I tried planning my week. I scribbled down on my whiteboard between one and four bullet points for every day, of things I wanted done by then. It worked pretty well: I got everything done, and it was satisfying to check things off.
This week I finished off the healthcheck work I started last week, helped out with our regular ITHC1, and continued pluging away with the implementation of levels of authentication. We’ve shifted to two-week sprints, because there was always stuff left over at the end of the sprint, so we’ve got until the end of next week to finish off the few remaining cards for that work.
This week I read:
Helliconia by Brian Aldiss.
This is a great trilogy of stories about an inhabited planet attached to a binary star system. The planet has a “Great Year” of about 2500 Earth years, over which it changes from a frozen wasteland to such heat that forests burst into flames and crops fail. The story primarily follows the humans of this world, and how their societies change during the Great Year. It also follows an orbital space station built by Earth to observe Helliconia and populated by colonists. To a lesser extent, it also tells the story of the humans of Earth, and how they change over 2000+ years.
I really like the first two parts: Spring and Summer. Unfortunately I think the last, Winter, is by far the weakest. The story shifts much more towards Earth—away from Helliconia—and goes in a weird direction with planetary spirits (like Gaia). It’s just a very big change compared to the other parts. Also it introduces this terrible unspeakable curse, which only the vilest of people would utter, and then it seems that all the highborn characters are yelling it every other page, making it lose any impact it may have had whatsoever.
A new player joined my Call of Cthulhu game, and as a result we moved the session to Thursdays. So now, for the first time in over a year, I have free Sundays. I’m already in talks to start another group in that slot.
This week I published a new post on random tables.
1d12 + 1d8table is commonly used for random encounters, because it gives a nonuniform distribution where some outcomes are more likely than others. But why stick to that? By rolling one of the dice with advantage or disadvantage, you get a very different distribution, and can make one table work in many situations.
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