A Letter…Not Sure Who From


Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim, New Vegas, or the Commonweath.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.

On to the mailbag:

Sadat X asks:

You said in the podcast you would never want to make an IP, is there a game you would like to mod?

Well, I should make a correction. I would never want to single-handedly make an IP. I don’t know what impresses me more about Undertale, the story or the fact the guy made it in GameMaker. This is the kind of stuff you’d have to program into the game just to make your character walk.


/// Script Move State

// Get Length
if (xaxis == 0 && yaxis == 0) {
len = 0;
} else {
len = spd;

// Horizontal and Vertical Speed
hpsd = lengthdir_x(len,dir);
vspd = lengthdir_y(len,dir);

// Move
phy_position_x += hspd;
phy_position_y += vspd;

// Control Sprite
image_speed = 0.2;
if (len == 0) image_index = 0;

if (vspd > 0) {
sprite_index = spr_player_down;
} else if (vspd < 0) {
sprite_index = spr_player_up;

if (hspd > 0) {
sprite_index = spr_player_right;
} else if (hspd < 0) {
sprite_index = spr_player_left;

if (right_key && shift_key) {
phy_position_x += (spd + 2)
image_speed = 0.4;

if (right_key) {
phy_position_x += spd
sprite_index = spr_player_right;
image_speed = 0.2;

if (left_key) {
phy_position_x -= spd
sprite_index = spr_player_left;
image_speed = 0.2;

if (left_key && shift_key) {
phy_position_x -= (spd + 2)
image_speed = 0.4;

if (up_key && shift_key) {
phy_position_y -= (spd + 2)
image_speed = 0.4;

if (down_key && shift_key) {
phy_position_y += (spd + 2)
image_speed = 0.4;

Just looking at that gives me a headache. This is just the movement, you then have to make pixel art that syncs up to each keystroke to simulate walking, and make sure the avatar faces the correct direction, and make sure it collides with objects in the game world, which means creating objects for the game world, which requires more artwork, and BLARGHBLEAGH FUCK THIS SHIT I QUIT.

Now, if I had a billion dollars and a billion monkeys and three or four flunkies? Then maybe. I think the main draw would be the chance to make something completely slightly more somewhat original. That’s what I like about the Fallout universe, the 1950s twist gives it a texture that no other post-apocalyptic wasteland has.

The genre would really depend on what felt more fresh. As of now, I think I’d like to do something with a hip hop slant. One thing I would keep from the Fallout template is a badass DJ, only it’d have a totally different vibe.

Grand Puba asks:

Have you really joined the Twitter?

Yeah. It’s sort of an experiment, really. I was talking to Viridiane the other day about how “easy” it is to build a follower base if you’re willing to put in the work. Not because people find your nightly shitposts interesting, but because no one ever unsubscribes to anything. I still get junk marketing email for a bank account I closed a decade ago. Why? Because I’m too fucking lazy to click the unsubscribe button.

So I feel like if you’re a dedicated tweeter or blogger, as long as you keep your feed free of spam, there’s no reason you can’t gain a dedicated following. Still, I wasn’t entirely sure, so I decided to do an experiment. I am going to tweet stupid shit every day and see how many followers I can accumulate. Then I’m going to compare it to how many I got last year (12) from saying absolutely nothing.

So caveat emptor, if you’re subscribing, expect high quality shitposts like this and other pointless musings.

Lord Jamar asks:

your mod is GREAT. i dont know how u got so many good VAs jesus

Drugs, mainly.

DJ Alamo asks:

Why does Fallout 4 get so much hate? I hear people say they dislike the game but when you ask them how many hours they played it’s almost always over a hundred.

Well, I think Bethesda titles are a lot like Star Wars. For better or worse, they’re going to be scrutinized like lost works of Shakespeare found in the Ark of the Covenant. Better, because it means people have a strong emotional attachment to the franchise. Worse because it will cause them to pick out every flaw, zit, and slightly irregular nipple from now until the end of time.

While that’s part of the fun, I’m not entirely sure a movie (or game) like that is meant to have the kind of intellectual capital that requires a frame by frame analysis, or reveals something about the human condition. It’s popcorn for the mind, and I judge it more based on how it tastes when I’m eating it as opposed to the long term health effects or the culinary genius of its mechanical, corn popping chef.

This isn’t to say that space operas or video games can’t have these sort of deep, resonant experiences, and high quality in all phases should be the bar. I’m just not sure if it should be the standard. It’s certainly not something I expect to find when reading the nutritional value on the box. So a lot of it is perspective and expectations. My hopes for Fallout 4 were simple: a fun game in a new setting, with interesting characters, good exploration and companions with depth. For me, the game may not be a home run, but it’s a ground rule double based on this conversation alone:

Good writing? Check. Immersive, completely unexpected interaction between two great NPCs? Double check. Adorable husbands and waifus? Triple check. The game is full of these little bits, both via dialogue and exploration, and it’s enough for me to forgive the fact that there’s a tad too much combat.


A Letter…Not Sure Who From


Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.

On to the mailbag:

coke for lunch asks:

How did people say “it’s like riding a bicycle” before the invention of the bicycle?

This thought occurred to me as well during a scene in The Knick where Nurse Elkins tries to teach Thackery how to ride a bike. It would have to be an activity that felt awkward at first but became natural once the old muscle memories kicked in. Riding a horse would be the most obvious analogy, but only if you could afford a horse. It’s probably some Victorian term we’ve never heard of, like “crank-nobbing a skidoo-daddle” or “hawkshawing a brick-a-brack.” Once bicycles became mainstream, these idioms went extinct.

Also, is muscle amnesia a thing? I feel like this should be a thing. Like forgetting how to hawkshaw your brick-a-brack.

radioactive mama asks:

I only have a few weeks to spend with my husband before Fallout 4 comes out, when we both leave for Boston for the foreseeable future. How should we spend our final days before the apocalypse comes?

I hope you bought two copies. While it makes sense financially, taking turns is a sure fire way to ruin a marriage. As for how to spend your final days, I have no idea. I hear heroin is fun this time of year.

jobless in seattle asks:

I took a week off work for Fallout 4, but after that I probably won’t have much time to play. How do I maximize my gaming time before real life rears its ugly head?

The short answer is, you aren’t, at least not outside of the game. You can set your alarm clock earlier, but you’ll just get sleepy faster. You could stock up on microwaveable foods, but I’m guessing whatever time you save on cooking you’ll lose on the toilet. Also, your lifespan. No amount of life hacking will do you any good. The ugly head stays on.

The best way to maximize your play time is in the game itself, and you do that by staying alive. As a kid, I probably sunk more hours into a game like Ninja Gaiden then I ever did into Dragon Warrior, because I’d die every ten minutes and have to repeat the level. Save early and often, don’t bring a knife to a nuke fight, and always bring plenty of stimpaks before exploring a new area, and you should avoid having to repeat hours of gameplay.

Cool Hand Starkiller asks:

What if…what if the new Star Wars is bad?

It could be. Making good things is hard and you should expect a high failure rate regardless of how much love and effort you put into it.

I’m pretty sure this is an accurate depiction of how George Lucas felt when he made the prequels.

Volume 1, Pod Racing! Pick up a light saber…nyugh…gah…midi-chlorians…Jar-Jar…Ooh! It rhymes!

And this is the guy who created the fucking thing, a legend among legends. If he can screw up, anyone can. But to answer your question, if it ends up being the spice rack of space operas it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. There are few things in life more constructive than failure. Plus you’ll get a whole bunch of new memes.

nom nom nom de guerre asks:

Whatever happened to vampires? They used to be scary Halloween monsters, not prissy little emos.

Sorry, but that ship has sailed. On the scary scale, vampires have been surpassed by werewolves, politicians, teddy bears with fangs, and most notably, clowns. In fact, there should be a movie where instead of vampires, the monsters are a family of bozos who pop out of a small car and wear oversized shoes. And instead of drinking blood, they grow stronger when you laugh.

That’s why in order to save the town, the protagonist, Kristen Stewart Potter, must convince everyone to always be serious, lest they become cattle for a horde of balloon twisting psychopaths.  When a friend tries to tell her a joke, she interrupts the punchline with an anecdote about the time her dog died, before inviting her over to watch the latest Oscar winning documentary.

free leather couch asks:

With Fallout Beer and now Nuka Cola Quantum, what are the odds Bethesda ditches video games to go into the beverage business?

Is there a number less than zero? These are promotional items. The soda game isn’t for amateurs. Quantum is a different story, because it looks like the kind of thing that will kill you to drink it. But if Bethesda so much as hints at selling Nuka-Cola, the lawyers for actual Coca-Cola will be so far up their ass they’ll be throwing up polar bears.

But it’s a nice thought. It’d be pretty cool to have a Super Duper Mart somewhere as a tourist attraction. The shelves could be stocked with Spring Valley Crisps, Nuka-Cola, and Fancy Lads Snack Cakes. There probably wouldn’t be actual food inside though.

ermahgoddon asks:

Do you have any guilty pleasure mods or TV shows you watch?

Nope. Just pleasures. That is, I don’t believe in feeling guilty about anything culture related. If you like to gamble or eat ballpark hot dogs, those are technically guilty pleasures because that shit is bad for you. And while it’s arguable that some reality shows will cook your brain cells, that’s not why people feel guilty. The guilt comes from being judged by your peers for having bad taste.

And hell, maybe you do. I know I have horrible taste in a wide array of categories from literature to desktop wallpapers, and I make no apologies for it. Because I’ve found it’s better to just own it than worry about what other people think.



A Letter…Not Sure Who From


Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.

On to the mailbag:

Seismicunderdog asks:

As a lifelong screwup, I think having save points would be the greatest thing ever. Imagine being able to save before going to a job interview or asking out someone you like.

I don’t know, a world without consequences sounds like a bad, bad idea. Besides, it would only work if each load caused the universe to split, otherwise the world would be stuck in a neverending loop of reloads. After all, the person you screwed over when you got that job after five tries isn’t going to take your shit lying down.

Introduce mutliverses into the equation and things get ethically hairy. Because whenever you reload and scamper off to another universe, the rest of us are left to deal with the aftermath of all your horrible decisions.

Beisbol asks:

Did you purposefully name Valgus “light” (Estonian) or accidentally? :D

Happy accident. I don’t really put much thought into names outside of making them Google unique. So if Rumarin means nose-picker in Swahili that wasn’t intentional either.

Norcalfunpal asks:

Why is it that when a show has zombies, who are literally dead people walking around biting people, we can suspend our disbelief, but when the actual human beings do something stupid, it’s a plot hole?

I think part of the reason is the average viewer understands human behavior better than they understand complex science. With humans, we know right away when certain actions feel wrong or out of character. Like if a trained cop doesn’t know how to properly secure a prisoner. When the prisoner escapes or overpowers him, it feels dumb, and it makes us feel smarter for pointing it out.

What the majority of us are not, is virologists, or microbiologists, or doctors of any kind. It’s a lot harder to sound the bullshit alarm when it’s all magic to begin with.

But maybe if you’re an expert on contagious diseases and have poor social skills, the whole thing gets flipped. Maybe for you the existence of zombies is by far the biggest plot hole in the entire show, and you don’t give a damn that Lori is mad at Rick for no reason when the far bigger fraud is the quack scientist who got his degree from the Julliard School of Acting.

Free Accordian asks:

I like how the story mode on 2K16 has an actual story. The problem is it doesn’t seem to really adapt to my choices, or give me any at all. It also fails to explain how my Caucasian PC has an African-American family.

I think it’s great. My character, LaceDarius Tate, is probably the worst player in the history of basketball. In fact, I’m not entirely sure he knows what a basketball is. Regardless, he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. Because of course he was.

It gets even better. LaceDarius has gone on to single-handedly sabotage the Cavaliers title hopes, and yet his assigned Kardashian is urging him to star in movies. Despite the fact this team has LeBron James on it, the owner spends all his free time worrying about a guy who plays roughly 4 minutes a game and is horrible for every second of it.

Meanwhile the agent – the guy who’s supposed to be overselling his client – seems to be the only one who realizes LaceDarius’ entire career is a sham. That’s why he’s constantly pushing to earn more money in the short term, before someone bothers to actually look up his client’s basketball reference page. Not only that, he’s actually succeeding.

Better take some notes, David Falk. My man just got LaceDarius Tate, a career 14% shooter with an average of 0.7 points per game, his own shoe. His own shoe! I can’t wait to find out what other doors open for Mr. Tate as he continues to explore new lows on the basketball court.

Ray Ban Sunglasses asks:

People always talk about how awesome it would be to be immortal, but I think it’d kind of suck. Think about how annoying teenagers are. As an immortal being, the whole world would be teenagers.

Well, while people might seem incredibly naive and callow when compared to your centuries’ worth of experience, I think you’d get over it. My bigger concern with immortality would be finding another planet to live on when the solar system reaches its eventual expiration date.

When the sun swallows the earth and you are left to boil alive in an endless hellfire, or float forever in the cold vacuum of space as an immortal popsicle, well…the 5 billion years of happy fun time that came before might not have been worth it. If you wish yourself immortal, you will essentially be making a large, large bet on space travel.

Plexifloss asks:

I don’t get why people say someone has a “glass jaw.” Punching glass sounds pretty dangerous. Sure, it might shatter, but the only one bleeding will be you.

Not exactly. The glass in this instance is replacing your bones, and those bones are still trapped under a layer of skin. So when you punch Glass Joe in the jaw, you’re essentially filling his body with dangerous shards that will likely slice up his internal organs and do far more damage than your punch ever could. You can talk about Mortal Kombat all you want, but Mike Tyson’s Punch Out! is pretty metal in its own right.

A Letter…Not Sure Who From


Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.

On to the mailbag:

Christian Dating asks:

I feel like I can define the seasons based on the type of insects that invade my home. People say the last day of Summer was September 23rd, but the beetles in my apartment tell me it ended two days earlier.

It’s ants for me. Despite the fact that it’s a 1000 degrees year-round in California, the ants here feel like they need to hibernate. Which means every day from now until winter there will be ants patrolling this Mojave. You can tell they’re getting desperate too, based on the kind of things they classify as food.  When I first moved here they’d only sound the alarm if they found a fresh pastry on the kitchen counter. Nowadays they’re sending the cavalry to eat gobs of dried spit.

Janknonos asks:

On a scale of Jecht to Kefka, how bad is natto?

People describe it as something you either love or hate, but I’ve always found it to be rather ordinary. Like most fermented foods it’s somewhat bitter, but if you dump a little soy sauce on it you get a good mix of flavors, kind of like how beer works well with salty foods like pizza and pretzels.

Plus it goes well with rice and miso soup. Granted the smell is a little more pungent than most, so that may contribute to your overall joy or revulsion. In other words, YMMV.

Drug Addiction Treatment:

As a fandom we should be able to buy stocks in video game characters. After playing the Trespasser DLC, I want to sell off all my Solas stock before he does something pants on head stupid in the next game.

I would’ve definitely put Solas at a Strong Buy after the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition. I don’t think it’s a good idea to sell though. Your Solas stock will only become more valuable between now and the time DA4 ships. Although judging by the location of the next game, I would diversify your portfolio a bit by investing in shares of Dorian.

Ballizlife asks:

Isn’t pickup basketball proof that people are inherently good? Strangers work together, the rule of “next” is always upheld, disputes are solved with three pointers and you call your own fouls. Sure, there’s always some jackass who cries bloody murder if you so much as breathe on him, but those people are made fun of. There’s a system of social pressure to be good and honest.

The difference is there’s zero incentive to cheat in pickup basketball, whereas millionaire basketball has piles of cash riding on every play. No one’s gonna give a damn about social pressure if calling a few phantom fouls gets you the chip. Referees are just a begrudging acknowledgement of the devil in all of us.

Break Time:


Online Nursing Degree asks:

Why wasn’t The Truman Show set in an alternate time or an alien world? It seems to me the easiest way to keep your star on the island is to limit the amount of technology that allows him to leave. Or better yet, make the surrounding area a permanent dead zone full of zombies.

Well, like all things, those ideas were ruined by product placement and in game advertising. After all, it’s extremely difficult to peddle lawn movers and dishwashers if your show is set in space.

Luckily for Truman, it probably made his transition into the real world much, much easier. Imagine escaping TV Skyrim only to find out that magic isn’t real, cats can’t talk, and all the manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to the Dwemer. The shock alone would probably kill you.

Granted, technically you might’ve survived, but instead of calling an ambulance you stumbled into a convenience store and drank a bottle of fruit punch. Don’t worry shopkeep, I will pay you when I recover my hit points.

Norweiga asks:

Tell me something about Amalee.

Thinks the ukulele is just about the perfect instrument. Was born left-handed, but learned to use her right. Once rode a goat around the hills of Markarth and named him Hjalti. Believes a smile can stave off a cold. Hates it when people chew with their mouth open. Would like nothing more than to hug a dolphin, but she’ll settle for a seal. Had a conversation with a Word Wall once. It was one-sided.

Cheap Cruis Packages asks:

How do you come up with the ideas to write dialogue? Do you preplan it, or do you have to write drabble beforehand to have ideas flow?

While everyone is different, I don’t think I could write my way into a good idea. It’s like trying to draw blood from a stone. It’s much more efficient to look for a plump, bloody meatbag and stick a silly straw in his neck.

Back when I actually cared about writing as a craft, I did my best to pay attention to everything. If I hopped on a train car, I’d listen for the low hum of the engine, or the passenger whining about her in-laws. I’d watch the teenager setting speed records for texting and managing to bore herself in the process. I’d try to come up with the perfect way to describe the coolness of a steel rod, or the sticky feeling in your palm as you grasped it. I’d listen for the drawl of the engineer as he announced the next stop, and watch the knives of light dance up and down the car as it weaved toward an imperfect sunset.

If I were to hop on the same train now? Well, I’d take a nap for twenty minutes and think about what forum I was gonna shitpost in before calling it a night.

But anyways, the technical aspects of writing aside, ideas come from inspiration, and while you don’t know when it’ll come, it helps if you keep your senses on the lookout. And whether it’s an experience you have, a phenomenon you observed, or something as fleeting as a feeling, you can draw from all of it. You just have to pay attention.


A Letter…Not Sure Who From


Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.

On to the mailbag:

Uranus-Hertz asks:

A Nexus poll recently showed that 88% of Nexus users identified as male. Does that seem about right?

Oh boy, those are the kind of percentages you’d expect to find on Ashley Madison, not a well-rounded community like Nexus. Granted, I’m a little biased because it feels like the majority of posters here are women, not to mention half the fan art posts are taken from Tumblr. The mere fact Tumblr exists proves we are long past the dark days of the internet when men were men, women were men, and children were FBI agents.

So yeah, that number seems a bit high to me. On the other hand, even if we ignore the silent majority, it’s not like the twelve or so people who post here are representative of the modding community the way Nexus is.

For one, we’re much better looking.

Blessing Adam asks:

Novigrad is such an impressive city. Walking through Solitude is kind of laughable in comparison.

Well, it’s a difference in style and scale. The cities in Elder Scrolls games are deliberately scaled down because the NPCs aren’t clutter. They have names, they have homes, and they have schedules. So basically as a developer you have two choices. Make a grand city and populate it with nameless strumpets, or create a small town and fill it with actual people.

If you’re wondering, okay, why not both? Money, for one. Time, for another. It would take an inordinate amount of both, especially when Jim in Creative keeps taking 20 minute smoke breaks and just asked for a raise. No Jim, we’re not doubling your salary, and nowhere in your contract does it say you get extra breaks because you’re an addict. That’s your problem, not ours.

In any case, like all things this massive, they can’t be hand crafted. You’ll need a computer to procedurally spit out NPCs, assign them homes, schedules, and relationships before you ever got started on the dialogue. That – if online spam comments are any indication – would still have to be done by hand.

For the love of Kyne, Ysolda, I don’t care how much money you’re making online, do you want this haunch or not?

Mr. Waleed Messe asks:

My favorite Key & Peele sketch is Substitute Teacher. It got me thinking though, aren’t JRPGs basically the inner city version of fantasy? They’re willing to take more risks, which at times can lead to creative brilliance, but other times feel phonetically absurd. They’re the Jay-quell-linn and A.A.Ron to the WRPGs Emily and Michael.

So…just so we’re clear. Are you telling me Todd Howard is a racist?

Accountant General of SUV Deals asks:

Hello, favorite modder! I just want to say that I think your Interesting NPCs is the bomb and I LOVE your crazy/snarky answers that you leave us, the readers, to enjoy. My question, or maybe QUESTIONS, are as follows:

  1. Which one of your Interesting NPCs would you relate to the most?

Hello, my new favorite person! It is rare indeed we get multiple questions on the mailbag, but that’s probably because most people don’t like to stick around for very long. You either get used to the smell or you don’t.

As for your first question, it depends on when you ask me. Right now I can relate most to a boiled creme treat because my room is a cool 1000 degrees. Or perhaps an irradiated ghoul would be a better choice? Really, this is just another excuse to post more Audrey videos.

2. Who would you hang out with from said group of NPCs?

Well, I don’t know if I’d like hanging out with any of them, as it seems like it would require some measure of participation. I prefer to loiter, procrastinate, or observe. In short, I would make for a terrible hero. This is why in the culture wars, I tell people I’m a Social Justice Intern, or squire at best. I know nothing of being a warrior.

If I must travel with a group, I’d need someone who’d get me off my ass. Let’s avoid some of the more popular names just because. For an active social life, Alassea would drag me to fancy parties and not take no for an answer, whereas I think some of the more emotionally vulnerable companions would take it personally. I’d probably keep the Dwarvenborn around just for shits and giggles, Ingarte to keep the drink flowing, Nythriel to share some gossip, Arghus and Iris to tell me stories, Gorr to laugh at my jokes and Callen to cringe at them.

Lastly, both Skyrim and the Capital Wasteland are kind of lonely, so I think I’d take someone like Mortar or Anum-La along. They’re leaders, friends, but not afraid to kick you in the pants if need be. Someone like Rumarin would just enable all my bad habits. We’d end up a couple of dead, drunken deadbeats, without so much as a song to commemorate our failures.

3. Who would you likely kiss, kill, marry from your group of stellarlly Interesting NPCs?

I like how of the three choices, it’s taboo to say the eff word here but not the other horrible word, marry. Shivers. In either case, I don’t think I can do anything of the sort, the NPCs are more or less my children so it’d be a bit weird to kiss, kill, or marry them, regardless of how sexy Aranas’ voice is.

Anyways, I’ve told this story before, but a few years back I was looking at sex mods for research purposes and someone posted a picture of Zora nudes as an example. My reaction was to close my browser and yank the power cord before diving headfirst out the window.

Okay, maybe that’s not quite how it happened. The truth is, I closed my browser, clicked the button in the left corner and waited for Windows to properly shut down before yanking the cord and bailing. After all, I was mortified, not crazy.

A Letter…Not Sure Who From


Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.

On to the mailbag:

Condoms for Elephants asks:

Tell me a parable.

A young student approached his master, wanting to know the essence of the thu’um.

The Greybeard replied, “Some say the thu’um is the language of dragons, and there is some truth in that. But I believe the true author of the voice is the sky itself. When you hear the crack of thunder, you hear the voice that gave birth to the dragon tongue. And yet for the world to prosper, the sky must learn to control her emotions. She must not let her loneliness become a blizzard, or let her tears become a flood. The true power of the voice is in learning not to speak.”

The pupil nodded his head, taking weight of the monk’s advice. Then he thought to hell with it and decided to kill a guy with his shout. That pupil’s name was Ulfric Stormcloak.

Supercilious in Seattle asks:

Sometimes I wonder if Tolfdir made a bet with Urag that he could take a nobody off the street and make him a successful wizard, meanwhile sending an established sorcerer into Skyrim and watch him/her end up a homeless skooma addict. All for one septim. It’s the only way I can make sense of my two-handed Nord bozo becoming Archmage of Winterhold.

Local runaway becomes Archmage of Winterhold does feel like the plot for a wacky 80’s movie, and Trading Places is a great one. The only question is, if you’re Eddie Murphy in this analogy, who’s Dan Aykyrod? This guy? Borvir and Rundi? Well, I’m sure whoever it is, both of you will work things out and catch Tolfdir and Urag trying to manipulate the price of mead futures.

Komm Susser Tod asks:

I don’t understand the appeal of Donald Trump. If there were any justice he would not only lose the election but be legally reclassified as livestock.

Depends on the farm, I guess. Livestock in Skyrim have it pretty good. Diplomatic immunity for chickens and all that. Either way, don’t blame me if America ends up in flames, I’m voting for Kodos.

Brown Paper Bag asks:

If you take a shit, you are literally giving a shit. That makes no sense at all.

Well, I’d say the whole grammar behind shitting is weirdly counter-intuitive. If I’m full of shit, I’m a liar. But if I try to correct the problem and lose my shit, I’m completely out of my mind. And if there’s no shit, I’m merely stating the obvious.

Pun Nintended asks:

Can you imagine a world where serious injuries caused you to shrink in half like in Super Mario Bros.? Whenever you see a little person in the street, you’d know they just suffered a near-death experience.

There would definitely be a whole culture centered around half-sized people, and cities where everything was half-sized to accommodate them. I’m not sure what the psychological impact would be, however. In essence you’re being given an extra life, so in that regard it should make you more inclined to take risks. At the same time, unlike becoming a halfling, death isn’t something most people fear. It’s not there to constantly remind you what happens when you fuck up, or what happened because you fucked up.

But one thing I do know is, it would make a lot of famous movie scenes play out really, really awkwardly.



Michael Corleone takes his seat at the table after retrieving the gun from the bathroom stall. Solozzo and McCluskey give him an appraising look, but neither suspect any foul play. Michael sits down and gazes forward. Solozzo and McCluskey continue to talk, and as the ambient chatter bubbles to a violent din, Michael draws his gun and shoots Solozzo in the head.

Upon impact, Solozzo shrinks into half size while Michael shoots McCluskey. Solozzo tries to run but finds his shoes much too large for his small, miniature feet. Michael shoots him in the back and says “Take-a that!” before finishing off McCluskey with a turtle shell.

Find an Attorney asks:

There should be drinking games where you take a shot every time an NPC says something repetitive.

This would probably work better for multiplayer, since most single player games don’t really have repetitive lines outside of Fallout: New Vegas. I managed to hear six straight “Patrolling the Mojave…” lines in succession the other day. If I were playing your drinking game I’d be dead.

But the primary reason is that drinking alone kind of defeats the point, so unless you’re a Let’s Player, games where you’re competing with or against a friend are more ideal. I’m sure games like Mario Party, Mario Kart, Madden, Destiny, Smash, Splatoon, Borderlands and other multiplayer jaunts have elements that would work well for a drinking game – things that are just repetitive enough but not so common they’d result in a trip to the hospital.

Free Japan asks:

I was taking a dump on the toilet, and I needed to spit. I tried spitting in the bowl, but I hit my dick. Now I have a gross loogie on my penis and I feel like an idiot for not just spitting into a piece of toilet paper. Anyways for some reason it felt like something Rumarin would do.

What? Rumarin would never attempt something so lazy, so poorly thought out, all in the interest of saving a few seconds of time, only to have the entire thing blow up in in his face. No. Not in a million years.

Okay, maybe it sounds like something he would do. He’d also be the first to tell you about it.



A Letter…Not Sure Who From


Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.

On to the mailbag:

James asks:

Do you intend to set aside modding with the release of Fallout 4 to become a full time gamer again for awhile?

And whilst no one expects you to post a mod for the new game faster than the first guy with a nude patch, do you think at least your radio mod would find a pretty quick migration to the new game?

Well, there isn’t really a choice because the modding kit won’t come out until next year. Understandably, the developers want your initial experience to be the game they worked on, and not say, a world where all the deathclaws have been replaced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

It probably makes sense from a bug reporting standpoint too as well as a way to extend the life of the game and also do you smeeeeeeeeeeell what the Rock is cooking, my guess is it’s this.

In any case, the only way to put Atomic Radio in FO4 prior to the release of any modding tools is as a replacer, which isn’t ideal for a variety of reasons. Best to just wait.

Free Piano asks:

Congratulations, I have gone through most of your mod and have not seen a single comment about arrows to the knee.

Probably because that meme got stale before I even released the mod. This type of thing is more or less a matter of timing than anything. Memes age faster than meth addicts, so if you’re playing the game now, four years after the fact, the kind of thing you’d find funny in 2011 might seem incredibly cringeworthy today.

It’s easy to mock them now, but I’m sure when most mod authors wrote their arrow to the knee jokes, they had no idea it would be beaten into the ground so hard it’d fall out of the sky. You’ll notice newer mods make no reference to it, as it has been rightfully sent to where memes go to die, right alongside the lying cake and the all your base belongings.

But perhaps these stale memes will be unearthed by internet archaeologists centuries in the future. They will want to know the story of the knee and the arrow so they can share it with their fellow hipsters, and they will be glad for the mods that reference it. The point is, Skyrim is an old game and not everything ages well, until enough people forget that it becomes novel again. But yeah, it’s usually good practice to avoid memes altogether for this reason.

Chocolate Thunder asks:

Our school has students do teacher evaluations at the end of each quarter. As a joke, some of my biology students wrote “He’s an excellent teacher, but it’s a shame what he did to that cat.” I now have a meeting with the Dean regarding my animal abuse.

That’s amazing. Here are some more in this vein:

“Howard is a trash can of a manager. He is mean and treats everyone in the office like garbage. I love him.”

“Kurt helped me a lot with my guitar lessons. He also gave me a signed copy of Nevermind, which was really nice. I’m just glad to see the rumors of his death are unfounded.”

“I should set you up with my cousin. He’s handsome, funny, and a very attentive lover.”

“The Dragonborn is a great hero, but it’s a shame what he did to his wife.”

Snack Break:

Beans asks:

Given how most profit on the web is advertising driven, why don’t modders band together and make their own Nexus? That way authors, actors, and contributors could get a share of the advertising money, and mods stay FREE for the people using them. It would totally work, ask anyone who’s anyone as long as that anyone is me.

Well, someone has to build it first. Then someone has do the banding. I sure as hell ain’t doing either.

It might be easier for modders to unionize and protest a site (by hiding all their mods) with the infrastructure in place, like Steam or Nexus, until they give the creators a share of the ad revenue (as Robin himself mentions here) while making the mods available on their own sites. However, even if Nexus capitulated, I’m not sure how they’d calculate the revenue – whether you’d have to negotiate the value of exposure, exclusivity, and the varying server costs, or if you just ignored those factors altogether and based everything on page views.

For example, if you factor in the server costs for a mod like Interesting NPCs, Nexus might end up sending everyone involved a bill.

I do think, however, that giving modders a financial incentive to answer bug reports, update their mod, and engage users is a good idea in principle, and would benefit the community as a whole. Doing it this way would avoid the toxicity that came with the paid mod thing, because advertising revenue would be consistent with what Nexus does already, and support the web model of content being free. Nothing would change except the address.

But first, a hero would need to rally the modders, convince the users, and if need be, build a site that doesn’t suck. Regardless, while I can’t speak for the actors, as someone who is indifferent to the current model, I am not the hero you seek.

Woof Woof asks:

If an item is a fraction of the cost, it could be twice as much. 2/1 is a fraction.

True that, my mathematically literal friend. Conversely, if something costs a pretty penny, it technically only costs one cent. And if something must be had at any cost, it can also be had for next to nothing. The cost of doing business can cost dearly for someone who doesn’t understand idioms, because what should cost a fraction can end up costing an arm and a leg, if they literally count the cost.

Sonic Beatz asks:

What do you think of virtual cards that can be traded on your phone?

I am a fan of trading cards of any kind. I would like nothing more than to live in a world where a person can trade a Fjona card signed by Alice Bell for a limited edition Eldawyn rookie card with a game-used robe, even if you need an app to do it. It doesn’t matter if the cards aren’t tangible, as long as you can maintain a scarcity (which I’m sure virtual cards already do), you can convey a sense of ownership.


And the best part is the cards don’t get messed up. They’ll stay in mint condition no matter how many times you drop your phone or stuff it into your pocket. All my old baseball cards, on the other hand, have seen some shit. Their corners are fuzzy, the colors are faded, and long creases run across their faces from when I’d stuff them into cases that were clearly designed for something else.

Seriously, it doesn’t even have to be mod characters, I’d even settle for vanilla TES and Fallout trading cards. This needs to be a thing.