July 31st, 2013


Chasing the White Stag

So I had a dream last night.

The first part was sort of unpleasant but forgettable—I was trying to hide a friend from (the authorities? some kind of security group? They were being led by my old guidance counselor from high school, anyhow) which would have been easier if said authorities was not renovating the house next door.

At one point, we thought we’d gotten away with it. We turned the lights off, opened the windows, and were looking out the window over a field, into the woods. A herd of deer came down, led by a white stag.

“It’s a white stag,” I said to my friend. “Look at that! In stories you’re supposed to try to chase them.”

The White Stag walked by my window, looked up at me, and said “So, what are you waiting for, then?”

Well, never let it be said I resisted the Call to Adventure when it smacked me upside the head.

So I climbed out the window, took the Stag by the hand—the stag was now a rather anthropomorphic creature with wild patchwork clothing, apparently being voiced by Johnny Depp—and the Stag ran, dragging me along by the hand. “Don’t let go,” he said, “and I’ll try not to forget you’re there.”

The landscape we ran through was not, I am sad to say, full of mythic resonance and symbolism. Actually, I’m pretty sure we stopped at a liquor store. But at the end, we were running through this strange city that was built into cliffs? skyscrapers? on either side of an enormous canal, and the far end, where the canal went over a waterfall, we went down into crypts and tombs and the Stag pulled me into a crypt and up a hill of jumbled sarcophagi.

We sat on top of the topmost coffin, while I panted and held onto the Stag’s elbow. “Is this how Neil Gaiman gets his ideas?” I asked, rather plaintively.

The Stag grinned. “Sure. John Stewart, too.”

“…Of course.”

“Nah. They just eat regular meals of White Stag meat.”


“Just kidding.”

And then the authorities, who now rather resembled a Shadowrun corp security force, were closing in on us. The Stag gave me clothes, kissed me on the forehead, and ran at them, drawing a very complicated sort of sword.

And the rest of the dream was a chase scene, while I ran through this strange city, which turned into sand dunes which turned into a mall and people gave me rides and I fought off giants with a riding crop and wandered into the Death Metal Office Building (everyone was dressed sort of like GWAR and there was a lot of screaming as I attempted to get to my contact in Accounting.) and it was all very complicated and nonsensical. I woke up as I was running through sand dunes cut with chaparral with the authorities right behind me.

It seems like dreams like that should have a deeper symbolic meaning, but honestly I think it abandoned any hope of that at about the point where we found the liquor store.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


Finally, Back To The Game

Since my last post keeping track of StoryNexus game changes was started back in April, I'm starting a new one here! Err...yay?

(I'm amazed at how fast time flies, frankly...mind you, I didn't expect to get anything done in June and early July, what with travel and all, but I'm a little blown away it's about to be August.)

I did find that I really liked keeping a more or less daily update of what I'd added to the game--it made me feel like I was really actually making progress.

The big thing is that I've finally started Act 2. I've also been trying to tweak cards in Act 1 so that the plot cards come up more often---it's a weird catch-22 with grinding in these games that people get bored with the same grind cards, so you add more and different grind cards, but that makes a bigger pool so the plot cards come up less often, so you need to tweak the plot cards again.

But Act 1 is mostly done, except for maybe some minor not-really-affecting-the-plot additions (I think I added the ability to teach your pet lungfish to fetch) so it's time to start on Act 2, and that's...err. Tricky? I'm not sure how to explain. It's not so much that it's hard or complicated or anything, so much as that this is a way I'm not used to thinking. Linear plots are one thing---trying to control for multiple storylines that all intertwine like horny cuttlefish is totally different and my brain aches when I try to force it to keep track of all the loose ends and think "But this is happening simultaneously to this and this is also happening and they'll be looking at this card and this one and this one all at the same time..."

I don't know. It won't be a Fallen London, that's for sure, but I hold out hopes it will be charming enough to matter.

They still haven't added the ability to upload art yet---that's the thing that will probably totally light a fire under me to get this done. But it's nice to slide my brain gently back into this world, and remember how fond I am of Quippet and Pludwump and Crazy-Wool and the Silver Rat and the Carmine Raven.

So, since June 5th, I've added 15 cards, most of them in Act 2. (Which honestly isn't bad for given how busy I was, and seeing that number makes me feel a lot better about the bit where I thought I hadn't been working on it nearly enough.)

7-30 -
Added 3 cards in the Chasing Shadows and Came Before plotlines

7-31 -
Added 6 cards in the Attack storyline, 1 card in the Stone-Knapper storyline

8-1 -
Added 1 card to the Stone-Knapper storyline, 1 card to the Comforting Rock storyline, finishing Rock storyline.

8-14 -
Added 2 cards to Uncrow storyline, Added 1 card to the Attack storyline

8-16 -
Added 4 cards to the Eaters storyline

8-21 -
Added 4 cards to the Eaters storyline