Mod Mode

I can write about this now its been announced: I’m trialling being a moderator for the UKCC Facebook group for a few months to see how it goes and how it fits with my other commitments.

The UKCC is the UK Cosplay Community group, and I’ve been involved with them over the last five years or so as a positive and family friendly bunch of folks. I’ve made good friends both at conventions and just generally during the lockdown as online support has become more prominent and helpful.

Purely by coincidence I turned down an invitation to become an administrator for Squad UK about the same time because I knew I wouldn’t be able to give it the attention it really needed. By even bigger coincidence one of the UKCC admins has just taken on that role with Squad, further proving how small the cosplay world really is.

Good luck everyone!

Finally Up To Date

The last two sessions of the campaign are now up to date – and are largely atmospheric accounts of the adventurers experiences as they venture into a ghoul warren. It’s all up under the Wartorn Chapter Four section, above.

I’ve just learned I’ll be joined by the Charleesi for at least a portion of the day tomorrow, following her tentative first steps into work experience and volunteering in the local area. Should be interesting to get her views on it all…

In other news, prompted by a very surreal and slightly NSFW conversation with Lady P, I’m working on a new short story that I think I’ll just share here, because it’s not particularly commercial and is serving as quite a nice block breaking exercise. It should only be a couple of thousand words, so expect it in the next day or three.

At this rate, I should actually have some spare time to do some modding for Artyfakes! Timetables and personal events have rather eaten into my available time to do more than turn up, say hello and disappear again, so I really need to get back into the swing of things there too.

A Call To Arms

I saw this on Tumblr somewhere. It seemed relevant

It’s not often you get an unexpected plea to come rescue someone, unless you’re Batman I guess, or you live a life of drama. I do my best these days to avoid drama because it’s so exhausting, though I can usually appreciate it when I see it, if only so I can use it in a story.

In this instance I got a call to come help moderate the Artyfakes stream, specifically to help cheer up Tabby. It’s fair to say she wasn’t looking as bubbly on-screen today as she normally is. I hadn’t intended to be online this evening after working until seven but if there’s one challenge I’ll rarely back down from, it’s one of putting a smile on people’s faces. This could mean only one thing: more #MadeUpModFacts.

My particular favourite was the proclamation that this evening’s facts were brought to the stream by the Voice of the Mysterons. Other highlights included some truly fowl jokes about Chinese Takeaway Ducks, the high profile splattering of trolls with the banhammer, and the revelation to the stream that Lady P was our concubine in chief; which was totally ignored by viewers distracted by the thought of Tabby and Lady P’s upcoming road trip date at Cadbury World.

Lady M was seen smirking gently as she read the chat channel while our binge-watching of Castle series 6 continued in the background; and it turned into a great evening of laughter and chatter quite in contrast to the more mundane day of shenanigans at the library that had preceded it.

It cheered up Tabby, cheered up Ladies M and P, and yes, continued to cheer me up. Told you this week would carry on getting better


Keep Calm and Use the Konami Code
Keep Calm and Use the Konami Code

Well, it’s been an interesting few days – which feels like that’s meant in the context of the ancient chinese curse. I’ve generally felt too tired to update this blog for a few days, but I have been continuing to help out with moderating the Artyfakes Twitch streams. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I do to keep the chat channel moving is insert cheeky fictional facts about the hosts and the other moderators. They are usually surreal, or include in-jokes, but they seem to be popular enough and various regular watchers have begun to contribute their own during the streams.

Here’s a few of the more interesting ones I’ve thrown into the mix this week, all prefaced with #MadeUpModFacts:

  • The next Hearthstone expansion will open new chapters based on the number of cans of Monster consumed by Tabby.
  • The camera is powered by Nick on an exercise bike.
  • Ludd was recently seen taking over the controls of a quad-bike to train his pet raptors.
  • Every time the banhammer swings, a new duckling is rescued by Nick.
  • Squeakehb recently thought that an advert for a lab assistant would be filled by a puppy.
  • Mama Mod has been seen looking for a new safe for the Tabby Snacks
  • Darklord recently discovered a hidden treasure map on the back of the prints on his wall.
  • All the moderators have been signed up to give an acrobatic ice dance at the BBQ, choreographed by the Chuckle Brothers.
  • Nick has a new hobby – dressing up as the Muller Rice advert bear.
  • Everyone at the BBQ event will be given random name tags so that no one knows who anyone is. It’ll be just like the internet, but in real life.
  • All commissions are delivered by flying monkeys that were hand reared by Tabby herself.
  • Nick’s secret superhero identity is [censored by Mama Mod].
  • Tonight’s lighting is provided by the Nodding Wizard.
  • At the end of this broadcast, appraisal forms for feedback will be mailed to all viewers.

No game updates this week


Easter scored a critical hit on the gaming this weekend, so both games had a hiatus. This was mostly to free people up for family events or winding down from hectic weekends, and hopefully the normal carnage will be resumed shortly.

For the most part, especially for Monday, it’s been a welcome break, allowing me to make up some generic location maps and beat-chart some encounters to accommodate the various directions that the players could take things. Various possibilities exist at the moment, from a free-form pirate’s life, a quest to destroy the artifact in their possession, a return to Sharn and pretending it never happened, or (as one conversation suggested) becoming investigators into weird crimes in the style of Castle.

As far as I know, there was no alcohol involved in that one.

So, with the bank holiday having already knocked my sense of day of the week out of whack, I think I’m glad to have a couple of days to my own devices. Hopefully I won’t feel quite so much like I’m running to catch up with myself.

Modding this week for Artyfakes will be on Thursday and Friday, so I suppose I should also make up some facts for those sessions. They are definitely proving popular. Perhaps I should make some T-shirt designs up…

Gaming and Modding

I’ve finally got round to writing up this week’s Monday game, and that heads up a new chapter in the Wartorn game – what’s a fantasy pirate adventure without a few zombies?

The modding for Artyfakes seems to be going well too – at least, they keep inviting me back so that’s a good sign. One of the things I’ve been doing, partly to keep the chat channel moving and partly to remind people that the show is moderated has been to throw in a series of fake facts with the label #MadeUpModFacts. These have generally made people smile and seem popular as I’ve retweeted them.

Examples include:

  • #MadeUpModFacts The chat channel is kept scrolling by tiny mice who live in the wood pile
  • #MadeUpModFacts Slenderman currently has three restraining orders against Ludd, who keeps trying to put Tabby’s zombie daffy duck mask on him
  • #MadeUpModFacts The floor is tiled with off-cuts from the crew’s first attempt to build the British Space Shuttle
  • #MadeUpModFacts The overhead camera is actually operated by one of Terry Pratchett’s box imps drawing very quickly
  • #MadeUpModFacts Some say Nic’s never been seen in the same room as The Stig…

I’m sure you can see a certain surreal pattern emerging. As a writer it’s a great exercise in throwing out quick snippets and it helps me get on with my own writing by simply getting me to write without worrying about context, continuity or even sense. Those come later when I dive back into the dialogue and descriptive sections.

A gentle evening's carnage
A gentle evening’s carnage

Last night I was online for roughly half of the show, before diving off to help celebrate a friend’s birthday at a local pub.

This turned first into a game of Cards Against Humanity, and then a long rambling night of music, dance, wandering conversations fuelled by many, many drinks. I’ve seen a post by someone else who was at the party today, saying that we should get a survivor’s t-shirt made up.

Tonight’s activities, I suspect, may follow a similar pattern – I’ll be covering the first part of the stream from around 6pm before leaving them in Lady P’s delicate care to take Lady M out to a live music night of cowpunkabilly mayhem with the ex-Lady M and the Charleesi. What’s the worst that could happen?

Modding for Artyfakes

Lady P has been helping out as a mod for the Artyfakes live Twitch stream for a little while, and until recently there were a few people involved in that to help spread the load. Recently, for various reasons, some of the other mods have stepped down, so a call went out for volunteers. With only a moderate amount of arm twisting, Lady P persuaded me to chuck my hat in the ring.


What’s the worst that could happen, right?

Well, Tabitha Lyons has had the dubious pleasure of knowing my younger brothers from her LARPing days, so the Maidment humour is not unknown to her or her family. Indeed, on last night’s stream, I was referred to as one of the ‘infamous Maidment clan’ when being introduced. A little unfair, I thought; I much prefer to be known by the description of ‘the mythical elder Maidment’ – a title I’ve been greeted with by LARPers at social events in the past.

Still, tonight’s stream was my first as a mod, and it was gentle enough. Only two swings of the banhammer required, and by and large a sedate affair, so there was plenty of time for Skype banter between Ladies M and P and myself in the background which is always a nice bonus. Let’s see how this develops…