candidgamera: (Default)
I used the free Monday evening to take care of several things - paying bills, cleaning my razor, writing up my Previews order for the month. It was wonderful. I even did a little work on my Legion campaign - I really need to decide if I want to run that, or D&D, on Saturday. Hmmm..

Sinusoidal

Jul. 13th, 2012 09:45 am
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It's raining a bit today - I might've guessed that it would be. My sinuses attacked yesterday to such a degree that I ended up taking a nap. Feeling better today.

This weekend, I am planning very little - some of my gaming group is coming over for movies, board games, et cetera. There will be popcorn. But I won't be running a game (having run three of the last four weeks), and Eric isn't ready to run a game, and Kurt can't be there to run one of his games, so no roleplaying will take place.

Next week, though, I'll probably be back in the saddle. Maybe my D&D game.
candidgamera: (Default)
I'm having one of those days that makes me wonder if I have adult ADD. Every little noise and stimulus is irritating me, distracting me.

On the up-side, my usual weekly 4th Edition D&D game is cancelled this week, which means more free time to hang with my folks and more free time in general. That'll help moderate the stress level.

Mom got out my vacuum and was going to start cleaning (as she is wont to do) and discovered there was some kind of sludge in it that smelled bad and seemed relatively uncleanable, as it was all through the hose and everything. now, I sweep somewhat rarely, so since the last time she visited and did her whole-house cleaning thing, I'd used it to clean the closet I'd cleared out, and before that, to clean up my window AC unit. Neither of those things seems to account for the smelly sludge, though - and ultimately that vacuum was unsalvageable.
candidgamera: (Default)
So, the D&D 5th Edition playtest stuff becomes available today, and I suddenly realized I'd been operating under a mistaken assumption - I thought they'd make the material available to GMs to run at home, to provide feedback. Instead, it's an online playtest - I didn't sign up to be a GM for it as it turns out, but a player. At least, that's what I'm getting from the non-disclosure agreement.

That is substantially less interesting, and I doubt I can make time for it.

Twitch

Apr. 24th, 2012 11:05 am
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So, I pushed a car on Saturday. Specifically, my friend Eric's Chevy Blazer.

Eric has been having intermittent starting problems with the vehicle - he even had it towed once, but the tow company reported it started fine for them, so no problem was diagnosed. The third non-starting incident was this past Saturday, about 1AM, after the D&D game. Eric, and Kurt who-rides-with-Eric, were potentially stranded.

So, flashlight in hand, I raised the hood, and watched the engine parts move as he tried to start his car a dozen times. Nothing leapt out to my inexpert eyes, so it was time for Car Troubleshooting - Nerd Style.

Meaning, of course, Google.

An internet search with the best description of his problem I could muster in my limited grasp of automotive terminology revealed a couple of possibilities - one or two of which would basically mean a tow, as we wouldn't be able to pull the fixes off ourselves. One option presented in a single comment on a messageboard, though, offered a ray of hope.

If the car's flywheel has missing or damaged teeth, it can fail to engage with the starter, resulting in the engine not starting. The workaround for this is to move the car a few inches while in gear, and then try to start again. So the gouty, 50-year-old Kurt and I pushed Eric and his blazer uphill (my driveway slants, and he was parked too close to my own vehicle to allow him to roll further downhill) six inches - and sure enough, it started.

So glad the wet ground didn't make my foot slip out from under me with that Blazer ready to roll down on me.

Dramatics

Mar. 13th, 2012 11:16 am
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One of my 4th Edition groups may be doomed - two of the players, a married couple, are having real-life issues. Not with each other, mind you, but more along the lines of employment.

Of course, in my own group, there's been an amicable split between two players who are dating, but one of them may yet leave.

Sad times all around.
candidgamera: (Default)
I am enjoying an unusually unoccupied week, this week. My gaming session last Saturday was canceled due to weather; the one I attend on Mondays was canceled due to illness, and the one for today was canceled due to the GM taking a trip out of the country. As a result, I've just felt ... great!

Not that I don't enjoy the games, but sometimes I feel like I'm neglecting my other hobbies.
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I meant to go home early yesterday and put in some time on Soul Calibur V, but ended up playing "just a little more" of X-Com first, after which it was bedtime. Damn the specter of Microprose software, and its sinister hold over my soul! Ah, well. I'll get to it this weekend. Probably.

What I really need to do is buckle down on my D&D campaign stuff. I need to plan an adventure, compile and digitize some notes, write the true story behind the creation myths, and get off my ass and do something with the session recordings I've been taking. Things to do, always things to do...
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Couple of folks in the D&D group couldn't make it last night, at the last minute, so I ended up trying out a fun new board game, Dominion.. and buying the starter box set for Warhammer 40K. I really, really don't need another hobby to sink hundreds of dollars into - I already quit Magic twice. Bad impulse control.

Well, if nothing else, I can paint the miniatures and use them for roleplaying games.

Nuisance

Feb. 1st, 2012 10:12 am
candidgamera: (dragon turtle)
One of my 4th Edition Dungeon Masters is a bit of a scatterbrain. Last week, at the Monday night game run by the other guy, I asked if he was running his game that week. He shrugged, and said he didn't think we'd have enough people, as his only available day was Wednesday, and one of the other players had a prior commitment. I checked once more before I left - "So we're not playing your game this week?" Again, a shrug, "We won't have enough people."

Wednesday, around 6:15, my cellphone rang. I was driving, nearly home, at the time, and did not answer. I later discovered that it was that Dungeon Master who called, but he left no message. I shrugged it off, assuming he was calling to see if I wanted to come play board games or something.

Well, this Monday, I found out that they DID get to run last week. Apparently, he texted the other folks in the group and found out they could make it. And he swears he thought he told me before I left on Monday - but he did not. Graaah.

We're playing again tonight. Now we have to figure out what my character was doing last week. Such a pain in the ass.

Irony?

Jan. 24th, 2012 10:58 am
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I was put in the position of having to - at least in part - defend 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons yesterday, as our weekly 4E session degenerated briefly into 'edition wars' - and even once we got back on track, we finished up the evening with a little more discussion along the same lines after the game. The guy running that game finds the player power level frustrating - and in truth, 4E is all about the party as fantasy superheroes. But he was asserting the game was broken, pointing to certain combinations of abilities, and the idea of interrupt type actions, and I had to point out that 3rd had a lot of broken things as well, and the interrupt abilities were just a consequence of the new design choice, and were no less realistic than some of the oddities in 3E.

Ultimately, I feel 4th Edition is totally inferior to 3rd, in just about every way, but it's not broken any more than previous editions were.
candidgamera: (Default)
I had a productive and fun weekend. Productive, in that I finally went through some boxes of books that the parents had shipped up from the old homestead - I think I could get rid of half of them without batting an eye, so I need to figure out the best way to go about that. A goodly number of those are textbooks - so limited resale value.

I also had some roleplaying-game-related productivity. You see, Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition has hundreds of monsters, even if you only count official sources. And as a somewhat compulsive creator of my own campaign world, I have long yearned to complete a master index of those creatures from that selection that actually appear in my world. I've started that effort at least twice before, only to be overwhelmed by two factors - the enormity of the task, and the lack of a properly useful and condensed format to store the information. A traditional text document would be huge, and hard to cross-reference. A spreadsheet would be sortable as long as I were viewing it on a computer, but next to useless in dead-tree format.

Now that I have a Kindle Fire, though, I don't need to worry about the cost of printing - so if it turns out to be a thirty page document, that's okay. Condensing the information becomes far less important. It's still a huge task, but I feel more confident that the end result will be helpful to me, so that motivates me to continue.

So this weekend, I made my third (or possibly fourth) pass through the majority of the D&D sourcebooks, making executive decisions about whether specific fictional creatures exist in a particular fictional universe.

I know, it doesn't sound like much, but everyone's got to have a hobby.
candidgamera: (Default)
I was on fire last night. Playing 4th Edition D&D, rolling five or six natural 20s in a session. Of course, my character was literally on fire at one point, after his string of successes prompted me to neglect to check for traps. Oops.

All in all, though - good session.

I'm Back

Jan. 10th, 2012 03:27 pm
candidgamera: (Default)
Is it wrong that I am amused that the announcement of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons has upset the 4e players? Or is it very, very right?

Had good holidays. Just enough family, not too much. Got cool stuff. Bought myself a Kindle Fire. More substantive updates later in the week when I actually get un-buried.
candidgamera: (devil)
Today - give a friend a crash-course in Gamemastery.
Wednesday - Pick up comics, possibly play D&D; failing that, get a haircut and watch Sherlock Holmes.
Thursday - Probably play D&D.
Friday - Probably drive to my parents' place for the holidays.

I'm supposed to have more free time* than this. My week is spoken for.

*Free time is herein defined as "time not pre-allocated", i.e. : time to screw around and play video games or watch TV as the mood strikes me. Time spent away from other people.
candidgamera: (Default)
I am exceptionally pleased with a miniature I'm working on. It's a little pewter figure of a dwarf with a two-handed hammer that I'm painting to represent one of the player characters in my current D&D game. The hammer has an ice enchantment on it, and the frost effects turned out very well. Then I added a little modeling snow on each end, and it looks like ice crystals.

One of my best yet.
candidgamera: (Default)
Two items of interest.

First, the Dark Heresy Warhammer 40K RPG. The bindings on the very expensive, lavishly colored books are shit. There's just no other word to describe it. Forty dollar hardcover, open it - not even trying to force it flat, just opening the front cover and letting its own weight determine how it wants to hang off the main body of the book - and we get separation. As in actual minor tears in the paper.

Second, the D&D Insider Character Builder software. A gaming cohort of mine recently let me use his D&D Insider access to check out the character builder. It's pretty, but.. If your GM uses any house rules that would give you a bonus to a stat, or an extra feat, or power - forget it. You can't override and add it in. Plus everything is subject to constant errata, so if you find a cool power or item and build a character around it - well, don't get too attached, because even though D&D is not a competitive game, they are constantly rebalancing it. Very annoying.
candidgamera: (Default)
And sometimes when I get sick, I'll have a day of recovery before a big crash - so I was wondering if I might be unwell this morning, but Nope! All clear.

Weird.

I am working on my new, expanded 'master map' of my D&D campaign setting. It covers, for the first time, the entire continent upon which the adventures have taken place. I discovered, to my chagrin, that with the scale set on my previous maps, most of the party's travails have taken place in an area about 600 by 900 miles in size. The new map will cover 2000 x 2500 miles of area, giving us some new options for them to explore.
candidgamera: (Default)
I had three days of gaming sessions in a row, for ongoing campaigns. Outside of conventions, I never get that kind of density in my RPG hobby anymore.

Played 4th Edition Friday and Sunday, and my Golden Age game on Saturday. All three at my place, as the 4th Edition one usually plays at a game store on Mondays - but the store is packed on Fridays and closes early on Sundays.

Tonight, there will be trick or treat fun. My decorations are pretty sparse - as some window clings I used last year have decided that they've outgrown their clingy phase. But I have good candy, and we'll see how many I get.
candidgamera: (Default)
I have a copy of the Campaign Cartographer software - for those of you who are unfamiliar, it's mapping software that can be used to create a map of a fantasy world, for use with a D&D campaign. (I suppose one can use to create maps of any sort, really, but its target audience is people running roleplaying games.)

I'd done a map of my campaign world ages ago, and it was okay - not great, but good for a first effort. And then two years ago, I bought a new PC. I transferred a bunch of data and programs over the first week I had it - and then the old PC's hard drive died. I thought I'd gotten everything important off of it, but.. as it turns out, I hadn't thought about the map in a while, and I'd missed it.

So it was gone. Well, this week, I have reconstructed it. Actually, I constructed an improved version of about half of it - the areas my game tends to focus on. Just finished last night, and I'm pleased as punch. Now I need to do a bigger one with more area coverage, and several smaller ones with detailed views of particular countries..

I might be at this a while.

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J.R.

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