Shit from our D&D campaign: Session 2

Sadly shorter than last week’s list, the session was called short because I was feeling super ill

  • we continue our journey through a church-like cavern inside a cave, and the only one with a good enough roll to discern anything about it was our barbarian with a -2 to Religion
  • we fought a Giant Spider, surprising literally nobody, because no entry-level dungeon is complete without a Giant Spider Battle
  • five minutes later an Actual Rather Large Spider scuttles into the room we’re playing in, which caused a much stronger response from all of us
  • our gnome instantly tries to cast Minor Illusion to scare off the spider by producing an illusion of an elephant because ‘spiders are scared of elephants, right?’ and he said it with such conviction that literally nobody questioned it until about five minutes later when he went ‘wait. hold on. what the fuck did I say that for’
  • nevertheless he attempts to cast his elephant illusion but rolls like a 3; his elephant is five feet tall and has a human nose
  • the gnome’s stealth is pretty shit so to prevent him from giving us away when we’re trying to sneak, one of the other members of the party will just carry him around
  • we found a weird impish fire-imbued thing with mind control powers who is now known only as ‘fantasy firey boy’
  • half our party almost killed the other half thanks to said mind control
  • our gnome decided he wants to start collecting goblin heads, and now has three in his inventory (can you tell the gnome is by far our best party member yet?)
  • at the end of the cave we find a huge room with a firey floating sphere right at the very centre; after throwing various objects at it (including one of the goblin heads) our warlock reaches up and touches it, and it somehow gets absorbed into him but he takes no damage and gains no abilities
  • Our bard, out loud to everyone: ‘well that’s not going to ever be relevant to future events’
  • We return to the nearby village with the dwarf we were rescuing (which we totally forgot about for like an hour) and spent the night in the tavern drinking; the Genasi and Dragonborn have a drinking game with four dwarves and my Dragonborn loses, but only after drinking six pints, gaining a -6 Charisma modifier and passing out on the floor
  • We stay the night at the tavern; the Dragonborn shares a room with the gnome, who leaves one of his severed goblin heads on her pillow to find when she wakes up (she is not happy when she does)
  • the gnome is notoriously good at getting high Intimidation checks but uses them for the most mundane things, like adamantly refusing breakfast from our dwarf host the morning after when he’d rolled a crit fail on his ‘hangover saving throw’
  • our elf fighter is played by a guy who calls in via Discord and the line isn’t great so whenever he doesn’t say much we all just imagine our fighter just staring blissfully off into space, completely ignoring the combat going on around him
  • The elf requests fancakes (fantasy pancakes) for breakfast, but there are none. The bard conjures up a plate of illusion pancakes, which the elf attempts to eat with no avail
  • ‘I rolled a 6 for pancake eating’ ‘The pancakes are illusory and cannot be eaten’
  • ‘I tried again, I got a nat 20 on my pancake check!’ ‘oh wow, nice one! the pancakes are still illusory and cannot be eaten, but you’re really good at failing to eat them’

anonymous asked:

an idea for a rec list: I've read some great older fics on Livejournal linked by this blog that I wouldn't have found otherwise. (thank you!) A 'non AO3' tag to browse through your recs with - or an actual rec list of older fic that aren't on there - would be something I'd love. I feel like I've missed some classics? xox

We would honestly love to do something like this (and think creating a tag would be best), but we already have too many tags and don’t want to go down the slippery slope of tagging for media classification (pdf, hosting site, etc) since we’d rather use the allotted 20 tags for plot classification. Additionally, there’s a lot of old fic that is now on ao3 but you might not notice it because the majority of the feedback is on livejournal (a “non ao3” tag wouldn’t help in these cases). The ao3 tags on these fics unfortunately tend to be pretty sparse, too. We usually link to lj on reviews. If they are also posted at ao3, we’ll have a “AO3 link” right below the title and author information. You can use our search engine to find these specific reviews: enter “#fic8rec” “ao38link” (replace 8s with a space; there’s currently 162 results) and sort by date (older reviews tend to be of older fics but not always).

If you want to read old fic, definitely go through the archives of the main lj comm. That’s where the majority of the activity was pre-2012. As I’ve mentioned before, I prefer looking at the archive in subject mode so you can easily see titles and who is posting. Seriously, that comm is packed full of great stuff. For instance, in answering this ask, I found a comm generated rec list for must-reads as an intro into destiel (posted on the comm here). The best part? The list was complied in early 2009 and contains fanmixes, fanvids, fanart, picspams, and meta. That post is basically a fandom time capsule. :D


  • tracy_loo_who’s rec list is a great source for early fic
  • must-reads as an intro into destiel (comm generated rec list [4 months into the ship]; posted on the deancastiel comm here; linking again for people who skip paragraphs)
  • lj fic posting comms (all from our other page):
    • deancastiel archive (as mentioned in the second paragraph, subject mode is my preferred way to browse)
    • deancastielnews archive (subject mode; doesn’t matter as much since titles aren’t descriptive of contents)
    • spn_castiel archive (subject mode)
    • didn’t link dean specific comms because there’s approximately a billion and contain mostly nondestiel (a couple are linked on our other page)
  • lj/older rec comms (all from our other page):
    • destiel specific comms:
      • deancastiel: thematic rec post tag | rec post tag
      • dean/cas fanfic recs (tumblr)
      • rec-hymenated (interview tag [like our author spotlights])
    • spn/general comms:
      • crack_van
      • fancake (dw)
      • rocksalt_recs
      • sawedoff_recs
      • spnroundtable (ask the author tag [like our author spotlights])
      • spnstoryfinders
  • from our blog:
    • author spotlights: lots of older fic recs
    • master lists of challenge comm fic we’ve reviewed (split up by year/round)
    • new to destiel guide (check out the external resources)
    • search for reviews with a secondary ao3 hosting link (how to do this is outlined in the first paragraph of this post)
  • fic archives:
    • ao3:
      • works added at a later date but not backdated by the author won’t show up
      • sorting pairing tag in chronological order by date posted
      • sorting by time range: results for fic posted 4-6 years ago (June 2008 - June 2010), sorting by date posted, ascending order; ao3’s date parameters search by relative and not absolute dates (seriously??), so you’ll have to “Edit Your Search” if you happen upon this post months/years after it was first posted (June 2014)
      • results for fics featuring dean and cas; click the last button and work backwards (no way to reverse the order that I know of)
    • fandom specific archives:
      • Rock Salt and Feathers: offline; pairing specific; a lot is still accessible through wayback (I’ve linked the cached author page; most recent cached page for new fic)
      • Supernatural Slash (link to deancastiel side)

We definitely focus on longfic here. Since the original point of the reviews/this blog was to give you more info about a fic before you commit, we didn’t worry with shorter fics that aren’t much of a commitment. That means there’s a lot of oneshots not represented here. To give you guys a jumping off point, I’ve gone through the deancastiel archive, the beginnings of the pairing tag on ao3, and the beginnings of the search results on up to mid-May 2010 (the season 5 finale) and listed familiar authors. I’ve also added a link to their author specific tag at the deancastiel comm if it exists. I’ve also linked to ao3 and other accounts. We will likely make an “older one shots” rec list in the future. It’ll just take time and calling upon the lj side of the fandom (especially since the most lj savvy mod seems to be allergic to anything under 20k that’s not a pwp).

Sorry, this got wordy. This somehow spiraled out of control and into a “intro to early destiel, lj based fandom” that took three days instead of a brief rec list that took one afternoon, lol.

First Wave Destiel Authors:

We’ll do a second wave later (post season 5 to end of season 7), but probably won’t do a third because things had almost entirely shifted to ao3 by that time (mid-May 2012). We’ve gone through and linked to various platforms because all of an author’s fic is often not contained to one location. If they did an author spotlight for us, an “ask the author” for spnroundtable, or an interview for rec-hymenated, direct links are included.

Keep reading


fancakesforbreakfast said:

DearAuntie MJ: I’m living at home with my parents, and while I’m very politically liberal, my dad is the kind of conservative who could have his own show on FOX news. I’ve asked him repeatedly not to talk about politics around me, because it makes it hard for me to have a close relationship to him, but he tells me I shouldn’t get so invested in the conversation. I’ve tried leaving the room when he starts talking politics, but now my family thinks I’m isolating myself too much. What can I do?

 My dear fancakes,

 Auntie MJ understands what you are talking about quite well. She grew up under similar circumstances. She still gets the email forwards. She knows.

As an adult, you get a whole new set of choices about who you want to deal with and how to do it. When you are a teenager, your home is your home. Your parents are (probably, though not in all cases) in charge and paying the bills. You are a family. How do you deal with this when the calls are coming from inside of the house? And it’s not your phone?

First, a disclosure: Auntie MJ is not of the Fox news persuasion. I am using Fox News as a category because you mentioned it and it is a vehicle that explicitly states certain views in a fairly consistent manner. Individual people and even political parties can vary in their stances. Fox is a mouthpiece with talking points and an editorial style and practice. As a piece of rhetoric, it is quite a marvel—the news equivalent of a party magician in a shiny cape doing some close-up magic learned from YouTube and the back of cereal boxes. Yet, amazingly, people seem to be watching and saying, “HOW DID A QUARTER ACTUALLY COME OUT OF MY EAR? ARE QUARTERS MADE IN MY EARS? IS OBAMA MAKING QUARTERS IN MY EARS?” And the magician says, “Yes, it must be the case that Obama is making quarters in your ears.”

It must also be said that all parties and all sides use rhetoric tricks and techniques. Someone who has a different political leaning could simply insert the name of a media outlet they assume I must like into the above illustration. I will use the only Latin quote I know and like and carry around in my head: Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. “Why do you laugh? Change the name and the story is told of you.”

All sides in any heavy, bombastic argument think the other side has swallowed a whopper and must be super dumb. This is something we learn immediately if we ever read the comments on any news article, which we shouldn’t do but do anyway.*

So everything I said in the above paragraph is both something I believe and the illustration of me falling into the very trap I am about to suggest should be avoided. Or if these things are impossible to avoid, you just need to know they’re there and know they’re a trap.

So here are my specific tips for living in an ideological game of Mousetrap

We don’t actually know what other people are thinking, unless they tell us.

Just because someone appears to hold a certain set of beliefs does not necessarily mean they do. Also, you can’t assume people hold certain views, or that they subscribe to every single view that we think are part and parcel of “that kind of person.” So, things may not be all you think they are? Maybe? Leave a space in your mind to be surprised. I have been surprised by some of the turnarounds in my own family.

Okay, but sometimes people do tell us what they’re thinking, and we can’t quite process it.

The discussion in the United States right now (and many, many other places) is about identity. Racism, homophobia, xenophobia, the rights of women (and the nature of gender itself). There are many issues in which religion is used to make laws that change and limit the rights of others. This is heavy, sticky, tricky stuff. It involves serious questions about identity, about history, and about the fundamental nature of right and wrong, about redistribution of power.

It’s also not new, none of it. Humankind seems to be in a pretty constant state of wanting to burn someone or imprison someone or start a war with someone because they disagree about some matter of what it means to be human and alive. So much of it boils down to fear. So much of it boils down to seeing people as other. There’s always a “they” and “they” do things that “we” don’t do or don’t like and “they” can’t do that.

Compassion never fails. Compassion doesn’t mean just “being nice” or “going along with things” or allowing bad things to happen. I believe that all these –isms and phobias cause suffering, so the compassionate thing is to work against those things. How this is done is a matter of intense, ongoing historical debate. (There have always been moderates and bomb-throwers and speakers and warriors.)

A house is likely too small to contain these kinds of actions. These things need to play out over a larger field. Having this all going on in the living room is hard. It doesn’t sound like you are trying to change the world. It sounds like you are trying to change the channel. I have been there, and here is something that can work. Ask, politely, if maybe the topic or actual television channel could be changed, because you find it hard to have a productive conversation. Then, instead of just going to your room—do something nice. Take out the garbage. Do the dishes. And don’t do it angrily. Try to just do them calmly. This shows good faith. Instead of saying “I want you to do this” and then leaving, you present yourself as a loving and reasonable person. This may not work from the very first go, but keep at it. This technique can work and has worked for me. When someone sees that you are really trying to be kind, they will often be more receptive to what you are saying.

We can love someone and not want to be them, exactly.

People are complicated. People make mistakes. Our families are our families. We are none of us perfect. I may not always agree with my family, but I remember that they did not always agree with me, either, and yet they still loved me unconditionally. Love really does trump all. It doesn’t mean you have to agree. When something happens at home you really can’t deal with, look around for a sign of the love. These signs are never as far as you think. Something you were given. Being tucked into bed when you were small. Being taken care of when you were sick. I hope these things happened to you. I bet they did. Think of them for a moment.

You are responsible only for you.

We can’t jump on other people until they agree with us. Right now, you are building yourself and your views. You can channel your frustrations into good things. Take the time to read and educate yourself. Make yourself into what you want to be. And realize that these things that annoy you may be the things that spur you to act. I am almost entirely a product of the annoyances and disagreements that littered my teenage years! (See any of my rants about my high school. If you can’t find one, just come over and I will rant about it for a while.) I am very thankful for these experiences, truly.

Chicken noises also work.

My friend H. Krimble used to live with someone in college that he absolutely could not stand. Seriously. He couldn’t take it. He used to sit outside the building at night and stare bleakly at the windows and consider sleeping in the shrubs outside. Then he discovered that he could just imagine chicken noises whenever the person started talking. His whole attitude changed! I didn’t think anything could be that easy, but I tried it and it totally works. So if you feel something coming for you that you’ve heard before and really can’t take, run the chicken noises in your head. It makes you happy, and when you are happy, you can be more compassionate. When you are more compassionate, you develop stronger relationships. Am I telling you to ignore things? I am telling you that you may simply have to ignore some things, especially repeated things or things you can’t change, like the state of the economy.

Sometimes, you just have to do the chicken noises.

I hope this helps. Good luck out there.


Auntie MJ

* The job of 24 hour news is to engage, inflame, and alarm. It’s designed to keep people watching. To preserve your sanity, it’s worth learning some rhetorical devices and fallacies. Here is a great chart of the fallacies, which you can print out. This will help you understand what kinds of techniques are being used and see the argumentative forces at work. It gives you something to do when you are just sitting in front of the computer, quietly steaming. 


I really love all of you and I wanted to do something for all of my precious fancakes.  So…

I’m doing a Positive Wednesday again!!!

You mean tomorrow? like March 16th?

Actually, no, I mean, 

March 23.

What’s Positive Wednesday?

It’s a thing I did every Wednesday last summer.  I would post all of the submitted selfies to my inbox (as long as they were appropriate i.e. not nsfw).  Each person had to compliment themself, I would compliment them, then I would ask that other people compliment them by going to their inbox and saying nice things (or comment but we all know THAT isn’t a thing anymore).

Oh, cool, how do I enter?

Oh, that’s pretty easy.

  • mbf me (cockleddean)
  •  - optional but preferred - reblog this post 
  • submit a selfie to my blog (cockleddean) here
  • - optional but preferred - compliment yourself in the body
    (it does not have to be about a physical attribute)
  • and spread some positivity to others

This is going to be so much fun.  You can send the selfie whenever you want between now and March 23. :D