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5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Wee Fr... · 0 replies · +7 points

I love the Dresden Files, and I sort of remember her appearance there, but I think Jenny Greenteeth first came to my notice as a recurring character in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition adventures. I don't often use published adventures, as I prefer to run homebrew campaigns where I can tailor everything for my group, but I try to get in some play at conventions because it's about the only way I ever get to sit on the other side of the screen and just be ONE character instead of an entire world, and convention games almost all run simple modules that lean to hack-and-slashy, short-session stories written for Adventurer's League, D&D's organized play structure. For whatever reason, Wizards of the Coast have decided to make Jenny Greenteeth a recurring character who shows up in at least one or two stories each 'season' of modules for Adventurer's League (seasons are usually loosely linked to whatever major big-book adventure WotC have most recently published).

The last convention I attended was Salt Lake Comic Con last September, and the last session of the con was easily the best one; the DM at our table was very performative and whimsical, always had a dad joke at the ready. Instead of being a hack-and-slash, it had much more of the vibe of one of my home games; lots of roleplay and creative problem-solving instead of just a string of fights and simple puzzles. Our characters were meant to be getting quickly to a location to do something important, but we promptly got lost and separated in the wilderness only to be found by Jenny Greenteeth and her sisters, who kept making "jokes" about eating us. My bard Calvric (sort of a fantasy Jimi Hendrix, since repurposed as an NPC in my regular campaign) critically failed on an Insight check to get an impression of whether they were at all trustworthy, so I spent the rest of the game stanning for them, insisting that these sweet, kind ladies (very clearly a coven of green hags, for anyone who has any familiarity with D&D monsters; fey creatures based on the sort of Brothers-Grimm-esque witches that lure children into gingerbread houses in the woods. Pretty much always evil, though older editions' Ravenloft setting did have a version of bruja, who as played there were pretty much just hags that somehow gained foreknowledge of their own deaths and decided being evil was kinda shitty and maybe they should NOT do that) had rescued me from the woods, given me food and shelter, and that it was so REFRESHING as an adventurer to run into NICE people in my line of work; there are so few people you can trust, really, and it's just lovely to have my expectations broken in a positive way once in a while, and gods, why are the rest of you acting so stiff and uncomfortable? Have some respect for our hosts!

Thing is, I played that for laughs, but the way our DM was playing Jenny and her sisters, I genuinely think they meant us no harm unless we really screwed up our interactions; they seemed to have a morbid sense of humor and sort of a Hannibal-esque "eat the rude" attitude, so I inadvertently made things easier by fucking up a roll and committing to it, haha. Being just INCESSANTLY polite, grateful, and pleasant for the rest of the game may have saved us some trouble. It is also possible that they were just toying with us, because according to D&D lore, that's what green hags DO; they're sort of "bring you in, deceive you, and try to break you down as much as possible before they kill you" beings. But by the end, we left unscathed, so who knows. Jenny herself as a recurring character in Adventurer's League seems less like a 'villain' and more... just a sinister, strange, and off-putting person that clearly has SOME kind of agenda. You can enlist her help for spellcasting services if you can't find anyone else to help you, and she'll give you basically a 'discount' of sorts (by which I mean she'll charge you only the usual cost of the spellcasting and forgo the cost to your character's soul represented by spending downtime days, which are kind of a currency in Adventurer's League?) if you complete some kind of weird request for her, which ranges from just giving her a lingering embrace to telling her some personal secrets about you or your family to allowing her to hurt you in some nasty but relatively minor way.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Night Watc... · 0 replies · +4 points

Since I'm coming late, this comment will be buried, but I have to say it. This is either the very best book Sir Terry ever wrote or my very favorite, and I'm way too close to it to say which. This is the one that most strongly backs up my arguments that Sir Terry was one of our best writers in any genre. This book is DEEP in my DNA. Oddly, it was the first Discworld novel I ever read (I did it; I found probably the absolute least accessible place to enter Discworld fandom, haha), and while I think I got a great deal more out of it on my second read when I returned after reading the other Watch books, it deeply affected 14-year-old me and shaped who I would become.

This is the one I've been waiting for ever since Mark announced this project.

8 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'The Lege... · 0 replies · +5 points

V qba'g ungr Obbx Gjb, V whfg srry yvxr vg'f gur jrnxrfg frnfba Xbeen unq. V qba'g srry yvxr Xbeen rire pnzr gbtrgure dhvgr nf jryy nf GYN va trareny (tbq, ubj V zvffrq gur Runfm vasyhrapr va gur jevgref' ebbz), ohg V nyfb qba'g guvax vg jnf rire ONQ be jbegul bs ungr, unun; whfg fbzr zvffrq cbgragvny. Vg'f cerggvre guna GYN, ohg V arire dhvgr ybirq vg be vgf prageny pnfg nf zhpu nf V ybirq GYN naq gur Tnnat, juvpu cebonoyl vfa'g n gbgnyyl snve pbzcnevfba. Vg'f fgvyy na rkpryyrag fubj va vgf bja evtug. Nyy va nyy V'q engr gur frnfbaf/obbxf va beqre bs Guerr, Sbhe, Bar, Gjb.

Gur svefg gjb frnfbaf bs Xbeen pnzr gb ehfurq pbapyhfvbaf naq arire ernyyl pnzr gbtrgure aneengviryl; gurl unq nyy gur cvrprf bs fbzrguvat rkpryyrag ba gur obneq, ohg qvqa'g dhvgr xabj jurer gb chg gurz gb znkvzvmr gur vzcnpg bs vg nyy. Obgu Nzba naq Hanynd/Inngh naq gur pber pbasyvpgf gurl ercerfrag ner jnl zber vagrerfgvat va gurbel guna rkrphgvba, naq V guvax gur fubj sybhaqref n yvggyr jvgu gurz naq snvyf gb pbzzvg rabhtu gb gurz.

Gung fnvq, zl ovttrfg pbzcynvag nobhg guvf frnfba vf npghnyyl gbgnyyl nrfgurgvp; n ybg bs gur navzngvba vf hahfhnyyl fgngvp be njxjneq qhr gb zhpu bs gur frnfba orvat navzngrq ol Fghqvb Cvreebg engure guna Fghqvb Zve; gurl phg n ybg bs pbearef naq gurve jbex ybbxf abgvprnoyl jbefr ol pbzcnevfba.

Gung'f nyy whfg zl bcvavba, bs pbhefr. Jurgure lbh nterr be abg, V sryg yvxr gur fubj tbg onpx ba genpx va Obbxf Guerr naq Sbhe naq pnzr qnza pybfr gb orvat nf fngvfslvat naq pbby nf GYN. Rfcrpvnyyl gur snpg gung XBEENFNZV VF PNABA!

8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Moving Pic... · 0 replies · +9 points

It is. I'm actually a big fan of just salt and butter on popcorn, but sometimes I'm in the mood for something else. Not much fuss, either; I just mixed up a shaker of curry powder and salt, and now when I'm in the mood for that I use a small amount of olive oil and pretty generously sprinkle on the curry salt.

8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 7 · 2 replies · +9 points

I'm actually in Provo (which is a weird place for an ex-Mormon to go, but in terms of general culture and activity, it's better than where I was previously: Rexburg, Idaho), and yeah, I hope Google will expand throughout this area. I really hope they cover more ground in general in the near future, because our internet infrastructure in the US in general is really bad and Google's one of the few companies actively trying to improve it.

You're lucky that your interactions with Comcast have been as smooth as they have; I and my family have had only problems. My sister had to call them nearly every month for one reason or another over the year and a half I lived with her family in Minnesota; they were constantly trying to silently overcharge her or to limit her service, and my dealings with them here have been very unpleasant.

8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 7 · 1 reply · +8 points

Yeah, I never even tried to learn. My coordination and reflexes aren't inhibited, but the responsibility of "you have to control this big, powerful machine, and your life and the lives of many others rely both on your ability to maintain even control of it and the same from everyone else, and if any one variable within that equation goes wrong EVERYONE IS IN MORTAL DANGER" pretty much killed any possibility that I'd be able to handle it. You're lucky you like public transport; I think my issue with it is largely a social anxiety/confidence thing; I don't like crowds or being in close quarters with strangers, and I'm always worried I'm going to miss something and not end up where I'm supposed to go, that sort of thing. I can deal if I must; I've visited friends (who also don't drive) in distant cities and had to catch buses to and from the airport, but I kind of have to white-knuckle through it.

8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 7 · 3 replies · +9 points

Are you a demon? Hell is probably hiring people capable of conceptualizing that sort of devious cruelty, haha.

8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 7 · 21 replies · +16 points

Oh god, any dealings with Comcast are literal hell. I'm about to jump into the process of switching over from Comcast xfinity to gigabit Google Fiber because I live in one of the few cities where it's currently available (SAVE ME, GOOGLE, YOU'RE MY ONLY HOPE), and I'm dreading every necessary second of dealing with Comcast's endless bullshit. I live in an apartment complex that offers free internet through Comcast, and the number of ridiculous hoops I had to jump through to convince them that NO, I was NOT compelled to pay them because the managers already do was vast and disheartening; I can only imagine it will be a grueling process now to escape it.

As for my personal hell, I think it'd involve me sitting in a room without distractions, forced to make eternal phone calls to Social Security. I'm very introverted and on the autism spectrum (some variant that doesn't affect my social interactions but SEVERELY limits my stress threshold) and so I live on SSI, and while I appreciate the assistance they give me, Social Security is a nightmare knot of bureaucracy and paperwork, and I don't even like speaking to my FRIENDS on the phone, haha.

Or possibly I would be confined to a world where I have infinite resources to order things from Amazon Prime, but all packages are infinitely delayed or lost, and I spend all of my time hoping that just ONE thing will finally show up on my doorstep and fruitlessly complaining to customer service about the things that haven't come, who constantly renew my faint hopes by resending the item or rerouting it. But NOTHING EVER ARRIVES.

Or I suppose I could be working on my novel and come up with some idea that I'm EXTREMELY enthusiastic about, only for the computer to crash before the document is saved and I only remember about 10% of the concept and can never recover it, looping ad infinitum. This happened to me for real several times back before I switched from Microsoft Word to Scrivener for all of my worldbuilding/plotting/drafting/editing purposes, which automatically saves and backs up your documents frequently and has saved me a lot of heartache.

Or I might be forced to drive and park or ride endless bus lines that never get me where I need to go, haha. I don't have a license because of that pesky autism spectrum disorder again; the whole concept of driving is terrifying to me and I've never gotten my license even though I'm 25 because I just can't take it. I also hate public transportation, so I end up relying on family and friends to drive me places if necessary.

8 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'The Next... · 1 reply · +2 points

V'z znxvat zl jnl guebhtu QF9 ohg unir orra fcbvyrq sbe n ybg bs gur fubj, fb V pna bsgra ernq vgf ebg13, unun. V'z va rneyl F3 naq gur QF9 perj npdhverq gur Qrsvnag va gur frnfba cerzvrer.

8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 3 · 0 replies · +9 points

A fine choice; I would have liked to have had a glass of the Laphroaig in my cabinet last night if I could have, but alas, I'm on painkillers while I heal up from pleurisy for a few more days and booze and meds don't mix, so I'll have to put off the actual drink part of my toast until at least next week, haha.

JBEQF VA GUR URNEG PNAABG OR GNXRA. You gave us all a worthy legacy of words, Sir Terry. We'll miss your presence, but the words will echo as long as we're here to read them.

Bhe zhghny sevraq gur Erncre Zna znl unir pbzr, ohg gur evccyrf lbh pnhfrq va gur jbeyq jvyy bayl or nzcyvsvrq ol gur bgure yvirf gurl'ir gbhpurq, naq gur pebcf lbh yrsg sbe hf jvyy or uneirfgrq ol znal arj trarengvbaf gb pbzr.