Thursday, October 26, 2017

O! The Places You'll Delve!

Reading in bed: very bad for eyes. Staying up until 4 working on layout: same
As the dad of a kid who loves bedtime stories and is learning to read, I read a little bit of Dr. Seuss almost every day. Frog and Toad, also (Frog and Toad are better stories, IMHO, and my Frog and Toad voices are SWEEEET). There is something a little bit comforting and sinister about all of them, no matter that they are excellent ways to teach a kid to read. The rythym and memorability is the thing. Right now, we've got

  1. HOP ON POP
  2. THE CAT IN THE HAT (metaphor for some weird perp shit, IMHO, by the way Sally and Nick you should tell your mom.)
  3. THE CAT IN THE HAT COMES BACK
  4. DR SEUSS'S ABCs
  5. I CAN LICK 30 TIGERS TODAY
  6. ONE FISH TWO FISH RED FISH BLUE FISH
  7. TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET
We also got The 50 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and I Had Some Trouble Coming to Sollaw Sollew from the library. These are my current favorites. In the first, a kid faces the prospect of beheading owing to a no-fault-of-his magical curse in the form of a reproducing hat, and in the second a youngster travels many miles through adverse conditions to find the object of his quest shut tight (the fabled city of Sollaw Sollew where they have no troubles, or at least very few). Nothing makes much sense, but then - that's not totally the point. It got me thinking, that these books could be nicely approximated by a board-game board, and that got me thinking about that thing that +Wayne Snyder did with his kid, and also (more importantly for our purposes) the way that +Kabuki Kaiser did his linear/procedural thing in Castle Gargantua. Lots of complexity from fairly simple rules, and (if you don't know it) then each specific square on the Chutes and Ladders-style play track has a more or less random theme, in addition to the golden squares representing terrific set pieces.

I believe more in not-railroading, but this could make/has made for a fun night's entertainment


This would be easy to set up for a Dr. Seuss story approximation, say for kids, with nice pastel colors, little threat of violence (but some feeling of danger to wrap up nicely at the end), and simple rules. The Seussian monsters are, for the most part, somewhat silly but sometimes really and truly spooky. Fu Fu the Snoo seems to even make a Young Cat uneasy, for example.

I think I like those OZ rules that I always harp on about, or maybe something easy like I ROLL FOR SHOES (which seems to be going around my circles these days on G+)

Make it fun and distinctive: add a die to your roll if you explain your action in rhyme.

Make it awful and terrifying: Use DCC, and add corruptions and XP for critically failed Action rolls. Nobody can die but it can Always Get Worse

A Little Fuzzy Guy DCC Microclass: like a hobbit, but people can always spend Luck and burn stats for the little guy/gal. Hirsute and Cute, plucky and Lucky.

If you wanted to really do a brain bender, it could all take place in the Dreamlands. Grinches, Skrinks, Whos, Star-Belly Sneetches, and all the monsters (there's the Gak and the Gox, for example) from Dr. Seuss's The ABCs, and Hop and Pop. Once your SAN is down to 0, you switch into Seussian mode (or maybe even a temporary insanity). Everything is in 4 colors, and everything Rhymes - you have to speak clearly and rhyme at all times

I'm particularly terrified by Skrinks and the other various monsters from IHSTIGTSS. Perfect 0-level irritants. Seems to me that the Seuss books eschew acquisition of material wealth, and focus on cleverness and resourcefulness, and The Cat in the Hat makes for a terrific example of Picaresque hero/antihero

Speaking of which, check out The Archzenopus' +Zach H's OD&D resources - in particular his 1 HP monster thing for things you could use in a Seussian game


What's this? Funnel, did you say? I love to grind low-levels through funnels!







1 comment:

  1. Look for 'On Beyond Zebra' and 'McElligot's Pool', they are basically Monster Manuals. My favorite page in One Fish Two Fish is "Look what we found in the park in the dark. We will take him home. We will call him Clark."

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