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Tycho / 2 hours ago

My computer was, in fact, one hundred percent fucked.  It was one of those things where you fix one obvious problem, a problem where when you see it you’re like “How did this ever fucking work,” and then the entire fucking computer inexplicably falls to pieces.  In this case, and I mean case in both senses, the CPU was trying to catch on fire because the impeller inside the liquid cooling solution had, through exhaustion or sheer laziness, either ceased to impel or whined throughout.  The new Enermax cooler our engineer put on there is like a malevolent curl of alien impact shrapnel and is impervious to heat because it was born in a star.

I saw a really interesting thread over the weekend promoted by our own Ryan Hartman about what a book actually costs - not to sell, really, but to buy.  Discussed on the Twitter feed of a bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas called “The Raven,” so I’m already predisposed to like it, they went into more detail than you’re likely to see in an understated but occasionally spicy thread.  The pieces here around wholesale pricing and the price of a book at retail - what we have historically called “profit” - are especially noteworthy.

When we started doing preorders for our Acquisitions Incorporated book, people wanted to know where the best place to get it was, “best” meaning here most advantageous to us I assume.  The winningest scenario.  And obviously, the best case scenario for me is that you get it from our store.  A lot of people work here, many of us touched the book itself, and more yet will touch it as they ship it out to you in June. We’re very proud of it.  But, I mean… yeah.  If you got it at Zulu’s, or one of the Moxes, or whatever your place is called where you live, you still bought the book.  I described the difference between wholesale and retail as profit before, but it’s probably best described as the difference between living in a society and living in a market.

If efficiency is our highest virtue, we need to consider that we may not be especially virtuous.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 3 days ago

I was over at Glorp’s house last week, he wanted to show me HDR I assume because he owns stock in a company that produces high-end panels, and I had a chance to check out Darksiders 3 on PC.

I barely recognized it.  I talked about that a bit before, but this art on this platform with this dynamic visual range is just… fucked.  Obviously that’s the technical term.  But in the service of the kind of story it is, which is something like a grim but generous buffet of religious archetypes, multiple concurrent armageddons, and meaningful gazing, it sold it hard has hell.  There’s lots of opportunities for scenery chewing, the door jamb is practically lunar.  Occasionally, one does hold forth.  It’s a fun game to talk to as you play.

I have described what “dumb” means to us in particular, as people who make things, and I think Darksiders could always be usefully observed through that lens: of pop culture, of pulp, worked with tools until it becomes a gleaming mirror somehow capable of observing itself.

Grab and I are gonna hit the stream at 2pm PDT, Switch in tow.  Might try some Katana Zero?  Might play some of the original Darksiders?  Maybe some Yoshi’s Crafted World?  Maybe an admixture.  We’ll see you then.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 5 days ago

The whole point of Game of Thrones is that you thought one thing was gonna happen but then another thing happens, and that works until it doesn’t anymore.

At least for me.  I got out at the end of the Fourth Season, Fourthmeal if you will, at what might have been the last episode but maybe it wasn’t and I don’t super care if it was.  There was a fight between two characters with a result I didn’t buy, with a result in the vein of “yeah, dummy, well, ha ha!  This is how it’s gonna go instead” and then rubbing your nose in it, and I decided there was other stuff I could do with my time.  I’m not a prude by any means, arguably I’m an enthusiast, but they perpetually act like they’ve just discovered sex online and they’re so naughty and it’s whatever.

I liked that it was mostly what you’d call in D&D a “low magic setting,” the world had inherited what more or less seemed like a ton of nonsense that could be interpreted in various ways and it created a lot of problems, which is more or less how things work in the “low magic setting” we actually live in.  Except now it’s like a wizard cranked open a kind of arcane hydrant and a high pressure jet of mystical stuff is on the table, from resurrection to time travel, and you can tell any kind of story you want to but I don’t have to watch it.  I’m not sure which direction constitutes conceptual North in that story anymore; I don’t know where it is and I don’t know where I am in relation.

It has such cultural gravity though that even though I’m mad about it I still want to know what happens; want my prior investment to ultimately bear some kind of fruit.  A Song of Ice And Fire was fetish gear back when it came out in book form, and it’s been wild to watch its incursion so far into mainstream culture that’s become a deeply normal if not functionally necessary thing to know about.  It’d be like walking into Target at the first thing you see is a giant mesh bin of ball gags.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Having come back from Spokane with more or less my full complement of hit points, it wasn’t that bad really; Spokane was a kind of scorched lily pad that I made brief contact with on the way to Priest Lake.  There’s no reason you should know about Priest Lake!  But that’s where I went and I think I emerged with more sanity than I had when I went in.

The Tales from the Loop game I run for Club PA takes place in Spokane, the Spokane I grew up in, which barely exists anymore.  That time has passed is no great surprise, but time moves much slower there than it does in other places.  I have to account for it every time I drive down the hill Division becomes after you pass the arcade.  You pass Patterson’s on the left, a skating rink where I mostly played Gauntlet while trying to work up the courage to ask someone to skate.  Agreeing to skate with me was an act of incredible bravery; generally speaking, such investments of faith ended in shame and injury.  I know I’ve talked about this before but it’s apparently the axis my life turns around.

You would hear stories of trysts catalyzed by the sirenic gleam of the skating-rink; I once knew someone who knew someone whose brother knew someone who’d had sex there, outside, behind a dumpster.  I want to say I wouldn’t have sex on a literal dumpster but it’s like…  I’d have to see the dumpster.

I’m about to jump on the stream right now actually, like usual from 2-4, but tomorrow the doors open at 11:30am PDT for our first-ever live Acquisitions Intoxicated show at Two Beers Brewing.  It’s a ticketed event, and it sold out somehow, but if you are interested in the surprisingly fertile intersection of brewing and tabletop roleplaying games we’ve been tilling for the last year and half please join us on the stream!  We’ll be doing a tasting of our aggressively simple Human Fighter themed SMaSH beer “First Session,” prepared in two batches with Lager and Ale yeasts, rounding out the tray with the first beer we ever made on the show - the dark IPA known as WAR PRIEST.

(CW)TB out.   

Crewhulik

We took our family Sea of Thieves game to Twitch this afternoon and although there were a few hiccups, overall it was pretty smooth! My home internet wasn’t perfect and the stream ended up being cut into a few different parts. You can check out the start of our voyage here.

Watch Krahulik Family Sea of Thieves from PennyArcade on www.twitch.tv

I won’t spoil anything for those who want to watch, but the end was fraught with danger.

After the stream, we switched gears and I ran our weekly Sea of Thieves themed D&D game called (I still don’t have a name). Noah has been asking to fight a Kraken and since their characters are only level two I said not just yet. Then I thought a little dice game about fighting a Kraken could be fun. That spawned the theme for today’s adventure in which the party learned the game and played for gold. I took a look at Tycho’s Giants and Halflings which is totally rad but too complicated for my game. I needed something simpler but I used that as a jumping off point. I like messing around with stuff like this but I do all of it by gut and I don’t know anything about the underlying math. This is probably incredibly broken but the party loved it and we were all laughing and shouting at some lucky harpoon shots.

KRAKEN’S DICE

All pirates need 2 d6 (called cannons) and 1d4 (called the Harpoon)
you will also need 1 d12 (the Kraken)

First all pirates must ante 1 gold coin into the pot
Next you must yell “Roll yer cannons!” using you best pirate voice.

All pirates then roll 2d6 and note the result

Now someone must roll 1d12 (The Kraken) and this number becomes the target.

The pirate whose combined “cannons roll” is closest to the target without going over, hits the Kraken’s eye and wins the pot. However, after the Kraken is rolled and the target number is revealed, all pirates have the option of rolling their Harpoon (1d4)

After anyone who wants to has rolled their harpoons the winner is determined. Ties split the pot. If no one kills the Kraken the pot carries over to the next round.

We almost all figured pirates hate sharing treasure so there were a lot of…hopeful harpoons thrown. 

I had to make sure it was something Noah could grasp and he ended up not only grasping it, but taking all the gold. At one point while raking in a pile of chips he shouted “I love gambling” which is probably not the best. Just when you think you’re doing this Dad thing right, they throw you a curve ball.

-Gabe Out




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