Posts concerning games

2017 Goals/2016 Goals Review: A Year of Treading Water

16:10 01 Jan 2017

On every front except work, 2016 was a bad year for me.

Not in big ways; I didn’t have any major setbacks, bad injuries, or dramatic blowups. It just sucked in a low-key but consistent way.

It was bad in terms of the goals I set myself at the start of the year, too.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ]    

2013–2015 Goals Review/2016 Goals

18:16 01 Jan 2016. Updated: 23:21 01 Jan 2016

I haven’t written about yearly goals since 2013. Time to revive the practice.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ]    

Late Publication: “The Abomination of Corvintown”

17:24 09 Apr 2015

Last year I wrote “The Abomination of Corvintown” as backstory for a D&D character, but held it in the hope that I’d get to tell the story in-game. That didn’t happen, so now I’m making it public. It’s pulpy and grim, and I think it came out very close to how I intended it. Go read it.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    

“The Abomination of Corvintown”

20:58 21 May 2014. Updated: 17:26 09 Apr 2015

I was in the Duke’s army for a year, didn’t like it. Shitty food, pay was only a promise, and the officers were all stuck-up bastards. I had to see out my year, and a little more from the stockade. Then I went looking for my brother in the Greymark.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    


17:39 27 Oct 2013

I’ve been blogging regularly since 01 August 2006: every day for that first year, five times per week for four years after that, and at least once per week since 01 August 2011. Now it’s time for a break.

Permalink     5 Comments     [, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ]    

KJ Parker on Siege Warfare

22:57 29 Sep 2013

I enjoyed this short treatise on the history of sieges.

Unfortunately I can’t see how to apply its precepts to writing.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]    

Gaming Nostalgia Mashup: ROM Check Fail

23:11 02 Jun 2013

I’ve failed in my duty to produce written words in sufficient quantity and quality for your edification and entertainment this week, and instead can only offer a link to the recent Flash version of ROM Check Fail, a retro-gaming mashup.

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

First Experience with the Oculus Rift

18:37 05 May 2013

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset, with one screen per eye and covering that blocks other vision.

It’s not available yet, but a co-worker has one of the development kits and brought that into the office this week for us to play with.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    

Q’Rith Season 3 Intentions

20:35 07 Apr 2013. Updated: 21:51 25 Jul 2014

The third season of my D&D campaign starts Monday, and I’m going to discuss some of what I’m trying to do in it—without, naturally, giving anything away to my players.

Season One and Season Two were good, and I really liked doing them, but the environment for the third season is where I had intended the whole thing to be set when I first came up with the idea for the world: a continent that had been cut off to everyone for a very long time, a place where I could do a kind of cross between Joe Abercrombie and Deadwood[1].

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , ]    


16:40 24 Feb 2013. Updated: 14:57 05 Apr 2013

There had been rumors of war, fears that the conflict raging to the south and east would reach out for us, but we didn’t expect anything to happen soon. As I went to bed that night, I felt a mild unease, a concern about what the next months would bring.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , ]    

“Morodin and the Thorn of Nothing”

23:54 17 Feb 2013. Updated: 09:35 15 Mar 2013

The shovels made steady progress. Sern and Jerym, the two locals I’d hired to dig, grumbled at my not helping, but digging is what I was paying them coin for. I needed to be free to keep an eye on them both, as they wouldn’t have been there with me if they’d been trustworthy. The lanterns I’d brought provided enough light, and the pile of dirt to one side grew until there was a solid noise, wood struck by metal.

I stood. They looked back at me, and I told them to clear off all the dirt first. More grumbling, but they did it, and when I nodded they levered the wood apart, ripping it up and revealing the body inside.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , , , , , ]    

“How Afuegan Lost his Eye”

23:32 10 Feb 2013

In the pantheon of old Athrai, still one of the dominant Q’Resti faiths, Afuegan, brother to the god of war Atargan, is the god of archers. Afuegan is also the god of accuracy, the pursuit of excellence for its own sake, and monomania.

His singularity of focus, and his occasional blindness to larger concerns, are both represented by the fact that he is missing an eye. This is one account of how he lost it.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , ]    

2012 Goals Review/2013 Goals

20:51 06 Jan 2013

I had five goals for 2012 and didn’t achieve many; arguably only one. I don’t feel too bad about this, partly because the most positive things for me last year weren’t related to anything on that list. Even so, I hope to do better this year.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , , , , , , ]    

“The Unquenchable Torch of Kelera”

23:49 30 Sep 2012. Updated: 00:53 01 Oct 2012

This longsword is the same blade referred to in older Issilanth texts as “The Firedemon’s Tooth”, as can be seen by comparing descriptions from historical sources.

This is a description from private letters during its possession by the Kelera family:

My visit to Yeemn’s chambers did not go as well; his response to the absence of my maid was to play a trick upon me wherein he took his family’s sword (a prized possession, apparently) directly from the fire, where it had been since before my entrance, and against my will pressed it to my fist—there is no injury, for the sword was somehow cool to the touch. He laughed and told me that it “likes the fire”, and that its sheen was whiter than that of a normal sword, and showed me the glow from letters near the hilt. I could not make them out, but thought they spelled a name beginning with “W”. I did not care for his trick, which frightened me badly and made it ever clearer that unlike his brother Yeemn remains a boy, but conceded that the blade was an excellent one and remarkably sharp—particularly if it was, as he claimed, hundreds of years old.

—Private letters of Seev Denina, 1082 IY.


Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , ]    

Q’Rith Season Two

23:05 23 Sep 2012. Updated: 20:37 07 Apr 2013

I recently finished the second season of my D&D campaign, and want to review the season just as I did with the first one.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , , , ]    

Spit (AKA Speed/Slam/Stress)

20:15 19 Aug 2012

Spit is a two-player card game played with a standard 52-card deck. It is a game of speed, and is conceptually similar to a competitive two-player version of patience. The rules I lay out below are close to the Irish two-handed version, with minor tweaks that evolved along with intense play of the game. This is one of my favorite card games.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

PixelJAM’s Snowball

23:21 22 Apr 2012

PixelJAM won me over with Dino Run, and I like pinball games—and who doesn’t like snow?—so I was happy to see them take on the genre in their own way with Snowball, which feels more relaxed than your usual pinball game. Oh, and snowballs are apparently magnetic.

(Blog posting of the usual length will hopefully resume next week.)

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

2012 Goals

11:47 01 Jan 2012

I’m deliberately giving myself fewer of these this year, partly because I particularly don’t want to start the year feeling as if I’m already behind, so I’m trying to make the first quarter, at least, one in which I don’t have a pile of self-imposed tasks. So, this year, a shorter list of goals.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , , ]    

2011 Goals Review

13:41 25 Dec 2011

I feel as if I did worse than usual on my goals for 2011, but that could be due to getting a bunch of them done early, with not many coming in the second half of the year.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , , , , ]    

PTQ at Worlds 2011

23:52 20 Nov 2011. Updated: 22:08 26 Jun 2013

The last time the Magic: The Gathering World Championships were in San Francisco was September 2004. 2004 might have been the high water mark of my MTG career, and at one of the side events for that Worlds I racked up probably my best win, a two–one victory over Tsuyoshi Fujita with my Black/Red Death Cloud deck[*]. A month later I picked up my first (and, it seems, only) PTQ top eight result[†].

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

Q’Rith: Sketch of a New Town

23:37 23 Oct 2011. Updated: 21:23 14 Apr 2013

While filling out background details for an upcoming episode of my D&D campaign, I came up with this town and its history, which I thought worth sharing. It’s strongly rooted in Q’Rith, but could easily be transplanted to another setting, and it looks promising to me as a potential base for a series of adventures, although I’m not sure I’ll actually use it as such.

It’s a harbor town of about 3000, far north of any other urban areas, independent, surrounded by sparsely-populated cold country, and run by a group of six, its founders.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , ]    

Q’Rith: Maps and World-Building

23:31 11 Sep 2011. Updated: 18:19 17 Sep 2011

I started the process of building the world of Q’Rith, and the nature and politics of the area of it my campaign would be focused on, conceptually rather than visually, which is to say: I didn’t have a map.

I had a strong sense of how it was supposed to work in terms of the dynamics between regions, what the scale should be like, and of pieces of the history of the region. I also knew it would start on the east coast of a large continent, and that the continent’s dominant state would stretch from one coast to the other. But that was more or less all.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    


23:51 04 Sep 2011. Updated: 18:19 17 Sep 2011

Last week there was a significant amount of internet outcry over a post by Alyssa Bereznak about two dates she went on with Jon Finkel, a former Magic: The Gathering world champion. Bereznak called him out by name, and made clear that she had no interest in dating him because he was a former MTG world champion who still played the game. She also did more than that, and it’s the more that I’m looking at in this post—that, and how a defense of Bereznak by Sady Doyle at Tiger Beatdown misses the point and perpetuates the core problem with the original post.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , ]