Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 November 2016 - Wednesday

After missing a week due to Thanksgiving, we had 13th Age and Thai food again.

We had the fight with the relatively wimpy giants from the castle that got dropped on us, and no one actually died, although people who didn't have Con as their secondary stat almost did. It turns out healers are very useful. Then we forged some work orders and descended into the Maddening Stair, using the giant loot to bribe orcs. Next week, we try to persuade cultists to not get in our way.

The Forever Endeavor (Chuck Wendig) is a little like The Junkie Loser Who Folded Himself, but shorter and grittier and more full of doom. It's Wendig!

Always be wary of mysterious red boxes with single buttons that look like they came from a philosophical Truth-or-Dare game.

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29 November 2016 - Tuesday

Commuted to the far office, ate Peruvian food, heard about sales stuff (Wait, we're trying to get more customers? Who made that decision?!), commuted home.

I finally reread Foxglove Summer (Ben Aaronovitch). How could I have forgotten the thing, or the other thing, or the thing with Beverly? (Not that thing, the other thing!) Why is the next book not here yet?

Except I am waffling whether to boycott Amazon, which makes buying ebooks somewhat problematic.

Bluescreen (Dan Wells) is not exactly post-cyberpunk, more like cyberpunk with cell phones. But, non-white protagonist, even if there is not a lot of non-straight or non-cis. And the hacking did not make me hiss and spit.

NaNoWriMo: 1572, terrible and final. I got a good ending point, so I ended Nefertari vs. The Minotaur's Maze. By my count, it was 43570 words; NaNoWriMo says 43562.

If I had not gone to gaming during November, or if I had not gone to Thanksgiving, I could have made it. If I had not been lame the first two days, I might have been close enough to make it by today anyway.

Next year, 50,000 for sure!

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28 November 2016 - Monday

Wait, I have to go to work again? I thought I finished that level!

Grocery shopping on Monday evening is even more annoying than Sunday morning. The store is full of humans, and everything is sold out.

NaNoWriMo: 1775, terrible. And Wednesday is gaming.

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27 November 2016 - Sunday

Today I tried to write but mostly was useless and a half.

Ghirardelli does not seem as impressed with the cat ball as Pierce. Ah well, at least it's purple.

NaNoWriMo: 2653, tolerable but not enough.

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26 November 2016 - Saturday

Everything was all messed up because of spreading plague among people who meant to go back to college yesterday or today, so we hung around until early afternoon before finally leaving Roseville. I won at 7 Wonders by getting three guilds that exactly matched what my neighbors had been buying since the first epoch. It is a very random game.

I may have tried to eat Jus and Nonni and Elyssa in the park again.

On the way home: year 2 of Welcome to Night Vale! Er, not all of it. But some of it.

The cats are fine, but apparently I didn't leave them enough food. Ghirardelli is glad to have snuggles and gooshyfood.

NaNoWriMo: 2110, acceptable, but not enough to make up for five days of nothing.

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25 November 2016 - Friday

Leftovers! Also, taking kids to the park and trying to horribly devour them again. It builds character, right? (I feel more sympathy for Jeremy's complaints that we always change the rules to make him lose. "Safety cars," hmph!)

While waiting for kids to put their shoes on, or something, I read the first print collection of Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Dana Simpson), a Calvin&Hobbes-like story about a 4th-grade girl and her unicorn who is under no delusion that humans are in any way comparable to unicorns.

I got some manga at the comics and games store, but Ken got an actual game, Tzolk'in and then crushed us all at it. I think it may fall into the same category as Race for the Galaxy, where you have to get a rhythm going or you will be crushed like an insect.

In the evening, Galaxy Quest, because Marith had somehow not seen it! (No gaming because no one felt up to running.)

NaNoWriMo: 0, complete failure.

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24 November 2016 - Thursday

Ugh, forgot to send money to the NoDAPL folks in apology for that whole "give a white man corn and he eats for a day, teach him to grow corn and he kills you and takes your land" thing. I'll have to do that when I get home.

Anyway, yum, food. So much food. I did not eat as much as I used to, though. I must be getting old!

Because we visitors hadn't seen it, we had to be shown the second Captain America movie, Winter Soldier. It was pretty good, for a comic-book movie, and the idea of Nazis in high government office is oddly topical.

I tried to reread Foxglove Summer (Ben Aaronovitch), but the first page made me realize I didn't remember the end of Broken Homes, so I reread that. It is still awesome, and full of plot development and doom.

NaNoWriMo: 0, complete failure.

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23 November 2016 - Wednesday

Despite the attempts of others to use the public highways, we made it to Roseville with no casualties! We even found a sketchy Mexican burrito joint for Ken to get horrible grease food at.

Everyone in Roseville is alive, but Kate is not enjoying it because she caught some horrible respiratory thing at school. Hopefully the rest of us will not get infected.

Somehow, I won Dominion. I think Cities were involved.

NaNoWriMo: 0, complete failure.

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22 November 2016 - Tuesday

Today there is commuting, but tomorrow is only Zuul vacation.

Are Avalon and I made up now? Not really, but we are not fighting so much, I think.

NaNoWriMo: 0, complete failure.

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21 November 2016 - Monday

Today is Monday, but at least tomorrow is Friday. Then, Roseville! Unless people suddenly come to their senses and disinvite me, I guess.

Team-Ups and Crossovers (Marion G Harmon) takes the superhero Astra into alternate dimensions, including the one from Velveteen vs      by Seanan McGuire, for fun with, well, alternate dimensions. No cognates of people, but all kinds of doom.

I'll pretend it made me work harder on NaNoWriMo instead of making me depressed.

NaNoWriMo: 2071, acceptable.

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20 November 2016 - Sunday

NaNoWriMo: 3772, almost good. It took three writing sessions and thus pretty much the entire day, but I am now actually caught up to 50000 * (20 / 30) words.

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19 November 2016 - Saturday

One of the cleaners lost her keys, so they kept coming back to look for them, thus preventing me from showering in time to catch the super-early bus to shopping, but it all worked out in the end.

Earl and Cat appeared at Monkeycat Mountain for the monthly viewing of Chinese period drama. Also, fish. And Nicki Minaj-branded bubbly with bonus glitter in case Ayse wasn't silly enough.

  • Nirvana in Fire 3-5: Intrigue and skullduggery! Mysterious advisors teaching apparently unqualified people from the palace to do amazing things! Mistranslation of "roofie" in a way that makes me hate either China or the people who translated this! Imperial displeasure!

NaNoWriMo: 1855, tolerable.

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18 November 2016 - Friday

I accidentally stayed up until 35485 o'clock at night reading Scandinavia and the World until I ran out.

NaNoWriMo: 2179, acceptable.

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17 November 2016 - Thursday

Avalon is speaking to me again, kind of.

NaNoWriMo: 2003, acceptable.

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16 November 2016 - Wednesday

Apparently people have moved on to the Dismal Resignation stage of life under the impending Nazi cockwaffle regime, and we can play 13th Age again. Also Ken made roast beef and kale salad. I like kale. It's bitter and probably twisted, like my heart.

This week: a great battle against ever-mutating forest monsters (no, not monsters that live in the forest), and our cleric got suborned and turned into a deer by a huge druidic altar. Then someone dropped a castle full of giants on us.

Extreme Makeover (Dan Wells) was fun, but the science really does not hold together, I don't think. Still, it was an interesting end for humanity (not a spoiler, the chapters are all headed "X days until the end of the world") and not an industry commonly brought up as an existential threat.

("Existential threat" always makes me think of Eclipse Phase, but I don't think this one would really be usable, except maybe as a detail of how Earth got so hosed by the TITANs.)

NaNoWriMo: 540, pathetic.

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15 November 2016 - Tuesday

Penric's Mission (Lois McMaster Bujold) is another novella in the "Penric's Demon" series about a not-so-hapless young scholar and his chaos demon in the same world as Curse of Chalion etc. Penric and Desdemona are pretty awesome.

NaNoWriMo: 2114, acceptable.

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14 November 2016 - Monday


I left work early to have cake and happiness with Nonni and his family. It was good cake.

Over Your Dead Body (Dan Wells) is I think the sixth book in the "John Cleaver" series, but it sadly does not add a lot new to the story. Although the main character works out some of his doom, the nature of the doom (internal or external) does not really change. I mean, I still liked it, but I was hoping for major plot twists.

NaNoWriMo: 1431, terrible.

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13 November 2016 - Sunday

Oops. I didn't send out email asking if we were still gaming this weekend, and so Jeremy forgot. Fortunately, he was able to entertain us with a big set-piece battle, and even persuaded us to trade in our [SPOILER] for something requiring less work on his part to keep us alive. Then we made it back to claim our bond at [SPOILER] and promptly spent it all on armor, and rode past several plot hooks on our way back to the town where we started. Since we had not done anything in that area for several days, they still liked us.

But now, no gaming for three weeks, sniff!

Apparently I am a terrible excuse for a human being (not news), the epitome of the reason humanity can't have nice things (also difficult to argue), and a howling Nazi rage-monster (that one's a surprise). And single.

NaNoWriMo: 2169, acceptable.

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12 November 2016 - Saturday

As usual, I meant to do things, but mostly failed.

  • Durarara!!x2 7: I wonder when Russia will stop being the standard source of villains? When everyone who remembers Putin is dead, I guess. ("There are 10 types of Ivans from Russia, those who understand binary...")
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell 5: I don't remember any of this "King's Roads" stuff from the book, but that doesn't mean anything. It seems to be working well in this context, anyway.
  • Nekomonogatari 4: That's one way to deal with an energy-sucking cat spirit in lingerie! But maybe not permanently, since the next arc is "Tsubasa Tiger".
  • Sailor Moon Crystal 19: Yay Pluto!

NaNoWriMo: 385, pathetic.

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11 November 2016 - Friday

Veteran's Day, so no work. (We get all the holidays off.) I meant to accomplish things, but mostly not so much.

Romancing the Inventor (Gail Carriger) is short lesbian romance set a couple of years after the end of the "Parasol Protectorate" series. Awwww.

NaNoWriMo: 2251, decent.

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10 November 2016 - Thursday

The Towers, The Moon (Andrea K Höst) is a collection of short stories following the characters of The Pyramids of London in France, which has been conquered not by ancient gods but by moon(?) faeries(?). It is weird and has low-gravity decadence and strange games and intrigue, anyway. I liked the stories well enough, but I am waiting impatiently for the next book!

NaNoWriMo: 1683, almost acceptable.

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9 November 2016 - Wednesday

No 13th Age, only sadness (carefully not talked about to avoid excess alcohol consumption), Persian food*, and Lords of Waterdeep** 7 Wonders. As usual, I came in dead last, because I am terrible at science.

*Probably soon to be outlowed as Terrorist™ Chow.

**Cancelled because Mike didn't have his reading glasses and LoWD is full of text in a very small font. Also the gaming space is not that well-lit, although it seems fine most of the time.

I feel a little bad about being upset about the election, as I'm in the class that the New Regime wants to re-exalt on the back of all the others. I'm not the one being told I should die for having sex (women), or using the bathroom (trans), or getting sick (poor), or driving a car (black). In some narrow game theoretic-sense, it could possibly even have been to my advantage to support Trump — except that I'm not a FUCKING NAZI COCKWAFFLE! (Accusations of normal, democratic, cockwaffledom not disputed.)

NaNoWriMo: 464, pathetic. The time was probably sacrificed in a good cause, but still. Ayse suggested a way out of my lack of plot, which is not the sort of story I thought I was writing, but maybe it is what I should do anyway.

Fucking Nazi Cockwaffle by Jeremy (Thu Nov 10 18:07:37 2016)

I'm stealing that.

What the hell, America?

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8 November 2016 - Tuesday

As usual, I wasted my vote-by-mail opportunity, but this time I did not go to the far office on Election Tuesday and so was able to deposit my ballot in an appropriate receptacle. This had better work.

NaNoWriMo: 2017, acceptable. I managed to find a way out of the corner I had written myself into, although I am still afraid I have already used up all the plot.

It didn't work. What the fuck, Americans? What is wrong with you? Other than being medieval-minded fucktards who would blast your nose off with a shotgun to spite your face, I mean.

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7 November 2016 - Monday

Today I was annoyed at all kinds of things, but then I got Avalonhugs and that made it okay.

NaNoWriMo: 1746, tolerable.

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6 November 2016 - Sunday

PAD&D5! This session was mostly taken up by shopping and planning, and one fight in which we almost died, and would have if the GM hadn't been going easy on us. These [SPOILER]s are cool, but probably not worth the trouble and extra risk. Also, more orcs.

Battle Rabbits (Ameichi) is meh shounen, although at least the primary female character keeps her clothes on for two whole volumes (and possibly more, I wouldn't know).

NaNoWriMo: 2029, acceptable.

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5 November 2016 - Saturday

For Marith's birthday celebration, we went to Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl and bowled in an aquatic theme (our bowling lanes had an alligator maw for the ball return). I came in a solid second vs Dave, Earl, and Marith, and probably would have even if a small child from the adjacent lane hadn't robbed me of 1d10-1 points. Nonni had a blast, and wants to go there for his birthday party.

The food was meh, alas, although it aspired to be interesting (EG, mac and cheese with buffalo-spiced alligator). Next time, we will know better.

  • Durarara!!x2 5-6: This is not going to go well.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell 4: I guess we are halfway through the series, so it's not too soon for the major conflicts to be heating up.
  • Nekomonogatari 3: Villainous dialogue! With lingerie!

NaNoWriMo: 1285, terrible.

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4 November 2016 - Friday

We had a Diwali party at work today. Sadly, the restaurant we wanted to get Indian food from suffered a tragic infrastructure failure, so we had to get different, more standard Indian food. It was still very tasty. We also did rangoli; I will spare you an image of my output.

I forgot to ask why the Indian celebration of light overcoming darkness isn't closer to the solstice. My mouth must have been full.

NaNoWriMo: 2223, acceptable.

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3 November 2016 - Thursday

No Avalon, only doom.

NaNoWriMo: 1927, acceptable.

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2 November 2016 - Wednesday

Pizza and 13th Age! But we had no Mike, which both reduced our volume and meant we had to break earlier, so although we found out about several side quests in the opposite direction from where we really need to go, we did not manage to actually go anywhere.

My theory is that Li's wife is possessed by Shiraz. We have no idea whether this is a recoverable condition.

NaNoWriMo: 362, pathetic.

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1 November 2016 - Tuesday

Godbound is kind of a combination of Scarlet Heroes, Exalted, and 13th Age, which works surprisingly well. (Okay, I haven't played it, but I enjoyed reading it.) A thousand years ago, humans advanced to the point where they could make gods. Since gods are inherently ideological, this worked out even better than you'd think. After some time of not being able to exterminate all the infidels, someone decided to go lay their case before the Creator, no one else could allow a Divine Mandate Gap, and Heaven was duly stormed (over the bodies of the protesting angels). Then the Throne was found to be empty ready for a new Ruler of All, and people really got excited. There may have been some property damage. Cut to the present day, when the remains of the world are slowly decaying due to the celestial engines having been trashed, letting monsters and evil wizards ravage the landscape as crops fail and kings go mad. But now, people are suddenly manifesting divine powers!

Starting PCs get to pick three divine words, like Sun, Fertility, Night, or Knowledge, from a list of a couple dozen, which each get them one ongoing power (life support, darkvision, etc) or let them bump up one stat and make a set of lesser and greater gifts available for purchase, and then can buy six lesser gifts, three greater, or some equivalent combination, from their words. The gifts are quite strong: fly, turn invisible, travel across the world on foot in a day, control minds, strike lesser foes dead, walk through walls, set armies on fire, the usual demigod stuff. Plus, the basic mechanics are similar to Scarlet Heroes, which gives every PC the ability to take out one or two normal thugs every round as a free action. This is not a good game to be a normal human combatant in.

Skills are handled as flat stat checks, but characters have free-form facts (three to start with) about their background, training, etc that give a +4 to any relevant checks.

How much magic you can be doing at once is governed by an interesting twist on the encounter/daily mechanic from D&D4. Characters have some (two to start with) points of Effort, which get committed to various powers. For some, the effect lasts as long as the Effort is committed; when you reclaim the Effort, the effect ends and you can do something else with the Effort. However, for some short-term or instant powers, you can't reclaim the Effort until the end of the scene or even the end of the day (effectively, short or long rest, with actual resting not required because some godbound have the word of Endurance).

Like most Crawford games, Godbound is intended for sandbox campaigns, so all the GMing advice revolves around just-in-time prep, the bestiary has simple generic monster stats for reusability, etc.

The default setting of one continent surrounded by a little ocean and then everything else fallen away into Uncreated Night has the standard pesudo-Rome, pseudo-China, pseudo-Italian city-states, and pirate islands, then diverges into pseudo-Russia with robot overlords, hydroponic Egyptians, the jungle where the products of many nations' secret god-creation labs rule over the descendents of the mad scientists and staff, the place that used to be a country until just a little while go when a bunch of Night Roads opened and covered the landscape with monsters, and the one island that still has an early-C21 standard of living but everything runs on broadcast power from machines that they can barely maintain and won't be able to repair. (See above about the celestial engines that sustain the world having been smashed by barbarians.) Doom is everywhere, but maybe a pantheon of godbound can fix things.

Because I backed the kickstarter, I got the deluxe edition, which has additional material on things like variant godbound (shapeshifting-based, fate-based, and elemental-based, in case the resemblence to Exalted wasn't clear enough), mortal PCs, cyberware (doesn't really work on godbound), and martial arts for mortals and supernaturals.

NaNoWriMo: 1101, well below par.

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