Tag Archive: Gaming


Princess 2017

My usual apologies for the lack of posting. This time it was a combination of coursework being due in on the 16th (got both pieces in before they were due, score me) and as soon as I had handed them in, I came down with that rather nasty cold/plague that’s been doing the rounds. Two weeks later and I’m still coughing and sniffling, and I do wish my lungs would start working properly sometimes soon.

However, it has been a busy year so far. Mostly coursework and gaming, with extra gaming since the coursework got handed in (I’ve been playing a lot more video games since then, there was this kind of cool indie one called Stories: Paths of Destiny, and I’ve started Skyrim for the first time ever rather than just watching other people play). Including a Princess crossover game where the two groups actually got to meet up and tackle a really big problem that was kind of threatening to literally rain monsters down on our cities. We tackled it, although it wasn’t easy – I play a front line fighter who has such good defences they are near impossible to badly hurt, and I nearly ended up bleeding out. Although the giant monster did eat me a little bit.

d10-diceI really love this tabletop game (and there’s another session tonight, hooray!), and a lot of stuff has happened since we started playing. I’ve gotten a much better handle on my character, they’ve gone through a court change, and a name change associate with that, and they are currently exploring their own gender identity, transitioning from female to non-binary as I explore them and how they actually act and feel about that area. It’s something that I might have mentioned before, but I see a lot of parallels to writing, because it is telling a story, and telling it over such an extended period of time actually helps to build in these character arcs as I get to build on them with each game rather that it just happening all at once. That, and I love this character so much, it’s really nice to just sit down and play them and have all the terrible things that our GM loves to throw at us happen – the biggest external plot they’ve got going on right now is that someone from a past life (probably past lives, they seem to have encountered each other quite a lot) has shown up again and is being a bit weird around Aegis, who isn’t exactly sure she can trust anything they say given which court they are in. It’s beautiful drama.

And because I love it so much, I’ve started writing fan fiction about it. I call it fan fiction, but since it’s my character in a game I play in, I’m not sure that’s an entirely accurate term, but you know what I mean. So, here’s a little extract of that.

***

 “Come on,” Aegis held their hand out to Keres, looking down at the other princess as they detransformed, their shirt corners settling down over slightly worn out jeans.

Keres sniffed as she looked up, a slightly confused look on her face as she gazed at the hand that was still extended out to her. Aegis wiggled their fingers, obviously expecting the hand to be taken. There were a few more moments of hesitation, as if Keres couldn’t quite believe that it was suddenly this simple, after so much resistance, but then she reached out, and Aegis pulled her to her feet.

Keeping the hand in their own, Aegis started walking down the street.

“Where are we going?”

“Back to my place. Just a small diversion first.”

There was a tiny frown still on her face as they walked through the city, eventually coming up to a school just as the bell rang out. Soon after floods of kids poured out of the doors, joining the various parents who were waiting outside for them.

“Luca!” The last ‘a’ was elongated as a short person with a long flying ponytail came blasting out of the door and leapt at Aegis.

Aegis easily caught her in their arms and lifted them up in a big hug, “Hey small one. Good day?”

“We got to play with keyboards in music class! Who’s that?”

“That?” Aegis followed the glance to look over at Keres, “That’s one of my friends whose coming to dinner tonight.”

Imogen looked at Aegis and blinked, “You never have friends over.”

“First time for everything.”

“Can we still have fish fingers?”

Aegis looked back over their shoulder again, “You like fish fingers?”

Keres opened her mouth and then shrugged, “Sure.”

“Yay!” Imogen wriggled out of Aegis’ arms and dropped to the floor, immediately going over and inserting her hand into Keres’ as she struck up conversation about her day.

Aegis came the other side of her and took the other hand, walking out of the school with an easy smile on their face as they listened, occasionally commenting, on the small one’s school day.

The flat was on the third floor of the block, as Aegis took out a key and unlocked the front door.

“Who’s home?”

“Me,” A slightly apathetic voice came from the sofa, and Aegis walked over and smiled.

“You go to sleep now and you’ll never get any rest tonight.”

“But I’m exhausted! My P.E. teacher effing sucks.”

“Language.”

“I didn’t swear!”

“Effing is hardly enough of a diversion from the word you were going to say. Come on, up. You’ll need to share the sofa tonight.”

Jake rolled up and over, his uniform rumpled from where he had collapsed on the sofa, and blinked in surprised as he spotted the other person in the flat.

“Whatever,” he grumbled, but shuffling over to free up some space on the sofa.

“Have you got homework?”

“No.”

“The only person who gets punished by your incomplete homework is you.”

He grumbled again, then pulled his bag towards him and flipped out a book onto the table, pen in hand as he slumped over and started scrawling.

Time passed them by, food was cooked and then demolished, even if there was a tiny incident with peas. Soon enough the evening had gone, without a call from Aegis’ fellow princesses for once, and they came out of the bedroom which they had just ushered their siblings into, closing the door quietly.

Keres looked at them, like she was expecting them to say something, but they didn’t as they walked over and sat down on the floor, leaning back on the sofa before dragging a pad towards them and flipping to a new page of paper.

There was a few minutes of scratching, before Keres broke the silence.

“So what was this?”

“Hm? It was dinner. Admittedly simple, I’m not the best cook in the world.”

“No, I mean. You’ve never given any indication that you trust me, and suddenly, you’re letting me into your home? Letting me meet your siblings? I mean, I guess you had some, but you’ve never given anything away about them, and suddenly here I am.”

Aegis continued to write as they looked down at the paper, “You needed it.”

“What makes you think that?”

Their lips twitched up into that trademark not-quite-a-smile, “The collapsing and sobbing wasn’t enough?”

“I was not sob- wait,” she looked at the back of their head, the short blond hairs still in disarray, “You remember, don’t you?”

There was a pause from them this time, “More than I’ve been letting on. Not as much as you claim to. But some things, like how you could sometimes lose your grip.”

“On what?”

Aegis finally turned their head to look at her, “Reality. Tonight was supposed to help ground you. Remind you that’s it’s not all princess business and there is a world here. Sometimes I think you forget that.”

Keres reached out, stretching her fingers out to gently touch Aegis’ cheek.

“Do you trust me?”

Aegis looked at her, those grey eyes boring into her, “I hope I can.”

She sighed, and let herself fall over on the sofa, hand trailing around to the back of Aegis’ head, playing with the short hairs at the nape of their neck.

“I’ll take it.”

She could almost hear the lips twitch up again.

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August Life

First of all, apologies for a couple of weeks absence. Empire as always was fun, but draining and there was so much politics going on this time that I was busy the entire weekend despite planning on having a more relaxed weekend, but that’s always how it goes.

Since then, I’ve hit an energy low, culminating in being ill and off work yesterday. It was one of those things where you have low level background illness, but you have a full weekend of stuff lined up, so you just ignore the illness, and then as soon as you stop it catches up to you and slams into you.

On the other hand, I have been doing a lot of cool things, so I’ll just catch you up with some of them.

Empire Forest

Photo Credit – Charlotte Moss

Empire

So, only a three day event but that just meant everything was packed into a shorter time frame:

  • Started the weekend with a combat linear for my mages. Got to beat up an ice giant, and we rocked it!
  • Got invited to a banquet in the summer realm (which was really tasty roast)
  • Found out there what the linear had allowed an Eternal to do and caused drama – whoops!
  • Culminated in one of the Eternals getting super mad (that part wasn’t me) and flipped her food across the entire table!
  • Record length conclave sessions
  • Didn’t die during battle
  • Attempted to join mage coven and was prevented by yet more drama
  • A meteor is crashing into the Empire and one of my nation persuaded conclave to vote to crash it on our territory, striaght onto the Vallorn – TERRIBLE IDEA
  • Spent a good day running around undoing that decisions
  • Got that decision undone and it is now crashing somewhere much more sensible

So yeah, that was an interesting weekend. Bring on event 4. See above for a really cool photo taken by the brilliant Charlotte Moss of me striding through the forest. As far as I remember this was at the start of the battle on Saturday and the guy that you can just see under the tree tripped and hurt his ankle so I was making sure he was okay before going back to join in the battle.

Adara Cropped

Adara

Long Weekend

So I had a five day weekend the next weekend. I was supposed to be going somewhere, but due to drama and funding issues, cancelled those plans and had a lovely five day weekend just relaxing at home. Boyfriend was also off, which was nice, although his cats were a nightmare, bless their little derp faces.

Mostly what happened then was a lot of roleplaying. Monday was Princess, and Princess continues to be great. The GM is encouraging me to write a lot of fan fiction about it and my character, and I am happy to supply him with that. I have my special snowflake thing and a friend who’s visiting for the entire month came in and played a DPC (directed player character, somewhere between an NPC and PC) to help us with plot. It was fun!

Friday we then started up D&D again!!! The last time we played that was in January sometime, and we had the break because we hit level 11 and changed tiers. Admittedly we filled the gap with a Star Wars game, which was fun, but I had missed D&D so! Playing my hot-headed Ardent, making the bad decisions, getting talked down and round into the sensible thing and then running off straight into the terrible mist of death was so much fun. That, and our paragon path powers are amazing!

Orange Belt

NAMA August Graders

Last Weekend

So, Saturday during the day I clean the flat because people will be coming round and I’ve been putting it off for weeks and weeks. That was exhausting, but did mean that I didn’t have to stress about it when I went to my party in the evening. We saw Suicide Squad – enjoyable but messy is my official verdict – and then went for Nandos which is always fun in a large group. then back to mine for board games.

Sunday had to get up early so that I could go and grade for my next Taekwondo belt. As you can see from the photo above, I passed – First Class Pass! Although I was so nervous (and this is the ill as well) that I didn’t sleep the night before and my instructor said that she could tell I was practically terrified because when I did my Kata (set routine of moves) I was so wooden. Admittedly, I was, because brain weasels kept telling me I was failing. Silly brain weasels, I did fine. I now have an orange belt.

Straight after that I went to IoD to roleplay my changeling and werewolf. I was so tired I gave the last game of the day, Mage, a skip. And since I was grading I turned up late to the first game. But that was fine, that character’s a bitch so I can be exhausted in character and just avoid responsibility and doing things. Werewolf was the issue as the STs once again find new and interesting ways to cause my character feelings and yank her chain around. She went from confused to lamenting to lust to terror to rage to determined to full on lethal damage and hurt to extraordinarily upset and convinced that she’s got to break up with her boyfriend. Seriously. All in one game. I love the STs. And hate them. Mostly love though.

Birthday Dragon

Birthday Dragon

This Week

Of course because I was putting off my ill when I did all that, waking up on Monday was fun and after calling in ill I spent most of the day sleeping. Sleeping is great. Eating not so much. Back in work today but my boss has said if I feel particularly bad I can probably go home. Hooray for summer holidays and college being so quiet it could be called dead.

Tomorrow I do have the day off though because it’s my birthday! Hoping that if I take it really easy today then I can enjoy myself tomorrow, but actually I don’t have to leave the flat and I have some presents to open and I can have a super chill day, which’ll be nice. The legion pre-patch is live and awesome and I suspect that my partner is upgrading my computer with a couple of new bits as my present so I’ll probably play that. Might also see if I can get the N64 working and blast from the past with Pokemon Snap. Maybe some sushi. It’ll be chill and great.

I also have some fun things lined up for this weekend, so as long as this illness starts going away, I should be having a pretty good week overall 🙂

Pokemon Go!

Okay, I know I said that Monday’s/the early week was going to be a time for writing posts, but Monsieur Chuck Wendig didn’t post up a fiction challenge last week, I sort of have an idea for a writing related post but it’s not all that developed, and yet another hurdle has come up as a time sink, in the form of the explosively popular new game Pokemon Go.

And considering I spent my A to Z challenge this year talking about all things Pokemon, I can’t not talk about the game now that it’s out. Well, sort of out in some places and unofficially obtainable in other places, yes I did in fact cave in but it’s Pokemon! How could I not?

PokemonGoLogo

For those of you that haven’t heard or do not know, Pokemon Go is a AR (Augmented Reality) game played through a mobile device such a phone or a tablet. It uses real-world information such a location and your camera to superimpose Pokemon into the real world, at which point you can walk around and catch the Pokemon, thus working towards completing your Pokedex. Pretty simple Pokemon premise – catch them all – finally meets the real world.

Of course, it is a little different to the games that are played on the DS and the like, mainly because it has to be, the mechanics of those games don’t work so well for the mechanics of walking around holding your phone. But the way they have implemented it is amazing.

So, you load up your game, you customise your avatar and you choose a username. Nice, but make sure it’s what you want because there’s no way to change this at a later date (wish I had known that at the time, I’d like to change my avatars clothing, but, hey, not a big thing). It then works out where you are, puts you down in the real world, and three Pokemon spawn up around you. You might have guessed – Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander. (As a side note, I have since learned that you can get Pikachu as your starting Pokemon. If you run away, as in physically run away through the real world, from these three, then they catch up to you. Do this three of four times, and eventually a Pikachu will spawn alongside the three of them. Pretty cool!). The game teaches you how to catch a Pokemon, gives you a bunch of Pokeballs, and then away you go!

Second important thing – Pokestops. These are real world things which are flagged up in the game as point on the map. When you get near them, you can tap on them, and they’ll give you items. Pokeballs, Greatballs (I levelled up enough, finally!) potions, Razz Berries and the like, this is how you get your items (you can also buy them for real money, but mostly you should get enough items by visiting these points) and they also give you a bit of XP to level up your Trainer Level. I think these are pretty cool, since they always tie into real world things, like murals, cool wall arts, plaques, interesting buildings and the like. There’s like a sentence which explains what it is, snippet local history as it were, but mostly I just get them for the items and the XP!

PokemonGoScreens

Levelling – you as the Trainer have a level. You get XP by catching pokemon, evolving pokemon, battling gyms and just generally playing the game. As you level up, you can bump into rarer and rarer Pokemon, and you get better items. I’ve just hit level 12 today, and I now have access to great balls. No idea yet if there is a cap or not, but the increase per level in now a flat rate, rather than increasing, so I only ever need 10,000 XP to level. At the moment at least.

Pokemon levelling is a bit different. Especially from the games. Rather than a level, every Pokemon has a CP rating – Combat Power. It will have a minimum and a maximum, and you can raise this up by feeding them dust and candy. Dust is generic, candy is specific to a Pokemon and it’s evolution chain. So Squirtle has Squirtle candy (Wartortle and Blastoise will also use Squirtle candy) and Caterpie has Caterpie candy. You get both of these by catching the Pokemon, 100 dust and 3 candies for each catch (candy will be appropriate to the pokemon you catch. Caught a Magikarp? 3 Magikarp candy obtained.) Evolving a pokemon is also done with candy. Depending on how rare the Pokemon is, and what stage in the evolution chain, it may take 12, 25, 50 ore more candy to evolve them. The most I’ve seen is Magikarp to Gyarados, which takes 400 candy. Going to need a lot of those…

It’s a fairly simplified system (once you get used to it) but it works really well for the mobile game. Basically, it means that you just need to get out there and catch a lot of Pokemon, the same type of Pokemon, to get the evolutions and complete your Pokedex. Oh, and there are Eggs. Eggs also drop from Pokestops and you hatch them by walking. An Egg will need 2km, 5km or 10km to hatch it, so yes, I’ve been doing a lot of walking.

Last mechanical bit are gyms. There are three teams – Instinct Yellow, Valour Red and Mystic Blue, each symbolised by one of the three legendary birds Zapdos, Moltres and Articuno. These are for Gyms battles. Like Pokestops, Gyms are locations, and when you claim a gym, you claim in for your team. If you are in that team, you can bolster the gym by putting your Pokemon in there (up to the gym maximum, which you can increase through battling) and if you’re one of the two opposing teams, you battle it to try and knockout their Pokemon and take the Gym for yourself. It’s the part I’m least interested in, and I haven’t yet got the hang of the battling system, which is a mix of dodging, hitting and then a special move which for the life of me I can never get to trigger. But, it is fun, and my friends certainly like doing it, so I usually go around and shore up the other gyms for my team. Blue forever!

PokemonGoStarters

So, that’s the game explained in some detail. My thoughts and feelings? I love it. Like, really, really love it. That’s not to say there aren’t issues, the servers are a bit up and down, because the company didn’t expect it to be so popular so they’re doing a bit of firefighting at the moment, and the official release has been delayed in Europe (I, like a lot of people, am playing through a mirror) because of this. There are also some bugs, including one which means the Pokemon you are battling in the gym gets to 1HP, and then stays there, which is a driving factor behind me not really getting into the gym part of the game because it’s no fun to waste all your potions because of a bug.

The game is a huge drain on the battery life of the phone, and it doesn’t track things properly (like the distance walked for hatching eggs) when it’s in sleep mode, so you kind of have to keep it active the whole time. I can get about 2.5-3 hours from a fully charged phone, but I’ve already missed out on some nice Pokemon (there was a Scyther near the bus stop last night) because of a dead battery. But, this one I can fix by ordering a charger pack, which should be here sometime this week.

Now for the positives – I have done more walking in the past weekend than I can remember doing for a long time. Possible Empire/LRP levels of walking around, which is saying a lot. Motivation is high, and I really do want to get out of the house and go look for more Pokemon.

My friends are playing it as well, and as has already happened over the weekend, small group of us can get together and go walk around town, making it easier to track down Pokemon as we split off into different direction and then shout to each other when we find them. That, and we bump into other people, usually strangers who you’ve never met before, but who are also playing the game, and have a little chat. That rare pokemon is over there, caught anything nice today, gyms battles, I just feel like I had a bunch of small interactions that I wouldn’t have had without the game, and they’ve all been positive and it’s just great to feel that sense of community with other people.

And finally – I GET TO CATCH POKEMON! Me! My own pokedex! At the moment it’s only the first 150, but I hear there are plans to expand that out to the other generations at some points, trading will come in as well, and I have no idea what might be happening with the legendaries, but I can’t wait to see. In the meantime, I’ve got about 50 Pokemon in my Pokedex, including a Dratini! My next big thing is to get a Growlithe, and then evolve both of them up! I can’t wait to get back out there and catch more!

PokemonGoVulpix

My Vulpix!

Tabletop Explosion

So, I’ve gone from one tabletop game to four. And this is a delightful state to be in.

The existing one: Dungeons and Dragons. Ever classic, one of my very good friends who happens to be a fantastic GM is running a game for me, my partner, his partner and a friend. Four players, one massive campaign spanning levels 1 to 30. We just reached level 11, so we are officially upgrading from heroic to paragon tier.

Adara picture

Adara – D&D

Unfortunately for our character, we’re playing Cyran’s in Eberron, and the Day of Mourning has literally just occurred. That’s where we left off, with our character standing in a fort twenty miles from the border, looking back at the country as this weird, bright mist overruns the entire country. It’s going to be all of the feelings when we pick up from our break.

In that I’m playing an Ardent, which is a psionic leader class. That with a dash of cleric. I’m the parties healer, although I think I’ve been downed more than everyone else, but I am also the second defender. Sort of. Our team is a bit weird, with two hybrids, me, and a multiclassed striker. But we work really well together, and it is all of the fun.

The interim one: Star Wars. So, we hit the paragon tier, and to give the GM a little bit of time to plan out the next ten levels, we’re taking a bit of a break. From that game anyway, we like gaming too much to give it all up, so we’re keeping the same group, swapping GMs, and our friend is going to run us a short star wars campaign.

We’re still statting these people up, but we’re going to be a small crew of smugglers, and he’s letting me play a droid! I’m going to be an astromech, and you can bet that I’m downloading a sound board for all the beeps and whistles to use during the game. So we’re be taking a couple of months out to play that instead of D&D before going back to it and all the feelings.

The revival one: World of Darkness Mortals/Hunters. So, different group this time. However, this is sort of leading on from a game that I played in about four years ago? It was an innocents game, which is the same setting and rules, except you’re playing children. The GM moved away, but now he’s back, and he wanted to run a game, so me and another player that also used to be in the kiddy game decided to play our children as grown up characters.

It’s proving fun, and our characters are basically inseparable, and we had to visit the school the children went to and all the bad stuff happen and it turns out the demon from that has broken out so everything is terrible forever. My character is a lying good for nothing thief, and her partner is a completely antisocial know-a-lot. It’s a fantastic partnership. And I look forward to slowly killing all the other players as we abandon them to horrific fates.

The new one: Princess the Hopeful. So, this one had it’s character creation session last night, and I am really excited for it. Been building backstory today. One of the players from my DnD group decided he wants to run more stuff, so invited a bunch of us, and some others, to play a game. What he wasn’t expecting was everyone to pounce on it and say yes, so he’s had to split the groups. But instead of having two separate games, we’re just in mirror universes, and there’s going to be potential for crossover, which is going to be so cool.

Winged Paladin

Lana/Skye – Princess

I’m going to be playing a fighter, known in the setting as a Champion, and I’m going for a very classical knight/paladin feel, so armour, sword and shield, protecting those you love characters. In her normal life she’s a big sister/stand in mum, and I am very much looking forward to playing her since I think this game is going to be great, and the GM is loving the backstory so far, because there are a lot of things in there for him to mess with, and messing with the characters is always so much fun.

So those are all my games. The tabletop ones anyway. I’m love playing games, just for the playing of the games themselves, but also because it means that I think a lot about characters, which helps with writing, but also because it’s cooperative, and I always find it interesting to see how different people react to the same situation, and building a story together is great.

It’s been a very game intensive weekend. I barely had time for writing!

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