Kingslocke things

So I finished work a little while ago on the Third Revised Edition of the Kingslocke rules, the latest refinement of the diabolical instrument I have created to bring elemental Chaos screaming into the world at the behest of the Dark Forces from Parts Unknown whose will I ultimately serve. And I am a little bit wary of doing more Kingslocke stuff, because it has been a fairly significant chunk of my output lately and I can imagine it might be getting boring, but I’d like to solicit some feedback on that (besides, I also want to finish the prophesied Advanced Rules, the version that will give different rules to the four suits of the Minor Arcana). I have ideas in my head for other things I want to write, but the trouble is, one of those things is my PhD thesis, which I need to have more or less complete by the end of this year, and right now I don’t want to commit to anything big or interesting that I know I’ll probably just have to abandon in a month or two because I need to crunch out a chapter. Writing up playthroughs at a leisurely pace is at least relatively low-effort.

I’ve had some support expressed on Patreon for doing a run of Heart Gold/Soul Silver, which would be fun; I have a lot of nostalgia investment in those particular games. I’d also like to see how the Kingslocke plays in gen VIII, which I still haven’t tried, or even go back further and test it in gen I or II; really there’s a lot of options here. The other thing on my mind is how I want to handle publishing the Advanced Rules. I actually have a complete draft of them already, and I’ve been doing an undocumented run of X to test them, but I definitely think they still need some balance patches, and even on a conceptual level I’m not 100% committed to whether the Advanced Rules should be harder or just more complicated. What had occurred to me as something that might be fun was to start a run without actually publishing the new ruleset and then reveal what all the cards do as they appear. All the new card effects in the Advanced Rules are variations on the standard effects of the Minor Arcana in the Third Revised Edition, so stuff wouldn’t come completely out of nowhere, but there’d be some interesting surprises, I hope.

To recap: are people feeling bored of this Kingslocke nonsense? If not, which game would be fun for me to play next? And how does that plan for the Advanced Rules sound?

I invoke the power of Janus to answer a bunch of reader questions rapidfire while drunk

Okay, I’ve gotta-



I’ve got a very narrow window of time here, is the point

It’s 2022 in New Zealand but still 2021 in most of the rest of the world, which won’t be true for long, but I can use that time to invoke the power of Janus, the Roman god of the New Year, (and also some alcohol) for supernatural aid in answering the GREAT BIG DUMB PILE of questions from readers that I haven’t answered in the past… I dunno, fµ¢£in’ COUPLE OF MONTHS probably???

this is probably, like, super dangerous, spiritually speaking; I might end up owing my soul to a doorknob or something

ah, it’s probably fine


Continue reading “I invoke the power of Janus to answer a bunch of reader questions rapidfire while drunk”

I’m probably not dead yet

Just a quick note to say that I have been sick for over a week and also simultaneously dealing with remote teaching as New Zealand entered a lockdown in response to the arrival of COVID Delta. Those two things are not related – I had a COVID test on the first day of lockdown and it came back negative; I think it’s a nasty strep infection (which… would not normally be cause for celebration, but I guess under the circumstances kind of is? Hooray for strep infections!). It’s a really fun level of sick, where I’m not so unwell that I can’t actually do anything, but I do definitely feel like $#!t most of the time. So anyway that’s why there hasn’t been a new “A Pokémon Trainer Is You” episode or much other stuff lately. Don’t worry about me; I think I’m getting better and should be functioning properly again in a few days.

Updates to ongoing minor endeavours

I’ve just made some updates to two pages where I keep ongoing projects that accumulate gradually over time on other platforms – my dinosaur reviews, which I write on my private Facebook page for the amusement of my IRL friends, and the growing list of Pokémon I have cooked and eaten, which I write on Twitter as tithes to the podcast I Chews You. If you’ve seen either of these before and want more of the same, those pages now have it!

Reports of my death have been mildly exaggerated (also cake)

I can see, definitely, how people might have gotten the idea that I am dead, and I’m not not dead. I had a lot of assignments that were all due all at once, because I’m doing a high school teaching diploma and our first school visits for observation were delayed due to a short COVID lockdown in March and then all the due dates for everything had to be pushed back until we ran out of time to push them back into, because we had to go on our first practicum assignment. So a whole bunch of stuff was due at once, and I did die for a short while because it was more convenient for me to work from Hell (you know how it is; they have some good research libraries and you can eat as much junk food as you want), and then the next day I had to immediately drop into a school and start teaching and getting to know the students, and the first two weeks of that were exhausting. I have been trying to write, but the school is, in some ways, y’know, physically located in Hell, in the Fifth Circle, which is obviously a bit of a commute from my preferred hangouts in the Seventh, so I am somewhat dead, but really only a little bit. I didn’t really intend to take an extended break like I have, but I did also become slightly unmoored from linear time and obviously that took… some indefinite length of subjective time to sort out.

Anyway I have an episode of A Pokémon Trainer Is You coming out tomorrow, and I have the next two weeks off so I should get something done in that time.

But more importantly (and you might have seen this if you follow my Twitter for some reason) I made a Parthenon cake over the last weekend for an online “Build Your Own Monument” competition! Everyone knows the Parthenon, right? This thing?

I thought anyone who’s still here might like some documentation of that, so here’s my process:

Continue reading “Reports of my death have been mildly exaggerated (also cake)”

No “A Pokémon Trainer Is You” this week

Just what the title says. I’ve foolishly enrolled in a graduate diploma for high school teaching as long as I’m here in New Zealand not working on my PhD (and, uh… to be honest I’m less than enthusiastic about going back to the US in August for the start of the next academic year), and I’m a bit embroiled in course work at the moment, especially since I’m technically in seven different classes that are all responding independently to New Zealand’s third lockdown and we’ve all completely lost track of what we’re supposed to be doing. Hopefully there will be an episode next week, along with part 2 of this thing.

in anticipation of forthcoming announcements:

The February 26 “Pokémon Presents” broadcast is, for me in New Zealand, at 4 o’clock on the morning of February 27, and frankly there is no force in heaven or earth that will get me out of bed that early just to listen to an announcement from the people who have STOLEN MY LIFE AND REFUSE TO JUST LET ME DIE IN PEACE

I’ll get to it when I get to it, whether it’s Diamond and Pearl remakes, or Let’s Go Johto, or a gritty live action reboot of the TV show, or a new mobile game based on the Celadon Game Corner where you play the slot machines with real money to win a .gif of a Porygon, or just 20 solid minutes of Junichi Masuda bawling his eyes out and knocking back bottles of sake like Gatorade after a marathon because all the Dexit tweets are starting to get to him

for the record, that last one is my official prediction and I am taking no additional questions until further notice

EDIT: actually though I will be streaming Final Fantasy X with Jim the Editor on his Youtube channel as we do every week at 9am NZ time (8pm UK and… I don’t fµ¢£ing know, some other time US) and I’ll probably watch/listen to the broadcast while we’re doing that, so if you want to hear my unstructured and profanity-laden first impressions to the backdrop of an angsty bleached-blonde teenager with daddy issues killing monsters with a Welsh sword… y’know, I’m sure that’ll be in some way worth listening to. I’ll tweet when we’re live or something.

Patreon tier changes

I’ve made some changes to my Patreon tier structure, which will hopefully make small donations a bit more worthwhile. New benefits are as follows:

The “minion” tier ($1+) lets you jump the queue for my Q&A box by sending me questions via Patreon DMs. Right now I have so many unanswered questions, most of which are complicated ones that I can’t easily knock out in half an hour, that there’s a sort of wishing-well quality to putting anything in the question box. It doesn’t cost me anything to rearrange the queue, so I think it’s reasonable to give that to anyone prepared to support me, even for only a small amount.

I’ve never had anyone sign up specifically for the $8/month tier that included access to behind-the-scenes material, so I’m moving that to $5 and getting rid of the $4 tier (which used to have the question priority benefit).

And lastly, it’s now $10/month (down from $12) for membership on the Dark Council, which gets to make suggestions for a longer discussion article every month, as well as a unique title on my acknowledgements page and a shout-out at the end of articles.

If you like my writing and would like me to be able to do more of it, check out and consider a monthly donation – every little helps!

Final Fantasy Friday

In principle Jim the Editor and I are supposed to be streaming Final Fantasy X tomorrow morning/tonight (7am NZ time, 8pm UK time). Unfortunately, Jim’s just moved to a new flat and doesn’t have a good enough internet connection for streaming. For this week, we’ve pre-recorded something and are going to have it go live with Youtube’s premier feature, so we can have it air at the usual time with a live chat. As always, come and hang out if you’re free!