Archive for July, 2010

Misery

Friday, July 9th, 2010

So when I arrived at my parents’ house in Chicago last Friday (July 2nd), I took a shower and used the Arm and Hammer deodorant that was conveniently provided for me.

To my great dismay, it turned out that I was violently allergic to the deodorant. My armpits quickly turned into the reverse of Reimu’s in terms of appeal. The skin turned red and swollen, filled with a rash of thousands of tiny fluid-filled blisters that soon spread across my upper arm and ribcage and started to itch like crazy. It was as though the deodorant had become poison ivy.

It’s been a whole week now, and despite my supreme force of will in refusing to scratch the itch, the rash is still there and has just reached its peak. These things get worse before they subside. Only allergy pills and poison ivy treatment lotion have kept the itch from destroying my sanity, and I’m just thankful that I’m not also allergic to the lotion. Heat and perspiration make it worse, and so I’ve been trying to stay indoors and keep cool, which isn’t always possible during summer in Chicago.

I’ve been trying to enjoy my vacation otherwise, but the rash, followed by an insect sting on Saturday evening that caused a joint on my left hand to swell up and hurt like hell whenever I moved my forefinger, followed by coming down with a fever on Monday, has just been making my life miserable. The itch wakes me up in the middle of the night, causing me to spend the days trying to catch up on sleep and trying to just not be conscious to worry about stuff. My parents put things into perspective by saying “It isn’t life-threatening”, but though I’m glad it isn’t pneumonia, it still itches.

I am still on track for 8 new pages of Fairy Ring this Sunday… though that doesn’t help with the itch either.

Okamisan and Seven Companions 01

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Welcome to the fairy-tale world of the latest J.C.Staff Tsundere Heroine and the boy with the stealth skills who loves her.


Placeholder image, somehow appropriate

I regret being away from home because I can’t properly upload screenshots of the first episode of Okamisan and Seven Companions.

I regret my reputation as a J.C.Staff fanboy that makes nobody take my recommendations of Okamisan seriously. But think of it: this has all the requirements for being a great J.C.Staff show (namely, cuteness and comedy), and it’s in the hands of a director whose experience with tsundere shows goes all the way back to Love Hina and continues through The Familiar of Zero and Hayate the Combat Butler. Ryoko earns points for beating up (mostly) those who deserve it, and Ryoshi earns points for showing signs of courage beneath the cowering surface.

So far, the show that I guessed would be the best show of summer has been the best show of summer. From the first cat-gauntleted punch to the recruitment starefest to the Cinderella parody at the end, I too, fell in love with Okamisan.

Keep on the Shadowfell: The Party

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Character generation guidelines

1) Choose five characters, evenly distributed among the various Toho games. For example, even if I had some good ideas for how to translate Momiji, Hina, and Kanako, I could only choose one of them, because they’re all from the same game.

2) The characters have to be legal first-level characters under the 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. Some Toho characters, like Kanako, Sakuya, and Mokou, would not really be themselves if I had to nerf their power down to Level 1. The Paladin power “Tower of Faith” (a must for Kanako) isn’t available until Level 15; “Time Stop” (an integral part of Sakuya’s identity) isn’t available until Level 22, and Mokou’s immortality (represented by the Undying Warrior’s ultimate power, “Spontaneous Resurrection”) isn’t available until the highest possible level, 30. Thus, the characters I chose are not very high up on the Toho power rankings.

3) For gameplay purposes, there has to be at least one character in each of the four roles: Defender, Striker, Leader, and Controller. A party without someone to cover each of the four roles is much less likely to survive.

(more…)

Keep on the Shadowfell (Eastern Style)

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I’ve been on summer break for a few weeks now, but I’ve still had my day job to deal with. But now, I get a week of actual vacation in which I go to Chicago and visit my parents and other relatives. I’ve been going back and forth about whether I should be continuing Fairy Ring while I’m away, but not having my tablet or my scanner makes things somewhat difficult. I may work on sketches and stuff, or I might not. Depends on how much stuff I have to do.

I’ve prepared a series of posts for next week though:

Because I’m missing next week’s session of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters over at my local game store, I’ll make up for it by demonstrating an actual combat encounter from a D&D module I own, complete with an annotated map and tokens.

Keep on the Shadowfell is about a keep, or fortress, built to seal a gate to the dark dimension known as the Shadowfell. The fortress was inhabited by soldiers and priests whose mission was to watch the gate, keep it sealed, and keep away evildoers who would seek to unseal the gate and summon the evil creatures of the Shadowfell into the world. But the evil priest Kalarel and his minions took over the keep, and now a team of heroes must enter the keep and defeat Kalarel before he figures out how to unseal the gate.

The first encounter in Keep on the Shadowfell involves the five heroes (Half-Elf Cleric, Dwarf Fighter, Human Wizard, Halfling Rogue, and Dragonborn Paladin) fighting a group of lizardlike Kobolds on their way to Winterhaven, the town closest to the fortress.


Example of a turn during a combat encounter

However, to keep things relevant for my readers, I have replaced the five heroes with five Toho heroines, each converted into Level 1 Dungeons and Dragons characters. (Which means they aren’t all that powerful and don’t have the ability to fly, but I have tried to be faithful in the conversions otherwise.)

You can see the characters on the map shot, but I will show their stats tomorrow. (You could get a headstart by looking in the appropriate image folder, but you wouldn’t get the writeups.)