Archive for February 7th, 2008

True to the Original

2008 Feb 7

Last Water Margin post today, promise.

I think I solved my problem. My design goals for this project have always including being as true to the original text as possible. This is somewhat amusing to me, since the “original” text is merely the cleaned up, edited, and censored version of messy folks stories that had been passed along for hundreds of years. There are actually multiple competing editions of the “original,” as is often the case (as with Shakespeare or the Gospel of Mark).

In any case, being true to the text in this case means numbering the chapter headings as they are numbered in the actual text, where each chapter title is composed of two headings. This means, with 70 numbers instead of 140, and with only ten numbers on a page, you can roll a d10 and easily see which number you are supposed to use (3 becomes 63 or whatever)… except there are two headings for each number. So the rule will probably be something like “pick one of the two” or “start with the first one” and then, later on, when people roll the same number on the same page, they do the other one. If both are taken, then you start going down the list or reroll.

Here’s a sample page in the new style:


Once More, With Feeling

2008 Feb 7

Check it out! It’s the same page as before, but prettier and more useful! Now there’s little circles on the left side so you can mark the events that have already happened. And it has a somewhat descriptive title!


I’m still trying to decide if each separate page is going to be numbered 1-20 or if the numbers will continue. I guess it’s a little harder on the last page, 121-140, to roll a d20 and figure out which entry that equates to. But that makes it less clear that all of these 140 chapter headings, taken in order, describe the entire epic. Hmm…

Oracle Page

2008 Feb 7

Working on oracle layouts for the Water Margin hack of In a Wicked Age. I want to include both Chinese and English because I’m crazy like that and I”m reworking all of Pearl Buck’s translations to be 1) more accurate, 2) more consistent, and 3) not copyrighted.


I’m not entirely sure how people will randomly select the oracles they end up using. I’m thinking that I may title each page of 20 oracle entries based on the major themes / characters of that section of the story (like “Leopard Head and the Flowery Priest”). Then, you’d pick a page, roll a d20, and keep going down the list if you rolled one you already used. Other suggestions?

Backlog Fixed

2008 Feb 7

I should be caught up on comments now. Anybody who’s had a comment approved should be able to comment automatically (without needing approval) from now on. Sorry for not keeping a closer eye on this.

Comment Backlog

2008 Feb 7

So I thought I had managed to block comment spam on this blog, but it turns out that I had just blocked the announcements that let me know that people had left comments, so I couldn’t approve them. I apologize to all the folks that have tried to comment unsuccessfully. Hopefully you’re still reading :)

I’m gonna be catching up with all the comments over the next couple days, so it’s a good time to subscribe to my comments feed, I guess.