Monday, July 31, 2017

Why Does It Have to be Complicated?

I'm going to enjoy myself.  I have to.
I'm heading to Montreal for a few days to see someone, and I'm looking forward to it.  It isn't 'Kit and Cat are going to Montreal', it's me.  Kit's giving me some time for myself - a few days - and I can spend it with someone I care about.

But there's complications.
See, a few days ago, we were discussing things we'd be doing while I was visiting, and some of them were.. well.. personal in nature.  They hit a lot of my fun buttons - and while I was a bit shocked and shy about it, I was like 'oh, this is going to be interesting!'

And I was thinking 'I get to spend a bunch of days alone with her!'

And.. while it's true.. it isn't completely true.
There's going to be one day where her boyfriend's going to be staying over.  And if I came earlier - which had crossed my mind - there'd be a few days where he'd be there, saying over.  Which means I'd be in the living room.

Not with her.
I don't think I'm ready for that.  I can probably deal with one day like that.. but not multiple days. And on the weekend, she's going off to his parent's place with him.  I won't be going.  And I'm going to have to deal with that.

I'm the 'on the side' in this relationship.  As much as I don't want to be.  But I have my limitations and she has her limitations.  Different cities, different needs, that kind of thing.

That.. kind of took the air out of this some.  I do want to go, and I do want to spend time with her, but I've also tried very hard to ignore that there's another relationship involved.  I keep on thinking 'oh, this is that guy, her friend' - not 'this is her boyfriend, who she has a relationship with'.

And.. it makes me think of the stuff we talked about a few days ago, and suddenly, I'm wondering 'do they do that kind of thing?'.. and a part of me is worried that 'yes, they do', and a part of me is going 'you really don't want to know the answer, in case it's 'yes'.'  And.. the fact it might be yes, kind of makes me want to cry.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Light, not Shadow.

Samantha:  So, my brother's starting his first Blue Rose game.  He owned the 1st edition for quite some time, and he's been looking forward to the 2nd edition game ever since he saw it coming out on Kickstarter.  For those who don't know - this is a Romantic Fantasy game - you play Romantic Heroes. This means you're the good guys.  Not the 'troubled sort-of good guys' or the 'gray guys' or the 'anti-heroes' or anything like that.  You're the good guys.  End of story.

One of the players kinda missed that - thought his character might hunt down some fleeing bandits and kill them because of a flaw he has.  My brother warned him - he does that, he gets a Corruption point.  That's kinda a signal you're doing something wrong - you don't want any of those.  Well, the character went off, killed people, rolled, and got a Corruption Point.  Then found out just how shitty those things are.  Since it was the first session, my brother allowed him to step back and get a do-over.  He beat the bandit and dragged the guy back to the camp as a captive.

Yeah, the game rewards you being big damn heroes, and it punishes you to hell and back if you start doing evil shit.  We're good guys, act like it.  I didn't make a kill bot, or someone who wiped out the enemy in the first round or blew everyone away or whatever.. because the game doesn't want that.

So.. anyway..
My boyfriend was invited into the game.  I was really looking forward to seeing what he was going to play, and my brother was curious too.  He makes interesting characters, and we were really hoping he'd make some kind of paladin, or something.

Didn't happen.
He wanted to make a "mage".  You know, spell-tossed.  But they don't have spell tossers in this game.  Not really.  "Adepts" are kind of close, in that they get some kind of animistic / shamanic / psychic kind of abilities, and those tend to take a heavy toll on the person.  So right out of the gate, things weren't going well.

Then, he got some shitty die rolls for his attributes, re-rolled, and got worse.  An offer was made for another re-roll so he could get, maybe, better than average, but he declined.  Well, okay - it isn't the end of the world, each time you level you can increase your attributes, so you can kind of build the direction you wanna go.  It isn't horrible - it just means your character's more of a normal person rising up to be the hero, rather than starting there.

So he came up with a cool idea.  You take an Adept, make it a character that can create and use psychic weapons, and there you go.  I could build an entire thing around that - in fact I did.  Her name was Lilith, and she was a psychic-knife using assassin.  Note 'assassin' there - not someone I'd use in Blue Rose.  Instead, I'd probably have made her a duellist - someone who defends the honour of others, because that's kind of the way the game runs, you know?

But he dropped the idea, saying if he was going to be using weapons, he might as well have made a warrior.  And.. isn't that kind of missing the point?

So he's not playing.
And it's kind of sad, because I think he'd have enjoyed the game if he'd let himself.  But he kept looking at the negatives, and not the positives.  You get to be a hero, you get to do good, and feel good about it, and there's not this moral ambiguity.  The game's not made for moral ambiguity.

You get to stand in the light, be the good guy, do right.  The game doesn't want you going around and killing people, you're trying to save lives, rather than end them.

A mage, using fireballs and lightning bolts and such isn't helping people in this setting.  It's hurting people.  And the game tells you this - it's in the setting, it's in the mechanics, it's part of the core of the game's very being.

And.. the game asked the players to make relationships - bonds with other people, whether they were other PCs, or NPCs or enemies or friends or whatever - to connect yourself to the people around you and to the world itself.. and that was apparently too hard.

So, it feels like he didn't even try.  That this idea of there being a world of light and goodness, and being a part of that, and striving to work towards that, of being connected to other people, in a positive way, from the get-go, was too much.

It's a shame.  Because when we got to playing, the ideals came out quickly, and it worked.  We were the heroes.  We saved the captives, and we didn't kill anyone.  The questions were asked:  'Were they forced to capture people?'  'Should we take lives?'  And those were the right questions.  And now that we have the captives, they get to wander off to prison, and then get put on trial.

If this were D&D, everyone would have been killed, and.. well, sure, it's satisfying to just kill everyone off, get the XP, and carry on - but this isn't D&D.   You don't just murder people - if they're breaking the law, you try to bring them to justice.  That's what makes us civilized.

And it was kind of cool.  I'm looking forward to the next session..
I just wish he was there with me.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Always something there to remind me.

Usually, this blog is for the rest of Legion - a place for them to write about things important to them. But after something that just pulled up a bunch of memories, I felt I should write - since it's about them. You see, from time to time, I kind of like to think 'you know, I'm not as bad off as I thought'. I kind of hear Legion in the back of my head, but I can filter it out, and I can go around thinking I'm healthy and everything's fine. Then something happens, and I'm reminded that my existence, my 'sanity' is always at risk. That I'm on the razor's edge between being 'together', and having something else take over and leave me on the dust. It's those bad days that reminds me there's a reason my life is the way it is.

When I was younger - when I was first dealing with Legion as an active force in my life that I was aware of, there were triggers. I never really knew what would pull one or another up, and I didn't always have the tools necessary for dealing with it. There were a few members that would help, but we weren't used to the idea of something else wanting to pull itself up and take over, and the results were rarely pretty when it happened. Typically, it was Dark wanting control, but not always. Sometimes it was Sonic, sometimes it was Daryl, something... it was something deeper, and worse, and those were the really bad days.

It was hard navigating what was okay, and what wasn't. If I was a teenager at the time, I could have chalked it up to 'teen drama', but... it wasn't. It could be a song that would send me over. It could be some sort of interaction with someone that hit me the wrong way. It could be a lack of interaction, making me feel isolated. While we were trying to get used to one another, there were significant shifts in emotion, and that could get the ball rolling from 'I'm fine', to 'hold me down'.

I remember some of the events from the Year of Hell, and I have to admit, it's embarrassing - more so when I wasn't at my own house, in my 'safe zone'. If I lost control at home, I could lock the door, and let things run its course until I was okay. When I was at someone else's house? ... I have snippets of Cat's friends holding me down, thrashing around, trying to claw and bite and attack. I don't remember what set me off - like I said, the triggers were all over the place - and sometimes I wonder what these people thought when Dark or something else wanted free.

(I sometimes wonder if my friend Christine wanted to do an exorcism on me at times...)

But, sometimes I forget that this is still a risk. I remember listening to a song (for those interested, Gowan's "Moonlight Desires") at one point, dancing with Cat at a friend's house, and mentioning to her that the song was a bit triggering. It wasn't a bad song, there weren't any lyrics that were bad for me or anything - it was a combination of the music, the tone, the emotion in the song - it would set Dark off. And I remember dancing with her, and her arms around me, helping me to keep things together as Dark pulled itself up to the surface.

And I was thinking 'oh yeah, that song' as I was listening to it today, and then I felt Dark start clawing its way up to the surface again, and I was like 'what, still?'. It was a reminder - I'm not as 'healthy' as I may think I am - that this is still a thing - I have triggers, and they're not all mapped. It reminded me that Legion is still there, and not all of it is under my control.

I've noticed Sonic likes to peek out from time to time lately, to say hi to Cat, and get some attention. I wonder if I should take that as a warning - that the more instinctual members of Legion are more active than I might have thought - that there's something that's got them agitated, and I should keep a tab on things and see if I can fix it.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I wasn't dumped.

So, that's a thing that happened.  I had a friend I'd see online on Friday and Saturday nights for 'dates'. In that we'd roleplay, make characters, interact, and fuck like rabbits.  The sex was fun, we tried all sorts of interesting things - but that wasn't the only part of it.  It was the roleplaying.  The world building.  Making a place, giving it consistency, and looking at it as well.  Setting up scenarios, and trying out new things, and going places.  It was exploring boundaries, and being able to do that with someone.

And my friend would make characters for me to meet.  I didn't make as many.. she was mostly having fun seeing how I reacted to things - and every now and then I'd make a special evening for her to relax and enjoy herself.  The more recent one was taking her character to see an aquarium, look at the fish, and I was using one of my favourite fictional cities for this - expanding a bit on the 'mythology' behind our stories.

So.. yeah.
Tonight, she came on, and I was thinking about what to do - but she had news.  Tonight was her last night.  She decided she needed to leave the MUSH - to leave online RP for good.  No more dates.  No more hanging out.  It hurts.  Her reasoning behind this was solid - and I can't blame her for it - but it still hurts.

See.. it means the characters I made - the characters she made - they're in limbo.  They're not going anywhere, they're abandoned.  And I feel for these 'people'.  Their stories have come to an end, no happy ending, no ending at all.  And that makes me sad.

Thank the goddess she took the time to come see me and let me know.  Thank the goddess she agreed we could talk on e-mail from time to time.  Because .. well.. it's so much better than what I'm used to.  Where the person I decided to get close to just disappeared on me without a word - to never speak to me again.  To not know if they're okay or not, to not know what's going on, or why they left.

At least it isn't that.
So.. small blessings.
But it hurts.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


I don't know what to say.
Well, let's start from the beginning, I guess?  A few years ago, I met a woman at a convention.  I was immediately struck by her.  She was interesting, she was intelligent, there was something to her I was attracted to.  Sadly, she had some trouble then, and it cut short us getting to know one another.  But we touched base and we became friends.

She became sort-of-kind-of my girlfriend.  But there were problems.  Me, being a part of Legion, was one of them.  And.. well.. life isn't fair, is it?  But yeah, I understood the problem, and I accepted it as much as I could.

Then she got a girlfriend.  Who became her fiance.  And I liked this person, and we got along well, and I wished for my friend to be happy.  So, I played nice, and just accepted my place, and was very happy for them.  But then tragedy happened, and she lost her fiance.  And I felt crushed by that, and tried my best to be there for my friend.

And when she recovered(ish, because how do you really recover from that), she looked for someone who could help her - to meet her needs.  And I get that.  But I wanted to be her girlfriend again, and be there for her.

And recently, she came over to visit, and we snuggled, and talked, and I told her 'I love you'.  I'd never said that before to her, and it surprised me when I said it.  And she admitted she couldn't say that back to me - not that way.  And it hurt, but I accepted it.

So, today, I found out she's in a relationship.  And I know who the person is in passing - having never met them face to face.  But this time, it hurts.  It hurts so much.  And on one level it hurts more because that person has.. well.. things I have.  But she's accepted that, when it makes a barrier for her with me.

And I can understand, because there's so many other issues involved with me.. but it still hurts.  I want her to be happy, though, she deserves that.  I just wish she could have been happy with me.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

We don't know if this is going to work, but we decided to share it anyway, for our non-FB friends.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

No Words

Yeah, I've got this itch to write, but I don't know how to put it down.  I'm upset, I'm a bit hurt, and it's something I've had to deal with time and again, and I'm getting kind of sick of it.  You see, I kinda like roleplaying, playing games with friends, feeling useful, and seeing people act and react to what I'm doing.  What I don't like is people getting angry at me when I do it.  What I don't like is feeling that, if I'm to be accepted, I have to basically 'play low'.

Not that it seems to make any difference.
I play games to feel good about myself.  To feel like I can accomplish things.  In my situation, I don't get to really accomplish much, and the idea of hanging around with friends, and being awesome with my friends is important.  I want to feel safe around my friends, I want to feel wanted, I want to feel that people like having me around, and a part of that is to feel like I'm contributing to the group.  I want to feel empowered.

And yeah, I build along that line.  I make characters with some weaknesses, and then I try to make them awesome in other ways.  That awesomeness could be in how they come off, it could be that they're just different, whether it's something out of left field, or maybe they're just strange, creepy, or whatever, and some of it is in what they're capable of.

Something that I wind up facing though is hostility.  When I used to play online (and note, that's used to - I stopped) I got lashback because my characters were 'omg powerful' and 'game breaking'.  The thing is, my characters were built using the same system everyone else had, and they had the same growth that everyone else had.  I just used what I had available to me, and planned out my course, and stuck to it.  But people started getting upset with me.  So, I started getting less involved.  If there was some 'danger' in the game, I waited.  I gave people the chance to kick butt and be awesome.  And when it would be unrealistic for me not to be involved, I'd get involved, and clean things up.
And people would get mad at me.
So, I weakened my character, I nerfed her hard, and tried that.
And people would still get mad at me.
So finally, I said fuck it, and I retired.
I still get requests to RP there from time to time - but not in any way that contributes to the game. No. Instead, these people want to have 'relationships' with me, So, great.  I get to be the dutiful girlfriend or something, rather than, I don't know, doing things.

So, I (am) in a Pathfinder game.  The GM's cool, and I liked the game.  I was having fun, trying out a new idea that I'd not had the chance to play before.  For those who are into gamespeak, let me break down what I did.

There's a class called the Hunter.  It's kind of a Ranger/Thief combination class.  This is a spellcasting class.
There's a class called the Witch.  It has an archetype called the 'White Haired Witch', which sacrifices some of the Witch's hexing ability to allow her to fight using her hair.  This is a spellcasting class.
There's a new way to multiclass, where you sacrifice every other Feat to get some seriously nerfed abilities from another Class.

So, I decided to do something different.
I got permission to move the White Haired Witch Archetype over to Hunter.  Since Hunters don't have Hexes, what I did was sacrifice my spellcasting abilities.  Then, I sacrificed every second Feat for monk abilities.  What did I get?  I got the monk ability to do unarmed damage.  I didn't get the AC bonus, I didn't get the flurry of blows, I didn't get the awesome saving throws.  I punch good.  Or, in my case, I whip hair good.

Not many avenues for my character to pursue, so I decided to go with a grappling build, which works nicely with my character's hair.  This is the one thing I'm good at - I can lock down a single target and squeeze them.  Everything else is pretty much roleplaying.

A normal White-Haired Witch has other options.  When they squeeze someone, they can throw spells at the target (or other target) and just ruin people's days.  Not me.  I don't get spells.  They could, in theory, pull out a weapon and shoot people while they're squeezing someone.  Not me, I didn't take any ranged weapons.  I made my character one trick.  They pick a single target, and they ruin that one target's day.  Once they're done with that one target, they can look at maybe dealing with another target.

Pathfinder's got a serious weakness.  This is the Feats section of the game.  You get a Feat every other level, and sometimes to get what you want to get, you have to go through 4-5 Feats.  In other words, you need to go through 10 levels to get to where you want.  If you multiclass using this optional system, you lose every other Feat.  Meaning that, in my case, it would be fifteen levels to get to where I want to go.  That takes about two years of play, and it also means that I'm not doing anything else with my character, and by the time I get there the campaign's wrapped up.

An optional thing to do is take a Feat every level.  When Pathfinder was being playtested, there was a big push for that.  Why?  Because Feats help define who you are, and there's hundreds of them. Whole reams of Feats get ignored because they.. don't do much, or it takes entirely too long to get where you want to go.  So, anyway, the Pathfinder GM allowed us to get Feats every level.

So what did I take as my two extra Feats so far?
Weapon Focus.  +1 to attack with my hair.
Animal Companion:  My fox companion is a little bit bigger.  Well, I had the companion already.  It was basically a trained fox with a series of commands I'd trained into it, not much.

Anyway.  So what happened..
We were doing an investigation, me and a cleric.  We found out the guy responsible for killing a bunch of people, and it was time to throw down.  So we did.  And I was doing what I had built my character to do.

Lock down a single opponent.  Grab, grapple, squeeze.
We were facing a single opponent.
He turned invisible.  I had my fox track him.
He hid behind cover.  I used acrobatics to get around cover.
Grab.  Grapple.  Squeeze.

Now, look.  The GM worked hard on the character to be a viable threat.  I get this.  And I get that it's frustrating to see that work go down the toilet so quickly.  But my character was designed to do one thing.  To hunt down single opponents and make their life miserable.  And I want her to be good at it.

And the GM got mad at me.  He blamed the fact we're getting Feats every level.  That +1 to hit, and the extra 1-2 points of damage my fox might inflict.  And I felt like I was back online, watching people talk shit about me because I'm good at what I do.

And it hurts.  This could have been a 'cool, my friend and I show we kick ass, and could have been a sort of team building thing'.  But it wasn't.  It was 'oh look, Samantha's ruining the game again'.

Even though I underpowered my character.
Like I've done a lot lately.
Not that it makes any difference.  Even when I underpower my characters, I get shit.  Or the people in charge try to nerf my characters more for... no real reason.

When my brother's plans get shot down, he gives kudos to the players.  A few weeks ago, he set up a boss that the PCs weren't supposed to beat.  They were completely outclassed, and nobody could hurt it.  One player figured out what to do - he single handedly one-shotted the thing.  Because he had a weapon which had a chance to instantly kill an opponent when fired at point blank range.  And he got lucky.  My brother said 'hey, good job!  You weren't supposed to win this fight, but cool!'  And the players laughed about it, and the guy who killed the boss you're not supposed to beat felt really good and they told stories about it.

You know, I have never, ever, in all my years of playing, got that kind of praise, from any game master I've been under?  Never had a 'hey, that was creative, good thinking', or 'hey, you did a good job' or 'wow, that was kind of cool'.  No, 'that was some interesting roleplay, I can see why you did that'.

No.  I've only really had one character that was really... liked.  But then, she was the 'sweet and innocent' type that people felt the need to protect, and guard.  And when she did her 'awesome', she did it away from the group, far, far away, so she could protect them, but nobody got to see it.  Oh, they knew kind of what she was up to, but it didn't involve the characters, so, yeah, there's that.

'Oh, look, we can be white knights for you, that's awesome'.
How about letting me be awesome?

And I don't know what to do.
I don't want to make non-threatening characters who have to stand on the side and let everyone else be cool.  I don't want to have to continually hold back, because - heaven forbid - I might actually be really good at something.
But.. I don't want people to keep being pissed at me.  I don't want to feel like I'm a burden.
I just want to be able to have friends, and do fun things, and feel like I'm needed, and that I'm actually accomplishing something.
I don't know what to do.