Wednesday, August 31, 2005

[Polaris] Underkoffler's Overview

Chad Underkoffler's first look at Polaris.

Yes, I'm very pleased. And he's right about all the problems, excluding that the game really breaks with two players.

Vocabulary: Play

I want to introduce a new way of talking about game texts and actual play.

See, the phrase "game of Ars Magica" can mean either the Ars Magica game text, a play session of Ars Magica, an ongoing Ars Magica chronicle, or the Ars Magica rules taken as a whole concept through time.

This is stupid, and gets actual play confused with game text, which are too things so radically different that I cannot explain if you don't get it. It's like confusing a videocamera with a movie.

Very frustrating for us theorists.

Thus, starting a week or so ago, I've decided I'm going to use new vocabulary.

Actual play of role-playing games will be not be called "a game," but rather "a play." Game rules sets and text I'm still calling "games."

As in "Vincent, Meg and Emily's on-going freeform Ars Magica play" or as in "good play last night, guys. Same time next week?" or "That Polaris play we did with Ben really sucked ass. He doesn't know how to play his own game."

Essentially, I'm just taking the active (to play) and participant (a player) words and extending them into a noun.

Much less confusing, and reasonably intuitive.

I break Robin's Laws

My basic argument about the Robin's Laws player types is that they are things that almost anyone wants out of any gaming session.




Power Gamer


Method Actor








Casual Gamer


Law's Game Style
created with

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


There's an interview with me posted at Jasper McChesney's site here.

Also, I'm not really sure when I'm going to be updating this again. I'm sorting through the double-whammy experiences of GenCon and Germany.

In addition, I may not be able to reach blogspot from China, if it is in fact still behind the Great Wall. Would someone be willing to help me port the whole thing (comments, etc.) to new software / servers? If so, you know, rock.