Friday, September 6, 2013

TROTTing Back

A song of infidelities and the heat of the moment...

Just when I have two thirds of my editing bills for the TROTT system and about 45 pages of rule-intensive material with the Glow setting, I decide that I love the six-sided die too much to give up on it. No divorce will be finalized.

Yes Percentile Dice were always good for a quickie. But with even the tens and digits, for all of it's five-fingered figuring, she just isn't any sort of long term commitment for me. And when the cards came up right, mass Lovecraft copyright dissolution in the general Adventure Gaming market, coupled with me finally writing down my TACK game matrix; I was finally able to break off with my illicit affair with CoC wearing Chaosium's BRP, for risky encounters with strangers late at night. Encounters too scary for most convention goers at that.

And going a step further, I like the way that T&T works the d6. When it comes down to it, I can't quit Ken St Andre. Yes my open-minded wife has pointedly remarked that I am "gay for the man's work." And when it comes to fantasist writing, that guy fills me with a sense of wonder and makes me feel ten plus twenty years younger. Now this literary man-crush has me often angry at him, still his writing takes me places. Besides he does work out and can do one-arm push ups.

But I'll be damned if I give up on the rules conventions that has moved the Earth for me with the 7th edition. Now all those other floozies in Arizona might be writing the ramrod version "deluxe edition" of the game for role-playing swingers on any given Saturday night. While doing so, they are knocking Ken down to size, what with his dashing good ideas and fedora, that makes him look like such an adventurer. But from pillow talk in seedy blogs, the "improvements" are mostly taking things back to 5th Edition-- just with a whole lot of filler material. I am of the opinion that things are only kinky once.

For all my drunken gutter game-designer talk of something called "7th world" or "7 Plus," this is a love child that is never going to be conceived. Quite a few people have mentioned that my T&T games at the tabletop are unlike any other style of the game that they ever played in. And more than a few have come back for more. Apparently a GM who doesn't just throw out pretzels to a beer-guzzling crowd can have her way very narrative and detail-oriented bell rung once in a while. So to still be able to create scenarios in the style of my 7th heaven, I can dote on my estranged, conceived-out-of-wedlock game RuinCrawl for a bit.

Now, the neglected second game system will have to wait for her older brother Spacers, and the bouncing baby girl Glow before getting to eat her any of the new cake. So don't be calling until she is of age.

If you squint just right, that is Kopfy Magnus's grand-daughter Klodia Pulcher.


  1. Ken's great strength is understanding how to best use his own voice as writer and designer. The scary thing about what you (more politely than I would) call filler is that it might encourage too much of people trying to write like Ken. I don't think much of the great diversity of T&T in the early edition (>=5.0) days would be possible if he were more involved in the editorial process--not that he insist on putting his own stamp things, but editors and writers would naturally gravitate to some Ken-like standard.

    (Full disclosure, weak-willed disclaimer: I'm still catching up with reading from the 5th to current publications, so disregard any implications on how we got from there to here.)

    In another blog you commented on the positive response to 9KW: we love it (short form) because it's easy to create a clearly, uniquely 9KW adventure but impossible to create a (successful) adventure that's Tom-like.

    1. In further deference to Ken, I think that the filler is that since 5.0, T&T rules have been a little too succinct for many pages. And outside of duration, the system nor the writing has never "Old School Gaming." His variations in 7th edition ticked off many of his cohort because the game no longer resembled That Other Game, which is what T&T ripped off in idea and structure in the first place. And many game writers have already gravitate towards his style of spoken voice prose.

      As for 9KW, I need to do some Tom-Like New Khazan scenarios don't I?

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