Monday, January 25, 2010


Is it wrong that I want to use Cafe Press to make some manner of black hoodie with text on it in the vein of "Kusseth For Life" or like the symbol of Cenn's Reavers on the back or something equally nerdy somewhere on the hoodie?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The One-Eyed Man

Fourthmonth, 9995 DK

I'd come to Kusseth three times before, once merely to see the cesspool it was, a second time to sign contracts with the thugs in power, and a third time to bring those same thugs the heads of the masters of Meroteth. I only came to this place because Callifay desired it, if I could have avoided the city for another eight hundred years, I would have gladly done so. Callifay desired that we come to this place of metal and stone and odors, and so we did.

To hide my identity I had clad myself in a dark reddish brown bandanna and eye patch over my red eye in the hopes that my height would let me be mistaken for one of Volung's brood at first glance. Callifay was unknown enough that he had no need of subterfuge to maintain his anonymity and I was only truly known on sight by a few individuals in the Wards of Governance so there was little threat of it in the first place. Better safe than sorry though.

"Why are we here, brother?" I asked.

He smiled at me and his green eyes were filled with mirth when he said, "Is not the Doddering Destrier the grandest inn in all the land?"

I took a swig from the lead mug dwarfed by my hand and wiped my mouth free of foam with the other.

"The Jigging Jackass in Meroteth takes that title, brother."

"Still your tongue, that is not a name to be uttered in this city."

I shrugged and he scowled, his lips making a little pout.

"What will happen? Will their wardens come for us then? Will they capture us and torture us till the knowledge of that name erases itself from our minds?"

He took a drink from his own mug and muttered something under his breath.

"Speak up dear brother," I said.

"At least speak in our tongue when you utter that word. It draws attention to those that utter it and we have no need of that."

"Fair enough. Why are we here though?" The mirth had gone out of my voice and he understood a command for what it was.

His hand snaked across the table and grasped the top of my own, a quick clasp of affection. It lingered there for a moment before pulling away and returning to his tiny mug, his eyes were downcast and his hands were fidgeting with each other.

We were in a human tavern, everything was too small and uncomfortable, and the liquor was water logged. We had come north at Callifay's request, just the two of us. He had asked me to trust him and I had done so. He was sworn to my service and that bound us, if he asked something of me, I must grant it. We had been in Kusseth City for four days, each day wandering to a new district and a new inn. Callifay never seemed to be looking for anything in particular and our evening destinations always seemed random.

His eyes rose from the table and I looked at him for a moment. His hair was light brown, his skin worn and as tan as my own, his eyes the emerald green of most of our kind. His ears were scabby, he'd taken a knife to them to make it look like the points had been freshly cut off. We'd both done it to make ourselves appear more like Volung's mad little children. I could feel the itch in my own ears as my body repaired the damage.

Finally my brother sighed, "I asked you to come here to this place so that we could be alone."

"Why alone?"

He smiled briefly, "How long has it been since it was just the two of us? Or even the three of us alone?"

The third he referred to was my wife, long gone to the Mists that were the afterlife of my people.

"Ages, I suppose."

He nodded, "Ages indeed."

"What is the intent then? To laugh and joke and speak of times past that our men would not understand?"

He frowned and looked once more to his mug, "They are not our men, Ker-"

I bared my teeth at him and said, "That is a name we shall not speak here in this place."

My lead mug deformed under my black-nailed fingers, he noticed and held up a hand, forestalling my rage.

"As you wish. They are not our men, Cenn." He smirked at the silly rhyme and continued, "They are yours. I am a creature living on the outskirts of your command structure, they avoid me because I am alien to them and my nature will not let me long remain in their minds. I am the wraith, the ghost, at your back."

"I am no more one of them than you are. You know this."

He nodded, "True, but they have shed blood for you and you for them, it is not so with me. Those that recall my name and presence know me to be more favored than even your nephew Laram or the mortal William, for some that is enough. For others I am an alien creature that does not belong here."

He spoke truly. Callifay was an outcast, even when we had not lived in this land. He was not truly of the physical world, the forces that made our kind flesh were stunted and broken within him. His presence grated against the minds and souls of our brothers and sisters and all but the most ironclad wills grew irritated and distracted in his presence. He was a blockage, an obstruction, in the ebb and flow of life around him and everything that lived could sense it.

My hand slid across the table and lingered on his this time and I said, "You are Callifay, sword brother to myself and she that was my queen. That is what matters. Those we wage war with now are sworn to me as our brethren once were, but I would cut them down with my black blade if you desired it. Say it, Callifay, say it and their blood shall run, though it would pain me to do so."

"I know well of the ties that bind us and you know I ask for no such act."

"Then again I must ask, what are we doing in this city?"

"We are waiting."

"For what?"

He gestured with his mug to the door of the inn. I saw that it was closing and a quartet of Volung's Children had just entered. I peered closely at their faces, thinking that they were allies of ours, they were unknown to me and when their eyes scanned the room they did not show recognition when they saw Callifay and I. However, one did smile when he saw our ears and I immediately understood why Callifay had been so vehement about using our knives on our ears to maintain our appearance.

In decades past the Vyanth people, those long-limbed and cat-eyed slavers from south of Kusseth, had taken to capturing Volung's Children in battle and cutting off the points of their ears before enslaving them in their arenas. Other nations soon began the practice as well and it became a horrendous mark of shame and mockery to the proud warrior people.

One Child prodded another and gestured toward my brother and I and soon all four were aware of shame our ears spoke of. My eyes flicked to Callifay and I could see he was suppressing a grin. They approached us without even pausing to stop at the bar for liquor and One opened his mouth and I made a chopping motion in the air with my hand with my fingers and thumb splayed, the Children of Volung battle sign for silence.

I spoke during his pause, "You think you understand and I know what you would do, but you would be wise to turn around and seek entertainment elsewhere."

The four of them snickered at me, and I could see their black eyes deepen as the battle rage Volung had bred into them began to well up within them.

The lead one grinned widely at me, showing his teeth, and said, "We'll turn away happily, but only if you and your friend tell us which breed of short ones you let hack off your ears."

I stood and snarled at him, "Turn away and this ends now, continue and I'll only allow you to strike me once."

They were misinformed and their father was my friend and they were nephews to me, I felt allowing him one blow was fair. They laughed at me, after all, there were four of them and only two of us. That is if they even realized Callifay was at the table and they didn't just feel him as an annoying itch in the back of their brains.

I sighed as I watched him bring forward the first blow. I could have halted it by gripping his forearm or sidestepping it completely, I could have done this before he even realized I had moved, such was my speed. I didn't and it hit me in the jaw and it hurt. Volung's Children are strong and mostly muscle and bone, when they strike you even lightly you feel it.

My head shifted a little from the force of the blow and then I let my own come down on him. I pounded down on his chest with the bottom of my fist, grunting as my flesh hit the hard layer of bony plates beneath his skin. I felt the plate crack and buckle though and that turned my grunt into a grin. His eyes widened from the shock of it, his kind were strong but not strong enough to break a chest bone in one blow and only rarely do they encounter creatures that can do so.

It took only a moment for the melee to begin in earnest. Callifay and I fought back to back against the four, their numbers allowed them to surround us with relative ease and we were soon the center of a whirlwind of flying limbs. It was never a deadly combat but it was difficult, one Child had pulled an iron mace from his belt and given my forearm a solid blow and my right arm was cradled against my chest by the end. Volung forced his people to train in war almost from birth and their bodies were strong and rarely succumbed to shock or unconsciousness easily and he had almost gotten my second arm before I had been able to put him down.

By the end of it the common room of the Doddering Destrier was demolished and Callifay and I were bruised and bloodied up to our elbows. We were also grinning like idiots.

"I hate brawling with Volung's get."

Callifay slugged me in the shoulder with a blood flecked fist and said, "Yet your grin nearly splits your lips with its size."

I relaxed my lips and adjusted my bandanna, feeling wetness on my brow. It had taken only moments to beat the Children into submission but for those few moments Callifay and I had been alone and back to back, our sweat and blood spattering each other, howling war cries in our own language and speaking in the heat of battle as only we two could. It had been glorious.

"I understand now why you brought us here and I thank you my friend."

My left hand sought out his and clasped it briefly.

"We should go now, beating a warden or guard into unconsciousness would lead to unfortunate consequences I think."

"Well said," he replied and we left the inn quickly.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Racial Identity 101

This post was inspired by a comment from Jeremy regarding how he thinks it a bit odd that he can't really remember the main races of The Known World (seriously, that continent needs a name). Hopefully this won't just confuse the issue for him.

Technically speaking, the first race to occupy The Known World were the Eldumans (and perhaps the Uncout). If you remember a previous post, they were one of the three races that made up Kaleshmar, they're the lowest ranking of the three and were once sentient crystals. Now (in 9995 DK) they act all cryptic and pretend they were the mightiest of the mighty and that they ruled Kaleshmar. They also have crystalline bones and eyes and a prediliction for psychic powers and plotting. They live on the smaller landmass known as The Old Empire and their descendants populate The New Empire, the Plains of Dust, and The Fallen Empire. When I was writing out names and such I apparently had a thing for the word empire (Old, New, Fallen, Goblin, all empires). I blame it on the snobby pricks that do the mapmaking and naming in this particular world.

Human is a broader term in this world that in it is in the real world. The most human humans are those called the Uncout. They were a created race, designed to live in the mines and tunnels of the floating continent of Kaleshmar, they're squat and muscular and hairy and see rather well in the dark (better than this human certainly). The other "humans" of The Known World are more like half-breeds than anything else. There are those of Elduman descent, basically a sect of Eldumans that bred with Uncout long enough to have a less crystalline skeletal system and a shorter life span. There are those of Fell Human descent, creatures descended from Fell-Humans that bred with Uncout or those of Elduman descent enough to work out most of the extra appendages and funny skin disorders native to that race. The fourth of the human races are those that are descended from Uncout, essentially they are "civilized" Uncout. These Uncout have lost the short stature and night vision of their ancestors because they no longer need to see or crawl in the dark depths of Kaleshmarian tunnels or the shrouded trails of the Beast Lands.

Another of the older races of The Known World are the dwarves, also called the Dwenoren. They are short, pale creatures that are hairless and lack finger and toenails. They are perfectly capable of seeing in the pitch black cities of Whurent. In my GURPS campaign notes, they are actually blind, eyeless creatures that have long black sensory spines jutting from their lower jaws, these allow them to "see". I couldn't find a way to work that into DnD rules, so I just used dwarves and called them dwarves instead of Dwen. In both versions of the race they're also descended from a species of giant, bloated grub-like creatures.

The Children of Volung are an elf-like race that was once part of Kaleshmar. Long ago, the race had a schism. Some felt that the power of Kaleshmarian technology had made them soft and weak, others thought that their empire's technology was strength enough. One Kaleshmarian (a certain Volung) cast aside the technology of the empire and went north to the top of the world. There he and his cult destroyed every remnant they could of their former lives and started up from the stone age in about the harshest environment they could find and still survive in. They made a little empire for themselves living and dying by the sword and axe, fought some giants, met some Dwen. Kaleshmar exploded and something about that literally set the North on fire, so they fled south and ended up in The Known World. Whether or not the North is still on fire is an unknown. The Children of Volung are physically immortal, tan colored, dark-haired, tall, they have pointed ears, sharp teeth befitting carnivores, and they have pupiless black eyes. They also practice cannibalism, mostly because it is practical and means they don't have to waste time burying the weak and the dead.

I want to interject here that none of my elves are actually elves. You may have figured it out by now, but there are two versions of my world, the world I can hammer into DnD's rules, and the world as it exists in my brain. I copy and paste races like Eladrin and Elf because they're there and I need a framework. I alter stuff where I can, but at the time I was pushing the campaign into fourth edition I was a novice with it and didn't know what would make a given race unbalanced. So I kept most of the stats the same. It wasn't the best idea, but I was more concerned about actually playing the game and keeping things relatively fair than I was about preserving every iota of fluff from my world.

The Sereth and Vyanth can be fitted into one little section. I have written them as divergent lines of the same race, one desert dwelling and the other city dwelling. Neither branch has a real love of nature as depicted in typical elves, it is their environment and serves their needs. The Sereth have a bit more respect for it than their cousins, but they do not revere it and would happly terraform their desert lands back into the lush wilderness it once was if they could. In my head both races are not terribly elven, other than fancy pants reflexes. They're humanoid looking, but their limbs are longer in proportion to their torsos than a human's and they are about as tall as the Children of Volung, they have vertically slitted cat-eyes too. No pointed ears though. The Vyanth are decadent hedonists that make extensive use of slaves and settle disputes with gladatorial combats. The Sereth are a tribal desert dwelling society too busy trying to eke out a living to be in any way decadent. Both races are fairly xenophobic.

The Fallen of The Fallen Empire of Man are human in that same way that the "humans" of the New Empire are human, which is to say human looking but descended from Eldumans. They're also undead because a creature by the name of The Bleak Tyrant was hidden in the depths of a weird city they moved into and decided that they would serve him. The humans became immortal, but they can never die or heal so they get all rotted and ruined and icky looking. Even so, he won't let them die, not even when they get hacked into little bits and pieces.

There are the Abraxens, also called Greyskin Orcs or Greyskin Abraxens. They're a technologically advanced race that were once slaves to the other branch of Volung's race, those that stuck around with the mighty technology of Kaleshmar. They're technologically advanced because they were a created slave race much like the Uncout and thought that to fight off their "sorcerous" masters they needed to find a way to make themselves stronger without wielding sorcery themselves. They have an aversion to sorcery of any kind for this reason. Their homeland is a massive burned land, a grey desert of ash and dead earth and became that way due to the extreme measures they used to finally shake their race free from the grasp of their masters. Between their "extreme measures" and the shattering of Kaleshmar, the other sect of Volung's people are pretty much extinct. If there is technology in The Known World, the Abraxes are probably in some way responsible for it or the idea that inspired the dude that came up with it. They have ridiculously extensive pacts with Kusseth for all kinds of things and seem to favor that nation above all others for unknown reasons. They are also fascinated by their Greenskin cousins and the way their race diverged.

Hmm. There seem to be a lot of divergent races in my world. Never really noticed that till just now (Thursday night). I wonder why that is. Hmm.

Penultimate on the race roll, we have the Greenskin Abraxens. They're descended from Greyskin Abraxens that ended up shipwrecked on the coast of the Beast Lands and sort of went native. The color of orc skin is a sort of camouflage, the orc homeland being a grey desert of dust and ash and the forests of the Beast Land being green and leafy. If any orc tribes popped up in the Sereth desert they would have sandy colored skin. Anyway, these orcs are descended from greys and are as primitive and tribal as their Uncout neighbors.

There are also the Goblin empires in the Fell Peaks. Technically they are enslaved to the Fell Humans of the Fell Peaks, but they do have their own society and they once ran shit out west, until the Fell Humans conquered them. Anyway, in my head they are descended from A'lst's people, which were the head honchos of Kaleshmar. They're also egg laying mammals that evolve into the three races of that particular society based on the biological needs of the society. For instance, the "bugbears" used to be the leaders and warrior kings of the empire, but they have this sort of racial post traumatic stress syndrome/ennui thing going on because they can't wrap their heads around the fact that their ancestors were warrior kings and ran shit, and now they're slaves. Basically, the former leader caste of the goblin empires sucks. What it amounts to is that the whole race gives off "our leaders suck" pheremones, this triggers certain hormones and whatnot in the rookeries and alters the growth rates of the hatchlings so a larger percentage of the eggs hatch and become bugbears as the race attempts to find newer and more competent leaders. If the race were on a war footing and needed more gear, "we need more smiths" pheremones would get into the air and cause goblins to hatch. If they need more bloodletters, more hobs would hatch. I use DnD terminology for this race because it fits for the moment. If we were to switch to GURPS tomorrow there would be a few changes made. Goblins work for now, so I use goblins.

So there is a rundown of the races of The Known World. It excludes certain minor races like the mute giants of Whurent and other really small niche races that exist in the continent. To be honest, the continent is pretty well explored and populated and has very few secrets left to it. There is definitely stuff left to uncover in it for the PCs, but in terms of the continent's inhabitants, they pretty much know what's going on where and what each and every dark little corner is full of.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

That Took Longer Than Expected

We gamed last night. I won't lie, it was pretty cool. Everyone seemed to like the additions to their minifigs. I found a company that makes weapons for Lego minifigs like lugers, missile launchers, grenades, revolvers, etc. Its pretty cool stuff and I'm glad everyone liked them.

The flash cards were well received. I was concerned that some people would be offended, particularly John and Martel. There's were sort of poking fun at their playing style, but there was no malice whatsoever intended. I just wanted to do something goofy and fun to let everyone know that I am paying attention to how they play the game. This flash card thing with abilities is actually going to be a reoccurring thing. I've been trying to find a way to reward people for coming that doesn't horribly penalize those that don't. I can't charge people levels, because if you're sick or have something important going on you come back to the sessions feeling weaker than everyone else which makes the whole experience something of a drag, no one likes having to be the figurative princess waiting around for a plumber while everyone else is the plumber. What I am going to do is come up with flash cards based on the occurrences in the scenarios. These flash cards offer fun little abilities, usually to turn a failure into a success on a skill check. They're not game breaking, but it is a nice little reward type thing. I dunno. I'm working the kinks out. The danger is having everyone in the group with multiple cards allowing the group to basically obliterate any sort of skill based challenge, so its something I have to think about and tweak a bit.

The went ok. The horse thing seemed to be more amusing than anything else. The final music file, the ritual chant that I set to slowly fade-in over the course of an hour went extremely well. It got to the point where people couldn't hear me very easily and it was so repetitive and irritating that I think it began to seriously affect people (plus some were exhausted) in terms of concentration. That was exactly what I was going for.

John seemed to really like what I did for the called shot system, I think he said it was basically exactly what he was looking for and that was a very cool thing to have happen. Knowing that I've made someone's session or made the game more enjoyable is a nice thing to feel and it is something I definitely consider to be one of the DM's duties.

Everyone seemed to like the scenario as well. I'm not sure if they understand what was going on, at least no one said anything like "Hey, I think this is happening here." The main thought seemed to be that zombies were assaulting the town or something, that was what I was going for. I sort of built the scenario in my head to be a zombie attack situation, as a previous post indicated, but I ended up going with weird rituals because sorcery is very important to this particular plotline thing that I'm working on, so the guys need some exposure to such things. The main point of the scenario was to let the PCs know that some Fell-Humans (the kind with weirdly twisted and glowing black bracelets of strange metal) have the ability to use sorcerous rituals to drag meteors and asteroids and other heavenly rocks in close proximity to the planet from their orbits and into the cities of Kusseth. Kudos to the guys for preventing the destruction of Tolon. You guys were heroes for once.

Tangents. If I were a ranger, I would choose Tangents as my Favored Enemy. ...I think I just levelled up in terms of nerdiness. Heh. We went off topic on Fred and his enmity for Wil Wheaton (evidently a Favored Enemy of Fred's)for like half an hour. Totally irrelevant and it began with almost no prompting. I'm not pointing fingers because we were all off our game a bit that night and even I have a hard time not commenting when we get off topic. I just don't know how to make it stop. Eric and I discussed the fact that the size of the group is the problem, there are just so many of us (seven when everyone comes) that everyone has a little comment about something off topic, and it can just become a deluge of irrelevant stuff. These people are my friends and I like bullshitting with them, but our sessions tend towards length and tangents increase this. I think next time I'll set our sessions for two again, whether its a Saturday or Sunday, and maybe have us sit down for an hour or so and just catch up and bullshit and see if that helps. Barring that, I think the only solution is to tell people to shut the Hell up or split our sessions into two smaller portions done over the course of a Saturday/Sunday Weekend Gaming Extravaganza.

Or I could make smaller scenarios, but I guess I don't know how. I felt like the scenario we ran Saturday night was pretty stripped down, and I removed a fight for time's sake. I also just "called" fights like I've heard suggested on EN World. If the enemies get down to twenty hit points among them, just call it. The rest of the battle is just going to be an at-will slog fest. Why prolong it and annoy/bore the players? I've also seen it suggested that you make the player's pay a healing surge in those situations, but I'm not sure how they'd feel about that.

I just don't know what to do to keep us on task? I honestly wonder if it is my DMing style, but no one really says that the scenarios are super long. When we discuss length it is usually tangents that come up as the culprits, tangents and people generally being unprepared for their turn, although that is a lot better than it has been in the past.

We also went over the questionnaire thing I had sent out and the feedback is glorious. John and Fred had some pretty interesting things to say and their comments were pretty helpful in their respective emails, but its was nice to have four of us in the room talking with each other. Some interesting stuff was said and talked about and I'll be doing my best to incorporate it into future sessions. I probably should have written some of it down, heh.

Final thought: good times.

Music: MC Frontalot - Penny Arcade Theme
Music: MC Frontalot - Hassle: The Dorkening
Music: MC Frontalot - Braggadocio
Music: MC Frontalot - Is It Pitch Dark?
Music: Radio Free Burrito #19 - Wil Wheaton

Monday, January 11, 2010

This One's For the Kid In Back With the Ill Periphereal

(The title is a reference to a Facebook profile)

...and so it was that in the beginning the Great Ocean, the Mother Void, the Black Depths Between The Stars did first spew forth the life that was the Dolphinians. They swam to and fro between the stars and did multiply and fill the great expanse of the Mother Void with their numbers. They were intelligent and curious and She did find them to be pleasing to Her sight, but their nature was timid and commical, and this She could not abide for Her's was a destructive womb. In the black expanse of the Great Ocean the light of stars burned with killing radiance and rocks hurtled through the empty void with deadly violence as they were drawn to celestial bodies by gravity's pull. The worlds within Her womb were burned black by deadly stars while others had atmospheres of toxic gases no living creature could breathe.

It was decided by the Great Ocean that She should give birth to a second race, akin to the first but more aligned with Her own violent nature. Thus the Porposians were born. These too she found to be pleasing to Her sight, for they were as intelligent as the Dolphinians, but bore a more instinctual sense of self-preservation. It was soon found that this unstoppable sense of self-preservation made them cowards and turncoats, creatures without honor that could not be trusted or made to wage war. When the nature of the Porposians was discovered, the Dolphinians were found to be as savage and unrelenting as their Mother's womb in their pursuit of the extinction of the Porposian race.

The Mother Void watched on in parental approval as the two children of Her womb slaughtered each other among the stars. This was Her plan, a battle to fill the cosmos with the cries of the wounded and the warcries of the victorious. It did not last though, for it was soon found that the Dolphinians lacked the constitution necessary for unflinchingly savage warfare and the Porposians were cowards willing to broker anything for freedom and survival.

Peace was not a condition the Great Ocean sought for Her children, for peace brought on stagnation. For her children She desired evolution through constant war and never-ending challenges. In their weariness of war the Dolphinians and Porposians met a terrible force, their mother's wrath.

In Her wrath she produced children so violent and savage that they were little more than sentient bottomless gullets. She made a race so deadly and unrelenting that there was little more than unending hunger and mindless bloodlust within their skulls. With eyes as black as the Mother Void itself, the Sharkosians sought out their brother races and brought war and death to them as they chased them from the sky. Finally their mother was truly pleased with Her works and She did smile and sleep as Her children slew each other while they fell to the planets within Her womb.

Thus, in a time before time, began the Sharkosian-Dolphinian War

Monday, January 4, 2010

Too Many Dogdamn Distractions and Some Relevant Resolutions

Ok, so I have a lot of stupid little hobbies that I spend money on. TV shows, writing, video games, P&P RPGs, reading, 40k, etc. That's six, but each of them is so massively large scale that the whole lot of them is rather unwieldy. On top of this there are several hobbies I want to begin: beer brewing and firearm shooting. If I was an idiot I'd add fencing and/or martial arts and learning German onto the pile of things I someday want to do.

The point is that I have too much stupid shit on my plate and I need to analyze and trim the fat if I can. We'll start with TV shows.

Currently I "watch" 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Californication, Cougartown, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, Dexter, Doctor Who, Flight of the Conchords, Grey's Anatomy, House M.D., How I Met Your Mother, Metalocalypse, Modern Family, The Office, Star Trek: TNG (with the intent to go back to TOS and then to Deep Space Nine and Voyager), and Supernatural. If I watch one episode of each of those in a week, that's like fourteen hours of television. Last year I quit watching CSI: Las Vegas because of a lack of Grissom. Before that I cut CSI: Miami because no show based on a lab/science should have that many explosions and expert marksmen. I think it might be time to cut a bit more. There are other things I can be doing with my time and looking at this list there are only six shows that I feel like I love enough to absolutely under no circumstances give up (30 Rock, Californication, Dexter, Doctor Who, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office). Another seven I watch because Heather watches them (The Big Bang Theory, Cougartown, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Modern Family [which I think I could grow to like enough to add to the previous list], and Supernatural. So there are Bones, Flight of the Conchords, House M.D., Metalocalypse, and Star Trek that I watch because they're there to watch, but to be fair I am really starting to like Star Trek: TNG and it will probably move to my must watch list. Anyway, its not a good enough reason to watch a show just because its there. House was great, as was Bones, but I just don't feel it anymore. I haven't even thought about them since they took the Christmas break or whatever, so why continue watching them? There's no good reason for it, so I guess I'll stop. Metalocalypse is stupid funny and you barely have to pay attention to it, but why waste my time in the first place if its not riveting television? As far as tv and movies are concerned, I can pretty much enjoy anything if the acting is halfway decent and the story is ok, but why keep wasting my time and subjecting myself to sub-par stuff on such a willing and regular basis?

Edit: Add Burn Notice and Eureka to the must watch list, those two shows are great.

Hobby Resolution Part 2, #1: Watch less stupid/uninteresting television. By that I mean, if something isn't riveting enough that I can watch it without doing a bunch of other stuff at the same time, turn it off and focus completely on something that is worth my time.

Next hobby on the list, 40k. Look, I'll be honest, this was a dumb idea. I enjoy the game and I enjoy painting, but the enjoyment I get out of the game isn't worth the time and expense required to get good at it and field a respectable army. On top of this Eric and Tony seem to have no inclination whatsoever to work on their armies and Shawn doesn't have enough time. I haven't been fired up about 40k in a LONG time as well. I do find painting to be fun, but I get frustrated and daunted by the prospect of six gazillion models to put together and paint. Lately I've found myself wondering if my time and money might be better spent buying a model or two (not necessarily 40k models) that I find striking and painting them or perhaps buying a twenty dollar multi-part plastic car model from a hobby store or something and decking the thing out with plasticard armor and weaponry ala Mad Max and giving it a custom paint job. I wonder if they make kits for 89' Dodge caravans...

Hobby Resolution Part 2, #2: Give up the 40k army dream for the moment, but not the fun and relaxing painting dream. Pack away the 40k shit but not the paints and files and such. Buy a twenty dollar model car kit and see if I still enjoy it like I did as a kid, and also a regular pewter miniature and paint it up. After all, miniatures will always be of use to DnD. Also, stop frequenting 40k sites every day, I don't need to and there's rarely much going on.

Next, video games. Video games are a hard thing to value and discuss because its so very hard to know what you're purchasing. I've bought some amazing games (Planescape: Torment) and some damn stupid ones (Qix++, Prototype, etc). Too often, I find myself buying on a whim because Tony or a podcast I listen to was talking up the game in question and I just don't do my own research. At the very least, I need to stop buying so many damn video games. I have plenty of stuff to do, and plenty of games already on my 360 and PC that need playing.

Hobby Resolution Part 2, #3: Be more discerning in my video game purchases and stop buying them on whims like I have been lately. Think hard about my money and the games I have at home before laying down money, whether its virtual (i.e. Microsoft points) or otherwise. If I do decide I need to have a game, give it a day or two and play something else and see if I still "need" the game. Also, borrow shit from Tony and Mark once in a while.

Writing. I love writing, its swell and I like bringing characters and worlds to life, even if no one will read about them. This one is staying around in its entirety.

Hobby Resolution Part 2, #4: Write more stuff, keep varying it up and don't sink completely into writing fantasy so much that I can never get free of it, try different point of views and styles as well. Finish writing the story of Keroen Skathos for the second time and get my friends to finally read it like they all have said they would. If they don't like reading stuff on monitors, they shouldn't have offered to read or agreed to do so, no one twisted their arms. Kudos to Eric for being the only motherfucker around here that said he'd do something and did.

Reading. I don't read as much as I should. I love reading and have a stack of a dozen or so books backlogged on my shelf and I can never seem to catch up because I only read a couple times a week. I'm ok with reading slower nowadays because it means I'm doing more than reading with myself and if I string a book out over the course of two weeks I seem to retain more information from it. I can still burn through something awesome like Sanderson's stuff in a weekend though, heh.

Hobby Resolution Part 2, #4: Stay the course, or perhaps read a little bit more regularly. Maybe even just set aside five or ten minutes before bedtime every night. I like to read and exposing myself to more books can only broaden my knowledge of writing and plots in general, so reading more often than I have been lately seems like a pretty good idea.

Finally, the beast, P&P RPGs. A lot of my life is taken up by this stuff recently. Heather can attest to the fact that I focus a lot of my free time on this stuff. I'm always posting and yammering on in real life about this stuff and I'm sure everyone has just about had it with my intensity. Sorry. I've got a lot of things going on in DnD that I'm really really excited about and I really really like GURPS and am itching to use it. There's no real resolutions here because I've posted them before, they're part one of my hobby related resolutions. I guess as an update I'll take another look at my resolutions.

The post is from December eighth and it is titled Of Impressive Length. My first gaming resolution was to find and use an audio mixer program. I've got it and I've played with it a bit and it seems to be working. We'll see what everyone thinks when we game on this sixteenth though. The second one is about learning to let go of my frustration and not be so irritable about shit: FAIL, but there is progress. The third is about really sticking it to the guys in combat and letting the dice have their way with the group in a fair and balanced combat, haven't gamed since the resolution so we have yet to make progress on this one. Number four is about plots and finishing campaigns, I've got this campaign planned out to fifteen scenarios and this includes the final conclusion of the campaign and how it effects the world at large. First time that has every happened, so definitely making some progress. Number five is about input from the guys and after an email last week, I've definitely been getting some productive feedback and it is swell. Six, seven, and eight are about a larger mini collection, recording our sessions, and shorter more frequent gaming. No progress on any of those fronts.

So there's an update on my gaming resolutions and a few new ones as well.