Monday, March 31, 2014

Boo...

Okay, This is sort of a check in...

The month of March sort of went like this for me...

Life: "Dave... Do me a favor and plant your feet about two... two and a half feet apart, okay..."

Me: "Why?"

Life: "Just humor me..."

(Like an idiot, I spread my feet to the requested distance)

Me: "Okay, now what?"

Turns out, "what" consists of life proceeding to spend the better part of a month kicking me straight in the proverbial nut-sack. I hate when that happens, and it has pretty much driven my bi-polar ass right into a swamp of emotional morass. I could reach a greater level of depression than I am already in, but that would probably involve a bullet to the head. Luckily, I have a few things in my life that will prevent that from happening.
  • One, I have a kick-ass wife who is my rock. If it were not for her, I very well would have just said "screw it" and left the area with everything that has been happening.
  • Two, I have three kick-ass kids (yes, I am counting the dog) who are more than worth sticking around for. 
  • Three, I have a group of friends that keep my ass in check, and check in when I get the way I am now. Thanks, guys...
  • Four, my access to guns isn't what it used to be. I can still get them, but it's more difficult than it used to be, and by the time I got ahold of one, my mood would change enough that I wouldn't need it anymore. Plus, I would remember a promise I made to myself just over 26 years ago and get some damn help.
As it stands, there are some aspects in my life that demand that I be a leader in order to right the various ships. I just don't know if I have the capacity within me to do that currently.

Completely changing the subject, on the musical front, a couple of  things happened to add to my depression, and one thing happened that has helped. First, two gentlemen from bands I have enjoyed for a long time passed away. Bob Casale (a.k.a. Bob 2) from Devo and Dave Brockie (a.k.a. Oderus Urungus) from GWAR have both shuffled off this mortal coil. I look to write pieces on both of them here soon. I just need to carve out the time and mood to do so. The good thing is that I finally acquired the new album from the reggae-metal band, Skindred, and it kicks ass! Kill the Power is one of the best discs to hit my player in some time, and I'll take all the small victories I can get at this point...

peace... GopherDave

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Head-On With Life, Business, and Everything Else...


Well... that month hit us like a runaway truck... In the last few weekends, I've been a touch busy...

Jan 16th-23rd: Finalized our employee back-up for the local gaming convention (Winter War 41). discovered that the Loquacious one not only has most of the things covered, she actually wants me to run games at the convention this year. Something about keeping me out of her hair and what not. However, at the time we figured out this could happen, there is literally one week before the convention. No sweat. I submit three events and bang them out in roughly four days time. There's no pressure like self-applied high pressure.

Jan 24th-26th: Winter War happens. I help load up the store, run the booth as much as Lo allows me, run three events (all went well), and help pack up and move things back to the store.

Feb 1st-2nd: Pre-release weekend for the new Magic: the Gathering set, Born of the Gods. All goes well, and, as usual, I get far less sleep than I should. Good weekend, but tiring.

Feb 7th-8th: Release weekend for MtG: Born of the Gods. Also run much much neglected Champions game after the events on Saturday.

Feb 14th & 16th:  The evening of the 14th is spent playing prototype board games for a local design competition (CUDO Plays) for which we are one of many sponsors. The day of the 16th is spent at the culminating event for said competition. Played more games. Presented an award. Then came to close the store.

In between all of these days, business, like rust, has never slept, and has kept rolling along, requiring me to keep up.

Since it had been more than a month, I figured I'd update folks with how things are going. Overall, it's been good. Sales have begun to bounce back from the 30% kick-in-the-nuts they took back during October and November of 2013. We've managed to rehire some folks, though at reduced hours from before. While we are recovering, we are not where we once were, and may not be for some time. That's okay, though. It taught me a nice business lesson and made me realize I shouldn't have been taking certain things for granted.

Now, if I can carve some time out, I need to work on my Tai'eres campaign that hasn't run in more than a month *AND* get back to a question one of the players in my Champions game posited to me about a week ago or so...

Life only gets old when you do... =P

-- GopherDave

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sideswiped...

Been re-inspired lately...

Hadn't worn a French cuff shirt in a bit. I've always dug the hexagonal cufflinks...
Okay... I had this figured out... had a game plan to get back to this thing regularly. Then, Pumpkin (our daughter) threw a big fat monkey wrench in the works. I never thought I would actually have to babysit a 17-year old, but she's made some poor decisions recently and it looks like she will be hanging around Mom, Dad, and other approved adults for the near future. (probably a month, plus.)

The weather here in the Midwest has been its usual weird self. Drop eight inches of snow, followed by Arctic blasts for a couple of days. That was in turn followed by moderately cold temps, and today it's doing this odd rain-sleet thing where it is at the right temperature to melt the snow only to slowly refreeze. When the temperature drops further later on, it'll all just be a sheet of ice. Wheeeeee!!!

The Champions game is set to run tomorrow, and I am not certain if it will happen. One player is out of town for work issues and the other may get called in to work (he works on the local road crews) if the weather gets any nastier. Another player reminded me of what was going on when we last played (a month ago) and things cannot proceed with what I have in mind until that is resolved. Small problem is... one of the key players in that scene is the one who is currently out of town. At this point, I'm ready to play it by it by ear and see what happens...

-- GopherDave

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Groundpounder [CHAMPIONS 6E NPC]

GROUNDPOUNDER

Val   Char    Cost
50    STR     40
18    DEX    16
25    CON   15
20    BODY 10
5      INT      -5
10    EGO     0
20    PRE     10

8      OCV    25
8      DCV    25
3      OMCV  0
3      DMCV  0
30    PD        -2
20    ED        -2
4      SPD     20
15    REC     11
60    END      8
60    STUN  20

15m   RUN      3
0m     SWIM   -2
39m   LEAP     3
Characteristics Cost: 195

Cost Power
14 Contagious Stupidity: Drain INT 1 1/2d6, Area Of Effect (4m Radius; +1/4), Personal Immunity (+1/4), Persistent (+1/4), Constant (+1/2), Uncontrolled (+1/2), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (49 Active Points); No Conscious Control (-2), No Range (-1/2)
30 Steel-Hard Skin: Resistant Protection (20 ED)
45 Steel-Hard Skin: Resistant Protection (30 PD)
50 Strength Tricks: Multipower, 50-point reserve
4f 1)  Knockback Resistance -50m (50 Active Points); Costs Half Endurance (-1/4)
5f 2)  Leaping +29m (39m forward, 19 1/2m upward) (x64 Noncombat), Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (50 Active Points)
5f 3)  Tunneling 11m through 12 PD material, x4 Noncombat, Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (50 Active Points)
Powers Cost: 153

Cost Martial Arts Maneuver
4 Charge:  1/2 Phase, +0 OCV, -2 DCV, 12d6 +v/10 Strike, FMove
4 Crush:  1/2 Phase, +0 OCV, +0 DCV, 14d6 Crush, Must Follow Grab
4 Martial Block:  1/2 Phase, +2 OCV, +2 DCV, Block, Abort
3 Martial Grab:  1/2 Phase, -1 OCV, -1 DCV, Grab Two Limbs, 60 STR for holding on
4 Martial Strike:  1/2 Phase, +0 OCV, +2 DCV, 12d6 Strike
5 Offensive Strike:  1/2 Phase, -2 OCV, +1 DCV, 14d6 Strike
Martial Arts Cost: 24

Cost Skill
16 +2 with HTH Combat
3 Breakfall 13-
3 Climbing 13-
3 KS: Janitorial Arts 10-
3 Streetwise 13-
Skills Cost: 28

Total Character Cost: 400

Pts. Disadvantage
15 Hunted:  Police Frequently (Less Pow; PC has a Public ID or is otherwise very easy to find; Harshly Punish)
5 Negative Reputation:  Not Very Bright, Frequently (Known Only To A Small Group)
15 Psychological Complication:  Coward (Common; Strong)
15 Psychological Complication:  Bully (Common; Strong)
15 Social Complication:  Public Identity Frequently, Major
10 Unluck: 2d6

Disadvantage Points: 75
Base Points: 400
Experience Required: 0
Total Experience Available: 0
Experience Unspent: 0

Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 286 pounds/130 kg
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Background/History: Ashmoore Whitlock was once a simple thug who had problems spelling his own name, let alone successfully committing crimes without the help of others. During a routine heist, Ashmoore was instructed to break into a chemical warehouse and open the valves on two specific tanks. Amazingly, Ashmoore did this successfully. What he didn't do was don any sort of protective gear before the dumped the contents of the two tanks onto the warehouse floor. The resultant mixture of the two substances created fumes that interacted with Ashmoore's physiology and brain chemistry, granting him his abilities of immense strength and his "stupidity field".

Not surprisingly, it turns out that Ashmoore's break in was set to be a distraction while his "friends" robbed a jewelry exchange and made off with a small fortune in uncut gems.

Since then Ashmoore/Groundpounder has been in and out of prison numerous times. How he escapes prison typically falls into one of three categories... Someone is breaking him out because their plan needs a strong, dumb guy... There is a breakout by someone else, and Groundpounder just sort of finds himself in the outward flow of things... or eventually, the guards and other prison personnel forget about his secondary ability and he just strolls out because they forgot to lock the doors behind them.

Personality/Motivation: Groundpounder is your stereotypical "dumb thug". He just happens to come with the added bonus of being able to bring those around him (friend or foe) down to his intellectual level without much effort. His general personality is that of a bully and a coward. If Groundpounder has the upper hand on someone, he'll gladly keep pounding on them until something or someone else draws his attention elsewhere. When faced with a straight-up fight he cannot easily win, Groundpounder will simply claim that he's bored and leap away.

Quote: "I'mma make you stupid!"

Powers/Tactics: Hit it until it stops moving. If it made you mad while it was moving, hit it a couple more times, just because. (GM Note: Keep in mind that his stupidity field just simply exists. Groundpounder has *ZERO* control over it and it is always on... ...even when he is unconscious.)

Campaign Use: Groundpounder is the guy who gets used by and thrown under the bus by everyone who hires him out or claims to be his friend. If a team needs a "big dumb guy" slot filled, or (more usually) needs someone to be a distraction for the heroes while the real crime is being committed, GP fits the bill nicely.

Appearance: Large. Moderately tall. Moderately wide. Pretty non-descript. Groundpounder doesn't typically wear a mask as he has been caught so many times, his identity is more than public. Plus, even if he *HAD* a secret identity, it wouldn't be a secret for long as Ashton would just probably leave his mask at home or forget to put it on, even if he had it with him in the first place.

Wow... I Did More Than Blink...

I really hate my camera phone... that plus I apparently suck at taking selfies...

Here I'd thought I'd get into regular posting only to go missing for three weeks. It's been an odd period in the household and the store.

There's not much to say, really. The games have been getting postponed due to weather/work issues. The holidays were good, in both a sales and Santa-esque way. Things are beginning to bounce back slowly, but enough that we have been able to pick AngryG and BigBank back up in very limited capacity. We'll see how it goes.

On another front, I apparently was the inspiration for another person to "tie-up" (a lighter version of "suit up") recently. Seeing Tim @bugeatergames (see Twitter) do his thing has rekindled me to do mine. I can't really fall down on the job anymore seeing as I have become a role-model of sorts. =P

I'd love to talk more, but the day's looking kind of hectic. I do hope to be back later, though...

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Am I Thinking..?


Another week has passed and the stabilizing continues... It would be easier if it were not the holidays, but one cannot always get what one wants...

Mood-wise, I'm still kind of meh. The games have been going "o-kay". The last Champions session didn't run due to inclement weather, and the last session of Tai'eres was down a player. Coincidentally, it was the player for whom the game was originally set-up. A few days after, this player drops from the game to run another a game himself, something which he expressly told me was the reason for begging anyone to run a game he could play in. At first I wanted to throat-punch him, but having been a LONG-TIME GM, I sort of understood. When the bug bites you with a game idea, it's hard to shake. On the plus side, he did find me another player to take his place. So... table-flipping rage averted by maturity and reciprocation. Who knew that could happen, hmmm?

As things go, life is not too terribly bad. They could be worse, honestly. General pressures aside, I am discovering I kvetch far too much, and am being productive far too little. I should change that. There were routines I followed that I have fallen out of. Good habits which kept me focused and directed that I have let drop by the wayside, and thus my behavior has been affected in negative ways. This blog is a good example of that. I used to write here once a day almost religiously. Now, it's lucky if it gets updated once a week.

Sounds like it's time for New Year's resolutions, except I've never been too terribly keen on those. So, I believe I am going to step back... adjust some things in my life... get back to where I once was. I realize I have been saying this a great deal lately. Time to own up, own it, and turn words into action...

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pits And Spirals...


It's been a bit, so I thought I would check in... The bleeding at the store has been slowed, but it has not been fully stopped. There are some other issues that are causing our woes that are not financial. I'm not certain how to approach these as they involve elements that are in delicate balance with other parts of my life. I lost one of these parts for an extended period of time a while ago, and nothing has made my soul ache more than that vacancy of being until things got rectified. I'm not certain I can go through that again...

In other news, there was a point very recently where I almost dropped my keys on the floor of the store and walked away. I have never felt more unappreciated in my own place of business as I did at that moment, and I am still not fully recovered from it. I am trying desperately to give our customers more of what they want in the way of events and regular games, but the overall response is that of  "no one caring" or "bitching that things aren't EXACTLY as they would like them". I'm not looking for people to be dancing in the aisles, but some acknowledgment that we are trying to make things even better than they have been before would be nice.

Currently I am encountering enough apathy from long-time regulars on some days that it is becoming difficult for me to care as well. Many folks are no longer showing up to things at the store because they are under the impression that what they like will always be there.... until it's not... Then they will whine and cry and moan and lament and they will blame me...

...and that is the point where I will either snap, or just not care enough to get angry...

Now, I am just stirring in the juices of my own self-pity, but there is some meat of truth in my soup of despair, and that makes want to curl up and disappear...

-- GopherDave