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Tycho / 14 hours ago

I’m still thinking about my SCA shit up at last weekend’s Banner War, partly because I got sick there so I’ve had a lot of time to lie completely motionless except for wracking coughs and the occasional turn, as meat is turned on a grill, to let the mucus collect in the other lobe of my sinuses.

Here is the comic which recounts a vital portion of the experience.  I always wonder how I’d fare in another context; statistically speaking, “dead at another’s hand in the service of someone I don’t know” is probably the correct assessment.

Because it did not fit especially well into the distillation I wrote on Monday, I neglected to describe the events of Friday night in my tent.  I was as cold as I have ever been in my life, nothing I brought was proof against it.  The wind from the river blew straight through whatever artifice I’d constructed to confound it.  The second night, Mike Fehlauer gave me a massive leather cloak that handily resolved the base issue.  I started to experience various bursts of erratic thoughts, and the dumb thing is that anybody could have helped me but I didn’t ask for help because I was the new guy and this type of thing was situated firmly within the guardrails of “New Guy Shit.”

Invariably, every profoundly negative experience I have had has been a source of wisdom given enough time to process it.  Let me save you some time with the first one: ask for a fucking blanket.  Giving someone a blanket feels incredible.  People will fight over who gets to give you an extra blanket, that’s how good it feels.

The second is that I assessed the protective power of the tent incorrectly because every other time I’ve slept in this tent Brenna was there with me.  The truth of that, way down, couldn’t even be understood with language in the state I entered that night.  It was rendered, instead, as some kind of animal axiom I was subject to and did not honor.  It is nice, on rare occasion, to have your value structure reassessed involuntarily by an unaccountable, external, immutable force.

So, I had a high fever and I saw some shit, but now I’m back on my grind-equivalent operational status: At noon PDT, join myself and brewmaster Eric Benson for another potable episode of Acquisitions Intoxicated right on Twitch - and we’ll be…  Shit, we’ll be doing a lot:

1. Discussing Drinking Culture In The SCA
2. Brewing the brutal stout we cooked up with our friend Holly Conrad(!!!)
3. Sampling glasses of Jim Darkmagic’s Velvet Cape
4. Crafting a new recipe with the stream for Viar
5. Deciding what to make next week!

After a short break, we’ll be back with the final case of co-op Choose Your Own Adventure game Mythos Tales played collaboratively with the stream.  I’ve never been so sad for a game to end, it’s really been a great part of my life these last few months and I hope you’ve had fun coming along.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

Gabriel mostly sat in confusion after the comment at Curriculum Night; he doesn’t really start or maintain beef in realspace.

What you think isn’t political - that is to say, what isn’t up for debate - is really just an index of your politics anyway, and quite a robust one.  For me, I don’t think teaching science in science class is a political act.  I grew up in a house where “teaching evilution”...  Well, the fact that we called it Evilution is probably enough information to glean the subtleties of the position.  I live and let live as right until the point at which you start teaching children that we get to choose our facts.  There is some shit I will not eat.

I went to an SCA event called Banner War this weekend.  A lot of stuff happened, and I remember a lot of it, which puts me in a good position to relate it.  For example: I wasn’t aware that, in addition to any mundane principalities I might be party to, I was also a subject of An Tir.  There is another version of the World which lays its domain upon the one you know, and is carved into various baronies and whatnot, and no doubt there are laws and rules of which you are dreadfully unaware, which is to say it’s like any other day.

I was invited and thus absorbed into a larger Household for my first event, a group that has been doing this for a very long time - and, crucially, a group that already had a bardic poet-warrior type guy.  In the same way that I always embody the Healer, whatever form that might take, the rhyme weirdo is generally my role.  I slot in there real well.  I had to figure out somebody to be, so I went with amiable barkeep.

We had three kegs of beer from Acquisitions Intoxicated on tap, and they didn’t last twenty-four hours.  Omin Dran’s WAR PRIEST made believers out of guest after guest who claimed they didn’t like dark beers or IPAs.  When the War Priest had given its all, we tapped Jim Darkmagic’s Velvet Cape and got whisked away on a silken-ass Mouth Journey.  We expected “spice” from the mild Tettnanger hops, but a hint of it - nothing clear or present.  This tasted like a rich cinnamon tea, but without actual cinnamon, which would just sit there on your tongue all cloying and gross.  When you drink Velvet Cape, you feel like you’re getting away with something.

Three gallons of it didn’t last until noon.

A big part of this whole thing is drinking, as near as I can tell, and it’s reinforced at various levels of magnification.  Toblero is an SCA game that you play with tiny, beer-bearing cups; there is a variant called Toblotto (apparently) which involves spirits.  At a more intimate level, it’s not uncommon (read: “it is very common”) to literally wear a mug from your belt on a button-loop everyone called a Frog.  You wear this precisely so you can drink out of it.  Some people have drinking horns hanging from their belts, you know why.  I got roped into some kind of Drinking Relay Race against a notorious house called The Gremlins; this was a tactical misstep.  You’re supposed to go down the line finishing glasses and passing a metaphorical baton to the person next to you, but my fellow in this case began drinking his immediately.  I didn’t learn until later that he had simply leveraged his “ignorance” in the service of free drinks but I suppose that is neither here nor there.

We were surrounded by perhaps fifty people.  Because we had to start over, I accomplished my feat for a second time -  but the Gremlin at the end of the line opposite us drained a glass in a terrifyingly short span.  I think there’s something wrong with his esophagus and he should talk to a DOCTOR.  I turned around to the people behind me, as if to say, “what in the fuck” but a woman shrugged at me, saying, “He is a Gremlin.  I make no apologies for my house.”

I told a couple kids who’d acquitted themselves quite well at the Bardic competition that they’d done a good job, and they both curtsied and said “Thank you, milord.”  That’s not a customary part of my life. 

People engage with the overarching “fiction” to the degree they are most comfortable with, but the baseline level of engagement is very, very high.  My daughter Ronia has reached the phase many young Harry Potter fans must where she speaks in a “british” accent most of the time, and she’d flip the fuck out.  Some people just knit all weekend, I saw it.  Some people call passing cars Dragons.  I played Hero Realms at midnight in the middle of the woods.  There’s a point on this continuum that anyone would like I think; I’m just figuring out how hard I want to go next year.  Like, on the Mohs scale.  My guess is very, very hard.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 6 days ago

There was talk of trying the Leviathan raid, and it sounded pretty good to me, but then I realized that numbers were real and my numbers were very, very low.  I’m much closer now; Greazy-E and I are gonna try to crack the 260 barrier on this afternoon’s stream around 2 PDT.  Stop by?

Here’s last night’s Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team game, Anchors Aweigh (Part 4). 

Watch live video from Penny Arcade on

I needed to rest after this one; I was glad to have the break in the middle of the show this time, not merely for the traditional mercenary purpose but because I actually needed a minute to collect myself.  The “C” Team is one of the coolest things we’re doing right now, and it’s only growing more frigid as time passes.  You can get caught up with the first few episodes with this short recap, and start from there - YouTube, Twitch, Podcast, come check it out any way you want to and stay as long as you like.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Stripped of its makeshift ironic armor, the events of the strip are
quite true.  A father hand-made a custom universe for his son and as a result Hearts got warmed.

This is not what happened at my home game.  What happened in my home game was that they stumbled upon an old peddler in the woods who was delighted - delighted! - to learn that their parents had gone missing.  His cart was full of bones and his shabby tunic was dusted with the dust of the GRAVE!

A couple videos we have had MANY requests for are now available for your fervid watchings.  The first is Acquisitions Intoxicated.  Streaming absolutely, regrettably LIVE Tuesdays at noon PDT, we craft craft beers ingredient by ingredient with the help of the channel, and then we brew them live on the show.  I also occasionally pat the grains with affection because I’m convinced it creates superior head retention and a creamy mouthfeel.  In any case, come by live to help with the recipe, or catch up with the show on YouTube, like so:

Also, Josh just put up the Acquisitions Incorporated Live Game from PAX West 2017.  Many, many people have suggested it’s our best game yet.  I know that I had a lot of fun.  Let us know what you think:

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I’ve wrapped up the main campaign for Destiny 2, and a bunch of stuff happens in it but the main, important thing is I can create a special, magical hole - and everyone’s invited.  Hole benefits include:

- Light exfoliation, revealing skin’s freshest layer
- Friendly lightning orb
- Continental Breakfast for foes (meal consists primarily of lightning)

They did change shaders in a way that occasionally makes me look dumb and I’m not sure it’s my favorite.  I’m a boring person; I just try to make everything look as Dead Orbit as possible and I can get pretty close with Metro Shift.  The problem isn’t just that I’m boring, though - it’s that I don’t…  see things?  I guess?  I don’t know what things look like?  I put together color schemes that look sort this way? So a Classic Destiny shader worked very well for me.  I hit one button and then I sorta looked like I knew what the fuck was happening.  There’s a substantial potential for “me looking dumb” in the new system, which treats shaders more like dyes in other games.  I liked the single shader, but I also like how I can shade my ship and my sparrow now.  I also have like seventy uses of different shaders.  I reserve the right to be incredibly angry about it later when I have enough shaders for everything but my helmet, but now I’m merely nervous about it.

I had the sort of night in Crucible that makes you come back later and play more Crucible.  I originally went in there because of how they encourage you to do Goddamn near everything now - drops.  When you collect rep tokens, you’re working toward drops.  If you have certain kinds of Ghosts, you can earn side currencies that build rep with certain characters for even more drops.  Basically somebody at Bungie figured out that Destiny is about drops and with that realization they pay you for repeatable content in drops above and beyond what you’d get anyway.

In any case: Gabe, our friend Levin that used to work here, and myself essentially gnawed on the bones of foes for over an hour.  I expect that I’ll ultimately serve time for the things we did in there.  I loved Halo’s triumphant return to 4v4, and I love it here as well.  I liked Osiris for the same reason -  it feels substantially more tactical with this knob turned.  Now, it does remove a fairly substantial avenue of Six Player Content, which I don’t like.  The new open world stuff seems like it would be a natural home for large groups, but we were surprised to learn that you aren’t able to do that.  I have thought of reasons why that might be but I’ve spent just as much time trying to figure out how, because I spend a lot more time in those settings now precisely because the philosophy behind them has shifted.  I’d like to do it more often, and with more with more people.  I suspect this is a common desire in a variety of contexts.

(CW)TB out.

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