Friday, April 1, 2011

The Blog is Dead, Long Live the Blog!

Seems like a good thing won't stay down eh? I've been keeping my little mind blips going now for about 2 weeks, felt I should put some life back into here as well when a sentence or two isn't enough.

I'd like to be serious a moment and talk about a fear of mine, not so much as to seek help for it, but to help people understand me a bit better.
I've always had a problem with abandonment, not on a family level thank god, but on a social level. In my primary school years I had few friends, and while not a social outcast, was still overlooked by most in my class. When I entered secondary school, I rapidly lost contact with them. I remember all the hopeful thoughts and plans I'd made with them, how we'd all live together, probably work together, and be friends forever. A naive hope to believe in and one I understand was ridiculous, but at the time it did sting. Now I wouldn't dub myself socially inept per se, if I'm around a group of people I get on well with I'm very sociable. It's the ability to talk to strangers, or to break into a group I find tough. Honestly when I went to college this year I was a little depressed. Once again my friends would be leaving, we'd all be off in our respective colleges, each doing our own thing on our own time, with less and less space to see each other. The fears of Primary came flooding back and I've worked hard to make sure I'm not left behind again.
I don't really know how to make friends. I look for like-minded people and just sort of do my thing whatever it is. In secondary it worked, netting me a good 4-5 hardcore friends and a small circle of outer friends. With the reorganisation and freedom of 4th year those circles expanded further. Who would've though the boy with two friends lost so quickly would be united with 10 wonderful and amazing friends, with 20-30 others to fall back on, to fill parties with, to have good conversation and to generally fill my day with happiness. But now that I'm college, I realise I've no idea what I did back then that worked so well.
For the first week of college I knew no one, and in UCD, when you've got literally thousands of people passing by you, it's soul crushing. Everyday I would take my lectures, move silently to the next one, dreading any free time I had between. I remember trying woefully to strike up a conversation with a person in one of my lectures, it filled me with fear, were all my social confrontations going to end this way?
In the second week societies started recruiting, I signed up to about 10-15 of them, but as I placed my name down for game soc, I knew at least I'd have people to talk with, somewhere to wait out the time between lectures.
We're about 7 months into it now, and I can say that I'm not as lonely as I went in. I've many people to chat with and enjoy company with in game soc. They're a mixed bunch of interesting people, each bringing something to the social paradigm. But I've realized something. While I enjoy my time with these people, I don't see them as friends, but more the acquaintances you fall back on should you not have a friend about at the time. I came to this conclusion when I realised we were all just too different, we were of varied ages, each on our own timeline and each with our own purpose. I can't talk about my classics lecture to the engineers, I don't understand the problems of the mature students, I could never find time to enjoy hanging out with the ones doing their thesis. These are people I simply rely on to stave off loneliness, but none of them have filled the void that's left when I left secondary school.
I'm not one to think about the future, because quite frankly it scares me. But I know it, down the line I'll lose the friends I hold dear, they'll forget about me, it's only natural I suppose. I just hope it doesn't happen for a while at least, you guys are some of the best people I've met, and I really can't imagine a day where you're just not there.
Please prove me wrong here friends, as you move on in life, just don't forget about me.

Signing off once again,


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Is reminiscing considered meta-gaming?

A man is walking home late at night, as he wanders three young lads pass by him, he picks up a small segment of their conversation:
"So they barricaded the doors with tables and chairs, Craig tried to smash down the door but he wasn't strong enough, so I leaped through the window and got straight into fighting"
That man is probably wondering what event took place in which all that happened, unbeknownst to him that none of it ever actually happened.
I find it odd that I'm able to look back on fictional events with such glee, yet at the same time proud. I'm proud because I invented such situations such characters that stuck in my player's minds all these years ahead. Whether it was the sight of a huge blue tiger man leaping out of a fountain or the rush of charging up a vanishing stairs to fight the general above the war, or even just an illusionist mastermind who abused the rules at the time.
But what I'm also proud of is my players, they're a clever bunch so they are. I've never believed in railroading them, maybe guiding them or dropping pretty big hints (No that commoner just left town, and he somehow got to the top of the continent in a day "So let's teleport after him!" sigh...) but ultimately they're there to play their characters and have fun. To be fair I could have created some more mounted combat situations, maybe some more stealthy places, or even just a coherent reason why these people would be travelling together (Seriously, two arcane-haters and a mage?). Really it's the power to do technically whatever you want whenever you want that drew me to Dungeons and Dragons, the freedom it brings is overwhelming.
Take for example my current bunch, they chased an unimportant man over an entire continent, discovered and ancient artifact, defeated a living temple, bested an arcane tournament, saved a town from raging elementals, defeated a druid cult and discovered the origins of the universe, now how many of you can claim to do all that?
As the Dungeon Master though, you do have less freedom. You may be considered God, but you have to look after your followers well, so everything might be a bit in their favour (A few fudged rolls here, a lucky magic item there) because without them, you're nothing. I do have my fun though, partly in what my players bring to the game (I'm going to see if Baleful Transposition is said more times than Detect Evil was) but what I bring to the game.
Imagine an architect, he meets this family who want a house built, he gets on great with the family and loves all their little quirks so he wants to build them a good house, something worthy of them, that's a bit like what being a DM is like. Good players need a good world and that's where I squirm with delight. The humble village, the mysterious mist, the immeasurable pillar in the centre of the world, all these and more are the things I put most of my heart into. However, one cannot forget the NPCs, the little quest givers and item sellers. While players have to stick as one character, the DM can leap between many, and the more often the players meet that NPC, the more you become absorbed into the roll. Flanagan, my generic dwarven bartender was nothing more than a little comic relief, but he was visited so often, players having full conversations with him, that I fell in love with his little self, and enjoyed playing him every time he gets involved. Even bit characters play importance, everyone will remember Jim Fillius as the bumbling town guard, even if he rarely did anything, or Gulliver, the mysterious travelling salesman who is essentially just an excuse to sell magic items in places that normally wouldn't sell them. So you have your well crafted world and characters, but they still need life breathed into them, so you create festivals, funeral processions, government forms mystical ancient pacts, guardian forces and unknown factors of the world to make it all come to life.
Never skimp on the small details either, you'd be surprised what people hang onto. For instance, everyone will remember the tavern called "Flagon of Flanagan" or the more cringe-worthty "Winter's Wonderland" (The potion shop owned by Weld Winterstone, oh the Josh-level puns...). You want your players to sit down and not only feel like they're playing a game, but feel like they've entered a real and living world, assuming the role of their character, who should feel as real as the world around them. When you get emotional responses from you characters, you know you've done well. Some players remember the fear they felt as a colossal stone figure chased them through a forest, others remember the pride they felt as they used all their know-how to break out of prison (Only for it to hilariously fail moments after), while all of them, current players and old players, remember the burning anger they felt thanks to a Glissa Shadowsong, Good times.

Well! Now that was one hefty update, that probably rambled on incoherently in some parts but still!
Sitting here crafting worlds in his head, this has been Alex!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On the agenda

List of things to do After the LC

Finish FF XIII.
Replay FF X.
Finish training Pokemon team.
Walk the funk out of my Pokewalker.
Play Monster Rancher, Abe's Odyssey/Exodus infinite other PSX games.
SSBM/SSBB matches with Max.

Flesh out world with history and proper locations.
Plan a few sessions, at least 1 before every flees.
Tidy up Character Sheets, balance out characters.
Create End Boss(es).
Flesh out Cathedral of Lanterns.
Create various NPCs, magic items and structured storyline.
Create recurring villain?
Figure out how to intertwine Sam into it all.

Obtain a monocle.
Obtain a night-life.
Obtain a lady?
Re-read Halo books.
College stuff, how to get there, books etc.
Frisbee, and lots of it.
Have my 19th birthday on my actual birthday date, or at least within a week.
Assure eternal bondage with friends.
Tan up and slim down.
Cut hair?
Purchase flights and stuff for Barcelona.
Relish the few days I will have Fanta Grape in Portugal.
Various other things.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Because my life isn't musical enough.

Well I was figuring what to write this week so I thought why not just go about what happened this week? Not exactly all that interesting really, so to spice it up a bit today's post shall be entirely in limerick form!

There once was a history class,
To do work they couldn't be assed,
A baloon fight was had,
Made everyone glad,
That didn't have to learn of the past!

Once on a sunny day,
A few gentlemen went out to play,
So with blue disc in hand,
The fun was so grand,
And that's all I have to say!

Of a gametype I had to teach,
In a night full of Halo: Reach,
Many skulls went flying,
And I kept dying,
Ah well, life's a beach!

There once was a group of 1st years,
Who were out racing their peers,
So we'd thought it a lark,
To send out Mark,
We were left laughing to tears!

From the swealtering body of mine, this has been Alex!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

After paying for a 10,000gp diamond and finding a lvl 13. Cleric I can finally cast true ressurection on this blog

Indeed, like all internet based things I finally cripple under the weight of it all and return, so to the 0.4 people who care about this hello again! I'll probably be using this thing as an extention of thoughts sort of thing, because you know I'm such a deep person and all that. More of that I get into deep thought but don't focus it, or forget it soon after. So this way it's more of a thought enhancer if you will. So I guess enjoy the trappings of my mind.
Be forwarned though, I'm not the sort of persin to hold back, so maybe at times I'll post G rated stuff, maybe onto 12's PG, but knowing me it will go 18's at some point. You can think I'm weird, but I'd rather you didn't judge me on these thoughts alone. We all think funked up things, I'm just the one to say mine.
So for those who wonder there's no update schedule thingie if you're looking to check up on me, just at some point I'd say every week or two expect something, I'm sure I'll have something to say!
From the sofa in his room which he's been sleeping on for over a week, this has been Alex.

Monday, February 2, 2009

There's white stuff on my face and I ain't complaining

Isn't snow amazing? I mean really, c'mon, think about it, it's just little pieces of frozen water clumped up nicely, but I makes the world look so scenic and beautiful, it dampens the noise around us so all that's left is a peaceful silence, It warms the heart while chilling the skin, but your warm once you pump yourself up from snowball fights and such! It's really interesting to see how the weather affects how we feel. When I woke up this morning, I looked outside and thought that it'd be an awful day, really cold and unpleasant, but once I got out into the snow my mood brightened suddenly, really suddenly. I then found myself ignoring my usual bus route into school and instead taking a stroll to school instead, so I could listen to my music ('How Six Songs Collide' over and over) while just enjoying being in and around snow. I got in just in time and couldn't have been happier. So there's no great question today, no life-changing revelation, just me saying how much I love a little bitta the white stuff.
Oh and for those who care, I try to update everyday, but Sunday is my day of rest, and unless something stupendous happens, you probably won't hear anything from me those days, but should a post appear, know it'll be a good one.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I wonder when we all stopped say Perambulation?

I never really noticed how much we wait in life, we wait for things, for Money, Love, Power, Fame, the god-dammed 14A. We expect all these things to come if we just wait, and for some things they do, bur maybe we should try and do other things whilst waiting, because we've got to fill the time somehow! I'd just left Josh's dad's house, and I knew the 14A wasn't going to come any time soon, so instead of waiting I strolled up to Rathmines, I could've just waited for the bus, but instead I went out and walked, I took in the nighttime scenery, breathed the cold air with hearty intakes, and when the glowing lights of Rathmines came into view, I could've kept on walking, and came close to, be then I remembered from here I could get a 14 as well as the 14A. It's a pretty sucky comparison, but the point I'm trying to get across is, that yeah you can wait for some things, but maybe if you went out and did something instead of waiting, you could find a new way to achieve your goal.
And sometimes you just need to take a stroll to clear your mind...