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Tabletopping: Meet Evaline James


This post doesn’t have anything to do with WoW, just to warn you. However, if you love Serenity/Firefly, stick around!

I’m going to visit Kazi for the holidays in less than 2 weeks and he’s been itching to play a tabletop game with me during that time. When I mentioned the possibility of a Serenity/Firefly one, he immediately took to the idea (we both love the show). We’ve been talking about it quite a bit lately and the one thing that he keeps asking me is who my character will be. I’m not terribly good at making up new characters without knowing the exact setting or being able to make it up myself. So my answer have been vague and I’m sure rather useless so far. I knew I wanted a female mechanic…but no details beyond that. I just couldn’t seem to form anything more distinct.

That is, until last night when an idea popped into my head. I realized that my problem was that I didn’t know my character’s voice. And the way that I figure that out is by thinking of them as part of a story, rather than a character sheet to be filled out. I remembered the sort of “twang” that Kaylee had in her speech and from that, my character began to rapidly form. I simply knew that her story had to be from her point of view, rather than the third-person view that I’m most familiar writing in.

So without further ado, I present Evaline James, in her own words.

Name’s Evaline James, but only my ma calls me that, and that’s only when I went and done something real bad. Everyone else calls me Eve, unless they’s want a bullet in their back in which case they call me Eva.

James is my ma’s last name, ’cause no one knows who my da was, and I did like to keep it that way. I got no time for old men that be runnin’ around knocking up whores.

I was 7 years old and knee-high to a grasshopper when my ma caught me messin’ around with old junkyard parts for the fifth time. This time instead of yellin’ at me, she just looked me straight in the eye and said, “Eve, you’re more stubborn than old Sam down the street and you know how he won’t take no bull even from them drop sellers. You also have a good head on your shoulders and being a mite pretty don’t hurt either. And since in you don’t mind my words anyways, I’m gonna tell you this: You want something in this world, I know that you’re not gonna let anyone get in your way. So I want you to take it and do yourself right. Just remember what’s good and bad and don’t push anyone that done nothing to hurt you.”

Now, I think my ma musta thought that I’d get a good education and such many years down the line. But for once, I took her words to heart right away. The next time her john came around sniffing for creds and started hitting her again, I pulled out the pistol I’d been working on and shot him in the leg. Now that gun probably couldn’t kill a man if it tried and couldn’t shoot straight worth a damn, I was lucky to even hit him. But it made her john bleed real good and I guess the sight of a little brown haired girl pointing a gun at you and tell you the next bullet is gonna be in your skull is enough to make a cowardly woman-beater run out there like a bat out of hell.

My ma took all the creds that her john had left behind and bought us one-way tickets off of Persephone that night. I could see that she was as proud as a peacock for what I’d done, even if she was scared white that her john would come back for us.  The ship, a good old Trans-U,  took us all the way to Beylix and being true to my nature, I stuck to the mechanic like a leech and pestered him to show me every nook and cranny of the old clunker. I ain’t never seen a man so happy to see us land.

We squatted in an abandoned shack near Blueport, a small town next to a damn big junkyard. I spent most of my time wanderin’ around there, creating all sort of little machines from scraps I done found. Sometimes my ma would find old repair manuals and use them to teach me my letters and numbers, ’cause I’d only be interested in any book that had a schematic in it. She always tried to teach me how to speak all proper like and not much of that stuck, but I can use it when it’s useful. When she wasn’t teaching me, my ma was working as a cook at a factory nearby. Who would of known that an old hooker can make a mean grilled cheese?

Around when I was 14, I started lurking around the shipyards in town, bullying the mechanics into showing me what they’s be working on and by the time I was 22, I was the one telling them what’s right and what’s not. A bear of a man named Rex finally offered me a job at his shipyard to shut me up, figuring that I’d be better served actually fixin’ his ships instead of telling everyone else how to do it.

I was still working there when the Alliance came sniffing around, looking for some bodies to come fix their ships in some war they were fighting. I didn’t like their beady little eyes and the way those men looked at me from the get-go, so I snuck out while they was busy arguing with Rex.

Damn rats had the gall to come to my home to “talk” to me that very evening but I wouldn’t have none of it. So there I was arguing with them and my ma was trying to be all civil, even offering them our expensive tea in this nice china my ma bought with a whole month’s wages. Then one of them got to his feet and knocked her hand aside, causing the hot tea to spill all over her nice dress and causing her to scream in pain. Now, I promised myself when we left Persephone that no body would ever hurt my ma again. Well before those rats even knew what’s what, I got my handy shotgun pointed on them, telling them to get the hell out of my house. And unlike my old pistol, I made damn sure that this one shoots nice and straight and packs one hell of a punch. Right about then, them Alliance decide that I’m more trouble than I’m worth and rightly so. I make sure they get all the way out of sight before helping my ma clean up the broken china.

Few days later, I hear another knock at the door and I get my gun ready, thinking the rats are back for me. Turns out instead to be one of them Browncoats, a serious looking woman who looks down the barrel of my gun like it’s an every day thing for her. Seems she heard about my run in with the Alliance and gives me a counter-offer: work with them instead to make sure them rats can’t hold us under their thumb. She treats both my ma and me all respectful like so I took a shine to her right away, and since I want to help teach those rats a lesson, I sign up that night. My ma’s scared for me, I can tell, but she doesn’t try to stop me, just like how she hasn’t tried to stop me for the last 18 years.

The Browncoats give me a new pistol and show me how to shoot it proper like, ’cause I left the shotgun for my ma to protect herself and made Rex promise to look after her. They also show me how to fix someone up a little bit if they done got shot or blown up. Turns out that I’m not as good as fixin’ folks as I am at fixin’ ships but now I know enough to keep them alive until a real doc gets around to them. I then spend the next 3 years fixing up the ships that have been riddled full of bullet holes or blown half to pieces. After a while everyone comes to know that I’m so good at it that they all want me working on their ship. The rats even try to raid one of my workshops and I take a few down before one of them gets me in the shoulder and I’m down and out for a while. I’ll be damned if I didn’t ignore my doc and was back at work just a week later. Tore my wound open a couple times for my troubles.

Before I know it, it’s all over and the rat bastards gone and won anyways. I come back to Blueport to find my ma and Rex have gotten all cozy together, but he’s taken good care of her so I don’t mind. He offers me my old job back but now that my ma’s all looked after and I got a taste of excitement, I turn him down. I got some creds saved up so I buy myself a ticket to Beaumonde after being restless before the month’s out. I’ve been travelling from place to place ever since, looking for a ship that talks to me just right and can keep me from getting bored again.

I am a ninja and a “theif”


At least according to one death knight that I met last night. Here’s the setting: I finally got up my courage to try tanking on my undead DK Iyocene and it turns out that I’m not too bad at it. At least I haven’t gotten anyone killed so far and I can mostly hold aggro. So I’m running through BC dungeons with my friend on his mage and somewhere along the way we picked up a hunter that liked spamming the queues with us. We get into Sethekk Halls with another DK and some random dps and healer. The run goes fairly smoothly as usual, with the only death being the healer when said DK pulls 3 groups when I’m not ready at all.

Talon King Ikiss, the end boss, hits the dirt pretty fast and coughs up a shiny plate belt.

Deathforge Girdle

I’m still wearing this belt.

The Plaguebringer's Girdle

Since this has a nice chunk of stamina and those gem sockets, I naturally assume that it would be perfect for both my dps and tanking sets. The other DK and I both roll need on it and I win it. Little did I know that this was where the fun would start. I’ve provided a screenshot of the conversation (with handy annotations!) for your viewing pleasure.


I almost feel sorry for the guy. He was either truly convinced that the belt was solely for a DPS, or he was just a very poor loser. I wonder if he realizes that he’ll be replacing all his gear with Wrath greens in a couple levels…

In Raiding News…


So it occurred to me that after my post about a non-guild raid group, I should give everyone an update. Since blogs are suppose to be updated on a regular basis… *cough*

Anyways, let me start at the beginning. I began by scraping most of the requirements that I had listed previously and wrote up a simple macro to spam in General chat.

Want to raid but don’t want to leave your non-raiding guild? Tired of PUGs and want to raid at the same time every week? I’m putting together a regular raid group for people who want to have crazy fun while killing big bad bosses. PST for more info

I was actually surprised by the turn out that I got. After using it irregularly for only two weekday evenings and a Saturday, I got 7 people who were interested in the idea as well as the weekend raiding times. So I set up the first raid for that Sunday and between them and my guild, I had 16 confirmed players.

We ended up clearly all but Chimaeron and Nef in BWD on the first time. I had to sheepishly admit over Mumble that I hadn’t read the strats for half of the bosses because I didn’t want to go in with high expectations in case we failed, so I had assumed we wouldn’t get this far this fast.

Chimaeron proved to be a thorn in our side as it took us 3 raid nights to get him down. But every night everyone agreed that they wanted me to carry over the raid lockout so we could make our attempts again and again. It was a relief for everyone to finally see him die.

It was still early in the night and everyone was in high spirits so we continued onto Nef. This also took us several tries for several reasons: switching which tank goes on which boss (hey, maybe a pally would be better for Ony since she has a shadow debuff!), switching out players because my healer fell asleep mid-pull (WTF?), a tank learning that you need to constantly be moving when kiting the adds on phase 3 (oops, my bad), etc. Because of the player switches, I ended up bring Saraku to tank, which I was perfectly happy with because Niqora had already gotten the achievement anyways.

Each time we were making progress though, until he finally keeled over and gave up his dragon-flavored loot. Which was a good thing too because Kazi (who had been healing me) had died and I was out of cooldowns. I <3 Kazi’s shammy heals. Plus I think he died because I dragged us through Nef’s flame breath but THAT’S BESIDES THE POINT.

We have killed the dragon! ...Again. Was Blackwing Lair merely a setback?

We have killed the dragon! ...Again. Was Blackwing Lair merely a setback?

So now that BWD is done and over with, we’ll be continuing to BoT this weekend and see how far we get. I suppose it’s back to reading strats for me.

Things that I’ve learned from this:

  • MS/OS/Greed rolls are the way to go. If only the items that dropped were useful for anyone. (Cloth drops when we have a single mage who’s geared to the teeth. Why, RNG?)
  • Generally I’m pretty open with varied strategies but sometimes I need to set my foot down. On Chimaeron, I was originally going to go with a Break tank and an offtank that takes the Double Attacks. The tanks didn’t like this idea because of all the taunting and wanted to try taking 4 breaks/switching or taking 1 break/switching. That didn’t work out so well because the tanks kept dying. >.< Eventually I insisted on my strat and it worked out. Not to say I R RAID LEADER, I IS ALWAYS RITE because lord knows 9 heads can be better than 1.
  • I can’t multitask. Or at least not very well. Trying to call out when to taunt on Chimaeron, calling out when to collapse for System Failure, and dpsing at the same time does not work. I have to let others take responsibility sometimes.
  • Everyone will be whispering me when it comes to raid invites. EVERYONE.
  • I’m expected to know everything about every encounter, including trash. What, do I look like some sort of leader to you people? >.> Unfortunately with my poor memory, it’s impossible for me to retain all the information I just read and we will be essentially winging it the first time. Once I know how to “do by doing”, life gets a lot easier.
  • I’ve never been nitpicky over talents and gear, and I will generally bring anyone who wants to fill a slot. However, I have found some limits. A death knight tanking in all PvP gear? Sorry, no. A warrior tank alt in blue gear because “this character could actually use the upgrades”? Also no. Maybe it seems callous and I shouldn’t be picky but what I’m worried about here is the fun AND success of the raid as a whole. Wiping over and over again because of bad gear is not going to get us anywhere.
  • You can find some freaking awesome people this way. There’s a healer who insisted at the beginning that she wasn’t geared enough and should probably be replaced, but she has been fantastic at her job and a pleasure to play with. She has also signed up and shown up on time for every raid so far. I want to keep her forever.
  • Our mage refuses to die, even when I order him to just wipe it. Except when he’s kiting adds, then he dies all the time! (Still love you, Keys.)

Things that I still need to work on:

  • I may need to get better at scheduling regular breaks and making sure people know that there shouldn’t be AFKs in between. Or I at least need to get people to TELL me when they’re going AFK. Seriously, is it too hard to type “brb bio” or “brb baby”?
  • Getting some folks to sign and be on time is still a bit of a trial. :-/ Unfortunately (or fortunately), I haven’t had any people warming the bench to take their places. At least it hasn’t lead to any drama yet.
  • It can be really hard at times to keep everyone’s spirits up. What can I do short of breaking out into a comical song about how we should keep trying again and again?
  • I’ve had both non-guild and guild members who have signed up multiple times and not showed altogether. I should probably just not invite the non-guild people again but what about the guildies?
  • I’ve got to learn a better way of absorbing strats. So far Tankspot videos have not been cutting it.

As a side note, I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time ever so I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be posting here much, if at all, in the month of November. Nice to know for once that I’ll be busy ahead of time, eh?