#The Beginning of The Ending
I never had a plan for any of this.
I just wanted to make my friends laugh.
I had some guiding principles. Some say, my game has no rules.
Very Incorrect. I just didn’t publish them in a guide.
I didn’t want a manual to serve as a barrier to entry.
I wanted people to be able to jump in, to intuit the mechanics of the game.
I didn’t want a game about violence. Sure pew-pew lasers are cool on spaceships and cooler on a Toyota HiLux. But I wanted to explore something different. I wanted more and diverse players, and let’s be real here, games based on combat mechanics can be overrun by dude culture.
I’m very critical of my writing. Some things, I’m proud of. Some things, I know are subpar. I struggle a lot with not being good enough.
I tried to make a game about a travelling troupe of cover bands. But my pixel art isn’t as good as Penguin’s, and it kills me. I was laboring over the art, the story, the mechanics. Procrastination won out. I still love the cover band idea, because it lets people play their tunes, and there can be cool audience-player interactions. (Music is mucho important. Who doesn’t love rpg musicals? I’ll return to music.)
The Alaskan returned, like a good penny, and I went on content being just a player. And then it happened.
It seemed like the smallest thing, but it’s haunted me since. Right there in the middle of a game, in the middle of space banking, HappyFunball suspended Patroclus.
It was a thing I’d seen before, back in the old bad days when quake clans would fight over IRC turf in their free time. But this was a chummy door game, and I found it quite rude.
And then, I started seeing it happen more regularly. People goofing around or punning or playing for the pedant pendant and WHOP, someone gets a outsized timeout.
These timeouts hurt. Seeing friends, all of whom I’d not yet met, suddenly cut off from each other.
They say a key tenant of being a productive writer is to “write what you know.”
And so I did.
#Things are definitely coming to a Middle.
I started straight-up. Can we have a conversation about how we can treat each other? Can we be better to each other?
I was told to provide examples. I was told there were too many blanks in my analogies. I was accused of doing performance art.
It was then that it happened. Inspiration.
Welcome to the multiverse.
I’m gone, untethered. Yet, there are tokens to find me.
This multiverse is for my friends, the ones that make me laugh and the ones I want to make laugh. Hollywood, Patroclus, Sausage-Maker, Navy Pier, Wilco, Opossum, Coatrack, WHEN IS THE NEXT GAME STARTING, Vincent Price, Botmaker, Pickles, Multi-Tasker, Pretty Flames, Princess, The Belgian, TWS, Blue Lobster, To The Five Boroughs, Synthjammer, The Magrathean, Penguin, and my cousin. I’m certain to have forgotten someone. There’s a lot of verses to keep straight in the multiverse. You will be right when you educate me about the glaring omission.
This is who this is for. And others are welcome to appreciate it and come along for the ride. Even those who this is about, Elfquest, HappyFunball, The Trekkie, and let’s not forget The Chef.
The multiverse abounds. I have seen professional advise given freely. Travel, gatherings. Hugs and cooties warmly shared. Enterprises, both Star-Trek and Star-Tup. People supporting each other through hardships, friends giving each other honest truth telling.
And in the multiverse, trust and respect are earned and given. I don’t aim to be the most popular game master. Maybe my games are the Iowa of the genre. I just want to make my friends laugh. The scale of time isn’t about instant-likes. It’s about appreciating in value over time. Being right early.
And sometimes the joke is a darling of a sock doll. Sometime’s it’s a membership card. Recently, I understand, The Pumpkin Game has come to it’s rightful ending. I couldn’t have timed it better, even if I had to use time-travel. Did you get the candy corn I packed with it?
These tokens are expressions of value, and value is what space banks run on.
And I have another one for you.
Back somewhen the lounge was a thing, there was a custom. People would say “Cheers” when someone new came in. I helped start that. Someone else (I think I remember it being Vincent) posted “Cheers” or some such and I followed it up with a pic of a lounge lizard. I can’t show you the evidence, because they burned the lounge down. It was such a simple thing, but it set the tone. It was a common token among the group.
When the world had moved on, I missed that ritual. So, I started a new one. When a new customer comes in the door, it’s proper courtesy to play a song for them.
So, here’s a token for you. When I die, and I mean the big one, this is the song I want you to play at my funeral. Don’t worry, I think I got a couple of decades on the clock, but since we’re having a nice intimate moment I want you to remember me for the lunatic I am.
Friday night I crashed your party
Saturday I said I’m sorry
Sunday came and trashed me out again
I was only having fun
Wasn’t hurting any one
And we all enjoyed the weekend for a change
I’ve been stranded in the combat zone
I walked through Weatherby alone
Even rode my motorcycle in the rain
And you told me not to drive
But I made it home alive
So you said that only proves that I’m insane
You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right
Alas, and alack. I must away. This September, the distinguished Dr. Franklin will be presiding over a scientific contest at the Royale Academie of Weatherby, in the system of Weatherby, on the planet of Weatherby. I need to get a head start to arrive in time, as you know how the timewave traffic is thick with burners this time of year.
You really should consider submitting a scientific solution to the problem. It is a most dire problem faced by all who have to share a crew quarters with a space lizard. Here’s the pamphlet describing his challenge: