magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...It's a small thing, the communicae bearing the official seal of Defender Command in Exiles Rest, addressed to Gerrard Knight at Griffin Keep. He sits at his desk in his office, holding it in his hands, quietly feeling every emotion under the sun, the combination evening out to a slightly wide-eyed, slightly blank stare.

Stop being a twat and open the damn thing.

He breaks the seal and unfolds the note, hands steady with an effort. He reads, breath becoming slightly faster as he does so, but his face betraying nothing. Whatever is there is being absorbed, not reflected.

He finishes, and looks up and into the middle distance for a while, before regaining the here and now, standing up, putting the note down, going to the door. All very methodical and deliberate.

He walks out into the corridor, silently passing a number of people trying to look as though through pure happenstance, they just happened to be in this end of the keep, at this time, just as the skipper got an official letter from on high. Eyes twitch this way and that, silent communication without a word as he leaves them in his wake, his face neutral, his gait calm.

Finally, an overly large man with obvious highland heritage breaks the silence, piping up in a broad highland accent.

"How d'ye do, Knight?"

He stops, pauses.

Looks over his shoulder at them.

Smiles.

"How did you do, Captain Knight, SIR!"

You'd think Heusenberg had just won the Juggerball world cup.

He raises his voice over the top, backing away and beckoning them to follow.

"Drinks are on me, boys!"

You'd think they'd just won it again.

Sort your shit out, stage two. Mission accomplished.
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
The shop is quiet, and smell slightly musty. Two men, one older, one younger, sit at a table in the back room.

"You have it?"

The older man nods.

"Right here."

"Can I see it?"

"Of course."

A small item is produced and shown, not given, to the younger man. He takes a deep breath.

"You're certain it isn't dodgy?"

The older man shakes his head.

"On Justice's honour, I made it myself. All materials were legitimately obtained, and I can provide documentary evidence if needs be."

"That won't be necessary."

The older man smiles wryly.

"Funnily enough, I get asked that a lot."

"I can imagine."

Another deep breath, and the younger man looks up once again, smiling as well now.

"Sold."

"Certainly. As offered before, I can do sale or return?"

"No. No need. Whatever happens, you have a sale."

"Very well. Will you take it now?"

"Yes."

The younger man places a purse on the table, emptying it to show the contents. The older man appears happy.

"Good. I admire your confidence."

"Yeah, I'm seeing how that feels."

"Remember, pride cometh before a fall."

Now the younger man smiles wryly, rising as he does so.

"Pride happens only after success."

The older man rises as well.

"Very true, I suppose."

They shake hands.

"Good luck, Lieutenant."

Gerrard walks out of the shop, whatever was just purchased stashed securely in his belt pouch.

Sort your shit out, stage one. Commenced.
magicaddict: (Brett)
It's a noisy night in the NCOs mess, the tables full and the beer flowing. The laughter and the leg pulling is in full flow about training exercises, recent missions, and which officer was being the biggest dick in the yard today.

It drops to silence, however, as a newcomer walks in, and it is a moment before it starts again, slowly and with a little less raucous energy. The eyes of one table's worth of soldiers stay on the new arrival long after all of the rest have moved back to their own conversations.

The newcomer takes note of who is where, then heads over to the bar. At his request, the barman draws two full jugs out of the current barrel, and he picks them up and brings them over to the table that was watching what he was doing far more than any of the others.

"Mind if I join you gents?"

They must have known that was his intention, but the question still draws some surprised glances between those already sat down. Maybe a touch more than the one holding the jugs was hoping for.

"Of course, sir. Take a seat."

Those at the table make space, the jugs get put down, and the newcomer finds a stool and takes his place among them. Wordlessly, he takes one of the jugs and pauses over each of the mugs, waiting for a nod of assent in each case before filling it back up. He fills his own mug, and raises it alongside everyone else in an equally silent toast. They all drink, but all things considered, it's not exactly congenial.

"Nice drop."

One of the mugs gets almost slammed down.

"Okay, sir, what's up?"

The newcomer doesn't issue an immediate answer. The one asking the questions continues.

"It's not a nice drop, and you sure as shit aren't here for the beer. I know it's shit, you know it's shit, and everyone else here knows it's shit, so you didn't come from the officers' mess to sample the Griffinwold's finest. What's going on?"

There is a definite air of anticipation at the table now - soldiers' senses tingling, getting ready for it all to kick off. They look from the newcomer, to each other and back again, and wait.

Nothing happens. The newcomer sits motionless, staring at the grain of the wood on the table.

Eventually, the tension partially diffusing from the situation, someone else speaks up, more quietly, and with a definite element of concern in their tone.

"Everything alright, Gerrard?"

Another pause, and he finally breathes a response, quietly and with an almost imperceptible shake of the head.

"No."
magicaddict: (Brett)
"What the fuck, Private?"

His voice is quiet, but harsh, and very angry. The private stares at the ground, pretty angry himself, and wearing an expression as though he's chewing something unpleasant.

"What in the world do you mean by parading yourself with boots looking like that?"

It's become his stock tone of late - overtly disappointed, but not motivated enough to get loud about it. Tired. Pessimistic.

Demotivational.

"We don't do many of these, Private, so when you come before me, I expect you to be at your very best. My parents are capable of doing it. Others here are capable of doing it. I am capable of doing it. You should be too."

The private's expression is now clearly telling him to go fuck himself, if only it were raised to him. The others look...confused. Uncomfortable.

"You have no excuse for looking like you've just been pulled through a back alley gutter arse backwards. Even if you just have been. I expect more pride in your position than that. It's a fucking disgrace."

A pause.

"Well?"

The words feel like they're being yanked forcibly from the private's lips.

"Yes sir."

Gerrard doesn't even nod.

"Go and get it sorted. Be here in an hour, and be a fuckload better than you are right now. The rest of you, dismissed."

A sigh is the only defiance raised, and the private turns on his heel and stalks off, the smoke almost visibly pouring from his ears. The offending boots pick up a scratch along with the rest of the muck on them as he kicks a wall that probably deserved it about as much as he did. The rest of the company fall out, shaking heads and grumbling. A corporal is the only one who remains.

His eyes close, and he breathes in, out, pinching the brow of his nose. When he talks again, all the harshness has gone from his voice.

"Frixo, did I just chew a guy out for having less than perfect boots?"

The corporal nods.

"Yep, in front of the entire division. And he thinks you're a twat for it."

Go on. You know you want to.

"And...with respect...so do I."

There it is.

"Mm-hmm."

The corporal starts to head off, pausing and looking over his shoulder.

"Get help, sir. You weren't always like this."

His head comes up, eyes opening on what is now an empty parade yard.

...where?
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
Gerrard was never the right choice for a lawless tournament, and certainly not to be a captain. I said it in the run up to the game, and then again during it. I signed him up because once he knew about it, he would not only go, but apply for captaincy. Thyrian is a mind-numbing no-hoper, Watcher wouldn't commit himself in isolated cover, and Vilnius was injured, so it was him or monster. On balance, I should have chosen to monster, as both he and I had an utter nightmare all weekend.

How badly he performed under these circumstances, and how badly his poor performance and the reaction to it of the other characters caused me OOC stress, has gotten me thinking. With so many characters mechanically powerful enough and IC inclined to act individually outside of the command structure, either in deliberate subversion of the patrol leader or simply not needing anything the commander can provide, and the lack of recourse for those in command that does not leave them looking like petty-minded tossers (and doesn't work to boot), the question arises as to whether there is a place for a nominal party commander (not just a Defender, but a Marshal, Paladin or anyone else) within a modern TL party.

What role do party commanders fulfil to the majority of characters these days? Is there any positive contribution they provide to the party dynamic, or are the contributions all negative (either to them or the party)?

Before that statement appears too ridiculous, consider the evidence. The commander doesn't glue the party together (that's the charismatic or sympathetic character), or provide the rallying point (that's the strongest warrior), or protect others (as the protection isn't required). Therefore, what contribution are they making that could not be made by their acting as another cog in the machine instead? There are enough patrols that succeed resoundingly by mutual consensus, so I do not agree with the notion that the patrols would simply fall apart or assign a decision maker internally.

Looking back over the last two years of reports, IC opinion has not been positive towards those in charge, the best a commander can hope for being to be invisible and not incur the ire of those patrolees that submit reports. When called upon to point out what the commander is achieving that isn't handled by the rest of the patrol, it is getting harder to come up with anything.

Is it time to do away with them entirely, or perhaps only have them for campaign years? Turn the Defenders into a benevolent organisation, dedicate to protecting everyone as the Bladesingers are to those of elven heritage? Send out patrols without a nominal commander, and let the independent characters go and do the job they are going to do anyway whether there was someone giving the commands or not? Would this work? If not, why not? To the huge number of entirely indepeneant characters, is having someone in charge no more than holding them back?

I know Watcher could perfectly happily operate in the absence of a patrol commander, and there are now dozens of characters who, when the opportunity arises, act outside the chain without consideration for the rest of the party (consider the 'hunting party' that went after the drow in the darkness on Saturday night. They were powerful enough to be in no danger whatseoever).

What use is a nominal leader to these characters?

He Sits...

Apr. 13th, 2015 02:39 pm
magicaddict: (Brett)
...in his office at Griffin Keep. Staring at a blank page. A similar expression on his face.

'Where's your sense of humour?'

Always that question, and always when someone has done something wrong they expect him to laugh off. It's happened on patrols so many times, back in the keep, in the yard, social events...he gets asked it everywhere. When it's asked to his face, it's always in the same tone - very rarely is someone unaware they've crossed a line, and the attempt at minimising is obvious.

'Where's your sense of humour?'

Where's theirs?

The question isn't sensible, but is the immediate response that always forms on his lips. It would be better to ask where their sense of duty is, or their sense of occasion, or respect, or decency. Any of those. They don't get asked either. The very fact he'd felt the need to ask it of them would mean they'd laugh. The one time he bit the tip and tried it, they did.

But seriously, where is it?

He wasn't always like this. After he had crossed the border, the first thing he had done after crying was to laugh. What he had used to be had come back slowly, as he worked past the nightmare that was Blackgate, and started to regain the sense of humour in which everyone else seemed so interested. Impulsive, quick, intuitive - building camaraderie like he had on the streets of Heusenberg. Building relationships the same way. Authority was nothing - be their friend and you'd be able to call on their loyalty.

It had made him one of the most incompetent, disrespected, ignored and ridiculed patrol commanders in the Barony.

Katrin had made it worse. She had said it - his attempted persecution of her had given her something to push against, and had made it so easy for her to paint him as a figure of stupidity. It had worked.

Jameson had helped. Cut out this and that, he had said. Add in these. Get it right. Keep getting it right. They can't laugh at you if you keep getting it right. It had gotten him commissioned. It had taught him self-respect, where before there had only been self-love.

Lilium had been a revelation. She validates him in ways he didn't even know he needed. She is so bright, so full of life, even waking up after falling asleep face-first on her books. She doesn't judge. She isn't waiting for him to fail. He's safe around her.

And that's it. Safety.

You can't show a sense of humour among those around whom you don't feel safe.

Allowing someone else to not only see your weaknesses, but share them with you, is a massive leap - you're trusting them not to use it against you. Unless that is the case, why show it to them? There are so many who are waiting for him to fall, waiting to call him incompetent. Negligent. Unfit. Any reason to disregard him as irrelevant. Like they had done when he had tried to laugh with them. Why give them any more ammunition than they have already?

Sorry Varog. You caught me at a bad time. On duty.

He realises his face is in his hands, and his eyes are wet. He rubs them dry.

Another one lost. How many more?

Is it worth losing the ones you are losing against keeping those you've already got?

Where's your sense of humour?


He looks around. He alone. No-one outside. No-one waiting for him. He's alone. His eyes close. A breath.

It's locked away, where only those who deserve it can find it.

He opens his eyes, dips his quill, and starts to write his report.

24hr GBU

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:24 am
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
Okay, so this is a little lopsided, but sort of reflects my mood.

The Good

IC
1. Katrin not only accepting Gerrard's hand in public, but taking it and holding it. Utterly made his day, and felt like another step forward.

2. Reeling off about three minutes of top volume religious invective that had other PCs physically backing out of the way to let him through.

3. Trying to motivate Aniseed. No idea if it's going to work, but it provided one of those hairs on the neck IC moments that constitutes the reason why I do this hobby. Right up there with the best scenes I've been involved in.

4. The moment of sheer awesome as we realised the team of two mages and a guard had won something. High fives and everything.

5. Trying to convince Tinker it wasn't all that bad. I don't know if she enjoyed it or not, but it gave me an intense rush.

OOC
1. Finding another Valkyrie follower. The only other one's player upped and flounced when the code of conduct came in, so finding someone else taking up and running with something you've created is a massive thrill.

2. Apparently carrying off delirious so well that I was giving people OOC worries.

3. Surviving the weekend in all that kit. Means the 36hr will be possible if I get to play.

4. 3:30am pop tarts. No idea why, just felt good.


The Bad

IC
1. Magma. Not only using a combination of arrogance and bravado to strongarm a newbie character out of his just reward (which I should have put a stop to because I was awake throughout), but then refusing to accept responsibility for his own squadron, telling me that an unruly patrolee was first on my squad (I didn't give myself one), and then on Katrin's (nope, wrong again), and then letting his skirmish squad get wrapped up like a birthday present and the shield wall get flanked. He should have been relieved of command of his squad and it given to someone else on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, the only one with the authority to do so was me, and I have no idea why I didn't do it. Probably because it wouldn't have stuck. He's never going to know what it is to properly fail, and it's dangerous to have someone like that in charge.

2. Forgetting to ask for a wooden staff to fight him with. One of many and varied weapon skills Gerrard has but never uses.

3. The Light Company. It felt like a bunch of people twinking and powergaming IC rather than OOC. I can't say I'm a great fan of it in either manifestation - dealing with them telling us were doing it wrong left a sour taste in my mouth.

4. Looking round and seeing people snapping to do what my three subordinate Lieutenants yelled at them to do, while it always takes me five minutes of conversation and negotiation before I get anything done by anyone else.

5. Having assigned three squads, the niggling feeling that, until Sunday and it all kicked off in earnest, I could have pointed at anyone and asked them whose squad they were on, and had a more than a fifty percent chance of getting back 'I don't know'.

6. Feeling I was letting my team down as we really only had one available tactic - tool me up to the nines and let me go solo. Meant they didn't get to take part in the fights and it just became a me showcase.

7. Personally beating Smithy twice. Felt wrong.

8. IC verbal abuse in Tinker's direction. 'Felt wrong' is an understatement.

OOC
1. Cheating (Mine). In the final encounter, on countback, I reckon I got hit with 44 points of net Disruption damage. Not even Gerrard is that hardcore. Should have been my third death of the weekend. @James & Ruth, please feel free to dock points accordingly.

2. 24hr time in my arse. That only works if everyone who agrees with it in principle doesn't simultaneously take the decision that they'll vote in favour but not actually partake themselves. By 3am, there were about 10 of us left on both sides. By 5am, that was five players and one monster. James ran out encounters by himself for over 90 minutes before giving up at around 5:15 and standing the monster room (i.e. him) down as the sun started to rise. What's the point of the society voting in favour of 24hr time in if only a tiny minority are actually (genuinely) up for it?

3. More proof that the concept of high-threat is redundant. Any game can be high-threat, high-death in the right circumstances - ramping up the danger just means that the ones who tend to die will do so more, and the ones who don't will continue not to and get away with it as usual. Twenty-three and counting, and not one on a game marketed as high-threat.

4. Bad temper issues. Felt like a lot of it running just below the surface all round, and I was guilty of massive OOC to IC bleed on Saturday night as the bitching about who wasn't up and about was in full flow.


The Ugly
1. My chainmail leggings on Friday night. Having to make do and mend is very IC, but I don't actually know how to do it OOC.

2. My feet upon removing my shoes and socks on Sunday night. The bed-of-nails sensation I was reporting was due to my feet having swollen with damp, and started to fold over on themselves.
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...and because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, another questions meme.

Ask any of my roleplay characters (or me) a question, and you'll get an answer. I reserve the right to take it to PMs or FOIC (even questions to me) if I deem it appropriate.
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
Okay, so I feel I might need to do this in order to get on with doing the debrief.

At the end of the shrine encounter on Sunday, the scouts started to smell smoke like they were supposed to, but then everything appeared to go entirely wrong.

I waved the six monsters on to up kit and head back to the dip, where they were scheduled to go, and headed off in the direction of Nick under the big bush at the top of the back field, where the other kit was stored.

The other monsters had already been dispatched back to the dip to set themselves up for the race of escape through the burning mine. For this reason, it should be pointed out that I had no intention of faffing the party at the shrine, nor do I remember doing so. The game was set up to proceed without any remaining faffs, and I do not remember asking for the players to wait.

I was curious why the party asked me to fetch Katrin's shield, as this was on the route they were supposed to take, but I went along with it.

I met Bel heading off to fetch her stuff, and she appeared surprised that I had intended the party to go along the path where Katrin's shield was. Suspecting that the party had the wrong idea, I went back through the big gate at the top of the field and called for the players (at this point, I am reliably informed that both the monsters and players were still there). I received no response, and not having faffed the players, and believing they had the wrong idea of where to go, I assumed the players had gone, likely over the top of the valley (which was where we didn't want to go because of the slopes in the dark).

I went back to the big bush to pick up Nick and the kit, and we moved quickly along the path from the back field to the foot of the valley (which the players were supposed to take), hoping to head the players off at the foot of the valley before they headed along the path towards Skumble's cave. We didn't spot them, as at this point, Bel was telling the players that they may not have the right idea of where to go.

Nick and I headed along the path to Skumble's cave with me becoming more and more incredulous about where the party could have gotten to. When we got out onto the golf course and met the monsters, set up for the escape encounters and who had not seen the players either, I became properly ticked off that whatever route the players had taken, they had entirely bypassed what had been set up for them.

I timed the monsters out and headed back to the dip, half-expecting to find the player party. When they weren't there either, I sent Claire back along the golf course route to try to find them (and time them out if she did, as the encounters had been missed), while I walked back along the route of the game from the dip onwards, hoping to find wherever the players had gone, calling for players every twenty seconds or so. At this point, the players were moving along the route that they were supposed to take, so I didn't find them at any point.

I got to the back field and the shrine site, didn't find the players, so headed into the valley, following where I thought the players may have gone, back along the path to Skumble's cave, back out onto the golf course, and back to the dip, where I met Emma and Pete, who informed me that the players had arrived a while ago, having been timed out when Claire found them.

By now, I had walked the entire site one and a half times by myself, and was sick and tired of the entire affair. I went to the pub, I went home, I compulsively ate.

It wasn't a good evening.
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...it's only fair to reciprocate.

Ask any character I've written/played in any system or fiction for advice, and they will provide it, advice columnist style. Your problems or fictional characters' problems both welcome. Management is not responsible for the results of following said advice.
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
WHAT THE FUCK????????

Guess we'd all better be really careful not to mention anything negative even in mission reports any more, if it's no longer cool for characters to be nasty about other characters in any written medium.

You know, like they are to mine all the damned time.

It was a report. A biased, non-egalitarian, single-opinion report (like all of the others were), from a character who had had a nightmare all weekend at other characters' hands. What in the world did they expect? Rainbows and fucking unicorns?

Would it have been any better had Tony posted it rather than me? I asked if he'd be up for that, and got told I was fine with it (every word of it, from the creator of the system and GM of the game in question - how d'you like those onions?), just to wait until the debrief had gone up.

I swear on my soul that I put aside any OOC feeling I had, and wrote Meek's side of things as Meek and not me. It's a bad write up. Get over it.

Gerrard gets bad IC press every time he goes out, but I don't go whining to the committee that I'm being victimised OOC. Should I start? Is that the assumption we're supposed to make now?
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...I'll say it here.

Out of interest, what's it going to take? A broken limb? Someone being knocked unconscious? Brain damage?

Or just someone more influential's eye almost being put out?

We are, as a society, not safe enough with our fighting. We need a strategy to improve it across the board, from the most experienced players to the least, and we need it now. Simply assuming people will know what to do from five minutes of conversation and thirty seconds of practical demonstration, then being shocked and shouting at them when they demonstrate they don't, is not enough. It's being demonstrated over and over again.

I am not willing to wait until someone is permanently blinded before climbing on my soapbox. It's everyone's responsibility, it's everyone's lookout, and positive action needs to be taken, not dragging of feet at the prospect of actually having to do something, or indignance at the idea that you might be part of the problem. I am, and you are too. We all bloody well are. Get over it.

Safety workshops and weapons practice is one idea, and I think it has merit. I also think it should be mandatory until you can demonstrate that with each weapon type, in a range of different situations, you aren't going to have a brain fart that causes someone else to collapse while clutching something important of theirs. I also think that until you can demonstrate this, what right do you have to be swinging what has, over the past twelve months, proven to the world and their spouse to be a weapon perfectly capable of doing really unpleasant damage to the human body when wielded unsafely?

I don't care that I'm crap, I just want to be safe. Sign me up, every day until I am accepted as good enough not to hurt other people.

Anyone else? Any other ideas?
magicaddict: (Brett)
It's quiet.

Well, that's a relative term, but it's certainly quieter than he remembers it. At this time on a Wednesday, the market should be in full swing, but there just aren't as many people there as there used to be. The weather isn't helping, but that didn't used to keep the punters away this much. People must be getting soft.

He buys a fruit pastry from Tam's stall on the corner and bites into it, his memory going back to cold winter days, fingers almost blue and toes probably matching, lifting them from under the back of the stall as Tam served customers up in front. He often got caught, but not every time.

Sorry mate...but we were bloody hungry.

He drops another florin on top of the payment. He never was good at maths, after all.

The streets seemed so huge back then. They were his whole world once, but grew smaller every year, as he got bigger, taller, more adventurous. Long before he left, he knew them for what they were - overcrowded, not particularly clean, even less safe, and populated by some of the most fiercely proud people the Prince could ever call upon (not that he ever would, which was an irony in itself). There was stuff they could teach the Illuminati about looking after your own. They didn't have much, but what they did have was undoubtedly theirs, and you couldn't prise it out of their grip with a crowbar.

People shouldn't have to live like this. It shouldn't be forgotten that people have to live like this. It's the byproduct of civilisation. Too many hands chasing after too little stuff. Not good.

Damn, but he's lucky.

...and there it is. He hasn't been there since he got back from Blackgate. That alone is enough to make him feel guilty. The 49th are no more than a day's walk from the Capital - he should have been up here every weekend. Still, he's here now.

It's not much to look at, but it's still standing. The subsidence is getting worse in the upper floor - it's not going to last many more years at this rate without some major intervention.

Buggered if they're going to move though...

The door sticks as he pushes on it. When he was a kid, it wouldn't even have budged. With a wry smile, he leans onto it ever-so-slightly, and it all but flies open wide.

"'ELLO?"

No answer greets the call, but the fire's gently burning. He frowns - they should have been in today. Both of them have a Wednesday off together every three weeks when they aren't on actives. It's been like this for years. Forever. They must have just headed out or something.

The kitchen is cluttered, but well used and clean, and the hearth brings more memories flooding back. Winter again, and huddling round it together, backs to the cold, whatever was cheap stewing away and smelling so much better than it had any right to. The smells would keep the unpleasant drafts at bay. So did the mulled ale.

Why do all my best memories involve being cold?

It's all wonderfully nostalgic, but it doesn't explain where his parents are. He heads into the back room on the off chance they haven't missed his announcing himself.

"'tenTION!".

It's dad's voice as he crosses the threshold.

In full dress uniform, boots shining every bit as much as their eyes, Guards Sergeant and Corporal Thomas and Sasha Knight stand to rigid attention, eyes front, backs straight. It's all they can do to keep from crying, and the smiles off their faces.

Him too.

Do your job, Lieutenant.

Almost shaking, he inspects his parents in silence, and to absolutely no surprise whatsoever, both are entirely faultless. He finishes walking the line and turns back to them, no longer quite able to keep his voice level.

"At ease...carry on."

Sasha takes hold of him and sobs on his shoulder. He doesn't try to stop himself any more.

"My son...my Gerrard...I love you so much."

Tommy has tears in his eyes as well, as he shares a long look with his son - he's a man of few words, and doesn't bother trying to say any. His huge arms wrap round both of the other two, and squeeze hard enough to better show the pride he is feeling more than words could ever manage.

They stay there for some time - tears of joy, tears of relief, shared together with as much relish as the cold-beating stews all those years ago.

"I did it...I bloody did it...I love you both..."
magicaddict: (Brett)
He wakes up. Again.

Shaking. Again.

It's the same dream, every time. It has been every night since he got his orders. A wave of invaders, rolling over the party one by one. All of them turn to face him as they fall, all of them ask him why here, why now, why me, what were you thinking...

He swings his feet onto the floor and sits up, rubbing his face. It won't be like that. They're going to be a good party. He's going to have several hundred head of Kingdom beef around him backing him up. The plan will work.

It bloody better, or a lot of people are going to die, and it will be his fault.

He walks over to the washstand and splashes water over his face. The flagstones are cold beneath his feet as he looks into his slowly de-fracturing reflection in the water.

Guard Lieutenant Gerrard Knight.

There's more at stake than that. This is real, with real people and real lives at risk.

Guard Lieutenant Gerrard Knight.

It's not just a test. If this is gotten wrong, it could start a war, it will kill people he cares about, people he's never met. It's so much more than an examination of his ability to command. In some way's that's good - he's always done better in live engagements than sealed conditions. Put his back to the wall, and he stops thinking about it so much, works on instinct, works...

Guard Lieutenant Gerrard Knight.

But there it is. Over and over again. It sits at the back of his mind, the thin end of a wedge with all the pressure of the mission at hand behind it. Getting it wrong isn't only not an option, it's unthinkable - the consequences literally do not bear thinking about.

Guard Lieutenant...

He dashes behind the screen to the chamber, and the sound of violent illness can be heard.

I don't care. I don't care if I don't get it. Let them all walk out of this alive, and I'll be a private and love it for the rest of my life.

But...if both are available...I wouldn't say no.
magicaddict: (Default)
...and things that Gerrard needs to improve if he's ever going to make a decent Lieutenant.

I'm going to make a request of TL-type people who are still on here, that some may be reluctant to go along with given my response to criticism in the past. This time, I'll be very up front about the fact I know it's going to be difficult for me to accept, and that I want to go through with it anyway if you are willing.

Simply put, I'd like you you tell me why Gerrard is no good as a party commander, and what he should improve.

Points to note:
1. This should be your (the player's) OOC opinion, rather than that of your character. Truly, I couldn't care less right now what any character thinks of him - that's an IC concern for him to address.

2. Please don't pussyfoot around an issue if you think it's going to upset me. Bonus points are available for offending me, doubly so if you make me shout at the computer. I will confirm - I want to be told forthrightly why I'm wrong.

3. Expect me to debate the points you make if I think I have a counter-point. Please be willing to explain why my view is wrong and yours is right.

4. Where possible, don't only refer to last weekend. If you've found problems with him in the past, dredge those up as well.

5. As this is my LJ, it's entirely publicly viewable. If you don't want your name associated with the criticism, or at least not in public, feel free to anonymously post, or email me at the_magicaddict@hotmail.com.

Thank you in advance - I will take any arguments that happen on this post no further than this post. Gerrard is writing a report, but I promise that nothing he writes will be affected by what is said here.
magicaddict: (Default)
(Incidentally, for those of you wondering where the hell I've been, I apologise - [livejournal.com profile] watcher_tirn has been somewhat LJtime-consuming. Normal service to be resumed soon).

...I'll start this time.

Tell me what your Waygate character thinks of Watcher, and he'll tell you what he thinks of them.

If you're very nice, it might be me telling you what he thinks of them instead.
magicaddict: (Default)
Overall first impressions are, taking the new faction honeymoon period into account, very positive. I had fun, I think other people had fun, and things bode well for the future. As with [livejournal.com profile] xanthipe , very little B or U to report.

The Good
  • Friday night monster scouting. Karl and Helga, tanner and milkmaid respectively, wandering round the camps trying to find friends they can run to if they get attacked on the paths. Oh, and also finding out numbers, camp sizes, armour levels, fortifications and passphrases for the gates for their bad guy commanders. Evil Ref had a joygasm on being presented with [livejournal.com profile] xanthipe's and my written report.
  • The Jhereg being lovely and welcoming, both IC and OOC, from the moment we showed up to the moment we left.
  • Deeply IC faction camp with deeply IC people. Immersion is not hard to achieve when there's no-one spoiling it.
  • Beat, despite being about as far from a scout as it's possible to be (especially after Soran, Animus, Alantha and Lorne) being picked as Open Water's battlefield runner. You can take the player out of scouting...
  • The Hanau Epe's first ritual being described as "not looking like a first ritual" by the markers, and achieving Complete Success. Needs to be built upon, but it was a massive ego boost not to fail miserably on our first attempt.
  • Camp organisation OOC: Monstering was called early, everyone got themselves sorted and there was a sensible time after we'd gotten back to get back into character before re-timing in.
  • Playing with the minds of the players when monstering the skirmish on Saturday - inverting your link to the fountain of life to curse someone never to know healing again is impossible, we all know that. Well, we all know that except the twenty players I single-handedly made back off before someone had the good sense to Fear me.
  • Surviving the event. Beat leapfrogs Alantha, Soran and Vaex to become my third longest-lived character behind Lorne and Animus.
  • Throwing weapons. I have GOT to get me Thrown or Projectile for either this or my next character.
  • Being invitied into the curry kitchen to avoid the rain while we were eating. The caterers didn't have to do that.
  • The reaction to the masks - it evoked a lot of IC feeling of various types, all of which drove roleplay.
  • The feeling of being able to refuse to do something based on belief, and not be thought any less of as a result.
  • Talking to more people in one event than I have (possibly) in all the others combined.
  • Being hired to make someone a magic hat. Three ritual project.
  • Getting given good stuff we never asked for as a thank you from Daerin for saving his arse. It came as a genuine surprise.
  • My characterisation. I was very pleased with my vocals and gait, the costume was wearable without discomfort, and the thought algorithms seem easy. I get the feeling that I'm playing something I can play.
  • Doing a ritual at a fest event, after seven years of waiting.
  • Pacifist/brutalist roleplay - wonderful conflict that I trust all parties to play well without it getting out of hand or OOC.

The Bad
  • Going for food OOC after the Saturday monster slot, only to come back during a camp attack and catch heat from the ref for being OOC. Under the rules of not arguing the toss, I'm fairly sure he was left with the thought we were cheating.
  • Attempting to fold the faction tent, asking if it was right, and being told "No, but don't worry about it" before the person who did so walked off. I may be incompetent, but I'd be willing to try again if someone would tell me how.
  • LARP proving, once again, that it contains a fair number of emotionally stunted, petty minded tossers, and that they can affect the enjoyment of people I have time for.

The Ugly
  • The Teutonian drow. Considering the out and out bullying that had been going on, oh dear.
  • The bruise on my hip after being body checked into a tree. On the flipside, the guy who did it was exceptionally apologetic, and meant it.

Fuck It...

Mar. 2nd, 2011 07:05 pm
magicaddict: (Default)
...my turn.
magicaddict: (Default)
...if what I just did was sensible or not. Probably not, all things considered.

Still, let's see how it pans out. I said I was going to make one of the biggest mistakes of my life in 2011 - I think that counts as a first step.
magicaddict: (Default)
...I should count myself lucky that the worst burn I've ever had constitutes second degree burns over less than one percent of my skin. Tomorrow, that will probably be a blessing I'm happy to count.

Right now, however, looking at the state of my left hand, it's rather scant and painful consolation. Bloody hell, that hurts.
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