D&D Session 2

I didn’t
write down the first session, mainly because I didn’t have enough notes
to write on and, personally, it was pretty mediocre.  It can also be
summed up in a paragraph so…  Before we continue, here’s the cast of

Hershel – Human Rogue 2.  An assassin for hire, played by Ian.
Caine – Human Monk 2.  Gabe’s former
character.  I probably misspelled his name.
Luc – Human Fighter 1.  Gabe’s current character, introduced in this session.

Maverick – Human Sorcerer 2.  A magician held captive alongside Kaine, he was freed in the first session.  Played by Steve.

Now, on with the recap and session…

has met the objectives set by his employer.  Rescue two prisoners and
eliminate their captor.  He also met the bonus objective of rescuing a
cleric prisoner named Gamros.  The four of them, having escaped the
dungeon, have reached the city of London.  The city is ripe for
exploration but first, they must check in with Hershel’s employer. 
Not much is known about him, but he’s paying good money to see that
both Maverick and Caine survived.

On the outskirts of
Albion’s capital city is the Corner Cupboard Inn.  It’s mostly empty
aside from a few guards and a half-elf man dressed in well-tailored
(yet weather-worn) clothes.  This half-elf is clean-shaven with ruffled
brown hair and looks like someone of importance.  The guards in the inn
are probably his entourage.  Hershel talks with the man while Kaine,
Maverick and Gamros wait at the bar.

Hershel reports that the
deed is done.  The half-elf man, who introduces himself as Alasteir,
seems to already know this.  He pays up 600 gold for the hit.  600 gold
is quite a bit of money, only the richest of the rich make that kind of
money…and even then, that’s over a course of three months!

GM’s Note:  I threw away the first page of my notes by accident but originally, Hershel was supposed to only get 500
gold.  A goof on my part, but the extra 100 could be a raise for
rescuing Gamros.  The first session had Hershel infilitrate a ruined
keep to assassinate a man who was holding Caine and Maverick captive. 
Gamros was in an adjacent cell and could have been left behind but
Hershel decided to rescue him.

Seeing how well Hershel
performed with his last mission, Alasteir has another mission for the
assassin.  The King of Albion is dead, but there’s no successor to the
throne.  As a result, power is up for grabs.  Numerous nobles are
scheming for their own bid for the throne, seeking the support of the
people.  This goes on even as barbarians invade from the north.  There
is one group seeking power, however, that aren’t nobles…the druids.

druids ruled Albion until a thousand years ago, when they were
exiled in favor of the Alliance.  When the Alliance disintegrated, the
druids tried to reclaim power…but were rejected in favor of the
popular Uther, whose son, Arther, later united Albion under his royal
banner.  Uther and Arther set up a dynasty that ruled Albion for over
four hundred years.  When the bloodline died out, a new line of kings
under the Grim name ruled Albion.  The Grim dynasty lasted almost two
hundred years but died out when the latest king, Myshiou IV, left no
legitimate heir (but plenty of illegitimate ones).

The druids
seek to regain the power they lost 1,000 years ago, but no one wants
them to.  Albion is experiencing a population boom and, as nature’s
guardians, the druids fear what will happen to the land they’ve sworn
to protect.  The more militant members of their sect have been damaging
crops, attacking travelers while disguised as animals, along with other
attacks.  The druids are a secretive group, so it’s impossible to know
their total numbers.  Plus, the military is tied up with the
barbarians.  Assassinating the druids (or, at least, their most
problematic members) should take them out of the power struggle…or at least, send a message.

members of the druid’s circle are unknown, but Alasteir has some
informants who have infiltrated their ranks, at one of the druid’s few known meeting spots.  They have provided him with three names; Dorean, Elysia and Nevada.  These three are known members within the druid’s circle and are known to convene at one spot.  This spot is about four days travel west of London, characterized by a ring of stones.  These informants will
meet the party at Basingstoke, a village roughly three days travel west along the Old Harrow Way.  Hershel agrees to the mission and meets back with the party.  He tells the party he got 200 gold and gives each member 50 gold.  Gamros declines his share, which is split between Maverick and Caine.

GM’s Note:  Yeah, Hershel lied about the total take from the hit.  This was pretty cool and all the guys played it in-character so there weren’t any arguments about it.  I should of had Ian make some hide checks later on (with 400 extra gold lying around, wouldn’t someone notice?) but didn’t.  Justified because I don’t think anyone would have been looking for extra money and they don’t have a reason not to trust Hershel.  He did save their life, y’know?

After splitting the gold, the party itself goes off in separate directions.  Caine has received disturbing news concerning his homeland, so he’s leaving to go deal with that.  Hershel goes shopping for new supplies while an intoxicated Maverick goes out to look for a new party member.  The Corner Cupboard Inn’s bartender recommends a guy named Luc, who’s from the Ascalon region.  Maverick slurs a request for a description, which the bartender provides.

Luc’s a sturdy young man with gray, calculating eyes and slightly scruffy, shoulder length brown hair.  He sports a cobbled-together suit of leather armor comprised of earthy colors (dark
greens and browns).  He’s inexperienced but he’s from the Ascalon region, so he’ll be as tough as they come.”

Maverick walks around town, trying to find Luc.  Luc’s a traveler though…and is keeping a low profile.  Maverick doesn’t find him, although Luc gets word of this magician looking for him.  Luc and Maverick meet back at the Corner Cupboard Inn after Hershel returns from his shopping spree.  Hershel retires for the night while Luc and Maverick converse.  Maverick has consumed more alcoholic beverages than necessary, so he doesn’t do a good job persuading Luc to join…even with his charisma score.  Gamros intervenes and, after a lengthy discussion, convinces Luc to join the party.

GM’s Note:  This was a nice role-playing part, if a little drawn out.  A shame I didn’t tape record the conversation, otherwise I’d transcribe it here.  Anyway, I think the two had their roles switched up.  Maverick has a higher charisma score, but Hershel would know more about the job he wants Luc’s help with.  Of course, Hershel would have had to do all the work.  So, I had Gamros listen in on Hershel’s earlier conversation with Alasteir…enough to give Luc appropriate information to join.  I also miscalculated what the party would do in town.  I thought a good deal would be spent asking about the feuding nobles and didn’t think about shopping.

Oh, and this time also brought us the introduction of the retarded donkey.  The best animal that stabler had, but didn’t answer to any name.  I was going to have it respond to the party, which sounded good in my head.  Ian said it was the most retarded thing he had ever heard.  *sigh*

The next morning, the party sets out for Basingstoke.  Despite warnings of bandits on the road, three days pass without incident.  They reach the village at dusk and set up camp outside of town.  Luc goes to scout the village.

GM’s Note:  I forget why this was done, although I’m sure the reason was valid (if a bit paranoid).  What I didn’t get was sending Luc to scout the town.  Hershel would have been a better bet, since he’d be better suited to this kind of thing…in terms of skills, at least.  And I forget why exactly they had a debate below.  My players will remind me…I hope.

Luc finds out (via the bartender) that the informants haven’t arrived yet.  They were supposed to arrive a few days ago but haven’t.  Luc returns to the party with this information.  Now, the party has a predicament on their hands.  Do they wait for the informants?  Or travel on to the druid’s circle?  The party also has another debate whether to stay in the tavern or camp outside.  Luc doesn’t want to risk losing the cart, expecting that druids might make a move for their gear (if they’ve already gotten the informants, they might know about them).  Hershel and Maverick are tired of sleeping in a cart for three days and wouldn’t mind a warm, comfy bed.  Luc and Gamros stay outside town to guard the cart.

Gamros falls asleep as Luc takes first watch.  Hershel and the village bartender wonder what happened to the informants.  Maverick gets a few mugs before retiring for the night.  Hershel follows suit.  A few hours pass without incident.  It’s well into the night, with the moon shining bright.  Then all sorts of things start to happen.  Maverick’s sleep is disturbed by a mysterious dream.  Luc’s shift is about to end as he wakes up Gamros when a wolf’s howl pierces the night sky.  Gamros and Luc are on alert.  Maverick hears the howl too and moves to investigate, leaving Hershel alone.

Meanwhile, Gamros and Luc get a visitor.  A tall, mysterious figure who is shrouded in black.  From his wide, brimmed hat to his long, flowing cloak, this guy is more like a shadow than living being.  The only thing not black on him is a blue medallion around his neck, which sparkles in the moonlight.  His features conceal his deathly pale skin.  He wields a wicked scimitar shaped like a crescent moon with a blood red hilt.

“Follow me,” the figure speaks as another wolf howl echoes through the night,” Now!”

Luc and Gamros stay put.  The figure doesn’t stay to convince them, instead heading off towards the village.  At the same time, Maverick is downstairs when he hears the second howl.  He goes outside to investigate.  Another howl sounds and Maverick moves in its direction.  He heads around the village forum when he hears a growl.  Maverick casts detect magic, which reveals it’s just an ordinary wolf.  A split-second later, that ordinary wolf tackles him to the ground, tearing his flesh with its sharp teeth.

Luc and Gamros hear something going on in town, with Luc following the direction the figure went in.  Gamros stays with the cart.  Hershel is up, sees Maverick gone and hears some commotion coming from the village square.  He grabs his short sword and rapier and heads out.  Maverick tangos with the wolf, faring up on the losing end.  The wolf easily dissects him and Maverick collapses from the blood loss.  Just as the wolf is about to finish Maverick off, an arrow pierces its jaw!  The mystery man has knocked the wolf back as Luc and Hershel arrive on the scene.

Luc rushes past the figure he followed and takes aim, firing arrows at the wolf.  Hershel, meanwhile, draws the creature away from Maverick.  The two succeed in distracting it long enough (and weakening it) for Maverick to get himself in position to launch a magic missile.  Maverick gets revenge as the wolf goes limp.  The figure rushes back with Gamros, who heals Maverick and Hershel up pronto.  The figure mentions that wolves are never seen this close to town and rushes off before the party can ask anything…or even thank him.

GM’s Note:  Although they had excellent reasons for it, splitting up really hurt the party here.  Maverick was reduced to 0 HP (which is a lot closer to death than he would have liked to have been).  His idea to use detect magic to detect a druid was clever, but if it had been a druid, Maverick would have been even more outmatched.  I had also considered a warg, but decided to tone it down before the session.

The party returns to the cart and sets up camp for the rest of the night, cooking the wolf’s remains for tomorrow’s lunch.  During Hershel’s watch, he hears the voice of the figure from earlier.  The figure says they should move on to the druid’s circle, something Hershel had already planned on doing.  Hershel asks for the figure to reveal itself, a request that is refused.

“You bastard,” Hershel says to the silence of the night.

The night passes without further events.  In the morning, the party heads for Amesburg Abbey.  Hershel decides that if the informants haven’t arrived, they probably aren’t coming.  The party agrees with this sentiment.  Amesburg is the closest settlement to the druid’s circle.  Gamros’ former home is also a place where the party can rest before moving in on the circle.  The journey is boring and uneventful and they reach the abbey at dusk.  The party decides to head for the circle under the cover of darkness, with Hershel scouting ahead.

As the party approaches the circle, they make out a circular ring of stone slabs.  Smoke rises from inside the circle and a faint chant can be heard as the party approaches.  As Hershel gets closer, he can hear the chanting grow louder but can’t make out what they’re saying.  He doesn’t need to understand what they’re saying as he sneaks around the stones, though.  As he peers through the openings, he sees two hooded figures with daggers.  Another two figures are tied down on stone slabs.  Hershel puts two and two together and draws his crossbow.

He fires a bolt at one of the knife-wielding figures.  The bolt pierces through the man’s neck, dropping him instantly!  The chanting stops and the other figure flees.  The lack of chanting gives the rest of the party a cue to move on ahead.  A hidden lemure emerges and advances towards Hershel as the assassin fires another bolt at the fleeing target.  This one lands in his target’s shoulder.  Hershel doesn’t get a chance at another shot, as the lemure is in his face.  Meanwhile, Luc, Maverick and Gamros move towards the pillar.  Gamros and Maverick head around the stones while Luc goes through the middle.  He fires an arrow at the devil fighting Hershel, which destroys the summon.

Luc frees the captives before the next wave hits.  Three spiders appear and head towards the party.  The spiders are easily disposed of, although Maverick is poisoned.  They were summoned just as the devil was.  With the spiders gone, Hershel tries to find his target’s trail but can’t find anything.  No blood, no footprints, nothing.  He scans the area before heading off in the target’s supposed direction.

Gamros, Luc and Maverick stay behind to investigate the stones.  Maverick detects lots of magic from the stones, but gets a different vibe from one of them.  One of the stones emanates a faint transmutation aura, weaker and different from the rest of the stones.  Luc smacks the stone with his sword to no avail.  With the captives in no state to talk, the party sets up camp.  The mysterious, shadowy guy from earlier reappears, telling the party to keep focusing on that stone.  They do so and, twenty minutes later, the figure from earlier emerges from the stone, clutching his right arm.  The pale, shadowy person quickly subdues the figure.

“He’s all your’s,” the shadow says, hiding a slight smirk.

When the party realizes they left their rope back at the abbey (along with their cart and other gear, aside from weapons and armor), the mystery man continues to hold the figure.  The figure rambles on in an indecipherable language, one that even Maverick doesn’t understand.  A good cop/bad cop routine (with Luc and Hershel playing the respective parts) gets the figure, who is named Belenus, to talk in common.  He provides answers for anything they could ask.  When he’s no longer useful, Hershel slays him.

GM’s Note:  Belenus could have beat the party (he’d have been a 5th level character) but the players found out he was in one of the stones and were ready for him, with the help of the shadowy, mysterious guy.  Belenus probably didn’t expect to run into enemies, so he had no spells prepared.  He could of come out swinging with a bunch of summons, but I figured I’d reward the players here instead of letting him get away.  I’ll probably give them a bigger experience bonus (600 XP, 400 for Gabe since I gave him 200 after he asked) at the start of next session.  A bit of a goof-up on my part, but hey, more XP!

End of Session 2

I don’t think I prepared very well for this session (I even went into the session without the first page of my notes!) but, in the end, everything came across really well.  Oh, and I probably should have broken this into parts.  Oh well.

Time is not your enemy, forever is.

BRCC Act 3

First impressions of the semester are positive.  I’m not on campus as much because most of my classes are online/hybrid.  The one class I do have to attend is a history class that I just might because it looks like it’ll be a lot of fun.  Work’s not too bad either, although it has only been one day.

While this is good, there was one slag.  I dropped geography because of my teacher.  He went on an anti-Bush rant that lasted at least half an hour.  I’m not Bush’s biggest supporter, but when your teacher tells you that there’s only three ways to look at him (he’s either stupid, evil or has good intentions…and he only added the third as an afterthought)…well, it’s time to leave.

And the guy is a total Obama shill.  He tried to remain objective by making a half-assed comment about Obama’s tendency for flip-flopping but his true colors were revealed a minute or two later.  McCain crushed Obama at the recent debate, but this guy defended Obama’s answer when he was asked by evil.  The instructor said Obama gave an explicit answer that was drowned out because it was “too boring” compared to McCain’s answer (which was just “defeat it”).  The reality, of course, is different.  McCain did say he would defeat evil, but cited al-Quida as his example.  Obama, however, spoke about evil in America.  Obama also said eliminating evil was God’s task (in other words, impossible for us) and that we should have some humility in confronting it.  That kind of logic is what allows evil to be what it is.  If you don’t confront evil, what is to stop it from growing?  No wonder the Democrat party has its pro-surrender reputation.

Oh, and he hinted that the only reason Bush won the ’04 election was because people were too scared to vote against him.  People didn’t trust Kerry to run the nation…which had less to do with fear and more with John Kerry being a shitty candidate.  And much to the distaste of the Democrats, foriegn policy factors into several issues this campaign…something they failed (or didn’t care) to consider when they placed all their eggs in the Obama basket.

There’s some more I could go on about but the kids in the class weren’t any better.  When the instructor told us that Bush is either stupid, evil or that “his intentions were good”, someone chimed in about Hell or something.  “Well, they had good intentions” was along the lines of the comment.  It used to be only the fringe that would openly call a member of our government “evil” or even hint at it.  Years of anti-Bush sentiments have changed that.

It’s not surprising that we were talking about the recent events in Georgia (the nation, not the state) when this came up.  The majority of the people in class were silent (they’re coming to class to get an education, not a rant) but the ones that weren’t sided with Russia.  Maybe one or two people sided with Georgia.  Most of the class disagreed with Bush’s policy and enjoyed bashing him with tired jokes that we’ve been hearing since…when did Bush become hated?  2003?

Again, while I’m not Bush’s biggest supporter (while he has many flaws, his foreign policy is not one of them), Congress has a lower approval rating than he does…but you don’t ever hear any jokes about them.  The criticism is always directed at Bush.

The good thing about the next election is whoever wins, at least people will have someone new to target.  Anyway, it was a major criticism I had this week but the situation was rectified.  Best of all, I get a full refund and a shorter schedule out of the deal.

Give me a HELL!  Give me a YEAH!
Stand up right now!

Console Exclusivity

Note to self…never write about games when you have a few readers.  Apparently, they don’t like that.  Or maybe it is game reviews they don’t like.  We’ll find out.

One more thing before I begin…yeah, I’ve been writing for four years but you wouldn’t know that if you went back to the oldest entry.  That’s because all the other entries are private.  I’ve never heard of anyone going back through the archives to read anything I wrote, so I just locked them.  Trust me, I didn’t sign up in August 2004…then not start writing until last year.

Anyway, today’s GameFAQs poll asks “which console maker’s exclusive games do you enjoy the most?”  The choices include Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, no preference or “I can’t stand any console-exclusive games”.  One thing missing from today’s console wars is console-exclusivity.  Most hit titles come out on all three systems (or, at the very least, both the PS3 and Xbox 360).  This maximizes sales for a game, but doesn’t do anything to make any system a must-buy.  Instead of buying a console because of its games, people end up buying them for less-stellar reasons like graphical power.  Because there are no real games to buy a PS3 over an Xbox 360, for the most part, (and vice-versa), the console wars are more of a race to see which company can get their system out first.

Really, the only real game I’ve seen that’s console-exclusive and has not been made by Nintendo is Metal Gear Solid 4MGS4 has actually increased PS3 sales while making a ton of money on its own.  Sure, Sony has games like Jak & Dexter, Ratchet and Clank and Gran Turismo, but I don’t see them as system-sellers.  Gran Turismo might be, but I’m not entirely convinced.  In the previous generation, Sony had lots of exclusive games.  Grand Theft Auto III (and its sequels…although it was eventually released as collection for the Xbox), Final Fantasy X, Guitar Hero (the first one) and the Kingdom Hearts series…to name a few.  Those games were best-sellers and a lot of the reason why the PS2 did so well.  In the current generation, however, the future doesn’t look as bright.  Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto are both multi-console releases and, with the news that Final Fantasy XIII will be available on the 360, Sony doesn’t have a lot of reasons to buy its $500 console.  It has a hard drive and plays music?  So does the 360.  Because it plays blu-ray discs?  There needs to be more than that, especially for a game console.

While Sony has screwed up, Microsoft is in the same boat.  Sure, Halo made a ton of jack for the original Xbox but it eventually came out on PC.  Same with the 2nd one.  And isn’t it popular opinion that FPS games are better played on the PC?  I wouldn’t be surprised if the 3rd game is going the same route.  Other games like Bioware’s critically-acclaimed RPGs (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect) and Gears of War also end up being ported to PC.  Fable is probably the worst offender of all.  Not only was it hyped to hell so that when it did come out, it was a major disappointment, but it was eventually ported to PC…which had bonus features!

With Microsoft releasing games for both PC and the 360, and Sony losing their exclusive titles, Nintendo is the only one that has stayed true.  Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, etc. are only available on Nintendo systems.  It’s one of the reasons Nintendo hasn’t been completely killed off by Sony and Microsoft, who focus on graphical power and extra entertainment features like blu-ray to sell their systems.  Nintendo focuses on games and, lo and behold, they are the best-selling system on the market right now.  The Wii is selling like hot cakes, despite its stupid name.  Sure, there are many reasons for Nintendo’s success, but one of them has to be console-exclusivity.  After all, many gamers grew up on Nintendo franchises.  Even if Nintendo’s systems are a disappointment, they always have a hardcore fanbase to fall back on.

Nintendo has shown that money does not lie in hardware, graphical power or what have you.  Those features help sell a system, but the real factor is the games.  Nintendo has that in spades, thanks to some exclusive titles.  If a gamer waits long enough, a Sony title will eventually be released on the Xbox 360.  Even on the 360, wait long enough and that game will go to PC.  Competition makes for a better market.  Hopefully, Microsoft and Sony will quit trying to sell entertainment devices or eye candy and start trying to sell game consoles.

Do not think this ends here…  The history of light and shadow will be written in blood!

Assassin’s Creed

When I went down to the beach, the first thing I did the next afternoon was held to a game store.  Surprisingly (…or not), there aren’t many game stores around Myrtle Beach.  So, I had to stop by a Lamestop, listen to the very cynical rantings of an employee there (not nearly as fun as it sounds) and put down around $85 for the latest version of NCAA Football and Assassin’s CreedAssassin’s Creed has been out for nearly a year now, so it was great to get it used.

The plot to Assassin’s Creed has some sci-fi flavor to it.  That’s odd, because the hype leading up to the game had me thinking it would be more of a historical fiction.  A historical sci-fi?  Anyway, the game is about the story of a bartender who’s kidnapped by some evil corporation.  This bartender is actually the ancestor of a Third Crusade-era assassin named Altair.  This evil corporation has a built an impressive piece of technology that allows the user to relive their ancestor’s memories.  Apparently, the evil corporation wants access to those memories.

I’m sure there is more to it than that but I never really cared.  There’s no subtitles and in a game with a heavy plot like this, I’d love to know just what the hell people are talking about.  The game keeps you in the dark for 9/10 of the way.  Instead of enlightening you at points (like other games would), the player is still in the dark until the very end…then the lights all come on.  Everyone’s had that experience where your eyes take a moment to adjust (although it’s super annoying).  Assassin’s Creed takes that super annoying experience and has acted it out in your game.  Then, because the ending is rather inconclusive, instead of wondering “what happens next”, I felt very “meh”.

Still, the plot wasn’t hyped as one of the game’s strengths.  What about the assassinations?  Assassinations are pretty fun, although they are rather formulaic.  To assassinate a target (to advance the game’s plot anyway…you can assassinate pretty much anyone on the street), the player must first get information about that target.  This is accomplished through missions like eavesdropping, pickpocketing, as well as missions from informers (which usually involve killing x number of guards in y time frame or collecting z number of flags).  This sounds fun the first time you do it, but by the time the end of the game approaches, the missions are more tedious than fun.  The only change in them is how difficult they are.  And then there’s the occasionally silly AI.

Still, accomplishing missions allows you to explore the rich, detailed world.  Modeled after the Third Crusade-era Holy Land, Assassin’s Creed is a graphical behemoth.  It’s massive, loaded and it looks great!  The four cities (Acre, Damascus, Jerusalem and Masyaf…all linked by a hub called Kingdom) look truly alive with all the people walking the streets.  It’s impressive and words alone can’t do it justice.

It’s a shame the game’s audio isn’t as impressive as its graphics.

And exploring the game world is tons of fun, thanks to the superb controls.  The controls are simple enough to understand, yet there’s enough depth and variety to learn some of the more complex features.  In fact, having played the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, the controls are solid on both systems.  The 360 version feels better but only because the PS3 has such a dated controller.  The game’s tutorial, while overly lengthy, does a good job of introducing the player to the game.  The difficulty gets rather brutal towards the end, but the excellent controls don’t have the player feeling entirely helpless.

Assassin’s Creed massive world and numerous optional quests (which usually involve collecting flags, but the more fun ones have Altair scaling some of the game’s landmarks and assassinating Templars) will keep the player occupied for a while.  If you’re the kind of player who plays Grand Theft Auto or Saint’s Row every now and then, even after beating the game, well…Assassin’s Creed has a similar feel.

Assassin’s Creed is a helluva game.  I wouldn’t say it should be as critically acclaimed as it should be, for reasons listed above.  If you’re looking for a stealth alternative to Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell, this game is worth checking out.  History buffs might also want to buy, since this is a nice look into the Crusades-era (although how accurate I’m not sure…I’m not critiquing it on that basis and never bothered to do so while I was playing).  I wouldn’t score it as highly as other game sites, but it’s still pretty damn good and worth the time of any avid video game player.

Besides, throwing a guard off a roof into a crowd of people is just hilarious.

Final Verdict:  8.3 out of 10

It’s not what I believe.  It’s what I know.

Policy…Plus! Ranting and Raving!

Turns out Year Five will not start off with any kind of review.  Instead, I took a week off.  Because I deserved it wanted to.  Besides, I went to the beach two weeks ago now so it’d be irrelevant and irrelevancy is not good writing.  If you’re really curious, all I did was play (and eventually beat) Assassin’s Creed.  Awesome game, more on that later.

Speaking of all things irrelevant, I thought this dynasty was.  This is not a diary or a journal or a blog.  No, henceforth, this Xanga will be titled a “dynasty”.  Because dynasties are more manlier than diaries.  Plus, it sounds cooler.

Anyway, I was surprised I still had readers, much less people who’d comment!  I thought the “views” count near each entry served as kind of a counter for how many hits this dynasty got.  Every entry had “1 view”, which would be me.  Naturally, I thought since I was the only one “viewing” the site, I concluded that I was the only one reading.  Then I got…6 more views for the latest entry, but none for the others.  So, those “views” only count for single entries…what a shame.  What’s even weirder is that it was a random surge of views.

OK, enough rambling.

The point of today’s post is that the person who did comment (Tanya) did so, despite the fact I had removed her from the subscribers list.  Bless her soul.  First off, my dynasty is near-impossible to find (or so I believe).  It doesn’t show up in searches and I don’t ever link to it.  So, not only am I impressed she bothered to comment, but she managed to find the site again.  It’s not terribly hard to remember, but I’ve had people have sorts of trouble recalling it (and most of those people had this problem when I was always on AIM…the joke here being my user name is the same).

She commented and I feel all sorts of bad for taking her off the subscribers list a year ago.  I have an unwritten policy about that.  People who subscribe to my site, but don’t comment or update their own sites for a certain period of time (three months, though it changes depending on a number of variable I won’t get into) will get taken off the subscribers list.  Why?  Because not only are you not reading what I’m doing, but you’re not telling me how you’re doing.  Does it annoy you when you friend people on Myspace or Facebook…and then they never talk to you?  It sure as hell annoys me.  Kind of defeats the point of being “friends”, ya know?

I’ll amend that policy for miss Tanya but it still stands.  Anyway, it’s just something I wanted to point out…in case people are wondering why they no longer are subscribed to my site (I used to have more…like around 20, now it’s about 9).  Nothing personal but if you’re not reading or writing yourself…you’re just wasting my time.  I’m apparently wasting yours.  Or maybe they don’t care.  And maybe I should start not caring too.  Sure, I could just leave the subscribers alone (since it’s not killing me or anything) but it doesn’t hurt to remove them either.

In other news, the Raiders won their first pre-season game!  The team looks really good this year, the first time I’ve been optimistic about the team since 2003.  Just win, baby!  …Seriously, now’s a good time.

I believe there was a book that claimed the world was created in seven days.  Best-seller too!

Year Four

Can you believe I’ve been writing in here for four years?  Well, it’s not too hard to sit on your ass for a few minutes and write but whatever…anyway, I guess it’s an accomplishment…or something.

This “year” ended with a bang too with the thunderstorm from hell.  Someone told me a tornado touched down near here (which is weird enough, because this is rather mountainous terrain).  It brought hail, rain and an appetite for destruction.  Trees are down, power’s out in town, it’s a huge mess.

Year Five starts with the next entry.  Maybe a review of the beach (which wasn’t too bad but I still would have preferred going another time) or a review of the year?

Bang bang!