Dave LeCompte (really) (tsmaster) wrote,
Dave LeCompte (really)

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Roll Two Dice and Pray

When I was a youth, I used to play this board game, no, role playing game, erm, this strategic/tactical... So there was this game, called "Car Wars", and when I first became aware of it, I dismissed it because it was obviously ripping off George Lucas' trademark (this was before Lucas started riding his own coattails). So this game was all about a post-apocalyptic future where "the right of way went to the biggest guns". Think Mad Max without quite so many Australians.

This game was one of my first exposures to the notion of selling continuing content to gamers. You see, this game had a quarterly magazine that you could subscribe to (one of my regrets was not getting the lifetime subscription). In there, there'd be fiction set in the Car Wars universe, there'd be new vehicle designs, and special new weapons.

Yes, even then I was a geek. There was something awfully compelling about the structure of this game, however. I probably wouldn't be working on my own car game if not for the influence of Steve Jackson Games and the enjoyment I got in putting a laser in a turret and knocking out some guy's tire.

Now, in that magazine, people would ask wacky questions. Striding the line between wargame, role playing game, and boardgame, people would come up with absurd scenarios that might make sense in open ended games, but the maker of Scrabble probably never had to contend with. You know, something like "If my guy leans out the window really far, can he throw a grenade over his car and the van parked next to it, with backspin so that it rolls underneath the van?".

Even then, there were bigger geeks than me. These questions only rarely had any hope of being answered by the actual rules of the game. Often the answer'd be a simple "no". But now and then, there'd be something that fit into the sense of the game well enough that you'd think that once in a while, a daring move like that ought to work.

These questions recieved the response "Roll two dice and pray".

You've got no right to expect this to work. Luck or Divine Intervention might be your only hope now.

That's where I am right now. My horizon has pulled up awfully close. I don't know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow. I might be escorted out of the building tonight, in which case tomorrow I might be working on sending out Christmas cards. Or I might be sitting in an essentially empty office, drumming my fingers on an essentially empty desk.

Time to roll two dice and pray.

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