatening to make Al come down to the Bay Area and run a Pathfinder campaign with only primary casters, since Pathfinder buffed casters and now non-casters are even more useless than in 3rd ed.

Ja Baby remembered all the underhiders by name. This is because she is the best baby.

Ayse and Ken and Ja Baby decided to go home early as an alternative to dying, so we declared Dave the winner in Civ and played Dominion: Cornucopia. Encouraging people to buy a variety of cards is interesting, but the unique cards (the Prizes) are weird.

Marith and I ate a bunch more leftovers (yay stuffing!) and went home. Again there was hardly any traffic, although there was some fog.

Cats: The cats are in fact perfectly fine, although out of food. I'll need to find another bonus food dish for next time. And maybe another bonus water dish, although they didn't seem thirsty.

Make a comment!

25 November 2011 - Friday

Work: Today is technically not a Teradata holiday, but I took it as a floating holiday, so Cow Orker M is dealing with the customers.

Vacation: Between Civ players being asleep and Ja Baby being asleep (the architecture funnels noise directly into the only rooms she can sleep in, so boisterous trading phases are Not OK) , we only played a few turns, but Ayse did an excellent job with the trading. I did what I could with the board position, but nine players is just too many for everyone to have enough room. Conflict is even more inevitable!

When not playing Civ, we ate leftovers, went to the gaming store, and searched for the lost art of conversation (not necessarily in that order). Marith successfully installed some game called Elements on the computer that was formerly being used to run Lego Wow and sucked everyone in, because she is fiendish like that.

Cats: They are probably still okay, since they are perfectly competent at being cats.

Make a comment!

24 November 2011 - Thursday

Work: Of course customers have to spazz out on Thanksgiving. We got them to go away and try some stuff instead of continuing to bother us for the time being.

Vacation: For various reasons, a bunch of people cancelled at the last minute, so unlike previous Thanksgivings, there were only ten people (plus Ja Baby, who only eats a lot compared to her body mass).More for me!

When people had recovered from the feeding, we set up Advanced Civilization and did a few turns. Robert and Kate and Josh can all play, so even when Ayse and I team up, we still have all nine countries, which is at least one more than is actually recommended.

Textual Entertainments: Jeffrey Thomas's short story collection Punktown is somewhere in the borderlands between horror and SF. Punktown has aliens and advanced technology of various kinds, but those just enable the horror that is the folly of sophonts.

Cats: They are probably okay!

Make a comment!

23 November 2011 - Wednesday

Work: It's like extra bonus Friday! Except I have to be on call tomorrow, because we're kind of lame and disorganized.

Vacation Ayse and Ken and Ja Baby went up in the morning, which is when Ja Baby can travel, but Marith and Dave I had to work so we went up in the evening. There was actually hardly any traffic, so we are teh w1nz0rs.

Textual Entertainments: The Blood of Ambrose (James Enge) was not as good as This Crooked Way because it had too much of other people and not as much Morlock.

Gaming: I am sorry to report that Septimus (Bill Coffin) is pretty much made of fail. The setting section has endless pages of location detail that could have been compressed to paragraphs with no loss of playability, and the "about which, more later" of recent history and WTF is going on is never provided. The system is d6, which is to say the original Star Wars RPG system slightly genericized, but despite it being cut'n'pastable, there are still parts missing, some of what's there is just goofy with respect to the setting, and there are still references to Force points.

In summary, there might have been something interesting there, but it fell into the giant editing holes and will never be seen.

Cats: Gentlethings, start your worriers!

Make a comment!

22 November 2011 - Tuesday

Work: Check.

Gaming: Ashen Stars (Robin D Laws) is the GUMSHOE game for the SF genre. PCs investigate Trouble because they're free-lance law-enforcement officers for the war-torn and economically-crippled region that was the frontier of the nice interstellar polity before mysterious aliens attacked. The theme of the game is idealism vs harsh reality, so with the immediately-post-war setting, it has some old detective feel. However, it also has old bad-SF feel — superpowerful beings of pure energy, mono-cultural aliens[*], human-alien interbreeding, space dogfights, inconsistent and frequently nonsensical technobabble — which pleases me less. One bit I do like is that there's some kind of mysterious psionic effect that means no one knows anything about the great enemy from the war. There may be records, but anyone who tries to look them up just dissociates and doesn't learn anything. It's kind of cheesy, but also pretty satisfyingly creepy.

[*] Although it occurs to me that in the old days, as far as a lot of the people writing bad SF were concerned, humans only had the one middle-class white American culture (plus a few deviant groups of little importance).

The system is pretty standard GUMSHOE, with technical/academic skills and some general skills renamed for the genre, and a starship combat subsystem. Yay core clues!

More Gaming: I've been meaning to check out the transhuman SF RPG Eclipse Phase, but it is expensive. However, the Quick-Start Rules are free in PDF, so I grabbed them. The setting is certainly in the modern hard-SF genre: transcendent (and vanished) AIs, space travel only within the solar system (except for non-reproducible wormholes left by the AIs), easy nanofacturing, minds as software that can be transmitted and pirated, etc. Kind of a cross between Newton's Wake and Altered Carbon. There are apparently also aliens, but they're only mentioned in passing in the QSR. The PCs work for a distributed conspiracy that wants to protect civilization from things that could destroy it: bad memes, replicant nanoweapons, left-over TITAN supertech, possible alien perfidy, etc.

The system looks like pretty generic percentiles with stats and skills, not too unlike CoC. There are even rules for sanity loss and insanity gain, so characters can't recover perfectly just by switching to new bodies. There are difficulty modifiers, and sometimes you need to figure margin of success/failure, so there's two-digit arithmetic, but I think only addition and subtraction. The QSR only has pregen characters, so I haven't seen the chargen rules, but I presume they're extensive.

I will probably pick up the full version at some point.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Clannad After Story 24-25 (end): Aw, I was hoping for an alternate history in which he got to date Kotomi!
  • Platonic Chain 10-12: The only torrent Dave could find apparently had the same content for both episode 9 and episode 10. Bah!
  • Star Driver 21-22: We're getting quite near the end, but it doesn't seem like we're wrapping up.
  • Gosick 13: Poor Avril. Maybe she should try to lure Kuujo with something Victorique doesn't have, but I'm not sure he would care.

Cats: Twelve paws that don't know they are about to be deprived of gooshyfood breakfast for days!

Eclipse Phase by Carl (Mon Nov 28 09:47:00 2011)

Eclipse Phase is available free as Creative Commons, in addition to the purchasable version.Check the links at the bottom of that page.

I can provide you with whichever episode of Platonic Chain 9 or 10 you didn't see, unless you have already gone past that and no longer care about it. I really like Platonic Chain, despite its Valley of the Uncanny Dolls CGI animation style.

Eclipse Phase by Trip (Mon Nov 28 10:29:28 2011)

The Eclipse Phase PDF was only $15 (either it's come down in price, or I was thinking of something else that wanted as much for the PDF as for the huge hardbound hardcopy version), so I went ahead and bought it. But thanks for the pointer!

The version of Platonic Chain 9/10 we have is the one with mistaken identity, if that helps. And we are past it, but PlaChe episodes are so short that watching an extra one some evening is no big deal.

Make a comment!

21 November 2011 - Monday

Work: Not too bad today. Maybe customers are going on vacation?

Textual Entertainments: Crack'd Pot Trail (Steven Erikson) is the exact opposite of a morally edifying tale, containing as it does murder, cannibalism, necromancy, insanity, threatened foot sex, and dramatic recitations.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

Make a comment!

20 November 2011 - Sunday

Gaming: I have not gotten the PCs to be interested enough in Gloomwrought, because I'm still not a very good GM. They'll be sticking around at least long enough to commit a felony, though, so perhaps I can get them more entangled.

We seem to have switched to levelling up by vote.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Looking for a quest that turns out to not be there any more (the major NPC is busy having his psyche ripped to shreds by air elementals), Zmorcia ended up back in Hyjal and got to what I guess are the "Firelands dailies" everyone talks about. They seem to involve howling, and also gathering plants.

Stupid fire elementals, all standing in the same spot with nameplates overlapping!

Cats: Aspen and Marmalade have resumed snuggling. So cute!

Make a comment!

19 November 2011 - Saturday

Work: I had to cover a chunk of the day so Cow Orker M, who is actually on call, could go to his nephew's birthday party, but no customers exploded, not even the customer who always explodes.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: That's two segments of the World Pillar[*] recovered from the Cult of Destroying Everything! Also, for no apparent reason, Zmorcia started finding elementium everywhere in Deepholm. It's not like she levelled up or improved her mining skill, the deposits are just suddenly elementium instead of obsidium (except one which was an obsidium deposit and an elementium deposit in the same spot). Maybe it's because the earth elemental guys like her now.

[*]Why is there no Slayers MMORPG?

Gaming: I should be prepping D&D instead of playing WoW, but my brain is empty.

Food: Because it seemed like a good idea, I made canned biscuits but just before they were done, I sliced each one open, put in some gouda, and put them back into the oven to finish. It was pretty good, although I think I should have used either more cheese, or a cheese with a stronger flavor.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Make a comment!

18 November 2011 - Friday

Textual Entertainments: The Other is by Matthew Hughes, so you can guess it's going to be Jungian science-fantasy in a far-future, somewhat Vancian setting. And you'd be right.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia ran around Stormwind unmasking cultist plots and not keeping the prince out of trouble, but it turns out that level 85 quests are actually kind of hard (probably because she doesn't have all the fancy gear from instances and raids), so when the quest chain led to Twilight Highlands, she let it sit until she finishes Deepholm and Uldum.

Cats: So fuzzy!

Make a comment!

17 November 2011 - Thursday

Work: When Cow Orker M is out, the customers don't attack. It's just me.

Visual Entertainments: After a gap of several weeks, we finally watched episode 7 of Lucifer. The plot is definitely thickening! (But what kind of fiend reads storybooks to children?!)

Food: Ken made dumpling things (pirogies?) sauteed with onions and mushrooms and deliciousness. Ken continues to receive the Parasite Seal of Approval.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Make a comment!

16 November 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Fortunately the customers got most of their fails out yesterday, so I was able to pay some attention to training.

Gaming: I made DriveThruRPG.com deliver to me many megabytes of gaming materials, which I will report on in due course, in the usual fashion.

Textual Entertainments: The Alloy of Law is kind of a sequel to Brandon Sanderson's "Mistborn" series, set in the same world but three hundred years later, when there are trains and frontiers and gunslingers. The main character has a silly name, but uses his two fairly limited superpowers to extremely good effect because he is awesome. The other PCs are also pretty awesome. Heck, even the villain is awesome.

The end sure looks like there will be more to come; hopefully Sanderson will not be interrupted by life or Wheel of Time 2: Electric Boogaloo or anything.

Cats: Twelve pawses!

Make a comment!

15 November 2011 - Tuesday

Work: My cow orkers complained that the customers were horrible while I was gone, but really most of the customers were saving up their P1 fail for when I got back. I got my share of the customers to be happy in time to go home, but it was a close thing.

Textual Entertainments: Basilisk (Rob Thurman) is the sequel to Chimera, this time told from the viewpoint of the younger brother. It's hard to write posthumans convincingly but I think Thurman did a reasonable job.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Star Driver 19-20: That windowpane is sure getting a lot of action. Also, go Wako!
  • Platonic Chain 7-9: That is very silly.
  • Clannad After Story 22: Hrm. Well, I guess they had to, but still.
  • Clannad After Story 23: Backstory from before the first season. Sunohara has apparently always been like that.
  • Gosick 12: Oh, that's why Avril was okay with being ditched.

Cats: Miau! Miau! Miau!

Make a comment!

14 November 2011 - Monday

Vacation: Most of the morning was spent wrangling Ja Baby and feeding everyone, but we did get a couple more hours at Powell's. It is very sad, but I may have lost my taste for buying millions of books! I splurged on some gaming books, but I don't know if I will actually get enough entertainment from them to justify the expense. Mostly I wandered around and noted down titles to buy for my virtual Kindle, which probably makes me a bad person, but also a person with a smaller second derivative of clutter vs time. (I did get some manga, though, because that is less available in bits, for the moment.)

Then there was the extended travel phase: train to the hotel to get luggage, train to the airport, escalators at the airport, airplane, car, blargh, home!

I seem to have failed at vacation (especially the parts involving people younger, cooler, and better-looking than me, which is everyone), but I am not dead and I got extravagantly praised by Scott (not that he has many other modes) and there was some pretty good food.

Food: We hit Bijou Cafe again for brunch, but they did not deliver to me the Seasonal Squash Hash! I had to have the tofu scramble, which was virtuous but really not the same.

Also, airport food, but the less said about that, the better.

Cats: HI KITTIES!

Marmalade: YAY YOU'RE BACK GIVE ME PETTINS!

Ghirardelli: YAY YOU'RE BACK GIVE ME FOOD!

Aspen: AUGH YOU'RE BACK GET AWAY FROM ME!

failed at vacation by marith (Wed Nov 16 20:03:54 2011)

What would constitute a success at vacationing? (Hint: "not being Trip" is not a valid answer.)

Re: failed at vacation by Trip (Thu Nov 17 08:41:39 2011)

Not being me would certainly help!

I think Worldcon was a pretty successful vacation, despite the tragic shortage of Marithlizards and equally tragic abundance of Reno.

re: failed at vacation by marith (Thu Nov 17 09:02:06 2011)

Okay, that's fair. Hopefully the next time will be more enjoyable!

Make a comment!

13 November 2011 - Sunday

Vacation: We went to the Alexander James Adams concert, and then pillaged the dealer's room some more, but that was about the extent of our involvement with the con. There was much flopping about, especially among the demographic which went to parties last night.

Food: We have not gotten train sushi this trip, but we did get Wildwood! Scott's son and his fiancée (I hang out with people who have children old enough to be married!) monitor-sat because they do not appreciate food or were too flat to go out or something, so there was food-swooning. I think we ordered most of the menu.

Cats: No news is still good news, I'm pretty sure!

Make a comment!

12 November 2011 - Saturday

Vacation: Orycon this year iz not so grate. I went to one panel that was fun, because it was just asking silly questions of the panelists. The panel determined that dark matter is lint from God's black feather boa, and that God's drag name is Gaud. Also, jellyfish featured prominently, which I approve of.

There were a couple of readings which were okay, and a few things in the dealer's room I wanted to buy (there was one booth that actually had a small pile of indie games!). But, mostly, there was hanging out with Marith and Ayse and Ken and Scott and Shannon and Ja Baby.

Ja Baby found a pink-haired person who she decided was Mokey Fraggle (regardless of what character this poor young lady thought she was dressed as) and therefore the most interesting person in the Entire World. Fortunately Marith took pictures, so that she could use her phone to sate Ja Baby's demands for "See Mokey Fraggle right now!"

Ayse, Ken, Scott, and Shannon went to con parties, but I am far too horrible to go to parties so I monitor-sat and Marith kindly stayed with me. Apparently the cool people had fun, which is pretty much what one wants from parties.

Gaming: Poison'd (D Vincent Baker) is a pirate RPG with cussing, violence, abstraction, sin, and violence. I fear it.

Textual Entertainments: The Snow Queen's Shadow (Jim C Hines) is the fourth and sadly last book in the story of the killer fairy-tale princesses. It's a good place to end it, though, and hopefully Hines's next book will be even more awesome.

Ghost of a Smile is the second in Simon R Green's "Carnacki Institute" series, which is quasi-Cthulhoid horror and very Simon R Green. As usuall, if you liked his other stuff, you'll probably like this.

Food: The hotel restaurant was not astounding, but it was pretty good, so we made them give us teh foodz.

Cats: No news is good news!

Make a comment!

11 November 2011 - Friday

Vacation: It seems wrong to get up earlier for vacation than for work, but when travelling with Ken and Ayse, one's schedule is bound in the iron chains of Ja Baby's nap time.

(It is not wrong, but peculiar, that Marith is coming on vacation. Usually she only goes on vacation with her genetic relatives to be miserable, not with her peoples to have fun.)

The advantage of scheduling around Ja Baby's naps is that she displays her excellence on the plane, instead of carefully hiding it.

Our hotel is not as palatial as the one in Reno, but it is a lot cheaper and the staff are very nice, so no complaints. It turns out to only be a couple of blocks from the Orycon hotel if you're organized enough to walk directly instead of going the long way around everything and dragging wheeled suitcases through the mud and stuff.

We went to across the river to lunch and Powell's and also made Marith buy a duster because she lost her only warm jacket. Now she is both cool and weatherproof, which is good because Portland has weather.

Eventually we made contact with Scott and Shannon, and there was chillaxing. But there was no debauchery as of the time I left.

Textual Entertainments: This Crooked Way (James Enge) is a little peculiar and whimsical in a way I associate with older non-Tolkeinesque fantasy, like Leiber. I approve, and will seek out the prior and subsequent books.

The Clockwork Rocket (Greg Egan) is a member of the small sub-genre of SF set in universes with definite and consistent laws of physics that are completely different than our own. My brain is not big enough to do more than go, "huh, that sounds reasonable" at these things, but I don't expect anything else from a Greg Egan book.

Food: Bijou Cafe for brunch, flailing for dinner! (Scott and Shannon tried to bring pasta, but the restaurant failed them. It's okay, I wasn't actually hungry.)

Cats: Dave does not provide daily paw reports, but then I didn't ask him to. I think he has more of a Unix-style interface.

Make a comment!

10 November 2011 - Thursday

Work: It's like bonus Friday!

Random Encounters: Ambar, on the train, with no time to chat!

Packing: Check. I know that it is check, because I have a checklist.

Cats: It is much less worrisome to leave my cats even for longer when I know Dave will be looking in on them.

Make a comment!

9 November 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

Gaming: Capes! (Tony Lower-Basch) is technically a role-playing game, but really it's more like a story-telling game, since there's no rule or expectation that players will consistently play the same characters from scene to scene. It's also explicitly competitive, in that players are supposed to use the system to struggle for control of the story, and there's advice on doing so both mechanically (once a scene is in process) and socially (setting up scenes your opponents will want to participate in). I'm kind of dubious, but it's not like I eschew competitive games.

Textual Entertainments: I didn't like David Wellington's Frostbite quite as much as his vampire books, but it was still pretty good. I should find his zombie books (maybe at Powell's, but maybe just on Kindle).

The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya (Nagaru Tanigawa) is more short pieces about the varied doom of Kyon. There are relatively few overt violations of physical law this time, but Kyon is still doomed.

Cats: Miau miau miau!

Make a comment!

8 November 2011 - Tuesday

Work: We had a welcome lunch for the new guy in our group who is actually here, and also for a guy in another group, because everyone needs lunch, right?

Kadu is good, but an entire entree of it is a lot. I think the vegetarian combo platter would have been the right way to go.

Textual Entertainments: August Derleth has a bad reputation among Cthulhu Mythos fans, and now I know why. Most importantly, adding the concepts of good and evil is Infinite Fail Forever, but also, judging by the stories in The Mask of Cthulhu, his repertoire of special effects was severely limited, and he didn't realize that "twist ending" doesn't mean putting the last paragraph of every story in italics.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Star Driver 18: Lack of a giant robot never stops a true villain!
  • Clannad After Story 20-21: Now that's doom! And apparently there's only one more episode because the last two are specials or something.
  • Platonic Chain 4-6: This is totally the future of Eden of the East, with the new Google service, gjuiz.
  • Gosick 10-11: Inspector Drillhead is more sympathetic now.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Make a comment!

7 November 2011 - Monday

Work: The new cow orker who was supposed to start today chickened out. Out of the last five people we made offers to, only two are currently with Support (and one has only been here a week, so he could still flee, although I don't think he will).

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Too much lag tonight.

Cats: The colder it gets, the more my room with the space heater is popular with kitties.

Make a comment!

6 November 2011 - Sunday

Work: Apparently the new incident-tracking system tries to make everything customer-viewable... except when you rely on that behavior to communication information to the customer. This made the customer sad.

Gaming: The fight with ogre pursuers was tough, but not interesting enough. But, the dwarf got his owlbear, and they are all going to a big city where they can perhaps obtain information about their goal, or at least cause more property damage.

Food: Not only is Jeremy now teaching people to make chupaquesos, he is responsible for pumpkin fudge.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Deepholm is still full of rocks. Also, cultists. It is very scenic (when the cultists aren't obstructing the view), but you'd think the elemental plane of Earth would have more minable ore deposits.

Visual Entertainments: More Eureka Seven. I'm sure there are other things I could watch, but they might require braining. Braining is hard.

Cats: Everybody likes kitties! Kitties go "miau"!

Make a comment!

5 November 2011 - Saturday

Work: On call. I had to be on standby while Customer X did some stuff and Customer Y did some other stuff, but it mostly worked out okay.

Food: Dim sum is full of meat, but very tasty.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia has now finished with Vashj'ir. When she went back to the island of portals in Stormwind, there was a guy with a quest that led through Hyjal to Uldum where she had to stand on top of a very tall tower fighting air elementals that were too tough. I think she'll go back to Deepholm and pick up where she left off before.

Cats: I oppressed Aspen with hugs and pettins! And also with brushins, which she didn't like but it got some pretty big lumps of mat out of her fur.

Make a comment!

4 November 2011 - Friday

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: The Black Lung Captain (Chris Wooding), sequel to Retribution Falls, goes more into some of the freakier aspects of the setting, which I always like. Some of the PCs still go beyond Flawed Antihero into serious Loser territory, though.

The adventures of teenage astronauts in skinsuits continue in Rocket Girls: The Last Planet (Housuke Nojiri), with a new astronaut and some remarkable reentry error. I'm not sure about some of the characterization, though. I don't think she was quite that obnoxious in the first book.

I wonder if the other two books in the series will be published in the US.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: Zmorcia no longer gets XP for anything, because she is now level 85! She can use the ring she got from the Headless Horseman and the huge mace she got from her guildmate! (The Horseman's sword is not so great for a paladin, unfortunately.)

There's still a bunch of Cataclysm content to see, but I don't know how interesting it would be to do this a second time.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Make a comment!

3 November 2011 - Thursday

Work: Blargh. Also, blargh.

Gaming: Legends Walk! (Tim Gray) is a superhero RPG with a fairly simple, but still simulationist, system. It's even informally log-scaled! In the game as written, all powers come from gods/heroes/monsters of legend, which puts limits on power combinations and adds a few rules for things like people with war god powers being stronger if there's a fight nearby, but that could probably be stripped out without too much difficulty.

People from the UK appear to be able to use "affect" and "effect" correctly, even when using "effect" as a verb.

Textual Entertainments: The Tempering of Men (Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear) is the sequel to Companion to Wolves. It has approximately the same number of giant telepathic wolves, but fewer Viking gangbangs and fewer trolls. On the other hand, more alfar and also more humans, and lots of plot lines to be resolved in future books.

Food: Cheese and bread and cheese and mushroom alfredo pasta.

And cheese!

Visual Entertainments: Last episode of Blackadder third season. Look, a Cunning Plan!

Cats: Kittysnuggles!

Make a comment!

2 November 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Made New Cow Orker A do a ticket today. Soon[*], he will do all the work and I will only supervise.

[*] In geological sense.

Textual Entertainments: The White City (Elizabeth Bear) is a small book about an adventure of the vampire detective Sebastien de Ulloa in Moscow in 1903. There are revolutionary artists.

Sequential Entertainments: Yotsuba&! vol 10 (Kiyohiko Azuma) is just as adorable as volumes 1 through 9. You have been warned.

Massively-Multiplayer Online Entertainments: 80 obsidium ore isn't bad for one circuit of Hyjal. Eventually Zmorcia should go back and finish off Vashj'ir, though.

Cats: Miau miau miau!

Make a comment!

1 November 2011 - Tuesday

Work: I need to figure out how to get New Cow Orker A to do all my work.

Gaming: Vornheim: The Complete City Kit (Zak S) is partly a writeup of a city some guy has in his old-skool D&D game (which is apparently famous because he games with porn actresses or something; I dunno, it's the Internets) and partly a book of tricks for running cities in general. The specific city is pretty weird. For example, in that world, the skins of snakes encode books, which you can read if you know how. Thus, every center of learning has a Lernaean hydra chained in the basement with some guys with axes, constantly regenerating new volumes.

The general tricks are for making rough decisions quickly. For example:

  • If the PCs want to buy some random thing and you don't have time to look up the price or it's so wacky it's not likely to be on a price list, decide whether it's not/a little/kinda/pretty expensive, and set the price at 5/10/25/100gp times the number of syllables in the name. Longer names correlate with more specific items (horse < warhorse < heavy warhorse, poison < cobra venom < black-spotted spitting cobra venom) so it kinda works out.
  • To create an instant floor plan, draw a rectangle and toss some d4s on it. From where each one lands, draw as many lines as the number on the die horizontally or vertically until they hit other lines. Add doors to taste.
  • For a quick city map, decide how many districts you want, then use different-colored markers to write out "ONE", "TWO", "THREE", etc all jammed up together at different angles. Now you know where the districts are and have a map of the major streets.
  • Similarly, if you need to lay out streets between where the PCs are and where they want to be (for a chase scene or whatever), roll a d10 and draw the streets in the shape of that number. Repeat at different angles for more waypoints.

Plus, because this is D&D, there are d% charts for "what has it got in its pocketses", NPC names/professions/oddities, etc.

RPGirlZine 2010 (ed Emily Care Boss) is a collection of articles about and by women gamers/game designers. It's pretty much all about how they came to gaming, what it's like to be a woman gamer, etc, rather than gaming itself or game design or anything like that, so clearly I am not the target audience. That's fine, other people are the target audience.

Textual Entertainments: The Lost Fleet: Beyond The Frontier: Dreadnaught: Too Many Colons: Stop Me Before I Colon Again (Jack Campbell) is the first book of a sequel series to the "Lost Fleet" series. The hero, having gotten people to win the century-long war, gets sent on an expedition to investigate the root cause of the war, along with all the people who think he's awesome and the existing power structure sucks. They don't get as far plot-wise as you would expect from the size of the book, but there is plenty of doom. Also conspiracy and general craziness.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Platonic Chain 1-3: I bet this seemed more futuristic when it was first made.
  • Star Driver 16-17: Back to giant robot fights! And also symbolic deflowerment!
  • Clannad After Story 19: That was pretty painful, but not actually doom. I think.
  • Gosick 8-9: Seyrun may have had very clever people in the past, but I think Cordelia took the brain with her when she left.

Cats: Ghirardelli took over arm-lying duties last night. He is not any lighter than Marmalade.

Gosick by marith (Wed Nov 2 22:58:13 2011)

Yes, and then she passed it to Victorique. No wonder everyone in town disliked her even after PLOT.

Make a comment!

Google Custom Search

Sproing!


This file was last modified by trip@idiom.com.