Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas 2018

A year ago, in desperation I asked my readers to help me replace my computer.  It is never easy to ask for help.  Many, starting with ourselves, will chastise us for daring to admit we cannot do it on our own ... and the last thing we must never do is ask for charity.

It has been nearly a year, less a couple of days.  I have my computer, it is in fine form ... and I have a restored tower and keyboard as well, a gift from a friend in May.  Finding steady work at an interesting company, writing, managing people on the phone, I feel greatly restored from the physical labor I've had to do these last three years.  I receive compliments from co-workers and strangers alike; part of my job is to help people put together the costumes they'd like to buy on the phone ~ suggesting gloves and glasses for santas, an axe for a viking lord, the right wig to play Gene Simmons in Kiss, whatever completely odd thing that might come up ... and I talk to people all over the world when I do it.

So, in large part, I feel restored.  I feel that parts of my life are getting sorted, some things that have festered for more than three years.  George Bernard Shaw wrote in Major Barbara about the restorative powers of a good job over the balm of religion ~ and I am a G.B. fan.  Nothing cures woes like money.

Now, I don't have enough to give money; but I do have plenty of intellect and imagination, plus a will to be generous.  So come on, brothers and sisters.  This Christmas, you can help me out by finding a way to let me help you.  Ask me for something.  Ask for help.  Ask for an ear.  Ask me for a little labor if I know how.  Ask me for a blog post.  I'll do whatever I can to oblige.

My thanks to Akira Konno for the image.
And if there's nothing you can think of, please, take a moment and say hello.  Tell me something about yourself, in the comments or at alexiss1@telus.net.  Whether you've made a contribution to my Patreon or not, I'd like to shake your hand.  At least as much as my internet will allow.

If you have supported me on Patreon, whether or not you still do ... thank you.  Thank you more than I can say.  This is your chance to get a little something back.  Go on.  Ask me for something.

Merry Christmas.

25 comments:

Pandred said...

What's on the books for the coming months?

More updates to the wiki? You know I love me some sage abilities, or even those delightful bestiary entries.

Gonna revisit the podcasts? I know you got sidetracked by life, but it was still fun content.

I'm just happy to hear you're feeling good for the coming year. So keep it up.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I'm contemplating things. Podcasts: proposed subject died and I dropped it. I've been thinking how I might produce more material, but I'm looking at people who have done up to 250 podcast episodes and are still getting less than a thousand views. Maybe people don't like my voice...

Pandred, give me five monsters you'd like to see from the original Monster Manual or Fiend Folio. No psionic based monsters though (don't use the brain mole or the su-monster), and there are about half the monsters from the Folio I don't use ~ so after a veto or two we'll get a list of five. I'll write 'em.

Give me a sage study of your choice, any class that's listed on the wiki, and I'll write amateur abilities and at least two authority.

Same offer's open to anyone else.

Ozymandias said...

What happened to the bondage skill? I saw it dropped off your list when you migrated your rules to Blogger.

James said...

I'm glad you are doing better. Life sidetracked me (I spent a few weeks in Thailand, and my work piled up a lot in my absence), but I am looking forward to jumping back into your class series.

I'm a boring person though. Any timeline for the Juvenis campaign?

Alexis Smolensk said...

I have tried to think of a way to wedge the campaign into my work schedule. I work 10 til 6 most days, with a long commute. I could get up at 7, run an hour, get myself together and get out by 8:35. Or I could get in at 7:10 pm (9 pm EST, 3 am Portugal time), run two hours and crash. Assuming I don't want to shower and eat when I get in. I'm off Friday and Sat, which are the worst days to run.

I am way, way too watched at work to play there. It is seriously the work on the serengeti experience. This video, starting around 2:00 in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G11t6XAIce0.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Oz,

I don't remember the "bondage skill." Bandaging, yes, but I did not intentionally take "bondage" out. I don't remember it at all.

Jon Gazda said...

Hello! I'm a new reader of your blog. I'm really enjoying the blend of game theory and psychology that you address in your 201 articles, so my only request is that they continue. Happy holidays and New Year!

Alexis Smolensk said...

No worries, Jon. I'm researching/compiling on the 20th Class; I hope to have something before Friday.

Ozymandias said...

I have a listing of skills from the old Wiki because I was planning on stealing all the good ideas (which is pretty much all of them); bondage was under the thief skill set and I think it was meant to cover Escape Bonds, or something like that.

Though, to be fair, I can't find much reference in my notes (other than details about making and splicing ropes).

Alexis Smolensk said...

Okay, I've done a little work to update the content included under "Sharp Practice" on the thief studies to cover the subject you mention, Oz.

Pandred said...

Hoo boy.

Sage abilities HAS to be Occultism, in Power, and shared by the Mage and Illusionist class. Divination is rad, and divination that "creates" the prophecy is even cooler.

Monsters is easy flippin' peasy.

Hippogriffs, Trolls, Nagas, Dwarves, and Half-Elves.

I know the last two aren't technically monsters, but I see that grey text on the wiki, and dammit I want to know!

Alexis Smolensk said...

Elves AND Dwarves. Ooo, you are a cruel taskmaster.

Of course they're monsters. They're in the Monster Manual.

Vlad Malkav said...

Hello Alexis,

Still on the Patreon, don't plan to stop.
So, well, all I want is more of your work here, maybe a little more on the infrastructure subject, but what I'm really digging now are the courses.

So keep doing well, be healthy and happy, that's all I can ask for.

Cheers !

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thank you Vlad. It is always good to hear from you!

Zilifant said...

I love your posts that examine old tropes and give inspiration for new ways of thinking about the game. One of my favorite posts was the one where you examined why monsters would have coins in their lairs or on their person, when they don't really have any use for them. I'd love to see more posts with your unique and thoughtful take on more of these old tropes that we seldom examine closely. Maybe pick some sections of the DMG or PHB and examine them in a way that will get us thinking about them differently?

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thank you for sharing your work with all of us out here in cyberspace!

Alexis Smolensk said...

Help me out here, Zilifant. Name something specific. I'll figure out an answer.

Drain said...

Glad to see you in a festive spirit. I too would like to know when we'll hear more from the dashing and handsome folks of the younger campaign.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well, I'll tell you Drain, James, Pandred ... I'm willing to try and run so long as you're happy with very slow movement week by week. I have a killer schedule right now.

Zilifant said...

Alexis, your posts this week on faith and infravision were exactly the type of thing I was wanting - thank you! Here's another topic for you: How do you handle difficult terrain in combat? Do you have specific rules you use when the combatants are knee-deep in swamp water, or fighting on a slippery frozen lake? I'd love to hear about how you DM those situations. I looked on the wiki and didn't see anything, but if this info is out there and I missed it please let me know. Thanks!

Hollow Scribe said...

I'm glad you're doing well! Haven't really had time to read your blog for a while (university eats my time), but there seems to be a lot of interesting posts to catch up on. Maybe I'll be able to catch a few soon...

Alexis Smolensk said...

Zilifant,

I have covered these things. You'll find rules on the wiki about fighting under various depths of water: https://tao-dndwiki.blogspot.com/2018/02/fight-while-immersed.html

For fighting on difficult surfaces, you'll find some rules here on the wiki: http://tao-dndwiki.blogspot.com/2018/03/fight-while-unsteady.html

You are most welcome for anything I've written.

Rec said...

I've always been super interested in your posts regarding religion/faith, but here's a specific question:

How do different sects of Christianity (or any religion), e.g. Catholicism and Protestantism, reconcile the fact that the other guy also gets miracles/divine aid?

Alexis Smolensk said...

That is a very, very good question. I'll go start that answer.

Behold said...

I feel kinda guilty to even ask for this. However as you did ask again for requests, I respectfully ask for a final Civilization technology post. The next one in your queue was assembly line as memory serves. I ask fully aware you've written that you attempted it a few times and would completely understand declining. If I might be so bold as to suggest assembly line fits well with how 3rd and 4th edition treated magic items and may explain differences between them and older D&D (and newer now it seems).

Alexis Smolensk said...

Behold,

I presume you mean the civilization posts I wrote years ago, where I covered each technology one by one in a post. Sure, I can work up something about assembly line. Give me a day or two to research it, if I'm not hit by inspiration sooner.

I stopped those posts because the technology was outrunning the fantasy world framework ... so my chief issue would be to make something that didn't exist before the 18th century relevant to the 17th and earlier. Manufacturing, of course, existed far before, but the "assembly line" is a specifically ergonomic ideal. Still, I've got a mind to start with Adam Smith ...