The Library of Table

Given an infinite combination of games & food . . .

Archive for Games

The Joys of Failure

So, obviously, I did not make it all the way through VeganMoFo. Perhaps next year. But now that I’ve got this blog rolling, and I’m not giving up on it yet. By my count, I owe you lot at least eight posts about food. And you shall have them! Just not at the moment. Let’s say, before the new year.

In the meantime, I’m going to push forward the gaming agenda of this blog a little more. Because in addition to being an eater, I’m a gamer. And I even design games. Even games that have YouTube videos made of them:

My gaming stuff is all over the place, but in all sorts of official capacities. My Dread blog is all about, well, Dread. My Dig a Thousand Holes blog is about the games I’ve published myself, which at the moment is dominated by my latest: Time & Temp. And the Imagination Sweatshop is about a group of friends who get together to make games up as they go along. And as many and varied as these links are, a lot of my gaming interest and thoughts tends to fall through the cracks. I intend to employ this blog in preventing such crack falling through.

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Potatoes in Vinegar Sauce

A few years back, while I was working as a temp at an insurance company, I decided to read Moby Dick on my lunch break. (I know, MoFoers, not the most vegan of books, but hold on, there’s more to this.) I was shocked by how much I was enjoying my slow, leisurely stroll through this mammoth of a classic.

For months, I looked forward to my lunch hour (more of a half an hour, when all was said and done) and the time I got to spend with Melville and his whaling crew. During those same months, I was rarely on the ball enough to pack a lunch. I had to fend for myself in the financial heart of New York City. It was during this time when I discovered the falafel cart.

$2.50 for a platter of stuffed grape leaves, freshly fried falafel balls, hummus, baba ghannouj and a spicy giardiniera salad all drowning in rich tahini. And warm pita on the side. Heaven!

Every week day I sat in that tiny break room with my wire book stand and my falafel platter and disappeared into Moby Dick. And after pages and pages of sensual details of whale hunting, an activity I had absolutely no frame of reference for, I began to trick myself into associating the various alien smells and tastes described in the book with tahini, falafel, and company.

I had not realized this until, long after I finished reading it, I was enjoying a falafel sandwich and thought to myself, “I bet this is what whale tastes like.”

In much the same way, I’ve trained myself to associate Chinese takeout with D&D. After months of meeting up with folks twice a month to enjoy a little General Tso’s Tofu while pursuing the minions of Demogorgon, I managed to permanently link frustrating die rolls, exploding monsters and that deliciously sweet-with-a-hint-of-spicy sauce of the general’s.

But this story isn’t about D&D or the white whale. It’s about potatoes in vinegar sauce. Read the rest of this entry »

Paladins for the Ethical Treatment of the Animate

Ethics get tricky when they’re imaginary.

Just for a moment, consider the lowly orc. There’s all manner of debate in the roleplaying crowds about whether or not it’s okay to fight them unless you are in imminent peril or there’s clear evidence they’re up to no good. Do you need just cause to kill an orc, or because orcs are considered by their very nature to be evil, is it cool to kill them on sight?

Paladin in Hell(Or is it even out and out racist to have a race of purely evil beings in your game to begin with. Though those who object to universally qualifying orcs as evil start to lose their objections when we swap orcs with the various sorts of undead, demons, or devils, who in our pseudo-Christian culture it’s downright kosher to think of as inherently evil. And they pretty much think it’s a-okay to do whatever you want to a Nazi soldier in your game, which raises all sort of questions about priorities when you stop to consider they’re the only folks on the list to have ever existed and are not by their inherent nature beings of evil. These, of course, are questions I won’t be addressing here.)

But D&D has far deeper ethical issue than who you take a sword to. Read the rest of this entry »

Time Chefs!

So, for the VeganMoFoes out there who don’t know me, I’m a gamer. Specifically one who roleplays. Dungeons & Dragons and all her descendants.

But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no! I also design roleplaying games. My latest being about temp workers who are hired to travel in time and make sure history happened the way it happened. It’s called, cleverly enough, Time & Temp.

This means two things when it comes to this post (beyond just a crass plug for my game).

Thing 1: I’ve been thinking about time travel a lot these days. Perhaps too much.

Thing 2: I attended GenCon this past August, where I got the chance to sit down with a bunch of Jeepers and talk shop over a bowl of Indonesia peanut sauté noodles (with grilled tofu).

We discussed a great many games and game ideas, but the one that is relevant right this minute, the one that required that whole boring ass intro you just read through was this: Time Chefs! Read the rest of this entry »