my new favorite demon

Phenex, who is so named because he assumes the form of a phoenix when summoned, is a Grand Marquis of Hell. He's pretty awesome, because he teaches all wonderful sciences, and he's a poet as well. And he's tragic, because he apparently hoped to return to heaven after 1200 years. But he didn't, because Satan is a liar.


The Mandate of Heaven

I would post this over at the campaign blog, but since that's meant to be kept in-character, I'll post it here: my design rules for my Legend of the Five Rings campaign.

1. No conspiracies. The death of the characters' father is less tragic if it turns out it was all part of some grand villain's evil scheme. There is no hidden mastermind, and no central evil villain. Any sinister plots that show up in the storyline will have to stay away from the characters' personal lives.

2. Avoid simple dualism. Whenever moral dilemmas come up, they need to be more complex than good versus evil. The players should be forced to make tough decisions rather than having one right path.

3. Keep things open-ended. Rather than being a linear plot, there should be multiple choices to make at each stage of the game. To keep things from being too freeform, many of those choices will have to be somewhat binary, but, as above, not in a good versus evil sense. The game starts out being node-based, traveling from place to place on a well-defined map, and getting involved in local plots or accepting jobs on an optional basis, but as the central plot becomes more clearly defined, there should be a definite story arc and ending for it. There should not be one set ending, though.

4. Actions should have consequences. The choices that the characters make should shape the game world, and even tiny events should have effects that can be revisited later.

5. Avoid high fantasy. Although magic is tough to avoid, with a priest in the party, it should be played as fairly "realistic," for example, having to actually pray to the kami and keep good relations with them in order to cast spells rather than simply fire off spells whenever you feel like it. If gods appear, they should be in the form of dreams, omens, or abstract visions. Monsters should be rare and not particularly flashy and magical. Definitely no ancient prophecies, at least, not true ones.

6. No annoying allies. All friendly NPCs should be useful or at least charming, and not place undue demands on the players without doing something for them in return.

7. Honor should be important. Since some of the player characters probably want to maintain a high Honor rank, and they're forced to live as scruffy, pragmatic ronin, keeping that high Honor rank should be a challenge, making players choose between being successful and being honorable.



thanks a lot, money, you've really let me down :(

I was all excited to watch Battlestar Galactica tonight, and then I remembered the reason I'm not watching it is that I don't have cable any more. Drat.


ten words

I took my shot at entering Penny Arcade's World of Warcraft ten-word-story contest:

"Her hands clawed upwards, aching to breathe through dead lungs."



Turns out I'd posted this on the wrong blog and didn't notice for a week. Did anyone else?

Lindsay Ann Hawker's murder is pretty interesting despite being fairly straightforward, because it resembles a Japanese surrealist novel. She was teaching English in Japan, was invited to the flat of one of her students where she was murdered and left in a bathtub on his balcony, filled with sand. The suspect escaped police capture, took off his shoes before the chase, and may be in disguise as a woman. It's been a year, and he still hasn't been caught.

this blog will now alternate between talking about things i enjoy and chronicling my failures, which is what all blogs should be about, really

Last Thursday I went out to First Thursday, because my cousin's husband had a gallery opening. As I was leaving, I ran into some girls from my art classes, including the cute girl in my painting class, who asks if I'd like to come along and wander around Pioneer Square with them. Yes, of course. So I wander along with them visiting galleries, getting free food and free wine, and we all eventually end up getting drinks and playing pool at a bar. SPOILERS: Turns out she has a boyfriend.