Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 January 2005 - Monday

Since I don't have to look for work (only look forward to it), there wasn't really anything I needed to do today except prepare an adventure for tonight. I didn't even manage to accomplish that. :(

Well, okay, I did manage to turn my caricature of a villain into a different caricature, with actual motivation, and scribble down a few notes, but it was still not much like an actual adventure.

But it didn't matter, because the mere idea of playing in my game depressed everyone so much that we spent the entire evening discussing how people suck. And telling Dalek jokes.

* * *

I dunno. Tsukikage Ran still doesn't do it for me, even after another disc. Apparently I am not cool enough to appreciate it.

games by marith (Tue Feb 1 22:03:00 2005)

Hmmmph. some of us don't find playing Tripgames depressing. (as long as no toads are involved).

If you run something for your complexmates, I promise to play in it!

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30 January 2005 - Sunday

Man, even if you limit it and put it in a elemental control, Desolidification is expensive! So I only added Stretching to Aether's powers, but it did come in handy in rescuing her teammates, retrieving the hostage, and not getting hospitalized. Admittedly, all the villains except the brain-eating lunatic and his handless henchwoman got away, but capturing them wasn't actually our goal. Plus, now we know about the evil homozygous clone army!

* * *

Oog. Too many gaming munchies. But I had a bowlful of snap peas for dinner, and that did not make me sick. Also I watched some more Kiddy Grade, because Marith never managed to come over and watch Rurouni Kenshin. Only one more disc before I have to start getting it from Greencine; guess I better adjust my queue!

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29 January 2005 - Saturday

I did almost nothing today. I think I grocery shopped, but that was about it. On the other hand, I no longer have to look for work, so slacking is okay! (Why does that take all the fun out of it?)

* * *

There was Fun, but no one could decide what form the Fun should take, so I was forced to express an opinion. (The horror! The shame!) I still like Firefly, though.

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28 January 2005 - Friday

HAPPY HAPPY EARLDAY!!

* * *

Asking interview questions is a lot easier, or at least faster, than answering them, so I always feel incompetent during phone screams, and this time was no exception. However, Rebecca (the Taos account manager who is arranging this assignment) said the client thought I did very well, so, er, yay me! (She also said that I had been selected for this assignment because Ric Urrutia, the CEO, had seen some of the code I wrote for Corio last summer and was impressed with my perl skills. Wow.)

Thus, I start at Google on the 7th of next month! I am not doomed to starve in a gutter! Yay!

* * *

Went to library and bank and coffee with Ayse. If I can figure out how to translate Paypal database entries into real moneybank database entries, I can probably pay rent in a few days! It would work better if I sold off more Book Buyers credit, though.

Job! by Silkie (Fri Jan 28 12:33:06 2005)

Yay! Go Trip!

re: Job! by Del from Philly (Fri Jan 28 15:29:49 2005)

This would be the same Google that phone screamed you about three times last year and didn't want to hire you? How interesting. Any idea how long this will be for?

Good luck!

re: Job! by Trip (Sat Jan 29 17:20:06 2005)

Yep, it's that Google. I doubt the same people were involved, since it's a fairly large company at this point, but I am still amused. I guess having Taos sing my praises overcame my unimpressive resume. Clearly I need to learn how to say "l33t perl scr1pt0r" in Resumese.

google by gconnor (Fri Feb 4 10:31:01 2005)

So that means we might be able to actually get together at lunch! Oh and Yay Job.

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27 January 2005 - Thursday

I finally got in touch with Taos about the thing, and the client wants to phone scream me tomorrow at 10:00. Eeep!

* * *

After some weeks of consuming my own glop, I have moved on to the next step, which is experimenting upon other people. I had to change the formulation somewhat (none of mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, or spicy sauce were allowed), but I think the results will still be useful.

Marith had not turned green or lost conscious after three episodes of Rurouni Kenshins past ingesting the substance, but she then went home, so I had to stop recording data. I'll check again tomorrow.

* * *

Then, because I am a loon, I watched another disc of Kiddy Grade Rewatching it, I can spot the signs of Impending Doom much more readily, and it doesn't take as long for things to start falling apart as I had remembered.

If I get a job, perhaps I will buy the 7th and 8th discs, but if I don't, Greencine has them.

glop by marith (Fri Jan 28 19:37:08 2005)

No mutations observed yet!

Re: glop by Trip (Sat Jan 29 17:21:09 2005)

Darn. I'll have to use more spicy mushroom powder next time.

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26 January 2005 - Wednesday

Hmph. Lee's will only hold my comics for another week or so. Sean (Shawn?) says he'll write down everything I have set aside, so if I ever get a job, it can be reassembled/reordered, but given the ephemeral nature of comics, I don't know how effective that could be.

* * *

Speaking of jobs, I followed up a bit on the job I interviewed for last week, and got a promise of an actual response sometime soon. I guess that's good, since it doesn't take any effort to cut'n'paste the "Thanks but no thanks, you feeb" form letter...

* * *

Taos called about a possible assignment! I had to confess to not knowing Python, but that didn't seem to be a dealbreaker. Alas, they didn't call until 17:00, so I won't find out more until tomorrow.

* * *

Tonight's glop has onion, carrot, and zucchini along with the chicken, but no mushroom or eggplant. I am so pathetic this actually counts as a change. But the carrots did not become soft and yummy. I must remember to cook them more next time. Maybe with more lid, to get that steaming action going on.

* * *

Wow! Image ransomed some of my comics! Not only does this make him the coolest Glorantha Hero GM ever, but it might give me leverage to negotiate a longer grace period with Lee's!

* * *

It's official: Dobromil is the Best Dog in All Balazar! Not only did his Shatter spell break the evil Lunar magic stick and set loose the lune which eventually ate the evil Lunar sorceress, but after the lune failed to drive him mad and had to go take down the rest of the PCs, he rallied the dogs and took the sorceress down so the lune could eat her!

Actually it was a pretty good plan all around, especially the bit where Dusana lit the sorceress's tent on fire at the same time Ulam was setting the guard spirits on the Lunars. And it worked, which is much better than most of our plans!

I think that now Dobromil should get extra bonus xp so he can get a bigger Ironfang spell.

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25 January 2005 - Tuesday

Not as useless as yesterday, even though Google dissed me. I replied affirmatively to a query about one of the jobs I applied for earlier, but not in such a way as to make them think I have skills I don't. (I guess I must be a broken worker.)

* * *

I went to Border's in downtown Palo Alto to spend some of the gift card the Bertanis gave me at Chrisbermas, but was betrayed by the stupid stupid number 22 creatures, which no longer pull in to the PA train station but just zoom by on El Camino. Hmph.

Despite having to make my way back from Menlo Park, I did successfully spend 92% of my gift card and return in time for...

* * *

Tuesday Night Anime, still attended by only the usual suspects, but now featuring Chobits in place of Ushio & Tora We are almost certain Chobits comes to an actual end!

Next up is, I think, Hyper Police and Haibane Renmei. If I get a job, I may even buy Hyper Police on DVD instead of showing the fansubs I got back in the mists of time.

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24 January 2005 - Monday

Useless day. Completely useless. (Well, okay, I applied for one job, but that's really not much compared to the vast wasteland of stupidity and sluggishness that is my Monday.)

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23 January 2005 - Sunday

Well, maybe that's got rid of the dopplegangers, but we still have to ambush the dire-wolf-riding hobgoblin cataphractoi and then switch to their side at the last minute.

We better level after this!

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22 January 2005 - Saturday

It turns out that if you get to Book Buyers at 10:30 instead of 13:30, your books get processed by 13:30 instead of 23:00. Who would have guessed?

I only had five grocery bags of books this time, so I only got a hundred bucks of regular store credit (plus the $200 CD credit I had before), but on the other hand, they only rejected one book out of all that. Clearly my library is l33t.

* * *

Coffee.

* * *

Lasagna! Also, more Firefly! But now I am sad that we have seen 1/3 of all the Firefly in existence.

More Firefly by Carl (Wed Jan 26 22:55:55 2005)

At least the Firefly movie (Serenity) should be out around September. Joss Whedon's scheduled to be at WonderCon in San Francisco February 18-20, same weekend as DunDraCon in San Ramon. Brian Michael Bendis will be at Wondercon too.

Are you watching Marti Noxon's new show, Point Pleasant? I've only seen one episode so far, which made me think of "Dawson's Creek meets The Book of Revelations."

Re: More Firefly by Trip (Thu Jan 27 11:47:32 2005)

Yay movie! Perhaps it will do really well and there will be more!

What is this broadcast television thing you speak of? (Tara's watching it and likes it, but the one review I've seen panned it pretty harshly.)

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21 January 2005 - Friday

Wow, fog! Lots of fog, even! I'm not sure what the technical definition of "limit of visibility" is, but I doubt it's more than 30 meters.

* * *

Augh! Interview! Augh! Suit! Augh!

Actually, the suit was fine, since it doesn't involve a tie or anything, although it would have been much much finer if the weather were twenty degrees colder. Stupid formal winter clothing.

The interview was probably less fine, but at least they didn't mock me to my face, so that's good, right?

* * *

Yay Sailor Moon!

Ayse made linguini with garlic-olive oil-clam sauce, and it was pretty good. My appreciation pales before that of Marith, though: she ate like three plates! But then, she's from a part of the country where they can just pick clams up off the beach, or something.

greed by marith (Sun Jan 23 13:48:03 2005)

Two plates! Only two plates! Sheesh. :)

SAILOR MOON by SERENA TSUKINO (Thu Feb 10 17:23:45 2005)

SAILOR MOON IS THE BEST ANIME EVER!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE SAILOR MOON!!CARD CAPTER AND ALL THAT JUNK STINKS!!BUT YOU KNOW WHICH STINKS THE MOST?TOKYO MEW MEW IT IS THE MOST UGLIEST THING EVER MOSTLY THAT WANNA BE JERK ICHIGO MOMOYA!!!!!!!I WANNA BE JUST LIKE SAILOR MOON!!I THINK ABOUT HER EVERY DAY!!!!!I LOVE YOU SAILOR MOON!!!AHHHHH

SAILOR MOON by SERENA TSUKINO (Fri Feb 11 17:58:18 2005)

TOKYO MEW MEW STINKS SAILOR MOON RULES!!!I HAVE THIS TOKYO MEW MEW CRAZED FRIEND I MEAN PUH-LEASE HOW CAN ANYONE LIKE SOMETHING THATS SOOOO RETARTED!!!!I ALSO HAVE A TEACHER THAT HATES ME TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT SAILOR MOON!!IT'S LIKE HE'S TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE!!!!AND AT SCHOOL I HAVE TO BE CALLED EITHER SERENA,USIGI OR BUNNY!!!BUT MY FRIENDS ALLWAYS CALL ME THOSE THREE NAMES!!!AGAIN I LOVE LOVE LOVE SAILOR MOON!!!I ALSO HAVE A FRIEND THAT LOVES SAILOR MARS WICH IS NOT SO BAD BECAUSE SAILOR MARS IS A CHARACTER OF SAILOR MOON!!!I CAN'T EVEN EXCPRESS THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT SAILOR MOON!!!IF I HAD ONLY ONE WHISH I WOULD WISH MY LIFE WAS JUST LIKE SAILOR MOON'S!!!I LOVE SAILOR MOON AND I HATE TOKYO MEW MEW!!!I LOVE YOU YOU SAILOR MOON!!!AHHHHHH

TOKYO MEW MEW STINKS!!! by SERENA TSUKINO (Sat Feb 12 08:17:54 2005)

TOKYO MEW MEW STINKS SAILOR MOON!!! RULES BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT!!!!SAILOR MOON AHHH*

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20 January 2005 - Thursday

HAPPY HAPPY TED-DAY!!

* * *

Went to coffee with Ayse, applied for a couple more jobs, read some stuff on the Forge to remind me that I suck completely and should never game.

* * *

Not only is my suit clean, but the nice lady at the cleaner's found a moth-hole I hadn't noticed and mended it!

Now I may wibble and wibble with doom.

* * *

Watched El Mariachi. It was so not a Hollywood movie. I think that's a good thing, although I'm not sure about the ending.

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19 January 2005 - Wednesday

Darn, Lee's (or at least Lee) is running out of patience with my huge pile of unbought comics. I hope this job interview works out!

* * *

I took my suit to the cleaner, just in case I want to wear it on Friday. Sadly they cannot clean my hat in an affordable or timely fashion.

* * *

Hanaukyo Maid Team is approximately as silly as one would expect. However, its depiction of MPD is slightly (slightly) less stupid than most fiction. That's probably not enough to make me rent any future discs.

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18 January 2005 - Tuesday

Woot! I already have a response to one of the job applications I sent out last week! Unfortunately, they want me to write some code for them to prove my l33tness, the Perl modules that would make it easy are broken or not installed on idiom, and the job is only 10-15 hours a week anyway. I guess I should write the code anyway, although it hardly seems worth it.

* * *

Double woot! I got a phone call about a different job, and they want me to interview in person at 10:30 on Friday! They are in San Bruno, but apparently relatively convenient to the train station, so it's better than commuting all the way to SF, which I did for a year.

* * *

Tonight we finished Ushio & Tora (or at least ran out of it) and started FLCL. It hurt Neil's brain satisfactorily.

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17 January 2005 - Monday

Taos decided to give the job to someone else. Bah. On the other hand, Kristine from KeepMedia gave me unsolicited huge praise, so perhaps Taos has forgiven me for not magically becoming the person Corio wanted but was too cheap to pay for.

* * *

The books that Book Buyers didn't want have been foisted off on the library, which is not as lucrative as taking them to Know Knew Books, but is easier and possibly morally better.

After some confusion and extra laundry I made it to coffee with Ayse and Marith only to discover that many people had had this idea before us. So we went to Book Buyers to get Marith a calender (which came out of my $200 CD credit; anyone want to buy some?) and then tried to have coffee again. This almost worked, except that once I got onto the net I found email about the clever plan for the evening which dictated that I leave the coffeehouse almost immediately and scuttle home to get my gaming stuff so I could scuttle to the Bertanis'.

* * *

Christy fed us upon yummy Indian food and pomegranate seeds, and then we gamed. The link from last sessions' fight to this session's fight was too obscure, so the PCs were able to spend time investigating aimlessly, and then the main villain was too wimpy and went down almost immediately. I need to remember that once Monkey King gets his paws on someone, it's pretty much all over for them!

People claimed to have had fun, though, and much experience was handed out, so I guess it was okay.

* * *

When I got home, there was a message from someone who wanted to talk to me about one of the jobs I applied for! I will have to phone him tomorrow!

CD credit by Silkie (Wed Jan 19 09:13:54 2005)

Can this CD credit be exchanged for sheet music? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Re: CD Credit by Trip (Thu Jan 20 15:15:42 2005)

It can! Although it would be kind of a waste, since regular book credit would work just as well. (I will have more book credit probably after this coming weekend.)

I'm not sure how to transfer the credit to someone who doesn't have a Book Buyers account, though.

Make a comment!

16 January 2005 - Sunday

Red Room was pretty much one huge fight scene against overwhelming odds (8 to 5, counting agents as 1/3 each) which ended in 3 of the 5 heroes being taken prisoner. Next fortnight, their teammates will have to rescue them from deathtraps!

Chrisber's character got knocked way out almost first thing, which was kind of a bummer, but he found stuff to fiddle with, so I guess he wasn't too upset.

I must power up Aether before the next session, but I'm not sure what to buy with her 10 unspent points. Ah well. I'm sure I'll think of something.

* * *

Now Marith is all caught up on Strawberry Eggs, in case we ever manage to watch the last half someday.

* * *

After doinking around a bit more with the concept map, I watched Spaceship Agga Ruter, which I had heard described as "Tenchi Muyo with sex". That turned out to be a pretty good description: it definitely looked like Tenchi, what with the starships like flying sculpture, casual use of antigravity in interior decoration, and numerous space pirates, and it definitely had sex! Contrary to the usual view of anime sex, it was all positive, mostly straight, all between humanoids, mostly consensual (and the non-consensual stuff was the result of misunderstanding, and not really presented in a positive light), and went to some effort to point out that not only women with large breasts are worth sleeping with! Not that I'm a connoisseur of pr0n, even anime pr0n, but I'd have to give it pretty high marks. It even had sort of a plot, although apparently the last N episodes were never made, so it doesn't really resolve.

Just a parasite. Wum.

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15 January 2005 - Saturday

I tried to get Ayse & Ken to go to Book Buyer's, but while I was waiting for them to phone back, I sorted out a bunch more stuff to go, and then realized it was really too late and they still hadn't called me, so I gave up. Next weekend for sure!

(Later I found out they'd never called me back because they were having a huge drama with computer parts and Fry's and multiple tech support weasels. Meep!)

* * *

I fed Marith chicken strips because she had no food and showed her the first disc of Strawberry Eggs, which she liked okay, and then watched some more Futurama. Yet another thrilling evening in the fast lane of life.

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14 January 2005 - Friday

Applied for two more jobs today. It's not as though I'm qualified for any of them, but I mustn't let that stop me.

* * *

Go go Huygens!

(Boy am I glad the Martian Aerospace Defense Force doesn't export their death rays!)

Now we just to get less inadequate spaceflight so we can take another look less than twenty years from now...

* * *

Despite the measures taken to keep Ken from crushing us all at Settlers, we were crushed even more humiliatingly than usual. I came in second, but I was five points (out of twelve needed to win) behind.

* * *

Disc 2 of Miami Guns, which continues to be somewhat postmodern and quite silly, with many Evangelion parodies.

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13 January 2005 - Thursday

It would be stretching things to say that I got up early to go in to the Taos office to make big piteous eyestalks at people, but I did get up and go. None of the three people I want to talk to is in, though, and now the network is spazzing out so I can't download concept map software, so perhaps I should go home soon.

* * *

One of the things I really like about Dogs in the Vineyard is the way characters bring out more of their traits as the conflict goes on. DitV uses dice, although it uses some poker terminology, but it seems like it would work just as well to use actual cards. I'm thinking something like this:

Characters have some number of traits, rated maybe 1 to 4. When a major conflict starts, the GM puts out one to three cards[1] and then play goes around the table, each person in turn invoking a new trait and drawing its rating in cards[2] and then trying to make the best poker hand of five or fewer cards (that is, you only need two cards for a pair) using cards played from her hand[3] and some, none, or all of the GM's cards. If you can't make a better hand than the previous best[4], you're out of the conflict. Last one[5] still in is considered the victor.

Each person's play is not necessarily an action in the way that a Hero or D&D player would think of it, although it can be. If you raise the winning hand to a level the next person can't match, that doesn't mean you knocked him out, just that what you brought to the fight made it so he couldn't prevail. Narration can use any trait you've invoked so far, and any trait anyone else has invoked if that player agrees.

1: I'm not sure what this number of cards corresponds to in the game. I think fewer cards makes the conflict longer, since it takes more rounds to build up to enough cards to crush the foe, but it also gives the person with more cards more of an advantage. Perhaps it represents the possiblities in the environment?

2: This is technically optional, if you suddenly realize you can make a better hand with the cards you already have.

3: Cards that you've played go face up on the table and are called "shown"; cards still in your hand are "held". You can't have cards not involved in the hand you're declaring showing: if you make a new play, any cards not used for the new hand get discarded, and too bad if you want them back later.

4: It's still worthwhile making the nest hand you can, because if you have a hand of the same kind as the highest one when you go out (eg, a 6-high straight vs a 9-high straight) you still lose, but you don't suffer any other negative consequences. If your hand is a lower kind (eg, two of a kind vs a full house), you are humiliated or bruised or whatever, according to the harshest trait used by the opposing side[6][7].

5: Or last side with only its members still standing.

6: Every trait is rated according to what kind of consequences it inflicts when you use it against someone: "social", "pummelling", or "wounding". If you lose by enough to take consequences, you suffer according to the harshest rating of any trait used by anyone opposing you. Traits that don't directly afflict another person, like Sneaking, are rated "Social", so they never raise the stakes on their own.

7: There should probably be some mechanism for when you want to beat up the skanks running around with your guy, but don't want to actually beat him. Spend karma or fortune points or something.

* * *

Whee! If I can feign knowing PHP (which I probably can) and LDAP (...maybe), I can get hours on a Taos internal project, and I also have a lead on a contract that I will learn more about tomorrow! The contract involves Windows, but oh well. Paying rent is probably more important than keeping my hands clean.

But now, I actually go home.

* * *

Muaha! I have gotten the concept map software Google pointed me to working! Now I just have to weave a tangled web of ten thousand million jillion little boxes!

And play zangband, of course.

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12 January 2005 - Wednesday

Set aside more comics at Lee's. Applied for another job. Went grocery shopping. Played lots of zangband, without really getting anywhere. Set aside a stack of DVDs for Book Buyer's this weekend. Watched the fourth (and last, I think) disc of Gravitation and added it to the stack.

* * *

I think the Giant Mutant Presence Attack System from Sheboyogan would work pretty well if combined with Everway. Every point of an element would equal 2/½d6, powers would cost between ½d6 and 3d6, all would be well. For extra fun, you could say that specialties that are all offense or all defense can be +0/1d6 or +4/0d6, but it's not necessary.

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11 January 2005 - Tuesday

Having done laundry so that I need not be naked tomorrow, I went to the coffeehouse with Ayse. We passed Book Buyers on the way, so I made the credit transfer. Wheee!

Now I have applied for four jobs, which is four more than yesterday! I would have applied for more, except that virtually all unix sysadmin jobs want linux, and virtually all linux jobs also want Windows. :( Curse you and your corrupt monopoly, Bill Gates!

* * *

Tonight we finished Invader Zim and began Azumanga Daioh. Next week, FLCL! (Not that I expect it to draw in other viewers, but one never knows.)

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10 January 2005 - Monday

My last day at KeepMedia is here, alas. I am sad, because the work has been interesting without being frustrating, and the people are good. If I got to work two pay periods for each month of rent, I could probably even have survived on it.

Perhaps Taos will get me a new, full-time, assignment right away and I can stop fretting about money. Wouldn't that be swell?

I have found a buyer for my Book Buyers credit, though, so that's something, and I will try to cull some more of my massive collection of dead trees and shiny discs for next weekend.

* * *

Second-to-last thing, we had a meeting so I could brief people on what I had accomplished, and everyone was very pleased about what I've done. Yay me!

Last thing was writing documentation for the couple of things I hadn't already documented, although actually most of it was in the trouble tickets. Now I am all departed.

* * *

Hm. I think this particular model of stir-fried glop would be better with double the spinach and no snow peas. Well, cook and learn!

* * *

Today's stupid gaming idea: what if we generalized the mechanics of Hero System Presence attacks? (Just in case there's someone reading who hasn't skipped this paragraph already but doesn't know how Pre attacks work: everyone has a characteristic, Presence, which defaults to 10 and has a "normal human" range of about 5 to 20. When you try to intimidate, startle, or otherwise impress your foes, you get to roll 1d6 for every 5 points of Pre you have, and an additional 1d3 if you have 3 or 4 points above a multiple of 5 (so 15 gets you 3d6, as do 16-17, but 18-19 get you 3d6+1d3, and then 20-22 get you 4d6, etc). If your total is equal to or greater than your target's Pre, he is pushed down the initiative order until after you and/or gets +5 Pre against someone trying to get him to go against you for the rest of the phase; if you reach his Pre+10, he hesitates and also loses a half phase, and gets the +5 for a whole turn; at Pre+20 he loses a whole phase, can't effectively defend himself, probably surrenders if he's hostile, and gets +10 against opposing Pre attacks for the turn; and at Pre+30, he surrenders or complies abjectly, if he doesn't faint. Since 1d6 only averages 3.5, against the 5 that a target of equal Pre has, it's hard to overawe someone from a standing start, but you can get bonus dice for good rants, incredibly violent actions, positions of obvious superiority, etc.)

So does this generalize to the extent of a complete conflict resolution system? I think it could! Because of the difficulty in two people of equal ability affecting each other at 1d6 vs 5 points, I'd probably change it to 1d6 per 4 points. Stirring in some ideas from Dogs in the Vineyard, the results table looks like this:

  • equal or greater: opponent's trait reduced by 4 (and thus 1d6) for next action
  • 8 or more greater: opponent's trait reduced by 4/1d6 for rest of conflict
  • 16 or more greater: opponent's trait reduced by 4/1d6 for a long time; opponent is defeated unless he escalates the contest to one using different traits for higher stakes
  • 24 or more greater: opponent defeated; all of opponent's traits reduced by 4/1d6 or one trait by 8/2d6 or more

There needs to be some notion of bad side effects from a conflict beyond the reduction in the trait you used, but it could be as simple as declaring at the beginning what you're staking (alternately, what's being used: words, fisticuffs, or real weapons). If the two sides want different stakes, the higher/more serious one applies to the fight, and the winner gets the initiative. (Is brinksmanship actually good? I'll pretend it is.)

As for traits, after seeing this list, I don't know that I'll ever be able to design a game that has a fixed skill/attribute list. :) So humans have 8/2d6 in Do Physical Stuff and Do Social Stuff and 4/1d6 in Do Mental Stuff, and you get to distribute some number of dice among some narrower traits. (Add better rules for stacking traits as desired).

Okay, so it's not great, but it's better than Deadlands!

* * *

Having nothing to do tonight, I sat down and watched the two GreenCine discs that have been languishing on my coffee table. The first was disc 4 of Kino's Journey, which is apparently the end. Nothing was resolved, but it's not the sort of series in which resolution is important (as should be obvious from the premise). And if there was anyone who still wasn't clear on the issue, yes, Kino is a girl.

The second was disc 2 of Requiem from the Darkness, which only plunges further into the depths of human depravity. I'm still not sure about the three weirdos (okay, two weirdos and one hottie) our hapless protagonist has fallen in with, but all the problems and wrongdoers are completely nonsupernatural, which in fact does make it creepier.

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9 January 2005 - Sunday

Marith came over to bask again, while I finished reading Sunshine by Robin McKinley. It was good! The genre is similar to that of the Anita Blake books, only not lame and with no psychic werewolf sex. It does cry out for a sequel, though.

* * *

Going grocery shopping for supplies to make dinner before gaming would be much more useful if I had a clean pan in which to cook them. Oh well.

* * *

The doom of Alazaïs, Jehane, and company has not abated any, but at least now it's doom on a larger scale! Whirling nightmare of death, betrayal, and destruction scheduled for the near future.

Why do I waste any of my characters' points on social skills? They never do any good, because it's player skill that counts.

* * *

Ah hah! Episode 9 of Gungrave finally gets us back to the monsters!

SUNSHINE! by kit! (Tue Jan 11 10:45:14 2005)

It does cry out for a sequel, although I don't know if we'll be lucky enough to get one, and in a way I almost hope we don't, just because I loved it so much and I don't want a sequel to be any less wonderful. :)

Sunshine! by liralen (Tue Jan 11 12:25:02 2005)

There were so many loose ends, and so many things that could have been done with the friends she had. I Soooooo wanted to see what Mel could really do.

It really did cry out for a sequel, and McKinley's been pretty good, on the most part, about not having her sequels suck badly and even have some of them reveal and unfold in really great ways. So I'm hoping, though I think, from rumors, that the hope is faint.

I enjoyed it, though, a good deal.

Re: Sunshine! by Trip (Tue Jan 11 16:53:54 2005)

I thought of not so much in terms of loose ends as of it being only the beginning of a journey, but yah. Mel should get more screen time. Hm. I bet a sequel from Mel's PoV could be good!

re: Sunshine by mony (Wed Jan 12 06:47:24 2005)

The problem is that McKinley doesn't write books until they write themselves, so there's no telling if there will ever be a sequel to something she writes. Her process is very... organic. :)

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8 January 2005 - Saturday

Geez, I have a lot of books! And only about 10% of them made the cut for "can be sold now with no distress", which is sad in that it doesn't get me all that much money, but on the other tentacle implies that my taste is okay. Book Buyers will tell me how much they're worth at 23:15, allegedly.

* * *

I let Marith and her germs sit on my couch and bask in the warmth of my space heater, in hopes of improving the Marith/germ ratio. I wasn't very sociable, but she napped a lot anyway.

Instead of doing anything useful, I spent all afternoon playing zangband very badly. The problem is that not only do I have Nodens, Lord of the Great Abyss, as my quest monster for 4100', but his buddies the Unicorn of Order and the Destroyer are also hanging around that level, just waiting to summon each other for reinforcements. I might be able to take Nodens, despite his annoying self-healing, but the Unicorn has 14 000 hit points, is immune to all my attack magic, and has large attacks that can't be resisted. The Destroyer is a bit weaker, and is vulnerable to a few attacks, but not really much better.

Maybe it's time to hack the source...

* * *

I gave Book Buyers eight bags of books and three long boxes of comics, and got back two bags of books. I think that's a pretty good ratio, especially since one of the cashiers mentioned that the overall ratio is about 1/5. I did not get as much cash as I had hoped, but on the other hand, I once again have enough store credit to choke a moose. Anybody want to buy some?

* * *

There was a vague plan to watch more Strawberry Eggs, but we never became organized enough. Oh well.

Next time... by liralen (Tue Jan 11 12:26:38 2005)

Next time I get to the Bay Area, I'll likely take you up on that offer.

Re: Next time... by Trip (Tue Jan 11 16:25:53 2005)

Which offer, the Book Buyers credit? I found someone to buy this batch, but I'm sure I'll have more by the time you visit!

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7 January 2005 - Friday

I can't deny that the work at KeepMedia is winding down, I guess. But on the other hand, my boss there said very nice things about me to Taos! After Corio sulking when I failed to metamorphose into the person they should have hired but weren't smart enough to, I am glad to feel competent again.

* * *

Today's webcomic investigation: The Doctor Pepper Show. This isn't one of the ones the AMoS artist plugged; I got it from Warren Ellis's blog. It is confusing, but somewhat pretty and fairly twisted. (You expected something else from Warren Ellis?) I'm not sure how much I like it, but I should tell Marith and her gang of biseinin-crazed slashgirls about it.

* * *

Hm. Apparently I am for sale on line. Well, except that I'm much more chitinous than that.

* * *

No Sailor Moon (with the boom anime babes that make one think the wrong thing (whatever that wrong thing is)) tonight, because Marith is the Sickest Lizard in the Entire World. :(

Instead, Dave and Ayse and I watched the first seven episodes of I My Me! Strawberry Eggs. I am relieved that Ayse liked it, because her taste is not as suspect as mine. In fact, she liked it a fair bit, and wants to see the rest, so that's good!

putting comments on their proper entries by marith (Mon Jan 10 07:57:23 2005)

Um....sick lizard? Sorry! (But your taste is not suspect! Your taste has long since been tried and convicted of being from Our Planet!)

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6 January 2005 - Thursday

Work! Which is like money! However, I learned today that my KeepMedia contract has only two or three more days to run, and that the Tellme bozos have already hired someone else. Bah! I am a bitter and sullen parasite.

* * *

Gwack! Chris gave me the URL for A Miracle of Science, but In my feeble-mindedness, I put it someplace where I didn't look at it. This was clearly a Mistake. I mean:

"In the year 2148, the biggest threat to interplanetary civilization is a plague of mad scientists. The Vorstellen Police were formed to track down and neutralize these threats to society using whatever technology they can bring to bear."

And it gets better from there!

(I have noted down every webcomic pimped by the AMoS artist, who obviously knows good webcomic, and will report on any that seem good.)

* * *

Parasites who have a prospect of destitution are not very cheerful, but parasites who also have hot food are are slightly less glum!

* * *

After the initial episode of shapeshifting, possibly undead, monsters, Gungrave has now had seven episodes of completely mundane gangster drama. I don't mind too much, since it's okay gangster drama, and is clearly headed towards the situation that seemed to prevail in the first episode, but I have to wonder how many people stopped watching around episode 3 or 4.

boom anime babes by marith (Mon Jan 10 07:55:22 2005)

I always thought it was "make me think the wrong thing", and well there are just so many possibilities there. But it's certainly hard to tell.

boom anime babes by Trip (Mon Jan 10 14:06:15 2005)

It is "me" in the song, but I changed it because I'm not sure that I do think the wrong thing? I mean, that Makoto is hot? But that's factually correct! That Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus are a couple? But they are!

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5 January 2005 - Wednesday

Today was not as productive, in that I mostly sat around. Some of the around-sitting was at coffee with Ayse, though, so that was nice.

Still nobody at Lee's who can I shake about the comics-buying, but the new girl believed me about stashing my comics, so that was okay. Oh. And grocery shopping. Wheee.

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4 January 2005 - Tuesday

I successfully (more or less) ran a bunch of errands today, despite them being very poorly arranged in sequence and location. Then I scuttled home to show anime! We had not decided on a replacement for Angelic Layer, so there was extra Ushio & Tora and Invader Zim, but I forced a decision by holding Zim hostage. Next week: Azumanga Daioh 1 & 2!

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3 January 2005 - Monday

It seems like a very long time since I've been to work. It also seems like I stayed up way too late reading. But nevertheless, I have done things and they want me to come back on Thursday. In fact, I made a script run an order of magnitude faster, because I am just that cool.

* * *

The first session of the Monday Night Game went pretty well, I think! I don't think I entirely succeeded in removing all the mystery from my adventure, but the first part was pretty straightforward, and the connection to the second part shouldn't be hard.

Christy, playing the avatar of Vishnu, Smiter of Demons, rolled 18 Body and 90 Stun on a 3d6 HKA the first time she attacked an actual demon. I think the might of Vishnu has been established.

* * *

Tonight's anime: disc one of Miami Gun, which is silly. Not particularly surreal, just comedic. It's in sort of the same genre as You're Under Arrest!, but more slapstick, and with many more guns, since it's set in America or a post-holocaust future or something. It's not clear.

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2 January 2005 - Sunday

Ack! Earl called in sick to running Red Room this afternoon, which is not what one wants to hear from the person whose house one was in all last night! However, Earl seemed fine then, and I'm not dead yet, so perhaps I have escaped the dread contagion.

Anyway, no Red Room meant that Mike and Jeremy got to r0xx0r the rest of us at Carcassone, which could be a pretty fun game when not hopelessly outmatched. Then the gaming moved to Mike's so that Edie could sleep, at which point Adam and I bailed. I went home and worked on tomorrow's adventure in blissful solitude.

calendar! by Ayse (Wed Jan 5 09:10:06 2005)

We played D&D on Saturday, didn't we? Or am I very confused indeed?

re: calendar! by Trip (Wed Jan 5 13:54:39 2005)

You are correct! I am hopelessly confused! But I have unconfused myself, I think!

Carcassone by gregbo (Wed Jan 5 16:55:32 2005)

Seems like an interesting game. I enjoyed visiting the old city during my last trip to France.

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1 January 2005 - Saturday

Earl tried to assemble people for D&D, but I was so lame in organizing that we didn't actually get together until after dinner. Only then did Earl announce that we would be using 3.5, so character creation was slowed by our only having one PHB and one DMG. Still, we were reasonably expedient, and Ken, who made a straightforward barbarian, had time to make a fighter for Cat and a half-orc rogue for JHart, who showed up late.

It turned out that the highest Int bonus in the party of five was +1, and so was the highest Charisma bonus. But on the other hand, we had a bison! And so many undead were crushed, Ken's barbarian briefly became reeve of an entire valley, and it all turned out for the best.

Earl lent me more books than I could easily fit in my bag, including the two Repairman Jack books I haven't read yet, and the sequel to Jumper! Woot!

* * *

Because I'm a doof, I stayed up too late watching the second disc of Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex and the second disc of Wolf's Rain, and then reading. The major's character design doesn't annoy me as much now, although her costume still does.

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