Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, October 30th, 2016 - WARNING! Philosophy Ahead!

The Ladies of the Court
A question came up about why I support the three (and maybe four) world-settings that I do - and right off the bat, I should note that I think there's a very real difference between 'rules' and 'worlds'. I am, not to make too fine a point about it, not very interested in 'rules'. I've seen a lot go by in my time, and a lot of them just don't excite much interest in me. I was in the FLGS yesterday, picking up two more chariots - more on this anon - and I looked over the racks of RPGs and miniatures rules.

None of them really appealed to me, through no fault of their authors. All good stuff, from what I could tell, and very nicely produced. It was just that none of what I was looking at had any real 'spark' for me; the world-settings that each had on offer just didn't 'click' for me.

This, by the way, is also true of my reading material; I much prefer a series of books, set in the same universe, to 'one-off' / 'standalone' works. I've picked up a lot of series, over the years, ranging from Asimov's "Foundation" series through Gordy's "Childe Cycle" and Cussler's NUMA collections to Burroughs' Barsoom and the 'Lord Meren' mysteries. I just like well-developed worlds, and love to adventure in them.

So, my 'supported world-settings'. This is where the Missus and I choose to spend our gaming budget; the kind of thing we enjoy, and what we like to see on the game table. Phil's Tekumel, of course, which I've been adventuring in for the past four decades; Burroughs' Barsoom, which Phil first introduced me to; and - in what I've been told is a curious thing - Ancient Egypt, specifically of the Eighteenth Dynasty and of the Technicolor 'Hollywood Aegyptus' of the big- and small-budget epics. These used to be all the rage in the 1950s and 1960s, and the tradition has been nobly carried on by the first two 'Mummy' movies. There are a lot of possible adventures, both in the historical record and in the legends oft he time, and I enjoy painting up the people and places I've read about and seen.

I enjoy history, and I enjoy gaming in historical settings just as much as I do in fictional ones. Back in Ye Olden Dayes, the difference between the two was a lot more 'porous', and we enjoyed making up fictional scenarios from history just as much as we did making up historical scenarios from fiction.

It also made doing the figures a lot easier. We regularly crossed between genres, using historical figures for fictional games, and the other way around. Yes, I do love getting specific figures for specific settings, but the kind of games that I play do require that we hire a lot of extras for the big crowd and battle scenes - no CGI on the game table.

The 'Lord Meren' series, for example; the players will need chariots to get around our miniature Thebes or Memphis, so I have obtained a half-dozen for their use. The FLGS happened to be having a sale - 25mm / 28mm Ancient Egyptians are not a hot seller, I gather - so the new transport is now on the Workbench. It also so happens that the Missus is a big horse person, so I have been getting 'advice' (read 'commands', there) on how I will need to paint the horses.

Will these chariots get used in Tekumel or Barsoom? Not really, but all the other Egyptians, Sea Peoples, and Philistines I picked up at the same time as I got the chariots will - we'll always need lots of 'extras' in our productions, and you never know when you need a horde of raiders to man that new trireme...

So, that's what's going on. More to come, as I slap on the paint...