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Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #1
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
As some people here may know, the best game I ever ran was my Weapons of the Gods campaign I called Nihao Honey. It was so good I an a spinoff through email, and that in time got a spinoff as well run by a Swedish pal of mine for his own friends.

But I overdosed on the game and the system started showing some problems, so I put the whole thing on ice before it ruined my precious work. And I promised to myself I'd come up with an extensive houseruling overhaul to make it all work. And later I promised instead to create a personal WotG Revised edition. And even later I promised instead to create an entire new game virtually from scratch.

And that's been simmering along and nobody ever saw something from it and it became something of a joke.


Until today.


Because today I've reached the point where I can show previews of stuff that's actually finished and "ready to go to print" as it were.



Universal Blow
Jade External Style
Thought to have originated in the South, Universal Blow is one of the oldest and most matured styles found in Shen Zhou City. It knows thousands of variants because it has one of the least complex of philosophies: Universal Blow is simply about fighting really, really well. Key to this style is knowing when not to fight

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
30-01-2010 17:18:30
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voh Offline
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Post: #2
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
3

robindevoh.com - NaNoWriMo prep & onwards, writin's the main topic.
30-01-2010 17:30:35
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #3
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
*bows*

Feel free to ask questions. If you've got the original Universal Blow from the WotG rulebook to contrast it to, you should be able to notice all kinds of bizarre differences!

XD

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
30-01-2010 18:15:16
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #4
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
It is amazing to see this develop even further - it has been a long, strange ride.

Also looking forward to see more, of course! I admit to not having the time to fully analyze the bulk of rules now, but I will.
30-01-2010 20:05:56
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #5
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Ah I was wondering when you'd show up. Welcome aboard mate. Grin

As a reward, another style.


Blackest Winter Style
Silver External Style
Upon first hearing the name, many assume that Blackest Winter is related to the internal style Blizzard King. But that is a foolish thought. Blackest Winter practitioners trained on bleak mountains with little shelter and defied the bitter frost, learning to withstand temperatures that smother life and how to break glaciers with their bare fists. The Blackest Winter style doesn't emulate cold, it triumphs over it!
Form Bonus:
+1 Damage die, +1 Hardness die

1: Sunless Winter
The first lesson to any Blackest Winter student is the most important

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
30-01-2010 20:48:02
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voh Offline
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Post: #6
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
I'm noticing a trend for a lot of choices to be decided upon use. Are all styles like this?

robindevoh.com - NaNoWriMo prep & onwards, writin's the main topic.
30-01-2010 21:02:44
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #7
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Ok so we've had two styles now and a lot of it doesn't make any fucking sense. Why don't they say whether they're Common/Uncommon/Rare styles? Why don't they say what weapons they're compatible with? Winter-Killer makes you lose 8 silver chi, why not just say "lose all of it"?

So here's a big list of things to keep in mind.

* There are no Common, Uncommon, or Rare styles. That stuff is cool in comics, but not in games. Styles are styles, and if it's rare then that doesn't make it good. The way things worked out was that Uncommon styles were more commonly used than Common styles. Think about that for a sec...

* All styles can be used with all weapons, but the default is unarmed fighting. Weapons are zero-sum: they might give a bonus on one thing, but give an equally big penalty on something else. Picking up a weapon doesn't make you better, just different.

* Speaking of weapons, no God-Weapons in Nihao Honey. No, not even that one demonic lightning sword you stole from the Flesh-Eating Abbot. I might consider adding in rules for superior stuff later on, but it's fucking bullshit to have weapons in an RPG that auto-shatter all other weapons they come in contact with.

* You start out with slightly less stat points than in WotG. You do have more wound levels though, and each one is a more gradual slide down the deathspiral than before.

* Each point in a stat gives five points of chi, and you regenerate two points per color at the end of every round.

* Chi techniques are also more expensive though. A first level technique costs 4 chi, a second level costs 8 chi, third level costs 12 chi, fourth costs 16 chi. However... using chi from the proper element counts as double. So you can pay for 'Flowers in the Fog' with 4 crimson chi. Or 2 crimson and 2 gold. Or just 2 jade. Or 1 jade, 1 crimson and 1 gold.

* Additionally, the chi costs I just mentioned are for Students of a style. You can opt to spend points to become an Expert and finally a Master. This gives you a discount for all techniques you've learned from that style, and it also makes it harder for people to use Tactics to analyze your style (which lets them come up with counters in typical manga "haha I figured out how your power works so now it's useless" fashion).

* There are four combat skills: Speed, Strike, Block, and Damage. Each of these has a base value of twice your Rank (ie. double your River size).

* There are five default non-combat skills: Hardness (wood), Footwork (fire), Confidence (earth), Tactics (metal) and Awareness (water). Each of these has a base value of your Rank value + the corresponding element. So if you're a D-Ranker with 4 Fire, your Footwork skill is 6.

* Other skills are called Mundane Skills and are mostly ignored. I don't care if my kung fu teenagers are good at marine biology or whatever. Exceptions exist for people with special Secret Arts, such as Medicine.

* Each External style has a Form Bonus, giving one bonus die to a combat skill and to a non-combat skill. If you know multiple external styles you can change your stance in order to change your bonuses as well.

* And sometimes you'll really really want to change that stance! Remember how I said people could figure you out with Tactics? Yeah? Well you also remember how the five Chinese elements can control one another? Like, "water controls fire, fire controls metal, ..." and so on? Well let's just say that using a Crimson-based style can be a really bad idea against Blackest Winter or other Silver-based ones. "Water controls Fire."

* And in answer to voh: most techniques give choices rather than a single defined effect. Kung fu styles have far more than just a couple of techniques. So instead, you'll learn a basic technique and variations upon it. External Styles (the ones which teach punching and kicking) give many options. Internal Styles (the ones which let you use your chi more directly) offer far fewer choices... but you'll never have to regret knowing an Internal style, because they can't be exploited by an opposing element like External ones can. Also, it's unlikely you'll know more than two External styles anyway. Costs are higher than in WotG, especially if you want to progress to Expert and Master levels of knowledge. There are also far more Formless techniques to learn (which never give multiple options).

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
30-01-2010 21:36:03
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #8
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Last thing I'll show for today, an Internal style.


Holy Fire
This is a style that sees very common use because it is both relatively simple, purifying yang energy to the point where it ignites, and very spectacular to watch. The flames created by these techniques are of the same color as the kind of chi used as fuel

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
31-01-2010 00:01:21
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #9
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Immediate thoughts: wow, this looks excellent! I like the flexibility of the techniques - ie. the choices inherent in their use. This seems to facilitate the whole "Fool! You
31-01-2010 13:06:44
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #10
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Argent Wrote:Common/Uncommon/Rare are ill-fitting etiquettes for tiers, sure. Will there be more or less powerful styles anyway? Because I kinda dig that concept.

After posting all I did yesterday, I came up with a method of smoothly including more powerful styles - as well as God-Weapons! Not quite like the way you're used to, but there can be powerful hidden mojo and lightning-swords again. I'll just have to work out the details for that. They certainly won't be as ridiculously more powerful than normal stuff as before.


[quote]Niiice. Unarmed as default = cool. I know how many times I

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
31-01-2010 13:52:06
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #11
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Some more copy-pasta from my quicknotes.txt

Quote:Chi Costs:
Tech 1 4/3/2
Tech 2 8/6/4
Tech 3 12/10/8
Tech 4 16/14/12

Can be paid with any chi color. Favored chi counts as double.

It's not much, but it shows the importance of progressing from Student to Expert to Master. Just ask Naruto, there's a big difference between knowing how to perform a technique and making it second nature! A Master can pay for techniques as if they were a full level lower. The exception being first level techniques of course, since there's no 0-level ones. But those are the ones which benefit most of all, becoming ridiculously cheap.

So let's pull some numbers out of thin air and look at what a fresh D-Ranked warrior might be like. He'll have Universal Blow, Blackest Winter and Holy Fire. All numbers assume no other special advantages or things.

We'll give him for his elements:
Wood 3, Fire 3, Earth 1, Metal 1, Water 2.

This means he has:
Speed 5, Strike 4, Block 4, Damage 4.
Hardness 5, Footwork 5, Confidence 3, Tactics 3, Awareness 5.
(Universal Blow stance)

or:

Speed 4, Strike 4, Block 4, Damage 5.
Hardness 6, Footwork 5, Confidence 3, Tactics 3, Awareness 4.
(Blackest Winter stance)

His chi is:
15 Jade, 15 Crimson, 5 Gold, 5 White, 10 Silver.

He has 10 health per health level, for a total of 100 damage which he can take.


If you were really quick on the uptake, you might have noticed that using a Jade style made him more perceptive, and using a Silver style made him more tough. That's not quite a coincidence. Jade styles never give a form bonus to Hardness. Crimson styles never give a form bonus to Footwork, and so on. You're likely to have a high element and thus are naturally talented at such a skill anyway. I made the styles to not encourage super-specialists, but rather to shore up any possible weaknesses.

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
31-01-2010 14:25:05
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #12
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Do you pick favored chi yourself? Or is it like vanilla WotG, simply the one with the highest value? I realise that these tend to overlap, but it is still interesting to ponder the design thought.
31-01-2010 19:41:09
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #13
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
"Favored chi" refers to the kind of chi favored by the style. So Universal Blow's favored chi is Jade, meaning each point of Jade chi counts double for activating UB techniques. But you can totally use UB techniques by just spending White chi all the time, if that's your thing.

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
31-01-2010 19:48:06
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #14
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Oooooh. I see. That was way simpler than I imagined.
31-01-2010 20:00:15
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #15
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Purely as a teaser, here's the Jade External styles I've got planned, plus a tiny bit of description.
(Names might be subject to change.)

1 Universal Blow
+1 Speed +1 Awareness
"Fight with excellence. Strike first, strike last."

2 Surging Hero Style
+1 Strike +1 Confidence
"Fighting comes from a foundation of hard work and courage. Fight for what you believe in."

3 Green Mantis Style
+1 Block +1 Footwork
"Fight like the mantis. He has a hardened shell, great leaping skill, and solid stance. Who can harm such a fighter?"

4 Inexorable Doom
+1 Damage +1 Tactics
"Warriors rely on joints for movement, and resourcefulness for strength. When you're through with them, they'll have neither."


And now I'll hand over some of the power to you. My loyal viewers now get to vote on which style I'll reveal next. ^_^

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
01-02-2010 02:03:20
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #16
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
I absolutely MUST see Surging Hero Style.
01-02-2010 09:07:42
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JLT* Offline
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Post: #17
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
This looks pretty awesome Smile

I don't get all the rules and uses but it looks like an extensive revision of the rules which seems like a lot of work ^_^

"I think I'll have seconds.."

-Chronomangor; Eater of Time. ∞
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2010 09:24:51 by Meer.)
01-02-2010 09:22:43
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #18
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
The people have spoken and are unanimous! Everybody who voted wanted to see Surging Hero Style.


Surging Hero Style
Jade External Style
A favorite of many young heroes, as well as people who aspired to be such. Its training regimen is harsh and focuses on physical exertion to steel oneself against fear and doubt. Because of this the style's students have gotten a reputation of people who need to work hard in order to overcome a lack of talent, but none can deny the style's power of physical might channeled by unwavering determination. Believe it!
Form Bonus:
+1 Strike die, +1 Confidence die

1: Relentless Surge
To the Surging Hero there is only one direction to take: forward, ever forward. They will overcome any obstacle to achieve their goals, whether they be enemies or their own shortcomings.
Choose one of the following benefits:
* +5 Strike bonus
* +5 Confidence bonus
* Ignore up to two dice of wound penalties.

2: Rising Hero-Spirit
This style teaches that there is a state of mind called the Hero-Spirit. Having physically and mentally prepared himself for this state, the warrior surrenders himself to a trance that is between instinct and the divine, between rage and emptiness. His body reacts almost by itself, using openings and fending off attacks seen only through the mind's eye.
Choose two of the following benefits:
* +5 Speed bonus
* +5 Strike bonus
* +5 Block bonus
* +5 Hardness bonus

3: The Darkest Hour
It is when they are closest to death that heroes reveal their true potential. The student of this style has trained for days without pause, in biting rain, in brooding summer, practicing strikes until their fists bleed and muscles tear. All that sweat and blood they lost was for today!
Choose three of the following benefits:
* Ignore wound penalties to your dice pools. Instead, add an equal amount of bonus dice as you normally would've lost.
* Ignore Agonizing, Dazing or Disorienting conditions on you. These are not removed, and new conditions are not prevented, but their effects do not take place.
* Your style's weaknesses can't be exploited through elemental dominance, nor can chi marvels be devised as counter-techniques against you. Secret Arts of the General can't be used against you. Such effects already present are not removed but their effects do not take place, nor can one new ones be established.
* +10 Strike bonus
*+5 Damage bonus

4:
To Be Determined. It will use Deeds/Virtues in some fashion but I haven't finalized how I want to do that yet.





The Darkest Hour is one of my favorite, because it lets you do some of those scenes in anime, when the Cocky Young Hero faces against the Smug Bastard Who Wears Scary Shiny Glasses.


"Haha, your chances of survival are now less than 0.3%, Young Hero! After you die I'll go kick your friends a bit and do terrible things to Girl-chan. I don't know why I'm even telling you this. It would be far better to just snap your neck and be done with it, but I need you to understand just how evil I am."

"My friends? Girl-chan?! Raawr, everybody lend me your strength!"

"What's this?! No, my calculations were perfect! Where does he get this power from aaaaaaaaa-" *dies*

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
01-02-2010 15:01:30
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #19
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Oh, and uhh... it'd be mean of me not to share where there name "The Darkest Hour" came from. So here goes.

[Image: 1254599495081.jpg]



My work is usually full of easter eggs like that. Grin

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
01-02-2010 15:08:37
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #20
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Very nice! And the comic was, uh... yes.

Darkest Hour = COOL!

Hmm!

* Agonizing? I assume that this is some new sort of combat condition, or is it a renamed Chilling?
* Kung Fu Marvels as countertechniques - is this, like, Marveling a defense or something more specific in this system?
* Secret Arts of the General?!
01-02-2010 18:24:45
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #21
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Argent Wrote:Agonizing? I assume that this is some new sort of combat condition, or is it a renamed Chilling?

Good guess! Agonizing makes your wound penalties worse, like Chilling used to do. Except not exclusively tied to coldness.

Quote:Kung Fu Marvels as countertechniques - is this, like, Marveling a defense or something more specific in this system?

A little more specific. Anybody can use Tactics for the following:
* Just plain get info on the situation, like "Is it suicide to attack that Triad stronghold head-on?"
* Use it to make your Minions perform better. Confidence can also do this, and if you're good at both it's even better.
* Figure out how people's techniques work. If they do, they can devise counter-technique Marvels. Essentially this restricts your choices when using your External stuff. As an example, somebody could block off part of your 'Flowers in the Fog' so now you can't choose the +5 Speed bonus anymore.


Quote:Secret Arts of the General?!

This is the stuff that lets you play a D&D4e Warlord.

Just like a Daoist and a Predictionist can grant bonuses, so can Generals. It's an extension to the uses of Tactics which I described above. At the basic level you simply give yourself a bonus to your Tactics roll. At a slightly more advanced level you can aid people more directly, and at the highest levels you can build up pools of phantom Joss that you can grant your subordinates if they follow your stratagems, or set up ambushes where everybody starts with a 9 in their River!

If you're really good you can even use "Just As Planned" to give yourself tactical superiority after the fight already started, retroactively inserting your genius plan into the past.

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
01-02-2010 19:46:28
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #22
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Belphanior Wrote:This is the stuff that lets you play a D&D4e Warlord.

Just like a Daoist and a Predictionist can grant bonuses, so can Generals. It's an extension to the uses of Tactics which I described above. At the basic level you simply give yourself a bonus to your Tactics roll. At a slightly more advanced level you can aid people more directly, and at the highest levels you can build up pools of phantom Joss that you can grant your subordinates if they follow your stratagems, or set up ambushes where everybody starts with a 9 in their River!

If you're really good you can even use "Just As Planned" to give yourself tactical superiority after the fight already started, retroactively inserting your genius plan into the past.

I like this - it is a vastly more exciting SA of Genius, which always felt just a little lacking for these things.
01-02-2010 20:12:01
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Argent
Nubcake.

 
Post: #23
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Oh yeah, another question that popped up: what, if anything, are you doing with the Archetypes? Are you opening up Secret Arts to everyone, for example (my guess would be yes, after you removed the Common/Uncommon/Rare thing).
01-02-2010 22:29:25
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Post: #24
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
Argent Wrote:Oh yeah, another question that popped up: what, if anything, are you doing with the Archetypes? Are you opening up Secret Arts to everyone, for example (my guess would be yes, after you removed the Common/Uncommon/Rare thing).

My, you keep pinning down my changes with uncanny precision!

Secrets Arts are open to everybody. Archetypes have certain fields in which they buy at a (slight) discount.

Warriors:
* External Styles
* Secret Arts of the General

Courtiers:
* Secret Arts of Intrigue
* Secret Arts of the General

Scholars:
* Secret Arts of Daoism
* Secret Arts of Prediction
* Secret Arts of Medicine

Monks:
* Internal Styles
* Secret Arts of Medicine


The monk is a new archetype that represents wudan, ascetics, enlightened hermits, or simply those fighters who focus more on cultivating their chi rather than their physique.

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
01-02-2010 22:44:01
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voh Offline
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Post: #25
Weapons of the High Schools / Nihao Honey / Shen Zhou City
I'm much less versed in the original, and my knowledge is, by now, old and mostly forgotten. So while I won't be posting much in here, do know that I read everything you post and I DO really enjoy reading it all.

I think it's great that you've gotten this far already, man Smile

robindevoh.com - NaNoWriMo prep & onwards, writin's the main topic.
01-02-2010 23:08:20
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