Archive for John Owen

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May 2023 - "Ycladd in mightie armes and silver shielde, / Wherein old dints of deepe wounds did remaine," -ES

Board Game: Carcassonne
Board Game: Chess
Board Game: Gin Rummy
Board Game: Hearts
Board Game: Scopa
Board Game: Sea Salt & Paper
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
Board Game: Tikal
Board Game: Acorns
Board Game: Tori Shogi
Board Game: No Mercy
Board Game: Strike
Board Game: The Royal Game of Ur
Board Game: Trike
Board Game: Turncoats
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel
Board Game: Dominion
Board Game: Meridians
Board Game: Noodlin'
Board Game: Pig
Board Game: UNO
Board Game: Disci
Board Game: Just One
Board Game: Qawale
Board Game: Yahtzee

 10   Carcassonne (27 all-time)
 10   Chess x4 (109 all-time)
 10   Gin Rummy x2 (6 all-time)
 10   Hearts (10 all-time)
 10   Scopa x2 (11 all-time)
 10   Sea Salt & Paper (8 all-time)
 10   Tigris & Euphrates x2 (23 all-time)
 10   Tikal (16 all-time)
 9   Acorns (2 all-time)
 8   Tori Shogi NEW!
 7   No Mercy x3 (24 all-time)
 7   Strike (42 all-time)
 7   The Royal Game of Ur x2 (8 all-time)
 7   Trike x2 NEW!
 7   Turncoats x4 (14 all-time)
 7   Unpublished Prototype x3 (22 all-time)
 6   7 Wonders Duel (6 all-time)
 6   Dominion (18 all-time)
 6   Meridians x2 NEW!
 6   Noodlin' NEW!
 6   Pig (3 all-time)
 6   UNO x11 (33 all-time)
 5   Disci x2 NEW!
 5   Just One (2 all-time)
 5   Qawale x2 NEW!
 5   Yahtzee (2 all-time)

A lot of great gaming. Look at all of those green boxed 10s. But even all of those lesser colors, those lesser numbers... I'm satisfied with all of my gaming this past month. It was a good month. I had 19 people show up at my chess club and that was wonderful.

Acorns is probably a 10. I'm just giving it some time. The best "game day" this month was playing cards with Abigail while waiting in line early at the Ithaca book sale. SS&P and Acorns. I'm hoping to make playing those two games with her a regular routine on the Saturdays that I don't have to work. She enjoys both of the games which makes me enjoy both of the games even more than I already do.


Ithaca book sale? Yeah, it was May. I bought a lot of new books.

I read a lot, but nothing really to report, bits and pieces of a whole lot of things. I'm okay with this, but it doesn't make for any tidy monthly reports.

Slow reading.

I'm close to finished with Moby-Dick and still think it's among the greatest things I've ever read. I'm reluctant to finish it, but I also think that I'm just going to immediately re-read, maybe a chapter a week or so, forever into the future. I'd be okay with that. It feels like hyperbole, but it really isn't. It's a capital-G capital-B Great Book.

I'm about halfway through my read of Brothers Karamazov and find myself crying at odd times. Enough about that.

I'm reading J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World, which was sardonically cool Climate Fiction before Cli-Fi was a thing. If pushed, I'd describe Ballard's prose as swampy, heavy, florid, and in this context I only mean that in the best possible way.

I'm also reading (and so far greatly enjoying) Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster. Brautigan has been recommended to me a few times over the years. This "Gothic Western" finally caught my interest and got me reading.


As for motion pictures, I'll probably wait and write more later. In the meantime, here...

Top Ten Movies From Each of My Co-Workers' Birth Years

Without commentary. These lists are a mix of nostalgia, half-remembered appreciations from many years ago, and a strong handful of favorites that I either rewatch fairly frequently and/or already know forwards and backwards from past repeated re-watches. 1970 obviously defeated me. I'm not sure if it's a particularly weak year or if there are just a bunch of gems that I'm ignorant of.

Speaking of my ignorance, while looking up movies from each year, I inevitably came up against many, many films that I haven't seen, at least two or three, sometimes up to a dozen or so, from each year, that I think would have great chances of making my list if I had seen them.

But I haven't seen so much. One alternate timeline for me has me living on the streets, scrapping together money for movie tickets.

Here goes:

Ride Lonesome
North by Northwest
Rio Bravo
The 400 Blows
Day of the Outlaw
Some Like it Hot
Anatomy of a Murder
The Shaggy Dog

Eyes Without a Face
Comanche Station
The Apartment
The Time Machine
North to Alaska
The Virgin Spring
The Magnificent Seven

The Hustler
Blast of Silence
An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge
The Parent Trap
One Hundred and One Dalmations
Through a Glass Darkly
The Steamroller and the Violin
The Absent-Minded Professor
Presentation, or Charlotte and Her Steak

Claire's Knee
Five Easy Pieces
Even Dwarfs Started Small

F for Fake
Mean Streets
The Wicker Man
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Fantastic Planet
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
The Sting
Charlotte's Web

The Muppet Movie
The Great American Chase
Wise Blood
My Brilliant Career
Camera Buff
The Plumber
Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro
Rocky II

Return of the Jedi
Local Hero
Sans Soleil
Pauline at the Beach
Tender Mercies
Superman III

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
The NeverEnding Story
Paris, Texas
Blood Simple
The Terminator
Stranger Than Paradise
The Brother From Another Planet
The Muppets Take Manhattan
The Karate Kid

Return to Oz
Back to the Future
Better Off Dead
The Stuff
The Breakfast Club
Follow That Bird
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
The Goonies
After Hours
Day of the Dead

The Fisher King
Rubin & Ed
Barton Fink
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
What About Bob?
Thelma & Louise
Toy Soldiers
Black Robe
Boyz n the Hood
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Fri Jun 2, 2023 11:33 pm
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Top Twenty Top Ten Lists I've Made in the Last Month or So.

I played Hearts last night and it was fantastic. Hearts is always fantastic. Why do I play anything other than Hearts?

Related, I have a question to those of you have played a ton of Hearts. Do you think that Shooting the Moon is easier at 3p than 4p? Last night was my first time playing 3p so I could be completely wrong about this, but that was the feeling that I got.

This post is not about Hearts.

It's my blog and I'll do what I want to do to earn those unsubscribers.


A few of us at work have gone crazy with lists lately. Since this blog is no longer about tabletop games (until it is again), here's a list of lists without any further comment.

Feel free to argue with me about any of these. I'd also to see any of your own lists.


Top Ten Novels of the Last Ten Years Roughly Ranked
Treacle Walker
The Buried Giant
Anthropocene Rag
Station Eleven
Medusa’s Web
Universal Harvester
The Risen
Joan is Okay

(This is the list that started the list-making spree. What are the ten best books of the last ten years? I feel good about the top 5. I love Treacle Walker and The Buried Giant more than most others do. Anthropocene Rag is the only genre SF that I’ve really respected from the last 10 years. Station Eleven and Homegoing are my nods to LitFic, where I’m sure there’s still good stuff being written, but I hardly ever see it if it is.The next 5 on the list I could take or leave. I’m mixed on all of them, but they came to mind as stuff to fill out the list. I wouldn’t be upset if they all disappeared. I’m somewhat interested in Franzen’s current project and will read the next novels following Crossroads. Medusa’s Web is the last Powers book I enjoyed; I haven’t really cared for any of his novels since. Universal Harvester’s mood stuck with me, but I’m not sure if there was anything there. The Risen is Rash, who I like better as a short story writer. Joan is the last LitFic novel that I read and enjoyed, though it’s not something that I think I’ll want to re-read, which should be an automatic disqualification for any list, but there it is just the same. I don’t have enough current books to fill a list of ten. The #1 takeaway from this list is that I’m not a fan of contemporary literature. I don’t read much of it. I rarely love it when I do.)

Top Ten 2000-2012 In No Particular Order
The Knights of the Cornerstone
American Gods
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
No Country for Old Men
The Name of the Wind
Wise Man’s Fear
Singularity Sky
Echo Park

(Another weird list proving that I’m not your guy if you’re interested in contemporary literature. But I can at least justify almost all of these books. Knights of the Cornerstone is my favorite Blaylock, probably not Blaylock’s best, but the one that I find the most re-readable/loveable. American Gods is a book that I’m not even sure I like, but I’ve read it three times, and think that it’s among the most important sf/f books of the past few decades. Kavalier and Clay I loved when it came out, but I’ve never returned to it. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the Armitage translation, a bit of a cheat, but it has become my favorite version. No Country for Old Men is quite good. I’ve been meaning to read older McCarthy. I also like his Sunset Limited. I have a problem with some of the MarySue-ish-ness of the Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear among other things that bug me, but… these two books are the only fantasy books that I’ve read in the last twenty years that made me feel like a little kid again, just so happy to be caught up in a giant story. It has been a long time since I’ve read Singularity Sky so I don’t even know if it’s any good, but I bring up its central “Cornucopia Machine” premise fairly often, so I know that the book has stuck with me. I should re-read it. Similarly, I remember the “mood” of Tinkers but not much else. As for Echo Park, it’s a stand-in for the entire Bosch series. I don’t remember hardly anything about any of the plots, but I burned through more than a dozen of those Bosch books in the late 00s.)


The Twentieth Century
The Ten Best Novels

The Man Who Was Thursday
The Sword in the Stone
The Little Prince
The Broken Sword
The Lord of the Rings
The Sirens of Titan
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
The Devil is Dead
The Drawing of the Dark
The Book of the New Sun

(The 20th Century is what shaped me and is still where I spent much of my time in terms of literature/arts. I had a shortlist of at least 50 books for this list. I couldn’t figure out how to narrow it down, then I stumbled onto the incredibly stupid gimmick of only listing books that began with the word ‘The’. So, yes, this list is artificial and not entirely reflective of a ‘desert island’ list, but I still think it’s a great list. All of the above are favorites and I would recommend all of the above with no reservations (or minor reservations depending on the audience.)


Top Ten Anthologies/Collections
An Anthology of Famous American Stories edited by Angus Burrell and Bennet Cerf
Great Tales of Terror & the Supernatural edited by Herbert Wise and Phyllis Fraser
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964 edited by Robert Silverberg
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two A edited by Ben Bova
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two B edited by Ben Bova
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Tales Before Tolkien edited by Douglas A. Anderson
The Rediscovery of Man edited by James A. Mann
The Man Who Talled Tales edited by The Books of Sand
The Complete Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson edited by Barry Menikoff
Bonus! The Year’s Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois (all 35 volumes)

(Confession: I have not read all of the stories in all of the above collections. But I’ve read a lot of them. And if I had to pick a collection of short story anthologies to take with me to a desert island, the above list would be 100% what I’d pick.)


Top Ten Video Games
Tower Fall
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
ToeJam & Earl
Super Mario World
Shining Force
Mario Kart
Street Fighter II Turbo

(This is a nostalgia list, but it isn’t just a nostalgia list. Video games have moved on without me. I’m not a fan of 3D worlds, first-person shooters, online play, or whatever else is popular. I mostly like my video games the same way I like my board games, played in person with other people.)


Top 10 Movies Aughts
La Moustache
The New World
Still Life
La France
No Country for Old Men
The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
There Will Be Blood
A Serious Man

(This is mostly based off of memory and a few previous lists. I would love take a few days off from work, rent a cinema, and re-watch all of these right now.)


Top 10 Movies All-Time
On the Waterfront
3:10 to Yuma
Blast of Silence
The Hustler
Minnie and Moskowitz
The Great American Chase
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Rubin & Ed
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Julien Donkey-Boy

(If the above aughts list is personal and idiosyncratic, this one is doubly so. I’ve made all-time top tens, top twenty-fives, top one hundreds, and I’ve toyed with the idea of making a top one thousand list. These ten here are all films that I’ve at one point or another used as the answer to “What is your one favorite film?” That question is even more impossible to answer than a list of ten, but all of these films (and more) are right there at the top, great for so many objective and subjective reasons.)


Top 10 TV
The Twilight Zone
Fraggle Rock
Sesame Street
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
Land of the Lost
The Outer Limits
Monty Python's Flying Circus
At the Movies
The Muppet Show
Star Trek: The Next Generation

(I miss intelligent television.)


Top 10 Hanna-Barbera Productions
Wacky Races
The Herculoids
Thundarr the Barbarian
Space Ghost and Dino Boy
Birdman and the Galaxy Trio
Hong Kong Phooey
The Pirates of Dark Water
The Smurfs
The Quick Draw McGraw Show
Scooby’s All-Star Laff-Lympics

(This was a bit of a joke list, but I stand by these choices. I haven’t re-watched most of these in years, but I did recently purchase a Herculoids blu-ray that I need to watch with the kids.)


Top 10 1950s Westerns
Johnny Guitar
River of No Return
Decision at Sundown
The Searchers
3:10 to Yuma
Night Passage
The Tall T
Terror in a Texas Town
Ride Lonesome

(It’s Chris C’s fault that I made this list. I should do an ‘all-time’ Westerns list, but I often freeze when options are too wide open. I need restrictions even if they’re self-imposed!)


1860-1968 American Recordings - Favorites
American Folksongs for Children - Mike & Peggy Seeger
The Complete Blind Willie Johnson - Blind Willie Johnson
The Complete Studio Recordings - Mississippi John Hurt
Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes - John Fahey
Devil Got My Woman - Skip James
His Folkways Years 1963-1968 - Dock Boggs
Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes - Elizabeth Cotten
The High Lonesome Sound - Roscoe Holcomb
My Rough and Rowdy Ways - Jimmie Rodgers
This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1 - Woody Guthrie

(My initial response to an “all-time” albums list was to just refuse to do it and instead come up with my favorite “collections” of songs, all entirely American. I love lots of world music, but I am naturally most steeped in the Anglo tradition which is reflected above. It’s a tradition that I love.)


1968-2023 American Recordings - “Concept” Albums Kinda/Sorta/Maybe - Favorites
The Voice of the Turtle - John Fahey
Zaireeka - The Flaming Lips
1st Imaginary symphony for Nomad - The Music Tapes
69 Love Songs - The Magnetic Fields
De La Soul is Dead - De La Soul
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Surf's Up - The Beach Boys
Liquid Swords - Genius/GZA
The Gay Parade - Of Montreal
Amalgamated Sons of Rest - Amalgamated Sons of Rest

(This was an attempt to make a more honest albums list, but limiting the list to albums that I felt were doing something interesting as albums and not just as collections of songs. The Amalgamated Sons of Rest album is on there just because I needed to include Jason Molina, Will Oldham, and Alasdair Roberts and not because it’s a great album; in short, it’s what’s called “a cheat”.)


1990s - Ten Albums/EPs I Probably Listened to More Than You Did - Favorites
Deep Dead Blue - Bill Frissell & Elvis Costello (1995)
The Diamond Sea EP - Sonic Youth (1995)
Dusk - The The (1993)
Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos (1992)
Flood - They Might Be Giants (1990)
Mermaid Avenue - Billy Bragg & Wilco (1998)
The Mollusk - Ween (1997)
Ocean Songs - Dirty Three (1998)
So Tonight That I Might See - Mazzy Star (1993)
Violator - Depeche Mode (1990)

(Another list that could easily be doubled or tripled. The idea is right there in the title. I tried to pick only albums that I genuinely thought I had listened to more than anyone else who was going to see the list. And they’re all 1990s albums, when I was a young person with nothing but time, time, time.)


1990s - 11 Rap/Hip-Hop Albums - Favorites
3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of… - Arrested Development (1992)
De La Soul is Dead - De La Soul (1991)
Fear of a Black Planet - Public Enemy (1990)
Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai (Music From The Motion Picture) - RZA (1999)
Liquid Swords - Genius/GZA (1995)
The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest (1991)
Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop - Anticon (1999)
Nia - Blackalicious (1999)
Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) - Digable Planets (1993)
Return of the Boom Bap - KRS-One (1993)
The Score - The Fugees (1996)

(More 1990s. The 1990s was when I still cared about hip-hop and cared about keeping up with music at all. I’m sure there’s still good stuff out there now, and I’ve found some of it, but I’m still mostly ignorant of what’s going on, and don’t like pop stuff at all.)


Top 10 Stouts
Old Rasputin
Strike Out Stout
Old No. 38
Burly Beard
Black Chocolate Stout
Milk Stout Nitro
Founders Breakfast Stout
Dragon’s Milk

(Self-explanatory. I’m sure I forgot something.)


Top 10 Breweries
North Coast
Cooperstown (before they were bought out)
Sierra Nevada
Oskar Blues
Beer Tree



RIP Dead Beers
Cooperstown Strike Out Stout
Brooklyn Pennant Ale ‘55
Galaxy Andromeda
Rogue Chipotle Ale

(Making the above lists made me realize that there are beers that I once loved that are now completely gone while so many worse beers remain. In general, I’ve been disappointed by the last decade’s move towards higher ABV, even while enjoying those higher ABV beers myself. Really great beers like Strike Out and Pennant Ale were low ABV and just eminently drinkable any time, any place. They were favorites. Also lost to me are North Coast’s Red Seal Ale and Old 38, both of which I remember loving. They’re still being made as far as I can tell, but they haven’t had distribution around here in at least over a decade. Anyhow, I know that there are at least five more beers that I could put on a list like this, but I gave up after four because the list was too sad.)


Top Ten Moonshiners
Roscoe Holcomb
Bob Dylan
Peter Rowan
Uncle Tupelo
Cat Power
Charlie Parr
PigPen Theatre
Jesse Stewart
Molly Tuttle
Tejon Street Corner Thieves


Top Ten Fish Including Shellfish

(This was written as a response to a Top Ten Phish Songs list.)


Top Ten Games I'd Rather Play Than Hearts Right Now

(This list remains blank. What a silly thing to try to list.)
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Fri May 26, 2023 6:48 pm
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Just One - An OG Spring Fest Archive Game THAT YOU CAN JOIN IN ON NOW.

I haven't been down on my basement pc since Saturday when I was playing games with some of the OG guild. Today, I opened up the browser and saw that I had left open a tab with BGA from the other day. A chat was there that had recorded our Just One game. Obviously, it looks like Just One somehow utilizes the chat feature on BGA as part of the game, which isn't evident while you play.

Anyhow, here for all of you is your chance to solve each word based on the clues given (go consult the Just One rules if you need to or just ignore this post if you need to).

Comment below with your guesses. All answers are given in spoiler tags below. Canceled clues are also hidden behind spoiler tags.

Turn 1

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Turn 2

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Turn 3

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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Turn 4

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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Turn 5

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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Turn 6

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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Turn 7

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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Turn 8

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Turn 9

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Turn 10

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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Wed May 24, 2023 12:11 am
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Necrophiliacs Anonymous

There have been 3 unsubscribers in the past week as I've put up quick posts about the public domain, songs, and eliminating kickstarter. There's a contrary part of me that is happy about this.

I don't even want to track these things, but BGG makes me aware of the subscriber count every time I log into my dashboard.

Most importantly...

This is your one and only chance to distance yourself from my perverse associations with necrophilia (start your own rumors). These associations are probably only related to my appreciation for a single Norm Macdonald bit in which he maintains that he's better than all that, but even so, you can't be too careful.


You're here for games talk?

Unsubscribe now!!!
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Sat May 20, 2023 12:04 am
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I did it. I kicked the habit.

From gallery of trawlerman
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Mon May 15, 2023 11:05 pm
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What is a song? #1 - Moonshiner

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Sun May 14, 2023 2:16 pm
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Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much.

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Sun May 14, 2023 12:14 am
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Do you even trad, bruh?

Once again, I wrote a comment that grew too large (and a little bit too off-topic) for the thread in which I was responding.

trawlerman wrote:
Shobu1701 wrote:
What would include the "traditional" term?
My criteria would be:
0. Dates don't matter.
1. Designed by (Uncredited) (though some exceptions exist).
2. In the public domain.
3. Uses a "traditional" deck (any widely produced "standard" deck that has ever been widely used. 32-card decks, 36-card decks, 40-card decks, 52-card decks, tarot decks, double, triple, quadruple decks, etc.)
3a. I would automatically disqualify Rook for its being copyrighted and its attempt to insist that it can only be played with a special custom commercial deck.
I've been thinking about this some more.

0. Dates don't matter. This stands as is.

1. and 2. Designed by Uncredited. In the public domain

I don't think this matters as much as I want it to, at least in the simplified way I've written it above. There's no doubt in my mind that David Parlett and Sean Ross and others are designing "traditional" games. So, "traditional" must mean something more than age, having an unknown designer, and not having a copyright slapped on a rules document.

But I still think that what makes a game a successful widely played traditional game is, in some sense, some sort of death of the author and an ignoring of any claim to copyright. David Parlett's website is copyrighted. That means that every time I printed off a rules page from that site, I was breaking the law. I was insisting that I had a right to print my own copy regardless of the copyright claim. I didn't do it, but I also would have had no problem printing rules and distributing them to others. I don't think that Parlett would have a problem with me printing the rules, but his claim to copyright is an assertion otherwise. It's this holding on to control in any limited sense that gives me some reservation about these being traditional games, that makes me want to suggest that these "invented games" fall just shy of traditional, because they are not fully let loose into the world.

Regardless, like any Hoyle before me, I could rewrite the rules even to any Parlett game and publish them in my own words. This is how "Hoyle" has done things for a long, long time. [Please don't take this to mean me suggesting that we should not give designers/inventors credit. I think we should. If the designer is alive, I think we should also show the designer some deference and ask permission before including their rules in any sort of published book meant to make a profit.]

Maybe the simple answer to the question, "Is this traditional?" is another question: "Could this be printed in a 2023 edition of According to Hoyle?" without a lawsuit or hard feelings?

I suspect that "traditional" rules need to be internalized and able to be transmitted orally and this needs to happen regularly and repeatedly.

It doesn't matter that Harold Vanderbilt tweaked the Bridge rules to his liking and then spent a bunch of money hosting a tournament with his rules to popularize those rules. What matters is that those rules were popular and they were adopted; alternate ways of playing Bridge still existed and these variations were still in some sense recognizably Bridge (a game in the Whist family with certain shared features). I think that it was widely known that Vanderbilt was behind some tweaks that became standard. I don't think that any Hoyle type books decided they had to ask his permission to print contract bridge rules (any more than they felt they had to ask permission to use the Hoyle moniker).

Something shifted in the last fifty years, almost certainly as a result of the rise of the "designer game" and designers' getting their names on game boxes (not to mention a general rise in everything being copyrighted, rights reserved, etc, into the future for as long as possible). Designers getting recognized has been great in some sense. I think it's good for designers to get a fair wage and not just let a big publishing house get away with owning the copyright without paying them. It has allowed for bargaining and better contracts. It has allowed for a small handful of designers to make a living designing games and allowed for a few more publishers to make a living publishing games. In the meantime, most involved still do this as a hobby, something that drains more time and money than it provides, while the big publishers continue to cash in on the popular earlier games that they don't have to pay anyone for anymore.

I don't know. I'm rambling, writing trying to figure out what I think of this through writing.


A "traditional" card game is any game using a recognizably historic common deck with rules that can be internalized and shared orally without permission from anyone else. The extent to which modern "invented games" will become solidly "traditional" relies on a community's feeling of freedom to share the game without any restraints.


These are all just exploratory thoughts. Feel free to push back and yell at me or whatever.
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Fri May 12, 2023 5:38 pm
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Desire. Just a reminder to myself.

Thou blind man's mark, thou fool's self-chosen snare,
Fond fancy's scum, and dregs of scattered thought;
Band of all evils, cradle of causeless care;
Thou web of will, whose end is never wrought;
Desire, desire! I have too dearly bought,
With price of mangled mind, thy worthless ware;
Too long, too long, asleep thou hast me brought,
Who shouldst my mind to higher things prepare.
But yet in vain thou hast my ruin sought;
In vain thou madest me to vain things aspire;
In vain thou kindlest all thy smoky fire;
For virtue hath this better lesson taught,—
Within myself to seek my only hire,
Desiring nought but how to kill desire.
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Thu May 11, 2023 6:00 pm
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In which ChatGPT demonstrates that it is not familiar with a Tichu deck.


Hello! How can I assist you today?

I've been debating something with online friends.

Sure, I'm happy to help. What's the topic you've been debating?

I'm wondering how you, as an AI, would respond to the following:

Sure thing! Please let me know the statement you'd like me to respond to.

Let's say I go in my game room right now, skip over my Tichu collection, grab a standard deck of 54 cards and an extra set of jokers. On the four jokers, I write in sharpee "Dragon," "Phoenix," "Dog," and "Bird." Then I teach a group of friends the rules of Tichu and we play with my new deck.

Did my group of friends and I just play Tichu? Or would playing Tichu involve playing a published version of the game?

Tichu is a specific card game that has been developed and published by a company, and it has a set of rules and game mechanics that are specific to that game. While it is possible to modify the game by adding or changing rules, using a different deck of cards, or adding custom card designs, it would not be accurate to say that you played "Tichu" with your custom deck unless you followed the core rules and mechanics of the original game.

It's also worth noting that the rules and mechanics of a game can be a significant part of what makes it enjoyable and challenging to play, so altering them too much could potentially change the overall experience of the game. However, if you and your friends enjoy playing with your custom deck and rules modifications, there's nothing wrong with that - it just wouldn't be considered a true game of Tichu.

Did my friends and I just play Tichu?

If you and your friends followed the core rules and mechanics of the game of Tichu while playing with your custom deck, then you could consider it to be a variation of Tichu. However, if you significantly altered the rules or mechanics of the game, then it might be more accurate to say that you played a game inspired by Tichu, rather than the original game itself. Ultimately, the label you choose to apply to your game will depend on how closely it adheres to the rules and mechanics of the original game, and whether you and your friends feel that it captures the spirit of Tichu.

Would you recognize that this was a different gaming experience than playing with a published Tichu deck?

As an AI language model, I don't have the ability to recognize or experience the nuances of playing games in the way that humans do. However, it is reasonable to assume that playing Tichu with a custom deck that includes additional cards with different names could create a slightly different gaming experience than playing the game with a published deck. This is because the addition of new cards with unique names and abilities would alter the game's dynamics and strategies, potentially leading to new and unexpected gameplay interactions. However, whether or not these changes result in a significantly different gaming experience would depend on the specific modifications made and how they affect the game.

Is my new creation (the standard deck I wrote on) a copy of Tichu?

No, your custom deck with additional cards that you wrote on is not a copy of Tichu, as it deviates significantly from the original game in terms of its components and rules. While Tichu is a specific card game with a defined set of rules and mechanics, your custom deck represents a variation or modification of the game that has been tailored to your preferences and play style. While it may share some similarities with Tichu, such as using a standard deck of cards and incorporating elements of trick-taking gameplay, it is a distinct creation that reflects your own unique vision for what a card game should be.
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Thu May 4, 2023 11:23 pm
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