Late night thoughts

I’ll begin by saying I should probably keep this brief. A more comprehensive update can come later. Whenever I decide to write that.

I don’t remember offhand if I’ve written it here before, but I am in a rut. I’ve had the same job for 6 years (7, if you count the year I worked for the same company at a different location), I’ve lived in the same apartment for 4 years as of yesterday, I broke up with my first girlfriend 1 year and 9 months ago, and I earned my bachelor’s degree 9 months ago. Aside from my ex no longer being in the picture and the changes associated with that (no needy girlfriend to entertain, but also no ex asking for occasional favors), I’m not sure my life has dramatically changed recently, which is both sort of good and bad. On the bright side, of course, my brother did get married just over a month ago, so technically I gained a sister-in-law, and I could get further into the weeds, but suffice it to say I’ve been unhappy. Sure, I make do and try to find some satisfaction, but the daily grind is irritating at times, and I’ve been burnt out, at least professionally, for what seems like a while. Probably at least a year, possibly a couple.

Recently, the beginning of the new semester, the anniversary of starting our relationship, and other things have made me think of my ex. Continue reading

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Recent doings and thoughts

I don’t know where to begin.

This schedule, instead of working Wednesday through Sunday, I worked Wednesday through Saturday last week, Sunday and Monday this week, had Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (yesterday and today) off, and then I work Thursday through Saturday. I think the reason for the slight change in schedule is one of the assistant managers at work taking a vacation this week, so I got to work a Monday night for the first time in… I’m not sure, but a while, anyway. Maybe at least 6 months.

Last weekend my sister came down and we went kayaking at a state park. That was fun- I hadn’t been there before and it was a lovely day to be on the water. It was good to see her for the first time in a few months too, though she’s been doing a lot of driving lately. I guess that’s what happens if one is fitting an entire summer into 2 weeks, though.

On my days off this week, yesterday I had lunch with a friend, went to return a couple library books, checked out more books, and messed around with some Pathfinder character ideas and started on some monster stat blocks.

Last week, I re-installed and played Master of Magic for the first time in a long time. I don’t remember if I’ve written about Master of Magic before here, and maybe it was long ago, but it’s a turn-based strategy game from 1995 where you control a wizard trying to defeat your opponents, who are also powerful magic users. The flavors of magic are similar to Magic: The Gathering (Sorcery, Death, Nature, Life, Chaos), and you can choose to begin play as one of several races. Additionally, the game features two “planes” you can try to conquer- Arcanus, which is similar to Earth (aside from the existence of magic, fantastic creatures, and various fantasy races such as high elves, halflings, orcs, gnolls, and several varieties of human), and Myrror, which is more magical and home to magical races such as dark elves, dwarves, trolls, draconians, and beastmen. I had created a game playing as a wizard specializing in death magic ruling a city of halflings and had played about 11 years (if my math is right, about 100 turns) before I quit, but somehow I haven’t got that game to work since. Naturally, I’m not playing a game from 1995 ‘natively’ – I bought the game several years ago online, and that came with an emulator (DOSbox), but for whatever reason it doesn’t work very well. I don’t know if that’s due to 32-bit vs. 64-bit differences, RAM, CPU cycles, or what the problem is, but I remember tinkering with it and somehow getting it to work fine last week, but it’s been painfully slow whenever I’ve tried since then.

Anyway, in that last game of Master of Magic, I hadn’t encountered any other wizards yet, but I had established a few other halfling cities and conquered a neutral city of High Men. As a result of that game, I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about undead, halflings, and Pathfinder again.

I may have already written about it in a recent entry, but a couple months ago I had some ideas for a D&D-inspired fantasy story, and earlier today I was thinking that, if a city had been taken over by an evil necromancer, its neighbors would probably react- perhaps the natives or their sympathizers might try to overthrow the necromancer and restore the original government (or a continuation), while less savory types (such as bandits and other troublemakers) might try to curry favor with the new dark lord by attempting to join their service or prove their worth (by wreaking havoc among the neighbors).

This, I thought, seemed like good potential for a plot for that story (or a tabletop RPG campaign). If the party is fighting some bandits, finding a link between the bandits and the evil necromancer that has recently taken over a nearby city would set things up for further confrontation with the necromancer or his minions.

Earlier today I went to get frozen yogurt and, after eating it, I went to a liquor store and bought a beer, a bottle of mead, and a bottle of vodka. Earlier I bought a BBQ Frito pie from the food truck that my apartment complex brought in this week. I’m used to working Wednesday nights, which has usually been when they bring in the food truck, so it’s different actually being able to buy something instead of having to leave for work 15 minutes before they open.

In other news, I’ve been occasionally thinking about my ex-girlfriend, though that seems increasingly pointless as time passes. I realized a couple weeks ago that it’s been a year and a half since we broke up, and that realization was like a week after the actual date. Maybe this is a problem that lasts until the next relationship, or maybe I just need more of a social life. I’m not sure, but it would really help if I could just get another job, and I don’t know how to make that happen without submitting a bunch of job applications and someone finally taking a chance on hiring me. Unfortunately, “I’m fantastic, hire me!” isn’t quite sufficient, or at least I don’t think it would be. It’d be nice if it was enough, though.

My brother is getting married in a month, and in slightly over a month the fall semester will start. At this point, it seems unlikely that anything will have changed since then. As I think I wrote last time, it’d be nice if some things changed, but I don’t see a way for them to change without more effort on my part and somebody finally showing interest in me, whether my job application or my half-hearted dating app profiles.

I wish things were different, but I don’t know what I can do to rapidly and immediately change them.

Pathfinder-inspired pondering

Pathfinder is a tabletop roleplaying game based on Dungeons and Dragons revised 3rd edition (or D&D 3.5).

Last night at work I was remembering the game of Pathfinder I ran when I was dating my ex-girlfriend. The party was composed of my ex (playing a half-elf sorceror), a couple coworkers (I think one was a ranger and the other was a paladin), and the human bard I was running in addition to acting as DM/GM.

The plot was that a group of bandits had been causing trouble in the area, and the captain of the city watch had tasked our party with taking care of the problem. The reward was a few hundred gold pieces each, I think- I don’t remember if I said a firm number, but I mainly seem to remember not thinking about a reward until someone asked what the reward was. Oops, the perils of being a novice DM.

At one point, I had this idea that a human adept could be in a relationship with the bandit leader, and that she could escape the party’s assault on the bandit HQ (an old mansion in the forest) and become a recurring villain causing trouble for the party in the future. This plan didn’t work out- if I remember correctly, the ranger got a good attack roll and shot her with a longbow. In any event, she didn’t survive to escape after the party stormed into the mansion, so I think my loose future plans adjusted to make the adept’s sister the possible future villain.

Anyway, thinking about that game reminded me that I still have the character sheet for the half-elf sorceror my ex had made, and I think when we broke up I asked if she wanted her character sheet and she didn’t, so I put it with the rest of my notes from that game and I haven’t looked at it since. Continue reading

“What D&D Character are you?” results

I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Wizard (4th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-13
Dexterity-13
Constitution-13
Intelligence-16
Wisdom-15
Charisma-12

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard’s strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

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. Continue reading

Pathfinder character contemplation

Since moving to my current city in August 2013, most of my offline social interaction has come in the form of playing Pathfinder, a tabletop roleplaying game which has its origins in the revised 3rd edition of Dungeons and Dragons, with friends and acquaintances every week or so.

In the last month or so, our progress through the Skulls and Shackles adventure path (in which the players are pirates), as we near the end of the first book, prompted the group’s Game Master to ask what the group wants to do next- continue the Skulls and Shackles adventure path, or possibly do something else entirely. This also prompted the other campaign I’m participating in, in which the first group’s Game Master and I play a campaign in the world of Eberron with Pathfinder rules, to consider what we’d like to do next. It was decided that the Skulls and Shackles campaign would continue and the other group would add another member (possibly two) and begin the Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

After finishing a battle on Sunday of this week, the Game Master and the two of us who are definitely playing Rise of the Runelords discussed the campaign, some character ideas, and various housekeeping matters (ability score generation, hit point calculations, etc.). From the sound of it, it sounds like our party of 3 so far is going to have a half-orc fighter, an inquisitor (apparently a spontaneous divine caster, like a divine equivalent to the bard), and I decided to assume the mantle of arcane caster by choosing a half-elf sorceror. I’ve thought a sorceror sounded interesting, but most of my characters to date have been skilled (a rogue, a couple bards, a cleric, a ranger, a barbarian, a fighter, and a rogue/wizard multiclass) and not very magical. I also typically play humans, but the player’s guide for the Rise of the Runelords adventure path said low-light vision or darkvision would be helpful. My next major decision is deciding on my sorceror’s bloodline (though I might eventually need to pick sex/gender too).

One thing that I find very intriguing about sorcerors in Pathfinder are the bloodlines, which grant various abilities and options to the character as a result of the strong magical source in their ancestry, whether this is an ancestor who was an accomplished wizard, a dragon or elemental outsider who contributed to their heritage, or the result of an ancestor’s pact with a devil (among various other options). I haven’t decided yet which to choose, because there are several that seem potentially useful. I’ve been wanting to play a sorceror with the Undead bloodline for a long time, but I’m not sure if that would be the best choice, and I’ve decided I need to read about the various bloodline options and the player’s guide for the adventure path again.

At least for now, I have plenty of time to decide – next Sunday I believe we have a cave system to finish exploring in Skulls and Shackles, and we’ll probably be meeting to begin Rise of the Runelords the Sunday after that.

Spring break has been enjoyable so far, and it’ll be even more enjoyable once I get off work at 8 tonight and have three consecutive days off (!) for the first time in a while.