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  1. One of my favorite authors have a new KS project... Because there just ain't enough slice of life or baking in modern Sci-Fi books... About Years ago I wrote a science fiction story about two forever-friends, unlike in almost every way--species, backgrounds, temperaments, orientations--and how they came together in a relationship that would last through every tribulation, including an intergalactic war. When readers asked me how they met, I wrote their college story. When readers asked me what happened next, I wrote how they began their xenotherapy practice. I'm still writing about them, in fact, because they are, bar none, my readers' best loved couple. Their names are Jahir and Vasiht'h, and they are dreamhealers. Some people call their story an asexual romance, but whether you go for that or prefer 'forever besties', these stories are about growing up, making choices, figuring out relationships, deciding on what your life means--or should--and baking. A lot of baking. They are cozy slice-of-life novels, and there aren't a lot of novels like them in science fiction. If cups of tea are your cup of tea, you might enjoy checking out Book 1 and 2 respectively. There's an e-book reward tier; you can choose one of them! This Kickstarter in particular is to fund the print edition for Book 3, Dreamhearth, and possibly Books 4 and 5, Dreamstorm and Family, if we hit our stretch goals. I love space ships and aliens and epic war sagas. But science fiction has room for quieter stories about what you want to be when you grow up, and the thorny personal challenges of day-to-day life. If you also love spaceships and aliens but want a moment's respite... you might have come to the right place. Stretch Goals We've got plenty to look forward to this time, including the opportunity for two more paperbacks! Bookmark 1. At $750, we'll get Jahir bookmarks! Every print backer will get one! Dreamstorm paperback. At $1000, we'll hit the Dreamstorm stretch goal, opening new tiers! Bookmark 2. At $1500, we'll get the Vasiht'h bookmarks! All print backers will get both bookmarks! Family paperback. At $2000, we'll do a print edition of the final book in the series, Family, opening Yet More Tiers! Risks and challenges As much as possible I've streamlined this one so it takes very little by way of work. I've gotten very good at packing and shipping things! I think the biggest risks are: 1. I get hyper and start throwing in prizes and things that I shouldn't because I like running myself to ragged shreds doing stuff; 2. I get too perfectionist about the things and fuss them to death over millimeter differences in whitespace only I am going to care about. I think I'll be able to handle #2 since I've done OVER NINE THOUSAND of these Kickstarters. It's #1 you all are going to have to help me with. Sit on me if I start gibbering about something that sounds impossible, please?
  2. It was the bottom of the battle; the minions were all dead, but most of the party was down, and two were bleeding out, and the cleric was out of spells, frantically trying to stabilize one of the bleeders. And the Big Bad, with one expert slash of his sword, brought down the rogue. It was down to the fighter, now, but he was down to his last ten HP, and one blow would likely decide the rest of the game. He decided to play defensively, see how much of the Big Bad was still there. "I try circle strafing, I'm going to try to flank him." "He can plainly see what you're doing," I said. "Yeah, but maybe he'll... I dunno, make a mistake or something." Regrettably, the Big Bad still had plenty of action, due to high AC and spell resistance. The Big Bad had, in fact, taken a hell of a beating in the course of the battle. But he still had more HP left than anyone else in the room. And he smacked our last standing hero for 8 of those last 10 HP. Initiative? Won. And the fighter lunged-- "TWENTY!" he screamed, leaping to his feet. "NATURAL TWENTY," pointing at the die in the middle of the table. Sure enough, that twenty was pointed at the sky. "Confirm," I said. He snatched it up, and rolled again. "CONFIRMED!" And everyone at the table cackled with glee. I glanced down at my notes. "Roll your damage." He did so. Quite well. Twelve points. I drew a card from the Crit Deck, and then rolled the Big Bad's FORT save. He failed. Big Bad was dead man walking. But I wasn't done yet. "You dash forward, and thrust hard, where you see an opening. Partly by skill, and partly by blind luck, you slip your sword between two plates of his lamellar chestplate, and thrust HARD, and you literally see your sword emerge from his BACK, over his shoulder." The table cheered. The fighter did the happy dance, right there at the dinner table. "And then he wedges his shield between you, and slams you backwards." The fighter's gleeful face evaporated. "What? That HAD to be at LEAST double damage--" "Dex check. Fail it, and you lose your grip." He failed it. "Your sword hilt is slick with blood, both his, and yours. It's slippery. When he shoves you back, your grip slips off that handle like soap in the shower." The fighter looked at me with a very unpleasant look. "My sword is still stuck all the way THROUGH him?" he asked. "Yes. But now it's out of your reach. Oh, and you're cornered. And your opponent chuckles, deep in his throat... and steps forward... sword in hand." "Are you telling me he still had THAT many hits left?" cried the fighter. "Dangit, I KNOW we pounded him for at LEAST fifty, even with the spell resistance--" "He steps forward again," I said, "Like he has aaaallll the time in the world. He's laughing." The fighter looked at me with rage... but kept a grip. "I'll try to evade. Justin, can you get anyone on their feet?" "Dude, I'm TAPPED," he said. "It's all I can do to keep them from bleedin' out!" "The armored warrior raises his sword," I said. "You're unarmed, you can't parry, and you're in the corner, and have nowhere to evade TO. Anything else? Oh, and he's laughing fit to bust." I might have grinned a bit as I said that. The warrior, speaking in character to his opponent, made an obscene suggestion that I will not repeat here. "Is that your final action?" "Is there ANYTHING else I can do?" he said. "Not really," I replied, grinning evilly. "He steps forward to where he can't possibly miss you short of fumbling, and brings his sword down on your head." "Can I evade?" "Sure. Roll a 20 sider." ".... three," he didn't quite whimper. "You step all of two feet to the left, which is as far as you can go before your shoulder hits the wall. Your opponent raises his sword to split you... and topples forward like a collapsing building and comes crashing to the floor, face down, with your sword blade still protruding from his back." The fighter looked at me in utter confusion. "Did he hit me?" "No." "Then what happened?" "He was dead on his feet. Only thing that kept him moving was his own hate. That, and the look of terror on your face gave him some evil motivation. Just not quite enough to finish you." "WHAT?" screamed the fighter. "The crit DID kill him? Then WHY DID YOU GIVE HIM A LAST ATTACK? I WAS DOWN TO MY LAST TWO HITPOINTS! HE COULD HAVE CREAMED ME! WITH A SWORD THAT EATS SOULS!!!" "Oh, I didn't give him a freebie," I replied. "He was dead on his feet, like I said. Your successful crit ended him, period. He had no chance whatsoever of harming you or anyone else. He just didn't know that. And if he did, he wasn't going to admit it, even to himself. I just dragged it out for a little drama, is all." The fighter sat there for a while, breathing hard, and letting the panic dissipate. Everyone else at the table stared at me or at him with large round Roger Rabbit eyes. And the fighter looked at me and said, "Good one, dude!" Still wickedly proud of how that one ended.
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