Friday, June 5, 2009

Phantasmagorical or: my fall towards the Dark Side

I first remember seeing Phantasmagorical used at the RPG Blog Rust Monster Ate My Sword a few days ago. Since then I'm a blogger obsessed. I've (over)used it in various comments, on my own blog and even at work to explain why the server was acting that way. Part of its allure is surely nostalgic* bringing me back to a little boy pouring over his DMG, looking up definitions for all sorts of fantastic new words [D&D really did learn me a lot of vocabulary and history]. It invokes a sorcerous Howard / Lovecraft vibe. It's also just a sexy ass word, Phantasmagorical. I want to play a game that requires this word to explain it. [btw click the image and watch]

I'm by nature a cynical, rational dude. I love to learn, which means I love to seek out how and why everything works. It's very hard for me to accept "that's the way it is" and move on. This massively predisposes me to simulalist game play. In fact, I'm a huge wargame geek, Advanced Squad Leader with its hundreds of pages of rules is pants! Much too late in life it's donning on me that simulation is not actually all that fun. Oh, it's intellectually stimulating, a challenge, enjoyable to figure out and beat, maybe even fun to write the rules. Never Whooo hoooo "Conan fighting a Bear in a canoe going down rapids" fun.

Jeff Rients Blog happened to be my introduction to the Dark Side. I read with envy about his Retro-Stupid shenanigans. He was having Fun. Although, the Mythic Underworld concept of Philotomy's was when I first tasted the True Power of the Dark Side. Since then the whole RPG Blog Community has totally & mischievously lured me further into darkness. Grognardia, The Society of Torch, Pole and Rope, Carcosa, I waste the Buddha with my Crossbow, Lamentatioins of the Flame Princess, World of Thool, just those names thrill me, dripping with Dark they are. There are many others that I've failed to call out, ones I know about are listed in the blog-roll to the right.


So, I scramble headlong into the Dark. To the hidden crevices of imagination where goblins, flumphs, and yes, raygun wielding monkeys dwell, far from rational justification or ecological explanation. Where I'm hunting down Fabulous Norm, long lost amongst Rational Norm's neatly arranged rules.
So, in your meanderings round the nets, if you spy a round little gnome whistling a merry tune and jauntily skipping down the wire then wave, cause that'll be me on my way to Fun-School.



* Some people see nostalgia negatively. Hmmm, looking up the definition -> "longing for something past" is sort of negative. Guess I've had the wrong concept of this word. I meant fondly reminisce past experiences. Something that triggers a good memory, to enjoy for a few moments, then move on with today.

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