ZDL

All alone or in twos the ones who really love you…

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hairylarry
Oct 28 '19
I had the same problem finding my draft so after I figured it out I wrote this. https://gamerplus.org/blogs/10
hairylarry
Oct 9 '19
Great information. Thanks.
ZDL
Oct 8 '19
If you have any International Chess (IC) skills you'll find that they translate easily to Chinese Chess (CC). CC is a faster-moving game (same number of pieces, larger board). Where with IC you maybe have time, in a typical game to formulate one plan, then desperately switch to one other before the end-game, it's routine to make and discard plan after plan in CC. It's a far more dynamic game.

Big things to watch out for:
1. The cannons are killer. They're REALLY WEIRD and they can do some very nasty pins that are difficult (sometime impossible) to escape if you're unwary. Learning to use cannons effectively is a core skill.
2. The horses move like knights, but they DO NOT JUMP. They move one orthogonal away from point of origin, then one diagonal away. They capture on the second, diagonal part. A piece at that first orthogonal point will block the move. This is radically different from an IC knight which can't be blocked.
3. Generals (the equivalent of kings), although restricted to their palaces, are not allowed to "see" each other, thus giving them ranged influence on each other. It's a common ploy in the end-game to use the general to constrain the other's moves. Watch for it!

It's a fun game. For historical reasons I can't ever like IC, but CC I kind of love, even though I suck at it. :D
If you have any International Chess (IC) skills you'll find that they translate easily to Chinese Chess (CC). CC is a faster-moving game (same number of pieces, larger board). Where with IC you maybe ...See more
hairylarry
Oct 8 '19
I ordered 5 plastic sets el cheapo for Christmas presents. I am looking forward to playing Chinese Chess.
hairylarry
Oct 8 '19
Thanks. I am looking at them.
ZDL
Oct 8 '19
ZDL
Oct 8 '19
The traditional 2-player variants of Chinese Chess should be available in the dustier corners of almost any Chinese grocery store in the world. (It *is* the world's most popular board game by number of players!). https://www.aliexpress.com/...amp;switch_new_app=y is probably a better source of boards and pieces, though. If the prospect of reading the characters frightens, https://www.aliexpress.com/..._,searchweb201603_53 is a decent-looking set.The traditional 2-player variants of Chinese Chess should be available in the dustier corners of almost any Chinese grocery store in the world. (It *is* the world's most popular board game by number o...See more
hairylarry
Oct 8 '19
I just read through your five posts on Chinese board games and found them extremely interesting. Now I want to see them and play them. Maybe some Christmas presents for my board game loving family. (don't tell) I find these here but don't know anything about Chinese Chess so I don't know which would be good to try. https://www.thingiverse.com/...;dwh=675d9cc6a947a5f I appreciate your information.I just read through your five posts on Chinese board games and found them extremely interesting. Now I want to see them and play them. Maybe some Christmas presents for my board game loving family. (d...See more
hairylarry
Oct 5 '19
Thanks. I knew I recognized them but I couldn't place them.
ZDL
Oct 5 '19
Song quote. Closing lines of the album The Wall.

Sue me. I thought it was funny. :P
hairylarry
Oct 5 '19
So is that a song quote or from a poem? "All alone or in twos ..."

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  • ZDL
    ZDL
    Problem: All those metal boxes for tech junk (telephones, power, etc.) are making the street fugly. Solution: let the kids fix it. https://pixelfed.social/p/zhang.dianli/318699597226708992
    Jul 8
    0 0
  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on hairylarry's status
    Next Monday night on Inspired Unreality our opening topic will be Science Fiction and Fantasy literature. If you have favorites or opinions please comment here and I will use this thread as a resource for the discussion.
    Jul 7
    7 0
    ZDL
    Jul 6
    I'm not sure "realism" is a net good in this genre. SF used to be a vision of hope. Unrealistic hope, yes, but it gave ideals to strive for. When (not "if"!), in the process of striving for said ideals you fell short, you still made the world a better place in the process.

    We've lot ideals. We're wallowing in cynicism and self-pity. And it reflects in the world around us: people are more self-involved, nihilistic, and short-term focused.
    I'm not sure "realism" is a net good in this genre. SF used to be a vision of hope. Unrealistic hope, yes, but it gave ideals to strive for. When (not "if"!), in the process of str...See more
    hairylarry
    Jul 7
    Yes, Megan brought this up in the discussion. This isn't just happening in Science Fiction. Comedys used to be funny or they wouldn't last. Now cringeworthy is a goal that somehow is supposed to have humor embedded in it.
    ZDL
    Jul 7
    She's ... not wrong. Comedies in general haven't been funny in ages. It's been more frat boy pranks and sorority "mean girls" for ages now.
    You need to sign in to comment
  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on hairylarry's status
    We had a good chat last night about Science Fiction and Fantasy literature starting with a discussion about Science Fiction as a late nineteenth and twentieth century phenomenon where Fantasy literature encompasses all of literature going back to the earliest written words. Now they are often indistinguishable. Then we discussed the dystopian trend in Science Fiction. The Golden Age (thirties and forties) saw mostly optimistic science fiction stories but in the second half of the twentieth century starting with the New Wave through today there has been a darker trend with many dystopian and post apocalyptic stories. Then closing the chat we each discussed our first experiences in Science Fiction. Viv and I both started reading SF in the fifties. I mentioned A.E. Van Vogt and Robert Heinlein and Viv mentioned Clifford D. Simak, Andre Norton, and Ursula K. Leguinn. Megan started Science Fiction with the TV series Farscape. What a difference 40 years makes. Please post your introduction to Science Fiction and Fantasy in the comments.We had a good chat last night about Science Fiction and Fantasy literature starting with a discussion about Science Fiction as a late nineteenth and twentieth century phenomenon where Fantasy literature encompasses all of literature going back to the earliest written words. Now they are often indist...See more
    Jul 7
    6 0
    hairylarry
    Jul 7
    I worked at the library shelving books and after I read through all the SF in the children's area I started checking out the Science Fiction they had upstairs. Now I read on my Kindle using Overdrive so still a library patron.
    sound
    Jul 9
    Books have always enthralled me. When I was approaching my teen years A well written story would keep me reading till I fell asleep with the book in my hand. Mother complained about it but she never denied me access to books. We lost my father when I was in 7th grade. It was a traumatic time for us but we survived. When I reached Jr.High School I volunteered to help with the school library. It was a great way to learn just how libraries operate and why books have to be shelved in the right place for things to run smoothly.Books have always enthralled me. When I was approaching my teen years A well written story would keep me reading till I fell asleep with the book in my hand. Mother complained about it but she never d...See more
    hairylarry
    Jul 11
    I still read at night until I fall asleep. Sometimes I have to reread a page or two in the morning. And what am I reading now? The new N.K. Jemisin Hugo nominee, "The City We Became".
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  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on their blog post
    Deep Dive: OSR Critique
    Our little hobby is filled with intriguing oddities.  One of the most persistent such oddities is our weird tendency to take what is already a fr...
    Jun 30
    21 0
    ZDL
    Jun 29
    > Original OD&D was not written for novices to the miniature wargaming hobby at the time.

    Again, *I KNOW THIS*. This is why OD&D is *NOT* a good thing to fall back on for "simplicity". It is literally a set of guidelines written for a very small group of people in a very narrow area who'd been presumed to know certain things already (like Arneson's long-running proto-RPG campaigns), who had access to specific rulesets (Chainmail, chiefly), and thus knew what Gygax was talking about once you got through his absolutely terrible writing.

    My thesis wasn't "OD&D was a bad thing for its time and place". It wasn't (Gygax's writing notwithstanding). It's a bad thing for *NOW*.

    The goals of the OSR are laudable. Their weird worship of an incoherent mass of lore is not one of those laudable things. That is the point.
    > Original OD&D was not written for novices to the miniature wargaming hobby at the time.

    Again, *I KNOW THIS*. This is why OD&D is *NOT* a good thing to fall back on for &qu...See more
    robertsconley
    Jun 30
    Thanks that clarifies the thesis of your original post.

    As for folks and OD&D in the present, what you are not taking into account is that w now know about that "small group of people in a narrow area".

    It not a mystery to the OD&D community and more than a few folks including myself wrote out about it.

    For example Philotomy's Musings.
    http://www.grey-elf.com/philotomy.pdf

    Or Finch's Old School Primer
    https://www.lulu.com/...age=1&pageSize=4


    Folks talked to folks who ran successful OD&D campaign from back in the day and the few that continued to present.

    It not 1995, when people only had the 3 LBB to go by and scratched their head at what looked like a incoherent mass of lore. By 2005 those who didn't dismiss OD&D found out there was more to its story, including myself.

    By 2015 that story had become well known enough that folks figured out and expanded on the different ways to approach OD&D and it had regained some popularity and was supported again. Largely because OD&D did not turned out as incoherent as people thought.

    So unless what had happened for past 20 years is addressed I don't see how a thesis that OD&D is a bad fit for *NOW* can be supported.
    Thanks that clarifies the thesis of your original post.

    As for folks and OD&D in the present, what you are not taking into account is that w now know about that "small group of...See more
    ZDL
    Jun 30
    I think I'm going to just start replying by quoting things already said that you apparently didn't bother reading.

    ===========

    I know a person here who does magical things with wood to the point I call him "the wood whisperer". I have seen him create wonderful works of art with a pen knife and a repurposed screwdriver. So obviously that's all you need for woodworking, right? Because in the right hands a pen knife and a screwdriver are great woodworking tools!

    Wrong.

    He wouldn't even agree with that. His workshop has about, conservatively guessing, 50 gazillion chisels alone: not one of which is a repurposed screwdriver.

    The fact that a good craftsman *can* make miracles with subpar tools doesn't mean that a) they should, or b) they'd want to.
    I think I'm going to just start replying by quoting things already said that you apparently didn't bother reading.

    ===========

    I know a person here who does magical thing...See more
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  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on their status
    One of the interesting things that has been brought up is "aulde skoole" gaming and its fond veneration in some memories. It's my opinion (as someone who started in 1977 with the "blue book" edition) that a lot of people are using seriously pink-tinted lenses when thinking back to those early days.

    Which sounds to me like a new kind of blog entry: a historical deep dive.

    Stay tuned!
    One of the interesting things that has been brought up is "aulde skoole" gaming and its fond veneration in some memories. It's my opinion (as someone who started in 1977 with the "blue book" edition) that a lot of people are using seriously pink-tinted lenses when thinking back to those early days.<...See more
    Jun 21
    2 0
    hairylarry
    Jun 21
    Sounds interesting
    ZDL
    Jun 21
    Well, I started writing it and then computers did computers and I lost an hour's work.

    I'll try again later.

    I hate these things.
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  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on hairylarry's status
    Mixed parties.

    D&D games today tend to have parties where all the PCs are at the same level. Often the whole party takes an evening to level up.

    In earlier times parties were often mixed. Leveling up was done per person based on XP and XP was doled out by the DM at the end of the evening based on PC performance. Players took notes to remind the DM, I killed that troll or I cast that spell trying to maximize XP earned. Also different classes leveled up at different XP so there was almost never an entire party leveling up at the same time. This took a lot of bookkeeping but that's the kind of geeks we were.

    Also when a PC was killed the player would roll a new character at level 1. So a party of four could have a level 3 thief, a level 4 fighter, a level 2 wizard, and a level 1 cleric. (Who used to be the best fighter until he died.)

    I like this. It adds a certain grittiness to the game and it certainly affects battle tactics. But when I wrote Just Quest as a minimal rules OSR I wrote, "The characters level up on successful completion of a quest". A simple rule for a game designed to be easy to play.

    Where do you stand on this? Do you enjoy playing in mixed parties? If you're a DM do you try to keep your parties at about the same level or do you embrace the idea of mixed parties?

    We may discuss this on Inspired Unreality Monday night or we may just drink some tea with the Milyagon witch and see what happens next.
    Mixed parties.

    D&D games today tend to have parties where all the PCs are at the same level. Often the whole party takes an evening to level up.

    In earlier times parties were often mixed. Leveling up was done per person based on XP and XP was doled out by the DM at the ...See more
    Jun 21
    10 0
    CarlHeyl
    Jun 20
    I'd like to add that in the oldest of old school most of your XP came from earning treasure not killing monsters. Which means two things 1. You don't have to fight that big bad monster if there was a way around it to get the treasure behind it. and 2. Your lower level character would level very rapidly because of the amount of gold the higher level party was able to procure.

    I appreciate the comments about mixed level parties being difficult to adjudicate for. But one thing that is different for old school (unless I am mistaken they changed this in later editions) is that any magic user could use any scroll. Even if they are not high enough level to cast that spell. So if you have a low level wizard among your 5th level parties dropping a few scrolls changes the whole dynamic.
    I'd like to add that in the oldest of old school most of your XP came from earning treasure not killing monsters. Which means two things 1. You don't have to fight that big bad monster if there was a ...See more
    hairylarry
    Jun 20
    I didn't know that. When I mentioned scrolls I was thinking of more spells per day not stronger spells. Also when I was first playing D&D we got almost all our hit points from killing monsters just because the game wasn't treasure oriented. Generally speaking group XP is always the lion's share and will help low level characters level up fast.I didn't know that. When I mentioned scrolls I was thinking of more spells per day not stronger spells. Also when I was first playing D&D we got almost all our hit points from killing monsters jus...See more
    ZDL
    Jun 21
    You may level up quicker sure.

    Provided you don't get instakilled by the first creature larger than a kitten that takes a swipe at you.

    Provided you don't get BORED being relegated to the sideline for multiple grueling hours of watching OTHER PEOPLE have fun.

    I mean my calculus is simple: I play games for fun. If I'm not having fun, I don't go to that game anymore. I don't plan fun on spec. It's fun out the door or I move on.

    The non-combat things that hairylarry mentioned can ameliorate this, but in my experience those tended to be few and far between in most campaigns. You'd have a short time in the village talking to the villagers and then it's the next fifteen sessions in the dungeon.

    There are a great many things to praise in the old school. The way mixed-level parties worked was not one of them. Some GMs could figure it out. Most couldn't, leaving the low-levelled character's player bored and/or frustrated and, very likely, absent next week.
    You may level up quicker sure.

    Provided you don't get instakilled by the first creature larger than a kitten that takes a swipe at you.

    Provided you don't get BORED being...See more
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  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on FollowMeAndDie's status
    This week I took the plunge and tried my first serious effort at solo RPG play.
    Episode 196 - Solo RPGs
    Apr 26
    5 0
    hairylarry
    Apr 25
    Just had an interesting listen. Gamers chuckdee and Peter_R are both into solo gaming. https://gamerplus.org/groups/7
    ZDL
    Apr 26
    I use a system called "Mythic" as a capstone system to do solo RP. It works quite well, the really cringe-inducing illustrations notwithstanding.
    ZDL
    Apr 26
    (I reviewed it here: https://gamerplus.org/blogs/218)
    You need to sign in to comment
  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on their photo
    I got this new game on Sunday last, got a chance to play it today. And, unlike most strategy games I play against SO, I won! 😂
    Apr 17
    9 1
    hairylarry likes this
    sound
    Apr 15
    Hi ZDL, how are you? Sounds like you have been busy. We have been doing a little rearranging here. Seems like we do it every spring. Makes the house feel enough different that we enjoy the effort. Hope you have some time to enjoy the rest of the week.Hi ZDL, how are you? Sounds like you have been busy. We have been doing a little rearranging here. Seems like we do it every spring. Makes the house feel enough different that we enjoy the effort. Hop...See more
    ZDL
    Apr 17
    I'm less busy at work now (back to five day weeks) so much more busy over weekends finally. :D
    sound
    Apr 19
    I'm looking forward to warmer weather just not hot weather. That being said I cant wait to to see our flowers blooming all over our yard. Spring begins here tomorrow.
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  • ZDL
    ZDL liked hairylarry's status
    Family Game tonight! Woot!
    Apr 9
    1 1
    ZDL likes this
    hairylarry
    Apr 10
    I liked it too. Looks like we're going up against a Frost Giant. Gonna have to be clever. The direct approach doesn't seem wise.
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  • ZDL
    ZDL commented on hairylarry's blog post
    Four Webcomics
    Here's four webcomics that I like and some of them even have something to do with gaming.
    I don't like rom com movies much. In fact I don't like movi...
    Apr 4
    8 0
    ZDL
    Apr 3
    And I'm caught up on Gunnerkrigg. Wow is that an interesting storyline!
    hairylarry
    Apr 4
    I"m enjoying it too. Kind of a modern day fantasy with gothic art.
    ZDL
    Apr 4
    With a hint of native American flavouring that is kind of nice too, yes.
    You need to sign in to comment

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