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Tycho / 3 hours ago

(Here’s the strip.  I’ve never had a single interaction with Geoff Keighley that wasn’t good, so there’s no beef; I just do a lot of public appearances too and it’s a very fragile time.  Here’s today’s Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team fic, with art by Kate Welch, that is to say, Rosie Beestinger.)

Like a spring icicle, the protection money continued to drip, drip, drip.

It had started with Marvin from the New Ironbark Inn.  He’d settled in the northern tip of Red Larch after fleeing the destruction of Nemezir, and being a place of gathering for local halflings word must have spread.

The pouch had contained the two small emeralds that indicated pious deference to her organization, an organization she had endeavored tirelessly to dismantle, but was always sprouting fresh and green in the cracks of her life.  The part of her that was and would always be Grandmother Night wasn’t going to give the money back purely on principle.  But she also knew, wound somewhere in the brass spring of her mind, that sending the money back would not resolve it.  They would assume the tribute was light (which, technically, it was).  They would assume they had slighted her (which, technically, they had).  Then there would be overtures and spice cakes and all manner of nonsense.  She hated the grovelling.  But it was entirely possible she hated spice cake more.

All the same, she couldn’t just sit on the money like an old hen.  She abhorred lazy money.  What’s more, the strange pouch K’thriss had - a marker of his station as a Hoardsperson - was always sniffing the air near her door and it wouldn’t do. 

The situation of Red Larch was such that children who had been lost on the road would choose the alleys of this small place over the wood or the hills, and with good reason; they were called Fall Apples - a term of endearment - because there were too many to care for, but it was a point of civic pride to comfort them.  Rosie’s bag was never without the occasional wrapped Cornerstone or crumblecake as a result; she was in the habit of adoption, and though her work often took her from the town there was always a thought for them, particularly if she thought it might be cold.

So it was that Rosie Beestinger became the “agent” of a “mysterious benefactor” who had “been a pirate until recently” and “sought to remedy her conscience with the salve of good deeds.”  An old, yet sturdy warehouse nearer the quarry was secured under these pretenses, which were not truly pretenses at all.  She had always been mother to more than her own kin, and this damned money would do its part in it.  She called the place Lighthouse, and it was, in more ways than one.

(Here is the version without the K’thrissmas livery.  Thanks Kate!)


To continue the theme, the Child’s Play Charity Dinner and Auction is coming up this Thursday at 6:30pm - there’s still time to sneak you in, as a group or simply as a very generous electron.  Today’s savory store offering is ten bucks off your choice of Mug/Moleskine bundle: one fashioned after my cohort’s… proclivities,  and one bundle designed to recognize you as a figure of taste and eruditon.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

I’ve wanted to see The Last Jedi ever since I got out of the theater for The Force Awakens.  Arguably, I’ve wanted to see it ever since I knew there was such a thing as Star Wars.  You know me; I’ve wanted people to ask hard questions about these fucking Space Wizards from the jump.  It seems like we might be getting there?  Anyway, it’s out next week and that seems a little crazy, but I am “not mad at it.”

It technically starts showing before the 15th, a day we call the 14th.  So the day of our Dinner is also when this thoroughly desired cinematic ordnance is fired, which is an invidious scenario calibrated to generate “feelings” of various kinds.  I’ve sworn them off, myself.  But there are those still in their grip.

The Child’s Play Charity Dinner & Auction which Mike Krahulik will most certainly attend is Next Thursday, and it’s been a good time since its inception.  We’ve got all kinds of treasure, an amazing cross-section of the gaming community, Old Stove Brewery has offered up another keg or two of Zagernezzar Ale, and of course I will try to find my suit which may still be in the trunk from last year.  Tickets for individuals and groups are still available.

Also!  I got my wish, and I’m gonna get to play some Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the stream with my friend Mike at 2pm PST.  I understand that if you put an enemy into a Break state, you can then Topple them which allows you to use an ability that can Launch them which enables potent Slam attacks.  I don’t 100% know what the fuck any of that is but I would like an opportunity to find out.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 4 days ago

Lore + Store

The Little Mouth was coiled, asleep, around the dagger that was its child.

The weapon had been a challenge from one of the Meals It Could Not Eat, the smallest of the giants whose hair was spun from star-silver.  The Little Mouth had made quick work of the thing; it had made itself Large, and it had chirped well, cowing the blade into submission.  The voice in the dagger became still, and slept for a time.  Now, when it spoke, it spoke as a sleeper does: in portents and mouthfuls of dream.  It spoke of Ras Nsi, who had once held it.  It spoke of the flesh it had tasted, so much flesh; it was a topic of shared interest.  The Edicts held that the universe was naught but Meat and Mouths, but the dagger was neither - not exactly.  Perhaps it was his Tooth, in a way.  Perhaps it was his Tongue.

The Giants could not understand his speech; indeed, their understanding was so porous that they did now know he was speaking.  It spoke words of comfort, all the same; of a time when the Sanguilith would finish with this plane altogether, swallow it up, and with it all the petty torments mortals must endure.

(Here’s a super big one without the K’thrissmas livery for the true Ligotti fan.)


Today is the International Shipping deadline for Express Mail on the store!  If you want any Christmas Presents you order to actually be presents for Christmas, and you live far away from us, jump in there and take a peek.  There is some very cool stuff this time around; I have my favorites, you know, but take a look.


Tycho / 5 days ago

As is firmly established, I really, really like it when reviews for a game do not generate consensus.  It can mean a few different things: for example, it might be a bad game game whose fetishists tolerate (or even laud) its worst tendencies.  I’m certainly guilty of this; that fact that I don’t “see art” means that there’s an entire band of data I don’t perceive and it leads to tension between myself and my friend Glob.  In my defense, I played text adventures and games I had to load from cassette tapes, and my aesthetics haven’t really changed that much.

Xenoblade 2, mechanically speaking, feels something like a buffet.  As my cohort suggested in his post earlier, there’s a Pokeymans element alongside… man.  Alongside like eight elements and mid-combo QTEs?  It’s the everygame.  I really like how it does what it does, even though I agree that it’s obtuse.  No doubt that sounds like something a fetishist would say.  It feels old to me, like a catechism.  I like that, too. 

I’m hoping he and I can play it for a couple hours on the Friday afternoon stream.  Right now spinning all that game’s weird gears is offering me a mental vacation and that sounds pretty good.

It’s really fun to go through my mentions on sur le twittre and see that the break is giving people a chance to catch up and see the story through to the season finale.  We’ve tried to make it easy - we’ve got Twitch VODs, Podcasts, and a YouTube Playlist and each one has its proponents.  More “C” Team Lore tomorrow, this time about sometime snake, sometime rod Ligotti.  It’s a collaboration between K’thriss and myself, if that is of interest.  Also!  The “C” Team will be sitting around the table again this Thursday, to talk about the first season, hang out, and take your questions from our Twitch channel.  Stop by!

(CW)TB out.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I picked up Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Switch last week and have not been able to put it down. Yesterday on Twitter I mentioned a Reddit post that I found super helpful when it comes to the combat. Even if you’re not playing Xenoblade it’s a pretty funny read. The combat system is so completely bonkers you end up having to say shit like this while trying to explain it:

Bursting 1 orb extends the Chain Attack for 1 round. You can burst multiple orbs in 1 round and that would extend the Chain Attack to the number of orbs burst.

The combat is ridiculously deep and even though I’ve got 15 hours of it, I only barely understand it. Each time I figure out a new mechanic, my enjoyment of the already great combat increases. The game does a very good job or slowly feeding you new mechanics and I actually find the tips it puts forth super helpful. The only problem is there is no way to go back and see any sort of collection of these tips and lessons. That’s where this write up over on Reddit came in handy. Honestly I am having a blast and I haven’t even seen any of the “orb bursts” or “Chain Attacks” mentioned in there.

The game is beautiful on the Switch. Personally I’ve been playing almost exclusively in handheld mode but it looks just fine on the TV as well. The music and visuals are killer and I absolutely love the hook. I was into the story within the first 30 minutes which isn’t like me at all. There’s some really cool ideas in here though and I’m having fun seeing where they take them. If you want to dive deep into a combat system and get lost in customization menus this is the game for you. I haven’t even talked about collecting different Blades which are essentially bad ass Pokemon.

I know the reviews for this game are all over the place and I understand why. I would not recommend it to everyone but if you’re interested already, I think it’s worth checking out.

-Gabe out

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