Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Defined by Shadow

I threw myself into the the nerd fray this weekend. After having been burned by my unsuccessful attempt at finding people to play DnD or Pathfinder with at Organized Play, I hadn't continued on my quest to find a group... until Saturday. I was out getting groceries around 5, and I figured it was a good time to drop-in on the comic book store that's down the street from where I live. Normally not out around that time, so I coerced myself to do it. Walked in, undoubtedly shaking with a bit of embarrassment. There were a few people in the store, and I asked the shopkeep if there were any group events or people he could refer me to so I could fulfill this nerd longing of mine. He informed me that there was a Pathfinder Society group (who knew such a thing existed!) that met on Sundays and played all day.

WHAT! Why had I not visited this magical haven earlier?!

I thanked him, and left. As if I hadn't already been nervous just going in to ask about the group, now I was crazy anxious. Excited to have opened a door to a possibly awesome world of nerdom, but also a bit apprehensive. I had only ever played with people I knew; groups sprinkled with friends of friends, but never complete strangers. What if no one actually went to these things? What if they weren't accepting of other nerds? How quickly was something offensive going to come out of my mouth? Nearly made myself sick the next day with my uncontrollable nerves :x

But I went anyway! I had to, there was no way I could pass up an opportunity like this, even if I had mental images of throwing myself to the wolves and being torn limb from limb. And it turned out to be significantly less bloody than anticipated!

I met several people right off the bat when I arrived, of which I probably couldn't tell you any of their names o.O There was actually quite a large turn-out for such a small store. I sat down at the newbie table with one other guy to build a character with one of the more seasoned players, who I would later befriend (Cullyn.) I figured going with some sort of melee class would be the best for me. I'm not a spell casting type, and I only had about an hour to flesh-out a character from nothing, so barbarian it was going to be!

Apparently, with Pathfinder Society, you register yourself and your character(s), your DMs run pre-generated campaigns, and actually track everything your character does and earns. This allows you to legitimately play anywhere! Yay! I'll never have to be nerd-lonely again! Essentially, everyone's characters are "Pathfinders" and part of a large "society" who live in the same setting, and get sent out on missions. This allows for you to play with new people, both players and DMs, with ease. I love this!

I think once everyone was ready to play, there were 4 or 5 tables worth of games running. I was placed at a table with DM Clint, Sly Goodguy the bloodrager (Cullyn), a fighter-wanna-be-ranger Demi (Wendy), drunken cleric Tom (Tom), slow-as-balls Paladin Brian Goodguy (Hunter), and a barbarian play-toy sorcerer (the new guy who was at the table making a character as well... like I said, I'm not good with names.) We were all level 1... and over the course of our 4-encounter-turned-2 scenario no one died! This was even despite Cullyn and I conspiring together and tossing the gnome over a gigantic fallen tree in our path (with his permission) and getting him stuck in a trap. Was actually a fun, combat-oriented game :) Played for nearly 6 hours! At the end of a PFS game, the DM fills out paperwork with all the participating characters, our loot, experience, gold, and prestige points. So official!

Cullyn ended up inviting me to his Monday night home game that Hunter plays in as well. I briefly met the other new player (Sarah) and two of the existing players (Felix and another Sara, to make things even more confusing!) I was advised to make pretty much whatever I wanted, since the essential roles were already taken care of. I decided upon an alchemist, as I had never played one before. While I was building her, I realized how similar to a spellcaster the class was, which made me a bit nervous all over again. Little did I know that being nervous for this game was legit!

The new Sarah and I were both introduced to the game at the same time, she was a released prisoner and I a released worker from within a necromancy lab. We were immediately thrown into combat, followed by a quick inner-party conflict (not including me!), and then the final encounter with my former teacher. A couple of misunderstandings during, and everyone mistrusts me! T.T So much so that they were going to murder me after they tied me up and knocked me out! Even though I was willing to go with them without issue, and I argued I hadn't done anything to have caused such adversary. My character's just a kid- and there's been some jumping to conclusions, but I've never played a game with players who are so distrusting and bloodthirsty amongst one another! I guess PFS has rules against PvP, so they go all-out in home games. We'll see how this goes!

Feel like I've been slacking on art-ing, so I'll have to fix that today. I did finish my Sherlock piece on Friday before going out to dinner with JR, Liz, and two of their friends.

I'm really enjoying vectoring. I haven't felt comfortable with people, recognizing shapes, and shadows... but these little projects have really helped with that. If I vector too long I start seeing shapes everywhere I look! Maybe that's the art-eye all those artists mention.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Waterboarding Toys

(Yes, I know, lots of titles about waterboarding. But I think I'm done for now!)

Patricia at work handed me a CD today with pictures from JR and Liz's wedding! :D I wanted to share a few since there aren't a whole lot of pictures of Mike and I these days :(

Nathan, Jamie, Rose, her boyfriend(?), moi!, and Michael :D

Aaaaaand my favourite!

1. FIRE!
2. Mike's glare due to me having fire.
3. I'm playing with FIIIIIRE!! :D

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kittens practice waterboarding

Getting another entry in before a month has passed! I would say lots has happened, but not really. Just been continuing onward working, gaming, and getting into more art.

Been considering going back to school, perhaps for a Master's? I wouldn't have to pay for it, if it was within the realm of my current job, but I don't know if I really care much for the options available to me at UT. When I start thinking about it, I consider all the lower level classes I'll have to take to catch-up to others in my field, the GRE, writing papers, and testing again in general. Do I really want to go through that again? Would it really be worth it?

So that brings me to think about maybe just some classes, but I couldn't do that through UT. The other options here are super slim, and wouldn't be possible at the community college level. Which leaves me with... New Horizons (shoot me now) or ITT Tech (blech). I've never had a useful experience with NH, and have never heard anything good of ITT. Sigh. Guess I'll just keep practicing on my own, and look around for college-unaffiliated trainings. Wish my request to go to Drupalcon hadn't been denied :(

Since my last post, I went to visit Gainesville for Mom's birthday just for 2 short days. Unfortunately, she wasn't too surprised :P Guess I'm predictable when it comes to visiting her!

Mike just came up this past weekend for 2 days as well. It was JR and Liz's wedding on Saturday! We were exactly on time (Nathan and Jamie came up shortly after we did.) Hung out with Nathan, Jamie, Rose and her boyfriend, and Terri for the most part. Was a fun evening, despite the overabundance of Jesus o.O The ceremony was definitely beautiful for the couple, though!

Was on Facebook posting one of my vector pieces I created yesterday (Ayla, at the end of this post), and saw one of their wedding pictures. Was super inspired, so I vectored it up real quickly as well. Probably the fastest piece I've done yet... and I think it came out superbly!

Yay wedding duo-fie!

It was Mike's intention to return Sunday, but he called into work instead and stayed the extra day :D We spent a good portion of it playing Divinity Original Sin, which we had started before his visit. Was so much more fun being able to play right beside him :) The game is crazy addictive, and the co-op was a bit clunky at first, but we've got it worked out now! I've been playing a Ranger and controlling the Wizard AI in our party, while Mike is a Rogue and in charge of the Knight AI. We have to do most fights twice, as we usually do something stupid the first time around and get ourselves killed XD It's terribly fun though :)

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I participated in the Destiny Beta. I was quite disappointed, but I'm not sure what I was expecting, really. It's a Halo that wants to be like an MMO Borderlands, but without everything that makes BL great (the humor, the crazy weapons, and spastic combat.) It's so watered down it's depressing. Before the weekend was out, I headed down to Gamestop to move my reserve money from Destiny... to Borderlands the Pre-Sequel instead ;)

Went out with Crystal and a couple of her PhD-studying buddies one evening for dinner at Central Flats and Taps. Such good food! One of the girls is a fellow gamer, although I didn't find this out until just before I left. She's big on FPS's (particularly CoD and GoW), and loves sniper rifles... oh how much we have in common! :) Her boyfriend is not so much a gamer, but is into MtG. I friended her on FB in hopes that I could draw them to the dark side of DnD eventually. Muahaha.

Teresa and I took care of Franciel's dog, Aiden, while she and her family were out on vacation this past week. Teresa would visit in the morning and late at night; I would come in during the afternoon and stay through dinner, just so he wouldn't have to sit in his crate all day. Was nice to spend several hours with the monstrous puppy for a few days :) He's practically a mini-horse!

Finally picked-up new shoes. Had ordered some while in Gainesville at Kohl's, but once they arrived at my apartment in Knoxville, I found myself disappointed. Returned them for good ol' Vans, which I adore!

Some interesting (sarcasm?) women's restroom graffiti.

My limonchello and lime-chello finished steeping, so I filtered out the zests, boiled-up some simple syrup, and finished the liquors. They came out well! I think I like the lime version better :) Makes a pretty decent Sangria-ish type drink (especially if you add some Sprite!)

Blue Thunder hit 80000 miles yesterday. Poor old chap! Hopefully I'll have my motorcycle soon and I can take some of the stress off BT...

"Installed" a hook for my headset. Was getting really tired of having it on my computer desk. I'm so crafty :P

Alright, so here's some of the art I've been playing around with. I'm really enjoying Illustrator and the whole vector scene. Been fun :) Doing a lot of sketching, too. Mostly just doodling and practicing, but some prospective vector ideas. That stuff is terrible for sharing, though D:

My favourite scene (thus far) from Bleach:

Doc Brown "WAP"ified: