Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nearing 200

I am really bad with mile stones, like I don't even know when my girlfriend and I started dating. To be fair she doesn't either. I am thinking of just declaring it to be in August somewhere. Not enough happens in August. Yeah! Okay then so that just happened. In other news, when I first started this blog many moons ago I came up with the idea of a rotating blog title. Every month or maybe every other month I would overhaul the identiy of the blog that way I would keep it ever shifting and beautiful. I did it a couple of times I think. Then it happened, I read the quote, "Smells like death, blondes, and victory. It was spoken by Norman Osborn who was in the process of becoming the green goblin once again. I grabbed it for my blog title and there it was, big giant and loving. Like a hug from nuclear arms. When it came time to change it I just couldn't do it. It slithered into my blog and stayed there like a giant cuddly title of joy. Today I realized that "studying orchids with bulldozers" would make for an awesome title. But there it is, "Smells like death, blondes, and victory". Is the bulldozer thing better? I can't decide and ultimatly the current blog title has grown to mean something. So there it will continue to sit. Menecing you with its olfactory suggestion.

I was going to do more on the woman house wife thing, but upon thinking about it I think I am done with it. I did some good writting on it, I got some great thinking done, and I think it is time to move on to greener pastures. I was going to set up this huge dichotomy between an extreme version of a woman who gets everything done for her, and an extreme version of a man who is willing to do anything for everyone and then work through it to the point where they end up switching places showing that this really is not a gender issue but more of a "way we treat people" issue. It just happens to be more pronounced in women because of the way they are competed over during their latter formative years which end roughly at 23ish.

So there that's that. That line of thinking really is a step backwards. Of course I think I am mostly preaching to the choir here which is sad. However, to be perfectly honest I have no idea where I would go to find people who disagree with me, church maybe? I don't mean to dig at christians here but it seems like the most obvious place to go.

Now I will dig at them. Newsmax is still the best publication ever and I really want to steal a copy of it. There was also an article about how christianity is under siege and that it is the fault of the liberal media conspiracy or something like that. Of course Fox isn't really on their side either so who really knows what is going on. What I do know is this. Those assholes who blow up abortion clinics, protest gay funerals, or just stand on street corners displacing the homeless so they can shout about how we are going to hell are NEVER EVER publicly criticised by any of the christian leadership. No one says anything about or to these people. So yeah christians you get shit on because you can't step up and admit that crazy people are crazy. Deal.

Okay well that was more miscellany than I intended. Yeah no seriously I had a topic planned for this when I sat down for lunch bit I decicded that talking to Angel was more important than anything I had to say here. I like Angel she is neat. No I wanted to talk about GMing.

I love game mastering. I really do. When I realize that I am on hour 5, and that I am keeping 4-6 people captivated through the scenes and situations I've created it is increadbly gratifiying. This is especially true when I go in, have my best laid plans bashed into... (I was going to make a baby seal joke but people actually do that shit and I found it to be in poor taste) small broken stuff and I have been making up stuff as I go along without anyone really realizing that I have been doing it. Or when the players think they are being clever and they read my session notes while I am in the bathroom only to discover that I decided to do something diffrent on the fly. It is the look of trauma that crosses some of the players face when certain parts of a game's background fully sink in because of what I've been doing to them for the past several hours. When you over hear your players talking in hushed tones, mulling over some of the mysteries you have laid out for them and realizing they they are both so close and so far. Or their screams of agony when the events of several game sessions come together than they find themselves back under the thumb of the story's arch villian.

I love it because it is part writing a story, part acting, part extemporaneous public speaking, and part organizational management. It is spinning as many plates are you are able doing your absolute best to make sure that everyone does at least one cool thing a game session, and hopefully more than one. Also the genres! Either I am capturing brooding horror, epic adventure, or ramming enough frantic action into one game session as humanly possible so that no one has even half a chance to breath.

I don't always pull it off that fantastically from week to week, but when I do my game sesisons absolutely sing with delight. And at the bare minimum most people seems to have fun. It is something that I've gotten better at as the years go one and I gather more experience through doing, and trying new things. For example I am much better running a group who has split up than I used to be. That excites me and that is going to proove invaluable coming up.

The next thing I am going to run is a game called Mutants and Masterminds. It is a game system I am not comfortable running with a larger group than I am comfortable playing with. Fortunatly, I won't be introducing new people into the idea of gaming so that will make things much easier for me, and harder at the same time because I know that there will be some people there who are far more familiar with the rules than I am. Ordinarily this wouldn't be to much of a problem but the d20 system is one of those things that can get very fiddly very fast and you can't emulate high powered super heroic action with combat that happens at a snail's pace. It is also one of those game sysyems that quickly falls over and dies when something unexpected comes up. Like mounted combat. There are no mounted combat rules. Not only are there no mounted combat rules but the ride skill is unusually unforgiving. It isn't to much of a strech to jurry rig some mounted combat stuff but that's the thing with the d20 system everything interacts with everything else and minor changes can fuck up all sorts of things. Oh well fortunatly uncle internet is there to help.

Complaints about the system aside I am excited about being behind the GM screen again. I was really disapointed when my work schedual, personal life, and gaming group all sort of collided in such a way so as to make it impossible to run games. I was sad. Granted I was at a point where I needed a break for a bit because I do find it to be increadbly creativly demanding, but it lasted for far longer than I wanted to. So even though I am not thrilled about the time, place, schedualing, or venue I am more than happy to be back again on the chopping block.

I think the thing I like the most about GMing is that it is one of those things. See there are some things some people will never be able to experience. I'll never be able to experience the thrill of a home run, a slam dunk, or putting on a really good drag show. These are things I might be able to do, and I might be able to do them well but they aren't my thing. Not like GMing is. And while anyone could do the reading, put up a screen, and try to tell a story, GMing takes a certain degree of skill to pull off. To balance the story you plan to tell with the desiries of the players combined with unexpected difficulties is one of those things that when you do it well, the whole world just sings. It is the same feeling I get when I write a really good essay, or a tremendously good sexual encounter. It is one of those things I enjoy doing to the point where I would do it as a job except that being paid would cheapen the exepreince for me.

Besides, how often do you get to rant like a super villain? Well in Mutants and Masterminds it is whenever I damn well feel like it. Also I might have to do it on command because there is actually a rule that states if a super hero makes some sort of check, and the villain fails a will check, he starts monologuing even if it is a terrible idea. I am really excited by this rule and I am hoping that my players will take advantage of it. It saddens me when people write off roleplaying as something they would never do. True only recently has it evolved away from its wargaming roots into something more akin to free form storytelling. It is also true that my ideas regarding gming is DRASTICALLY diffrent than many other people's. Still it is a big enough hobby though that everyone should be able to take away one enjoyable experience.

Oh well Mutants and Masterminds is going to be great, villians will rage, cities will burn, and at some point or another the heroes might even manage to save the day. I doubt it though.

Now to try and get my Togepi to learn nasty plot. Why? FOR SCIENCE!

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