Monday, September 28, 2009

[ 08 / 08 / 05 ] Have Team, Will Travel

Yeah , Yeah, I 'm a little late, but then, I never promised to keep to a schedule, did I?


today 's rant is brought to you by the letter irony.

Before we get to that, lets look back at what has emerged regarding the overall design goals and accomplishments I've expressed so far: we have a system of perpetual balance through all age levels of teams, luck and accompanying tiers of advancement removed from team development, and dishonest recordkeeping reduced to triviality. Each of these effects has resulted from its own end, and answered a specific need in kind, but taken together, they form a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Taken together, this system gives teams something magic - portability.

And it gives portability in many different contexts. A coach could play matches with his league team against any league team in any other league using the same system and be assured not only of a balanced match, but the essential nature of the balanced development curve would mean that that match could "count" with development rolls afterward without affecting the balance of either originating league. A coach also gains a measure of temporal portability - again, with developmental balance and no fear from matches played out of sight, they could play any number of inter-schedule friendlies or other matches, again, with full development and history in place. A coach could even take his league team to a tournament which has team building rules which follow the system and play them in their actual form, rather than simply reusing the miniatures.

A team in this system gains a broader, more robust life of its own. Your team is liberated from your league. It can survive the collapse of a gaming group, it can travel with you, it can have a full, glorious, and varied saga of its own and the games it plays, no matter how many or where they might be, will always be effectively well-matched.

I feel like a preacher - or maybe a used car salesman. You'll have to excuse me if I take on a bit of a messianic tone on this one, but at the end of the day, I think this may well be the gift to be found in the design I espouse, which is where we find the irony, since the original intention with which I began this journey was to create rules for myself to use in the vacuum of my dining room. It is quite by accident then that I wound up with a version of the game that offers so much to so many.

And why shouldn't the game have such a design? And why have the groups tasked with the care and fostering of the game outside of my house made such portability possible for us? We have in the community an organization whose stated goal is to enable and support Bloodbowl events, an organization that even tries to keep score on coaches' outcomes, yet they make no effort whatsoever to even validate those rankings with standardized formats, much less demanding or creating a rules foundation which would allow for the movement of results through their own web of events. In the world of missed opportunities, and in a game which has always been oppressed and mismanaged by those in positions of ownership and leadership, what is most depressing is that it is so easy to sort things out otherwise.

I am not saying the world should adopt my system, I never have and I never will. I am however offering a lament that when it has turned out to be so easy to create one that does offer these benefits, we as a community have never been given a rulebook that worked, and what is worse, there is no demand for it.