Sing Or Singe

I haven’t been doing a lot of normal gaming recently.  Did play Shadowfist not last Thursday but the Thursday before, played one long four-player game followed by a short, unsatisfying four-player game.

Besides whatever comes up for the Traveller Card Game, I’ve been rereading Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger series.

One thing I notice is that when I go back to read books I haven’t read in a long time or more than once I often come away with differing views, often less enthused.

The Spellsinger series doesn’t fall into that category.  I’ve read most of the books many times in the last 30 years.  There are parts I don’t feel quite the same about, and one of the things that’s more frustrating than it would have been in the ’80s is how certain supporting characters will never reappear.  I don’t think I’m going to go read fan fiction about Roseroar and Folly.  The series still comes across as quality.

Interestingly, perhaps, I started rereading the series after reading Into the Out Of again.  My focus certainly shifted from the adventure and the supernatural to the descriptions of Africa.  I was thinking of this book, specifically, because one of my brothers was born in Nigeria and later worked for several years in Somaliland and I think of getting him Christmas presents that relate to the continent as the rest of us don’t have as strong a connection, even if the other siblings went to school in Cairo for a while.

Oh, by the way, it just occurred to me to market for the school.


My brother Harry has been working on a documentary about it.

So, everything I recall reading by Alan Dean Foster, who has done a bunch of movie adaptions, is something I still appreciate.  Moving on.

I was thinking of writing about V:TES.  I haven’t been playing, but it has become more relevant to me for a few reasons.  For one thing, we have two tournaments on January 7th I need to build decks for.  For another, I really want to hit a European Championships in my life and think I could swing going to Berlin in 2017.  I’d be more inclined if someone else was interested in traveling with me.  On the other hand, could make it a family trip and hit some other Eurolocales only taking up a few days to travel the world to play cards.

Two themes presented themselves.  I must admit neither feels compelling to me.  One was to talk about power in the game.  That just seems kind of similar to previous posts where I try to get away from my habit of eschewing power and talk about good stuff.  The other theme is on the other extreme of this axis where I thought about talking about my experiences trying to come up with decks that use my latest banned list.

I looked back at my post about what I’ve won with and haven’t won with from a crypt standpoint and started mentally putting together my crypt banned list.  I really need to write this stuff down.  Currently, all Gangrel, all Malks, all Nos, all Lasombra, all !Ventrue, all Giovanni are banned, though some aren’t “officially” banned so much as it amuses me endlessly that the only Gangrel I’ve ever had in a winning deck is Stanislava in a deck whose only discipline was Presence.

My “No Decisions” deck will just have to run !Gangrel and whoever to get the necessary all Protean crypt.  The big problem with playing the deck is that it forces me to unban Earth Meld, plus it could be intensely uninteresting to play.

Because I’ve yet again had someone’s collection dumped on me, I’ve been looking through cards and come up with amusing ideas, especially with clan hosers, however clan hosers is such a sketchy thing to go with even with steal/Clan Impersonation awesomeness.

Then, there’s Heroes of Rokugan 4, which we have plans to actually play.  I know, weird, eh?  Will all my plans work out or come to naught?  I’m now trying to put together a couple of tables at the last minute to avoid a problem.

Can talk about HoR4 later, when I actually play.  I just don’t have enough give a damn to get into analyzing the favor system when it has yet to matter to me, for instance.

V:TES.  Trying to see it get a kick back into production.  There are a few things I miss.  Some people – my holiday email list reminds me of how long it has been since I’ve seen some folks I’m fond of.  Badminton, on rare occasions shooting hoops on a cold day – I actually didn’t go out on Christmas and do just that like I have on a number of other occasions.  B5 and WoT and UC! are all CCGs that I only really miss when I see the cards.  At some point, V:TES is going to be like that, but it’s still something I miss when I don’t play.  Goes to show how much it has been a feature of the last 20 years.

There are so many decks I haven’t gotten to even with my massive personal restrictions.  Blood Brothers with no Sanguinus cards.  Gargoyles with Serpentis.  Winnie Daimoinon.  And, that’s just the tournament decks.  In casual play, with my banned list no longer in effect, can break out weird stuff.

The Traveller Card Game is not intended to be a substitute for a CCG like V:TES.  Yet, it still has the deckbuilding aspect.  Deckbuilding is just so fascinating.

Does this post have a point?

Maybe so.

Maybe it’s about the wonders of imagination.

While it’s on my bucket list to write a fantasy novel, though, really, I should try my hand at short stories first as I think they would suit me better, reading ADF’s books both inspires ideas and reminds me that executing on ideas is work.

It’s so much easier for me to build decks.  Pick a card.  Any Eyes of the Dead card you want.  You know my mummy is going to block you from eating my Faithful Servanted torporized dudes.  Okay, even I can’t get that excited by that idea.

Form of the Serpent.  Once upon a time, this was a key card to me, as Serpentis had limited options but also because Immortal Grapple was the bane of my Majesty filled world.  It’s hard for me to get that excited by it, now, but that just means you have to spend more thought.  Sure, I maybe am wrecking an opportunity to get back to the long abandoned “Card of the Weak” series, but here goes.

I have Thaumaturgy and Serpentis.  I know it’s probably some dumb Treaty of Laibach deck but hopefully not.  I need to stealth my Conditionings through because this is not a tournament deck.  I also need to maneuver to Flames of the Netherworld someone.  Or, hey, maybe run Burst of Sunlight with Skin of the Adder and can beat at close or long.  Potence/Serpentis for Thrown Sewer Lids or whatever – I’ve never bothered with a Typhonic Beast deck, to my recollection, just not my style, so close beats with stealth for … profit.

Nightstick taunts me.  Has to be a Black Cat or the like deck so that you don’t just murder yourself with pool loss, of course.

I haven’t made good use of the post’s title.  Where’s the Singe?  Flames of the Netherworld is too easy, Burst of Sunlight and Ignore the Searing Flames at DAI are more relevant.

While I’ve built Body of Sun decks (… deck?), I have a lot more than I once did.  There has to be more to do with it than, uh, practically nothing as someone just dodges or combat ends or whatever.  Sure, there’s the Temptation/Body of Sun/graft Protean skill cards deck I haven’t gotten around to, but that’s so much like the Temptation/Mummify deck or whatever that seems more appealing because Mummify has multiple “uses”.

AUS/Ser is such a common build.  Dom/Ser is actually not something I do a ton of.  Group 3/4, but how do I leverage going to torpor myself?  The Faithful Servant thing is such a hassle and easily defeated by someone rescuing you.  Grafting Animalism when already adding Dominate skill cards is just too too much.  As is grafting Fortitude.

Waters of Duat plus Carver’s to have my dorks abuse Mummify?

Imagination.  There’s a reason I play the games I do.

Probably not a good aside to throw in 1400 words into a meandering post, but has it ever occurred to people that the reason CCGs and RPGs interest me so much more than boardgames is because there’s so much more capacity for using one’s imagination, including when you aren’t playing the game?

Too late to be a Christmas present for those who celebrate on the 25th (and use the most common calendar), but, hey, want to make the world a better place?  Go play more customizable card games and RPGs, maybe even a game based on … Traveller … and add enormically* to the use of imagination.

*  Enormical was spewed upon thee in my Multiplay post.  I now introduce this word to something of the world as a reward that doesn’t even require funding.


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