Summer is a-coming in

I haven’t been doing anything particularly exciting of late – work, occasional writing, playing computer games, and so on. Of course, now that I say that, I can think of a few different ideas for potential posts, like being called in to work last Friday five minutes before a tornado warning went out, or some tabletop roleplaying ideas, or recent interest in the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2, specifically the tribal game I recently re-discovered. For that matter, I could also write about the dream I had this morning.

Maybe I’ll do a bit of each. Last Friday I wasn’t scheduled to work, and, while I don’t remember offhand, I suspect I spent most of my day in front of my computer. A few minutes after 6 PM, I got a call from work, asking if I could come in and help for a few hours because they were really busy. I always feel kind of bad about agreeing to help or stay late, but, as usual, I said I would, so I started getting ready to go to work. Shortly after I got off the phone with the cashier who had first called and asked if I could help, I got a call from the assistant manager, who asked if I could go help at work. I told him I was getting ready, and maybe five minutes after that, right before I walked out the door of my apartment, I got a text message saying there was a tornado warning and the tornado sirens started going off.

The first tornado warning we had this season was several weeks ago – at least 3, maybe more than that, but it was at about 2 or 3 AM, and I wasn’t entirely sure what they were before I looked at the weather online. They didn’t sound like the normal emergency vehicle sirens I hear at least a few times a day, and after seeing the tornado warning I went and took refuge in the bathroom, like you’re supposed to if you don’t have a basement or storm shelter. Anyway, this time (the 2nd warning of the season, May 29 about 6:15 PM) I recognized what the tornado sirens sounded like (and I got a text message from the emergency alert system, and the university sent out automated warning calls as well), so I called in and said I’d come to work after the tornado warning. Once again, I took refuge in the bathroom after looking at the radar and the weather. 30 minutes later, after the warning expired at 6:45 PM, I went to work and helped out from around 7 to about 9:20 PM.

Last Sunday, the Pathfinder group I’m part of met to continue our Rise of the Rune Lords campaign for the first time in several weeks. Once again, our third person and primary melee combatant was absent (his first wedding anniversary), which left my roommate and I, an inquisitor (sort of the divine magic-using equivalent to the bard, or so I’ve been told) and a sorceror (spontaneous arcane magic user), to proceed. I don’t remember exactly how far we are into the game, but I know it’s been roughly a week in-game since we started. For anyone who hasn’t played the Rise of the Rune Lords adventure path, there’s this small town that’s dedicating a new cathedral during an annual festival. Without trying to give away too many spoilers, at some point goblins attack (as they tend to do), and the player characters help defeat them. At the start of our most recent session, I think a day or two had passed without anything substantial happening when Albert, my half-elf sorceror, met an attractive young woman in the street who said there were rats in the basement of her father’s shop. When he followed her to the basement, there were no rats to be seen and a cot. She began kissing him and undoing her blouse when her father came down the stairs, and after trying to explain what had happened (and not being persuasive enough), and the shopkeeper’s daughter saying Albert was lying (despite him telling what had actually happened), Albert ran after getting a couple good punches from the shopkeeper.

I’ve previously thought about incorporating more awkward situations, if/when I ever get the chance to run a game of Pathfinder, D&D, or a similar tabletop role-playing game. At a Halloween party in 2013, we had a game where a group of people were investigating a “haunted” mansion. At one point there was a bathroom that, according to the DM, was originally going to be occupied by someone in a shower, if I remember correctly. My main point here is that I think it’d be interesting to include some awkward situations in a game. If you’re sneaking around someone’s house and find someone in a bath tub or in a similar state of undress, for example, what are you going to do?

As for the After the End mod, I recently re-discovered a game I had created about 3 weeks ago as the tribal ruler of Western Nebraska and Kansas, which, after several attempts at playing (and the game crashing), has prompted me to think about the society, weapons, and armor of tribes in that region. Not much metal, and as “uncivilized” tribes, there’s probably not a lot of smiths, so I suspect their weapons might be spears, axes, and similar weapons that don’t require as much metal and skill to make as, say, a nice sword. Similarly, I suspect their armor, if they wear it, is going to be predominantly leather and cloth, since leather and wool (for example) are going to be easier to come by than some nice chain or scale armor. Sure, the elite warriors might have a sword and some metal armor that they looted or traded for, but not every warrior. As for food, I would think that tribes in the Great Plains (and, admittedly, I’m taking this from what I know of the Native Americans who lived in the region after European contact) would primarily rely on animal husbandry rather than crops. I’m not sure if they would be nomads, per se, but from what I know it would be too far west to grow corn very well (probably too dry), so they would probably grow more wheat (oats? I don’t know what else) and have herds of sheep, cattle, horses, and other livestock that could graze.

As for the dream this morning, it featured pale, blue-eyed me as the Emir of Constantinople and a dark-haired young woman who looked more Middle Eastern as the Emir of Murcia at night. I think we were supposed to be in some kind of palace or hotel in North Africa (possibly Algeria), and I think I had agreed to meet with the attractive Emir of Murcia later after first meeting her in a hallway, but other than that, and a few other people (friends?) in my suite who agreed to go to my meeting with this Emir of Murcia, I don’t remember much.

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