Thursday, September 03, 2009

my booklets, let me show you them

Big kudos to S. John Ross and Jim Raggi for inspiring me to get my own long-reach stapler. Making my own digest-sized booklets is a hoot! Starting from the top right corner you see a print-out of Chainmail (from the PDF I bought from SVGames back in the day), an OD&D Conan hack found on the web, guidelines for actually using Chainmail as OD&D's combat system, the first two sections of Empire of the Petal Throne (bought from RPGnow) and a book of poetry (more on that below). I still need to print out part 3 of EPT.

I should explain why I printed out Empire of the Petal Throne. Last week I had a physical examination at the doctor's office. It did not go well. While the doctor did not indicate that my blood pressure was so high that nearby civilians would die of shrapnel wounds when my heart explodes, it was definitely a wake-up-and-smell-the-mortality moment. So now I have to stop being a lazy fatass and exercise and eat right. It's going well so far.

Some people, when forcefully confronted with their own possible death, consider all kinds of crazy escapades like climbing Mount Everest or writing the great American novel or crap like that. One of my first thoughts was "Crap! I've got to run EPT before I'm pushing up daisies!" Mind you, I'm not in any immediate danger of buying the farm. The real issue at the present is that I need to fix my blood pressure naturally or go on medication. But being told your heart is wearing out faster than it should be can get a guy thinking. About Tekumel. Apparently.

So despite promising Michael Shorten some OD&D at the next Winter War, I think I'm going to run an EPT event instead. Sorry, Michael. If it's any consolation, I will run EPT in my idiosyncratic retro stupid style. I don't think I can run it any other way.

Special Bonus Literature Nerd Section

So I've been reading this book of literary criticism when I come upon the chapter on Christopher Smart, England's original so-crazy-they-locked-him-up poet. As I was reading the essay I got to thinking that I'd never read the entirety of his insane masterpiece, Jubilate Agno. Pretty much every anthology of poetry that includes him excerpts the same passage, the "I will consider my cat Jeoffry" section. Reading the Smart chapter of Judith Weissman's Of Two Minds: Poets Who Hear Voices convinced me that letting the Jeoffry section stand in for the whole of the poem does the work a grave injustice. So I found an online copy (and his other asylum poem, the less obviously crazy A Song to David) and made my own little book of Smart.

It took about six drafts to get the layout just right. I fiddled a bit with the size of the section headers. Many lines run long and I didn't want a single crazed thought to spill across multiple pages. So I finally get my Smart book all printed out, stapled and folded. I decided to open it up right in the middle, where the staples are, just to see how it feels in my hand. Guess what I find? The middle of the booklet, that part most likely to be seen if it just falls open, is the entirety of that fucking cat Jeoffry section! Argh!