Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wipe Out

My wife is back in town. Sweet, blessed relief.

Actually, she was back YESTERDAY, but I was too exhausted from the prior five days to do much more than drag my sorry ass down to the bar for the weekly play-test. And then when I got home (fairly drunky) it was my turn to put the baby to sleep. Apparently, he was so happy to have mama back (after an extended business trip to South America) that he just didn't want to sleep. It took an hour, but I got him down and was able to catch three hours before the beagles woke me up for their breakfast.

Life as normal, in other words.

And NOW...well, I'm enjoying a beer on the couch while the wife takes over the Bath & Bedtime Ritual. I'm even wearing my slippers. The work day was a wreck today and all the sports talk radio wanted to discuss was taking in the walls at Safeco (and then our man hits a Grand Salami to take down the Rangers the same about a waste of airtime). But whatever...the day is done (except for the dishes...) and it's only 9pm and it sure is nice to not be doing the single parent thing. How people actually manage to raise children without a help-mate is fairly mind-blowing to least I was 17 when my parents divorced, and while it was no picnic, at least my mom didn't have to worry about me eating dog food or sticking my finger in the electrical outlet or blundering face-first into something sharp/hard/dangerous.

Well, fortunately it was only temporary (I type as I stretch out and flex my toes). Heck, I was even able to fix the sound on the Blue Ray player, which means I'll be able to watch Game of Thrones with the wife after the baby's down for the count. Yes, I got the first two episodes care of Netflix, and after watching I see why the thing is so popular: it's Tolkien with porn. That George R. R. Martin cat is brilliant. There are "elves over the sea" (the fey blonde siblings), a lusty little dwarf (or hobbit...I mean, he's got no beard), and of course Boromir. Whatever...incest and rape and beheadings and reminds me a lot of the old AD&D campaigns I played in as a youth. And I do mean that quite literally.

[we had lecherous, drunken hobbits, too...though none were quite as intelligent or well acted as the little Lassiter]

Of course, it's hard to manage a D&D campaign that resembles Game of Thrones using the D&D rules (especially the later editions)...unless one drifts far away from the game's base premise. I did happen to check out the Quick Start PDF for Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, which includes not only combat rules, but intrigue and influence rules, and some inspiring language about using the rules to emulate the dramatic conflicts and power struggles found in Martin's books. Personally, I find it a bit much-too-much...but I think the development of specific mechanics aimed at facilitating this type of role-playing is still in its infancy. Green Ronin isn't the first outfit to try it out, but I think it's exceeding hard to do in a broad way...a sharp focus and specific objectives are needed to make such 'personality mechanics' work smoothly.

Or are they? Last night's play-test involved absolutely no combat, instead being about footwork and negotiation and intel and plotting. The only 'game mechanic' I needed was the good ol' B/X Reaction table and the players were able to get the job done and the mission accomplished, through a combo of cleverness and persuasion (not to mention some Ego expenditures). It worked well, and I think the players were satisfied...even though neither had a chance to get their gun(s) off.

Okay, okay...that's enough blogging for the moment. My eyelids are getting heavy and that pile of dishes is still calling. Later, Gators.
: )


  1. I read this last week, but am only now getting off my butt to comment.

    I could totally relate to the first few paragraphs since I recently had to do the "single-dad" thing for about a week while my wife went out-of-town for a business trip to New York. It was the first time I'd had to go more than one night taking care of our daughter by myself. I wasn't worried about the actual job of taking care of her, but more just about when my 2 1/2 year old daughter was going to have a breakdown once she realized that she hadn't seen her mommy for a long time.

    Thankfully, that never happened!

    The part in your post when you write about enjoying a beer on the couch while your wife takes care of the "bath and bed ritual" it like you were channeling our household. Every night I make dinner while my wife makes her 90 minute commute drive home from work, and then we eat after she gets here, and I do the dishes and then sit down on the couch to relax, have a beer or glass or wine or Scotch, and watch the game or "Game of Thrones" or something else while my wife gives our daughter a bath and has some "bonding time."

    Great post!

    1. @ Martin:

      Thanks for the comment, man.

      The blog is as much a personal memoir as anything else (though I DO try to relate the topics to gaming). When my son was first born I thought I might be giving up the thing for a couple years, but I find I can't quite stay away (though I've cut back quite a bit lately). Sometimes I throw this stuff up and wonder if I'm really ticking off my "fan base" but the writing is as much for them as me, truth be told. Your comment makes me feel better about my occasional meanderings.
      : )