Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Know Thy Game

During my usual rambling of nonsense, I've been told something that made me think.
Everybody knows what game they know best... and like always, I don't accept myself as part of that group.

A statement was made: I must know Exalted better than Mage
Since I claimed that there is no measure of how well you can know a game, I've been informed that I do know what game I have read more and which I played more (all contributing to the knowledge of a game) so it follows I know Exalted better than Mage.

And yet, I feel unconvinced by this argument.
It is true that I read more Exalted books than Mage books and I played/run Exalted more.
If you were to ask me a question about Mage, I'd need to first look into a book. However, if you were to ask me a question about Exalted, I'd need to first look into a book... it happens more often that you think...

Just the other day I was asked what a player should roll to remember an information from their past incarnation's memory. So I guessed that would be Intelligence + Lore, then I looked at some Merit to find if there are any modifiers for that sort of roll. I found none, so I made them up.

Another player asked me if there are any smoke bombs in Exalted. I said yes so he asked about the book with them. To which my reply was: "I don't know, I made that up."

You might say that since I've had to read any and all information about the setting and use them regularly in the game I run, that I know it better. While it is true that I know every kingdom there is in the area we are playing in, what their political situation is, recent history, rulers, culture, military activity, the powers behind the scenes, the Essence lines, the history of the place, etc. and I know it all because... I made it up. All I could find in the official material is that there are hundred kingdoms in the area and they export food everywhere. You might say that I'm not running Exalted in its setting since the Hundred Kingdoms are said to rarely go to battle, whilst in the game I run, they are on the brink of a full blown out war with one another.

Since I know what Mage is about, its theme and mood, I read the base setting and I can refer to the book. I'll take those things, that feel of the game and add my own details. Just like I did with the Exalted game I run. As such I don't feel I know Mage any less than I know Exalted. Especially since there's a ton of people who answer questions about both games that I had no clue someone would ask.

Memorising the setting and mechanics is just not fun to me. I do fine with an excel sheet to do the math and a doc file to store the additional information so I don't have to remember it. I have a lousy memory so it often happens that I need to look into the rules for one thing twice in a game session... unless the player remembers it from before.

Setting discussion and mechanical optimisation of characters just bores me. I don't like anything that adds to the mechanics because that only ends up making my gaming experience less fun. In a game I don't look for either a simple or complex dice engine, neither to I crave for a rich setting of lack thereof (Scion!)... all I want is something to stimulate my imagination and that is easily achieved.

My conclusion would probably be that I wouldn't consider myself knowing one game better than the other. It might be bullshit on my part but yeah, I just don't see it...

Preferring one game over the other, now that's a different matter ;)

Monday, 22 December 2008

This just came in

You think you're so great Christian!

Sending me books for Christmas!

Human Occupied Landfill and Ninja Burger: The RPG 2nd Edition?!

I will not tolerate the way you stomp all over my pride...

Beware my wrath!

The last words you'll hear from me:
Thank you

and DIE!!!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

40 questions of 2008

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
I joined a Roleplaying Club
I wrote stuff for a website
I failed at translating
I went on Polish conventions
I run a game at a convention

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I have no idea what they were at this point... next time I'll just write them in a blog post...

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My aunt gave birth to my Godchild II

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nobody that I know of...

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
an idea on what to do with myself...

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The one when Godchild I smiled at the sight of me...

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Running a game at a convention

9. What was your biggest failure?
Realising I have no idea how to speak in Polish...

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Sore throat... at the heights of summer...

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Manual of Exalted Power: Abyssals

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I have no clue...

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Books... lots of books...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
promethean_lord's visit...

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
iii. richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Work on my Polish

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
worry about the future

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Studying narrative...

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV program?
True Blood

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
The Light Fantastic

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

28. What did you want and get?
didn't get anything

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
A tie between Iron Man and The Dark Knight

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 21 when me and my friends went to Cosmo to eat lots of things...

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting to translate a book...

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Clever Dead

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

37. Who did you miss?
my kitty

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Don't get your hopes up...

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: dum dum dum dum!

That's the Internet for You

People on the internet are so easy to annoy...

Just tell the the truth and their opinion and suddenly it's all
oh noes, this is my thread not yours post what I want! It's mine, mine, mine!

Reminds me of all those times I was thrown out of playgrounds because it apparently belonged to some other kids...

eh, I need to take a break from the internet anyway... considering I need to work on a couple assignments and I'd like as much done as possible these next weeks...

and now, since it's 1am, I'll try to actually get some sleep!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Bad Mood

I'd like to update my blog with something, but I just don't know with what...

Other than studying, I'm not really doing anything... I'm even staying here in England for the Christmas break to study, how exciting is that?

Hobby wise, not much going on either
Haven't got the chance to read the books I bought
Online games are going alright
I might be running a Scion campaign starting next year

my major annoyances with life seem to be over...
still in a bad mood over some things but I don't have anything more to say about them...

so yeah... I don't know what to talk about...

Friday, 5 December 2008

Oh noes!!!

I have no idea when I'll get my bursary...

might even be in two months so I won't be able to buy people stuff for Christmas this year...

I'm out of money as is and I need to survive through this month...


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

DragonMeet 2008

The convention took place on the 29th November 2008 in Kensington Town Hall!

The previous day I had a Dane arrive at my doorstep. He didn't have the best trip considering the cab took him too far into the street I lived on and when going back, he missed my house thus being slightly confused as to where does the Pole live! He went onto another street and back before finding my place of residence, without saying much, he was tired!

Naturally, promethean_lord was given the proper treatment of spaghetti bolognese. Since he was kind enough to bring with him Danish chocolates for me, I treated him to Polish vodka! European traditions galore! We watched Hot Fuzz and then went to bed.

The next morning it was time for DragonMeet. I made myself a sandwich and was eating it while the Dane woke up. We called the cab at 8am, it arrived a bit early so I had to throw my sandwich away. I took it outside, but being inexperienced with cabs I had no idea you can't eat in one, I managed to take a huge bite out of it though. When we were about to stop at the station, promethean_lord noticed he forgot his wallet, so we had to turn around as there is no point going on a convention if you can't buy anything! The driver amused us with a story of a Polish military ship being stationed in the port here at Brighton when he was little, a story which not many know about, while we tried to explain to him what roleplaying was (he thought in the cop/nurse kind of way, the kinky bastard!). We were running late, so I told him to run and I went off, apparently I'm faster. The tickets were bought and we caught our train to Victioria! In all this madness I forgot to ask the taxi driver about student discounts... I suck, I know...

At Victoria we needed to go to the underground and find a ticket machine because the one I usually used was out of order. We found one soon enough and located the correct platform (there was a moment of We sense you, Roleplayer on the station). Then we had to wait in High Street Kensington for the rest of the crew. We were soon met by Insane Prophet and Afrohead, we had a discussion on how Deoq sucks for not replying to us contacting him! After Mithras and his friend, Cristian, arrived we had another goal! We had to locate cash machines to get some money and go to Tesco for breakfast... because not everyone has a sandwich in the morning like I do!

People bought tickets, I ordered two from the internet (2 pounds cheaper that way). We entered and went straight to the buy stuff area. It was fun to get game books and dice, look at what's available, talk with the people responsible for our quickly dissipating money and things like that. After a while, we came back together and took a table for ourselves to play a game! For a while the table was used for reading through our purchases due to Mithras and Cristian not being able to locate the room upstairs, I went down to get them and made evil looking gestures while they couldn't get out of conversations with Mithras's friends (who apparently are at University of Sussex on the other side of the street to my campus and they have a roleplay gathering just at the exact time I have a very long break between lectures! I was invited to find them.)

Finally, after everyone was gathered, I run Scion Hero for the group.

You can find the pictures with captions from the game on Flickr, here are the links:
Thumbs up, Use the Force, Roll Out!, Scion Hero, Geeks, Green, Dice, Giant or Halfling?, Ready When You Are, Sacrifice, Reading, Annoyed, Death, Inevitable, Rules-lawyer, Frog Bashing, Hello?, Wow!, Explanation, Aim and Shoot, Metagaming, Surprise, Make Love not War, Chatter Stop!, Trinket

Some of the game highlights were (feel free to add yours in the comments, I can always edit this post):
1) promethean_lord shooting a pesky NPC with his love gun, resulting in a very horny lady out to get the only female PC! Unfortunately, we didn't get to Lesbian Pr0n!!!
2) Mithras being so annoyed by his character not hitting a giant frog monster that he used all possible means to get successes on one roll which resulted in him cutting off the monster's limb and smashing it to death with the severed appendage!
3) A sudden attack by ninjas in the middle of a desert!
4) Revamp calling and texting us after he woke up at 3pm in Cambridge, at one point I just switched my phone off...

Mithras and Cristian had to leave so we quickly wrapped up the game with a Deus Ex Machina on part of Loki. Mithras shot him, but the God took the bullet out of the air and gave it back to him in the form of a flower!

Next up there was some dice buying and praying one of us would win something in the ticket lottery! Afrohead told us about his dream of building a temple made out of dice. Revamp appeared! We found dice that had a frog image on one side and decided we all should get one for memories' sake!

After that we went to the underground station, said our farewells and returned home. Nothing special on the way back, other than a guy on the train who kept staring at me and promethean_lord for some arcane reason. Then a walk from the station to my abode. Finally, a pizza whilst we watch The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising to end the gaming day!

The next day we made a video where we showed off our purchases and made some comments about things that transpired.