Urls at Urinals

23 November, 2011

Browsing MRA sites, found the “URLs at Urinals” thingy. So, wrote an EPS file suitable for printing onto sticky labels.


The eps has a QR code for http://www.mgtowforums.com.
EPS is used because, well, the label-printing business whose site I found on the web seems to accept it. This image can be converted to other formats, but the process of doing so may create fuzzy images – it depends on how good the postscript processor in the converter is. You’re better off using the eps directly.

The eps is built for 20mm labels, with a 2mm area left clear around the border (because, once again, the online printshop that I found seemed to want that). However, it’s pretty simple to customise. Note that if you change the size by modifying this block:

/sz 20 mm def		% 20 mm sticky labels
/requiredborder	2 mm	% need a 2 mm white border
/textsize 5 def		% trial and error - flyspeck 5 fits ok

Then you must also modify the EPS headers

%!PS-Adobe-3.0 EPSF-3.0
%%BoundingBox: 0 0 56.6929133858268 56.6929133858268
%%IncludeFont: Helvetica

56.6929133858268 is (obviously) 20mm converted into points (10mm=1cm, 2.54cm=1in, 1in=72 pt).

Most of the file is a QR generator, which I copied off http://www.terryburton.co.uk/barcodewriter/. The business of drawing the label is right at the end, and it’s pretty obvious where to stick the text and URL is you want to change it. If it’s not obvious, then find someone who codes.


GG3 Week 11 – a little peace and quiet

8 November, 2011

Why am I sitting here debating, when there is a gateway to a progenitor dragon not 20 feet away? I step onto the portal.

I find myself in a place much the inverse of where I came from, an upright pyramid all in white. I see twin stairs leading up to a balcony, doors below and doors above. I decide to try the upper doors.

Beyond, a library. Four shelves of books, extending into the distance. I walk along and come to a wall, and a door. The door will not budge. I elect to leave it for the moment and try the door under the stairs.

It opens into a room. More books. On a table in the centre of the room, two books and a recent outline left by two more. Hmm – it’s seems I am not the only one who habitually keeps secrets.

The contents are indecipherable. The first is perhaps Dwarvish? The second script I do not recognise at all.

I spend an hour and turn the room over thoroughly, a trick I learned from a halfling pickpocket. The key is to search every surface once and once only, to neither waste time revisiting places you have been, nor to suppose that you have already searched surfaces that in truth you have not. Deceiving oneself is surprisingly easy, without discipline and mindfulness. A lesson, there.

Yay! I used a ritual! Or a martial practice – same thing. “Thorough Search” – one hour and 1 healing surge. +20 to a perception check. 6 on the die, 46 in total.

But no, nothing. Or at least, nothing that I am able to find.

The candles are odd. Strangely bright. I put two in my pack, and two to light my way – perhaps the light is magical? I return to the door at the end of the bookshelves above.

This time I see that the walls are odd. I walk through – they are simply illusions. A simple trick, but it worked on me the first time. (How strange that I admit that so freely! I have not been among my own race for many weeks now, and I see them and myself more clearly. The defensive pride of the drow is rooted in their fear of one another.)

Beyond, more bookshelves. An arch filled with blackness that my vision does not penetrate. Beyond, a room and a dead giant. It seems that I am following Gabriel’s trail. I search the giant (why not?), but no loot.

And beyond that, finally, a dragon.

The dragon – I cannot focus on it, my mind or my eyes. Is it simply a huge dragon before me, or is it bigger than the sky? Its scales are a colour new to all the world: a new primary shade. I cannot name it, I cannot even visualise it in my mind’s eye. It slips beyond my grasp, even as I stand and see it before me.

It is fettered at every point with irons of metal, of some substance that I will not even try to name. Manacles on in its legs and feet, on each individual claw, on the thumb hook of its wings and each wing tip, on the joints of its tail and neck, heavy bindings around its head and jaw, a mighty pillory of solid metal across its back holding the base of its wings, and chains from all of them them anchored in the floor and massive dome of the chamber about me. Every link, every join written deeply with runes, deeply etched on the fetters and finely inscribed across each weld, every stone of the chamber likewise inscribed, even the mortar in exquisite detail, the very pattern and shape of the stones a great warding. The dragon is half suspended, half hanging from chains that have held it for an age, held as if about to take flight, its legs ready for the leap, its wings poised for that first great downbeat that will lift it free of the earth. Bright power plays across the runes of its bindings and the chains that anchor it to the ground, but they hold fast.

I waste no time, I probably have only one chance. “Dragon, do you speak?”

It replies! Psychically – its voice painful but not overwhelming. We talk. I am open with him – I think it wisest. I tell him that I am a renegade of my kind, that I desire to slip free of the hold of the spider-godess Lolth, that the blood of a progenitor dragon changed me and that I desire to change permanently. I name Io, I mention the war above. The knows the names Bahamut and Tiamat, and reacts, but what they mean to him I cannot guess. He tells me that he knows of no other dragons like himself and Io. He says that he was bound by two great infernal spirits, but he does not know their names, nor can he describe them to me.

He tells me that I may take his blood – he cannot keep me from doing so – but it will do me no good, for I have already tasted the blood of Io. I ask him if it is in my power to free him, but he says no.

A am … disappointed. We cannot bargain: I cannot help him, and he cannot help me. Nevertheless, I find a likely vein and tap a mouthful or two of his blood. It is like the blood of Io, but it seems to work no change in me. We talk a little more, but to little purpose. He says that the library contains “the knowledge of ages”, but I could have guessed this, as it is the nature of libraries to contain knowledge. It is rather the whole point of them.

I wander out, return to the room below, and retrieve the two books. I return to the dragon. His mind – his mind is clouded. He does not remember me. I think that the fetters about him also fetter his mind. The books are simply a pair of dictionaries. With the two of them, one may translate between supernal and dwarven.

The portal does not transport me away, but I neither eat, drink nor sleep. I read. I talk to the dragon, occasionally. With nothing to mark the time, I am not sure how long I was there.

I am suddenly snatched away …

I was going to mention some out-of-game info in this blog. But screw it. Youse can all find out later. Maybe 🙂 .

Oh – apparently Gabriel said straight up that he was working for Big B, and that threw the dragon off. Big B isn’t Azroth’s primary thing (Big L is), so he kinda dodged a plot bullet just by way of his backstory. Cute.

I am at the portal in the inverted black pyramid below. People – humans, dragonborn. I am dazed, slow to react. One yells “I know that drow! Get him out of here!” I am clubbed unconscious.

It seems I am a prisoner again. Of the Black Magistrars, no less: The Platinum One’s legal assassins. I tally up the ways in which this could have been worse: there are many. Best of all, they are taking me out of the underdark, which is the direction in which I want to be going. My captor is that Gith whose assassination of that diabolist we failed to foil, all those months ago.

There have been more intrigues. It seems that one of Bahamut’s own generals has denounced the Black Magistrars, that nearly all of have been executed. The gith assures me that there is some mistake, that the magistrates are loyal to Bahumut. Or at least that he is. I promise to take his message. Left unsaid is that while I might convey his message, I cannot vouch for its truth.

One of the magistrars accompanies me. A bowman.

New player. Welcome to the weekly chaos!

We make it to the capital. We are in a stable, preparing to infiltrate the Ivory Tower tomorrow. When utter chaos strikes – a major attack on the capital itself.

The bowman and I emerge. Dragons are warring in the sky, crashing to earth. There is some sort of enchantment on the whole city – ordinary citizens: barbers, tailors – are fighting one another on the streets. Singly and in knots of dozens and hundreds. In all this chaos, who should I see but my companions. What are the chances? Someone is moving the chesspieces around, I fear. Regardless, we need to make our way to the Ivory Tower, fast, without being waylaid.

We got together at the table and within half a minute had broken Winky’s game.

Who was fastest? Kriv, of course, who can fly in short bursts – enough to get past the various melees and other obstacles in our way. I used my power to transform all of us except Kriv into small spiders, and we all
clung to him as he took us directly to the tower.

Druid utility power “Animal Shapes”. Transform a bunch of willing allies into innocuous small animals – mice, chipmunks. Sustain minor. Azroth does spiders, of course. A few strands of webbing, and hanging onto a running, jumping, half-flying dragonborn is not a hassle.

At the tower we change back – Kriv shedding allies, and join the crowd. Someone wearing braid addresses us all – it seems that one of the generals, the same that denounced the black magisters, has turned traitor. Well, well, well. The Platinum one is elsewhere. We march to regroup.

Apparently my companions were granted an audience with his metallicness himself, Gabriel describing his meeting with the progenitor. Bahamut insists that this dragon must be freed.

I’m not sure how this might be accomplished. I have diagrams and rubbings of some of the runes on the fetters. Perhaps the great one might tell us how we could proceed to accomplish such a thing as loosing them?

Oh. I’d like to meet the platinum one myself, too. For a specific reason, which I will not relate just yet.


6 November, 2011

Missed a week blogging. Oh well.


I am absolutely furious. Bloody livid. I’m sorry if I vent a little in this message, but really!

From the Inner Sea World Guide. Hopefully our characters get a better map than this!

What was going on last time I wrote? We came back from the mountains, there was an attack on Tatselford, that’s right. We worked out that there was trouble from the west.

Well, after stabilising things we went home. Things to do – there wasn’t going to be another attack any time soon. I took care of business, and His Dukeness relaxed by pursuing his hobby down ‘t forge, making me a really very nice chainmail shirt, while I did up some scrolls to replace the ones I had used. We’d all like to have done more, but there wasn’t time. Eventually we simply replaced our consumables by buying them. We can afford it, these days. The people in our academy and caster’s tower also had recently researched some new spells, one or two of which I have transcribed.

Switch relies heavily on scrolls: it’s really the only way to play a wizard, I think. Her bonded item also gives her just that little bit of flexibility, but she scribes and uses a lot of scrolls.

The “new spells” are in Paizo’s new “Ultimate Combat”. Dave rolled for whether the ones I wanted were available. One or two were, and it actually came in handy.

I took “arcane armour training” as the 12th level feat. The chain is +3, which is level-appropriate. Quite a bit better than the old Mage Armour, and more rogue-y. Anyone want a slightly used wand?

Meanwhile, this woman had been pressing His Grace to do something about Baron Drellev, to the west, who was behind the attack. The baron (like ourselves) had been charted by Brevoy to tame a chunk of land, but had had much less success than us. Apparently he eventually struck a deal with the local savage tribes – they would take hostages in exchange for not razing his town. Thing is: the baron is without issue. So instead they took the first born of each of his council. This woman – Cassandra – was from one of the families.

Now … really. Have you ever heard anything more suspicious in your life? I’d wager considerable gold at poor odds that the Baron himself is behind the whole thing, and that these hostages are not held by some savage tribesmen but are instead tucked away in the dungeons of that castle I can see just beyond the trees.

But I’m getting ahead of the story.

We headed out, sallied forth. We were simply going to go to Fort Drellev and, well, find out what was what. His Grace also decided to clear out the worst of the monsters as we went. I think he’s feeling acquisitive again (now that we have the resources, we should finally start regular patrols in the forest. We needn’t build roads through it, but I’d like to know that it is definitely our territory.). We bought along our new hangers-on: the dragon disciple who we discovered at the attack on Fort Tatselford, His Grace’s replacement for dear little Giacomo, and Scott’s character who I just can’t quite recall, sorry dude (all I can picture is your rogue from the other game).

The land to the northwest is swampy – you can see it on any map. We left our roads and made our way overland to the north, where there is an important bridge, then west along the trade road to Fort Drellev. The road runs along an enormous swamp, and the local residents are tough – it’s not a wonder that Baron Drellev had difficulty establishing his barony. We took down some ettins who attacked our camp, not a problem. Then there were some aggressive frogs and lizards which were a little near to the road. These lizards – well, they turned out to be basilisks and I don’t mean to worry you but they got me. One moment I was shooting Scorching Rays at these things, next I was regaining consciousness with a gutted basilisk carcass draped over my head, the blood from which had reversed the petrification. (Nasty stuff. Acidic. When the petrification was reversed, I used Prestidigitation to clean it off. My hair is a fright.)

So anyway. The basilisks were done for, but the frogs had run off and were huddling around this hill, a few score feet away. Rainor shot an arrow into it and the whole bloody hill turned out to be a Froghemoth. Just as well they woke me up first [says Switch, preening slightly]. Froghemoth (what’s the plural, do you suppose?) snatch people with their tongues and swallow them. I must make up a new wand of Grease at earliest opportunity: this one is nearly done. His Grace was fine of course – Ring of Free Action. Once everyone was greased up I dropped a Scorching Ray into it, but it was really no use at all. I simply must spend a little time and research a variant that uses a different mode of action. They simply whacked it until it was dead.

Anyway. Job done, after a few tense moments. We continued on.

Oh, a rules clarification. In Pathfinder, if a spellcaster’s rest is interrupted then it isn’t “Ha ha! No spells for you!” as in 3.5 and earlier. It takes an extra hour of rest per interruption. Any spell slots you use cannot be used again until 8 hours have elapsed. Much less annoying.

So. Fort Drellev. Cassandra gave us a contact, a certain X at “The Velvet Corner”, and a token to show her. We tried to bluff our way in as a mercenary company, but the guards were just a shade too bright.

We rolled badly. Dave ruled that we were suspiciously well-equipped for a down-at-heels mercenary company, which is the only kind that would be seeking work here.

So instead it was my job to make contact. Rainen would fly me over high enough that we would not be spotted, I would use Invisibility and Feather Fall, and that would be that. I used my rod of Extend Spell. With that, I can do a simple Invisibility for about an hour and three quarters. Plenty of time.

The guys are all going “HALO drop!” Switch could probably simply have walked in through the incomplete wall. But meh: using magic is the first thing that occurs to her, so it’s in character to do it the complicated way.

What? An assignation, a clandestine meeting! I wake, a little. We are a shadow, we walk past them – they never know we are there, not once. Roomsfulls of swords, yet we have no fear whatever. Even if they did see us, they could do nothing to impede us. And it matters not – we are too cunning for such as they.

I had thought to drop the invisibility once I had gotten into town, but there were guards everywhere. So whatever. I found “The Velvet Corner”, which – as I should have suspected – is a brothel. (Why not call it the “Velvet Clam” and be done with it?) I located the madam, who went into a back room to do a little paperwork. She left the door open to give herself a view of the front desk, which made it easy to enter.

Well. Here I was. What to do? I wasn’t sure that this was my contact – she was using a working name, I think. But, well, I couldn’t imagine that someone of good family would work here as a companion, so the madam was probably she.

I gave a discrete cough, which got her attention. I dismissed the invisibility. After a beat, she went to the door, told the guards that she was not to be disturbed, and closed it. What a sensible woman, thank Desna.

Well, I won’t go into too much detail. I don’t think I was very persuasive. But I did set up a meeting for an hour after dusk tomorrow, at “The Iron something-or-other, a disused inn”. A sign of how badly the baron is managing things, bye the bye, that an inn right in the middle of town is disused. I cast invisibility again, asked her to open the door, and went to see this inn. I took careful note of things so that I could Dimension Door in tonight, teleported out as far as I could (beyond the treeline), made a note of where I had teleported to, and went to report.

I flubbed the encounter rather badly, forgot the name of the chick who sent us here – thought and memory had to remind me. I’m actually think that’s kind of ok. Switch has low charisma. I think it’s not because she’s bad-looking, it’s because she sucks at dealing with people. Sigh. I’m a lousy roleplayer: I always wind up playing myself. She also has a low Wis and gave away details such as that we would teleport in. But compared to what happened next…

Anyway. His Grace’s new offsider can cast Clairvoyance (she’s a sorceress, you know, so it doesn’t count). I used one of the new spells: Share Memory to give her an accurate picture of whatshername’s office. We snooped, but I don’t think we accomplished much by it.

We would idle away tomorrow, and meet an hour after dusk. What could go wrong?

So anyway. His grace, keeping up the charade that we were a mercenary company trying to get into town, went down to argue with the new gate guard. Unknown to me at the time, he decides to bribe the guards to get in. Ovthen also bribes his way in, our scruffy down-at-the-heels mercenary dwarf dropping more money on them than they will ever see in their entire lives.

Stuff happens. Ovthen decides to make an absolute display of himself. He’s tyaken to the castle. Don’t know where His Grace and the four or five hangers-on he took into town with him are. First thing I know about it, Rainor and I see what is unmistakably a Flame Strike hit the castle. Shit. I’m running to Rainen, casting invisibility as I go. Another one for Rainien and Rainor on the way over (I use the low level spell because it lasts longe and it’s less risky). Ovthen is in the castle courtyard, enlarged, fighting two giants. I do the HALO jump again (not sure why they call it that), yell “Ovthen, you bloody idiot” so that he knows it’s me, and then Dimension-Door the two of us the hell out of there.

Dave dealt with this at the table by having us play the bad guys – the human guards. My dude got toasted 😦 .

I’m – I still can barely contain it. THe whole town, the whole town is in an absolute uproar. I don’t know what our contact, Madam Whatshername, is going to think. At least it was only one of us, and His Grace wasn’t in the castle courtyard, openly fighting with the guards.

We have a Hat of Disguise, so maybe we can deal with this mess by disguising Ovthen and pretending that the fracas was nothing to do with us. Maybe not. I think we should just bury him up to the neck in the woods and pretend we never knew him. Pick him up later. He’s a dwarf, he’ll survive. I can still teleport us into and out of the old inn where we are supposed to be meeting tonight.

Or maybe we might as well simply assault the castle and damn stealth. I don’t know.

It’s just appalling.

Unknown to Switch, His Grace et. al. was in the bearded clam (whatever), and sort of did a hat-tip to Ms Thingy (actually, it was Ben’s character, the Dragon Disciple). There was also a nugget of information – Lord Drellev has been acting weirdly ever since he got a new caster. An important development. Switch couldn’t have gotten that info, with her crap social skills.

In any case. Game on next week.