Summary for the month of September 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of September 2019.

I started out the month by taking an indefinite hiatus from streaming live, and I’ve also stopped doing videos for video games for the foreseeable future.

Starting the month, I cancelled my expensive Internet link, and tried out a couple of alternatives. The first was a 4G LTE mobile hotspot which turned out to have only a fraction of 4G LTE speeds. Turns out a wired DSL line was faster, for some value of fast that isn’t. So, even still, I’m doing that. How strange to be on a “slow” line. I mean, there was a time when a T1 at 1Mbps was out of this world, both in speed and expense. I started out, way back when, with a 300 baud modem.

I’ve been able to upload videos, but some of the longer ones can take … quite a while. A two hour video uploading to YouTube took me 36 hour, not including editing and preparing, nor including time to restart when the upload fails. But, I’ve been managing to do some videos each week. Started some new games, such as Tunnel Goons (with the Shroom Goons jam), Adrift, and FATE, and have started some pre-play work on papercrafting for The Forgotten God campaign using D&D 5e Solo.

I also had a number of videos queued up for premieres through the first half of the month, which helped keep things going each week whilst I was struggling with options. There’s the ongoing Stranger Things related series, which is still going. I also premiered the series finale of “The Island with No Name” from the Seas of Vodari Quickstart.

That’s about it. No posts to the blog this month. Just a few actual play videos and social media posts. Might stop doing the blog soon. Idek.

Here’s videos and archived streams this last month

Summary for the month of August 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of August 2019.

The final couple episodes posted to the archive of season 1 of Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. Through ten quests I leveled up three characters to retirement.

I also continued playing D&D 5e solo with characters from the Stranger Things themed D&D Starter Set. I actually added one more, Max’s Zoomer, an archetype of Rogue, to the other five. But I continued with them using the first of three linked 4e modules themed around the Shadowfell, starting with H1 Keep on the Shadowfell. I’ve been calling that adventure Keep on the Upside Down, and the first have posted to the archive, while the rest I’ve streamed will post through mid-September, once a week. I streamed through Episode 7.

I finished streaming episodes of season 1, The Island with No Name, the introductory adventure in the Seas of Vodari Quickstart Guide. I got that because I was a backer of the crowdfunding effort, and played it because it seemed like a fun thing to do next.

For Seas of Vodari, instead of playing a bunch of full characters, I decided to try one character with some sidekicks, using mostly the Sidekick rules from D&D Essentials Kit but also considering the Unearthed Arcana Sidekicks rules as well. For the most part it worked well. It took a little while to get used to the sidekicks, and to stop treating them as full characters, instead of as support characters. And, a few episodes in I realized I needed to add an additional, third, sidekick. Even then, through the entire playtest, I feel like I was very underpowered. I suspect that if I play using sidekicks again, I’ll treat the suggested levels for encounters as actually n+1; so that if an encounter thinks characters should be level 1, I really need to be at least level 2 when playing solo even with a good roster of sidekicks. Ultimately, it was a pretty harrowing adventure with lots of danger faced! But, it was super fun to get to play the character I played and I really liked the funny, silly sidekicks I created. I’m actually sad to see that come to an end and felt bad for what I put them through!

I’ve got prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo … but I’ve made a really big change recently that means I won’t be streaming anymore.

I actually did also stream a few video games this last month, so those are listed below too. But, I’m pretty much done with doing videos of video games, I think. Just no one ever watched them except for me (watching myself play a game in a video I already played when I streamed it is strange and silly!) so there’s not really any point to it. I always liked getting to check out new indie games when devs or publishers sent me a key, but also felt bad when I streamed them but had no audience watching. So, yeah. Going to let that go.

I did keep doing re-run marathons on Twitch through last month with all the videos that hadn’t expired. All in all, hanging out for 17 hours two times a week by myself commenting on myself playing was a bit much. I did see a lot of unique viewers and so forth, but not really any increase in people following my profile or hanging out to chat much.

I did see a few people come to my D&D 5e solo streams and hang out, which was pretty fun, and we joked about things and thought things out in realtime. I’ll miss that now that I’m not streaming. But, as great as that was, here’s the thing: I’m currently seeing more people checking out my actual play videos on YouTube in 48 hours than check out my streams on Twitch through the entire month. Still not a lot, but it’s a big difference! It seems like people find me on YouTube a lot easier than on Twitch.

A couple months ago, the promotional pricing on my Internet expired, and I called to cancel; but, I was told I could have a new promotional pricing that was only $1 more than it was. Okay, cool. Only that never got applied to my account. I felt lied to, to be honest.

There are two companies in this town working on symmetrical gigabit fibre but neither are on my street yet. They each charge about $100/mo which is a lot. But Spectrum/Charter charges $91/mo for a soft 400/25, and in comparison that’s just bonkers. When it was only $70/mo I could justify it. Not at $91/mo.

So, that’s it. I cancelled my overpriced high speed Internet service at the end of August. That means I won’t be streaming again for … who knows how long? Permanent hiatus until further notice. I just can’t justify the expense, and the only reason I justified the expense to myself was that I needed it to keep streaming. Without one leg, the other falls too.

I’ll probably try to record and post more actual play videos as premieres to my YouTube and Twitch channels to see if I keep it up. If I can get them uploaded. I’ll try it out, and I’ve got until mid-September queued up from past streams to tide people over until I do figure out a way, if it can be done well enough.

No longer thought of myself as a streamer even though I was streaming, and now I’ll not even be streaming. But, I may still post videos as premieres. We’ll see how it goes from here!

But, either way, that’s my summary of things through the end of August.

Here’s videos and archived streams this last month

Summary for the month of July 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of July 2019.

The announced July 4th release date for the new rules and app for Weave by Monocle Society came and went with resounding silence. Eventually the app was updated, and the new rules made available, but only via a link posted on their Discord. However, the old rules are still what’s on their website, and the app has some of the same old issues along with totally new showstopper bugs. The app isn’t just a companion app, but it’s required to play. So, when I create a character and the character doesn’t save to the season, that’s a showstopper. Also, the new combined rules are a lot more complicated than the simplified ruleset I was using, but I can’t even try them out because the app is so broken. The app also doesn’t seem to have all the features that were supposed to be available, such as a playset editor, so I can’t while away the time making a new playset either. I’ve given up trying to play Weave for now. Maybe given up for good. It’s a shame, really, because season 1 was really fun and full us surprises to play. But, in the end, I can’t play what I can’t play.

I’ve finished season 1 of Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. Through ten quests I leveled up three characters to retirement. Mostly I did fun silly quests, but there ended up being a funny narrative I built for myself to tell them as a linked story. The final quest was pretty great, a dungeon crawl, and a suitable conclusion for the characters. Cool. I’m looking forward to starting up a new season with new characters and trying out some of the many other quests. Also, I keep thinking about looking into writing a quest or two myself, but haven’t gotten around to that yet. But, the last couple of episodes will post to my YouTube channel in August, although I already played them. If you want to watch them now, just head over to my past broadcasts on Twitch while they’re still there, before they expire.

I also finished season 1, comprised of 4 episodes, of the Hunt for the Thessalhydra from the Stranger Things themed D&D Starter Set. This was my first ever time trying to play D&D 5e solo! I feel like it worked pretty well; though I did lose track of some of cool abilities the 5 characters had available. Too much to track even though I used the Looney Pyramids for minis and Arcane Library Combat Cards to help me out; also I got the adventure on D&D Beyond. But, that was exciting to try.

I could continue the series by using the 4e modules themed around the Shadowfell, starting with H1 Keep on the Shadowfell. I’m not sure yet.

If I do more Stranger Things, I’ll keep all the characters, and probably add a Rogue Zoomer named Max. But, for other series, I’ll definitely tend toward one character with some sidekicks, instead of a party of full character sheets to keep track of whilst playing.

I’ve got prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo, and now realize I’ve gone insane. Forgotten Realms (Beginner, Essentials & Ghosts of Saltmarsh), Ultraviolet Grasslands [also, also], Seas of Voldari, Humblewood

… but I’m still not sure what to do next! I guess I’ll know when I know, and then I’ll be doing it. I’m looking forward to the next thing … whichever thing that turns out to be!

Also, I actually streamed a few video games this last month! But, no posts other than the previous summary.

This last month I have started to do re-run marathons on Twitch. I’ve been doing a Sunday Solo Tabletop Roleplaying Rerun Marathon and a Tuesday Video Game Stream Rerun Marathon. I’ll keep doing those as long as there’s past broadcasts that haven’t expired.

And, that’s yet another month off the grill, toasted and sliced and presented on a pretty plate.

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of June 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of June 2019.

I finished Season 1 of Weave by Monocle Society last month. Littleback has been saved from a dastardly moonshard apocalypse! Essentially the triumphant end of season one! Since this game helps me develop a narrative story at the table, I posted summaries of my adventures, and Part 2 posted this last month. What next? Further adventures with Kabo Aboom? A different Weave playset? I think I’ve decided I will wait for the new rules and app on July 4th. I’ll decide what to do next at that point. Hopefully, some of the issues I’ve had with the app will be resolved, without new issues. Plus, I’ve got some ideas about what I’d create for some playsets, if doing that with the new app is as polished as promised.

I’ve continued playing Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. I made it through the three tutorials and finished my first non-tutorial quest, although the video posted to my YouTube channel today, I played it a this weekend, before the end of the month. Unfortunately, there’s a showstopper in that quest that makes it impossible for me to complete. I don’t know what the issue is specifically, internally to the app; but, it presents as the app hanging when I click on the “victory” button at the end of what I presume is the final battle. So … I don’t know. I hope that’s not something that happens a lot! I mean, this quest is a featured quest that won one of the writing contests, so I’d have imagined that it would have been well tested and functioning, right? Yeah. Without the app, and quests, if that turns out to be an ongoing, pervasive problem, then I’m not going to continue playing.

I went through all the prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo, and now realize I’ve gone insane. Phandalin (Beginner & Essentials), Stranger Things, Ultraviolet Grasslands [also, also], Seas of Voldari, Humblewood … plus ongoing Weave, Expedition, Gloomhaven, and more … yikes.

And, that’s not even counting things I’ve kind of soured on playing, like Index Card RPG, Illimat, and Invisible Sun, but have series started that I’ve thought about continuing, after a fashion.

For playing D&D solo, I think I’ve got in mind that I’ll play the Stranger Things adventure Hunt for the Thessalhydra first. I’ll stumble through that and see how it goes. And then I’ll think about how things could go smoother, better, and, if I’ll continue. I keep noodling about it, and should just get to it at some point. Maybe.

And, that’s another month on the books, in the can, for the record.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback, Part 2

Here’s a summary of the continuing story of Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback so far, my first playthrough in an ongoing persistent solo roleplaying campaign using the Weave RPG system. You can see all of my actual play sessions in the Weave playlist over on my YouTube, and consider following me over on Twitch so you can catch me playing live. If you hadn’t caught up, you can read part 1, the summary of session 0 through through my first three adventures, and then come back to this summary of adventure four through six.

After an adventure on the high seas that left him soggy and stomped, Kabo is dumped back on shore, much the worse for wear. Kabo regroups and tries to decide what to do next.

Adventure 4
The Woods / The Herald / The Serpent

Kabo knows about Moonfall Field, where normally small moon shards usually rain; to find out if there’s a way to force the apocalyptic moon shard of unusual size to land there instead of crashing into Littleback. Kabo calls on an acquaintance, a Goblin Portal Spelunker, for help getting to Moonfall Field quickly, without having to endure the risk of another travel montage fiasco. Goblin Portal Spelunker agrees to help, but needs to gather fuel for the portal at a Boom Salt Pit.

Kabo gathers up a walking stick with a dragon carved on it and a heavy iron shield from his things, the Kabo and companion travel to a Boom Salt Pit, Whilst searching for Boom Salt, they are attacked by a Fallen Paladin. After some struggle, it is revealed that Kabo’s iron shield is, in fact, emblazoned with the insignia of the Fallen Paladin’s order, and the paladin ceases combat in order to bargain for the item. After completing their negotiations, the shield in exchange for a pocket-size catapult , Kabo tries to convince the paladin to join the party. Unfortunately, while gesticulating wildly, Kabo slaps the shield, which was already weakened from combat, causing it to split in two. The paladin is enraged and storms off.

Kabo and companion proceed to search again for boom salt. They find some, but trigger a Magical Ward. The ward sends an alarm, and also causes some boom salt to fuse with Kabo’s hand. The alarm alerts a Leprechaun Gang Crewmember and gang, who leap upon the party. Kabo and party persuade the leprechauns they are just goblins going about their business and so are natural allies.

The leprechauns tell Kabo about a Den of Cultists they have been wanting to attack, and they ask for help. Kabo agrees. When the party and leprechauns approach the den, they find that a dwarf, a Clan Ironbelly Warrior, is attacking the cultists. Whilst trying to strategize, the party is spotted and assumed to be another enemy by the cultists. Three-way combat ensues, with the dwarf defeated, but also Kabo and companion knocked down, unconscious, and taken prisoner.

The cultists turn out to be from the monastic Tranquil Ones, worshippers of Ichmere, the Putridscale. Kabo and companion are taken to a monastery as prisoners and forces for weeks to marinade themselves, preparing them to be presented as offerings, to be eaten by Ichmere. Whilst prisoner, Kabo learns a great deal about the function of Moonfall Field, and that an advance of treefolk has caused the field to be less effective, and more information that may be of use later, about the field, moon shards, and the Tranquil Order.

But, the day comes, finally, when Kabo and companion are presented, offered to feed Ichmere. Ichmere eats Kabo’s companion, and Kabo is next. Kabo tries to offer the walking stick, which has a carved dragon on it, to Ichmere, and manages to persuade Ichmere that Kabo made it as a gift. Ichmere accepts the gift but is not persuaded to skip his second course. Kabo tries to convince Ichmere that the boom salt fused in his hand will explode if Ichmere tries to eat Kabo. Kabo fails to convince, but his threat, with a little help from Kabo poking and provoking the boom salt, proves accurate. The boom salt explodes, and in the conflagration, Kabo manages to escape.

Kabo is free again, and heads home to contemplate all that has been learned and experienced, and how this new knowledge might help avoid the ever closer apocalypse.

Encounters are counted. Combats are batted. Lessons are learned. Kabo is captured. Companions are chomped. After weeks in captivity, Kabo finally escapes by blowing up in the mouth that tried to eat him.

Adventure 5
The Wanderer / Hidden Cove / The Serpent

At home in his junkyard, Kabo crafts a new and enhanced exoskeleton living armor, fixes his pocket catapult, grabs a bag of rocks, and a wooden mask with the word “mxyzptlk” carved on it.

Kabo hears that the current season of Adventurer of the Year is holding casting calls for heroes, and decides that he should head there to try to get help stopping the apocalypse. Kabo tries to talk to heroes in line for casting, but is shushed for trying to set up alliances early; and ends up caught up in the casting process. Kabo, as a the only goblin, is chosen as a token diversity contestant for this game of survival.

Kabo and the other contestants are sent to a Hidden Cove where the three day long Adventurer of the Year game have been set up, each day with an individual challenge and a contest between heroes, then followed by tribal council, and a possible reward at the end of the day. Kabo wins the individual but fails the group challenge while sitting quite comfortably in a fine room on fire and trying to convince a Wildfire Shaman to help with the restoring balance to Moonfall Field. Kabo gets voted out of the contest at council on the first day. Kabo is stuck at the cove, not allowed to leave while the contest is being run.

Ignored by cast and crew alike, Kabo manages to survive by scrounging at the edge of camp. Kabo runs into a Patchwork Beast, disguises himself as a Sewer Troll using the magic word carved on his wooden mask, and manages to become frightening enough to escape. While fleeing, Kabo is tripped by a zombified Severed Foot, but the zombie foot is caught severely flat-footed. Kabo easily flees again, further and farther.

Wandering, Kabo discovers a section of wilds where trees and nature are being teleported to Moonfall Field by a device guarded by a Glareling. After stumbling to fall directly in front of and scaring the heck out of the guard, defeating it with surprise, Kabo tries but fails at figuring out how to destroy the complicated device in a way that fully reverses the flow.

Whilst working on trying to figure out that device, the heroic Chosen One, obvious fated favorite to win Adventurer of the Year, stumbles on the scene, and, in spite of Kabo trying to persuade otherwise, clearly thinks the weird, vile little goblin is up to no good. Fighting with the Chosen One, Kabo, an experienced Golem Knight in enhanced living armor, manages to maneuver in such a way that the ensuing battle destroys the device.

Suddenly, as smoke and sparks clear, the one on one fight is interrupted by a bigger battle. The cove is attacked by Kabo’s old enemy, Ichmere, the Putridscale, and, all the heroes, cast, and crew alike are tossed into the fantastical fray.

In the ensuing battle, Kabo is conked on the head, going a bit insane. Kabo starts seeing an eldritch insight of nasty wyrmy Ischmere-like tentacles creeping and crawling on everything and everyone, so he runs into the wilds, out of his mind …

After being voted out on the first day of the Adventurer of the Year contest, Kabo discovers the source of the encroaching nature that is interfering with Moonfall Field, and disables a device in order to halt that process. But, ultimately, the cove is attacked by an old enemy, Ichmere, the Putridscale, and, in the ensuing battle, Kabo is conked on the head, going a bit insane. Kabo runs into the wilds, out of his mind…

Adventure 6
The Inferno / The Assassin / The Crown

… and smashes into the trunk of the Treefolk Guardian, who had been coming to find out what vile magical-mechanical device had been forcing trees to teleport away. Kabo’s sudden arboreal stop cleared his mind just as a Wandering Wizard arrives. The wizard was alerted to the crazed goblin, and came prepared with a burlap sack to contain it. Kabo manages to convince the wizard that his mind is now clear, and then proceeds to tell the entire story of the coming moonshard apocalypse hoping that the wizard will help. The wizard listens to the wild end-of-the-world-is-nigh conspiracy theory rant and then decides that Kabo is still insane. The wizard struggles to force Kabo into the sack, but Kabo find everything needed to construct a device to project an escape portal.

Kabo tumbles out the the portal into the Ash Remains of a destroyed settlement just as another portal opens. Bethany Birdsong steps out chortling about her victory against the settlement and her further evil plans. Kabo puts on his Wooden Mask and disguises himself as an evil minion. Kabo tries to claim Birdsong’s portal device is unstable and dangerous, but Bethany doesn’t believe him. Kabo runs up and tries to yoink the portal device in Bethany’s hands.

Kabo flees through Bethany’s portal and closes it behind him, leaving him in the upside-down Shadow Plane, but he uses the two portal devices he now has to gate himself home.

Kabo arrives home and notices things are awry. It appears that Kabo’s former friend, the dragon Emarius, who turned into an enemy upon hearing about Kabo’s dragon hunting past, has been here searching for information on what Kabo is up to. Something about this whole moonshard situation is actually tied up in a larger plot by Ichmere, the Putridscale, to get revenge on all goblins!

Kabo uses the two portal devices and Rufus the Red’s mechanism to build a portal gun. Kabo combines the portal gun with a mostly broken pocket watch with a second hand moving backward to try to entirely reverse the apocalypse. But, this fails to work.

Kabo then tries to draw the apocalyptic moonshard through the portal so that it ends up in Moonfall Field instead of smashing into Littleback, the Gladedon. But, the force isn’t strong enough to divert the moonshard into the portals.

Suddenly, Maldric, Moon Hunter, appears. Maldric sensed all the moonshard effects and came looking for more information. Maldric brought a silly lot of rope and has a boom salt powered wheelchair, both of which, with Kabo and Maldric working together, is finally just enough to lasso the apocalyptic moonshard and corral it into the portals.

The moonshard falls onto Moonfall Field! Littleback, the slumbering Gladedon, and the entire Goblin city built on its back, are saved!

To Be Continued

Littleback has been saved! The sky fell without causing an apocalypse! But is this the end of the revenge plot by Ichmere, the Putridscale? And, what is Maldric saying about trying to find a creature hiding on the moon? What happens next? Find out in the next adventure!

Summary for the month of May 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of May 2019.

In mid-May, I finally hit 500 hours of live streaming on Twitch since my first stream back on Sep 5, 2014. It’s been a long, uneven, and strange trip. There’s been periods where I haven’t been able to stream, and periods when I only uploaded videos to YouTube, but over the years, off and on, in fits and starts, I’ve managed to stream 500 hours. Yay me!

Rigaroga Twitch 500 hours May 2019

I’m also seriously amused that even with all my struggles, I’m in the top third of content creators on Keymailer, a service where developers can send keys so people can check out their games. There are other services, some have come and gone, others still exist, which I’ve tried, but Keymailer has been, for me, the most useful. Okay, enough of the hype; except you might consider checking them out if you’re a creator interested in playing new things often.

But … I mean: just how long is that tail anyway? And, the spike in the top third must be enormous! I do wonder, sometimes, how much more I would have to stream, and be watched, to move into the top quarter. I’m sure it’s way more, but just how much more? I don’t know, and will probably never find out.

Rigaroga Keymailer top third May 2019

The only tabletop I’ve been doing this last month has been Weave by Monocle Society. I really have been enjoying the simple elegance of how it plays out for me as a solo player, even though solitaire play wasn’t part of the design. I did run into a hiccup where the game, which I had in front of me on the table, ready to stream another session, was unplayable because the app couldn’t connect to the server-side service, though there were no errors displayed; but the app was empty. My season was gone, no character information, all my playsets were gone … just empty space in the UI. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but nothing worked; until it just randomly came back a little while later. Welp. I experimented by turning off WiFi, and, indeed, the app does not cache anything useful locally. If I’m not connected to live Internet, the game is unplayable. That’s not a happy state for a game that I have physically in front of me. But, in spite of that, I did go on to play another session once the app was back.

I posted about the story so far, my game journal, through the first 4 streams, unboxing through adventure 3. And have continued to play, and, you know, learn how to play whilst playing.

As I’ve sat down to think about and plan to play other tabletop roleplaying, like Invisible Sun, the current preview for backers of Seas of Voldari or Humblewood, I’ve just been unexcited by the complexity of game play for my purposes. Too much work for too little payoff at this point. That’s also how I’ve been feeling about Gloomhaven or trying to bastardize a new, DIY Illimat, so I could play without supporting the solo-averse game designer, for further solo play, using the cards from Weave, or D&D / Gale Force Nine’s Tarokka as Luminaries, or something else. Although, I did get and unbox whilst streaming the Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles expansion. There’s also plenty of new and old print-and-play things I have that I could play, full games and demos, but, again, just so much unfun work just to get to the point of playing hasn’t been exciting to me. So, the only thing I’ve played for tabletop this month has been Weave.

As an aside, I found myself idly wondering about and find it odd that video and tabletop games don’t have a “streamer kit” much like a press kit, but for streamers, with assets pre-cleared for use in stingers, interstitials, and thumbnails, and so on; static and motion graphics for streamers to use in videos and actual plays. I messaged a few people about the idea for some games I’m waiting for, and am thinking about streaming, and they hadn’t thought of the idea before. Seems like a good idea to me! But, I’m biased.

At some point, maybe, this next month, I’ll finally get my deluxe edition of Expedition RPG box, and be able to try that out … but, the status of that has been very murky, so I can only guess that it may arrive. I have high hopes that I’ll be able, and can sustain interest at the table, to play that on stream for a while.

I’ve had my eye on some other games, but my budget has been really very tight lately. I’m at the point where, unless I know 110% that I’m going to play something for tabletop streaming, I just cannot justify it at all; and even if I can justify it, I have such a limited budget that I’ve not been able to get anything new.

So, it is what it is. The month has passed, and I survived. I continued to stream games and tabletop. Also, I turned a half century old. Yeah. That happened. Wild, right?

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback, Part 1

Here’s a summary of the story of Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback so far, my first playthrough in an ongoing persistent solo roleplaying campaign using the Weave RPG system. You can see all of my actual play sessions in the Weave playlist over on my YouTube, and consider following me over on Twitch so you can catch me playing live.

Back in April, I finally received my backordered copy of Weave by Monocle Society.

This campaign journal entry covers my unboxing, which essentially included a session 0, through my first three adventures since, where things are today.

Unboxing

After unboxing everything, I went on to create my first season and first character. The playset I picked was Goblins R Jerks and I named the season “The Fate of Littleback”. I pulled The Stag / The Turtle / The Coin as the cards that determined the Theme / Location / Boss.

The theme is that a shard has separated from the moon and is hurtling toward the planet, promising doom and destruction when it hits. The location is the back of a Gladedon, a giant turtle, named Littleback, on which an entire city is built, towards which the shard of the moon is flying directly and dangerously. Apparently no one knows yet about the shard, and the turtle has been asleep for aeons, unmoving, an easy target. The boss is Rufus the Red. How will this all play out?

I created my first character, a goblin, named Kabo Aboom with the cards Flame Challenge Two / The Crown / The River / The Inferno. I wonder who this character is and what is their story?

I thought about the playset, theme, and my character for a while, then, even though I had no idea what I was doing, here’s what happened!

Adventure 1
The Stag / The Turtle / The Coin

Living in a private corner of the broad territory on the back of Littleback, a sleeping Gladedon in the Wilds, goblin Kabo Aboom is spending time futzing around in his junk yard and laboratory when Buck Buck, a friend from the swamp, arrives with the news that the sky is falling. The friends try to get in touch with Kabo’s old connections in the Golem Knights, but none remain and Kabo is persona non grata. In a last ditch effort, Buck Buck convinces a guard to trust Kabo, but Buck Buck is forced to give up treasure, and heads home. The guard agrees to help if Kabo will fix a broken golem, which Kabo does; and just in time! A squire of Brighthearth, who found what had seemed like a lone guard in the outskirts, attacks! But, what seemed a single goblin, turns out to be a Kabo, an experienced Golem Knight in now fully functioning living armor. After dispatching the squire, the guard and Kabo head to see Rufus the Red’s private secretary, a squid sorcerer, who is convinced enough to test Kabo with a puzzle. Kabo slices the Gordian Knot, and crumbles the test in some completely unexpected stroke of genius or folly. Kabo is given an audience with Rufus the Red. When Kabo tells Rufus about the shard, Rufus reveals that it was they who called down the shard, hoping to crush everyone living on Littleback to death, and then mine the valuables from the moon shard after everyone is dead. Kabo proceeds to create havoc and destruction in Rufus’ office, find and steals the device used to call the moon shard down; and escapes with that.

Then, for my second session, I still don’t know what I’m doing, but here’s what I did.

Adventure 2
The Gallows / The Watchtower / The Owl

Kabo heads back to his junkyard with the device stolen from Rufus, and gets in touch with his friend Emarius, a dragon with knowledge about cursed devices, to try and figure out what needs to be done to stop, reverse or otherwise repair the damage done; and the coming moon shard apocalypse. While Kabo and Emarius are talking, around the junkyard otherwise normal people start behaving strangely. Then, carts crash, screams are heard, and chaos ensues as people die and then continue to move. Emarius beats a retreat. Kabo head down to the street to find out what is going on. At the gate, Kabo runs into a Dwarven Buccaneer shouting “Prove you’re still alive or I’ll kill you!” They proceed to have a drinking contest to prove they are alive. Kabo succeeds in proving he is alive, but ends up with a killer hangover. Kabo makes his way outside but succumbs to the spins and collapses. When Kabo comes-to, he’s been pulled into a Plucker’s Yum Yum House where he’s fed a revivifying meal of scraps and mold soup; but discovers that he’s stuck, surrounded by living dead, among a group of survivors.

One survivor, Dazzle, is revealed as a sole survivor of a prior attack of living dead, called the Battle of the Death of the Bands. Dazzle survived by sacrificing everyone but herself. In an attempt to thwart Dazzle’s plan to repeat her dastardly survival plan, Kabo challenges Dazzle to an epic rock band battle. In the first set, Kabo uses his knowledge of explosives and bombs to set off an intense fireworks display to wow the crowd. In the second set, Kabo releases a storm from a bottle, acts as a lightning rod to attract strikes, and, unfortunately, though he, himself, is immune, fries several of the living audience along with some undead. In the third set, Kabo constructs a Rube Goldberg device of traps and plays a rousing clutch guitar solo that blows up the entire place, along with the living dead; and Dazzle’s plan is foiled! Kabo escapes alive, but the skin of his teeth! Ewe! Skin on teeth must be a Goblin thing. Nasty.

After bringing down the house and slaying ’em dead with the power of pure explosive rock n’ roll, Kabo heads back to his junkyard to gather some supplies and figure out what to do next.

Adventure 3
The Woods / The Architect / The Dawn

Kabo digs up a spare automaton heart and a candle of sticking from his supplies, and has a conversation with the dwarven pirate, just now waking up from their drinking contest. Kabo learns more about the dwarven pirate’s history on the crew of Captain Brasker.

Dwarven pirate managed to avoid the fate of the Captain and the rest of the crew on the Barrow Stern, who were all turned into undead, cursed to ride the waves, making amends for all the misfortune and havoc they caused whilst alive. Dwarven pirate recalled a legend about the World Soul, and had hoped to appeal to that powerful entity to restore his old crew mates to life, or at least free them from their fates as undead.

Kabo heard the claim that the World Soul might have the power to correct or cure the dire peril posed by the pending moon shard apocalypse, and latched onto the idea of heading to entreat that entity for help. Kabo gathered as much information about the journey ahead and set off.

Hijinks ensue, and a fiasco unfolds.

The first stage was to stowaway on a boat, run by a Sentinel Automaton that secretly ferries supplies, whatever awful stuff undead pirates need supplied, and let’s just agree not get into the gory details of that bloody gothic nightmare! The ferry sails from the shores of civilization to a remote rendezvous with Captain Brasker’s Barrow Stern somewhere at sea. Kabo manages to climb onto a netted crate being loaded into the boat’s hold.

But, hijinks ensue. Kabo is discovered at some point on the journey, and tries to convince the automaton that Kabo can work for passage, fixing things on the boat. But, the automaton is unpersuaded. Kabo flees and tries to hide in the dangerous fiery engine room, where his resistance to fire saves his skin. Sneaky little goblin sneaks, and ends up in a convoluted game of cat and mouse trying to stay hidden from the crew that remains on high alert for a little stowaway.

But, a fiasco unfolds as Kabo’s luck and skill fail. Kabo accidentally stumbles upon the roost of a Messenger Phoenix, that beings to squawk, revealing Kabo’s position. Kabo makes a hail mary direct assault trying to deactivate the automaton, but fails. A struggle begins, and Kabo tries, instead, to just blow the automaton up; but fails, and is knocked unconscious.

Kabo is captured, and wakes in a cage. Taken to Captain Brasker, Kabo attempts to make an appeal, using what he learned from the dwarven pirate about the captain, for mercy and help, but fails. Kabo-in-a-cage is stowed below decks, and ignored. But, he’s near the Messenger Phoenix, and Kabo discovers that the phoenix and the dwarven pirate were close friends, and is able to convince the phoenix that the dwarven pirate and Kabo are also friends; and wins over the phoenix as an ally. The phoenix agrees to take a message to the dwarven pirate and to let Kabo out of the cage.

Once freed by the Messenger Phoenix, Kabo tries to construct a fully functioning golem automaton out of his living armor and automaton heart, but can’t get tab a into slot b, and ends up with a paper cut in an awfully sensitive place.

Kabo’s failure comes at a further cost as he is once again discovered, this time by a large, deadly, frightening Poorly Transmuted Rabbit, one of the many lost and broken things that crew this boat, and in spite of a spirited and inventive attempt to lead that creature into a lightning trap desperately constructed from the bits of living armor and automaton heart, but gets absolutely stomped.

Captured again, Kabo is about to be tossed to the sharks, when the Messenger Phoenix returns. A message from the dwarven pirate calls in a final favour from Captain Brasker to spare Kabo’s life.

Kabo’s quest to find a way to reach the World Soul and appeal for aid with the moon shard fails, at least for now. Losing important and treasured equipment, having a dirty secret about dragon-killing in his past revealed and rumours about it spread far and wide, including to the ears of Emarius, not having made any progress toward solving the greater issues at play, Kabo is dumped back on shore, much the worse for wear.

To Be Continued

But, the moonshard is still hurtling toward Littleback! What happens next? Find out in my next adventures!

Read the more at Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback, Part 2

Summary for the month of April 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of April 2019.

I don’t feel like I have a lot to say in a summary of this last month, after I said a lot about the previous summary. Ironically, I streamed more this last month than I did in the previous month, even after, essentially, saying that I’d given up on being a streamer. Like I said, I no longer think of myself as a streamer, but I’ll probably still stream. I’ve just given up on the idea it’s going anywhere or that I’m trying to build something bigger. But, for example, it’s been two months since my last Gloomhaven stream, and that’s a long damn time. After my Invisible Sun unboxing, one of the books, only read through once, fell apart, and it took over a month for the replacement to even be sent, so I cooled on my excitement about that whilst waiting. I don’t know. I’ll just keep doing things as I do them, and not trying to do it is the way I end up doing them, apparently. Whatever. It is what it is. I hadn’t planned on posting summaries any more either, mostly because I didn’t think I’d have anything to summarize, but here it is anyway.

I also ended up supporting several crowdfunding campaigns, though I really can’t justify supporting any more unless I am going to absolutely, positively do something actively with them when, if, they deliver.

I have three tabletop games that are supposedly on their way, but are in limbo, without an actual ETA, and really surprising lack of updates on them from their creators. Though I did finally get Weave, which I unboxed and played this month. And, I picked up a few video games in bundles, a few of which I played this month on stream. So, there are new games, actual and digital and roleplaying, that I might get to over this coming month, but who knows?

I’ve also found myself thinking about my ICRPG games, which went on hiatus after I kind of soured on ICRPG. But, I kinda miss the characters and their stories. I feel like Take is in a good place, and doesn’t necessarily need more; though there’s plenty that could be told. But what about the Mecha crew? They’re in transit to alternate Gamma World, and had many adventures ahead. There’s also the posse headed toward the Weird West. Or the companions in alternate Erehwon. But, I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to those stories. If I do, I probably won’t be using ICRPG anymore, per se. There were other things, like the additional scenario for SWRPG TFA or AoR (which I only ever unboxed) and even the unfinished Iris: Adventure Game, which has actually been redesigned since I last played, that I’ve thought about as well. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to those either.

I guess I had some stuff to say about this last month after all. There was probably other stuff to talk about that I didn’t remember. We’ll see what the next month brings. Maybe something, maybe nothing. IDEK.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of March 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of March 2019.

I’ve been having a crisis of faith lately. I have sat down at my computer, thinking I’d stream something, and haven’t. I feel like there’s no point. I’ve been streaming, and trying to build something here on the blog, and had a Patron campaign at Patreon, and a Subscribe option on Bandcamp, a voice and chat server on Discord, and some other things … and I’ve been streaming for years now, off and on.

In the last month, and I’m not sure really how to talk about this, but when the Critical Role crowdfunding effort went off like epic fireworks, I started to feel even more depressed and discouraged than normal. It’s not jealousy, per se, as I think it’s awesome for them, and their success is deservedly phenomenal; but, I look at what I’ve been trying to do, without success, and have just felt like I’ve been wasting my time all this time, time time time.

Then another thing. I suppose everyone has their Star Trek captain, or Doctor Who, right? The one they think of first, and is probably the one they started to watch originally. Well, some day, maybe already, people will probably start talking about their first Streamer in the same way, maybe?

For the record, “my” captain is probably Janeway or Cisco, “my” Doctor used to be Peter Davidson, and remained so by just a hair for a very long time, out of nostalgia over how I liked his acting so much, though Tom Baker was both delightful and my “first”, until his comments about a female Doctor finally tipped it to David Tennant.

My first streamer was Ara_gaming. Ara_gaming was the reason I started to watch Twitch. I followed her to Twitch from the Sony Landmark actual play through videos. Ara_gaming is the reason I started streaming on Twitch. Her advice was “just start!” and I did. So, tongue-in-cheek, I blame Ara_gaming for everything.

The other day, Ara showed up in Echoics’ stream, another of the first couple of streamers I watched, after years of absence from Twitch, as a guest. That was cool to see, and definitely cool after so long. I’m happy that things ending for her own stream career was for the best, and that she and Echoics are still in contact. It was nifty to see her again, and remember those early days.

But, I started to think about how little has changed for me as a streamer over the years since I started. I’m a Twitch Affiliate, but I never gained any ongoing patronage or subscribers or even a regular audience in any of these or related places. I’ve met people online and in person, I’ve had people get to know me and hang out irregularly, and all that’s super cool. But, still, most of the time, I’ve streamed with no one watching. And, as I watch my own archived videos, I’ve never gotten to the point where my own views are not significantly the majority.

My attempts to stream games, and whatnot, is a kind of art project. There’s also the annual music anthology I put together as well … and so forth. It’s good to have something to be busy with that’s fun and creative, even silly. Part of my streaming is about this idea I got, kinda modified from something someone I know said about writing book reviews. There’s a guy I know that reads, no, really, a shit ton, and he writes some kind of review for every one of them. Even if it is just a few lines. He said his rule is that if it is worth the time to read the thing, it’s worth writing some kind of review about it. He’s a damned machine, but it’s an idea that I’ve tried to use. So streaming, for me, is about how if I’m going to play games, I need to have some kind of creative output about that. Playing and grinding in a game, video or tabletop, without something to say or show for it is something I try to avoid by making streams or something at least.

But, at what point does it not make sense to put out the energy to plan and do and post these things publicly anymore if there’s no audience?

When I was in high school theatre, the teacher used to talk about how sports can be played without an audience, because the scores still matter and get recorded and have an effect on the season. But, for theatre, if there’s no audience, it’s not still a thing. I suppose theatre without an audience is just a rehearsal, really. And, in essence, I’ve been in open rehearsals as a streamer for years now. Maybe I should accept that there’s no audience and the show will never open.

Adam Koebel, in a recent stream, said something that kinda struck me hard. He said, “Content is a magical thing. As long as people will watch it, it’s worth doing.”

So, I’ve been okay with not having an audience, because it was part of an overall project. I had a reason to stream even if no one was watching. I had a reason to tweet, even if no one was listening. I had a reason to blog, even if no one was reading.

But, maybe I’ve been wrong about that. Maybe I should accept that whatever I’m doing is simply not of interest to other people, and doing it publicly is just wasted effort. I … think I’ve found the core problem with my streaming strategy. Actually, to be honest, this equally calls into question all of my strategies for anything and, moreover, my life choices. But, maybe that’s a little much to fully contemplate at the moment, all at once. And, it’s pretty much way too late in the game for me to change my entire life now, though I can mix things up and rearrange the deck chairs …

So, I’ve realized this month that I’ve lost the faith. I’ve given up each time I’ve sat down to start streaming. I’ve just not done it, though I could have, again, and once more, tried to keep to the project. I’ve got ideas I meant to do for streams, including continuing with video games, Illimat, and Gloomhaven, and starting up new series of Invisible Sun and Weave, and maybe other stuff. But, again, I’ve sat down to do them and ended up not doing them.

Welp. Okay then. I don’t know that I’m done streaming, but I think I’m done thinking of myself as a streamer. My first stream was back in September 2014, and my latest stream was almost a month ago. I’ve had ups and downs, and periods of streaming every day and periods of not being able to stream for various reasons. I don’t know that I won’t stream again, but I think I’m done with the project. Any bits or subs I had never reached over or near $75, so Twitch will end up keeping all of it; and eventually I’d imagine they might remove me from the Affiliate program, but who knows? (Their ways are mysterious!) I’ve shut down my patronage campaign. I’ve removed the option to subscribe to the anthology. I temporarily killed my social media accounts, but ended up keeping them active-ish. I’m going to stop posting, as I’ve been wont to do, monthly calls for submissions, or the other monthly reminders about my overall project. I don’t know if I’ll downgrade my Internet connectivity, but if I’m not streaming I sure don’t need all that bandwidth anymore.

I’m sad, tired, and disappointed, to be honest. But, okay, after this month, I guess I can accept now that the overall project is at least dormant, if not dead. The project is dead, long live the project! Nah, if it still moves, it’s probably just undead, trying to eat my brain.

Thanks to anyone that has read, watched, or soever, over the years. Thanks, if you’re not just me re-reading this for any mistakes, to you for reading this. I hate the “I’m leaving” trope, but this is, in fact, the summary of my last month. And, there it is.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and streams

Summary for the month of February 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of February 2019.

Still streaming irregularly, but I did a bunch of Gloomhaven and Illimat sessions, as well as a couple of video games I got to check out. I’ve soured a bit on Illimat, which I’ve posted about a bit already; but I’ll keep posting and playing it when I feel up to it. Gloomhaven is still fun, and there’s lots left to do. For Gloomhaven, I may be doing something with the other team, Villainous Mercenaries, soon, and I’ve been thinking I’d change up the plan a bit so they, or the other party, Heroic Misfits, aren’t completely sidelined whilst the other is playing.

Also, I may have gone a bit crazy and summoned a Black Cube. I don’t know for sure if my conjuration will take effect, but there’s that. There’s a bunch of other things I’d love to play too, like Weave: Storytelling Redefined and Dungeon Degenerates: Hand of Doom and Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game and … and … Oh my! Anyone got some lucky lottery numbers or know someone on the inside?

NeXT Invisible Borg Sun Cube

I’ve been thinking for a long time about ways to enable audience interaction in my gaming. I’ve gone back and forth on how that would be implemented and what it would do or not do. I settled on something that I’m going to try out, and we’ll see how it goes. I don’t know if anyone will jump in and make stuff happen when I’m streaming, but I wanted to have a way and have thought about it ahead of time.

Will you bestow a boon or cast a curse?

What I settled on was a way for people to “bestow a boon” or “cast a curse” via the Streamlabs overlay. that appears on the video as I’m streaming, for loyalty points that are automatically accumulated just by watching or by using cheers with bits, sold by Twitch for about 1¢ each. That way no one is left out, and everyone has a way to participate if they want; but also makes these interactions have a reasonable cost that will help to avoid antisocial things such as spamming and sniping. These are ways for people watching to create effects using the game mechanics and become part of the action as I play tabletop board and roleplaying games.

For 250 loyalty points or 2,500 bits, you can bestow a boon or beneficial effect on a character in game. For 1,000 loyalty points or 10,000 bits, you can cast a curse that creates an ill effect in game. Primarily for tabletop games, and what kind of boon or effect may be possible will depend on the game being played, but you can send your mystical or malevolent powers through the aethers!

Cool! It’ll be fun to see how it goes!

Rigaroga is a technologist lost in the wilderness, having adventures in geekery and nerdy mishegoss. Odd Order is a place for Rigaroga, friends, and acquaintances to gather online.

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Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and streams