02 March 2007

Getting Back on the Horse

To quote Funkadelic, "We are back in our minds again."

Last night I fell asleep around 8:45 and woke up at 10. Unable to go back to sleep, I decided to do what I should have done earlier in the week, and worked on my game for a couple of hours, which at one time was called Get Away Jordan, but I'm going back to Steal Away Jordan.

So the rules need more tweaking than I thought in some areas and seem to work (some tested already, some untested) in others. Then I realized something. [Okay, sometimes I'm not to keen on the obvious, so bear with me if I sound like a total space cadet.] I want the dice rolling and card counting to be more than just ways to move the story. The way rules are written now, I don't utilize superstition with numbers enough, I want there to be lots of superstition, and with a conjurer/root doctor and a required character in play (if the resident PC conjurer dies, the GM becomes a de facto average ability conjurer), there should superstition, omens, signs in everything. Add to that, I want dice rolling and card counting to relate to luck, gambling, and risk taking. So where does that leave me? Fortunately I was already going that way:

When you get a card from a conjurer it represents a trick or spell, and only black cards are effective. If you draw the Ace of Spades, you get what you want.

The skull die is still the great enticer. You can get what you want, or you can die.

I've now added some number symbolism. Lucky Seven, combinations of 3+4 and 5+2 (no, not 6+1.) I'm reserving 1's for possible bad luck/bad things to happen to you. Will decide tonight. But if you roll Lucky Sevens, you're...Lucky.

D6's are the dice of choice, so that I can return to the original incorporation of Yahtzee/Poker with dice idea.

In my head I've ironed out Motives and how they relate to Goals. Motives used have numeric value and the some of 3 Motives in a Goal was the number of points you had to get in order to get your Goal. Too complicated, so I fixed that. Motives are simply things you have to do before your Goal is attainable. Maybe they shouldn't be called motives anymore. Anyway, you check of you "Task/motive" and then you can play for your Goal. That part's a little fuzzy, but I think I can hammer it out fairly easy.

If you've never read the draft of the rules, I realize this won't make a lick of sense. But when I get home tonight, I can come back here and know where I need to go, so thanks for sitting in on my little (magotty) brain storm.

And yesterday, I went to Greenfield Games to get a birthday present for Primo. While I was there I thought to myself, "a scheduled playtest with probable strangers would be a great motivator." So I made arrangements with the owner (Seth?) to do a playtest or two in April. So that means I better have something ready really soon, and hopefully will have a chance to do a playtest among friends first (Please?).

My mom is coming next week to help me with the historical stuff. Yay for Mommy.

A pdf of the draft rules will be available here sometime Sunday, come hell or high water, so all those nice people who asked for one will get one. For real now.
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And this is totally unrelated, but I have to share a cute offspring story. Last night Ingrid woke up and cried, "I want my Buddha!" Ingrid has two things she likes to carry around, feed, mother, and love: A knitted mermaid she calls "Moomie" and a 5 inch high terra cotta/concrete Buddha statue which she calls "My Buddha." I get the loving of the Moomie, but the Buddha? (Actually I get that, too, but I know Ingrid) Buddha is not snuggly and warm, he's concrete and he's cold. It's not fun when she wants to nurse and snuggle her Buddha. Brrrr! She used to take him into the house all the time and we'd sneak him back out. We don't bother to put him outside anymore. It's not like he's peeing in the house. At dinner he sits on her tray and she feeds him while Moomie sits in the seat next to her. Like I said, it's not really surprising that she carries around what is essentially her stone baby (ha ha!). Until fairly recently, she used to snuggle books when she went to sleep. She's not terribly into cuddly and plush.


Parthenia said...

So now I've had a chance to look through the whole photographic collection, found a description of the collection, and an interesting page about African American Identity. (See "Fun at the Library of Congress Website" post) This doesn't have much to do with our Mountain Witch game, and more to do with the game I'm working on, so I'm putting the comment here. But I did think about the irony of an African American person who could "pass" (i.e. shapeshift) if she wanted to, and doesn't. Of course I rolled that into Mary's public and self identity.

I hope racial/cultural/ethnic identity emerges as a theme in SAJ, along with the conflicts between subjugator and subjugated, human cruelty, survival, and racial stereotypes. What did it mean to be a black person pre 1865, and how does thatAs a parent of "bi-racial" children (I hate that term), I probably think about it too much. If my blonde haired, blue eyed daughter tried to "pass" I would be deeply hurt, but I wouldn't want her to lose or deny her Swedish identity either. So here I am looking through those photographs, I see blonde haired African American babies, and I'm like "Yay! A-ha!" And of course there were blonde haired blue eyed slaves in this country. Where did skin color and ancestry fit into the institution of slavery. More brain storming. Sorry about the tangent.

MM said...

Hmm...the term "biracial" bothers you? Why is that? All it means is a person with parents of two different racial backgrounds. It is a fitting term for those of us who have had different experiences. The "blonde-haired African-American" babies you speak of are biracial most of the time, I'm sure. People who can "pass" do so either voluntarily or involuntarily. It happens. People shouldn't be judged based on how they view themselves racially.

It sounds like you want your daughter to feel good about who she is on both sides. The truth is that she is not black, she is biracial...the product of a white man and black woman. My black female friends with biracial kids say that sometimes they're assumed to be the nanny when out with their children. I don't see why, because none of these children are very fair-skinned nor do they look white. Does that happen when you're with your daughter?

Parthenia said...

I hate the term bi-racial for the same reasons I don't like the term "race". Race doesn't exist. Ethnicities and cultures exist. My children are American of African-American, Swedish, and Norwegian descent. My dislike for the term "bi-racial" has nothing to do with who my kids' parents are.

I have been mistaken for a babysitter of my younger daughter who looks more like my husband. It's personally hurtful because as much as I hate the terms "race" and "bi-racial", it's clear that that's what many people focus on.

Ultimately I want my kids to love who they are and where they came from. I also want them to be strong African American (or if we must, "black") women, because they are that, and then some.

My experience with "whiteness" is that it mostly matters when you aren't white, even though there aren't many people out there are white. It's a privilege thing more than anything else.

I have a little girl on my lap, and I can't even go into the issue of passing right now. I've been away from my daughters for a week at a convention, selling a role playing game that delves into issues of African American identity and slavery (The "Steal Away Jordan" thing that the original post was about). Maybe another time. But thanks for replying to my blog! You brought up some interesting and very relevant points!