You Know You’re A Geek When…

So, rather unexpectedly after a chance refresh of a webpage, we have in quick succession got our hands on an XBox Series X and it’s predecessor the XBox One X. With how much like hen’s teeth the stock of either are it is rather bemusement to suddenly have an embarrassment of tech in the house as we usually run it into the ground before replacing anything.

It probably says rather more about us than is comfortable that we were geekily happy to just watch install and upgrade progress bars march across the screens while we sweltered in the heat. I suppose we’ll have to start thinking about a new TV at some point…

Tanglefinger Update

We were going to play D&D tonight as we’re not particularly sportsball people, but people are unwell, and Lady M is a known superfan, so we’re postponing a week. In the meantime I have recorded a recap by Tanglefinger the Boggle that has had everyone in the polycule in stitches and I thought you might enjoy.

And now…Tanglefinger

What can I say, but you’re welcome!

How Bizarre

I was about to write a blog and found three unpublished drafts from over the last few weeks, so I’ve hit the button on them. That should confuse the stats.

It’s been a very busy weekend – we finally caught up with each other yesterday – so today’s gaming session was a bit more subdued and roleplay-led than our more recent weekends.

The DDC ended up visiting a casino and taking advantage of Thorin’s local fame and popularity to sweettalk the owner into giving them some information about the missing Lord Kemsler. They now have the office address and name of a skyship captain who transported the artificer.

It doesn’t sound much, but the session was full of visits to tailors, shopping for gifts, and asking questions of suspicious town hall gnomes. It was gentle, but we had fun.

We’re also starting to get a regular viewership – a steady half dozen or so listeners all the way through and another couple of dozen who dipped in and out. According to our stats we also have a healthy number of people who check in on the recordings during the week – so if that’s any of you, thank you very much and hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have making it.

If you’re not sure of the link, have a listen to www.twitch.tv/princessleah1980 and we’ll see you soon.

Sound Levels and Tech Revolts

Well, that certainly happened… we had a lot of fun in the game, but our sound levels were plagued by gremlins at various points so the stream sounds were apparently very vague in places.

Ah well, we’re neither professional or charging so while it’s an annoyance it isn’t the end of the world.

As for what happened? Well there were investigations, hints of ancient atrocities, and waves of zombies pouring out of a crumbling rookery. All that, and Coal is still missing…

The video stream should be available through the YouTube channel link in the menu at the top of the page if you want to sample the chaos.

Games and Pictures

The last few days been a bit of a swirling mess brain wise, but it’s been productive too. Sunday’s D&D game was great fun and we’ve recorded the silliness on YouTube

I was asked earlier in the day on social media to sum up what was in store for them, and I’d said ‘missing persons’ so I think we delivered on that.

One of the things we’ve started talking about has been some degree of merchandise. I’ll do that through Amazon as I finalise the designs as I’ve got extra design slots now available. We’ve been bouncing ideas around, and I’ll be mocking some designs up over the next few weeks.

If nothing else it gives me an excuse to do some silly things and have people wear them.

Other than that, I’m mostly preoccupied with the upcoming restructure at work, and with an operation that Lady M will be having soon – oh, and the joys of living under pandemic lockdown conditions as a key worker – but at least I’m earning…

New Week Old Software

Much to my delight I found out this weekend that Apophysis, the fractal software I used to enjoy making images with as the base of some of my old artworks, is still available and has been updated to work on modern PCs.

Well, it would be rude not to. I’m still re-learning the ins and outs of it, but for comparison here are two old images and two new ones

Housebuilding and Tabletop Shenanigans

The D&D session on Sunday was a quiet one with two main goals – to allow the group to finish outfitting the house their adventures have now bought outright, and to ensure that everyone had transferred their character sheets to http://www.dndbeyond.com and installed the Beyond20 extension in their browsers.

Why? Well the character sheets and their management is more user friendly than Roll20 in our opinion. They’re especially more useful for newer players in terms of managing items, actions, and spells. I’d found them so much more intuitive while playing with my other group that I suggested a sidestep.

The browser extension makes for a seamless transfer of rolls to the virtual tabletop in Roll20 during the game, and has some nice configuration options that allow some tweaking along the way. I’ve had to shell out a bit of money to rebuy some source books and upgrade my monthly subscription, but in support of a regular group I really don’t mind that.

All the tests seem to be working, so now I’m fleshing out some encounters using the tools available on the site, and we’ll see where the group wanders next.

Supporting Endeavours

I’ve been keeping busy doing some graphic work for myr s as they establish their Twitch gaming channel, and it has been a fun exercise in designing to order and continuing to work out how to do things I used to routinely do in older versions of the software available.

As a Twitch Affiliate, there are bonus graphics and emojis available to subscribers, so I’ve been helping design those to add a bit of flair. They’ve been playing a lot of Alien: Isolation, so a theme of chibi graphics referring to that has emerged, and I’m really pleased at how the transparencies work to simplify the graphics, even at smaller sizes.

Compared to the complex work I normally do, there’s a challenge to keep the simplicity so that the image is still clear.

I may even be feeling a bit pleased with the results

Gaming Occurred

So yesterday I was able to escape the curse of the eternal DM and take part in a game of dungeons and dragons as a player for the first time in years. After some initial tech fiddling to run Teams privately on one of my laptops and my phone, and to link Roll20 and DnD Beyond on the other via a chromium browser it all went very smoothly in a five hour session from about 6.30

As a setting, it took place in a slightly tongue-in-cheek Pirates of the Caribbean style environment as I joined a group consisting of many people I’d never met before.

I’d been invited by the Ladies H, and had met our DM once at MCM London last year, but everyone else was an unknown; so my anxious disaster-brain fretted in the hours leading up to getting started. If you’ve ever played with a new group, you’ll know the feeling, and therefore also the relief of a friendly inclusion.

My usual name blindness means I’ve already forgotten most people’s real names, let alone their characters, but I did at least remember to take a few notes:

And I still forgot who everyone is

We shall resume the game sometime around the middle of next month.

This has been a positive thing, and I’ll thank my brain to remember it.