|Chirine's astrolabe, which was a gift from my kids...|
I am back, after a very long and very busy week. It didn't help that I caught a chill last Saturday, while out in the storm, and was under the weather Sunday through Tuesday. Let me backtrack a bit, if I may, and fill in the gaps...
First off, I'd like to thank everyone who commented and e-mailed about how they do and don't use miniatures in their games. What struck me about your responses, as well as that of the OSR bloggers, is that you all noted that it's all about your individual play styles - and not that of what somebody is supposed to have decreed in the pages of "The Dragon", years ago.
Well, yes! This is, to me anyway, what it's all about. Your play style is what should be driving how you play; what you enjoy is what you game, is my theory. As one commenter put it, 'the OSR' is made up of many camps, and I think he's right; gaming should be, in my mind, a big enough tent to allow for a lot of things. In my own experience:
Dave really liked to use miniatures, and did so whenever he could;
Phil liked to make miniatures, and used them as appropriate to the game situation;
Gary didn't like to use miniatures, and didn't.
I think that covers the entire spectrum, really.
So. last Saturday, I worked the football game here in the Twin Cities - it's overtime, and it pays for the medical bills. We had a pretty severe storm come through during the game, which gets the adrenaline going when you have 42,000 people in an open-air roofless stadium with fifty to seventy mile-per-hour winds, damaging hail, and heavy rain predicted - and predicted to hit in about forty minutes, at that.
Here in the Twin Cities, we have a tradition of what's called 'tailgating', where people party in the parking lots outside the stadium before and after the game; people grill and have fun, and they bring these nice 'lawn tents' which are expandable frames with fabric tops on them. (Which we could have used on the Northwest and Northeast Frontier campaigns with Phil, but I don't think they'd been invented yet.) I will leave it to your imaginations what happens to these tents / awnings / gazebos when winds like we got during the storm hit them; in order to minimize the damage, I was sent around in my little electric cart - I do 'Motorist Assistance' calls, which means I do jump-starts, perform miracles in lock-outs, and fix flat tires; a disabled vehicle plays havoc with traffic flows, so we try to clear them as fast as we can - to warn folks to take precautions. It seems to have worked; we had something like fifty tents up and going in the flat lots around the stadium, and only three were lost due to the high winds. The Stadium Operations crew did evacuate the stadium; but, this being Minnesota where we are made of sterner stuff due to our Scandinavian roots, the game resumed after a 45-minute 'rain delay'.
The downside was that the rain was coming in horizontally, and in sheets; I wound up taking cover under a building portico, as my cart was on the verge of being blown over by the wind. The temperatures dropped like the proverbial rock, as the storm front came through; we went from nearly +80F down to a chilly +60F in less then fifteen minutes, and being soaking wet I got very cold.
As a result, I felt very poorly on Sunday; I did get through my overnight shift, but came home very sick. I spent the next thirty hours flat on my back, with The Missus enforcing a period of bed rest with hefty doses of fluids. I took some sick leave on Monday night, but managed to stagger through Tuesday and Wednesday nights with the aid of powerful potions administered by The Missus.
Thursday was The Missus' turn; she got her stitches from the previous surgery out, and everything looks pretty good. She's still sore, but she's feeling pretty good. I stayed home that night, as we had another appointment on Friday...
... Which was a round of exploratory surgery to try and locate what seems to be a "fibroid tumor" in The Missus' abdominal region. It showed up on an ultra-sound exam, and the doctors went in to have a look around; it's believed to be non-malignant, so there was no rush, but everyone just wanted to make sure. All of us came to the party, but the tumor was a no-show; it wasn't visible. So, The Missus will have a go with the ground-penetrating radar - er, an exam with the MRI machine - to scope out where this thing might be lurking.
Yesterday, I took the day off, and I am feeling better. I'm still working on getting back up to speed, and I'll be getting back to all of you as fast as I can.
In other news. the big D&D lawsuit trial is over, for now:
I have been getting some figures painted, as a way to keep my blood pressure down during these troubled times; pictures when I get the chance...
Player-characters note! Here's an excellent series by a British newspaper on what we usually call 'encumbrance' in our games:
Back when I went through my 'basic training', I carried literally more then my own body weight in equipment, weapons, ammunition, and supplies; as a result, I got stuck down in the bottom of a ravine and had to be hauled out by the rest of my squad. I was told - in no uncertain terms! - not to do that again, thank you.
And , to end on a humorous note, here's a news story I think you'll be amused by:
Honestly, Gentle Readers, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried...