Category Archives: No Rest for the Wicked

xkcd: Life Goals

New year, new things

It’s 2017, I’m still getting used to typing 2017 instead of 2016 by reflex (haven’t even tried writing it down yet), and I have absolutely no resolutions for the year. Not one.

I don’t really believe in the whole resolutions thing. But I do believe in setting some goals for myself, and trying to do better over time. I just find “New Years Resolutions” to be a crap way of doing it.

So this year, I want to achieve some things, and I might take some inspiration from the stand-up meetings we have at work and start keeping a record of how I’m doing on them to keep myself accountable and keep track of what’s getting in my way (besides myself).

With all that in mind, here are my current goals:

  • More gym time, get my cardio up, look at freeweights
    • Possibly try cardio in chain once I’m back in the swing of it
    • Currently blocked by my new gym still not being open but there’s another branch I can use in the meantime.
  • More work on Tixty
    • I need to get the admin backend sorted, and get a better frontend interface done while I’m at it
  • More creative writing
    • I want to try and get some regular creative writing done. Might start looking around for sources of inspiration or ask people for prompts
  • Write and run Heroes Rush In
    • It’s the penultimate event for No Rest for the Wicked, and I’m not alone in writing it but our plans are ambitious and we need to get started on them.
  • Make mage armour
    • I need new mage armour for Empire
    • I need to settle on a design, get someone to help with the bits I need help with, and start working on the rest.
  • Get Magento certified
    • We’re working on it at work, but I need to put in the effort, and I need to push for it to get sorted.
  • Learn Japanese
    • I’ve got a number of events coming up where knowing conversational Japanese would be useful – I need to brush up on it again and get used to using it.

I’ve probably missed some off, but one of the joys of life is that if you forget something, you can always it it to the list later.

 

Featured image from xkcd: Life Goals

Zephyr De Rondell, captured by Charlie Moss

Differences

Five years ago, I would have told you that liked playing the IoD games, but what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

Four years ago, I would have told you that I was looking forward to Empire, but what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

Three years ago, I would have told you that I enjoyed Empire, but I was considering changing over to crew because what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

Two years ago, I would have told you that Empire was finally starting to click for me, but what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

One year ago, I would have told you I was having a blast at Empire, but there weren’t any other games I was looking at playing, and what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

This year, things changed. I went to Future’s End and came away from that event with more energy and desire to play it again than I can recall ever experiencing from a game before. That led to me dropping IoD completely because it was a drain on my time for no reward. I’ve started playing Stargate and realised I was going to keep playing it when on the drive back I said “And next time, I’ll be playing with a compound fracture” and Fraser pointed out that I’d said I’d be playing the next one. This year, I got my Imperial Title in Empire, got over every problem I faced and produced the best results from a game I have ever had (thanks to a glorious mistake, but it worked!). I then promptly died at the next event but I have so much energy for going back and playing that my main worries are actually that I’m not going to look good enough for Dawn – not over what I’ll do.

I’ve also stopped being an active element in No Rest for the Wicked. After running By Schisms Rent Asunder, I went on break, and I’ve not really phased back in yet. I’ve done some things here and there, but mostly I’m letting the others handle things, and it feels good. It’s making me question how much I do enjoy running events, and what I want to be doing when I do run them.

There actually is no question about it: I do enjoy running events and I do enjoy crewing them, but I’ve also learned to love playing them as well. I’m going to take a longer break from running things than I anticipated (I still have three events on the cards to run[1][2]), but I’m going to keep back from being an organiser for a while longer[3]). The love for playing events is something I’ve been missing for a long time – I’m not sure I’ve ever really had it in the entire 12 years I’ve been LRPing, so it feels good to finally be feeling like this.

If you’re reading this, thanks to Kelly, Fraser, JD, Cat, Cherry, Rob, and the others who’ve made me come around to enjoying playing games instead of just running them.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. my birthday party, one for No Rest, and one for Stargate
2. The Stargate one may actually be pretty far in the future
3. If you’re reading this Rob, I guess you were right.

Priorities

I’ve spent some time of late considering my priorities when it comes to my spare time and I’ve decided to start cutting down on the hobbies that have the lowest energy:enjoyment ratios. That is to say I mean to stop doing things that take a lot of time and energy but don’t reward my effort with add much enjoyment as I get from other sources.

What that means is that I’m not going to expend time and energy on things I’m not enjoying which should mean I have more time and energy to do what I do enjoy.

To cut a long story short, this means that I don’t intend to renew my membership in the Isles of Darkness. I’ve not enjoyed playing the games as much as I used to for quite some time and I’m tired of expending effort on IoD that I’d rather be using on other projects. I have other games I want to write and run that get put aside for the pressures of running an IoD game every month.

If I spent as much time on my next No Rest event as I’ve spent on IoD stuff this year, my event would be mostly done by now.

Part of my problem with IoD is that I enjoy storytelling but I don’t like being painted into a corner and having my work second-guessed by people who haven’t even seen it.

I’d much rather spend my time and energy on Empire, Future’s End, and the field LRPs I’m running and that’s what I plan to do.

I’m not going to just drop out of things, but my membership will lapse in a few months and that coincides with the end of my term as LST Scotland Awakening so it seems like a fair time to go.

Larperlei Reinforced Leather Jerkin

No Rest Costume

So I’m playing the next event, and I’m looking into my costume options for Trysten. I’ve asked the lovely Ms Bell to make me some layers, but I’m looking at getting this reinforced leather jerkin from Larperlei. (This tabard may also be in consideration but I prefer the jerkin, I think.)

My problems with ordering this are essentially two-fold: the first problem is budget, the second is timing. If I order it today, I might have it in hand in time for the event (November 6th). I get paid in a week and a half and I still have to pay for Empire food and travel.

To put that in perspective, if I order it this week, I’m on a tight budget for the next two weeks, but I might have it for the event. If I don’t order it this week, I almost certainly won’t have it for the event.

The general costume idea would be to have a tunic, with this jerkin over the top, then a surcote over the top of that. I’m liking how it looks in my head (bit hard to tell how it would look in reality. My other options would be to either not have it at all (which removes any armour from the character), try using my old leather jack from my LT days and see how that suits (I already know it won’t look as good), or try using the leather top I picked up (which isn’t quite the right size for me (but that wouldn’t be noticed under the surcote) and is black which detracts from the general colour theme I’m building I think.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Input welcomed.

Android apps

As some of you likely know, I occasionally write Android apps outside of my day job. Most of the time, I write utilities of various types which I find useful, and I publish them to the Play Store as Moltis. I currently have five apps on the Play Store at the moment, and if anyone’s using them and finds them useful any feedback on them would be valued.

If anyone has any ideas for other utilities that might be useful to them, let me know – I’m interested in new challenges, and open to filling gaps.

No Rest for the Wicked apps

I’ve written three apps for use at No Rest for the Wicked, one for storytellers and two for players.

Warp Bag is an app that handles the contents of your warp bag and drawing beads. It needs some updating in line with the new Psyker rules, but seems pretty solid from feedback I’ve had. [1]

NRftW Event Admin is a utility I designed for use by the storytellers to keep track of people going on endeavours so we could determine what the balance was. How useful it was varied. It relies on having an internet connection, and every player having an account on the downtime system – if you’re not on the downtime system, it can’t track you. There are myriad improvements that can be made, but it wasn’t terrible to use. [2]

NRftW Deck Timer is a utility I’ve recently designed to help people track how long they have to roleplay when using decks. Currently it’s only set up with a hacking interface, but it does function as a timer for any type of deck. My main thoughts on it are that you probably want to start timing as soon as you start laying out cards and totalling up the time once you’ve played all your cards, which means that it needs a mechanism to (a) start timing before a total time is added, and (b) add further time in as you sort out your cards. It’s not a perfect system, and without significant effort I’m not sure I could make a “perfect” system, and the system I can envision would require everyone with a deck to have an Android device to solve it.[3]

Other apps

There was some commentary that we didn’t have an IoD specific dice roller, and I made a comment that I could write one if someone was willing to pay me to do so. I’ve still not been paid to do so, but I have created Dice Roller, a beta app that handles nWoD dice mechanics as well as being usable for rolling any other kind of die as well. [4]

The last app is actually one of the first ones I wrote, and the most subtle. You’re Awesome is a utility that at random intervals sends a message to the phone’s user reminding them that they’re awesome. I wrote the initial alpha on my laptop on a train down to London, and I created it to as a confidence booster for anxious people. It can either use generic messages, or messages that it combines with a given name, and you can alter the frequency of the messages.[5]

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Currently I have 20 users using the Warp Bag app according to the Play Store
2. Currently I have 4 users using the Event Admin app according to the Play Store
3. Currently I have 1 user using the Deck Timer app according to the Play Store
4. Currently I have 6 users using the Dice Roller app according to the Play Store
5. Currently I have 4 users using the You’re Awesome app according to the Play Store

#rpgaday2015 day 15 – longest campaign played

This one is an interesting one. By tabletop standards, a year and a half, maybe two years? I don’t remember how long I was playing in Ben’s Witchcraft game at uni, or how long Rob’s Rogue Trader ran for before it bowed before the weight of running a Rogue Trader LARP.

By LARP standards, the Isles of Darkness wins out. I started playing late 2007, and the campaign ended at the beginning of this year. That gives me seven years of play. As a single character, I think I can only claim 6 years as that’s how long James/Henderson/Firestarter was in play (October 2008 – chronicle end).

This post, like some of the others, is out of order and not posted on its original day because I wasn’t in any state to write it on the original day and didn’t pre-plan it.

In the Footsteps of Giants

Overall, a great weekend. Event 8 of the 9 events we’ve run for No Rest of the Wicked, and the eighth that I’ve attended.

Many positive points:

  • Getting paggered by Phill on a combat run because I ended up between the crew and the players as they tried to escape was frustrating and fun at the same time. There’s (now) a realisation that I forgot I could VANISH out of that situation, but being picked up by a player instead of being the one picking someone else up was an interesting change.
  • The banter between Jaxx and Orpheus was awesome
    • Crumpets are crunk!
    • She’s got a gut full of dynamite and a booty like POW!!!!
  • Jaxx dying after Orpheus specifically told her not to led to the interesting RP post-resurrection of “what was the one thing I told you not to do?” “you told me not to fall over.” “and what did you do?” “I went boom.” “and then you fell over.” “in lots of pieces.” “but you still fell over and I told you not to do that…”
  • Engaging with PCs was good. I managed to get into the post-timeout social RP on both nights, and that was a lot of fun. I kinda wish I’d swapped to Trysten, but being there as Orpheus was a lot of fun, and I wanted to do a complete costume swap for Trysten to minimise kit confusion.
  • “Symmetrical circles with no corners” – enough said
    • Working out how you can have a non-symmetrical circle with corners that’s still a circle
  • The labyrinth and the astral fight encounters were amazing
    • Sneaking/dancing around as Or-fae-us (the half-Harlequin, half-Spectre illusion) was fun
    • The reaction from players as the Aressiyans powered up their EL wire simultaneously was brilliant – it’s like I planned it…
  • The zero-crew encounter that just kept going. 9 players and me in a closed room as they poked things and investigated what they did. That was fantastic.
  • Using Pyro’s fiery explosion to light my cigar
  • Pancakes!
  • Arborian frisbee
    • Tree climbing!
  • Getting some good feedback about my prototype deck timer app was pretty awesome as well.

Some negative points:

  • Not being able to get time off work meant I didn’t get there till after time in and it was nearly 9 before I actually hit the field.
  • Apparently I need to make Orpheus and Trysten look more visually distinct as a few people didn’t realise I wasn’t just playing Orpheus on Sunday even though I’d completely swapped kit
    • Orpheus: Eye bionic, black tactical vest, black combats, pistol on left thigh, armour, shotgun
    • Trysten: Arm and neck plugs, black bracers, black sleeveless shirt, black military jacket, pistol on right thigh, buckler and power sword
    • Rob’s suggested that switching to the velvet jacket rather than the plain one might help, but I’m looking for more suggestions on how I can switch it up and create a more visually distinct image for the pair of them
  • Having players wanting to do stuff and not being able to run anything for them because there’s no crew available is incredibly frustrating
  • Didn’t get much chance to get someone to hire some Knight Titans looking for some action
  • I’m running out of coherency to write good things about the event!

All of the numbers

I’ve been working on the new No Rest for the Wicked trade system for a while. For a very long time I was just staring at a wall of numbers willing them to make sense. Then I sent them round to Rob, who provided some input and based on that input I rewrote the entire system (kind of) in a way that (a) didn’t make my brain hurt, (b) made a lot more sense, and (c) was almost fun to work with.

The updated trade system is now out for preview with some people. If you’re interested in being one of the people helping make it make sense, let me know.

[Fiction] Preparation

A bit of fiction for my No Rest for the Wicked character, an Imperial Knight pilot.

He waits, the time is not ready yet. The flask of amasec dangles in his fingers. One more swig, and it’s stoppered and away, the ritual focusing him for the moment. Entering his code, he starts the activation process and settles back in the iron throne. Snake-like cables burst out from the chair, seeking their targets.

The articulated nerve plugs hang in the air for a moment, seeking the graft-sockets embedded in his flesh. A pause in motion then the plugs slam into place, whirring locks engaging as data spikes slide into nerve channels, momentary discomfort echoing through twitching nerves as the Throne’s systems become one with his own. His skull, neck, and forearms throb from the new connections.

The instincts of the Throne seep into him, the half-heard whispers echoing down his spine as he begins the transformation to his true self – the iron self that knows true war.

In a true Sanctuary, the Throne Mechanicum would descend into the waiting Knight before the knight is linked into its systems. For a Knight at war, this is less of an option, and he reaches up to connect and lock the hardlink systems.

His fingers twitch as he becomes more than a man, nerves becoming synonymous with circuitry; sensors come up, lighting up his visual cortex; servos engage, replacing flesh and blood with machine and oil. Seeing with the eyes of a god, he strides out onto the waiting field.

Menials scatter as a slow pace becomes a stride then a run. The ion fields kick in, and the shield on his left arm flickers into readiness. The power lance that is his right arm crackles with lightning. The partner to his soul rises up to greet him, his thirst for battle met by that of the machine of which he is part. He is no longer just Trysten Martinus Ariakin, he is Fulgida Lancea and he is charging into war once more.