This week I read:
The Rim of Morning by William Sloane
I picked up this collection of two cosmic horror stories the same time I did The Outcast and The Rite, it just caught my eye one day in a bookshop. And, like that other book, this one turned out to be a good impulse buy. The introduction describes the two stories in this volume, To Walk the Night and In The Edge of Running Water, as some sort of forgotten treasures, and having read them I agree. They’re very well done.
Reading them back-to-back did make their similarities stand out, so it might have been better to read something else between them, but they were still enjoyable.
Both stories are told from the perspective of a narrator, who was a close friend of the victim and who personally experienced some of the events, relating the tale afterwards. In both, the victim is a genius (mathematics in To Walk the Night, physics in In The Edge of Running Water) who gets caught up in some research probing beyond what man was meant to know, becoming estranged from friends (including the narrator) and moving somewhere remote to focus on the work, ultimately paying the ultimate price.
Not only are the stories good, the book itself is pleasing too. The paper is fairly thick, the whole book has a feeling of density and significance.
Volume 10 of Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui
The story is definitely approaching its climax now: we have the main characters facing off against the master of the dungeon, the dungeon-destroying elves closing in, and lying in the background of all this the central mystery of what the dungeon is. Is it the egg of a demon which will consume all who seek to master it, as the elves say? Or is it endless possibility, as our protagonists hope?
The Halls of Arden Vul
This week we decided to try out Miro for mapping, as Owlbear has started to lag quite a lot on some of the larger maps. Owlbear is great, but it’s clearly designed for throwing up images and making notes on them, or drawing battlemaps and small dungeon maps. Despite its infinite scroll, it can’t really handle the scale of even a single full floor of Arden Vul, most of which are large dungeons in their own right.
Miro’s performant enough that you can even put up multiple floors all on the same board, which led to one player looking at the relative layout of rooms on different floors and making predictions about what they’d find, which is really cool.
Unfortunately, one player’s computer really struggled with Miro. Garbled voice chat, which cleared up the instant they closed the board. If we can’t figure out a way to resolve that, we’ll have to go back to Owlbear, might have to adopt drastic measures like breaking up single dungeon levels into multiple Owlbear maps.
I’ve got two new short games in the works, which I’m quite looking forward to.
Off the back of my sudden interest in sword-and-sorcery adventuring with Black Sword Hack, I’ve decided to call the next break in Arden Vul. So we’ve got one more session of Arden Vul next week, then two weeks of Black Sword Hack. I have some ideas for an adventure, but the game has a collaborative worldbuilding step, so I’ll just keep those ideas in the back of my mind for now and flesh something out after we do character and world creation on the 12th.
I’m also hoping to run the ALIEN scenario Destroyer of Worlds in the near future, but I’m still gathering players for that. It might end up being in December, or even early next year.
I’ve decided to redecorate a little.
I’m planning to free up a little space in the living room by moving my whiteboard into the kitchen (since I only use it to track my shopping list and meal plan) which, with a bit of rearrangement, will let me fit in a new bookcase and put up some new art. I also wanted to expand my CD storage, but was greatly saddened to discover IKEA are discontinuing the GNEDBY, they still have some units left, but not in the colour I want. So I’ll have to do something different there.
Though, every time feel like changing things up, I can’t help but think how much easier it would be if I had a house. I wouldn’t even need an especially big house to just have way more space than my current flat. But, alas, I live near London and so anything beyond a small house is ludicrously expensive.