Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This one is metal where it shouldn't be,
fishing through the veins.
Hunting before the walls collapse,
with hay fever aftertaste.

Ringing ears and hurting teeth
to a seething dental drill
hiding just beyond actual hearing.
Smells of burnt blood!

Warm and cold alternating the same
with a beating drum, felt in a soar.
wire twitch in my fingers 
keys cramping as attempting to type.

Nose running with little a sad anger
tears forgot for hopeless blight.

Monday, January 28, 2013

fragment eleven

The days don't fit
for some summer breed
gone to golden shores
let alone this cold

but were no storm crows
flight and fleeing born
so let none be said
broken both we know

Winters just as well


This one feels like red ants
swarming somewhere near my sinus
with a chemical undercurrent
in every third course of blood

panic flailing falling grasping
wished for easy endings
wide statements
to stop it early embrace

Lightening or bee stung
sickness its the same again
rage lashing out crazy
then working its way in

tearing up the fetters
unhinged regret
little by little, like
slowly picked scabs

morning joint pain

cold? you are colder.
Distant? you're silent.
Foreign? stranger!
Impotent? I wonder?

Start illusions
in quatrain measures
air unearthly sweet
hot and alive again

remember yourself
youth, slender and perfected.
not so wise
and naive to the hurts.

Remember I wasn't so broken
no rest needed!
I was energy
before filters gave out.

Happiness worked through
Everything only each other

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thoughts from a novice Dungeons and Dragons Power Leveler

Hey Sorry i am not writing I feel a sort of post Christmas writers block that needs some fire set under it.  I just haven found anything that is stirs me up enough.  I need some sort of motivation shot, I almost felt it the other day but it rushed itself away. 

What I have been toiling myself with is Dungeon and Dragons online power leveling of Svegrund.  I am taking him through barbarian past lives for the extra hit points on future lives.  I have got to say you are not going wrong with barbarian lives.  The beginning quests were way easier with just one barb past life.  Its just a help to everything unlike my bard lives. 

So far I have learned, get in a group that have a goal planned.  I don't care if  the depths are less experience than derping from quest to quest, they can be run in a half hour bang, bang , bang.  Knowing what you are doing getting your ship buffs once and running is so much better than waiting for one dude who is dicking around to smoke and take a bio.  Just trying to decide what to do that kills!   Figure out if your group is free to play and what packs they have.  From there go with the lowest common denominator and run quests near your level.  Just run!

I am no expert but here are a few quests I have power run so far.  Stealthy repossession, The Kobold's New Ringleader, Tome of the Immortal Heart, Tear, Gwylans, Running with the devils.  Any of those are good with a group of determined folks.  You just need to know if you are zerging or not because that is an all or nothing activity.   I am new to the zerg and get yelled at all the time, but I am trying to be open and listen to folks. 

Also you don't need to fully sandbag in fact i think that is a poor idea. You should probably think of getting 4 into the next level and then taking it.  You don't want to limit a group that is going like rolling thunder and have them wait for you to level.  Sure there are times when you have no choice but letting everyone know is good.  Synchronize your Bio's and drink with leveling.  You don't get a drink you are leveling you go without, just pee and ship buff and don't waste the groups time more.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Game Review: 7 Wonder Catan Island and my attempt at creating a leader card

Well the gaming of yesterday eve involved 7 wonders yet again.  Needing a 7 player game it really fills the bill, with no tweeking involved.  I ordered a new promo wonder over the internet to keep the game fresh.  It was Catan Island and only cost me $5 off eBay.  It had the card and even an explanation of the rules.  On one side there is a construction phase that can have players forfeit gold to the bank and the other allows you to play an extra Leader (If you have that expansion). 

This new wonder really didn't change the game in any way from what we noticed.  That player was more or less a non leader in the game.  There were many cries from the people on either side complaining that he didn't have resources to buy.  The basic effect of catan allows you to convert two of any resource into any other so it allows the player to build without a lot of resources.  Also the player is fond of the yellow card so doesn't often have brown or gray resources.

The funniest part of the evening came when I tried my hand at inventing a leader card.  You are given a blank leader with the expansion and are encourage to create your own, so i did.  I decided to have the leader cost 4 gold and could swap a military failure for a military victor with one of the players on either side of you.  I have wanted more cards that screw over your friends in the game and I figured that would do it. Boy did it ever! 

Per the protestations of the player that had this inflicted on them "that's a 4 point swing!"  This player would have ended up winning the game with four more points so I had to laugh.  He would have had 70 points and ended up with 66 so I really don't feel that is to terrible considering the high points totals.  But it gave me a laugh.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

48fps 3d Review

So you all probably have an idea i loved the hobbit and lord of the rings movies.  I got a chance last weekend to see the movie in the 48fps 3d.  I have decided I like normal movies better the 3d experience is just not for me.  To me this is another failed movie experience like the 150 aspect ratio thing of the 70's.  I want it to go away and go back to the beauty of film.  So you know this will be a little ranty and sarcastic. 

So lets compare this with other 3d presentation so its fair.  Compared with over the Tv blue red 3-D they had back when i was a kid on channel 44 this is way better.  That was pointless and its only fun with people throwing pop corn at you from the back seat of your car.  This 48 fps actually looked like something and the beauty that Jackson conjures up was maintained.    Similarly I don't like the standard 3-D currently available in the theater.  The trailers for other movies were shown in standard 3-D and looked like crap they often lit up for a second in the middle of motion.  I don't know if that is a particularity of my eye due to an injury and effect of my cross dominance.  This did not happen with the 48fps so it was at least something i could sit through.

I am going to make a special point of actual 1950's era polarized movies as I have seen a couple at the Stanford Theatre.  I saw Dial M for murder and House of Wax in traditional dual projector polarized 3d.  These were better than the 48fps Hobbit for me.  I don't know what it was but if you shifted your head at an angle things went all wonky.  I do not remember that happening with the movies at the Stanford Theatre. The 3-D also seemed better with people actually tripping out at a paddle ball effect. 

Some people have talked about the absence of ran on characters faces during a rain scene.  They apparently filmed this with actual rain or simulated rain.  Many folks indicated  they didn't see rain on their faces, which is sort of crazy right.  I don't know what it is but the camera almost gives this smoothing to faces. 

Generally while the Hobbit didn't suffer too much from the 3-d other movies certainly would.  You could see  a few effect going for cheap use of the 3D with an arrow here of there.  That sort of got old fast to the point where I had almost no tolerance of it.  I could see lesser directors turning it into The Treasure of the Four Crowns or  Jarred Syn.  There was one scene in bag end were a character was closer in depth but the character farther back had focus, this was weird.  It almost broke the language of film that has been established over the last century and felt jarring.

 Finally I don't dig recycling the glasses.  I would rather buy new glasses that were my own as the ones the Mercado AMC gave use were disgusting.  They looked like they came from a 3-D porno or something equally awful. 

A sort of gaming post mortem

Over the weeks that have passed since our Kingmaker campaign ended a few comments have reared up.  One of the more surprising was a desire to have more plot based stories rather than character based.  Its funny how often I commented negatively on World of darkness games being summed up by the phrase, "You are in a city.  What do you do?"  These sorts of game were all the range for some time and now my group is reacting negatively to the slight introduction of the sand box style game.

To be fair Kingmaker was not an adventure where your players made the action.  Any exploration of the area provided you with several side quests to pursue.  More of then than not I felt somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer number of pressing tasks to be undertaken.  It was almost like being at work.  I have begun to feel my problem was not the number of quest all needing attention but how they presented themselves.  There was a series of event that were scripted into the module which happened one after another.  So there was always something going on and often requiring attention.  I have actually tracked down a copy of the module now that we completed it to check out how it was suggested to be run and I can verify, the events flow in a series.  You have a Lycanthrop problem, a rauble rouser, a cult pop which is followed by some trolls.  Finally an owlbear rampages through the town.  There are no triggers just one after each other.

This constant stream was a problem for me as we seemed to half ass our way through each.  Nothing was given real attention as we were always considering something else and then being drawn back to deal with the problem in town.  I think in many ways the sandbox nature of the game worked against itself with regard to the plot here.  While the game includes rules for kingdom building, they were not tied into when plot elements were triggered.  It was rather strange that grigory was causing problem in a town with a houses a blacksmith and a castle.  If we actually had a town this would have been more meaningful.  Also our city only had three completed squares when the owlbear hit, by the roles all of which should have been destroyed but the gm messed in reading and decided we only had two squares leveled.  By the rules this could have easily totally destroyed our only city. 

For me this was a huge missed mistake we should have had our city going to have meaningful gaming with these plot points.  Even the werewolf made little since when the town had a small block of houses and a castle.  We could just go to the few houses that were there and ask around, it wasn't a city it was more of a truck stop at that point and we didn't even serve split pee soup!  My suggestion for game masters running this campaign would be to put a city point trigger on each of the main plot driving events.  In dungeon crawls you roughly have level gating monsters and thing you can't handle from bulldozing the game.  Here with the sand box that is thrown out the window, but you have this kingdom that is central to the plot of this and every future module in the adventure path.  A fluke destruction of the city can end your gaming session very quickly.

Really the problem is not player driven or plot driven adventure the problem is one of goals.  In any game you are going to arrive at a set of in game goals and if they are generated via the player or game master it really doesn't matter.  Distracting a player from a goal they are working at is generally bad.  You have them engaged and having fun, why distract or hinder them.  Also I have found being on the other side of the screen if I die to a random encounter I am pissed if I die working to achieve some goal I care about I have fun.  Ask your players their goals and make note.  Also work out the goals your adventure is asking the players to accomplish.  Work on creating a timeline of those goals, do they have prerequisites if so make note.  You may find you create a map of your adventure with pretty minimal work one tied with goals.  You can next have those goals being the triggers for bigger events.  Maybe the invasion force doesn't attack laketown until a fighting ship has been constructed.  Maybe everything does go on hold while the party does get its first trip to resupply.  The goal is to give your scripted events a chance to play out in a logical fashion that short changes neither you nor your party.  And maybe there are events that occur with the trigger of the party being low on resources.  Its not to resupply your character I suggest this but rather to create a series of dramatic situations that feel as you intend them to.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Posts coming I have been sick

Hey folks

I have been sick sorry about the lack of posts to quote Woody "Poopy!"

I have been sick playing World of Tanks and Dungeon and Dragons online, between naps and bowls of soup.  I have learned a few things one, time goes fast and there is never such a thing as too much rest when you are fighting a cold with a diminished immune system.  I have a kidney transplant and immuno suppression is a daily activity for me.  Also there are 2 flu shots one is for at risk people.  We are at risk with a transplant and should make sure to get that better shot. 

For my games I learned that flak guns are nice, and I actually like playing a tank with one.  I have been artillery otherwise.  I can actually kill things with my Flak gun.

For Dungeons and Dragons online I learned power leveling is a frame of mind.  Its not something I am totally comfortable with but you really have to rethink what you are doing.   Power leveling is the one and only task you can have in your mind.  My silly insistence in checking for a few named guys for my monster manual was slowing me down and I had to stop.  Power leveling is all about xp per minute.  So adding another few minutes to break boxes is totally not worth it.  But running down a hall to check on a named for a two hundred exp may well be worth it.  With my tome the experience granted for the first runs of elite, hard and normal may make doing all viable.  The final thing i learned , and didn't like, is you sort of need to be a dick.  You can't screw around with a group that doesn't have their crap together.  I am not even meaning that in quests but one that takes forever deciding whats going on or had to wait forever while the members get to into the quest.  You have got to bow out and get rolling in those cases.

Finally I learned that my house is cacophonous during my dogs three pm howlfest.  The husky gets going with her howl then my malinois lab throws in the bass sounding something like a cows moo.  Its insane!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Self Hypnosis

Hillsides are loneliness
in dust hours almost done.
Pink Orange and memory
lost in leaving sounds.

Broken bells ringing out
forgotten instincts call
the solitary breed
come home, come home!

Up mountains ancient home
a calling to the folk
return heirlooms in hand
work kins olden rite

breath for me and I you
and let family mend again

Sci Fi story part 10

"Look the power and movement seems to be driven from this side." Park pointed toward cables running from both turrets and patching into a broken open panel just beyond the door.  "I will cut the power supply that should halt both."  The snips were made and life was immediately drained from both of the turrets. "Sort of ingenious, hydraulic movement.  I am not sure what is tracking targets" Klein offered after a short examination. "Probably some sort of over heard camera system they appear to pretty indiscriminate.  I think triggered by motion alone." Park returned.

Klein crossed the cat walk to the opposite door. "We are free to op -" "Those were not keeping us out those were keeping something in, the gun was trained on that door." Bendix stated in a grim too.  Klein was only able to give a worried look at the door he was about to open.  The door burst open with a man hurled himself through.  His skin cream white and heavily muscled though fat; he was built impossibly sturdy.  He was on top of Klein in an instant, flailing arms in crude and ponderous blows.

Bendix was the first the first to act. his heavy re-bar baton striking and catching an upraised arm.  His blade speared the attackers forearm once the baton controlled it.  The man growled in pain and turned red feverish eyes to Bendix.  His free arm battered the shepherd in the kidney just as another blow from baton crashed down on his neck.  The sound was sickening a crack and sinuous release.  Bendix was nearly in shock from the heavy fist that collided with his body and coiled into a ball; retching nonproductively.  The opponents eye were only fright as his breath and movement failed him.  He passed with a heavy cough of blood.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sci Fi Story part 9

The detour started with traveled halls, but turned to smaller access lines and service routes.  Taking turns into treatment systems that cycled and cleaned water.  There were often nauseous smells of unclean or decaying organics.  At other time the air was nearly unbreathable passing near by some chemical osmosis process that returned fresh water. Some locations maintained this level of recirculation with small machines but the main truck of the travel ways all fed into these obfuscated systems of fluid filtration.

None of the travelers from the enclave would have found these areas habitable.  Food growth was impossible without mature hydroponic gardens.  Here there were not even rudimentary soil beds.  Also the humid air seemed to decay everything not properly treated and maintained.  They were surprise to find the first indication of re purposed automated systems.  Someone felt the area was worth reworking systems.  They would soon find out how serious they were.

The opening of a door was greeted with a strong discharge of electricity coming from the room beyond.  From the doorway they could see an electric turret of sorts was the source of the discharge.  It's position prevented the shock from reaching the landing area near the door, allowing the men to enter.  Beyond was a series of elevated cat's walks that hovered over a wide point in the re-circulatory system.  These walks crossed over the water to another landing and door on the opposite side. 

Turrets were placed on either of the two cat's walks that led across the water, though only one seemed active.  The walk ways were connect between the two turrets forming a massive H that hovered above the sewage and filth.  "Whats on the other door, its like someone tried to nail it shut?" Naeliim asked.  "I think that's the other gun, see the airlines that is some sort of rivet driver modified to throw them pretty hard.  I don't think its meant to swing our way or we would be under fire." Klein remarked.  "we are safe from the welder its has more of a facing arc but not range." Park agreed.

De Profundis: The Reservation

My Fellow Gentlemen

The next morrows journey was surprisingly pleasant.  The narrow rail trolley system that travels from the city center to "The Reservation" was enjoyable.  Once disembarkation had completed we were given a tour of the various therapeutic processes available.  Primary of concern were Dietetics and a well developed physical culture followed by hydrotherapy and several more invasive cure-alls.  The dedication to physical well being was of particular distress to my composition.  Even rudimentary exertion proved exhausting.  According to the Kellogg system this is desirable, but how could such torture be?

Other practices appeared equally barbaric, electro-convulsive therapy and the cold water treatment primarily so. It was while inquiring into sulfurous baths we first were given word of Lavinia.  Much of what was said was scandalous.  She seems to have given herself over to the life of the libertine save for caring for Mary D'Este, another of Crowley's entourage.  Yeats indicated the involvement of D'Este more in keeping with nature of the incantations caste requirements. Lavina may have once desired to perform the rites but her more carnal of nature arose.  Many of the guests and staff attested to here advances, gender being of no matter.

Mr. Yeats and I were able to observe D'Este from afar, the large cafetorium provided us both distance and anonymity.  From our point of vantage we were able to detect both Miss King and D'Este.  They maintained a diet a fruit, nuts and seed from what we could discern.  Again Mr. Yeats made careful not of every point.  The dietary crackers and flaked corn was not of my liking; I called for sugar and gave the sample a heavy dusting.

Before retiring home bound we tipped our man handsomely and directed he pen us of Lavinia's further conspiring.  The mention of yet another reward arrived at his immediate confirmation to the request. As Ovid mentioned Gods and Men all can be bought.

Yours very truly
J.L. Reich

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

De Profundis: Miss Lavinia King

My Fellow Gentlemen

A new day arrives with hope and promise and, like a thief, my new entanglements pilfer it my grasp.  With the morning sun came a wrapping upon my door.  Mr. Yeats was proven to be the original of this call, I am vexed at how familiar these callers have becoming.  No card nor appointment solely a wrapping upon my chamber door.  This must end, I should show these fellows my door and say "Good Day!"  Though that would be unbecoming of a gentleman.

Yeats arrive was with request of another walking tour, though again this was only pretence.  With gratitude the true intent of this journey was revealed.  Mr. Yeats revealed a few of Crowley's devotees had fallen out of the society columns weeks back.  This was as oddity as miss Lavinia King was well know to even those naive to Crowley's mileau.  Miss King was a noted socialite of good bred and old money. It is a wonder the family would allow her to fall in with chums of this low sort.  I suppose Crowley makes target of those well heeled, as means of support.

Our rounds would include several of Miss Lavinia's haunts.  From bookseller to bistro the message was the same, she had absconded months ago.  Vexing for a social person to shun all occasions of the season.  The only clue to be jarred free was from restaurant she had frequented.  The owner mentioned a change of diet and a supposition that she had been visiting a health colony.  She had requested only morels, fruit and  a particular mineral tonic upon her last few occasions.  She was a noted enthusiast of the establishments wine cellar and this turn was a surprise.

The proprietor advised a visit to a camp maintained by a Mr. Kellogg if we were seeking Mr Lavinia.  It was the only natural living society in the proximity so bared investigation.  Again I find myself travelling in the company of Mr. Yeats

Yours very truly
J.L. Reichl

Sci Fi story part 8

The looks between Bendix and Naeliim were often caustic during the early days of the walk. The guide quickly perceiving the others dislike and immediately returning it.  The created a tension the two journeymen did not like.  Their conflicts were often silent and usually expressed in disinterest or good natured competition.  Parks electrical sterile approach against Klein's often dirty mechanical, but both working to the same goal. These other men different on something simple yet profound, whom decides when a community it open or closed.  What was one mans worth if another enters to take a share of resources.  Who belonged who didn't and how was that belonging purchased.

The sojourn itself was pleasant at first, full of new sights and people.  The common halls were often used as traffic ways for commerce between enclaves, so they were not alone.  At times they passed small shops and stands offering up organics.  These were often the indication of an encampment in the area, the growers selling off excess crops on the roads of travel.  Many had strange decoration and wild painting indicating their presence hoping to catch the eye or draw in children.  Naeliim warned to avoid most, there was nothing to fear but prices were elevated to foolish levels.

One the eight day of travel they began to see the crowds thin and the first of the House Gera'had shepherds.  By the ninth there were no travelers to be found.  The group encountered the barricade on the tenth day.  Travel was not restricted but the advice came "Your on your own after this, we are just here to keep the conflict from spearing our direction.  The House of shepherds was not a legal body these men were just concerned folk from the nearby enclaves hoping their homes would not be involved.  Bendix approached the men inquiring into the conflict. "Some times folks just want to have a go at each other, you can't some em" One of the more chatty men replied.  "How far is this tension spread, we need to get around?" "Two decks above, four below. Its not two port below, but center line and starboard are on fire.  Keep your head low."

Naeliim took the news with thought.  Heading sidelong and down would extend travel time, but waiting for the Helm to decide it interrupted functions enough to intervene would be longer.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

De Profundis: Moonchild

My Fellow Gentlemen

The ongoings with Mr. Yeats were not to be a singular misadventure. The arrived on my doorstep again, Mathers in his company.  This visitation, I confess, was not the most welcomed.  I had hoped to go about my affairs for a day or two without traipsing amongst the hedgerows of phantasmagoria.  These side long jaunts into the darkened lane ways of the city do not sit well with my temperament.

Mathers did feel fit to illuminate the events of my past missive.  Most generally speaking Crowley is a seeker of the profane.  Hoping for enlightenment in the darkest corners of the immortal soul.  The ingestion of distillates and chemicals appear as side roads to enlightenment.  Depraved acts with animals have also factored into his scheme. Even the gross fluids of carcasses play some evil part.

Here though misters Yeats and Mathers pressed upon me the importance of the mundane.  In our previous escapades with Crowley and his servant Yeats paid careful attention to the list of goods required by Crowley.  To my untrained ears he seemed to lay out a shopping list perhaps for bakery. Mathers applied a deeper reading into these items.  Calling out the name Moonchild as though I was to grasp the meaning, Mathers was staggered by my ignorance.

Their explanations were bewildering!  A child or entity ethereal born or cast into this world. Crowley directing this child's progression.  A powerful thing, one would suppose if they are fanning understanding.  I am unsure of my part in Crowleys plan perhaps seed or vessel.  I only hope to remain myself.  Take caution should the Kant of my letters change, I may not be my own.

Yours very truly
J.L. Reich

Sci Fi story part 7

Park remained silent and agitated while Klein filled the holes of the conversation.  "What have you packed?  I may have missed something important that you remembered."  He didn't leave much time for a response. "Blankets, Clothes and tools for the most part right?  We will have some food but I think we will be able to track down basic food processors during the walk.  I am not saying it's mom's home cooking but we won't starve.  I have my wrench if things go bad, I'll whack em in the skull."  Park remained silent until that.  "Bendix will be with us, you shouldn't worry."

Bendix had not arrived and the guide was tending to other preparations.  Park and Klein were left trilling with nerves.  When Bendix did arrive he was quiet but showed his apprehension.  Park smiled when he saw him but Klein was the first to speak. "Bendix are you ready?  I have Blankets, clothes and my tools.  Do you think we will need anything else?"  "Luck!" was Bendix only reply.  "Well and food."

"That is taken care of!  You will each carry a fourth of the ration, I will lead us along water supply lines so that will not be of concern.  There are a few areas of conflict, these we will avoid with a long detour. We will take care to resupply before parting normal travel routes" Said Naeliim returning from his tasks. 

Bendix eyed the traveler measuring him up and down.  Neither Klein nor Park would notice the blades the guide hid but Bendix made careful not of them.  He paid attention to scars and mended clothing all pointing to conflict.  For himself Bendix relied on a length of re-bar and a small knife. These would be used in tandem to block and control his opponent the knife cutting at the attackers hands.  Bendix was also armed with a heavy concussion thrower, a rifle of sorts that hurled a brick sized rubber shell.  The intention was to knock out a foe without damaging the ship, it was a common weapons though rounds were often difficult to come by, or rather propellant hard to come by.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Sci Fi story part 6

It was a number of days before the two survivors would wander back into camp.  One would quickly expire to burn wounds the second was only pained by sparse chemical burns.  Roche was able to easily treat and apply a new weaving of skin.  Application was delivered through a heavy aerosol that applied a fluid lattice across the wound.  Shock was delayed by stimulant patch.  The delivery of medication was made simple, which was a boon for Roche who primarily concerned himself more with the analysis of disease; treatment was always a secondary concern for these doctors.

The survivor was named Makaber, one of the saltier members of the crew. "They waited on us somehow knew we were coming." There was a little accusation hidden in there.  "Burst the lime tanks with some sort of modified concussion round.  The pressure sent it everywhere got most of us.  They were on us in the confusion."  Makaber to the story in a flat empty baritone.  "We tossed all our gelled magnesium and got them burning  though!  I cracked open a few on my own then cut through the rest.  Didn't pull out until we got rid of the lot and dropped the Calcium power on every one.  One grabbed me I limed up my own arm!" Makaber gestured to a wound Roche had recently healed. " No captive to speak of , I regret!"  Though there was no regret in his voice.

Roche was disappointed he had some blood for examination but a live sample with immunity was more desirable. The pair would move on and continue their work finding their way into another company or working back to the Hold far to the head of the ship.

De Profundis: The White Horse

My Fellow Gentlemen

Yeat's came calling again, in this instance as a singular guest.  He insisted on a strolling tour of the city; focused on the rose garden district.  It sounded a pleasant distract, if puzzling during this cold and dead part of the year.  A call for my coach, my gentleman helped me into my overcoat and we were soon of.

Per Mr. Yeat's request we disembarked upon the far end of the gardens and slowly traversed the many rows of flora.  Eventually coming to a juncture of streets, we paused and Yeats did his best not to appear to be observing the structure in the far corner.  This proved an impractical task as Mr. Yeats is no actor, I quickly questioned him.  Delving into his motives, he revealed the structure was a meeting hall of the knights of Rose and Cross a Fraternal order.  He relayed the construction in the distance of the street was for the preparation of antiquarian museum.  Further that Crowley was involved in no small respect.

I dwelled on information for some time while Yeats pantomimed his disinterest. Soon though he advised we follow a man leaving the warehouse structure.  The pursuit was restrained, following at least a block in distance so to not draw attention.  I found this taxing and was not accustomed to tramping about town as such.  Our gallivanting would arrive in the darker neighborhoods found just south and east of the cities center.  Culminating in a den of ill smoke and darker characters.  It was here we found Crowley, the man leading us to him in this establishment.

The beast, as he would call himself, lounged in half consciousness effected by the poppy and some ruinous blend of spirits.  We were able to observe easily as the man quickly indulged as well.  The spoke at length of preparations.  I took little to nothing but Yeats, noted each word of their requirements.  We made a hasty egress from the business, making our way with some hurriedness back to my coach.

I was alone in my study in less than an hours time, left to ponder.

Yours very truly
J.L. Reich

Friday, January 04, 2013

Game Review: 7 Wonders Leaders expansion

Well this is a review for the leaders expansion of 7 Wonders.  It seems to be a nice expansion that ads a bit of something to the game.  The game needed it a bit as it allows you to follow a particular strategy.  I probably should have noticed my board a bit more but hey I supply the games not win them.

The game is all about leaders which is  a new mechanic.  There is a new wonder and four new guilds but other than that everything is Leaders, Leaders, Leaders. Read that in Jan brady's voice.  You now have a leaders phase after you pic you wonder.  In that phase you draft three leaders that will help you in the game.  They are brought out at the beginning of each Age.  Most are end of the game type things but some are used as soon as they hit the board.  They work like any other card being active in all subsequent ages of the game.

We had a few hiccups in our game with this. It slowed it way down at first which was OK as we were chatting.  Also there was a large amount of clarifying the leaders cards while looking at them.  That was sort of weird as they function more or less the same as the main game.  Also there is some weird thing where you can duplicate a card ( With Olympia B) that duplicates a Card (Courtesan Guild) and that just got confusing.   Another odd thing was I got an extra promo with my expansion but no rules for it.  I guess Stevie costs nothing to bring out during the leader phase but costs when you use him to build a wonder stage.  We just didn't use him.

All in all everyone seemed to be positive on the expansion feeling it helped and added something to the game that was needed.  It is also pretty similar to the game play so it will not re invent the wheel.

Still something I would like to see would be cards that allow you to screw with your friends a bit more.  I would like a leader that lets me swap a -1 military failure for a +5 victory at the end of the game. Maybe an expansion that looks different enough that you can pull it in and out of the game when you want. 

Sci Fi story part 5

Roche was never a welcome site in these villages, even when called and expected.  He was a physician of the house of serpent both an honored and feared position.  The physicians were healer, but their driving goal was the eradication of disease.  This task often recast the doctors into the role of inquisitor who rooted out whole communities to prevent some contagion.

The doctor entered the commune to the common wary eyes and hidden children. The community had provided a sample of volunteers.  Roche knew they would line up only the healthiest for his tests, to hide any illness.  The doctors eyes darted beneath the filtration mask, measuring and taking note.  Roche caught every half hidden eye as he glanced from his work.  To the volunteers he was silent, taking their blood and providing an rough examination. They didn't notice the doctor counting their aspirations nor his gloved hands moving over the lymphatic during the small pains of the blood drawing.  They certainly didn't notice Roche discard the blood after leaving the village.

The doctor returned to his party some days from the village with a cool greeting.  Roche was not glad of his position performing his tasks dutifully but with regret.  "Infection is present. They hide the worst of the exposed but jaundiced appearance is present in a fourth of the population. Volunteers show possible recovery of minor infection.  Procedure indicates extraction of recovered individuals for study.  Purge the remainder. Burn out the village."  Roche dictated.  The doctor sunk into his pack after the disinfectant company departed; staring at the nothing in the distance.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I am Sorry

We are horrible to each other and probably to blame for all the bad that comes our way. Look at how we exclude each other and that seems to be the tone of all our lives.  In every group we find like minds to say another isn't good enough. Then we wonder why one lashes out.  People talk about guns and innocence and I don't like to talk about politics, but the answer is to look at our own hands. 

I am sure there is someone I have done wrong and never made amends, certainly more than what little good I have done.  People have also done wrong by me and my problem is that I still feel it.  If you have done someone a hurt you can not even realize it, but when you are hurt it festers there.  Hurt and anger are all about me and I understand hating.

The idea behind this is just to make things right in a small way. Just try to set things right one person to another.  I can only say I am sorry and be meaningful if I understand my wrong.  So here are somem

Rick you have been a better friend than I deserve.  I have been so lost in my grief that I have ignored you asking to help.  You are doing right by me and I am not taking the hand offered to help me up. 

Random black boy who attended Earth Care Day Camp at Evergreen College in San Jose during the late 70's.  Most of us saw you as a bully especially those of use a little younger.  Maybe you didn't see yourself that way but I did.  There was a field trip to the tidal pools in Santa Cruz that ended with a picnic and I had ball park franks that you wanted.   You said they were yours and I stood up for myself because I was always told I needed to stand up to bullies and never did.  I thought I was doing right but you cried and I realized maybe you didn't get enough to eat and that may have been important to you.  I am fat and it would have meant nothing to me to have other hot dogs.  I am sorry.

Older guy driving the red 60's era nova on highway 101 who exits on Oakland road.  I am angry because my mom has cancer.  Also I take a steroid that makes me nuts, it because of an illness.  I go crazy I am sorry If I have scared you.  I am not excusing myself I am just explaining. You have probably had a hard day too and deserve better.

De Profundis: Christmastide

My Fellow Gentlemen

The hour has gotten away with me!  I find myself near the night of the epiphany with no mention of the Christmastide.  The lords season lifted the burden of these affairs and I breath a little easier.  The crisping of the air and tintinnabulation ringing from every door has been a joy for this weary soul.   Father Christmas lightens even the darkest days.

Even Mathers and Yeats were driven from my doorstep for a time.  They returned upon boxing day like an unwanted present from a distant relation.  Crowley prowls more gentle climes was their message of yuletide.  My gratitude for these words was short lived.  His return would be soon as their were many rites associated with the new year.  Blessing and sanctification of the halls and abbeys his congregation held sway upon.  These workings of magics made several days that were seemingly benign, dark with there works.

Mathers too had work at hand, intermixed with intention to bring me further in his fold. Strange chants were to be memorized for some dark night soon ahead.  Burn's night may be put off this year and I so love the toasting of the mighty pudding chieftain.

Yours very truly,
J.L. Reichl

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sci fi story part 4

Bendrix nearly growled at the haggard looking man entering the encampment.  "attaching ourselves to scum as this one." he muttered low in a tone half hoping to be heard and half afraid it was.  Bendrix had hoped himself a braver man than he was, but had proven himself dedicated to his lessons as well.  Determined to best his own nature but often faltering in the quest. 

Dedication decided Bendrix would escort the two journeymen, a path the wiry man would not have chosen for himself.  The camp secure and conflicts were few.  Bendrix was not a man hoping never to challenge himself but rather one who accepted and was content with the quiet moments as well.  Aware of the slow movements of things and content in them.  Some few called him shepherd that too he was content with.

But this wanderer was something the shepherd eyed with caution, worrying of wolves. Bendrix would prepared instead of greeting the guide; concerning himself with the base chemical propellant, house Gera'had long ago perfected.  Bendrix had much of the mixture on hand but looked for some excuse to busy and detain himself.

Video Game Review: World of Tanks

Well I have been giving World of Tanks a whirl thanks to the insistence of my friend Ralph (random_player).  Its sort of fun and definitely worth your while as a free game.  You control a tank battling another group of tanks in world war 2 Europe.  So far I have not gotten to the full featured version of game play that my friend showed me at his house. But that's OK, I have no idea what I am doing and don't really need further complications like managing crew skills and extra expendables.  I just try to wait back until someone who knows whats up does the work.  I guess that is the best for the newbie even a newbie with a Jaegerpanzer.

This game really is going to appeal to world war II buffs as it includes tons of tanks from the era.  You can work your way up unlocking more and more powerful tanks until you are driving a land behemoth like the German Maus tank. A bit wonky aspect of the game is unlocking the tech upgrades that power up your tank.  You can upgrade your track, engine, turret and gun in most cases.  What I find interesting is you are researching and upgrading in two steps.  One you purchase with experience and the other with cash.  The cool part is upgrades that are similar across tanks are available to all.  So the maebach engine I researched for my Bison tank can be purchases for many of the other tanks I have.

I find myself a fan of the self propelled guns.  They allow for some indirect fire options, though line of sight comes in somewhere.  You are sort of the sniper of the game using your indirect fire to drop ordinance on targets at extreme range.  The tank hunters like the Jaegerpanzer are fast direct fire sell propelled guns.  I suck so those were the only two tanks I got kills with.

I like the fast nature of the games being over and done in twenty minutes was a nice change from Dungeons and Dragons online.  But I have to say I am a little mystified by the game strategy and my computer runs pretty slowly.  I don't have a graphics card worth anything in my Dell, I have been waiting on an upgrade I may have to do it sooner than expected. 

One aspect of the weekends gaming that left me a bit sour on World of Tanks was returning to DDO for a Harry run.  I just move so easily and can jump around getting anywhere I want.  Getting the killing blow on Arraetrikos sort of summed it all up.  It felt epic and I felt epic.  Being primarily a bard I don't get kills on raid bosses, so being a barbarian now I feel so much more bad ass.  That is missing from the tank game.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Who Knows where the time goes

something is about these empty roofs
laid barren not set right
all in winter hollow feelings
that stirs bones to slumber. 

It's not even in the cold
wrapping things but it's the faltering.
Nodding heads around winter fires
forget and fall behind.

No mind the ice we scurry around
in worry. 
Giving breath to dark night
that swallows all it can take.

long since wings took southward
I can't hear their song.

No more days hunting,
instead cry for the prey.

As a little bit into my process i wrote out this paragraph first and then sort of chopped and moved it into the poem above.

there is something about the empty roofs laid barren that doesn't sit right. All in the winter hollow feeling that stirs the bones to slumber.  It's not even in the cold that wrapped everything but the faltering.  Those not raising their heads from winter fires and falling behind.  And no mind to the ice we skurry around in worry.  Giving breath to the darkening night that swallows all it can take. It's been long that wings took southward, I can't hear their song. I'll spend no more days hunting, instead I cry for the prey.