Thursday, February 10, 2011

Uniques, Toolmasters, Ubermenschen

I. Carl Wilson's close reading of a new Destroyer song.

II. Grognardia on Superhero 2044:

Character creation uses a point-buy system that was unusual for its time. 140 points are used to purchase attributes (there are seven), as modified by the character's "type." Superhero 2044 presents three types of characters: uniques ("possessing powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men" -- think Superman), toolmasters (think Iron Man), and ubermenschen (think Tarzan). Up to 50 points may be allocated toward a character's super powers and related abilities. However, there are no rules or descriptions of super powers. This was done consciously by Donald Saxman "for copyright reasons," which is bizarre from both a legal and a game design perspective. Instead, it's left to each player, in cooperation with the referee, to model a character's super powers so that they work with the game's various systems, particularly combat.
III. I enjoyed my appearance on a panel at Fordham the other night (thanks to Helene Stapinski), where I met Arthur Phillips, Mary Elizabeth Williams, and Jim Dwyer. (I also met two students from Buffalo!) Jim read one of his columns, about Marie Ponsot—a great piece, with this nugget on writing every day:

“I used to have babies all over the place, and the people I was teaching, and I could find 10 minutes every day,” Ms. Ponsot said. “You’ve always got 10 minutes.”

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