atolnon: (Default)
( Oct. 29th, 2009 08:09 am)
I had a dream that writer_lynn was running a small WoD game at a larger convention, and I brought my Mage character. (the Atol of the blog's name, incidentally) It was set in Prague, where he was by virtue of plot device. I came up with a plot where he had intended to fly to Edinburgh initially, but got on the wrong flight.

While there, I got into an arguement with someone who had issues with _lynn's professionalism at the venue, and she rolled dice to have her character attack me in game. I actually dreamnt she said "I hope you've got a high Medicine score!" and wasn't quite sure how to react when I broke the sacrosanct agreement by just refusing to take any damage and walked out.

So, I'm a giant nerd. I dreamnt all this in the 15 minutes between 7 and 7:15.
atolnon: (Default)
( Sep. 12th, 2009 01:59 pm)
There's some stuff I want to do, and my energy for it comes and goes. The reason? Well, I've spent all day dislodging crap in my chest and being occasionally very drowsy. Other then that, I'm swell. I should be feeling right as rain, tomorrow.

I keep wanting to come back to Cam games, but my weekends are pretty packed. There is going to be a point where I can make it happen, but I haven't been able to hit that critical mass of time and opportunity. I don't want to head out for games initially on my own, but I'm going to have to because it's not going to happen otherwise. Brent has other obligations that crop up, so it's pretty clear cut. From what I can recall, he had an opinion that was pretty neutral about the whole endeavor, but other things are consistently more rewarding. For me, it's because I'm really interested in developing one or two characters. Obviously I can take it or leave it, but I'd like to give it a shot.

I had some thoughts about Magic, but I don't think this is really the venue. I got to play FFXI again today for a bit, until I got really sleepy, and that was a lot of fun.

Tags:
I had kind of an unusual weekend in that nothing really went as I expected it to, but things seemed to have worked out ok for me anyhow. I went into it totally disorganized and came out ship-shape. Moreover, as things were winding down last night, I managed to put together the last few bits that really make going into the work week manageable. A thanks to [profile] writer_lynn, who was at least able to let me know where I stand re: prestige, and now I get to dick around with assigning dots to, really, just whatever. 

I've been up and down the Cam version of WoD at this point, and I'm well aware of the points of view that I've heard expressed regarding the reset, experience for membership class, et al, ect, ect. It's not that other people are wrong, it's just that the doling out of post-reset experience makes me happy. I understand the reasons for having such high loadouts for experienced characters in the setting, and why MC grants exp at all, but I always really thought that the amount of experience points found on characters bordered on rediculous, not to mention the powergap, which was always monumental. That's mitigated somewhat now. My personal feelings are that experienced players do fine regardless, plus often know exactly what they want to do with their points anyhow. That the gulf is smaller between MCs is a boon because it rewards longevity in the organization over longevity in the setting less then it used to. Something about that seems right to me.

Smaller exp. totals is also more manageable from a ST side, as far as I can tell. In Mage, when you've got multiple multiple-Masters, there's very little you can's just 'Death 5/Life 5/Time 5/ect.' away. The power level becomes, I believe, almost exponential one-on-one, though just like always, multiple people are always going to be able to drag you down should they decide to. Ces't ca la vive. There's nothing different now from then, it's just a little easier, is all.

Got to visit Mt. Rainer yesterday. Cool, partially cloudy weather highlighted some pretty excellent views. We got to do a little walking, but most trails either seemed snowed at the beginning or, in one case, blocked partway through. The sign that indicated we ought to bring an ice axe was particularly telling.

I got a few shots of the trail and a view through the trees, making me glad I had brought my camera. Doing anything about it is going to have to wait, though, since I still need to flatten and reload my machine. The real issue with that is that I don't have hardly any of my software disks, so I'd want to have some of those mailed up, even. I should of thought ahead.

I blew my weekend off to do whatever, and if you've got lots of things you want to accomplish, then I recommend it. The actual details of 'how' involve a stack of aluminum cans and a daunting amount of stacked cardboard which can be followed by checking the linked entry on my Facebook. It's true that I enjoy finding new ways to repeat myself, but I assume you wouldn't get anything out of that.

While it remains to be seen if I'll actually have the time to keep up with this kind of thing, I renewed my Cam membership (I hadn't actually realized it lapsed, but the point was moot) in the hopes of maybe playing the same old character or branching out. I feel like I have a few ideas I could bring to Requiem that'd be fun and I'm juggling concepts for Mage. There's something about that prick Atol that makes me want to return to his character, but I've had several concepts that keep popping up. Many of them seem surprisingly mundane, like I can't get past playing someone who was really steeped in being normal and things just became progressively weird about everything else.

Since I signed back up, I need to bring Atol back though, if only because I don't feel like he ever really got a resolution. Without going into it forever, he started off as a terrible character (not a bad person, just kind of two dimensional) and got better. Then I turned into a terrible player, which is something I've got my reasons for, anyway.

So yeah, I've sent out some messages, because my copy of my prestige is hopelessly corrupt and won't open. I had backed it up, but it seems I backed it up post-corruption, so that doesn't seem to do me any good. It was probably out of date, anyway. Without it, I don't have a record of any MC, which is tangenital, but irritating. If the VST Coordinator/Mage VST doesn't have records of it somewhere, I might have to bug Stephanie, who certainly isn't obligated to worry about it anymore, anyhow. It would be kind of funny to have this character from 2006 without any recorded playtime. My information in the CRD was very accurate until the reset, at which point I rely on it to have exactly nothing more then my starting point-buy. Even that doesn't look accurate to my recollections. 

I got a package from my father and picked up my booster box on Friday showering with years of collected bits of cardboard that I'm surprisingly excited about. I haven't felt this excited about Magic since before college.

I wanted to put together a soundtrack and kind of get a sure feel for a character before bringing hm back in any capacity.
So far, this is what I've been thinking.

Boards of Canada - The Devil is in the Details.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMmuV2UnvpE&feature=PlayList&p=E02616C01C88C937&index=0
Boards of Canada - Under the Coke Sign
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhxrFsoao9k&feature=PlayList&p=838A92991524FD7C&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=25

Modest Mouse - Dark Center of the Universe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmRnfw0qBow

David Bowie - Andy Warhol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNYRw3HwhRQ
Bonus clip - Andy Warhol eats a hamburger.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdn6wrM1Hqw&feature=fvw

The Flaming Lips - In the Morning of the Magicians
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhHiQr2OdKE (I don't like this cover as much, but it has vocals.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvsT4AKGQR8 (I like this one a lot, but no vocals, obviously.)

Radiohead - Videotape
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kCKob1YKOU
Radiohead - How to Disappear Completely
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq9t2FFh6LA&feature=related
Bonus track - Defunct Hardware - Nude
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOswq2P-pAs

Sorry, in this case, they are not two great tastes that taste great together.

These are separate instances, except in so far as they are combined on the same page. I've been thinking a little more about Mage and my character in the Cam who has, I imagine, been sitting about playing gigs, and doing some cursory magical thinking, but these things don't really generate exp. Well, he hasn't been up to much, I guess. Story-wise, I feel I have a really good answer for this that grows naturally out of the rational I have for his move and his actions in-game right before I left.
Even if I've been thinking more about it, that doesn't guarantee a more active character, but I'm wondering about the viability of someone that doesn't show up to a venue very often but still exercises their downtime.

It's really just that Atol was such a fun channel to think about the WoD from, even though I'm pretty sure he is wrong about several canonical positions of the setting. I also felt he was a great foil to the real movers and shakers in St. Louis - he was frequently a tag along, almost a detriment to any magical task force he was put on due to his methods and assumptions. Almost be default, the brute force magical way used by concilium mages was efficient and potent where Atol absolutely depended on compromise. A simple repeated Forces 1 roll taxed his ability to its limits. He had his upsides - I certainly wasn't playing a purposely useless character. It just turned out that what he was good at wasn't something that people were interested. Magic is more powerful then skills, which both Atol and I were aware of. I guess the surprise would be when he learns some rotes based on those skills...

Of course, Perform doesn't have a lot of rotes. Even though it should! =D

On a different topic, I've never really been sold on Left 4 Dead. It's not the '4', everyone, though that isn't really points in its favor. No, it's that while I do possess a certain level of interest in the walking dead, that interest is purely on the level of logistics and maybe, maybe the themes a bunch of cannibalistic, shambling ghouls can represent. The prospect of mowing down whole crowds of the formerly-human holds fairly little romance for me.
Even so, I have fairly memorable dreams about these creatures, and I specifically dreamt of a Left 4 Dead setting last night (no doubt getting every particular wrong, in that I have never seen anything of it besides some art). Whence does my trepedation spring? Not in dying, specifically, but in losing free will. This is a theme that occurs frequently in nightmares I have, and interests me both in and out of those dreamscapes. It's a thing where I can even see someone go from a free-willed* individual to a thoughtless creature.

Vampire**, as a game was interesting to me in that when I first picked it up, I was still most familiar with vampires in my gaming from the D&D context. That is, when someone becomes a vampire, they immediately flip alignment and become an NPC - and completely capital 'E' Evil. Rather then just being forced to subsist on the blood or levels of innocents (or adventurers), I always assumed that an alignment switch was a forced change in metaphysical view - not just that your opinions changed on correct actions, but an entire worldview switch. My supposition was, since it happened instantly and to every character regardless of who they were and in exactly the same way, that when the character 'died' ,they were basically replaced by an alien intelligence; they were no longer the same person but changed, they were a totally different entity.

This had been my experience from movies, comics, et al and ect, as well. Basically, they were smart zombies. Vampire: the Masquerade (and ironically, later, Interview With A Vampire and so forth), posed that you were basically the same person but with an unnatural hunger. Perhaps where they went wrong were the super-heroesque powers (which are fun, so I don't really mind that), but it's the self-recognition that makes it a game of personal horror. Or what have you. I suppose that there's an element of horror in waking to find yourself in a body that isn't yours, but there's really no reflection inherant in that, it's the above that's required.

So, that's as far as I've gone with that. It's why I've been interested in Vampire from a conceptual level, but having never been in a paper-and-pencil game of it,  I have rarely gotten into those themes. If you've got any thoughts about any of this stuff,  yeah, I'm interested on other peoples takes on it, too.

* something that appears to be free-willed, in a dream, you of course realize that this is not a possibility.
** so this is technically 'Masquerade'
atolnon: (Default)
( Aug. 8th, 2008 02:25 pm)
I always forget to do these. Does anyone have any tips for coordinating downtimes where multiple people are working together? Our cabal wants to do some research, throw a act together in an area we were told to stay out of, and compose a new CD. These are all kind of related, so I'm not sure if anyone has advise.
I got back from the Awakening venue a while ago with Brent and Jolene, and the game was really kind of light because the ST is in the middle of a move and hadn't gotten a lot of prep notes together. But, to his considerable credit, he said to go on with whatever goals we had IC, and he'd run with them as gamely as possible. I really think this is pretty fair, considering. Employee of the Month is new as a cabal in the city (we totally named our cabal after the band, which Atol staunchly brought with him in hopes of a little success this time) and it just happens we're all Free Council.

Seriously, this wasn't on purpose, it just kind of happened. Our concepts naturally gravitate to the FC for a number of reasons. But, we're also the only FC in town, so I guess you can imagine the chagrin of a heavily Diamond order city where a trio of Councilors stroll in and demand to see "the King Dick. You know. The Heirarch."

We needed to introduce ourselves. I was just trying to be polite. Actually it went over pretty well. Most people recognize that they're vaugely opposed to the Free Council, but don't really know why, except that they often come into town with molotov cocktails. Which I will certainly not do. Atol has, like, one dot in Athletics or something.

But the players are setting the pace, and you know that means just sitting around the table talking. The one downside of this is that conversations often degenerate into something that's just barely removed from OOC chatter. Characters tend to adopt whatever things players themselves like, and talk revolves around recent movies, games, or events in their relm of interest. I don't really oppose this staunchly, but it's pretty dull. Our cabal doesn't really have any idea of what's up in the city, so we get together and decide to grill the local concilium about what's up in the city lately. Quite a lot, it seems, but as dangerous as a lot of this stuff sounds, nobody really sounds like they're doing anything about it.

There's something awful in the downtown library which possesses Awakened but not mortals. There's some awful abyssal shit in Capital Hill, but I'm not clear what. There's a bunch of Neo clones with no eyes walking the streets with the intention of dropping the world into the Abyss forever. And I'm like, "I don't really want to be the one to ask this question, but what are your plans to track the source of these guys and deal with the problem for good?" I don't have an answer to that. I think they just avoid them. That's my fault, Atol decided he wasn't interested in the answer because it was too long.

Anyhow, it felt like a long three hours. What I got from it is that the cabal now has a set of downtime actions they'll want to file so that when the game cues up next time, we'll have a base to operate from in terms of accomplishing goals. On the way back, Brent and I talked.
"They said to stay away from Capital Hill." I said.
"That just makes me want to go to Capital Hill." he replied. "Where do we go next?"
"The phone says to just keep left and continue straight. Ok. We'll have to stage a concert in Capital Hill. And they said they'd just leave the library alone?"
"We need to check out that library and see what's up with that."
"Good call. One thing at a time, I guess. That thing sounds big. Shit, we're going to cause so much trouble for these people."
"Oh we totally are."
.... I want to like you, but if you keep this up, we'll never be friends. I want you to know that. I keep trying, it's just...these Contracts. They're destroying this relationship.

Ok, first of all, it's cold up here. I kind of want that to sink in, because I'm pretty sure it's roasting in the midwest right now. I don't really have much trouble with heat, but I don't miss temperatures so hot it just makes you want to sit around until evening. Brent and Val have this mini-AC unit which they hardly ever have to turn on, but even when they do, they turn it on for temperatures that we'd of just opened up the windows and turned the fan on for my Dad's house. So that's something.

Over here, besides looking for gainful employment and maybe combing Craigslist for roomies or something*, I've been combining my notes and working on gaming stuff. I spent about an hour looking into ghost rules for NWoD and finding them pretty good. I doubt we'll ever see a Wraith expansion for NWoD, but I'll try to deal.** I also spent, like, four fucking hours with the Changeling books again trying to puzzle out the mechanics to embody my character concepts for the Cam with Brent.

My disinterest for Contracts has found itself transformed into outright ire. What's up with that? One - I don't like their format. They're a bunch of individual paths, none of which simply scale up in scope, but offer a multitude of different abilities at scaling xp costs. So, if the only power I want is ***, then I have to buy * and ** before I can get it, nevermind that those are likely to actually be useless to me if I don't have the relevant Skill. The answer is to buy that skill up, but if it doesn't make a lot of sense to the concept, something's got to give. And either way, it kind of creates a cascading xp requirement that I like on one hand but the inefficiency of it I dislike on the other.

In addition, many contracts are a two-dicepool where one of those pools is Wyrd. Wyrd is just one pool because it goes up to ten, but it's the power stat, so it's hands down the most expensive ability on the list. Because you're not rolling dice, you're really forced to buy it up high if you want certain abilities to get past one success, which I feel is a real issue. OTOH, once it's up there, someone with a high Wyrd is really versitile in terms on Contracts, but it really favors high XP characters more then usual. At least in Mage, a focused younger Mage who picks his Rotes well is still going to be able to compete (or aid) the big boys with high Gnosis. So, that's thematic, it can go either way, I guess. You can either be mostly mundane and rely more on your skills and low-impact Contracts (Hearth is great for this) or just up your Wyrd and go batshit.

Still, if you don't have the XP to buy Contracts and Wyrd, you're looking at a prolonged period of time where you don't really actually do anything. Have fun being scenery again.

In addition, I was considering that I might not have the XP chops to pull off my first, favored character concept, so I decided to go with something low-key. Kind of an agrophobe who came out fairly rarely (which would explain if I didn't come to game often) who didn't need to be that powerful, but was a bit of an information broker and blackmarketeer who assisted his private eye partner. Autumn Court gets a neat Mantle that adds dice to Occult pulls/rolls revolving around Contracts. I don't like many of the Contracts, actually (I chalk this up to being a gaming curmudgeon a bit and decided to just roll with it), and figured I'd just take what I was given and look through the book to find out what Contracts had a fair number of Occult in the die pools.

Good God. Almost friggin' none. I need Summer 4 to get some, or 5's in the other seasonal courts. The only one that's going to apply to me, at least at first, is Autumn, which means I can summon a hailstorm. Which is neither in character nor of any goddamn interest to me at all. I had to have Brent look into the Summer Court book to find alternate Seasonal court Contracts before I found something thematic and Occult related in their Autumn alt.

Summer isn't vetted for play yet. OK. Great. So, I'm basically just going Fleeting Autumn 3, Hearth 2, Mantle 4, and just buying skills and merits, it looks like, on this one guys. What are the rules for mortal thaumaturgy in Changeling, because that's what I want.

Actually, here's what I'd of wanted over their power setup. Exalted style charmlists where the powers are tied to a concept and have pre-requisites but are paid for modularly because they're often unrelated. Problem - high XP characters are just going to buy record numbers of modular charms because they don't scale in XP. Not a problem in Exalted. Might be a problem in Cam Changeling because XP totals are so amazingly high.

Suggestion 2: Use Vampire magics as a template. Buy the Contract stat up from 1-5, but have powers purchased seperate, rated from 1-5, giving one power of the appropriate level to the character every time they increase the rank of their contract, but allow additional thematic powers to be purchased for a modular cost. This is my favorite suggestion because every time you want to come up with a new goddamn power, you don't have to make up four more just to justify creating a new contract, and you wouldn't feel obligated to add a whole new Contract list in every published splat. OTOH, it's a limited run that's already way, way past production, so it's not like these suggestions are useful now. They're just where I would have taken it. I just think this is, by far, the more elegant way to go. It also stops characters from having a bunch of grab-bag Contracts. You've just got the Corebook, plus a few others, so you can give the nod or stop seperate powers from being allowed into the Cam as they're released instead of having to ok or axe a whole Contract list.

Also, there arn't a lot of ass-beating Contracts. I guess this is on purpose, but I'd of liked a few more obviously helpful contracts for combat. I keep seeing all these, "Let's beat the Gentry's ass if they show back up again." in the books, but shit. They're better off just paying Mages or Vampires to do their ass-beating for them. Changeling gonna get his ass kicked.

*If you want to move up, now's a good time. I'm housetrained and I like doing laundry and dishes.
** Probably no Kindred of the East expansion either. That was a cultural artifact of when it appeared, no doubt.
atolnon: (Default)
( Jul. 9th, 2008 11:58 pm)
Brent has me convinced. A Rasta Legacy is needed.
Tags:
Yesterday was fairly action packed, with us leaving around noon to go to the Seattle beer fest. It was kind of pricey, and I joked that my initial plan was just to drink beer until I got tanked, but the 10 tickets were quite enough to get a pretty hefty buzz by the end, even with me spending 3 at a time at the end for meads and other tasty drinks. I also finally got a good hot dog, which is nice. The event was really close to the Space Needle, and I took a few shots, so maybe they'll come out and whatnot.

Afterwards, Brent and Val went out to what sounds like a really decent Mexican place, and I hung out playing Rock Band (my strummin' arm was sore) and going over Mage character creation with a friend. Since the system is kind of new to her, I went over the mechanical issues instead of the character ones, since we already made is fairly clear that character and story come first. In my case, I really believe that because anything else really makes for a boring time. You can't talk about your pull for Mage Sight in character, and even if you could, the fact that you can hit three successes 75% of the time makes for fairly dry conversation.

"So, what do you do?"
"Oh, me? I'm a double master in Prime and Forces."
"Yeah.... that's great. But what I meant was, what do you do professionally?"
"I.... wizard?"
"....Ok. How much does that pay, anyhow?"
"Oh! Well! I've got Resources 4."
".... I'm going to go hang out with the Tremere. You have a nice time."

But seriously. Half the Matter rotes up to 3 require "Occult or Science" and just about all the others want Craft. And if you're going to be big into Matter and Forces, you could do worse then to study basic chemistry and physics in PC high school.

Other then that, no good leads yet, so I'm going to make that my new goal. I want 3 good leads by the end of the week. Is that possible? I don't know. I'll go out of my way to make it work though.
I have a few blind-spots when it comes to predicting what people will do, and one of them is that I regularly believe my family members even when I have good reasons not to.

Good reasons like precedent.

So when my mother told me she'd get the professionally done version of my resume sent to me in short-order, I believed her, and when she kept assuring me that I should just let her do it, and she'd have it up to me in no time, I believed that too.  This was a bad idea. I did my own resume again from scratch days ago and submitted it already and I still have yet to see a resume in my box and my calls go unanswered. I think this has less to do with any kind of purposeful decision and more to do with her general anxiety levels and inability to meet deadlines. It takes me practically forever to do a resume from scratch, so I didn't want to, and I knew she had my copies on file. I'm not taking it personally, but I've decided I really can't trust her for any sensitive work, so. There's a good chance I won't get so much as an interview at my first attempt because I didn't get the resume in on time. This is basically my fault, but I wish things had gone better.

Um. So. I haven't been online as much. Some, a little daily, and stuff has been happening, but not a massive amount of anything life changing. It's 90+ degrees here now, and nobody really seems to have A/C, so either all the windows end up open or portable units get plugged in. Portable units are only moderately effective and they're expensive, so it's not good to have those on all the time.

I met up with the area Camarilla group, and joined them with [profile] brantai for the Requiem game with NPCs. We wanted to sight-see a bit, and we'd come for the Mage venue, so we were caught with our pants down just a bit and didn't get to play Cornelius and Covington. Instead, we literally ended up playing Dante and Randall, so now a pair of gas-station clerks are on the record as living in scenic Goldbarr, WA in the middle of nowhere. Easily the most animated of all the players there, we had multiple checks to make sure we were actually vampires (mostly people asking "Are you a vampire?" IC , which struck me as hilarious both IC and out). Since we were supposed to be representing at a party, we tried to make smalltalk by discussing music and movies (two things that seem to work pretty well IRL, you know?) which really kind of fell flat.

I guess most vampires have never seen Indiana Jones or Star Wars? No. Man. If I were a vampire, I would spend most of my downtime reading and watching movies. You've got forever to kill! Eventually clubbing is going to get old, and you'll want to spend some time indoors catching flicks, right? I think my opinion of what vampires do is dramatically skewed, so I'm taking it in for consideration. Same with Mage, I guess, though the opposite things seem to go on. Everyone wants to make Lost references, so I spend my time trying to figure out when they got Gnosis 5. I need to work on my perspective.

Anyway! I recalibrated my job-search engines for the Seattle area, and hopefully that'll go well. At least all the grocery stores and stuff seem to be hiring. They don't seem to be able to find enough help from the local population, so if things don't go great, I might get a part-time job there and consider the Korea option.

EDIT: Crap. I want to talk about Sidereals, and I've already posted. Tomorrow, then. Better watch out, suckers!
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atolnon: (Default)
( Jun. 27th, 2008 02:32 pm)
I had a good evening last night. Really unhealthy food, but hey, I was dying for something with chili on it for a long time. I don't know if you're been privy to this rant yet, but in short, if I order something with chili on it, chili needs to cover it. No lame cups of chili. Still, man, that chiliburger was massive. You know what that means.

Lunch tomorrow. Or, rather, today. I totally ate the rest of that burger, so it's healthy eating for the rest of the week right?

Oh snap. It's Friday. So let's reset that timer, shall we? ^_^
Still, I lost some muscle weight and gained some fat weight, so I shouldn't take that too far. Walking and various exercises should clear up some of the lost muscle weight. I'm not going to worry too much about having put on weight though. I'm more concerned about the sedentary lifestyle I'd been working on for several months. Activity is definitely increasing my energy level.

Anyhow, it was my first trip into the city, which was fun. I mean, there's a subtle difference between Seattle and St. Louis besides hills and trees, and it's heavily dependent on the area. The truth is, I like a lot of areas in downtown St. Louis and the like, but crossing the floating bridge but day and night was pretty.

I finally got around to ironing out Atol on the spreadsheet, spending the banked xp that I'd earned from games and the bump to MC 3. The results are really pretty stunning with just a few bumps. Still, I had a few things go from 3 to 4, and a level 3 Rote, so I'm going to need to ask around and do a little OOC legwork to make sure its kosher. Nothing seems off about it, and the only thing I did that might surprise anyone is totally forgoing the Fame merit at all, since part of the IC dialog I had last game revolved around how Atol was leaving on a musical pilgrimage of sorts because he couldn't get his sound right and his band never took off. (Several band members left, in game, so.)

I'm doing the NPCs for the Exalted game, and kind of like how straight-forward the Dragonblooded Charms are compared to Solar or, especially, Sidereal Charms. They have the smallest Essence pools, so over a long period, their Charms are designed to be as efficient as possible, so you see a lot of '1 Mote per X' costs in their Charm trees. Without looking harder at the overall mechanics, I think the DB book is one of the best and most flavorful.

After working with the Mage and Camarillia spreadsheets, though, I kind of wish someone had done the same thing for 1st Ed. Exalted but since there never was a LARP for Exalted, there's not a lot of call for it.
No, I'm not complaining. In fact, my energy level has generally gone way up. I find myself with a greater appetite* and in a better mood. If you've commented that I look better or healthier then I have in a long time, you arn't the only one it seems. I feel better, too, so. That isn't to say I don't have anxious or lonely moments these days, because I absolutely do, including the occasional feeling of vertigo still. But it's not constant anymore, and that makes a huge difference.

Ok, party yesterday. Good times! It had been way too long since I'd played Mage at all. I really enjoy the character interaction, and I just wish there were more people willing to play in the venue. I kinda scuff my feet when I think about having tried to get other friends to play and not really succeeding on that part. Vampire was good too, but the way I explain my inevitable participation, I just don't think I'm as good at Vampire as I am at Mage. Talking about quality in rp'ing... I think about Vampire a lot because I think I'm missing something key and if I understood it, I'd be able to play better. Anyhow, thoughts about that can wait for another day.

Late night, into the morning party. I'm glad I went. I feel that I would have really missed out on a few really critical things if I had gone to a different venue yesterday. Everyone was great, and I have no complaints, even though when it got really late I felt it was clear that old groups gelled into talking circles and after a certain point in the evening, I was just kind of watching everyone talk. There were certain social interactions that were just stunningly apparent, but that you don't get to see so obviously every day. Basically, I thought it was fun and a little weird to think that I was learning more about my friends in this fun, relaxed atmosphere, and then I'm leaving so soon! But, of course, I'll be back, too. I have to because, as I said to [profile] drbuzzkill, I have to come back to drink properly with everyone. And game. Right! Of course, game.

So, I'd love to chat about my reflections more, since I got a lot out of last night. But I need to ship my poor, adorable ratties off and demonstrate the care and feeding of their tiny, furred selves to Brian, who is thoughtfully making sure they don't perish in my absence. I have little money, which is why I have lavished their apartment in gaming systems, rpg books, and games. ^_^; I've got a fairly busy day ahead, and tomorrow, and Tuesday is my flight.

* Still pretty small, in general. But eating multiple meals a day! Gasp!
I'd gotten an invitation to go to a birthday party movie night, but it's a really confusing invitation, honestly. I know the person through someone else, and so she's really more of an acquaintance then anything else. I'd agreed to go because I had assumed there'd be people I knew attending, but I can't seem to find a guest list on her Facebook, which is primarily populated that I don't know well or don't live here anymore. Of all the outings I intend to attend before I go, this one as the potential to be the dullest or the weirdest, so I guess if things go poorly, I'll either excuse myself early or see if Matt is doing anything.

And then invite him. Because that's an easy way of making a party more interesting. 

I was also invited to go camping, but I think that got canceled and I think it'd also run dangerously close to interfering with my Saturday plans. Of which I wanted to be more prepared for, but much of the interesting stuff is located on a thumb drive in Edwardsville, which I just don't have the energy to drive out and get right now. Instead, I'm making sure my character logs are correct and reconciled with the character sheets I have, since I need to spend somewhere around 60 points for at least one by tomorrow. Father Collin is irritating, too, because I've just got the sheet and have to re-figure where I spent the points for him. In at least one place, I'm having trouble reconciling exp with stats, which means I need to do math.

I don't mind though. The only thing I'm irritated about is how I already loaned out my Mage book, so I have to settle for my back up .pdf, since I don't want to go out to Edwardsville today. Also, 60 xp is a lot, and it still goes fast. I'm sitting around with a little tally sheet that says "Needs: 1 dot of Fame. Needs: ??? "

I assume I need Rotes and Arcana, since I'm a magical wuss. I also need Skills, since Atol arguably a better Mysterium mage then a Free Council by virtue of what he's good at. That's why I love him so much, though. He's really pretty out of place, and magical society doesn't make much sense to him, but he still keeps trying. At some point, though, I'm assuming I'll want another primary, because I've been playing Atol for a while and what he does is fun but doing it all the time is starting to drag on a bit. I certainly don't plan on retiring him, because the growth of a young mage into something else is an interesting concept to me. He's gotten much more cynical as time goes on, but I haven't gotten to play much lately, so a little of that growth is lost.

So, some homework, then some writing today.

Addition: Sigh. Nothing like a ton of cutting and pasting. At least I don't have to do it from scratch.
atolnon: (Default)
( Jun. 18th, 2008 01:49 am)
Anxiety has been keeping me awake lately. I try to go to bed, and I really just can't. I'm ok as long as I'm supposed to be awake, but I can't seem to get any rest. I think I'm just really stressed with all that's going on in my life. I'm really glad I'm not working so I can readjust and take this time for myself, because going through this after I leave or while I'm working would be a nightmare.

Despite my exhaustion, and that's what it is, my schedule is much saner then before. I've been going to bed far, far, too late, but I've been getting about 6 hours, taking naps to deal with my situation, and getting up at noon isn't too bad, though about 10 AM is my target these days. But to feel relaxed, I might have to resort to falling asleep in my chair or something. >_>

Today was kind of neat. I'm trying to give stressed friends space to breathe, but I got a call from my friend Paul and we went out for coffee and Thai. Turns out that they showed up late, so only I got coffee, and we just chatted for about an hour. He was really interested in how I felt about work, which I didn't really want to rehash anymore, but he wanted to know how things had been so I went ahead. They ended up going strawberry picking, and I didn't get invited, so I went home and took a brief nap. Later on, it was dinner and then out to chat with Matt, Anthony and Brian C. about politics and light rail systems. We're all huge Obama fans, so this latest campaign fills us with a lot of optimism. The last campaign was a real blow to my sense of justice in the political system, but I'm really positive about this one.

I'm having a lot of second thoughts about the permanency of this move, though. I haven't been in a real stable, comfortable place prior, and even though I'm going, the situation isn't what I expected. I feel most confident about this when I'm around others, but when I'm by myself and it's late, I get some pretty intense second thoughts and when they hit, I'm convinced that I'm screwing myself. Rationally, though, I try to remember that if things go poorly and I can't hack it up there, I've got ways back, so I'm trying to think of it as a vacation with possible long term possibilities. In a way, though, it's just weird to find something I was so sure about not too long ago flip over on me, like a canoe in the rapids.

It's frustrating to get so neurotic! Feels just like when I was switching to nights, except my life sucks so... much... less. In fact, day to day, it's much, much better. I don't even know where to begin. It's so amazing. The switch to days is taking longer then I expected, and it's more stressful then I thought it would be (if I had gone back to days sooner, it would be a much simpler process. Initially, I'd automatically switch back because I was staying with Vi who was a calming influence and I wasn't fully acclimated, so it was easy to go to bed at midnight) but my quality of life is dramatically improved and I even feel better about myself. If it wasn't for the stress and lack of sleep, I'd almost say it was miraculous.

So, I guess the Vampire game is gonna be at the Ethical Society. I plan on being at Vampire and Mage, and going for afters, so while I'd be ok with driving, I'd also be down with carpooling. I'm not sure where Mage is going to be though, or if everyone who's going to Vampire is going to Mage too, so I'll do what it takes. I want to say bye as much as play, so I won't miss this even if I'm as exhausted then as I am now. I forgot where Mage was going to be held at, so I'll try to get that before Saturday even happens.

Props for awesome friends. I'm not so hot on the awful beer lately, though. Why does everyone insist on Miller Light? It's so bad! >.<;;
atolnon: (Default)
( May. 26th, 2008 06:20 pm)
I'm pretty stoked. My ticket is ordered for the 24th, and I should be arriving at Seattle airport at 9:35 pm there. I originally wanted to depart on the 26th, but tickets were ridiculously priced. Those couple of days seem like an issue now, but I probably won't notice the difference overall. My plan is still to quit on the 19th, but depending on how I feel, and how convenient things are, I might leave sooner. Since I'm not under contract, giving forewarning of my intentions to leave is a polite formality it doesn't hurt to abandon. It's not like I've not been screwed by my job before, eh? So, total freedom.

I'm penning my resignation letter. It's so hard! I'm of the opinion that a resignation letter is really a chance to delve into corporate art. The urge to write "While I am leaving the company, I'd like to thank you for your constant generosity as an employer. The raise in pay to a minimum wage hourly equivalent meant a lot to me as a worker, and I'll always treasure the $25 gas gift card I received as my Christmas bonus." is pretty overwhelming. I've been told that I'm the only person people know who will wait a week to leave a job because he's trying to decide just how he wants to quit. I'm not a creature of impulse, people. I play a blue Magic: the Gathering deck.

The one thing I'm going to miss about the area, besides the really great peeps has got to be the gaming. Not only has the Camarilla been really kind to me here, but I've got a really great personal gaming life as well. I kind of have to abandon the OWoD Vampire finale that's been brewing in the area, which is a drag and I was really hoping to get back into Mage in a big way here. The one really big upside is that Covington has a real reason to get back into the action again. As much as I loved him as a character, the reasons for him to stick around were really starting to dwindle because I can really only justify him being in the area for so long. Plus, as Violca's Humanity drops, he becomes increasingly uncomfortable around her. Ironically, it might be noted that his Humanity started off as lower then hers, not that the situation remained there for long. ^_^;

In addition, I'll be updating Atol's myspace more often, checking his mail account more frequently, and the news of his second record should be coming soon. I know I still haven't gotten my CD case to people, so I'll bring it on the 21st, and you might be able to expect me to upload everything to a website soon, depending. It's a lot of additional work and it's just for grins, so it's not really high on my priority list (somewhere around me playing an MMO, actually). I might update tonight if I think of anything clever, but I don't want to write a lot without a reason. Let's just see if anything comes up.
atolnon: (Default)
( May. 26th, 2008 05:00 am)
Whoo! Two-day weekend! 

So, that's lame, but there's still something to be said for getting all the days you actually want off, off. I think even if I knew tonight was going to be a living hell, which it has been, then I'd still suck it up so that I could fulfill the past says endeavors. Not, I suppose, because every moment was fun in the traditional sense but I felt I had a lot invested in them. 
It was my opinion that the yard sale went fairly well, but I'm substantially more proud of [profile] writer_lynnfor doing the heavy lifting then I am of my ADCship. I think that in time, I'd get pretty good at it, but not only did I feel pretty irresponsible for not sleeping the night before, but by and large, we just didn't end up with all that much stuff. I wanted the sale to do better, and I think I could have worked harder on it. Still, the work's not totally done. Money and donations still have to make it over to the pickup site. Depending on what's left, it might all actually fit in my car. We'll have to see.

Anyhow, my Xanga (as always) gets a different batch of data. Since I'm beat, and likely to be busy, I probably ought to make things short and go long tomorrow (providing things are better), but the gist of it is that it looks like I'll be needing to cut my leave date back to the 23rd because I foolishly waited too long to procure my tickets. That means I'll be officially leaving my job on the 19th and leaving four days later instead of 7 in order to save 80 bucks. Between now and tomorrow morning, I might change my mind, but the money difference is substantial and leaving on Thursday doesn't gain me that much more. 

I found the 4e trial interesting, but would have enjoyed some non-combat scenes. It didn't feel like the D&Ds of my past, which is a good thing in AD&Ds case, but about break even with 3rd. If I ever begin playing 4e, it'll be in addition to 3.5, and not instead, if my hunch is right. I like 3.5 but 4e combat was fun, too. Also, I'm a Wizard!

Before I'd realized the yardsale was on this Saturday instead of the 28th (the date I originally recalled), I'd made an obligation to do a petition against the Granite City Wal-Mart with a friend so he wouldn't have to go alone. I basically planned on making the rounds on no sleep, but the game was called on account of sudden rain, so I mostly just dozed in his car until he made his way over to his girlfriends graduation party at which point, I actually ended up crashing in his car for a few hours until I was a functioning human being again.

The party itself was alright. I told everyone I'd go, but it was mostly filled with people I'd never met with guest starts from people I did know, and totally didn't expect to show up. It made me all nostalgic for a graduation party of my own, which I'm pretty dubious about fitting in with my schedule. I made vague plans for a few get togethers, but if I do something (and I'd kind of like to) it's going to have to be altered because time and budget issues are looking rather imposing.
Man alive! It's actually pretty busy tonight, with one hospital call after another. I'm not really sure what's going around out there this Thursday, but if it's not sickness, these calls indicate injury. Remember- if it happens to be zombie bites and plague, aim for the brain and run, don't fight - don't risk a bite! 


On a totally different side note, my wrists have been acting really oddly lately. They don't hurt, but they're prone to popping and feel really stiff.  I'm wondering if there's something about the keyboard angle and desk/chair height that's doing something to them.

I was talking with some fellow roleplayers as I went to see Narnia the other night, while we waited for the rest of the group to show up. Personally, if I didn't see some value in the organization I would, not being partial to joining formal organizations in the past, simple allow my membership to lapse feeling that I would, hopefully, at least have the friends I've made to show for my time. So, besides the friendships I've made, which I consider to be very important to me, the group has a lot going for it. I've enjoyed my time spent playing games in the Camarilla thus far.

I may have mentioned in the past, though, that not all my friends hold the same view. Besides the fact that they already have gaming groups and a healthy social lives/networks*, one of the things I keep hearing generally revolves around exp. I'm asked how experience is handled and how characters interact (and occasionally about system issues), and I generally inform them that there's an MC system plus a series of long-term characters that have been accumulating experience for a few years. Even my mage character, whos sheet is getting a little dusty in its binder, has a substantial amount of experience sitting on it, and I'm one of the weaker characters in the chronicle. 

The amount of exp in the setting is a little hard for the gaming  vets to swallow. Now, I'm not really sure it's a bad thing, because honestly, even a tough bugger of a character will go down under a hail of enough bullets/teeth/knives/whatever. Generally, I've seen a lot of that exp go to very reasonable things to flesh out character concepts, which is probably how it should be. 

It think it's a perceptual hurdle, though. There are a lot of players who don't distinguish between table top and LARP when it comes to rules, for example, and only a long term role-playing session under an exceptionally generous Storyteller is going to aquire the kind of exp that a Cam larper can expect to see on even a year-old character whose player has moderate MC. The proportions between player characters is totally different, too, because NPCs are harder to field, a lot of the smaller or more peripheral characters (though they should have their chances to shine) are just going to come from newer players. 

It's the proportions between newer and older players that create the different play experience when it comes to power, though. Not only is exp granted for MC, but it's also the standard reward for good play, for showing up to events, et al. I don't think I have a problem with it (in a lot of ways, because I haven't seen a lot of negative fallout from this effect, meaning I'm not even sure how profound it is), but it's certainly in the mind of certain savvy prospective members. 

So, like I said. I'm not sure if it's a problem, and if it is, what the solution would be. It's just come up a lot when I query people I know about joining, or am asked about the organizations play.

*not the same thing, I know. 

.

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