stephenleasheppard

stephenleasheppard asked:

Pics and stories about basically-not-a-cat-anymore cat plz. I've never known a cat so old as to not be a cat anymore!

This is Joe!

Joe adopted us when we lived in West Virginia. I was like, five? When we moved the family that owned him told us to take him with us because he liked us better. So we did!

These pictures are from 2006. He’s much skinnier and just sort of… more raggedy looking now. He has one tooth left. The others all got infected and had to be removed, and we were told he the steroids he was put on for it would shorten his life. He’s at least twenty now, maybe twenty-one or twenty-two, so if those things shortened his life he is probably some kind of immortal cat lich.

He’s completely deaf and I think he’s going blind. He’s outlived my other, younger cat, Henry, who got alarmingly sudden cancer and had to be put down several years ago.

When he was younger he was a very sweet and loving cat. We would joke that he was more like a dog because he would go right up to new people in the house and be their best friend without fail. He was also very patient. My idea of playing with him as a kid was to trap him under laundry baskets.

The dogs do not give him any shit. He doesn’t put up with shit.

When I was a kid my mom would tell me of the adventures of Joe the Wonder-Cat. A while ago I wrote this in tribute to him and his old adventures, and I have some other ideas floating around that can be attributed to him, too. He got to be pretty inspirational as far as cats go.

I think once we found him sleeping in the sink.

These days pretty much all he does is sleep, eat, and forget how to use the litterbox. I am mildly terrified he’s finally going to give up the ghost while I’m here alone with my family on vacation because I don’t want to deal with that wow.

He’s very old, but we all still love him.

stephenleasheppard asked:

To be fair, Exalted 2w's enormous errata document is for the whole line, including like six hardcovers. Also dude who did the majority of the multiple months of compiling it is one of the two guys in charge of Ex3, and one of the reasons Ex3 is so late is he wanted to get it right so he would never have to write an errata doc that long again.

That is good to know, up to a point. But the errata document for DnD 3.5 is a handful of pages, for example. We could go back and forth about different editing standards and the merits of the various systems, but the 184 page document is more symbolic in my post than important for its own sake. I have not played Exalted–I cam across it and I thought it was an amusing detail that expressed my problems with White Wolf games in an amusing way.

That said, if you were to argue that DnD 3.5′s very existence and it’s relationship with 3.0 makes a very similar point about the d20 system and d20-based DnD as I was implying about Exalted … I’d be inclined to agree.

To that end, I’ve been thinking about various systems that I think work better for me and to what extent I feel that is me liking them better and what extent it is them working better, and after a lot of thought I think most games with compendium-style rules design bake a lot of assumptions into their core mathematical systems that are never explained and are often even contradicted by the setting material. These systems tend to leave it to the GM to pick and choose not only which rules to follow or ignore but how to carefully balance task difficulties to negotiate the underlying and often invisible fictional assumptions of the mechanics. It’s hard enough adjusting for fictional positioning and circumstantial modifiers.

Fuzzier games get past this by, often, simply avoiding the problem. Using fewer specific rules and having fewer variables makes the GM’s job as fictional curator easier. Other games split the load between GM and Player more evenly. Yet others head the problem off at the pass–pushing their systems to answer players’ questions in the language of the fiction so the variables, inputs and outputs disguise themselves more readily despite still, from a design standpoint, being in there somewhere. Some games solve the problem by asking players to be more invested in the fiction and in the improvisational aspect of role play. But unless your tastes are specifically looking up tables, cross-checking character sheets, rolling large fistfuls of dice and negotiating myriad sub-units with their own rules and sub-rule sand arithmatics (and there’s nothing wrong with liking all of that whatsoever, either! :) ) … I don’t see where systems like Storyteller and, for that matter, d20 quite fit in anymore. There are systems that require less of both GMs and Players at varying levels of crunch, varying scales, varying narrative intensities, varying improvisational demands.

Systems makes assumptions about the underlying fiction with their structures. When you reapply the same structure to multiple game settings, you are carrying those assumptions with you. One of the neat tricks that Apocalypse World pulls is that it tries to make those assumptions as explicit as possible. By shoving those assumptions in your face, you don’t need a setting guide that explains the minutiae to understand what your players should be up against and how difficult it should be. Additionally, it’s kinda like a cheeky “How to Play Freeform RPGs: A Step By Step Guide.” It isn’t freeform at all, but it’s a funny little system that way. Anyway, my point was about assumptions: by wearing its assumptions superficially, it becomes an easy system to relocate effectively. To change the superficial flavor you have to change the game’s fundamental mechanical structures. If you’re paying attention, it’s easier to notice when things aren’t working.

This doesn’t make it a better system, but this difference does help us explore systems like DnD, Storyteller, GURPS, Savage Worlds, FATE … systems that have migrated across multiple settings while maintaining discrete assumptions about their game worlds that players tend not to notice and that sometimes even writers and designers making use of the system contradict with their additions and flavor text. I think this post is a bit long, but suffice to say DnD says a LOT about its game world if you simply take an average character–straight 9s and 10s–with no specific skills and look at how they compare to a first normally rolled first level hero at various tasks. What happens when they take 10. When they take 20. Look at everything they can do–every untrained action. Think about critical failure, critical success. Which skills go with which attributes? What does that tell you about having that attribute? How do the attributes talk to each other in fiction? Are they balanced for their own sake or balanced for the characters and stories being told? Why can’t I dump advancement into one thing to be strong and tough? Intelligent and Wise?

Anyway, I hope Exalted 3 works out. I’m still struggling to grasp what about Storyteller is worth salvaging as opposed to what about Exalted is worth salvaging, if that makes sense. It is not Exalted I am passing judgement on as I know more about its errata document than about the game itself at this point. :P

I’m happy to learn, however, and correct my assumptions as necessary if you have something you’d like to add. :)

stephenleasheppard asked:

The trolls in Homestuck are a group of secondary characters introduce a third of the way into the narrative, members of a literal alien species (called trolls) who communicate with the protagonists via an intedimensional chat client. The fanbase loves 'em because they've got varying character designs with a unifying aesthetic, which makes them fun to cosplay.

Thank you. This is probably the first answer about this topic that I have read on the internet that makes sense. ( Even if I am still uncomfortable as hell to call them trolls, because they are worlds apart from the creatures I and my friends call trolls. )

stephenleasheppard asked:

I'mma have to agree with onsheka here. Your #ihavenoplotandimustwrite content is cool and useful. If you really feel your focus is becoming uncomfortably narrow, it's entirely possible that you're becoming bored with your own interests and should seek out new stuff, in which case by all means go forth and seek out new stuff, but don't feel guilty about posting the things you like.

thank you friend

stephenleasheppard asked:

Can I just say how happy I am that you've gotten Raz? I know you love your funches, but you've clearly wanted a birb friend who can be affectionate since about when I started following you. Seeing you get that is very heartening.

Aw! Youre totally right haha :’) Lord knows I love my small beeps, but they definitely don’t love me back. Probably Raz just thinks I am a large auto-scritching perch right now but I have high hopes for the massive derp.

stephenleasheppard asked:

Yeah the first Kingdom Hearts does not have good platforming, which is especially evident during the intro and the Wonderland world, which has a lot of platforming. On the plus side, HK2 really improves on that, so you've got something to look forward to if you're doing a big playthrough of all of 'em.

i JUST MIGHT … damn i havent played kh2 since it came out. ten … ten years ago. oh my god kh2 is ten years old

stephenleasheppard asked:

"my movie folder consists of either movies ive seen 1000000 times, or movies i downloaded fifty years ago intending to watch them Eventually" What's even with that? Why do I never, ever want to get around to watching movies that I've earmarked as "to watch later"? Is this a universal thing?

the old is familiar the new requires Effort and may suck

stephenleasheppard asked:

*tilts head* Now picturing the anthropomorphic baby goat consorts of the Land of Kids and Noise as written by Hussie. This does not seem as easy to handle as one might initially assume.

haha lord no

they’d all be terrifying and have tv screen noise in their eyes

anyone assuming my Land would not at some point become a horrorscape has not been paying attention!

stephenleasheppard asked:

Discworld is like a bunch of serieses, each focusing on a different group of characters. "Going Postal" is un-confusing because it's the first Moist Von Lipwig book, but "Thud!" is like the eighth Ankh-Morpork City Watch book and plays off a long-running plot about dwarf/troll race relations. For jumping-on points, go with "Guards, Guards!" and then "Men at Arms" for the City Watch ("Men at Arms" is the one with the transformations); "Wyrd Sisters" for the Lancre Witches... [1/2]

stephenleasheppard asked you:
…”Mort” for the books about Death, the anthropomorphic personification of death; or “Wee Free Men” for the written-for-kids-but-quite-great Tiffany Aching series. For more Moist, continue to “Making Money.” [2/2]

yeah SOME SCRUB told me to get thud next laughs

i will grab all of those, thank you!

stephenleasheppard asked:

The best I've been able to come up with for communicating the difficulty of writing is this: Writing feels like having a word on the tip of your tongue, constantly. If you write for an hour it's just like having a word on the tip of your tongue, or a series of words, for that whole hour. It's frustrating and terrible!

Gosh I hope you don’t feel like that all the time!

For me, sometimes writing is really hard and feels exactly like that. Other times something magical happens—I can only call it inspiration, and I want to invoke the root of the word to call it that, which translates out to something like “breathed into”. The words just flow, like there’s straight up nothing between my brain and the page, and I write and I write and I know exactly what is happening and why and all the words are putting themselves where they need to go and it’s beautiful. It makes every other tooth-pulling paragraph worth it, and I’m glad for the tooth-pulling ones, too.

I live for those moments. I hope you get them too.

stephenleasheppard asked:

I just started doing quick private journal entries in the evening, listing everything I did that day, and everything I plan to do the next day. I've only been doing it for three days, but so far it's really helped -- if I don't get something done I wanted to do, I can clearly enunciate why I didn't do it, in a context I don't have to justify to anyone but myself, and then recommit to doing better the next day. You can write tomorrow. It's okay to have an off day.

thanks :) my problem is mostly i’ve got that ingrained “if you arent doing something productive you’re being a lazy worthless asshole” mentality…. its difficult to put down “had large and eventful day, was too tired to write” and not read it as “lazy sack of shit making excuses”

i am at the very least aware of my problem i guess. im glad it works for you!

stephenleasheppard asked:

"picking out last names is the worst it’s THE WORST I SAY" Have I mentioned Kate Monk's Onomastikon to you before? I feel like I did, last time you mentioned this, but I think I may have said Kate Bishop instead. Anyway yeah Google Kate Monk Onomastikon to find a massive, massive resource of names sorted by culture and nationality, sometimes including meaning notes, compiled to help tabletop roleplayers name their characters.

oh dang no i dont think so!!!! i will Find This thank u!!