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!


  1. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Don't let the BP spook you. I was never diagnosed as having HBP, but I have what is known as Prehypertension. I've been taking one 10mg Lisinopril daily for about 2 years as a preventative measure. HBP runs in my family, & it's something you learn to live with. I'm proud to say that over the past year, I've lost a solid 35lbs. & quit smoking. Unfortunately, I still need the medicine. It's hereditary in my family; my 87yo grammie weighs no more than 75lbs. & she has super high blood pressure.

    Most poeple develop some type of elevated BP as they age; it's pretty normal. Just be mindful of what you eat, add a little moderate exercise here & there, & you'll be fine.

    And I love the booklets. I've tried printing the LBB myself, but I don't have the determination to follow through in booklet form. Ah well, I make pretty kick-butt "8.5" x "11" 3 binder clip books, though!

  2. The digest format is a thing of beauty.

  3. I'm going to have to post pictures of my "deluxe edition" 3lbb sometime.

    I love making booklets.

  4. Best to you on lowering the HB. :)

    Looking forward to Rientsified Tekumel data.

  5. The weird synchronicity of this is that I just tonight finished printing out digest booklets of the 3LBBs, Chainmail, Holmes Basic and the Monster and Treasure assortment to go with my own digest-sized copies of my Athanor house rule set and world booklet. My life was chuckling at my little chapbooks, but when I showed her your post, she was flabbergasted.

    Good luck with the hypertension issues. Reminds me to take my cholesterol meds. Just say no to strokes, I say.

  6. "One of my first thoughts was "Crap! I've got to run EPT before I'm pushing up daisies!" "

    You, sir, win.

  7. Alarming. You always strike me as surprisingly intense for such a funny guy. More gaming and less interweb high emotion might be the tonic.

  8. @Jeff - good news is that this is something you can take care of. I hope you keep it up!

    Better news - this just gives me an excuse to either invite you up here to run OD&D and play in AD&D or for me to come down there and run Ultima and you run OD&D.

    You choose. :)

  9. Kent: Years of overeating and minimal physical activity probably trump the occasional net-fiasco. Doc's first question was "How much exercise do you get?" not "How many flamewars do you engage in each week?"

  10. On the long reach stapler: did you get the pink one from the scrapbooking aisle?

    On HBP: Drink lots of water, preferably without fizz or caffeine. I use those little Crystal Lite type flavor packs to make it palatable. And chase your girls around... it's fun and good for you!

  11. Where might I find that Conan conversion?

    Good luck with the BP

  12. I'm also curious about the stapler. What model, how much, and what kind of jobs can it handle (# of sheets, etc.)?

  13. Take care of yourself, man. You have children, they have a lot of adventures still to share with their old man.

    This post, and Geoffrey McKinney's post on the ODD forums about his little booklets have inspired me to shop for my own mythical long-stapler (+2 vs. 8.5x11 sheets of plain white paper).

  14. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Must...resist...temptation to...make...digests....too!

    Although I must say, they do look very snazzy.

  15. Clearly Jeoffry loves you.

    Mind dead mice found in the creases of your booklet ;3

  16. This is (I think) the one I have:

    It's about half the price of the Swingline.

  17. Yay, Atlas of the Magi :)

    (and very much yay for long-reach staplers)

    And Boo for blood pressure. If you need any good low-sodium cooking tips, you know where to find me ...

  18. I think it was when I was showing off my long-reach stapler that a friend described me as having an “office supplies fetish”. ^_^

    Yeah, once I got that and a printer that could do automatic duplex printing, I’ve been very happy.

  19. Anonymous12:41 PM

    I just had seven copies of my OD&D-inspired Simple D&D printed up. Just for my little gaming group, playtesting, that sort of thing. I can attest to the joy of the booklet. It just feels right.

    And it's not nostalgia. Simple rules plus a good referee is just better. I started out playing 2E and have never played OD&D in my life. Ironically 3E got me thinking seriously about game design and 4E broke my camel's back.

    CRAPTCHA: mitions. 1: n. Baby muttons. 2: slang Missions.

  20. I printed Labyrinth Lord as a single booklet, and while it's lovely it's also a little... thick. I don't have a fancy stapler, so I made my own out of paper clips. Staples, that is, rather than the stapler. Of course, now I've done that, I realise I'd prefer to play Mutant Future!

    Anyway, best of luck with the blood pressure!

  21. Anonymous6:23 PM

    Jeff, you showed me yours, so I'll show you mine:

  22. Evernevermore said...
    Where might I find that Conan conversion?

    Perhaps Jeff found it here...