Day Three of Cards Against the Multiverse and it has become Casters Against Humility!

At the time of this post, Cards Against the Multiverse has become Casters Against Humility! I decided to rename it heeding concerns from some helpful individuals, and also gave the cards a bit of a redesign. The backs now blend better with the original game, while the faces make the expansion more distinct so that there are fewer legal concerns. Take a look:

Answers on the Storm Scale

Backs

Play Black for Answers

Set Symbol

Backers also now have access to the original PDF (update 2) so they can see the cards!

Keep sharing around the internet and in real life, this only happens if we hit $7000!

Kickstarter Link

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“Hold onto your butts…”

Kickstarter Image

We’re live!

So that game I talked about? Yeah, now I’ve got a kickstarter up for it.

Kickstarter Link

I’ve gotten a few printer quotes and found one that is very reasonable. The Game Crafter should be sending me my prototype in about a week so I can give people real pictures. I photoshopped up a nice graphic of cards on a table.

Most importantly, however, this means that instead of asking you guys to drop $20 on a deck of 100 cards, I can offer them at a more reasonable $15 over the $20 that I need to do with The Game Crafter to make any profit, and if this project funds I can print out decks to sell after and actually begin making a living as an actual professional no-shit game designer.

That would be HUGELY important to me, guys, as I’ve wanted to be a professional game designer for… oh… 15 years? It’d be longer if I were older and 15 years ago didn’t put me at 13 and not yet really thinking about careers.

Look, I know that this is an expansion, and not my own full game.

But everyone starts somewhere and I’m proud of this, damnit.

So please, go check out my Kickstarter, and consider supporting it, because if this is successful I have so much more coming in the future.

Patreon

My journey has been something of a rambling one. If life is a path, then my path was confused by so many people telling me what to do or not do or what path to take based on their own path, and just… some of the advice is good and always will be (“watch out for wolves”), but some is outdated (“oh, there’s a rest stop three miles down the path, it was there when I went down the path twenty years ago!”) and some is just wrong because their path is not yours (“You have to hop across the river on rocks for half a mile once your five days in.” “…there is no river here…” “Of course there is!”).

I had no map, and the maps people tried to give me were outdated and often for entirely different paths, but no one could find one for my actual path. I’ve started making my own map, asking advice from and looking at people who have similar end points. But I’m also just tired of trying to follow a path that isn’t there, or doesn’t work for me. This blog was a stuttering attempt to train for a path, but I’m tired, and so it is now a machete with which I’ll carve my own, that I may show it off to those who believed and doubted me.

To that end, I’m launching a Patreon so I can hopefully focus on this blog and my creative assets more and more, until I’m making a living writing and designing games. The road will still be hard, I’m probably going to need to sharpen this machete a good number of times, and I may have to trudge back to the old path a few times, but I’m always going to come back here, and if the people who like my writing are willing to spot me a whetstone, I’ll put my all into this.

…that was a long metaphor and not at all planned… I’m glad it worked out.

 

Anyway. Looking at one of my creative role models, I’m taking her advice, and I’m asking. I’m asking for help. I’m asking for people who enjoy reading my weird ideas to help me keep writing those weird ideas by taking care of more material concerns.

 

What do you get from supporting me?

Well, I’m new to this, and I’m not producing a single constant product, so it took some thought. I’m starting the rewards at $3 a month where you get my thanks, and $5/mo where you get my thanks and your name in whatever my first book is (it’s going to be a bit of a wait, but I’m hoping that book can be a reality sometime in 2016).

The last two levels, $10 and $15 a month relate to a couple features I’m looking at introducing to the blog. I’m going to push myself, and having found that my longest stories here hover around 2500 words, I’m going to try to get a 5000 word story written each month. Patrons at the $10 a month level get to suggest story ideas and topics and then vote what that 5000 word story will be. I also want to start writing about food and put together my two majors from college, so every week I will write a food article, usually a piece about a dish, it’s history or cultural significance and my experience making it, or possibly a review (though I’m going to avoid these since they’ll be so localized). As a $15 a month patron, you get to suggest what a week’s food article will be about.

As time goes on, I’ll hopefully have more things going on, more inspiration, and more money to put into some of the ideas I’ve had percolating, so all Patrons will also get first announcement of major projects.

 

So, will you help me make this a reality?

Transformation Log– Entry 2

This morning, I woke up, and happened to look at myself in the mirror, wearing just the more feminine underwear I’d bought earlier this week and realized something.

I’ve often doubted my “trans-ness,” because it always felt like something I’d chosen. It always felt like it was continuing on from seventh grade when I found out that a crush had realized they were a lesbian, and I wished I was a woman (because middle school hormones and being raised on stories of courtly love are a potent mix), and thought about how I wanted to become one for her.

In time I got over it. Maybe it was having actual relationships, ill-fated as they were, maybe it was just time. But I always felt like wanting to be a woman had been a conscious decision on my part, an exception to people who are born queer/trans.

As I looked into the mirror and tousled my long hair, and genuinely smiled, I realized that, no, no I really am genderqueer and really do identify as at partially female, because I’m vastly more comfortable with my body when I’m presenting as feminine.

Anyway.

I did a couple sessions of counseling. It was helpful, and cheap, but I cancelled this week’s appointment because I didn’t have the fee, and just wasn’t up for it. I don’t think I’m going to bother going back. The counselor was very helpful, but I can just talk to a friends about the issues I’ve got aside from trans ones, and she didn’t know much about transitioning. So maybe I’ll do sessions when I’m in moods, to help me get past them, but aside from that, I’m going to save the $10 for sessions and $6 or 7 for gas they cost me, and try to talk to friends more when I need support, and just do online research about the technical aspects of transitioning.

As part of crafting myself, I decided to dye my hair again, as I’ve wanted to for years, but didn’t so I could better fit a traditional job seeker image. I’m done with fitting an image that isn’t getting me anywhere anyway. Let’s see if creating my own image works better than trying mirror an image at least fifteen years out of date. I’m willing to bet that if I’m smart about who I apply with, dyed hair and a septum piercing won’t be disadvantages.

Telling my mother about the plan to ask her help in a fairly complex plan I had for it, however, led to a huge stupid debate about dyed hair and nose piercings in the context of a job search.

Which of course led to religion, because all roads lead to God with my parents.

I mentioned wanting to be a creative writer, and needing to work on that more. I have to work on finishing things, but I have a few more drafts waiting to be posted.

Anyway.

Oh, as mentioned, when I got my unemployment this week, I went out to buy some more clothes. I’d gotten a couple pairs of feminine underwear about a month ago, and decided I wanted to expand, so I went back to Torrid and spent money I shouldn’t have. Then a skirt. I don’t know if I’m going to have a lot of opportunity to wear the skirt, but I have it for when I have the house to myself, if nothing else, and maybe I can start presenting as feminine soonish.

So, I guess outside of realizing that I have every right to call myself transgendered, and some minor changes to craft a more pleasing appearance, this log doesn’t have a lot to say. But I wanted to update even so.

Transformation Log-Entry 1

A couple weeks ago, I got around to playing a new text game by Porpentine, a trans woman game designer, titled “With Those We Love Alive.” It deals with themes of being transgender, self harm, depression, religion, and eldritch abominations which rule over humans.

So, you know, pretty much right up my alley. I mean, self harm isn’t one of my interests, but the rest is all stuff I’m either into or dealing with.

As the music throbbed in my headphones, I found myself falling into a routine-

-Look around the Palace

-Check out the dry canal

-Check out the city

–See if the dream distillery is open

–Look into the temple see what’s going on

-Return to the Palace

-Check for supplies in my workshop, find I’m too tired to work

-Sleep

-Check workshop

-Repeat

As I went through, I found the deal about your character’s history of being abused, and what the dream distillery is doing.

I stop going there.

I find that sometimes the temple has divinities.

I go more to catch a glimpse of them.

I meditate at the river.

I find myself anticipating the hormone treatments after I catch on and it becomes a ritual as my psyche creates a coping mechanism for this artificial world.

I dutifully craft beautiful things as the empress needs of me.

I scribe the sigils on my flesh and realize quickly that it symbolizes self-harm, and find that it very much embodies that act, becoming another anticipated part of the cycling ritual.

And then your character’s friend comes in.

Anyway. It’s an awesome game that struck a big cord with me.

I’m a genetic male genderqueer individual, meaning I identify somewhere in-between the Male and Female ends of the spectrum of gender. I am overweight, and so I simply present as male, because it’s hard to find feminine clothing that fits a person of my size, expensive too, and hard to find clothes which will look good if the first two things are taken care of. I want to transition eventually, but being genderqueer, as well as other issues, make that a very open issue.

But With Those We Love Alive gave me the push I needed. It pushed me to get serious about crafting the body I want. In the game you play an artificer. In reality, I find the result of chaotic nature and lack of maintenance to be unsatisfactory, as regards my body, and so it falls to me to shape what nature has given me into what I require.

I’d recently started going to the gym, but WTWLA prompted me to get a bit more serious about that as it’s a stepping stone to my being ready to start some form of transition process, in my mind, anyway.

It also prompted me to go and check out a community clinic a few friends had told me about which works with the LGBTQ+ community and offers counseling. I have this thing where if the way to something isn’t clear, I kind of never do anything about it, so some counseling would be helpful with figuring out the mess of gender and transition issues before me, I figured. Last week I went out to check it out, got my name in the system, and yesterday I had my first counseling session.

I’m not sure to what degree it helped, but they charge on a sliding scale, so I can afford to give it a few more goes before I really decide whether it’s helping me or not. I’m hoping it will help me with my depressive tendencies too.

Losing weight will be a struggle too. I have to relearn eating habits and consistently make better choices. On the other hand, I realized earlier today that a pound of carrots is only about 160 calories or so.

In other words, I’ve eaten a pound of carrots while sitting at Starbucks over the last few hours.

 

I intended to do something more mystical inspired by this. I probably will still get some mysticism/occult sort of writing mileage out of this, since there is a powerful metaphor there for taking hold of things and changing them to your whim through struggle and discipline. WTWLA also gave me a few other idea seeds, so I’ll be writing some other stuff inspired by it. But I wanted to start a chronicle of the transformation I’m trying to enact. Every person who knows about my intent makes it harder for me to cut myself slack and give up.