Thursday, 24 October 2013

An ST did it and ran away

Prompted by a recent IC discussion on choices, in which it appeared that the other person had a vastly different conception of what actual choices another person's character had had available to them, I was forced to consider something.

I was told that character x (played by player X) had been tricked into joining a Legacy. This is in Mage: The Awakening, in which joining a Legacy involves reshaping your very soul to enable you to perform certain magical feats as though they were mundane voluntary or even autonomic functions of your own mind and body. Thus, the idea of being flat out tricked into doing it boggles the mind rather.

But I now have a quandary. Is the issue here that a) x is lying, b) X is lying, c) X is misinformed, or d) an ST did it and ran away?

Now, x might be lying; so might X. Or, X might have believed that he had no choice while the ST thought he was choosing. Alternatively, and I have seen this before, the ST may have presented it as a matter of no choice. Sometimes, in larger LARP games, the ST will present a player with the do or die shitty choice of becoming a villain or, well, dying a horrible pointless death, perform a loaded bait and switch, or simply present membership in the antagonistic group as a fait accompli.

The problem is that this always sucks, moreso if the ST bends the rules to do it, and if I, as player Y, start pushing that there had to have been a choice, it's just going to make it more miserable for them.

I understand why this gets done, and it's never from malice. It adds drama to the game for certain; it just tends to do it at the extreme expense of a particular player or group of players.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

31 Short Stories - A post in which I try to briefly describe my current projects, largely to see if they make sense

31 Short Stories is my NaNo project from last year and for this year, its goal to produce a body of short fiction that I can try to polish, compile and sell as a Kindle or other ebook format. Currently, I am considering the possibility of running out a couple of stories as a free preview, and if that goes well pitching the full collection at the 70% price threshold, but honestly the tiny amount of money I'm likely to make is a secondary consideration to putting myself out there.

Of last year's 27 stories (I ran short), I have nine that I think are strong enough and five that are maybes, as well as two that I am going to rewrite completely this year. I have the stories out with three friends for reviewing, so we'll see if their expectations match up with mine.

For this year, I have 43 concepts to work on, although in all honesty I know already that some of them won't work out; that's why I've gone for 43 concepts for 31 stories. They range from fairytale retellings to time travel comedy, and a couple of shots at satire within the SF, fantasy and horror genres.

As ever, with NaNo, the initial target is 50,000 words in the month of November. After that, we shall see if I have something I can run with.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Poetry Please - The Mathematics of Maturity

A > B
Where A is the ability to
     provide food
And B
     is job satisfaction.

X < Y
Where X is all the things I used to do
     for fun
And Y
      is the things that need to be done.

Where M is getting everything finished
And N is getting lucky
And M + N > T
     which is how much time there is in the day.

But L > Σ w
Where w
     is my trouble and my woe
And L
     is the love in my life.

Poetry Please - Nevermore

There were no cats on Noah's Ark,
When other beasts took flight,
The cats just purred and washed their fur,
And said: "We'll be alright."

Noah went to the oldest cat,
And said: "You'll all be killed!"
"Fear not for us," the cat replied,
"On the quantum wave function we shall ride,
"Out of sight, we're uncannily skilled."

"When floods are done and the water gone,
"And your Ark seeks a foreign shore,
"You may believe we all are dead,
"But you'll never be quite sure."

"Uncertainty's a powerful friend,
"If ever there's a doubt;
"The teeniest, tiniest, slightest hope,
"The cats will find it out."

Noah wept for what would be lost,
As he went back to his boat,
For though the waters would bear the Ark,
Cats, alas, do not float.

For forty days and forty nights,
All land was out of reach,
But when the world began to dry,
The eldest cat, with head held high,
Sat waiting on the beach.

So when this watery tale is told,
And they curse a blackbird craven,
Think to yourself, with all those cats,
What fate befell the raven?