Even the crappy work coffee is denied to me this day. I am one of those people who cannot stand black coffee, and we are out of milk. My son, he just drank the last of it before drifting back to sleep, leaving me here to contemplate a trip to the grocery prior to heading to work. I need to buy gasoline, anyway, so I suppose I'll aim to leave a bit earlier than usual. I'm awake. I may as well.
I spent much of the weekend and Monday feeling good, but now I've got a somewhat stuffy nose and a scratchy feeling in the back of my throat. It's as if someone coated the area of throat behind my nasal passages with thick, industrial grade rubber cement. Not good. Perhaps this is only a momentary inconvenience. Perhaps not.
Last night's game went well. I had to prep dinner for my family (not to mention eat), so I was fifteen minutes late. It was a fifteen minutes that must have been vital, because I felt like I was constantly asking questions that JD was answering with, "Weren't you here when we talked about that?"
I'm still getting a grip on the character I'm playing, and I'm up to three pages on a backstory which I'll post once I'm finished with it. I'm not sure if JD is one of those DMs who awards XP for back-stories; I've played with folks who did, and with folks who didn't. In the end, it doesn't really matter to me, so long as I know where my character is coming from and where he intends to go. I'm not working to snag the proverbial carrot on the end of a stick.
It reminds me of a time when I was running Dark Sun, and I was prone to awarding XP to folks for back stories. They had to be at least a page, but writing ability wasn't the important part; it was effort. If someone sat down and hacked out a page of background for me, I was happy to award them a little something extra. In the long run, it really didn't make that much difference, especially at higher levels when the experience chart leveled out somewhat.
Still, one of the players handed in a backstory. I awarded him XP, and we played the game. Afterwards, I read what he'd given me, and it seemed somewhat...familiar. So I went looking, and discovered that he'd taken two stories from two different Dark Sun web sites, tied them together with a single sentence, and changed the name of the main character to match his own. When I confronted him about it, he admitted what he'd done. He wasn't a good writer, he said, and he figured I wouldn't mind what he referred to as creative plagiarism.
I tried to explain that it wasn't about quality or quantity, so much as it was about effort. All I expected was for players to try. I wasn't expecting Shakespeare. In effect, the stories made my life easier because they often provided hooks and information on PCs that I could implement into the current game, thereby tying them into the plot at a more personal level. In the end, I recinded his XP award for the story and told him I wouldn't accept any back-stories from him for a period of time. He didn't seem to care overmuch, except that he did tell me not to mention it to any of the other players.
Well, that's that. I've killed a few minutes I should've spent in the shower, especially since I'll be departing a little early.