Derik Badman's Journal

2021-06-20 08:04

Read The Hallowed Hunt the third in Lois McMaster Bujold's loose fantasy trilogy. I did not find this one as engaging as either Curse of Chalion or Paladin of Souls (or the Penric and Desdemona novellas), partly I think because the protagonist/focalizer is not very interesting and partly because we get very little of any other character. It reads like a poorly written mystery (there are very few clues and the ending feels sudden and... unexpected) that mostly finds the protagonist just... going along. I felt like I understood the previous ones and their religious/magical underpinnings, but this one felt opaque in many ways.

Barely started, then gave up on, Barry Windsor-Smith's long coming brick of a comic Monsters. Despite the dense cross hatching, the drawing feels really flat to me, and the dialogue unreal, and... yeah I thought I'd give it a try, but I can't get through what seems to be a superhero origin story gone horrible wrong, especially when we even have a scene of an older guy looking at his old comics and his kid wanting to read them and the mom telling him they are trash... groan.

Actually sort of at a loss for what book to read next. I'm still working my way through Shirow's work in small bits, but I don't have a novel lined up. I was rereading Flaubert's A Sentimental Education but it didn't really click with me at this time (it doesn't have the same draw for me as Bouvard and Pecuchet does). I think all the books on my to read shelf(shelves) are comics or art books. Probably a good time to go browsing on the shelves for a reread, revisit something I really love, or reread something I was unsure of in one read and wanted to try again.

Had our first in person D&D game in forever on my porch yesterday. I really enjoyed seeing everyone in person and having a fun game without network slowness or confusion from people trying to talk at the same time, with snacks and drinks and more contagious laughter. Finished up a little adventure Eric wrote using the Black Hack rules. Eric, not unexpectedly in general, went a little weird fiction-y on us. He wants Ian and I to help edit the adventure into a one page dungeon, so I'm curious to see how what we played differs from what was written down (what did we miss? how else could it have played out?).

Looks like our next game is going to be a special one-shot I am running with the insane concept of a murder mystery in a 90's mall, starring an assortment of characters from other 90's media. Since █████ and ██████ are going to be in town, we wanted to play a game all together, and somehow the snowballing of some jokes lead to this. Going to run it as rules free as I can. Hopefully the whackiness of the situation will create enough amusement that I don't need to worry about any too detailed plot.

My Hadleyville online app is still coming along as I slowly add features and check items off the todo list. It's a lot of UI improvements now to try to make it look nice and pretty and work smoothly, and probably an import/export feature. Then I'll try building it for production as a v1 release. The next big thing is setting up integration with some cloud data storage, so you could store anything.

Still obsessively playing the Mass Effect Legendary Edition though I am almost through Mass Effect 3, having now completed all the side missions and DLCs I just have to do the final run of primary missions. ME3 gets a lot of its power from the way it heavily draws on the previous 2 games to revisit plots, decisions, characters, and locations. This is especially prevalent in the slightly tongue-in-cheek Citadel DLC which, while it has an action based plotline as about half of it, is primary about your PC hanging out and talking to various NPCs. It's probably the most fan-service-y game I've played (not in the erotic way), but it works, I think because it's well written and veers between humor and a kind of bittersweet nostalgia. I'm also finding that even on my... third or fourth playthrough now, I'm still coming up storylines that I've missed in the past.