Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Weekly Update For Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - An Update On The Missus, and The Manifesto Of Divine Deliverance

Just another day at Anch'ke...

Well, we survived this past week. The Missus' surgery appointments took all day, due to delays at the hospital, and we were out there for a good ten hours. She came through just fine, I am happy to report - sore and bruised, but doing quite well. The doctors kept her oxygen saturations well up, and she was pretty lucid after the surgery appointments.

The surgeon felt pretty confident that he got the bad tissues out, and we'll know more when the pathology reports come back later this week. She's off to radiation in the coming weeks, but we still don't know if she's going to need chemotherapy. We're keeping our fingers crossed, and hoping for the best!

And thank you all, from the both of us, for all your comments, e-mails, and messages!!! They are really appreciated!!!

**********

I am way behind on e-mails, due to having to be in multiple places at once all week long - I had to get Middle Daughter out to the airport the same day as The Missus' surgery, for example - but I will try to get caught up with everyone in the next few days. Thanks for your patience!!! (It has been a very long week...)

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One of the things sitting in a hospital waiting room provides is a lot of time to think. Yes, I brought a book, but at my usual 2,000 words-per-minute reading speed they just don't last very long. (Add in the worry factor, and it gets to be a very long day.) If you don't mind, Gentle Readers, I'd like to share some of my thoughts with all of you, for your considerations and comments...

It's been about a dozen years since I started the current incarnation of my gaming group, and I have been giving a lot of thought as to where we've been, what we've done, and where we might be going. The idea, back when, was to try and recreate what we had for some dozen-plus years out at Phil's where we explored his world and had a lot of fun. I don't know if we succeeded; you'll have to look at the photos and videos I've posted, and judge for yourself.

About five years go, I start to post on various gaming groups on the Internet, in an effort to do 'outreach' to people, and also to start this little blog to do the same. I also extended invitations to the local gamers, especially the local 'indie' authors, to join us and have some fun in Phil's world-setting. On balance, some five years on, I think the effort has largely been an utter failure. The style of gaming that I do, the same thing we did for years at Conflict Simulation Association meetings and at Phil's, is - from what I gather - not the right way to game. I have been described as one of those "filthy story-gamers", people who have ruined the RPG hobby for everyone else. I'm also not 'old-school' enough, as I don't play any of the modern games that are being promoted as being the best possible play experience as they properly simulate the game-play and play styles of The Great Gods of our hobby; my personal favorite Internet exchange on this was when Mike Mornard, one of Gary's original players, was criticised for not playing game 'X', as it was the best possible simulation of OD&D. The Glorious General pointed out that as he played OD&D in his group, why did he need to play one of the new 'retro-clones', and was chastised for not being 'old-school' enough by all of the 'old-school' people on the forum.

Ah, right. I play 'Tekumel', the way Phil did it, and I make no apologies about that. I still enjoy it, and I am continually startled by the people who told me over the years that I am DOING IT RONG!. Well, O.K., but I'm still going to play the games I want to play; I'll certainly be happy to look at new games, and I'm especially delighted to see how some very good people have adapted their favorite rules sets to work in Phil's world - keep them coming, folks, I really enjoy looking at your work!!! - and how they enjoy playing in his creation.

What I have not appreciated getting are e-mails like this one:

"You and your gaming group are a detriment to our business interests"

or

"You are unfit to represent our Tekumel"

or

"Why do you insist on using miniatures? Gary Gygax said that we don't use miniatures in RPGs!" (1)

or

"Why do you still use all those old rules? Why don't you use something new?"

or

"Tekumel is stupid! I don't want to play anything where I have to learn anything so complicated!"
or

"Don't talk to 'X'; they are politically incorrect, and if you do I'll boycott your games and bad-mouth you all over the place!"

I've got heaps more stuff like this in my files - I do keep everything in my archives, for later... - and every now and then I go back and read through the files to remind me why I don't do some things that I used to. Between The Missus' health issues, my own health issues after the brain bleed, and my inability to suffer fools gladly (as Mike Mornard said when somebody asked him why I am "so difficult to work with"), I don't have time for this kind of nonsense. I can either write and paint, or feed the swollen egos of some very self-important people.

You get one guess as to which one I'm picking, people.

I will be continuing to game, to write about Phil's world and the adventures we had therein, and paint up my little actors in my miniature stage productions. I will continue to keep you all informed as to what sort of hijinks I get up to in the game room, and you are welcome to come along for the ride if you like - you are not being compelled to do things The Right Way; you are being invited to have a look at what I do, and if you want to take something away for your own games, please do feel free! For me, that's what it's all about, and what I've been doing for all these years.

Have fun, and play some games, eh?

Footnote (1): What Gary said, at least to me, was "Keep your hands off my Elastolins - they break easy, and they're hard to replace!"

21 comments:

  1. Far from being a 'detriment,' you are spreading interest in Tekumel and actual 'old school gaming.' Businesses survive on their products and on PR. If they produce quality products at reasonable prices and play nice with people, they'll do well. Otherwise, not.

    Best wishes to you and the missus, may good health be just around the corner.

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  2. Thank you for your comment, and your kind words! It's you, and the people like you - quite a few of whom, I am delighted to be able to say! - that I am doing all of this for. I enjoy our on-line conversations, and I hope to continue them.

    Likewise, for the people who post on their blogs about how they game and what they enjoy. I try to follow as many as I can, and have them on my 'front page' to share their views with everyone who stops by here. It's the various Internet RPG fora that have turned me away from participating in them; the conversations seem to turn very sour, after a certain point, and it's been pretty discouraging for me - I simply don't play all of the various D & D editions, and don't have the same play styles that seem to be the norm these days.

    I come from a different time and place; we do things differently, there...

    Thanks again!

    - chirine

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  3. Best wishes for the health of both your wife and you.

    If you are having fun playing your game your way, then you are obviously "doing it right" for you, and let the nay sayers pound sand!

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    1. Thank you!

      Good advice, there! It just gets old, sorry to have to say.

      - chirine

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  4. Sorry you get that kind of response to doing what's fun for you. There's a lot of dumbassery on the internet.

    Who gives a damn what anyone else plays, as long as those involved enjoy it!

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    1. Agreed - the Internet is both a blessing and a curse! You have it - what ever happened to just having fun?

      - chirine

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  5. Best wishes for the missus and yourself!

    Sounds like you have been sifting through 'roll-players' instead of 'role-players...

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    1. Thank you - I'll pass your kind words along.

      Yes, I think so; a plague of locusts in some ways...

      - chirine

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  6. I hope and pray for healing and calm for both of you.

    I think the good professor said it best when he said "make it your own Tekumel". So many gamers are lured away from their own creativity by the allure of shiny packaging of modern gaming products. To be fair I'm guilty of this as anyone else. Somebody gets a fairly original idea and the next thing you know there are 10+ emulators of it on the market.

    I grew up fairly poor, raised by a single parent. She taught us to be creative with what we had. I remember building toys and bows and arrows with scrap wood, cardboard, string, old nails, whatever I could find.When I discovered D&D my creative efforts went into that. So many people don't have that spirit anymore. Or maybe the perception of what is acceptable is different, I don't know. I have noticed that folks older than me really appreciate my artistic and creative efforts because I did with my own two hands, simple materials, and vision.

    As far as detractors go, who needs them. Keep on doing what you do. I know I value it as living history, and the embodiment of creative spirit. I am glad whenever I get the chance to slow down and play games with my friends, eat a good meal, and converse about all the things we enjoy together.

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    1. Thank you - I'll tell Herself what you said.

      Yes! Yes! Your comments are spot on!!! I grew up as a single child, and I had to amuse myself and make myself fun stuff at a very early age - my bizarre mother (which is why I'm glad I was an adopted child!) felt that 'having fun' was a sin.

      I'm delighted that you feel like my little efforts here are like living history - that's the idea, and I'm delighted to do it for all of you!!!

      - chirine

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  7. I keep a prayer for you and the missus every day.

    That said if it wasn't for you I would never have known about Tekumel or Braunstein; nor would I have ever spent hours reading and enjoying the Professor's books. So I just want to say thank you for putting all of this out here and keeping it up.

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    1. Thank you! I'll let her know - she appreciates all of the kind words from everyone!

      I am really happy that I could introduce you to the wonderful place we spent so many years in, and to the amazing people and games that we played 'back then'. It was a magical time, where our world was full of adventure and excitement; I try to bring that back a bit, and I hope to keep doing so for you...

      - chirine

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  8. Thank you for opening my eyes to a new style of gaming (Braunsteins). All we can do is ignore the haters and idiots and keep playing the games we like to play the way we like to play them. Cheers.

    -Ed

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    1. You are very welcome!!! I agree with you completely, and I'm going to keep right on going, doing what I've been doing. Stuff 'em.

      - chirine

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  9. Unbelievable that someone actually had the cahones to complain that the LBB's or Tekumel weren't old school enough. I daresay they might not have quite the right idea in the first place.

    Don't stop what you're doing, and don't listen to the idjits. I for one, a publisher of a sort-of-retroclone myself, love the material you're posting, and am quite looking forward to the day when I can actually enjoy a gaming session with you.

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    1. Agreed! My mouth dropped open when I read the exchange on the forum. Mike pointed out that since he was playing OD&D, why did he need to play a new game that tried to 'simulate the OD&D play experience'? Gods, you'd have thought he'd pooped on the floor or something.

      I'm not at all opposed to the kind of game you wrote - on the contrary, I really am impressed with all the work and effort you put into it. And I'm just as impressed with quite a few of the new games that people are doing, as they keep our hobby fresh and vibrantly alive.

      What's astonished me are the people who seem to want to toss all the old stuff out, and erase our shared history in favor of something that's 'new and improved'.

      I'll still be here, for you and everyone else, and i'll keep trying to amuse and delight - and I'd love to have you drop by for a game, too!

      - chirine

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  10. I think you should not read to often from the stupidness found in the records, it just makes you sad.

    Happy to hear the lady has been through one step of treatment. May the next one soon be behind you both.

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  11. Thank you! You're absolutely right, you know! :)

    Bye the bye, I find I've been thinking of you a lot of late; I'm deep in the mysteries of feeing Chirine's infantry in my book, and I keep thinking about you and your work with the Late Romans...

    - chirine

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    1. Whoops! Typo! That's "feeding Chirine's infantry"...

      - dyslexic

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  12. The only thing any of us here can express to you in response is that we appreciate your creative efforts. I think you under estimate the impact of your "outreach" when you say it was an "utter failure". These things are hard, if not impossible, to truly measure. But you must do it because you enjoy it. Expectations can always let us down when people are invlolved.

    For me, I love hearing you and others "old school" approach to gaming. It resonnates with me.

    There may come a time when you feel it's not worth it. Many good bloggers and gamers have reached that conclusion and dropped out over the years. No one can blame them. It's just a shame to lose them to pettiness over a game.

    Now to be fair, you mentioned an exchange between Mike and others on a forum where Mike was criticized for not playing game "X". If it's the conversation I'm thinking of, it occurred in a thread Mike started called "What Annoys Me About Newer Editions of D&D". I'm not of the opinion that Mike needs to switch to the newest version of D&D and did not participate in the conversation. Unfortunately, the title alone is asking for argument.

    Chirine, when I was feeling glum my Grandfather always told me "keep your head up". For some reason that sticks with me.

    Cheers.

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    1. Thank you for a super comment and your very kind words!

      May I address your points? I really appreciate you making them, and this is a little bit of 'backstory' on them...

      I think your evaluation of my 'outreach' efforts may very well be correct - this blog has been, from my point of view, pretty successful in getting information out there for people to use. I've been very happy with it, and all of you out there seem to like it, so we'll call this a success.

      What failed, from my point of view, was 'outreach' to the local gaming scene here in the Twin Cities; I've been extending invitations to folks for quite a few years, now, and I usually don't hear anything back - nothing. No calls, no e-mails, nothing. I've had a bit better luck with the big 'public' games, but only if I promote them on the Internet - simply doing a game at one of the local shops doesn't seem to attract any attention.

      Yes, I do get people walking by and saying "Gosh, that looks really cool!", and I have had a couple of 'new' people play in a game; there's just no long-term interest. I think - and this is only a suspicion, as I have no hard data to back this up - that the big problem is that people just don't have the time for much more then short games in their lives. Between kids, jobs, and all the other real-world concerns, I think that folks just don;t have a lot of time for gaming these days.

      I am glad you like what you see here; I enjoy sharing, and being able to help and illuminate something that I love doing. Your feedback, like your excellent comment, are what keeps me interested and engaged!

      And you are right - to be fair, here's the URL for the conversation that I was referencing:

      http://www.odd74.proboards.com/thread/10202/annoys-me-newer-editions

      You are right - I should not have mentioned this, without providing a link so people could look at the entire thread and get all of the context so that they could make up their own minds.

      I don't know about the title, really; I can't speak for Mike. My personal take is one of a kind of stymied bafflement. I don't play any of the 'old school' games; I have some in my archives, but I still play my old favorites. I like them and enjoy them, and what has baffled me for some time (several years, actually) is the dislike for them that quite a few people seem to have - I don;t mind this, really, as people can and should be free to play what they like. In my particular case, this dislike drifted over into people getting a little cross with me for still playing that old stuff, and not playing the new games - some folks got pretty cranky, in their e-mails.

      Well, all right; people are entitled to their opinions, and I try to encourage that - it's why I don't moderate comments, for example. What has bothered me, over the years, is the "my way or the highway" approach that some posters have taken. Thank you, but no thank you. I play what I like, and if you enjoy the sorts of hijinks we get up to in the basement then you are certainly welcome to look over our shoulders and come along on our adventures.

      Just don't tell all of us, here at The Workbench (both in the basement and in these pages), that we R DOING RONG. This is supposed to be fun, after all.

      Once again, great comment and great points in the conversation; thank you!!!

      - chirine

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