Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 August 2013 - Saturday

For brunch: Ken frittatas! (Made by Ken, not out of Ken. Among other things, Ken is not vegetables.)

For dinner: ham and corn, also made by Ken! Ken is very useful.

  • Steins;Gate 20-21: Yes, it only goes downhill from here.
  • Cross Game 20-22: And now, romantic rivalry! Which does not excuse the closing credits animation.
  • Persona4 19: I liked the vote for the beauty contest.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 11: Ah, the miracle of childbirth.

On the Razor's Edge is the fourth in Michael Flynn's series about heroes and ninjas in a future in which people have forgotten that science ever existed. The characters are visibly moving toward their final doom, but it could be a few books yet.

Twelve paws!

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30 August 2013 - Friday

Yay! It's Friday! And I am not on call until Monday!

Cats do not appreciate Labor Day. But I appreciate Avalon.

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29 August 2013 - Thursday

I think the customer is getting closer to being not doomed, although their own internal procedures are making things very difficult. I guess this is the corporate equivalent of an autoimmune disorder.

Paws: still twelve!

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28 August 2013 - Wednesday

Webexes still not ending.

A Conspiracy of Alchemists (Liesel Schwarz) is undistinguished steampunk + magic, with a Chosen One.

Paws report: 12!

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27 August 2013 - Tuesday

More Webexes. They will never end.

The first two volumes of Vampire Cheerleaders were actually half Paranormal Mystery Squad, and in Vampire Cheerleaders Must Die (Adam Arnold, Michael Shelfer) the streams cross. This might have been okay except that the okay art was replaced with bad art, and there's not much reason to read this if it's not pretty to look at.

FTL Now is set during the period from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the recovery from the comet that terrorists hit NYC with in 2001, but is otherwise the same as Cold Space.

If Zombie Heinlein rose from his grave, ripped handfuls from the brains of Larry Niven, James Hogan, and John Ringo and crammed them into his maw, then shambled around for a while until he vomited the half-digested mess into a printing press, the result would be something like The Goliath Stone (Larry Niven, Matthew Joseph Harrington).

One way to classify the descendents of Apocalypse World is by whether they keep the notion of sex moves (Monsterhearts) or not (Dungeon World, Monster of the Week). Today it occurred to me that since Lovecraft Country (the prophesied successor to School Colors out of Space) will probably be a game about monstrous hybrids, it totally should have sex moves if I hit it with the hammer of Apocalypse World. (Look, isn't it so big and heavy?) Of the other things I've thought about hammering on, Eclipse World should probably not have sex moves; I had originally thought not for Empire World, but now I'm not sure; and Fairy Tale World could go either way.

Of course this is theoretical because everyone has too many kids to game.

Twelve opaque paws!

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26 August 2013 - Monday

Back to work, with more customer Webexes all day.

Date night with Avalon, although since she is on vacation she was all tired out from having fun and could not stay up too late. (Also I will get scolded if I reduce her already-low sleep level.)

Scent of Darkness (Margot Berwin) is one of those books that might be fantasy but might not: the fantastic elements mostly affect people's behavior, which means they can be explained away. People in love do crazy stuff anyway.

Weird Times at Charles Fort High is pretty much TFoS with more emphasis on supers and Bigfoot and less on aliens. The system is QAGS, which is one of those systems that thinks "story game" means "only one mechanic and twee names for it", which makes it slightly more complicated than the original TFoS, but not by much.

Cold Space has a character generation system for people who think Traveller isn't detailed enough: track and roll skill/stat gains for every year of your character's life from junior high onward. The rest of the system is kind of clunky percentile with a few weird bits like stats being single digit numbers— except IQ, which ranges from 80 to 140 and so has completely different formulas for adding to skills. Whatever.

The setting is an alternate history in which someone shortly post-WWII dredged from an obscure corner of physics an effect which provides both contragravity and FTL, thus expanding the Cold War to the Solar System and then to the stars. That's about all there is to the setting -- there is a small amount of information (half a page, including map) about each of quite a few colonies, but nothing that really gave me a feel for what it would be like to live in that universe.

Twelve fuzzy paws!

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25 August 2013 - Sunday

You may have noticed that yesterday's events did not include any preparation for today's Immortal Empire game. This is because I suck.

Nevertheless, we did get together to game (and eat), and did so, even though I drove Earl away with my terrible GMing. The high points were the giant singing eggplant monster and the catgirl ninja, which should give you some idea.

Jeremy has volunteered to run next session, which I predict will involve more horrible plant monsters, but fewer catgirls.

Hurray for Avalonsmooches, virtual though they may be!

Twelve paws of opacity.

sunday's game by marith (Tue Aug 27 09:31:36 2013)

I shudder to think what the puns would have been like with preparation!

Re: sunday's game by Trip (Wed Aug 28 12:01:06 2013)

Nah, the puns are all improvised.

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24 August 2013 - Saturday

I finished catching up on anime with Cross Game 19 just in time to run to Milk Pail and get cheese and bread to feed Ken's guests.

These guests were fashionably late, but they were mostly Ken's Berkeley friends, so I guess that is fitting?* We got Darren the undertaker (whose business card Ayse cleverly scored for Avalon, who is interested in the field (apparently I don't naturally think of talking to people)) and his SO Georgia who I am not sure what she does, then the infamous Jessie. Later, Mike showed up, and Cat and Earl, and another friend of Ken's whose name and descriptors I did not get.

*This is the same question mark as in "I think that might be ultra-cannibalism?".

We played Dominion before people started arriving, and Ayse crushed us all like the insects we are. Once we have more people, we played Lords of Waterdeep and I sucked bigtime. Curse you, Waterdeep!

Because it was his birthday party, Ken got an enormous pile of empanadas, which mostly became leftovers for him to eat later. Score!

Then people started playing a complicated Small World variant, so Dave and Marith and I slunk away to Marith's place to see if we could watch anime. Cat went with us because we seemed likely to be quieter than the house full of loud gamers, even though she had no idea what we were watching.

  • Steins;Gate 19: Yes, it is worse than anyone had remembered.
  • Persona4 18: I wonder if the hero gets plusses for helping other people form social links?
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 9-10: Major Hughes's big scene already?!

Avalon tried to go on vacation today, but was delayed by one of her other boys having to do interminable work for a P1 ticket. I know that feeling! She did eventually manage to depart, though.

I did not bring you any cow-filled empanadas at all, cats. I must be defective.

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23 August 2013 - Friday

I stayed extra-late at work helping Cow Orker D get a project moving. I hear it jammed up after I left, but no one called me for help, so I presume it will get solved without me. It is possible, you know.

Tonight, not much Avalon. Boooo.

But also not much Immortal Empire, because I kind of suck. Also my brain is small.

Hex Appeal (ed P N Elrod) sounds like smut but is just a collection of urban fantasy short stories by various authors (including Jim Butcher, Simon R Green, and Carrie Vaughn) which all have some romantic element. They were all at least okay, which is doing well for an anthology.

Chronicles of Future Earth reads like a strange combination of RuneQuest, Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun", and Tékumel.

The cats helped me watch Persona 4 17 (didn't see that one coming, although apparently Marith did) and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 7-8 (into the fifth laboratory, with psychological warfare).

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22 August 2013 - Thursday

I got called by work at 01:50 to manually stick a customer system back together. I went back to sleep for a while after that, but the cats kept checking whether I was alive, so it was not entirely successful. Then I got up again and did some more work, and continued to blargh from home all day, without ever actually becoming fit to face the day. So zombtastic. So unproductive. So glad the India guy will be back from vacation starting tonight.

Today was official date night with Avalon, so I did not plan to do any gaming prep.

It is our one-fortnight anniversary!

I almost went to bed on time! Kinda.

Cats by Avalon (Fri Aug 23 17:59:27 2013)

Well I can see why they would check. =)

Re: Cats by Trip (Fri Aug 23 20:37:11 2013)

Well, sure. If I die, who is going to open the Magical Cupboard of Endless Food?

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21 August 2013 - Wednesday

Blargh, work.

No Earthdawn! Mike is full of germs, which has been deemed Suboptimal for visiting a house with two small children and an upcoming party.

Any bets as to whether this sudden bounty of free time went toward gaming prep?

Paw count remaining steady at twelve.

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20 August 2013 - Tuesday

Got woken up at 4:45 to fix a giant annoying customer. Curse you, customer!

I meant to work on Immortal Empire stuff tonight, but instead: surprise Avalon availability! (The boyfriend she was going to spend time with had to go do something useful but not smooching-related.)

Adventures in Oz is pretty much what one would want in a straight-up Oz RPG (as opposed to the various horror/steampunk/etc Oz reimaginings of recent years). It is dead simple; it has rules for playing talking animals both large and small, constructs, and refugees from Earth; and you get hero points by making friends.

Twelve paws!

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19 August 2013 - Monday


I meant to work on Immortal Empire stuff, but instead: Avalon!

Persona 4 16: That's a PC-like plan, all right. Also, creepy!

Machinations of the Space Princess is in, I guess, the Metal Hurlant sci-fi genre of hot pants in space and melees in dingy bars. So like Star Wars only with actual sex in. The system is Old School D&D with a rudimentary system of skills (some of them rolled as skills, some for more plusses in combat) and a menu of special abilities for aliens, few of which would interfere with their pursuit of humanoid women in hot pants. It does have the important rule that all cash you end the adventure with is gone by the next advanture, with accompanying d% table for what kind of depravity you blew it on if you can't think of any.

There are in fact 99 space princesses, fighting over the empire their mother left behind. That is pretty much all the background that is provided.

Twelve paws!

And now it is... by Avalon (Thu Aug 22 20:30:10 2013)

Our fortnight anniversary! Yay!

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18 August 2013 - Sunday

Cow Orker M, who is on call this weekend, was apparently being beaten savagely by the crazy customer I mentione yesterday. :(

For the first time in quite a while, we managed to play Immortal Empire, and Dave even ran, which is not something he does very often! Our hapless courtiers got sent to escort an accountant to investigate a corrupt tax office on behalf of their patron (matron? English is kind of broken) the queen-select. Our plan was not so great, but it amused the GM, so after the running around and stalling and Elise disguising herself as the corrupt official, we were able to cut ourselves the queen-select in on the action, adding to her black budget.

The corrupt official also let slip a lead on some kind of hush-hush place out in the countryside that high nobles have been paying visits to, and other gossip had it that vegetable abominations had been ravaging the countryside around there, so it had to be checked out. It turned out that a creey old underground Imperial research station had found a new life as breeders of unusual and possibly lethal plant-creatures for nobles. The plant-creatures, some of them sapient, were not being treated well, so the place might need to be brought under closer oversight, but it did not seem to be a conspiracy against the queen-select.

Being stuck in a plant breeding pit with strange lighting did cause Hyacinthe to embarrass herself, but she will probably be speaking to Benoit again, eventually.

Avalon is sad, so I want to give her hugs, but I can only give her virtual hugs. This universe contains several wonderful things, but is very poorly arranged in many respects.

When I was at Lee's last week, they had all the collections of Terry Moore's current series Rachel Rising faced, so despite the not-so-goodness of Echo I succumbed and picked up the first volume. Fortunately it is straight-up fantasy, so there are no embarrassing attempts at technobabble ("base phi", sheesh, give me a break) and it is pretty creepy. I will probably get at least the next volume next time I am there.

Dave gave me the anime to catch up from last night, so I watched Steins;Gate 19. There's an obvious possibility for what 'F' stands for, but the only things I can think of for 'B' would require her to have Daru come up with the code name.

Hello, cats! Thank you very much, but I do not really need your help going to sleep!

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17 August 2013 - Saturday

I brunched at Beep House (aka Monkeycat Towers), and got teased, and played one game of Dominion, but then I had to trundle home so I could do horrible weekend work instead of watching anime with Dave and Marith.

The maintentance window was from 18:00 tonight to 6:00 tomorrow, and based on what has been happening at Other Customer, I was afraid we would end up using all of it and still be worse off than before we started. However, because this customer is not crazy like Other Customer (and maybe also because they have an appliance instead of their own crazy and uncertified hardware), there were no issues and I was done by about midnight. As a bonus, much of the time I just had to wait for the computers to grind to completion, so I could pay attention to Avalon instead!

Important discovery of the day: Pizza My Heart only lists a few, fairly standard, toppings for inventing your own pizza on the menu page, but if you order online through the locations page, everything that is a component of any of their special pizzas is also available. This means I can get non-meatful versions of the specials, and also things like fig-gorgonzola-roasted garlic pizza, which is quite tasty! (I added the roast garlic to Avalon's suggestion, because I like roasted garlic so much, and it was very good but her idea might have been better on its own.)

I had to text Marith to gloat.

After Avalon entered a dormant state due to temporal misalignment, I did all the cat chores while waiting for the computers to finish again, so I was able to go to sleep without delay once work released me.

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16 August 2013 - Friday

Hurray! It's Friday! Everybody likes Friday! Friday goes "wumwumwumspoing"!

Engine is bizarre and conceptual. You play a game of Apocalypse World, taking notes of every scene and every move made. Then, you play through it in reverse order

Limitless Horizons is a hack of Spirit of the Century for pulp space opera. I'm not sure how well it works, but perhaps this is because I am not in tune with the "anything is just a stunt" paradigm of SotC.

Hm, drama. I blame society. (Well, okay, mostly I blame myself, but I'm part of society.)

Twelve adorable fuzzy paws that go "Hey, are you awake? No? How about now? Or now?" in the night!

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15 August 2013 - Thursday

The customer seems to be mostly space-penguin-free now. On to other customers, like the one that will only do an upgrade between 18:00 Saturday and 6:00 Sunday.

A Natural History of Dragons (Marie Brennan) is set in a secondary world, with dragons, but is otherwise very much a young-Victorian-lady-who-wants-to-be-a-scientist story, featuring a peasant mob with torches and pitchforks. And dragons. (Not in the peasant mob, although that would have been awesome.)

In most Lovecraftian horror scenarios, the world is not actually destroyed, this time, or if it is, the PCs don't have to deal with it. In The Apocalypse Machine, Graham Walmsley brings Trail of Cthulhu investigators to the post-apocalyptic monster-infested world. Not any particular apocalypse; half the book is about coming up with apocalypses (not necessarily Mythos-originated but Mythos-exploited) and the shapes of their aftermaths. The rest of the book is how to modify ToC for this, including keeping investigators on target by making resource shortages a plot point rather than the entire game. Also, mutants.

Walmsley + Cthulhu = Win.

Avalon and I have been officially dating for a whole week and she hasn't dumped me yet!

Twelve paws!

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14 August 2013 - Wednesday

We tried installing a better kernel on one node of the customer system and it appeared to work! We cannot easily figure out if one node is performing better, but it is promising enough that we will try upgrading the whole cluster and see if it drives out the space penguins.

People left the Earthdawn food plan to me, so they got the delivery Chinese food they deserved (with bonus egg roll armada). During dinner, my phone connected me with the cow orker I had left with the simple task of "tell the customer to push one button, then make sure everything comes back up okay", because he could not deal with setting up new ssh tunnels. However, the phone may have redeemed itself by facilitating an exchange of mushy texts with my girlfriend. (Girlfriend?! Who am I and what have I done with the real Trip?!)

Because the Earthdawn party has a nethermancer, the army company of cadavermen was a nonproblem. They pretty much just shot an arrow into the middle of the crowd and let them berserk on each other, while standing safe behind the magic circle. The horror controlling them, Cheerful Rictus, was also not much of a problem, because they have a swordmaster who spent karma on Taunt and reduced all its step 15 attacks to step 4. It did have a giant spiky katamari, multiple body-possessing shadows, and some tame shadowmants, but those alone were not enough to stop the PCs, and eventually Tharkas and Tom were able to drag enough of the half-invulnerable worm out of its hole that Kamakani and Isidari were able to get their swords into the soft squishy half. Victory!

Next week is probably the last session of the 2013 Earthdawn season, so either we will have the big fight against the wormskull and the pack of deceivers, or we will realize that the paltry few LP the PCs got from Cheerful Rictus do not make them able to fight a wormskull and they will run away.

Owl Hoot Trail is fantasy Western, but with a pretty large proportion of Western. Characters may be orcs, dwarves, or halflings, and various kinds of magic-users, but there are sheriffs, desperadoes, wanted posters, quick-draw duels, saloons, cattle barons, and all the other furniture of the standard Western. The system is stripped-down D&D, presumably because everyone already knows it. It might be a little too stripped down, but it's not really a tactical game.

Paws: twelve!

mushy texts by marith (Thu Aug 15 15:15:08 2013)

Sororal smugness level remains at max! :)

Texts by Avalon (Thu Aug 15 16:49:23 2013)

Well I have to cope with the needing sleep and interfering schedules somehow so yay phones!! Xo

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13 August 2013 - Tuesday

The customer with the infinitely-prolonged saga of unhappiness may be on the brink of salvation! It looks like a perfectly reasonable change we made in the new version may trigger a deficiency in the kernel version we were using and result in Doom. If Engineering decides this is really what's happening, we can probably fix the customer tomorrow.

Porcelain (Benjamin Read, Chris Wildgoose) is subtitled "A gothic fairytale" and it is pretty fairy-tale-like. Some "Bluebeard" and maybe a little "Beauty and the Beast". Also, Doooooom.

I almost had Avalon tonight, but she was informed that sleeping was the better part of not being dead tomorrow.

Twelve fliffy paws!

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12 August 2013 - Monday

Augh! Monday! It's come back!

The Void is just Cthonian Stars with a generic dice-pool system in place of Traveller mechanics. It is not any better.

Yay, second half of El Cazador de la Bruja!

Twelve paws!

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11 August 2013 - Sunday

Today, more work, but mostly not on my part. However, at the time when I would normally start going to bed (having, for once, not kept Avalon up until 23561892 o'clock in the morning her time), I instead had to listen to managers yak unproductively for an hour. Blargh.

The idea the engineer working on this had was good, but sadly did not end up working. Bah.

13th Age is Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet's take on D&D 4.5, or maybe it should be called D&D 4+2i. The system is recognizably derived from Dungeons & Dragons 4, but drastically simplified in several ways. For example, there is pretty much no movement or positioning: most characters in a fight are considered to be "nearby" each other, with ranged combatants that are staying well back being "far away" and nearby ones who are actually hitting each other with swords being "engaged". Unless circumstances don't permit, a character can get to any nearby spot with one move action, and to a faraway spot with a couple of moves. That's it. No squares, no range categories, no 5' steps, no threatened areas (although there are equivalents for the last two).

There are a few mechanics that 4th ed doesn't have or doesn't use much. One is the escalation die (on the second round of combat, the GM sets out the biggest d6 available, showing 1, and increments it every round; PCs get it as a bonus to attacks and some powers on both sides only work or work differently depending on the current value of the escalation die). Another is that a lot of powers trigger based on the natural value of the d20 when you attach: over X, under X, even and you end up hitting after applying all modifiers, odd and you miss, etc. There are also mechanics to encourage storyfulness, although obviously they can't enforce it on unwilling players.

  • Every PC must have one unique thing about them, not something that gives them superpowers, but something that leads to drama: "I have a clockwork heart made by the dwarves", "I am the only acrobat who has performed their way out of the Circus of Hell", "According to prophecy, my death will end the 13th Age", "One of the Three keeps my soul in a bottle".
  • There is no skill list. You get 8 points to distribute among backgrounds that make sense for your character ("tribeswoman of the Death Claw Mountains", "Imperial legionnaire", "acrobat of Hell", "marsh pirate", "defrocked priestess of Hera", "orcish slave", ...) and add the points in the most applicable one to skill checks.
  • Every PC has three points of relationships to assign to some combination of the 13 icons (the mover and shaker NPCs: the Emperor, the Diabolist, the Elf Queen, the Prince of Shadows, etc). When you need to know how much good your relationship with an icon will do you, roll 1d6 per point and any 5s or 6s give you some kind of benefit, while 5s also give you a complication.

Overall, though, I think the complexity is substantially down from 4th ed.

Also, the world is suitably fantastic, with cloud castles full of giants, migratory beasts so large entire villages can be carved into their carapaces without bothering them, a city of monsters run by the Three remaining chromatic dragons, living dungeons that spawn deep beneath the ground and slowly make their upward, and the like.

Perhaps I will try to take over Wednesday nights even after Mike returns to his condition of servitude, although that might cause people to shrivel up and die.

Twelve paws!

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10 August 2013 - Saturday

Ayse and Ken and Dave and Ja Baby and Ta Baby are all in Roseville with friends and swimming and D&D. I am here at home, which has cats and sometimes Avalon, but also has cow orkers who are doing their very best to help the customer with his space penguin problem by using their primary skill of Schedule Conference Call. They are so skilled they can schedule meetings on 20 minutes notice just as I get to someplace that will give me lunch.

In addition to friends and water and gaming, Roseville contains questions about who this Avalon person is!

Marmalade says the solution is to chew the customer network into 5cm pieces.

Ptolus writeup from Dave:

With Karl off dealing with relatives (and who knows what else), the rest of the party is left to deal with the looting claims of the what appear to be remnants of the chaos cults formerly inhabiting the building they had recently looted (and who had been driven out by the Knights of the Pale some time previous).

After much soul (and wallet) searching, the group decides that they would prefer the cultists to not get the weapons, but they mainly want to get paid something like fair market value for them, whoever ends up with them. Worried that the cultists might go for a five-finger discount, they decide to look into putting them in escrow during negotiations (set for that evening), and to drop by Delver's Square, on their way to check current market prices on the loot.

Before that happens, however, a panicked lady from the Fateweavers appeared with small child in hand. Apparently, Phon had given birth, and the Fateweavers had decided that the child carried a sign (birthmark) that could lead to the end of the world, so were going to kill it. After all, the end of the world is one thing, but killing newborns is another, and some things just aren't right. The group agrees to do what they can, but they're kind of busy at the moment, so they hand the kid off to Erika to go into hiding for a bit while the rest deal with the loot.

In Delver's Square, Rastor (of Rastor's Weapons) lets them know they they've fairly accurately identified and appraised the weapons, and offers fair market value for them. When Raul brings up the fact that chaos cultists are also interested in them (and possibly have a claim on them), Rastor decides that purchasing them would put him in an awkward position, but says he knows someone who might help us with our dilemma. Everyone goes to a nearby tavern, where Rastor introduces [], a lady with a large sword. She says she's currently in the business of helping people like the group (although more typically delvers) survive the consequences of their actions.

We fill her in on our situation, and she questions us a bit on exactly which chaos cult we might be up against (the scary one, of course). Apparently all the chaos cults are being unusually active right now, so apparently something is up, which would explain the desire for the weapons. She seems to think that it would be worse than we had thought for them to get their hands on these particular items, and she's impressed with our honesty in dealing with Rastor, so she decides to help us, and find more friendly buyers for the items. We hire cabs and travel to temples of various (mostly obscure) chaotic good gods, who are willing to purchase the items at a substantial discount (40% off the normal sale price, which is itself half the manufacturer's suggested retail price, so quite the bargain for them). But eventually everything is taken care of, and we head back to the tavern. During the travels (both to and fro) we talk a bit, and she learns a bit about us and how we've somehow gotten entangled with various powerful people and organizations, and we learn a bit about her and how she's a retired delver who's decided to help current ones survive the consequences of their actions (it seems lie low and hide out for a while is the common approach).

On the way, we are accosted by three knights in shining armor, who ask if we have the rod. Raul, assuming that they're referring to whatever was in the chest we did not open, explains that we left the rod, and pulls out his list of what he identified, showing them that there's no rod there. The knights exclaim in dismay that we were supposed to have gotten the rod, and that we must destroy the rod. When pressed for details, the knights vanish, and we continue on. The general consensus is that they were member of the Urthon Aedar, who are known for doing that sort of thing - mysterious appearances and disappearance, random demands (and sometimes acts of violence), and general lack of explanations. It does look like we'll need to go back and deal with the last chest, however, assuming we survive the meeting with creepy green winged guy and his cronies. And towards that end, James and Johan do a bit of shopping with their new found wealth (3074 gp).

Also, prior to the evening's activities, we decide to drop by on the Fateweavers and see if we can find out what's up, and maybe talk to Phon. The lady had given us a contact and address, so we headed over, talked to the centaur contact, and then to the higher ups. We found out a bit about why the fateweavers are up in arms about kids with certain marks (they believe that if enough people with that mark exist in the world, it's all over). We talk to Phon (and very carefully do not let on that we have the kid, nor that the Fateweavers plan to kill it, as Phon only knows that he vanished after delivery).

Previous Ptolus writeups:

Stayed up too late with Avalon again. I wasn't using that brain for anything, right?

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9 August 2013 - Friday

It's Friday, but I'm on call, and no one knows how to get rid of the space penguins, so people will be working over the weekend. Sadly, managers will be trying to help.

After reading volume 2 of Hawkeye (Matt Fraction, David Aja), "Little Hits", all I can think is that Batman would never put up with that crap even though he doesn't have any powers either. (On the other hand, he has money, which usually doesn't hurt.)

Transhuman is the player's guide for Eclipse Phase, and although it does have some elements of escalation guide (lots more morphs, mostly), it also has a large section on semi-random lifepath-based character generation, and chapters on what it is like to grow up as an AGI or an uplift or a person with a muse in a post-scarcity economy. Since I still hope to eventually write Eclipse World, this is all useful to me. (Avalon is poly, so she does not take up all my evenings, so in theory I could still do stuff if I had less blblblblblbl after work.)

Twelve paws!

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8 August 2013 - Thursday

Curse you, space penguins!

Avalon and Marith finally met, and approve of each other. Whew!

Also, Avalon and I are officially dating, or at least Internet-dating.

Codex Born (Jim C Hines) is the sequel to Libriomancer, about magicians who pull things out of books. It is still awesome, but might suffer a little from middle-book-itis, in that there is not as much new exciting stuff, and the various plot threads have not collided head-on yet.

Bonus points awarded for functioning but not perfect poly relationship.

Twelve paws!

Dating! by Avalon (Mon Aug 12 16:41:35 2013)

It is nice to be officially dating! =)

Re: Dating! by Trip (Mon Aug 12 19:15:03 2013)

It is! But also bemusing.

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7 August 2013 - Wednesday

Given the failure of even people who are intimately familiar with the code and also smart to figure out what is wrong with this customer, I am now blaming the performance issues on space penguins.

For dinner I had three ribs (with too much barbecue sauce) and about a kilo of edamame. The edamame makes it healthy, right?

The Earthdawn PCs found a voice record of the significant historical NPC from the nonexistified city of Ynys Morgath, which mostly told them things about history they already knew but also told them which Horrors had eaten the kaer they were in: a wormy one that is terrible at fighting but awesome at raising armies of undead, one that can flay you alive with the power of its mind, and a pack of dopplegangers. That would explain the army of cadavermen blocking access to the rest of the kaer, where one of the keys to Ynys Morgath is probably kept.

Next session: the big fight! The following session: rolling up new characters!

Kitaro (Shigeru Mizuki) is a very cartoony manga about a creepy yet good-hearted yokai which is apparently a seminal part of the Japanese popular image of yokai. It is wackier than many things, and also pretty 60s, but at least in spirit it has the "Shakespeare just strung together a bunch of well-known quotations" factor.

I am deeply embarrassed that I did not get the title of Alien in the House (Gini Koch) until after I had finished the book.

Twelve paws!

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6 August 2013 - Tuesday

This customer issue will never end. I will always be on a Webex nine hours a day. We are all doomed.

Strawberry Panic is fancy-quasi-Catholic-boarding-school yuri, which seems to be a distinct subgenre.

Twelve paws!

doom doom doomedy doom doom de doom by marith (Fri Aug 9 11:19:37 2013)

Sounds like it couldn't hurt to add Gir to the Webex call at this point!

The doom song by Trip (Mon Aug 12 11:45:11 2013)

Especially if his eyes turn red!

I don't know if he's been QA'd against space penguins, but he could probably at least distract them.

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5 August 2013 - Monday

Staying up late seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I am doubting the wisdom of Past Me. Also, the customer is still here, although I have the satisfaction of the obvious thing I didn't think to try having made things worse over the weekend.

I tried to have Avalon and Marith meet, but there is no Marith tonight because she has to do the thing. On the other hand, I got Avalon time. Neener neener!

The Moon Must Be Ours! is an adventure for Cosmic Patrol which manages to be a dungeon crawl, although still with rayguns.

I want to like CP, but (from reading through it -- I haven't played it) it seems to wallow too much in the parts of the pulp space genre that are bad. Maybe I should try to play it at a con or something.

Twelve paws!

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4 August 2013 - Sunday

Today my biggest accomplishment was returning a Link+ book to MV for Ayse and getting her the same book without the Link+ overhead. Or maybe it was staying up until one million o'clock with Avalon.

Night's Black Agents is Kenneth Hite's GUMSHOE-based game of renegade spies vs the international vampire conspiracy in modern Europe. The vampires and their conspiracy are deliberately undefined; most of the GM section is about creating vampires and a conspiracy to confuse and appall your players. There is also stuff about making a city for spy adventures (from whatever mix of fact and fiction you please), which I should probably consider for preparing Immortal Empire adventures.

Paper Valentine is less fantastic in genre than Brenna Yovanoff first two novels, but reasonably awesome in quality, and full of angst and creepiness.

Twelve paws which want to snuggle instead of going away and letting me sleep.

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3 August 2013 - Saturday

People did not make me be extra on-call!

For brunch, pancakes. For dinner, salad and more salad. Ken is still okay by me.

  • Cross Game 17-18: Now that the big bad has been driven off, it's time for character development and/or infighting among the PCs. Possibly one is just a subset of the other.
  • Persona4 15: I suppose the school trip episode is mandatory.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 6: They continue to zoom through the plot of the original series. Hopefully we will get new content soon.
  • Steins;Gate 17-18: I don't know what it means that other people are being infected, but probably nothing good. Even if it does seem to be buffering the SAN loss.

The original ending of Scott Pilgrim is way better than the movie version.

Yes, Aspen, I'm back. Muahahahahaha!

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2 August 2013 - Friday

Another nine hours of Webex, but at least it is Friday now!

Up to volume 5 in Scott Pilgrim. Why am I not this awesome?

Twelve paws of awesomeness!

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1 August 2013 - Thursday

Spent four hours on a Webex with the customer that has become a problem, had half an hour to think, "I should eat lunch", then back on my head for another four hours. Fortunately I am in no danger of starving to death, and I am already grumpy.

Now that Avalon is reading Scott Pilgrim, I should reread it too. Because it is awesome!

These cats are also awesome, or maybe fuzzy.

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