June 25th, 2004

Never let it be said that you never learn from RPGs

If I had to name a couple of regrets in life on the lines of 'if only I'd...' then one would have to be that I have to say that I look on time playing RPGs in my youth as being largely wasted, in terms of effort and time for reward. Maybe I was playing with the wrong people but the disparity between the platonic ideal of RPG play and the rather tedious reality was just too great.
The other regret, and this is rather sad because this is exactly the sort of thing that you tell small children, is that I didn't spend more time playing musical instruments - possibly the time slaving over a hot rule-book, copies of Dragon magazine and books of mythology devising the blah themed nth level of dungeon y (or whatever). For some reason I would like to look back and think 'I got grade 8 on the clarinet, recorder or whatever'. This is not to say that I feel any great desire to do this now, this fall somewhat below a large number of things I will never get round to on my 'to do' list.
Anyway, I present this as a pointless late night ramble and as a warning to small children, and so you can nag your nephews and nieces or whoever and say 'my friend Celestialweasel wishes he spent more time on his arpeggios and less time rolling 20 sided dice'.

And also... tedious work anecdote... our software was mysteriously failing with an SQL syntax error on a user's machine in Italy. There was no obvious reason until I remembered that people with Socal Status 11 in Traveller got to have names with d' as part of their name. Aha, I thought, you can have names like this in Italy. Sure enough, I check the user name and find they have a d' in it. When the query is built the user name is not passed through the 'escape single quotes into two single quotes' routine as it didn't occur to me that it would be needed. Not a big problem, the code has probably been there for over 6 years.

So, maybe this makes all the time rolling up Traveller characters, then having to tear them up and start again when they are killed on one of their terms of enrollment seem worthwhile. [A very silly game mechanism, I thought]

Or maybe not...