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Archive for May, 2006

I haven’t posted anything here for five days, so when I logged in a moment ago to look at my blog statistics I was expecting the number of visits to have flatlined. After all, if I can’t be bothered checking in here, why should you lot? Actually, it’s been quite busy. Judging by the breakdown of referrals for today and yesterday (which is all you’re given) they’re mostly from search engines. I suppose the more you write on your blog, the more likely it is that you’ll have a text string there that somebody might search for.

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Demon player

As of July my roleplay group that's doing Iron Kingdoms will start on an Al Qadim campaign. My original idea (well, my second or third original idea) was to play a 'half-demon'. This would have been a class rather than a race, the main feature of which being that for a certain time every day the character would have to turn into a demon. This could be done to his advantage – during combat – or disadvantage – around people who might be slightly unnerved by it. In addition, the character would get some spell-like abilities (cause fear etc) and poisonous bodily fluids. The poison and the demonic form act as a kind of evil version of a cross between a rogue's sneak attack and a barbarian's rage.

Naturally, the GM for the game declined my proposal, but suggested I play a normal character who is cursed. The curse would then grant some of the benefits and flaws of the half-demon class without being so full-on.

My new proposal is that I play a gnome saher (for which read sorcerer) who is cursed with all the nice things he does contributing to his increasing demonic-ness. We're supposed to be having a character-creation session tomorrow before we start IK, so we'll see what comes of that. Apparently the GM of the upcoming AQ game is spending June living in a monastery near New York. Not entirely sure why.

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Hard work, hard luck

There are changes at work today. My line manager’s line manager and my colleague at my grade are both moving to different sites (the former to Nobel House, the latter to Whitehall). In exhange, we’re getting other colleagues to move in here. One of them moved here on Monday, in fact, because there’s a spare desk in the office. According to the Corporate Directory on the intranet he’s responsible for ‘TEAM energy and water database – update and retrieval of information. Energy utilities procurement.’ Nobody’s bothered to introduce us or explain what his role is. From tomorrow, presumably, we’ll be joined by a couple of part-timers on the telecoms team.

One of whom is a very nice, very pretty young Asian woman. Not that she’s likely to have any interest in me, of course. The thing is, on that front, that there are, or will be, two spare desks in our office – actually, our two offices, joined by a permanently open door – one in my bit of the office, one in the other. So, from tomorrow onwards, I could be all by myself – which has its benefits.

The other notable thing to, er, note is that in the four months I’ve worked here I’ve done about two or three weeks’ worth of work. And, as the key to learning is repetition, I don’t really know that much about the facilities processes. So my colleague who does all the actual work is moving off and I’m going to have to cope by myself. Ironically, I’ve been on to Adecco, my agency, to ask them for another placement at various times since working here and the main reason I quote is that I have nothing to do.

Part of the reason I haven’t been doing my fair share is pure laziness, part of it is apathy, part of it is lack of confidence, part of it is deference to my colleague who knows more about all this stuff anyway so he’s the best person to deal with it, part of it is the fact that he sits closer to the door than me. In principle, I ought to be looking forward to the coming period because the job will properly be my own, but I’ve spent so long feeling down about the situation that I’ve stopped caring. On the plus side, I don’t much like this colleague – and I’m sure the feeling’s mutual.

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Robert Louis Stevenson

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Honesty. Nearly

It occurred to me, some time after starting this blog, that the more people you tell about your blog – people you know, that is – the less you can say in it.

'Yes, I have a blog now – here's the address – so you can see exactly what I think about you.'

Not that I would ever say anything malicious about anyone here (he says) – everything I write is just my own feelings about things. In fact, there's a kind of inverse bell curve that applies to who you might tell about your blog: you don't worry about telling your closest friends because you can count on their understanding, and you don't worry about complete strangers who might stray upon your digital diary because what they think is irrelevant, it's just those pesky acquaintances you have to be concerned about.

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I'm reading the August 2005 edition of Fantasy and Science Fiction at the moment (yes, I'm a bit behind). It's a disappointing issue, actually – few of the stories are up to much. However, there is one highlight: a story – in fact it's more of a collection of humorous vingettes – called 'Refried Clichés: A Five-Course Meal' written by Mike Shultz. The opening section is as follows:

APERTIF

SERVED IN A BATTERED BRASS DECANTER

Lester rubbed the lamp three times.

The genie popped out, already blabbering.

"Greetings, mortal. I am Jafaar al'Brazier, here to grant you three wishes. The rules are as follows: No wishing for wishes. No rephrasing a wish after -"

"Wish number one," Lester cut in. "No rules."

The genie's jaw dropped.

"Lester, that's very dangerous. You might -"

"Wish number two. Interpret my wishes as I so choose."

The shocked look on the genie's face grew to superhuman proportions.

"Hey, you can't -"

"Three." Lester had been saving this idea from science class for years. "A mole more wishes. That's 6.02×10^23, if you don't know."

The genie paused, putting a finger to his mouth.

"Nobody ever did this before." A slow grin spread across his face. "Dude! This could be fun! Do you mind sharing a few?"

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Late starters

Monday night saw the second instalment of my roleplaying game. We started late – one player was late, one player need to work on his character – and consequently we finished late – without even finishing the adventure. Which isn't too bad because it means I have less to invent for next time.

The other notable thing about the evening was that we had a full complement of players: five, plus me. And I have a very small flat. And only five chairs. Two of which I bought especially for roleplaying guests. Two other of which were in the flat when I moved in. I sat on a small coffee table (also native to the flat).

Above my main window there is a pipe that carries the waste from the upstairs flat's toilet. I know this because, up until several weeks ago when my landlord finally got round to having it fixed, it used to leak badly when the person upstairs flusehd the toilet. On Monday I opened that window for the first time – at the behest of my overheating gamers. And as my seat was by the window I had the pleasure of the occasional whiff of excrement. throughout the evening I developed a headache and was later sick. Next time they can all melt.

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