This is a Chair, Use it to Make Dreams: Another New Game

I have no standing in Role Playing Game design, and so I keep poking at it. Someone on Twitter I follow because he’s helpfully vague and dismissive was on about ball peen hammers yesterday. This is a Chair, Use it to Make Dreams is the result.

It is of fantastically high quality.

I also have written two other games which are more like products, and less like things. Chatter/Box

And What’s So Comic About Supers?

Mostly this post is about playing with WordPress & itch tools. Which didn’t go well.

Dream, History dream

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream. This friend of mine, reluctantly, let me borrow a book. I pulled out a tape recorder, and recorded myself reading the entire thing. I was amusing myself, my friend was irritated, and the people around me were amused. In the dream.

Last night I had a dream, and in this dream, I was surrounded by people. We were in a dining room, having dinner, very rustic and jocular. In this dream I told the people around me about the first dream. In this dream the people around me were different people than were around me in the first dream. These dream people were also amused.

That curve

I tweeted something today that hadn’t aged well.

Which is not to give The Economist any guff. Prediction outside of your field is difficult, especially when the entire data set covers, like, maybe five weeks.

It’s the image attached to the article, and the way it looks, rather than the particular information it conveys that I’m here to talk about now.

My question, the one which turned up the above image, to myself, was…

But first a story.

I had a physician for a while once, and he was fairly chatty, which I liked. One day, he told me that when he was in his first year of medical school, he read a study in a textbook. In this study, which is prefaced by noting that they could never do a study like this today, and not even back in the days when he was a medical student, they gathered up all the first year medical students at this one med school.

(An aside: do you know what they call the person who graduates at the bottom of the class from med school? Doctor.)

So, they took all these first years and dosed them with a standard sized dose (whatever that means) of a known cold virus. Then they tracked the symptoms. A few people had no visible symptoms, and some people had barely noticeable symptoms. A whole lot of people were sick for seven to ten days, and some people were ill longer. A few people wound up hospitalized. And all this traced onto a nice bell curve.

His point was this: you don’t really know what a virus is going to do on a case by case basis. The effect of a virus on an individual is unpredictable. But at the population level, you can know this:

A few people won’t seem to be affected. A lot of people will have the symptoms we have come to expect that virus to have, and some people will have extremely bad outcomes.

The question I had was what does the bell curve of known symptoms for COVID-19 look like, and what are those known symptoms at this point? And what does the distribution curve for extremely bad outcomes look like? Is it shifted right? Is it shifted left?

There might not be any studies on this sort of question just yet. I didn’t find any clear graphs. But here’s a study from late July that talks about recover times (worse than influenza).

So wear a mask, keep your distance, and wash your hands more often.

I also Write games

cover pngEarlier this year, I wrote a game called What’s So Comic About Supers? It’s a table-top, pen and paper role playing game (in person or whatever, it’s 2020, after all, stay safe, everyone). You are encouraged to imagine the adventures of a comic book hero, maybe a super hero, maybe something less mighty. You can get it here.

What’s So Comic about Supers? is part of a bunch of games written over the summer by a bunch of TTRPG writers riffing on a game called What’s So Cool About Outer Space? Which you can get here.

Artful Anticks. [In verse. With illustrations.]A couple of days ago, I put up a game called Chatter/Box. This one is, mostly, my own. It has a lot in common with the other one, since it’s played mostly by sitting around with friends and talking about cool things to do. I built the game up from a couple of “what if a game did this…?” premises. I also developed the dispute resolution rules and mechanics without knowing reference to other systems. Whoa.

From time to time, as you play, you and your friends will have a disagreement about what the characters should do next. At this point, the conversation turns in the direction of outlandish set pieces. Think about those fist fights in The Quiet Man or They Live! Think about chase scenes in James Bond movies. Think about firefights in shows like The A-Team or movies like RED. But less blood.

Then roll some dice, or maybe flip some playing cards. This will resolve the dispute, and this will also affect how the characters relate to one another going forward. Think about how characters in movies like the Lethal Weapon series change, or how relationships in shows like Supernatural develop.

But always remember: the other players are your friends, and the characters always are building on a foundation of fondness.

Heckata Beckata, 2020

Being well educated, it only took me, like, let’s just say, ten years.

Today I visited the Library of Congress, and did a search for Heckata Beckata.

My search found no results.