Friday, December 04, 2009

Mellow Melody

Yeah, that song really describes how I felt now. Well, talking with her does that, I guess.

The dawn of melting snow is too dazzling.
Turning around, I see your smiling face.
The day we'll meet again
Is definitely not far off, right?

If sorrow could turn into stars someday,
Please grant me the wishes that have taken root in my heart,
So that their radiance might descend onto the Earth.

I hum a tune that protects dreams.
In the depths of this emotion of peace
Is a soft thread of love which leads to happiness.

The bedtime stories which tell of fondness
Are those I learned from you.
Let us softly return – to the memories from back then.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Randomness from Higurashi

Please do not deplore yourself.
Even if the world does not forgive, I will forgive you.

Please do not deplore yourself.
Even if you do not forgive the world, I will forgive you.

So please tell me.
What will it take for you, to forgive me?

-Frederica Bernkastel

Thursday, November 19, 2009


"Death? I don't fear death. Try losing your purpose in life. Try losing your place to return to. Try loneliness. Try solitude. Those are what I fear."

The silver-haired elf looked away as he said those words. His dark-skinned face looking towards the sky. The sky under which he has no place to go. Where he has no home to return to. Where he came alone, and where he will die alone.

"Try losing what matters the most, and only realizing it after it's too late."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamer of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;

World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:

One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;

And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

A breath of our inspiration,
Is the life of each generation.
A wondrous thing of our dreaming,
Unearthly, impossible seeming-

The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising.
They had no divine foreshowing
Of the land to which they are going:

But on one man's soul it hath broke,
A light that doth not depart
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man's heart.

And therefore today is thrilling,
With a past day's late fulfilling.
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,

And, scorning the dream of tomorrow,
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for it's joy or it's sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,

Our souls with high music ringing;
O men! It must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,
A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid you hear us cry-

How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God's future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.

Great hail! we cry to the corners
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers,
And renew our world as of yore;

You shall teach us your song's new numbers,
And things that we dreamt not before;
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.

-Arthur O'Shaughnessy

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Don't Say Lazy

Currently addicted to "Don't Say Lazy" from the anime K-On. Here's a bit loose translation of the lyrics which caught my eyes.

Please don't say "You are lazy"
Coz the truth is, I'm crazy
Even the tranquil swans
Kicks its feet (underwater) where you can't see

I'm just following my instinct,
and I'm aware of criticism
And the future looks bright anyway...
So sometimes, I can just take a break

With my own eyes, plotting the course
And marking my destination on the map
If there's a shortcut, then it's alright
If I've got wings that can let me skip things, it would be better

Oh no, I broke a nail; so I repaired it with glue
With just that, I feel kind of accomplished
What's important is loving yourself
If you don't love yourself, then no one else can love you

Alternate interpretation perhaps, but yeah, it's fine to take a break sometimes. Don't let the pressure from the surrounding get to you. You are who you are, Your way is your own. It's fine to love yourself for who you are.

Monday, June 08, 2009

4e Hybrid Classes

Well, astute readers might know that I am an active DnD player. I've played DnD ever since college, since 3.5, and now to 4th. 4th edition brings a more 'balanced' version of DnD where everyone will likely feel they contribute to the party better. There are failsafes built to the system that will make even it hard for someone to be useless.

With this 'balance', though the game loses one of its defining features to me. That is the ability to customize your character, to whatever you want. I remember playing a Fighter/Ranger/Bard/Barbarian once, with each part of the convoluted classes painting a different slice of his life. The fighter is his early days spent learning how to fight, Bard for his streetwise and innate magic talent, Ranger is learned from surviving in the wilds, after escaping from his hometown, and Barbarian.. It's jsut there for Rage when his loved one got hurt.

4e balance limits the ability to paint such a picture and character concept. Well, at least that's my thoughts.

Enter the Hybrid Classes.

The Hybrid Classes is the ability to mold two of the 4e classes into a 'hybridized' version. It's introduced in Dragon 374, and is expanded in Dragon 375 as a playtest article. The real thing will be in PHB3, but I don't expect it to be much different from the playtest one.

A Hybrid Class will have features from the two, but not as powerful as a 'full class' with it. For example, the Hybrid Fighter/Cleric has the 'Healer's Lore' class feature, but his 'Healing Word' power is only available 1/encounter instead of the 2/encounter of the full cleric. What he misses from that, though, he makes up with the addition of the Fighter's Combat Challenge. He does miss the fighter weapon talent and cleric channel divinity.

These hybrid versions adds new dimensions to the character building in 4e. I personally liked the hybrid system a lot. I've found myself tinkering with the system to create concept builds in my spare time. I'll share some of them here later on.

Sure, this is not the full multiclass that is available in 3.5, but it's a step away from 'generic' characters. And boy, it's a good step to be had.

Now, for my promise. Here's an overview of the hybrid combinations that I found interesting. The rest will have to wait for when I got the time.

1. Barbarian / Sorcerer.
In the veins of 'witch-king' archetype of MTG Barbarians, this is actually quite a potent combination. The Barbarian is an amazing striker, with loads of nova damage and powerful rages. It does have a weakness, which is low AC if you didn't spare some Dex/Int point.

With the Sorcerer Hybrid giving the option for using STR as AC modifier, this build can shore up the barbarian's low AC, while giving it more versatility for Ranged attacks and AoE Damage. Use Hybrid Talent to pick up Barbarian Agility to raise your AC, and receive Hide armor proficiency to boot. Some barbarian powers also use CHA for rider effects, but unfortunately, most of them are tied to the Thaneborn Feral Might, so you might have to choose between it and Barbarian Agility.

The Arcane Implement Proficiency feat from Arcane power allows you to use Heavy Blade as sorcerer implements, so that is quite essential for this build. And a Fullblade-swinging Barbarian that can spit fire from the blade reminds me of Kamahl from MtG :P

2. Barbarian / Warden

Yes, Kamahl, Fist of Krosa. I'll elaborate later when I have time.

3. Invoker/Wizard.

Amazing selection of controller power. The Invoker encounters shores up the Wizard's Amazing Dailies.

4. Fighter/Warden

For those who found warden's Nature's Wrath mark lacking. Warden's Free action mark can trigger fighter's Combat Challenge, so it's basically a fighter with more defender-y encounter powers. Fighter encounters rather pales in status effect department when compared with warden's. Being able to stack Guardian Form Powers on top of Fighter Stances is a big bonus.

5. Fighter/Cleric

For those who wants to play a front-line leader that still can dish out damage. Might need to spend a feat to gain back the lost armor proficiency, but 1/encounter healing and STR-cleric's choice of powers really made it worth it. It helps that the awesome powers came in where the fighter lacks. Enc 1, Healing Strike / Wrathful Thunder and Daily 9, Divine Power, for example.

6. Swordmage / Wizard

For those who wants a mage-knight type that can dish it out in melee and ranged, and is not pleased with a swordmage. Good selection of powers. Swordmage Dailies are rather lacking, IMO. And Wizards have arguably the best dailies in 4e. Feat-intensive since it will need hybrid talent for swordamge warding and leather proficiency to operate as a defender. The amazing power selection makes it worth it, though. Oh, and need I remind you taht you have the very useful Cantrips?

7. Paladin / Sorcerer

For those who miss the spellblade. You want a plate-armor wearing knight that slings spells of destruction to your opponent? This is your man. With hybrid talent, you can retain paladin's armor proficiency, which enables you to field a full-plate-armored, sword-wielding, shielded spellslinger.

8. Paladin / Ranger

For good old dual-wielding in full plates.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Journey to the West (Part 2)

First of all, I did say I was going to put the day 2 review soon, right? Well, sorry for the lateness. I was absolutely busy this month. And spending 2 weeks in Sulawesi with poor internet connectivity (Mostly due to Indosat M2 having poor signal in where I work) doesn't help. But now, I got time, and here's what happened on day two.

Day two, our plan is to go to the Sempu Island. It's a wildlife preservation area in in the south of Java, around 2 hours ride from Malang.

The Island from Across the Strait.

The target of the journey is not the island itself, but the lagoon located in the middle of the island. It's said to be absolutely amazing. Well, we'll find out soon enough. But the walk wasn't easy.

The Road

Well, the road, as can be seen here (not too clearly though), is muddy due to the morning rain. It's so muddy that we took off our sandals so we can have better grip. I should've worn my shoes, but well... It's not too bad really. It took us more than 3 hours to traverse the forest. Shouldn't been that long, according to our guide, but the slippery road makes our journey longer than usual.

Between the Leaves

Blue Water Blue Sky

It took us 3 hours, but when the sunlight broke through the trees and we saw the lagoon... Boy, It's really beautiful. It's not too large, roughly circular, and surrounded by trees and cliffs, giving the place a peaceful aura.

The Lagoon.

Too bad we didn't take many pictures there. I have some better ones, maybe I'll put them up. But I'll just tell you that the pictures don't do this place justice. The smooth white sand, the clear water, and the trees surrounding it, gives it a feel that you should feel in person.

Some people thought so too, apparently, for there are like four other groups other than us there. Mostly they are camping, spending the night there to come back the next day, or even the day after. Some of them are foreigners, too. Quite a good info they got.

After the Walk

Well, that's us. Looks quite tired, eh? Well, it's because it IS tiring. The walk itself is not that bad. I've walked farther and longer than that (roughly 3 kilometers walk). It's the mud and slippery slopes that saps our strength. Well, actually, I'm quite fine after a little rest... If only we had brought flashlights.

You see.. We estimated that we could reach the place in one hour and a half, which would leave us around two hours to play around in the place, and then come back out before dark. The slippery trail ruined all that. When we got there, it's already late afternoon. We only got less than half an hour to rest, take pictures, and head back out before dark. And we got no flashlights.

Traversing the slippery slope once again is not that hard, but when the sun goes down, things aren't that easy. When the sun went down, we had to rely on moonlight and sometimes, a lighter to see the way. And well... I'm blind as a bat when the sun is down. Only, bats have ultrasonic waves.

Well, thanks to our guide and my friends, especially Flo (thanks a bunch, flowie :D) , I did manage to go the whole way. Around 2/3 way there, we managed to contact our pickup boat to send some people with flashlights to guide us back. After they arrived, it's much easier. Doesn't stop us from collapsing on the beach due to tiredness, though.

Suffice to say that we slept VERY soundly that night.

Lessons learned :
One, bring flashlights when you're traversing a forest.

Two, If you're going to Sempu, do leave early in the morning, like 4 AM, or bring atent to spend the night. The place is just too beautiful, and the walk too long for you to enjoy to your satisfaction otherwise.