Tuesday, December 20, 2016

what I miss about gaming

what free time I have is being on call with the new baby. Otherwise its trying to corral my son to do his homework or pull him from the vice grip of youtube. if not that it would be so many other things like studies, errands, chores, and obligations. I dont think there would be more freetime until my son is old enough to have the self control to do his own "character building" exercises (if he has my attention problems then that would be all through his teens lolz).

What i miss first off is the World Building. Particularly fleshing out people and places based on recently learned psycho-mechanics Economics, Logistics, Risk, Behavior, and Operations. As a Player being part of a GM's world building = creating the tables (or automated spreadsheets) that would help flesh out the Setting and Populate it with characters that meet the variability and predictability of various demographic studies that explains so much of the world to me. 

Then there is the Character Building. While I consider groups or communities as part of world building, parties or cadres or (what has been popularized currently) squads of personalities and their dynamics, conflicts, and failures of coordination (in wants, motives, needs they are not aware of etc..).

So alot of my reading has been World Building Inspirational.
Recently I've had the Tyrant Series and the Long War by Christian Cameron as inspiration. I learned to appreciate intrigue and political from GRRM, I learned to appreciate Classical Antiquity as a setting with Christian Cameron. I went through his bibliography, and found the Other Greeks, particularly Hanson Victor Davis as a source of other material. I discovered Shelly Waschmann's Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age levant (not yet read but looking for a copy) at the end of Salamis (Book 5 of the long war).
These got me thinking of Bronze Age era, particularly past lectures Ancient Empires Before Alexander, and Origin of Civilization. Thanks to wikipedia I was able to reread and find more books on the matter: Basically read all the stuff on Bronze Age, Mesopotamia, Sargon of Akkad, Medes, and all the entries related that dealt with Civilizations. Then I went farther back with the Neolitihic Wikipedia Article where I discovered Aşıklı Höyük in Central AnatoliaGöbekli Tepe in Turkey (check out Kurzegsagt in youtube) the date for the Holocene calendar that marks human civilization at 12,016.

Christian Camerons difference of opinion with Victor Davis Hanson got me thinking about Agriculture and carrying capacity. leading me to study the literature on Agricuture again, from the wikipedia to source books. A world building exercise that got me thinking about the fraglity of their economy and the need for trade (and empire to cement it).
Christian Cameron got me to start thinking about Hema again. but More of HMA (not centrally focused on ) Manchuarchery.org's article on the Last Manchu Archer got me thinking about incorporating archery to my Hiit Routine and of course thinking more about Archer characters. So did Nikolas Tomihama and his Backyard Bowyer give some ideas in practicing archery with such a small space.

Current events was depressing and in the philippines we have terrible unimplementable laws. the discovery and understanding that we exist in this fragile state that confidence in the law leads to order, but if we look closely at how easily it is to game and how hard it is to fix, and how difficult it is for even to perform actions that move things (not just protests). Drug addicts or even drug criminality related people are considered subhuman, and can be killed without repercussion has gotten me to read up on a lot of laws, the terribly written constitution of the philippines, and more about the analysis of various groups that really go down to investigate the problems. The Philippine center of investigative journalism do their due dilligence more than most, Rappler comes second and the mainstream media here is just click bait (no sources or actionable items).The logic of political survival has come into my reading list.

On some lighter reading all the fitness related articles in Wikipedia. I highly recommend strength training and overtraining, and taking note of all the Psychomechanical interplay of those exercise articles with Taylorism/Scientific management. Reading it along with all the Management Sciences like Arthur V. Hills Encylopdia of Operations, Books on Lean Management, and as I'm delving deep into more Production Manufacturing books is coloring and detailing another part of the world for me. When I think about a filipino laborer and "productivity" i realize what little rest they have comes from a light hand and a well experienced technician who plans very well (which makes their rest comes from the incompetence of their leaders). an interesting picture since I apply it to Corve labor and that in my low tech studies.

I've started watching and studying the biomechanics of the HMA and archery. Particularly with the other notes of work sciences in mind. Of course this gets the gears of imagination working about what kind of character I would like and what kind of life he would have had or can have. Its brought me to thinking of the training more and more, and the painfully slow improvement and how mindset plays in the improvement (it doesnt feel slow to me, it happens when various things fall right and to expect that with certain lifepaths - like a family man on call will have serious limitaitons to meet this). Another key thing I think about its "Making Time" for me and my character. I realize elaborating our priorities doesnt get to the bottom of what we really prioritize unless time, pressure, and others make us realize what our real priorities is. and when I think of characters having a misleading idea of what their priorities are I wonder how to model it in the game and how players may not like that level of complexity.

It will be a while when I realistically have the time to game and even get into world building again. I would really love to flesh out a world with my new knowledge because thats how I memorize it and make it part of me: get new knowledge and reframe and rewrite it again and again till i have a portable model I can carry with me or a model I can tuck away in my notes and decompress when I need it.

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