Monday, December 16, 2013

General Thoughts This December

To be honest, it's difficult to talk about ordinary D&D things.

Over the weekend, when relaxing, I was reformatting a trade excel file that had ballooned to 20,000 K in size, making it cumbersome and slow on my computer. It means moving the data out of one kind of format into another, with one sheet referencing another, so it's slow work to reformat it. It's down to 16,500 K and I'll be doing that now and then for a long time. So, not exactly interesting blog material.

I ran my party Saturday night, which consisted mostly of them being aboard ship and being assaulted by 42 tritons, along with the ship's crew. The tritons weren't much threat to the high levels, kept them trapped below decks for a bit by controlling the ladders, and the party was worried the crew would be all killed, leaving no one to sail the vessel, at that point in Greek waters (offline party crossed the path of the online party, nice coincidence that). The lower levels did okay for X.P. Moved the party along to Sicily, their destination, a lot faster than I'm moving the online party from place to place ... but the offline party is younger and less patient. These things have to be taken into account.

Again, not much meat for a discussion.

I haven't had time to read and work up a really interesting post about the relationships between the Spanish expulsion of the Jews in the 16th century and the passing of Prohibition in the 1919, so I have no idea if there even is a connection. Probably isn't. But you never know. I have a fair knowledge of Prohibition, but virtually none about the Spanish expulsion, so it would seem stupid to write a post about that.

Most of my research has been on the Kubler-Ross model of coping with grief, which IS connected to the way roleplaying can be addressed in the campaign, but if I write about that HERE, then what's the point in producing the book? Hm? Let's just say that I'm trying to rework the passage so I don't have to write five hundred words on what the Kubler-Ross model is. (Look it up)

So my mind is a blank. And I've taken 400 words to describe the blank that is my mind. It's not actually blank, it's just full of stuff I have to hold back.

I can say that it was suggested that a cover image could be an empty table with empty chairs, with undefined books and papers on the cover, in the whitest room possible. I do have a really good photographer who I've worked with in the past who could get the shot, if we could find the space (just have to look for it), the table and the chairs. Of course, the background can always be photo-shopped.

My problem has been that ANY photo has the possibility of stamping the game with a particular roleplaying genre ... whereas yes, it is true that saying 'DM' all the way through the book will do so also, I think if the actual cover can be made generic, then that will greatly improve the book's mutability. I feel that the Cthulhu people, the Traveller people and even the Masquerade people would get as much from the book as anyone else, and I don't want to lose those potential markets because they've been given an elf wench with tits on the front cover (which was suggested!).

A player in my offline put it best; "Yes," he said. "It will be a plain white book with a plain cover that will be on every shelves, everywhere."

Here's hoping


Eric said...

"Cthulhu people, the Traveller people and even the Masquerade people" Most recent game there is 23 years old.... "even the Apocalypse World people" might be more apropos.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, but I don't actually KNOW any Apocalypse people ... whereas I do know people who are playing in ongoing campaigns in the other three I mentioned.

So maybe, just maybe, your criticism doesn't actually make any sense.

How old is chess now? Perhaps when we want to refer to chess, for Eric's benefit we should refer to some game EA put out last year. We don't want to be out of touch.

This is like three comments in a row from you, Eric, that are nitpicky as all fucking shit. Can you just tell me what part of your world I pissed in, so we can have that out and I can make amends?

Michael Julius said...

Consider shopping around the photographic work.

That cover on Pete's Garage has some awful light - especially the glaring blown out bits on the guitar.

Alexis Smolensk said...

If you knew the photographer's efforts to get that pic, in the environment we were in, the ONLY environment we were allowed by the store that owned the Les Paul, that had to be BLUE because the character in the story played a blue Les Paul named Cheryl, you wouldn't fault the photographer.

He still wants me to reshoot that cover, with some other idea, but sometimes you just go with what you have.

At any rate, the glare on the guitar was desirable, and has been complimented many times. You can't please everyone, Michael.

Michael Julius said...

You should have seen the fish I almost caught. Seriously, stick a 17 year old in there and it's a senior portrait. Your photographer knows that. It's why he wants to reshoot it.

Regarding 'How to Run'. I'd go with an illustration. I think that it better serves the intention of craft and possibility vs. the underlying 'record' that a photograph conveys. But at the end of the day it's a matter of aesthetics.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yeah, it is a matter of aesthetics. And that's why I find your comment rude and abusive, Michael, particularly because it is not even of me.

Michael Julius said...

Sorry, you are 100% right. I don't mean to come off as harsh - I have visceral reactions to photography.

It's a learned weakness.

For the record I was trying to sympathize with your photographer for why they would desire to reconsider the image. But whatever, it wasn't warranted because I can't tussle with the picture maker.