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Letters from the Egyptian God of Frustration
I pop in to check friends, as I do from time to time. And one of my rpg communities has been completely co-opted by pictures of Russian women in various states of undress. Any post by actual friends is buried two or three pages back.

Damn, Champions sure has changed over the years.

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Ten years ago I started this LJ. I weighed a lot less, and whined a lot less. As I read over the old entries I wonder where the funny guy went, the depressed and dumpy guy we are left with really doesn't do much for me.

I have met some fantastic people on LJ. Some of them are still here, some of them have left for other pastures. It may be an (essentially) faceless electronic forum, but I've met people here who I count as kindred spirits, and friends.

In ten years from time to time I wrote an entry every day for about forty days, but never ever did I make an entry every day of any given month. Recently I've found myself trying to force writing something, when I really don't want to. And the gaps in my journal have grown longer and longer. So I'm going to stop. I'm not deleting my account (I have a half year of paid status anyway) and I may well be back in a month or a season or a year, if the desire to write about my personal life at length strikes me again. It did after my first year here, I took a sixth month sabbatical in 1992, and didn't intend to return. Thankfully I did.

In the meanwhile I'm doing some gaming-only writing at Malapropisms 2 (Why not just do it here? Because I want to make it completely separate from my personal maunderings, chats about movies and books, and so on). For short thoughts Facebook is doing the job. Show up if you care too. For shorter thoughts I occasionally use twitter ... but honestly I read it more than I use it.

I'll leave the lights on, lock the door on your way out.



In gaming and gaming-blogs these days it's pretty clear I have sipped the OSR kool-aid. Which is odd, because if you told me a year ago that it would be the various reincarnations of D&D under the Old School Renaissance banner that would have captured my attention I would have snorted with derision. I'd flipped through a couple, but for the most part I wasn't buying it.

Now, I haven't chug-a-lugged the whole jug -- all this talk of player agency and sandboxes hasn't yet eroded twenty years of story-first gaming. But I do think there's a compromise somewhere between them.

Kingmaker has done a lot to start things off. The hex-crawl style of the game hearkens back to so many old D&D adventures. Raging Swan Press is absorbing a lot of my gaming PDF dollars, they recently put out Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands ... a Pathfinder module with a very Old School sort of feel. (and at 99 pages for $10 -- I remember paying $10 for 16 or fewer pages in those old D&D pastel-coloured modules I used to buy with money from the paper-route).

I generally don't like the OSR games built on AD&D, however some fun things have been done with the old D&D rules. Lamentations of the Flame Princess is one of the first that caught my attention, although thanks to Viktor, Adventurer, Conqueror, King is currently the OSR apple in my eye.

In the meantime we're 15 sessions into Pathfinder/Kingmaker. No plans on changing the rules over, everything is going well.



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The glory and the tragedy of RPGs is that giving the players a clue that
is totally obvious to you is often functionally equivalent to giving
them a puzzle with no hints whatsoever. -T Allison
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First: today was all screwed up. Big time. And the adult supervision were all there, and were largely the reason everything is screwed up.

Second: my delivery arrived on Friday. Bad luck-- I was out of the office shooting guns and stuff, so I didn't get it until today.

But what a package. Some Pathfinder stuff, cool, helpful with the current campaign.

Lords of Waterdeep -- I'm really looking forward to giving this a spin with a group of folks. Most D&D games have been connected to the mechanics of D&D ... from Dungeon through to Castle Ravenloft (I'm doing a gross injustice to some of the games). LoW is more a "Worker Recruitment/Placement" game that is connected to the themes of D&D, but handling things much more abstractly.

Epic Spell Wars! A light card game of face-frying magic duelling wizards? Beer & Pretzels gaming, and I'm looking forward to giving it a spin as well.



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Well, I felt like the big meany today in Pathfinder, as an agent provocateur showed up in the PC's little barony and started causing all kinds of trouble. Things got a little hot under the collar by the end there.

Leveton, the rapidly expanding settlement of peasants and refugees, the idyllic little town, now has a mob of angry ne'er-do-wells, willing to throw rocks to express their displeasure.

It was kind of like putting the toe in.

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Shut-up, I know.

So, I have recently started watching wrasslin' again. It's different, again, like it is every time I dip my toe into that entertainment form.

Started watching Royal Rumble '96 ... and it's a view into yet another era that I'm totally oblivious to. Hilarious, watching Hunter Heart Helmsly coming to the ring in a tuxedo, well before The Game.

Edit: Terrible camera work, several people have been eliminated in the Rumble "off-camera" -- the colour commentators having no ability to comment, as they used to be well off-stage.

Anyway, it's amusing me while I do game prep. So there.

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I wouldn't say my batteries are recharged, especially after a couple days out on the Ranges with me feeling particularly run-down, sun-burned, with the scent of tear gas still in my nostrils, with rifle lubricant and carbon lodged in the whorls of my finger-tips. All the things that had me feeling blue early in the week are still factors.

On the other hand, it's hard to deal with of troops, with beautiful weather, with good old-fashioned in-the-field Army-training and not get at least a partial recharge. It was a pretty fantastic three days in a lot of ways.

I'm not out of the woods, but it's not like I regret choices made, etc.

Now to rest, recharge, and get my Sunday game ready to go!

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Can athiests have a crisis of faith? Poorly worded, maybe, but that's what I'm in the grip of.

My job can largely be summed up as Instructor/Administrator, but one of my specialized roles is "The Person Who Gives A Fuck." Other staff dropping the ball? That's okay, I'm their to whisper sweet words of encouragement into their delicate shell-likes. Except with more volume and chest-pointing.

But what happen when I don't have a single fuck left to give?

Obviously I need to recharge, although the next three days are devoid of opportunities to do so, as we'll be out at the Army Training Place doing Army Training.

The movie Stripes should have done a better job preparing me for this. But what did I expect? I wanted to be Bill Murray's character, but ended up as the Sarge (Hulka?).

And if anyone calls me Francis? I'll kill 'em.
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And it begins, gaming at the family get-together.

Game 1: Felix the Cat. We played a five player game, a grandpa, a grandma, me and the two nieces played this bidding card game with cats and dogs on the cartoony art. I tied with my younger niece for victory. A fun, light math-based family game good for younger kids.

Game 2: Summoner Wars. Two rounds with the older niece, she took one, I took one. The Jungle Elves are teh brokenzorz (even though I beat them with Guild Dwarves). Fun, don't imagine I'll pick it up though.

Game 3: Mord im Arosa. A fun auditory guessing game with a cardboard tower and wooden cubes that fall part of the way down. Brother-in-law, nieces, mom and I. Youngest niece won.

Game 4: Netrunner. The late 90s card game. My corporation defeated my hacker B-i-L by a narrow margin (as in, if I didn't win he would have won next turn). Fun, and the decks we grabbed from the net were cool,and not ultra-cheesey.

I'll edit as we play more.



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