|September 2011||Department||Article Title||Author|
|From the Editor||Jeff Zeitlin|
|Critics’ Corner||Supplement 11: Animal Encounters||“kafka”|
|System Book 1: Katringa||Timothy Collinson|
|Off the Table: Retief's Peace||Shannon Appelcline|
|Off the Table: Not in Our Stars||Shannon Appelcline|
|Raconteurs’ Rest||Drop Out (Part 8)||Ken Murphy|
|Doing It My Way||Food Availability and Traveller||Terry Gardner|
|Fifth Imperium||#21: Setting a Campaign: Subsectors of the Marches, Part One||Shannon Appelcline|
|Up Close and Personal||“Swede” Tormundson||Sam Swindell|
|Torrey Luis d'Orander||Ken Murphy|
|In A Store Near You||The Showroom: TL1 Covered Wagon||Ewan Quibell|
|The Showroom: Archer-class Planetary Missile Defence Submarine||Richard Perks|
|Portable Low Berth||Ewan Quibell|
|Active Measures||Getting Off The Ground: Reliquary||Nick Walker|
|Dragonhunters of Trane||J.E. Geoffrey|
|Kurishdam||At Home, We Do It Like This: Slice of Life: Synth-Meat||Mike Cross|
|Lecture Hall and Library: The 17th Disjuncture||David Drazul|
The articles listed and linked above are also linked in their appropriate sections of our website.
From the Editor
Last month, I exhorted the creative community to make a little extra effort and share their thoughts on the how and why of their creations, and closed by saying that doing so would promote others to really think about their own work, and thus the next generation of creations would be that much better. That generated a couple of ‘Why?’ questions in email, so I’m going to continue on that topic this month.
The ‘cross-pollination’ I mentioned comes from the availability of a broader base of knowledge, and a mental process that I’ve never heard a name for, where two seemingly-unrelated pieces of information suddenly ‘fit together’ and clarify and enhance one’s understanding of both. Whatever it’s called, I’ve seen it happen on the various forums more than once, and I’d like to think it happens occasionally when someone is reading an article here on something that interests them, and all of a sudden realizes that the author’s interesting idea isn’t just interesting, it also solves a reader’s problem.
But knowledge doesn’t exist in isolation. Once you know something, you know it, and are going to be unwilling (or less willing) to accept something that doesn’t ‘fit’ with what you know (that, incidentally, was the problem that a lot of people had with TNE’s Virus—it flew too hard in the face of what was already general knowledge about computers and viruses). And it doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about the real world, a space-opera setting, or high fantasy with strong magic—you might be willing to ignore real-world knowledge that isn’t presumptively part of the game world, but once something is established as being part of the game world, you won’t be willing to accept contradictions of that. That in turn means that your own creations are going to be more ‘in tune’ with the game world, and so will your critiques of others’ creations. It’s a self-reinforcing process that ‘raises the bar’ almost without anyone noticing. It’s also a process that I think should be encouraged.