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Paul Beakley
1,827 followers -
Web strategy for small business and nonprofits. Happily married single father. Lifetime tabletop gamer. Giant nerd.
Web strategy for small business and nonprofits. Happily married single father. Lifetime tabletop gamer. Giant nerd.

1,827 followers
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Just bought my tickets, and have booked nothing, because I'm terrible at cons where I have to reserve a seat. Terrible.

So! I think there have been efforts to pull together a Games on Demand type thing, but last I heard there's not anything set up. Usually I either talk my way into a table or run my own stuff wherever I can score a free table.

Who's into me running something this weekend? I think everyone I know who might be there follows me. Plus or comment please.

Thinking about, not in any particular order

Coriolis, although it'd be a cold run
Space Wurm vs Moonicorn (one shot rules)
Meridian
Witch
The Veil (also a cold run but I've got a good handle on it)

I could also bring Inheritance on the off chance I can find ten players and a big room. Seems crazy.

I need to take a Sagas of the Icelanders break, sorry, played it enough and not feeling it.

Any special requests? I live to serve.
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I finally had to knuckle under and google "they're good dogs, Brent" because I'm doddering and confused.
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We went to the worst concert last night.

I don't want to name the band, but it was so bad that we left before the main event even hit the stage.

They bill themselves in the "dream pop" genre, sure, whatever. I can even imagine how they sound: kind of drifty, kind of electronic and wander-y. The synth version of a Dead concert.

The first few songs I was like...this is music to do heroin to.

Half an hour in I was like...the music demands heroin.

I'm so bummed! Nights like this make me feel like I've just outgrown live music. We weighed our options and decided going to bed before 10 sounded better than toughing it out 'til midnight.
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TFW you're starting to pile the muscle back on but the fat hasn't started coming off yet. I'm down a belt loop but up 5 lbs, and I can't tell you how aggravating that feels.
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Stellaris

This is the first Paradox game where I feel like I can drop out for a while, let the DLC build up, buy it all up and continue playing without destroying my brain. Or so I thought.

Last time I played was...1.6 maybe? Now it's 1.8, with several story packs added. Just added Synthetic Dawn and I can't really tell what's going on that's new, because errrrything seems new. I restarted from scratch, turned the tutorials on, and am playing at 1x speed. There are long slow stretches, which is fine because it feels like there's so much going on.

My race is the uh...Mechanical something or other. I can't remember. Lizard people with a robotic slave race. I've modified them once (updated their template and expanded that change across my nacent empire), which was cool. Use them to populate new worlds, which is cool. They seem to kind of suck and cost energy to run, though, which makes sense on both counts but come on man, gimme my awesome future robot species.

This is also the first game where I randomized the number of AI opponents, I think. I wonder if somehow I got 1, because I've been playing about 10 hours and haven't run into anything but primitive species.

Anyway, enjoying how chill it is at the early part of the game. I always did like the opening game, then got bogged down midgame.
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Pedicure courtesy Iris.

Beagle for scale.
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It's nearly 1pm in Tempe and it's only 81° and I can't stop worrying that something horrible is just over the horizon because no way should the weather be this nice in mid September.

#trustissues #climatechange #dealwithsatan
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Tools and Other Overused Metaphors
Parallels

There's a thread over in the Gauntlet community asking for system recommendations for a very specific use case. I guess I should not be surprised that, even in this day and age, there's still a nontrivial -- and maybe even majority -- view that the tool just doesn't matter. Rather than making arguments in favor of specific implementations that seem suited to the themes and goals of the use case, what you get instead are essentially lengthy rationalizations/pitches for folks' favorite systems. Because if it's their favorite system, by definition it must work great for any use case.

The thing that I need to get and keep in my head is that, for a lot of folks -- even in my home group, even at allegedly progressive/bleeding-edge cons -- whole passels of players reject the premise entirely that specific themes and goals even need specific tools. And for their mode of play, they're probably not even wrong.

There was a very close parallel thing I used to see when I was all-in in the mountain biking scene (I'd written a big, popular trail guide, ran some festivals, raced a little, moderated the biggest online community). Lots of this might not make sense if you've never even thought about bikes beyond the fact they have pedals and wheels. Just go with it for a second.

So anyway, mountain biking. Someone would ask for recommendations of bike for specific use cases, right? And the replies would look like this:

Query: Hey I'm starting to hit bigger moves and I'm afraid I'm going to break my frame. What would you recommend in terms of beefier suspension but also light enough that I can still pedal up?

The Hardass: Learn to ride better. What you think is "bigger" isn't, really, and you don't need anything more than what you've got.

The Scold: You shouldn't be hitting those bigger moves, have you even considered the environmental impact of your actions? What about the carbon impact of driving to farther and more challenging trails? Check your privilege.

The Booster: Specialized! Specialized makes a great bike. Buy Specialized! I've ridden Specialized my whole life! Why would I need to try anything different?

The Retrogrouch: Back in my day, we'd hit that on a modified beach cruiser and laugh at anyone wearing a helmet. Damn kids.

The Technician: Okay, what's your current body weight? What's your budget? Do you have a well-stocked workshop at home? How familiar are you with high and low speed damping? Have you ever changed the oil weight in your suspension? What about tubeless, have you gone tubeless? Also consider the difference between a 9mm and 15mm through-axle. You might also look at adding a drop post (et cetera until their entire body of knowledge has been put on display).

The Rep: The Turner RFX 4.0 was introduced at Interbike this year and I can assure you it is precisely the correct choice for your ability and location.

I'm sure you recognize the equivalents in the gaming recommendation scene, yeah? The folks who are overloaded with technical knowledge all the way through to the folks who reject that there is anything other than the pure central experience.

Thing is, I'm not even sure they're wrong. It was true in the mountain biking scene as well: when you knew your trails cold, had spent your life mastering them on whatever kind of bike you'd fallen into in the beginning, then the whole "what bike?" question inevitably looks like "help me rationalize buying a new bike" or "I don't have the skills and am unwilling to work on them the way you did when all you had was a Schwinn, help me buy the skill you worked so hard to earn." Hard to argue against any of that.

Me, I've always been a proponent of bringing the right tool to the job. But that means framing that discussion in such a way that I identify what the "job" even is. Make the "roleplaying" category big enough and, sure enough, any old bucket can contain it.
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TFW tomorrow's the contest deadline and you're staring at a tightly laid out game that needs to be rewritten and re-paginated.

#goldencobra #mehhhh #actuallyscreaminginside
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Knocking the Cobwebs Off

Phew! Rode what used to be my 3-times-a-week lunch ride, from my house to a nearby trailhead, out into the desert to a water tank, then back home. It used to be, 10-15 years ago, a quickie I'd do if I had an hour and some and just wanted to get some exercise. Now it's an epic journey.

But I got home and didn't want to die! Although I kind of did want to die when I got to the water tank. Mountain biking requires big bursts of pure anaerobic power output, especially out here when you dive into and out of steep arroyos. Kind of scary when your heart rate hits the barf zone and suddenly your body is all yeahhh we're gonna need that breakfast out of your stomach now and then keep it all in there with pure willpower.

#babysteps
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