Sunday, November 18, 2007

Giving In to the Inner Geek, & Other Updates

For some reason, a few weeks ago I found myself caught up in the idea of finding a Star Wars table-top game in Ottawa. However, glancing through the core guide and various sourcebooks to get a refresher on some of the rules, I came away disenchanted. The Star Wars license was officially given by LucasArts to Wizards of the Coast, makers of Dungeons & Dragons and the origin of "d20" gaming, back around 2001. Lately, though, I've become extremely dissatisfied with the whole d20 system (Star Wars, D&D), for a number of reasons. The main issues I have are ones of passivity, pigeon-holing that can't be avoided with a class-based system, the progression feels chuggy and uninspired, and freedom of choice is severely limited. In other words, it feels more like a video game and less like a game of imagination.

So, still in a Star Wars mood, I attempted something different. A few weeks ago, I started to adapt the Shadowrun 4th Edition rules for the Star Wars setting. (Weird. In attempting to get a link for Shadowrun in order to hyperlink it here, I discovered that the FanPro site is all in German, and poorly organized to boot... Anyhoo... check wikipedia if you care.)

When I originally began, I thought it would take too much tweaking to be worthwhile. However, now being well underway and nearly finished, it was a lot easier than I thought. Or rather, it's required a great deal less altering than I had initially thought.

What I'm doing is basically this: Imagine you really like the boardgame RISK, but you think that perhaps Monopoly's rules would be better for it. That's kind of what I'm doing; the point of my "transliteration" isn't what the games focus on, but the actual rules mechanics.

So now, two or three weeks after starting, I've got 32 pages of adjusted rules, additional rules for concepts not in Shadowrun (like the Force), etc. etc. You may be thinking "I thought you said it wasn't taking much to alter the rules to suit?!". However, when you consider that the Shadowrun rulebook is 352 pages, and the Star Wars core rulebook is 380 pages... 30-ish pages (which is not the same as 30 pages in an actual double-columned rulebook) ain't bad!

Now I just need to find someone who'd be willing to use the rules and run a game for me. There's a very large gaming community in Ottawa. All I need to do is find the right person, which shouldn't be too tough once I hang a flyer at Fandom II on Laurier St.

In other, non-geek-related news... Work kicks ass. I'm really enjoying being a scopist. It's the perfect job for my personality type (Perfectionist): every day, the work is the same but different. There are rigid parameters and guidelines and forms that must be adhered to make countless others' lives (including mine) easier, but within those bounds the work is always different. Some days I may work on the Senate itself, but on top of that I may be handling the Fisheries and Oceans Committee, or maybe the Banking Committee, or Aboriginal Rights Committee, or Defense Committee. It changes up all the time depending on what's happening on a particular day. However, the fundamentals of my job remain unchanged regardless of what I'm editing and cleaning up. It's great!

I treated Aaron to supper at The Keg in the Market on Friday, to repay him for letting me bunk at his place for so damn long. On my way home, I picked up at Sears the blinds I'd ordered. Around 10pm that night, James came into town with a co-worker for a conference and stayed over at my place, making them my first official overnight guests. Adrienne came over for a beer and to see the new place on Thursday evening, and we hung out talking until 1am. On Tuesday, Roger, Kelly and I are having drinks at Patty Boland's. YAY!! Really looking forward to that.

My apartment is almost there. I just need to rearrange the living room and, in the kitchen, I need to put together the island I bought at IKEA. Once my parents come into town with all my stuff from China, I can get some actual decor happening. All that remains is to get two small bookshelves from IKEA to handle book overflow and I think I'm good.

Friday, November 09, 2007

All Moved In... (mostly)

I'm all moved into my new place downtown now. By that I mean that all but three boxes are unpacked and sorted, and most of my furniture is assembled and set where it'll be staying. When my parents and I moved my stuff up, we forgot all my China paraphenalia. So the decor is a bit barren... no scrolls, paintings, masks or anything. I'm really looking forward to putting up my shu fa scrolls and paintings (hua hua I think?). Dunno where I'm going to put Xiang laoshi's shu fa scrolls, though... they're pretty huge. Need a good 7 or 8 feet of vertical wall.

It's great to have Pele back and be reunited with all my books. I did a count and I have ~760... I need two more small "Billy" IKEA bookshelves to hold the little overflow that exists. Oh, I'm tossing a few novels, so if anyone wants "Eragon" and some David Eddings novels, let me know.

I really love this new place. There's tonnes of space for me and Pele, and the smaller of the three rooms makes a great computer room. I ordered blinds the other day from Sears, and two sets of those should be arriving next week and then another two sets a few more a few weeks after that. There are still some issues with the apartment that need to be resolved, but overall, things are pretty much settled here. The only annoying thing is not having on-site laundry, though that may be added in the next few months.

Anyhoo... I've had this week off due to the Senate taking a week for Remembrance Day/Week. The good news is that it looks like this coming Monday will see the approval of the committee selections report, which means we'll go into full hours mode shortly.

That's it for now!