Firstly: I must apologise for my silence. I’m prone to interest cycles, mood swings, wide arcs of engagement with particular pastimes and personas, and right now I’m strung out on the end of a long arm, interested in things a little (a lot) further out than usual. Don’t panic. I’m not dead.
Secondly: I must apologise for the oddball vision quest style of writing that’s intruding on my web presence. It’s not how I speak; it’s not plain and it’s not clear; but it seems to be coming naturally at the moment. Might be the circles I’m moving in; might be a transformative event or three.
Thirdly: I must apologise for not gaming much or blogging much in the last month or so. Salute was fun, the Revenants are ‘finished’ (they may get more love, but there is paint on them and they are on bases and I await the resounding mockery of people who don’t understand my aesthetic, damn their eyes).
Fourthly: I must apologise for the lack of podcast in May. Not with a bang but with a whimper has this beast been born; the truth is, I was either busy, lazy, or taking urgent time away from the screen, or simply disinclined to talk about GAMES. There are things I want to talk about, to do with GAMES, but they will have to wait until GAMES are something I wish to talk about again. Plus nobody got back to me about their Patreon rewards; it’s difficult to go forward from here. You have paid money in the expectation that I will do something for you – answer your questions and devote time to subjects of your choosing. If you don’t ask me questions or supply me with subjects, it’s difficult to go forward; I have a strong sense of obligation, and I am reluctant to provide a podcast that doesn’t fulfil the obligations which I stated it would fulfil. Also, I am lazy and distracted. But it’s mostly your fault.
Fifthly: I must apologise for all this apologising. The truth is, I’m not sorry, nor am I really fishing for sympathy when I say that I’m still in pain, feeling more and more trapped in London, and yearning for a few things: the move to cooler, quieter Celtic climes, the presence of increasingly close companions, and to explain to the world a few things about myself which have come to light of late, but which are firmly, uh, Tumblr Stuff. Things for ‘safe spaces’. Things that will doubtless have repercussions if I discuss them less than obliquely, or with the wrong people, or without careful management. It’s all a little tiresome, but it must be done.
Rest assured that, while radio silence will continue for the foreseeable future, I am ‘working’ on hobby projects. Wasn’t that telling, when GW employees asked “what are you working on?” – not “what do you play?” or “what do you collect?” None of the feedback at ArmadaCon convinced me that I was wrong about the relationship between games and labour, nor yet that there is a corresponding one between games and consumption, that we are what we buy. Basically we’re all in the death spiral of late capitalism together, although I think there’s more to what we do than either – I think it’s the playing of games, not the collecting (i.e. purchasing) of them, that defines the best of us – we use our toys to gratify ourselves, to steal a phrase.
What was all that about? Ah, yes. I remember. I am doing stuff. You can read my sporadic D&D/fantasy storytelling
world-building discovery development stuff here; I am also in a play-by-post Risk/OD&D mashup game on the same board. I play Catherine the Red, Tsarina of Slavia, wielder of the Empowerer and proud illiterate. It’s fun flexing my writing style a bit for these fully-in-character transmissions that we do. Resources are being collected to inspire and shape a D&D game (the Blues for the Red Sun campaign) here; I am also collecting resources for Dark Ages Vampire here.
While we’re talking about Vampire, I did start codifying my house rules and then I realised that I was reinventing the wheel and not going far enough at the same time. I am feeling in a perverse and diceless mood, and I may guide that game toward a single-die resolution model, using the difficulty scores provided by the rules instead of discarding them and making work for myself in redefining everything. That would lose the simple tactility of handing over and taking back dice as an expression of the Sums, but I think it might be the right route to take in streamlining the system; “I roll to hit, I roll to damage, you roll to soak” feels a little overburdened at the moment.
Have some pictures of tiny undead.