HoP Idol: Von Interviews Loquacious

Greetings everybody!  Today we’ve got a special idol treat as Von of Game Over interviews HoP’s very first author (outside of Lauby and I), Loquacious.  Will we wonder whether women will write, waxing wittily with wonder, while we watch, weeping with …. shit, that’s all I’ve got.  For those not in the know, Lo used to start all of her articles with a motherfucker alliteration, which I miss dearly.  Anyhow, here goes nothing…
Von:  Hey! Dethtron called (well, emailed) re: HoP Idol Thing. Apparently you and I have to have some sort of vaguely structured call-and-response discourse thing where you lie to me and I write down your lies. I think they call them ‘interviews’?
Hope all’s well in Gopherland!

Lo:  Gopherland is mostly wonderful now that TheDude has returned from his trip, but he brought me a cold as a gift. =/

Von:  Trying not to just repeat stuff that’s pretty apparent from your blogging… your gamer cred is pretty well established by now, so let’s skip the generals and get right to specifics.
You’ve stated that you really don’t enjoy D&D in any form – I was wondering why?

Lo:  Roleplaying has always been a doorway into choices to me.  Through roleplaying, I can chose who I want to be and allow myself different perspectives and opportunities that I wouldn’t normally get any other way.

I’ve always perceived (through experience or explanation) Dungeons and Dragons as a game where choice is removed. Even the creation of statistics is mostly random, and as you progress in character creation, your options become more and more limited dependent on class and other factors.

The apparently “illogical” nature of many of the rules also drove me crazy.  My single biggest beef has always been about things that are just plain dumb.  Clerics are uually physically weak and most in need of some sort of armor or protective gear, yet are the most limited in what they are “allowed” simply by class.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Limited choices and crazy rules are a recipe for me to say “not for me”…

Von: Is systemic logic important to you in a game, then?

Lo:  I don’t know about “logic” per se, but it really helps if I the way things work is fairly comprehensible.  I’ve adored absolutely insanely gonzo games -but all of the wacky pieces fit together into a solid framework that made sense to me.

Von:  Mmkay, so what’s the most left-field, out-there, absolutely raving crazy game experience you’ve ever had?

Lo:  Fun “Crazy”: Years ago, a former boyfriend and his roommate (Now my husband) ran a short stint game called “Thugs For Drugs”. We were thugs, trying to work our way up in a drug cartel.  This game was my first real introduction to LARP-style ideas, with props including disguises and fake guns & money.  It also had backstabbing/scheming actively involved and encouraged, as well as GREAT chemistry among players and GM’s.

It was high energy and had a lot of impact; but was concise and didn’t overstay itself in any way. The rules were kind of made up on the fly, but everything flowed and worked. It was just a really organically exciting experience.

Weird “Crazy”: This.

Von:  I get the impression that social chemistry is as important, or more important, to you than the qualities of the actual game you’re playing.  Fair assumption, or not?

Lo:  For me, social chemistry is almost a requirement anymore: much more than system or setting.

Von:  On the subject of social chemistry and games, a spot question – sportsmanship! Something that should be rewarded with scores and prizes, or a prerequisite for turning up, without which you receive the boot from an event or space?

Lo:  Hm. I think rewards for scoring are essential in competitive games/events, but the POSSIBILITY of a prize merely for appearing is valuable and important to foster a growing competitive environment and encourage beginners.  And if you’re a jerk, we’ll shame you into submission.

Sportsmanship overall has been one of our smallest issues.  We have a good presence of peer pressure, along with strong “parental roles” that seriously influence people’s behaviors.

(Being “Momma/ Mrs Gopher” can be a powerful tool.)

Von:  I’m not so sure about the essential nature of awards.  The way I’ve seen sportsmanship work, it’s either a way of giving prizes to people who have been doubleplussupersporting, or it’s something that doesn’t have a prize attached to it because you’re expected to behave like a decent human being and if you can’t do that you’ll be chucked out.
The vibe I get is that in an environment like yours, where pretty much everyone is being civil, you’re more likely to get that outstanding sportsmanship that’s worthy of a prize.  Is that the case?

Lo:  We don’t really do it either way.  Here’s how prizes work at competitive events at our place:

Prizes for top placement of some sort- usually top 2-4.  The rest of entrants get prizes or goodies assigned by lottery.  This way everyone gets a chance at loot, and winners get rewarded for doing so.

However- we don’t run ‘ArdBoys or other competitions where “sportsmanship” is scored as a factor for winning stuff.  If there IS a Sportsmanship reward at all, everyone votes – and honestly, it is usually the person that took a beating but kept on smiling throughout.

Von:  Niiiice.
How hard do you find it to keep your own Decent Human Being face on? Is there anything that just does your nerves up right wretched?

Lo:  I don’t usually find it terribly difficult to be decent.  I’ve been blessed with an abundance of Nice.

That tends to lead to my one major frustration, which is a lack of consideration on other persons’ parts.  As Mrs. Ladybug said, “I can’t abide rudeness”.

I have to be especially mindful of how I respond and interact with those that were not raised in humanity as offending (or smacking them right proper) isn’t usually prudent.

Von:  Do you find that there’s more or less of a raised-by-wolves effect on the Internet than in real life?

Lo:  I think it’s more noticeable on the internet; but there have always been people who are not so nice. The internet has just given said folks safety and a place to be a jerk loudly.

Von:  Okay… but what’s an excessively nice lady like you doing in an organisation like the House of Paincakes, which is… from a certain point of view… exactly the sort of place you described, i.e. a safe place to be loud and somewhat jerksome without having to worry about being SFW or what have you?

Lo:  I’m at the House almost entirely by serendipity.  However, regardless of reputation, the House is completely full of nice people.  They just happen to be people that have given themselves permission to swear, to be loud, and to say what they think in an open and honest fashion.

The point or vision of the House (at least to my understanding) has never been to be obnoxious or jerks; even if some of us are very good at it.  The ideal of HOP was to allow people to talk about tabletop gaming with lots of invective while breaking down divisions in the gaming community, with the hope of building relationships and bringing folks to a common table of nerds and dice.

I’m trying to do my part in that effort…

Von:  Fair play. I’m probably going to disappear now… it’s goth night at my local pub and I’ve just been paid.  RUM TIME.

Lo:LOL!  I’m not a big rum fan, but I hear the sentiment loud and clear.  So enjoy!

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