Passing the hat

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My vet has an interesting receptionist and so what I was told would be a sixty dollar trip for their shots is in fact a two hundred dollar trip. This is all part of the seemingly futile effort to find them new homes. If people could donate towards the trip, that would be great.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
How to Make a Clichéd High Fantasy Cover

I am reminded of the cover of a Joe Abercrombie novel where every time I took another look, I noticed yet another sword the character on the cover was carrying.

My Worldcon Schedule

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:56 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
 On two panels, one on gaming, the other on fanfic. The first is well within my area of expertise, the other is something I can probably talk about though I tend not to write it.

Horror in Roleplaying Games

Thursday 18:00 - 19:00, 101c (Messukeskus)

Roleplaying games can be all about amosphere. Does dice rolling take away from the horrific feeling? What tips players and game masters have for making sure the players are immersed in the game? In short: how to scare the pants off your players!

Marcus Rowland, David Damerell, Terilee007 (M)


Genderswapping in Fan Fiction

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00, 206 (Messukeskus)

Genderswapping happens quite often in fan fiction and very often it can offer something new to the readers and even reveal aspects of the original work the reader would not have thought about otherwise. The panelists discuss the difficulties in genderswapping in fan fiction and why they like to read and write about genderswapped characters.

Hanne Martelius, Marcus Rowland, Arwen Grune

 

 

Sleep would be nice, really.

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:18 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Bed around 3am. Spouse woke up... I dunno. But then the phone rang, and then I didn't really get back to sleep, and then it's about 7 hours sleep.

All three of us went to the new breakfast place. There were a lot of people around, and it was noisy, and there was Unexpected Happy Birthday Singing nearby which was not a good thing to spring on a stressed sensory-overwhelmed kid. (Honestly, can we get, like, Sensory Issues sections? Y'know, like smoking sections used to be, only quiet and with high booth walls...)

Spouse and kid went out without me to get dinner, and because Dining Room Shut Down; Everyone Eat In Bar Or Right Next To It was noisy, they got takeout instead. But none for me, boo. Oh, well. Excess white rice, duck sauce, and a bunch of cherries. There. Dinner.

Finished an edit thing. Spotted two Labyrinth references. Surprised the tunnel cleaner wasn't in there...

Havva Quote
I__ says, "How... how do Evocations work? How does one give an artifact Evocations?"
I__ says, "It looks like... one doesn't?"
I__ says, "Let's just... step away from that."
--I've got no idea what gaming system that is, but the phrasing here amuses me.



INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



The Order of Truth's Aeon Priests have resurrected our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the tabletop science-fantasy roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future.



Bundle the first and bundle the second

Two more RPG Bundle offers - Numenara

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:19 pm
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
This is one I know virtually nothing about, apart from a friend's opinion that it isn't very playable. There are two offers, one a repeat from 2014, the other new material.


Numenera Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera-2017

"This offer revives (for a second time) our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the science-fantasy tabletop roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future. This bundle, the second revival of our May 2014 offer (previously revived in December 2014), collects the Numenera core rulebook and the supplements published in the line's first year or so. For this new resurrection we have an all-new companion, the Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery, with many recent supplements -- including one based on the Torment computer game.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$70. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $25) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 418-page Numenera core rulebook, the Gamemaster Screen, and Cypher Collection 1.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $18.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $45:
  • Player's Guide (retail $8): The character creation rules and basic mechanics from the Numenera corebook -- a great guide for new players.
  • Ninth World Bestiary (retail $15): More than 130 lavishly illustrated and wildly imaginative creatures and characters in the Ninth World.
  • The Devil's Spine (retail $10): Three adventures in a hard-driving frame story. The terrifying devil's spine graft will claim a life, and the clock is ticking.
  • Vortex (retail $6): Monte Cook's original Gen Con 2013 Numenera launch scenario -- an ideal campaign kickoff in a mysterious temple like nothing the Ninth World has ever seen.
  • In Strange Aeons (retail $3): Incorporate cosmic horror -- the terror of unfathomable reaches of both space and time, and of incomprehensible weirdness -- into your Numenera games.
  • Artifacts and Oddities Collection 1 (retail $3): This companion to the Cypher collection presents 30 new devices and a hundred oddball phenomena to spice up your game.

Numenera Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera2

This Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery presents many recent supplements for the line, including an ebook inspired by the inXile Entertainment computer game Torment: Tides of Numenera.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $47) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Numenera Character Options, the Ninth World Guidebook, the Technology Compendium, and the two Maps of the Ninth World collections.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $58:
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera -- The Explorer's Guide (retail $15): Numenera inspired the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment. This 160-page book presents the computer game's setting, the region of Greater Garravia.
  • Into the Deep and Into the Night (retail $15 each): Two sourcebooks that present new frontiers in the ocean and the sky. Includes The Nightcraft (retail $3).
  • Weird Discoveries (retail $10): Ten instant adventures you can run in an evening with minimal prep.
At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased this offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Numenera resources




This looks very pretty, but you have to wonder about the idea that the human race and human civilization, or something like it to this extent, will survive a billion years, and then survive in a manner that basically resembles a fantasy role playing game, with bits of lost technology etc. replacing magic. My own first impression unfortunately bears out my friend's opinion - it's pretty, but it'd be a sod to run.

Having said that, there's some very good fiction out there using similar settings - Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time and Vance's Dying Earth are obvious examples, as is Hodgson's The Night Land. It might be possible to do something with them, I'm just not convinced that this is the way to do it.

But as usual, your mileage is likely to vary.

Phone woes

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:31 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
If anyone has tried to phone me at home over the last few days, there's currently a bad fault on the line and it's almost impossible to understand what people are saying or recognise voices - as evinced by a couple of totally incomprehensible answering machine messages. BT say it ought to be fixed tomorrow.  Fortunately it doesn't seem to be causing internet problems so far.

Update - now fixed, sooner than expected.


Walked to the library

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:15 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Saw a squirrel hop into the back of a pickup truck and wait, giving every impression it was waiting impatiently for something. Does it know trucks move? Is that how it got to the library?

Car and logistics, blah

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:19 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
1: Got to bed around 1-something. Did not fall asleep till around 2am.

2: Woke up around 8am, and could not get back to sleep. Alarm went off at 10. Blah.

3: Took car over to the car place. Yay, she started! ...barely.

4: Spouse brought me back, then dropped me and kid off for doctor appointment while he went off to dental appointment.

5: Doctor appointment. I was poked, prodded, heart-beat-listened-to, and sent down for a blood draw to make sure that my blood is doing the right thing. Waved at waitress friend who was in for foot x-ray. I hope her foot is okay.

6: Grabbed a snack at the cafe in the place, for me and kid. Ate outside.

7: Had way more time to kill whilst spouse was doing dental thing and then returning.

8: Went over to nearby restaurant. It is, I note, drizzling. Turns out that the restaurant closes the dining room during lunch hours and funnels everyone into the bar area. Which was WAY TOO CROWDED. I'm not sure there were actually any free tables at all, in fact, and with the kid... nope. So we went and hung out in the hotel lobby next door, where the gal was really nice about it. (They have this huge dining area for when they serve breakfast and they aren't using it for anything, so...)

9: Picked up by spouse. Go to get car. Spouse does paperwork whilst I and kid go to Lunch Place that closes in like 30 minutes. Discover that the car is "stuttering" at really low speeds, and occasionally flashing AWD/Check Oil lights briefly. Get spouse -- who has gone home -- to call the dealership and ask if this is something concerning. They say that they want to see it after we eat. Food is had, and on the way back, at first traffic-light, car dies. Restart works fine. We make it the rest of the way just fine.

10: Waiting room is packed. Message spouse to come get kid. I hang out, do some editing. (People visiting from Pennsylvania had a tire pop off the rim and wound up at this dealership. I eventually chat with them some, plus reassure them that it's a good place.) Eventually the dealership mechanics get to my car and decide that they need a New Sensor Thingie, which will show up Wednesday. They are out of loaner cars till... at least Wednesday. (He hopes he can scare up something for the PA people if their car can't have a tire popped back on properly.)

So that's the state of the world. *SIGH*

Havva Quote
I__ says, “You can't set up emotional arcs that DON'T GO ANYWHERE.”
I__ says, “Well. I mean. You can.”
I__ says, “But then this happens and now the entire story has been ruined by this terrible ending.”


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Two questions

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:55 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I wonder how long it will take the shadowy figures behind the Dragon Awards to count the votes?

I wonder to what degree the award has been gamed by the puppies?

Please explain

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:39 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.

Oh, joy, the car battery is going.

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:38 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Here's hoping it'll make it to the car place tomorrow! (I turned the car on this evening -- after going nowhere all day yesterday -- and got a "grindgrindgrind." I paused, tried again. She started. The clock had reset to 1:00. Um. Mm-kay. I wasn't going far, so spouse could rescue us, and I hoped that it was just that I hadn't driven her all day yesterday. Went and got gas. She ground a little (didn't lose the clock) and started. Got dinner nearby. Re-started car and she groundgroundground a little less than the first startup, but more than the second, and lost the clock back to 1:00 again.

Pretty sure that's "battery does not hold charge; replace battery" indication. ...crap, I'm gonna hafta reset the radio buttons AGAIN. *headdesk*

Tomorrow is ALSO fun because of multiple doctor appointments -- spouse has one pretty far away, and I have one nearby, and there's going to have to be Dropping Car Off, and depending on how the weather is, I might wind up walking back home or something. -_-

Well, we'll see. (Might need a jumpstart tomorrow, depending on how bad the battery is being.)

Have sneaking suspicion I have the kid's -- and spouse's -- stomach bug now, which has Queasiness After Eating. Maybe I should take a ginger pill.

Havva Quote
GM: The woods are dark and creepy and...oh never mind, you all have low-light vision.
RANGER: We do?
GM: You have darkvision.
RANGER: Oh. Huh. Yeah!
--http://tkingfisher.dreamwidth.org/1488336.html


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Fig and Ibid still need rehoming

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:40 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)

Dur

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:03 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.

Negative? What Negative?

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:35 pm
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
A plaque I found in a car boot sale (US="Swap meet") today.



Ignoring the slightly dodgy use of photographic terms, it occurs to me that we're already living in a world where a large percentage of photographers have no idea what a negative is...
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