Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

Recent Posts

June 2022

Posts by Date

Posts by Category

Tip Jar



Recent Comments


Top Posts & Pages

Follow me on Twitter

I Shot My Best Friend in the Back, and All I Got Was This Lousy Apocalypse

Monday night, my online game (Moving Forward) managed to get together, and we had a veritable blast. The encounter of the evening was a highly-lethal romp with four mind-flayers. At the end, it was me, Ordune (druid), and a confused Firiel (rogue). Firiel could kill either of us in a single hit, even if I’d spent a recovery. I had a choice– her or us.

I asked if Firiel’s armor class was affected by any of her statuses. No. OK. I had a decent chance of at least stopping her if I shot, but… shooting a party member, especially my character’s best friend, isn’t a great idea.

I insisted on narrating that Firiel’s back was to Gwenn when I took the shot.

A typical night for me on Monday involves a lot of really low dice rolls. Lots of 5s and 6s on the dice. I’ve gone entire evenings without rolling above a 6 on a d20. It’s enough that, for me, my turn usually consists of trying to decide if I should just let someone else attack, or if my miss damage is enough to be effective.

On Monday, though, I’d hit several times, only missing once, when I rolled a 1. Surely, my luck would not hold out.

I roll the dice.

19 on the dice. I have a weapon with an expanded critical hit range. A 19 is a critical hit. My damage dice rolls out to 58– double that for the crit is 116.

“Welp. I’m dead.”

“What? Seriously?”


“Steve! C’mon!”

“No, she’s dead.”

I think for a moment about the campaign. Firiel is holding the Big Scary Artifact that can’t be used without summoning the end of the world. It also must be used completely once someone is considered its “bearer.” Firiel is that person.

“Firiel can’t die until she draws the tiles.”

“Oh… shit.” Steve thinks frantically. This is not how the campaign is supposed to end, but whatever. He shuffles the tiles and has her draw. If she draws one of the tiles that results in us leveling up, then she will survive. If not, then she dies and we stay on the plot bus.

She draws the one that draws all the other tiles. Level up included. But also: the end of the world.


We end for the night as we level up while the BBEG arrives on our undead-mindflayer infested island.

At least we won’t wipe out humanity. At least, not right away.

SS Placeholder: Endgame

Note: At this point, you should assume all the trigger warnings for the SS Placeholder game. This week’s writeup hits on transphobia and racism, along with our usual complement of sexism, piracy, violence, etc.

This recap covers the final 2 weeks of the Space Race campaign.

We had an early start, but spent a good amount of time recapping after a 2-week absence.

We made it to Paragon station, where Alain apparently teleported part of the station/asteroid into our ship, nearly shortening the captain’s height by about a foot. He leaped out of bed and went barreling for the med bay to find Kiray and some drugs (paranoia when he’s not indulging his addictive personality).

The party proceeded to charm its way into the cargo hold of an actually-competent space “pirate” (formerly an engineer) who was salvaging the wreckage. We convinced him that there’s a lot of money to be had if he transports us to the coordinates where Ricky Serrano is hiding out.

He agrees and we get underway. Shenanigans ensue. Alain gets Bubbles working on “some project” involving the wreckage of Paragon Station.

On the eve of facing our dooms with Ricky Serrano, Kiray and Angel have a little chat about Alain and, tangentially, Captain Steele.

A werewolf offering dating advice to a fish in a machine suit who likes a cat-man in a gas mask while a small cat robot possessed by a ghost eggs her on. I just want to point out the absurdity of this scene. (from Tyler)

Continue reading SS Placeholder: Endgame

Bribery and Dinosaurs

About 5 months ago, I was looking at going to GenCon, and I really really really wanted to see if my online gamer friends would like to meetup there. The same guys who participate in the Grinding Ice, Moving Forward, and Space Race campaigns. My Tuesday night crew. My gamer friends.

You see, aside from Daniel (GM for Space Race, Ordune in Moving Forward), whose brother is a friend of mine here in Vegas, I haven’t met any of these guys. Alex (Tris in Moving Forward, Vor-Kai in Grinding Ice) lives in New York. Steve (Captain Ryan Steele in Space Race, GM for Moving Forward, Hrothgar in Grinding Ice) is in Minneapolis. And Tyler (Alain in Space Race. Firiel in Moving Forward, Much-Abused GM of Grinding Ice) is about one mountain over from my in-laws near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I love the in-person interaction, and I really want to Make This Happen.

Continue reading Bribery and Dinosaurs

SS Placeholder – now Pony Express

Note: The adventures of the SS Placeholder are very much not in line with social justice or safe spaces or whatever. We’re really clear about this– our characters are utter degenerates in all senses of the word. The Captain is pretty much Zapp Branigan, mostly Id and Ego walking around sometimes wearing pants. Alain is the most sane of us, and yet we’re learning that he has no problems with cold-blooded murder. My character Kiray is the only female on the crew and therefore has a unique uniform with a “regulation” amount of mandatory midriff exposure. This has led to at least one harassment lawsuit in the past, and yet she continues to work on this ship….

We change Kiray’s spacewalk suit to something more rawr.

These people are tremendously broken. You know how a lot of people are uncomfortable with sex in their RPGs? In this campaign, we use it as a comedic device. Somewhere along the way, Kiray changed an aspect and became “Lieutenant Cock-block,” and decided that no females are allowed on board without her approval… and she doesn’t approve anyone the Captain might be “getting with.” Hm…. wonder why.

Incidentally, every one of us calls it “my ship.” Allow me to put words in our mouths:

  • Captain Steele: It’s my ship because I’m the captain, goddamnit. Now do what I ordered, would you?
  • Alain: It’s my ship. I built it. I repair it. If I wanted to, I could buy it outright. It’s mine in all the ways that matter.
  • Kiray: It’s my ship; this is my territory, my den, and woe to anyone who tries to mess with that.

I don’t remember where we left off from the tales of the SS Placeholder, but in recent weeks, we have aided the Capp (fish-people) in their war against the incompetent Drakens, visited a K’Ten homeworld… and our engineer Alain inherited a planet.

In the process, we angered enough people that it was finally time to change our ship’s registration, so we’re currently the Pony Express. For now.

Continue reading SS Placeholder – now Pony Express

Ankylosaurus #1

I’m knitting some dinosaurs as bribes for my weekly D&D players. These are the guys who have put up with my well-meaning plot-destruction for 2 years. I promised a handknit dinosaur to any of them who come to Gencon and celebrate my 40th birthday with me there.

Independently, they all expressed that their favorite dinosaur is the ankylosaurus (though one said plesiosaur is also cool), so I’m making a bunch of these club-tailed guys for my guys.

Without further ado, the first ankylosaurus is done:




Tip Jar

© 2022 Mortaine's Blog All Rights Reserved   

Theme Smartpress by Level9themes.