Saturday, November 2, 2013

[Geekly Weekly + NaNoWriMo Report] NaNoWriMo Day 1, Chez Greek, Catan and other stuff...

It's been a week or two since I posted a Geekly Weekly Report, and I'm posting it today instead of Sunday because I'll be combining these reports with my NaNoWriMo updates, which I'm going to be posting on Saturdays because the last day of November is a Saturday. So that means I'll be posting my last update on the last day of NaNoWriMo, which works out quite nicely. I'll be writing these combined reports on Friday evenings, after I've filled my NaNo writing quota for the day, so it will cover geekiness from the previous Saturday up until Friday. Anyway, enough rambling about how I'm going to schedule these posts, lets talk about my NaNo progress, and what geeky stuff I've been up to since last Saturday.

NaNoWriMo: Day 1
As of about 11pm last night, I'm sitting on 4020 words, and it turns out I've exceeded the word count estimates for the scenes I've written. For the number of scenes I wrote last night, I expected to have written 2250; I actually finished up with almost double that, so that's a great start to the month's writing, I think.

I bought some more books on my Kindle: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (which is next in my A to Z reading challenge list) and The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, which I'd heard of via the Writing Excuse podcast (and it was on sale for less than £1, so I figured, why not?).
I also ordered the copy of Pandemic 2nd Edition that I'll be putting on the line in my wager for this year's NaNoWriMo. Hasn't arrived yet, but when it does I'll be passing it on to Heather for safekeeping until I win.

Achievements Unlocked
First of all, I showed up at Saturday GUGS all prepared to run the pre-written scenario I want to playtest for Monster of the Week. Unfortunately, GUGS was pretty quiet on Saturday, and a lot of the people who were there had their own stuff to do. So instead of running MotW, I ended up playing some board and card games with Heather and Sandy. We started out playing Chez Greek - which is supposed to be a variant of Chez Geek, but I failed to see where the 'Greek' part came in - and that was more fun than I thought it would be going in. 

The idea is that you're a student at university, trying to slack off as much as you possibly can. You get a Major - which is basically like your Class card from Munchkin - which determines how much free time and income you have, and how much slacking off you need to do to win. The Major card also gives you a special ability that will help you out during the game. You have a hand of cards which you can play during your turn. There are People (who you can roll a dice to 'call' and ask to hang out, or play against other players if that person gives negative Slack), Activities (you can play as many of these as you have Free Time and if your Income allows you to afford the cost), Things (which you can buy if you have the Income and use some of your Free Time for shopping), and Whenever cards which can be used anytime to aid you or hinder other players. There are also special Whenever cards called Week cards, which affect everyone and remain in play until a new one replaces them. (So if it's midterms you have less Free Time because you've got coursework to get on with.) It was a lot of fun, even if some parts of it did give me some bad university flashbacks.

 After Chez Greek, we decided to play some Settlers of Catan. I'd only ever played Catan once, back when I first started roleplaying, and didn't really enjoy it all that much, but I decided to give it another shot after seeing it on Tabletop and thinking it looked more fun than I remember it being. I don't know why exactly, but after playing it a second time I found I actually enjoyed it a bit more than I did the first time. It was a bit of a slow starter, what with us trying to get to grips with the rules, but once we knew what we were doing I found I really enjoyed it. Even though it's a competitive game, there's less of a competitive feel about it than there is in other games. Sure, there are opportunities to screw over the other players when you move the Robber - but that's something you have to do, and if there's no unoccupied territory to move him to...well, nothing you can do about that, right? - and play certain Development cards, but you still need to trade with the other players, so you still want to stay on their good side to some degree. I probably won't buy the original Settlers of Catan, but I might pick up the Star Trek edition, because a) it's Star Trek and b) there's no wood in that version, so that will cut down on the dirty jokes, which got a little old after the first hour.

Moving on to Tuesday, I ran my game of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space and it became our first two-parter of the season when we ran out of time and I had to end on a cliffhanger. This week, an alarm on the TARDIS warned the party of an imminent 'reflection collapse' forcing them to land near an old-fashioned boarding school in modern day Britain and find a way into the dimension that exists on the other side of every mirror. Once there, they encountered a living crack which was infesting peoples' reflections and taking control of them (the reflections, that is, not the people), and a little girl who was imprisoned here by the Doctor to act as the dimension's guardian for her heinous crimes. They also found that when they crossed over into the mirror dimension their reflections crossed over into their own dimension. And the gadget they used to crossover got destroyed during a clash with the Shattered Reflections. Also, the living crack - which named itself the Shattering, merely for the convenience of the PCs limited tongue - intends to find a way to cross over into the primary dimension, which would probably be bad. And then the session ended with half the party trapped in a science lab while looking for parts to rebuild their Dimensional Pathfinder, with one of the Shattered Reflections, and the others left outside the room after the door was slammed on them. So, yeah, fun times were had by all. Well, I hope it was fun for all. 

Then, on Wednesday, I attended the NaNoWriMo kickoff party in Glasgow. There was the usual 'pimp-my-plot' game, where everybody wrote down their plot ideas for NaNo and then they got passed around the table for everybody to add their own ideas. I also met up with one of my old RP buddies and we discussed some of our plans for our respective games. Shona didn't reveal too much about her own Laundry campaign - because there's a chance she might have space for me in it, and I'm going to work out if I can afford an extra bus (and possibly subway) trip to Glasgow for it - but she did point me towards a rather intriguing (and disturbing) link which I might try and use for my own campaign. I also ran some of my ideas for season arc stuff in my Doctor Who game, and she seemed to approve, so YAY. 

We had to leave at about ten because the power went out for the block that the cafe venue was in, and I decided to just catch my bus rather than joining the others at an alternative venue, but it was great seeing people and discussing the month of insanity which lies ahead of us.

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