I am sick so I'll be staying home this Thanksgiving, but I still plan to eat well. But instead of spending time with beloved family members, I'll be staying in bed. At least I'll have time to catch up on my reading. I'm sniffing at Polaris, another one of those indy RPGS. This one is apparently at the vanguard of the indy games thing. Before you get to the game part you've got to get through the extensive backstory, though. It's slow going. Imagine Dan Clowes mocking an E. R. Eddison wannabe and you'll have the right idea. A sample from memory: "These few examples will have to suffice you." If that "you," which is representative of the grammatical carelessness plaguing game designer Ben Lehman's attempted elevated prose, didn't make you wince or cackle then you may enjoy his turgid high fantasy prose more than I do, but it's more inflated than elevated. I suspect that Lehman's real artistry as a game designer will do much to compensate; I certainly hope so! There's a creative artist in there somewhere, although centering a high fantasy adventure around the notion that the Sun is BAD is pretty counterintuitive to me. It's like saying apples or hugs are bad.
(and yes, my own prose is riddled with faults, but I'm not attempting anything more complex than a blog. Pulling off what John Gardner called "The High Style" takes a degree of linguistic virtuosity that neither Lehman nor I possess. But hey, God bless him for trying, and I really do want to be able to report back with a positive take on his game as a game.)
Christmas Carol is taking shape, but it's slow going; wrassling such a huge production into a stageworthy show is no mean feat, and we are all having trouble remembering how all our bits and pieces fit together. Offstage, I know all my lines, lyrics, notes and choreography. Onstage everything falls apart. The gap between knowing stuff in one's head and actually being able to do the stuff is something I rediscover with every show.