the host and the cloud

Are you a lowkey Night Vale fan or are you the kinda Night Vale fan who walks around like:

- “Hey, kid, you wanna buy some…” *shifty eyes* “…wheat by-products?”
- *at the bus stop* “Waiting for the bus in the rain in the rain wait waiting for the bus in the rain”
- “What the fuck, Nicole, is that a pen? Those are illegal!”
- “If you like immortal gay radio show hosts, totalitarian governments, hooded figures, and giant glowing clouds that rain dead animals on a small desert community, have I got a show for you!!”
- “Don’t be stupid; mountains aren’t real.”
- *friend mentions angels* “NO, there are no such thing as Angels. The sheriff’s secret police will be at your house shortly for re-education and subsequent de-education”
- “You know, Cecil said in the last episode that the Glow Cloud-” friends: “ALL HAIL”
- *hums theme under breath when nervous*

because I am firmly in the latter category.

empressfortuna  asked:

Do you have any advice for someone putting together an RPG system for fun and to maybe play with friends? It's something I've started a couple of times (and I have a concept I really like sitting around that I'd like to try to flesh out into a system at some point), but I'm interested in what advice an industry professional has for an amateur.

Sure thing:

1. Start small.

If you’re an author, you don’t write the next Game of Thrones as your very first work, and if you’re a game designer, you don’t go straight to writing the next Dungeons & Dragons.

A good target for a beginning designer is a game that can be set forth in about 5000 words - i.e., basically a sixteen-page pamphlet if you’re aiming for print publication. Have a look at other very short RPGs to get a feel for what the minimal set of stuff you need to include is. Good examples include:

Several of these look like they break my length guideline, but that’s because they include introductory fiction, sample adventures, GM advice sections, etc. Ignore all that for now - zero in on the rules themselves.

2. Start with premise.

Not setting, not mechanics - if you start with those, you’ll end up with a collection of neat worldbuilding bits and dice-rolling tricks that don’t actually add up to anything.

Have a clear idea in your head of what the prototypical session of your game, the Platonic ideal of an adventure, looks like from beginning to end, and ensure that all of the material you write - rules, setting, etc. - directly supports that premise. You can branch out later, but it’s absolutely critical that you get that core right first. If you’re not sure whether a given piece of material directly supports that core? It probably doesn’t - lose it.

3. Outline, outline, outline.

Resist the urge to just leap in and start writing. You can note stuff down for later if you want (see point 5, below), but if you just start writing, at best you’re going to end up with a disorganised mess; at worst, you’ll become irresolvably stuck when you run into some critical aspect of your premise that you haven’t thought about yet.

Good organisation is much more important in game rules than it is in prose fiction, so effort spent here pays off huge later. A good game outline should ideally drill all the way down to what you plan to talk about in each individual paragraph. Use headings and subheadings if you have to. When you’re finished, you should be able to start writing your game simply by picking a portion of your outline and filling it in.

4. Give yourself deadlines.

This is the corollary of point 1, above. Even within a work of limited scope, it’s easy to iterate forever and never get anywhere, or to turn things over and over in your head without ever committing it to writing until all your enthusiasm for it dribbles away. Your first RPG should take no more than a couple of weeks to write; make time to work on it every day during that span.

(In fact, writing a complete RPG of this scope in a single day is an exercise that a lot of designers use to keep themselves sharp. You can Google “24 hour RPG” for numerous examples. Do not attempt to do this as your very first game, of course - it’s basically hard mode game design.)

5. Take notes.

Once you’re in the game-creating headspace, neat ideas on how to address various bits of your premise will be occurring to you at all hours of the day. If you have school or a day job, it’ll often be at times when you can’t drop everything to chase after the idea in question. You may be confident that you’ll remember it for later. You will not. Keep a notebook or a tablet on hand so that you can jot stuff down as it occurs to you.

6. Be a dictator.

Don’t be afraid to tell people how they ought to play the game. Some folks will tell you that this is bad design. These people are wrong. All game rules encode assumptions about how the game ought to be played; some games are merely more honest about it than others. You’ll save yourself a heap of trouble by being one of the honest ones.

7. Beta readers. Lots of ‘em.

This ties into the preceding point: as you write, you’re going to be making a vast array of assumptions about how the game ought to be played and how the rules are supposed to be executed. Many of these assumptions will seem so obvious to you that it wouldn’t occur to you to write them down, or will be so deeply embedded in your thinking about the game that you don’t even realise you’re making them.

The ability to step back and go “okay, what assumptions am I making about the player’s understanding and prior knowledge, and are these assumptions warranted?” is a skill. Unless you’re a technical writer or something in your day job, you do not yet possess this skill. The upshot is that your first attempt at a game (and your second, and your third…) will be incomprehensible to anyone who’s not you.

This doesn’t mean you’re a bad game designer. It does, however, mean that you need to get as many sets of eyes on your work as possible, and you need to respect and seriously consider the questions they ask, no matter how obvious the answers feel to you.

8. Never throw anything away.

You’re going to have many ideas that you can’t find a place for in your game. You’re going to have many more that you end up cutting because they turn out not to directly support your premise (see point 2, above). Don’t just delete them - keep a master document of your of unused ideas, preferably on Google Drive or another cloud-hosted service so it’s always accessible and impossible to accidentally lose.

Not only are you accumulating a store of material for future projects, but emotionally it’ll be a lot easier to give material you’ve put a lot of thought and work into the axe because it’s not working out in your current game when you can tell yourself that you’re not getting rid of it for good: you’re just not using it right now.


Xiwangmu 王母娘娘; Xiwangmu is one of the oldest deities in China. She lives in the Kunlun mountains in the far west, at the margin of heaven and earth. In a garden hidden by high clouds, her peaches of immortality grow on a colossal Tree, only ripening once every 3000 years. The Tree is a cosmic axis that connects heaven and earth, a ladder traveled by spirits and shamans.Xi Wang Mu controls the cosmic forces: time and space and the pivotal Great Dipper constellation. With her powers of creation and destruction, she ordains life and death, disease and healing, and determines the life spans of all living beings. The energies of new growth surround her like a cloud. She is attended by hosts of spirits and transcendentals. She presides over the dead and afterlife, and confers divine realization and immortality on spiritual seekers.


Kosaka Ryoutarou and Miura Kairi will star in next year’s stage play of My Host-chan REBORN, and Kenta shows his… support.

Kenta (x
These two as hosts…
Are y’all gonna be all right?!  (laughs)

Translated by @nimbus-cloud

Advocates for Chaos (pt. 2)

Previous and Next

Dark’s eyes wander over Wilford and Bim carefully before he finally seems to relax a bit. “Oh, you’re alright!” He smiles, a real smile, not forced or like he’s ready to bite someone’s head off. Bim looks like he’s about to faint. Dark hugs him and rocks from left to right. “I’m so glad.”

Bim is in full-on panic mode as Peevils grabs Dark by the shoulder and throws him around. “What happened to you? Is this some kind of trick?” She glares at him, and Dark looks like he might keel over at the sight of her.

And is that? Wilford blinks a few times. Is Dark blushing? “Crap, we broke him,” Wilford mutters, and Dark bashfully backs away from Peevils over to him.

“Broke who? What?” Dark looks at Wilford and tilts his head to the side, but he looks more like a lost puppy than an intimidating predator. “Dark, what’s wrong with you?”

The black and white Ego shakes his head, still looking entirely confused. “I don’t know what you mean. I just heard that loud noise, and I came to see what was wrong.”

Natemare scratches his head and pouts his lower lip. “My nightmare mist, combined with the witch’s mirror magic, and Bim’s reality bending…”

“We caused a branching, alternate timeline,” Mad says with a shrug, and then, “WE CAUSED A BRANCHING, ALTERNATE TIMELINE!” He starts to panic. “Do you know what this means? We could be trapped here! We might never get back… never to our specific time! We’re stuck and now…” His eyes go wide, and he leans back against a wall. “We punched a hole in time.”

Bim squeaks. “If that’s true, what else could be changed?”

Wilford claps his hands together, a diabolical sparkle in his eyes. “Well, well, well, I guess we’ll just have to go and find out.” He turns to Dark, pointing a finger in the black and white Ego’s face, “Alright My Chemical Bromance, where are the others?”

Dark’s eyes go wide with apparent fright. “O-others? A-are you sure?”

Peevils nips at Dark’s neck from behind, causing him to shriek and whirl around. “Come on, scaredy cat. Wilfy wants to see the others!”

MadPat presses his hands together, his fingers forming into steeples and presses his hands to his lips. “In theory, the Googles may possess the technological capabilities to get us back, or at least close to, our original timeline. It’s worth a short anyway.” He picks up his timebomb, disabling it for the moment, and tucks it under his arm. “Lead the way, my good man!”

Dark nods his head. “O-okay, if you all insist.” He leads them out of the board room and over to the elevator. When they all pile inside, Natemare scans the names of the floors.

“They’re all different!” He presses a button at random, and Dark gives a shout of protest. Mare looks at the name of the floor next to the button he chose. “’Recording’, huh, is that like your studio, Wilford?”

Dark hides behind Warfstache and shakes his head. “No, no, no, no. We can’t go to the Recording floor!”

Bim places a hand on Dark’s shoulder, in hopes to calm him, which is currently blowing Bim’s mind. “Why not?”

“Th-that’s the Host’s floor.” Dark presses farther back into the elevator and shakes his head. “You don’t want to see him.”

Wilford makes a face. “Why not? We’re friends!”

Dark cocks his head to the side again. “Since when?”

Mad taps his head and gestures around them. “Alternate timeline. This Host might be quite different from the one you’re used to, Wilford.”

Warfstache waves them all off as the elevator doors slide open. “Oh, please. How bad could little Hosty be?”

The room that unfolds before the gaggle of figments is dark and full of recording equipment. The Googles dutifully stand at different places around the room, flipping switches and managing what to Wilford looks like a live podcast. At the center of it, under a single blue spotlight, a man in a trench coat sits with his back turned to the entrance, speaking softly into a mic.

When he hears someone enter, he cuts the feed and whirls around at the approaching group. Bim gasps, but Wilford edges a few more feet forward. “Author?”

The man in the trench coat blinks up at them, dark brown eyes studying them carefully. “No, Wilford, I’m the Host. Remember?” There’s a grating edge to his words, and when Dark hears them, he cowers behind Mare, trembling. “What did I tell you about interrupting my podcasts?”

Wilford’s mouth opens to try to explain a little of their situation, but Host rises from his chair, a shower of fine, golden dust falling from him as he does and picking up like a cloud around them all. The Host smirks and bares his teeth. “I told you, that the next time you interrupt me, I’d rip out your throat.”

Host flicks his fingers, and Wilford is drawn closer to him, their faces just inches apart, “And it looks like you’ve given me no choice.”

anonymous asked:

So I've been working at Party City (just quit so I could focus on school yay!) but the other day a couple of girls came in looking for cloud themed products so they could host a hurricane Irma themed party. I asked them if it was like a fundrager or charitable thing and they said no. It's just a regular old college party that happens to be Irma themed. She said "I'm from Florida so it's not offensive" and I couldn't keep myself from laughing at the absurdity of it all.

anonymous asked:

How has the Doc been handling the whole "The Author exists and lives with us now" thing?

(Sorry, guys. Today has been kinda crazy so far, and I fell asleep in the process of writing this.)

It still startles him every time the Author swings into the clinic halfway through explaining some wild idea for a story. He’ll jabber on about what he’s been working on, what he has planned–a new story with a villain as the main character that’s bound to be a hit.

Doc just smiles and tries to distance himself. It’s too much to have to reconcile one with the other.

The Host comes around much less. He’s more secluded than ever in his cabin, and the Doctor looks up one day to realize that he hasn’t seen his best friend in two weeks. It’s as if something sour has settled into his stomach with the sudden realization.

So the Doc gets up and makes the long trip out to the cabin to find Host sitting on the little covered porch, rocking back and forth while humming to himself. He’s taken off his bandages, letting the sunlight warm his face. His eyes are closed, and when he hears the Doctor’s slow and cautious approach, Host turns his face in Doc’s direction. “Doctor,” there’s warmth in his voice and a touch of regret.

“Host, it’s been…”

“Too long, I know. You’re worried…” Host’s words peter off when he senses Doc’s anxiety. “You are worried. What’s wrong?” He acts like he might get up, but Dr. Iplier puts a hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t trouble yourself. I’ll sit if you don’t mind.” Doc settles down beside Host in another rocking chair.

“How is the Author getting along?” Host leans back in his chair with a sigh.

“Seems to be adjusting well enough,” Dr. Iplier says like an exhaled breath.

“It’s strange for you. For so long you regretted the loss of the Author, and then you came to accept the Host. And now you’re not sure what to feel.” Host smirks up at the clouds as Doc’s jaw drops.

Dr. Iplier shakes his head. “How?”

Host shrugs. “You’re not a very complicated person, Doctor. No offense.” He reaches over and gives the Doctor’s arm the same reassuring squeeze that he often receives from his friend. “Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”

Doc rolls his eyes and smiles before going back to rocking. “Nice place you’ve got here.”

Host nods. “You’re welcome anytime.”

Help Us Save the Sonny Carisi Vids!

As many of you SVU vidders (and fans) may already know, NBC has begun blocking our transformative works - fan music videos (which should be considered fair use) - from display on YouTube.

This is a sad turn of events as many of us have put many long hours into creating these works of art and when we share them we bring more interest to the show and more viewership (I have emails/messages to document this). Not to mention vidders like me who buy the series as soon as it’s available to get access to clips ($33 for Season 18 alone). Not going to be doing that next season.

Anyway, for vids where the focus in Sonny Carisi, Barisi, Rollisi, etc. there already is a Peter Scanavino Video Archive here on Tumblr. Unfortunately all of the vids there were linked to YouTube. We are going to be remedying that.

Please message me or @Larkin21 if you have a vid that focuses on Sonny Carisi (or any other character that Peter Scanavino has played) and we can send you uploading instructions to a cloud server that will host these videos from now on. 

So while the PSVA won’t have the reach that YouTube does, at least they will still be accessible online and marketed directly to Carisi fans here on Tumblr. And hey, the cloud server that will host your vids delivers better quality and faster streaming than YouTube! :-)

skidspace  asked:

(It's late and I can't sleep) Dr. Iplier gets really upset about all of the patients he has lost and can let those failures cloud his mind. He feels guilty that he has this "gift" of seeing the bad things that are going to happen to people and not being able o stop it sometimes. Host can sense when those dark clouds role into the Doctors thoughts and he will immediately drop what he is doing and go confit the Doctor and remind him of all of the people he has helped and to softly to him (1/2)

(2/2) And on the flip side of that the Doctor is always super caring and cautious of the Host when he is having a bad day. Sometimes the past and present get mixed up for the Host and he will think. He’s back in the cabin bleeding to death or he will be reliving whatever made him loose his sight. So the Doctor does his best to ground the Host whether it’s humming or singing or just talking about the present and that they are okay now. I need help why do I always go for the sad stuff?

Honestly same?? I love the sad stuff so much

And yeah, Dr. Iplier probably tortures himself over those he can’t save. Of course, he and the Host have each other to lean on and they don’t have to be alone with their dark thoughts.

anonymous asked:

I'd love to see the Host giggle uncontrollably

It was after an especially eventful November first when Anti and Wilford raided every store in L.A. for discount candy. Amy insisted they actually pay for the candy, which Anti didn’t like very much, but Wilford forced him to go along because CANDY IS ON THE LINE HERE.

Host got involved because no one else wanted the candy corn and caramel squares, which were his favorites, but when Wilford challenged the Egos to a candy eating competition, Host’s honor was called into question.

He had no choice.

“Amy floats into the air, no longer affected by gravity,” Host narrates, giggling softly as he hears Amy’s gasp.

Doc reaches up and grabs her ankle so she doesn’t float all the way up to the ceiling. “Host, as much as I love the fact that you’re having fun, can you please put Amy down?”

“A small storm cloud appears over the Doctor’s head because he is always raining on the Host’s parade,” Host narrates next. Thunder claps and rain pours onto a slightly outraged Dr. Iplier as Host breaks into another fit of giggles.

Wilford claps his hands together happily. “Can you make it snow?”

Host grins. “The Host can do one better. Dr. Iplier’s cloud expands, but instead of rain, the clouds begin to snow. Not just any snow, pink cotton candy snowflakes!” Warfstache squeals and starts running around with an open mouth, and Host can no longer hold back the peals of laughter. He almost falls out of his seat, but Amy is there to prop him up again.

“Happy?” Amy asks.

Host calms down enough to nod. “Yes, very happy.”