September 24, 2014
So, it’s been a while. I know.
Writing that book I was working on, conceptually, didn’t work out. Between my PC being down for two weeks and how hard it is for me to focus when it’s hot, I didn’t get any real work done on it. Now the story has mothballed in my mind. However, I do have another story brewing in the back of my mind. Work on that will be at the end of this post, even, if you want insight into what’s going on there.
In other news, my partner got my little laptop fixed so I once again have a simple, long-lasting portable writing machine. It’s super adorable. I’m updating my wardrobe slowly, but surely, and I’m feeling generally better. I’m waiting on the inevitable denial of the California Social Security Administration for my disability so that I can get the appeal started. This past week has been a little hard, though – my glasses broke (again) and the company that made them is unwilling to replace them. I’m going to fight them a bit and see if they’ll do it, since they broke the exact same way in the exact same place as the first pair. I’ve got a couple of (small) partial 2nd degree burns on my gut from meat-juices and molten cheese flying at me from making dinner two days ago. It also looks like the tabletop games I wanted to run won’t be working out, but it’s better to have no game than a bad game anyway.
One thing, above all else, has been really getting me out of bed and thinking, though. I’ve always had a love of Magic the Gathering but I recently started using Magic the Gathering Online (I’m Luarien, by the way, if you want to talk to me or whatever) and I freaking love drafting. It’s the best format ever. A friend bought me a Commander deck, and we’ve done a few games of that, but it’s kind of wacky and I don’t know if it’s really possible to make a consistent Commander deck. The high variability of games (and the disgusting way you can get shut out in Commander) isn’t always the most fun. It’s a fun format generally, though, and I’ve got most of a sliver deck put together as well. For those of you who, like me, came up in Magic during the golden age of slivers. Y’know, right around Ice Age.
I’ve also been playing through Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut. Which has been fun. I’ve considered streaming it but there’s not a lot of clamor for people wanting to watch me play video games. Or listen to me babble to myself about them. However, if suddenly there is interest then I could see myself streaming a lot. I’m considering going through Fallout New Vegas again, since I never finished it, and I’ve still got Baldur’s Gate to finish (and then import my file into Baldur’s Gate 2) now that I’ve got both updated versions. I might even consider streaming Battlefield 4, which I’ve been playing a bit, but I’m both not terribly good at it and my connection can be very, very spotty which makes it difficult to play well.
I had thought for a bit about getting back into HEMA, but the local group here is antagonistic to anyone with a social conscious. I’d say that they’re antagonistic to anyone who isn’t a white, able-bodied guy but there’s women on their meetup so I can’t really say that completely honestly. I’ve been trying to do some light exercising in my room but, well, I can be bad about that. Especially on days where I’m not feeling terrible but I’m also not feeling fantastic. I might have to take up walking again, it forces me to do something.
So, worldbuilding. The story I’m revisiting is the Grey Paladin stuff I was working on before. It’s a fantasy setting that I’m designing to be a kind of pastiche of medieval and ancient Asia the way that most fantasy settings are a pastiche of medieval and ancient Europe. The main character is coming from a large Hindu Kingdoms-style nation and is dedicated to an ancient warrior order called the Daughters of Marisha. Their particular oath, the Precept of Marisha, states –
We fight so that others stay safe.
We march so that others stay at home.
We search so that others are found.
We stand so that others rest safe.
We are powerful.
We are steadfast.
We are persevering.
We are protectors.
Marisha is depicted as an 8-armed warrior goddess, and six of the arms wield weapons – the khanda, a straight sword with a blue gem set in the hilt and three blackened fullers that has been enchanted to deal with the undead as well as stay incredibly sharp; the ursha, a silvered short ‘sword’ that’s designed to pierce armor similar to a main gauche; the madura, an enameled 8-sided metal buckler that’s related to both the pa kua and the idea of ‘rising’ and ‘falling’ or ‘ascendant’ and ‘descendant’ elemental forces; the malappuram kathi, a broad-bladed dagger that’s also used as a utility knife; the vel, a javalin that’s usually carried in sets of three and is enchanted to resist destruction. Her last two hands are empty – one is a fist to represent the Daughter’s training in unarmed combat and the other is an open, upraised hand to represent their training in diplomacy and their standing offer to help any who might need them.
Some of those are real weapons, re-imagined for this world. Some of them are not. The Hindu Kingdoms inspired nations are going to be called the Sister Kingdoms, and there are five of them. Each focuses on a different part of their shared religious heritage and each descends from a single mother, Marisha, and her five daughters. They’re all matriarchal, with local democratic control sending representatives to the kingdom’s capital where the queens rule alongside a democratic legislative body. That legislative body writes laws and elects local law enforcement, with the national congress choosing the highest criminal and civil court. Reviewing the laws, and being the last court of appeal, is a council of elders, one from each of the great guilds in the kingdoms – merchants, military, magicians, doctors, and judges. Each guild elects their representative in their own way. Each of these kingdoms is host to a large community of foreign people, both people who have immigrated into the kingdoms and those people who pass through major kingdoms who trade along the sea and land routes that they control.
If you guys like this, maybe next time I update I’ll tell you about the other nations in this fantasy world I’m mulling over.
June 12, 2012
I’m working on a draft for a Kickstarter for the boardgame concept I recently posted about. Partly so that I can generate money to work on it, partly so I can find an artist, and partly so I can find out if anyone else is interested in working on the idea with me.
Part of why I want to find a nice, small team (an artist that doesn’t mind doing a lot of drawing and another mechanic designer) is so we can knock this out quickly and get it going. I’m kind of in a situation where I need to find a way to generate income pretty quickly that isn’t dependent on unemployment insurance, so. Yeah.
I also want to do this quickly so that I can get the essential mechanics out of the way. I’ve got an idea for doing expansions and new versions using different tropes and structures not long after the first game comes out. The reward levels for the Kickstarter would include some of these expansions at different levels (one level will include the first expansion when it’s ready to print, another level is also going to include the next version of the game when it’s ready). I think. Still have to work out this one.
Part of this discussion, as well, is me looking for advice on what levels to offer for the Kickstarter and the kind of things to throw in as incentives. So, if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them. Especially since until I get the essential mechanics hammered out I don’t even know how to assess printing costs. I can say one thing, though – it’ll mostly be a box full of cards and tiles.
So, what are your ideas, opinions, and expectations? Would you chip in for the game?
May 31, 2012
So I’m having a damnable time writing anything. Yesterday I spent most of the day working on a framework for a boardgame I might set up a Kickstarter for, if I can get the base mechanics worked out and find an artist who wants to work on it. Today I’m fomenting a rant on class and the problems of living just above homelessness (and the huge gap between those who can easily take advantage of public assistance and those who don’t need the public assistance – populated mostly by people who make too much to get help but not enough to do it themselves). I’m also working on ideas for the Victorian scientist-superheros, the steampunk sports story, Out of Thyme, Notes from the Abyss P2, and The First and Forgotten Hero. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to focus in almost a week on any of my stories. So, I can’t really write anything.
I was recently linked on Skepchick, though, which is really awesome. Makes me feel like I’m doing a good job with my rants!
So, tell me what’s going on with you, tell me what you’d like to see from me, and tell me about who unfair all of this is.