DECISIONS. Spark guide my hand.
(Spark says “You have three Porygon candy. If you’re gonna upgrade it you’re gonna have to walk like a billion miles first. Just FYI.”)
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2phvHcb
Creators will be revealed in about a week, and then I'll post masterlists.
Also, you can still create treats for the Ante Up Scramble! There are no minimum size limits and no deadline for treats, so surprise a fellow fan!
I know so well,
be that dark current
I carry in my veins.
let it take me under
to the shallows in winter,
see the ice stretch above
an opaque and cracked sky.
listen for sturgeons
and feel the eels,
dream in hibernation
on the lakebed.
sing the winter water
I've been promised,
be that killing cold
I was born in.
wait for my mother,
count the dead here,
my gookum, my uncle,
everyone I knew.
forget the sun
I lied to,
give up the warmth
I wasted away,
sing that ice road,
pray for frostbite,
beg for winter's mercy,
be numbed by snow.
2. Relatedly, I did my biannual closet swap -- moved the winter stuff into storage more or less, or at least out of the way, and moved the warm-weather stuff back into rotation. Now that I have done this we will probably get two weeks of cold-and-rainy, or something, but it still feels good to have shifted the closet over.
3. The flowers we planted in a box on our wee mirpesset last weekend are blooming and they are lovely.
4. I ran into someone at the co-op today who saw me doing my job recently and wanted to tell me that she's rooting for me to get the permanent position. \o/
5. Someone nearby has hung a beautiful wind chime, and I like the way it peals.
Shabbat shalom to all who celebrate.
Did you all see that the winners of the NLA Writing Awards were released? These annual awards celebrate the best in BDSM-positive writing and publishing, in both fiction and nonfiction categories. As a member of the awards committee I’ve been involved with these awards for several years and this year had a bumper crop of books!
To quote from the press release that came from NLA: International:
National Leather Association: International, a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather community, announced the winners for excellence in literary works in SM/leather/fetish writing published in 2016. The judges received a great number of nominations this year and judging in most categories was quite difficult with such exemplary pieces of writing.
Winner of the Geoff Mains Non-Fiction Book Award is Peter Tupper and David Stein (ed.) for Our Lives, Our History (Perfectbound Press). Honorable mention in this category goes to David Wade for “Vanilla Breaks” (Xcite Books), Richard Levine for “Jolted Awake” (Alfred Press in cooperation with Lulu Enterprises, Inc.) and to Slavemaster and slave 7 “Beyond Obedience” (Createspace).
In the John Preston Short Fiction category, the winner is D.L. King for “Cupcakes and Steel” from the anthology For The Men and The Women Who Love Them (ed.) Rose Caraway (Stupid Fish Productions). Honorable mention for short story goes to Caraway Carter for “7 With 1 Blow” (Beaten Track Publishing) and Ferrett Steinmetz for “Rooms Formed Of Neurons and Sex” which appears in Uncanny Magazine.
The winner of the Pauline Reage Novel category winner is Angela Hamm for The Gambler’s Lady (Blushing Books). Honorable mention in this category goes to Amelia C. Gromley for Risk Aware (Riptide Publishing), Scott Alexander Hess for Skyscraper (Unzipped Books, an imprint of Lethe Press) and Jade A. Waters for The Assignment (Carina Press)
The winner of the Cynthia Slater Non-fiction Article Award is Erica Mena for “(K)ink #5 – Writing While Deviant” which appeared on January 26, 2016 on TheRumpus.net. Honorable Mention in this category goes to Jack Fritscher for “He Was A Sexual Outlaw: My Love Affair With Robert Mapplethorpe” which appeared March 9, 2016 in The Guardian.
There is no winner of the Samois Anthology Award as there were no submissions this year.
Congratulations to all the winners! Writers, publishers, the NLA starts taking nominations for judging in September and the deadline is typically December 31st annually for books published in the calendar year. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.
So please wrap up, refine, and put the finishing touches on your fanworks! If you have any issues, please contact a mod ASAP.
There's also still time to create a few more treats for the 2017 Ante Up Scramble. So take a look at those Dear Creator letters and gift the fandom with more Losers goodness.
2. I am making roasted stuffed peppers right now and they are making my kitchen fragrant.
3. I am rich in friends, and there are a lot of people whom I love, and I am fiercely grateful for this, even when my heart aches because some of those beloveds are suffering.
4. The implausible chartreuse of early spring's first leaves, which I adore, every year.
5. The fact that even when life is not easy, I can feel in my bones that I am in a better place than I was a year ago.
I don't have a list of changes for you yet, but most will fall into the following categories: things users have complained about to support volunteers, things support volunteers have complained about to developers, things denise has complained about not working the way she expects them to (and as we all know, The Boss is Always Right), and things that were printing warnings over and over in the production server logs, making it hard to spot when less frequent, more urgent errors were being printed. Oh, and also all the unused code I ripped out at the roots, which if you notice that, I did it wrong.
To sum up: we are rolling out a bunch of requested changes, so thank you all for your feedback!
If you're new to Dreamwidth and interested in tracking our development process, our commit logs are published to changelog and changelog_digest, and every month or so, one of our volunteers will translate those often-cryptic entries into witty, informative code tours! The most recent one was published on April 1, so we're about due for a new one. Hint, hint.
We'll update here again to let you know when the code push is imminent!
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.
If you find something you love, we encourage you to comment/favorite and let the creator know you enjoyed their work. :D o/
- Critical Role — art (1)
- Mass Effect — fic (1)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens — cosplay (1)
- Sherlock Holmes — art (1)
- Yuri!!! On Ice — fic (1)
( On to the recs! )
What fanwork have you loved recently?
Someone has to act as arbiter, and by default that's the GM, but when the GM decides, what should they decide?
I have no one answer, but a few principles.
If it doesn't matter much, get it out of the way quickly, and defer any discussion about the rules till later.
If the player had a particular expectation, try not to undermine them. I think this is one of the most important things to try to deal with in the moment.
If the player misunderstood an explanation and tried to jump across a 100" wide chasm not a 10" wide chasm, you may need to clarify some other things, but at a minimum, you probably want to say, "you'll just fall to your death, do you want to do something else?" not "are you sure?" "uh, yeah, why?" "ok, you fall to your death".
That applies whether you have someone who knows what the official rules say and was relying on it. If they've set up a shot that depends on the cover rules working the way the rules say and you've never previously altered, it sucks for them to have that yanked out from under them if you improv something instead. Or whether you have a new player who doesn't know what's covered mechanically or not, and tries to do something dramatic like swinging on a chandelier that in-rules doesn't provide any combat advantage. In both cases, the player shouldn't have a hissy fit, but also in both cases, it's your job to do the best you can in the spur of the moment to allow the player's action or give a good substitute. FWIW, I would allow the first player their interpretation of the rules that once, and if it kills an important NPC, I never rely on an important NPC surviving. And for the second player I'd do something like, "make a dex check, if you succeed, attack with a modest bonus (or choose to knock the enemy back)". That fits the sort of action they wanted.
If it's a one-off, it probably doesn't matter much. If it's going to come up repeatedly (eg. rules for hiding), get past the immediate problem, and then review the situation later. Check what the rules really say. Decide if you'd prefer those, or some modification. Check with the player if they have a sensible request, and if so, consider if it makes sense. Then make a decision, make it clear and stick to it.
If you're not sure which rule to go with? Look for easy to adjudicate (if it doesn't matter, you can always go with what's in the book). Look for fun -- the beginner is right, random stunts should TOTALLY be in lots of combat, and it's a flaw in the rules they're not. Look for ones that avoid breaking a tone you're evoking. Look for which way your players would prefer.
Part of this is just, how to make good rulings in the heat of a moment whichever side you come down on.
Part of it is, where do you draw the line between "what happens because of common sense" and "what happens because what it says in the rules". There's a gulf of people's expectations. Both in terms of tone (is this action adventure where heroes do things humans MIGHT be able to do? Or more like an epic norse legend, where great heroes wrestle sea-serpents?) and in terms of pedantry (do you expect the GM to allow an unconscious villain to have their throat slit? or rely on the weapon rules on how much damage that deals?). There's an amount you can stretch to accommodate different players, but only so far: beyond that, you just have to accept you want to play different things.
It's important to figure out if that's happening or not. You can totally have a tone that has character drama all over the place, *and* swashbuckling *and* fart jokes (see: all of Shakespeare). But if 4/5 players want wall-to-wall drama and one wants fart jokes, it may well not work. And the same in reverse.
Likewise, you can easily have some characters who chose well-optimised powers for their class, and some who chose whatever felt cool, and as long as there's not a big difference in power, it's fine. But if some characters want to hand wave away combat to get to the character interaction, and the other characters want to use the class abilities they just levelled up into, it's a stretch to keep both happy. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't.
But that's often the underlying dynamic when players react in very different ways, they're focussing on different parts of the adventure, and you want to give both what they want, but avoid what you give one player obviating what the other player wants. Eg. if conversation is always pointless when combat happens, people who want to learn about NPCs are screwed. If you let one character do things because they're cool, but everyone else sticks to the rules, the other players are eclipsed. Can you do both, or not?
Bob is a hacker who gets lucky rich, signs up for cryogenic suspension, and at some point in the future is scanned and turned into an AI in a semi-theocratic-dystopian future. This is before that tech becomes reliable or cheap, so it's only used where an AI is needed and the subject doesn't have much choice, specifically running a space probe.
The generally comedic tone allows a lot of interesting premises to be examined which I've rarely seen in other books, like automatically using multiple copies of the most effective uploaded personality, instead of using each once each.
There's a bunch of space exploration which is solid and pleasingly up-to-date, but not otherwise spectacular.
Bob is an example of the sardonic-witty low-self-esteem hacker who shows up in lots of books. An archetype I like, but have got sick of. The sexist comments are fewer than The Martian, but still not zero.
If you like this sort of thing, you will probably enjoy it a lot, but if you don't, it probably won't persuade you.
We are down to the wire! Fanworks will go live TOMORROW, April 28 (probably around 9 p.m. ET or whenever my plane lands and I get home).
This means that your fanworks have to be ready for the spotlight--beta'ed, complete, perfected and refined, so everyone gets a fabulous gift.
For those of you on top of your shit and find yourself having a bit of free time, check out Dear Creator letters and create something for the Ante Up Scramble! The awesome part about treats is not only that it's an extra surprise for someone but there are no minimum size requirements. So gift a mini-picspam of those sexy Losers in suits or a podfic of someone's favorite drabble or share a mini-fanmix that personifies Jensen's love of crossbows.
AIUI, it was the equivalent of playing a computer game on iron-man difficulty, with no saves, only one life, etc. It was designed for experienced players who wanted a really deadly challenge, often at conventions where there might be an audience.
The general features are (a) there's a lot of challenges that involve player decisions, not specific skills, whether the characters are appropriately really really careful about everything they do. (b) when something goes wrong, it's usually very deadly.
That meant, if you expected "fair" to mean "forgiving", it's really really not -- if you're the slightest bit incautious, you'll likely all die immediately. But if you expected "fair" to mean, "your death stem directly from your decisions" then it is more so than most adventures.
But if you don't know that, there is a lot of ire between people who loved it, people who think this is "the one true way" of how a session should be, and people who tried it and became incredibly resentful. It's good that the far end of a bell curve exists when that's something some people want to find, even if *most* modules should be somewhere left of it.
I did once play with a GM who played a few sessions of it inbetween campaigns. I liked the idea, although I usually like roleplaying with more story.
 There are some flaws where it might not be completely fair, or ambiguous descriptions, etc, but less than most modules at the time iirc.