Thursday, August 14, 2014

On Gaming

Yeah, I changed my mind on what my content should be about yet again. (I mean, I still might have research articles eventually, but this is what I feel like writing right now.)

Gaming! Not just any gaming, but pencil and paper roleplaying! THE BEST KIND OF GAMING! Some of you are asking right now what pencil and paper roleplaying is and what exactly makes it the best kind of gaming? So I shall begin with an intro!

Pencil and paper roleplaying belongs to a subset of gaming known as tabletop. These are games that, obviously, are played on top of a table. This includes board games, war games, card games, etc. (If you're super confused at this point, think Monopoly. While Monopoly is generally considered to be the worst of all games, it is, in fact, tabletop.) Most of these games are fun for one night. Pencil and paper roleplaying can continue the same game for years! Years, I say! Okay, it doesn't usually last that long, but theoretically it can. I've heard of a couple groups that kept playing the same game over multiple years. Mostly games still last one night before everyone gets Cool New Ideas and runs off to do Cool New Things.

I guess that means I need a different reason for its superiority. Umm. It combines the best elements of different games! It has the roleplaying fun of- well, I'm having trouble thinking of a main stream game that involves roleplaying. Cops and robbers? Man, I'm lame sometimes. Anyway, roleplaying is fun! I promise! It also has math (no, wait, don't run away yet! The math isn't difficult, I swear!), strategy, combat, and whatever else the group wants to add. It's a very flexible game type that can be turned into whatever the group prefers.

Now that I've obviously convinced you that you must become a pencil and paper roleplayer, you're probably wondering how this incredible game is played. Well, first you get some books. Unless you really don't want to. (See how flexible it is?) My first pencil and paper roleplay was actually bookless, with a terrible homebrew system with broken combat dynamics. (For some reason you could buy speed with experience points and there was no cap. This led to one person being capable of a hundred attacks before anyone else could move. Needless to say, we scraped this system.)

If you'd rather have a system created by experts, I recommend books. My favored system at the moment is GURPS. For the more traditional gateway drug, there's Dungeons and Dragons. Wait, you might say. We were talking about D&D this whole time? And it's merely one sort of system among an entire ecosystem of similar games? Yep. (Well, D&D gets kudos for breaking the ground. But pretty much, yeah.)

Ahem. Anyway. So what do you do with these books? You read them, of course! Each system will have its own set of rules, outlined in the books. There'll be rules governing how you make your characters and how to determine who punches who in the face. There'll also be rules on how to create monsters and lop their heads off, how to cast spells (assuming you've picked a fantasy world) and how to convince other characters that you're totes the coolest and everyone should bow down and adore you.

Yeah, it's a lot of rules. Luckily you can mostly learn them as you go. It's more reference book than novel. Go through the relevant sections as you need them. There's a lot of rules you probably won't even use.

So now you've got your books, you know you're rules, awesome! You're almost set to play! Next stop, character sheets! You may have seen these in T.V. shows. Mostly they're portrayed as being covered in colorful scribbles. I assume this is for the camera, because honestly, it makes no sense. (You see why it would make no sense to write your character sheet in crayon, right?) Write in pencil. Please.

The books will detail out how to stat your shiny new character. You should probably gather your group together at this point for a character creation session.

Wait. I think I missed a few steps. Like the most important one. Your group! Pencil and paper roleplaying is generally a five person game. One game master and four players to run amok in the game master's world. So... get four other people. Have one of them agree to run the game. If you can't find four other people, try posting an ad at your local comic shop or look around online.

Anyway. Now you have your group and your books, one of you has agreed to run the game and you've met to make characters. Fantastic! What else do you need?

Dice! This one depends on the system, so check what system you're using first. Or just buy a one pound bag of dice. I mean, either way. The dice act as the random number generator of the game. As such, the life of your character depends upon them. The dice are sacred. The dice rule all. Treat them well.

Now you've got your group, your books, your dice, and your characters. You're ready to play! (Gosh, did that seem like a lot of work to anyone else? *wipes brow*) So how do you play, exactly? Again, this depends on the system, but the basics are this: The game master creates a cool world for you to wander around. Each player acts as their character and sets out to do cool stuff. You buy things, kill things, take their stuff. And yes, this world is entirely in the head of the people in the game. You use your words to build it.

"There's a gigantic oak door in front of you."
"I kick it open!"
"It falls on your head."

Like that. Except with more Monty Python references, usually. Mostly you just hang out with your friends, kill monsters, save the world, and have fun. You're frickin' heroes, after all.

For my next post, I'm going to get specific! I'm currently mid-campaign building right now for a new game starting Sunday, so I'll detail out all the steps I'm taking to put together the session. Spoiler alert! It's GURPS urban fantasy with a Supernatural flavoring. Because when you can make anything you want to, it's go crazy or go home.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


And the design is completely done! Woohoo! I've also decided on my content. I'm going to run with an idea I read on ittybiz the other day and write articles instead of blog posts so that I don't have to worry about updating all the time. I've decided my topic will be the history of fashion and in each article series I'll pick an era to research and write about, then I'll publish one full set of articles at a time. This sounds like an excellent plan to me.

I haven't decided what to do with all the old posts yet. I thought about taking them down, but that seems unnecessary. Dunno when I'll get the first set of articles up. Next weekend when I'm on vacation, maybe. *shrug* I make no promises.

Mostly Constructed

Isn't the new site design pretty? Now I just need to decide what to do with this blog. I'm not sure if I want to keep up what I was trying to do before again. I don't know, maybe. I'll think about it. I'll be back once I've decided what I want this blog to be about. (Marketing techniques? Writing? Nah, not writing. Dogs? I could easily keep a blog about my dog, but no one would read it. Pharmacy? Hmm, a little boring. Research? Travel seems like an obvious idea, but I would have to travel in order for that to make sense. Sigh, I don't know.)

ETA: Oh, what about writing about movies or tv shows or something? Hmm...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Under construction

This website is under construction. You will know when it is no longer under construction because it will be all cleaned up and repurposed. That is all.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day Thirteen

Had an awful headache last night. Got no sleep, then went in for early shift at work. Sick and miserable. Got home, ate some soup, and took a nap. Woke up a few hours later and decided to get some writing done. Got 800 words on For a Few Nights More. Fifth in the serial! One more after this!

Want to get to sleep early tonight. Probs try to write for another hour before bed if I can detach myself from the kboards. Will update later.

Fiction words today: 1,194
Running Total: 10,552 (Broke 10k! Woohoo!)

Books Released: 2
Books Sold: 4

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day Twelve: Rechallenge

Hey, if Community can repilot, then I can rechallenge.

Why am I rechallenging you ask? Well, I read a post about someone trying to publish a hundred things in a year. They mentioned how much money they were making off short stories and it blew me away. I could quit my job with that much money, I thought. Then I investigated further and found other people also making that much money. Then I did some spreadsheets and the math worked out. So here I am, on a new challenge.

Now my goal is to write three hours a day and publish two things a week. I definitely have the time for this, what I'll need is the focus and willpower. Especially if this goes very, very badly and I make no money at all.

I am still keeping my day count and total words. I'm adding onto it books released and sold, starting from January first. I'm excited!

If you're wondering what I did this weekend, I mostly procrastinated by reading the kboards. Wrote enough to finish off A Fistful of Lust and just added it to Amazon, so it should be up in the morning. I've got sleep to get to now, so see you then!

Fiction words today: 1,191 (yesterday: 834)
Running Total: 9,358

Books Released: 2
Books Sold: 4

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day Ten


Okay, I'm still just tired. Think all this stress has just worn me out. Went to sleep early last night hoping ten hours of sleep might make me feel better. Nope. All it did was give me vivid nightmares and lots of thrashing. Sigh.

Went to work, finally got my car back, came home and read blog posts. I should write. I meant to have this short story finished tonight. *stares at document* *sighs again*

No, I probably will write at least a little tonight before I turn in. Need to get myself out of this funk. Going to try avoiding caffeine this weekend and see if that helps. Hey, at least it's supposed to get warmer. Maybe I can take walks in between the rain...

Going to go listen in Shake it Out until I feel better. Will update word count before sleep.

Fiction words today: 249
Running Total: 7,333

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day Nine

Ugh, day eight broke my streak of writing every day. Sigh. Got back to it today, though. Yesterday I was just tired. Tired of dealing with STILL not having a car, and going to work and blah. Tired. Still tired today. Still have no car. Still having a terrible week. Pushed myself to write again, because I know it makes me feel better. I was right. :) But still tired.

Went to work early today. Thought I would have an hour before work started so got some writing done in a notebook, then found out I was actually working. Oops. Got off work early and did grocery shopping. Read blogs until I concluded I was not going to stop reading blogs, so turned off internet. Typed out what I'd handwritten and ended up passing five hundred new words. Feeling pretty good about where this story is going. I'd like to finish it and at least one of the sequels this weekend. I'm not gonna lie, I'm getting pretty freaking excited over the idea of releasing my first box set. I've even been working on the 3-d graphic for it. Bit more complicated than I expected, but I think I've got the idea now.

I just use the 'perspective' tool in photoshop to move stuff to angles that makes it look box-set-y. By the looks of the tutorials I've seen, I must admit that this looks much simpler on GIMP. I'm not entirely sure what GIMP is, to be honest. I should probably investigate it, but I am fond of my photoshop. 

Anyway, after wasting time playing with covers I decided to get this blog post written. Probs just going to bed after this. I could really use the extra sleep.

Fiction words today: 663
Running Total: 7,084

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day Seven

Oh, life, you fickle bitch, you.

So yesterday started off pretty good with plenty of writing and chatting on the kboards. Free promotion is going well, so that's exciting. Then I got off work and my car was all HAH! You want me to run when it's negative three degrees out here? I'd like to see you run at negative three degrees!

 Long story short, I could not get home and get to my laptop last night. Wore yesterday's clothes in to work (ugh) and got a ride from a roommate after work so I finally made it home. Dog was pretty psyched to see me. Kept sniffing my clothes like she was all WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

 Ate dinner, took a little time to relax and read kboards since I needed to de-stress some. Saw that I got my very first review on this pen name. (YAY!) Finally made it to my story a little while ago, but too tired to do much. Managed a page and decided to call it a night. I need sleep.

 Sometimes I must concede the battle to life and admit that it has quite thoroughly gotten in the way. Hopefully I'll turn around and give it a one-two punch over the next couple of days. I really want to finish off this short story series, and I'm getting soooo clooooseeee.

 Fiction words today: 253 (on day six: 842)
Running Total: 6,168

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day Five

Woke up a little before nine again, ate some breakfast, took care of the dog. Wasted time reading blogs again. Heh.

Added Lust in the Night to Amazon, waited for it to appear so I could update the other books in the series with links and correct that embarrassing spelling mistake where the spelling of one of the main character's last names changed. I mean, okay, there's a lot of embarrassing spelling mistakes, but that one really bothered me.

Finally got to writing in the afternoon, managed 388 words before I wandered off to read. The roommates wanted to watch T.V. so I retreated to my office to read some more. Somehow ended up playing with making mock ups of covers. I love making covers far too much for my own good. I got a mock-up done for Apollo. I have mixed feelings about it. I think it conveys the genre right, but it looks very self-published. Still, it's eye-catching, so it'll work, right?

I also played around with the idea of what short story series I want to write once I'm done with To Lust a Stranger. I'll be doing bigger projects too, but I like writing short stories as I go. Gives me a break from the monster novels.

I have to admit I've failed pretty bad at writing erotica and don't think I'll bother with it again anytime soon. I'm debating which genre I want to fail at next, thriller or horror? Have some ideas for both. Guess I'll see what pulls on me hardest when it's time to actually write something else. I'm kinda jumping the gun by thinking of the next project at all. Have a lot to finish up first.

I know I should do more writing tonight, but I'm pretty tired. Thinking about just turning in and reading until I fall asleep. I don't know. I'll update if I do end up writing anything.

UPDATE: Wrote some more. YAY! Discovered kboards. It is full of distracting, hilarious things and I don't know how I'll ever find time to write again. Will have to turn off internet tomorrow to get writing done before work.

Fiction words today: 638
Running Total: 5,326

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day Four: Marathon

10:26 a.m.
Decided to start the writing marathon at 9:30 a.m. so got up around 8:50 a.m. and started getting ready. Finished breakfast and sat down at my computer to write just in time. Spent about half an hour writing and got down 518 words. So far, so good! Took a break to take care of the dog and write the first marathon update. And that brings us to now.

1:35 p.m.
Went on a walk with the dog. It was cold, but sunny enough to make it bearable. Got back and ate some lunch, started laundry. Worked on writing a bit before getting distracted again. I'm really good at getting distracted. Altogether, managed 342 words in this writing chunk.

7:07 p.m.
It's just occurred to me that it would make far more sense to update with just the hour and not the exact minute. Hmm. Oh well.

Spent a lot of time doing nothing in particular. Wandered around the internet, read some blog posts, refreshed my kdp sales numbers five times. That sort of thing. Poked at writing a bit until I finally started in earnest again. Got 344 words done. If my self control holds out I'm going to try to stay up late and maybe do some sprints. I know I can write much faster than this, just having trouble getting motivated.

11:45 p.m.
And I'm done! Finished Lust in the Night, just under the wire! Whew!

Around nine I felt guilty enough about writing failure that I cleared off my desk, set up my actual desk chair, hooked up my usb keyboard (it's easier on my wrists than the laptop keyboard) and turned off the internet. Two hours later I put the finishing words on the short story. Now I have a few formatting things to clear up, then I'll put it up on amazon. Ugh, maybe sleep tonight, publishing tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, if I'm still functional I'll see about getting Fistful of Lust written. *nodnod* Just gotta get conscious first...

Fiction words today: 3,767
Running Total: 4,688

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day Three

Early shift at work today and I stayed up too late so I didn't get any writing done in the morning. Got home from work and watched the new episodes of Community with the roommates. Yay, Community! And yes, it was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be.

We argued about what to watch next for a while until I wandered off to read instead. Apparently Community and Agents of Shield are the only shows all three of us can agree on.

I wasted time reading blog posts and magazine articles until I finally convinced myself to start writing. Got a little bit added onto Lust in the Night then came here to write about it. I know, productive, right? Wow, I'm going to depress myself if I keep writing sentences like that. Okay, so I have been productive. I mean, I wrote some words, even if it wasn't many. Still better than zero.

I'm planning on doing a marathon tomorrow where I post here with updates about how my day of writing is going. Who knows, maybe I'll even make a whole weekend of it. I think I have the free time for it.

Ugh, yes, I am kind of annoyed right now and it's coming out in this post. This cold weather has been weighing on me pretty bad, but it's supposed to get a bit warm and sunnier tomorrow so maybe I'll see if I can't manage to take a long walk until I feel better.

Fiction words today: 216
Running Total: 921

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day Two

Today was a day off for me, which was nice. Woke up a little late and managed to write about a hundred words before I got out of bed. Then went to Gadget Depot and got my new phone. Love this phone so far. I call it Tablet Phone and it calls me... nothing, because it's a phone.

Spent some time getting my phone set up and learning how it works, then went to the grocery store since we're out of food. Acquired food, drank coffee to warm back up (ugh, so sick of winter) and watched some anime.

After the guys went down to play some deathwatch I got to writing. I thought of a cool place to take the Lust a Stranger series, so I fired up a new document and starting working on Lust in the Night. Pretty excited about this. There is ESPIONAGE afoot.

Not many words written, but I'm still warming up. I'm planning on doing a little more every day until I get to the level I want to be at. Which is, like, a million words a day. Hah, just kidding. (Or am I?)

Fiction words today: 389
Running Total: 705

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day One

Okay, yes, I'm restarting the count. I got too confused there. Also changed my mind on the goal. I am learning to be REALISTIC. Therefore I am now shooting for the terribly realistic 250,000 words in a year.

That number looks really low for some reason. Maybe because I once tried to achieve it in a month. And failed spectacularly. But a year? Pschaw, I can do this.

Oh, yeah, I guess I should give you the tale of my day. Okay, so I did have to work today because HOLIDAY PAY, guys! And I've decided that I want to make myself write first thing when I get up to try and keep motivated. So therefore I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. This did not go well.

The alarm went off, I wailed with it, then smacked it and went back to sleep. I pointed out to myself that I really had to get up, so after much flailing and reluctance, I crawled out of bed and got my laptop. then I wrote a whole 277 words before I stopped to get ready for work.

Went to work, slow day, blah. Got home, met my dad at Gadget Depot (not the actual name of the store) to buy my new phone while he got his tablet. Turned out the sale price I'd been quoted was no longer effective. Much crying ensued. I did not get my phone.

Got dinner at Awesome Food (still not a real name) and sulked. Discovered sale price was effective somewhere else and celebrated. Realized all the stores were closed and cried some more.

No worries, I'm getting it tomorrow instead. I mean, after my morning writing, of course.

After I got home I took care of the dog and caught up on blog reading. Then I poked at my story again and wrote a few more words. Ended up deciding to update this blog before going to bed because I'm RESPONSIBLE now. Once I'm done here I'll probably read a little more then go to bed.

Fiction words today: 316
Running Total: 316

Books released: 0
(Books released last year: 5. This is the number to beat!)
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