a sort of complete list of all named counters in magic

Charge counters
Depletion counters
Growth counters
Storage counters
Age counters
Time counters
Fade counters
Quest counters
Luck counters
Doom counters
Fate counters
Hourglass counters
Arrow counters
Arrowhead counters
Javelin counters
Pin counters
Net counters
Trap counters
Shield counters
Elixir counters
Cube counters
Feather counters
Gold counters
Treasure counters
Rust counters
Soot counters
Petal counters
Shoe counters
Shell counters
Hatchling counters
Spore counters
Polyp counters
Fungus counters
Pressure counters
Fuse counters
Magnet counters
Winch counters
Matrix counters
Chip counters
Tide counters
Flood counters
Ice counters
Mire counters
Mine counters
Mining counters
Blaze counters
Wind counters
Paralyzation counters
Infection counters
Plague counters
Carrion counters
Third-Degree-Burn counters
Hunger counters
Healing counters
Divinity counters
Ki counters
Glyph counters
Bribery counters
Credit counters
Bounty counters
Wage counters
Aim counters
Study counters
Training counters
Devotion counters
Page counters
Shred counters
Sleight counters
Verse counters
Music counters
Sleep counters
Dream counters
Pain counters
Blood counters
Scream counters
Death counters



(a story I submitted to Brain Harvest that didn't make the cut)

“When I’m mother,” Suzanne said, “I’m not going to love you.”

“You have to love me,” I said. “You have to love all of us.”

“I’m not going to love you, because you’re a brat and you think you can always have it your way because you’re the youngest.” Suzanne made a face at me. “I’m going to choose the man with the handsomest picture in the seed library to make your next sister, and she’s going to be beautiful, and I’m going to spoil her, and I’m going to love her more than all of you.”

I made a face back at her. “You won’t say that when you’re mother. You’ll be gone and you’ll just be mother instead.”

“Nuh-uh. I won’t be gone. I’m stronger than that. That’s why I got chosen to be mother.”

“No you aren’t! You’re still just a big crybaby! When mother fell off the tractor you wouldn’t even help carry her body into the coffin! You just hid under your bunk and cried!”

She didn’t say anything else and neither did I. We walked in silence, the purple earth crunching beneath our feet as we walked past the crop domes out to mother’s coffin. Everyone was gathered around the coffin waiting for us, Leslie, Mariella, Janis, Cassie, Heather, Samantha, and everybody else all standing around looking at Suzanne with angry impatience.

Suzanne stuck her tongue out at me a final time as Alice helped her climb into the empty coffin and Penelope put the crown upon her head as she lay back. She closed her eyes as its invisible wires whined into her skull. I stood there and held her hand, waiting for her eyes to open and for mother to love us again.


i've had this idea floating in my head for a while

It all started with a conversation about whether the orcs in Lord of the Rings are racist against black people. She said yes, I disagreed. They're Germans, obviously. And then I went on to explain that orcs have now become much less "mindless killing machines" in most fantasy games, but then I realized that they've turned into "noble savages" instead. That's still racist; it idealizes them as simple-minded purists who kill not because they're inherently bloodthirsty but because violence is some kind of pure act. Which is a theme that runs through a lot of fantasy - violence and barbarism is the noble primal state of man.

Whether motivated by noble missions or personal greed, fantasy gaming characters inevitably kill everything they come across that has treasure, isn't human enough to feel sympathy for, and is declared "evil and subhuman." Then they loot the bodies, go back to the human town (or elvish or dwarven, who are human enough to qualify as long as they don't worship the wrong gods), and they sell all the magic swords and precious gems they got off the singed and dismembered bodies of all the kobolds or goblins or lizardmen they slew. Then maybe the king gives them a reward if they killed enough non-humans.

So Dungeons and Dragons is inherently racist. Adventuring parties commit minor acts of genocide and then profit off them. There's an old parody RPG system from back in the '90s, Violence, which was basically a translation of D&D campaign styles into the modern world: the characters walk into somebody's home, kill everyone who lives there, and take their stuff. That doesn't take the scenario far enough, though. My thought was, what if the adventuring party were incredible racists who profited off slaughtering hundreds of "inferior and evil" races?

I summed the idea up in my head as "post-colonialist D&D." The setting is basically the colonization of America, except in a medieval fantasy setting. At some point all these humans came to the New World to establish their feudal kingdoms, but those pesky native orcs and hobgoblins and gnolls and everything got in the way, so they decided they were evil and sub-human, spread a bunch of propaganda about how they worship chaos gods and make human sacrifices, and then hired a bunch of mercenary adventurers to kill them all. And those guys are the player characters. Racism (against orcs, anyway) would be mandatory, in fact, you'd have to make Wisdom checks in order to think of the native races as anything other than monsters that need to be killed or driven off. Instead of superior technology being the driving force behind human/European dominance of the natives, it'd be superior magic.

Oh, and there was also some stuff about elves as the Roman Empire, drow as the Byzantines, dwarves as Islam, and Quaker hobbits, but that's kind of a whole other bit.



I have a job at NCsoft, rewriting quests for their localization of a Korean MMORPG. Yet at the office, I have no desk, no computer, and no game account.



To clear older, more depressing things out more quickly, here's some things I've been doing recently:

-Playing a free trial of Warhammer Online in an attempt to visit with Amber, virtually. Did you know Orcs are sexless and grow from spores? IT'S TRUE! It's pretty good, but I don't have the money to buy it currently SOOOO

-Continuing to apply for jobs on a regular basis, continuing to not get job interviews because nobody really wants me.

-Writing a comic book with my friend Sarah, who will be doing the art because she is a much better artist than me. It is about a guy who discovers the secret fantasy world of the early morning and gets sucked in, kind of a suburban version of urban fantasy, if you consider Wallingford to be a suburb. I finished the script for chapter one last weekend, and gave it to Sarah on Monday, so she's currently working on layouts (last I talked to her, anyway).

-Putting together a bunch of photographs for a Starbucks in Kirkland where my friend from art school, Ashley, is now in charge of the art wall. They are all night shots and collectively they almost killed all my printer's color ink, also I'm not currently sure how best to mount/frame them but perhaps the giant piece of black foam core I bought today will give me some ideas.

-My dad's going to be writing the next trilogy of Halo novels, so I'm going to be his story consultant since he's never played Halo and, in fact, hates first-person shooters. This means I know HALO UNIVERSE SECRETS that I am sworn never to reveal.

-Playing Ninja Gaiden II, which is alternately fun and frustrating, just like its predecessors. Highlights include a boss which explodes when you beat it, killing you unless you figure out that you need to block; ninja dogs with katanas in their mouths that throw shuriken at you somehow; zombies with one chainsaw arm and one grenade launcher arm; a sequence where you fight more ninjas than the Xbox can actually handle without slowing the framerate down; and a giant-ass scythe.


the jessica saga part ii

Which actually happened about a month ago, but I kept putting off writing about it.

I found out through Facebook that Jessica had broken up with her boyfriend. So I was really, really happy, because I'd been hoping that would happen ever since I found out she had one. I wanted to ask her out, of course, but I thought maybe I should wait a little bit, that maybe she wasn't looking to get into something again right away. But I got nervous, because, what if some other guy had the same idea and asked her out first? So I decided to wait a week, and then get together and talk with her. All week, I was nervous, on the edge of either being the happiest I've ever been in my life, or being massively disappointed and heartbroken.

But that next weekend, all she had time to get together for was bubble tea with her and her friends. Talking to her about this in front of them would be awkward, obviously, so I thought instead I might write her a note telling her how I felt. Given how we met, it seemed appropriate. When we actually got together, though, there was some new guy there, who I'd never seen before. Shit, I thought. Still, maybe they weren't an item yet? Maybe I was just being paranoid? Then they held hands.

It broke my heart, and it hurt for kind of a long time.

Still, we're friends.


fuck it

I decided to just put all my photos up on Corrugate, since every time I want to add new photos I always skip over the old ones because I don't like them as much, but I feel bad that nobody else will ever get to see them. On a related note, I also deleted a shit-ton of old photos that I think suck now. Theoretically I should be updating it with photos every time I offload them from my camera. We'll see how that works.


the first post of the new year

I should just update things more often without excuses. More photos are up too.