Some Stuff

Aug. 28th, 2017 02:23 pm
the_gneech: (Default)
In a mood today. Trying to focus and make myself move and do stuff, but the inertia is strong with this one. Brain keeps throwing stuff at me to try to demotivate, to which I'm just like, "Brain, what is your deal? What do you GET out of this?"

So far, my brain has not given me an answer to that question, which I find curious. Most psychological quirks, if you drill down far enough, are based in pretty primal stuff– from the basic fear for personal safety, to fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of change, etc. So my usual assumption, when my only obstacle is myself, is to try and figure out what it is that my psyche is afraid of. Or, to put it more charitably, what it's trying to protect me from.

And... I can't find a definitive answer. But I have a few suspicions.

Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away
Earlier this weekend, I discovered that Overwatch is gutting Mercy. I mean, mathematically it's a net buff, but they are removing her signature ability because it "frustrates" poor little manbabies DPS players to have their "hard work" of killing the enemy team be "undone." Whatever this new thing is, it is not Mercy as we've come to know and love her.

Just... WTF, Overwatch.

On the grand scale of things, this is supremely unimportant. It's just a friggin' videogame. But dammit, I was having a lot of fun with Overwatch. And I was having a lot of fun with Mercy. I started a whole YouTube series about it, for cryin' out loud. The changes are arguably going to make her "more powerful," but it comes at the cost of losing her iconic ability and turning her into this whole other thing.

It is not exaggerating to say that this change, if it goes through, will probably cause me to part ways with Overwatch. Not in a ragequit, but because if they're willing to throw away something that has been a defining moment from day one over something so ridiculous, then every emotional investment in the game is built on a foundation of sand. So... what's the point?

If that happens, Overwatch will get tossed on the "Now you're just a franchise that I used to love..." pile, along with Star Trek and so many others. So many things that used to fire up my geeky heart, that now just get a shrug, either because they have been morphed away from what made them cool in the first place (Star Trek, to some extent My Little Pony), or because they've simply run their course and have nothing more to say (Star Wars is a big one here).

But this phenomenon, combined with six years of close friends and family members dropping like flies, followed up by losing our house and watching the country lose its bloody mind, have left me in a place where it's very hard to get interested and excited in things– because there's every reason to think that everything I love will either get fucked up or just plain destroyed.

Some Days Are Better Than Others
Back in February I posted about feeling more like my old self, and there are times when I do. But there are also nights when I try to keep from crying myself to sleep because I miss Buddha. The problem is that it's hard to keep momentum. On nights like that (and days like today), I switch over to willpower and push myself onward out of sheer stubbornness, but that gets exhausting.

I think that, more than anything, is probably where the demotivation comes from. Part of my brain is going, "Come on, up and at 'em, this book isn't gonna write itself! Your fans are eagerly hoping for more art! You need to exercise so your body doesn't atrophy!" and so on, but the rest of my brain replies, "Why bother? What's the point? I'm tired, and it's just going to be screwed up anyway." And while those two bicker back and forth, the rest of me stays stuck in limbo.

Deciding to Move Forward Anyway
"I have never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit."
–Elizabeth Gilbert

The good news is, looking at this situation, analyzing it, acknowledging and being sympathetic to it, I can also overcome it. As an adult human being with free will, I can make the decision that I'm going to do something whether I'm motivated to or not. This is different from the rote stubbornness of moving on willpower. This is a rational choice. "Okay. So you're tired and demotivated. But you have the choice of being tired and demotivated and getting nothing done and feeling even worse about that, or being tired and demotivated and still having written the book/drawn the comic/done the workout. Of those two, which would you rather have?"

In other words, if heart can't pick up the slack, and ego isn't up to the task, intelligence still has something to say on the matter.

So yeah, I'm in a mood. But I'm the boss of me, not the mood. And the boss says we keep going.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Mysterious Beard)
On Friday, [ profile] lythandra and I were at Barnes & Noble when we happened to overhear a young couple shopping for a present for someone. The man of the couple had picked up a "Build Your Own Darth Vader" kit and said, "This is pretty cool." The woman slapped him on the shoulder and said, "Stop it, she's a girl! Put that down." She then dragged him off to some other part of the store.

My response was, "Girls can't like Star Wars?" Laurie's was, "Hey, I dressed up as Darth Vader for Halloween when I was a girl!"

Cut to Saturday, when my art student (an amazing girl), wore a very geeky t-shirt of Luke Skywalker standing behind a pack of stormtroopers with the caption "Photobomb." Laurie pointed out what an awesome shirt it was, to which I agreed. My student's mother agreed as well, and said that my student had a friend at school who loved the shirt and wanted to know where to get it. When my student told the girl that it was readily available at Target in the boy's section, her friend looked crestfallen and said, "My mom won't let me shop in the boy's section." And that, apparently, was that.

Seriously. -.- What the fuck.

There's a certain tendency to think of gender oppression as something done by men to women; but that's an incomplete picture at best. When they've bought into it, frankly there's no more rigid gender cop than a suburban mom. :-`

-The Gneech

(Edited to clarify the final point.)
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
Obi-Wan and Darth Vader are sitting at a table in a cantina, when a film producer walks up to them and says, "Hey, guys, I'm shooting a music video for Abba and I want to use your amazing powers with the Force to create awesome special effects."

"I'm in," says Vader.

"I'll pass," says Obi-Wan.

"What?" says the producer. "Why won't you help?"

Obi-Wan looks the producer in the eye and says, "Only the Sith deal in Abba shoots."

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Maedhroc Salute)
So I signed on to LotRO for a bit this morning before settling down to work; new update, scrambled everything, all new skill system, etc. etc. And... meh.

But it's not LotRO, it's me.

I have, over the past I-don't-know-how-long, turned into a hipster, it seems. All these things I used to enjoy, from LotRO to Borderlands to MLP:FIM, they're too noisy now. There's too many people involved in them, too much STUFF going on around them. Somewhere along the line, the thing I was interested reached a critical mass where it turned sour, or became more work than fun, or where I just plain got all the fun I was going to get out of it. You ever go back and watch some show you loved as a little kid, but now that you're older, it just falls flat? Same kind of feeling.

I hit that point with Star Wars when the 3D-animated Clone Wars series came out. I hit that point with Star Trek somewhere around the time of Deep Space Nine or possibly the last few seasons of Next Generation when it was devolving into a soap opera in space. Usually this phenomenon is triggered by some change in the item in question, where the kernel of whatever I fell in love with gets obscured by things added on later.

Some of this is the larger cultural shift brought about by the internet, I suspect. When I was growing up, fandom stuff was obscure. Like, really obscure. As in, photocopied or hand-typed newsletters being sent around the country by snailmail obscure. When I was twelve, all the hardcore Doctor Who fans in Fairfax County could fit easily into a small meeting room at the public library (and did). Star Trek had three seasons plus an animated series, and none of us could believe that they'd actually made a movie about it.

Note that I'm not saying that was better, because it wasn't. What I'm saying is that it's what I am used to. Growing up in that environment set my comfort level.

The truth is, I'm not happy about how this has gone down. I like being a fun guy who likes things, not being a downer dude who is so over everything. But I'm not sure what to do about it. It's great to talk about "cultivating a child-like sense or wonder" or some such, but when that isn't there, faking it is not a feasible option. For now, I guess I'll just look for the next Cool Thing, while periodically going back to the core of those things that just don't do it for me any more, and see if I can find that kernel I fell in love with buried deep in all the junk that's been piled on top of it.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)

c/o @DarthVader on Twitter.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
From the wrinkly brains at Overthinking It: Systems, Not Sith: How Inter-service Rivalries Doomed the Galactic Empire

The Death Star is the apotheosis of the Imperial Navy’s drive for dominance of the Imperial Military, and the Imperial Navy’s single-mindedness about their “Technological Terror” is evident throughout the series. With it, they guarantee that an Admiral will always be at the helm of the “ultimate power” in the universe. Despite the Army’s (accurate) objections that the station is vulnerable, the Navy convinces the Emperor to build not one but TWO different battle stations that can be destroyed by a small fighter shooting a single shot.

The Navy’s fixation is almost pathological—when Leia gives up the supposed location of the Rebels on Dantooine, the logical next step would be to go to Dantooine and blow up the Rebels. If Leia is lying, they can always come back to Alderaan and threaten to blow it up again. To Tarkin and the pro-Death Star faction, however, demonstrating the “full power of this station” is the most important objective of all. Dantooine is “too remote to make an effective demonstration,” so they blow up Alderaan and lose whatever leverage they might have over Leia.


It’s not surprising that Storm Troopers never hit anything – their blasters are made by whichever contractor has the most political clout with the Imperial Command. If that contractor turns out a lot of defective blasters, the General who selected him certainly isn’t going to be the one to report the news to the Emperor and it’s not like the Storm Troopers are going to complain to Darth Vader or ask "60 Parsecs" to do an independent investigation.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Yoda Hammertime)

c/o KensterFox.


Cello Wars

Dec. 5th, 2011 04:51 pm
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
The Piano Guys are back, with a cool new vid. :)

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Yoda Hammertime)
Item One: D&D + Emerald Rose + Ponies = Epic awesome.

Item Two: How the Sith Stole Chrismas ... what is this I don't even...

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Twilight Sparkle applauds)
Say, did that awards ceremony at the end remind you of anything?

Like, shot by shot? Right down to the iris close to the credits?

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
Snagged from [ profile] softpaw...

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Taishi Conquest)

I particularly like "Tintin and a Timelord Taking Tea in Tibet." :D

Via Jonas ... vaguely.

the_gneech: (Rastan Kill Monsters)
I think I may have figured out what to do re: D&D, but I'm going to let the idea simmer awhile before I actually do anything with it. In the meantime, the "OMG Giants!" campaign will continue trucking forward in houseruled 3.5 with E-Tools, and of course SWSE will move forward as well. I've figured out what the next Star Wars scenario will be, and it's likely to be another biggie. ("Can you say 'Super Star Destroyer'? Very good. Now can you say it without that terrified simper in your voice? Well, we'll work on that.")

I went out looking for a copy of the Pathfinder Bestiary today, but was failed by both the FLGS and Barnes & Noble. I don't want to resort to ordering it online just to see if the monster-building stuff is any different from what's already in the 3.5 Monster Manual ... so I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes open for another copy to pop up somewhere.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
WotC to discontinue its Star Wars license in May 2010.

I think most people who've been watching the trends are not terribly surprised, but it still makes me sad. Star Wars Saga Edition is the single best product WotC ever produced, by a wiiiiiiiide margin.

That said, it's still a perfectly viable system for continuing my campaign. :)

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Maedhroc Salute)
Normally, when I get the urge to play D&D, I prefer to be either the tactical leader type, or the axe-wielding barbarian. The former, because it's closer to my native personality, and the latter because I generally get the urge when I need to blow off steam.

For some reason, I'm currently assailed by the desire to play a halfling rogue. I could fire up LotRO and try a hobbit burglar, I suppose, that's not what I want. LotRO can be a fun diversion, but it's not real gaming and never will be ... besides which a) I've done the Shire twice now and don't think I could bring myself to do it again any time soon, and b) I'm looking for more of a D&D-type experience than a Middle Earth experience. (And I don't mean a 4E "move your mini around the map using at-wills, encounters, and dailies, and every encounter is perfectly balanced" experience, either. But I won't get into that rant here. I think what I want would be best served by an old-school game, like Tunnels and Trolls or the original RuneQuest, although a 3E or Saga Edition game would work.)

Having said all that, the next gaming on the schedule is for me to run the second half of the current Star Wars adventure tomorrow night anyway, unless it gets snowed out, which is a distinct possibility, or I decide I just don't have it in me after the past week, which is also a distinct possibility. Suffering from some burnout and lack of sleep, here.

Maybe I'll hit Game Parlor on the way home just for the fun of it, and try to get to bed early.

-The Gneech


Nov. 19th, 2009 02:35 pm
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
I present, as corroborating evidence to my previous post, the true story of what happened to the Death Star. Proton torpedo up the exhaust port? Pfft. Don't be silly, they just threw Kyle Katarn at it!

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
Compiling statblocks for NPCs in my next Star Wars session, I find that pound for pound, Kyle Katarn is actually much tougher than Luke Skywalker. But Luke is much more versatile.

Still, that just gives me a vision...

EMPEROR PALPATINE: Now, my young apprentice, you will witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!

KYLE KATARN: *blaster bolt between Palpy's eyes*


KYLE KATARN: Sorry, I just hate grandstanding.

In recognition of this, it's time for some Facts About Kyle Katarn:

  1. Kyle Katarn is so tough that the very thought of him wiped out all the Jedi and Sith on Ruusaan.

  2. Kyle has two ways of entering a room. One is to kick the door down and kill everything inside. The other is to let the room come to him. And it will.

  3. "Taral" is ancient Sith for "Will be whipped by Kyle Katarn."

  4. Kyle Katarn once visited the "Cloak of the Sith" region. It is now the "Cloak" region.

  5. Kyle Katarn's first lightsaber worked underwater. Not because Rahn built it that way, but because it was too damn scared not to.

  6. Ever wonder why Jason Court didn't make a return appearance? Because NOBODY plays Kyle Katarn.

  7. Kyle Katarn's beard has the death sentence in twelve systems.

  8. Kyle Katarn's beard is the death sentence in twelve systems!

  9. Obi-Wan grew his beard between Ep 1 and Ep 2 because he had a vision of Kyle Katarn.

  10. Alpha-Red was not a bacteria or virus capable of killing off the Vong and all of their biots ... it was the code word for the Jedi finally unleashing Kyle Katarn on the invaders!

  11. Cortosis disappeared because Kyle Katarn used it all to make a comb that didn't break when it touched his beard.

  12. Yoda used to have 3 stronger older brothers, but they mysteriously vanished after pissing off Kyle Katarn.

  13. Mace could have survived falling out the window, but unfortunately he landed on Kyle Katarn's beard.

  14. Kyle takes his caf without suger, cream or even hot water.

  15. Coruscant once honored Kyle Katarn by naming a street after him. It gets little foot traffic because NOBODY crosses Kyle Katarn.

  16. Han Solo drops his cargo at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser. Imperial Cruisers drop their cargo at the first sign of Kyle Katarn.

  17. Many Bothans died to get the plans to the second Death Star, because they got in Kyle Katarn's way.

  18. When Kyle Katarn goes to Candy Mountain he doesn't lose a kidney.

  19. Passed out, surrounded by stormtroopers and nerve gas, and handcuffed to a table leg, Kyle Katarn laughs to himself and says, "I have them right where I want them."

  20. Kyle Katarn's calendar goes from March 31st to April 2nd, because NOBODY fools Kyle Katarn.

  21. If it tastes like chicken, looks like chicken, and feels like chicken, but Kyle Katarn says it's bantha, then it's kriffing bantha.

  22. There are three leading causes of death among stormtroopers. The first two are Kyle Katarn, and the third one is heart attack from knowing Kyle Katarn is coming for them.

  23. If Kyle Katarn's blaster jams, it's because he was beating you to death with it.

  24. There's no use crying over spilt blue milk ... unless is was Kyle Katarn's.

  25. On a high school math test, Kyle Katarn put down "violence" as every one of the answers. He got an A+ on the test because Kyle Katarn solves all his problems with violence.

  26. Kyle Katarn has the heart of a stormtrooper. He keeps it in a jar on his desk.

  27. If you wake up in the morning, it's because Kyle Katarn spared your life.

  28. Kyle Katarn can slam a revolving door.

  29. Kyle Katarn doesn't listen to the will of the Force. The Force listens to the will of Kyle Katarn.

  30. If at first you don't succeed, you're not Kyle Katarn.

  31. Kyle Katarn doesn't have a Bryar pistol for protection. A Bryar pistol has Kyle Katarn for protection.

  32. Kyle Katarn and Chuck Norris once met in a FanFic cross-over. The author's computer spontaneously combusted the instant both characters said "Nice beard."

  33. Standard proceedure for wiping protocol droids memory banks is to ask them to calculate the odds of Kyle Katarn ever losing a fight.

  34. In the medical community, death is referred to as "Kyle Katarn Disease."

  35. Kyle Katarn was once in a lightsaber fight. The lightsaber lost.

  36. Kyle Katarn always has the high ground.

  37. Kyle Katarn once ordered a steak in a restaurant. The steak did what it was told.

  38. Kyle Katarn knows the last digit of pi.

  39. Rules of fighting: 1) Don't bring a blaster to a lightsaber fight. 2) Don't bring a lightsaber to a Kyle Katarn fight.

  40. Kyle Katarn sleeps eight hours a night. Well, actually, in that area he's pretty normal.

-The Gneech


Nov. 12th, 2009 10:06 pm
the_gneech: (Obi-Wan Not Good)
Luke Skywalker, Kyle Katarn, and three PC Padawans walk into a bar...


So when trouble appears, as it must or there's no adventure, do I nerf the NPC stats or plot-device them out of the way so the PCs can do all the fighting? Tough call.

I've been adamant with this Star Wars campaign that I wanted the story to be right first, and that game mechanics would come after, and so far that's been relatively easy to maintain. But this time, it's a little tricky even from a story point of view. Luke and Kyle are veteran Jedi warriors, they should naturally be tougher than the heroes at this stage, otherwise why are the heroes bothering to be their students, right? At the same time, you can only have "rubble falls, separating you from the NPCs" or similar stuff happen so many times before it starts to become a real obvious plot device. This was actually a big problem whenever a major film character would show up in the Jedi Knight computer games: they'd appear, have a cut scene and maybe fight alongside you for an encounter or two, then disappear again until the end of the level "prepping the ship for takeoff" or "trying to find another entrance" or whatever.

Interestingly enough, DMG 2 for 4E has a whole chapter on mechanics of "nerfing" high-level characters so they can run around with lower-level characters for an adventure or two ... I might adapt those. What makes Luke and Kyle masters isn't just their high BAB and a bucket of hitpoints, but their variety of powers. It's a thought, anyhow.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Yoda Hammertime)
Dear Boba Fett:
There's this guy I'm crushing on in my Earth Sciences class; he's so cute! But whenever I try to talk to him I just freak out and come off like a total spazoid. What can I do? Should I just grab him, or what?
--Tripping Over My Tongue

Dear Tripping Over My Tongue:
What if he doesn't survive? He's worth a lot to me.
--Boba Fett

Dear IG-88:
You know that quote about "slay your enemies, drive them before you, hear the lamentations of their women"? I know for a fact that's from Conan the Barbarian, I've got it on VHS even, but my idiot roommate says it was first said by Genghis Khan. Can you prove him wrong?
--Annoyed by a Doofus

Dear Annoyed by a Doofus:
I think, therefore I am. I destroy, therefore I endure.

Dear Cad Bane:
I am totally frustrated! I've just been passed over for promotion -- again!! -- and I seriously think it may be just because I'm a woman. I keep seeing younger, less experienced men getting promoted right and left, but whenever I want to get ahead, it's "Oh, no, *you* can't be promoted, you'll just get pregnant and quit." I'm so furious!!! Do you think I have grounds for a lawsuit?
--Where's Dolly, Lily, and Jane When I Need Them?

Dear Where's Dolly, Lily, and Jane When I Need Them?
Sorry to bother you, Chancellor, but I've taken control of the East Wing of your Senate Building, and the occupants are now my hostages. If you care about them, I'd advise you to free Ziro the Hutt from the Detention Center.
--Cad Bane

Dear Bossk:
Which weighs more, a ton of mice or a ton of elephants?
--The Pointless Questioner

Dear Pointless Questioner:
Erraaaallurrrrr... *hiss, drool*
the_gneech: (Yoda Hammertime)
At least according to Cracked magazine.

Snagged from [ profile] seankreynolds.

-The Gneech

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