Category Archives: Me

#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.

bad weekend

I’ve had a bad weekend following a shaky week, and I pretty much fell off the internet in broad terms. I had to force myself to go shopping on Sunday, and I was shaking afterwards. There’s a few things going into this, and Jeremy still being missing is one of them. The depression spiral that leads into is a little terrifying and I actually don’t even want to voice the steps out loud out of some kind of prophetic superstition.

Today is better. I’ve cycled into work (and back home again) these last two days, and the physical activity helps, I think. Felt terrible yesterday (probably due to malnutrition over the weekend) but my energy levels are much better today.

Frustrations at non-functioning code are at a high point and that adds stress to near-breaking point. If it actually gets to the point where I know I’m going to yell at someone if they interrupt me again, that’s probably the point where I’ll need to walk out of the office. So far, so good on that point.

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!

Soylent Green is People

So I heard about Soylent last year, and it’s been coming to mind again because I was reading someone’s blog about their trying it. And that made me go look into it again.

Soylent is still not available outside of North America, but there are alternatives available over here like Joylent ([1]). I’m looking at this, and asking myself whether €5 a day is more or less than I spend at the moment. I think it’s more – quite a bit more if I was actually cooking properly for myself more. So why am I still considering it?

Is it because I’d probably be eating healthier that way, that I’d be eating less junk food? That maybe if I switched to Joylent, I’d also cut out soft drinks, and cut a load of sugar out of my diet at the same time?

So I’m considering it. And I’m unsure. But I’m thinking about it.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. they’ve asked me to remove the link due to apparent robot issues

Bad times

I’m not having an easy time at the moment. I lack energy, I lack motivation. It’s harder to get going in the mornings, harder to get to doing things.

Everything builds up in a heavy spiral, spreading its weight across me. Little things get to me more, and I find it harder to relax.

Jeremy being missing really doesn’t help – it weighs more than everything else, and the lack of luck in finding him removes more of my motivation in general.

Between the building pressures and the business of the season, it’s tricky to keep my focus even on things I enjoy.

Tattoos and snakes

Tattoo is healing well. It’s faded, but the skin’s still healing, so it’s entirely understandable there. Really happy with it.

Jeremy still missing. Have acquired a USB inspection light[1] to have a look in some tight spaces for him in case he has got stuck behind the bookcase or something. Don’t really know where he’s gone – there are so many options, and he’s not left any trail or sign of his presence that I can see.

My worst fear is that he’s left the flat – squeezed out through the gap between the floor and the door, or found a hole somewhere that takes him out. If he’s not in the flat any more, I might never find him again. On the other hand, if he doesn’t come out in the next couple of weeks, he might starve. On the other other hand, this was something of the worst time for him to disappear as I have so many commitments stealing my time I can’t find the time for a concerted search of the entire flat even if the task wasn’t depressing in itself. I just don’t have the time I need to get things sorted.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. bendy camera thing

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I’m getting inked in half an hour. I booked it a month ago, and I arrived in the nearest Starbucks nearly an hour ago. I’m a little nervous.

Excited, but nervous. You should be able to tell this from the fact I’m writing something in order to calm myself.

It’s my first ink, and I want it to be “right”. It’s the stepping stone to more – I know that – I want more and I need to take this step first. But I’m still nervous – I think it’d be weirder if I wasn’t.

Of course, this unnatural bright hot weather isn’t helping – hard enough not to sweat from nervousness without sweating from the heat even in the shade…

New projects

Few things make me as energised as a new project, even if starting from a tabula rasa isn’t ideal. At work, I do a lot of projects that are repeating work that’s been done before, whether it’s integrating a feature I built elsewhere into a new place, or replicating a website wholesale with a new skin – it bores the crap out of me.

This week, I’ve been doing a project that is a clone of one of my old projects and the only thing keeping me interested is the fact I haven’t worked on this iteration of the code for around a year so it’s different to other things I’ve been doing.

We’re looking to start a new LARP next year, and that has me wanting to start looking at building a rules system, and a website, and a character builder… except it’s way too early for any of that.

I’m looking to start a new game, and the idea of writing up stuff for that is exciting me.

I also have to modify an old system to have a new feature and that bores the hell out of me.  I just don’t want to do it, but I’ve got a hard deadline on it, and the soft deadline was two weeks ago so I should really get a move on on it.

The points at work where I want to murder people are often when all I have to distract myself with are rehashes of old projects with nothing new in site to actually engage my mind on. I have yet to try automatic fire with Nerf weaponry to resolve issues, but my thought is that it wouldn’t go down very well with most of the office. Oh well.

Anyone else find the same thing? That they always want to be working on the new thing, not maintaining the old one?

So, I want to run a game

As I’ve posted elsewhere, I’m looking to run a game. What I want to do is be able to run it as and when both my players and I are available/up for it. So some weeks we could play three sessions, and other weeks just the one (or not at all); I want to be able to run without some players and potentially with a completely different group session to session, so I want it to be the sort of game where you can complete things in a session while still having the potential for an overarching campaign. I also want to play it online, without a lot of rules getting in the way of online RP.

Along those lines, I’ve picked out three settings that I like and would like to run a game in.

orpheusThe first is Orpheus, a game I’ve loved for over a decade – one of the first tabletop games I played. In Orpheus, a cryogenic research company called The Orpheus Group was developing cryogenic technology for medical research, and have developed the first cryogenic process that allows for a stable freeze and thawing of living beings. In their tests of this process, they discovered that their human test subjects reported back having dreams while they slept – dreams that they were watching the Orpheus staff at work. This wasn’t considered particularly noteworthy until one of them recounted incidents that had happened in the lab in perfect detail – incidents they had no way to know about without having been there or being told. Further research was done, and it was established that the cryogenically frozen subjects experienced astral projection and could perceive events around them. Experimentation continued and revealed that post-life entities (PLEs, or ghosts) were also present in the astral state that the sleepers found themselves in. Not only this, but PLEs and the astral projections could wield supernatural power. In a stroke, The Orpheus Group had proven ghosts were real, and that they could affect the world in unknown ways. Studies continued, but this discovery explained every story of supernatural happenings throughout history, and a paranormal investigation division was set up. Orpheus became a paranormal service organisation, investigating and dealing with hauntings for a sizable fee. You, as players, are members of the investigation teams who are either projectors (living people who project their consciousness from their body) or PLEs (ghosts) working for fantastic sums of cash and dealing with the supernatural on a regular basis.

Demon HuntersThe second is Demon Hunters. I’m never going to explain it better than the guys who made it, so here’s the Brotherhood of the Celestial Torch Orientation Video which came with the field operative training manual (RPG).[1] Basically, you’re a bunch of misfits who fight the agents of Hell (the Order of the Infernal Sceptre). All the monsters and dark things from your favourite films and TV shows are real, and it’s the job of the Brotherhood to take them down before they get to humanity. On the bright side, you have access to a Warehouse 13/Ark of the Covenant-style warehouse of infinite size that might just have the tools you need for the job – if you can find them. It’s a comedy-action-investigation game, and I have both the original RPG and the playtest version of the new edition (the new edition still being finalised).

Cowboy BebopThe third setting I’m contemplating is essentially Cowboy Bebop/Outlaw Star. Bounty hunters/freelancers roaming human-colonised spaaaaaace in search of enough money to buy fuel, food, and ammunition while they try for the big score that’ll set them up for life (assuming they don’t blow it on an act of charity/abandon it to save someone/give up the treasure for love/die in the process.

System-wise, I’m looking at FATE-based solutions. I’ve got a homebrew conversion for Orpheus to FATE Accelerated, the new Demon Hunters edition is based on FATE Accelerated, and the Bebop-style setting can either be run with FATE or something else. FATE Accelerated should be pretty easy for people to pick up, without getting in the way of the story, and it should also allow people to create characters pretty quickly so they can get involved without a length character creation process.

As I said, I’m looking to run things online. Thoughts are to use Google Hangouts for communication, and maybe use Roll20 as well (this will involve me learning Roll20).

I’ve had a few people express interest, but I’ve not had any indication of a setting preference. If you’re interested, and have a preferred setting out of these three (or have an alternate idea I might be interested in), let me know.

Featured image choice is solely because Outlaw Star kicks ass, and I have to watch it again.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The orientation video along with the original films are now available to everyone on the Dead Gentlemen YouTube channel. Incidentally, go watch everything they and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment do.