daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I posted this on FB earlier this week, but I have some writerly friends who are not on that and who might be amused by it, so I'm putting it here as well.

******

How Nancy's writer!brain works.
1. Notice flyer for lecture on gun violence.
2. Examine picture on flyer to see if I recognize type of gun
3. Decide it probably isn't a M1911 variant, but would not bet money on it
4. Notice it is being held left-handed.
5. Become irritated at having a picture of a right-handed gun being held left-handed.
6. Wonder how left-handed people deal with right-handed guns.
7. Wonder if any of my NPCs are left-handed.
8. Wonder how I can construct a plot around an NPC being left-handed.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
This is a summary of the fourth session (2/16/13) of the Judgement Night game. The music was the soundtrack to DMC3, because I am not subtle.
M-10 Start (Betrayal) )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This is a summary of the third session (2/12/13) of the Judgement Night game.

For music I had some Judas Priest (Prisoners of Pain CD), a Blue Oyster Cult CD contributed by Gianni's player, and the first season Babylon 5 soundtrack. Looking back, I should have put my CD player on shuffle! Oh well, live and learn.
Time to put some action in my life )
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
This is an account of the first session (1/22/13) of Judgement Night, the rpg campaign I am now running. I suspect it will be very boring to read (it was certainly boring to write!), but I think it will be useful to my players in the long run and, for reasons unclear to me, some of my friends are interested in knowing what is going on in the campaign.

I tried to come up with a clever title for the session, but finally gave up and decided to pick a song title from the CDs I was playing as background music. (Thank you again, Ami, for all of those Hawkwind CDs!)

Let's not talk about love or money or things that don't explode )
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I am posting some of the material I have created for my rpg game, because in mentioning it on FB I had some questions from people who were interested in the system I was using: the Prose Descriptive Qualities System by Atomic Sock Monkey Games. It's a very simple system I have never used before, but in reading through the rules I was enchanted by its simplicity. At some point (probably a large-scale, highly important scene) that simplicity will bite me in the ass, but that's a GMs life for you.

Atomic Sock Monkey offers the basic rules as a free download and more complete settings are available, but sadly none of the published settings looked appropriate for the kind of game I wanted to run. Thus, I have done a lot of writing.

Setting Information

Sample Characters and Fiction

Character Creation Guide

I will update this entry should I post anything else of general relevance to how to work with the PDQ system.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
Specific information for my players, to aid in building their characters. The PDQ system operates by giving characters Qualities, which then grant them all the skills one would normally associate with that Quality. Thus, if I have the Quality of Bakery Manager, I then have skill levels in Baking Cakes, Writing Employee Schedules, etc. For this I specifically wrote out skills for the professions that are peculiar to the setting.

Read more... )
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
Examples of two characters generated in the Prose Descriptive Quality RPG System for my game, plus a fiction illustrating them. There are probably easier way of explaining this than by writing a 2000 word fiction, but I guess I decided to stick with what I know.
Read more... )
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
This is the introductory information I sent out to my players. Sorry for any formatting weirdness; someday I'll figure out how to force DW to indent paragraphs.
Read more... )
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I finally decided that I wanted to make my game idea a reality and put out a call for players on my FB page today. This is somewhat scary, and part of me insists that it is a bad idea, but I want (need?) the challenge and I like to think I have a fun idea for a game. My target date for starting play is January, so that gives me a little over a month to finish writing up the setting notes, the instructions for generating characters, cleaning the living room, and buying more chairs. Seriously, I have one and a half chairs in my living room now, and if I am going to have people over to game that's nowhere near enough. I finally got my last freelance check this weekend; I should save what I haven't already spent on PBAL perfumes (YULE SCENTS! I CAN HAS YOU!) and go cruising thrift stores.

I have decided that my ancient and atrophied GM skills can handle only 5 players, and it looks like I might have more than that many people interested. But I figure inevitably some people won't be able to play at the time I end up scheduling the game, so hopefully it works out without me having to make painful choices over who to exclude.

Have I mentioned this is scary? But sometimes you just have to jump off that cliff.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday I came home tired and weary and discovered a box from [personal profile] yhlee on my porch. In it were three boxes of various teas, which I was expecting; three intriging fountain pens, and a lot of ink. I think now I have figured out Yoon's fiendishly clever master plan to get me to write more by indunating me with ink. (It's so crazy it just might work!) :-)

I'm going to work more on my rpg game (now titled Judgement Night) tonight, and then tomorrow I have to put it aside for L5R. Duty calls, etc etc. I'll probably ink up one of the pens--the E M Wheatcroft is calling me; I can't get past it's odd and compelling grainlines. How do you even get plastic to do that? I'll have to think about the ink choice: I had been planning on using Scabiosa next, but it's an iron gall and I don't want to put it in just any pen. (Indeed, I'm thinking of dedicating the AL-Star to iron gall inks. As a Safari-clone it ought to be indestructible, and this would make it easy for me to remember which pen has iron gall in it now.) Maybe now is the time to bust out my Black Roses...

Walking home from work today I realized that the PDQ System makes building demons trivially easy. All I need to do is define a Quality (like, say, Demonic Nature) to have the things I intend all demons to have (unnatural strength, super speed, resistance to getting killed, killing frenzy, etc) and then the Quality Rank (Average, Good, Expert, Master) will correspond to how powerful the demon is. If I want a demon to have a special ability, say, the ability to spit streams of cream cheese at a target, I just need to define the Quality: Cream Cheese Projector. Done! (Note: I do not plan on having cream-cheese-spitting demons in my game. That would be weird.)

But all my hopes of gaming make cleaning my living room all the more urgent a task. I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, so I can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or at least mobile) tomorrow morning. I can't keep laying around in bed until 9 am; nothing gets done in a day when I do.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Things going on in my life: I got a new portable space heater this week because October has been cold and annoying, but not so cold and annoying as to make me want to turn on my furnace. It has been approximately 8 weeks since I bought a fountain pen or ink. (Mostly this is because I still haven't managed to try out one of the pens I got at Indy, and I'm desperate to play with the supply of samples I got earlier in the summer. Not to mention my bottle of Scabiosa. Though I was really tempted by that sale on hand-made pens from India.) I finally got my mother's birthday gift sent to her, thanks to Licorice International's website. (And honestly, considering that postage would be about the same amount as bus fare, I might as well just order for myself and have them mail it to me. I could use some good black licorice right now.)

I got into an RPG game late in the summer; it's a hybrid thing using the Forgotten Realms setting and the ruleset of Savage Worlds. As a player I tend to be unfussy about both setting and rules, so I have no particular issues with this. I'm still trying to make my character click, but that's my issue and eventually things will work out. (I actually got a moment of roleplay in last Thursday's game: it was thrilling. It even involved one of her disads!)

The problem with this is that playing in a game has reminded me of all the amazing possibilities rpgs offer in terms of storytelling, and that's collided with the current swirl of ideas in my head *and* merged with my own mental version of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, thus spawning a desire to run a game of my own. This is very, very dangerous. Games take time, but they offer a lot in return. I'd have more social contact, which is always good, and (potentially) some interesting group story-telling. And a reason to keep my living room clean. (I'll have to find more chairs, and find homes for all my books. And groom my plants more often.)

I've gone so far as to make inquires on possible rules systems. As 99% of my Facebook friends are gamers, it wasn't hard to do that! I was originally thinking of doing the game in the FUDGE system, and still might, but I've gotten pointers to similarly rules-light systems. (As a GM I'm really not interested in reproducing reality, so a system that takes every possible detail into account is of no help to me. Also, I hate memorizing large amounts of rules.)

I'm not sure how far this project will get--I'm about to run headlong into a bunch of L5R deadlines--but I think I'll keep toying with it. At worst I'll have some groundwork done for the next time gaming fever hits me.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] cassandra_e is the editor of Tabletop Adventures, which means this summer I have learned more about the electronic-rpg-publishing world than I could ever imagined. Yesterday I learned that a bunch of publishers are giving away free game stuff this week. Go to [livejournal.com profile] tabletopminions for more details!
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Friday day was extremely lazy for me. Ami had to go to his office to work, and Karin had to do some work from home (her office is in a series of boxes atm), so I got to laze around the house. I read some stuff, wandered around LJ looking for mood themes, and generally was non-productive. Eventually I felt inspired to put on my bathing suit and go laze in the pool, instead of the couch. After awhile Karin joined me, having done enough work to feel that she had earned a break. As we paddled around the pool she explained the computer algorithm she was working on, which sounded like an interesting problem, and how her department's search for a temporary instructor was going, which did not sound like an interesting problem.

After Ami came home we had a quick dinner and it was off to Friday's main attraction: the Friday night game at the Role Playing Society of Monmouth County. This Friday was their Big Eyes, Small Mouth game, and Karin and Ami has made prior arrangements with the GM to have me included as a one-shot character. Their campaign is set up so that all the PCs are male students at a high school, and most of them are bishounen. They have various personal crises to deal with, as well as the fact that the other high school in town is called Evil High and seems to be sitting on this universe's equivalent of the Hellmouth.

My character was a ninja and I decided to play her Ninja Nonsense style, so she had pale purple hair, dark purple eyes, and a school uniform one size too tight. I spent the session alternating between spying to see what Evil High was planning for the upcoming Cultural Arts Competition and trying to make time with Karin's character, who was our school's #1 Bishi. Oh, and there was also the time we were attacked by the three cross-bow wielding rabbits. I had loads of fun, and the other players seemed to find me amusing, so it was a good night.

Saturday we slept late and went out to brunch at a diner, at which the three of us once again had to confront the dreary reality that hash browns do not exist in New Jersey. Karin and Ami tell me that you cannot get hash browns anywhere on the East Coast, and that the time they drove a truck full of furniture from Nebraska to New Jersey they discovered the approximate location of the Hash Brown Curtain, which appeared to cut through western Pennsylvania. After eating we went to a grocery store and picked up a veggie tray and pop to take to their Saturday night game, which was D&D. Then we went home and baked a Mint Madness Chocolate Cake to take as well. This wasn't to be a true MMCC, because Ami suggested that we frost it with chocolate ganache instead of mint butter cream, but you can't really say that it was harmed by the substitution. We had been planning to make one for the RPS picnic, which was to have been Sunday, but during Friday night's meeting it was decided to reschedule it because a number of people had developed transportation problems.

My character was a bard who was a reporter for the local high society magazine. She had tracked down the adventurers because one of the members was the daughter of a socially prominent elven family who was soon to undergo the elvish equivalent of her Sweet Sixteen party. I roleplayed out my interview of the young elf, much to the amusement of the rest of the players. Later we were attacked by a kind of fay known as Red Hats, and eventually we had a battle royale with their leader in which two of the party members were killed. One of the players pointed out during the battle that I had no ties to the party and so had no reason not to just run away; afterwards I explained to him that my character could never do such a thing as it might result in another reporter scooping her on the story. All in all it was a fun game, and everyone liked the cake.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Because there is a possibility of confusion on this point, I'm going to begin by saying that I like my rpg group. The guys I play with are generally good-natured, they are good players, and they are very patient with my slowness in picking up mechanics in a new game. (I'm perfectly capable of learning mechanics, but I tend to find it the dullest part of a system, so it takes me awhile.) Their sense of humor is sometimes a little too earthy for my taste (and more on this later), but I can't really claim that they shock my delicate sensibilities.

That out of the way, last night we were playing a Serenity game. Our ship was transporting a group of NPC passengers from one world to the next, and the NPC who had been serving as their spokesman (who was as annoying as all get out) insisted on having all the crew gather for a meeting with him. Our pilot refused, on the grounds that he needed to fly the ship. My character was suspicious of the NPCs' motives, so I told the GM that I was going to go stand watch with the pilot. Meanwhile, I scribbled a note--"Tell them that I have my period and have cramps"--and gave it to the guy playing the ship's mechanic (who was going) to excuse my absence. He read the note and said, "Eeww. I'm not saying that." What? "Look, you can use a euphemism if you want," I said. He put the note down and the game continued on.

When we had finished the scenario, the guy playing the mechanic picked up the note and handed it to the GM saying, "Look what she wanted me to say". The GM read it and said, "Ick," or something along those lines.

To put this in context, this is a group of men who cannot go a gaming session without making a sodomy joke being squicked out by the concept of menstrual cramps. I laughed then, because I thought it was funny--I still think it's funny--but the more I think of it the weirder the incident gets. It's just...weird.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Today's weather was clear and sunny so I got up early this morning, took a shower, had breakfast and caught the 7:30 am bus downtown to check out the farmer's market. Very few people had radishes (still a little early) but one vendor had morel mushrooms and I managed to score the penultimate bag on the table. When I finish with this I'm going to put them to soak in salt water (the best method, I'm told, of getting rid of any insects who have taken up residence) and cook them up for dinner tonight. I picked up 2 small bunches of radishes and some green onions and called it good--morels aren't cheap, after all.

I did a little bit of writing while waiting for the bus back home, got home, did some emailing and then laid down and took a long nap. The nap was not planned and was probably a mistake because I woke up after 1 pm feeling groggy and disconnected with reality. I hate it when that happens. I fixed some lunch and ate it, and that helped somewhat but I'm still feeling listless. I need to do some grocery shopping (and stop by the hardware store to get a saw), so maybe that will perk me up.

Something has to, because I have tons of stuff that need to be done today and tomorrow. Aside from my nemesis, Housework, I have several writing deadlines looming. Also, I need to come up with a character background for my character in the Firefly game my tabletop group is in. My character is doomed to be lame because I have no background in that universe; I have watched a grand total of one Firefly episode and that was the night we were working up characters.

Meanwhile I've gotten invited into a play-by-forum game a friend is running and I need to come up with a character for that. I'd kind of like to play a Kakita duelist (as I'm kinda running a Daidoji bushi in the Oni Mura game), but opinions seem to be sharply divided on whether or not the Kakita school is any good or not. If it really isn't then I don't want to bother--I've spent too much of my real life feeling incompetent at what I'm doing to want it in an RPG experience.

In rereading this I've discovered that I'm apparently both listless AND gloomy. I need to go do my errands, and then see if hacking the trees out of my mint bed will improve my disposition.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cassandra_e for pointing me to the Troll Lord Games website. Library humor!

The two companies immediately announced an aggressive lineup of alphanumeric expansion, with Goodman handling the numeric and Troll Lord handling the alpha. Goodman will begin a newly numbered series of Dungeon Crawl Classics modules based on the Dewey Decimal System.

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