schneefink: (Hockey Fleury)
Tomorrow (so technically today) I'm going on one week of skiing vacation at our grandparents' with LB. There should still be lots of snow on the mountains :) I'm a bit nervous because I haven't done much if any sports in the last few months, I'm sure I'll be very sore, but skiing is the best. (Wrong icon but I don't have one with snow and hockey is at least a winter sport.)

Staying at our grandparents' for a week with LB will also be good for my routine: I'm sharing a room with LB, and I have to get up at a certain (early) time for breakfast and I can't just lie in bed for an hour. I hope I'll get used to it quick and then keep doing some of that when I'm back home. I'll also spend less time online, which means less time for DW/AO3/etc., which is annoying but maybe not so bad every once in a while…

I wanted to go to bed early today so I'm not too tired during the train ride tomorrow (I'd be fine with it but LB told me I'm not allowed to sleep the entire time), which I failed at but I did manage to write two job applications, so hopefully the case worker I'll visit tomorrow will be satisfied. (Probably not though, because I didn't come close to my required number of applications in January.)

…and now I remembered that I don't have accident insurance. Why couldn't I have forgotten that until the day after the vacation instead of the day before. Ah well, I have a helmet and it's been years since I even fell while skiing, it'll be fine.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)

Six more recs from Yuletide 2018 – better late than never.

The Realms of the Immortals by [archiveofourown.org profile] nirejseki (Tortall, Immortals Quartet)
57k, Rikash/Daine
Summary: Rikash knew he was signing up for a lot when he became Lord of the Stone Tree Stormwing nation. But joining forces with the extremely dangerous, mysterious, and oddly intriguing Veralidaine Sarrasri, the famous Stormwing Killer, on a road trip through the Divine Realms to assassinate those immortals stupid enough to risk the destruction of the world by working with Chaos? That's - unexpected.
Why I love it: I do this rarely, but when I finished reading this fic I immediately read it again and then had to leave a comment on every chapter pointing out my favorite parts because there were so many. The characters and their relationships are fantastic, the plot and adventure and action are great, and it's frequently hilarious. It's been a while since I read the books so I'm not completely sure how much of the worldbuilding is original, but the Stormwing culture etc. are also very well done.
Canon knowledge required: probably yes

+ Temeraire, Punisher, Venom, French History RPF, Sengoku Jidai RPF )

schneefink: (FF Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
Another choir practice today and my head is still full of music. We're singing Mozart's Requiem right now and it's so beautiful, and so great to sing. It was on my choir pieces bucket list.
I'm using my dad's old sheet notes, he sang it often. In our choir we also have several people who've sung it before, makes it easier to learn, and also that I've listened to it several times. And now even more often, of course.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Soo it's past midnight and I haven't eaten anything except chocolate muffins today or done anything else productive, which is bad, but I did write almost 2k of an Inheritance Trilogy Harry Potter AU, which... happened? First chapter of probably several. Idk. I thought about a dozen times that Deka Arameri is such a Slytherin, and somehow Hermione was watching him, and then this happened.

Kingdom of Magic (Inheritance Trilogy/Harry Potter)
Hogwarts AU, WIP
Summary: The Arameri have always been in Slytherin. Nobody knows what precisely their ambitions are.

ETA: After a 1am dinner I feel very silly about this whole day. Ah well. I just need to write ~6 job applications in the next four days, it'll be fine somehow.
schneefink: from the CR animated intro: hooded DM figure with glowing dice in front of them (CR DM)
Session 19 of an originally planned 10 and things are going well. No combat, but some developments )

The players are more familiar with their characters now and there's more roleplaying, which I love. I finally gave them a stronger hint where to look for the kidnapped professor because they're really starting to get frustrated by this quest. (It started in session 10, but there were two sidequests in the middle.)
And then… I don't actually have any other quests prepared, this was supposed to be the last one before the search for the final boss and then the battle. But all of them are really enjoying this campaign right now, and there are some things I originally wanted to set up that I haven't yet, so I'm thinking of adding at least a few complications. But plotting is haaaard. (And most of the things that would be easy to arrange would involve some kind of detective element which my party is sick of. Although, maybe if I add an NPC detective and they just have to follow their directions… Hmm.)
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
I went to the weekly anti-government protest today and a woman there had a sign saying "Don't you think he looks tired?" Which I loved, and I hope that at the anti-government protests in the UK (there must be some, right?, with how astonishingly and dangerously incompetent their government is) there are a LOT of those.

stuff

Feb. 6th, 2019 11:43 pm
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Day 6 of February, and already the first day without going for a walk. But I had to get up early and go to university, so that half counts? Next try tomorrow.

Good things: I wrote fic again today, it feels like it's been a while. Weeks, definitely. For the Inheritance trilogy, unsurprisingly; surprisingly, for a minor character who only appears in one appendix for four pages (Aetr Arameri, High Priestess Shahar Arameri's daughter.)

Not so good things: I have not been very productive the past few days, which is annoying. And right now I feel like I could do something, write a job application or clean up a bit, but then I'll go to bed late again and that's not ideal either. Next try tomorrow.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
After I recently read N.K.Jemisin's "The Kingdom of Gods," I decided to reread the first two books of the Inheritance Trilogy and then also the novella and short stories.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms )

The Broken Kingdoms )

The Awakened Kingdom )

Shades in Shadow )


I finally ordered the pretty paperback version of The Kingdom of Gods and then I'll reread that, and in the meantime maybe 100K Kingdoms again. (I want to read more books but I don't want to leave this world yet, it's a problem.)
(Latest story idea: Shahar Arameri accidentally travelling back in time and meeting High Priestess Shahar Arameri, while Itempas is staying with her and Shahar1 is raising their demon child, and Shahar2 knows what will soon happen and tries to prevent it. She'll probably call on Sieh, and… okay Sieh will probably just arrange for Shahar1 to have a deadly "accident", that would solve so many problems.)
schneefink: Caduceus standing in a graveyard (CR Caduceus in graveyard)
Today I got up late, but around noon I did go for an hour-long walk, so that was good. I visited the nearby cemetery for the first time, maybe next time I'll take pictures because I find cemeteries fascinating. This one is on a hill and even has a nice view.

Now to the undead: I had a lot of fun with them at yesterday's D&D session :) Though I think it might have been the rare session where I had more fun than my players. They had to make it through two floors of the ghost castle, and it took them the entire evening. I was pretty proud of myself for setting up a challenging scenario, but they got frustrated a few times. More details )

steps

Feb. 2nd, 2019 01:17 am
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
My resolution for February is to go for a walk every day before noon. Doesn't have to be long, 20 minutes is fine, and earlier is better. I can only skip days if LB okays it. (Like tomorrow, because we're meeting up at noon and will go for a walk later anyway.) Today at least it already seemed to be pretty effective, I had a relatively good day, so I have high hopes.

D&D tomorrow, and I have nothing prepared except that they will fight against a lot of undead, but hopefully that will be enough. ...except they're really well prepared and the castle is not that big... Maybe I should add a couple of ghosts. Or traps. Or both.

Ugh, I'm just procrastinating on going to bed again. Good night.
schneefink: (Hängebrücke)
I read the first two books of the Inheritance Trilogy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms, several years ago, but I didn't like book 2 that much and then somehow never got around to getting book 3. Now I finally have, and I really need to get a copy for my bookshelf. (I have a paperback version of the American version for book 3, but I want the UK version to go together with books 1&2.)

So many tropes I love! God&mortal relationships, complicated parent&child and sibling relationships both among gods (and therefore spanning millennia) and humans, betrayals and their aftermath… and many queer characters, and a society/political system on the verge of collapse. (That last bit could really have used some more fleshing out to be really effective, and so could a few of the characters, but what was there was good enough and I really enjoyed what my imagination filled the blanks with.) The ending was fittingly epic.

It's a book written from a god's PoV, but a god who is becoming/has become mortal, which seems to be a surprisingly popular approach – right now I can only recall the Apollo books by Rick Riordan, but I'm sure I've heard of several other stories with that premise. Writing gods is always a challenge: how do you convey that they are not human? Depending on how different from humans and with how many abilities/different perspectives these gods are in a world, that presents different problems.
Sieh is millennia old, to start with; he has known and experienced and done so much but he's still a child, because that's his nature. And godlings have to act according to their nature (childhood in his case, supplemented by games and trickery and mischief), but staying a child through all of that is difficult; a lot of this book is him struggling with that, not always consciously, and he's influenced by his mortal body as well. Though mostly his emotions seem to be quite human – quite cruel at times, even; he's been through a couple of thousand years of trauma but probably even before then, somewhat.
Spoilers )

Now a reread of books 1 and 2, and then the novella and short stories.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
Well today was a wasted day, but I did finish catching up with Young Justice so far and enjoyed it.

But. Why the FUCK does Lady Shiva's costume have a boob window. What the fuck. Why is this necessary in twenty-fucking-nineteen. I don't care if she has a boob window in the comics, this is an adaption and you can change things.

more the first half of s3 )

Sadly the second half of the season doesn't come out until June :(
schneefink: Caduceus standing in a graveyard (CR Caduceus in graveyard)
Like last year, on my birthday I played D&D. Last year I played my spellcaster Saint and we used an undead unicorn to kill a goddess, good times. This year I'm the DM, and there was a castle full of ghosts and a magical deck of cards and it was great.

From [personal profile] dreadlordmrson I got the idea to make a variation on the Deck of Many Things based on Cards Against Humanity, so I made a small card deck, I actually printed them out so they could draw them, and it worked out really well :D Even just finding a magical deck of cards got a great reaction from the two veteran players, so then I had to convince them to risk drawing by having their characters know that this is a different magical deck, and then one person started and something funny happened and the next character got something annoying but not too bad and then the third card was something great, and the next one as well, and in the end I had to restrict them to two cards each ^^ And now one of my players has a tiny pet dragon, that's going to be fun. Another one has an illusionary swarm of bees constantly around them…
(If anyone is interested in the specifics of what the deck looks like, see here.)

My players were after an artifact that is hidden in the castle but only appears at night, and I expected them to explore the castle during the day, find the treasure chamber, wait until the night and then only have to fight their way out. Instead they decided to enter the castle at midnight, because of course they did. In their defense they were very well prepared (among others they have a well-prepared Artificer which just a bundle of buffs stacked on top of each other), and then there was some great roleplaying when they encountered the ghost of the young child of the monarchs. With some bluffs and a lot of shameless flattery they got the boy to lead them straight to the artifact. They managed to send him away, looted the treasure chamber, and were then found by the ghost of the teenage son. The trap I'd planned consisting of a narrow corridor with an AMF, spikes, and Black Tentacles worked even better than I'd expected (to the point where some characters were taken completely out of the ensuing fight against shadows and the players were starting to get bored), and at that point it was past midnight and I decided to do the rest of the battle against the undead next time. So next time: more ghosts, more undead, more combat, and maaaaaybe the end of another quest...
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
I have Failed Adulting today - I have a new haircut, but didn't eat, or do anything else productive. (Except some D&D prep I probably won't need for two weeks yet.) It's almost midnight and I've only eaten three slices of bread, that's bad, but cooking right now is a bit late - on the other hand, if I don't eat anything now, that would also be bad.
Whyy do I always regress so fast when I don't have external structures to cling to. Arrrgh.


Success, I have eaten something! I forgot that a) I did manage to go shopping today, so I have bread and stuff at home again, and b) I didn't actually need to cook something. Sponge brain.
(Hm, no, bad phrasing because sponge is often used as something that can absorb a lot, which mine today definitely isn't. Seaweed is a nice image, the appropriate amount of *pflatsch*, but "seaweed brain" is Percy Jackson. Pudding brain? Nah, sounds too delicious. ...clearly in its current state my brain isn't up to the task of naming itself.)
schneefink: Caduceus standing in a graveyard (CR Caduceus in graveyard)
Last week I cancelled on my D&D group because of upcoming exams (two down, the last one is tomorrow), so they asked if one of them could run a self-contained one-shot, but one that is set in my campaign. I said yes, but in hindsight I'm very jealous that they played a session set in "my" campaign without me. It's fine but next time I'll be firmer about it not being "canon."

But this weekend I was back! My group is still in the middle of the detective plot, but I knew they wanted more combat encounters, so I decided to add a quest I'd planned for later now: Ghost Island! They got a call for help from one character's boyfriend and off they went.

And then )

samurai

Jan. 15th, 2019 09:45 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
My brain feels like puree, which makes sense because I had two lectures today and did a lot of studying (and I'm trying very hard not to think about why I couldn't have started doing that last week because that's not productive.) So normally I don't like talking about things that I barely know anything about, but I feel like rambling right now (also because I still have things to do later.)

Because of a Yuletide fic (still one rec post to come) I watched Youtube videos about Sengoku Jidai, the feuding samurai warlords period of Japan, and then read a couple of wikipedia articles, and it's fascinating. So much backstabbing! So many alliances and betrayals! Everyone had so many kids, the better to use them as political pawns, and everyone was related to everyone and still had them killed sometimes, must have been fun family dynamics. Humans are so weird. And terrible. History is horrifying and fun.
I don't think I'll delve much deeper into this period because it's, well, not very uplifting, but it was a fascinating glimpse. (Though if you have any recs for not-completely-tragic novels about some of the historical figures, in English...)

(Btw, the author of "Tales of the Otori" was a lot more blatant in borrowing from history than I'd suspected. Yaegahara, really.)
schneefink: Caduceus standing in a graveyard (CR Caduceus in graveyard)
Overall I feel like not much happened this year – even though I doubt it's objectively true – but I think I have a clearer picture now of where I am and in which direction I want to go, which is good.

Fannish things )

Non-fannish )

Plans for 2019:
- continue with my studies
- get a new job
- procrastinate less
- put more effort into cultivating friendships
- write stories
- go on at least two dates
- several other smaller things (a bit more sports, a bit more political involvement, more baking etc.)

Thanks to all of you for being you and being here and all the interactions, and all the best, health and joy and love and energy, to you and your loved ones.
schneefink: (Hängebrücke)
I have three exams next week, and I have done basically nothing yesterday and today. *headdesk* Tomorrow a friend is visiting for brunch, which means I still need to plan brunch and should probably clean up a bit, and there's this to do and that to do and instead I've been procrastinating. Stupid.

Young Justice is back! Looks like three episodes every week, nice. Spoilers for the first three )
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
I'm not doing the [community profile] snowflake_challenge, but Day 6 is a wish list and [personal profile] naye wished for other people to do that, so.

Day 6
In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish.


1) Comments on any of my fic (@[archiveofourown.org profile] schneefink)

2) Prompts. I want to write but I'm utterly lacking in inspiration, despite [profile] fandom_stockings etc. Give me story prompts? General, or for fandoms I've written for before. I wrote about some of my favorite tropes in my Yuletide letter.

3) Places to find Critical Role icons? Of the actors or fanart.

4) Tell me tales from your RPG campaigns! :D I love hearing about them, especially the funny and the weird and the dramatic stories.
schneefink: Taako looking excited (TAZ Taako excited)
I think I'm getting better at this DMing thing! I was very nervous about yesterday's session because I felt I was way underprepared (also because the players could have gone in a number of different directions), and I did have to improvise a lot but it worked out fine. My players decided to split the party, but I tried to switch between the groups often enough so that nobody got bored, even the one guy who decided to be sensible and thus did not get into trouble.

One thing I'm quite proud of in my set-up is that my players are genuinely wary of the city guard. In the previous campaign I played in, as well as the campaigns I watched/listened to, the police was rarely a big factor, but here the party spends a lot of time in one city and the city guard is mostly competent, and half the party got into trouble and got an official reprimand in the first session and now have to regularly check in with their parole officer. It's harder to lie to the guard if they have truth and mind-reading spells :P So now every once in a while the party debates doing something and then decides against it because it would be illegal, which means many things are more challenging, which is great. The side-effect is that I constantly have to think about which things/spells are legal or not, and sometimes I almost forget (I got so used to Detect Thoughts that I almost forgot that using it without license and warning is definitely not allowed – to be fair my players could easily have guessed that and I don't have to warn them – so now they have to hope their parole officer doesn't find out…)

I thought that would be it, as far as complications with the guard go, because they were being careful. Then yesterday one of the rogues tried to break into a suspect's house, failed, and instead of wondering if there might be an Alarm or something similar she hung around for fifteen more minutes trying to figure out a way in. And when the city guard arrived they would have just asked her if she'd seen anything suspicious, if she hadn't when asked what she was doing here replied that she was looking for the very house the guard knew someone had just tried to break into. So they wanted to interrogate her as a witness at the guard station, but she remembered the truth and mind-reading spells and freaked out and ran away. She did escape but she wasn't disguised so now the city guard is looking her. And the party has a friendly contact with the city guard but now that just means he'll definitely recognize her and know who her associates are. *facepalm* That wasn't the plan. At least she didn't actually manage to break in, and she wasn't planning to steal anything just to look for information, but there will still be consequences.

(I wonder if the party will think to ask the Thieves' Guild for help with that. They decided to ask the Guild for help next time, even though they hate them, because they feel like they're stuck with their investigation – they found a person likely part of the kidnapping but she escaped – so now I have to decide what the Thieves' Guild knows, and is willing to share. Also I remembered that I was so wrapped up in their current quest that I forgot to leave more hints about the bigger plot in the background, I'll have to pay more attention to that.)

By the way, I invented a house rule that I'm very fond of by now: There are multiple people who could and conceivably might Scry on the party, but if I asked them for Will saves each time the players would know and it's hard to ignore that kind of meta knowledge. So now at the beginning of each session I ask every player to give me five Will saves for their character and then use these when necessary. It works as intended and is very convenient.

Do you have any favorite house rules?

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