Trip's Brain-Sucking Web Site


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Trip's Life (Recent episodes)

5 Most Recent Comments
2017-09-16:  "Re: Durarara" by Trip
2017-09-16:  "Durarara" by marithlizard
2017-09-07:  "Re: strange gods" by Trip
2017-09-07:  "Re: strange gods" by marithlizard
2017-09-07:  "Re: strange gods" by Trip

17 September 2017 - Sunday

[ . . . ]

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16 September 2017 - Saturday

I managed to get up at a reasonable hour and go shopping so that I was back home in time to sign up for games at Big Bad Con when registration opened at noon. They have an anti-hovering system where you can only sign up for two events in the first week, then two in the second week, and only then does it become a free-for-all, but it was a good impetus to not sleep in. Now I am signed up to play in two games with systems I am interested in Blades in the Dark and Monsterhearts) , both on Friday. I am also signed up for ten straight hours of gaming, so I will need to find some kind of decent portable meal substitute before then...

Also, since I successfully signed up for games, I went ahead and got a hotel room, since although commuting back and forth to Walnut Creek might technically be possible, it would suck massively.

We had to cut anime a little short because Marith has to be at work at 6:00 tomorrow, and got a slow start on new stuff because we wanted to catch her up on the important episodes she missed in Roseville, but there was still some watching.

  • Durarara!!x2 3.7: Apologies to the shippers, but can Shizuo please twist Izaya's head off now?
  • Steven Universe 3.15-19: Back to the plot! And Connie!

Durarara by marithlizard (Tue Sep 19 14:06:58 2017)

You have to wonder how an entire steam shovel got shoved off the top of a building there. Badly Dressed Martial Arts Girl certainly couldn't have done it by herself. Also, to me the villainous plan looks a lot less like the claimed "get rid of the monster" than it does "push the monster into finally getting serious". So maybe you'll get your wish!

Re: Durarara by Trip (Tue Sep 19 18:40:30 2017)

It looked to me like whatever was supporting it got broken so it slid off.

We can hope!

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15 September 2017 - Friday

Apparently the meaning someone deciphered for the neural net spell with the silliest name is something I had already established as an option for the Wizard, so um something? I'm going to call it a victory, anyway.

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14 September 2017 - Thursday

Watched a couple more episodes of Little Witch Academia, which would be better if it were subbed.

While I was trying to think of spells, I found this list. Death of the sun! Grasping light and clinging blade! Plant of peace! Crusading disk!

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13 September 2017 - Wednesday

Today we actually played 13th Age, although we were quite late getting started and then spent a long time floundering without a battlemap before getting to the fight (still without a map). We need more organization, or discipline, or something. Also we need to not play until 22:30, but at least next week we can start the round with escalation die 2, and maybe I will remember to have Anwë use her AoE attack on the ancient orc archer she just stabbed, and the Black, who just disemboweled her shadow. Not that I will ever roll well enough to hit anyone.

I'm pretty sure this is a freakish minority opinion, but I still like Dungeon World better than even simplified D&D4.

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12 September 2017 - Tuesday

Instead of the other various ways I could have frittered my life away, I finished Stranger Things. It was pretty swell, and leaves plenty of room for a second season (due out just before Halloween, allegedly). I'm really not sure about the police chief's approach to things, though.

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11 September 2017 - Monday

Wow, thunder! And even some visible lightning! Also some rain, which came down hard while I was walking home but only for a few minutes. As a computer user I probably shouldn't approve of thunderstorms, but I do anyway.

From the slowness at work, I deduce that all our customers are on the East Coast (and thus underwater) or the West Coast (and thus on fire).

Episode 1.6 of Stranger Things! I think most of the pieces are on the board (on one side or another) now, which means it's time for a plot twist.

Besides what people used to D&D and its derivatives think of spells, I want casters to be able to learn the kinds of things I talked about when discussing the contributions of knowledge from beyond to human society: making magic swords, building cyclopean architecture, raising plant monsters to serve you, converting your friends into a more durable form, creating accounting systems that infallibly expose embezzlers, etc. This is tricky, though, because it has to be useful enough to be worth the character's time, yet not so useful that all characters immediately get huge bonuses (although this is less of a problem in DW, where we mock your puny level-appropriate encounters, and especially in WFDW where we explicitly mock your puny list of monsters anyway).

Speaking of making things, I am still waffling on whether there should be alchemy stuff, although possibly only because I want to put in single-shot black powder alchemical lasers instead of historical guns. I like them, I'm not sure if they're too weird, the wrong weird, or perfectly valid weird. (At DW levels of resolution, they're mechanically the same.)

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10 September 2017 - Sunday

In this week's PAD&D5, the Heroines of Red Larch managed to get to the big city and buy a few pretty dresses for Lam (also a couple of magic items) and report to the Legitimate Authorities about the dragon drama and the new religion and the war against the [SPOILER]. Lam has disquieting dreams about [SPOILER] being cut off, and when she talks to people in Yartar that it might apply to, it seems to be coming true. Maybe [SPOILER]'s prophecies of doom were not so off the mark as the Heroines first assumed!

On their way to report their experiences to Rimardo's patron, the Heroines are ambushed by the original [SPOILER] of the area, who are extremely annoying but not uncrushable even when they hide in [SPOILER]. Then Rimardo dumps his patron, and his soul is sucked into the afterlife so he can study up and become a cleric of the Crystal Dragon (but he still ranks lower than the Ninja Popesses). This only takes a few moments of external time, so soon the Heroines (and Rimardo, but not Ishmael the hireling cleric) are scouting the [SPOILER] they assaulted so effectively before. The part they cleaned out is still deserted, but the next level has a swarm of [SPOILER], or maybe two competing swarms, but neither is very effective except at getting beaten up and fleeing. So much for attacking with surprise!

Sadly, we had no Hazel, so we were down one ninja and one miniature giant elk. Also we were kind of lethargic. I blame that Trip guy, he's just no good.

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9 September 2017 - Saturday

We tried to catch Marith up on the Steven Universe she missed in Roseville, but she decided it was more important to catch up on surprise Nirvana in Fire, which is fair.

  • Nirvana in Fire 22-23: Still all fallout from the Worst Birthday Party Ever. Gee, do you think maybe Mei Chang Su is a terrifying manipulative person?

After Earl and Cat toddled away sleepily, full of BLTs and intrigue, Marith and Dave and Ayse and Ken and I watched some SU so that Jus can watch it during the coming week and not EXPLODE.

  • Steven Universe 3.11-14: These episodes are lighter and more town-focused, I guess for contrast after "Mr. Greg". The Gems hardly appear at all, but at least we get one episode with Connie.

It's not a week ending in Sunday if I don't blather incoherently about gaming!

Knowing what kind of spells I don't want for WFDW doesn't tell me what spells to actually have. The Wizard should be easiest, since she doesn't have to have a theme (she finds or is given spells individually, they aren't related to some field of actual knowledge). But, I really don't want to give the player the list of every possible spell and have them start optimizing. In GM mode, I could just customize the spell list for the Wizard I have, but what about Designer mode? Some kind of tree/prerequisites? No, that just makes the optimization start with the selection of the first spell. Too much work for me. Random spells? Or player chooses one of three spells presented by the GM (rolled with optional fudging)?

It looks like the stock Wizard and Cleric have about 30ish spells total, from level 0 to level 9. I can probably come up with that many spells as long as they don't have to be related.

But what about sorting them into level 1 vs level 9, or more painfully, level 7 vs level 9? Is spell levels even a thing that's worth preserving from D&D? I guess I can see not wanting some abilities (flight? teleportation? area attacks?) until higher levels, but the DW power curve is generally very flat. At most I can see putting some spells off until level 6-10, just like the advanced moves.

I write too slowly.

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8 September 2017 - Friday

Did I accomplish anything at work today? No, no I did not. Because I suck.

More disordered Weird Fantasy Dungeon World thoughts.

Rather than adding up weight values, I tend toward a simpler slot-based encumbrance system: you get about 5+CON slots to carry items in. Most weapons, shields, torches, etc take a slot, armor takes a slot or two if it's heavy, and most importantly, a backpack or bag takes a slot. If you want to get at something that isn't in a slot by itself, you're going to be making defy danger rolls if anything else is going on.

Another possible background for humans:

The Wandering Kingdom began as the court of an ordinary, stationary kingdom, but made the mistake of boasting that their palace was better than Queen Mab's. Now they are cursed to never sleep twice in the same place, and must wander the world. The lesser members of the Kingdom can return to the same building after a lunar month or so, and the middle ranks follow cycles a year or three long, but for the King and Queen, never means never.

Travellers are always accused of theft, witchcraft, lewdness, and other crimes, but the Wandering Kingdom holds to its notions of honor and others mostly recognize that, even if they laugh at the equally archaic costumes and modes of speech, and the Wandering Knights are respected by all travellers for the work they do in keeping the roads less dangerous.

Writing that made me aware of the tension between the two roles I'm acting in: designer and GM. The difference is that the GM gets to make up setting details, but the designer only gets to evoke the genre. Although, hm, looking at The Last Days of Anglekite, The Green Law of Varkith, and The Cold Ruins of Lastlife, the variant genre is evoked with setting details. Still plenty of blanks, but there is some structure to the map.

I dunno, man. Gaming is hard. Maybe I should stay under this rock. With the crawling dead and tentacled monsters from the stars that whisper things.

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7 September 2017 - Thursday

Today, I watched two episodes of Stranger Things! I am a video-watching fiend!

That is not what I expected to happen with that corpse. Or with that makeover.

Have I been reduced to random thoughts, because having to come up with actual spell lists (or whatever it is that the Hierophant and the Warlock get) is too much like work? Well, so be it.

One of the standard spells that especially needs to be thrown out is animate dead. When the dead rise from their graves, hungering for the flesh (blood, souls, etc) of the living, that's awesome. When any spellcaster can recycle dead enemies as safe and obedient meat robots for 50gp each, that is not awesome. (It's efficient, which is appropriate for many D&D-based subgenres, but not this one.)

On the subject of monsters, do I really want fairies? They seem cool in Pernicious Albion but are they actually cool? Maybe they're too much like humans, or too Monster-Manually (unicorn, dryad, pixie, spriggan, blah blah). But is it good to have something magical that's at least vaguely natural, or at least not tentacles from beyond the stars? And fairies can be creepy and horrific, and could in theory all be unique. I don't even have to explain what they are, since "draw maps, leave blanks" applies to cosmology as well as geography...

And what about demons and angels (probably the same thing (as each other, not as fairies, although...))? Maybe only the lowest, least abstract angels are enough like humans to make a contract with the Warlock. Still need a list of patrons, though.

Also need a list of strange gods for the Hierophant to worship. The only one I have so far is the god of snails, hermaphrodites, bisexuals, halfbreeds, and others who embrace or embody the power of AND, and I'm not sure what magic that actually gets a worshipper, or what geases it puts on them. Also considering falling stars, standing stones, and carnivorous flora, but likewise. Should I go for something more straightforward and combative, like Babeester Gor?

strange gods by marithlizard (Sat Sep 9 11:49:05 2017)

I love the idea of a god who embraces the power of AND - what about the hierophant pantheon being structured around linguistic/grammar concepts?

  • The AND god gives you the power to symbolically align or attach things - at low levels, only ones that frequently go together in common phrases or cliches, but at high levels maybe almsot anything. I'm not sure if this could work like alchemical fusion or more like synchronicity powers (what was the Ars Magica term forthat?) "I have peanut butter, and bread. I will make a peanut butter sandwich and the act of doing so will cause a jar of jelly to turn up in the near vicinity." Also, some possiblities for love/proximity/partnership and other mental manipulation spells. Other possible ways to and: shadows, mirrors. "Me? I'm just Bert. But ever since I met that guy, whenever I look in the mirror, there's an Ernie with me."
  • The OR god is the god of yin and yang, of finding divisions and categorizations and enhancing them. Also alternatives. "Put the weapon down." "I could do that, OR..." For physical manipulation at high levels, maybe something like ore separation?
  • The BUT god is not amused when you make those lame jokes about it. Its domain is limitations, and grants devotees the ability to maneuver in verbal judo. I cannot NO your statement, but I can add a BUT to it that will largely nullify it in the ways I care about, if I'm clever enough.
But, I might simply need more sleep and be babbling.

Re: strange gods by Trip (Mon Sep 11 14:28:54 2017)

That is an excellent idea, but too symmetric and clean and meta for this game. There is a pantheon, kind of, but the Hierophant's options should all be weird corner ones.

Re: strange gods by marithlizard (Mon Sep 11 19:28:09 2017)

Fortunately, grammar and linguistics are not short of weird corner cases!

Re: strange gods by Trip (Thu Sep 14 11:35:20 2017)

This is true, and I encourage you to write a NaNoWriMo about a world with grammar-based divine magic!

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6 September 2017 - Wednesday

After approximately one million weeks, we have returned to 13th Age! We spent all of this session eating We spent all of this session eating burritos and working out what is going to happen to the world and the Icons in the coming age, provided the PCs don't do anything unexpected in hunting down and finishing off the Devourer.

It looks like the Empire will survive, although diminished by the Crusader taking a big chunk of the north (First Triumph getting Devourered won't slow him down much). On the other hand, the Lich King will be brought back into the fold, and the roles of Archmage and Lich King reshuffled into the Minister of Yang and the Minister of Yin. The Orc Lord will be eaten by the Devourer, along with the dwarven city of Anvil, but the dwarves will do okay. Unfortunately, the elven civil war will result in elvendom splitting into many factions (remains of the unified Court, high elves, wood elves, drow that tried to get superpowers from the Green's blood and got demon-tainted, drow who got mixed up in necromancy, probably some drow who stuck with the spider theme, etc) and not being unified in the next age. Also the gnomes will bail on the faerie forests and align with the Dwarf King. Now that the PCs have freed the White, it will rescue the Green from the drow, and the Five will take over the northern coast of the Middle Sea from Drakenhall (and St Claire Island) to Concord, despite some infighting. The Priestess, having not had much impact on the course of history, will probably not be an Icon next age. The High Druid will, but probably with more emphasis on reclaiming ruins and less on farming. The Diabolist will be influenced by the drow-tieflings as much as they are influenced by her, and become less of a force opposed to civilization. The Great Gold Worm will stay stuck in a hole, and of course the Prince of Shadows will remain completely mysterious (although Shadowport might have to move a bit to be a better center of international intrigue).

Next week, flashback to the Imperial wedding that was interrupted by a volcano and a war and a memory-wipe! Also level UP!

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5 September 2017 - Tuesday

The cool, rainy wind coming through my bedroom window felt very nice, but apparently I can't sleep properly with the window open and no white noise. Bah!

Second episode of Stranger Things, still creepy!

I didn't think much about WFDW in Roseville, but I thought a little since getting back. There was a lot of walking to get groceries.

The Fighter's primary thing is their signature weapon. So, how do we make that weirdly fantastic?

Signature Weapon

This isn't your signature weapon because you always carry it, or even because you've mastered it. It's part of you on a much deeper level. Why is that?

☐ You made every part of it yourself from ore and seed and calf.
☐ It was created from your blood and bone.
☐ It has been passed down from parent to child in an unbroken line from your family's dark origins.
☐ You received it from a powerful supernatural creature in exchange for an oath that is yet to be fulfilled.
☐ You crafted it from a fallen star.
☐ The spirit in the weapon has chosen you as the bearer who can accomplish its goals.

Choose a base description....

Likewise, the Ranger has their animal companion.

Animal Companion

You have a close connection with a loyal beast that aids you in the hunt, acting as you direct. How did you get this companion?

☐ You found a strange creature dying in the wilderness and nursed it back to health. (fairy)
☐ The Dark Beast has served your family for generations. (demon, summonable (1d4 damage))
☐ It's your own bestial mutant twin. (human)
☐ It's the animalistic half of your own soul made manifest. (spirit, summonable (1d4 damage))
☐ Your first animal companion was so loyal that not even the grave could keep it from your side (undead, hungers for living flesh)
☐ Okay, you may have used your family's secret techniques to train it, but it's just a normal animal, jeez.

Name your animal companion and choose a look....

The Thief doesn't have a single hook like that, their thing is their skills. Poisons, locks, and traps could expand into alchemy and fantastic mechanisms, but maybe the Thief should be the option for no weird stuff, just skill?

thief class by marithlizard (Tue Sep 5 18:44:19 2017)

Maybe motivation could be the hook for the thief class? Why do you steal things?

  • Everything else you fence like normal, but you are assembling a fantastic hoard of object type X and that's secretly your passion in life.
  • You were sold to a Dickensian urchin ring at the age of four, and even though you are grownup now and out having your own adventures you know you still have to pay them dues regularly or they will Get You.
  • The dark god-statue in your apartment can only be fed by illegal actions, and you're stuck in a very long-term lease.
  • You crave the high from danger such that you are driven to more and more daring acts of burglary (gives you disad points)
  • Ruddigore-style family curse.
  • Your lockpicks are your friends, see how they glisten. See this one shine, how he smiles in the light.
  • With every theft/other crime you collect evidence about a theory you are trying to prove, or a cause you are trying to advance, or someone you are trying to find/bring down/whatever.

Re: thief class by Trip (Wed Sep 6 16:06:19 2017)

Oh, that could work! I guess to match the others it should be "how did you come to have these skills?" but close enough.

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4 September 2017 - Monday

I made it back from Roseville! The cats are fine, which I knew because Marith checked in on them. It is not as hot here as it was when we left, which is good.

In Roseville we played Dominion (I won! Somehow!), a little bit of Puerto Rico until we realized that it was going to take forever, Lords of Waterdeep, 7 Wonders, and lots of Pirate Fluxx. (Some people played Tzolk'in but it only seats four so I didn't.) We watched a few episodes of Steven Universe season 3, which were amazingly great. We ate food and more food and some additional food, and no one starved despite Sherilyn's worries. The kids swam and swam and shrieked. I swam a little and did not get sunburned. I did not manage to go out walking because it was roughly one million degrees out ("It's too hot in the Bay Area! Let's go to the Central Valley!"). In the car, we listened to Night Vale season 2.

There was no Marith, and no RPGs, but otherwise it was a successful vacation!

  • Steven Universe 3.6-10: Amazingly great! Especially Mr. Greg! But also all of them!

I managed to go grocery shopping, which was hot and sweaty but undoubtedly healthier than staying inside all weekend. Then I was lethargic, so I tried watching the first episode of Little Witch Academia, which was okay, but dubbed and not well. Then I watched the first episode of Stranger Things, which was pretty swell and full of doom. I will probably watch more of it! But not tonight, because sleep.

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1 September 2017 - Friday

No Avalon, only Zuul.

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31 August 2017 - Thursday

Today I implemented some organization at work. Yay?

Still not sure what to do with the Warlock's style of magic, but in the meantime, what about those non-caster playbooks? I had been thinking of giving them Secret Techniques of Elite Murderism at higher levels, but casters get to do freaky magic stuff from the beginning, so fighter/ranger/thief should get to do at least some of whatever it is they do from level 1.

But what do they do, and what's the fictional positioning for it? The stock Fighter has a signature weapon, but it doesn't seem like that weapon has a lot of mechanical impact; you can hack and slash or stand in defense with a regular weapon just fine. I'm tempted to make the Fighter's damage die d8 except when they're wielding their signature weapon, and maybe add some options for nonmundane things they can do with their weapon (like the advanced move where they can consult the spirits in their weapon, but possibly as starting moves, replacing bend bars, lift gates).

Post-mortem of last night's game shows that class design needs to be done carefully to promote the subgenre (including power level) that you actually want, so changing classes is probably beyond me, never mind making new ones, but it's not like this project was ever not stupid and doomed.

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30 August 2017 - Wednesday

The bus leaving work was late, so I just missed the connection. But that's okay, I can walk for half an hour and catch that bus further down the line! Except it's only about 20 minutes walk to where the wasteland of expressway with no bus stops starts. Bah!

Yep, I still suck at running Dungeon World! I have read how to make a monster scarier than its hit points, but I clearly needed to brush up, and also find some spine somewhere. I am too soft, and not willing to say, "Nope, can't do that", or have damage actually rip character's limbs off. I can't even manage to just make moves assertively (which, yes, means I can't actually do horror DW). I need to use the "when everyone looks to you to see what happens" clause a lot more. Or get wimpier players.

Anyway, that was considered a conclusion, so next week is 13th Age for sure.

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29 August 2017 - Tuesday

Tomorrow will be awful, because I suck. But tonight, Avalon! (Twice in one week!)

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28 August 2017 - Monday

Because I am not too bright about looking at my calendar, I ended up walking from work to the grocery store and back three times, but it all worked out and I did not miss the party for Coworker J2 and his lovely fianceé who are getting married soon.

When we stopped playing Dungeon World a few weeks ago, I just threw in some stuff because I didn't think I'd ever have to follow up on it. Now people are wanting to play more DW instead of 13th Age! Ack! I must think about this game instead of the purely theoretical one!

Okay, a couple more thoughts about WFDW. But only short ones.

What kind of creatures are warlock patrons? In D&D4 and D&D5, the options are fey, demon, or tentacles from beyond the stars. I don't see TTSNB as sufficiently human-like to make contracts with humans, they aren't echoes of humanity like faeries or demons. I am pleased with the "I don't have a contract with any 'Great Old One', I just follow the math where it leads" that I invented for my GOO warlock in 5E, but I think that's a different class than the Warlock who has an explicit contract. Maybe closer to the Wizard, or maybe something else entirely. (I do actually like 4E's connection between stars and Things That Should Not Be, and will totally rip it off, but not right now.)

What else? I was thinking angels, but they'd have to be mad fallen deviant renegade angels, which is pretty much the same as demons, right? Nature spirits that are human enough to make contracts probably count as faeries... No, I am thinking wrongfully! The Warlock gets a list of half a dozen specific patrons, just like the Hierphant gets half a dozen specific gods, not categories.

I sort of want "The Sole and Rightful Queen of the Fairies, Titania", and "The Sole and Rightful Queen of the Fairies, Mab" to both be on the list, but then I'd have to distinguish them from each other as well as from all the other possible patrons, probably by spell choice.

Speaking of Warlock spells, I think my earlier idea of making them summoners is bad. Monsters are supposed to be mysterious and unnatural, and if the Warlock can call up fairies or demons to have a conversation with at any time, that's not going to work out. (Every GM who would totally play a summoned fairy as a working-class joe, raise a tentacle. No fibbing.) So how do warlocks channel patron power, and what do they do with it? How is this different than what wizards do, in play?

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27 August 2017 - Sunday

Apparently this entire subplot was invented by Jeremy, so I don't need to redact spoilers.

When Mika fails to return from the dragon's cave, and it's getting on toward dusk so she should be able to teleport away if she's not in trouble, the other Heroines decide they have to go in after her. Naturally, they send the other ninja to get picked off, but when she returns with a report, they all go in the front door together. ("Order of the Gauntlet!")

Inside, there are spotlights from the ceiling to keep Mika from teleporting out of the tentacles grabbing her. The snivelly eyeball-face monsters creating the light don't stand up to the righteous wrath of the Heroines, and soon Mika is free, but then the creepy elf-thing that lead them to the lair appears out of the mounds of fungal slime and turns Lam into a garter snake.

The elf pops in and out, polymorphing Akrá into an iguana, dragging people into the muck to be dismembered, throwing lighting bolts whenever three points form a line, and generally being so annoying that it seems there must be at least three of her. In fact, there are! Nevertheless, the Heroines smite the hags with great vigor, despite Hazelrae being handicapped by a mundane weapon, and are on the verge of winning thanks to a well-timed healing spell from Ishmael, when one of the remaining hags causes the goo to condense into a dozen tentacle monsters made out of tentacles that immediately attack. No fair!

Cut to the Afterlife, where everyone who has died in the Desserin Valley in the past eight months has spent at least ten thousand years being stuck to walls or impaled on tentacles. Aside from minor lapses of scale, it bears a strong resemblence to the dragon's cave, and in fact the dragon is there as well, to explain the cold facts of this Afterlife which has no god, no judgment, and no escape. Things look bad for the Heroines of Red Larch!

Because they are the sort of people they are, the Heroines go around the Afterlife unsticking people from walls and removing tentacles. They are assured repeatedly that it's meaningless, but it turns out that vitue is rewarded even here, as the freed dragon regains enough of her self to realize that this Afterlife could have a god, and what better candidate than a ten-thousand-year-old dragon? However, a god needs living worshippers. The Heroines are possibly still alive enough to count, but will any of them worship a dragon?

In fact, Mara and Mika are willing to become the founders of the church of the Crystal Dragon (the two articles of faith are: "There is a key to every shackle" and "Boo tentacles!"), which is enough for the Heroines to be returned to life, fully healed, with an enchanted crossbow for Hazelrae, Due to the time differential, their bodies on the Prime Material Plane have not even started to fall.

"No fair!" cry the hags, before being finished off in a single round.

Shortly thereafter, Old Gnawbone makes her entrance, receives the Heroines' report, and tosses everyone out so she can properly mourn her daughter. This is obviously not the resolution she hoped for when she sent the Heroines to investigate, but she does not declare a perpetual vendetta against them at this time.

The Heroines were restored to life using the mana that will eventually be generated by worshippers of the Crystal Dragon, so if Mika and Mara fail to establish a proper church, that timeline will be foreclosed. No pressure.

Level UP!

Hurray, Avalon!

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26 August 2017 - Saturday

Today I was not smart enough to go grocery shopping. Instead I obsessively read Twig (by the same person who wrote Pact and Worm, which I have not yet read even though Earl recommended them, but will).

It's never stated in so many words, but the setting is pretty much, "The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818, was a set of lab notes". The viewpoint character is part of an elite team of novel organisms made from scratch and altered humans, who would be in middle school if they weren't spies and assassins in a Frankensteinpunk dystopia. So feelings. Much doomed. Very body horror.

  • Steven Universe 2.27-28: Rewatch for Marith and Jus. Take that, you clod!
  • Durarara!!x2 6: Rewatch for Marith.
  • Vision of Escaflowne 25-26: Love. The end!
  • Steven Universe 3.1-5: Yay, it's Lapis Lazuli! And watermelons! And various other plotlines!

Normal people worship all the Seemly Gods together, but you do not worship any of them, only your own god. What abhorrent secret about the Seemly Gods has been revealed to you?

☐ The Seemly Gods are not actual gods; they were created and are sustained by massive human sacrifice.
☐ The Seemly Gods do not exist, they're just a story told by the priests and princes to keep people in line.
☐ The Seemly Gods deliberately let monsters into the world, to frighten people into worshiping them.
☐ The Seemly Gods promise a just and merciful afterlife, but actually they devour the souls of the dead, destroying them utterly.
☐ The Seemly Gods spread their worship because when every living human is baptized to them, they can convert humanity to a better class of servant.
☐ The Lady of Heaven worshipped by the Arbonese actually is the supreme deity; the Seemly Gods are servants who violated her edict against toying with humanity.

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23 August 2017 - Wednesday

Still no Mike, and this week no Kelsey, but everyone else was available, so we ate Thai food and played Lords of Waterdeep (I almost won, but then I didn't), and Qwirkle (I sucked, but then I won after all).

Next week, 13th Age for sure! Maybe.

What does the setting look like? It's DW so of course the players have to have a lot of input, but I can draw maps as long as I leave blanks. I think these maps have a lot of swamps and dark forests, because less visibility = more creepy, I guess. I also want a wasteland of ashes and dust that caravans cross on the tops of buried mountain ranges, but there we have blowing dust to hide the monsters. Not sure how it fits in with swamps, though.

Isolated villages with horrible or just sordid secrets are a must. Cities need not just grand architecture to contrast with the slums, but strange architecture. Possibly everything should be built on bizarre relics of the past, which raises the question of whether this should be a far-future fantasy. Probably not.

In any case, there needs to be an ocean, because I thought up this bit as an example of human backgrounds.

The Arbonese are characteristically tall and thin, with pale skin that turns bright pink and then painful red under the sun, yellow to white hair, and blue or grey eyes. They came as colonizers with guns, compasses, and chronometers, but then the ocean caught fire and the initial expeditionary force was trapped without backup. Among themselves, the Arbonese have a great concern for status in different spheres (social, military, ecclesiastical, ...) and which one applies in any situation, but they rank everyone else at the bottom of the ladder whenever they can. Also looked down upon is anyone who deals with human bodies (prostitutes, surgeons, masseurs, undertakers) even if they're Arbonese. The Arbonese worship a singular goddess who allegedly created the entire universe and everything in it, but it's not clear how much good that does them since they apparently don't have souls. (They say they they have true souls with are too refined and ineffable for your crude animalistic spirits, but this is widely agreed to be bullshit.)

Speaking of things the Arbonese call "crude animalistic spirits", the Seemly Gods are usually depicted as animals with human heads or faces (shedu, sphinx, etc). They are sufficiently abstract that it's probably not meaningful to talk about what they "really look like".

I'm less sure about the nonphysicality of the gods the Hierophant could worship, but this is the sort of thing (NSFW)the priests of the Seemly Gods say they are.

The Warlock's patron is different. They aren't equals by any means, but they're beings of the same order, with similar interests and mutually comprehensible ways of pursuing those interests. This may limit what the patron can do for the Warlock, but on the other hand, there won't be any of those embarrassing mixups where the Heirophant's god goes, "Oh, you didn't want to solve that problem by giving birth to a million live snakes through your mouth? Weird."

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22 August 2017 - Tuesday

Today my schedule was all thrown off because I had to get Marith to help me take Aspen in to the vet for scheduled dental work in the morning, instead of going to work, and then I worked from home and had to get Dave to help me fetch Aspen home in the evening. Now I feel like I haven't really left the apartment all day, and I didn't eat what I normally do, and blargh! But Aspen is doing well and wasn't even as expensive as projected! Of course, with the number of times she's been to the vet in the past month, it was better to leave the difference as credit for next time...

But at least there was some Avalon-time! She has given notice at her horrifyingly mismanaged International Success Life job, so there is an end to the oppression, even if her new job will not be as high-level.

I've been concentrating on the caster classes, which in some ways are central to the genre, because I don't think fighter/ranger/thief need much modification. Maybe a little because I am imagining a slightly higher tech level, with guns instead of crossbows, but still plenty of swords and daggers for sticking into people. Barbarians, maybe not so much. I mean, you can grunt and wave a huge sword around if you want, but I think that just makes you a particularly inarticulate fighter.

DW druids are dedicated shapeshifters, which doesn't feel right for this kind of fantasy. I think it's the difference between turning into an animal, and turning into a beast. D&D druids are mostly casters, which in WFDW would probably translate to Warlock, but maybe Hierophant.

I still see no need to put bards into this. Maybe I'm wrong, but obviously I don't think so.

Earlier I said paladins seemed possible, but now I'm not sure. They don't seem to go with heirophants; holy warriors are more of an established religion thing, and the Seemly Gods of mass religion don't empower individuals. But, secret martial arts techniques of elite murderism have been mentioned, and isn't the church's order of elite murderers just the sort of group to have some? Being chosen by a god is nice (for a highly eccentric value of "nice"), but it's the church that pays for the shiny armor. Probably the Paladin would not be in good with the church if she's hanging around with PCs, but it's not like they can unteach you the secret knowledge.

Who else is in the basic playbooks? Oh, the Immolator. I don't know what to do with the Immolator in standard DW, never mind WFDW! But they might fit.

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20 August 2017 - Sunday

I managed to go shopping, but that's about it. New shoes, anyway.

I want to condense the WFDWgenre into a compact form for conveyance for others, which must mean a list of evocative bits because I read too many OSR blogs. For bonus points, there should be 20 (or 12, or 36, or some other diceful number) so I can roll up adventure seeds. However, making them simple words like "mutation", "infection", "faerie", "cult", or "deformity" doesn't seem evocative enough, and the only two longer phrases I've come up with so far are "The worm in the jeweled city" and "The words of the mad prophet, written on the tenement walls", which seem more like story titles. Bah!

Even though you can't play an elf or a half-dwarfling or a lamia in WFDW, you can still make your character unique through the power of mutation! Goat horns? Cloven hooves? Vestigial wings? Snake eyes? Second head? Go for it!

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