Saturday, 9 August 2014

Blaugust 9, 2014 - Fiction and Filling-In

The art of creating something from nothing or rather the art of creating something from the rich (shit) collection of influences that have shaped your mind, or in other words writing fiction, is a challenging one. Many times have I set out to write a novel, written as much as a chapter, then gotten bogged down editing and re-writing again and again before giving up out of dissatisfaction with every word I had on the page.

I can fill index card after index card with ideas for plots, characters, events, artifacts, places… but linking them together in a coherent narrative is hard. As such I prefer world building and collaborative storytelling through role-playing games. I like bouncing off the ideas and perceptions of others. Unfortunately, sometimes you promise a mate you will write a story, then consistently and conspicuously fail to make good on your promise for some years until like a big ol’ smarty-pants he hoists you on your own petard when you ask for a writing challenge.

And so I find myself writing a story including the themes of debt and tardiness. I will be recycling some ideas from my homebrew RPG setting, and intend to use this as an opportunity to flesh out a small corner of said setting.

Expect the story sometime in the coming week. Please forgive me if the prose is utterly terrible.


As I mentioned in a Facebook status today, I’ll be filling in for one of the full-time staff at our Murray Bridge nursery while she is off to Europe for a whole four weeks. This means I get five whole weekends off in which I can be social (unless I choose to work one or two of the Sundays in exchange for a Monday or Friday).

One of the big drawbacks of my job is that working nearly every weekend leaves me with a stunted social life, since most others are available for social activity on the weekend. This stand-in gig therefore presents me with a great opportunity to catch up with people, stay out late or get up early depending on the activity, and do things with groups as opposed to one or two people piecemeal.

I’m wondering if this would be a good opportunity to run an RPG for a few weeks, considering I’ll have the time. Five sessions of 6+ hours sound about right for a decent-sized adventure. I’d be running it using the Dungeon Crawl Classics system, which is the most utterly gonzo of the OSR style systems. I’m thinking four or five players, depending on temperament of players; If any have a proclivity to get irritable at the table no more than four, and hopefully we can avoid that.

I think I would run it initially using a character creation funnel, which is an adventure in which each player starts with four semi-useless peasants created using 3d6*6-down-the-line rules and wielding barbers’ scissors or if they are lucky pitchforks or a rusty sword. They are then thrown into a situation for which they are woefully unprepared, and only the clever, creative, and lucky will survive. Players can each expect beween 0 and 2 survivors usually, one of which they can choose to advance to first level. This is far more exciting than it sounds, as in DCC first level is roughly the equivalent in power to a level three in some other systems, though with the important caveat that everyone has distinct and interesting abilities that don’t boil down to making every class a wizard like 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons does (a travesty of a system to my mind).

Taking on this role for the month is also a good challenge in and of itself, in that I get to take on more responsibility over a decent period of time. I’ll get to learn new processes and hopefully pick up or at least improve a few skills, which will be good for the future. Though I love my job, and it pays quite well, I don’t want to stay at the same level forever.


Writing these posts so at the end of the day I'm noticing after the fact that my sentence construction is terrible.

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