Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nerds: the New Wanted Demographic

Granted, this ad was linked to from Libertarian Nerd Central, and granted also that they'd already put a foot down this path by hiring Mr. Fillion. But how many nerd-references can you cram into a single preview spot?

Buffy, Firefly (with a kinda-sorta sideling reference to "Millenium" and "Space: Above and Beyond"?), Underworld... Am I missing anything? Is Elizabeth Dryden a name I should know?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Laser Weapon Kills Truck

Fascinating, but less-than-thrilling, video and analysis here.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sticking My Nose In...

Ok, I'm posting this here because I couldn't get Blogger to allow me to post a comment over there.

“Over there,” in this case, is David's great blog “Tower of the Archmage.” And he's having some trouble with getting a solo game started with his wife. As he puts it:

We both want to have fun, but our ideas of fun are light years apart... I was looking for a good naturally developed dungeon ecosystem, and maybe even a back story for the megadungeon. Virginia's priorities leaned more toward having a fun excuse to draw things like worms in sweaters, flying hamsters, and dwarven ghosts!

And that's a tough divide to bridge. You're thinking Tolkein's Middle Earth, and she's thinking Asprin's Myth Adventures.

Now, normally, I'm not a huge fan of Forge-style gaming. They've got very different goals than I do when we sit down and start rolling dice. But in this case, I think you need to take a page out of their book and work out what sort of game you want in advance. You might be able to wed the drama of High Fantasy with her fields of hungry venus flytraps and flying hamster aviaries. But it you do, it's going to take work from both of you.

As much as you can, outline what you want from the game ahead of time. Dungeon delving? Romance? Slapstick comedy? Funny accents? Ancient terrors that will rise when the stars are right? Make a list and organize in a vague way how you want these included in the game, and to what degree.

Prepare to compromise, and to stand fast where it's necessary. And then honestly adhere to this social contract. Don't try to cheat by sneaking things in around the edges. Don't suddenly spring the thing you agreed wouldn't be in the game on her about midway through the dungeon.

Then, tear the roof off D&D (or whatever game you're playing). Demolish all the boundaries you've created in your minds about what the game “must” be about. If managing a flying hamster aviary and catching rare and exotic hamsters to add to your collection is fun for you, wallow in it. If y'all are enjoying the awkward and forbidden romance between the daughter of a venus flytrap farmer and an elven rogue who always lives on the edge of oblivion, wallow in it. Obviously, you both love the fantastical, so there's some strong overlap there. Find those points of interests in the movies and shows and books you both enjoy and mine them for ideas.

Finally, allow me to scoot even further out on this limb and suggest you try reading Digger. It may give you something of a handle on how you can merge your seemingly unmergeable interests.

Of Caddies and Spartans

Fascinating interview with the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and Gates of Fire here. Discussions of the warrior ethos, Bronze Age Greeks, the tribes of Afghanistan, and porn. What more could you ask for?