Work

More work on notifications. We had a couple of walk-throughs on a group video call with me sharing my screen: those were useful, and it was also my first time trying all the various bits end-to-end, so we found issues (some pretty big).

Sadly we didn’t get to the point of launching this week, and we’re at reduced capacity next week as I’m off and another dev is on support. It would be nice if we launch next week, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it got delayed until I came back.

Books

This week I read:

  • Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

    This is a haunted house story set in ORSK, a cheap IKEA knock-off. The characters notice stock going missing or getting vandalised, and the manager gets two of his best people (or at least, two people who were available) to stay overnight, with himself, to catch the culprit. They do quickly find a homeless guy who has been sneaking in to sleep, but they also find something much more sinister…

    I liked it. It’s my second Grady Hendrix book, I read We Sold Our Souls a couple of years ago. Somehow I had got a completely different idea of what the story would be though. I usually look up a plot synopsis before buying a book, to see if it’s the sort of thing I’d like, and I am certain that I read that the ghostly happenings in the store were actually the work of a malfunctioning robot Head Office was trying to use to replace the human staff with, to cut costs. But no, in the book it’s a real ghost, and I can’t find any references online to a horror-story-set-in-an-IKEA-knock-off-with-evil-robot book.

    No idea where I got that from.

Gaming

I ran a session 0 for my new Ars Magica campaign on Tuesday: we just about got through character and covenant (wizard base) creation.

Already the system is causing some difficulties: with most systems, you only need to learn the basics before creating characters (well, unless there’s some really specific mechanical goal you’re going for), and you can learn the rest as you get to it over the course of months or years of playing the game. Not so in Ars Magica. You need to understand the magic rules, which is almost the entire system, before you can create a wizard character. The barrier to entry is pretty high.

But we persevered, and I’ll be running the first real session next week. This is a weekly game, so it’ll be much faster-paced than other games I’ve run.

Miscellaneous

Big news: my ISP finally offer 500Mbit broadband at my address! It’s still half the speed of what I had at my old address (and of course it’s not symmetric: my old provider was), but it’s nicer than the 350Mbit I’m currently getting.

Also, I’ve been watching The Mandalorian this week. It’s pretty good, I could imagine a Mandalorian-style TTRPG campaign could be fun: a spacefaring game of investigating and working towards your own goals while evading a vastly more powerful adversary, and where the price of people’s help is always “I have a horrifying monster / super soldier / base full of troops I need killing”.

Roleplaying Games

Science