Category Archives: Musings

Looking for book recommendations

Looking for book recommendations. I’ve just finished listening to Nexus by Ramez Naam, before that was Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer, before that Strata by Terry Pratchett, before that Firefight by Brandon Sanderson, before that Armada by Ernst Cline, and before that Dune by Frank Herbert.

Specially looking for audio books as I listen to them while cycling to work and exercising in the gym.

On the subject of audio books I’ve gone from loathing audio books to listening to then voraciously. A change in times and an extra fifteen years will do that to you, I suppose. Probably helped that I’ve been listening to excellent readers, but I do still find my concentration slips away from the book pretty easily sometimes. On the other hand, I’ve found myself just as enthralled listening to an audio book as I have with paper copies, so it does vary.

I should post more book reviews, really; get down my thoughts on some of the many books I devour throughout the year.

#rpgaday2015 day 31 – favourite non-RPG thing to come out of roleplaying

Cheat answer: LARPing, but a LARP is just another form of RPG.

Cheesy answer: the relationships I’ve made, people I’ve met. My entire network of friends over the last decade has come about because of gaming. Between the people who I met directly by gaming with them to the people who I met by partying with those people, I’ve made a vast network of friends across the world through roleplaying.

When I was in the Imperial Order (way way way back in the day), I could honestly say I was talking to people on five continents on a regular basis – the only ones I didn’t have covered were South America and Antarctica. Nowadays I’m getting name-checked with seemingly every second introduction at events (“oh, you’re the No Rest for the Wicked guy, right?”). It’s an odd feeling but it promotes the community feeling of the LARP crowd (as does small-world LARP syndrome where it seems that everyone knows everyone after a few years and you get the constant “how do you know X?” questions on Facebook).

#rpgaday2015 day 3: Favourite new game of the last 12 months

So in a lot of ways, see day 2. I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to play many of the new games I’ve acquired in the last twelve months, and that makes it harder for me to gauge which is my favourite.

I’m really happy with Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Terrors. I’m excited about playing Exploding Kittens. But I haven’t actually had a chance to engage with either yet.

So once again, this is rather empty due to not having had a lot of time to play new games.

#rpgaday2015 day 2: Kickstarted game I’m most pleased I backed

You know, I don’t actually know which game I’m happiest with. Doesn’t help that many of the games I’ve backed I’ve not yet been able to play yet.

Should try and fix that. I’m thinking to run Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Terrors soon. Kickstarted that, and am damn pleased I did. One of the projects I’ve sunk the most money into ever. Should be a lot of fun.

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?

Orpheus LARP

I’m working on a conversion of the Orpheus RPG by White Wolf to a simplified LARP format.

The reason I’m doing this is because (a) I love Orpheus, and (b) I don’t want to have to have people rolling dice or using another type of randomiser to resolve things in game. I want people to just be able to do things.

The problem with this is coming up with a balance factor. I haven’t decided whether I want to go for a contact system or not, and I don’t know how well what I’m working on is going to work.

Currently, I’m looking at having skills (abilities) that enable you to do a thing rather than being levelled and dropping attributes entirely. So Brawl gives you the ability to strike effectually in unarmed combat, and Melee lets you do the same with knives, while Dodge lets you avoid some strikes.

I’m trying to draw on the source material as much as possible – using the set rules rather than making my own where I can, but I don’t know if I shouldn’t just be trying to create a new system whole-cloth or just running it as if it were a tabletop system with acting the same way the Isles of Darkness do.