sholio: Berries in the sun (Autumn-berries in sunlight)
.... continues to be haunting, lovely, and absolutely impossible to progress though. XD On my last voyage, I managed to avoid getting killed by anything (mostly by running the other way as fast as possible as soon as I saw a monster or a pirate ship), only to run out of provisions and fuel. Pirate Sally (my latest doomed character) ended up abandoning her ship and mutinous crew, and becoming a castaway on a rocky island.

I'm sure you can do more than sail in a random direction until you die, but so far none of the islands I've landed on have been able to give me much in the way of useful items. I did find one island where I could replenish my provisions (in the form of fungus) but wasn't anywhere near it when we ran out of food and had to resort to cannibalism. I'm starting to realize that loading up on EVERYTHING at any point you can get it is probably the only way to survive. Not unlike a real 19th-century ocean voyage, I guess ...

(One thing I will say for this game, especially with the Rogue-style "one death is all you get" gameplay, it ABSOLUTELY impresses upon you the claustrophobic terror of being stranded on the endless dark sea, with no land in sight and every chance you won't make it home again ...)
sholio: (Avatar-upbeat attitude)
Steam is having a holiday game sale, so I treated myself to Sunless Sea, and started playing it tonight.

So how is it going, [personal profile] sholio, you ask?


Let me put it this way: I've stopped naming my captains and picking out backstories for them, because it's like naming feeder mice.

My biggest problem thus far is that my weapons don't seem to do anything to sea monsters. What are you supposed to DO once a sea monster gets after you? Because it seems like all I can do at that point is get attacked until I sink.

I was delighted with myself for figuring out how to dock on Hunter's Keep, after helplessly running into a number of smaller islands because I couldn't figure out that you need, y'know, docks.

But then I set sail and a sea monster ate me, so it was back to square one.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
• I finished my [ profile] wcpairings fic! Well, the rough draft anyway. And my beta likes it. \o/ So I just need to do a bit of polishing and then it'll be ready for its go-live date.

• That SF/mystery book that I was complaining about kinda falls apart towards the end, plot-wise. Mild spoilers )

• It is FINALLY WARM. Words cannot express how wonderful it feels, after the Winter That Would Not Die. It was 73F today, and the trees around town are starting to flush faintly green (though everything is still set on its default brown shade around our yard). Of course, all of this is happening just in time for me to leave ... for someplace ludicrously hot. I'm spending a few days in Florida to see family there. And yes, this is a silly time to go to Florida, but it happened that my husband was going to be there for business anyway, so we're combining it with a family trip. So I expect I'll be even scarcer around LJ/DW for a few days than I have been lately.

• I got my hair cut and dyed a very fetching shade of purplish red. It's a pixie cut, much shorter than my norm, and I think I actually look better with longer hair, but I do like the cut and I also like being a redhead. (I went red last summer, too, and liked it a lot.) The only downside is that hair dye is super painful. Is it like that for everyone? If so, I have all the respect in the world for people who dye their hair a lot, because seriously, OW. It's sort of like having your head set on fire, and I can't bring myself to do it terribly often (plus I suspect it's probably not very healthy). It looks great, though!

• Last but definitely not least, [personal profile] frith_in_thorns made me a thing. And it is AWESOME. She knitted me a pair of Voracious Gloves from Fallen London, with teeth and eyes! All my pictures of them basically suck, but you can get an idea here:

Picture under cut )

So yeah, my ridiculous picture doesn't do it justice because you can't see anything, but basically these gloves are THE BEST, and Frith is the best to make them for me. ♥
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
For those of you on my flist who are playing Fallen London:

Are you participating in Knife and Candle? If so, tell me who you are in the game! I won't do anything nefarious with that information. Not at all. muahahahaha.

If not, do you want an invite?

Basically I just need more opponents so I can stop stabbing the same person over and over; I'm starting to feel guilty about it. :P

ETA: Also, my "character" name is my real name (I would love to rename myself now that I'm participating in social actions, but I don't think that's an option). Here's my profile.

SON OF ETA: Okay, I think I'm going to need to stop sending invites for the moment, as I'm starting to feel insecure about my dwindling pool of knife tokens. (You can still ask, but I might wait a day or two until I - hopefully - regain a few.)

I hope I don't regret this.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Well, the Feast of the Extraordinary Rose is over, and I have all of this Masquing I haven't used yet. Pondery question with mild spoilers for game content )

ETA: AARGH, I just realized something really cool I could've done during the Feast that would've scored me extra stuff, except I didn't think of using my actions in this way until it's too late. Gah! For the curious: ) Now I'm having morning-after-the-Feast regrets. D:


Feb. 23rd, 2013 02:36 pm
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
And ... now I'm in the Tomb-Colonies. That's not really how that was supposed to go.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I finally managed to get the Masquing-raising rare successes on both the eating-deviled-hearts option and the dancing option! I've only been trying for three days ... (If you succeed on the hearts option, you get a boost to persuasive that makes dancing marginally easier.) Since I've already got all the under-27 companions, I'm hoping to get my Masquing up to 40 and obtain one of the higher-level ones before the end of the Feast. (Collect the whole set! The Canny Costermonger is my favorite, even though she's not particularly useful in terms of attribute bonuses. She's adorable.)

And yes, I suspect how deeply bizarre this game must look like from the outside. :D
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
This is the first year I've done the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, and it is very entertaining.

Some spoilers for game content )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Am I doing something wrong, or did equipped items suddenly stop improving your success chances? It doesn't seem to make a difference anymore.

I can't figure out if this is some kind of bug, or if it's only on certain challenges, or what. I'd thought it was just that equipped items don't work when you're at Zee, because I first noticed it in Polythreme (which kind of makes sense, analogous to how you can't access the Bazaar when you're in prison). But now I'm back in town -- I sailed back for the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, I couldn't help myself *g* -- and the same seems to be true here. I'm just wondering if they actually changed gameplay so that equipped items don't have an effect anymore, in which case ... I guess I can save my money and not buy high-end items unless I need them for a storyline? I don't know; I figured I'd ask if I'm missing something obvious, or if having items really, truly doesn't have a beneficial stat-raising effect anymore, which would be a very baffling change (and make the whole Echo Bazaar itself kind of pointless).
sholio: Peter and Neal from White Collar - Neal's hand on Peter's shoulder (WhiteCollar-Neal hand on Peter's shoulde)
... and then I realized I'd better post this one, too, because Frith has one that follows on from this, and she can't post hers until I post mine. So here's another, basically plotless little ficlet. See the previous post for context. Like a lot of our ficlets, this fits into one of the game's minor storylines (in which the entire city of Fallen London gets inundated with something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike snow). [personal profile] frith_in_thorns, I added a little bit to the end after the version that I sent you.

Title: An Unusual Pail of So-Called Snow
Word Count: 700
Characters: Peter, Neal, El (gen with background Peter/El)
Summary: "Look, Peter," El said. "Neal cleared our path for us. Isn't that nice?"

An Unusual Pail of So-Called Snow )
sholio: Neal from White Collar, hand on hat (WhiteCollar-Neal hat)
Ever since Fandom Stocking, [personal profile] frith_in_thorns and I have been writing this fusion between the Flash game Fallen London (formerly Echo Bazaar) and White Collar. Mostly it's been taking the form of bits of fic tossed back and forth in email and LJ comments. Every once in a while they go ahead and develop into actual stories. :D She's posted a few of hers so far: A Boat Trip and A Game of Croquet.

Fallen London (the game) is set in a Victorian-era alternate-history London sunk beneath the surface of the ground. The game is bizarre and dark and funny and disturbing and very fun to play ... as well as fun to inflict on the White Collar characters. Frith explains some of the game mechanics in A Boat Trip; that particular story deals with the fact that, within the game, if your Wounds quality gets high enough, you die. However, it's established game canon that you only die temporarily and all the residents of the city are aware of this (which we both think is hilarious when applied to Neal and his canonical risk-taking abilities).

The ficlet below the cut deals with a different aspect of Fallen London game mechanics, Nightmares. Nightmares is another quality that rises as you play the game, and when it gets too high, you go temporarily insane (which is highly entertaining to play). However, you can reduce your Nightmares in various ways -- everything mentioned in this story (walking in the park, buying goldfish, etc) is actually a canonical way of bringing your Nightmares down from dangerous levels. Naturally Neal goes for the most self-destructive option. *g*

I've been slightly reluctant to post this because, even aside from the fact that I'm hardly online at all due to factors beyond my control ... I'm not entirely sure how much sense this will make if you haven't played the game. The whole AU is basically one long extended series of in-jokes. But it's also White Collar! There's Peter! And Neal! And h/c! (Because we're us.) So, here you go. :D

Title: The Search for Sleep
Word Count: 1200
Characters/Pairing: Peter, Neal, gen
Summary: Sleeping down here isn't easy. It helps to have a friend to look out for you.

Fallen London AU: The Search for Sleep )
sholio: colorful blackberries and raspberries (Autumn-berries)
So I'm playing Echo Bazaar again - I had been blocking it since the middle of last winter, because it was sucking down way too much of my time, and when they took off the actions cap ... augh. But I had signed up for the beta on Story Nexus (the underlying engine that runs Echo Bazaar) and I'm having fun playing with the tools, so I decided to unblock it and see if I can play it without having it eat my whole life.

Also, I had gotten bored with stat-grinding to get anywhere; I'd hit a point where I wasn't making much progress and had basically seen all the options at my various skill levels, so it was just a matter of hitting the button over and over again to progress to the point where I would hopefully see something new. There is still a lot of grinding, but at least I've gotten my Shadowy score up to the point where the interesting thief opportunities start to show up, so now I'm working on upping my Shadowy skills and getting to see some new options ...

Naturally, since it's been awhile since I've played, there's some new stuff -- new storylets and whatnot. But wow, it is SO annoying that they changed the gameplay so that you can't view your clickable options in a storylet or card until you have enough actions to play it! I assume there's probably some coding rationale for it, but it's frustrating because I always liked to look at my options and think about what I was going to do when my actions recharged. (Which might honestly be one reason why the game used to suck down so much of my time ...)


Jan. 28th, 2012 01:08 pm
sholio: cup of cocoa with a swirl of whipped cream on top (Autumn-cocoa)
It's sometimes amusing to imagine the cumulative effect, in Echo Bazaar, of going around with the equipped items that you are supposedly carrying and/or wearing. Especially when you're mixing and matching different ones to raise multiple traits at once, and doubly so if you envision yourself wandering around the docks, say, wearing a party dress and carrying a monkey.


Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:20 pm
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Echo Bazaar people: I am stuck, stuck, stuck in the Labyrinth of Tigers. I've been trying to advance my "Making Progress ..." quality to 14 so that I can move along to Coil 4, but I simply cannot figure out what I have to do to make it bump up from 13 to 14. I've tried EVERYTHING I can think of, but all I'm doing is racking up lots and lots of glim feeding the fish *g*. Can someone give me a teensy tiny hint, perhaps regarding which challenge is involved, or in what way I have to think outside the box in order to get it to happen? (Unless I'm either overlooking something obvious, or need one of my scores higher than it is. I hope this isn't something I need Persuasive for, because if so, I'm doomed. It's my worst score by far.)
sholio: (Avatar-upbeat attitude)
This game gets way more interesting once you start getting your scores up to the 70-80 range. :D

(I'm still sad that I accidentally terminated the jewel thief subplot, though. I wonder if there is any way to get that back.)
sholio: Made by <lj user=foxglove_icons> (Tea)
Does anyone else find it creepy that when you get to high enough levels of the game that you can afford to obtain things like henchmen and urchins ...

a) you buy them in the market like every other item, and

b) they show up in the "pet" slot of your inventory?

I choose to think of it as "hiring" rather than "purchasing outright", but at the very least they should give you an "accomplice" slot or something ...

This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.
sholio: Made by <lj user=foxglove_icons> (Tea)
Does anyone else find it creepy that when you get to high enough levels of the game that you can afford to obtain things like henchmen and urchins ...

a) you buy them in the market like every other item, and

b) they show up in the "pet" slot of your inventory?

I choose to think of it as "hiring" rather than "purchasing outright", but at the very least they should give you an "accomplice" slot or something ...


sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

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