Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 November 2018 - Friday

Words: 177.

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29 November 2018 - Thursday

We tried watching some Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but apparently Marith has gone off it.


Because I'm still not very sensible, I was thinking about aliens and inventing details of the star dragons and their three life stages of which the middle one is playable, but then I realized that's not the indie way. Give the players just the core, and some leading questions about what's probably important, and let them go from there.

"Dozens of non-sapient (but adorable) juveniles of your species merged to form you. You are larger and stronger than most sophonts, even humans, but without the hyperactive need for constant motion. The right single action at the right moment is more effective than any amount of warm-blooded scurrying, and in the meantime, there is contemplation to be done. Someday, if you live long enough, if you are worthy, the correct action will be to merge with thousands of others to form a star dragon, glorious and terrible and with concerns that your present self cannot imagine."

"Questions: What is your species like? Reptilian? Insectile? Crab-like? Amphibian? Pick two capabilities you have: (list of things like natural weaponry, really big, breath underwater, etc). How do the juveniles live? Who takes care of them? Juveniles can do something you can't; what lost ability do you miss? Who decides when you are worthy to ascend? How do they judge you? How do they decide who you will merge with? What mystery of the universe is associated with the star dragons?"

Only, you know, better written.


Words: 245.

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28 November 2018 - Wednesday

No 13th Age, Ken is sick. Neither Marith nor I is, so probably it's not something he got from Roseville? Who knows, though.


Oh, that's how the doom of Over the Garden Wall is resolved. Well, okay, then!


Bring the Fire (Craig Schaefer) wraps up the "Wisdom's Grave" trilogy and in fact brings all four of the author's fantasy/horror serieses to a conclusion in which all mysteries are explained and many villains get their comeuppance. It is a little too concrete and mundane in some ways for the subject matter, but it does wrap things up, and set up for a vast future of [SPOILER] and [SPOILER] and despair, so that's... good?


Words: 220. Maybe it will work better this way?

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27 November 2018 - Tuesday

Words: 211, still meh.

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26 November 2018 - Monday

Boo, Monday!


Hurray, Avalon! Although her life is very frustrating because of humans.


Hurray, Mars Mole!


Marith and I managed to watch the next four episodes of Over the Garden Wall. Wait, there are only like two more?! But, the doom! How will the doom be resolved?


Because I am very foolish, I had to think about better ways to do Starfinder. I mean, other than just taking all the D&D out.

D&D is always, "humans can be any class, can have a bonus to any stat are super-diverse, but nah. If other species have to be stereotyped, then humans are space orcs. Give them extra hit points or harm slots or whatever, or let them keep rampaging for a bit after being mortally wounded, or both, and maybe some extra strength; they already have the belief that honor and glory come from murdering other sophonts and the inability to form bonds with anyone they haven't met in person.

Since all other species are being made up from whole cloth, we can add to the effect by making them some combination of smaller, more physically specialized, or less vigorous than humans. Like, a giant lizard alien that's stronger than human would be okay if it were also pretty torpid. Oh, and any specialization should not be long-distance running, let humans have one bonus that's not murder-related.

It's no longer the 1950s, so we don't have to believe that the 6' tall, strong-jawed American man is the evolutionary optimum all other planets vainly strive for, but probably playable species should be somewhat humanlike. (Rats with flamethrowers, for example.) Since we're in the fantasy genre, we can blame this on supernatural forces (which also shortens the timeline so it's reasonable to have comparable species coexisting). Maybe the Universal Mother Goddess has a face like a human's (for compatability with existing fantasy art, probably breasts too). Maybe the stars in the local cluster formed from a nebula with a high concentration of the Man rune. Maybe the Ancients put like with like when they stocked habitable planets so that every species would have somewhat compatible neighbors. Etc.

Ugh, too much thinking about something no one cares about! Blargh.


Words: 258, but meh.

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25 November 2018 - Sunday

I did some shopping and stuff, like a responsible adult, but nothing interesting.


Words: 159.

Weekly total: 595, but it was only a fraction of a week.

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24 November 2018 - Saturday

Roseville Thanksgiving! As usual, Al and Sherilyn were wonderful hosts, and I was a mediocre guest.

Besides the important events of eating ridiculous amounts of food and taking kids to the park, we played Azul (I'm still terrible at it) and Roll for the Galaxy (still terrible at this too), and broke open and played Sagrada (a new thing to be terrible at). Some people played Gloomhaven, but it only has room for four players, so I read Lies Sleeping.

Marith played a little bit of games with us, but mostly she slept. She was better at sleeping than me, though, so I can't complain.

On Friday night, Robert ran the Sentinel Comics RPG quickstart adventure with pregen characters. It went pretty well! The system is simple and not rigorous, about like Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (from which I suspect it is partially descended), and also like any of the Marvel RPGs, it seems intended mostly for playing characters from the comics, written up by the developers. It's just that the Sentinels comics don't actually exist. Anyway, many spiderbots were defeated and a good time was had by all. (I am terrible at playing a speedster/gadgeteer, but in a different way than I am terrible at board games. Or maybe the same way.)

Because he is into Pathfinder, Al had the Starfinder core book lying around and Dave, Ken, and I all flipped through it to varying degrees. The cover art has a rat with a flamethrower, which is promising, and the game does have some ideas that are not terrible at first glance, like the bug people who are a defective offshoot of the Hive-Mind Space Locust Menace, and the star/black hole-themed space paladin class, and hyperdrive that tears pieces off other planes, but it also has hit points per level and spell slots per day and endless lists of weapons and feats which are almost all useless because there are only a handful of optimal builds. Space fantasy could be interesting, but not if I have to slog through D&D to do it. (Scum and Villainy would probably work with little change if you didn't mind the mission-oriented structure.) Also, more game designers need to read tumblr so they don't feel obliged to make stereotypical hulking lizard guys with a brutal yet somehow honorable warrior culture to be space orcs when humans fill that niche perfectly.

I thought I was doing okay after about two days of sleeping not in my own bed, but then I yelled at Ken over something completely trivial. Probably this means I should always stay home and never visit again.

When I got home, I actually had energy like you're supposed to after a vacation! But I used it all on chores and saving Marith from a giant bug.


Lies Sleeping (Ben Aaronovitch) is the seventh and apparently last of the "Rivers of London" series. At least, it wraps up the plot threads from the first book until now, even though there is clearly a lot of other stuff that is or could be happening in that world. A series with Abigail, and maybe witch girl from the sixth book and some of the younger rivers who are not down with the status quo, could be awesome.


Words: VACATION.

Useful and important by marithlizard (Wed Nov 28 19:31:14 2018)

Saving me from the giant bug was EXTREMELY important and useful! And I did worse than you at the games we played, so nyah, or something. And Robert seemed very happy about the Sentinels game, so you were a good enough player to support rather than traumatize the relatively inexperienced GM :)

Re: Useful and important by Trip (Thu Nov 29 13:23:29 2018)

It was definitely a very impressive bug.

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20 November 2018 - Tuesday

Last Dragon Standing (Rachel Aaron) wraps up the "Heartstriker" series. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying it is pretty much a happy ending, but there is a lot of drama where one failed roll could have ruined everything. Also, there may be mushy stuff.

The new "Rivers of London" book is out, so I reread The Hanging Tree (Ben Aaronovitch) to make sure I'm ready. Oh, that's how that worked out, right!


Words: 222.

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19 November 2018 - Monday

Out of a probably self-destructive desire to not miss too much work, I took the earliest eye doctor appointment I could, which meant getting up an hour and a half early. This did not lead to keeping my eyes wide open, but eventually they were certified as "no worse than expected" which really is probably about the most I could have hoped for.

Now I can try to get glasses that are not ancient and terrible. (I don't need my eyewear to be +10 levels, really.)


A Dragon of a Different Color (Rachel Aaron) is the fourth book in the "Heartstrikers" series. The antagonists' plans are really getting going now, but most of the book is cosmology and talking to spirits, so that's cool.


Words: 214.

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18 November 2018 - Sunday

No gaming, only Zuul. And a new microwave.


Since we're all caught up on The Good Place, Marith and I watched the first four episodes of Over the Garden Wall. Well, that was spooky. And also nonsensical. And what's up with the turtles?


The second omnibus of Dragon Half (Ryusuke Mita), containing the original volumes 3-4, continues well past where the anime ended and not very productively. It seems like side quests on side quests, which offer lots of room for gags, but at least the in the previous omnibus it seemed like the gags were in service of something.


Words: 147.

Weekly total: 1113.

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17 November 2018 - Saturday

Nonny's wish for his birthday dinner was sushi with videos and capsules, and so that is what we did! Then he got presents and also cake!

  • Sailor Moon Super S 131-132: More monsters oppressing girls' beautiful dreams, but it does them no good. As usual, the biggest threat to Sailor Moon's success is Usagi.
  • Non Non Biyori 4: Wow, an airplane!
  • My Hero Academia 53-56: Apparently there's a reason UA has the reputation it does. (And it's all because Eraserhead is such a tsundere.)

Words: 181.

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16 November 2018 - Friday

Yay, more The Good Place! In 3.7 and 3.8, we get to see how weird humans are, how annoying demons are, and how awesome Janet is.


Words: 139.

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15 November 2018 - Thursday

Ken lured me to play Gloomhaven, but although we successfully defeated a large map full of annoying monsters at difficulty +1, it took until almost 23:00. This just does not work.


Minimum Wage Magic (Rachel Aaron) is the first of a spinoff series from the series about the dragons in a not-at-all-Shadowrun future of returned magic. Mostly it is about a young mage with a complicated backstory trying to make her way in the sketchy city-of-no-laws. There is a hot guy, and also annoying loan terms.


Prism is a hard game to describe. It's very simple and diceless, everyone is merperson and probably queer, it's about conflict resolution and relationships, the art is sexy (because yes, that kind of relationship is definitely included) but too abstract to be NSFW. It is not an action-adventure game.


Words: 141.

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14 November 2018 - Wednesday

Once again, it is time for 13th Age and Indian food!

This session was spent entirely in exploration of a creepy cave city full of magical nonsense and deranged cultists. We're pretty sure it's the right place, we just need to figure out what to do to it.


Words: 144.

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13 November 2018 - Tuesday

Ghirardelli has been off his feed a bit lately, so Marith helped me cart him to the vet. Highways are difficult, but we made it eventually, and Ghirardelli was very well-behaved and did not give the vet or the vet-techs any trouble at all. (Because he is an excellent kitty.)

Now his neck lump is drained, and tomorrow we will know the results of his blood work, and he did eat some when we got home, so probably he will be okay.


Words: 206.

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12 November 2018 - Monday

It's Veterans' Day (or Remembrance Day, if you're in a country that prefers peace to war), so no work for me. Instead I went shopping, and then went shopping some more. Now my clothes have a better place to live than a laundry hamper. Also I had to throw away a bunch of old clothes, so they are no longer taking up space in my closet.

It's Holiday Candy Season at Trader Joe's.


Words: 155.

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11 November 2018 - Sunday

The air is still full of smoke, so Dave and I walked less briskly to PAD&D5, but were not overrun by fires.

As the Heroines of Red Larch finally emerge from the depths, their new friend [SPOILER] is surprised to be abducted for a talking-to by [SPOILER], but it's not really the Heroines' problem. They hardly knew the guy!

Their great tour of the planes of existence has returned them a couple of days before they were banished, so the Heroines consider averting the whole somewhat embarrassing episode, but decide to leave the fabric of time intact for now and instead head for Red Larch, where they know trouble is about to happen.

Fortunately, Red Larch has levelled up militarily since the Heroines first visited, but unfortunately, the trouble knows that Red Larch has Heroines, and has laid a clever ambush for them. As the Heroines approach the gate, suddenly EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE! This is extremely inconvenient in many ways, but although things look bad for a bit, the Heroines manage to defeat the enemy leaders and the ambush falls apart. The town is saved! (More saved than it would have been on its own, anyway.)

After an all-night victory party (long rests are for wimps!), the Heroines head out to rescue the village that was taken when they were banished. Surely the enemy will not expect them to attack immediately after the banishment!

Next session is 2018-12-02, it looks like.


Words: 166.

Weekly total: 1237. Ugh.

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10 November 2018 - Saturday

No shopping, only sleepiness. And pizza.


  • Sailor Moon Super S 130: Oh yeah, they claimed points for that DNPC, didn't they?
  • Non Non Biyori 3: To a farmer, all kids are free labor, doesn't matter whose they are.
  • My Hero Academia 50-52: We didn't get to see Froppy's ultimate move! Maybe next time, when they take the provisional test.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.10: Can a Magical Girl keep both love and chuunibyo in her heart? Will we get the poly ending?

Words: 149.

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9 November 2018 - Friday

Today the office celebrated Diwali, which means free Indian food, but also a lot of people being loud and festive, so meh.


The life of an Avalon is always intense! Possibly because she works for an organization that employs humans.


Words: 116.

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8 November 2018 - Thursday

My plan for this evening was to play Gloomhaven with Ken and Dave and Brooks, but then President* Shithead tried to obstruct justice again.

In theory I should have been able to ride the light rail right to downtown, but in fact there was a problem with the electrons and a lot of messing around with bus bridges. I blame Republicans for this too. But almost everyone on the train was going to the rally.

Despite that, the rally was not very big, only a few hundred people (I think), but it was 17:00 on a weekday with one day's notice, so that's not surprising. Also, fuck Trump and his entire unqualified grifty mob.

The rally broke up by 18:00, so I went to Monkeycat Mountain after all, and ate leftovers and waited for Brooks to show up and eventually played Gloomhaven late into the night. We could totally have done that adventure at level 2.


Words: 124.

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7 November 2018 - Wednesday

Now that Halloween is safely past, it's time for Thai food and 13th Age!

Despite the confusion spell and general horribleness of the battle, the PCs did much better this time than last time they faced the giant golem of lasers and death. Victory! Long rest! Incremental advance!

Also there was more discussion of Mike's upcoming 13G campaign, which sounds like it is going to be extremely railroady.


I finally got caught up with the "Laundry Files" series so I could read The Labyrinth Index (Charles Stross), but sadly I did not like it as much as the past few. Mhari is not as engaging a narrator as Bob or Mo or even Alex, the whole thing felt like a complete sidequest, and what we were shown at the heart of the OPA was not horrifying enough to support how they've been built up. Maybe [SPOILER] being in charge makes everything worse even on a meta level.


Words: 177.

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6 November 2018 - Tuesday

I gave in and signed up for a real Hulu account so we can keep watching The Good Place. 3.5 and 3.6 are still good. I'm not sure whose family is worst, but they are, indeed, all fucked up in different ways.


Words: 193.

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5 November 2018 - Monday

Date with Avalon! For very sedate values of "date" because I am old and it is late at night for her and also because Internet.


Reread The Delirium Brief (Charles Stross), in which the enemy scores a critical hit using Bureaucracy skill. Now I am ready to start The Labyrinth Index again!


Words: 312. That's something, I guess?

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4 November 2018 - Sunday

Wow, my leg that I banged up last week is a remarkable shade of purple now.


Today all I did was reread The Annihilation Score (the one from Mo's PoV) and The Nightmare Stacks (the one partly from Alex's PoV). Only one to go before I can start on the new one!

I guess this is what they call resting, but it's terribly unproductive. Worse than usual, I mean.


Words: 123. I realized I should have done something different from the beginning, but don't want to go back and change the existing chapters (and not only because I don't know how to count that against my quota). I guess I'll just go forward as though the changes have been made and pretend like there could be a rewrite later?

Weekly total: 1302. Bad trend.

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3 November 2018 - Saturday

Hurray for weekend routine! Boo for being a person who like routine!


Hurray for apple cider chicken!


  • Sailor Moon Super S 128-129: A pegacorn! Dead Moon Circus! A new round of soul extractions begins!
  • Non Non Biyori 2: Did they ever figure that out?
  • My Hero Academia 48-49: Wow! That was quite a plot development! Ganbatte, Midoriya!

Words: 106.

what's wrong with liking routine? by marithlizard (Tue Nov 6 09:45:56 2018)

If you don't have a control established, how can you properly judge whether or not you like it when you try something different?

Re: what's wrong with liking routine? by Trip (Thu Nov 15 12:56:16 2018)

Liking routine is the opposite of creativity and interestingness! All popular culture assures me of this!

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2 November 2018 - Friday

The new "Laundry" book is out, but as often happens with later books in a series, when I started it, I realized I didn't remember the previous book well enough, and then when I started that, I realized I didn't remember the one before that, etc. This time, the curves of "how many times I read this" vs "how long ago was the last time I read this" intersect at The Rhesus Chart, which is the one about the wunch of bankers who accidentally quant in too many dimensions and make everything increasingly worse. Also Bob gets hosed.


Words: 144.

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1 November 2018 - Thursday

I finally walked home the usual way, and my leg was fine. Now I feel slightly embarrassed to have ever mentioned it. It's not like I did martial arts so hard my tibia exploded and I had to be rushed to the hospital for surgery and transfusions, or anything.

Avalon is doing fine. :)


I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I failed last year and I'm not any less lame or busy this year, so there doesn't seem much point. I will stick to my (extremely) slow and (more-or-less) steady routine.

Words: 234.

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