Archive for the ‘Rants –’ Category

Too much fun

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Something’s got to give. I work 35-40 hours a week between my two jobs. I run or play in 3.5 RPGs per week. That’s about 6 hours apiece, so another 18 hours (24 every other week). 4 hours or so for darts.  6-7 hours for board games on Thursdays. That’s 75 hours. And theoretically I spend 56 hours sleeping each week. A week has what, 168 hours? Assuming I spend 25 hours a week on meals, chores and hygiene, 3 hours a week on this blog and 4 hours getting from place to place… that leaves me 5  hours each week to watch movies, read books, play video games, surf the net, and all the other fun relaxing things I’d like to do.

And I already multitask like a champ. I read books or play videogames while I walk. I watch movies/tv and play videogames. I watch Doctor Who while I paint miniatures. I need more spare time, and until I’ve got ready access to a pill that makes sleep unnecessary I’m going to have to give something else up. Right now the solution seems like it’s going to have to be one of my several Role-Playing games. The question then becomes which one.

On Fridays I host I Podcast Magic Missile’s weekly game, which is usually some kind of story or indie game. Right now I’m running Monsterhearts. There is lots of story, drama and Roleplaying. I’m not giving that up.

On Tuesdays I run or play Pathfinder Society at Fun-N-Games. This is fun, crunch heavy, RP light. Still there is some RP, and I do like a nice bit of tactics every now and again. And hell, I’m playing a half blind (can’t see past 30 feet) oracle with my new favorite Pathfinder spell, Murderous Command. Last time I played I never even drew my sword, instead sowing strife amongst our enemies and letting them do the work for us.

On Mondays I host Billy’s campaign. Which was All Flesh Must Be Eaten, and then we took a brief stint into  Apocalypse World (for two sessions) and then switched to Big Eyes Small Mouth. We’ve only had one session of BESM so far, and I’m playing a 16yo girl who dabbles in Poetry, Manners, and Witchcraft but largely has no useful skills. The most exciting thing I did was go shopping for new clothes … but then if we’re doing an “anime” game, might as well go whole hog.

Finally every other Sunday Dave is running a Dungeon World game at the store. Again, we’ve only had one session, but it was a LOT of fun. And it is Powered By Apocalypse World so kind of hard to go wrong, even when you’ve got an 8 player party. That’s right, we had 9 people at the table and it was still pretty damn sweet.

I suppose I could ditch the Darts League… however I’d feel pretty bad. Besides our captain Joanna, I’m pretty much the only person who reliably shows up. And we really need 4 people. We’ve already got 2 make up matches to do, which will probably end up happening early saturday or sunday afternoon sometime.

So, most of you who read this know me. What should I drop? What do I give up? Or do I just suck it up and deal with having less than a dozen hours each week that aren’t completely spoken for.

RIP Google Reader

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

If there is one service I use to access the internet more than any other it’s Google Reader. Google Reader tracks for me 131 websites. Some of them update three times a week (or more) like Penny Arcade. Some of them update once every 1-3 months (like Lackadaisy). Most are somewhere in between, but when I discover a new website, with periodical updates, that seems interesting the first thing I do is find the RSS feed, and plug it into my reader. That way I never miss anything. And yeah… I’m usually behind, right now having nearly 200 unread posts, but they’ll wait for me. Maybe today I can only read 2-3 comics, and a blog post.

I’ve tried a couple alternatives, but only just barely. Do you use an RSS feed reader of some kind? What is it? Keep in mind a lot of people are looking for alternatives, so probably a lot of potential services are going to be having problems for the next couple of days.

Ahh, that was much better.

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

So I gave up on the 40k campaign. As much as I wanted to like it, the main problem is that the game is terribly balanced. I was kind of looking forwards to Fantasy Fight Club (or whatever it’s called) which is a kind of minimalist hero fight multi-match. It looks like it won’t be happening Saturday though as the organizer is going to be missing the first one.

However without having to worry about the 40k campaign, I was able to get a few board games in (a little King of Tokyo, some Great Heartland Trucking Company (review coming soon), and a game of Puzzle Strike (review coming soon)). I even got a minuscule bit of painting done. Good enough.

You leave no alternative but Peace

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

So I got to, nay had to, shout this today, in my most enraged voice, during the 40k Campaign meeting. You may already know this, but the “motto” of Warhammer 40k is In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future there is only WAR. We are playing a 40k campaign at the store, and I’m playing Tau. Every race has a special rule, and my rule is each turn I can “diplomacize” one opponent, who then can not attack me or otherwise wreck my shit. Of course, I’m not allowed to do this to the same person twice in a row. I really only have one opponent to worry about, “The Northern Alliance”, a vile collaboration between Necrons and Grey Knights. Space is tight, and planets grow scarce. We were discussing the possibility of them breaking their alliance, or other changes to the political situation, and complaining about not being able to attack me. I offered several possible, mutually beneficial outcomes, to Ryan, but none were deemed acceptable, so I roared, “Then you leave no alternative but Peace!” It’s was pretty epic.


I Podcast Magic Missile

Thursday, February 21st, 2013



So, we’ve only just started, but my Friday Gaming group has just gone live w/ our Podcast and Actual Play website:

There is a small amount of stuff up already, but here’s the deal: We’ve got two main kinds of content for now, both of which are in podcast format. Some of the shorter ones are just general gaming discussion, and we cover a broad range of topics, mostly related to gaming in one format or another. The second, longer type of post is Actual Plays from games. We’ve done two seasons of Apocalypse World, but sadly the first couple of sessions did not get recorded. We’ve also done quite a few “one-offs”, things like Vesna Thaw, Baron Munchausen, Fiasco (several times!), and much more. We’ve also just started a Monsterhearts campaign (which I’m running) which some of the APs from that will surely go up soon like.

Be warned there is cursing, and some adult content in the actual plays and discussion podcasts.

40k takes too long

Thursday, February 14th, 2013



I like games. You might have noticed. Actually, let’s be fair, I love games. Another thing that I like doing is assembling models. Papercraft, or plastic, metal, glue and modelling clay. Yet another thing I like doing is painting models. So one might think (and I fall into this trap repeatedly) that Warhammer 40k or Warhammer Fantasy would be the perfect game for me. The problem is that when I’m spending literally one third of my waking hours playing a game that’s probably, usually too long. I mean sure, the occasional game of Axis and Allies or Civilization the Board Game or Diplomacy.

However something I’m putting this much time and money into, just to get to the point where I’m able to play a game, shouldn’t cost nearly this much of a time investment to play.  A couple hours for a game, sure that’s reasonable. I’m going to try and do some 1000 point “quick games” and we’ll see how that works out. Maybe with a bit more experience I can get the game times down.

Telepathy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Right, so I’m not actually telepathic, but I suspect that if i had a super power that us the one that would leave me most happy. If we are just talking useful then teleportation would probably be the most powerful, or possibly invisibility.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that what ever power we are talking about is not crippled with side effects or granted by an evil genie. You don’t have to disrobe to turn invisible, what you are wearing and carrying disappears with you. Teleporting wouldn’t leave you dead in a mountain or all of your possessions behind. Similarly telepathy wouldn’t be always on, or only one way.

There are many uses to which you could put teleportation, both humanitarian and self aggrandizing . Where I able to teleport, setting up a permanent base on the Moon and/or Mars would probably be my top priority. Which of course is excellent because it fits the bill for altruism and greed at the same time… Saving the human race from global catastrophe would certainly qualify as altruistic, and being in three baskets instead of one would certainly be a worthwhile goal, and the opportunities for profiting from such a venture are basically limitless.

Invisibility doesn’t have as obvious uses for good, but certainly could allow you to steal anything and everything you could carry. You could be rich, maybe steal back precious art, save hostages but the altruistic possibilities are a bit limited and contrived.

Telepathy could certainly be used for nefarious or beneficent  purposes, stealing secrets or interrogation good guys or bad guys for fun and profit. That said, altruism nor wealth directly lead to happiness. On the other hand, I feel like being able to directly, and unambiguously communicate with other people could. So often I’ll talk to someone, and maybe, probably, kind of I think I know what they mean. And even if I act in a way that shows I the way I interpreted what they said obviously there is a high probability that either they’ll misunderstand me in return, or they’ll realize I misunderstood them but are too embarrassed to correct my misapprehension. On the third hand (which is an entirely different super power) maybe telepathy would only reveal the awful truth. If the majority of what people say is polite lies, would knowing, really knowing, that lead to happiness or would it instead cause sadness and depression?

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear what you think the most useful super powers would be for Greed, Altruism and Happiness… Which would you pick? Me I’d probably go for Teleportation, even though I doubt it would make me as happy as Telepathy, I would use it for the benefit of mankind, and hopefully find a measure of happiness in so doing. Or maybe I’d just steal everything (though I’m not sure where I’d put it).

Why I would like to go to Mars.

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
If I could actually be a colonist! OMG, nothing I'd rather do!

If I could be a Martian colonist! Honestly there is nothing I would rather do than help make this kind of book a reality!

So Mars One looks to be one (if not the) first opportunity to get humans on another planet in permanent habitation. They’ve asked for volunteers to go, and while I doubt I’ll actually make the cut (do they really need a web-developer/librarian?) I can think of little I would rather do. I just got an email asking why, and I’m going to go ahead and answer that here (in addition to responding).

I would love to go to Mars. Since I was a teenager I’ve been reading Science Fiction about amazing adventures in space. I know reality will likely be far more tame then most of those old Analog magazines, but I can still think of almost nothing I would rather do.

There’s probably no sentient life on Mars, but it is super important for humanity to spread out to other planets before something terrible happens on this one. It really is only a matter of time before either something beyond our control like a rogue asteroid wipes us out. And failing that there’s more and more ways  we could destroy ourselves whether it’s a WWIII or a Zombie Apocalypse or more likely something else totally unexpected. The sooner we have a viable colony on Mars, the safer the human race’s survival will be.

Then of course there’s the science! We stand to learn so much by living in a different environment, even if the one we would be living in would be mostly artificial, Mars’ environs would be accessible. So many fields could benefit too, whether it’s comparative Geology, to collaborating on Astronomy projects, and a multitude of other possibilities ripe for discovery.

Personally the chance to walk on another planet, and see the Sun set (and rise) on a Mars would be totally worth all the isolation and hardship that would be entailed with this kind of project.

The anticipation is killing me

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

I’ve got big plans for Friday, and I’ll be frank, I can’t wait. I’ve had a game for almost fifteen years, and never actually managed to play it. That will change at the end of this week. The game? The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen: A Role-playing Game in a New Style. I’ve put a little preparation in and I am going to detail that below, so if you are attending and want to keep it a surprise, stop reading nor or when I mention “additional spoilers”.

So this may be the first published story-telling style Role Playing game. I certainly can’t think of anything else that fits the bill and is older. The game mechanics, such as they are are fairly simple. Each person dons the persona of a Noble personage and will tell a story. Wagers will be made, duels may be fought, drinks will be drank, and assuming everyone survives the best story will be decided at the end of the night. Someone starts recounting the most entertaining story that ever happened to them. The more unbelievable and fantastic the better. Actual veracity is not a virtue here. At some point during the story, if say it gets boring, or someone is just feeling persnickety, they can interrupt with a wager. To make this more awesome I’ve acquired a large supply of gold dollars. Now the wager could also be called a complication. The storyteller can either take the wager, and incorporate the suggested facts into their story, or they can refuse, and put up a dollar of their own. This continues until someone relents or a duel breaks out. I’ll come back to duels.

Eventually everyone will have told a story. Some people will be a little richer, some a little poorer. Probably no one will be broke or dead. Here’s the beautiful thing about this game. All the money you’ve earned telling stories, and messing with other people… you don’t get to keep it. Instead, at the end of the game it’s voting power. Each person in turn will take their entire coin person and give the contents to the person who they thought told the best story. You are of course not allowed to vote for yourself. Whom ever has the most money after votes are “tallied” wins, and be they an honorable person will use the money to procure drinks.

I said there would be additional spoilers, and here they are. Remember when I mentioned duels? Well I’ve acquired a brace of Nerf dueling flintlock pistols (on loan from the inestimable Grey). Further I have emptied one of my miniatures cases, might just originally have been a repurposed gun case and arrayed the weapons within. In the game it mentions that swords or pistols are the preferred means of resolving disputes, but that failing to have those handy, Rock Paper Scissors is an acceptable substitute. But yeah, while a Nerf Duel may take a lot longer, it’ll be hella cooler.

Hardcore Casual

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

snow 3

So you are probably familiar with the term Casual Game … the majority of the games on Kongregate fall into this category. One of several ways I like to describe myself is as a hardcore casual gamer. Part of the reason is I like the juxtaposition of words. It sounds like it is an Oxymoron, but it’s not actually. I do get on Kongregate and achieve the Badge of the Day practically every day… Or more accurately most days, I’ve already achieved the the BOTD and it’s just a matter of loading the game far enough to collect my extra points. So in case you’re not familiar with this beautiful skinner box, here’s how it works. Each day they pick a game, and one the game’s badges to be the Badge of the Day. Much like achievements in Xbox and PS3 games, many games have badges you can earn for certain accomplishments, and each badge gives you 5, 15 or 30 points depending on how hard it is. The Badge of the day is worth extra points, and if you link your Gamestop account to your Kongregate account you also get gamer points. And just getting Kong points (and Gamer Points) is itself kind of a game. I did the math when this started a year or so ago, and getting the badge of the day practically every day, I am getting close to the point where I can get a free game from Gamestop.

On the rare occasions when I haven’t already gotten a badge I’ll usually go ahead and get all the badges for the game… most games have 3 badges, with the middle one being “complete the game”. Many of the games can be totally beaten in an hour or two though some require coming back to over the course of the week. Incursion and The Jumping line are my most recent plays, though I am looking forward to putting some time into  Hanna in a Choppa 2. There are tons of other great games in almost every genre on Kongregate, but most are pretty casual. If you have a favorite game I’d love to hear about it.

I want to close with one thing. If you have not played Frog Fractions, you need to do that right now. Seriously. Also don’t read the comments on the site, just go play it. Also no spoilers in the comments here please.