Enjoy! Happy friggin Monday!
So, in general, I didn’t write at all last week. Sure, I got a few words on a page here and there. There were a number of reasons for this: 1.) kiddo’s learning Magic which is awesome; 2.) helping with kiddo’s homework and spending time with family; 3.) short weeks make for long work in bureaucracy as you truly pay for your day off in a management capacity; 4.) Paimona and I decided to try our hands at something new.
So, with 100% less excuses, here’s without further adieu our initial attempt at bringing the Lay of Seidenbard (you’ve seen it here in a few scenes) into comic form:
We’re going to try to bring out a page a week (well, she is since I’m only a talker and writer rather than anything else).
You know, the point of working is getting to the weekend with enough money to a.) eat, b.) enjoy your time and become involved in a hobby or interest, and c.) involve your family in all the above. This is impossible when your nose becomes packed with cement and you arrive home, passing out in bed not ten minutes after walking in the door and sleeping for an hour. Then, still attempting to go do the things you want before returning home and passing out again for two more hours, which then borks your sleeping schedule up, making you fall asleep at some ungodly time in the morning before waking up at your usual time for work. All the while, you still feel fucking terrible. Being sick prevents you from doing none of the above, which is what the reward of work should be, but makes it where everything in life fucking sucks just enough that you do not want to get shit done. I believe I knew I was coming down with something Thursday night, which is why I probably did not feel like writing in the morass of the other responsibilities that I had.
On the bright side, I did finally figure out how to integrate casting style into Cultura’s magic system and begin developing it so that player choice defines EXACTLY how your character uses their style and what it MEANS for the caster in question. That’s pretty fucking sweet if you ask me.
As always, thanks for reading. Have a great week!
First, let me dispense with the new Shining (Norway) song, “Off the Hook.” Their album is due out today in Norway and will soon be hitting our shores.
Secondly, a number of articles were released Thursday that made me think of dramatic situations or events in RPGs and what constitutes characters. Rudimentary English/Literature courses provide us with enough examples of how to deconstruct characters and their actions and what they represent for the scope of the story. Think of Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Emma in Emma, Alexander D’Urbeville in Tess of the D’Urbevilles, MacBeth and his wife, &c; I could continue this list for more than a thousand more words, but that would belabor the point. Ultimately, these characters and their failings are that from which we learn when reading their stories, their dramas entice us to continue reading, and their resolution leaves us with our general regard of the story.
For a good number of people, this is why we want to play games of Imaginative Fiction or RPGs. We want a story that plays similar to a collection of short stories or a novel. We want our characters to experience something that we may not normally get to experience.
Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the family of Roger Ebert, a wondrous writer and critic and for all accounts a great person. Will Leitch’s story (My Roger Ebert Story) in which Mr Leitch describes his interactions with Mr Ebert. It is an interesting story and a touching one that describes how Mr Leitch was able to befriend the writer through a prank his peers at journalism school drunkenly dared him to do. It details the efforts that Mr Ebert took on account of Will Leitch. The documentation of this personal experience between the two is amazing in its effort and emotion as it is the events that occurred and I recommend reading the piece in its entirety. Essentially, young journalist Will on a lark befriends the old critic through his brashness and their shared Alma Mater (University of Illinois). Will’s career and efforts are bolstered by this personal connection and he receives Roger Ebert’s help to get a job. Will, later in his career during the heights of the blog boom, writes a highly offensive article regarding Mr Ebert and his show (offensive in its nature because of undeserved criticism). This wounds Mr Ebert who responds privately to Will Leitch. It is an example of cognitive dissonance on the part of Mr Leitch, and reveals a very personal failing on a choice, and the graciousness with which Mr Ebert took this poor decision and responded.
In something completely different, the ICIJ (International Coalition for Investigative Journalists released the “RichieLeak” files today. Needless to write, there are enough tales of wanton corporate greed, personal greed, and general exploitation of the rule and spirit of law, morality, and ethics to go around. This is a tale of people doing what is allowed, but not what is right ethically. Take your time to read some of the accounts on their website; it’s rather amazing.
Sticking with the realm of politics, Anonymous announced today that they hacked North Korea’s twitter. The group, whose efforts have been labeled as hacktivism or criminal (depending on to whom you speak), is a great example of those doing what they perceive as correct outside the scope of what is correct. Remember the Thomas Theorem when deciding how you feel about this: “things that we perceive as real become so in their consequences.” To an extent this seems a very Robin Hood tale and a very ballsy one at that; another viewer could look on it as an American Terrorist attack against a sovereign nation (yes, I realize I just wrote that and I feel dirty here for doing so, because of North Korea’s disgusting history of human rights abuses).
Finally, a character profile came from Grantland today on Don King, the boxing promoter. In a Lion in Winter portrayal of the fiery and flashy promoter, his intelligence is unquestionable, his longing tangible, and his perceptions completely informed by the reality he crafted for himself. This article hits on an amazing perspective: one person can be a great many different things at once. He is a tyrant and bully, a fast talking charmer, a civil rights activist, a bigot, a crusher of bigots, &c. He is a great man with a great many things, but is also a small nervous man.
I choose to present these as inspiration for stories for games of imaginative fiction because these are real world events that people may never get to experience and things that real world people very rarely do. In each of these events and narratives there are more than enough angles for meaningful, impacting stories. It is my hope that Cultura will be amble to allow the cultivation of a mentor-student relationship that frays due to the student’s hubris over his ravenous success, be host to politicians and conglomerates that do all they can to shelter their secrets from the public eye whether for their profit or to skirt around the rules, to contain organizations whose actions are generally under speculative regard such as Anonymous, and to have a diverse and wide character such as Mr King whose history and story is open for interpretation. These are the essences of great stories found in the real world, and these are the reasons why news can be so interesting. You do not have to travel to Krynn, Abeir-Toril, Azeroth, or Middle Earth to find interesting events, people, and narratives. And, you can craft them easily by relying off emotion.
Great news! One of my partners in crime with Cultura and I came to consensus regarding magic finally! We are entering into the final development process for magic. This stokes me entirely. I’m ready to continue my work on this facet and get it completely knocked out. Finally, it feels like a culturally relevant part of the game where a player’s decision on what race and then what ethnicity of that race they play is actually going to fracking mean something.
Orphan Black’s first episode was last night and it was amazing. The BBC just seems to get Sci-Fi a lot better than US television conglomerates. It’s part James Bond, part Philip K Dick, and modern social critique. I’d advise catching it if you have not started yet.
I’ve done more plotting on the scenes necessary for the Lay of Seidenbard. I’m trying to not get too far ahead on everything an keep my skeleton the piece in place; however, there are things that just have to be demonstrated so that the story is understandable. My homage to David Foster Wallace continues with this piece and gives me a new appreciation for the fact that he was able to get nearly 1500 pages from it.
With Easter Monday passing and the Spring season really kicking in, I’m looking forward to the time in which I’ll be able to get out more (especially in that I work in an office). My creativity has been shit lately and I know it. Its affect has been felt here in my writing for this site, my writing for the Lay, and for Cultura. I need to get back out. Further, we’re entering a month that will see the release of Ghost B.C.’s new album and Amorphis’s new album. I’m looking forward to this fact! Plus, I just got done to my first listen of Echtra’s album and will probably review that piece this week as well.
As always, thank you to everyone that reads this site. I’m very appreciative of each view and every comment.
In the words of Dostoyevsky from Notes from the Underground, “I am an idiot.” I should have closed the site after Monday of last week (I had a whole bunch of shit going on and to be frank, I’m still not done with it yet). However, I will be able to focus more heavily on the blog this week; though we will be closed on Friday for a real life level up reason (holy crap, where are my 20s?!?!).
I should be back at writing this week more regularly as I wasn’t able to get a lot done between all the personal and professional responsibilities of last week. If anyone wants an archeologist, just let me know! (by science, that’s shameless pandering).
All that aside, thank you all for participating in this blog by your viewership and to those of you that have commented. It is very much appreciated. This week will be focusing on the way I view music, which I still haven’t defined here, before returning the next week to Cultura and possibly another sample of the Lay of Seidenbard.
In terms of my own work, a decision should be made on my progression as the bureau here soon (here’s hoping it comes through) and a job application should be answered here soon as to whether I get the shot to get back into archeology. This is going to continue to impact my thoughts going forward and distract me from wholesale writing in my downtimes.
That written, I’ve been able to push through two of the seven cultures the game will attempt to ship and have completed their themes. Magic is now fully operational, though it still needs some work. I’m happy about that. Up next is the Skill system, I’ve had some ideas to streamline the system and allow for more player choice when it comes to this system. Further, other cultures have been delegated to my partners in crime for magic development and we’ve still yet got to add to the Casting Styles. The end result of all this that the combat system is going to need to be refined to bring it in line with the Magic System.
In the Lay of Seidenbard, I’ve only worked out my notes on the story more. I’ve added a few scenes here and there, but progress has been noted mostly in its future development and writing rather than its words on the page now.
Thanks for reading and supporting the blog! We are greatly appreciative of the views and the time spent with us.