Wednesday, August 26, 2020

State of the Erin Report

Hi, everyone. Other than recording podcast episodes I haven't been terribly regular with my posting here, and believe me that bothers me at least as much as it does you, if not more.

I'm trying to figure out the reason for it. Some of it is just the typical COVD craziness: people have been cooped up for a long time and the cabin fever is setting in, and they are lashing out on social media. Putting out figurative fires and keeping more from starting, all while trying to write a blog AND run a nonprofit AND record a podcast AND look after my elderly parents... well, something has to give, and sadly what's given has been my time / energy / ability to write. (Yes, I'm still annoyed that I haven't done more on Three-Line Rifle, either.)

I also haven't been sleeping well, which is probably the predictable result of trying to do too much with too little.

Finally, and I know how much this sounds like an excuse, but I think I have a mild case of ADD. I've been doing some research and it does seem like it based on my sleep patterns:
  • Circadian rhythm obstruction that moves my sleep cycle to 2am - 10am
  • Restless sleep at night
  • "Sleep of the dead" starting at dawn
  • Grogginess after waking and inability to feel fully awake until noon or later
I think it went undiagnosed as a child because I was never truly hyper (other than a constant fidgeting to get comfortable while sitting) and I had a tremendous ability to focus on things which interested me, like reading. I also think it's gotten worse lately, mainly due to all the distractions of modern life such as smartphones and rapidly-evolving social media which provide an "ooh shiny!" disruption to my concentration. Of course, there's also the whole "Erin, stuff is on fire and we need you" thing as well, which sometimes makes it difficult for me to justify turning the phone off and getting down to work.

The next time I see the doctor -- if I can see the doctor, which is a crapshoot due to all the COVID hysteria -- I'll ask about it. Given that he was practically eager to prescribe me anti-depression meds (which didn't do anything for me) perhaps he'll start me on a low dose of whatever ADD folks take to be less "Squirrel!"

But speaking of focus... which I was a few paragraphs ago, great segue, Erin... there is something which has been occupying my attention for the past month or so, and why I haven't written more Vampire: the Masquerade stuff. I've mentioned my friend and GM Adrian before, and when we were driving to ConFinement and back we talked about game systems we've run and liked. One of those systems was In Nomine, which I've talked about on this blog but not very much and not recently. The short version is "Think Good Omens:the Role-Playing Game. You can play as angels and demons on Earth, and it can be tongue-in-cheek or deadly serious or anywhere in between." I played it pretty heavily from 1997 to 2003, and because it's based on Abrahamic monotheism like V:tM (vampirism is God's curse upon Cain for killing his brother and spilling his blood), I quite naturally hacked the setting and mechanics of IN to fit VtM. Now that I'm back into V5 and Adrian kept asking about IN and making noises like he was going to try to integrate it into our game (I was right), I decided in proper Game Master dudgeon that "He's going to try to convert it and do it wrong, so I guess I'd better do it myself to make sure it's done properly."

Yes, I do have a huge ego, thank you for noticing.

I've been calling the project ErIn Nomine because it makes me laugh, and that's really what matters here. I'm not entirely certain how far along I am because there's so much to convert, and yes I know that I could spend this time writing but 1) this is what has grabbed my attention now and 2) this project lends itself more easily to writing in bite-sized chunks than writing essays on this blog or working on 3LR.

When I'm done with it -- if I ever finish, let's be realistic, I have a terrible track record for starting projects and then never finishing them (squirrel!) -- I have a notion to PDF the whole thing and send a copy to Steve Jackson. You see, IN never finished its game line, and given that Good Omens came to video last year and was (and presumably still is) immensely popular, I want to show him that there's a market for the game. He probably won't like the conversion to V5, but I'm primarily doing this for myself, my GM and my gaming group anyway, and who knows? he might surprise me.

Is it me, or has this entire post basically been a handful of giant run-on sentences?

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant in your direction, gentle readers. Let me know if you'd be interested in seeing the completed ErIn Nomine and, I dunno, maybe I'll start releasing it on Patreon or something?

Take care and be safe. Strange times are upon us and they're only going to get worse the closer we get to November.


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