Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The World Turned Upside Down



Amongst my game club mates, I am well known for having particularly poor results at die rolling. In real life (RL), out in the harsh and unforgiving world, my luck pretty much parallels my gaming luck. Don't stop reading here, the important bit is below.

This is not a sob story or a "pity me" post, but rather a public acknowledgement that whenever life presents me with two outcomes, the worst one is what I am typically left with. Just today, in fact, a very promising voice mail was dashed to bits when I discovered that it was from two weeks ago and I only today received the incoming voice mail from my cell carrier.  A great chance for employment vanished in the time it took for someone to say "I am sorry, but I left that message almost three weeks ago, the position has been filled."

Yes, the rising level of frustration is very much like that of a volcano just prior to an eruption.

So, as a bit of therapy I took myself to the local game store, looking for some old friends in print. Having recently sold of some more of the remainder of my Games Workshop miniatures collection (yes, the parts that weren't stolen last summer), I had enough dosh to make a small purchase.

I don't know about you, but I have been an avid gamer since before I was a teen. I was severely bullied as a child (for some reason, intelligence is viewed as a BAD thing in public school) and my escape was through gaming with other "outcasts" from the various social groupings that are usually found in school. My time in the Marine Corps pretty much put paid to any attempts to bully me, but when adult life throws yet another brick at my head (there is another true story there) I fall back to memories of roleplaying with my mates over 30 years ago.

Which is where the important bit of this post enters. If you have not read Knights of the Dinner Table (aka KODT), then run, don't walk...or simply click THIS link here: Knights of the Dinner Table and take a gander at a bit of what is offered. If you are even remotely amused or if you laugh out loud at any part of it (like I am wont to do), then do yourself (and possibly your mates) a favor and buy some issues of this magical, mystical, and therapeutic treasure.

The publisher, Kenzer & Co.  is a great company. A few years back, before my divorce induced poverty, I subscribed to the monthly offering of KODT and enjoyed the hell out of it. I also bought of few of their roleplaying supplements and two of their RPG core rules (which have since been replaced by new editions that I have yet to acquire). Today, I was fortunate enough to pick up three back issues, which have served (as expected)  to pick me up a bit following the bad news I mentioned above.

Essentially, KODT is a comic relating situations and storylines that roleplayers and miniature gamers (and boardgamers) would be familiar with and find humorous. The characters and the comic has a long history, found elsewhere on the net (go to the links above and poke around for it) and some of the bits from the stories go back almost two decades. Sometimes, I am inspired by the contents and I always feel a bit better after reading it (on several occasions, I laughed out loud for extended periods of time as I could place myself exactly in the storyline).

So, my point is, even it feels like the GM/DM of life is doing everything He can to screw with your character (you!), there are still escape routes and paths to riches and treasures to be found. When I don't have extra spending money (which is the usual condition), I spend an hour or two reading other gaming blogs, and wish and dream and plan. Hell, one can always plan for a brighter future and what one would do with it should it arrive.

If you would, please repost this, or an edited version of it, on your own blog, if you have one, providing a link back here. I am sure there are gamers out there who are in even worse situations than my own and who just need a mate, a blog post, or even a silly comic book to give them a bright spark to hold on to. Hope is a good thing. It is what makes the unendurable a bit more bearable.

Also, if you happen to like KODT or any of the Kenzer & Co products, after you follow the links above, let the publisher know about my little post here, which hopefully inspired you to read KODT each month for the long term. I am just a small fish in a very large pond, so I don't expect anything, but having someone, somewhere, know that they help others cope with the crap that life brings is a GOOD thing.

Wouldn't you agree?

21 comments:

  1. I love KotDT. A friend of mine used to subscribe, so i'd read it when he was done with it. The writing and stories are really good, not just funny, but it pulls you in. I'd get caught up in the stories of the players and their characters. It really is a fun comic. And I agree.. sometimes it's these small moments of amusement that are the only bright spot, so they're vital. Everyone's own problems are worse for them than someone else's problems, even if worse, so it doesn't matter much if someone says their problems are worse than yours..not like it helps, but I can say I've had the worst luck and problems of any person I know.. at one of the lowest times this comic did help me a lot. Hope is great, but sometimes u don't even have that, but being able to laugh & escape is a close second.

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    1. I first started reading KODT around issue 27, but I first saw the individual strips when published in Shadis and Dragon. I didn't realize that a dedicated comic existed until long after #1 became unavailable.

      The storyline of a decade long WWI boardgame being held in a certain basement reminds me of some of the massive boardgames that never really got past the set-up stage or perhaps the first turn.

      As to life and RL problems, I agree that we all see our own as being the worst, due to our proximity to them. My own frustration is at the near total lack of response to employment inquiries or in the case mentioned in the post, an opportunity arises only to be missed due to circumstances out of my control.

      All gamers, just as all people, face similar situations throughout life, but the point of my post was that even the simplest of things, like a gaming related comic book, can provide a bright enough spark that not all seems to be darkness and depressing.

      I view this as a better alternative to escape through the use of addictive chemicals or even to wallowing in depression and stress.

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  2. Will do Justin, I'm just running a little bit behind on checking the blogs.

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    1. Sean, thank you for your own blogpost. I wondered what caused me to gain 10 new followers in two days, until I went through my reading list and saw your post. I do appreciate it. More importantly, I hope some folks will take a look at KODT and also be aware of their own mates who may be in a tough spot.

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  3. Well Justin, old buddy, old bean, old pal, I've just been sent along by Sean (from his Wargames Corner) for a read and an introduction, so to speak. I'll whack a heads up on my blog and see what transpires. I ought to warn you though that some of the people who appear to read it might not be the kind of person you'd like to share a pew with. Nevertheless, we can give it a go eh?

    If it restores your faith in how totally shitty life can be, yes, you do have worse luck than me, but you are lucky that I'm on the other side of the Atlantic (or maybe, in your case, you'd prefer to think of it as the Pacific and lots of dry bits).

    This is a good blog to read. You might want to keep it up - you owe me that much for having that "figure-out-this-bloody-word" security.

    I'm now off to raid your other blogs . . . .

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    1. 'ere, there was no "figure-out-this-bloody-word" security!

      :O)

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    2. I used to spend a lot of time in pews, lapsed catholic......but once in.........never out Gary, really sorry to hear the Justin, life has a way of kicking you in the bollox but hopefully we can smile or bullshit our way through it, I have a job at the moment that doesn't earn me enough but I do it as it helps to survive a little longer until life stops jumping on your nuts!

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    3. I've given up sitting on pews, splinters in the derriere!! Hi Justin popped over at the behest of both Sean and Gary, nice blog of which I shall pay more attention now I know of it existence! Any how keep your chin up, coz face planting hurts:)

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    4. Gary, I appreciate your kind words. Yes, I do not use what passes for crypto-security on Blogger as it is a PITA to deal with and I'd rather have comments then give people reasons to leave off.

      I have not posted but a small fraction of my rather poor luck here. I feel most would think I was a liar were I to post even a quarter of events and outcomes. However, we probably all have stories of bad and lousy "luck" whether it be fate or whatnot.

      For me, I usually just consider that the past 20 years of terrible luck are a prelude to something better... Yes, I may be a tad naive, but what else can one do?

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    5. Fran, I do regularly attend church, but much like Fitzwilliam Darcy, I do not feel comfortable in recommending myself to people whom I do not know. Yet, the passion for wargaming that we bloggers possess is what allows me to act outside my normal range of behavior and to participate with others who have this same interest.

      As to life... Yes, there are particular instances in past two decades, but most especially sine 2006, where it felt as though someone took a keen delight in aiming for the danglies.

      I am trying to start a hobby related business with a mate who is also in dire economic straights, but our combined lack of resources continues to push this goal past our reach. Good luck in your own job search/upgrade.

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    6. Andrew, thank you for your support! The internet holds fast wealth in well hidden places. I am certain there are blogs that I have yet to come across which are ones I wish I knew about.

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  4. That was a bummer about the job, keep your chin up Justin, your lucks bound to turn around in the end.

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    1. Thanks, Ray. I know you and Fran have had your own employment worries this past year. The local employment situation for my county is really atrocious and were it not for my kids, I would have already moved out of state for better prospects elsewhere.

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  5. I wandered over from Gary's blog; it's been a long time since I've read KoDT, thanks for the reminder. Hang in there, it will get better, and there's always hope to make the convention next year; one of these days I will attend Origins again...

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    1. Thank you, Mike. Yes, do read KODT, I don't think gamers can go wrong with it. I've never been to Origins, even when I lived in Wisconsin. I just could not put the time and money together. It also didn't help that I worked for a game distributor and was expected to work at the office, while the bosses were at the con. Good luck with your return!

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  6. Just popped over to wish you some good luck Justin! You can blame Sean for this!

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    1. Thanks Rodger! I will happily take any amount of good luck that I can get. I can do with a bit of change.

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  7. Haven't read KOTDT yet, but I can understand how it helps you out in your times of trials and tribulation. You sound like you possess a very strong and stoic character. Dean

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  8. Dean, thank you. I am sure you will find KODT to be entertaining, if not to the same extent as myself. While Sean did not get the humor in the clip I linked to, he did find one that appealed to him. That is the beauty of the comic, there IS something for every gamer.

    While I am a religious person, stoicism is a personal philosophy that I also try to model my reactions after. In response to Cicero, I do strive to not worry about things I cannot change or correct, but I don't always win that battle.

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  9. I also came in to wish you good luck! After what I have been reading on top, I think you can use all the luck you can get!

    I will have a look at the KODT sometime later on!

    Greetings
    Peter

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    1. Thank you, Peter. Yes, do check out KODT, it is well worth your time.

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