Sunday, January 31, 2016

[My Geeky Week] Axe Cop Munchkin, more Borderlands, and other stuff...

Swag
My monthly Audible credit came through on Tuesday as expected, so I spent it right away and bought The Cormorant (Miriam Black #3) by Chuck Wendig to finish catching up on that series.

I also got a late Christmas present from James, my Tuesday nWoD GM, in the form of a winged Castiel POP Vinyl Figure, which I'm going to sit on my desk once I've cleared a bit of space for it. I've been told to expect something else as well, which I suspect will be an RPG of some kind.

Finally, I discovered that Leisure Games had copies of Mysterium in stock, so I jumped at the opportunity and ordered it for myself. I've unboxed it, read through the rulebook and even watched a couple of 'Let's Plays' on Youtube, so I'm pretty excited to try it out. Might see if I can do a test game with mum tomorrow, since I have the day off of work.

Achievements Unlocked
I had a half-hour to spare before the weekly Tuesday RP campaign at GUGS, so I played Axe Cop Munchkin with Peter, Ruaridh and Timo (who is also in the nWoD campaign).

We reached a four way tie at 9th level, so the last round or two was a race to see who could kill their next monster and hit level 10 for the win. Peter came pretty close to winning, but everybody ganged up on him to add modifiers so that he couldn't defeat his monster. Timo was next to take a shot at attaining tenth level, but Peter still had some cards up his sleeve, and used them to thwart Timo.

By this point, everyone had exhausted any cards they could use to interfere in combat, so I was free to smite the level 2 monster which I encountered, despite its special ability reducing my effective combat level of 31 to a mere 7, making this my first board game win of 2016. Good game, guys!

Our continuation of Urban Shadows: London had to be postponed due to a couple of last minute cancellations, but we've rescheduled the session to Monday, so hopefully we can get the first session stuff wrapped up then.

Since I had a bit more free time on my hands, I decided to go back to Borderlands and see if I could beat Bonehead this time. My problem last time was that I just wasn't a high enough level to fight him properly, but I couldn't see any way to solve that because there were no other missions at the bounty station. Oddly though, when I loaded up the game this time round there were new missions available, so I went through a bunch of those in Skag Gully and beefed myself up killing some skag. Then I went back and made short work of Bonehead this time around. After that, I did a few more missions, and now I'm on my way to pick up the Mine Key, getting ready to take down Sledge.

I also watched the latest Star Wars Rebels episode, which was okay, continuing the trend this season of digging a bit more into each of the Ghost crew's backgrounds. This one was the second focused on Sabine after Blood Sisters, this time touching on her Mandalorian heritage. This time she shared the spotlight a little bit with Kanan, and the episode had a 'diplomacy versus violence' theme. I enjoyed it, but wasn't especially blown away. Fans of the Mandalorians will probably have been more excited about it, I guess.

Yesterday, I listened to The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig during my shift at work. I actually thought they'd gone and changed the narrator at first, but it's still the same one, her reading of this book is just a lot more sombre in tone than the previous two. That's pretty appropriate, because this story was a shade darker than Blackbirds and Mockingbird (which were pretty dark themselves). Wendig changed up the formula from the previous two a bit, including a series of 'flashforward' scenes in addition to his usual dream and flashback interludes, which served as a framing device for the main story, as well as developing an additional plot arc throughout. It's good to see the author playing about with his usual style like this. The book also marks a pretty significant milestone in Miriam's own personal character arc, forcing her to face up to her past in more than one sense, as well as further developing the mythos surrounding Miriam and her psychic curse. All in all, it's a great climax for this first trilogy of books, even though it's clear from the ending that Miriam's story is not quite over yet. (There are four more books due over the course of 2017 and 2018.)

All that aside, I've been working my way through both The Once and Future King by T.H. White, and Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig. I'm reading them on my Kindle, rather than on Audible, so I'm taking a bit more time to get through them both (particularly The Once and Future King). I'll have more to say about both when I've actually finished them.

Works In Progress
I scheduled the games I'm going to be hosting for the Gauntlet Hangouts community over February, which will include one session of Lasers & Feelings and one of Microscope. I'll also be scheduling the next two sessions of the Urban Shadows: London mini-campaign after we've wrapped up the first session cliffhanger this Monday.

I've been testing out possible platforms for running Microscope online, and I'm probably just going to go with Google Slides. I also looked at GingkoApp, but that seems to require a subscription for the full service. The free version is probably enough for doing one or two Microscope timelines, but I'm sure I'll end up doing a few more than that, and I'll want to keep a record of the session. I wish we'd preserved the timeline we came up with the first time I played Microscope, so I don't want to make that mistake again.

As for Urban Shadows: London, I plan to sit down and work on some prep for that later tonight.

I'll be writing up actual play reports of both Urban Shadows and Lasers & Feelings to post on the blog the day after those respective games. I'm also going to try and post a few RPG reviews this week, but no promises (since I've had to take some more overtime at work this week).

Anyway, that's all for now, later folks!

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