Monday, November 18, 2013

Fallen into Shadow.


Or possibly the Dark Side.  Over the years, I've been involved with a pretty wide range of socially marginal geekish pursuits.  RPGs, check.  Tabletop wargaming?  Check.  Comics, MMORPGs and other video games (before they mainstreamed), pulp sci-fi / fantasy, boardgames, check, check, check, check.  About the only "classic geek" pastimes I've not fallen for have been LARPing, and trading card games like Magic the Gathering.

And now it's down to LARPing.

I shall call him "Fluffy".

I did play Magic once, years ago, with a buddy who promptly demonstrated some kind of uber-combo with what I vaguely remember to be a flying, radioactive megalosaurus (I think that was the card), and beat me in a ridiculously low number of turns.  My impression of the game was "what's the point?", and it stuck with me for close to 20 years.

That's changed.  Some of the guys in the THMG have got a little mini-league going, specifically designed to ease those of us who are new into the game.  We've each bought an intro deck, are slowly buying booster packs of cards, and are trading among ourselves.  Turns out, when you're not up against people who are both much more experienced and have access to way more cards, the game is fun.

Step into my parlor.

I'm running a Green deck with some Black in it, which basically translates as a bunch of big gribbly monsters, along with some rather entertaining "Ha-ha, screw you!" cards.  Suits me to a "T", and so far has been good to learn with.  We're having fun.  I have to consistently fight down the urge to shout "Bwa-ha-ha-ha!  Sally forth, my minions!"

In Magic-tongue, Doomblade = "Screw you!"

What's been really interesting for me, however, is discovering the huge, and previously unknown, Magic culture out there.  It's like learning a new language, or something.  Not to mention my flabbergastation when I discovered that there are lots of people who will cheerfully drop $100 plus on 4 cards, if they're the right ones.  I've quickly moved from the "How to building a winning deck" articles, to the ones covering issues like "How to build a cheap, but not ineffective deck", "How to build a deck", and "What's a deck?" ;)  I've only played maybe half a dozen games, but I'm already reassessing what a good card is, and getting better at understanding some of the card evaluation articles out there.

For now, we're sticking to the rather limited format for the league, which is good, as it means there's a built-in check on what I can buy at the early, dangerously enthusiastic stage of my involvement with the game.  I can't see myself becoming one of the $100/4 card guys, but I can definitely see this as something I keep a toe in, assuming access to a pool of equally casual players.

But no LARPing.



  1. its a great game that I dabble in from time to time

  2. Flabbergastation? Wow! That's a good one! Noted...
    Is there no game in which you haven't dabbled?

  3. This is a great game if you have a group of players that aren't "whole hog" into it so that you don't really get to have fun. I used to have a great group that played what I would call at "medium speed" meaning they would buy some but not hundreds of cards and within the context of the group cards held power. With net-decking and mass purchases that characterize the majority of the community now though it just kind of ruins it : / Of course this is all just personal opinion!