Yet Another “Nothing to Report” Post

Nothing’s really happened in the past couple of weeks. I’ve really been distracting myself with Pinterest and Facebook, along with some games. I had nothing to report last week, either. I’m making slow progress through 13th Age, although I’m not even trying to read it cover-to-cover. I think that may have contributed to my failures to complete Numenera and the Cypher System core rulebook. Most rulebooks are a bit of a slog for me anymore. It may be related to my ADHD, but it was never a problem in the past. Or maybe it’s just age, and I don’t mean I think I’m becoming addle-paited. Rather, I just don’t have the time or energy to devote the time to such dense books. I managed to read Dungeon World, even though I hated the writing, because the style was light and didn’t feel particularly dense. Same with Fantasy Age, which I also read cover-to-cover.

However, I also feel like I could be mildly depressed. I’ve been more temperamental than usual lately. Last week, we got a puppy, after having put one of our older dogs down at the end of Hellish Week. Some days, it’s fine. Today has been very trying. Puppies are worse than human infants or toddlers, as they at least have some ability to understand languages and finer emotions. Puppies? Not so much.

But there’s more than that. My mother’s failing health and manners, my sister’s stress that she radiates like a sun, the yard, the continuing weird impulses of fear and hesitation from the fire. I’m tired, a lot, regularly. It’s all getting to me.

So, while my Thursday night game is starting to discuss future games, and I’m suggesting running something, I’m not sure I’m really up for it right now. And I should probably let the group know that. However, once I’m there most weeks, I’m not feeling so bad. Well, mostly. We have one problem player who I’ve already sworn I’ll probably ask to not attend. His attitude has been horrible lately, and I don’t really think I want to deal with it if I run for this group.

Anyway, I’m tired and really don’t have a lot I want to discuss at this point. Later.

Week of Hell-Lite

Last week ended up being pretty rocky. Somewhat hellish, even. After the fire and my last post, we took my mother to the hospital again, as she’d been having bathroom issues since Friday. She was diagnosed with C-Diff again. On the upside, she was released the same day. The downside was I had to go retrieve her. Wednesday as pretty decent, as I worked. I was lead to believe I’d be off early, but I ended up finally checking out two hours later. Pay is great, but I was looking forward to getting out early. Thursday was okay until game time, but then I learned something else about technology that I didn’t know before: Group texts require your cellular data to be on. I usually leave mine off to keep usage down. So, I ended up sitting at the FLGS for an hour and a half because I didn’t realize that a text cancelling the game had been sent 24 hours previous. The week ended with having to put one of our dogs to sleep as she had advanced congestive heart failure. On top, Saturday morning, as I was leaving for the Kids D&D game I run, my laptop crashed on shut down, and my Launch Services crashed again, forcing me to run the script again.

The past couple of days have been better. I’ve started reading through 13th Age a bit, and a little other poking around. I did some thinking about the status symbols of the Raiders in the Reincarnated campaign, and I think I’ll be basing it on weapons and armor. A slave has no weapons, a freed man has a knife, a full warrior has an axe, an overseer has a whip, and powerful warriors have armor in addition to their weapons. This idea came from thinking about the economy the raiders might have substituted for a coinage system, core to civilization, which they would see as a sign of weakness. I need more than this, but it’s a start.

That’s really all I have time for tonight. I got involved in a long conversation on Facebook regarding how magic might change a medieval society, and got distracted from this, but it was a good conversation.

Later.

What a week…

So, I have my laptop fixed. It took all week, but I finally found a forum with the answers I needed.

First thing I did was backup my files. That took quite a while, as I have so many files locally. Then I scanned both my old laptop and the new one with Norton Antivirus. I followed that up with a Mac specific program called ClamXav. Norton proved what I paid for it (free app), but ClamXav found a couple of virii on each box, which I quarantined. However, that didn’t fix things. Each scan took a day or more, again because of the number of files I keep locally.

Ultimately, I did a search for the specific phrasing of the error, and found some forums that told me what I needed to know. Saturday night, while watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (I haven’t seen any of the other movies, and I now don’t feel I need to), I managed to execute the cure, a command-line process kill, and fix things. Apparently, since they introduced OS 10.11, there has been an issue with the Launch Services commands. When LS croaks, it hoses the Applications and Utilities folders. The apps are still there, but the OS can’t find them. But the command-line Terminal is an app, so you have to trick the OS into showing you an app, and they’ll run. Apple seems to be aware of this problem, but doesn’t seem to be doing anything about correcting the problem. And after releasing an update that hosed USB ports, or something like that, I’m still in a state of lost faith where Apple is concerned.

I managed to start getting things back up and running yesterday before bed. Some of my apps were screwed up by this, like not showing icons and such. When I didn’t complete things by 1AM, I went to bed. About 2:30, I was awakened by my frantic sister. There was a fire in our side lot, and I became a firefighter in short order.

I’ve written quite a bit on my Facebook about it, and if you’re a friend, you can read that there. I’m fatigued of it, at this point, but I expect I’ll tell the stoies a couple of more times this week. Once at work (as I didn’t work today; thank you, dumb luck), once for my Thursday night crew, and once more Friday night with the kids.

Between all the other crap of last week, I read a little of 13th Age, as I’m getting to The Tome Show 13th Age episodes from last year’s GenCon. Just an option I’m considering for the Reincarnated campaign. Cypher is also in the running, but I’m really not very enthusiastic about that option.

But that’s all for this week. Even after a nap this afternoon, I’m thinking I’ll be in bed as early as possible. So…

Later.

So over Apple

Today has been a pretty shitty day, and it has erased all memory of anything I might have posted about today. My new laptop, that I’ve only had up and running for exactly two months, has developed a psychotic system problem that makes no sense, and I’m going to have to try to do a clean install, again.

My old laptop, which I’m using to write this, was frozen on January 26th. I took my new laptop to our D&D game last night, and it was working fine when I left. I got home and went to bed. When I started it up this morning, the Finder (Apple’s file system app) was failing to find any of my apps. Files are fine, but apps are all broken or missing. Trying to use the Finder to copy off my files failed, as it kept trying initiate an app that has nothing to do with copying files. So I had to set up an external drive to copy my files onto another external hard drive, so I can later create yet another drive to clean install the OS and restore from this computer, again.

Two months after upgrading from OS 10.6.8 to 10.11.2, and FIVE DAYS after upgrading to 10.11.4, and the system has crashed completely.

It used to be that Apple products “just worked.” In the past two months, I’ve had so many problems that I’m considering never buying another Apple product. Their products are becoming so convoluted that they’re impossible to use.

But right now, I can’t afford to go out and replace everything again after two months time. And I shouldn’t have to. But right now, Tim Cook and crew could go piss up a rope, as far as I’m concerned.

Later.

It’s Been A While…

Last I posted, I thought I’d have time to do some stuff while caring for my mother. Yeah, right. Taking care of an elderly person, especially when they have intestinal bugs is a full time job. Made even worse when they can’t get around well. There’s lots of clean up. And fetching and carrying. So, it becomes impossible to focus on anything for long.

Worse, after seeing all the cool stuff the other artist in my Thursday night game was finding on Pinterest, I signed up too, and spent a couple of nights running down those rabbit holes, AKA wasting time.

I’ve barely given two thoughts to the StarSea in the past few weeks, outside of finding images on Pinterest that are appropriate. I think that setting is going to be on vacation considerably longer than I had thought. I need something to prime that pump again before I’ll get back to it.

I haven’t really done much more mechanically with the Reincarnated setting, either. I’ve looked at a couple of small press games, but haven’t settled on anything yet. What I have settled on the idea that I want some level of tactical combat. The idea has crept into my head involves all the foes the PCs face being represented on the battlefield by miniatures from Games Workshop. This idea got started since part of my inspiration is Age of Sigmar. The idea of wererats as enemies, and thus the mythology of their status as a curse of the moon goddess, was inspired by having a collection of Skaven. So, I’ve been poking around for systems that include a tactical option that aren’t D&D, past or present. I mentioned Bare Bones Fantasy last post, and it allows for “multiclassing,” so it’s high on my list for now. The tactical rules for Fate in War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus would be useful, but I don’t know how well the kids would handle the Fate System.

Otherwise, I’ve managed to find some other GW figures on sale at the local Hobby Town, and I’ve started building them and others in my collection. I’ve gotten a few evenings to build figures, and I’m hoping to keep it up. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy building minis.

That’s really all I’ve accumulated over the past few weeks. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to posting more regularly again.

Later.

Blech!

Posting a day late because there was no pressure to have things posted last night. That’s because my mother is finally home, and I have to stay home with her for a week. Usually, I try to get the blog post done before Monday, since Monday is usually a working day. I fail a lot, but I try. That’s the plan. Now, all my plans are disrupted for a week or so.


I pretty much have an intro to the Reincarnated world. I need to find a better name for them, but that’s always a persistent problem for me. I already know I need to edit the intro, as I think it’s probably too long. I want to keep it under one page, and it so far only covers the history of the world up to the point the PCs die the first time.

Yeah, the first time. I’m going to use the magic of the reincarnation as a system of checks and balances. I got the idea from interviews with Keith Baker as he was discussing his new game, Phoenix: Dawn Command. In P:DC, the PCs are phoenixes, people who resurrect every time they die, which is also used as the leveling system. However, eventually the resurrection goes awry and the characters finally move on to their final rest. The quality of the character’s death determines how they advance, and the more meaningful the death, the better.

I like the idea of having limited numbers of resurrections for PCs, loathe as I am to kill PCs. I think having a system to encourage heroic death would be a good thing, while giving the PCs a reason not to throw themselves into stupid deaths is a good idea. What I plan on adding in is that the PCs suffer some derangements from their resurrections, eventually loosing their identities and becoming psychopathic, angelic killing machines.


I did finally finish Dungeon World and the attendant files. That’s the first game book I’ve finished reading cover to cover in a while. I’ve also been reading some of the setting books I got a while back from Bundle of Holding. Something clicked in my head that as it stands, my players will miss tactical combat. I will too, for that matter. Part of my plan has been to find a use for some minis I’ve purchased and didn’t know what to do with (the Skaven figures in the Warhammer Fantasy Battle Isle of Blood starter and the Khornate warriors in the Age of Sigmar starter), so I’d like something with a tactical system. I think one could be added to Dungeon World easily enough, although I also know that goes against the concept of the game.

I also want something that allows for easier multi-classing, which is rare in Dungeon World. I want my elven warrior-mages and such. That means either creating my own classes or manipulating the existing ones if I choose to use DW, or I go with another system. I got out Bare Bones Fantasy to look at, and it could work, as it gives me the things I want listed above. I have time to consider, and I might even do a few sessions in a number of different rules sets.


That’s all I’ve got for this week. I’ve got to be up for nursing duty in the morning.

Later.

 

 

Off Kilter

That’s the way life has been this week. Off kilter; out of whack.

Mom is back in the hospital, and surprisingly good with it. Probably because she was sleep deprived at the (physical) rehab center. She hated the food, the beds, and the roommate screamed in her sleep loud enough that she woke my nearly deaf mother. This created some drama Monday, as my mother, who has always been a more-or-less stoic doormat through a tantrum with my sister. Tuesday, we initiated discharge for her. Wednesday, the discharge agent at the rehab center called us with an extremely manipulative call trying to get us to keep our mother in rehab.

Thursday, Mom had another tantrum with someone at rehab, which Mom said was the discharge agent, but as we weren’t there and can’t trust Mom’s hearing, we have no idea. However, we also got a call from dialysis that her hemoglobin was critically low again, so off to the hospital again. However, at the suggestion of dialysis, we sent her to he other Community Hospital, where tomorrow she’ll finally have the final test we can get locally to figure out the cause of her hemoglobin issues. Her roommate is another groaner, but apparently nowhere near the volume of the last one. And because of insurance issues, the rehab center can’t hold her room, so we have an out for her going back.

This has been a major issue all week, as you can see. Hopefully, the test tomorrow will reveal something that can be fixed and we can get Mom home for a while. And we can get some peace for a while.


I’ve been reading a fan piece I found on the Dungeon World home page regarding how the game should played. It has gone a ways to confirm that one game I played was handled poorly by the DM. It might have been the large group, but his house rule certainly contributed. If not for the Tome Show podcasts referencing the Fronts system, I would have never looked farther into the game, one I’m now finding I like, and I’m willing to try out with my groups.


Otherwise, I haven’t done much work on anything. Again, I’m hoping the family life will stabilize and allow me to get my focus back.

I’m tired and am working in the morning, so I’ll shut it down for tonight. Later.

 

More of the Same.

Continuing certain themes from last time….

Mom is still not home, but she’s no longer in the hospital either. Thursday, we got her to a physical rehabilitation center, so she can recover her strength and the use of her leg. Hospitals suck in many respects, but especially in the respect that they keep you sitting in a bed your entire visit. When you’re old, like my mother, that’s bad. In the course of her last visit, her left leg has become stiff, especially one of the muscles in the thigh. She’s can’t get up and move easily right now.

She’s pissed that she couldn’t come home, and my sister and I aren’t very happy either. We’d like to have Mom home, but if she can’t move around by herself, we would have to be around with her all the time. So, PT it is.


In more pleasant news, I started re-reading Kobold’s Guide to World Building. I read it a couple of years ago when I was in the middle of working on the StarSea. As I started reading, I realized a number of mistakes I was making with the StarSea, such as trying to do too much and being too interested in too many details. I really wish I’d re-read it months ago. In fact, at this point, I want a paper copy rather than the electronic version I’ve been working with lately.

I’m working on making notes from it for the Reincarnated setting. The Guide has given me some ideas for filling in some of my details for creating the setting and keeping the creation process rolling.


That’s really all I’ve got worth discussing at this point, so I’m going to call it a night.

Later.

 

Hospitals and Shower Thoughts

My mother continues to be in the hospital. My sister was saying this morning that of the six weeks of the year 2016, my mother has spent only two weeks at home. Her hemoglobin has been up and down since about Christmas. She’s not in mortal danger, but the hospital is simply not able to figure out the source of one of her less pleasant symptoms. So, they have had her on a liquid diet as they unpleasant symptom would indicate a stomach bleed. Because of the foot issue from one of the last visits, she’s been favoring one leg, which is creating issues walking, so even if they release her soon, she’ll likely need a fair amount of physical therapy to recover proper use of her leg. This is all very stressful, and makes one wonder at the skill of her doctors.

They seem to be questioning that last one themselves, as they want to send her to Stanford for additional testing. However, she’s healthy enough that that would be an outpatient procedure rather than a hospital-to-hospital transfer. That would mean having to take time off work to take her up there. And more stress.

And through all of this, hospitals seem to not understand that the families of the people they serve have bills to pay, and employer goodwill to maintain. While my job is very flexible and I could get the time off easily, my pocketbook would suffer. My sister would have a harder time of it, as she has more difficulty getting time off. This may sound callous, but remember that her condition isn’t life threatening, at least at present. The whole experience is stressful though.


I have been thinking and tinkering with the new Reincarnated setting. I had some shower thoughts that resulted in me reworking and simplifying some of the history of the setting, which I think is a good thing, and probably a first for me. In fact, the writing flowed quite well, even if it was just note-writing. I need to turn some of what I wrote into timelines and other material, but I’m looking at things I like and think I can work with without over-complicating, as is my wont.

Something I think I’d like to do, but I realize creates a much more complex system, is to have multiple magic systems, each with a different feel. I think I discussed this once with the StarSea. Having different rules can create different feels to magic. However, there’s only one game I know of that uses three distinctly different magic systems based off the same base mechanic, and that’s RuneQuest, specifically the third edition, published by Avalon Hill, a wargame company. The three systems include Spirit or Battle Magic, which allows simple, low power effects useful in a fight, but not generally overwhelming, Rune or Divine Magic, which is generally more effective, but more costly, and Sorcery, which is time consuming, but creates large scale effects. All three systems use the BRP percentile system, but all have a very different feel. This is just a thought at this point, as I have no desire to move to RQ. It’s just an idea for differentiating the magic of the evil gods, from that of the good gods and the Fey.

I also started poking around on the Net looking for map ideas. I have some very specific desires for this world (the different environs for the different breeds of humans, arrival points for the Fey, and the focal point of the evil gods’ demesne) that I want to fit in. I’m not looking for a pre-drawn map, but rather for inspiration.

I was talking to a couple of friends, independently each, about game systems. Something I’ve noticed is how enthusiastic I was about Fate (and I still am, and I may use it for the Reincarnated campaign, with the Freeport book, or Mike Shea’s simple Dungeon of Fate rules), but analysis paralysis killed the game for me. On the other hand, I have yet to complete reading of any of the Cypher System games, even though they seem very solid systematically. I just can’t get enthusiastic about the game. Same with 13th Age, although I’ve heard so much good about it. I’ve been reading their SRD, and I’ve just stagnated, and I’m not motivated to continue to read. And as much as I hate the way Dungeon World is written, there’s something about it that is drawing me in. I’m picking up PDF extras and reading those with relish.


I think I’ve done enough for tonight. I need to be up in the morning. Later.

 

I Hate the New WP Interface

I’ve been avoiding using this new version of the interface for a while now, but they’ve caught up to my trick and now I’m being locked into this crap. Ugh. So, I’ll sally forth.

Last week was no better than the ones before. The file migration got hosed as I moved the laptops last Monday, so I ended up repeating the process. Tuesday morning, I was able to start determining which apps were going to work with the new OS, and that soaked up most of my day. Wednesday after work, I ended up having to go to the hospital again, as they did not determine the source of my mother’s hemoglobin issue. That was after going to see my uncle about a car issue I’m having.

Late Tuesday, I started the migration of the tablet items, but I kept having problems with the save file for one game. That one was a years work that I didn’t want to lose. I worked on that migration again Thursday until I came to the conclusion that I would never be able to get the file migrated, so I have to do something more or less manual, as the game in question (Terraria) allows you to make a cloud world, so Friday, the Boy and I moved all of my stuff from the old worlds I had created to a new world, from which I’ll be making a new base on the cloud world, so my work won’t be lost again.

In the meantime, I worked in a little reading of the Dungeon World rules, and little else. Now that things are stabilized, I’m trying to focus on Reincarnated again. There’s a lot less to do, as I’m not trying to create new elves and other critters. I’m just trying to come up with a suitable mythology and history of the world that makes sense and will tell the story I’m dreaming up.

So, that’s about all I’ve got for tonight. Just getting caught up and keep things together has become quite a hassle the past few weeks. Hopefully, things will now settle down, and I can get something fun done.

Later.

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