Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 71 of 362

The days keep on rolling by...

Today is one of several "Gopher Improvement" days set out for us in the coming months. Basically, we're going after the office today, and turning it more into a storage area. That works fine for me as I don't really use it as an office anyway.

Later tonight is my other Champions game, for which I have nothing planned. Ehhh... we have a continuation of what happened last run, since I believe they are currently in combat with the "Science Police". =P

--- GopherDave

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 70 of 362

It's Friday, so that means Friday Night Magic. It also means some planning for "Gopher Improvement Day" tomorrow. We're cleaning out and redoing the office tomorrow, plus placing a lot of stuff in the storage unit. Once that's done, we'll see how things look.

More later, probably tomorrow, once some work has actually been done.

-- GopherDave

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 69 of 362

Another day, another dollar... Pretty much the second "0-dark-early" day in a row. Too many errands to run before late shipments arrive at the store today. I'm confident that I'll get the bulk of them done, but it still makes for a LONG day when I am out the door by 8AM and do not expect to be back home until well past 1AM as it's the night we do the floors.

On the game front, not much is happening. My Wednesday Champions group did not meet as half the players called off for various reasons, mostly sickness. This included ThinMan, who leaves for the military today. He stopped by so we could send him off, but he really wasn't even in a condition to sit and talk. We sent him back home to bed.

As for the Wednesday game itself, I have come to the conclusion that Wednesdays are a particularly bad day of the week for me to run a game. It's our main shipment day, so once those hit, I am busy from the moment the packages show up onward. It makes for a long, occupied day with little to no time to actually plan or think about what's going to happen in an RPG.

Thoughts still wandering, though I am sleepily on task...

-- GopherDave

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Meet Marathon...

This is Wesley Tolliver, a.k.a. Marathon. He's one of in a long line of superhero characters for games I've played over the years. This particular game is a DC Adventures game run by KnightErrantJR. The first session was the other night, and I had a good time.

Wesley is a paranoid, cynic (yeah, I know... big stretch for me) who's day job USED to be as a sleazy, chasing cheating spouses- type of private detective. I say "used to" because the first session had us waking up from year-long comas and newly possessed of abilities we did not have when we went to sleep.

Ach, well, after exchanging "pleasantries" with Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor, we were apprised of the current situation. No one has seen the Justice League, the Justice Society, or the Teen Titans for six months. What had started as a research project (which we had apparently volunteered for) became a contingency plan, hence the name PROJECT: Fallback. Our group has been busted out of "cold storage" to go help stem the tide of rising villany happening in the world. Great...

So the four of us, (Wesley and three unknowns, one of whom is really quiet) are told to pick a city to start our clean-up efforts. After some debate, we choose Central City, former home to the Flash. They stuff us into a limo to drive us to our new "home". The fact that we were driving raised a red flag with Wesley, but he just sort of rode with it. Sure enough, some schmuck tagged the limo with a grenade launcher and it was on.

Marathon and some guy calling himself Fahrenheit emerge from the limo and take to the air to survey what's happening. Turns out we have Lady Vic, Double Dare, and David Cain accosting our poor, defenseless vehicular transportation device. This just won't do. Anyway, fight erupts... the youngest, unnamed member of our entourage can apparently direct REALLY destructive dark energy. He's just not real good at aiming. Meanwhile, the quiet guy... yeah, he can turn into a bear. So "Gentle Ben" climbs out of the limo wreckage and begins VERY EFFECTIVELY mauling Lady Vic.

It breaks down into Fahrenheit flambe-ing the Double Dare twins until they're unconscious and smoldering, the bear and the dark energy kid screw up Lady Vic's world, and Marathon chokes out David Cain from range, ala Darth Vader. A few bumps... a few bruises... but we were pretty okay.

Then Fahrenheit notices an invisible figure stalking us in the bushes. *FWOOSH!!!* go the bushes, only to reveal the figure as Deathstroke/Slade the Terminator. Yeah, this day was just getting better and better for Wesley. Another fight ensues (continues?) and while we are trying to pummel the crap out of each other, we ask Slade why the hell he is attacking us... a group of nobodies. Hell, how did he know we even existed? (RED FLAG #2) Turns out, he's been hired to kill us, but sent the B-team in because they (apparently) need the practice. Fight continues... Have I mentioned that the bear is REALLY GOOD at mauling people? Yeah, even for Deathstroke, a four-on-one situation is not a good idea when one of those four is a BEAR. So we jack Slade up, call the authorities, and then Wesley phones Ms. Waller.

Though she never admits to it, Wesley is certain she arranged this "field test" for us. Why is he certain? Paranoid. Cynic.

After all the rigamaroll, we continue on our way to Central City in an invisible helicopter, where end the session.

A few things about Marathon/Wesley
  • He flies...
  • He doesn't sleep...
  • He heals somewhat rapidly...
  • He can choke people out at range...
  • He can ensnare people at range...
  • He can take a beating...
It's that last ability that is his primary "superpower". It is also why Wesley chose bright colors like red and yellow for his costume/uniform/outfit. It makes Marathon a bigger target, allowing him to draw fire from others who might not be able to take it as well.

I enjoyed myself last night. I may end up tweaking my character a bit as I have had very little experience with DCA/Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Ed, but overall, Wesley is pretty much on point with where I want him to be.

Thanks to KEJR for running the game... I think I will enjoy myself...

-- GopherDave

Day 68 of 362

Wednesday is shipment day, which means a long day for me. Off to a slower start than I should be, but I'll recover.

As for the clothing, well... you can take the boy out of C-U (he'll eventually come back), but you can't take the C-U out of the boy. I was born and raised in a town of 100,000+ people who think orange and blue is a good color combination. Who am I to argue anymore? I will say this though... While I am a born and bred Illini fan, I AM and WILL ALWAYS BE a Saluki.

Now if I can just find a maroon/gray/white necktie that doesn't look atrocious... =)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Day 67 of 362

It's Tuesday! Date day with the wife and order day at the store. That combined with Casual MTG and a DC Adventures game starting up (which I am playing in, ostensibly), and life is sweet...

No big updates yet... GopherDave

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Taste of Tai'eres...

     I wrote this piece as a sort of a guideline for myself on what the history of this wild, new game world was, and what it would become. Much of it is confusing without some sort of context and/or glossary, but I first want to see how the piece stands on its own, under the scrutiny of others eyes. Enjoy...

Tai'eres Now...

…as scribed by Sonran, the wandering sage.

            Lo, I have traveled the width and breath of the land during this, the fourth age of Tai’eres. Now, as my body ages, but with my mind still sharp, I place my knowledge to parchment for all to peruse and take wisdom from.

Before Now…

            In that this is now the fourth age of our enduring land, perhaps it would be best to provide a glimpse of what came before.

            The fist age of Tai’eres was rather unremarkable from all accounts. From whence we sprang, no one truly knows. Some say nebulous beings called the Creators placed us upon the land while others state their belief that humanity just is, and was born either from nothing or from the land around us. However, by all accounts, humanity was quite tribal and squabbled over the smallest of issues. None of that really matters now, as this time of chaos and disharmony was quelled with the arrival of the As’kali in their vessels of crystal.

            The second age of Tai’eres began as the invaders from the sky descended with their strange devices and even stranger beasts. They herded humans like we would the Hara-beasts of the Surati plains. The As’kali gathered us into groups, and they educated us in some of their ways. Through their rule we learned the concepts of government and of coin. The As’kali tutelage also brought advancements in metalworking and some industry processes that we were many years away from discovering on our own. Despite their benevolence, the As’kali were exploiters at their very hearts. With their organization of us came the subsequent siphoning of our land of its resources, most notably salt, gold, and a silvery-black metal sometimes called CurseIron due to the proclivity of those who mined it to deteriorate and die faster than what was normal for the time. It was during the end of this age that an alliance of former slaves and fugitives gathered together to fight the As’kali and drive them from Tai’eres. These fugitives had discovered an unusual byproduct of the crystalline substance so prevalent among the invaders; the ability to absorb energies from the land and focus it into spectacular effects. In short, Shard-magic was born.
            Banded together, Mardok, Garatek, Vankilar, Harmekai, and Zanibasque, marshaled resistance and waged war against the As’kali. Zanibasque, with his eye of diamond, peered into the past, present, and future of the land. Harmekai, with his glove enchanted, spewed forth energies powered by land and spirits. Vankilar, with his shard-encrusted crown, gathered peoples near and far to throw off the chains of their captors and fight. Garatek, with his pen of truth, scribed tales of the future, and thus they were so. Finally, Mardok, with his axe of curseiron, shattered the crystal sky fortress of the As’kali, and began the Rain of Shards. The resulting downpour of fragments laid waste to the land and all those at the battle, save five. There, each impaled with pieces of the destroyed As’kali vessel, stood Mardok, Vankilar, Zanibasque, Harmekai, and Garatek. The battle was over… the war was won… and the five allies each ascended skyward, one by one, left their mortal bodies behind, and became the Walking Gods.

            So began the third age of Tai’eres. With the As’kali gone, humanity was left to fend for itself. Out of comfort and simplicity, each region organized itself around the provinces that the invaders had formed. There were those who took up the nomad’s life, that of Mardok and his people, the Memok’qwai. They moved within the heart of the land guarding the wastes created by the first shardfall, proclaiming themselves guardians of said region, from then until Tai’eres is no more. Beyond that, only the human agents of the As’kali remained separate, forming the mountain tribe known as the Daskari.

            As other nations traded freely amongst each other and humanity enjoyed peace and prosperity they had never freely known before now, the Daskari retreated to their mountain strongholds, unaware that they would almost lead to men’s undoing. For deep within the mountains, chambers of young As’kali slept, waiting for the right opportunity to reveal themselves. That opportunity came with a young, Daskari shardcaster named Ren’sap Xeristhon. Ren’sap uncovered a birth chamber of As’kali larva, and fell prey to their mind-warping abilities. With their help, Xeristhon devised a plot that would lead to the return of the As’kali. As’kali have no concept of gods, however, and were unprepared for the intervention of Garatek, and the rest of the Walking Gods. The Walking Gods now lacked physical form, so each chose an avatar to fight this new menace…

Day 66 of 362

It's Monday,which means it's 40K day at the store. My gorgeous wife, Lo, will be coming in to play tonight, so I'll be going home early to the kids. (Which usually rocks my world a bit because it means I get to see them while they are awake).

Store-wise, we have a Store Improvement day scheduled this Saturday where we are going after the overly cluttered office and placing some random items in the storage unit. Beyond that, not much is happening.

peace... GopherDave


            I first encountered Eat while watching MTV back in the late 80s when they still showed music videos. I honestly cannot remember what the video was that I watched, or even if I liked it, but the band name and the album name stuck with me in that distant way. I wasn’t going to go out of my way to find it, but if I ran into it, I might give the record a shot.

            Fast forward some twenty years while I was making a purchase from one of my favorite places for used music, Second Spin, when the name somehow made the trek from my sub-conscious to my conscious mind. I shrugged and typed the band name in the search. Sure enough, Second Spin had the disc for something like three dollars. I figured what the hell and gave it a shot.

            The shipment came… I listened to the album… and promptly filed it away. It was okay, but I had gotten like twelve albums with that order and a couple of things had grabbed my attention in more immediate ways. Sell Me a God does make its way out of the collection every now and then, and here’s what I think about it…

            Take some pop-oriented, swamp blues… filter it through some late-80s British alterna-hip sensibilities… have it played by competent musicians… serve to taste.

            Now, Eat is a good outfit, and Sell Me a God has some standout songs (namely “Walking Man” and the bouncing “Things I Need”) that elevate the album into “worth listening to”-status, but this is not essential music. If you have anything by the Wonder Stuff or the Fatima Mansions, you’ve got stuff in a similar vein that falls in between those two bands. Not as poppy as the Stuffies, nor as intense as the Mansions, but a nice median that disguises the gems that are on the record.

            “Gyrate” takes and builds on a nice hook from bassist Tim Sewell (who’s good throughout, as is his partner-in-time, drummer Pete Howard), but the lyrics and vocals do nothing to serve the tune.

            “Summer In The City” is a cover of the iconic Lovin’ Spoonful tune. I like the original, and this version is serviceable, but nothing stellar.

            In summary, if you can find iTunes/mp3s of “Walking Man”, “Things I Need”, and “Gyrate”, and you’re looking for something a little odd and retro, pick ‘em up. If you’re a completist, get the whole album. Just be prepared to hit the track advance button a fair bit.

GopherDave Grade: 5.3/10

Track Listing

01. Tombstone
02. Electric City
03. Fatman
04. Stories
05. Walking Man
06. Skin
07. Red Moon
08. Insect Head
09. Body Bag
10. Things I Need
11. Judgement Train
12. Gyrate
13. Summer In The City
14. Mr. & Mrs. Smack

Lyrics Copyright © 1989 Fiction Songs PRS. Used without permission, but with no intention of infringement.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Day 65 of 362

It's Sunday! That means... I go to work again! Actually, as sarcastic as that is coming out, I really do enjoy what I do.

Today's games at the store are D&D4E and Pathfinder Society, followed by board games in the evening. Overall, nothing I'm entirely involved with. My plans are to do financials for the week, write out some bills, go over some gaming material a friend wants me to look over, and price and sort some magic cards. All in all, it should be a quiet, but productive, day.

Until later... GopherDave