Previously, in Trip's Life...

28 February 2017 - Tuesday

I woke up feeling much more functional and only a little sniffly, which is good, but then I had to go to the far office, which is bad. (The frogurt is also cursed.) There are enough new people that someone was in my usual spot (I can't say it's really my spot since I'm only there one day a week), and the free lunch wasn't that great, so maybe I should stop going up there unless there's actually going to be a presentation (which is approximately never).


On the way home from the train station, I was feeling kind of low-blood-sugary, so I got real ice cream instead of Wow Cow. Yikes, too sweet!


I am 1000% fail at writing, but apparently I can read again.

The fundamental plot of The Stars are Legion (Kameron Hurley) is not novel: amnesiac hero of great reknown quests for her past so that she can overcome the impending doom. But this is Kameron Hurley, so it's full of disgusting biotech, doomed love, body horror, intrigue, beloved doom, violence, and mystery. So much mysterious doom. So much disgusting biotech. So much... you get the idea. (Also, no male characters, which seems perfectly normal but I'm sure will attract critical criticism.)

A Human Stain (Kelly Robson) is not explicitly Lovecraftian, but it pleases me in the same way. I'd say bonus points for a non-straight main character, but given that it's a horror story...

In Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth (Cassandra Khaw), the sequel to Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef, our put-upon ghoul-feeder (and minor celestial bureaucrat) from Kuala Lumpur is shipped off to London to deal with white people's crazy gods and gets tangled up in the old-gods-vs-new-gods metaplot of the "Gods and Monsters" multi-author series thing. So much doom.

I Hate Fairyland (Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu) is brightly colored, full of whimsy and violence and bitterness at being stuck in a Fairyland more cartoonish than Oz for decades. But mostly violence.

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26 February 2017 - Sunday

Hazel (the player) could not make it, but we had PAD&D5e anyway.

On the way back to the villain's lair, the PCs and the merchants they are travelling with have to fend off an attack by [SPOILER] (who are secretly [SPOILER]), which takes about two rounds of combat. (After being scolded by Rimaldo for unnecessarily neglecting the subdual rules, Mara manages to not kill most of the attackers. Perhaps the PCs really are heroes after all!) Maybe 5th level characters are supposed to travel in more dangerous areas?

Because the geography works out, they plan to stop by [SPOILER] to visit [SPOILER] who extended an invitation to Lam along with help at the villain lair a couple of sessions ago. On the way there, they get mugged just before dawn by [SPOILER] (who are very blatantly [SPOILER]), and have a rough time of it because Rachel and Edie cannot roll Perception worth beans and surprise rounds suck to be on the receiving end of. The conversation with [SPOILER] yields information that will be useful at higher levels, and also terrifies the PCs more, but does not help immediately beyond happening in a safe place to take a long rest.

The villain lair is still in use, although the villains seem to have drawn in the outlying camps. Learning from their XP, the PCs attack just before dawn with careful planning so they can get surprise. Hilarity conflagration follows, but although things look dicy for a bit, their preparations pay off and the PCs retreat with prisoners.

Next session moved forward one week because scheduling.


Writing? What's that?

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25 February 2017 - Saturday

Going grocery shopping in the afternoon lets me use boost to generate lots of Walkr energy (after using it Friday evening when walking home from work), but means that I have to accomplish all other things before lunch, which is hard.


Cat quite reasonably fears the germs, so we are not watching Nirvana in Fire this week.

  • My Little Pony 4: "Do not work yourself to death" is a very important message for children to learn! Also, "sleep deprivation is not good for you".
  • Durarara!!x2 2.4: Izaya's only been out for a day or two, and already Shizuo is 150% mellower.
  • Vision of Escaflowne 9: Van's tragic backstory!
  • Kabukimonogatari 3-4: Why no, Shinobu is not just a cute little girl with some magic powers.
  • Steven Universe 2.1: I guess that bit is obligatory, but at least they cleared it up within one episode. Connie is best.

Volume 2 of Interviews with Monster Girls (Petos) continues to be low-key, even lower-key than the characters themselves think.

Captive Hearts of Oz (Ryo Maruya, Mamenosuke Fujimaru) clearly wants to be Oz x Princess Tutu, but meh.

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24 February 2017 - Friday

Bah, germs! Why do you infest my cranium and force all my precious neurons out through my proboscis?


Why do I play so much D&D? Even 13th Age is just being D&D, with a plot from a module and Icon relationships instead of Uniques. Maybe next time people decide to play D&D, I should bow out, but then I would have no gaming at all. Argh!


Even if I were smarter, Spirits & Cat Ears (Miyuki Nakayama) would not be very interesting.

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22 February 2017 - Wednesday

No 13th Age, Ken is full of germs.


I was supposed to yesterday, but I suck, so I didn't call my mom until tonight. She is still retired and not dead, and living with my genetic sister in Calgary. My sister sounds just the same, and has a Tumblr and did NaNoWriMo last year. My mom has a pronounced Albertan accent.

My family is not weird and terrible. How did that happen? I don't think I know anyone else this lucky except maybe Dave.

Lucky by marithlizard (Sat Feb 25 04:59:48 2017)

I do - Jus and Nonny!

Re: Lucky by Trip (Sat Feb 25 11:33:08 2017)

Oh yes, I was thinking in our generation. Fortunately the old people with weird and terrible families seem to have grown past following the example of their upbringing.

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21 February 2017 - Tuesday

I managed to import my NaNoWriMo into Scrivener and break it up into scene-like objects. Next step, convert my flat file of cryptic notes into actual metadata on the appropriate scenes (or the whole project). Then I should probably figure out how to programmatically export it to an HTML page.


Alien Artifacts (ed Joshua Palmatier, Patricia Bray), like many anthologies, is what it says on the tin: humans make first contact through some kind of object rather than a living alien. None of the stories were that inspiring to me.

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20 February 2017 - Monday

No work, it's Presidents Spinning In Graves Day!

In addition to not doing any work, I also didn't do anything else useful today. I went over to Monkeycat Towers to play pad games with Nonny, which was well-received, but very soggy in the going to and coming home from, so I put off going grocery shopping until less weather.

Blblblblblbl.


Blades in the Dark, the game where you play a band of criminals in an oppressive electrosteampunk city powered by the blood of sea demons, where it is never day and the dead cannot rest, has finally been released. I would totally play this, if I knew anyone who played games other than D&D.

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19 February 2017 - Sunday

No gaming, only dying in a pit of uselessness.


I did finally manage, after endless decades of using vi to write fiction, to install Scrivener and go through the tutorial. It looks good at managing multiple chunks of text, each with multiple independent revisions and metadata/notes, and smooshing them together into one narrative, which is what I was hoping for. It also seems to have fairly powerful features for formatting the resulting output to be a manuscript for submission to an editor, a web page, or even an ebook directly, which are probably less relevant to my life.

Will I die from not hitting the Escape key often enough? Only time will tell!


Volume 2 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (coolkyousinnjya) has the expected wackiness, but is also unexpectedly melancholy.

I keep meaning to watch the anime of this, which is on Crunchyroll and everything, but Tumblr always foils me.

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18 February 2017 - Saturday

Too sleepy in the morning, so I did nothing useful and didn't make it to grocery shopping until after lunch.


We almost didn't have Ayse for anime, because she is sick and Nonny threw a huge tantrum at bedtime over having to stop playing with visitors, but it all worked out in the end.

  • My Little Pony 3: The Grand Galloping Gala! I think it does Twilight Sparkle credit that she doesn't presume on her connections, even though it would have made things easier this episode.
  • Durarara!!x2 2.3: Not a new character, but one we haven't seen much of yet. I wonder if he's weird, or just has a good Will save?
  • Vision of Escaflowne 8: How are they ever going to develop a theory of biology if they treat their fossils that way?! Also, I feel sorry for the snake.
  • Kabukimonogatari 2: Of course everything was ruined! Do they not read the genre?!
  • Steven Universe 47-49: Well, that's one way to end a season! I completely had not expected Sapphire and Ruby, but that was awesome. Lapis was awesome too. Why are we not watching season 2 RIGHT NOW?!

In volume 3 of Immortal Hounds (Ryo Yasohachi), we see that the vectors and escape artists are in fact horrible as an organization. It's possible that they are still doing what they're doing for the good of the immortals, but some kind of greater good or pure self-interest seems more likely. There's also some slim evidence that the world of the immortals isn't a simulation, but it's not strong enough that I'd want to make any conclusions.


As a Kickstarter backer (Kickbacker? No, I think that's a new cabinet position), I have a prerelease copy of Farflung, which might not be playable (plenty of tyops) but is feature-complete. This is a PbtA game in the genre of, roughly, far-future SF as seen on TV: Andromeda, Dr Who (especially the reboot), Red Dwarf, Farscape, Tenchi Muyo Lexx (but not Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica, it's much more about the small band of misfits). The playbooks include time travellers, hive minds, plant creatures (Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely in the genre), energy being, sapient spaceships, telepaths, everypeople, gadgeteers, holograms, and several variants on ancient death machines (optionally reformed). I might be too world-buildy to properly participate in this genre, but I do like it and could probably play most of the character types.

The system is not as thoroughly fiction-first as something like Dungeon World: moves are closer to character actions than trigger-by-fiction player rules. I don't like that, but I have no idea whether it would be a problem in play. Otherwise, it's pretty Apocalyptic: 2d6+stat, 7+ for a hit, 10+ for a strong hit, etc. The stats are Bottom, Charm, Down, Strange, Top, and Up, which is cute. The main resource (besides physical, emotional, and mental hit points) is "Points in Time", which come in two flavors, Future and History (Fx and Hx, but no relation to Hx in Apocalypse World). A lot of playbook moves let you move 1 or more Fx to another pool that represents a connection with an NPC, a gadget you made, your growing destructive power, or whatever: like Hold, but limited. Eventually these points go into Hx, which is not used for much, but inspiration from your allies can move them back to Fx, and so the cycle continues. (They also reset at the end of the session, as does pretty much everything.) There is little to no character advancement in the standard rules, but connections (which can be to objects and institutions as well as PCs or NPCs) come and go.

I would play it, with the right GM.

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17 February 2017 - Friday

Marith showed me the rest of Yuri!!! on Ice. Awwww! That was pretty adorable!

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16 February 2017 - Thursday

Once again Avalon did not make architectural use of my skeleton.

Well, really by marithlizard (Mon Feb 20 04:15:50 2017)

It's like she doesn't appreciate the elegance of your occipital lobe or something!

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15 February 2017 - Wednesday

In this week's 13th Age, Anw&emul; fails to persuade the Emperor to take her on as senior-most advisor, as expected. (Also, Mrs Li needs to be eaten by demons.) Then we planned a lot to try to get into [SPOILER].

The Chicken mole that Mike brought us was very tasty, but not healthy at all.


Into the Outside is the Numenera supplement for adventures into other dimensions. These range from just more regions to explore to alternate timelines of DOOOM (or maybe your not-yet-doomed timeline is the alternate!) to crazy places like the universe where thoughts are real and the dimension of living sound. (Also the living city-thing that Tides of Torment is set in, although mostly it refers you to the crossover book for that.) If the Ninth World runs out of crazy stuff to oppress the PCs with, this should keep a campaign entertained for a while.

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14 February 2017 - Tuesday

Hurray, Avalon-smooches for Valentine's Day!


But after Avalon went to bed because she lives 3 hours into the future, I found out that someone I know from Tech apparently literally flung himself from the Golden Gate bridge. Apparently the "no dying rule" is not as widely observed as I hoped.

:( by marithlizard (Thu Feb 16 05:01:53 2017)

Here are lots and lots of hugs.

Re: :( by Trip (Thu Feb 16 11:58:04 2017)

I did not know him that well (I've only seen him like twice in the past three decades), so I am not personally affected much, but he is a loss to the world.

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12 February 2017 - Sunday

It's PAD&D5e!

After having to retreat from last week's rescue, the PCs return to beat up some of the potential villain recruits, but find the rest have headed into the main lair to join up/[SPOILER]. They take their prisoners toward Yartar to have them reformed, easily thwarting the retribution of [SPOILER], but on the way encounter [SPOILER], who needs help with [SPOILER]s violating the normal usages of war in the name of racial hatred. The PCs try to negotiate, but the [SPOILER] roll too high on their Jerkitude skill and disparage Selûne. Moonbeam!

Rimardo is disappointed that Lam did not moral suasion harder before resorting to violence, but only the most obnoxious jerk is actually murderized, and the wrong is averted. [SPOILER] becomes king of the [SPOILER] and is appropriately grateful to the PCs.

The Water Baron in Yartar is apprised of the goings-on in her territory, prisoners are handed over to authorities for rehabilitation, and the PCs stock up on magic items for going back into the villain lair.

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11 February 2017 - Saturday

Hurray, Earl made fondue for us again!

  • Nirvana in Fire 8-9: Every episode of this show can be summarized as "the plot thickens". But in these episodes, the discovery at Mei Changsu's new mansion (did he know those were there? or just capitalize on the discovery?) sows discord through the court and he persuades his enemies to discard their tools. But, no princess.

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8 February 2017 - Wednesday

Because all the Sales people from across the hemisphere are in town, today is the day everyone is gathering in the far office. Also there are to be company pictures, so I have to look nice, but black does not photograph well or something, so I have to wear not my coolest outfit (in more than one sense; why do people keep their offices so hot?!). Blargh!

Probably my image did not even make the cameras that recorded it turn to stone. Hmph.


After commuting all the way back, I did at least get to play 13th Age and (accidentally) steal Ayse's pizza.

This session, we fought gargoyles, or the other PCs fought gargoyles and my character was stupid and useless. But, we got to Horizon, found it was under siege by the walking dead, and turned in our old icon relationship dice to find out that [SPOILER], who was the one scheduled to [SPOILER] the [SPOILER], was dead. This casts those two new relationship 6s in an entirely different light!

Next week, Anwë declares herself in charge of everything.


Bubblegumshoe is the derivative of Gumshoe (the investigation-oriented system seen in Trail of Cthulhu and Night's Black Agents, itself a derivative of the Dying Earth RPG) for the teen sleuth genre. It seems like it should work as well as any other Gumshoe game, but I am probably not genre-savvy enough to say for sure. It did make me think about my NaNoWriMo, although it is not exactly the same genre. But the heroine probably needs more teenager problems and fewer minotaur problems. Er, not that you can have too many minotaur problems, right?

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7 February 2017 - Tuesday

No far office commute today, only Zuul. And Avalon.

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6 February 2017 - Monday

This is pretty much my best hope for humanity's future at this point.


Reading this article on dungeon design makes me want to design a big dungeon for PCs to explore. But that would require gamers, and I think I've used up all the available gamerness. Also I'm not sure it's compatible with Dungeon World, although the rule is "Draw maps, leave blanks", so I'm not sure it isn't.

Maybe it's finally time to do something with dungeon-crawling magical girls powered by the Apocalypse...

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5 February 2017 - Sunday

Accomplished today: also nothing, basically.

Editing is hard.

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4 February 2017 - Saturday

Accomplished today: nothing.


  • My Little Pony 2: The first plot arc is already resolved! Well, it is a kid's show, and aimed at a younger audience than EG Avatar. One obstacle per character, one climactic confrontation, and done.
  • Durarara!!x2 2.2: Oh, there's someone who wants to kill Izaya. He's not unappreciated after all! Also, more development of a creepy and horrible plot from original Durarara!!.
  • Vision of Escaflowne 6-7: Asturia doesn't deserve Allen Schezar. But they probably don't deserve Dilandau either, even though that's what they're getting. Hitomi continues to take action.
  • Kabukimonogatari 1: Who is this Ougi person, and what is up with her eyes?
  • Steven Universe 45-46: More Lion! More about Steven's mom! Go, Greg!

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3 February 2017 - Friday

Apparently this is the day when walking home from work stopped being a thing I should do or have to do and became a thing I do. Weird.

Of course, this is February, when walking at 17-18:00 isn't swelteringly horrible. In a couple of months, walking home from work may be an entirely different proposition. Bleah.

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2 February 2017 - Thursday

Instead of writing, I watched like six episodes of Yuri!!! on Ice with Marith so that she did not have to sit alone in her apartment being blue. It is surprisingly silly, and also consists mostly of fabulous ice skating routines. There are definitely much worse shows that could be the season's big hit.

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1 February 2017 - Wednesday

This week in 13th Age, no living dungeons, but we're still on the back of a Koru behemoth, which seems to inhabited mostly by hang-gliding halforcs and the gargoyles they prey upon. Fey gets along well with them, since she is ridiculously strong and can survive anywhere and they don't hold us killing a bunch of them against her.

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Sproing!


This file was last modified by trip@idiom.com.