Archive for June, 2020


House Keeping 6/30/20

Little bit of a head ache today, I haven’t gotten much of anything done as a result.

I had a job interview yesterday. It went really well and I go back later this week to fill out papers and, hopefully, find out when I start.

Book review should be up tomorrow. I have a fair idea of what I need to do with it and the skeleton down, just need to finish it.

“Consumption Incident” post is good to go live Thursday morning. I’m working on getting more of those posts worked up, it’s been being a lot of fun to go back and work on these.

This is a short one, that’s about it.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. I enjoy seeing what people think of what I’m doing here. And, of course, if you want help me keep the blog running full speed, you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. Or you can treat yourself to some new dice. Either way, any way, stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

Running late with this. I had something important earlier in the day and just sort of checked out afterwards. It was an exciting thing, but kind of exhausting. Away from that and on to the dice, these guys are from Dice Envy, the Carina Nebulaset. Let’s roll!

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These dice are sharp as all get out. The red solid red and translucent black with its included glitter and the silver inking work together so nicely. The swirling folds of red in the black give this nice sense of depth, playing into the nebula theming. It kind of makes me want to just sit and turn them in my hands, there were no bad sides on any of the individual die.

The silver inking stands out fantastically against both colors, making them easy to read. They’re nice and fairly neat, there’s no places where the paint used comes out onto the dice themselves. Though there were a couple odd places where it looked like a little extra paint had dripped into the numbers themselves. It doesn’t effect reading them and it doesn’t seem to effect the way they roll, so no real issue just interesting. I’m left curious how it got that way.

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As is expected of acrylic dice, the Carina Nebula set feel nice in hand and roll enjoyably well. It almost feels like there’s a little bit of bounce to them, which is fun. They don’t seem to have favorite sides. There’s plenty of random chance to how these dice land so they should be more than fair for game night.

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I would like these dice even if they didn’t roll acceptably for game night though. The Carina Nebula set is just so pretty that it makes me want to find one of those jumbo d20s in this style to add to my display set. It also makes me want to get my hands on one of the other sets that are in this same general style but different colors to see if they all turn out this well. I give them a five out of five.

I’m thinking that I would wind up using these for a spell caster of some sort, probably a sorcerer or a warlock. Something that has an inborn or traded for style of magic rather than a learned style. Maybe a character that splashed rogue in with the casting class. It’s the swirls and the glitter I think.

So, this was something I’ve been excited for for a good while. I’ve covered Cerberus’ #DICE4MASKS campaign before, because it still feels like a really awesome thing for them to be doing. Now these guys are randomized between something like a hundred different sets, so it’s pretty exciting to have gotten a color and style I like as much as I do these. All that said, let’s roll!

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I don’t generally bring much attention to the bag for things like this, but I liked the design and that the bags are meant to be reusable. They feel a little flimsy compared to the cloth ones I’m used to, but they reseal well and made it through shipping no problem.

We’re here for what’s in the bag though, so on to the dice. I do not know what this set is called, but I do know that I like the look of them.

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As ever, I am a fan of sparkly things, so the combination of green and silver foil glitter is much appreciated. There’s actually so much color from the glitter and enough of it that the clear acrylic takes on a pale green color as well, which is delightful for me. Plus, it manages this without feeling busy, which is also appreciated.

Part of that not feeling busy is probably down to the inking being in that nice contrasting gold. The inking itself is nicely clean. There weren’t any notable over fill places and the places where the inking is thin are uniformly down to being places where the glitter came through the acrylic. Those places aren’t noticeable from table distance though and the numbering seems to be the only place where the glitter has come through, so it isn’t a tremendous complaint.

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In hand, they feel as nice as any other standard set of acrylic dice could be expected to. Again, there aren’t any strange places from the glitter coming through. They don’t seem to have favorite sides, so it can be assumed that they’re acceptably random for game night.

I like this set of dice. They’re a nice color combination and read easily, even in the comparative low light I’m in now. I do have that quibble about the foil peaking through in the numbers, which loses it some, but the numbers are deeply cut enough that it doesn’t effect the feel of the dice in hand. Plus, I like that I felt like I’d done something nice ordering these guys. I give this set a four out of five.

As to what kind of character I would use them for. I think I’m going to use them for my upcoming tiefling bard. The sparklies are a nice tie in for bardish flamboyance, while the green ties in nicely with the earth and flower tones I want to use for her dice.

Meeting 7

Right, just not talking about the danger doesn’t work for either of you. Got it. You guys are worried that I’ll get myself into something I can’t come back from.

Maybe have a seat or do some breathing exorcises before reading this one?

So, lot of research, same as ever. Skip and Louis worked on their weapons, something to get another charge out of the stun baton and a drive for the detector grid to store data for later going over. I think at least. I could really have asked better questions on that, but I was kind of burning up my own research.

Got a big copy of a map of the city from the library. Working from sites mentioned in local folklore and place that Brook, our Uratha contact, scoped out for us. Those give me a solid idea of which places had ghosts, which had spirits, and which were busts from the start. Between those and Brook reporting which places she’s been that were already hit, we figured out where it’s headed and that we can probably get ahead of it and trap it.

Like, Skip figured that it probably doesn’t have a base of operations. It doesn’t seem to be doubling back or staying in any one area long, and it’s moving fast. The more or less direct line it’s going in suggests that it’s just grabbing everything it can as fast as it can, which could tell us that it’s got a plan to put into place that it wants the power. Maybe it’s worried about the Uratha catching it.

I don’t think it plans on them catching it any time soon either way, so I lean towards it having a plan. I don’t think it’s counting on us being a threat to it, so that plays in our favor.

The fact that our current plan has us bringing the Uratha with us and making use of their exorcism ritual and greater experience should just tilt things more in our favor. They should be able to separate Consumption from Viv, assuming that the fusion hasn’t gone too far, leaving us able to attack it without hurting her.

Our general plan is to find a place in the line Consumption is traveling in to set our tap. A site with a powerful enough ghost to definitely be on its radar but also easy enough to lock down that it can’t make a break for it and double back or change directions and leave us having to track it down again. That would risk Viv way more than I think any of us are comfortable thinking about.

Side bar, my research turned up something called a Shadowblind Cloak that, if we can get our hands on one, should make ghosts and spirits less interested in Viv once we’ve gotten her free. I asked Brook about it, but she didn’t know anything about it. Though I’ve apparently been digging into things that concern her. I mean, I know that Google doesn’t like some of my research, especially the First Speak, but Brook’s reaction suggests that I might be getting further into things that regular mortals aren’t meant to know than is safe. But then none of this is safe, is it? Best not to think on that too much just yet.

Back on track though.

Skip, Louis, and I are going to go scout out the three likely locations we’ve found for setting our trap. While we do that, Matt and Brook will head back to Pearly Oaks and collect the Uratha who’ll be helping us. Once we’ve picked the location and let Matt know, we’ll get the trap set. Then it’ll just be a matter of getting everyone settled in and waiting for Consumption to kick the plan into action.

I think Skip’s excited to be looking into the locations we zeroed in on. He called it a job that seemed made for him.

All three are historic locations. The Underground Meat Marker has a new butcher shop built over it, so there’s no telling if we could even get in. It isn’t like Consumption hasn’t broken into places with proper doors and locks and all before, but it hasn’t really broken into a business yet. Might be too much trouble for it.

The Crumbling Pioneer House is a semi-active archaeological site, theoretically we should ask the city for access to it. But then that would take weeks that we don’t really have and most of what was there has already been taken to local museums. There’s a lot of reports of strange activities there, so definitely ghostly things happening. At least, Professor Croft had a lot of stories going weird when she was working there a few years back. She really doesn’t seem entirely the type to make things up just to pull her students’ legs.

The last is the Old Drugstore in the old down town. It’s near some museums and what not. Nothing really big in the area. Most of what I could find about it was reports of mysterious fires.

Full honesty, we’re heading out right after I send this, so try not to worry too much. Hopefully I’ll be able to update you on the situation in a day or so. Just, try not to worry for a little while.

House Keeping 6/23/20

So, no dice review yesterday, I wound up working on a couple of life things and playing a video game to distract myself a little. We live in interesting times. And the longer times stay interesting the more I understand why that used to be a curse.

I got things done though. Even if they weren’t things for here.

Crocheting is going well, I’ll probably have at least this blanket done by the time the pandemic lets up. The next one’s going to be hair pin lace and Red Heart’s Neon Stripe, so it’ll wind up with blocks of bright colors and black. It’ll also show cat hair like no one’s business, but that’s just how things go some times.

I am probably going to wind up postponing the book review again. I’ve been reading a book for way later in the year because it just sounded that enjoyable but the peace of just sitting and reading continues to elude me. So it’s been slow going as I keep getting up to see if something that needs my attention has magically materialized while I wasn’t looking. It’s like going back to the refrigerator to see if something you want to eat’s shown up but somehow worse.

Aiming not to postpone the “Consumption Incident” post again. Been picking away at notes for that, just need to do one fell swoop and get them all down and collected and then get to work. One of those things that isn’t going to be nearly as bad as I’m making it once I actually force myself to get it done.

Dice review should be out Friday. For real this time.

And that’s about it for this one. It’s been a weird, at minimum, Summer for everyone so I appreciate you all sticking around.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. Ask me about the blanket I’m working on or what possessed me to start reading a book I can’t review for months yet. That kind of deal. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi or you can treat yourself to a set of glorious math rocks over at Dice Envy. Either one helps a lot. In either case though, in any case, stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

Postponement Funtimes

I sort of fell off the world the last couple days.

My laptop has the word file for the “Consumption Incident” posts and has decided to not want to function as it should. It should be fine in a couple days, I’m just going to go ahead and take the pen and paper notes so that I don’t have to fight with the program we use once my laptop is ready to function again.

Dice review is postponed because I sorted through my whole collection last night  and now everything is kind of scattered about. It’ll happen Monday as regularly scheduled instead of tonight.

Sorry all.

So this is a review that I did not feel entirely comfortable with the writing of. I did not read the first book, Echos, so things felt more than a little disconnected. I do want to thank the nice folks at Entangled Teen for sending me an ecopy of this for review. This is Alice Reeds’ Fractures. Enjoy!

Fractures cover

Miles and Fiona survived the island. Survived a bear. Their rescue by the FBI should have taken them to safety, a new home and new identities. Instead they were taken to a villa in Poland where everyone has strange expectations for them. Instead they find themselves on a freighter in the middle of the ocean with no food or water. If they want to survive and maybe even stop whoever is behind all of this, Miles and Fiona will have to work together and remember all that has been done to them.

I confess that I did not realize that Alice Reeds’ Fractures was the second book in a series until I was around a third of the way through. I had assumed that the aspects that made it feel like a sequel were a deliberate stylistic choice to leave the reader as lost as the main characters were. I was about it, it felt like a cool idea that could have paid off really well. For obvious reasons it did not pay off, this is the second in a series and that realization was part of what started my path towards losing interest in what was going on.

Fractures feels very like a middle book in that everything feels like set up for something later in the series. It moves very slowly with long spans of Miles worrying over his relationship with Fiona or angsting over his brother or how poorly his father thinks of him. Those stretches of internal concerns made Miles a protagonist I just could not get into, he felt so whiny and constantly down on himself that it felt difficult to keep reading at times, like he should have had another solid book worth of character development rather than just retreading the same beats over and over.

Having missed the first book, the antagonists here seemed like their whole plot was poorly worked out. What the protagonists, and thus the reader, find out is interesting but thin. We get an end goal but not much on how the process is meant to work or why. That could work on a level of keeping the protagonists on their back foot until everything came together. But then things never so much come together as the solution gets dumped into the protagonists’ laps less through their actions and more because the book needed to end. It feels like the plot boiled down to nothing and then tied up far too quickly and too neatly for things to actually be over.

There was a lot that could have been interesting here or well done if given a little more attention. Miles aside, the characters show promise. The antagonists are this huge organization that has been picking out and buying specific teenagers to do military experiments on and everything is shadowy and mysterious and so much could have been explained better. The antagonists could have been so much more threatening if the reader was given more reason to believe that the characters were in danger or if the villa felt more locked down than it did. Even the romance could have been better if the reader was shown Miles making the effort to show Fiona that he cares rather than just thinking about how much he loves her over and over. The bit with their files could have had a much bigger effect if it actually affected the characters rather than Miles just talking about how worried it made him and how it was clearly affecting Fiona too.

Fractures winds up having a lot of things that should have been minor issues adding up to something unenjoyable. I found Miles utterly worthless as a protagonist. The antagonists were bland and flatly villainous. It is the kind of book that I am certain would have been more enjoyable if I had read the first in the series, but I also have no intention of going back and reading the first book. I could probably be convinced to read Alice Reeds again later in her career but for now, Fractures gets a two out of five from me.

I’ve been talking a lot about getting things done and then having nothing to show for it lately, haven’t I? Sad thing is that all I can say on that is that I’m sorry and I’m working on it. Both are true, they’re just also both things I’ve said what feels like a hundred times before.

There’s so much I want to do and, with things like the recent protests, things I want to help with in anyway I can. It’s draining to realize how little I can do. To see what other people are doing to help their neighbors and find myself wanting by comparison.

I’m so tired of applying for jobs that ultimately come to nothing that I got legitimately angry while applying for what seems to be a job I have a decent chance of landing. I’m tired of trying and never seeing anything come from it but even more tired of the feeling of helplessness that comes from that. Right now, it feels like I’m treading water and looking for any sign of land, or walking in circles on circles on circles.

I’m going to keep treading, keep putting one foot in front of the other, but it would be really nice if I had somewhere to go. I’m definitely going to keep going though, I’ve been through this song and dance before and my brain hasn’t managed to get rid of me yet.

I’m tired of feeling all doom and gloom, but it did feel like I needed to say all of that. I finished the book I wanted to review last week. I’ve requested several books that I really want to read for reviews later in the year, some of which I’ve even heard back about. My current crafting project is coming along alright, even with yarn being a little hard to track down just now. My little corner of existence isn’t nearly as bad as it can feel. But I think I needed to talk about the things that were bothering me before I could talk about the good stuff.

Or the stuff for the blog.

As said, I’ve finished reading the book for this week’s review. I’m not sure how good the review will be due to several semi-related things, but it’ll be nice to get it written. My plan for tomorrow is to work on “Consumption Incident” things. My working on that just kind of fizzled out last week because of frustrations, one of which I know I can fix via pen and paper notes. Hopefully the other stuff will fall in line after that, if not I’ll just post pictures of my crocheting when I have to postpone it again. Dice review will be Friday. I’ve got several sets I want to talk about over the next few weeks, it’s just a matter of deciding which to tackle first and seeing when a couple things are going to arrive.

A quick apology for the existential crisis barf and that’s about it.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here, however theoretical it might seem lately, feel free to leave a comment or a like. I’ll be around to read them. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction andbuy me a ko-fi. It’s three bucks towards my weekly diet of instant noodles and yarn. In either case, in any case, stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

House Keeping 6/9/20

It’s been raining a lot here. It’s good for my garden, but I kind of wish that it would cool things down a little too. Hard to go out for a walk when I feel like I’m being sauteed, not nearly as enjoyable as a couple weeks ago at any rate.

Not much to talk about this week. Still job hunting. Still slowly plugging away at unpacking the new place.

I’m reading the book for this week’s review still, so I may wind up postponing the review again this week. I’m about half way through it, so it’s a maybe either way.

The “Consumption Incident” post should be up on time, I didn’t get much writing ahead done on that, but I’ve got enough that it should be fine.

That’s about it.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. I could use the feedback. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fior treat yourself to a set of dice. I’m trying to save up for a trip to the dentist, so every bit helps. In either case, in any case, stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

 

Ghibli Dice Set

Another Monday, another chance to talk about dice. I don’t really have anything else to put here, so let’s get into it. These are Dice Envy’s Ghibli set. Let’s roll!

Ghibli 1

Blues and greens and sparkly things are all qualities that make me happy when it comes to dice. The Ghibli dice set has all three of those things in concert if not in abundance. This is a set that combines a deep blue base with thin swirls of teal and enough micro glitter to make the whole thing sort of remind me of a night at the beach. I will note that, while the glitter is much more impressive in real life, the teal green stands out more in the pictures.

Ghibli 2

The gold stands out really well against the blue, meaning that the Ghibli set reads easily from where ever they land. The inking is crisp and clean with no noticeable spill over or thin spots. I find myself happy to leave the inking on this set alone rather than thinking about other colors I might use on it, so bonus.

These dice roll nicely and don’t seem to have preferred sides, so they’re definitely random enough to use in game. Hand feel is good and they roll well.

Ghibli 3

I like the Ghibli dice set, I think I would have preferred more of the teal in them but that’s sort of a luck of the draw thing on swirled dice like this. The blue still looks good, especially with the gold inking, so it works out. There’s nothing bad I can think to say about them, five out of five.

I admit, they sort of make me want to use them for a sea side druid or, failing a campaign that would allow for that, maybe a fae pact warlock. Something that I could tie those lovely deep colors and the sparklies into.