Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 July 2016 - Sunday

Today, less failure!

Jeremy started running Princes of the Apocalypse, and I think it went very well. At least, when we had to quit, I wanted to play more, which is usually a good sign.

Our hapless first-level trouble-makers were:

  • Rimardo (CG human bard) wandering performer and con artist
  • Hazel (LG halfling ranger) probably not actually raised by wolves
  • Akrá (CG dragonborn fighter) nonbinary younger offspring of a noble family
  • Lamthanc (CN lamia paladin) raised by a temple of moon-worshipping elven werewolves

It's a published module, so I probably shouldn't spoil, but bandits were successfully fought, debts paid down, and creepy mysteries poked with a stick, and Lam only got hit in the head with a tree once!

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30 July 2016 - Saturday

More failure today. I texted Marith at the appointed time, but then she had to stop to get sunscreen and then we had to go back for towels, and so Ken and Dave and Jus and Nonni ended up in Santa Cruz and we ended up in traffic. After spending an hour and a half to get from downtown Willow Glen to downtown Los Gatos, we gave up and went back north very quickly. Apparently the people who aren't hampered by my stupidity had a great time at the beach.

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29 July 2016 - Friday

This has not been a successful day. I tried to go to diabetic class, but whoever made the appointment set me up for a consultation, which is not a productive use of anyone's time. At least I didn't get charged for it, but I still had to trundle around in the thermions, and now I have to go to a different office on two different days in a couple of weeks.

Then we tried to have a meeting to brief Big Customer E on all the work we did for them, but the customer contact was only on the phone, so he would be unable to admire Coworker C's stunning visual aids (not a euphemism) and we had to reschedule for next week.

While not accomplishing anything at all ever, I have been reading gaming blogs by people who play OSR/Weird Fiction games like Lamentations of the Flame Princess (or really any D&D variant if you're warped enough) and sulking that no one wants to play Dungeon World with me. I'm sure there are many worthy ones on the Internets, but I currently like Last Gasp Grimoire (sadly not updated since last year) and gloomtrain. Ghost cities! Clerics of freaky gods! Body horror! Sex, Drugs, and Fallen Angels!

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28 July 2016 - Thursday

Finally, there is 13th Age again! However, Grant has joined the Move-To-Inconvenient-Places club, so can no longer join us. We are back down to four.

Marith came to hang out with us (and pick on me) because she was tried of being at home and despondent about looking for work even though her phone scream probably went perfectly well.

This session, Anwë ruined her reputation with unnatural vegetation, snubbed dwarves, and plotted to increase her own power by upholding someone's claim to a misty ruin (was it misty before? does it matter?). Ktangs got embroiled in the current infighting of the ministry he used to run, but there were corpse walkers. Vaatu just lost his pants. Then there was an assassination attempt, which failed but probably presages violence to come.

No loot?!

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26 July 2016 - Tuesday

I win at Little Alchemy!

If there is a less meaningful accomplishment in the world, I am not aware of it.

now you are! by marithlizard (Fri Jul 29 18:45:32 2016)

You're welcome. :)

Re: now you are! by Trip (Fri Jul 29 22:03:08 2016)

Highly debatable! At least he did something that hadn't been done before!

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25 July 2016 - Monday

Now I have reached my writing quota for the month. It is, naturally, all terrible.

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24 July 2016 - Sunday


For an assortment of individual reasons, the party was only about half the size it usually is, but that's still quite a few people. I ate too much junk food. Everyone said the baby plesiosaur tea infuser was adorable.

Jeremy was planning to run ToEE in D&D5E, but then Earl told him about Princes of the Apocalypse, which apparently is ToEE already updated for D&D5E. Apparently this makes it okay to play a lamia from Unlikely Heroes 5E. Hurray for terrible (yet pretty) snake monsters!

Arabella of Mars (David D Levine) is set in alternate Regency in which interplanetary space is full of air and Newton discovered hot air balloons instead of universal gravitation. Young woman, family tragedy, disguised as a boy, shipboard life, native uprising, the usual. It seems like this is supposed to be the first of a series, so perhaps future books will show the other planets.

I still like The Ancient Magus' Bride (Kore Yamazaki) as of volume 5. I can only imagine how much better it must be to someone who is not already familiar with British faerie lore.

Giant Days is written by John Allison, but the art is by different people (in vol 1-2, combinations of Lissa Treiman, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar), which is a bit weird. Still, Esther de Groot (and her new roommates) in college!

Writing: FAIL.

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23 July 2016 - Saturday

Getting to the new Monkeycat Mountain is not as much of a pain as Google Maps tried to make it, but still pretty annoying. I guess it's not as annoying as getting to Monkeycat Towers from Mountain View, but I am still sullen.

The sub-genius at the Apple store gave Dave the wrong adapter, but the AV system worked and we had discs, so anime went better than last week.

  • Bakemonogatari 13: Yay catgirl!
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion 20-21: They retrieved Shinji, but I don't think they're going to be able to retrieve Kaji. Also, Ritsuko's and Misto's shady past.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal 7-8: Now all the inner senshi are together, although Venus clearly knows way more (and different) than she's telling.

Writing: FAIL.

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22 July 2016 - Friday

Avalon is at Wine Night, which probably does not actually involve running naked through the woods and tearing interlopers limb from limb. But it should.

Although the final release is still in the future, I have the text-complete version of Masks: A New Generation to admire. It is pretty much the mirror image of Champions, with concrete mechanics for emotional states and character growth, but leaving superpowers to be handled as seems appropriate during play. It is not a generic supers game: everything is very focused on young heroes finding their identities in a maze of existing relationships, and emotional impacts are much more significant than physical ones. I want to try playing this, but I'm not sure any of the gamers I have would be up for it, for one reason or another.

Well by Avalon (Mon Jul 25 19:38:36 2016)

We tore pizza limb from limb... =)

Re: Well by Trip (Tue Jul 26 09:49:17 2016)

Probably tastier, although not as maenad-like!

Re: Wine Night by marithlizard (Tue Jul 26 10:29:58 2016)

"Classical Pizza Delivery? We'd like a large Maenad, please. Yes, we understand that the toppings will vary based on the bystanders. Right, of course the Bottomless Cornucopia drink combo too."

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21 July 2016 - Thursday

Still no gaming, because all Ken's gaming stuff is still packed, and his house is full of boxes.

Just Heroes Redrawn is superheroes PbtA, but it's not particularly well-implemented. I mean, it would probably work, but it doesn't have the elegance of something like Masks where the mechanics all engage with the core elements of the subgenre.

Into the Odd is a fairly minimal OSR-type game centered around the hunt for magic items that don't give plusses but might be combat-useful or just valuable. Naturally, these are found in weird creepy OSR dungeons under weird creepy OSR cities that will probably permanently maim or mutate your character.

Star Wars: Aftermath and Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt are SW franchise books, but they are by Chuck Wendig, who is reasonably awesome. They are set in the turbulent time after the second Death Star has been destroyed, but before the New Republic gains control of the galaxy. The PCs are a random Y-wing pilot from the second Death Star assault, an Imperial who saw the devastation on Endor and realized he could just walk away, a gadgeteer kid with a terrifying robot, and a bounty hunter. Adventure and snark ensue.

Imprudence (Gail Carriger) is the sequel to Prudence, about the children of the "Parasol Protectorate" characters. In many ways, it seems like this book squares everything away, but there are actually plot threads left (plus an unlimited number of opportunities for Rue to lose her clothes).

At the end of Root of Unity (SL Huang), supervillain and action mathematician Cas Russell discovered that her life contains [HUGE SPOILER]. Now, in Plastic Smile, she gets to find out just how awful it is and how completely she's hosed, while enacting a brilliant plan to reduce the LA crime rate which is skyrocketing after her actions in previous books. She is so doomed, but the details are hidden behind a cliffhanger ending. (Next book not due out until next year!)

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19 July 2016 - Tuesday

I also got things done today, because I sat with the person who needed the things all day and we collaborated on them. In between, there was whiffleball, which I completely suck at, and sandwiches, which I devour ferociously.

Today it is tumblr that reminds me my writing is fundamentally awful should no one should do it, ever.

Writing: check.

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18 July 2016 - Monday

For the first time in a long time, I successfully focused on doing a thing, and got quite a lot accomplished at work. I wonder how that happened?

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17 July 2016 - Sunday

No gaming, because Dave is busy with people moving into his house. Instead, I went to see the new Ghostbusters. The busses worked out perfectly (for a change) so I may go see more movies even if no one else wants to/is available to. Ghostbusters 2016 is not the same as the original, but then it is not the 80s and I am not young, so that's fine. I liked it pretty well, and Kate McKinnon definitely puts the Mad in Mad Scientist.

Instead of doing anything useful, I watched some Re:Zero (oh the doom) and Bungo Stray Dogs (oh the doom).

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16 July 2016 - Saturday


Ayse and Ken's old house is full of boxes. Everything is in boxes, except the children and Pierce (Aimee is already at the new house). Sadly, this includes the anime discs we wanted to watch, and Dave's Airbook adapter has finally given up the ghost, so we only have what we can get from Crunchyroll, which is Sailor Moon Crystal.

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3-6: Now they have all the senshi except Venus, which is to say that Usagi's collection of pretty girls is almost complete. And yet, it is still Tuxedo Kamen who carried her off and revealed his secret identity.

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15 July 2016 - Friday

No Avalon, whose manager apparently saved up a bunch of work and then suddenly delegated it right before it's due. Only work and laundry.

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14 July 2016 - Thursday

No gaming, because Ken is moving this weekend and everything he owns is being put into boxes. But, extra Avalon!

Maze of the Blue Medusa is a large (200-odd room) OSR dungeon full of really weird stuff. It makes more sense than A Red and Pleasant Land, probably about as much as Vornheim, and is full of dangerous artwork, cannibal critics, petrified threats to the world, random tables, insane and possibly artistic NPCs, goat-monsters, fish-monsters, knowledge that's forbidden for good reason, bizarre artifacts, obliging cultists, semi-divine idols of ancient empires, lizard-people, and lots more surreality. Even though I don't play OSR, I think I might have to vote it up for the Ennies.

Fever-Dreaming Marlinko and Slumbering Ursine Dunes are also weird OSR, but not as weird or as extensive (seriously, even the city of Marlinko may not be as big as the Maze of the Blue Medusa). They are vaguely Russian or Slavic, with bear gods, boyars, evil gadget-wielding space elves, the Weird encroaching on the world of humanity, strange and unsavory customs, and proselytizing ghouls.

It never came up in the paltry few sessions I ran, but Dungeon World explicitly says that if a monster tears your arm off, that's not just hit point damage that will heal when you make camp or a debility that will heal when you get out of the field, your character now only has one arm (and probably fewer hit points). I never really put this together with the propensity of OSR material for permanently changing characters, but duh. Now I sort of want to run Maze of the Blue Medusa in DW, but it scares me.

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10 July 2016 - Sunday

Because I could, I pushed the PADW adventure to a conclusion. I successfully reincorporated the completely random locust guy from the first session as the end boss and recontextualized the boss fight, and there was a huge fight in which Jeremy's character (the designated champion) died to take out all the fighting locusts except one of the adds. The surviving PCs and locusts agreed to share rulership of the world.

People were okay with Dungeon World overall, but maybe not as enthused as I had hoped (no surprise in Jeremy's case, since DW is about as far as you can get from HERO). The fantasy genre got a thumbs-down, which was surprising, but oh well.

Maybe superheroes next.

I finally got my copy of the final version of Fellowship (in the page-numbers-unsorted-by-printer Collector's Edition). It is still pretty swell, and now also pretty. Perhaps someday, I will play it.

In The Sword Interval (Ben Fleuter), suddenly there are monsters all over the place. Really creepy monsters, which explains the boom in monster hunters, even if most of the best hunters work for one particular megacorp. Man, those monsters are creepy.

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9 July 2016 - Saturday

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion 19: Evas: grosser and more terrifying than you thought.
  • Brother, Dear Brother 32: It's looking bad for Miya, but there are still seven episodes for her to explode or recover.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal 1-2: In this version, at least Usagi tries to do the right thing, even if she still ends up using her sonic attack.
  • Bakemonogatari 12: The date episode! But how does this tie in to it being Hanegawa's arc?

I don't think Marith or Ayse thinks this, or that they meant for me to think it, but listening to them talk about actual good writing makes me realize that I should never write anything again ever.

Writing: FAIL.

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8 July 2016 - Friday

Taking transit to the doctor's office in MV is a huge pain, and I got scolded for not measuring my ichor and generally being better, but it turns out there is an office with a doctor of appropriate specialty in Los Gatos, so perhaps next time it will not be so much of a pain.

No Avalon, she is busy doing a thing.

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7 July 2016 - Thursday

Blah, work. Why must it happen so early in the morning? And require me to think so much?

No gaming, Ken is still moving.

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6 July 2016 - Wednesday

Quite possibly I should be working today, since there is a thing with a deadline, but I already gave myself today off, so I am not working. I am not doing much of anything, in fact.

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5 July 2016 - Tuesday


From wrangling small children in the pool, I conclude that rules lawyering starts early. (This should surprise no one.)

This time, it was Marith's turn to not find everything she had brought with her when we tried to leave. (The books were finally located in the first bag she packed, which had been sitting in the car ready to go while we tore the house apart looking for them.) Fortunately, with two cars, the small creatures could get home at a reasonable hour despite the hubbaballoo.

The cats ate all the old-style food that I left for them and then horked it up all over the carpet, but are otherwise fine.

Celebrated my return to Willow Glen by doing laundry.

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4 July 2016 - Monday

We tried to play Roborally again, but petered out before finishing. We should not have succumbed to the fatal siren call of Circuit Trap!

Jus got to stay up to see the National Explosion Day explosions, because now she might not explode herself tomorrow!

Some evil fiend has infected me with Little Alchemy.

I repent nothing by evil fiend (Wed Jul 13 10:50:03 2016)

Have you made Yoda yet?

Marith is irredeemable by Trip (Wed Jul 13 11:37:48 2016)

No, I thought of it (I did make Darth Vader), but neither of the obvious combinations for Yoda works. I am now going through the combinations exhaustively, so I will get Yoda sooner or later if he exists at all.

yoda by marithlizard (Wed Jul 13 13:28:36 2016)

I sense a disturbance in the force, as though someone will cry "d'oh!" and then fall silent.

Re: yoda by Trip (Wed Jul 13 16:36:44 2016)

I would have gotten there eventually!

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3 July 2016 - Sunday

Still in Roseville. (Cue Concrete Blonde.) Today, swimming. And food. Despite our best efforts, we have not managed to starve to death.

I ran Dungeon World at people, trying to use the superior understanding I have gained through Stack Exchange and the experience of running it for the Palo Alto group. I am not sure how well it worked, since Ken played a barbarian and he is way more metal than me, and also I don't think I had a good grasp on what kind of awful things happen in the Shallow Sea, but evil was somehow defeated and treasure obtained. I wasn't sure how Jason would handle the undefined nature of Dungeon World, but he did fine. Dave had fun being a dragon mage and melting things into money. I only violated the GM's Principles a few (dozen) times.

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2 July 2016 - Saturday

I hope Aspen and Ghirardelli will be okay while I am in Roseville.

Now I am in Roseville. There are friends here, and food, and games. No cats.

How is Kate possibly old enough to go to college?!

Inexplicably, I have won Roborally! Only by one register phase, but a win is a win!

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1 July 2016 - Friday

At least I've done some writing during July.

Space ☆ Dandy (Bones, Sung-Woo Park, Redice, Masafumi Harada) is random silliness in space that suffers from the main character being almost completely unlikeable.

The Root (Na'amen Gobert Tilahun) is in some ways fairly standard: young man discovers that he is one of the descendants of the gods of myth, there are secret organizations built around this phenomenon, monsters from another dimension, etc. However, the extra-dimensional monsters are interestingly superfreaky, much more like aliens than mythical creatures, and not entirely unsympathetic (at least from the other primary viewpoint). Also, almost none of the human characters are either white or straight, never mind both, and the few who are, are mostly not very sympathetic. Apparently the first of a series.

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