kent_allard_jr: (profile)
Prompted by this Matthew Yglesias post, I mentioned the all persons fictitious disclaimer to my girlfriend Kimberly. It's now so standard, I mused, that "I bet even Star Wars posted it somewhere."

"I doubt it," she said. "What do you want to bet?"

We wagered that if she was right, I'd buy her flowers, and if I was right, she'd create her own World of Warcraft character and get her to level 5.

Alas, we watched the end credits to A New Hope ... and there was no all-persons-fictitious disclaimer. I have to visit a florist, and Knights of Morningside has lost a potential recruit.
kent_allard_jr: (Default)
The GF and I were lying on the couch together, she leafing through my copy of Gotham while I began reading Emma. I found my book difficult to get into, and said as much to Kimberly. I then saw Hammett's Red Harvest nearby. "THIS is what writing SHOULD be!" I said to her, picking up the novel and reading the first couple of pages, with excerpts like this:
The first policeman I saw needed a shave. The second had a couple of buttons off his shabby uniform. The third stood in the center of the city's main intersection ... directing traffic, with a cigar in one corner of his mouth. After that I stopped checking them up.
And this fine piece of dialogue:
"What's the rumpus?" I asked him.
He looked at me carefully before he replied, as if he wanted to be sure the information was going into safe hands. His eyes were gray as his clothes, but not so soft.
"Don Willsson's gone to sit on the right hand of God, if God don't mind looking at bullet holes."
"Who shot him?" I asked.
The gray man scratched the back of his neck and said:
"Someone with a gun."
I asked Kim if she wanted to take some Continental Op stories on an upcoming trip.

"I don't know," she said. "I like books with emotion."
"Aw, there's plenty of emotion in Hammett novels."
"Like what?"
"Well, um ... there's contempt."

She laughed heartily, ending with a shake of the head and an "awwww, honey!" in that fine Southern voice of hers. No sale, I guess.
kent_allard_jr: (Dungeon Master)
My GF is a mundane, but an open minded one. I never hid my hobbies from her -- I devote an entire room of my apartment to RPGs, so that would have been impossible -- and she's shown some interest in learning about them. So on Sunday night I decided to introduce her to the hobby the conventional way: Having her roll-up a character.

First, I asked "what kind of character would you like to play?" and she said "an otter." So I pulled 4th edition Gamma World off the shelf and we created a mutant otter with a carapace, air sails, a "poor dual brain" and "density control (others)." (Man, I love that crazy game...) She was amused at first, but was turned off by all the number crunching that followed.

So I turned next to Everway. She came up with a fairly original concept from the Vision Cards, a woman who read minds, was surrounded by darkness and had children without male contact. We assigned our 20 points and did the whole thing with the Fortune Deck, which she thought was kind of goofy. (Admittedly, so did I.)

Afterward she asked "is there a Jane Austen roleplaying game?" I assured her that there had to be one, possibly several. The idea was so obvious! Oddly enough, though, a quick Google search didn't reveal any. Sure, there's a "choose your own adventure" Austen pastiche on Amazon (with poor reviews); there was a group-storytelling effort at Yahoo! in the early aughts; a couple of discussions of playing Austen with existing rule systems. (Yeah, I'm sure the GF would love GURPS Age of Napoleon for that sort of thing...) Naturally there's some talk of RPGs for the "Jane Austen with Monsters" sub-genre, but to me that's cheating. Rules for called shots to the head don't belong in an Austen game! Anyone who knows better examples can point them out to me.

Honestly, I suspect the best way to approach the problem would be to create a semi-RPG like En Garde in reverse, then add opportunities for roleplaying as they come up in game. Everyone plays an aristocratic lady looking for a good match, each defined with a set of simple non-numeric traits, along with variable factors like wealth and reputation. I would have to read a Jane Austen novel before I could go further -- and I don't think they're my kind of books -- but I'd be happy to hear from those who have.

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kent_allard_jr

August 2012

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