Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gaming at a Certain Age

Okay, so I have been tinkering with the Tsandali some more; just finished constructing a series of terms in Equnoyelani-dialect Tsolyani to describe the various stages of a Duretl-Tsandali slash-and-burn horticultural plot. Some of them are fun. There is a real purpose to this exercise: folk terminology and classification schemes like this really help illustrate how horticultural activities are perceived in religious terms (particularly in terms of the binary opposition between Sarku and Dlamelish), how individual Tsandali clansmen may attempt to "game" the social (i.e. clan) context within which all planting occurs, and it also helps illustrate the cultural ecology of Duretl-Tsandali upland horticulture. Hrayetl-Tsandali rice cultivation in the valley bottomlands is another issue entirely, but equally interesting.

I have also been pondering Tsolyani naval architecture a little, and some of the illustrations I did up for the naval treatise, because I do want to start posting about where I have gotten to on naval and maritime matters.

But most of all, I have to confess, I have been having a ball leaping around the blogosphere lately, following Tekumel- and peri-Tekumel links, kind of rediscovering the whole gaming aspect of it all. Brings back a lot of memories.

You see, I have another confession to make: I haven't played in an RPG since ... 1984. That's right, nearly 30 years ago, back when I was in high school, and, after that, an undergraduate in university. It was grad school that split up my group, we dispersed to grad schools on different parts of different continents, and ultimately to very different lives.

Of course Tekumel still has its hooks in me (obviously), though these days my interests are more solitary and pseudo-scholarly.

Anyway, don't want to get all maudlin, let's just say I have been enjoying a little vicarious lurking, and I am curious to know, especially from people of my own ahem "vintage,"

How does your gaming now, at your current age (whatever that might be), compare to gaming back when you were in your teens or twenties?

Would you say your games have more/less energy? More/less humour? More/less sophistication? More/less complexity?

What's different now? What's the same? What's better now? What's not so good?


  1. Vintage gamer here. First game was EPT, and I died in the first few minutes on the end of an OAL impalement spike.. good times..

    Was out of RPGs as well during much of the 90sand 2000s. Return has been difficult, mostly due to scheduling, but a bit due to being "rusty" and Codgerly.. Energy and stamina for the game is down, but humour is still pretty good. Sophistication? Not sure how it applies. I don't feel my plots are anymore inspired than before, perhaps less so.

    I got back in when a friends kid was going on about a computer RPG, and I explained to him the origin of the concept. He convinced me to run a few sessions for his group of friends. So I have a bit of understanding of the energy difference. Those kids were easy to pridict, rushing headlong into traps, and persistent in wanting to play. It was a simple enough world, based in England, but I had fun.

    My current group is adults and Tekumel and Dresden Files. Coordinating schedules is a pain, but they are hard to trap, cautious of conflict, generally. It might be, in part, the setting, which has had a stronger emphasis on social connections..

  2. I hate to say it, but I'm still in the same style (rut?) that I've always been in. I still run games the same, but I do run them less often as I recover from the The Incident last fall. I don't know if I'm an Institution, or a Fossil. :)

  3. kokigami: it sounds like your younger group enjoyed the old-school face to face rpg! It's nice to hear that..

    Chirine: I am sure you aren't in a rut, you're in the groove!

  4. Used to run FtF only, but have pretty much gone over to primarily PbP via email and chat online. Difficult these days to get a group together for a game with schedules the way they are.
    Tekumel wise, got my copy of the OEPT at the Gencon it was released (Horticulture Hall in Lake Geneva). Picked up both volumes one and two of Swords & Glory, and then Gardasiyal (which since the systems are similar, was finally able to use elements of S&G in (I keep hearing that the third volume of S&G might be coming out, though I'm not holding my breath. Of the three systems I have, would have to say that Gardasiyal was the best (OEPT was too D&Dish for my tastes). Haven't tried the most recent rules, mainly because I doubt they'll ever be finished. S&G cured me of serialized RPG rules.
    Actually tried writing a "D6" version of EPT using West End Games system of the same name. Never got much beyond character generation. Now looking at adapting "The Burning Wheel" to Tekumel.
    Oh, and for the record, Tita's House of Games still lists Qadardalikoi as being available for 9.95 plus S&H.

  5. Discovered RPGs while still at school in late 70s but have played remarkably few games face to face due to my not living anywhere where other gamers were available when I was interested in gaming and not being interested in gaming when I was living in places where there were active groups.

    So mostly play computer RPGs now but still read a lot of game books.