marsden_online: (camera2)
3 days of gaming
marsden_online: (Default)
Reading back over my LJ and FB it looks like I started the year in much the same place emotionally as I am right now, there were quite a lot of individual good days in the company of friends but also some pretty bad patches - May, July, October through now ... I may have made some progress on identifying some of the puzzle pieces ...

My regular Sunday and Monday games were regular high points, other gaming was mixed. Recorded some good games; know I didn't bother griping about many not-so-good ones.

My muse turned on a few times, mostly in February and March but there are a few other substantial opinion posts througout the year.

I'm confident that I made a positive difference in the lives of a number of people over the year; less confident that I didn't impact negatively on anyone.

Politically the world seemed to continue to go to shit, both in NZ and overseas.

Notable events:

February: substantial aftershock just a few days short of the 5th anniversary of the 2011 quake brought everything flooding back for a lot of people.

April: Family reunion in the high country, returned to find an acquaintance had passed to cancer.

June: Buckets of Dice (mixed)
: combined having to get the drains replaced due earthquake damage with getting some substantial garden alterations done above ground, a very expensive month which nevertheless crossed two major projects off the list.

August: Hosted the KAOS 48 Hour Party despite being plagued myself during the weekend.

September: started a new drug/supplement, which didn't seem to help. Discontinued at the end of the 3-month course (wasn't subsidised)

November: SAGA's 48 hour charity event
: "Kaikoura" earthquakes (ongoing)

This year I didn't spend anything on my family for Xmas and instead focused on friends and other acquaintances whom I knew needed some nice things in their lives.

Had the family lunch not been at my relatively close parents I would not have attended that for the first time ever; this was something I was doing for myself as I did not feel up to the effectively full day of travel otherwise would have entailed. I did then end up appearing (and eating) at 3 different socials among friends in Christchurch and was quite exhausted by the end of the day but overall it felt lower-key.

I do appear to have completely exhausted myself physically* (gardening/housework) and mostly exhausted myself emotionally so I am hoping for a good KAOS New Years party tomorrow night to pick me up. Historically this is against the odds.

* My stamina seems to have plummeted over the year. I went to the Dr concerned a few weeks ago and he sent me off for a raft of blood tests, which I haven't heard back from yet.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Most people are probably aware that over the past going on 24 hours NZ has been hit by another series of major earthquakes starting at very just after midnight Sunday/Monday. I had not long gone to bed when it hit so after about 10 seconds of "aftershock" and then ~ 1:20 minutes of "nope, crap, that's a BIG quake inland just getting here" and some minutes on FB checking that no-one in Christchurch itself was reporting major issues I went off to sleep, thus not seeing the tsunami warning and evacuation notices (which didn't affect me anyway) until checking again during a wake around 4am. I figured if anyone needed transport or to shelter at my place I would get a message or txt directly so I slept for another few hours, starting the day feeling not significantly tireder than usual. That wasn't to last.

Fortunately I had already booked the day off work to recover from attending a 48 hour charity event over the weekend (more on that below). The first hour or so I spent touching base with various people by FB and phone before starting on my pre-existing chores list. I didn't get through as much of this as hoped - a somewhat overdue cleaning of the bathroom leaving me physically exhausted and attempting to set the ball rolling on a safety inspection of the Hall further soaked up energy. I eventually spent 2-3 hours napping - in part to shut down some nervous energy and generalised anxiety - before setting out to help a friend with transport and hugs, do the grocery shopping and after a simple dinner deliver some care packages. (One of which had already been on my to-do list but which under the circumstances I bulked up a bit more ;) ) I could tell that I probably shouldn't be driving well before I got home, and if I wasn't waiting for a better time to take my meds I would be back in bed already.

Friday / Saturday I spent about 24 hours total at SAGA's now-annual 48-hour gaming event to raise money for charity (this year AVIVA). I'll just copy and paste from my FB statuses here ...

Saturday 4:30pm
Plays so far:
Colony Wars (obliterated by Daniel Starky's base spam strategy)
Thurn & Taxis (resounding win)
Dominion w. Prosperity (barely last but a long way from the winner)
Broken Eagle the Learned Nano who Combines Words of Power is about to set out into the world of Numenera in search of greater knowledge.

Saturday 10:50pm
After Numenera finished off for the day with a game of Tiny Kingdoms. Didn't do particularly well but probably OK for a first time.
I'd liked to have stayed longer but it is patently obvious that it would be a very bad Idea. If I can get a good sleep tonight I may be able to stay later tomorrow night.

Sunday 3:20am
Didn't get to games until after 2pm but then stayed somewhat longer than expected. Still 3am is no later than I get home from a good party. Cat seems unimpressed by my long absence.
Plays today (pretty sure I have forgotten something)
Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Settlers of Catan
DC Heroes
Colony Wars
Zombie Dice
Seven Wonders
Istanbul (new)

... preliminary reports are that we raised well over $1000 if everyone comes through on their pledges. I enjoyed myself - overly much so without really realising it, on the Friday in particular which left me stuck in bed until much later than I had planned on Saturday. I did spend more time and energy than I had hoped taking the lead in deciding on and teaching games; the teaching not so much of a problem (I was actually recommended, to my face, and later even messaged thanks for the fun time someone had as a result). I also made sure one person who probably otherwise would not have made it but I knew would benefit greatly from getting out of the house got both there and home.

As always I experienced more downtime between games than I would have liked, but I had gone prepared for that also with things to do.

Sunday afternoon (you noticed the status update at 3:20AM above?) was spent on a few chores and Sunday evening instead of my usual game we chilled and watched Guardians of the Galaxy which a couple of our members had missed at the theatre. (I am really enjoying the new projector.) I actually went to bed feeling uncommonly relaxed and happy ... and then the quake hit.

That has filled in the time nicely; shortly I will be abed and hopefully will feel much better in the morning. Because otherwise I am /not/ looking forward to work tomorrow.
marsden_online: (Rage)
This year was very mixed for me. I think I probably broke-even with Saturday compensating for the disappointments of both Saturday and Monday, but it is currently the end of Monday and I am exhausted and grumpy.
snip )
marsden_online: (skull)
when everything goes just not quite right and you just start failing to cope.
Negativity dump )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
This Queens Birthday was a much needed break from work but not particularly rejuvenating. On the one hand it was Buckets of Dice weekend and I had carefully avoided putting my name forward to run anything supposing (correctly) that I would be pretty wiped out after a month with two programmers away from work and would have had no time to prepare. This theoretically left me free to apply my (minimal, as those I gamed with on Saturday can attest) brainpower to board gaming. Saturday in particular was expected to be free of Hall-related interruptions. It was not to be.

I'm not going to type out the whole saga but multiple of my Saturday games (which, as mentioned, I had precious little brain and spoons for) were interrupted by phone calls and txts related to people randomly deciding they would turn up to the Hall /then/ contact us and see if they could be let in to take photos. There was a flow-on effect to this which meant it also happened again today (Monday) causing me to be able to play one fewer game than I would have otherwise. Some damage overnight on Saturday also caused me to stay behind after a (booked) tour Sunday afternoon which may have caused me to miss someone who stopped by BoD specifically to see me :( (But who left chocolates and literal spoons in my mailbox today anyway <3 ). And again today a short-notice (but at least made last week) request for access to the Hall to retake some photos for a project saw me sacrifice a games worth of time in the morning.

The games which all this was interspersed with were nevertheless good and I even won several of them. I was introduced to ... four? new games one of which I had considered purchasing from the sale table just for the art on the box and another which had it been on the Games Depository stall I probably would have bought / will buy next time I am deliberately spending money on such things. I only once found myself in a game with someone I really prefer not to play with if possible and many times in games with people I preferentially play with.

I did not even try to take photos this year, not even of the usual excellent LARP costumes (and there were two flagship LARPs this year to boot). I just did not feel the effort was worth it.

I have marginally improved brain/spoons over each day but I'm still not looking forward to the rest of this week. For tonight: the next thing I am doing is making for a really early bedtime.
marsden_online: (camera2)
Assasination and Execution stunts
marsden_online: (Evil GM)
From Friday 10am to Sunday 10am (a couple of hours ago) SAGA ran a 48 hour gaming event to raise money for charity. Although I didn't intend to do an all-nighter myself between running a mini-campaign over Friday evening - Saturday wee hours, a Hall alarm and then getting sucked into just one more game (until after sunrise) I actually spent ~39 hours straight a mostly-awake; the longest I have ever.

The mini-campaign was also, (despite all my years of gaming)
- the first time I have run such a thing (D&D levels 1-3 in one sitting and we probably would have gone another couple of hours had the Hall alarm not come in - luckily while the players were taking a break after their characters had returned from the dungeon a bit beaten up after gong "a room too far")
- the first time I have run a session that long (6-7 hours including breaks)
- the first time I have run a game which ran after midnight

I didn't actually get to play in any RPGs myself (was hoping for a Dungeon World game) but I did keep track of the board games (on FB)
- Seven Wonders win 86 points. Seven players leaders and cities.
- Lords of Waterdeep + expansions third 164 points
- Biblios last with 4 points
- King of New York - not a winner is me.
- Sentinels of the Multiverse - eventual win against Baron Blade on Mars. (Legacy, Tempest, Visionary)
- Cards against humanity : not last.
- Stone Age 3rd 139 points
- Kingsburg narrow win with 43 points.
- Shipwrights of the North Sea win 16 points
- Race for the Galaxy 3rd 26 points.
- Last hour with some not-very-awake people; cleanup then Dixit and a round of Love Letter.

Not quite as many as I hoped, and I would have liked another round of Seven Wonders and to play DC Heroes but Sentinels has taken over as /the/ superhero card game of the moment.

There were also not as many casual attendees as I expected - the number of people present was pretty stable and mostly the same people. I had expected larger swells of people only attending for a few hours and a few games in the afternoons and evenings - thus my pledge of $1 per attendee playing at least one game fell a bit flat. (I handed over closer to what I had expected anyway.) Probably I should have gone with "per game played" after all.

Nevertheless I had a mostly good time, with occasional lapses into boredom and fending off sleep-deprivation enabled moments of emotional collapse. As successful weekend.

Some of the games which were played
Lords of Waterdeep
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
It's been over two months since I posted anything about life in general which wasn't dumping angst. So here's a less-transient-than-facebook record of some events.

Hall )

kitty )

gaming )

dentist )

other stuff )
marsden_online: (camera2)

marsden_online: (Sisters)
Buckets of dice went really well, one of if not the best ever, huge kudos to the team. My own weekend wasn't so hot though; although Saturday at BoD went very well (ran Pacific Rim and it went off almost perfectly, excellent players; then won both the the board games I played in the afternoon) thing started going downhill in the evening after I developed a stomach upset possibly from dancing too vigorously on a still-full stomach at the party I attended that evening.

Although I did also get some cuddle-time at the party which was nice.

I came home and went to bed relatively early only to be woken by a Hall alarm shortly before 1am. The ensuing activity upset mu stomach again and it was closer to four by the time I finally got back to sleep.

So I started Sunday short on sleep; fortunately my game didn't have enough players (I had been advised Saturday night) so I didn't have to stress about being at BoD early. Instead I managed to get there just after several long board games had started and didn't actually manage to get into any games until mid-afternoon, most of which I spent becoming incrementally more bored and frustrated. I thought about setting up my laptop and writing drafts fr some of my backlog of journal posts, but couldn't summon the spoons.

The game I eventually got into while not a bad game and one I would happily play again dragged on due to 3 of us never having played it before; and ended up being the only game I played all day. After dinner and prizegiving (where I didn't receive any prizes but was given a bottle of wine) I turned down the opportunity to play another game I was unfamiliar with and might or might not have enjoyed in favour of just coming home, lighting the fire and going to bed early.

Monday (today) began with discovering damage to the Hall which resulted in getting to BoD an hour later I had planned, to much the same initial result as Sunday. I did manage to play 3 games in the afternoon, although the last two weren't particularly exciting and the last one, usually fast, was crippled by one player who took forever considering his turns. I also spent more money than I really meant to on buying new games - games which I enjoy and are popular but will mostly sit at home for when I host games days.

Add to this more Hall drama which soaked up any remaining spoons I had from the day and the overall weekend was pretty crap.
marsden_online: (Gemini01)
This weekend was a SAGA Minicon, and I spent much of Saturday and Sunday there.

Saturday morning I "sat in on" the introduction to GMing seminar, where I inevitably had to put my oar in. It was really quite interesting, with a number of things called out that we experienced GMs tend to do without explicitly thinking about it. Another really good thing was that about 1/3 of the eager young faces sitting around the table were female, and taking copious notes.

The workshop also inspired me with a lo of thoughts for running a worldbuilding seminar, which I spontaneously offered to run Sunday morning.

Saturday afternoon I was running Marvel Heroic. This didn't really go according to plan with the players getting bogged down in mechanics 9i think) and taking the full 3 hours just to finish the introductory skirmish. After that one had to leave but the others were keen to keep playing - we started about 1:30pm and finished the scenario about 8:30pm.

I *think* most of the delay came down to player composition - one player is known to always slows down any game they are in, one player turned out to be something of a power gamer trying to find a way to squeeze every last advantage out of every action, and one who came in a bit late I only learnt *after* the game that it was her first or second RPG ever; had I known I would have handled interactions with her character differently. Fortunately the player seated next to her took it upon herself to help out and did so in a suitably non-controlling manner. Nevertheless it was an exhausting session to run.

For the record the roster was Captain America (female player), The Thing (male player who had to leave after the first scene), Black Widow (female player), Iron Man (female player), and Storm (male player). It has only just occurred to me that there were more women seated across the table from me than men, which really is how it should be - unremarkable.

To round out the evening (one of my passengers was in a game which wasn't going to finish until 10pm) we played Pandemic, easy mode, 3 novice and myself, and managed to win on the very last turn.

Sunday morning between breakfast and leaving I scribbled down a page and a half of notes to get worldbuilding presentation stuff out of my head. There were no takers - when we arrived two RPGs had started and there were enough of us left to board game. This didn't bother me - more time to prep and I might stress test it in an on-demand spot at BoD or at a later Minicon. Else there will probably be a series of blog posts ....

In the morning we played Settlers of Catan, which I managed to win convincingly from a very awkward-looking start position. (Getting two points from dev cards helped). I didn't have critical mass to run a second session of Marvel, which was probably for the best, so we managed to get in a stress-free game of Lords of Waterdeep (2nd) and of DC Heroes (won). After a bit of a break I managed a couple of games of Biblios before calling it a day.

On the whole, good weekend.
marsden_online: (Default)
Contrary to my depressed state on Sunday, on Monday I woke up in good time filled with inspiration and energy. It still took a little while to get going, but once I was there it stayed. This was repeated on Tuesday.

Could be any or all of
- having to get up early over the weekend finally having adjusted my body clock
- the up part of my cycle kicking in (notably I don;t feel like I've cannibalised anything this time)
- the drugs kicking in (having managed to take them regularly for a week)
- the sunshine kicking in
- a few nights of decent sleep

I've taken advantage of the extra energy and hours to push through the backlog of housework (including once-a-year tasks like cleaning behind/under the stove & fridge) and blast a number of other minor outstanding tasks off the bottom of the to-do list. Since I never know how long this mood will last.

This morning is harder. Hopefully just down to the fact that for whatever reasons I didn't sleep very well last night. Having dealt with the major tasks I'm going to try taking it a bit easier now - the risk is always that I just lift my output to match or overshoot the rush of energy/time rather than allowing some of it to be used for recuperation, thus winding up right back where I was.

What I haven't felt inclined to do more of is work - in fact that's been more difficult because my mind is on other things - although once there and started I have generally managed to get into a flow and make what is progress even if it doesn't feel like it (the curse of early-stage large projects). Given my usual tendency to prioritise any extra time/energy into work first and other things second this is actually kind of a good thing.

Notes from gaming last night - Carcassone Hunters and Gatherers had a 29 fish river system shared by 3 of 4 players and the other game I played was Citadels.

SAGA is experiencing the usual end-of-year drop-off in attendance which feels a bit demoralising but still has more people attending overall than some years I recall. Being split across two/three rooms also makes it feel like fewer.
marsden_online: (Gemini01)
The day was a bit slow to get started but contained

Race for the Galaxy 6 player lost miserably
DC Heroes x2 Lost miserably
Race for the Galaxy 2 player x2 one each way

[Break for Lunch]

King of Tokyo - not a particularly good showing
Colosseum (learning) - respectable score, not last
Castles of Burgundy - ditto
Stone Age - ditto

There was going to be something else played but I was getting an attack of the yawns and need to be up early tomorrow regardless - so I called it quits and will very shortly be headed to bed.

Based on the rate of arrival of todays attendees (decent turnout overall but spread across 3 rooms so felt like less) I won't be missing much by not being there until after 11am tomorrow - which actually makes me feel even sadder about that.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
- Race for the Galaxy; amazing game for me, won with 14 cards on the tableau when most other players had about 8, no 6-point developments so only a reasonable score.
- Kingsburgh; didn't fare so well, enjoyment of the game was hindered a bit by people who knew the game racing ahead and talking over people who were still learning.
- Seven Wonders +Cities +Leaders; middling score.

- waited around for a bit after that but no games were starting in the foreseeable future that I was interested in so I came home and took a nap instead.

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