triadruid: Two stick figures from the webcomic XKCD, fighting with swords while they are supposed to be coding (compiling)
...which only exemplifies the problem.

To wit, I used to be one of those people whose First World Problems included "if I could just win the lottery, all of my financial woes would be solved and I could do whatever I wanted". Which, while true, isn't really the 'problem' anymore. Realistically if I could win/make/steal the same amount I take home NOW without having to go to work, I could do pretty much do what I want to do, I'd just have the time to actually do it! That, or somebody invents a 25 30 36-hour day... we'll see which happens first.

I have too many hobbies/tasks. I don't want to give up ANY of them. Hell, I've got ones I want to do I haven't even been able to properly begin (hello archery). I've been going to the gym down the street since cardiac rehab ended, which is AWESOME, but sucks up somewhere between 70 and 130 minutes of the days I manage to go. I've not done any real coding in months, and this week (hopefully) I'll reinstall All The Operating Systems and be ready to play Diablo III in my nonexistent free(r) time. And let's not even talk about costuming...

Anyway, lunchtime's a-wasting. Hope your life is as full and exciting as mine, but perhaps not moreso.
triadruid: Picture of Uni the annoying little unicorn from the D&D television show. (I'm a sheep)
Hello, Dreamwidth/LiveJournal... it's been 34 days since my last confession entry. Actually that seems to be the new pattern, looking back at January and such. Oh well, that means I'm living life, right? Sorta. Life is indeed busy, but some of it is good (really good) and some is really weird/bad.

Thing the First: I'm COVERED in poison-ivy-or-something-like right now, and I'm one of those lucky folks who can transfer minute amounts of urushiol from one part of my body to another, even though that's not supposed to be possible. I'm 99% sure I got it at the annual Blue River Rescue, but it's driving me batty. Topical creams aren't doing crap, so half the time I'm zoned out on Benadryl. I think I've got some in my shoes from several years ago too that keeps giving me foot blisters, and just learned that you can supposedly deactivate it with a hot wash cycle. Worth it even if it trashes my shoes' finish. BATTY I TELL YOU.

Thing the 2nd: Just finished cardiac rehabilitation - by the end I'd ran 5k (on a treadmill), ran a 7:56 mile, and only tried to pass out once. I've got a much better idea of my current cardiac capacity (AND limits!) which is kind of the point... still should get a HR monitor, but finances are tight enough right now to make it a lower priority. Still doing Fitocracy and still find it useful as a motivator, but they've just pushed through an *unfortunate* graphical redesign that is only slowly getting better. The problem with Internet startups is that they can try to Chase All The Things too much and end up doing nothing very well, but the people of the site are fantastic. If you were interested when I announced it before, they are now out of beta and you no longer need an invite to join. I'm 'naybliss' there; I think if you are on FB it will give you an autoprompt for friends you know there.

Thing the 2nd-and-a-half: Having finished cardiac rehab, K and I wanted to join a gym to keep going. One of my rehab nurses mentioned the Bene-Fit gym near us in the Red Bridge Shopping Center; turns out after going there that she's related to the owner! Also one of our neighbors works the front desk, and recognized us by our car. Heh, small world, etc. Anyway, we've gone twice so far and it's a very nice little gym. Decent hours, especially for an independently-run establishment. And the price is right; Bronze membership starts at just $10/month!

Thing the 2nd-and-two-thirds: Speaking of finances, 'bounced' my bank account the other day in a surprising turn of events. We've been dining out more and made a few bigger purchases lately, but that's no excuse for not keeping better track. Was able to transfer things around and avoid any major problems, but meh, embarrassing.

Part E: Boulevard has a Barleywine. A rye barleywine, and it's frickin' amazing. Complex, rich, warm, colorful, fantastic finish, and 11%ABV to boot. Whee? Related: Martin City Brewing Company is pretty awesome for a new restaurant, despite not (yet) having their own brewery license in place. Both the food and the staff are excellent, though the place can be a little loud (uhh, we helped with that problem, actually).

ζ: Mafia Scum suffered a catastrophic, unpredictable server outage that wiped out months of posts due to a suboptimal backup procedure. Many games were recovered via the amazing utilization of Google Cache by some very clever users, but my latest giant game got destroyed. Which is not the tragedy it could have been, as the game was just Too Damn Big and flawed in its core. Still, it's both stunted my desire to run games for a while and (hopefully) rekindled my efforts to work on the back end and site skins. Time will tell...

Seventhly: Finally finished painting the front door yesterday. When it got surprise-replaced last fall, we got the wild-ass idea of painting it copper, but that's not really a practical basecoat color for insurance contractors to implement. So we got a basecoat down in a sort of pumpkin color and then it got too cold to paint the glaze on. I'll try to get a picture posted soon, but it really does look surprisingly like

Ochtú: Miss the gaming; we've been SUPERbusy lately and less frivolous (well, sort-of) pursuits have taken precedence. Exercising in particular is becoming addictive in a good way... Games Night still happens, of course, but the RPGs are on the backburner. Ideas continue to flow, which is a step beyond first-world-problems, I'm guessing.

3*3: We'll be missing JordanCon this year, it appears. The massive drive, the expense-per-unit-of-fun (not that it's not fun, but it's really concentrated in one fandom, for the most part) and general burnout on extroverted activities led us to this conclusion. I think we'll end up going out of town somewhere that weekend anyway, just someplace closer and quieter. Going next year AFTER the release of the final book is probably a better use of limited resources. K and I are almost to the end of TFoH in our rereadaloud, with an excellent book coming next. A coworker who also happens to be a total wotfan gifted me the audiobooks in digital format too, so I've put them on the mp3 player and started listening to them in one ear at work. Funny how much of the first book I have near-memorized after 15 rereads...

Lastish: All complaining aside, life is pretty good. There's other stuff going on that is either too small or too private to mention, but if you made it this far, well done.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
So we're just under one month out from the date of the Feegle Grinder/Wee Free RPG. If you're interested, I strongly recommend you take a look at the mini website we've built for it, and especially the character sheet and rules. Of course, reading the books would be good too. :)

If you have questions (it's a fairly simple system, but there is some quirkiness to it that may trip you up if you're used to more complex RPGs), this would be an excellent place to ask them. You'll only need 6-sided dice, but you'll need 3 of one color, 5 of another color, and 8 of a third color (we have some, but if you have your own to bring, that would be great).

The grinder will be held at our house in southern KCMO, starting at 9AM or so (with instructions and final explanations of the system) on January 23rd and going until 2AM or we get tired of it, whichever comes first. If you don't have directions, we'll email them to you privately to keep the address off the full Interweb. Feel free to point people at this public post or the Facebook event if you think they'd be interested; we can probably have 5-7 players going at a time, but expect to die more than once over the course of the day if you're staying (Feegles being more or less interchangeable, this shouldn't be a big impediment). You don't have to stay all day, of course; you can come late or leave early if you've got other stuff going on.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
So, years ago when most of my visits to the Internet were done through the telnet protocol, there was a MUD called Valhalla that hosted an electronic version of the Highlander: The Card Game*. I was enamored of it beyond reason (okay, some reason... I enjoyed both the original film and the TV series a LOT), and got pretty good at the game, taking 9 or 10 heads as I recall in their ongoing tournament-style play. But the game died out due to being too narrow-focus, I guess, and I never got the chance to play in the real world...this was about 96-97, when Magic: The Gathering (no relation) was huge.

*Cut to describe the basic game )

Fast forward to this week. A random Google search, or something, leads me to a small ProBoard website about the Highlander CCG. Turns out not ONLY has a new company started to put out a "2nd Edition", but they're essentially based at 31st Century Games in Olathe! I'm at ground-bloody zero of game development, and they play locally in at least two FLGSs, not including tournaments.

I am unreasonably, stupidly excited by this. Anybody else who might want to play?


Jul. 6th, 2009 11:09 am
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Played a metric hectare of games this weekend, with a bunch of friends both old and new(ly met). I've got several new things in my "wishlist" for buying if/when I get tired of my current favorites, including Pandemic, Small Worlds, and Tsuro. Perhaps my favorite new game was the recently-published Battlestar Galactica, not least because I'd been trying to design a game recently that would have been extremely similar, but now it's been done and I don't have to! It's also done very well, at least from that one play. I'm definitely going to pick that one up if I have funds. Oh, and we (by 'we' I mean Pooky) seem to have invented a 3-player version of Mafia, which plays a bit more like Conspiracy.

And the tiger is torched. More on that later, including pictures (and perhaps video, if it came out worth a damn), but for now I'll leave you with the information that just because junk mail, cardboard, flour, and paint each burn easily, does not mean they'll burn easily together. :)
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
No time to participate in BLITEOTW today, so I thought instead I'd post the horrific little monster [ profile] featherynscale and I came up with for last night's game.

Literally, the genesis of this thing was the following conversation earlier in the week:
K: We need to decide what to have (our players) fight on Friday. They didn't get to last time.
D: We also need to sort out how to disable (the character whose player was leaving the game). Maybe something snuck up on him in the night...
K: They shouldn't really be able to fix it on their own, we may have to make up a monster.
D: What about an Oogiel?
K: What's an Oogiel?
D: Based on O-G-L, the Open Gaming License?
K: Hmmm... so it would relentlessly work to steal your content and make a copy of you?

And this was the result... )
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)

Can you spot us? We're in there... Those who were actually present in the picture should give others a chance, first. :)

triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Actually, this mostly isn't local, but it's been rolling around in my brain of late.

Our house loves books. Really, REALLY loves books. We have successfully gone to Half-Price Books twice, I think, and walked out without something new in hand. The only problem with this glorious store is that it doesn't actually support the authors directly. Likewise, I read a ton of stuff from the library that doesn't directly provide the income authors want from their good work. Which bothers me...

So the other day, I started thinking about the microsponsorship idea and how it might fix this dilemma. And I think, in my brain, that it makes sense to donate money directly to the authors (via PayPal or what-have-you) of books I loved, but didn't pay retail for. Right now I'm thinking of $X for each 'star' I gave it in my read lists, but that may turn out to be excessive. Where does one go to find out how much authors get per copy of a book these days?

And then there's a couple of other things going on in today's economy that I feel like sharing because I enjoy the authors/creators immensely. One is that today is the last day to get a Charter Membership rate in [ profile] montecook's Dungeon-a-Day project. He's running a website that will be chock full with maps, creatures, and tips for running dungeon encounters. I think they've started in D&D 3.5 and may move to 4.0 if demand makes sense, but a lot of it should translate to other gaming systems as well. I don't run many dungeon encounters myself so I may not sign up, but it's a damn good resource if you do like that sort of game.

In a semi-related note, [ profile] gamera_spinning posted the other day about Wizards of the Coast disallowing PDF sales of their products by third-party publishers. While I think this is an immensely foolish decision, it does mean lots of third-party companies are running fire sales until the end of this month. More information in his post:
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Last nights dreams were a mélange of the ongoing Angelic Mafia game I'm running, snippets from the 80's miniseries V, and a surreal sequence wherein I got to listen in on Mötley Crüe's explanation of how they were being so much better behaved; to wit, there had only been one sexual assault, a broken table, and a smashed keg that night, as opposed to two rapes, three hotel fires, and a couple of cases of alcohol poisoning earlier in the tour.

triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
(actually that's not true, as I hope to make one more post with my book list, but I need to finish the Bataan Death Read first...)
Half-day at the office today and most people are out on vacation or at a going-away party, so I'm kind of wombling around getting things done.

First out of the gate, if you have the same sort of morbid fascination for the slow-motion demolition that our economy is undergoing that I do, I heartily recommend two things on LJ: [ profile] solarbird, who does an excellent job of translating econ-speak into things mere mortals can understand, and links like a mofo; and [ profile] reich_blog, the RSS feed for Robert Reich, former Clinton Secretary of Labor. He's got a pithy and admittedly liberal slant on things, but it's a lot more pragmatic than a lot of what I see out there.

Secondly, the Musical Death Star that is [ profile] featherynscale's iPod is now 50% more full awesome. I uploaded most of my collection onto it in preparation for our trip to Florida (yes, this'll be our third major road trip of the year), and while we didn't quite get to making the new playlists like No Crying in Baseball, it'll be even more train-wreck-happy on Shuffle All, I'm sure. Good thing we didn't get a Zune, by the way...

Finally, a to-do list of little relevance to anybody here but me:Read more... )
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Today's happiness is brought to you by the mad desire to filk Christmas Carols to the theme of the parlor game Mafia.

Unfortunately, most of the rewrites are chock full of in-jokes so they lose something in translation, but I'm laughing hysterically over here... I just finished "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!"

The Twelve Days of Christmas are fairly easy to understand, though. My favorite iteration thus far is:
On Day Twelve of Christmas,
the mod revealed unto me
Twelve scummers scumming,
Eleven players posting,
Ten trackers tracking,
Nine lurkers lurking,
Eight people voting,
Seven hammers dropping,
Six goons a-swinging,
Four scum factions,
Three dead townies,
Two town masons,
And a cultist vigilante.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
I was originally going to filter this post for just the potential Crescent Sorcerers in our upcoming game, but I thought it'd be more fun with a broader audience. Non-gamers feel free to pass on by... )

::edit:: Heh, I think PCGen just gave me my next character name: Michael McKanic.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
The first half of this post is content-free. The second half explains the first half. Choose your own adventure... (both halves contain bugs, if that flips you out)

If you choose the clean glass, turn to page 17. )

If you choose the dirty glass, turn to page 62. )
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Holy crap was that fun. Holy CRAP was that a lot of work.

A full write-up is still forthcoming (we didn't get audio/video for those playing along at home, but there are transcripts of a sort, coming as soon as we fill in the blanks where we were laughing too hard/moving too fast to write).

The highlights, though:
  • Saturday Morning Cartoons are infinitely better without the fun-squishing influence of Standards & Practices.
  • Too many episodes, especially if they're going to be that combat-heavy. Next time, maybe fewer episodes with longer time frames (an hour and a half was probably unrealistic, at least for 3.x).
  • Yes, I did say next time. But not soon; Jaysus Christo Jones that was a lot of work to put together.
  • Moral ambiguities/branching points have no real place in Saturday Morning Cartoons.
  • Six laptops + 15 people = at least a 10° temperature differential between the main room and the thermostat. I'm surprised we didn't develop any weather patterns...
  • We still have Mountain Dew left over. How is that even possible?
  • The unicorn lived, amazingly (though that may be because he scarpered on several episodes entirely).
  • Best. Death Scenes. Evar.
  • Tiamat Piñata at 1AM, in the yard, with swords. Brilliant!
Now, shower, lunch, church, and the rest of my life back.

Thanks everyone for playing along!
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Whence Owlbears?
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
[ profile] montecook recently posted the history of why 3E has two 'iconic fighters', and someone responded by Chuck Norris'ing the "white guy" who everybody seems to love to hate (personally, I wasn't even certain he was white):

Regdar is awesome.

Regdar is even more awesome.

Regdar will be awesome in 4E, too.

I think my favorite is "Back in second edition, a Thief party member tried to steal some of Regdar's gold. The result convinced every Thief to call themselves "Rogues" in third edition, just to distance themselves from that foolish act.".

What's yours? Or can you add to the list?
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Helzberg Diamonds officially gets the Bad Man Hat for their current "That Guy" ad campaign. If you haven't seen the billboards (I assume they're doing print and television as well, but we can avoid those), it's things like:
  • That Guy enjoys giving his significant other a pedicure. Since you're not that guy, there's Helzberg Diamonds.
  • That Guy makes a quiche for breakfast. Regular guys go to Helzberg Diamonds.
  • That Guy likes painting her toenails....
  • That Guy goes down on both knees...
The last one in particular is confusing, and we spent a good chunk of yesterday's evening commute trying to decipher it. That Guy gives oral sex, and therefore should be mocked? That Guy is a submissive? Eventually we decided it must have something to do with marriage proposals being done on one knee, with both knees indicating subservience to your Woman. Or pants.

I already think the entire diamond industry is a crock so I wasn't going to purchase from them anyway, but this sort of behavior from a local business calls for public mockery. So, mock I do. Mock mock mock.

In other news, my computer has developed revealed a few idiosyncrasies. First one came when [ profile] featherynscale could share network folders with me, but not vice versa. Turns out it was just being Really Slow in updating the network tables... but later, after a totally painless update to (K)Ubuntu 8.04, it refused to load PCGen when hers was working fine. After about an hour of cursing, the culprit turned out to be OpenJava, which was pre-existing from when I installed the first time. Her more-recent install had Sun's Java by default, which PCGen requires.

And the point of THAT story is that we're 99.7% ready to send out the character sheets for the Gygaxian Grinder on the 26th (we've scrapped the Friday start, in favor of Saturday morning cartoons and an all-day, single-day affair). As soon as my co-mod signs off on it, those players who will be starting us off should expect an email and another post in this vein.

Which brings me to the fact that Google Sites rocks my socks. That is all.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Had to level up some of the NPCs for the Amnesia Campaign last night (before sending them off to certain doom in the Islands), and a couple of them got new feats and spells. Fast forward to this morning:

[ profile] triadruid: Leveled up some of the Amnesia NPCs last night; the lower level ones who've actually been doing things.
[ profile] featherynscale: Anybody get anything interesting?
[ profile] triadruid: Well, some of the sorcerers got new spells...oh, and Leodd* got Trample.
[ profile] featherynscale: ... uhh, great! Because the last thing a half-elf warrior with a greataxe needs is Trample‽
[ profile] triadruid: He's like a 6/4 Half-Elf with Trample! *grin*

* No, I don't know why he's Welsh either. But it does go a long way toward explaining his weaponry and temperament...

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