Friday, December 31, 2010

Personal message

Yet again, grace and chance have shown me that as I move closer to the best possible me,  I'm doing good along the way.

That's a fantastic mindset to have as the new year approaches.

Monday, December 27, 2010

[40K] The Dude and The doods

All right guys- I know I groaned about how I didn't have even a SINGLE dude of my own to paint for a bit. I've been pretty plain that I was hoping for An Emperor's Champion and possibly a Battleforce box for Christmas for a while. My personal take on the whole "build an army" thing was to do it low & slow- get my feet wet a little and as I get more figs, THEN get into 40K full scale again.

My husband, the AllAwesomeguy, TheDude; decided he knew better. He decided I needed to "sink or swim" and guys, you will be STUNNED at what he got me for Christmas!

Not just a battle box. Not just guys from AoBR. No- he went ALL OUT. He is friends with a guy who was parting ways with his army and the two cut a deal. I wound up with An Army Transport: Battalion AND A Motor Pool bag- each full of foam and the makings of at least 2 ARMIES inside them. Plus, Codexes, rule books and templates. I got it all!

here's the overview:

Troops: close to 100 Space Marines, over 20 Scouts (probably closer to 30).
Elites: Well over 25 Terminators. 6 Dreads.
Fast Attack: 4 LandSpeeders, 3 Bikes and an Attack Bike.
Heavy Support? Land Raider, Predator, and Whirlwind. Plus a Rhino, just for good measure.

That's just a SUMMARY of what he got me. There's so much more in there, it's unreal. Every single thing in the cases are decked out with very cool weapons, too.  (MISSILES! At least 5 Typhoon Missile launchers! Flamers, Meltas, TLLC- there's a little bit of everything in there.) I was unashamedly squealing like a girl when I opened up those bags and saw what was inside. The best part? Catch this:

He was telling anyone who would listen: "I know I have a good wife- she's excited to get Space Marines for Christmas".

I think I'm gonna keep him!

Of course, this collection of doods is going to need a little thinking. The previous owner of this pile of awesome was very obviously a Space Wolves player. There's a Grimnar, Ragnar,  an Iron Priest, 9 Wolves, and one of the Dreads is a metal Bjorn the Fell Handed model, plus other assorted Wolf Priests and so on. The non-specific models are painted as a SW army,  which is ok for now.

The question becomes- do I throw the non-specific guys in the "bug juice" (Mean/Simple Green) to turn them into BT, or do I try them out and see if I like them? A little of both?

To be truly fair, I don't hate the idea of Space Wolves, but for the most part, I don't like the models. I just don't find them super attractive. From what I understand, the playstyle is pretty close to the "brick" standard I try to keep myself to. Of course, the only way to find out is to play them.

Now, just to make a list....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] The Skin Trade

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Wishing your and yours wondrous winter warmth and winging wit on warrior women and what they wear.]

Red Sonja is awesome.- Dethtron


Really, what can I say? At some point, I have to go to the obvious material. I've been trying to avoid the topic for some time, hoping to come up with some wise & witty commentary regarding the elephant in the room: women in fantasy art.

Screw that noise.

I only have a few comments in regards to the De rigueur damsels en dishabillement. No, they're not terribly consistent or logical. I never said I was consistent; just opinionated.

I "Get" It.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Words of Wisdom

...but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.-

Francis P Church, 1897's New York Sun

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

[Looking Back] Breaking Away - Aych's Hiatus

I discovered that old loves need a break now and then to bring fresh flames. 

For me, it was a ten YEAR break from games in general before I remembered why I love them so and fell head right over heels again. (Thanks, Christian, for bringing this to my attention again. I meant to talk about this sooner, but real life got me. So here we are.) (NO, I am NOT going on a hiatus NOW.)

Between 12 and 14 years ago, I took a semi-voluntary break from gaming that lasted well over 10 years.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

[40K] [Beginner's Project] Target Priority

Last night I went to the 40K night at the FLGS. Due to it being winter break for the local university, holiday break for the public schools, it being "free play" rather than league, and a butt ton of snow coming down, there was a pretty small crowd.

I wound up hanging out with some friends and the guy that runs one of the role-playing games I am involved with. Some of our conversation was roleplay related, but we did talk about real life and joke around a lot. The guy chose to spend time hanging with us, rather than play 40K. The Imperium was not his target priority last night.

That choice of where he was focusing his attention got me to thinking about the strategies involved in chosing primary targets in an actual game. I've learned through a little bit of watching and a lot of listening that mech needs to die as quickly as possible if you're smart at all. Other than that, I don't really know- but I know it's important.

How do you decide what targets need to be eliminated first, and wat alters those plans? How do you respond to a "Death Star" in such a way that doesn't scream "panic"? Do you let target priority interfere with capturing objectives and/or win conditions? Are there other factors I should consider, and why?

Thanks, guys. I'm getting a lot closer to confident.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] Lola is My Lady

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Lovely, lethal, long loved- Lola; angel of annihilation. Also, actively analyzing the adoration of armies.]

swing swing swing
chop chop chop

My axe is my buddy
- ICP, My Axe

Earlier this week, the talented J Croxford was featured on FTW's Top ten for this lovely piece:

Seeing it really struck a chord with me. I had forgotten what originally drew me to Khador and their frozen wastelands, their harsh women, and their furry hats. I'd forgotten all about Lola.

Lola originally caught my eye, and then I was drawn to her faithful escort, Butcher. His manic, brutal mien was as alluring as her strong lines and great curves. I knew the moment I saw those two, I was hooked. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

[MtG] Rethinking a Thought Experiment

So Dethtron over at HoP asked the readers to write themselves up as a MtG card. here's his exact wording:

If you got your very own Magic: the Gathering card what would it be?  Design yourself in the context of MtG.  Feel free to link to a picture if you feel it's necessary.  Use standard text notations for your card and be sure to include a casting cost, power/toughness (if you're a creature), special rules you may have, and a quote for the text box on your card.
I made a submission and then realized it wasn't entirely legal, so I changed it. Now I'm thinking about it some more, and I need to change it again.

Here's my original, followed by my correction.

Loquacious 5U
Legendary Lady 3/5

Vigilance (attacking does not cause Lady to tap)

(Kicker)2W (You may Kick as many times as you like)

If Lady was kicked, generate a 2/2 White Minion creature for each time Lady was kicked

T Lady and all Minions become unblockable until end of turn.

"YOU try to stop her!"

I just realized I did that wrong. It should be

2W & sacrifice a Minion Creature- Lady and all Minions become unblockable until end of turn.

(Tapping would defeat unblockable, duh.)

Well, I was close, but no cigar. Here we go, this time for the last time, I hope.

Loquacious 5U
Legendary Lady

Vigilance (attacking does not cause Lady to tap)

(Kicker) 2W (You may kick as many times as you like)

if Lady was Kicked, generate a 1/1 White Minion creature for each time Lady was kicked.

(t) 2W: generate a 1/1 White Minion creature

3W & Sacrifice a Minion Creature- Lady and all Minion creatures become unblockable until end of turn.

"YOU try to stop her!"


I made her as a Legend to avoid a lot of the "destroy target creature" or "creature" specific cards.  I realize that as a Legend, she would work "better" as a White creature rather than a colorless. I mean, she can't be a General in an EDH army because there are white symbols on her card but not in her casting cost.

I sort of did that for a reason- I'm a terribad leader. I am, however, very persuasive when I want to be. I also wanted some insulation from many of the pro (x) cards out there. As a colorless, she would have less to worry about overall.

So, MtG players, (or friends in real life) any thoughts?

And what about your own?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

[HS6E] Hawaii Action - (Session 9)

It's a matter of time
one of us walks out that door- Carlos Santana (featuring Eagle Eye Cherry), Wishing It Was 

Sometime in last session, Jumpshot "assigned" Freestyle the job of checking out local wuji shops in an effort to find anything in the way of information on leylines, or the funky symbol that was at the bottom of one of the notes Lisa found. (Why did he assign this job to Freestyle? Freestyle is the only born & bred local, and the thinking was that he'd have a better shot at finding something than some outsiders.)

So Freestyle & Jumpshot go their various ways to try to find something helpful. Jumpshot uses the ever-popular "yellow pages" search method, while Freestyle looks around the old fashioned way. Using both the phone book and Freestyle's knowledge of the area, they eliminate the "obvious" touristy places and narrow their search down to three shops.

They are as follows (with silly in game nicknames following):

Kamaimai's Chest (Mayonnaise Chest)
Olone' Books (Alone Books)
Legends of the East (Legends of Yeast)

They visit Kamaimai's Chest first. Jakel takes a look around and finds "no hippie shit", so he hopes it is a good option. It smells OLD, with towers of bookshelves with various old books in assorted languages all over the place. A middle aged Hawaiian woman works the counter. She's pleasant enough, but the store doesn't seem to have anything Jakel is looking for, so he heads on to the next location, which is around the corner.

The next store is Olone' Books, whch is everything KC was not. It's clean and well lit, with dedicated sections for various types of books- and an exceptionally helpful staff. Jakel finds 3 or 4 books on the "Dragon Roads" at this location, and finds out he wasn't the only one to buy one specific book. This nugget of information is not immediately helpful, but definitely interesting to Jakel. Meanwhile, the young lady working the counter flirts with Freestyle to no avail.

[If you know the dragon roads, you can use them like other roads and step onto it. It will take you to other locations touched bny the roads.- Example of info from books. All theory, no proactical examples.]

The two part ways at this point and Jakel finds his way to the next shop, Legends of The East. It is settled in the Chinese section of town, and looks like this:

The traditional looking Chinese curio shop is tended by a short, elderly Chinese man with a long, white beard.  (Think Pei Mei.) He greets Jakel and the two talk for a while. At some point, Jakel starts inquiring about the "Dragon Roads"/ley lines, and the Chinese man talks a bit about how the ley lines work and so forth. We have a winner, folks.

Further discussion reveals that the old man is quite adept at using perceptions to his advantage. He continues discussing the dragon roads and tells Jakel that he can open doors into the paths. Jakel calls Lisa to tell her the news, and she makes her way over to visit the guy in person. 

We discover that his name is Paiyun Fo, and that he is the former owner and current Master of the Hiping Su school of martial arts. This same school will be hosting a tournament shortly, and Steel Warrior is very interested in attending the tournament, as the Master is very well known and regarded in the marital arts community. 

Lisa arrives and chats with Paiyun Fo, who displays tendencies of some form of mental abilities. Lisa wants to know what the gentleman will want in exchange for opening a door, as she's entered into some dubious deals lately and is not in a hurry to start again in the deal making. 

Paiyun Fo talks about  the concept of guānxì, which at the very simplest translation equates to "a favor for a favor". He explains he wants no payment now- just the assurance that the Ultras will offer him a favor in return at some future date. 

He says that making the token to open the door will take about a week, and that if 'Nani is still on the island, she is in the volcano, where only ley lines can reach. He asks Lisa for some personal item of 'Nani's to gain a sense of her essence to help make the token, and he tells Lisa that she should be more forthcoming with the remaining Ultras about her relationship with 'Nani and what's really going on. He also indicates the weird symbol on the note was a signature- a needlessly complicated signature. Paiyun Fo believes the person that left probably thinks he is smarter than he truly is.

The group thanks him for the hospitality and tea, and leaves for the remainder of the evening. 

Other things that took place:

SteelWarrior walked out a "map" of the ley lines (which we will get as soon as the GM draws it)

Lisa got a copy of the last agreement made by 'Nani with the Japanese firm (but hasn't read it yet)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

[WOD] Austin By Night- Session 11 as Eile

Uncertain of what the balance held-  Lauryn Hill, To Zion 

Snapshots/overview of the action:

--Eile visited David at the pack's home. She was looking for Raaf, but David had things he wanted to convey to Eile. Without explicitly saying so, David showed Eile the pack's territory. He also made it clear that Eile should not come by just for a 'social call'; she needs a reason to visit. David inquires about Bruce's stability to Eile, as Eile is currently rooming with Bruce. Eile's reply is not positive. David discusses a few other things, mostly inconsequential. He indicates that he might be a possible "sponsor" for Terrance's entry into the fight club. His behavior and attitude are markedly different than in the past, much more aware of responsibility and appearances of being an alpa than he appeared previously.

--Eile is at work and gets summoned to Duncan's office. He puts her on notice that she's not to get physical with a customer again, and that future problems are to be brought to his attention. He asks Eile her opinion of Bruce as well as that of Terrance. Eile vouches for Terrance and indicates her distrust of Bruce. She also tells Duncan she has an idea for raising the money and that she'll share it with him later. Duncan admits he's in over his head but has NOT made a pledge, which was Eile's fear.

--Duncan promoted TK to manager of Hedge Row. Fired Bruce due to fallout from incident in which Bruce chased Axel Axel out of the bar and then went after him later with a gun drawn.  Duncan gave Terrance Bruce's job and a token of some kind. He also asked Terrance to help him gather GoblinFruit, giving him the idea to ask Avere how. [Terrance does not know how to enter the Hedge due to back story.]

--Eile worked at the bar. TK, Avere, Axel & Waco all present. Eile finds out about TK's promotion. There's a very strange period where Avere is waiting for Duncan, and she completely ignores Eile.  Eile asks about Avere's recent trip to the hospital and Avere's reply ("you heard wrong" ) tells Eile a lot [but exactly what it means, Eile is still considering].

-- Raaf is at the bar with Te. Raaf wants to find TK because he wants to know if Te (a very attractive female) can stay with TK for a while until some things get straightened out. He relates all of this to Eile.

-- Eile finds a moment to talk with TK alone. They sit outside the back of the bar, talking about various things. Eile reveals that she has a plan to drum up the money that Duncan needs for the bar, but she fears TK won't like it. As the plan becomes clear, TK indicates that he's not a fan and doesn't want Eile to do it. He then asks whether the two are still a couple. Eile answers in the affirmative, and then changes the topic. She asks for directions to a local free clinic; which worries TK. Eile promises that she's not sick, just in need of a checkup. After a few more moments of talking, TK breaks off the relationship with Eile. Eile is a little surprised, but takes it with grace. TK then seems to want to make up (maybe just for the sex) and Eile rebuffs his advances.

--Raaf calls Eile on the phone while the conversation with TK is taking place. Raaf says that the meeting to negotiate for Terrance's entry to the fight club has to be postponed, but that it's a go. Raaf tells her that things might get rough for a while and to keep her head down.

--While the event below is going on, Eile and TK are visiting a free clinic. Eile goes in alone, and comes back with a piece of paper that she consults several times, appearing confused.

[The following is a pretty important event. Eile was not there and I missed some moments. It's my best attempt at an overview.]

Omen pack is attempting to take back some disputed territory. They have Te and Victor with them, both of whom are not yet (to my OOC knowledge) pack members. As they attempt to take back a certain amount of territory, they encounter the abomination (dog/fear) spirit that killed Jak, as well as his pack of dog spirits. A fight ensues. A signal of some sort has been established, and the signal goes out. The fight continues. 

Axel Axel, Avere & Waco arrive on the scene. Waco has Memento's dog spirit with him, which allows Memento to "see" the fight. (Mind link, essentially) The dog spirit (I think his name is Bane?) is pissed by the existence of werewolves in the area. Waco gets him to stay, but he (Bane) does NOT like it. His resonance is transmitted to Memento, who keeps an eye on the fight. 

Very shortly after this, others make their presence known. It appears this fight is with the Ghosts, a pack of Irraka. Stealthy and well established, the Ghosts start making attacks at the Omen members. The Omen pack have their OWN Irraka, who is mentally communicating (via Totem powers) whatever she sees to her packmates. The dog spirit picks up the Ghosts, and gets even MORE pissed. 

[The Ghosts found Memento nearly dead a while back and performed Rite of Healing on him, which was equivalent to torture to the Death Mage. They ALSO tried to rid him of his familiar, who appeared to them as a spirit that needed sent back to the spirit realm. Bane is NOT fond of these guys.] 

Memento starts making attacks through Bane's link, and then he lets Bane go. Bane attacks one of the Ghosts while Memento takes on another. Coytoe Joe arrives on the scene [I don't know why or when] and he gets embroiled in a fight with the Ghosts as well. Omen pack is taking on the Abomination and his pack while the rest of the fight is going on around them. [I THINK. They MAY have gotten involved in the Ghost fight as well.] Victor loses his roll vs Death Rage and is in Garoux, but Te has effectively held him down to prevent him from hurting anyone. 

Axel Axel apparently has the ability to channel a bear and was utilizing it during the fight, I believe grappling spirits to the benefit of Omen pack. [I don't know all the details here, I missed it.]

Memento materializes at the fight, bearing a shotgun with silver pellets. He and Coyote Joe start taking aim at Ghosts and spirits while Omen pack continues taking down the abomination spirit and his pack. Somewhere in here Coyote Joe was shot in the head by the Ghosts' sniper for 20 AGG damage. He had self healing on, and passed the needed check to remain alive. Memento sends him healing and they continue to attack Ghosts as Omen pack takes down the Abomination spirit and head back to their home. 

To my knowledge, the Omen pack defeated the abomination spirit & his pack as well as regained territory without any casualties. I also believe at least one of the Ghosts was seriously injured due to Coyote Joe and Momento.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm Back!

While I'm not totally well, I am feeling tremendously better. A couple days off made a world of difference.

I mentioned a new schedule a while ago- I am still working on that. For now, I'm posting "Whatever" and trying to enjoy it.

I have some additions to my blogroll. I was chided for not sharing, so here are the goodies I remember adding recently:

Newest HOP Staff Member

Space Wolves, Grr

It's Good To Be The King

Does It Go To Eleven?

Crusading Against the Dark

He Talks More Than I Do!

It's Sandy

Who Doesn't Love Orks?

Different Enough

I hope you enjoy these guys. I'm still poking around some of the sites, so I haven't fully learned all of their interesting tidbits to share.

Be Well,


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Silly

I am sorry to announce, I am officially-


I sound absolutely terrible. As my son says, I sound like I have a busted up whistle stuck in my throat. He wondered if I need to go to the doctor to have an operation to get my voice, instead of the squeaky I have. 

Weekly Whimsy will be postponed until Loquacious is able to be so again. At the moment, I'm stuck with 1-2 sentences, most of which sound pretty ridiculous. 

Be Well (Cause I'm not)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

[Random] I miss...

Old school web pages- with tables and frames and buttons and links and so on- that I could code myself. I love Blogger, but I hate arguing with formatting and creating pages with no content just so I can have links to put on the Beginner's Project.

Glass soda bottles delivered to the house.

Dark Conspiracy

Sleeping (yupe, I am awake due to work. I'll go back to bed when my shift is over and then I'll crank out some good stuff for ya guys)

Creative outbursts (coming up with WW is giving me a headache but maybe that's due to being sick)

21 Jump Street (sorry, folks)

My ork army (sometimes).

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Despite all my best efforts to avoid the crud going around, I think I am sick. [BOO].

(My son, husband, and about 3-4 of my closest friends all had this crap and I've managed to dodge until now. Maybe I finally failed my cover save.)

I'm not sure what energy for blogging I'll have in the next couple days. But upcoming stuff includes:

all those 40K posts so I can make links for the Beginner's Project.  

By the way: I am looking for links/material related to each army- specifically folks that talk about their armies in easy to understand terms. Laeroth is a great example. Got something good? Please send it my way.

Hawaii write up (I need some music to convey that run, too)
WOD write up (music considered, not decided yet)

Weekly Whimsy- (some very old school lyrics in mind for this one)

new schedule, maybe 

I'm grabbing some pen & paper cause I think better that way. See you soon, with some material, I hope. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

[WOD] People list

The following is a list of PCs in my WOD game. I've listed them with the most "senior" player (person playing the type the longest) at the top.


Avere- K
Evie- C


CoyoteJoe- TH
AnotherYetToBeNamed- DH


Axel Axel-MS

Werewolves: (Omen pack)

Raaf- BM
Ed (appearing soon) -R
Ginger- SB
Victor-SW (possibly not in pack yet)
Te-SS (possibly not in pack yet)

Bruce- M- (my son)

MS and SS recently changed characters- MS was playing WalkerLee, a Mage. WalkerLee died a few sessions ago. SS was playing Dottie, a Vampire. Dottie is still living (or unliving) but SS wanted to play a new character type.

There are still at least 3 people interested in joining, if not more.

Below are important NPCS I know of:

Rovan- Alpha Werewolf of Austin (A TRUE Badass)
Krin-Beta to Rovan (Also a Badass)
Brother Thunder -Totem for Rovan & Krin 
Brother Dreamcatcher- Totem to PC Werewolf pack 
Black Talons- Pack of Black Blood Talons whose territory is the park
Ghosts- Pack of Irraka whose territory includes the Hedge Row
Demolition- Pack of ???- who have a HUGE territory

"Mr. Flowers"- Mage (troublemaker? what he is, I don't know) 

Duncan-Changeling owner of The Hedge Row
Frank- TK's Ghost/Geist
3 Men in Black Suits- Vampires (I THINK) who fronted the money for The Hedge Row

Caleb- A college aged person who was in a coma (and is now dead) due to weird juju- a fairly important Mage NPC

Any questions?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

[40K] [Beginner's Project] Advice

This will be added to later. 

 Here you'll find advice aimed at newer players, collected from folks willing to share their wisdom and points of view. Please feel free to ask questions and offer anything that you think should be added.

sonsoftaurus said...
- Best advice I could offer is that rules come and go, so don't build an army just for a current set of good rules. Build the army you like.
Also in the same vein:
Think ahead

Nikephoros said...

    1. Pick an army you find aesthetically pleasing first and foremost. If you hate the look of your minis you wont want to paint them, and you wont want to play them.

    2. Start small. Two troop choices and an HQ. Play with just that until you get the swing of things and decide you want to commit your time and money to wargaming.

Wienas said...

    Play at lower point levels to start out with. You can find the Combat Patrol rules (aka 40k in 40 minutes)online. This set of restrictions keeps the games quick and without super-powerful units. You can play 3 games in the same time as a 1500-1750 point game. It's a good way to wrap your head around the rules.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

    Agreed with the others, pick an army that appeals to you both via fluff and appearance. Enjoy your choice nomatter what others say.

    Enjoy painting for yourself rather than trying to emulate others.

    Take your time modding and painting - if you rush, they won't look so good and then whatcha gonna paint?

    Play some games down at the local store using their minis or with friends / family using theirs.

    Play the game for fun, not to win.

    Don't get hung up on rules, be casual.

    Own the board and have a plan - the moment all you're doing is reacting to your opponent, they're winning. (Though defensive play is a good way to start)

kennedy said...

    I've got 3, I suppose.

    Some of the best advice, in my opinion, is: Don't listen to too much advice. Pick one or two people you can really trust and LISTEN TO THEM. Don't let the many flapping mouths of the Internet weigh you down with BS.

    Another thing I'd say is: Stick to your first force until you know it inside and out. Don't start a new army before you're really ready. I see loads of new players with 3 crap armies and no idea how to play any of them. It's better to become a good player with 1 army and then go from there.

    Lastly, but not least: Don't get married to ideas. If you start an army with the idea that you're gonna play X style, don't be afraid to deviate if that is what ends up happening. Let yourself grow and change.

Von said...

    Listen to Kennedy. He talks sense.

The Antipope said...

    I would actually suggest to the new player to do a bit of a soul-search before picking up a new army. What are his motives first of all? Does he have more of a "gamer" attitude and likes to play tough games and win? Then a competitive army would be most fitting (IG,SW).
    Does he enjoy painting more? Then maybe an army with a lot of fresh, cool looking models would suit him/her best (like the new DE).
    So, yeah I think it all depends on his/her attitude torwards the hobby.

Thor said...

    Anything I've had said has already been said. All great advice above.

Max said...

    With hobby stuff, try out lots of things and don't worry that you might screw up. With paint you can always just strip the mini and try again. With greenstuff, just slice it off and try it again.

    Don't be afraid to go back and change things- how I went about painting my Guard was start with the basics on everything at first. Then when I learned a few new painting techniques I went back and updated my models with my new skillz. I'm still doing that, and they just keep on getting better and better.

    Game wise, play lots of games. There is no substitute for experience. Make sure you're with someone who knows the rules down cold and, after you've played a few make sure that you are allowed to make mistakes. Nothing teaches you to remember to run/assault than not doing it and having your unit blown away.

Admiral Drax said...

    Enjoy losing and make it cinematic!

Monday, December 6, 2010

[Blogging] Music

Over my head, I hear it loud and clear
Music, music, over my head, I hear music- King's X, Over My Head

My recent post asking for advice on a gift of music for TheDude has pushed me to post something I've had in the "rumination stage' for well over a month; a post about music.

I've meant to talk about the sounds in my head (no, I'm not crazy!) as well as tell you that every lyric, quote and riff I put on here is for a reason. I try to create a mood, evoke an emotional response, or offer something relevant to the content of the post when I put quotes up- and I hope you enjoy.

The fact that talking about music inspired TheDude to comment on my blog for the very first time does have a little to do with this decision, but not a huge amount. [Hey you!]

When talking about music, it's important to note that TheDude & I have some pretty different tastes. I swear, that man loves anything loud, crass, tasteless and offensive- just because it is all of those things. In addition to loving punk and metal (which are generally loud, rude, crass, offensive and/or tasteless), he's a HUGE GWAR and ICP fan and searches out the Psychopathic Records stuff on a fairly regular basis. And, as Christian can attest- his biggest "failing" (at least in my book) - he loves DEVO. (Someone take pity on me, please. It's terrible.)

He's also something of an amateur rock historian, so he has some very strong roots in old school stuff. One of his favorite "joke Jeopardy" categories is "musical trivia only I know for $800, Alex". The man is amazing when it comes to knowing who played in what band when and where they went after that. He knows the names of SESSION players.(For real- who does that?)

Our first date involved music very prominently. We went to all three of the local CD vendors- a pretty standard afternoon for the two of us. He wound up buying several CDs (again, pretty standard-he'd often drop half his paycheck at the CD shop). One of them was 247 Spyz Gumbo Millenium. He read the liner notes while we ate, in a desperate attempt to figure out how to talk to me (his best friend).

For a while early in our dating/marriage history, we didn't go on dates, we went to concerts. For my high school graduation present, we went to Queensrych, with Suicidal Tendencies opening (THAT was a crazy show). My earliest "scrapbooks" were ticket stubs from all the shows we saw.

We took TheBoy to see Weird Al as his first concert. His second? Judas Priest and Anthrax with the classic lineups as a Boy/Dad only affair. The kid was 10, 11 and we made sure he was exposed to Halford.

When we got a dog, we decided to name him after someone or something musical, and among the possible names were Joey, Mastadon and Cash. We named our dog after The Man In Black, folks.

I am still thinking of what to get The Dude for Christmas, as he's dang near IMPOSSIBLE to shop for anymore. Any time I think I have an idea, he's already scored whatever I wanted to get him. So I'm thinking music. I know he likes it, and I know what he does (and doesn't) have very well.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] Lexicon

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Loquacious' love of language laid low.]

Do You Even Understand The Words Coming Out of My Mouth? - Chris Tucker, Rush Hour 


I am very purposeful and pay close attention to intent when I chose my words. Some days, I am a lot more casual and off the cuff, and others I'm much more deliberate. I'm always aware of what the words I am using mean, even if it's a simple complement, or a quick one-liner. I'm especially careful when talking about myself in regards to gender.

I was given a challenge a while ago to find a single word that one could use to describe "women" without the word having reference to or connection with "men".

As a student of words, meaning, history and how they fit together, this was a pretty interesting challenge. I started a collection of words commonly (and sometimes not so commonly) used to describe the female kind and started taking notes. By using Webster's, Roget's, Bartlet's and a few other (more obscure) resources, I have a pretty comprehensive list here.

[An important comment on sexism here: I'm specifically and deliberately talking in a fairly "binary"sort of way on this post merely because it's expedient. I have no grudge or disdain for the trans community, and I am not trying to leave them out of any future conversations; just this one.]

Also, this post is intended mostly as a tool for discussion from all comers, and really has less relevance to the gaming community than my past entries- but it's a subject I find truly fascinating. I thrive on the intellectual considerations behind the words we choose, and hope that by considering this, I can bring some illumination and introspection to the way we interact with each other.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

[WOD] Eile's Night Out

[WOD Session write up from Nov 27]

You('re) the party, 
I'm just the guest list - Justin Timberlake, Chop Me Up

*I made up with TK. I really need him right now, but I don't know how much longer I can use him. I talked to him about Bruce. I want Bruce gone-I hope this pans out. *

 *I went to work. Dottie and a new guy, Nathan were there. Nathan was one of US, and new to town. He was asking a lot of general interest questions. Somehow I found out Avere had been admitted to an asylum. That's a tough break, but I didn't think she was long for this world. Terrance was nearby, as usual.*

 *I excused myself from the bar, and went to go talk to David and Raaf. Somehow Dottie wound up there, too. The girl's starting to get awful nosey. I have to watch her. She left eventually. I talked to David- the
more I talk to him, the harder it is to be nice to him. He does so many things all wrong- I'd eat him alive if I were of his kind. I can't wait to eliminate him. Switched over to Raaf and tried to offer a cut on my new enterprise in exchange for protection and wound up getting into negotiations for a fight club and getting Terrance something productive to do. The exchange between Raaf and I is so electric- it's delicious. I find that scrawny runt of a man truly wonderful, just for food alone. Then there are so many other considerations with him... We talk terms about the potential agreement. He's much more perceptive than his leader. He drives a hard bargain, and I enjoy that more than words can say. --- they have a new one in the house-- but I know nothing about him*

Friday, December 3, 2010

[Blogging][40K] Blogroll Finds!

I told you my schedule was screwy! I should be back to normal very very soon- I hope Sunday will get me back on track.

I will soon be changing my posting schedule just a little due to a change in my gaming schedule. I have to mentally map that out but I'll keep you in the loop.

I went on a link-clicking expedition and have found a whole bunch of awesome stuff to check out, if not devour whole cloth. I have to say I have a pretty big blogroll, but I'm always willing to grow it if I find good writing and interesting material.

This week, I found 3 separate Black Templar resources, so I am majorly stoked. This  and this are seriously fantastic and I'm thrilled to read them until my eyes bleed.  I've finally decided on which figures/slots I want to buy so I can paint a small force, and get myself moving in a forward direction. I HOPE I'll have dudes after Christmas.

Speaking of dudes, I am straight out of ideas on what to get TheDude for Christmas. He has access to (and ability to buy) pretty much any gaming product he wants. I'm thinking of music, his other major love. We're a little behind Dethtron in how much we own, but we have a massive music collection and he's always on the lookout for new additions to the family. He'll listen to darn near anything, but he's specifically into metal & punk.

Please help a lady out- send me some of your favorite stuff or brand new finds. I don't want to give a lame gift...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Real Life Update sorta thing

Update on my car:

The other driver was DUI, without a license, multiple citations against him, didn't speak English and the car he drove was not his. He was, however, apprehended shortly after he left the scene of the accident, and the vehicle he drove did have insurance. The company insuring the vehicle in question isn't very highly rated, and getting a settlement out of them was going to potentially take A YEAR. So I filed with my own insurance to speed things along.

I got my insurance to give me an acceptable offer on my car, and we settled Monday. They towed it this morning. I will have at least a temporary replacement car later this week (probably one a friend will let me drive for a few days) but until then, I am working at a different branch of my work due to transportation issues. (My normal branch is 30 miles away from my house and TheDude and I work overlapping shifts so I have a way there but not home.) All this means I am working a shift I don't normally work and my blogging schedule has been screwed to hell.

I'll be doing some posts over the next couple days that are going to be essentially empty so I can turn them into links for the Beginner's Project. Please ignore them, folks. I'll make them awesome soon.

I also have a WOD post in the works, but I'm not sure when it will be done. I'm trying to edit it. It's really hard to condense what happened, as so much was talking. There was a minor combat that will have MASSIVE repercussions down the road, so I need to include that.

My Fridays are open, so I'm looking at what topic to cover- or what topic to double up with. I'm considering a 40K WIP day to motivate me to paint some more, but I'm open to other options.

Any suggestions?

Be Well,


Monday, November 29, 2010

[40K] Beginner's Project: Weapons

I'm planning a Space Marine variant, so my questions are about SM weapons. I'm sure there are other questions out there, and I'll try to hit them as I can.

Please explain the difference between the following weapons:

Plasma Gun
Las(er) Gun
Melta Bun/Bomb
Flamer Gun

What benefit does each offer and what scenarios are each best at?

For Eldar, the Shuriken cannon seems pretty dubious alone. Is this a weapon that's better in a large volley of fire? 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] Show Some Skin

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Making a minor change this week. Going to paint pictures with pictures today, rather than words.]

Show Your Scars- Metallica, Broken, Beaten & Scarred

Tattoos have become more and more commonplace in society lately. With shows like Miami and LA Ink, we've been expose to the business of the trade and seen the many varied stripes of folks that pursue  modification of their bodies. With Kat Von D and Jesse James appearing as top gossip fodder in tabloids, and style magazines devoting sections to celebrity skin, American culture has begun to see ink as common place.

It used to be that ink was reserved for felons and fighters (ie, soldiers of some type). Now markings and color have crossed into safe territory, and we're seeing things like this regularly:

I don't really mind a well done tramp stamp- it's kind of refreshing in comparison to the many ill-considered permanent additions to a person I've seen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

[WOD] Eile

Eile's a true hunter, always looking for a tasty morsel, a quick fix, a get rich scheme. She uses her wits to get by as best she can in this world. She uses, steals and lies to whatever end will get her the gratification she seeks (usually short term). She escaped to the idea of freedom, rather than FROM something else. She's running scared, but keeping her nose in the wind for something better. The things she hopes and dreams of are deeply hidden, unlikely to surface or be recognizable (even to herself) until she grows stronger.

Eile (eee-yell) deliberately rejects the Hedge. She gathers no Goblin Fruit,  builds no Hollow,  doesn't travel Trods, doesn't dream, and rarely if ever shops at Goblin Markets. Those she frequents are built on the Edges of the Hedge, rather than in it. [My ST has a very different geography for Goblin Markets than in the book.] Thus, she feeds exclusively on emotions.

As a Spring Courtier, she works in desire, greed and envy very well. Her various tricks include cons, grifting, old fashioned street hustling, and using her very overt sexuality to her advantage. The fix she gets from each hit is now wearing off more and more quickly, leaving her very much an addict, coming at you for a little more.

Her human mask is a woman about 5'7", shoulder length soft brown hair, cut straight. She's got an angular face with a big mouth full of teeth, and a wicked smile. Very long legs, dresses in a "messy dressy" sort of way with clothes from Goodwill, Salvation Army etc. However, she has GREAT shoes. Think Eliza Dushku with straighter hair and you have the picture. She wears a RiddleKith disguise almost constantly to guard her true mein.

Here's her write up, including XP. (The ST gives 27 starting XP, and 15 additional XP have been spent here.)

Real Name: Ellie Stevens (this memory is lost in the echoes of Arcadia)
Other Aliases: Ellen, Eileen, Ella, Alana, Ellery, Emerson

Current name: Eile

Concept: Grifter/Con Artist
Virtue: Hope
Vice: Greed
Seeming: Beast
Kith: Coyote
(Special Rule: May spend Willpower to gain +5 dice instead of +3 to Socialize or Persuasion)
Court: Spring

Mental Attributes (tertiary) Int 2, Wits 2, Resolve 2
Physical Attributes (secondary) Str 1, Dex 3, Stamina 3
Social Attributes (primary) Pre 3, Man 3, Comp 2

[+1 to Presence or Manipulation when used to entertain, persuade, distract or deceive others]

Physical Skills (secondary) Athletics 2, Brawl 1, Larceny (Breaking & Entering) 2, Stealth (Quick Retreat) 2, Survival 2

Social Skills (primary) Animal Ken (Lupine)1, Empathy 2, Persuasion 2, Socialize (The "long con") 2 Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 2

Health: 8
Clarity: 7
Derangements: None
Wyrd: 1 (10/1)
Glamour: 9
Willpower: 4
Size: 5
Speed: 9
Defense: 2
Initiative: 6
Defense: 2
Armor: none

Merits: Barfly, Fast Reflexes, Resources 2, Harvest Emotion 2 (Each Dot adds 1 die to rolls related to Gathering Glamour) pg 94, New Identity 2, Contacts: Cons, Mantle: Spring 1, Striking Looks, Rigid Mask

Contracts: Tongues of Birds & Words of Wolves (dice pool 2+1 or 2) pg 142, Beast's Keen Senses (dice pool 3+1) (Lupine for Both), Riddle Kith (Dice Pool 5) pg 129, Cupid's Eye (Dice Pool 4) pg 149

Pledges: none

Seeming Blessings:

-8 Agains on Animal Ken rolls & get specialty to reflect seeming
-Can spend Glamour to add to dice pools to involving Presence & Composure

Seeming Curse:
-Minus 4 on untrained mental skills
-(Special rule) Minus 2 vs Willpower checks to resist Social Interactions

Court Mantle Blessing: +1 to dice pools for social interactions with members of court in question

Weapons/Attacks: none

I have some experience (apx 12) to spend. I'm considering any of  the following: 

Dot 2 in Str (So I can buy Fleet of Foot Merit) (Cost: 10)
Dot 3 in Persuasion or Streetwise (Cost 9)
Skin Mask Contract (Cost:8)
Mask Of Superiority (Cost 6) [REQUIRES RP to justify per ST directions]
EITHER Buy Up Resources to 3 Dots (Cost 6) OR
Drop a Dot
(to justify a large amount of money Eile will get very shortly in game)
Fickle Fate (Cost 4)
Wrong Foot (Cost 4) (So I can buy Nevertread)
Perfect Stillness (Cost 4) (ROS Book pg 94)
Specialty in Subterfuge (bald-faced lie) (Cost 3)

Thoughts? Any other ideas?

Friday, November 26, 2010

[WOD] The Hedge Tales, Week 5 - The Show/The Mirror

[The Finale]

The Show

We line up backstage, listening to our directions again. We haven't been assembled all together like this in a great while. I'm careful to look straight ahead, but I gather hints of the ensemble through scent. I know most of the group either through interaction or reputation, but there's at least one new catch in the line. I'm just a little surprised to smell someone new, so I pay attention. I can't get much more than “wet” from the momentary “glimpse” I have of the newest; but I file it away for later.

I mentally prepare myself for the show, and submit to being brushed. The bristles and combs and scissors and fussing unsettle me more than words can say. I truly hate the grooming- I'm fairly good looking on my own and I care for myself well. I hold my tongue while paying mind to my tail.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

[Mom Time] Later Rumblings

Sorry for the late-ish post guys. I spent a much needed day with my family- TheDude, TheBoy and TheGirl. We slept in SUPER late (3 of the 4 of us are night owls, so anything prior to noon is "early") and vegged around. We then went to TheParents' house for dinner.

That's right, I didn't even cook my own dinner, I made my parents do it! [No, really- they offered and I accepted.] Had a great time with my brother & his wife as well as a couple "bonus family" members and generally revelled in the fact that I have it pretty good.

My kids are quickly approaching adulthood, and so moments when I'm still "Mommy" are pretty rare. [Most of the time, I am "Mom".] I had one of those "Mommy" moments with each of my kids earlier this week (separately, of course) and recognized it for what it was- a gentle nudge that they're still my kids even as they grow up.

I just wanted to wish you all the kind of relaxation, enjoyment and genuine gratitude I had today.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[HS6e] Hawaii Action- (Session 8)

Over 2 hours of unabashed and much needed silliness transpired before our game ever got under way. There was a dropping of  an "H" and then turning it into a ladder and then steering wheel; admonishments to 'shoosh' and then fierce instructions to go outside, as well as ridiculous riffing on things unremembered. I completely lost ability to breathe and damn near passed out from the jovial hilarity we shared. I especially enjoyed my GM's unbridled rant (and I cannot remember what it regarded, dammit) as he has the most absurd sense of humor and outrage I've ever seen; and they're doubly hilarious when combined.

Quick shots of what happened:

-Syphon was out patrolling and 11 dudes with BIG GUNS tried to get the drop on her, however, they failed to hit her. She went to go get Agent Williams, as he's the only one who has a fixed location she knows.

Red Block Guys are a good stand-in for the bad guys Syphon saw.

-Agent Williams works at the Army base and some very amusing moments occurred when the MPs had to try to talk to her  Sample quote: " You don't SPEAK sign language, silly, you use your hands...(muttered) don't you?"

-Remainder of Ultras called and arrive at Army base. All gathered in Williams' (very crowded) office. Discussion of the various problems the Ultras face ensues.[Fairly hilarious one at that.]

-Lisa asks Jerry if he can reverse engineer the shoes in some way as she thinks they are part of how she's light & less strong. Jerry  attempts looking at them but is confounded by Lisa's Michael Kohrs dress (the boots go up much further than the hem of the dress) as well as the fact that the boots or mechanism reversing Lisa's abilities does not seem in any way technological. Jerry asks to see the rest of the boots/outfit. Lisa drops the dress and the crew finally sees the outfit 'Nani gave her (except Jumpshot who is off looking for something - he'll return soon.)  Jerry continues to examine the boots and has absolutely no luck cutting them or getting them unzipped. He tests the various straps on Lisa's outfit to determine everything but the bikini bottoms are made of the tougher, resistant material.

[That the bikinis are made of regular material is news to both Lisa and ME- I didn't ask enough questions and made an assumption. And the GM is definitely one of those "what do you get when you assume" kinds of guys.]

-Somehow Lisa's predicament becomes the focus of the group (maybe it's because she's half naked in the middle of the room, I dunno) and various attempts are made to remove the boots. Jumpshot pipes up with "has anyone tried to open the lock?" and there's dead silence. Then an uncomfortable pause as everyone generally looks at him just a little presumptuously (assuming a black man will know how to pick a lock). 

Jumpshot calls for some bolt cutters. He asks Lisa if she wants to go through with trying to open them. he makes it plain that once it's done, there's no going back. Lisa is more than a little conflicted, but comes away with some firm resolve after realizing that 'Nani is out there somewhere, and Lisa has no way to protect her without abilities. Lisa tells Jumpshot to go ahead and try.

Jumpshot attempts to cut the lock open. No dice. Another couple attempts are made and the lock is simply too sturdy for the cutters. Syphon decides to drain the energy/(something) from the lock, and THEN cutters are attempted again. It takes several tries - with several different members of the Ultras attempting- before headway is made.

-As all this is going on, Agent Williams has been on the phone the entire time. He's apparently been negotiating with head honcos in Washington (or somewhere other than Hawaii) to get more resources, support, a GUN. Lisa overhears some very telling comments that make her more than a little nervous that what she's about to do (return her Ultra powers) is actually something she wants to do.

-The lock opens. Lisa heads to the bathroom to change because she knows it won't be long before there are many broken things if she doesn't get out of the boots. She changes and makes minor adjustments, and returns to the group.

-Agent Williams gets off the phone. He tells the assembled Ultras that he's been authorized to offer the group "jobs" as federal agents, working in the HURT division. The deal is pretty much all or nothing- he either gets the whole group or none at all. He hands out a massive manual, which is the stuff an agent is supposed to know and/or do. The group discusses the possibility along with the many things the group is attempting to resolve. Pretty much everyone except Lisa and Freestyle are on board. Freestyle's main concern is age, as he's 16 he's not sure he'd be eligible for a position. Lisa flat out refuses to do anything until 'Nani is found.

--I can't remember exactly what happens next. I think it was discussion of getting radios and fining a place for Syphon to sleep as she was attacked very close to her alley. I know Lisa offered a temporary place to crash at her beach home. I'm pretty sure this is where we wrap up for the night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

[40K] Beginner's Project: Advice

I put a lot of stuff onto the Beginner's Project page. I hope to have some time in the next day or couple to organize some of it and get it into an easier to use format.

I have gotten a LOT of fantastic advice from you guys- you've been so generous and helpful, I really appreciate it. I have to admit I'm considering teaching TheGirl once I get a lid on 40K, as she LOVES blowing stuff up without exception. I think she might like BA or DE (either faction really fits her personality- a scary thing to say) but that's a  LONG way off.

I know most of the advice you guys have given me has been in response to a specific question; but I'd love to hear your generic, single best offering so I can add it to the Project. {PS: I'm working on a button or banner, but I stink at it so don't sue me if it's awful}

So, please chime in: What's your single best comment or advice for a brand new player starting out?

Have at it, guys!

Monday, November 22, 2010

[Blogging] Schedule stuff

My schedule may be in dissaray this week as I deal with my car. I hope y'all understand.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] "Let The Boys Do It"

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Loquacious lets loose, laying low long-lived lamentations on living as a lady.]

[Absolutely not at all in response to Dethtron, but it's pretty fitting.]

"When a man asks a woman, "Would you like help with that?", what he's really saying is:
"Would you like some d**k?" "- Chris Rock, Bigger & Blacker


I honestly and truly don't see myself as a feminist. I have too many old fashioned values for that; but I am a highly modern woman, trying to get by in a (mostly) modern world.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Car

Was wrecked by a hit & run dude last night.

You can see that he not only tore it up, but also knocked it from the street into the yard.

I really, really, really liked this car. A lot.

[HS6E] Hawaii Action (Session 7) -REDUX


It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning, the breath before the phrase
- Pink, Glitter In The Air -----------------------------------------------------------------

In the midst of a dark beach, a wide panning shot focuses on a long angular beachhouse. Formed of concrete and steel, at least two walls are cascading sheets of glass. The building is a fusion of stark modern design and sleek Japanese furnishings. Along a far wall, is a gleaming white surfboard, with the initials "LK" written in elaborate script across the surface. A smaller, deep red board, with ornate cherry blossoms stenciled onto it sits beside it. Sparsely appointed, with wide open spaces, very little of the living space is secluded.A simple folding screen guards the sleeping area, and a slight alcove seems to contain the facilities and utility room.

The sound of waves crashing and breaking lull in the background, drumming a dim pulse to the peaceful venue. Soft light, drifting ambiently from the moon filters in the space as the view moves into the area behind the screen. A traditional futon on a wooden frame, well stuffed and finely stitched is on the far left, nearest the wall. Nestled beside it, on the floor, is a simple futon mattress with Lisa, legs akimbo, sleeping soundly in her new getup.

[This is where I should have cut & run last time.So here we go- onto the action.]

Friday, November 19, 2010

[40K] Bitz!

So this is totally an improv post- absolutely not on the schedule, but it's something I need to know.

Where do you buy your bitz? For someone looking to get stuff not normally in the boxes, this is an important piece of information.

I'm specifically interested in melee weapons - Thunderhammers, Hammers, Axes, Mauls, Swords, Mace(s?), etc.

What are your favorite places? Who has good service? What search terms work well?

Thanks, guys!

[WOD] The Hedge Tales, Week 4 - The Delivery

[Where some of Eile's nature is revealed more fully; and where nuance means everything. Many deep thanks to Harald for some much needed guidance with this piece.]

Mouse does what he is told. He's precise and well oiled. His little gears tick-tock as he goes about his business, seeing to every detail within his purview. He's been here the longest, with Aimee close behind. He's become more and more like his prison, more mechanical and wound up with each passing moment.

Mouse's little eyes click at me, blinking an inquiry or brushing away an offense. It's hard to be sure with him. His mannerisms are tough to interpret, and his feelings are rarely his own. He's become an agent of the Throne; Her voracity has eaten almost the whole of him. My tendencies and talents are often lost on Mouse, and yet I continue in either amusement or petulance; I'm never sure which.

Terrance and I are talking in the middle of the room. Rena is propped up in the corner, quietly sleeping. Aimee is nowhere near, and neither is Clarice. It's my understanding that the rest of our Troupe have their own area. I assume Mouse checks on them as well.

Mouse nods his head in my direction, his neck whirring along with this head. I stride over to his post at the door. He murmurs something to me, his mechanical mouth clacking as the words whir out. I demur, moving my head in a negative fashion, and his response is to stammer, rattle and clank adamantly at me. I repeat my refusal, and take a moment to cock my head towards Rena, sleeping in the corner. I make a few gentle comments in Mouse's ear, talking slowly and directly. Mouse settles, and his noisy protests quiet into the sound of softly spinning gears.

I offer a few more words to Mouse and then head back to my conversation with Terrance. We talk of nothing important, carefully guarding ourselves of unchecked feeling or concern. As our discussion continues, we hear sounds coming from the corner. For quite a while, there’s an accusatory set of notes coming from Rena, pushing at Mouse with her strong sound and vibrant voice. Mouse persists, winding and whirring back at Rena. After some time, the tenor and tone of the sounds from the corner change.

I keep my composure as the little ticks, clicks and whirs escalate to buzzing, humming, and the sounds of springs in action. Behind the rhythmic staccato is an eerie wolfnote, the sounds of strings winding and descending, a squeak of rosin across strings, followed by a quick vibrato and then, after a long while, a duet. The ticking becomes a metronome; the strings begin to follow an unseen symphony, the odd music and machine working together.

The gears slowly begin to work faster, and the time in the music changes to a quicker beat. The tension of the two melds into a union of an unexpected chord, the pitch raising and the intensity gathering like clouds in a thunderstorm. Little bursts of steam start to escape from Mouse, and Rena is building a crescendo, her bridge bowing and heaving in time with Mouse. The metallic explosion and the long high C strike against each other in the quiet of the room, reverberating and echoing, very slightly discordant in the down beat.

Terrance has carefully been watching me throughout this concerto. I’ve been watching him as well, carefully looking for any movement, wrinkle or change in his stony face. Some of us are capricious and some are careful; yet we're always wary of Her presence. He’s much more like me than any of the rest, despite his appearance. His bulky, rocky masses are blunt, heavy and desperately grotesque. Each feature is turned and twisted in nearly unimaginable ways; coercing stares and gapes from those unfamiliar with his form.

Our hopes, watched and measured by that ever cool presence, are silent and obscured from the outside. I’ve seen a glimmer of desire in his rocky crag before, but I don’t think it’s for anything I understand. I catch it again now, as the orchestra pit and the conductor bid each other farewell. I haven’t understood Terrance’s interests before, but as I listen to Rena’s strings quivering, it clicks into place. I smell it, in the briefest of instants.

I incline my head, very slightly; knowing how dangerous this can be. Terrance slides back into his façade, his dark glassy features obscuring his face from me. This moment is enough, and I tilt my head down, gently raising my ears in a warning.

I hear Mouse banging the door closed, and I know that he’ll be back He does what he’s told.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

[Mom Time] Being Challenged

Sorry for the delay in posting, folks. I seriously and honestly struggled with whether to post this, or leave it be. I'm not interested in bing one of those "Mommy Bloggers" that gains popularity and netfame due to the antics of their kids. But I'm pretty committed to being as honest as I can and offering a POV that maybe you don't experience everyday.

At the moment, my "Mom Powers", the formerly Superman like abilities possessed by many a mother, are being seriously challenged. One of my kids is causing me a lot of consternation and serious frustration; confounding me and my standard bag-o'-tricks.

It's not just my amazing hearing and back of my head-o-vision that's being put to the test; it's my very core beliefs about what I am as a mother that are being cut right through.

Being a good wife and a good mother are things that I take very seriously and doing a good job at raising my kids is truly important to me. These most recent developments have me wondering if I'm falling down on the job in the mom department.

After some serious thought, I'm very aware I could have it much worse- I could have a kid that is stealing, vandalizing, fighting,  taking drugs, or any number of much more serious offenses than the ones I'm facing.

At the core, the child in question is pretty good; just in serious need of a gut-check. I'm committed to making it happen, no matter how grueling it might be or how hated I'll be (for the moment)- because I know what I do today matters to how they turn out tomorrow.

So here's to challenges- I hope I'm made of tough enough stuff to take on anything they might throw at me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

[WOD] Austin By Night- Session 10 as Eile

lost in the maya
overboard in the sea
there was void and then that water broke
then something called "me"
now a trip to the desert to look at the sky
it's like never-ending mirrors
playing tricks on my eyes
- Live, Face and Ghost

Personna Dramatis:
Eile -Changeling (myself)
Terrance- Changeling (Bb)
Raaf- Werewolf (B)
David X- Werewolf (G)
Ginger- Werewolf (S)
Dottie- Vampire (Ss)
Bruce- Hunter (TheBoy)
TK- Geist (E)
Avere [Not present in any scene I played in, but very important to several conversations]- Changeling (K)

Eile and Terrance go pay a visit to the Werewolves at their home (formerly Jak's house- this was super surreal for me). Raaf lets them inside. Eile talks with Raaf about a number of subjects but pays special attention to Raaf's apparent offer of friendship to Terrance (made at the police station during questioning). Eile also casts aspersions on David's leadership abilities and states that there are problems in the Werewolves' boundaries that David hasn't addressed. Raaf doesn't respond well to this, and Eile's further assertion that she knows there is another predator in the territory and her refusal to deal plainly only aggrevates Raaf further. Raaf's anger makes Terrance uncomfortable and he starts to get uppity as well. Eile eats it up (literally) and calms the situation by (mostly) telling the truth.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

[40K] The Beginner's Project

I've complained a lot that there's no 40K FAQ- that I need a 40K for Idiot's Guide, and that there are too many terms and numbers to understand as a beginning player.

I realized that there isn't an FAQ or Idiot's Guide- but there should be. I can't possibly be the only person that looks at 40K and sees it as a massive jumble of stuff to learn and feels overwhelmed and a little discouraged.

So I'm really putting some thought into making a page or resources, tips, terms, links etc that's aimed at a beginning player. I think I'll probably start with terms, as they are some of the easiest to get feedback for; and then move through subjects as I go through the rulebook. But don't hold me to that as I tend to jump around.

I plan to compile it all together and post it here on a separate page, and probably pass it on to the HOP and FTW networks once it's more than just an idea.

You can help! You can answer questions or post terms, links, tutorials, resources etc that you think a new player should know or check out.

I'll get started-

BA= Blood Angels
DE= Dark Eldar
IG= Imperial Guard
SW= Space Wolves
CSM= Chaos Space Marines
BT= Black templar
'Nids/Bugs= Tyranids

What other common abbreviations for forces should I know?

What other abbreviations should I know?

what on earth does "leafblower" mean- and WHY?

What is the ++ all about?

Please explain in simple terms the "Dar" and "Wing" suffixes.

When a figure has a parenthetical stat  such as  4(5) as a stat, what's the (5) mean and when does it apply?

There's more to come- I think this will be an ongoing thing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

[Blogging] Lessons & Tools

I learned a whole lot of very important lessons last week. Since I'm the gal I am, I figured I'd pass a few along.

LESSON ONE:  My experiment Wednesday was a huge failure. I had the first half of a really cool, atmospheric, immersive and moody post- but I ran out of gas about halfway through. Rather than recognizing it and scrapping the idea until it was fully formed, I pushed ahead and wound up with a bomb. Another experiment I tried on Wednesday leads to

LESSON TWO: Changing stuff without trying it is DUMB. I tried to install Intense Debate and turned off comments, instead. I honestly didn't figure it out until the next day. I hadn't tested this new thing and it bit me in the rear. But this failure also leads me to

LESSON THREE: My readers are NICE. You guys are so incredibly nice, not a single one of you could bear to tell me I'm an idiot and my comments don't work. I found that a little comforting.

I try to make interacting with me as easy as possible- I've got my email in my profile, and I'm open to criticism with the intent to improve the blog. So having made all those mistakes, I've resolved I won't be making any changes that affect how you interact with me here again without LOTS of warning and some feedback from you.

I have found a couple tools that are behind the scenes that I like a lot. There are a lot of very interesting and helpful options for bloggers out there- I can't say enough about StatCounter. I love that it doesn't do anything to my blog except tell me all the cool stuff I want to find out - who reads, how long, where they come from, etc. In combination with GoogleAnalytics, I can get way more bang for my blogging buck than even a month ago.

I found out you guys really like my Sunday stuff - so especially after Wednesday, I work hard to make sure I don't put up a half-assed post. I had an idea for a pretty serious topic I'd been working on all week but it wasn't "done" yet (even on Saturday) so I gave it up for something I knew was "finished". While I have a lot of subjects I want to cover, I'm open to suggestions so feel free to throw an idea or two out- you never know what I'll do.

I'd love to hear what tools you guys find useful, what widget works well for you, and what you're using to improve your blog. I'd also love to hear some of YOUR lessons- maybe I can learn from them, too. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] Brutal Beauty

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! You know, I had an alliterative intro, a serious article and all kinds of cool shenanigans up my sleeve until earlier today when a real-life situation alerted me to the necessity of some levity. I'll possibly throw down some crazy words you've never heard of in the midst of all my silly hijinx, so get a thesaurus just in case.Also, just to cover my self... the opinions herein are expressly mine, and HOP does not endorse them in any way.]

" Just like flying a cab" - Corbin Dallas, The Fifth Element

So all of the webbernetz is in a roar over the Stormraven. You know, this thing:

The general consensus of the masses is that the thing's a glorified garbage hauler- only uglier.

I say: Yer all crazy. It's flippin perfect.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Surprise! A Guest Post

I'm honored and excited to have a guest post for you guys today! My buddy Tom (long time friend and sometimes commenter on my blog) has written up something that I hope you'll all enjoy. I love Tom's style, and I'm glad to share his stuff with you. Here it is:

An Innocent Bystander (or How I Got Sucked into a World of Darkness Campaign)

A while back (two years ago?) a friend of mine (K, who is playing in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game that I GM) started playing in a local WOD (World of Darkness) campaign at the FLGS (friendly local game store) that a friend of mine owns. It didn’t take K long to declare that the WOD game was her most favorite game of all time (which piqued my interest).

Anyway, life went on with me blissfully unaware of what was creeping up behind me…until a few months ago, when Loq asked me if I would be interested in watching a WOD session. After looking at her Blog to try and get a feel for the game I decided to take Loq up on her offer to check out the game in person. A couple of weeks later I walked in the front door of the store to watch my first WOD session.

Let me just say that, as I entered the store,  the only thing I knew about WOD was from watching a bunch of guys play Werewolf about 20 years ago, and also hearing stories about a Vampire group in a nearby town. Let’s just say that I was more than a little apprehensive when I walked into the place.

(Please Note: this is all from memory, so I may have some stuff wrong.)
Upon entering the store I noticed several “pods” of people in various locations, some talking in hushed tones, some laughing and joking, and a couple scribbling in notebooks. A couple of tables were filled with food, as the group participates in a potluck on WOD nights.

Loq and a couple of other people were sitting at a nearby table. She was helping a new guy work on creating a Changeling character. Loq invited me to sit down and she started to tell me about the game.

The WOD game takes place in Austin, Texas. Most of the action takes place in a fictional area of the city depicted on a map I saw floating around. Some locations on the map are The Cemetery House (where the Mages hang out), The Hedgerow (a bar/meeting place) Jaks’ house (where the werewolves sleep) and a couple of others that I can’t remember.

I looked around the store, trying to figure out what was going on with the different groups of players. Loq told me that they were playing out various “scenes” (player characters interacting with each other). I noticed a small table in the back of the store where the Storyteller (ST, what I always called a GM) was talking to K.

After a few minutes the ST finished with K and left the table. Then he and took a couple of other players outside to talk to them. As it turns out, stuff that take place in indoor locations happens inside the store, and stuff that happens outside happens outside the store.

I wandered around the store, listening in on several different conversations, trying to understand what was going on. From what I could pick up it sounded like there were several different storylines going on at the same time. (This was later confirmed to me by the ST.)

Loq told me that the ST employed a couple of “deputies” to help run the game (one dealt mostly with the Vampires, one with the Lost/Changelings). The ST worked with the rest and was the guy who thinks up all of the storylines and is the final arbitrator of any major conflicts. (With a group numbering anywhere from 15 to 20 people, this was NO small task.)

A couple of players explained to me that this particular WOD game was a hybrid, partly live action, partly tabletop game adjudicated by die rolls when necessary.  Players were always “in character” unless they were holding a hand to their chest (which meant they were speaking out of character) or when they were watching the goings on of another group.

As I observed I found out that the game had a LOT of WOD character types. Loq and a couple of others were playing Changelings. Several guys at one table were talking about weird stuff I didn’t understand (turns out they were all Mages). Another very loud group of guys and one gal were involved in some sort of fight (Werewolves). One guy was sitting back and watching like I was (Hunter). Another guy was talking to himself…a lot (he was a Geist/sin eater, someone who can talk to and is haunted by Ghosts). Later on I would meet the lone Vampire of the group. Someone told me that the only character type not allowed in the game are the Promethean: the Created.

As the night went on I became more comfortable around the players. I talked to some of them about their characters and what storylines they were involved in. Some talked with me about other interests we shared. Some talked about what else was going on in the game. 

Then several of them, including Loq, K, and the ST, gathered around a large table in the back of the store. It seems that there was some stuff going down at the Hedgerow, a local meeting place for most of the characters (except the werewolves, whose territory didn’t cover that location anymore).

A couple of players were in an upstairs workroom. Another was trying to spy on them. As the characters interacted with each other something started to happen in the main room. Some sort of disturbance had developed into a tear in the middle of the air. Two sets of huge claws reached through and into the Hedgerow. They pulled at the tear, widening it until a large “snout” poked through and breathed fire! It was a dragon!

Things become hectic as vines shoot out of the opening and grab players. Some players run to their rescue and others start fighting the dragon, trying to force it back through the tear.  The ST describes how someone jumps out of the tear and into the room. Then he looks at the new guy and tells him he is IN the game and to go for it.

(All through this “scene” the ST and several players all tell me that this kind of major conflict rarely happens in the game. The ST later tells me that what happened was a consequence of certain things that had been building in the game for a long time.)

More craziness happened. The building catches fire. AND the cops show up. Then I find out this particular group of cops are all Werewolves. I think I hear someone call them “The Ghosts”. Who better to call when bad weirdness happens?  Then I find out that one of the Mages (who was also involved in the fight with the dragon) is also cop. He has several of the other players taken in for questioning.

As the final scene of the night ends the ST calls everyone together to discuss the evening’s events. Some players talk about their favorite things that happened. Others talk about who was fun to watch. The ST hands out experience points. Everyone gets two, a couple of players get an extra point for cool things they did in the game, and one player gets another for being the best or most entertaining player of the night.

As things wind down I talk about the game with the ST for a couple of minutes, say my goodbyes, and head out the door. I think it’s after 1am. I’m wasted physically but my mind is in overdrive, replaying everything that happened during the game. I had a great time. Everyone treated me just like one of the gang, and I got to know some of them a little bit better. I start to think about character ideas…

Friday, November 12, 2010

[WOD] The Hedge Tales, Week 3 - The Race

I look myself over one more time, checking to make sure I didn't miss anything or leave anything out. I pay special attention to my tail. It took me over a year to get used to- I kept tripping on it, or stepping on it, or finding it in my food. Over time, I was less and less surprised by my tail, with its shock of white at the end; and I began to accept it as part of myself.

I finally got accustomed to the thing when I started learning more about my adaptability and talent for fitting into new environments. The first few times I invoked the contract, I forgot my tail. Clarice tipped me off the first time. (Why I think of lambs when I see her, I don't know. She's a fiery efreet, with nothing gentle about her.) I wasn't so lucky after that. I spent a few nights in Ms. Wintour's cool embrace, learning to pay very careful attention to every detail around me. Even the slightest change might mean something important; or it might mean nothing and be her way of toying with me. Either way, I remember my tail now.

I wear my “suit” with pride. It's an important part of the race, and I play my part with purpose. The glittering diamond mantle, the white roses and the flowering dress give me a completely different look, much to the point.

I quietly trot over to the gathered throng. Some wear numbered placards and others hold old-fashioned racing forms. There's a starting line of sorts, and Mouse, the clockwork being, rustles around the group. Soon we divide into those racing and those observing. I slide into the group about to run at the line with a passive confidence. Mouse's metal gears squeak as he points us to our places. In a moment, we hear his precise little hammer bang, and we're off.

The point of the race is a nebulous thing at best. There is not always a specific end. There is not always a way to tell a winner from a loser. Sometimes, the idea is to lose rather than win. There are about five of us running and each of us is different. Often, the race is aimed to challenge one of our aspects in unexpected ways. Yet we run with purpose and sometimes pride, motivated by our own thoughts and concerns.

I keep pace with the group, running with a solid stride. My long legs are meant to run, and I work hard to rein them in. I am not intended to win this race, and I have to keep my personal tendencies firmly in check. I keep an eye on the others as I run, determined to give a good showing. If I'm going to throw the race I may as well look good doing it.

The finish line nears, and I shake my head to clear the visions from my eyes. I know what I see is not real (nothing in this place is real except denial and pain), but it's still hard to resist. I recognize the mirage for what it is; a test of my will and my submission to this world. It’s sitting on a small podium next to the finish line. I can’t take my eyes off it, but I know it is not for me. I grit my teeth and keep forging on to the line, careful to lag just a bit, but of course not in an obvious way.

We cross the line, with Terrance in the lead. The spectators mutter and tear apart their forms, while we patiently wait for the official announcements from Mouse. I chat with the others in the race, and Terrance is proclaimed as the winner. His puzzled look tells me everything I need to know as he is handed his prize. He holds a beautiful leather pump, with its red sole standing out against his obsidian facade. I drop the contract as I walk away, with a flash of white following behind me on my tail.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

[Mom Time] Teen Drama- Trying Again

Several months ago- conversation with TheGirl-
I referred to her as a "DramaMamma", which she did not like.
I told her no way can she be a Drama Queen, 'cause
--I-- am the queen in our house.
She pipes up: "Can I at least be a Drama PRINCESS?"

With teens in the house, drama is sure to follow. Most of the drama is pretty tame and easy for me to manage. I actually enjoy some of it, with some teasing and good natured humor thrown in as ammunition against the slings and arrows of angst in the hormone laden set.

The most recent drama in our home revolves around grades, with one child causing some consternation and eyebrow raising. I have given up any semblance of a social life in order to supervise the child in question, as well as administer chores to maximum effect against bad attitude.

The child has had a major schedule rework, with games totally removed until further notice. Games and music are pretty important in our household, and the revoking of such is done seriously and as a last resort.

I have little doubt the foundling will resume schoolwork in the expected fashion shortly, and all will be well soon. Until then, my house is getting very clean.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

[HS6E] Hawaii Action (Session 7)

It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning, the breath before the phrase
- Pink, Glitter In The Air -----------------------------------------------------------------

[I'm trying something a little different today. I'm not married to it- it's an experiment. Also, I think I have the order of some sequences mixed up; but have the general jist down.]

In the midst of a dark beach, a wide panning shot focuses on a long angular beachhouse. Formed of concrete and steel, at least two walls are cascading sheets of glass. The building is a fusion of stark modern design and sleek Japanese furnishings. Along a far wall, is a gleaming white surfboard, with the initials "LK" written in elaborate script across the surface. A smaller, deep red board, with ornate cherry blossoms stencilled onto it sits beside it. Sparsely appointed, with wide open spaces, very little of the living space is secluded.A simple folding screen guards the sleeping area, and a slight alcove seems to contain the facilities and utility room.

The sound of waves crashing and breaking lull in the background, drumming a dim pulse to the peaceful venue. Soft light, drifting ambiently from the moon filters in the space as the view moves into the area behind the screen. A traditional futon on a wooden frame, well stuffed and finely stitched is on the far left, nearest the wall. Nestled beside it, on the floor, is a simple futon mattress with Lisa, legs akimbo, sleeping soundly in her new getup.

The sun begins to rise, spreading amber into the room, and Lisa stirs with the beginning of the day. She retreats to the alcove for several moments, and emerges, a slightly befuddled look upon her face. She shakes it off, and moves into the main portion of the house.

Her tall form stretches as she dusts, washes the windows, sweeps and then cleans the open galley style kitchen. Lisa continues working around the house, doing chores and keeping busy. At some point during the day, she investigates the flashing light on an answering machine on a small table in a corner.

The heartbeat of water continues as the screen follows Lisa in her daily routine. We're immersed in her world, lulled by the deepening course of waves, beating like breaths.

As the day moves on, Lisa dresses in casual beach wear over her boots and other accouterments, and sits on the beach, watching the clear blue water and those that seek to tame or ride it. As evening turns, Lisa returns to the house, and investigates a well designed garage- empty. The inside of the house is bare as well. Lisa makes a brief telephone call, her voice muted by the waves drumming.

Lisa leaves the house, walking up the streets of Honolulu in the early evening. She travels to an office building and then to several malls. Lisa continues walking after each location, and heads towards the house on the beach.

Lisa's hand reaches into her pocket, and she seems to view a text message on a cell phone. A short exchange of messages occurs and Lisa changes direction. She heads towards a mountain in the distance. Lisa moves with more purpose, slightly picking up speed. Something bothers her, and she slows down. She stops at a park bench, and tentatively puts one of her boot clad feet against the seat. The bench supports her foot as she attempts to remove the boot, which won't unzip or come undone. Lisa sees another message on her phone, which causes her to continue towards the mountain.

The water driven pulse continues as Lisa jogs up the mountainside, headed into the darkening evening.

Lisa arrives, winded, upon a scene where several other "Ultras" and Agent Williams are standing, all admiring a grey & black 2010 Porsche 911 GT3. The driver's side door is open, but no one is in the car. A couple of the Ultras are gathered on the side of the road, looking at the gravel.

Lisa steps to the car, and her hand moves under the driver's seat to push it all the way back. Lisa gets in the car, closes the door, and turns on the radio. Devo's Mind Games blares, just slightly audible through the door and the water which continues drumming.

The shot opens up to see Freestyle looking under the car, and Jumpshot knocking on the window of the high-end sports car. Lisa gets out of the car, holding a small clutch. Her slightly anguished expression gives hint to heartbreak.

Lisa and Agent Williams appear to talk for a moment, with Agent Williams investigating something on his iPad. Lisa seems more perplexed and unsettled by whatever Agent Williams has said, as she pulls her blode hair away from her face in frustration.

Jumpshot and Freestyle approach Lisa to point to the roadside, and then up the mountain. Their conversation, aimed at Lisa, is drowned out by a crescendo of waves, the heartbeat deafening. Jumpshot wraps Lisa in his arm, and heads up the mountain, leaping to the beat of the water.

The group arrives to a culdera at the top of the now-dormant Diamondhead. Jerry and Steel Warrior are investigating a steam vent, and Syphon appears to be doing the same. Lisa stands to the side as the remainder of the group is seemingly grasping at straws in the steam vent flue. SteelWarrior backs up to take a running leap at the vent, and as he passes through, a piece of paper flitters out of the vent. Syphon hands the paper to Lisa, which she puts in the clutch.

In the long shot, Jumpshot, Steel Warrior, Jerry and Syphon all engage Lisa in a converstion after Freestyle heads down the mountain. After a while, Jumpshot takes Lisa back down the mountain, where she gets in the Porsche, and drives to the beach house, Jumpshot trailing behind. Once the car is inside the garage, Jumpshot leaves, headed another direction.

In the midst of a dark beach, a wide panning shot focuses on a long angular beachhouse. Formed of concrete and steel, at least two walls are cascading sheets of glass. The building is a fusion of stark modern design and sleek Japanese furnishings.