Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, November 13th, 2016 - Whither The Workbench?

Why, look! Plot devices, forsooth!

Here we are, at Post #401 - the beginning of a new era, I think. I thought that I should pause for a moment, an try to give an idea of where this blog might be going in the future. I'll try not to be boring; what's prompted this bit of introspection is a note from a reader about the thread I'm in on the last Internet RPG forum that I'm active on:

Much to my surprise, this thread has had 486 pages, 4,856 posts, and 90,750 views since it got started last June. I had, as part of my general disengagement from the Internet gaming scene, wanted to close out as many of the various accounts that I had started some years ago; however, one of the regulars on that particular forum started the thread as a way for people to learn about Phil's Tekumel and the time we had with him. It's spread a little farther afield then that, as people have asked me about the early days of gaming here in the Twin Cities and the beginnings of the hobby and the industry. I answer all of the questions as best as I can, and honestly. I have not enjoyed some of the questions, as they do pout salt into old wounds, but I forge ahead anyway.

I do a lot better in a question-and-answer format, and this can probably be seen in this blog; I do enjoy your questions, and I will keep trying to keep track of them and get them answered. The thread seems to be the place for short questions and answers, and this blog for the longer and more in-depth stuff - as well as the projects that I'm working on, of course. It's also a place to provide a portal to my other sites on the Web, like the You Tube channel and the Photobucket page. (Links in the column to the left, as usual.)

One question that I did get from readers was why I stopped being a presence on RPG fora; the answer is a little complex. Most of the discussions that happen on these sites is way over my head, about rules and settings that I have no familiarity with. RPG players, especially some of the self-described 'OSR' people, also have reacted pretty badly when I talk about the kind of gaming we used to do 'back in the day'; there seem to be a lot of preconceptions and misapprehensions about what Dave and Gary and Phil used to do back in the day. My observations on the three of them don't seem to fit in with the prevailing mythologies, and I got tired of having to say the same things over and over again. I thought that I was wasting energy and time that I could be using more usefully elsewhere, so I drew down the number of places that I visit and participate on-line.

I think the trigger incident was a conversation I had a while back with somebody I knew, who floated their idea that Dave and Gary had "stolen the idea for RPGs from Phil"; after I picked my jaw u off the floor - this is somebody who does know better, after all! - I pointed out that all of the historical evidence points to the opposite, and I pointed out "Playing At The World" for a great exposition of the facts. The person responded by telling me that "If you were loyal to me and Tekumel, you'd find the information to back me up!"

No, I don't think so; there is no such evidence, and I'm not the kind of person to lie for somebody to bolster their stance or position in gaming.

It was after that conversation, and other incidents on-line and in real life, that I started to close out things that I felt were not central to what I believe in and enjoy doing. This blog is an example of what I like and enjoy, and the RPGsite thread is another. You'll see both continue; there will be more photos, and the Missus wants to get out her little Bloggie and shoot some more videos in the newly refurbished and reorganized game room - since we'll have a better Intenet connection in a few months, this has become a practical proposition again.

Which reminds me - I need to get all of you some new photos of the game room! I've been busy for the past few weekends building new shelves and getting stuff moved, as I need to get the 'spare room' cleared for the arrival of Youngest Daughter in January. (As previously mentioned, the living room has also been redone to allow for viewing of the television, and the possible housing of Fourth Daughter and her First Son-In-Law should they visit us.) All of my gaming library and archives have been moved to the new shelves, my vast collection of historical books moved onto the vacated ones, and the miniatures collection reorganized to absorb the 60 Nubian archers, 30 Egyptian slingers, 30 Philistines, 30 Sea People, and six chariots I have been working on after the big sale at the FLGS. (There's also five new Silver Suits for the Space Marine platoon, but they were easy to absorb.)

There have been casualties; I got rid of the old resin buildings that I'd gotten in 2002 for a convention game, and which had been damaged beyond reasonable repair when a box collapsed. Likewise, some historical books I never had looked at went to the local historical gamers, and I expect I'll keep clearing out stuff that I haven't used in a decade. I'm refining my focus: Tekumel, Barsoom, Ancient Egypt. (Well, all right, ships and pirates on occasion as well.) If people want to adventure in those worlds, then they are welcome to organize up a party and go adventuring. I'm open Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons. Call ahead, and I'll set something up.

So, you'll see a lot more of what I'm doing, and what I'm writing. Work proceeds apace, and I am very happy with what's happening. If you want to come along for the ride, welcome!!!