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Bob's Pal Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 05:28 pm:   

Let me tell you about Bob Kruger. Forget what you think up you know about normalcy. Bob is Captain Normal. He's got the car, the cat, the kid, the wife, the house, the mountainous debt, etc. etc., but Bob's got a few twists and turns, yes he does...Ask him his erotic squirrel photos and watch the smile spread across his little round face. Don't mention his collection of Rush memorabillia, especially the underwear samples, unless you want to see him swell with pride! If you want to see Bob's boyish side, ask the origin of the nickname, Whiplash and stand back or you'll get sunburned by the glow of his blushing cheeks. Bob is no sexist, though. Nosir! Ask him how many time he's watched How to Make An American Quilt, or Ethan and Gwnneth in Great Expectations. The man purely loves a good chickflick. And I mean ":loves." I'll never forget see him duke it out with Mrs. Ruth Phlegenheimer's power lifting daughter at Blockbuster over the last rental copy of Beaches. I could go on, but why spoil your pleasure by telling you what you're gonna find out. Once you get to know Bob, you'll discover as I have, that if Howdy Doody coulda been a real boy, he'd have been Bob...
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Bob
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 06:34 pm:   

You just ain't been patronized till you've been patronized by Lucius. Since there's no one he _can't_ do a number on, and he knows I know it, what the hell can I say?

Let me relate maybe the only time I ever got the better of him maybe -- a fleeting and Pyrrhic victory if ever there was one. I was driving through the Columbia Gorge at the end of a 4,000-mile road trip one January. We're both tired and surly, the car's on my insurance, there's a fresh dent in the back from a hit-and-run, his shampoo recently exploded all over the trunk, we'd just gotten out of Utah, and he's impugned Neil Peart's drumming.

He himself is drumming just now, tapping his fingers on the dash as we approach a sign that says "Danger: Caustic De-Icing Solution on Road Ahead."

I lift a finger off the wheel toward it, and he nods, not really acknowledging, more like grooving harder to his inner music to tune me out.

Yeah -- I think -- he sees it.

Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv. His passenger-side window goes down as I hit the button.

Lucius doesn't flinch, he doesn't face me. His left eye narrows a twitch, something like a grimace or a rueful smirk creeps into his mouth. His hair is the only thing discomposed about him, from the wind screaming in. I roll up the window.

"You shouldn't have ought to have done that," he says. I don't remember exactly what form of verbal abuse followed at the end of a good long, painful silence -- that part of my psyche's strangely touchy. I get odd fits. You can guess the general tenor from lines like "sunburned from the glow of his blushing cheeks" and "purely loves a good chickflick." Anyway, I submit that the part about the squirrels and How to Make American Quilt is pure libel. So there.

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Bob's Other Pal Gerhard
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 06:43 pm:   

Ah Ha Ha Ha Ha! Yes, Lucius, you certainly have painted a for sure true picture of our tiny buddy/ As we like to say in Schnauzenheiflberg, Bob is the only human person who is his own bobblehead doll. I remember when he returned to the Fatherland for the Fleffler-chewing Festival in Geheisenschnauffenglotz, there, surrounded by his tiny relatives...Ach! I must go! Bob's tiny uncle has brought my Easter goose from his butcher shop. Actually, he has fitted it with a tiny saddle and ridden it over. I wil finish my very funny story next time again.
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Bob's Other Pal Gerhard
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 06:45 pm:   

Ah Ha Ha Ha Ha! Yes, Lucius, you certainly have painted a for sure true picture of our tiny buddy! As we like to say in Schnauzenheiflberg, Bob is the only human person who is his own bobblehead doll. I remember when he returned to the Fatherland for the Fleffler-chewing Festival in Geheisenschnauffenglotz, there, surrounded by his tiny relatives...Ach! I must go! Bob's tiny uncle has brought my Easter goose from his butcher shop. Actually, he has fitted it with a tiny saddle and ridden it over. I wil finish my very funny story next time again.
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Wexler
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 07:48 am:   

"his shampoo recently exploded all over the trunk"

Lucius uses shampoo? Something manly cactus- or motor-oil-scented? This is changing my whole image of him.

Robert
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 09:27 am:   

I don't recall what it was, only that there was a lot of it.

Now, for the record, and as Robert knows, I'm a guy of average height, five feet and eight and 9/16th inches. Pity poor Gerhard, because though he is indisputably a giant now, it wasn't always so, and in his soul remains a very little man. I met him when I was a foreign-exchange student in Pullheim, at which time he stood a little over four feet high and suffered under the moniker Gerhard the Gibbon, due to his bow legs and simian personal habits. That very year he got crocked at Oktoberfest, tried to polevault a beer keg with a braunschweiger, and smacked his kopf so hard that his pituitary went into overdrive in one direction and fast-reverse in the other. Because of the diabetes insipidus, he had to hang a stein between his legs 24-7 to catch the dribble; he lost his short-term memory (as you can see by his redundant post); and acromegaly set in. Within a month, he'd gained six inches of height. He now towers at about six-foot four, presents a generally unkempt appearance, and still suffers from a little-man complex.
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Bob's NICE Pal, Deborah
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 09:57 am:   

I purely hate to see abuse heaped on a swell guy like Bob. Those of us who know him, who know the humility, the bigness of his heart, know not to listen to the swill-mongering of jealous characters like Lucius and Gerhard...

From Bob's humble beginnings raised by Frozen Dinner Farmers in Boring, Oregon to his rise to the highest pinnacles of e-publishing, Bob never turned his back on the little people. Why, I'm sure we all know the story about how he started the Bowl-a-Rama Fundraiser in Boring to benefit Oregon Adult Torn Cuticle Foundation. But his philanthropy doesn't end there. Without Bob's contributions, I think it would be safe to say there would be no Pacific Northwest Institute for the Advancement of Muzak.

So, let's not turn this into another Bob-bash. Let's celebrate his generosity of spirit by giving a little something back to our own communities today. I mean it. Today. No procrastinating.

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Nancy Jane
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 10:06 am:   

Whenever I think of Bob Kruger, three words come to mind: talking cyborg bat.

As for the pissing contest between the two Roberts and Lucius, I'll just sit here and wait to see what happens next.

Nancy

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 10:43 am:   

Pissing contest? Hell, no. We're just toasting marshmellow (or as Bob likes to call them, "...those big, heavy white things....," around the cyber-fire and tellin' on Bob.... :-)
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Deborah the Nice Pal
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 10:50 am:   

Has anyone given back to their communities yet?
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 11:17 am:   

I just managed to control the urge to smack the idiot who cut me off while we were standing on the street corner waiting for the light to change. Does that count?

I mean, c'mon. I'm already standing at the curb waiting for the light, and he steps off the curb and sidesteps right in front of me. He's just lucky Deb asked us to give back to the community or he'd felt my impression of Ron Dayne (college era) as I put a few footprints up his back . . .

And welcome, Bob. I don't know you (I don't recall ever meeting you, but I spend cons drunk in the bar, so one never knows), but you've got an interesting group of folks raggin on ya, which bodes well.
And how's your wife Ayn, anyway? (Though the hobgoblin editor in me is wont to point out that technically South African coins are cents, it's only the bills that are known as our eponymous couple, Mel Gibson movies aside.)
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Nancy Jane
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 11:22 am:   

Oh, yes, I gave back to my community. (Bob is an inspiration to us all!) On the subway this morning I very carefully checked to make sure no one left behind a newspaper, makeup bag, or incendiary device, making my community at least .000000000001 percent safer.

Boy, though, if we had one of those talking cyborg bats, we could really be vigilant here in the nation's capital.

Nancy
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 11:38 am:   

And how do you return a compliment to someone like Deborah? She's a goddess. Literally. Deborah has no physical form but is a muse channeled by science fiction writers around the world. In Spanish-speaking countries she's known as Diablita Dulce, in Russia Rasputina, in Japan Yopparai Kitsune No Onna. I may have written her first post myself in a somnambulistic fugue.

Many have loved her and cursed her. Many have been dashed apart on the rocks of her scorn. When not directing spiteful irony at the innocent, she is preparing another geeky Icarus for his great fall, or inhabiting the body of a handsome if severe woman lawyer in Portland, OR, infecting her with alarming and contradictory obsessions, like a hypermasculinized football obsession. Why? Out of sheer evil perversity.

Get thee behind me, Deborah. No, wait, please don't leave!






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Bob
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 12:07 pm:   

Minz,

"Kruger" and "Rand"? Ugh! I never made that connection before. The horror. "Atlas Shrugged" is my all-time least-favorite book. Ayn's in Heaven, I hear, after a good long readjustment time in Socialist Purgatory for the Compassion Impaired. Certainly good things come from South Africa, though -- Tolkien for one, even if he was a bit conservative.

Thanks for the greeting!

Bob
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 12:08 pm:   

Nancy Jane,

Let me live down the bat, won't ya?

Bob
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Deborah, the NICE Pal, really
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 12:57 pm:   

Now, Bob, what did I tell you about revealing my true nature to the other mortals? Do you need another lessen in respect? I really wasn't planning to manifest in corporeal form today, but if I have to...
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 01:10 pm:   

Sorry. I shudder to think that "another lessen" is not a misspelling.
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Bob's Pal Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   

So, Bob, speaking of hypermasculinity, let's hear about those Indigo Girls albums you love so much ('Those babes rock like Mt. Rushmore," Bob said to me early on in our relationship), and myabe a word or two on the countless hours of he-man role-playingyou;ve down that all served to make you so expert on matters masculine, maybe that would be of moment. No?

Deborah, though I hate to contradict so powerful a demiurge, as far as Bob not turning his back on the little people, that's less a virtue than a physical imposssibility -- he IS the little people!
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 02:03 pm:   

A guy goes to one Indigo Girls unplugged concert and he gets labeled a fan. (No joke, unfortunately. Oh man was that horrible.) And I can count the hours of roleplaying I've done; it takes awhile, but I can count them.

And I always played a guy, so there. Convincingly, I might add. I mean...in addition to being a guy in the first place. Oh, shut up...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 02:10 pm:   

Ah Ha Ha Ha! Bob, you are one funny pluchenfuffler krottensniffler. You must come visit us in Gehesienschnauffenglotz. I've had a tiny chair made special so your feet will not dangle and we have purchased a set of teensy dolls chinaware for those tidy little portions upon which you love to nibble. We will laugh and laugh together, and drink many a thimble of bier!!!!
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 02:15 pm:   

Whoops. Looks like your cover is blown, "Gerhard."
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Gerhard
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 03:13 pm:   

Gerhard and I are linked symbotically and at times he communcates through me and vice versa....

Like I'm supposed to believe you're Bob?
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Minz
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 07:44 am:   

Bob, quick, roll a saving throw to Resist Deb . . .

(Unfortunately, there is no saving throw v. Lucius.)
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Bob
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 11:00 am:   

No, no there's no save against Lucius and he's got a -10 armor class (or 20, I guess, with the revised rules) and regeneration powers. And while you get a saving throw against Deb, it's triple jeopardy: you have to beat charm, fear, and being turned to stone. In my defense, I strutted on the macho side of the high-school gaming scene. I had a dice bag made from the skin of a rattlesnake I killed myself.

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Valdez Minz
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 11:11 am:   

>>I had a dice bag made from the skin of a rattlesnake I killed myself.

NICE! You run over it in your old high school jalopy?

I should probably keep it to myself, but I've got a pretty deep background in gaming--haven't played in years and years, but back in HS actually got to help play-test things for Pacesetter (Chill & Space Ace), a few modules for TSR, etc. I also had friends who went on to work for TSR (until WotC came along), and in fact, one bud was coordinating all the RPGs at Gen Con until they moved it to Indianapolis. A long time ago, but man those geeky days stick to you like an oil spill.
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Geek Alert Comptroller
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 11:30 am:   

Whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo......

Geek Alert! Geeks in close proximity! Arm NERD weapon systems!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 11:33 am:   

It's pure coincidence that this post follows hard upon the GAC's, I assure you....

"I got 47 miles of barbed wire,
rattlesnake for a necktie,
got me a pair of gaming dice
made from a human skull..."

I think that's a Muddy Waters song.
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Bob
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 12:01 pm:   

>NICE! You run over it in your old high school jalopy?

Nah, I smacked it with a lead pipe on my uncle's ranch in Odessa.

I remember Chill but I don't recall Space Ace. I quit WotC at the end of '96, just before they picked up TSR. They had me working on Ars Magica and the Netrunner TCG. In '97 I applied to the TSR book department, but I'd never read a TSR fiction book before. They gave me a couple to look over and comment on. I diplomatically told them how I would "keep this sort of thing from happening again." Whoops. I'd missed the part where they thought the books were good, so I was obliged to take a contract job with Microsoft instead.

To the TSR Book Department: I _do_ like fantasy, really and for true. I'm hooked on George R.R. Martin's big knights-in-armor soap opera. I really geeked out to The Lord of the Rings, both books and recent movies. Jack Vance is always a treat. I even dig those giant-dragon novellas that what's-his-name writes. Even so, you can keep the job.

Bob





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Deborah
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 12:21 pm:   

In my Geek Girl guise I gamed for a while myself...heh heh...AD&D, Star Wars and some vampire thing I forget the name of. I kept my dice in...wait! I shouldn't reveal any of the sources of my power to the mortals.

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PGs Anonymous
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 12:27 pm:   

ACk...

ackackackackack....


AAAAAACK
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Bob
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 12:36 pm:   

You know, I think Lucius would make a great Dungeon Master, if a bit sadistic. He told Nick Gevers that his inspiration for Griaule was toking up and thinking, "Hmm, big f'ing dragon." But I think the true connection was more like: "What if the Dragon _was_ the dungeon! If Gary Gygax doesn't like it, I can always sell it to Gardner..."

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Lucius
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 01:25 pm:   

oh, Yeah. I wanna be a dungeonmaster. Please, lemme, lemme! Huh? Please give me the lives of a dozen or so foul-breathed, roly poly nerds to squash. No fucking thanks. Let god kill 'em.
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Nancy Jane
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 01:29 pm:   

Lucius: The "47 Miles of Barbed Wire" song (otherwise known as "Who Do You Love") is by Bo Diddley. Though I bet Muddy Waters could have done a good version of it, too.

Nancy

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Lucius
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 01:48 pm:   

Did a good job. That's where I first heard it I think, actually, that some of the lyrics hearken back to an older blues song.
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Minz
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 02:04 pm:   

Most famous version is probably The Doors (or maybe the Animals). Mind you, I'm not saying the best, merely most widely known.

Bob, if you dig George RR's Song of Ice and Fire, do I have a series for you: The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson. We're publishing book 1, GARDENS OF THE MOON, in June, and let me tell you, WHOA NELLY! This is the good stuff. It's crazy wicked amazing big fat fantasy. Well written, dense almost beyond belief, and once you hit page 200, there is _no_ going back. Instead of being loosely inspire by the War of the Roses (ala Martin), it's more inspired by the Roman Empire, told mostly from the point of view of a really tough squad of Empire soldiers known as the Bridgeburners. It is humbling in its sheer breadth, and it is so dark and gritty. Y'know how you pick up one of the Martin's and you think to yourself, "okay, who's gonna die in this book?" With Erikson, you start wondering if anyone's going to actually survive. Brutal and spectacular. Okay, I'll stop ranting now . . . make that "for now."
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Bob
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 02:12 pm:   

You mean it wasn't George Thorogood? Huh.

You'd make a good Dungeon Master, oh yeah, whether or not you embrace the fact. And what's with "foul-breathed and rolypoly"? I ain't rolypoly; Deb the Jedi Vampire here isn't rolypoly. Get on the right side of the line, man! One of us!
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Minz
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 02:24 pm:   

You see, the trouble was that Lucius was too far out there for even the gamers to hang with him in HS, so he holds this huge grudge against those of us who were with the "in" geek crowd. Not to mention that when he thinks dungeon master, there's a lot more actual physical pain involved in the "role-playing" (along with safe words and harnesses).
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Bob
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 02:25 pm:   

Minz,

Okay, cool, I'll check it out. It took me a couple hundred pages to get into George Martin's series, and I only persevered because I owed it to a friend. I didn't care much for the story in Asimov's, the dire wolves and the creature in the woods seemed dumb. But then it got its claws into me, big time.

Bob

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Bob
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 02:33 pm:   

Minz,

Yeah, you got it. Lucius was thinking of actually wielding the scourge, then throwing it down in sheer ennui with the exercise. Let God kill 'em. (He's on the phone here confirming it.)

I explained what DMs do, but he's still linking of a LARP, and he started to muse:

"Throw yourself into traffic. The dragon car is coming, you must smite it. Your golden moonstone will protect you from injury. Okay, the teeth are lucky; go get his teeth. Go on."

Bob
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Minz
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 02:41 pm:   

He'd be a wicked good DM, big time. Good enough that I'd actually consider dusting off the ol' dice (if I even have 'em) and coming out of retirement.
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R.Wilder
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 04:28 pm:   

"Who Do You Love" by Bo Diddley. Covered by The Band, The Doors and Jesus and the Mary Chain, along with many blues artists.
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Deborah
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 05:51 pm:   

I'd join in, but I'm still pouting over the "foul-breathed and roly-poly" thing. You don't want to know what happens when the goddess pouts.

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Pout Freak
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 05:56 pm:   

Pout for us!!!!!

:-)
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The Information Seeker
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 10:18 pm:   

What's a LARP?
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Maximus Geekius
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 05:31 am:   

. . . um . . . Live Action Role-Playing.
The pathetic version is all the poseurs dressed in black, acting like vampires. The manly version involves boffer weapons, chasing each other in the woods. And that's the story I'm sticking to.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 07:03 am:   

OK, I want to be the LARP master....

(demonic laughter)...
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Bob
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 08:36 am:   

Yeah, LARP is basically playing Cowboys and Indians but rolling dice to determine who shot whom, a final Tartarean layer of geekiness into which even I have never descended. Lucius' version, using real speeding cars to see who gets hit, is a new wrinkle.

Maybe Lucius should skip roleplaying and head straight for the Jack Chick cure (you've got to see this to believe it... naw, you still won't believe it):

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp

Actually, the man's whole oeuvre is a jaw-dropper.

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Geekius Maximus
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 06:17 pm:   

Actually, the idea of a fantasy LARP is to lose all the dice, throw on the costume, and run around in the woods playacting the fantasy. . . . ummmmm, it's actually more fun than it sounds. Think of it like going out to play paintball, only you use handheld boffer weapons, and spellcasters have to spend five or ten seconds incanting a spell, hoping nobody gets a chance to whale on them, then call out the affect of the spell` which the target has to playact. It was a blast the first couple of times. It's a lot more fun than tabletop gaming, but you need open space to do it. We used to run around state parks doing this. It was a hoot.

Sort of a combination of paintball, improv acting and bad dinner theatre. Lame to watch, but can be fun for the people doing it.
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Bob
Posted on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 11:06 am:   

Huh, I didn't know that. Lucius would cheat, though, like those Civil War re-creationists who put a case of beer in the woods: "Hold there while I fetch my six-cylinder steed of doom from yon thicket and attempt to ride thee down."
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Bob
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 12:07 pm:   

This talk of rpgs brings to mind a long-standing idea I've had for a dungeon-crawl anthology. I'm going to be too busy for at least most of this year to manage another anthology, but maybe by fall.

The classic dungeon-adventure scenario has a lot of potential that I don't think's ever been realized. You know the basic setup: You've got civilization at the top and many-layered catacombs nearby. On each catacomb level there's some secret door or well-defended hall that gives you access to lower levels, where you find tougher monsters, greater treasure, and more ancient mysteries. Tolkien's Moria segment is an example.

What strikes me is the simple metaphor here for the psyche, and an illustration of the Monomyth, except that instead of one major quest into the unconscious, you make several trips that dig deeper and deeper, you bring up better treasure, and your influence in the ego world above becomes stronger (or you finally meet that balrog that takes you out). There's cool stuff down there: evil and good anima figures, primitive humanoids of the id, mazes, gates to incomprehensible other worlds. Maybe. Also, the basic band of companions -- thief, wizard, fighter, priest -- make a nice unit for exploring the territory. But most of the stuff I've seen complicates the metaphor with a lot of dross and goofiness. I just know the talent's out there to do this right in a fat collection, with a simple setup but well-fleshed characters.

Does this sound interesting to anyone?






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Nancy Jane
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 05:35 pm:   

Yep. I'll put it in the back of my mind and see what comes out. I expect I can come up with something, especially if I can bend the guidelines a bit here and there. Hmm. Anima. Animus. Ideas starting to form.

And I think Mr. Wexler has already written a story that would fit nicely into that anthology. You might ask him about it.

Nancy
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Bob
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 06:23 pm:   

Really? What's that, RFW?
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Evil Dungeon Lord Master Guy
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 04:32 am:   

Golly Whillickers, Bob. A dungeon-adventure antho! Hey, man...I want to party with you! I mean, you're an animal!

As for Robert's dungeon adveture story...I bet it's called, My Life in Ohio.
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Bob
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 08:43 am:   

Hey, "When you're a geek, you're a geek all the way." How's the rest of that song go? And Ohio could qualify.

Now to continue with the dungeon anthology... There are a few ways to approach this. A dragon could be the dungeon. The dungeon could be a prison without guards where the inmates themselves (thieves, one of the archetypes) morph into monsters and strange anima figures. The dungeon could be the Muslim heaven and paradise in a hill in a desert. If you want freaky-cool dungeon ideas, EDLMG, talk to my pal Lucius. He'll point you in the right direction.

Bob

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GM Geekius Maximus
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 04:33 am:   

I like it, each layer of dungeon as another layer of psychotherapy, delving deeper and deeper into one's inner demons.
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Bob
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 11:26 am:   

Pretty much. Except in Lucius' stories, there's precious little treasure and the demons usually get you. I forgot Limbo and The Golden -- those are dungeon stories too...

Of course, I'm making fun of him. Certainly a lot of his stories concern forays into a projected unconscious, but so do Conrad's stories, Melville's stories, et al. And the dungeon-adventurer archetypes are a simplified mix of Jungian personality types who are identified with archetypes ("identified with" is as close as you can get). The thief is someone identified with his Shadow, that is, the underbelly of society; both the Priest and the Wizard channel the Mana (Wise Old Man) archetype. In dungeon adventures, you can play a mage character -- it's an occupation like computer programmer -- but in Lucius' work the priest/magus is aloof and mysterious, at best a persona through which the dark powers operate. That's what makes most fantasy stories silly -- they're basically comic-superhero stories, where characters can manifest vast powers and still be like teenagers psychologically. Depth psychology says that when you identify with an archetype, you suffer from inflation and become controlled by impersonal forces; only through great sacrifice and humility can you integrate the higher powers into yourself, and only to a very limited extent. Lucius' stories -- the stories and poetry of all significant writers -- more accurately reflect this. And he's not even a student of formal psychology.

Bob



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Emma
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 11:21 am:   

Hey, I like the bat! That's Stellaluna with a gun.
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Bob
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 12:16 pm:   

You guys are relentless. All right, I wrote a story during Clarion West about this kid with a depression that can't be treated with drugs, only a brain implant. Problem is, humanity has just finished a war with cyborgs, and any cyber-enhanced person is a second-class citizen, controlled by the state, stripped of reproductive rights. Thus, the kid's conflict is whether or not to take the treatment.

The kid has a crush on the girl next door, who has an enhanced pet, a cynical, pissed-off fruit bat that communicates via radio. Its brain was injured, and instead of merely fixing the damage, her family had it interfaced with an AI. It realizes the kid has a crush on his mistress and -- perhaps -- wants to eliminate him from the picture, so he convinces the kid to explore a legal loophole that will enable him to get treatment and still win the girl: military service.

So, mea culpa. I wrote a fruit bat story. It became the class mascot and got on the T-shirt, which Rick Wadholm did up. Rob Furey's young daughter Emma recently discovered the shirt; she says, "It looks like Stella Luna with a gun."

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