Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

OT: RPGs (was Re: Conlangs in RPGs...)

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 17, 2001, 21:05
On Wed, 17 Jan 2001, Eruanno none wrote:

> > > My langauge I am intending to put into my story and all my RPGs ( video > >and > > > paper+pencil ). > > > >Yeah--Chevraqis is at heart a story-language, which means I don't feel > >quite as obliged to do something New and Neat and Experimental with it; > >it's meant to be quasi-naturalistic, or at least naturalistic enough that > >if I can ever finish _Origami Souls_ and sell it to a publisher, a > >conlanger or linguist won't automatically go "BLECCH!" at the > >foreign-language phrases, names, etc. > > Hopefully, my language won't suck either... Of course, what are the chances > of me actually finishing my language, or my book even ^_^
I find it takes ~2 mos. of "full-time" writing (4-6 hours a day) to write 80,000-100,000 words of a novel first draft. That's assuming that's almost *all* you do for those 2 mos. Or maybe I just lack stamina. <sigh> So many people think writing is an "easy" way to make money, and it's actually pretty damn difficult. At one short story sale per year for the past four years for ~$400-$500 per story, I'm *way* below the poverty level...unless you're Harlan Ellison in sf/f, novels are where it's at.
> > > I really have never been able to play a pencil+paper kind of RPG and > >would > > > love to learn how. > > > >Easiest way is to hunt down a local group of roleplayers--er, where are > >you, BTW? considering the multiplicity of home-locations I always forget
> I live in Atlanta, Georgia. My father thinks that D&D is satanic, of > course, I think he is satanic, but, you just can't argue with the person > that puts a roof over your head and stuff and a new computer ^_^
My parents think computer games, roleplaying games *and* science fiction/fantasy are *all* stupid. But they never prevented me and my sister from amassing huge (~800-1000 books) sf/f collections, collecting some 20 RPGs and playing a few, and any number of computer games--including Wolfenstein 3D, which the mom of a *guy* friend of ours forbade him to play because it was "too violent," and Doom. (My sister jokes that our parents' attitude toward our computer game tastes is something like "Oh well, girls will be girls.") Still, to start out you don't actually need to *own* rules books (for system-based roleplaying) as long as someone you know has them and is willing to teach you, or lend them to you.
> One of my school friends' dad played D&D and might teach me and my friends > how to play. I hope!
Sounds good to me. :-) Another thing y'all could do is split the $20 cost of a RPG you want to try (the basic set--most systems have insane numbers of supplements) and go at it. Everyone has to start somewhere. I would tend to advise that someone who's good at storytelling and mediating, as well as recordkeeping, try being gamemaster, though y'all can always rotate. AD&D is a terrible system compared to what's available these days, but it's one of the best-known for heroic fantasy. The British system Advanced Fighting Fantasy is far less well-known, but it's also far easier to learn. Champions is a number-heavy system that's good for superhero roleplaying and is flexible if you're willing to crunch statistics. For magic/cyberpunk, Shadowrun by FASA is fairly well-known, and Earthdawn is sort of the quasi-medievaleque/Cthulhuesque fantasy version. GURPS (generic universal role playing system, and yes, it does sound like a rude noise...) is flexible and fairly reasonable, rules-wise, if you really *need* a generic system; for specific genres or settings, more specialized RPGs tend to do better, or else you can buy one of the myriad supplements (GURPS Illuminati, GURPS Space, GURPS Magic, ad infinitum). Legend of the Five Rings is probably one of the best oriental fantasy systems, and due to its wide ccg following also decently well-known among the gamer set. Various White Wolf games, like Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, etc. are also pretty popular if you're into the sort of dark, serious goth mode.
> >If that doesn't work, you can try play-by-email games online; > > updates its listings regularly. Many of them have > > I have tried e-mail RPGs ( believe it or not, my first was a Poke'mon e-mail > RPG, but it didn't get all that far... ).
<grimace> There's an extremely high drop/burnout rate for PbEMs, because they're so difficult to run. I had two failures as a GM early on, one partial success (the Black Wall, which ran for nearly a year with nine players and 6 sets of moves before I finally burned out), and one ongoing hopeful....
> Maybe us conlangers could get an e-mail RPG goin, or something similar...
I co-GM Shazrad: City of Veils ( with Alioqui: it's a fantasy freeform campaign with overtones of the Arabian Nights. I'm sure there are other people on the list running their own campaigns, or maybe even willing to start one up. (Shazrad is still looking for one or two more active players, but our acceptance rate is something like 5-10% because Alioqui and I are on the picky side. Being picky early on saves grief later on, as far as GMing a PbEM is concerned....) YHL