Archive for the ‘mylife’ Category


Potentially long health hiatus

May 3, 2013

Beginning of April I was admitted to the ER when I passed out suddenly in the street. I’ve been diagnosed with one of those weird sub-sub-types of cancer, which is bad. It was basically rare enough they hadn’t come up with any kind of standard treatment plan.

It’s also fast growing, the oncologist assumes I must have gotten it started Thanksgiving or so, and now it is occupying a major portion of my chest trying to directly strangle my aorta, superior vena cava, and press in on several nerve endings I use for stuff like eating and talking.

Through the greatest Mercy of God, I must have rolled some exploding luck die on a saving throw, because, 2 weeks ago a combined study was released on the New England Journal of Medicine which gives a 97% cure rate with this particular chemo mix. If they had caught it earlier and tried to treat, I’d be facing a much harder path with complications and less guarantees, and well, if it got caught later I’d be dead. I like to imagine I’ve spent every single Fate point, Luck point, or dropped 100 points in character creation to “Flip off Cancer once in your lifetime” advantage.

Mind you, the chemo cure is still 6-8 months of hard chemo, being in the hospital 1 week of every month, and I’ll probably be on oxygen for a couple of months until the mass gets off those arterial veins I use to feed by body the precious oxygen.

But I’ll be alive.

At some point, some friends will be organizing a donation site for my expenses. I’ll post when it comes to that, which right now is us mostly navigating the medical system and legal stuff. I’m just going to focus on getting through this chemo and living day to day.

Obviously, if I’m not playing games, I’m probably not going to be writing about them much for a while.

Peruse the archives, follow some links. Play some games!

Good wishes are appreciated!


Summit Aftermath

August 4, 2009

One amazing week.

I try and try and try to explain to people how much this changed my life in 2001. And really, for something about words, there is no words.

We live in a society where asian voices do not exist in our media. We can sell products for other people, tell the news for other people, speak the party line for other people (but only if we’re the most extreme) and drop ancient wisdoms that let white heroes become more awesome at our arts than we ourselves are.

In this climate, where you can’t point to anyone, and say, “Yeah, that’s someone who’s saying what I’m feeling”? That’s the place we’re finding voices.

Making space to be heard. One truth of the immigrant story is that your life and cultural makeup will not be like your parents, and your children’s will not be yours either- you can’t be heard by your own half the time. Tie in all the messages of internalized racism, buying into white supremacy, and that, for many families, survival is material while you’re pursuing the thing that reminds you why the hell you’re alive in the first place.

There’s not a lot of spaces for our voices.

The Summit is about giving love and support. You get love whether no one knows you or you’ve been doing music and spoken word for years. You get love if you have bad poetry, or shitty presentation. You get love if you cry, you get love if you rap, you get love if just lift equipment. You don’t have to fight, explain, justify, tell anyone where you come from, explain what you just said in another language, explain why you can’t speak another language, why you dress like that, why you have a southern twang, why you’re queer, nothing.

That bullshit falls away. You’re you. It doesn’t become magically invisible like the postracially racist “colorblind” folks- it’s just that the differences are accepted, because that’s part of you, too, and it doesn’t matter, because that’s you, and that’s you and that’s you.

We can’t draw lines about you and not reject you.

And the Summit is about coming together.

The differences between us become spaces of exploration- the people who are isolated by geography, by art, by hobbies, by love, by hate, by ethnic backgrounds, by war, by struggle, by everything – this isn’t to divide- this is where I get to know the things I don’t know.

And I do it by accepting you.

And we do it as a group. And we speak and spit fire and poetry falls like snow and covers us with our voices, our stories, our hopes, our truths.

In that, we find our hearts.


Quick Update

September 22, 2008

Still alive- though work and school have been kicking my ass. Random updates:

– Got some inspiration down at the Asian Art Museum for the vague idea of “an Avatar inspired rpg”. Between the Ming Dynasty scroll of tribute bearers from The Kingdom of Women and Indian temple dancers, some neat ideas are growing.

– Fiddling with pacing/flagging/resolution mechanics. If you can’t come up with something better than drive to conflict/conflict resolution + a flag based reward system, you might as well play any of the 20 odd games that already do that. I’m focused on ways to control a game’s pacing in chapters rather than big endgames. Also, how to get tools for better signaling and buy-in from the group to direct stories.

– Saw Dark Knight again. Doesn’t hold up as well the second time, the sketchy gender/race stuff was more twitchy with a second viewing.

– Randomly thinking about how mechanics in rpgs can be intuitive/counterintuitive, simple/fiddly for system mastery, and how many degrees of separation are the mechanics from directly affecting the fiction.


A good gaming weekend

May 12, 2008

Kicked it with good folks this weekend. We got playtest Emperor’s Heart with 6 people. I’m seeing better where I need to tighten things up, especially in the initial set up and the scene framing aspects, since those both seem to be where people need guidance.

The best part about lots of experience roleplaying is that you have a lot of tricks up your sleeve, the worst part is that you have internalized it to the point where you forget how to articulate them.

Getting the game to fly stronger is going to be important, especially as I get folks together to play more than just one-shots here and there, but an actual campaign, both to see what happens in terms of the way play shapes larger scale story development, as well as what happens as players become more familiar with the system.

We also played a giant game of 3 player Mechaton, which included using squads of Tyranid from Warhammer 40,000 as the third side. Mechaton is superawesome, though I think I’d want to make a bunch of numbered, colored little flags to put next to the mechs in order to speed up play and make it easier to track defense and spotting.


Update on what I’m doing

April 8, 2008

Emperor’s Heart

I’m writing up a demo situation and characters.  Not only for the sake of simply demoing and focusing on the play mechanics, but also if I look close at an idealized set up scenario, I can look better at giving folks better advice on how to use Drama Cards and build good situations.

I’ve also recently discovered the pouch style index card holders, and trying to see if any would work really well for the game if I wanted to make a game kit on a larger scale.

Robot game idea

Between reading a lot of Jared Sorensen games and watching giant robot anime, I totally want to do a mission based game in the lines of Evangelion or Raxephon, minus the endless trauma and existentialism (For that, I direct you toward’s Ben Lehman’s Bliss Stage).  I’m thinking more of a game based in the questions of sacrifice and group dynamics, closer to what happens in Lacuna or Thirty.


The nice thing about non-gamers is that a lot of stuff is painless.  On the other hand, it’s about coordinating our schedules to play, which, being non-gamers, they’re not aware of how much intention generally has to go into gaming.  Hopefully by the end of the month, I will have my weekends back, in which case, things will be easier.

The two players have come up with really awesome character concepts, and now it’s about putting rubber to road for play.  I foresee myself making cheatsheets for combat and magic in the near future.