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Everything posted by PingosHusband

  1. On a serious note: You're right of course. However we all like to have more free time for hobby and fun, so we probably keep complaining and in the meanwhile do our duty... You're welcome! It does taste delicious!!! But hobbies aren't as non-adulting as people think. All of you come on here and share your work, giving insights into the art and craft of mini-painting and other aspects of the hobbies. You all make lighter work of things. You also delight each other (and those of us who don't paint) with your work. Adulting is about taking care not just about doing duty. The more care and thought you put into your arts (and the more the rest of us put into ours), the lighter and happier we make each others lives. Adulting isn't just about duty, it's about bringing joy to others in the care we take and the beauty we make.
  2. Unnecessarily serious response to humorous topic: I know I'm in the minority on this, but I think adulting is underrated. Lots of people treat adulting as a prisoner's dilemma kind of thing, something they can opt out on and get off Scott Free (no, thanks Mr. Miracle). That leads to a small number of people conscientiously adulting while a large number try to minimize the amount of adulting they do. In theory that would work, but everyone doing that underestimates the amount of adulting necessary because they look at it as what adulting they need to do for their own lives. The reality is that we're all so mutually dependent that we all need to adult for each other. The more adulting we all do, the easier it is for everyone else and ourselves.
  3. We had one in long college days of the distant past who would leave a few dice set to the maximum, then scoop them in with a sloppily rolled die roll. Some of the GMs as I recall started fudging right back (not openly, but several confessed to me and some buddies). GM's rolls behind screens got slanted in favor of that player's opponents, or made better saves against that one's attacks. Also, since a large part of the games were social, GMs made NPCs more resistant to cooperating with that player. Generally, I have the players roll in front of everyone. That not only keeps people honest, it spreads out the anticipation of the result among all the players. But as a GM I don't do that for three reasons. 1. I may not want the players to know how easy or hard something was for a monster or NPC (or for a PC if I'm rolling for something to be spotted). 2. I may need to change a result because what I rolled would be more trouble than it's worth. 3. Sometimes I roll a bunch of dice that mean nothing just to worry the players. On the general topic of cheating, small amounts of it don't matter. The bigger problem large amounts of cheating can indicate is that the player is only interested in their own achievements and in consequence is not playing the RPG. Tabletop Role Playing Games are social (when I'm interested in the non-social RPG experience, Iplay a single player computer RPG). Players who cheat a lot are being anti-social. They're like players whose eyes are on their phones or tablets during the game and only pay attention when it's their turn. They're missing the point of the game.
  4. This works for other things as well. It falls in line with brain theory on learning and the creative process. Even when you are not actively thinking about something, your brain can be working the "problem" subconsciously. The brain is an amazing thing! <philosophical digression> I'm cautious about using the weird 'my' when thinking about the brain or mind. So much of the work of thinking happens at a deeper level than consciousness, that it seems bizarre to use a possessive for the vast evolved thinking apparatus. Consciousness seems more like the interface between the mind and reality than some entity that owns the space of thinking. While I've labeled this philosophical it's also practical. As a writer I'm very mindful of the fact that almost no writing is done at a conscious level. Terry Pratchett talked about the better writer in the back of his head. And really that's where all the writing is done. </philosophical digression> This does mean that while one can be frustrated by the inability to work on demand one can also be pleasantly surprised by the work one does (I've often been startled to find out where my own work is going). One can also be given sudden gifts from the back of the mind. Today I realized it was time to start trying to study Old English again (something I had abandoned more than ten years ago). If how you paint is being reconfigured, you may be in for many wonderful surprises.
  5. Pingo painted this for my character in a very non-canon Shadowrun game in which we're both playing. He's more or less a Hermetic mage specializing in illusions. But his background is academic and in his day job he runs a school for sinless kids. He's also older than most runners (he's in his thirties). Note: that's the background, the game has produced a number of very weird changes in him (the shiny purple tones in the hair are part of that). Anyway, the Pertwee Doctor has a great combination of flamboyance and academic arrogance which fits the character and the subtle changes in the way Pingo painted him work very well.
  6. Sometimes blocks in any art aren't procrastination. Sometimes the mind is reworking how it does things. Think of it as your painting skills being in the shop for upgrades and repairs. It's kind of a large scale assimilation of all you've been doing into a new kind of understanding. After such things you can find yourself doing things that you've never been able to do before. It's bewildering, cool, and useful. It's possible to find out whether this is happening or not. If you sit down to work and your eyes can't seem to see things right and your hands have no idea how to work, then you might be in the midst of an upgrade. If so go do something else. If you feel a push to do something weird (like read a book, go to a museum, juggle, whatever) try doing it. Sometimes the back of the mind has needs that the front can't get a handle on and can only fulfill by trial and error.
  7. Wikipedia says the most of the Colonel Bleep cartoons are lost and only a handful still exist. I thought myself well versed in old cartoons (at least for someone born in the 70s), but those totally caught me by surprise. On the plus side, I probably watched more European cartoons than most North Americans on account of being French-Canadian and getting some shows from France (original French, or dubbed from other parts of Europe). Colonel Bleep was very strange. It's very hard to describe and whenever I've tried people think it must have been some bizarre dream. Here's the wikipedia page for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_Bleep And apparently there are a few episodes to be found on YouTube. I'm kind of afraid to go look and see just how weird my childhood was.
  8. You, sir, are the first person that I have ever run into aside from myself that remembers Colonel Bleep and Dodo. Megan thought that I was making them up. And I liked Rocket Robinhood... Which makes me wonder... Boston, circa 1960 or so? The Auld Grump - or just interchangeable UHF channels? New York, a little after 1960 but not by much.
  9. Going to have to second a whole bunch of these (Real Ghostbusters, Reboot, Galaxy Rangers, Samurai Jack, Gargoyles, etc). One of the things that make these great are the little throwaway bits. From the Collect Call of Cthulhu episode of Real Ghostbusters. Egon is asked how bad Cthulhu is, "He makes Gozer look like Little Mary Sunshine". They also did a Christmas episode in which the Ghostbusters trap the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future before they can change Scrooge. As a result the whole world becomes a greedy mess and they have to release the ghosts. I'd like to give a shout out to Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Lab. When I was very young, we had the first generation of Anime in America (Speed Racer, Kimba The White Lion, Eighth Man, Gigantor etc). The homegrown stuff was kind of odd: Dodo the Kid From Outer Space, Colonel Bleep, etc. There were also early Marvel and DC cartoons. The marvel stuff really wasn't animated. It was narrated stills with a little movement going on. There were early Justice League cartoons with Batman, Superman, Aquaman and a few others. Spiderman has been through so many versions, some of them pretty good. Superfriends went from horrible to amusing over its seasons. And there were really weird things like Rocket Robinhood. It was a strange time to be a geek.
  10. I hope this is the right board to post this. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (the major organization of professional SFF writers in the US) is now allowing writing narratives for games (tabletop or computer) to qualify for membership. This is a the first major addition of new kinds of writing that qualified in I don't know how long. Before this, short stories and novels were the standard publication types allowed for members. The quality and complexity of narrative and world building in games has grown so much over the decades that I'm glad this is now happening. Here's the full announcement of qualifications. http://www.sfwa.org/2016/07/sfwa-adm...gust-1st-2016/
  11. If you're in the area and wish to donate blood, the blood banks are asking that people wait a few days. They're at capacity, but more will be needed soon. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-orlando-nightclub-shooting-blood-donations-20160612-story.html It's too terrible for words or images.
  12. To clarify. The questions I posted weren't meant to be answered directly. They're more in the way of things to muse about in order for you to help the character come to life in your own mind. Another way to help flesh things out is to consider the other characters from their own perspectives. One of the few rules of thumb in writing that actually works is that everyone is the hero of their own story. So for each of the other characters you've listed (not to mention all the various canon characters) try to get inside their heads and examine the situations from their perspectives. Do this not just at the beginning but for each and every scene in your story. See how it looks for each person involved. Once you can do this their actions will flow naturally. This is very important. Readers can tell when character actions are forced or twisted. They can also see when one character is nothing but a prop for other characters. Also consider what each of the characters is trying to do with their lives and/or for the lives of others. Remember as well that what we think of as character traits (e.g. Humorous, intelligent, and slightly crazy.) are consequences of how their minds work and of their life experiences. They are not directly the causes of actions, but the developed manners of action that arose from basic ways of thinking. Dig into their minds until you can look out through their eyes. You'll be able to tell when you've done this once each of them is passing through the events of your story on their own arcs that begin at their births and end past their deaths. From a character writing perspective a story is a rope of threads that tie together for a time then ravel back to individual lives.
  13. Mary Sue is not found in her power level, but in her excessive importance. A Damsel in Distress can be a Mary Sue, if everyone thinks she is the most important thing in the world. Your character is throwing the world into chaos just from existing, not from anything she's done. The angst you are describing for your character ('oh, what a tragedy that I will join the immortals while these I love are to be lost to dust and ashes, what a cruelty is the Sixth World' sort of thing) is a classic Mary Sue kind of thing. Just by way of example of the kind of problems that you can have diving into canon, you describe Lofwyr as feeling guilty. My reaction to that is "Lofwyr, feel guilty?" what? From my perspective as a long time Shadowrun player you're already bending the canon character's past the breaking point and that's just from a chance comment. I guess "guilty" would be the wrong word. Responsible, perhaps? Saying he cares about her might be going too far, but he wouldn't want her dead. The backlash from the other immortals would be massive. That said, all of the characters are still open to change, as I've only just started my first draft. Right now I'm just getting the idea out. I'm not trying to Mary Sue Maisie, but instead make her personality realistic. Any advice would be welcome. The best way to make a character realistic is from the inside. Begin with how she thinks. This does not mean what does she think about, but how does she think? What ways of thinking is she good at and which are difficult for her. How easy is it for her to shift perspectives? How easy is it for her to put herself in someone else's place. Move on to what interests her. What things does she like to do? What activities get her mind going? What is she utterly indifferent to? What does she find beautiful and interesting? What's boring? Does she have an easy or hard time sharing in the activities of others and if so which others and what activities? She's presumably magically active, so how does the astral look to her? What spirits does she interact with on a regular basis? Does she prefer being in her body or flying in the Astral? Does she spend much time in the Matrix and, if so, what does she do there? Who are her friends? Who would she like to be friends with? Who can she relate to and who can relate to her? What are her other senses like? What affects does her draconic heritage have on her thinking, her senses, her body, her mind, her astral body, etc? What schooling or training has she had? Who were her teachers and fellow students? How did she get along with them? How well known is her status? Have people been trying to manipulate her or kill her since she was a baby or is this recently discovered? Work out her background on a personal level until you have a good feel for her. You know you have a character properly constructed when the character goes its own way in your mind regardless of how you want the plot to go.
  14. Yup. Good genetic dice rolling. The parts where she credits us for reading the classics to her and thanks Pingo for the art teaching are the kinds of things that warm parental hearts. At the time it was not all well received (the comment about no TV is a slight exaggeration, but only slight). Reading things like the Journey to the West to her when she was young was a lot of fun as was supplying the cultural context and deeper meanings of the books. I suspect too many parents shy away from reading older books, expecting that the schools will supply such. But the experience of reading for class and being read to are so different. And the habit of reading with an eye to context and a stretching away from seeing things only in modern terms is a good one to teach early. Pingo's art teaching was, of course, excellent, but it wasn't in keeping with the idea of art as self expression. It was strongly centered on materials and techniques and teaching the artist's eye. Red really prefers to draw on computers rather than on paper, but the discipline and the sense of it has come through. And I'm very impressed with how good she has gotten at using a very abbreviated style to convey a lot. There was a period where she painted minis (she and our son and two of their cousins were into Warhammer and Warhammer 40K for a few years), but she hasn't done much of that for a while.
  15. Mary Sue is not found in her power level, but in her excessive importance. A Damsel in Distress can be a Mary Sue, if everyone thinks she is the most important thing in the world. Your character is throwing the world into chaos just from existing, not from anything she's done. The angst you are describing for your character ('oh, what a tragedy that I will join the immortals while these I love are to be lost to dust and ashes, what a cruelty is the Sixth World' sort of thing) is a classic Mary Sue kind of thing. Just by way of example of the kind of problems that you can have diving into canon, you describe Lofwyr as feeling guilty. My reaction to that is "Lofwyr, feel guilty?" what? From my perspective as a long time Shadowrun player you're already bending the canon character's past the breaking point and that's just from a chance comment.
  16. Let me start by saying that I'm a writer and I've been where you are. The way you're talking about your main character makes her sound Mary Sueish: Half Dragon / Half Elf whose existence sets the world afire, dragons in all the big players, and who ends up with a lot of goodies. There's always a temptation when you're writing in someone else's world to drag in everything that sounds cool and anchor it on what you are bringing in of your own creation. Lots of fanfic writing works like this, but restraint is often better. Your Main Character is bringing a point of view and experiences to a world that is well known to your readers, so what makes this view and experience interesting and fresh? What are you bringing to the Shadowrun world that will intrigue people who have likely themselves walked through that world and messed around in it? What aspects of the world are you going to elaborate and present to the readers? Whatever aspects those are need to both make sense to the readers and be made interesting by a new light. What interpretations are you laying out for the canon characters and how will those fit into or challenge the standard views presented in books and adventures? Will your readers look at the changes you are bringing to the world and see them as a reasonable evolution of canon or has a particular writer's intrusion into an otherwise working environment?
  17. Yeah, I really show my age by using it as my on-line handle. Most gamers these days don't know Blackmoor - "Bro, what's with the stupid username?" Much to my amusement, I have had a few defenders of the faith angrily come after me for making fun of Gary Gygax, as per that old internet rumour. I usually just point out the correct direction for their righteous indignation and send them on their way - it's interesting that no one has ever come to the defense of MicroArmor's Gregg Scott, the guy that Dave Arneson was making fun of . . . Anyway, I always liked the Egg of Coot's concept - a villain that was a complete unknown apart from a cryptic name and a reputation for unspeakable and alien evil. The Egg PS: As far as the GM skill set goes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Maybe I've been at it too damned long to really appreciate what comes to me without a second thought. YMMV. Come to think of it, maybe I ought to be charging my players . . . I've been GMing since high school (a good 40 years now), and if that were all I was doing relative to this skillset I might well have come to the same view you have. But along with GMing, one of my day jobs is fiction writing. There's a lot of overlap of skills between the two. I've built worlds that I've used both for games and stories. The world building skills needed for GMing are actually tougher than what's necessary in fiction writing, because when writing stories you also make up the characters. But in a gaming world PCs are going to stomp all over what you've made and poke at all the holes because they want to break things and loot the treasures you've hidden inside. The same applies to character building. An NPC will have to react to PCs not just other NPCs, so the characters made for gaming worlds need to be more solid and four (or more) dimensional than what can be gotten away with in stories. There's one other aspect to this, people can read my stories and give me their general reactions to them, but when I'm running an adventure I can see how each part of it is affecting them. I can get a sense of each player's interest or lack thereof in a way I can't from a reader. GMing is a more tactile close in art and I enjoy it all the more for that. That too is why I wouldn't want to charge for it; there would be too much distance created.
  18. Far from it, actually. Dungeon Mastery is full of useful management skills. And pizza delivery takes strong understanding of spatial relationships, path optimization, customer service, .... (I've never worked a job that was as easy from the inside as it appeared from the outside.) You guys are missing my point. If someone is a crap pizza delivery guy, I'd sooner go pick up my pizza rather than pay for delivery (plus tip). The same goes for a "professional DM" who also sucks at his job and expects payment. I can just as easily run the game - or find someone else who is willing - without the outlay of cash. In both cases these services are mere conveniences, and hardly indispensable to either myself or the running of society at large. The Egg I'm not crazy about the metaphor of pizza delivery guy to GM. I'm more inclined to think of GMing as the whole pizza making process (sometimes starting with raising the wheat and tomatoes and raising the cows to make the cheese etc). Also professional GM isn't a skillset, GM is. It's not indispensable to human society, but most skill sets are dispensable. Ironically, the least dispensable ones are often the least valued (farmer, teacher, nurse, garbage collector). But that's a digression. GMing is an art. Societies need arts for enjoyment and edification. It's not an art currently valued in this society which is both a good and bad thing. There is a lot of great amateur GMing going on because it isn't elevated in social estimation. This also lots of room for those of us who experiment with the artform to have the freedom to mess around. So, while I'm not crazy about professional GMing. I don't agree that there's nothing to it. P.S. As an old school gamer, I love your username.
  19. I love the combination of bright colors and surreal creepiness. There's a very in your face worrisomeness about the place. If you used that set up for any role playing environment it would scare the heck out of any rational group of players. I'm also floored by the length of time you've worked on this and the artistic elaboration. Well done.
  20. As a GM I can see having a donation system for snacks and drinks (money or brought food) if that's the way the group wishes to do things. If someone is hosting the game then it can get complicated. On a purely social matter hosts don't charge guests. Pingo and I host our games, but we like to cook and so we get to add the enjoyment of cooking for our friends. But that can bet economically burdensome, so I can see a group working out some arrangement, but it would need to be hammered out. Supplies beyond that are kind of tricky. I prefer having my own copies of the game books. Minis and other aids and props are complicated. Granted I have the best of all possible worlds on that front, so I'm not in a position to say what looks right. But charging for GMing itself. I can see doing so for a special kind of event like a Tourney or Auld Grump's yearly pagan group, but I would not feel good about doing so for a regular game. There's a big difference between what people should expect from work done for the enjoyment of it and work done professionally. My day jobs are writing and programming. The standards I use for my professional work are much higher than I use for everyday things (I try to be coherent when I post, but I don't do 5-10 drafts of each post for example as I would for something I was writing professionally). I like to bake and do confectionery, but I wouldn't dream of trying to sell what I make. It's not up to professional standards. For GMing, if I were charging a fee I would need to make sure the game ran smoothly for each player's enjoyment. That means I would need to make sure that there was no wasted table talk or player digressions (unless everyone was enjoying it) which would run the risk of ruining the atmosphere of the game and lessening enjoyment. But more importantly it would reinforce the already problematic idea that the GM is an entertainer for the players. From my experience games are best if they are cooperative, if players and GM are all bringing active thought and attention to the game. It's already too tempting for players to regard the GM as responsible for all the work. Pay to play would make that even worse.
  21. Great now I have to come up with an adventure in which all the monsters are redheads. Then I'll need to gum up with statistics for them; I don't want a mouthful of Ginger Vitals.
  22. I need to know more about the goblin things. I'll have to wait on asking the question till I'm back home... But yep, me too. Sometimes I think people are just trolling Bryan. And other times I really hope they are.Nope. Wasn't trolling. Was quite serious.She was talking to me and one of the paint and take participants about some very odd stuff before I made my escape and left her with ReaperBryan I had to attend to my water fetching duties for the paintbrush cleaning. When I returned I saw she was speaking with ReaperBryan so I stayed away and hid until she left so I tried to hurry back but was delayed by a loose shoelace. I'm almost sorry I missed it. Almost. Honestly, I probably would have had to go and, uh, deal with a shoelace too if I'd been present. Huzzah! --OneBoot :D Has anyone else noticed the poor quality of excuses people are using these days? Why, in my day we had to make excuses to not go to and from school uphill both ways and the fact that it was uphill both ways did not cut it. And we didn't even have shoelaces to be loose or shoes, for that matter, but that wasn't good enough. And when we got home we needed to justify not fetching water from the well and explain why we shouldn't have to get the cows back into the barn and shear the sheep. And then we had to make excuses for why we should be allowed to stay up late playing role playing games with only low impact dice and parcheesi pieces for minis. And then we had to explain why we shouldn't have to get out of bed in the morning. (And the fact that I grew up in a big city and took the bus to school and had shoes and a good game store just wouldn't cut it.)
  23. There have been some great Dork Tower mini's strips amongst all the more general gaming (and Matt and Gilly not connecting) strips. There's one I loved that I can't find unfortunately. Matt is running a game and in each panel Ken gets something great (armor, weapons, a familiar, his arm regrown) and in each panel Ken is wailing in agony. In the last panel we find out that he insists on his mini matching his character exactly so he has to do some heavy duty modding (including attaching a "25mm marmot").
  24. The now completed comic Irregular Webcomic (http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/) used minis in place of drawings, but that's not really the same thing as focusing on them. It also used a lot of legos.
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