This is an early instalment as I’m away this weekend.

Work

I took Thursday and Friday off, so this is only a three-day week. I’ve also taken Monday and Tuesday off next week, so I’ve got a very long weekend.

This week: more table partitioning, some code review, and implementation. We’re getting close to rolling a thing out, which will be exciting.

Books

This week I read:

  • Volumes 4 and 5 of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime by Fuse

    In which Tempest and Dwargon established friendly relationships; Rimuru helped Shizu’s students; Falmuth launched an invasion of Tempest and killed many of its inhabitants; and Rimuru became a demon lord to fix that issue. So this brings us up to the end of season 2 part 1 of the anime.

    While the story of the books and the anime is mostly the same, I’ve noticed that the anime has done a fair bit of rearranging: moving things earlier or later; changing time spans; combining two events into one, or separating one into two… the anime came out well after these parts of the original web novel had been rewritten and published as light novels, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. Of course, any book to screen adaptation will have to leave out parts which the director doesn’t consider worth the time (goodbye, interesting-but-not-strictly-necessary exposition), but some of the changes seem beyond that.

Roleplaying Games

New Arrivals

This week I got the Old School Essentials books and GM screen:

Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Player’s & Referee’s Tomes, plus screen.

I’ve already read the PDFs, but the books are nice to have too. They’re really well organised, with most topics fitting onto either a single page or a two page spread, really cutting down the amount of page-turning needed.

There’s great art too, the style is really evocative of that old-school aesthetic: the characters are adventurers, not super-human heroes, and monsters are scary! I’m not sure what the monster on the Player’s Tome is, but the big one on the Referee’s Tome looks like a lich to me. Very fitting. I, too, am a malevolent and powerful force who rules as a shadowy puppet-master.

I’ve also ordered the Hot Springs Island books, as they’ve changed the cover for the third printing (for cost reasons), but the current cover is so good. The new cover is ok, but it’s much more generic-looking and far less eye-catching. It could be the cover of any fantasy RPG book, really. I hope I got there in time: the author said they had “well under 100 copies remaining” several hours before I ordered. It’ll be a shame if I missed it and have to get the new cover, since I’ve been meaning to get this book for years and just kept putting it off in favour of other things.

I’m not ashamed to admit I judge books by their covers. Firstly, there are so many good books out there, missing any one book because its generic cover doesn’t prompt me to give it more than a glance is rarely a tragedy. Secondly, if I’m spending the extra money to get a physical book (as opposed to just a PDF), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want it to look nice on my bookcase.

And New Story Arcs

With my Forbidden Lands one-shot done, it’s time to return to my Traveller campaign. The players have felt a little rudderless at times and, while I can always give them lots of adventure seeds to follow up on, it’d be nice to have a larger story structure going on as well.

So first I made a new map showing the nascent Kingdom of Drinax they are helping to restore (dark purple region) and the worlds they have influenced in the direction of Drinax but not yet convinced to join (adjacent light purple region with dashed border):00The Traveller Map poster maker is a great resource for this sort of thing.

The Kingdom of Drinax, and areas under its influence.

While still giving the players plenty of choice in what they can do, I’m planning that the next “arc” of the campaign will culminate with them convincing Torpol and Clarke to formally join the Kingdom (or to definitely not join, if they’re particularly bad diplomats). I think I just need to seed a couple of big threats that the players can deal with, and reveal that they’ve dealt with, to convince those world government to join a mutual defence & information-sharing alliance with the Kingdom, and from there the scheming NPC politicians can take it the rest of the way.

Frankly, I might not have to do much: they like it when their actions have map-consequences, so just being told “hey, there’s a light purple region here you can make dark purple if you try” just might be enough. But I’ll prepare the political intrigue just in case.

And then after Torpol and Clarke go purple, it’s time for another break and another one-shot!