Monthly Archives: November 2013

NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 29 (late) PENULTIMATE

So, today I ended up getting sucked into The Wizard of Oz, and I had a realization: Glenda could be seen as incredibly manipulative.

Follow me on this. So, once the Gale House comes crashing out of the sky, one of Glenda’s threats is killed. The Wicked Witch of the East is destroyed, and there’s one less witch in the land of Oz. Glenda’s plot to install herself as supreme magical force in the land of Oz is one step closer to completion at the start of our story, at least from the Oz-ian point of view. There is never a “Witch of the South” named, only hinted at by dint of the existence of the other Cardinal directions, but since she’s never named, we can assume she doesn’t exist.

Next, the pilot of said house (Dorothy Gale), who could be considered a murderer, is bestowed with the Ruby Slippers, a seemingly powerful pair of magical shoes. At least, that’s the impression the Wicked Witch of the West (AKA WWotW) gives us. She wants the slippers as they will give her power. Glenda  shows up immediately after the death of WWotE, and uses her magic to shift the slippers to Dorothy’s feet, making Dorothy her catspaw to defeating the WWotW (by way of the Wizard, to whom Glenda sends Dorothy).

Glenda succeeds in  eliminating the Wizard of Oz himself, knowing that the Wizard can transport Dorothy back to her home, but only by leaving Oz himself. And Glenda no doubt believes that the Wizard will send Dorothy after the WWotW, a known threat to him, thus the reason she sends Dorothy to him in the first place.

Only once the WWotW and the Wizard are eliminated does Glenda appear to teach Dorothy how to use the power of the slippers to return herself home. In doing so, Glenda removes the final challenger to Glenda’s power. Once that happens, Glenda is left as the most powerful magician in all of the Land of Oz.

Simply coincidence? I don’t think so… but wouldn’t that make a great plotline for an RPG? 😀



NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 28 (very late)

Spent the day playing Torchlight 1. So, yeah…

I hope all my readers have had a good Thanksgiving. I suppose I should list what I’m thankful for, if for no other reason than to force myself to think about it.

I’m thankful I have a job, not matter how anemic it is. The past two years, I had no job, and last year, I had no unemployment left me. At least I have a little something coming in this year.

I’m thankful for the roof over my head and the food in my belly, but especially the home. If my father hadn’t died, I’d likely be homeless right now. We wouldn’t have been able to keep up with rent.

I’m thankful for that handful of you who read this blog. Thanks for coming back and reading my ramblings.

And finally, I’m thankful for my friends. They keep my spirits up, and keep me in touch with reality. They give me the love that keeps us going. I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made this year, as well as for the old friends who are still part of my life.

That’s all for tonight. Two more days of NaBloPoMo to go. Thanks for reading.


NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 27 (late)

Long day. Very tired.

Drove around Fresno and North Valley (Los Banos). Total of about 35 hours this week. However, budget may mean we have little work for December. Sucks.

Did some tinkering withe old army lists. Considering the way I built the lists, I think they maybe be of little use, considering each army has the same basic components, and they favor Fighter/Warrior sorts. My tinkering may have done me no more good than to point out a flaw.

I can barely keep my eyes open, so I’m signing off.


NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 26 (late)

No overtime today, but I do go in tomorrow, which is my fifth day this pay period. I’ve never worked five days in a pay period, so this is a first. I’ll be pretty close to 30 hours this pay period, which is good (for me).

I did do a little thinking about the game I want to use for the StarSea. More like, I’ve thought about how I’d like the game to work. I’d like to go back to something like Mage the Ascension, in which the characters have power themes (which is kinda what Spheres are) that define what they can accomplish, they make a roll, and the magic happens. Sadly, I haven’t found a game that will let me do this easily that I’m happy with. Paladin by Clinton Nixon comes close, but there are system elements I’m not happy with.

That’s pretty much all I have. After getting off work, I came home and fell asleep for most of the afternoon, and I’ve kept myself busy tonight, so I really don’t have any more to report. At some point, I’d like to write about the zen of long-haul driving, but I haven’t made the time for it. Maybe Thursday. Tomorrow is LFR Night, and we’re playing, so it’ll be another late post.


NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 25

Work consisted of a full day, but no usable downtime. Well, I did use it… for sleep. Tomorrow, I’m expecting I’ll get some overtime, as I’ll be going in at 5AM and making two trips to San Jose. And again, I’ll probably use my downtime sleeping.

I did manage some thought on the StarSea, related to the ideas I discussed yesterday. Do I build to a system (which I’ve done before), or do I choose a system that could create the feel I want? I truly think the latter is better than the former, but I’ve already sort of started in the direction of using a system to define some of the setting, by using the 4e power sources as a starting point for defining the philosophies of the Knightly Orders.

One of the thoughts I’ve had is to re-examine some of my old files, in which I created army lists that became some of the Knightly Orders that will populate the StarSea. It might help me define how many divisions/classes/roles I’ll need.

Well, I need to get to bed soon, so I need to wrap this up.


NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 24 (very late)

As expected, I drove up to San Jose today for work. I had to bust my ass to get to work, as I set the alarm clock, but somehow missed turning it on. I was late getting out, but managed to get up, shower, get breakfast and get to work in 25 minutes. I may have taken most of the city’s speed limits as mild suggestions, though.

With what I saw today, I expect I’ll be going to SJ the next couple of days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we also go up on Wednesday. There were a lot of cars at the SJ Airport, more than they can handle. Since our stores are always empty, it makes sense for us to go bring some back to the ‘No. Also, on the way back to Fresno, I was listening to the radio and Highway to Hell came on. The irony was not lost on me.

Since I drove chase, I really didn’t get any time to write, but I did do some thinking. Mainly on roles and types and such, and how they reflect certain ideas in games. Numenera uses an idea I also saw in True20, a reductionist version of 3.x. In that system, you had three types of characters: Warriors, Experts and spellcasters (I don’t remember the exact name, thus the lowercase). So, in True20, they basically lumped the healer and controller roles into one class. Defender and striker remained separate. Numenera essentially does the same thing, although the Jack character type is almost more of a Bard, as he can pick up esoteries (“wizard” powers) and some combat powers as well as mastering skills. It’s another path to consider as I look at game systems.

I also considered the five roll system that WWGS used in both Werewolf the Apocalypse and Exalted. Both games use the 1e “four core classes,” but add in a bard-like character type as a fifth group. In both cases, that fifth class was a very social-oriented class. This is another model to think about, especially in light of the idea that 4e leaders are also often social classes, as most of them can use Charisma as their primary stat.

That’s about all I have for tonight. I have to get up again tomorrow, which is nice.


NaBloPoMo 2013, Day 23

So, again I’m frustrated that I had to downgrade my The Strange KS pledge, as I got called this morning to and asked to work Monday and Tuesday. Yes, I am committed to work three days in advance already. Too bad this didn’t happen last week. One the upside, I think I’ll at least have the trips back and forth across the state, and seeing Thor: The Dark World last night got my creative juices flowing again. Maybe I’ll have something new to report in regards to the StarSea after this week.

I expected to hear a lot about the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination yesterday. Normally, I work with a lot of older guys who all served in ‘Nam and do remember where they were when it happened. Thing is, yesterday I worked at an office in which everyone was significantly younger than me, so they weren’t even born in 1963. It was never even mentioned.

Tonight gets us one session closer to the end of my campaign. I’ll have to call it early, because of work tomorrow, but I think it’ll work out okay, as we’re picking up from last session, so we’ll actually be starting the encounter immediately.

In fact, I need to get to redrawing the first battle map.


NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 22 (very late)

No downtime at work. Pretty much literally. I even clocked in early, and got few moments in which I could sit and rest. And I’ve committed to working Sunday and getting in a few extra hours. Yay!

I did manage to get in some thinking about how I might use the Cypher system (Numenera/The Strange) to run the StarSea. It involved rethinking the 4e roles concept, which I recognize as something that’s always been present in D&D (it was part of 1e as the four core classes, of which all others were subclasses). I think that the Leader role may not be so much a group of “leaders” (with the except of the warlord), but a support and social group. Which leads me to thinking that maybe the Spinner type would be a good substitution, as they seem to be a very social character type. Then again, maybe not. I won’t know until I see more of the game.

Either way, I think the Cypher system might be extensible in ways that aren’t amazingly work intensive. I could be wrong on that, too. But I will be looking into it.

Other than that, I got treated to a showing of Thor: The Dark World. I have to say, don’t just stop at that first little clip at the end. Sit through all of the credits, like you did for The Avengers. There’s a second little laugh at the end.

Also, the battle scene at the beginning and the battle in Asgard are exactly what I want the StarSea to feel and look like in the players’ minds! The mix of tech and magic was perfect! (Notice how I used exclamation points! This is important! 🙂 ) Would you want to play that? I’d love to play in it and run it.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to pop something in tomorrow before my game.


NapBloPoMo 2013 Day 21 (late)

I’ll be working a partial day tomorrow. Finally. Seems the Area Manager has only been working three drivers (tops) a day, and one day he required no drivers. Hopefully, with everyone traveling for Thanksgiving, they’ll be renting cars and we’ll be moving some cars around.

I got a lead for a job from someone at the game store. I went and looked at the company’s site, and I’m not qualified for anything they have available in multiple ways (no Engineering degree, no experience in the field, etc.). Frustrating that the best lead I’ve gotten is GN/DN. (From the original Star Trek series. Some of the odds and ends on the walls that look like pipes and conduits were simply decorations. The prop department said the pipes “Go Nowhere/Does Nothing” or GD/DN.)

Otherwise, nothing new to report. Cutting back my The Strange Kickstarter pledge, while it bugs me, will help to keep me afloat until next week, when I get my next puny check. Maybe that will change tomorrow in my downtime. I expect that, even though I’ll have a short day, I’ll have plenty of downtime.


NaBloPoMo 2013 Day 20 (late)

FOUR DAYS WITHOUT WORK! Still no call to come into work, so now, for the pay period ending tomorrow, I have ONE day of pay. I can’t continue like this. I’m going to text my lead tomorrow to try to find out what the fuck is going on.

I’ve also clocked back my support of The Strange to only the PDF of the core rulebook. I can’t afford the $80 I had planned on, and have cut back to just $25. I can handle $25. That will allow me to keep my phone working and gas in the car. I’ll just have to buy the other PDFs and things later.

Ultimately, I need to find a new job and tell my current employer I’m done with them and their pathetic wages. The pay is fine for all the old retirees who I work with, but it’s not a living wage for anyone else. Even if I were working closer to 30 hours, it’s still not enough. Minimum wage is not a livable wage.

Thing is, my skills are a little out of date, and I’m certain my resumé doesn’t have the right “keywords” (AKA buzzwords, with a new, less buzzword-y name) to make it past the computer censors. I can’t really say I saved any company I worked for money, considering I’ve been laid off for monetary reasons from just about every job I’ve ever had since graduating college. That, or they were seasonal or temporary jobs. I’ve never been in a revenue generating position, as a production artist, so I can’t say I brought in business or anything like that.

The job market has become such a bullshit institution that I can’t really comprehend how anyone stays in business any more. Of course, my kind of jobs are now all off-shored. That’s how things continue: by paying people slave wages in Third World countries, rather than pay Americans a living wage. It’s not illegal, but by God it sure seems immoral.

And I played D&D tonight. Never took a hit but dealt out a reasonable amount of damage.

I was late because I did some stuff to distract me from the lack of work. Now I’m all pissed off again. I need to distract myself again so that I can maybe sleep. I’m really close to throwing this cold off, I think. Maybe I can distract myself again.