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Author Topic: Nine Worlds epiphany  (Read 4540 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: September 09, 2004, 08:28:19 PM »

Hello,

Some of the following is expanded from a recent private message to Matt.

Nine Worlds has finally converted me. I gotta say, I am a terrible audience for pop-metaphysics modern myth, especially anything with as strong an Illuminati influence as this. I hate stuff about how science is this weird buffering illusion from the symbolic reality. Richard Bach is a drivelling idiot. People who don't understand that the protagonist of Foucalt's Pendulum is a very dumb guy need to get noogied, repeatedly, and in addition wedgied. I would almost rather read bad romance novels than anything containing the words templar, orichalcum, rosicrucian, or gnostic ever again.

I shall disclose further. At Sunday night after this past GenCon, a number of people witnessed my proclamation that I would rather go into that hotel room bathroom (gesturing), put my face into the toilet water, and bang my head repeatedly (pantomiming) with the toilet lid until I blacked out and hence drowned, rather than ever read anything about Templars, Illuminati, eyes in pyramids, the Golden Dawn, orichalcum, Rosicrucians, Excrucians, Adam Weisshaupt, Nephilim, Demiurges, Gnostic, Apocrypha, Atlantis, Anubis, or reality-through-consensus-belief ever ever again.

Plus my cards-expertise bypasses most of the variants of Whist. The only one I really know is Hearts, which is kind of all on its own (e.g. "trumps" are hardwired into the system based on the lead, so they're not even referred to as such, and the number of tricks taken is irrelevant). I'm crap at Spades and don't even begin to comprehend Bridge.

But then I got it!! First of all, I finally figured out who the real influence is, besides Moorcock and a bit of Zelazny - it's Jack Kirby! The comics artist (words fail me - this label is so small) who practically invented modern superheroes with Stan Lee, and who, most relevant for this discussion also created and authored the Inhumans for Marvel and the Immortals for DC! The Nine Worlds mythology is far more like Marvel's Black Bolt or the original Thor, or DC's Darkseid, new Gods and so on. I get it - boom tube! (read more about this stuff from Charles Hatfield's Kirby's Fourth World: An Appreciation, edited by John Morrow, who I suspect is the very same fellow who hates GNS so much, small world eh?)

Wham, I ate up the Nine Worlds setting stuff with a spoon after that. No more grousing about real Greek mythology. Malvina popped into mind within a moment after reading about Muses.

The card stuff is still working its way through my brain, but I think I'm getting that too.

1. The business about the Choice is all clear now.

2. I also see the sneaky stuff you didn't say! Listen up, folks, here's what Snyder's slipping into your medullae. See, the game does not specify how much of a given conflict a particular round of cards-drawing, playing, trick-taking, and resolution covers. My first reaction to this is, Waugh!* I'm a Sorcerer and Trollbabe and HeroQuest fiend, I like the idea of knowing "how much are we doing here" is covered by a given group unit of applying the system. I was gazing suspiciously at Nine Worlds and saying stuff like, "But how come that round didn't settle whether the kraken thing wins? How come they got to play another hand?"

And then ... it hit. The narration rules cover that. If whoever's exerting the final authority over narrating wants the most recent conflict to resolve the crisis, all he or she has to do is say so!! If not, if that person (who's also working with the narrations of everyone else at that point, mind) wants it to continue, it does!

Bastard! Clever, clever bastard!

3. This is a Resource management game. I mean, seriously. Dust Devils pretty much isn't; although tokens/coins do stuff during play, they don't create an actual market for themselves over any appreciable time period. One just gets'em and spends'em, no big deal. Also, Dust Devils uses poker merely as Color; you do not play poker during Dust Devils (contrast with Fastlane, in which you kinda do play roulettte).

But Nine Worlds is all about Bridge-level resource management. Lookit all the stuff that goes with Valor and Pride ... which turn out to be the same units, and exchangeable for, all the attributes, as well as the same units as (and exchangeable with) Muse ratings, as well as the units for bidding for Trump (a serious advantage in resolution), and finally, as well as the same units as Tricks (which are exchangeable with Muse ratings), all of which shuffle around the units of the attributes during play. Add in locking to affect the permanency of changes in attributes, and you get some amazing long-term features of how any given character manages this stuff over the haul of building enough Valor and Pride to do wild shit like becoming a Champion or Primarch.

All right, you did it again. I bitched about this game concept for two years and you did it anyway. See what you did? Now I have to fucking play it. (stomps off)

Best,
Ron

* Another gratuitous comics reference. Not an English novelist, if that was your first guess. Pay no mind.
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joshua neff
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2004, 08:59:50 PM »

Crap. I've been reading loads of old Fantastic Four stories, going absolutely gaga over the Inhumans saga followed by the Galactus saga. Having read this, I now have to buy this bloody game (especially because unlike Ron, I have a soft spot for things that mention Templars, eyes in pyramids, orichalcum & the like).

Damn you, Matt! Damn you, Ron!

Oh, & I agree with you about Foucault's Pendulum, Ron. In fact, I'll go farther & say that not only is the protagonist of Foucault's Pendulum a dope, his friends are dopes, too. His girlfriend, on the other hand, is brilliant--she's the hero of the story. Also, the point of the book is not about Templars & conspiracies & secret societies. That's all metaphor & color.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Paul Czege
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2004, 09:02:49 PM »

Did someone say Kirby? Why Matt, the artist you need is indie comics guy Thomas Scioli:

http://www.geocities.com/sciolit/

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Erling Rognli
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2004, 07:12:59 AM »

[off topic]
Does anyone actually read "Focault's Pendulum" without realizing those guys are in dire need of medication and help? If anyone reads it as an inspiration for conspiracy theorizing it is beautifully ironic, but not very flattering to mr Eco, and even less to their own cognitive abilities...
[/off topic]
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2004, 07:04:55 PM »

Hello,

I'd really rather talk about Kirby and the New Gods, but ...

... yeah, there seems to be a whole world of people who think "maybe the Templars did it" is a viable premise for an adventure or story. One of them happens to be a good friend of mine, and he makes a considerable amount of money by milking the concept, but I really have to work to forgive him about this.

Similarly, it just never seems to sink into those Discordian or "ooh cool, Illuminati" guys that the Illuminati Trilogy climaxes when the characters realize they are fictional and thus subject to the most profound conspiracy of all - the agenda of the book's author.

Anyway.

Best,
Ron
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1000buffalo
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2006, 09:01:59 PM »

Hello,

I'd really rather talk about Kirby and the New Gods, but ...

Um, ok ... no one followed up on this?  Whoa ... need to hear more.

I just picked up Nine Worlds a few days ago at the FLGS.  I enjoyed the background, and still need to re-read the rules carefully.

But ... please ... more to be speaking about Kirby and the New Gods and Nine Worlds.   Smiley
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2006, 06:09:55 PM »

I'll leave the Kirby explanations to the expert, Ron. It probably was an indirect influence on me, though I'm not familiar much with the works he's talking about.

But, I want to ask something! Where and what was the local game store you purchased Nine Worlds? I suspect they ordered it via Indie Press Revolution, as I have not made the game otherwise available to retailers. I'm curious to hear how this happened, as I've only been with IPR a short while.
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Matt Snyder
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
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1000buffalo
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2006, 06:23:35 PM »

I'll leave the Kirby explanations to the expert, Ron. It probably was an indirect influence on me, though I'm not familiar much with the works he's talking about.

In the meantime, I went and picked up the reprints of Kirby's Fourth World saga the other weekend.  :)

Quote
But, I want to ask something! Where and what was the local game store you purchased Nine Worlds? I suspect they ordered it via Indie Press Revolution, as I have not made the game otherwise available to retailers. I'm curious to hear how this happened, as I've only been with IPR a short while.

Sure thing:  I picked it up at Endgame, in Oakland, CA.  They've got quite a collection of indie games there.  I believe they've been placing orders with IPR.  I also saw some copies carried at Black Diamond Games, in Walnut Creek.
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