Day off

Aug. 14th, 2015 10:09 am
owlmoose: (coffee)
I decided to play hooky from my casual job today for the entirely necessary purposes of (theoretically) writing in the morning and (actually) playing the new DA:I DLC this afternoon, which I started on Tuesday night but didn't get very far. Since it's intended to be mid-game, and T wasn't interested in playing it with me, I decided to take in my Trevelyan rather than my Cadash, and I'm a little worried that we aren't high-level enough -- my usual party of Varric, Dorian, and Cassandra keeps just barely not dying, when normally we plow through standard enemies like they're butter. Kendra is a two-handed warrior, so normally Cassandra tanks while she slashes, but Cassandra is spending about half her time unconscious. I might have to bring someone else, or spec someone differently, or see about upgrading Bianca.

Meanwhile, more coffee, and perhaps I will actually start writing now. And then maybe a drop by the bookstore -- new N.K. Jemisin and John Scalzi books are out, yay!
owlmoose: (Default)
Just a cold, but a bad enough one that I missed three days of work and didn't have energy for much beyond lounging around the house. So what did I do? Consumed a bunch of media!

1. Read comics: Nimona, the latest Captain Marvel collection (Chewie!), and the first three volumes of Matt Fraction's Hawkeye. I've had the Hawkeye books for awhile, and I actually bought and read the first one when it first came out. But then I put off getting the second, and then when I did get it I wanted to re-read the first one before reading it, and then I didn't get around to doing that either. So I read them all in one fell swoop yesterday. And they were great, although predictably I liked the Kate Bishop volume the best. Is the next one out yet? I know it's ending soon, or maybe already has, but there must be at least one more (that was quite a cliffhanger). Nimona was delightful. I don't know whether its initial publication as a web comic messes up its Hugo eligibility, but if not, it's definitely in my first round of nomination picks for next year.

2. Caught up on the last few months of PBS Idea Channel, which I hadn't watched since March or so. Or almost caught up, anyway -- I decided to take a break after the video that discussed Lewis's Law. One of the things I've always appreciated about the host, Mike Rugnetta, is how unapologetically feminist he is, and how he refuses to debate the validity of feminism as a philosophy. So when he spent his entire comment response to that episode pandering to "egalitarians" whose poor feelings were hurt when he compared them to MRAs, I was pretty disappointed. (I don't think egalitarianism, in and of itself, is necessarily a bad philosophy, but those egalitarians who set themselves up in direct opposition to feminism are 1. missing the point of feminism, especially intersectional feminism, and 2. not taking privilege into account.) I get wanting to keep your community open to a wide range of viewpoints, and I concede he may have worded his comparison clumsily, but there's nothing wrong with setting the terms of the debate. I hope this doesn't mean that he either avoids feminist topics in the future, or starts treating them all with kid gloves in order not to offend. Honestly, I'm not sure which would be worse.

3. Picked up my Dragon Age: Inquisition replay. I left my Trevalyen warrior stranded in Halamshiral for months, so I started by finishing up there, and then I played through the remaining Grey Warden quests (as well as a bunch of sidequests in the Western Approach, a few in the Hinterlands, and Varric's companion quest). Some spoilers. )

4. Watched a good chunk of Season 2 of Star Trek: Voyager. I never watched all of Voyager, and not long ago I was struck with the idea of revisiting it. I had remembered watching it for a few years, then getting bored when it became The Seven of Nine show, and most of the first season episodes were familiar, but the second season has been almost entirely new to me. I vaguely remember the business with Seska, and a couple of other things, but either I actually didn't watch it regularly or have blocked the whole thing out. It's been enjoyable to rediscover how much I loved Captain Janeway and B'lanna and Harry and the Doctor, and there's no one I dislike (although I prefer Neelix in small doses). It'll be interesting to see when it starts getting familiar again -- I know I was watching when Seven joined the cast, but I don't remember exactly what season that was, and not much about what was happening before that.

5. With T, watched Jupiter Ascending (which was bananas, but a fun kind of bananas, but I didn't fall in love with it as deeply as many of you did -- probably my expectations were dialed way too high), the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself (which was lovely, and if you have any interest in Ebert -- and can handle watching a man in slow decline, since it was filmed over the last few weeks of his life -- I recommend it), and the first episode of Sense8 (promising, although I don't think I'll be able to binge on it).

Back to work today -- I don't usually work my part-time gig on Mondays, but I fell far enough behind this week that I want to at least start catching up. Fortunately I think I'm up for it, although I am a bit sad to end my mini media feast.
owlmoose: (da - alistair)
Title: Face the Music
Fandom: Dragon Age
Rating: M-ish
Wordcount: 12,051
Characters: Alistair, Fiona, Teagan, Bianca. Gen, with passing references to past Alistair/f!Cousland and Fiona/Maric
Spoilers: For the mage and Grey Warden questlines in DA:I
Notes: Written for the 2015 round of [tumblr.com profile] dragonagebb. My attempt to answer the question of what a exiled Alistair might have gotten up to during the events of Inquisition. Featuring wonderful accompanying artwork by [tumblr.com profile] stupidlullabies. Thanks to [personal profile] phdfan for a lifesaving beta read.

Summary: Over a decade after he walked out of the Landsmeet, Alistair never expected he'd end up back in Redcliffe as Arl Teagan's master-at-arms, training knights and guards, avoiding his memories -- and fighting the effects of the Calling, which came on more suddenly than he'd expected. As he begins to consider whether he needs to leave, a new responsibility falls on his shoulders: the security of Grand Enchanter Fiona and the other mages taking shelter in town.

On AO3
owlmoose: (da - flemeth)
Have some short fics I haven't crossposted here yet, including my stories for this year's Kiss Battles and some Tumblr memes. All links go to AO3.

Kiss Battles

Title: Learning to Lose
Characters: Lulu, Yuna
Prompt: "They get closer and closer to the end, and Lulu doesn't know if she'll be able to see the thing through when they reach the finish line."

Lulu thought she knew what she was getting into.
---

Title: Five Years and a Hundred More
Characters: Larsa/Penelo
Prompt: She sees he's grown up.

Dancing at the five-year anniversary of Larsa's coronation.
---

Title: Visitor
Characters: Flemeth/Solas
Prompt: The Old Days
Notes: Major, major DA:I spoilers.

Flemeth has an unexpected visitor in the Wilds.
---

Other Flashfic

Title: Minor Acts of Sedition
Characters: Malika Cadash, Sera
Prompt: "I have one word for you: sing-a-long!"
Notes: I haven't completed the quest this story references, so apologies for any missteps with canon. But I think it should be close enough. No real spoilers.

When Maryden the bard sends reports of scandalous songs being sung, Malika Cadash has to hear them for herself.
---

Title: A Different Life
Characters: Blackwall/Malika Cadash
Prompt: n/a
Notes: Written to dive a little deeper into a conversation that Malika and Blackwall never properly had about his past. Major spoilers for Blackwall's personal quest.

A conversation put off too long.
---

Title: Good Company
Characters: Alistair/Sereda Aeducan (pre-ship), Duncan
Prompt: "Are you flirting with me?"

Alistair, Sereda, and a lighthearted moment at Ostagar.
owlmoose: (da - hawke)
Title: Rescue
Fandom: Dragon Age 2
Rating: Gen
Wordcount: ~2800
Characters: Sebastian, Merrill, Varric, Hawke
Spoilers: Nothing overt, set during Act 3
Notes: Written for a long, long ago fic giveaway on my Tumblr. The request was "Varric, Merrill, and Sebastian get lost in a cave. Where did Hawke go?"

Pretty much what it says on the tin. :) Also posted on AO3.

'I thought dwarves were supposed to navigate underground by instinct.' Sebastian laid a careful palm against the pile of boulders blocking the way forward. )
owlmoose: (CJ - make out)
Somehow I ended up modding two kiss battles this year. Both of them are running strong, but both can always use more players!

Dragon Age Edition

Final Fantasy Edition
owlmoose: (da - varric)

Welcome to the 2015 Dragon Age Kiss Battle!


Any kind of kiss is welcome -- het, slash, femslash; shippy, familial, gen; cheek kisses, mouth kisses, kissing of... other things; serious, fluffy, silly, or all three at once; fanfic, fanart, whatever you come up with; anything goes!

The post is now open! I don't anticipate closing it, so come by any time!

THE RULES:

  1. To leave a request: Post a comment with character(s) and, if desired, a prompt. Put the pairing/character(s) in the subject line and the prompt in the body of the comment.

  2. To respond: Reply to the prompting comment. Include characters, rating, and title in the subject line. .

  3. Multiple responses are both allowed and encouraged!

  4. There is no limit to the number of prompts or responses you can post.

  5. Prompts from all Dragon Age canons and tie-ins are welcome, including DA:I. There is no rule against spoilers in prompts, but please do your best to be considerate. If a prompt response includes significant Inquisition spoilers, make sure to note it in the subject line. Readers should be aware that there may be spoilers in prompts as well as responses.

  6. Crossovers and AUs are welcome!

  7. Artwork can be posted inline, but try not to make it too large. Please link to images that are very large or NSFW.

  8. Please, be kind to others regarding pairing choices, prompts, or anything else. This game is for everyone! :)

  9. Anon commenting is on, as is OpenID, if you neither have nor want a Dreamwidth account.

  10. Send your friends! :D


If you have questions, please ask them here. Thanks, and happy kissing!!
owlmoose: (da - zevran)
It's coming! Update: It's here!



Based on the Kiss Battle that has run in the Final Fantasy fandom for the last few years (credit to [personal profile] seventhe for the most recent variation on the rules), this is just a fun way to celebrate February with lots of fun kissing fanworks. Any kind of kiss is welcome -- het, slash, femslash; shippy, familial, gen; cheek kisses, mouth kisses, kissing of... other things; serious, fluffy, silly, or all three at once; fanfic, fanart, whatever you come up with; anything goes!

The official post will go up on Thursday, February 5th, probably around 10am Pacific Time. Watch this space for more!

OpenID and anonymous commenting will be on, so you don't need a Dreamwidth account to participate. If you're curious to see how the game works, here's a link to a battle from a couple of years ago.
owlmoose: (da - seeker)
I've gotten my DA:I replay through Skyhold, which of course means that I've now played Champions of the Just. And so the Dragon Age writers continue their trend of setting up a world where odds are most people will sympathize with mages, but actually providing a better-written and more satisfying experience when you choose to work with templars. Spoilers beyond.

Spoilers are behind the cut. )
owlmoose: (da - cadash)
I started another DA:I game (who is surprised), and in the process I finally figured out how to get screencaps off my PS4. So here, some snaps of my Malika Cadash and my newly-created Trevelyan, Kendra.

Malika Cadash )

Kendra Trevelyan )
owlmoose: (da - anora)
Two things. First, because I've seen a couple of people wondering about it, the Dragon Age Kiss Battle is definitely a go this year -- I'll be hosting it in my journal again (as well as co-modding the Final Fantasy Kiss Battle; guess I know what I'm doing the first two weeks of February). So watch this space!

Second, and I meant to say something about this earlier and failed, but yesterday was More Joy Day, and what I decided would bring joy to me, and hopefully to others, was some Alistair/Anora fluff. So, have some Alistair/Anora fluff, a day late but who doesn't need some more joy on a Friday?

Title: Expecting
Fandom: Dragon Age: Origins
Rating: General
Wordcount: ~700
Characters: Alistair/Anora
Notes: Post-game. May cause cavities. Fits in with the Fidelity continuity. Crossposted to Tumblr.

The healer had barely left Anora's rooms before Alistair charged inside, eyes wide, face flushed. He stood in the door and gripped the handle, his knuckles turning white. )
owlmoose: (da - aeducan)
We finished last night. Almost 100 hours, wuff. I think I'm going to keep this save around for wrapping up non-plot sidequests, because I never want to do the whole epic scale thing again. Just companion quests and enough extra levels and power points to wrap up the plot, thanks.

My general impression is that it was a little too long, a little too open world, a little overwhelming with all the sidequests and gigantic open areas. I did appreciate that many of the sidequests bore relationships to the main plotline, but it would have been nice to see the connections drawn more strongly, and more often have actual consequences reflected in the main plot. The main storyline, whenever we got around to getting on with it, was interesting enough, and a reasonable follow-on to what came before. Exactly what I would have done, with these characters and this world? Probably not, but I appreciate both what they were trying to do and the various ways in which they pulled it off.

My thoughts on the characters are similar to my feelings about ME2: too many characters, and the pacing in conversations, personal quests, and character development seemed off. In part, this is probably the fault of how T and I played the game -- because he doesn't have the patience to go through long dialogue trees with them repeatedly, we end up missing some conversations and consequently doing things out of order. Dorian's personal quest never fired, despite our having quite high approval with him; I gather this is a bug, and a disappointing one. Our LI was Blackwall, which had its high and low points (more behind the); I liked it well enough, but T found it underwritten, and I can't say I completely disagree with him.

More thoughts, with spoilers. )
owlmoose: (da - aeducan)
I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to play DA:I for all three of my major canon universes. I probably would have anyway, but now I'm far more motivated to do so. Although which Inquisitor to match to which canon is still an open question. Also some thoughts on the romance so far.

Spoilers for Skyhold and Crestwood. )
owlmoose: (da - alistair sword)
It has been a week full of dragons. Inquisition continues, of course; today we took a break of sorts from sidequests and worked through some plot stuff. I was also really active in the Flight Rising Battle Royale, which ended last night. I'm quite proud of Wind's third-place finish, even if jumping out the gate in second and holding it for a couple of days gave me secret dreams of nudging our way back up there. (Not first place -- I think we all knew that Light was almost certainly going to win.) It was pretty fun, and our strong finish does give me hope of winning future battles. I don't know that I'd want to see Wind become a dominance powerhouse like Ice or Plague, but it's nice to feel like we have a chance again.

And now we take a fond look back to where all this dragon business began, at least for me. Today's question comes from [personal profile] ossobuco, who asked me to talk about my "favorite quests in Dragon Age Origins & II, why they struck you or stayed with you, and (of course) what choices [my] Wardens and Hawkes made." (See all the questions, or ask one of your own!)

My favorite of the big plot quests in DA:O is Redcliffe and the Sacred Ashes. Cutting for length. )

In Dragon Age 2, my favorite quest by far is Legacy. More. )
owlmoose: (da - seeker)
I see all these people talking about a certain location in the game and how it's "earlyish" and "the beginning of Act One".

We are finally ready to trigger the quest that will ultimately take us to that location.

We've played for almost 30 hours.

I'm a little bit scared.
owlmoose: (da - aeducan)
Spoilers through The Thing (as detailed in my previous post). Please no spoilers in comments regarding anything that happens during or after The Thing, except in regards to my question. We haven't finished The Thing yet. Update: Answered, and very quickly! Thanks. :)

When do sidequests close? )
owlmoose: (da - seeker)
Through the quest that you are meant to trigger at levels 8-11. (That Thing at Haven. You know, the Thing. With the people. And the stuff.) We were level 10, but at least for us I don't think it was enough. We've gone back to grind a bit, close out some areas we rushed past last time. I think we're 15 hours? Since I didn't finish the Thing, please no spoilers in comments for the Thing, or for after the Thing.

Spoilers, massive spoilers, things I definitely did not know in advance. )

Boo

Nov. 24th, 2014 10:23 pm
owlmoose: (da - alistair 3)
Well, it's official: I didn't properly import my backstory into DA:I. It wasn't at all clear that we needed to download the world state off the DA Keep site. So we started over -- and there was a confirmation screen this time. Still, 12 hours lost! At least it should go faster this time.

Update: I just repeated the conversation from our first attempt at DA:I that clued me in that all might not be well with my world state, and it went much more satisfactorily this time. I suppose it was worth starting again. Otherwise, it would have nagged at me the entire time. I'm just glad that T was completely willing to do so.
owlmoose: (da - aeducan)
Spoilers up to the Hinterlands, including information about the dwarf PC background. We've probably played around 10-12 hours but I suspect that number is pretty meaningless, as people spend different amounts of time on sidequests. We've barely progressed the plot at all, and still have only the original companions.

Gosh, this world sure is pretty. Also, grumping about the game import function having possibly failed. )

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