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Five months and no posting

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Go me.

Also, go-go-gadget-introspection time!

An ongoing theme I've noticed with both my GMing and my role-playing is a tendency to second guess myself. Hindsight is 20/20, but before starting GMing, I would analyze my past actions as a role-player and get really angry at myself for not taking the more dramatic option, or the more fun option.

Since starting regular GMing, I'm finding that less of a problem.

In part, I think it's because GMing has given me a better sense of storytelling, a better sense of story, and a better sense of what would make for an interesting character arc. Decisions that normally wouldn't occur to me until well after the story was over are there immediately, and I think I've also become a lot less protective of my characters and a lot more interested in watching them fail. Vonnegut once gave as a rule for short stories that characters should go through misery imaginable 'so that the audience may see what they are made of'. I think GMing has let me become more open to that suggestion with my own characters, and less cautious of letting them be seen only as heroes.

On the other hand, I've become very hard on myself with regards to GMing. If I feel that a game or session didn't go right (for whatever reasons - usually just that something I was planning didn't pan out, or I forgot it), I tend to indulge in mental beatdown sessions. Partly this is because I'm currently rather sick and tired, partly it's because it's nearly midterm break and everybody is worn down and partly it's because I'm running my first campaign and I'm terrified to death of the whole damn business.

(Although one player did comment today that the fact that I've been running the last few sessions on 0 energy hasn't shown in the slightest, so I guess the English stiff upper lip is helping me there.)

Regardless, some days I wish it was possible to play in my own game, just so that I could see for myself if I was really messing up just that badly, or if I was just my own head going bonkers.

See you, Space Cowboys.

fire starting in my
scars of your love remind
heart reaching a fever
me of us they leave

P.S. Back in contact with Nick, he's split with Sarah, am now hesitantly friendly with Sarah, Tim will hopefully soon be moving in with me, now live in Karori, Sarah lives in my old flat and is dating my ex who lives in my old room in Kelburn, Nick is dating an old friend of his from school, mother had a mild heart attack but is doing fine and my nephew is now at the laughing, gurgling, dribbling, eating solids and having his immune system throw hissy fits stage. Whew!

Writer's Block: Girl Scouts' Day

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What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie flavor?

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Girl Scouts come in different flavours?

Writer's Block: The Meaning of Life

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Describe your life in one sentence.

First question listed was submitted by thenobodyblog. (Follow-up questions, if any, may have been added by LiveJournal.)

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Torn apart and inexpertly patched together.

Feb. 6th, 2012

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I have pink hair. This pleases me.

Especially since I put the dye straight over my natural hair colour, meaning that all the usual tints and highlights and changes in tone that were originally in my blonde have now transferred over to the pink, making it look fucking awesome.

In other words, I am moderately cheerful again, albeit somewhat stressed because this fucking module is so fucking poorly written and argh.

May have Ultimate tonight. Whether I go will depend on how many pages I manage to drag my unwilling brain through. The next two weeks after this are going to be hellishly difficult with all the revision I will be doing.

Ack.

Well, at least I know I've been accepted into almost all of my courses - the only one I'm waitlisted on is BIO111. Which is annoying, because that's one of the ones I need for my BSc, but hopefully they'll be dropouts and I'm rambling now.

Will go and make chocolate Complan to ease the stress.

-Freya out.

shadows on the wall they
answers that your seeking
remind you how its endless
for the question that you found

So yeah

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Just saw a male friend of mine, one who I've known since I was thirteen, tell a rape joke on fbook. When I told him to knock it off, not only did he not knock it off, he told me off, said 'Next time, I'll tell something safe, like a Holocaust joke' and called the thread that ensued 'boring'.

...suddenly, the Wellington roleplaying community doesn't feel so safe anymore.

How To Be Sexy In Jeans And A T-Shirt

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(Taking a break from KapCon to write something odd and inspired, as the post will demonstrate, by my own experiences and by this NSFW devART post.)

Cut for length, swearing and vague sexual referencesCollapse )

And that's how to be sexy in jeans and a t-shirt.

-Freya out.

touch me there i like the
gravel in our voices glass
way you pull my hair babe
is shattered from the fight

KapCon: Day 2

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Session Four: Games On Demand, Monster of the Week (Stefan *mumbles incoherently*)
Yeah, day 2, for me, is a day of Games On Demand, as always. This was pitched as Zombie Fest 2012, and was Monster of the Week, which I had heard people gushing about and knew Daniel Gorringe was doing art for, so I figured, what the hell, let's give it a go.

We played a rag-tag bunch of misfits, clinging together because of our shared oddities and the fact that none of us were really 'normal' - my character was probably the most normal of the lot of us, and she was a Lisbeth Samander expy who was searching for revenge on the Elder Star Cult after they murdered her best friend with her accidental help. Wandering around wearing slashed black-and-white clothes, facial and body piercings and most of all, carrying a giant fuck off axe on your back really isn't very good for blending into a crowd, anymore than being a half-demon emo with black irises, a magician who occasionally spoke to the voices in his head and a Hellboy-esque monstrosity made of animate lava.

It was a fun, zombie-blasting crawl through a stadium, featuring Junior, our Hellboy-type Summoned (played by James) contemplating kicking a zombie head over the goal line, my cleaving a zombie in two with an axe while my back was on fire, Gino deciding that confronting Junior about his role in the upcoming apocalypse was more important than performing the ritual to vanquish the zombies who were in the process of throttling me to death and the emo half-demon melting zombies. SOOOOOOOOOO many melty zombies. It was silly, stompy, ridiculous and exactly what I needed first thing in the morning to wake me up. I wrote Anna (my character) to be very calm and focused, which was interesting to play, because it meant that I got to play a character who wasn't really affected by anything and viewed everything with a very coldly pragmatic air. She would prefer to not kill innocents, but if the situation called for it, she would.

And, as always, getting to stomp crap into a bloody paste was fun.

Best Moment: Junior bursts in on our Spooky kid performing the ritual, gets the wrong idea and spills the beans about his past...

Funniest Moment:
Anna: I think the best idea would be to burn the stadium to the ground.
Junior: No! That is completely unacceptable! If we do that, there won't be anywhere for them to play the home game next week.
(Anna gives Junior a blank stare.)
Junior: They know this stadium, they always play better on it! They have the best chance of getting through to Nationals if they play here!
(The blank stare continues.)
Junior: Also, there are innocent people inside.

Best Player: James Plunket, who played Junior, and just got some fantastically ridiculous moments in.

Session Five: Game on Demand, Monsterhearts (Steve Hickey)
Apparently, this was the third time over the weekend that Monsterhearts was ran, which makes me feel faintly ashamed that I went and put through a player request for it. In my defense, I had no idea of this fact, and really wanted to see if the Darkest Selves had been retooled and see them in play.

In this game, our characters were:
-Orion, an amoral Fay prankster with a mean streak a mile long (played by me)
-Adam, a protective Hollow homunculus with a desire to help others (played by Thomas Joychild)
-Elizabeth Emma, a traumatized Ghost killed in a freak javelin accident, desperately in love with Orion (played by Rachel)
-Abrielle, a rebellious Witch with a reputation for being a troublemaker (played be Ian)
-Eriel, a trouble Chosen hunted by a werewolf named Baxter, who was best friends with Abrielle and aided by Orion (played by Jess)
-And finally Anne, a Mortal girl who had convinced herself that Orion (who she had a crush on) was her boyfriend after he tried to weasel a drunken promise out of her (played by Daena)

All the characters were incredibly interesting and very well-played, helped especially by the fact that, very early on, Abrielle's Darkest Self was triggered, prompting her to cast a hex on Adam that caused him to see distressed damsels everywhere. I think that, without these two acts, the game would have gone very differently indeed. As it was, not only did half the cast trigger their Darkest Selves, I ended with two promises made to me, 4 Strings on Elizabeth and 3 on Anne, despite the fact that she had walked in on me kissing her, and I managed to quell the rumours about me and Eriel dating.

White Rabbit was the best game of the Con for me, but this is a close second; all the characters were interesting, all were played very well, and all the scenes were compelling, whether it was Elizabeth misguidedly helping Ben or Adam beating the shit out of the principal. It was a fantastic game, and when Monsterhearts is finally published, I fully intend on getting a hold of a copy and seeing if I can run a game of it.

Best Moment: Orion comforts Elizabeth, and gets a promise out of her to do anything he wants...

Funniest Moment: Oh, damn, too many to choose! The beehive, Abrielle's revenge on her bigoted homeroom teacher, every interaction between Anne and Orion, pretty much anything regarding Elizabeth's death...

Best Player: Rachel, because even though Elizabeth was mostly played for laughs, I did honestly feel for her in a couple of scenes, particularly the ones where she started to lean on Orion. Yeah, even I was thinking 'Orion, you fucking bastard' half the game.

Session Six: Games on Demand, Dungeon World (Hamish Cameron)
I was kind of hesitant about this. From what I can gather, Dungeon World is to Hamish what Bliss Stage is to me i.e. the thing we gush about at the first possible opportunity. But Karen was calling for dark, and I hadn't really had anything dark, so I thought 'What the hell'.

I didn't really get as dark as I had wanted, but it was fun and, as my rapidly failing brain showed me, I was not nearly awake enough for anything overly dark, so it turned out it was all for the best.

I played Marcus, a Paladin in a party on the way the Temple to the god Ragmatag, to vanquish the evil Lich King who had quite rudely taken up residence there, as Lich Kings are often wont to do. So, myself, Hur'falg (a Cleric, played by the other Dale), Rudigard (a Warrior, made by Richard who, Hamish noted, was almost identical to a Warrior he made) and Robin (a Thief, played by Karen) made our way to this destroyed Temple, past mozzies and swamp and forest and rocks and badly-described background and very, very toxic fish.

At the Temple, we discovered probably the only bandits willing to listen to door-to-door evangelists, a leopard, a dire shadow-leopard-creature that took a stern dislike to anything that glowed, loot that exploded, a door that exploded, a gem on a door that, when removed and thrown into the loot that exploded, made an even bigger explosion that almost killed half the party, and a Lich King that looked more like a mad scientist.

It was one of those games.

Best Moment: Hur'falg's description of heaven: a bazaar where people exchange the things, experiences and tales they have collected during life as if they are precious jewels and golds.

Funniest Moment: A tie between the discussion on the nature of the shadow being guarding the temple, ending with Hamish jotting down the phrase 'shadow leopard' and the rest of us groaning at the realization of What We Had Created, and the following dialogue:
Me: Throw the stone towards the loot! You'll set off the loot trap! It'll be awesome!
Karen: Okay!
Me: ohshit.

Best Player: Dale, just for sanctifying the Lich King's head. It was awesome.

Next up, a post with Achaean sum up and general weekend oddities!

-Freya out

dont let me sleep but you got a
girl you never knew is what you 
secret i cant keep you see a little
fear oh you you take it so slowly

KapCon: Day 1

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Session One: Do Not Go Gently (Angus & Hugh Dingwall)
As I explained to people who asked (or stood still long enough), my general principle these days in cons is: play a Dingwall game, play a Karen Wilson game, play Games on Demand, play anything else that looks sufficiently awesome.

In Do Not Go Gently, we played a group of aged ex-gangsters, gathering on the anniversary of our last job, only to find that Faith, one of the gang, had mysteriously not shown up. Thinking this strange, we called up a few leads. By the time her death was confirmed, the bar we were in was getting firebombed, and it was time for us to come out of retirement and find out what the fuck was going on.

The system was homebrew (I'm sure one of these days the Dingwalls will run a system at a con that isn't. The world will promptly implode) with each character having a Legend, which was a skill they were fantastically good at (I could break into Fort Knox), a pair of cards with random words on, which they could use to expand their backstory and either roll dice or create a scene/lead/something, and a Doom (I had a deal with somebody, and every time I used my Doom card, their demands would increase), which they could use to get more cards, but would increase their Doom counter, and if they rolled a pair of dice under the Doom counter, they would die.

Yeah, two of our members died rather horribly due to that, and promptly joined the Dingwall brothers in fucking us over, although I suspect Nick Adams was taking a rather perverse glee in using his Doom card to become more and more alcoholic as the story continued. Certainly every time he used it he grinned like the Cheshire Cat.

It was a fun game, though not nearly as dark as I'd been hoping, probably because the game hadn't been playtested and we were still figuring it out as we went along. The end scenes though made up for the darkness, by featuring a horribly manipulative character, and a terribly cold sense of dread. Vanya's response to it, while rather ridiculous, still sent a few shivers up my spine, and the moment where the three of us stood at a stand off did send my nerves tingling, which says a lot for the tension and atmosphere of the scene.

Best Moment: Justin takes matters into his own hands after Sara decides that she's had enough.

Funniest Moment: "Could you get me some brass knuckles? My fingers aren't what they used to be...you know, arthritis." -Hannah.

Best Player: Tie between Hannah and Vanya, just for pulling off their characters attitudes so damn well.

Session Two: White Rabbit (Karen Wilson)
The LARP that was not a LARP. The Lost In Space that was not Lost In Space. The game where we could have saved ourselves if we hadn't lost our character sheets within the first five minutes because we were too busy moving between desks.

It was awesome.

When I played Always Cold In Alaska, I was impressed by how well-written the NPCs, especially Stephanie, the pivotal character, were. In White Rabbit, I was very impressed by how well-written every single PC was. All of them were sympathetic to a lesser or greater extent (gotta confess, both Jesse and Jack creeped me out a little - those were not fully-functional adults). Karen did a fantastic job of increasing the tension between the adults, particularly between Jesse, Jack, JJ and Novak, as we tried to figure out what was changing the course coordinates. Having the children wandering around between the scenes added an interesting layer to it - it simultaneously introduced an element of innocence, comedy and also an element of wariness and wanting to protect them from what was going on. There was a scene where I was discussing something awful that was going on with JJ (played by Theo), aware out of character that one of the children was listening in. It was an interesting scene, because while I was able to engage completely with Theo, part of me was wondering how Mel (who was playing the child) would interpret the scene.

(She interpreted it as Jack (played by Hamish) becoming a space ferret.)

It was an amazing game to play. It wasn't as harrowing or dark as Always Cold in Alaska, but it was deeply enjoyable and fantastic fun. The only problem, though, was that Karen hadn't quite realized that she had unfortunately kind of made a LARP without realizing it and, as I mentioned, we could have saved ourselves had we not moved away from our sheets and lost the information. Ah, well.

Best Moment: The heartwrenching expression on JJ's face when he leaves.

Funniest Moment: Tie between the argument about hours vs. years, and a pair of children climb into the service ducts whilst Jack and Jesse are having an important conversation. "You know, there are dangerous space ferrets who climb in the service ducts and nip at the toes of naughty children who listen in on conversations and who, if they really wanted to go into the bridge could have just asked..." and the resultant squirming, shrieking and later accusations my saying this resulted in.

Best Player: I don't know how to choose, everybody was so fucking awesome! If I had  to, I would probably pick Hannah *mumblesincoherently* for the children, for doing a fantastically realistic grief-stricken and resentful teenager and Theo for the adults. Just for that single, heartwrenching expression at the end. Hannah is very, very closely followed by Steph and Mel for both doing freaked out children marvelously, and Theo followed by Hamish Meads for going from creepily analytical psychiatrist to fiercely protective father in 0.5 seconds. And also for drawing poorly from the bag, causing Jack to talk about how amazingly intense and painful the physical examination he went through was.

Other Awesome Moments From The First Day
(some copied from my fbook wall)
Me: Wow, Karen, these characters were really fucked up.
Karen: *innocently* I would never put a fucked up character in a game.
Me: You don't fool me! I read Hamish's character sheet for 'Always Cold in Alaska!'

In White Rabbit, Karen's periodic torture of mine and my character's patience by having her six month old baby cry. And playing a tape of a baby crying while she did so. Ack!

Nick: Ah, hell, I just feel I have to play this card on Hannah.
(Puts down the 'Lust' card.)
Me: You are one foxy grandma, Hannah.
Hannah: I am.
(Hannah writes 'Foxy Grandma' on her character sheet.)
(Game continues.)

(Spoilers for White Rabbit)
Jesse:
...I have had to seal Jack in the garden, and we will be doing a detour to the nearest research station.
Alex: I have a question!
Jesse: No, it will not take an extra one-hundred-and-twenty years.
Alex: Actually, I was going to ask if this means you and Jack aren't getting married anymore.
Jesse: *brain screeching to a grinding halt* What?!
(Spoilers End)

"It's because Jack is turning into a space ferret, I told you!" -Mel.

Hannah, Nick and I gushing about the hotness that is Helen Mirrim.

Hugh: Why should I tell you anything?
Character: Because you love me.
Everybody Else At Table: *variety of expressions of horror and intense wincing*

The lollies that we used as prop-cigarettes during Do Not Go Gently.

More will probably be added as I think of them, and recaps of Day 2, Achaean and Pre- and Post- drinks, as well as General Mingling will be added as well. :-)

-Freya out.

forget to breathe dont forget
shadow in the corner of the room
to breathe you know you are
darkness moves upon you like a

Something that irritates me a bit

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Warning: Sex talk. Lots and lots of sex talk.

I had an ex-boyfriend who hated bananas. Fucking loathed them. And you could tell him that the banana cake you had just baked was the most heavenly, delicious, gorgeous cake in the world, but he wouldn't touch it with a six foot pole because it had bananas in it and he hated fucking bananas. Fucking despised them. He hated the way they tasted, he hated the texture, he hated the way they felt when he swallowed them, he hated everything about them.

Similarly, there are women out there who really aren't too keen on penetrative sex. Or oral sex. Or manual sex. Or anal sex. And there are men out there who aren't too keen on any of the above. And there are people out there who aren't too keen on performing any of the above either.

And people come along and start talking about oh god the orgasms you get off of this type of sex are fucking amazing every woman should try them because the tissue inside your vagina is just spectacular and it's awesome and amazing and every woman loves it and then other people come along and start talking about every man I've ever done anal with has loved it when I touched his prostate and some came so hard they couldn't speak and it's the bundle of nerves and you know what you do when you talk like that?

You other the women who don't like that. You separate them. You say 'men are like this, and you're not like this, so what are you?'

You also give abusers tools to manipulate people with. But everybody loves it...give it a go...you will too...or they say it's great for guys...don't you want me to enjoy myself? or you just need to relax, everyone likes it, if you try it enough you will, you'll be normal...

People are allowed to have squicks. People are allowed to have fears. People are allowed to have things they just plain don't want to do for whatever reason. And while I encourage the idea that sex is enjoyable, I don't think we should make people feel ashamed for not wanting to do specific acts, or for not finding specific acts unenjoyable. So much baggage is tied up into sex on both ends that by doing so, all we do is hurt other people. It's dangerous.

In short: If you want to talk about sex acts you enjoy, that's fine. But always be sure to let people know that it's fine to not enjoy them yourselves. Because, at the end of the day - it is.

-Freya out.

the peak of something lovely
ive toyed and ive romanced im
feeling slippy breathing tell me
on the edge of something inner

Ignore this post

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It was a bad idea.

-Freya out

hear your smile and breathe
mystery one mystery my silence
your light and if i listen to the
solidifies till than hollow void erases