Game WISH 44: Picking Games

Perverse Access Memory: WISH 44: Picking Games
Ginger asks:
How do you choose games to join or to run? What factors influence you: timing, people, system, genre, etc.? Do you weigh different factors for different kinds of games, e.g., online vs. tabletop vs. LARP? Is it a group decision or a decision you make on your own?
Time and Commitment have been noted by Ginger and others is the primary thing. If I can’t give of myself well to the game, I won’t run it.
Case in point: I have mentioned in a previous Game WISH entry back on the old blog that I have several more games that, if I had time, I WOULD run. But I know I could not make the commitment to run two PBEMs. It just wouldn’t work out for the new game or for SB.
My second factor is thus the spark…from either end. This is much more of a primary concern when I am picking things to run at ACUS, for instance. Do I have a spark of an idea, a overarching plan to run the characters through. Or, conversely, can I bring someone to person X’s game. I joined Chris’ Kindred’s game among other reasons because I wanted to roll out two new characters for it. I already have a couple of possible sparks for next ACUS…and that doesn’t even include the continuation of AAPA.
The next factor is people. Face it, I am a person of comforts, and I am most comfortable when I do have people I know, or want to know, in the same milieu. This goes for games FTF or PBEM. In point of fact, i am going to join a new game because, well, I was invited by a good friend, and the rest of the cast are people I want to play with (and in some cases already do).
I balanced out my time, saw a spark of a character I want to bring to it, and the people in the game I want to collaborate with to bring a new world to life.
Game system? That goes under “spark”. There are game systems I really want to try, and that factors into the whole “inspiration bit”. I think I could enjoy Nobilis, for instance.
But basically it is Commitment, Spark, and People. And its not that big of a gradient between Spark and People, they are very much co-equal as factors. I will try harder to come up with a spark if I have the people, and if the spark is there, I will try to bring it to the people.

Game WISH 43

Perverse Access Memory: WISH 43: In Character Rewards
Somewhat late comes the answer to the latest Game WISH from Ginger:
What was the best in-character reward one of your characters ever got? Why was it so good?
Hmm. There are many possibilities on this one. I’m almost torn between some of the best ones. Of course, some of the best have dual edge or multi-edge aspects. That’s just part of the game. I could even go with Arref and pick out Laertes’ story in TKC. But I will go with another game, for variance.
Note there is a bit of adult stuff in this, so I have moved it to the extended entry.

Continue reading Game WISH 43

Elizabeth Willey Part II

Not quite suggested in one of the comments by Arref, I decided to send an email to Tor Books (the publishers of the “Argylle books”) and enquired as to the health and status of Ms. Willey.
We’ll see if they answer, and if they know anything more about what happened to her. Its possible she took a new writing name and is using that to write more books; its becoming an increasingly common practice these days.
Or perhaps she’s moved onto other things.
UPDATE: Mail to Tor bounced for me and for Arref.

The eyes have it

I bit the bullet yesterday and went in for an eye exam.
It has been a few years since I have done it, and when I tried to change my license in California, I noticed how much my eyes had changed. I had trouble passing the eye exam, and sort of did it with and without the glasses.
So now that I moved to Minnesota, I decided I was far overdue and went in for an exam. Today the glasses were ready and now I am in that dreaded (to anyone who has worn glasses) adjustment period.

Elizabeth Willey

Some years ago, in the 90’s, an author came out with three very Zelaznyesque books. Her name was Elizabeth Willey, and I first heard about her from my good friend Arref, who had the books and mentioned them to me one day.
The three books involve a frankly Amberesque sort of universe, complete with exiled scions of an empire’s family, shadows, primal sources of power, and intense interpersonal conflicts. Add to this excellent writing and a flair for describing her worlds, and you have Elizabeth Willey’s novels:
The Well Favored Man
A Sorcerer and a Gentleman
The Price of Blood and Honor
The series was never finished (The first book takes place many years after the second and third, but the third doesn’t finish the “backstory”). She used to have a rather simple webpage that, recently, became completely defunct.
Sad, really. There are a lot of ideas I want to explore from her books in some games (and I don’t even have my copies, they are in NY). Her books are of course out of print.
Much like Martha Wells’ Element of Fire (she is still writing, although that book is out of print) Willey’s books are good fodder for ideas for Amber games. I should at some point try and get used copies somewhere…

Arref’s take on the rule of three

in the Shadow of Greatness
(I can’t get the item link to work, Blogger seems to be really really inconsistent today. Just look for the April 22nd entry)
Arref has a great epistle to the Corinthians…err, I mean epistle on choice, and how three seems to be a magic number for choice for player characters. Reduce choice, and characters feel like they are being railroaded, while three is a manageable number, where the character DOES Have trade-offs.
I like to give choice too. I try hard not to railroad anyone in my games. There is usually at *least* two options open, if not more in any situation. Characters weave their destinies into the fabric of the story, and if I didn’t want the characters to have options, I’d “write the book myself”

Pork!

The Hall of Mirrors: Great pork roast
I wanted to highlight this recipe over on Deb’s Hall of Mirrors. I do like pork, and there is nothing in here (eg. Mushrooms) which seems to be offensive to me. Although, Felicia made boneless pork yesterday, but I didn’t care for the taste of the brandy and sherry in the marinade…