Work

I wrapped up some team stuff on Monday and Tuesday, and then started a week on support on Wednesday.

It’s nice to do support work on occasion: the tasks are usually pretty small and well-defined, and you get to touch all parts of the GOV.UK stack (e.g., I looked into imminence, which I previously knew almost nothing about, in the process of investigating a ticket).

The Plague

I had my second dose of the vaccine on Tuesday.

The side-effects were worse than the first dose; I had to take Thursday off work sick because I’d barely slept that night, just drifting in and out of sleep with a really bad headache. But that cleared up towards the end of the day. By Friday evening I was fine.

Books

This week I read:

  • Live to Tell the Tale by Keith Ammann, the author of The Monsters Know What They’re Doing

    Unfortunately, I didn’t find this as valuable as the previous book. While the previous book is talking about D&D monsters and D&D mechanics, I think it’s useful beyond D&D: the principles and the thought processes can be transferred to other monsters and other systems, with some adjustment.

    But this book is not like that. It’s very specific about D&D classes, feats, spells, and abilities. You would probably have difficulty even transferring it to a different edition of D&D.

    So, not that useful, but there is a second monster book coming out later this year which I’m looking forward to.

  • The second issue of Knock!, an OSR zine

    I enjoyed this one a lot. I’ll write a review for my RPG blog in the near future where I’ll list the specific articles I found most helpful. Meanwhile, why not check out my review of issue #1?

Gaming

This week the Traveller game I was invited to had its first session. We only had time to talk about the setting (all the humans are dead, and the player characters are AIs who live in a mimicry of human society) and get through character creation, but it’s promising and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

Unlike my other games, this one is happening weekly, which will be a novelty.

I also had my Call of Cthulhu game, this time with two guest players, and I got to pull off a twist which I’d been planning for a while. When we started Masks of Nyarlathotep, there was a 5-year time skip, and a few player characters got retired: one of those left the party to found a cult of Gla’aki. Well, this part of Masks of Nyarlathotep calls for a particular NPC sorcerer to show up. But why just use some random NPC, when I could use… the previous PC, who the other player characters haven’t seen for years, now second-in-command of a powerful cult and totally insane?

It went great. So much better than it being an equivalently-powerful but previously-unfamiliar NPC. The party had to decide how much they were willing to trust their old, but now crazy and evil, friend.

Software Engineering