They All Went Through

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:35 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Mina covets the ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
The rest of the nominations have been approved for Yuletide.

✔ Count Dracula (1977)
Characters
✔ Renfield (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Dracula (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Mina Westenra Harker (Count Dracula 1977)

✔ Dracula (TV 1968)
Characters
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Mina Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ John Seward (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Lucy Weston (Dracula TV 1968)

One Fandom So Far, Two To Go

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Lucy's throat Dracula's ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
My nomination list for Yuletide has partially been reviewed. So as of right now, I can confirm this one. I'll let people know when the others make it through.

✔ Dracula - Bram Stoker
Characters
✔ Golden Krone Innkeeper's Wife (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ John Seward (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Dracula (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
Kihai, ready for some do-goodery!

Last night was the second session of [personal profile] inkblitz's D&D "off-game." Set in an out-of-the-way village named Greenfork, the adventure was a fairly straightforward campaign-starter type. Goblins have raided the village and kidnapped the miller's daughter, so a band of off-kilter newbie heroes head off to rescue her. The party consists of:

  • Qiphina, a halfling wizard specializing in divination (but who didn't get the chance to do much divining)

  • Lindhardt McGimm, a dwarf fighter with an axe in one hand and a hammer in the other

  • Kihai, a tabaxi monk made of cheerful

  • Graycape, a tabaxi cleric who is made of the opposite of cheerful and is Kihai's aunt and reluctant guardian angel

  • Sequoia, an unreasonably tall human druid (gonna guess he's played by Liam Neeson), and

  • Ixy the Fantabulous, a gnome bard who loves to strum his lute (not a euphemism) talk about his family


First Session
The first session took us to the goblin lair. On the way we did battle with an ill-tempered water snake and encountered a high-level wizard named Thorn, who entreated us, if we were going to go poking around the goblin hole, to look for a "round stone artifact."

The goblin hole itself... )

That ended the first session, with everyone gaining enough XP to hit second level. A very nice +1 Wisdom helmet recovered from the goblin leader was given to Sequoia, as it bumped his Wis bonus up.

Second Session
The party followed the old forest trail west, heading for the ruins to which the dragon had relocated. Suddenly Thorn popped up out of the trees to check in. The party informed him that his "round artifact" was not recoverable because it had hatched, to which he replied that he'd suspected it would. When they demanded to know why he hadn't mentioned that it was a dragon egg, he replied that he wasn't sure at the time.

They gave him the egg fragments (and the side-eye) and carried on. Further into the woods... ) The party wished the newlyweds dragon and wizard farewell, and escorted the miller's daughter home, with Ixy finally renaming the dragon Scintillax the Multicolored. We were rewarded with gold and enough XP to hit 3rd level.

Loose Ends for Future Tying
There are many questions to be answered, of course. Where is Scintillax from? He's clearly not a normal dragon. Is he a mutation? An experiment? His egg was acquired by the goblins after they wiped out the kobolds who initially occupied the cave, right? Since many kobolds worship dragons, could it be part of some larger kobold plan? Or the Cult of the Dragon? Scintillax's multi-colored nature points towards Tiamat.

Who were the glowy magic guys, and how did they come into existence? They referred to Scintillax as "the master" and were perusing high-level magics. One assumes that they were also the ones leaving notes around and complaining about goblins making off with the mask fragments. What's their deal?

Who the heck is Thorn? We gambled on the hope that he's basically good and that he and Scintillax will happily geek out over each other for the next hundred years, but we don't actually know anything about him except that he isn't exactly the bravest of wizards. He could be a Dragon Cultist himself for all we know.

Blitzy the DM, and Inter-Player Dynamics
For a first-time DM dealing with six particularly headstrong players, Blitzy did a great job! As a long-time DM myself there were spots where I would have handled things differently, but I did my best to keep my mouth shut and not cramp his style. Right now he's leaning quite a bit on the written adventure, but that's to be expected from someone learning the ropes. Given that our plan of "throw Thorn at the dragon" was completely from left field and apparently not addressed in the adventure, he did a good job of taking the narrative ball and running with it instead of just shutting it down because it wasn't "the right answer."

In terms of not cramping someone's style, however, I do need to be better about that in re: [personal profile] laurie_robey's wizard. Out of a desire to do something other than spam ray of frost there were a few times when she wanted to pull out burning hands or something else and Jamie and I both were like, "Save that for the dragon or multiple targets!" I was trying to be helpful, but really I shoulda just shut up and let her play the character the way she wanted. So, I apologize for that. Wizards aren't really her bag, but she ended up the wizard in this game because nobody else had claimed the role.

This particular party hasn't really pulled into a cohesive shape yet. Ixy wants to just go off and do his thing, Graycape wants to go off and do her thing in the opposite direction, Kihai wants to talk to all the things, Lindhardt wants to fight all the things. Qiphina and Sequoia don't seem to have an agenda other than "try to find some way to be useful," but that leads to them being overshadowed by the more aggressive players.

Every group goes through this, and every campaign even within the same group goes through this. It's a normal process, but it can be bumpy.

But the game was a lot of fun, and I am really eager to continue! I'll be back in the DM chair for the next session either way, tho. The characters are rich, and at one of the major dwarven cities of the world. Time for shopping! And backstory-revealing!

-The Gneech
calliopes_pen: (sallymn Xena life before coffee)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I found out what my computer model is. Until now, all I knew (since what was once written was lost to the mists of time, as the sticker wore off at some point) was it was just HP Compaq, since we hadn’t found the old paperwork for it as of yet. So I’m posting this mainly for my own sake, should I lose track of where I made a note of that.

HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower. I went to the support page for HP, and found the method for determining the type a particular model is.

So how did I find out? First, hit the plus sign around the Option 2 section. Their way didn’t work for me, and we never had HP Support Assistant in this computer, for whatever reason even back when it was still XP and would have had those original files. However, figure 1 mentions System Information. Typed in that, and the window that came up had everything, including a section for System Model. And there we have it.

Judging by this press release, it came out around April of 2008, if not earlier. Granted, my model was 32 bit, not the 64 bit they’re announcing. If that’s accurate, that means that the date I previously estimated is off by a few years. Should it make it another few months to 2018 prior to it being replaced, this one’s still going to have made it at least a decade. And should it still survive, we'll have it around as a spare, should its replacement have issues, or should Dad's laptop have problems down the line.

No More HP Printers For Me

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:38 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook enough necromancy)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Thanks to a firmware update from HP that was pushed yesterday, I believe I can safely cross off HP printers from my list of potential printer purchases.

Basically, the update blocks all non-HP ink from functioning correctly. There weren’t that many from HP that I had included on my list just yet, thanks to everybody's recommendations and advice (thank you for it, by the way) along the lines of Canon, Epson, and Brother.

This merely narrows the field a little more for me.

Note To Self

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:51 pm
calliopes_pen: (wolfbane_icons coffin Dracula fire)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Next year, I will try to remember to nominate Dracula The Undead, by Freda Warrington. (Not the Dacre Stoker novel of the same name) I love that unofficial continuation of the novel, and I have a prompt I'd love to see written someday. I just never have room and/or never think to nominate it until I've already done my nominations.

The Quest For A Printer Continues

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:50 pm
calliopes_pen: (54 IJ Edith silhouette books)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
For when I eventually replace the printer that I had to toss out, I have a question for those on my reading/friends list. I’ve only had inkjets from HP up until now (I don’t know the names right now) and that last one never really worked right, while the first lasted about 15 years before it died.

Would anyone recommend any particular Epson or Brother printer models? I only recently heard of them for the first time during my research, so I don't know much about those brands. Or is HP still a good one to stick with for inkjet printers, despite that last one? I considered the HP Envy 7640, but was turned away by bad reviews I was reading for that particular model.

What I'm looking for is a reliable color inkjet printer, even if it's primarily documents I would be printing.

Is laser better/cheaper in the long run?

The Road to Greenfork

Sep. 10th, 2017 10:10 am
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
"We'll pass through Greenfork tomorrow," the caravan leader said. "It's a tiny little burg; we'll mostly likely only be there an hour or two before moving on."

"Actually, we're stopping there," said Kihai, with a cheerful flick of an ear. "They need our help."

"Do they," said the caravan leader, not the slightest bit interested.

"See?" said Kihai, holding up a reward poster.

"Aye," said Graycape with a sardonic smirk. "We came all the way from the great desert, just to help a podunk little village with some pesty goblins. No quest too insignificant!"

The caravan leader raised an eyebrow at the older catfolk. Kihai gave a sheepish chuckle. "Not exactly. We were in the neighborhood anyway. We left the desert because our clan was conquered by one of the tabaxi lords."

"Tabaxi lords?"

"Not the same as the Cat Lord," said Kihai. "He's okay."

"Tabaxi lords are foul things," snarled Graycape. "Massive, demonic beasts, like a jaguar from hell. Easily the size of your horse. Cruel. Twisted. Infused with dark powers." She narrowed her eyes and leaned in to the caravan leader. "They feed on your soul," she hissed. The caravan leader gulped.

"Yeah, they're not nice," said Kihai. "The tabaxi lord killed or drove away any of the clan who resisted. Like my parents. There was just no way to stop him."

Graycape's ears dipped at Kihai's mention of his parents. The boy had said it simply, without hint of anger or grief, as casually as describing the weather. She added, "Eh, the desert was a dump anyway. We lived under ramadas and hunted antelopes with spears."

"I liked it," said Kihai.

"You like every place."

"Places are neat!"

Graycape waved a hand at Kihai and gave the caravan leader a look that said You see what I have to deal with?

"The young, eh?" said the caravan leader.

Graycape put a weary claw to her forehead. "You have no idea. I have followed this cub across half a continent, chasing every butterfly, every 'exciting tale,' and every shiny thing. I should be in a rocking chair by a hearth, not tromping down into goblin holes!"

"I just like to help!" said Kihai.

"I know, I know," said Graycape.

"Right, well like I say, we'll be at Greenfork tomorrow," said the caravan leader. "If you'll excuse me, I need to see to the horses."

"Oh! Oh! I'll help with that!" said Kihai, and hopped to his feet.

The caravan leader gave Kihai a warm smile. "Thanks, kid," he said, and the two walked off towards the horses. Graycape watched them go, with a flick of her tail. Her sister had "liked to help," too.

-The Gneech

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1980's Saturday Morning Historical Preservation Society

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