Derik Badman's Journal

2021-05-29 10:04

Got my second dose of the vaccine on Wednesday, which heralds some slight normalcy in the near future, like seeing my parents, having in person D&D sessions again, and just generally feeling better going places out of the house (looking forward to getting my first professional haircut in over a year).

Been watching Doom Patrol on HBO, which is a pretty amusing and weird superhero show. At times it is probably too actively working against the tropes and is a little too wink-wink-nod-nod metafictional in a way that feels a little out of date to me. I'm not familiar enough with the comic to say how much the show is just rewriting Grant Morrison's work. I suspect there has to be a certain amount of that going on. It is a fun show, that mostly keeps surprising with its oddity and twists.

Somehow drifted into a sense of reading nostalgia recently, considering rereading comics that I read and enjoyed long ago. Was even considering reading some old X-Men comics which was one of the first comic series I ever read (and one of the few superhero series I stuck with for a pretty long period of time), but in the end, I've been down that road before and it won't have that same interest. I don't even know what brought on the idea. It's this endless shuffling of things to read and look at, a surfeit of them that too often disappoint. I did pick up Shirow's Dominion manga, that I still have on the shelf (with a bunch of his other works), and found it amusing, and in some ways still rather contemporary. The future world in it is so polluted people have to wear masks outside, and the protagonists are the "tank police" who are clearly over-militarized and constantly causing destruction in their city and having everyone complain and protest about them. I think Shirow is playing it off more as a joke, he is too invested in military tech as a subject, but it is also not a topic that is absent from the story.

Started in on Mass Effect 2 which is a lot more satisfying than the first one on most every level from narrative to gameplay. They really do throw in a ton of worldbuilding, often to little practical usage for the plot, which I quite like. It's makes the world seem more described than it really is, if you just hint at events, people, and places going on outside the range of the main plot.

It is cold and dark today, giving me a sense of ennui that I need to shake. Running another session of the faux Warhammer campaign tonight. Through a mix of random generation and creative elaboration I've come up with some kind of situation to put the player characters in. We'll see if it leads to... fun... I'm still not ever confident that I have prepped enough or in the right places, even though I know how slow the sessions tend to move and how little I usually actually need to have prepared for any 2 hour session. Hell, I know I could just show up and be like "sorry, I'm not prepared" and the four of us could just chat for 2 hours about game stuff and it would be fine. If I got stuck I'm going to try drawing a tarot card. I have this set of ones by Barbara Walker that are both really interesting imagery but also have single word interpretations written on them, so like the "Seven of Pentacles" card also has "Failure" written on it. It's a pretty great source of prompts that I really want to make use of. In the end I feel like my preparation issue always is one of organization. I have all the materials I need, but I don't have them all easily at hand. That's partly what my Hadleyville game is all about (and especially the online version), trying to get all the basic materials in one place and easily accessible for when you need them.