April 09, 2020
“‘The days of your life’ refers to in-game time…”
Posted by Avram Grumer at 07:44 PM * 23 comments

Blacow* speaks of four players: the Wargamer, the Power-Gamer, the Role-Player, and the Story-Teller.

The Wargamer, what does he say? “What foe do we fight, and what is the lay of the land?” You, in turn, shall describe the battlefield, and challenge his tactical abilities, including the morale check for his henchmen.

The Role-Player, what does he say? “This is what my character would do!” By using his character motivations as an excuse to indulge his antisocial behavior, he has placed his own enjoyment ahead of the other players’. You will rattle his dice by saying, “That is not how we do it at my table;” — “my table,” not his table, because if he keeps this up, he won’t be invited back!

The Power-Gamer, what does he say? “Where is the loot?” Thus you shall say to him: “With clever play and good fortune, you may win your way to treasure and XP.”

As for the Story-Teller, you must develop a plot thread for him to follow, as it is said, “It is because of this that your character finds himself in a predicament…”

* “Aspects of Adventure Gaming,” Glenn F Blacow, Different Worlds #10, Oct/Nov 1980

March 24, 2020
Surrounded
Posted by Patrick at 07:25 AM * 110 comments

Reading about all the people venturing that maybe it would be better to stop the social distancing and reopen the businesses, because tHe dAmAge tO tHe EcOnoMy is So mUcH wOrSe thAn A fEw MiLliOn dEaThS. As someone on Twitter put it, “throwing millions of people into a volcano to appease the Market God.”

I find myself remembering all the times I’ve heard people in the science fiction world, including eminent authors, muse that it would probably be for the best to have some big die-off events. I suspect that at least one in three Americans believes this. I suspect I have friends and colleagues who quietly believe this.

I can’t stop thinking about it. I feel surrounded by ghouls.

March 19, 2020
Open thread 223
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 04:01 PM * 1027 comments

So now the rest of the world is discovering virtual communities. I’m feeling very hipster; we were doing it before it was cool.

What are some of your favorite resources? I want to point out Jo Walton’s Decameron project on Patreon (free, but contributions encouraged) and Ada Palmer’s #SomethingBeautiful hashtag on Twitter.

As they say here in the Netherlands, sterkte, strength, in these difficult days. May we flatten the curve by sheer force of love. May wisdom dwell in the roofs of our mouths and slip out of our sleeves onto our keyboards. May we love what’s lost and love what is to come. May we repair what breaks, make it better than before. May we go ever onward.

Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.