innocent_man: (teagan crazy)
Yep, yesterday was our final episode of Misspent Youth. So, first the write-up, and then some thoughts on the game? All righty, then. )

So, the game. I really enjoyed Misspent Youth. It's nicely simple, it's quick (each episode was quick; it only took us the better part of a year to finish the story because we played once a month), and the system works within the story. Like a lot of similar games, there's a learning curve for players more used to traditional games, but I think it could be a nice gateway into indie games if you're willing to give it a go. At no point did I wonder what the hell was going on with the mechanics (as I have had occasion to do with, say, Leverage).

I'd love to run this again with a more fantasy or weirder sci-fi setting, or even something supernatural or super-hero related. You could do almost any genre, as long as you had some young people willing to stand up.

And, on a related note, it's interesting to me that we started playing this game and then saw the rise of the Occupy protests, the death of SOPA, and all the shenanigans that Congress and the folks funding/buying Congress are doing. Playing Misspent Youth, I think, makes you want to be more aware (though obviously it doesn't make you aware by itself, it's just an RPG). And it's introduce the phrase, "Who's going to stand up?" into my vocabulary.

So, thanks to Rob Bohl. This is a good one.

Now, points. )
innocent_man: (absurdities)
Saturday's Misspent Youth game was down a player, as [ profile] arkhamhorror was dying of space pigs, but we soldiered on. Hut, two, three, etc. )

And then, dinner:

Bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, corn meal, pomegranates.

We were down a player, and therefore missing an ingredient. So I decided sammiches sounded good. First, actually, I made a polenta from the corn meal, and added some fresh basil. Good starchy side.

Then made grilled sandwiches with the cheese, bacon, some onions sauteed with the bacon, and some shredded carrots. Topped with a fried egg, and then I made a pomegranate aioli. All in all, good stuff, and I totally subscribe to the "top the sandwich with a fried egg" philosophy. Mmm, yolk.
innocent_man: (absurdities)
So, today I made dinner for my kiddos and my girls, we watched A Bug's Life (mini-review forthcoming) and then the kiddos went to my mother's and we played Misspent Youth.

Persimmons, chicken breasts, corn mush, Gouda cheese, asparagus.

What? Asparagus again? )

Oh, so one other thing first. I took the kids roller skating on Saturday; here are some pictures.

Cael skating.

Teagan skating.

Both had fun. There were some spills, but they bounced back and both said they enjoyed it. Cael has a pretty impressive sense of balance for his age.

Right, so, Misspent Youth, then. )
innocent_man: (drama)
I'm onna rolllll!

God, that looks horrible. Can you believe there are people who actually post in journals/Facebook like that all the time? Anyway.

Skillet steak, beets, kidney beans, apple curd.

Missing an ingredient because we were missing a player, but that's OK. I cooked the beans in a skillet with some cayenne, cinnamon, mace and salt, and then added white rice. Beans and rice! Pow!

Pickled the beets in red wine, cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Actually they turned out quite tasty. I don't normally care for beets, but maybe I just haven't been makin' em.

Mixed up the curd and some red wine, soaked the steaks, covered them with cornmeal and fried 'em. Good stuff!

But before dinner, There was this game. )
innocent_man: (absurdities)
And, once again, first food, then gaming.

Pepperoni, roasted garlic, penne, green apples, rosemary cheese.

This one was simple: chopped up the apples and pepperoni and sauteed them in some olive oil, then added the garlic, then added some white wine and veggie stock to make a chunky sauce for the pasta. Grated some of the cheese (which has a name, but I don't remember it) on top and voila.

Misspent Youth, episode five. )
innocent_man: (damnbible)
Yesterday was Misspent Youth. Today is the write-up. Here we gooooo! )
innocent_man: (Default)
Why. The. Hell. Am. I. Awake.

Anyway. I have an assload of writing to do today, and this much little sleep just means it's going to be hard. But I can't sleep anymore, so why try.

So, before writing, I shall post a little about current events and then do the game-write up from yesterday.

Current events? By now you probably know about the dude in Oslo that set off a bomb in the city, then took advantage of the confusion to go to a youth camp on an island dressed as a cop and shoot 80 people dead, many of them teenagers. And then he turned himself in, probably because hey, there's no death penalty. His lawyer said he wanted a revolution, and now he has the world's ear, which is probably what he wanted.

Meanwhile, in Texas, a guy flips out at a birthday party at a roller rink and shoots 5 people dead, then kills himself. Police don't really know what happened there, yet.

And in England, Amy Winehouse was found dead yesterday. As of now, there's no official word on what killed her, but no one is going to be surprised if it turns out to be drug-related.

I don't have any particular thoughts on any of this. I have lived long enough to see comparable tragedies, and while I still feel and grieve for the people affected, what truly makes me sad is the responses I see. And it's not just people making "Rehab" jokes (hell, we did it yesterday at the game, though I don't post mine on Facebook, because a) it makes me look like a jerk and b) EVERYONE MADE THAT JOKE THE SECOND THEY HEARD SHE DIED). What bothers me is the implication I keep seeing that because Winehouse died on the same day at the massacre in Norway, that somehow invalidates the tragedy of her death or makes it somehow less newsworthy.

I'm not a huge fan of the American media, but the death of a celebrity gets coverage. Obviously, what happened in Norway is, too, and also should be reported. Both should. It's not an either/or. Both deserve attention, maybe in differing amounts, but that's on you (and seriously, it's not like you can't choose what news you see - unless you're still getting it from TV, which is also a choice).

For my part, if I find Winehouse's death easier to talk about or think about, it's because I understand addiction more easily than I understand mass murder. I get what drives someone in a high-stress job, with the pressures that celebrity brings, to self-destruct more than I understand what drives someone angry with his government (which I get) to flat-out murder children (which I don't). That doesn't mean I think one tragedy is greater than another, because I think that's a false notion, I think that both need to be analyzed on their own scales, and we can do that. Compassion, as [ profile] oakthorne pointed out on FB, is not a finite resource.

Anyway. Misspent Youth! )

Ham steaks, broccoli, wonton wrappers, yams, chard, portabella mushrooms.

Six ingredients! Madness! This is the veggie-heavy basket my Misspent Youth players gave me. What would you do? )

And then the other night:

Grouper, sun-dried tomato, parsley root, eggplant, Mexican Coke.

"Mexican" insofar as it has real sugar rather than HFCS. So? )


Jun. 5th, 2011 10:58 am
innocent_man: (hypnotoad)
First one, then t'other.

The Show Must Go On! )

So there's that. And now this! Misspent Youth. )
innocent_man: (absurdities)
So! Yesterday was the Rapture. Snerk.

No, really, yesterday we played Misspent Youth for the first time. I really enjoyed the game, and I'm looking forward to next session, now that we all have a sense of how the game works. If you need a refresher for the setting we came up with, here.

Couldn't have planned it better. )
innocent_man: (absurdities)
The icon's appropriate, I swear.

So yesterday, in addition to making yummy stir-fry, we created our setting and characters for Misspent Youth. I've mentioned the game before (made a character here), and we were supposed to make characters last month, but we had a change of gamers and now here we are.

The game is available for free download here. It's billed on that page as a sci-fi game, but nothing says that you couldn't do fantasy or any other genre that tickles you. The setting is group-defined, and there's a great deal of structure to doing that. And it all seems to work fine.

First thing, the games asks you to consider the Authority. The question is, what do bullies do that pisses you off? What would be anger-making in a regime? Almost immediately, the group went to a hyper-religious state (early inspiration: The Handmaid's Tale). I wish to point out that this wasn't my idea, although obviously I was quite happy to run with it.

Anyway, one player brought up the Quiverfull movement, which is basically a Christian school of thought that eschews birth control (and, obviously, abortion) because children are a blessing from God or some bullshit (just from reading the wiki: birth control is sent from the Devil to prevent children that God wanted conceived from being born. Um, OK. So the Devil can outfox God on occasion?). The notion that they're basically trying to do that in order to skew the nation's numbers through sheer population explosion is one I find a little unlikely, at least from the little I've read, but it's a pretty obviously sexist sect. Anyway, we kind of took that philosophy to a dark place and ran with it.

So, in our near-future, the Nation of Christ has taken over most of Texas. They're OK with technology and science in general (as long as it doesn't get into the biological sciences of evolution, because I DINT COME FROM NO MONKAHS!), and they've got some oil reserves they're using as leverage. But they're also still trying to expand, take more territory, and soon.

The quick description is "fanatical, fundamentalist theocracy in former Texas." The Vice is Absolutism (we're right. God says so). The Victim is Freedom (they prey on everything, but Freedom is the first victim). The Visage is, obviously, Religious. And the Need is expressed as: "Expand to bring on the Rapture."

The rating for our little movie of Misspent Youth is UR. The MPAA didn't want to hear it, I guess. I'm fine with that.

So then we get our Systems of Control. These are sci-fi-ish things that the Nation of Christ uses to keep everybody in line. Each player makes one up, so we wound up with:

  • The Redeemers. These guys come to your house and do "interventions" if you aren't faithful enough, and they take the guise of a helpful intervention group. They talk to you alone, and then you're pious again. No one is sure exactly what they do to make that happen.
  • The Maidens. Young women are expected to become mothers quickly. These are a kind of elite group of young women who act as watchdogs and moral whistleblowers. They wear rings (inspired by the "promise rings" of today's misguided youth). They control their peers by shaming, tattling and siccing the undersexed, overaggressive boys of the society on people (which sometimes winds up with houses burnt).
  • Golgotha Squares. Every community has one of these, with a number of crosses. Always an odd number, with the big one empty (or, in some places, with a holographic Jesus on it). As a punitive measure, people can be lashed to those crosses, beaten, rocks thrown, and so on.
  • The Military. The first son of every mother is automatically conscripted. Gun ownership is compulsory. Everyone is armed and devout.
  • A woman that fails to bear a viable child (stillbirth, miscarriage) is treating as "owing a soul" to God. That woman then has to convert someone; even if she later bears a child, she's still one under quota, as it were.

As far as other stuff that isn't covered here goes, people are also named using two words from a random Bible passage (chosen at birth). Family names are a thing of the past, because there's too much cross-pollination going on (and everyone raises the kids). There's a caste system in place, and people who don't believe or believe in other faiths and branded and knocked to the bottom of the ladder. People who then convert are then re-branded and given a special status (more joy for the one lamb found than the thousands served with mint jelly, or something).

Now, the characters have an Exploit. In this case, it's a hacker/podcaster named 8337Z38U8 (it's a word, figure it out). No one is sure who "he" is, but he broadcasts to the youth, a small chunk of a message at a time, sometimes encoded in classic rock. He's here to help.

The characters! I include their given name (the "two words from the Bible" thing), their nickname (spot the trend! And it's not just that they all begin with "j") and other relevant traits. The characters are all smugglers and human traffickers (getting the people the fuck out of the Nation of Christ. At least some of their parents are involved, too.

  • Michelle plays Soul Magnifies, or as her friends call her, Joan. She's a former Maiden whose fallen from grace. She's the face - and the Jezebel - of the group. Means: Cool. Motive: Outrage. Opportunity: Trusted. M.O.: "Hello, Daddy, Hello Mom" (Face/Jezebel). Disorder: "I wanna walk, but I run back to you." (Good girl)
  • Jess plays Steadfast Love (can't link to the chapter and verse because Jess didn't write it down). Her parents raised her kind of off the grid, or as close as you get in the Nation of Christ. She's a CD pirate, kind of hippy, vegan. Her friends call her Janis. Means: Smart. Motive: Altruism. Opportunity: Orphan. M.O.: Hippy CD Pirate/Activist. Disorder: "My unhappy, my unlucky, my little girl blue."
  • Mike plays Abraham Saddled, but his friends called him Jethro. Jethro is wheelman, good at driving defensively and otherwise. He saw his brother get a visit from the Redeemers, and that was enough to piss him off good and proper. Mostly, though, he likes driving. Means: Fast. Motive: Thrills. Opportunity: Rich. M.O.: Wheelman. Disorder: "When the all-time winner has got him by the balls."
  • Rob plays Roaring Lion. He's a rabble-rouser, good at getting people fired up. His friends just call him Joey. (Rob doesn't take a lot of notes, so I'm a little at a loss here - don't remember exactly what was discussed about him.) Means: Bad. Motive: Optimism. Opportunity: Pretty. M.O.: "Hey, ho, let's go!". Disorder: "I don't want to grow up."
  • John plays Samson Fell, or Jimi, if you like. Jimi is a tough kid. He's sneaky and he's easy to miss, but people studiously ignore him - he was branded for blasphemy. He's of African-American extraction, and wears hats (these are on the character sheet, so I mention them here.) Means: Tough. Motive: Pride. Opportunity: Sneaky. M.O.: Between the cracks. Disorder: "Kiss the sky."

There ya have it. Next time, we'll play our first episode.
innocent_man: (support)
I posed the question today to my family, in light of the notion that more damning evidence of wrongdoing will arise from WikiLeaks: SFW? What, at this point, could nudge the American people into meaningful outrage? And what would that be, anyway? Vote for the other guy? We've done that (most of us), whoever the other guy is, and I can't remember who said it, but I'm thinking we basically have the pro-choice corporate party and the pro-life anti-choice corporate party. Is the only meaningful thing left to do start setting stuff on fire?

I don't know. It's not a question I'm remotely equipped to answer. Personally, I'm big on pushing a reset button when the game has gotten too fucked up for my taste, but maybe that's not analogous.

Anyway, with all that in mind:

The Game: Misspent Youth
The Publisher: Robert Bohl. Looks wholly self-published, which gives me hope.
Degree of Familiarity: None. I've read it. It was one of several games I took with me to Arizona, read, and thought, "ooh, must run it." I've run the other two, by the way, so this one's next, if I can get people interested.
Books Required: Just the one.

We're gonna rise above! )


innocent_man: (Default)

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