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Tycho / 2 days ago

The type of D&D Gabriel runs is heavily salted with tropes tugged from videogames, and that ended up being a solution when the game he was running for his family left his youngest son, No-an The Usurper, cold and disengaged.  If you’re talking about Dragonlance, then you’re talking about Raistlin, and I think Raistlin might connect better with an older kid whose very big feelings exist in the same fraught continuum.

They also play Sea of Thieves as a family, in the well-regarded streams titled Crewhulik,

Watch Crewhulik from PennyArcade on www.twitch.tv

and when he figured out that he could just run a swashbucking pirate adventure which was already guaranteed to be rad in order to commandeer the young man’s mind, all these problems were managed in a single stroke.  Except the name, which he did not pay sufficient attention to because of who he is as a person.

The name is the most important thing because, among other reasons, it’s the fallback point - the ground floor.  It contains the rest of the concepts.  If the name is good, made with consideration for the desired audience, and bears within it a little mystery, it can cover up all manner of sins.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 3 days ago

My computer was, in fact, one hundred percent fucked.  It was one of those things where you fix one obvious problem, a problem where when you see it you’re like “How did this ever work at all,” and then the entire fucking computer inexplicably falls to pieces.  In this case, and I mean case in both senses, the CPU was trying to catch on fire because the impeller inside the liquid cooling solution had, through exhaustion or sheer laziness, either ceased to impel or whined throughout.  The new Enermax cooler our engineer put on there is like a malevolent curl of alien impact shrapnel and is impervious to heat because it was born in a star.

I saw a really interesting thread over the weekend promoted by our own Ryan Hartman about what a book actually costs - not to sell, really, but to buy.  Discussed on the Twitter feed of a bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas called “The Raven,” so I’m already predisposed to like it, they went into more detail than you’re likely to see in an understated but occasionally spicy thread.  The pieces here around wholesale pricing and the price of a book at retail - what we have historically called “profit” - are especially noteworthy.

When we started doing preorders for our Acquisitions Incorporated book, people wanted to know where the best place to get it was, “best” meaning here most advantageous to us I assume.  The winningest scenario.  And obviously, the best case scenario for me is that you get it from our store.  A lot of people work here, many of us touched the book itself, and more yet will touch it as they ship it out to you in June. We’re very proud of it.  But, I mean… yeah.  If you got it at Zulu’s, or one of the Moxes, or whatever your place is called where you live, you still bought the book.  I described the difference between wholesale and retail as profit before, but it’s probably best described as the difference between living in a society and living in a market.

If efficiency is our highest virtue, we need to consider that we may not be especially virtuous.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 1 week ago

I was over at Glorp’s house last week, he wanted to show me HDR I assume because he owns stock in a company that produces high-end panels, and I had a chance to check out Darksiders 3 on PC.

I barely recognized it.  I talked about that a bit before, but this art on this platform with this dynamic visual range is just… fucked.  Obviously that’s the technical term.  But in the service of the kind of story it is, which is something like a grim but generous buffet of religious archetypes, multiple concurrent armageddons, and meaningful gazing, it sold it hard has hell.  There’s lots of opportunities for scenery chewing, the door jamb is practically lunar.  Occasionally, one does hold forth.  It’s a fun game to talk to as you play.

I have described what “dumb” means to us in particular, as people who make things, and I think Darksiders could always be usefully observed through that lens: of pop culture, of pulp, worked with tools until it becomes a gleaming mirror somehow capable of observing itself.

Grab and I are gonna hit the stream at 2pm PDT, Switch in tow.  Might try some Katana Zero?  Might play some of the original Darksiders?  Maybe some Yoshi’s Crafted World?  Maybe an admixture.  We’ll see you then.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 1 week ago

The whole point of Game of Thrones is that you thought one thing was gonna happen but then another thing happens, and that works until it doesn’t anymore.

At least for me.  I got out at the end of the Fourth Season, Fourthmeal if you will, at what might have been the last episode but maybe it wasn’t and I don’t super care if it was.  There was a fight between two characters with a result I didn’t buy, with a result in the vein of “yeah, dummy, well, ha ha!  This is how it’s gonna go instead” and then rubbing your nose in it, and I decided there was other stuff I could do with my time.  I’m not a prude by any means, arguably I’m an enthusiast, but they perpetually act like they’ve just discovered sex online and they’re so naughty and it’s whatever.

I liked that it was mostly what you’d call in D&D a “low magic setting,” the world had inherited what more or less seemed like a ton of nonsense that could be interpreted in various ways and it created a lot of problems, which is more or less how things work in the “low magic setting” we actually live in.  Except now it’s like a wizard cranked open a kind of arcane hydrant and a high pressure jet of mystical stuff is on the table, from resurrection to time travel, and you can tell any kind of story you want to but I don’t have to watch it.  I’m not sure which direction constitutes conceptual North in that story anymore; I don’t know where it is and I don’t know where I am in relation.

It has such cultural gravity though that even though I’m mad about it I still want to know what happens; want my prior investment to ultimately bear some kind of fruit.  A Song of Ice And Fire was fetish gear back when it came out in book form, and it’s been wild to watch its incursion so far into mainstream culture that’s become a deeply normal if not functionally necessary thing to know about.  It’d be like walking into Target at the first thing you see is a giant mesh bin of ball gags.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Having come back from Spokane with more or less my full complement of hit points, it wasn’t that bad really; Spokane was a kind of scorched lily pad that I made brief contact with on the way to Priest Lake.  There’s no reason you should know about Priest Lake!  But that’s where I went and I think I emerged with more sanity than I had when I went in.

The Tales from the Loop game I run for Club PA takes place in Spokane, the Spokane I grew up in, which barely exists anymore.  That time has passed is no great surprise, but time moves much slower there than it does in other places.  I have to account for it every time I drive down the hill Division becomes after you pass the arcade.  You pass Patterson’s on the left, a skating rink where I mostly played Gauntlet while trying to work up the courage to ask someone to skate.  Agreeing to skate with me was an act of incredible bravery; generally speaking, such investments of faith ended in shame and injury.  I know I’ve talked about this before but it’s apparently the axis my life turns around.

You would hear stories of trysts catalyzed by the sirenic gleam of the skating-rink; I once knew someone who knew someone whose brother knew someone who’d had sex there, outside, behind a dumpster.  I want to say I wouldn’t have sex on a literal dumpster but it’s like…  I’d have to see the dumpster.

I’m about to jump on the stream right now actually, like usual from 2-4, but tomorrow the doors open at 11:30am PDT for our first-ever live Acquisitions Intoxicated show at Two Beers Brewing.  It’s a ticketed event, and it sold out somehow, but if you are interested in the surprisingly fertile intersection of brewing and tabletop roleplaying games we’ve been tilling for the last year and half please join us on the stream!  We’ll be doing a tasting of our aggressively simple Human Fighter themed SMaSH beer “First Session,” prepared in two batches with Lager and Ale yeasts, rounding out the tray with the first beer we ever made on the show - the dark IPA known as WAR PRIEST.

(CW)TB out.   




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