In a way, it does matter that it’s Christmas Eve at the moment. Matters because I have the day off from work, of course, but also because the timing of recent events.
Speaking of recent events, I thought our official announcement for the reasons for canceling the Kickstarter were spot on. We think digitizing the game has value for making it easier to play, but that only helps when there is either a larger playerbase or an awareness of the card game combined with a preference for e-play. Coming out of the holidays, I’m going to see what I can do about expanding awareness and getting together with other players in the area and when I have time on trips I make outside the area.
For a timing example, one of my friends picked up Ultimate Combat! boosters for me. This provided an opportunity not only to talk about draft value of different cards but to just talk about aspects of the game as well as to read some of the flavor text I haven’t read in a long time. See, almost all cards have flavor text. Not good flavor text. But, if you already are amused by real world martial artists in funny poses, then the flavor text will only add to that.
The “karate chop” of old movies, deadly against the throat.
The thing about Ultimate Combat! is that it provokes so many fond memories of being an UC! player, even if it was a time in my life that wasn’t so great for other reasons.
I played Terra Mystica yesterday. It was a get together of a group of us who don’t get together that often as … what happens when you don’t do something regularly is that you let it slide. I played Giants. I chose not to Stronghold on round one and was, therefore, out of the game. That was not terribly fun. Not that I was sure I was out of the game, but when someone had eight dwellings in play and I had trouble making any (by the time I Strongholded to generate consistent spades, I was surrounded), figured the game wasn’t going so well. Reading some, it would be interesting to try shipping to build dwellings apart from each other. Still, the Giants’ ability is a disadvantage as far as I’m concerned and the Stronghold ability just counters the disadvantage, whereas other factions get useful abilities. Five player game took about 5.5 hours, so we played just the one game.
It was kind of like yesteryearishness. But, in many ways, not. We went out to eat together, for instance, which isn’t something we used to do. The location was an area close to my work, so I knew plenty of food places around.
I’ve run a couple side sessions of Rokugan 1600 and … I’m not sure I really have any new takeaways, though I have a better sense of what I think works, I just don’t necessarily execute on what I know, a consistent problem outside of gaming.
One thing I did think might happen was a Tahaddi Duel. But, of course, that would have been more likely with different players. Anyway, I wrote homebrew rules for Tahaddi Dueling as I’ve run a LBS 3e Tahaddi Duel and it was atrocious. The mechanics were just painfully boring. Unlike 3e Iaijutsu, which could be interesting. 4e Tahaddi is an awful copy of 4e Iaijutsu Dueling – awful because the two aren’t really similar thematically. I considered doing something similar to 4e Iaijutsu, but Tahaddi is all about back and forth, not staring at someone until they explode.
Revel in the completely coherent and in every way fully thought out rules mechanics awesome:
Tahaddi Rules – Art of the Thrust and Parry
Each duelist has a number of thrusts and parries equal to Void. Each additional of one or the other requires a VP. Can change to normal skirmish after both are out of free thrusts/parries, before that is half rank Integrity/Honor loss.
Assessment: As usual, one time bonus to either Thrust or Parry. Uses Knives (Tahaddi), -5 for not having Tahaddi. Winner goes first.
Thrust/Parry: AGI/Knives (Tahaddi) vs REF/Defense (Knives if Tahaddi skill). Winning by 5 or more is a strike. Each additional 5 is a FR to damage.
The session I ran Saturday was a very special holiday session, which I didn’t think about until a player mentioned it as a possibility and I liked it as I’m trying to wrap up a story arc and thought it could be risky to run on the 23rd. One player didn’t play the previous session so had less sense than usual what was going on. The holiday break meant splitting up the story arc ending session into two was going to be more painful than usual. As it turned out, one of the players had to cancel, so having another side session made sense, even if it was a missed opportunity for her to be involved in time travel – the single most common thing in L5R, ever, as “everyone” knows. Actually, in this case, made a bit more sense. The prevalence of time travel outside of a Fortune of Shinseimas Past/Present/Future makes far more sense to me because the players don’t know things I know.
What’s different and what’s the same. Time, something I feel like I have less of even though I actually have plenty of time, I just don’t use it effectively, gives an opportunity to reflect. To nostalgiasize.
One thing I haven’t done a lot of this time of year is read fiction/reference/RPGs, even though it’s something I think I do more often when days are their shortest because of lack of TV shows, more time, and because I can’t seem to stop buying relatives books for Christmas. I tried reading something I bought myself about Aztec and Mayan Mythology/Anthropology, but I couldn’t get into it. Tried to play more music rather than have the same old sports talk shows on and haven’t felt that strongly about actually listening to the CDs I used to listen to. Realized I need to hook back up a DVD player to play some Garth Brooks DVDs.
I’m sure that’s the first thing the audience of this blog thinks of when thinking of musical interests pour moi. Yup, poppish country, melodramatic piano rock, Christmas carols, and good songs outside of those genres.
Well, I may have had some other thought, but I need to do some other things tonight.