The Nerdsletter Issue #4 – Influential

Not much of an intro this week.  What’s fun is that this is the fourth week in a row of these (a FULL MONTH NOW!), and I am surprised at just how much stuff I end up writing about all these various topics.  I did create an Archive Page, you can find a link to it up at the top of this page, so you can read back issues as it were of these newsletters.  Not having to focus on any one thing really is helping my ADHD overall, and I am starting to feel like I might have a good groove with this.

But who knows what the future will hold, am I right?  It will be interesting down the road, maybe a year from now, to come back to these and see how much I have changed as a person and creative. I am also going to start posting these on Fridays. It makes more sense to end the week on my nonsense, really.

With that out of the way, lets get on with it!

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The Nerdsletter Issue #3 – I Live in a World of Darkness

Hey everyone and welcome to another bit of nonsense from yours truly, the Terminally Nerdy one.  This week has been a bit rough for me honestly.  I spent my weekend doing a whole lot of adult shit, which is never fun.  I slept like crap for a good few nights, woke up feeling my age that’s for sure with jaw pain cause of sleeping on that side of my face?  Could also be another symptom of Arthritis as that effects joints and the pain was definitely in the right jaw joint.  Just wish I had the time and money to go see a specialist (but those fuckers are like $400 to visit on my shit ass insurance so that’s not gonna happen any time soon!)

This week will also be the first week to feature my “Patron Topic of the Week”.  Basically I am asking my patrons to submit things they wanna hear my thoughts on and then I will pick one each week to babble about, assuming I have one!  Not every week will have one, but if I can, it will be here.

I also officially said goodbye on Youtube.  I posted a little 3 minute video detailing the fact that I was leaving.  I had been putting that off for various reasons but finally just sat down on Sunday and did it.  If you are curious about the video you can go check it out here but honestly if ya are following me here and have been for a while you will already know most of what I go over in that one.  Did feel nice to be able to remove all the pinned video editing crap off my task bar on my PC though.  I left em installed for now but I no longer need quick access.  Also trashed most of my YouTube templates for space too which felt really nice. 

Alright enough about the boring shit lets get into the fun stuff!  Oh and if you understand where the title comes from you get a cookie!  Not really.  But imagine a tasty cookie.

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The Nerdsletter Issue #2 – Like a Dragon

Ya know, I have been thinking recently (dangerous yes, but required!) and I might try something a little nuts.  I might no longer do “traditional” reviews or first impressions.

Instead, I am starting to come around to the idea of simply doing these weekly newsletter like posts, and covering the games that I am playing and the things I am doing each week as sort of mini reviews in progress.  I kind of like this idea, as it lets people see a more natural progression of my thoughts and feelings towards things.  I am still debating it, but we shall see how I feel going forward.

I also decided that I am going to at least use headers now in these things, to help break apart the Newsletter and let people easily find the topics they want.  If ya dont like video games, skip that section.  Not a wrasslin fan?  Skip it!  And so on and so on!  And in some cases if I have a particular topic (like today) that I want to deep dive in, and you have no interest in that, you can skip it.

Now then, let’s get into it!

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The Nerdsletter Issue #1 – Starting from Scratch

Welcome to the first issue of the new, mostly improved, Nerdsletter. This is my Newsletter where I go over what I have been up to during the week/month as well as plans for the future. I want to try to do this every week but some weeks might just not have anything going on, ya never know really. It will be at LEAST once a month. That I can promise at least.

Now, being that this is the first in a long time I am going to go over quite a bit. I dont suspect future ones will be quite as in depth as this one may be.

Lets start with what games I have been messing with lately and some brief thoughts on em. Consider these “mini reviews” I suppose. Or something. I aint your supervisor!

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Final Fantasy is NOT Urban Fantasy!

So one of my favorite genres of fiction is Urban Fantasy. The basic idea behind this genre is a modern realistic setting (generally the real world), mixed in with fantastic elements. Think the Dresden Files, The Camp Halfblood series, hell even Harry Potter.

Why do I bring this up? Well, recently I went to Reddit in an attempt to find some new Urban Fantasy based games that maybe I had not see. Maybe some indie ones. Stuff like Vampyr, Vampire the Masquerade, and the Persona series.

What I got was a ton of suggestions that do not fall under Urban Fantasy. Disco Elysium, for instance, is not urban fantasy. There are zero fantastic elements to that story. Its a detective story, with a character who talks to himself essentially. There is no magic, no beasts, no any of that.

Another person suggested the Fallout series. Those are Post Apocalyptic. A completely different genre.

I did get a couple suggesting Yakuza 7 Like a Dragon. That comes CLOSE, but technically speaking all the fantasy elements are in the MCs head (I should go back and finish Y7 though…. I stopped after becoming a real estate god). Another did suggest Tokyo Xanadu EX which I have played as well. Most of the games suggested I had already tried out honestly.

But what really blew my mind though were the suggestions of various Final Fantasy games.

These are not Urban Fantasy. AT ALL.

One major thing is that Urban Fantasy takes place in OUR WORLD, just with additional fantastic elements. We understand the places and people. Final Fantasy does not take place in the real world, but in fantastic settings. Sure, many of them mix in technology, but that adds in Science Fiction elements. If anything, Final Fantasy is Science Fiction / Fantasy blended together.

I dont know why it bothers me, but it does. Like are Final Fantasy games, as a whole, decent? Hell yea they are.

But they are not Urban Fantasy.

Although one person did suggest the Blue Reflection series which I had never heard of and DOES seem to fit the Urban Fantasy idea (modern setting, fantastic elements, seems kinda persona like), so I might look into that in the future.

Honestly I am rather surprised that the Urban Fantasy genre doesn’t get much love. You think it would.

Nerdsletter 5/20/22 – Plots and Plans

Figured I might as well put down some ideas, thoughts, and plans out here on the ol blog. For now, I am still going to be continuing my Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous Revisit. I also want to sit down and finish my NG+ run of Persona 5 Royal. That one originally was going to be streamed but, well, I aint doing that now. Once I am done with the P5R Replay I will do a Revisit article on that.

Additionally, my buddy Lekon gifted me Caves of Qud for my birthday, so thats on my list of games to talk about once I can sit down and wrap my head around it. Cause seriously, this is my reaction to that game:

On the hobby front I am hoping to spend some time this weekend on either my Gunpla OR my Kharadron Overlords. I want to get them out of their tiny boxes and put together since I aint moving anytime soon. And once I do move next year, my wife and I plan to get a 2 Bed apartment so she can have an office that will double as hobby / storage for me. I am considering actually priming and even putting some paint on those KO once they are done but I havent decided yet. I am nervous about doing it. But I just gotta remember, I painted my two little space marines (I still have those) so I can do my dwarves. I know it. Well maybe not the airships.

I also want to dabble with some Beastclaw Raiders for AoS. I am digging the look of the Ogor Mawtribes and those big bois in general. Just need to get ahold of the Battletome and read it to make sure I am into the Lore. I know this: they are big, they are hungry, and they like to eat literally anything. Maybe grab a Start Collecting if I decide to try em out. Painting them scares me though.

I still have little to no desire to actually play Warhammer in any form at the moment. It doesn’t help that the pandemic hasn’t really slowed down in Florida, and places of business have just given up enforcing mask mandates. The store I was interested in gaming at even put out a statement, that went “Due to our customers wants, we have decided to no longer require masks”. That statement? Makes me not want to play with their customers. I still wear my mask when I go out, as does my wife.

Anyway! Thats where things are standing in my world at th emoment.

Oh and does anyone want me to repost my old Book reviews on here? I still got those saved.

An Audience of One

I am creating for an audience of one.

If you will of course give me a bit I will explain exactly what that means and how I got there. This is, as always, another step in my journey as Terminally Nerdy.

This all started yesterday, May 18th. I retweeted a game dev (The Obsidian Prince) tweet about looking for content creators, and I tagged a few friends of mine who I felt could do the game justice. I myself did not want a key (I dont do video anymore, nor stream), and I followed the dev as I was curious about updates. The game for the record comes out May 24th.

Then to my surprise the devs DMed me, asking if I was trying to get a key myself or if I just wanted to help spread the word. Without thinking I explained that I didnt do vids anymore, and my audience for my writing here has an audience of one, so no thank you. My conversation from there was quite polite, and I do wish the devs well.

I didnt really think to hard about what I was saying when I said it, and I have a tendancy to do this when caught off guard.

But the phrase “audience of one” got me. Why did I say that? And further, why did the dev instantly assume I might want a key? No where in my tweets did I mention wanting one. I did say I would consider buying a copy down the road…but that isnt asking for a freebie.

As I pondered this I came to a few realizations. First, I dont want Devs to view me as someone out to get freebies. Further still, I really dont want to interact with many devs or companies directly anymore. I dont have good memories of it, and I never get satisfied. Further still, I realized who the audience of one was.

Its me.

You may not be aware of this but I started creating content online way back in 2005 with blogs. I had a few different video game blogs, a food review blog, a warmachine and hordes focused blog that then became a general nerd one, then a book review blog, then working for ANOTHER groups game review site, and then I finally tried Youtube in like 2018 as This Is Gaming with Clay which I deleted (much to the anger of a few people) and finally created Terminally Nerdy.

And even Terminally Nerdy as a “brand” (I hate this term) has evolved. First it was general nerd shit, then DND videos, then a DND focused blog, then video game streaming on twitch, then back to blogging, then Youtube again, and now we are back to blogging. And blogging is where I am gonna stay for the forseeable future.

And the thing is, throughout ALL OF THIS HISTORY I have struggled to find my “audience”. You will hear lots of streamers and youtubers and creators talk about “finding your audience”. Finding that group of people that WANT your content. I have never felt like I have achieved that, and because I have tried, over and over again throughout all those attempts to find this nebulous audience I have gotten frustrated, and I end up quitting.

Somehow, Terminally Nerdy has endured, but not without me feeling those frustrations…at least till now.

Now? I just…dont care anymore. Because I realize at the end of the day, when all is said and done, the person who I need to make sure is having a good time and happy…is me.

Youtube is not for me, its never been for me. I hate the editing, the footage capture, the stressing out over comments and likes and subscriber numbers and analytics. Its a horrible hellscape of a website for anyone trying to “make it” and I might have stuck with it if I enjoyed the process of MAKING videos. Which I DO NOT. I like the end result. I am proud of what I have done in the past, and I am happy for the friends I have made.

But I never want to go back.

So now, I create for an audience of one. Me. But what does that really MEAN? And to understand that, we need to talk about my Twitter Purge and my Patreon Changes.

Yesterday (5/18) and today (5/19) I have been going through my twitter account and removing people who follow me, unfollowing others, and I made my account private.

  • I am removing every single game dev and game account that has never interacted with me. I dont want to deal with them, and I dont want them looking at me like I want a handout.
  • I am removing every single youtuber, podcaster, or twitch streamer that has never or barely interacted with me. No matter who they are.
  • I am, unfortunately, removing NSFW accounts as well. Sorry peeps. Nothing personal, just keeping my feed clean.
  • I am unfollowing all of those as well unless I really want to see updates on the game or youtuber / creator (ie I am a personal fan of them)
  • I am also removing every person who, after I check their account, either confuses me as to why they are following me, or I dont trust what I see. This is especially true for people who do not interact with me whatesoever.
  • Finally, anyone who follows me that is left? They are getting followed back and I will maintain that as long as its mutual. People who support me on patreon or that I know personally are exempt from all this. They are my friends.

This process is designed to do a few things. I hate pointless followers and follows. Why follow someone if you are not going to interact with their tweets or posts? I dont like it, it feels hollow, and I am not going to tolerate it. Further still, if I have helped you by retweeting or liking and you cant be bothered to return the favor? You are gone. All you wanted was a number and I am not about that.

This means that while companies like Owlcat Games used to follow me, and youtubers like Super Derek RPGs used to follow me…they are gone now. And I wont be allowing them back.

Now obviously this will stymie any ability for people to retweet my stuff, given that I am now on Private. But ya know what? That is also intentional. If someone really wants people to see my work then they are gonna have to actually put in a bit of effort to share it.

But since I am primarily creating FOR ME? I dont really care. Share or dont. Makes no difference to me now. I am still gonna sit here and babble in my little corner of the net, beholden to no one.

Also to be honest? Most of my traffic here comes from Facebook (Hi Facebook fans!) so I am not really sure anyone from twitter will even fucking see this post, much less care! Cept maybe Christian. He is pretty cool dude NGL. Go hire him for game dev. He can comment here with his stuff if he wants. DO IT GUAN.

This entire thing is also the reason my patreon is now a glorified tip jar. Pay me or dont, I dont fucking care anymore. I am too old to give a shit what others think of me, and I never should have when I was younger. I admitted was obsessed with people accepting me. I craved it. I realize now thats why I was always so miserable. I never got the acceptance, in my head, that I wanted. But I was looking at everything all wrong and that is on me. I needed to accept myself for who I am. And I do…finally.

And now I am happy.

Terminally Nerdy was never really a brand. Its me. Just me. Its who I am, have always been. I am 40 now, and that has not changed. I just looked at it wrong. I TRIED to make it a brand. A persona. Its not.

Its me.

I create for an audience of one. Like I should have always done. And let me be clear NOTHING is changing as far as what I am doing. I will still be writing reviews. I will still be doing first impressions. I will still cover Warhammer, and Miniatures, and Gunpla, and really any nerdy thing I want to. No longer will I limit myself like I did repeatedly, trying to find that magical “audience”.

I create for an audience of one.

And I am happy now because of it.

Revisiting Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous Part 3: BONE?!

Right on, time for our 3rd entry in my crazy plan of beating Wrath with every single Mythic Path. A couple of broad changes to my overall plan is that I am now going to specifically create saves for the late game paths (Legend, Devil, Swarm, Gold Dragon) from my current games, vs making a unique character for each.

And I wont be touching ANY of those late game saves till the Enhanced Edition, as there are already announced plans for those paths to get some love in regards to both mechanics and story.

This leaves me with Aeon, Lich, Trickster, Angel, and Demon to go in terms of straight playthroughs. I will say my Aeon is getting a full restart as I am unhappy with where it was going frankly. Aeon is such an odd Mythic Path mechanically, and it turns out its considered one of the weaker choices.

Unfortunately, because my Azata is already way past the point where it could go Devil (my only save being right outside the final dungeon), my Aeon will HAVE to also pull double duty down the road for Devil. My Lich run is going to handle my Swarm that Walks and is already in the process of making sure its unlockable. If you were unaware, Swarm is the hardest path to unlock, bar none, and its kind of a pain in the ass to be quite honest. Without a guide I am not sure how you would even manage it.

For Legend, I am thinking my Demon run will have a save for that, a sort of “repentant” moment there, giving up the power and rage to not doom the world. And for Gold Dragon, my Angel will have a save there! I might also try to go for the “secret” ending on one of these two runs as well as romance the hidden character. Yes, there is a secret ending AND a secret romance. The Angel would be the one to manage the secret romance if I pull it off.

To Sum Up future run plans:

  • Lich (Current Run, Sylvan Sorc)
    • Swarm That Walks built off this later
  • Aeon (Elemental Rampager Druid is my class for this)
    • Devil built off this later
  • Trickster (Honestly might go Fighter and crit heavy as Tricksters can abuse Crits)
  • Angel (Oracle of Nature / Scale Fist Monk build, with a Mount, Melee Combat and Buffs)
    • Gold Dragon built off this later
  • Demon (Bloodrager or Barbarian)
    • Legend built off this later

For those who I will be building off, there may be respecs. For instance, with Legend I will prolly respec out of Bloodrager or Barb and do something like a Fighter/Rogue 20/20 setup or something along those lines. Maybe. Plans of course will change!

I have three more things I want to discuss now. First, lets talk about Toybox and how much fun I am having using it.

Toybox is a mod for Wrath of the Righteous (there is also a version for Kingmaker) and I could not IMAGINE playing the game without it now. It lets me customize the game to my liking, as well as occasionally fixing bugged things.

For example: I like to see companion dialog, but sometimes I want to use Mercenaries. Toybox has an option that lets “distant companions” speak during conversations. Meaning even if someone isnt “there” they can interject. This is really fun. Another option I have turned on is that my carry weight is basically infinite. I hate dealing with weight based inventory. I also turned off the corruption mechanic for resting because it annoyed me, I set mercenary hiring costs to zero, and Toybox will let you reset companions down to level 1 and rebuild them regardless of when you got them. Increased the games point buy too cause why the hell not have Heroic characters! Oh and I turned off alignment shifting, so my character can be as nice or as chaotic or as lawful as I feel they would be and I dont have to worry about alignment bullshit. I honestly hate alignment as a mechanic even in the tabletop setting so there ya go. Lets me play the character as a CHARACTER instead of a rigid “all things must be done this way”.

Oh, and I also turned on Multi Romance. Cause why the fuck not right? Honestly, I think Toybox makes the game infinitely more enjoyable. I do not use the options such as Kill All or anything crazy like that either. I just modify features to make it more enjoyable for me. And yes, there are buttons to literally kill all enemies on screen and whatnot. Technically I also use “Combat Relief” as a mod to skip the Crusade Combat system but thats a mod that does literally one single thing.

Second thing, lets talk about difficulty. I already went over this once but now I have some screenshot examples to show you all what I am talking about.

Lets show ya the first example: A Vrock from Act 1.

What we see here is the Vrock’s actual stats from the tabletop edition of Pathfinder 1st Ed on the bottom. On the left we have “Easy” difficulty / Much Weaker Enemies. Middle is Normal difficulty / Moderately Weaker. Right is Core Difficulty / No Adjustment.

And you will quickly notice that none of the stats match what the actual tabletop version has. Core difficulty, for the record, is billed as “Tabletop Accurate”. If you wanted to play this game as if it was the same as on the table, you are supposed to use Core.

But look. Tabletop, the Vrock should have 112 HP on average. Core has 128. The AC spread is correct, but the saves are all wrong. Fort and Will are off. For some reason, Fort is LOWER by 3 points, and Will is higher by 3?

And strangely enough, Spell resistance is unchanged no matter which difficulty you choose. Its freaking STRANGE.

Here is another example, again from Act 1.

So this time I only have 2 difficulty settings. Easy (Left) and Core (Right). Again, Core SHOULD be tabletop accurate. But again, its off.

HP is a point higher (no biggie at this level but still odd). Base AC and Touch AC are a point higher. And the saves are again completely wrong. Fort is lower and Reflex is higher then they should be. Why?

Its almost as if Owlcat sat down and said “We are going to homebrew every enemy in the game and adjust their stats in some fashion”. But no real discernable reason as to WHY they did this. And this is only Act 1. I didnt take a screenshot, but even on my current settings for instance, a Plagued Smilodon in Act 2 has 4 attacks, all of which have +15 TO HIT. Thats WILD at that level. There are some areas where you face 2 or 3 of those at once. And the attack bonus does NOT change when you alter the difficulty scale. Its bizarre as hell and I do not understand what is going on in the background of this game.

Ok thats enough ranting about the difficulty and stat adjustments in this game make no sense! On to the final topic for today: THE LICH!

SPOILER TIME!

Yes, I managed over the course of the weekend to finish Act 1, Act 2, and start Act 3. The end of Act 2 / Start of Act 3 is when you begin your ascension to Lichdom, or whatever path you choose. I did not expect, as a lich, to get a skellie friend but you do! Where as the Azata gets a cute Dragon, I got a boney friend. And its even a bit customizable. In my case its an archer.

Sadly I have not gotten too far into Act 3 nor the Lich Questline. The first thing my Master (yes, the Lich gets a Mentor for their quests) demanded I do was build a Zigguraut…which takes 30 in game days. I am going to be doing a bit of skipping days for that one to get it done tonight when I get home. Beyond that all I have done in Act 3 is beat up the rampaging dragon because I fucking hate the random encounters you get with it, and save the Storyteller. I have also, so far, managed to progress the Swarm that Walks steps properly, which is aces.

But what I really want to talk about is the Lich spells.

See, every Mythic Path gets access to spells, and 2 of them (Angle and Lich) get full spell progression up to level 9…and 10. Yes, 10th level spells. BUT there is a caveat. In order to get 10th level spells you must first be a full spell progression class (Arcane for Lich and Divine for Angel) and hit level 19 in that class, and level 9 in your mythic progression. AND you have to Merge your spellbooks. Now there are benefits and drawbacks to merging spellbooks but honestly I think I prefer them merged.

When you merge, your caster level for all your spell changes to be your Mythic Rank + Class level. So for example, my Sorcerer, who is level 11 and Mythic Rank 3, has an effective spellcaster level of 14. This means that I have access to 7th level spells! But, because of the way spontaneous casters work I dont actually learn any 7th level spells I just have the slots and my Lich Spells (of which I learn every lich spell automatically as soon as I can). Prepared casters would actually be able to access their usual 7th level spells. Its kinda weird.

So I have all Lich spells up to 7th level now. And boy howdy are Lich spells bonkers! Here are 3 examples. Again, I am effective Spellcaster level 14 for ALL of these.

I want you to notice something: Almost all of these have no save allowed and are unaffected by spell resistance. That means it doesnt matter what I am fighting, I am going to mess them up. And these are only 3! I have 3-4 per level starting at spell level 3 going all the way to spell level 10. Its amazing and already way more interesting then the Aeon was. Oh and Exsanguinate (the spell mentioned in Feast of Blood) is a great single target spell…that I can cast 11 times before I gotta rest. Yea. Sorcerers are baller with the Abundant Spellcasting mythic abilities.

Sadly, the one time I tried Repurpose…I kinda ended up crtting the enemy afterwards and turned em into chunky salsa which did not let me raise them so there is that hehe. I also want to point out just how powerful Eyes of the Bodak is. No save, just 1 negative level a round. That lowers every single thing an enemy can do. Their HP, their Saves, all of it. Just a constant lowering of those stats. And again, no save, no resistance, hell no duration on the negative levels. Its just…endless.

Honestly, I am looking forward to tackling Blackwater with this character, and turning my enemies against each other. Should be a good time.

Finally the other big thing Lich characters get are the Graveguard. These are 5 unique undead companions that you can use, all named and from characters in the game. The first one I can get is Stauton Vane, and if you have played any amount of Wrath of the Righteous you will know who that is. I can also get Ciar, Delemare, Kestolgyr, and Queen Galfrey eventually. Honestly, the only one I might not use is Kestolgyr.

I intend to use Toybox and the Respec mod to actually change their classes and things as well as right now I have 3 Mercs in my party and 2 Companions. One of the Mercs, my Mad Dog Barbarian, is gonna stay as they are based on my wifes old DND Character Grum. But the other two, and the two companion slots, will be replaced. Stauton for instance might end up as a Nature Oracle / Scale Fist Monk and take the place of that merc. Delemare is gonna stay a ranged Slayer but I might try to build her into Dual Throwing Axes. Ciar is gonna get rebuilt as a Gendarme Cavalier instead of the standard Cavalier.

Someone did suggest I just respec Kestolgyr into the Mad Dog barb due to a Lich Passive Power that buffs all my Grave Guard, but that would ruin it. Besides I can just…give those stats to my Barbarian and pretend they are a Grave Guard via Toy Box anyway LOL. And while you might say “Clay, you have all these undead and 1 living person, wont that fuck things up” the answer is NO. Cause I have a Lich Spell that lasts 10 minutes per caster level and causes a living ally to be treated AS UNDEAD. Meaning inflict will heal for instance. Just slap that on my Barbarian and any mounts that are not undead and BAM. Hell there a lich spell I have access to that just straight up heals all allied undead to max within 100 yards. Seriously, Lich spells are BONKERS.

I am still debating what to do with that last slot though. I kinda wanna use Galfrey, but if I did I have no idea as what. She starts as a Thundercaller bard. Might leave her as that for the buffage.

Oh and if you think those Lich spells are bonkers? The Angel spells are just as nuts. Seriously.

Thats all for this entry. Hopefully I will have more story progress to go over next time! As always thanks for reading, Stay Nerdy, and I will catch you all on the next one! Take care!