Today I played games. I spent a bunch of the day playing Terraria with Erin and Christine and then I ran a wee session if Splintering Wheel for Discord friends and then I spent the rest of the evening working on Qud mods. It was extremely chill and lovely.


Today I mostly relaxed. I had a nice video chat with Emily, I got some work done on a code project I’m working on, I finished watching Waiting For Godot, I hung out with Clover for a bit, and I streamed some Caves Of Qud! It was great!

Today I napped a lot. I slept in til eleven and then between video chats and watching streams and ordering groceries and doing some hobby code I managed to nap a bunch of times as well. I had a nasty headache for a bunch of the day and the futon plus weighted blanket is a deadly combo of comfiness so I didn’t really stand a chance.

Today I got to catch up with friends. I managed to make it into the Arcade by around midday today and got to chat with a friend who is sitting at the desk across from me. I struggled with the cold from the air conditioning though and my fatigue kicked in pretty hard around 2pm so I managed to find an out of the way chair to take a nap in. After finishing up at the arcade I walked to a friend’s place nearby and we had dinner and played a boardgame before I headed home to nurse a nasty headache that’s been hanging around this week.

Today was my first day working at the Arcade. I worked out the public transport to get there and it’s not great but it’s workable. I got there at midday and had some solid work time in between catching up with Melbourne friends I haven’t seen in ages. Headed home around six and finished off the least couple of hours of work there, which I think is a nice pattern.

Today I tried not to get a migraine. I have a headache on the left side of my head which usually develops into a migraine or, more commonly for me these days, a cluster headache which is worse. I was going to go into the Arcade for my first day in the coworking space today but I decided to play it safe and nurse my head. I watched the last episode of the new Dracula show with Erin and Christine which was less good than the first two but still interesting. I played some civ 6 with Clover, and now I’m trying to get what work work I can get done without pushing myself too hard. Tomorrow though: The Arcade. Leaving the house.

Today I organised a desk at The Arcade. It’s a bit of a hassle to get there from the house but getting to work in the Arcade was half the reason I came to Melbourne so I’m proud of myself for actually getting that sorted. Tomorrow I’ll try catching BM public transport there to see how that goes.

Today I went to the shops. Mostly it was just a comfy day. I slept in till like midday because this new weighted blanket is WAY too comfy and it’s gonna be a PROBLEM, and I spent most of the day watching the new Netflix Dracula or playing Civ 6 with people I love. But in the middle I managed to navigate myself to the supermarket, which is about a 20 minute walk through a lovely park, in search of a pillow and a towel, get way too enthusiastic about buying snacks, and then slowly lug the heavy bags back to the house, which I’m pretty proud of. Exploring and problem solving!

Today I flew to Melbourne without a return ticket. A couple of people asked me if I was excited but I really don’t know. I’m more lost than anything but that was kind of my intention, to take away my own routines and safe familiarities and set myself adrift on the winds of fate. Staying in Adelaide was kind of stagnant in some ways, painful in others, and depressing in others. I don’t know what happens now that I’ve left but I’m at least curious to see, if not quite “excited” about that unknown.

Today I laid about in bed till eleven while Emily went for a walk with a friend. We ran some errands and got tidied up before heading out for the afternoon where I dropped Emily off at an appointment and then went and got some new RAM to replace the sticks that died the other day before heading to Melody’s. We had a really chill evening and I managed to play a few Apex Legends which I’m really enjoying.


Today I arrived home. I slept at Cammi’s last night and she gave me a lift home around lunch time. Emily and I shared lunch and then it was time for game date with Erin. We tried to play Dawn Of War 2 but it wasn’t having it so we played Stardew instead. Afterwards though I had to have a nap on the couch cause I was so hot and tired. Afterwards Emily and I spent the evening watching Court Of Swords which was really nice.

Yesterday I flew home.

I was up at 3:30am and Karri picked us up at 4:15 to drop us at the airport because she is an angel. My flight was at six and Melody’s was at eight so I listened to a podcast in the air and then waited at Adelaide for her flight to get in. We headed back to Mel’s place where we napped for a few hours before she dropped me off at Cammi’s and I just crashed there for the night.

Today was the second half of Arcanacon.

I woke up exhausted but perked up with some breakfast on the way to the convention centre. I ran Oracle for the first and last sessions of the day again, with a nap on the grass and a trip to Muji in between. The reception Oracle received over the weekend was awesome. The last game of the con was the best because everyone was so bought in from the hype from previous sessions. I was still completely tired out at the end of it but at least I finished the con on a real high note.

Today was the second half of Arcanacon.

I woke up exhausted but perked up with some breakfast on the way to the convention centre. I ran Oracle for the first and last sessions of the day again, with a nap on the grass and a trip to Muji in between. The reception Oracle received over the weekend was awesome. The last game of the con was the best because everyone was so bought in from the hype from previous sessions. I was still completely tired out at the end of it but at least I finished the con on a real high note.

Yesterday was the first day of Arcanacon.

I ran Oracle in the first and last sessions of the day and Delaney ran one session. The game worked really well which is encouraging but also slightly frustrating cause I’m finding it hard to spot where polish is needed. I at least have a few notes though. I had a lot of free time during the middle of the day which I tried to use for some napping but it wasn’t super effective. Even though my responsibilities were pretty easy I still found myself totally exhausted by just being in the convention environment and basically just crashed when I got back to the apartment.

Yesterday was the first day of Arcanacon.

I ran Oracle in the first and last sessions of the day and Delaney ran one session. The game worked really well which is encouraging but also slightly frustrating cause I’m finding it hard to spot where polish is needed. I at least have a few notes though. I had a lot of free time during the middle of the day which I tried to use for some napping but it wasn’t super effective. Even though my responsibilities were pretty easy I still found myself totally exhausted by just being in the convention environment and basically just crashed when I got back to the apartment.

Today I settled in for the weekend.

This morning Maize and Thom and I ventured out into the heat to get brunch at a place I think was called bric-a-brac? My banana bread was delicious regardless.

Then back at the apartment I spent the day playing Caves Of Qud, not streaming it, getting upset about the fact that I wouldn’t have my nice new Oracle cards for Arcanacon tomorrow, and napping.

In the evening we headed out to bar SK for the Global Game Jam Yarra launch and spent the night hanging out there and getting Vietnamese with Maize, Thom, Karri, Izzy, and eventually Melody, which was lovely.


Today I got a little done despite depression.

I felt pretty solid this morning. I dropped Emily off at the train, came home and had a bath and breakfast but by the time I settled down to do the writing I needed to I was in pretty heavy not being able to do things depression mode. I managed to wash some linen and take a good selfie and tune in to Erin’s playthrough of Donut County which is amazing. But my actual writing output was pretty abysmal. This not being able to make myself do things keeps being such a fucking bugbear in my life, as long as I can remember, and it makes me hate myself sometimes.

What I did manage was some a few solid words and a really good stream of Blades In The Dark and I am proud of those.

Tomorrow I’m gonna try and find my writing groove again and then go and see melody in the evening. ?

W.R.I.T.E. GM Moves

As a GM I often run a game on the fly by the seat of my pants with very little reference material in front of me, and I really appreciate games that let me do this. One of the things I struggle with, for a lot of PBTA games is long lists of GM moves. I often forget to have a list in front of me and I don’t want to go digging for them every five minutes. I know GMs who have a more measured pace for whom patiently consulting a list of GM moves works for but my style is too hectic for that. This tool is intended to be a helpful fallback for when you don’t have the game’s actual list of moves in front of you. It’s not intended as an outright replacement for the GM moves of the actual game you’re playing. The tool is this simple acronym: WRITE Warn them Rob them Injure them Twist the outcome Escalate   Warn Them Introduce new things to worry about or make distant worries more present. Reveal unwelcome truths. Let them know what’s about to happen, or what’s happening in the nearby or far away. This move is one of the most important because it’s the one you use to create narrative flow and make sure players don’t feel cheated. When they later get completely obliterated by dracula’s moon laser, it’s ok because you warned them. “In the distance you hear the rumbling sound of many feet and warcries. A warband headed this way, to be sure.” “A bullet ricochets off the wall inches from your head, wherever it came from, the second one probably won’t miss.” “A smirk fills the councilman’s eyes. He’s not afraid of you anymore.” Rob Them Take away or destroy the things their characters care about. Equipment gets broken, dropped, used up, or left behind. Hurt, kill, or kidnap their companions. This move is valuable for making risks and consequences that feel real and grounded without always falling back on the threat of potential injury and death. It’s what powers resource management based games and it reminds the players that even superheroes need to eat. “The kobold deftly disarms you and your sword clatters into the chasm below.” “The torch gutters out and someone’s belly grumbles in the cold dark, though it could have been anyone’s.” “The others squeeze through the gap without trouble but there’s no way your plate mail is making it through.”   Injure Them Bruise them, bleed them, break their bones. Take their lives or whatever made their lives worth living. This is the simplest move, the classic. Use it to make a point. This is a thing that can kill you. When hitpoints drop players sit up and take notice. “The ogre reaches through your hail of arrows, grabs your arm, and rips it off.” “The sweltering sun beats down on you as you travel without respite. Your skin burns and your blood boils in your head.” “You’re only barely still standing with the poison seeping through your veins and so you don’t notice the kobold trip wire at the top of the stairs. The tumble is all it takes to rob you of that last inch of life.” Twist The Outcome Give them what they want but with a cost or twist. Show their actions affecting much more or much less than they had intended. Turn their move back on them. Have success look different to what was assumed. This move is super useful for adjusting the pacing of things as well as making players think about possible fictional outcomes of their actions. “The fireball explodes on the mummy and fills the entire chamber with flames. The sacred scrolls nearby start to smoulder as embers pock their pages.” “You break down the door before hearing the groaning of the stones above as they tumble down with the wall collapsing into a giant pile of rubble.” “The necromancer recognises your holy symbol and is struck silent. As his minions flee he drops to his knees, begging for his life.” Escalate Make the situation worse. Separate the party. Put someone in a tricky spot. Bring in backup. Turn the floor into lava. This move is incredibly versatile, especially in tandem with Twist The Outcome, and drives a lot of narrative. Use it to ramp things up, move things forward, and never look back. “As you stop to catch your breath over the corpse of the man you used to trust, the entire house shakes and then lurches as it’s lifted into the sky by nazi helicopters.” “One of the bandits reaches out and grabs your companion, pulling them close with a knife at their neck. They start to retreat with their hostage.” “Bullets slice through the air around your jeep as the mercenaries fire from their bikes. One gets lucky and gas starts spraying from the engine bay and it’s only a second before the hood is blazing.”
Read More

Today I was AVCon adjacent. I spent most of the day in a coffeeshop near the con, got a bunch of writing done, went for a wander of the con main show hall, realised I’ve kinda fallen out of love with a certain kind of fandom, got to catch up with a bunch of people I love dearly, and then went to a quiz night where my table lead the whole night only to come second at the last moment.

Today I was AVCon adjacent. I spent most of the day in a coffeeshop near the con, got a bunch of writing done, went for a wander of the con main show hall, realised I’ve kinda fallen out of love with a certain kind of fandom, got to catch up with a bunch of people I love dearly, and then went to a quiz night where my table lead the whole night only to come second at the last moment.