Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Weekly Update for Sunday, September 8th, 2013 - On Culture Shock and Frequently Asked Questions

Another day, another conquest.

And now, the news from The Workbench:

The Missus is hip-deep in getting all of Phil's Tekumel fonts set up for use; she's been working with his files to set up font maps that can be used on any computer to 'type' in his various languages. She's been going through all of the various editions of scripts like Tsolyani, collating all of the various versions of the script / fonts that he'd done over the years and creating unified files.


I'm in the process of indexing and filing everything, and I may yet have to invest in a file cabinet on casters to hold it all. There's space for such here in the writing room - what used to be classified as the home office - and I'm getting more and more deeply into the writing process for both "To Serve The Petal Throne" and the second edition of "Qadardalikoi", I think I need to concentrate my files.


Due to my overtime / football game schedule, there will be some irregularity in the game session schedule here in the game rooms. Please contact me for the latest information.


Some Frequently Asked Questions:
(which will be reposted as a permanent page, too, and I'll do updates for you.)

Why don't you play [insert name of game here]?

Because I'm not really a 'gamer'; I'm really much more of a model builder. (Gasp! The Horror!) I am not all that big on rules sets or game mechanics; I do use rules sets, but I'm much more of a storyteller who tells stories in the course of a game session. This is the way Phil used to GM Tekumel, and I seem to have inherited that faculty.

I use my miniatures and models in the course of game session to help tell those stories, and what I really enjoy is the look of wonder on the players faces when they come into the game room and see something set up for their enjoyment - for me, that's what it's all about.

How long does it take you to paint a figure?

I've found that I take (on the average) about an hour to do a specific 'personality' figure; a big part of that is the research in the files about that person. 'Rank and file' figures, the ones in the military units, take about ten minutes each, but it needs to be understood that I do these in batches of twenty or so in a form of mass-production. I also work in acrylics, which take a lot less time as I don't have to wait for the paints to dry when I'm working - they dry quickly, and this cuts the cycle time way own.

What brand of paint to do you use?

Various brands, really. I use Liquitex, Howard's Hues, Testor's Model Master, and various craft paints I got cheap on sale. I use these on the miniatures; for scenery and terrain items, I use cheap house paint from the big-box DIY stores. They do custom-mixed paints, and I buy the cheap 'mis-matched' paints that wind up being sold at a fraction of their retail prices; you can get a full gallon of really good paint for the cost of the little hobby paints, and they work just fine. All you have to do it look at the colors, see if it's something you can use, and Bob's your uncle.

Why don't you go to [insert name of convention here]?

Because I started going to SF conventions some forty-five years ago, and I get really bored 'just hanging out'. I find that I need to be doing something to occupy my time, like programming or operations, and I've done that for some thirty-five years. These days, what with the big hole in the back of my head from the surgery, I just don't have the energy to do that kind of thing anymore.

And it's all about the logistics - the recent 'Braunstein' game that I ran at Fantasy Flight Games' Event Center used about thirty cubic feet of space in the back of our cargo van to hold all the terrain, scenery, miniatures, and boat models for the game. While I've done a lot to 'containerize' my games, they still take some real work to move around to 'external' venues.

Use Skype. It's both easier and cheaper.

Why do you have so much stuff?

Because I tend to hang onto things, much like a theater company tends to build up a stock of sets, props, and costumes over time to make it easier to mount productions. It's just easier, and I'm lazy.

Why don't you have a really impressive website?

Because I'm both dyslexic and ambidexterous. If you are web-literate and would be delighted to build me a really cool website, we can talk. There'll be no money in it; you'll have to do it for the love of the thing, like I do with my game sessions.

And please, do feel free to e-mail me with more questions!

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