Archive for January, 2010

I finally got around to re-reading the words I typed in November. I fell far, far short of my goal, as work and the sudden addition of being run crew for a play to my workload upset my schedule. And that’s okay, really. I made it over half-way, and gotten further along with this story than I ever have with a non-script writing project.

Needless to say, the writing is excrement. And that’s okay. The plot has promise, but I don’t think that a novel was the proper form for this story. Reading through it, I have the makings of a really awesome anime series on my hands. A girl and boy trapped in a nightmare land looking for someone they both love? Very episodic paragraphs and events? DARK TORTURED SECRETS? Crap, I think I could make this series RIGHT now.

Characters are kind of ridiculous with pretensions of depth– I probably shouldn’t have been watching Ouran Host High School Club while I was writing. Lesson learned: shojo + SERIOUS literature = bad idea, at least when it comes to dialogue. Lesson learned, only watch stuff like Twelve Kingdoms when doing dialogue, at least in the absence of my usual writing buddies.

I did a better job of describing areas than I usually do– I’m not good at thinking spatially, so I tend to let room descriptions slide. But I did put an honest effort into descriptions, so points for effort.

Overall, I’m glad that I attempted to write a novel in a month. I took some writing risks I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise, did a LOT of writing on a single subject, and actually developed something similar to a plot. I don’t know if I will do anything else with the story I have written (It kind of finished around the 25000 word point, and I realized that I still had a lot more words to go), but I’m glad I have it around in case I ever need it.

Writing Quality- D
Characterization- B-
Taking Risks- A-
Dialogue- C
Overall Score- C+


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Spatial Disorientation

I cannot think in 3D without difficulty. My vision is fine. I can see in three dimensions just fine, but when it comes to processing that stuff mentally, I just blank. When I play WoW, I have to navigate everywhere by looking at my mini-map, not my actual screen. I can’t play first-person shooters because they make me dizzy. And never, ever ask me for directions if I don’t have a piece of paper to draw things out on, otherwise you’ll be forced to listen to me go “uhm, wait, I might be wrong about that, let me check….”

Obviously, I am uncomfortable with the idea of running a miniatures game. I suppose it’s not that different than our current system of drawing things out on a white board, but it still makes me uneasy. On the other hand, I really really like to paint and modify minatures. On the other, other hand, I don’t want to pay to paint and modify minatures. Boo. Anyway, to get back on topic, the addition of an extra dimension makes me panic a little. I just can’t conceptualize how it would even work. Lame, I know, but that’s all there is to it.

Maybe I’ll give it a try with a smaller group, but I’m not even sure how to start. I wouldn’t even consider walking down that road, but 4e rules are complicated and just beg for miniatures. Also, I like painting and modifying miniatures. >.>

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So, I was feeling pretty good about this whole “figuring out how long adventures are going to take with this party” thing. I honestly did think that I had gotten a good idea of how things were going to go down. However, my players were not going to let me off so easily.

The Town About A Day Away
Having been tasked with recharging the holy symbol of Mystra, the party headed to the town about a day away. Once there, I was expecting the players to settle in at the inn, and start making some discreet inquiries about the wizard the cleric of Mystra mentioned. Neither of those expectations met.

The town was larger than they had been lead to believe. It looked to be bursting at the seams, with many hurriedly built houses around the outer perimeter. The group entered the town from the east. It was fairly early in the day, so Rila decided to do some leg work on finding out more about the wizard and the holy symbol. The best place to do that, she decided, would be the town’s market.

The Market Place
The market place is a bustling square near the middle of town. The edges of the town are filled with vendors hawking goods, from produce to jewelry to fresh (hopefully) meat. Rila marches to a busy spot, finds a box to stands up, and proceeds to hold up the symbol of Mystra.
Rila: Hey there, does anybody know anything about this symbol?
DM: o___0;;
Rila: Really, any information at all? Oh, yeah, and anything you could tell  us about a wizard who lives near here would be helpful too. (OOC to me: Hey, do I notice anything in the crowd?)
DM: 0.o;; Uhm, well, you’re getting a lot of curious stares, and there seems to be a bearded guy in the back who is eyeing you intently.
Rila: (OOC: What does he look like? Any noticeable features?)
DM: Uh, he has one arm, is dressed much like a lumberjack, and has his bushy brown beard frames his square-cut face.
Israfel: (rolls a dice) Okay, I’m following that guy. He sounds interesting.
DM: Oooookay. After a couple of minutes of watching you ask around about the symbol, he seems to get bored and he walks away. Israfel, are you still going to follow him?
Israfel: (rolls again) Yeah, I’m going for it.
DM: You follow him as he makes his way through the twisty side streets. He seems pretty oblivious to his surroundings. A short time later, he stops at a store and enters.
Israfel: What do I see when I look inside? I roll a (high number).
DM: You peek in through the display window. The rows of bread and cakes tell you that this is a bakery. Inside is a very beautiful woman who is well-gifted (makes Holy Grail “huge tracks of land” gesture).
Israfel: (standing up) I slam open the door, and say “…Gentlemen.” (pantomines doing so, and doesn’t get out of the position.)

Kind of like this, except not made with post-it notes. Sorry, my scanner is still not compatible with vista, so you get dioramas taken with my cell phone camera

And at this point, this session went kind of downhill. We were off to a great start, but then it came screeching to a halt….


Related: A Stitch in Time, Part I

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After how poorly I handled the “Generic Kill The Monster Quest,” I felt that I had to redeem myself. There was only one way for that to happen, though, and I intended to use all the narrative tricks I’d learned while studying theatre in college. In short, shit had to get real, yo.

The Setup
The party returned to the hole in the ground leading to injured woman. They had the other half of the disc that had been broken in the struggle, but no idea of how or why it was so important, other than it had something to do with a child.

The Party
Rila- Elven Ranger
Cedrick- Half-elven Paladin
Israfel- Eladrin Rogue
Indiriana- Eladrin Warlock
Pentaros- Eladrin Warlord
Sarin- Elven Ranger
Azreal- Something? He showed up to this one session, so I can’t remember what he played. I’m lame.
Sylph- Elven Cleric

In the Cave
After jumping through the silvery substance once more, Rila makes a beeline for the other half of the disc. Maybe, she thinks, if I can see what the image on it is, I can figure out what is so important that the harpy flew off with half of it. She joins the two parts of the disc together and it magically seals itself together. And together it forms….

Mystra? That's lame. I was hoping for Voltron.

A couple of WTF expressions on the player’s faces and some frantic religion rolls confirm that the disc is emblazoned with Mystra’s sigil. But Mystra has been dead for over a hundred years. So why does this woman protect the relic?

Confronting the Woman

The party walks into the next room, where they see the woman being tended to by Bimbi, the resident Halfling paladin. The woman smiles as she sees the party enter.
“Did you recover the other half of the disc?” the woman asks, propping herself up.
As an answer, Rila holds up the completed disc.
“Could you perhaps explain why you have the emblem of a dead god?” Rila asks, brusquely.
“She’s dead for now, but she’ll be back. She always comes back.” the woman responds.
“Lady, it’s been about a hundred years. Somehow I doubt she’s coming back.” Rila says.
“Has it been a hundred years? It’s only been about a month in my cave. We sealed it and hid it away so I could protect the sign. It’s important that we guard it, for if we don’t, darkness will come across the land.” the woman responds. As if remembering something, the woman holds out her hand. “May I have the disc? I need to make sure that it is still all right.”
Rila hands over the disc, while exchanging confused glances with other members of the party. The woman takes it, closes her eyes, and concentrates. After a moment, she starts crying.
“No! This can’t be, the magic, it’s broken, the ward has been dissolved, the children….” the woman says, between sobs.
“Is there someway to recharge it?” Rila asks, suddenly uncomfortable. There is a pause in the sobs.
“Maybe… Maybe my friend who created this time pocket can help. But… it’s been a hundred years….”
Cedrick, recognizing a story hook when he hears one, jumps in.
“Where can we find this friend of yours?” he asks.
“There is… or at least used to be a town about a day away from here. You might be able to find some answers there.” she responds.
The party, having nothing else to say, take back the symbol from the woman, and head out to this mysterious town.

To Be Continued….

Related: Generic Kill the Monster Quest

**Image taken from The Forgotten Realms Wiki. It was the only place I could find the symbol, and my scanner doesn’t work with my new computer. But hey, it’s an excuse for me to link to a really, really awesome site, so yay for that.

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Also, when I’m tired and don’t feel like doing anything, I tend to look up nerd-flavored home crafts. Here’s a small D&D cooking roundup:

D20 shaped cookies– also, read her blog! I love it.  ❤

D&D Cakes

Dragon with Dice Cake

Sleepy Dragon Cake

Cthulu Type Cookies

When I make food for the group, it’s usually snickerdoodles or the occasional cupcake. I feel that I need to step it up a notch here or something.

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While I was sick, I couldn’t do too much. Pretty much I rolled about on the couch and drank juice and watched stuff I’ve been meaning to catch up on. So it wasn’t all bad (except for the being sick part). One of the things I watched was season two of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I haven’t made my way through the entire season yet, but I’m kind of digging it, even as I’m watching the same thing reiterated each episode (you know, kind of like Inuyasha, but without sacred jewel shards). As I watch this series, I can only think one thing.

I love non-linear time. Seriously, if there was a way I could have a relationship with non-linear time, I totally would. I might even have non-linear time’s babies, I love it that much. Maybe that’s why I slather it on pretty liberally when I’m planning campaigns. I don’t know. I just think it’s neat.

(Sorry for the rambling post… I’m still a little under the weather.)

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Sick Day

I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. So for now, I’ll leave you with the following video… and a promise that I’ll post on Monday after the antibiotics kick in.

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