Sunday, 14 February 2016

Februa! Februalia! Februatio!

Today, for many is Valentine's Day, and in the past it shared the same general date of the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia (which developed from older festivals whose various names share the title of this post). Such was a festival of ritual cleansing, where I see some modern day similarities with 'spring cleaning'; we also had the gaelic festival of Imbolc, marking the beginning of spring, at the start of this month and nearly a week prior we also had the lunar new year. These all seem to point towards ushering new beginnings, and aside from it also being my month of birth, I feel they are apt for two other major inceptions:

The first: Late evening of the day before marked the official release of Medieval Chaos' third edition handbook; a joint culmination of the collaborative effort a small committee of devoted players to realize the vision of our games' founder and president, Jared Williams.

One of the reasons I am posting this beyond boosting the fresh signal of 3.0, I'm doing a rare thing and allowing let my pride to show, in that I, along with a half-dozen other excellent designers, were personally thanked for our efforts on developing and polishing this 145-page document from its initial stages over half a year past, to the final edits just before the book was officially released barely a day ago. Cheers to my colleagues; I think we should all be proud of what we together accomplished: as said, it is "our best book yet".

Medieval Chaos, Players Handbook, Third Edition
It looks like my years of 'studying' RPGs, rule systems and mechanics finally paid dividends; or rather I feel they made it easier to work on abstract gaming concepts and the like. As with any writer/designer, one would hope that their hard work will be met positively by the majority of their audience, but at least for me, I'd like to think I won't take criticism personally; the entire book is not my creation alone, I know you can't appease 100% of everyone, and I'm sure there will be a (hopefully) relatively minor percentage of the playerbase that will be mostly unhappy with the changes made, but I feel that we collectively did what was best for the game/players and I won't even entertain the notion that we did otherwise.

So one of my great time-sinks during the past many months has drawn partially to a close, and I am given a brief respite to focus on what is actually best in life (and my second reason why this is a special month): my rapidly approaching marriage to my amazing and wonderful Missus who has stuck with me for going on nine years now, throughout all my health concerns and silly things like working on rules for the imaginary games I play, and everything other little thing. <3

Avana & Kampi as 'dates' at Imbolc Ball
My better half did me the supreme glee of coming out to last weekend's Imbolc Ball as her MC character, Avana, and has begun to take her first steps on acting on her desire to take a more active role in this local hobby and community; and for that, I cannot express the feelings I have (be assured, they are most positive). Despite being together for so long, gaming, in any form, has never been a hobby we shared together, so I feel when she begins to read through 3.0, her understanding (or lack thereof) will speak volumes how successful our simplification of the system was, particularly for new players.

Truth be told, it is an odd feeling to say the least, knowing that 3.0 was a system that had been developed entirely in the realm of thought and text; we haven't had the opportunity to seen how any/all of it works in actual play. I suspect the months following the season opener come April may be filled with some confusion, rules discussion, and hot-fixes to broken mechanics, but we'll deal with that when we come to it. I believe our rules committee (which I am also apart of, as I wish to take active part in both the continual development of 3.0 as well as facilitate our playerbase with the adoption of this new ruleset), is well-equipped for the task ahead of us. Hopefully, our community will be patient as we work kinks out of the system.

Anyway, our real-life union is rapidly approaching and I am very much looking forward to the date, though I can't help but be a bit nervous; we still have a few details to iron out but I feel most of the major bits have been sorted.

And for those of you who find my fictions more interesting than my facts: yes, I am still working upon the Saga of the Northern Hunt, and I also have an entry specially related to the Imbolc Ball that I am compiling, I think I am going to release it after I have completed the Saga arc just to keep it chronologically consistent; if I don't find the time for any more releases this month, I should have the opportunity to do so by the Ides of March?

Ubi Amicitia, Ibi Victoria