I just got back from social dance, and even though I'm a little bit sweaty owing to the fact that we were learning the hustle today, I'm feeling quite good. I feel really quite confident in the basic step, but that's not the only reason I'm feeling good. I also got to dance with the Alaskan. I'm trying not to seek her out too much, since I just don't feel right about that, but I do so like dancing with her. (Because some of you will ask - "you" being a euphemism for M'lakMavet - yes, she's pretty. Big green eyes in a heart-shaped face with this fluffy light brown hair.) It's not that she's the best dancer in the class, though she is pretty good. It's that when I dance with her I feel like she enjoys it because she enjoys being in my presence. The way she looks into my eyes, the way she chats with me while we dance, gives meaning to the fact that we dance well together. That's a part of "dancing for your partner" that not all the girls in the class understand. It's more than just being where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, like you can read the guy's mind. That's nice, but the other part is the connection between the two of you as people who are dancers, in addition to the connection between dancers who also happen to be people.
Speaking of dancing, the Viennese Ball is tomorrow. Kathelia (kah-thay-lee-a; th pronounced like the th in "priesthood") says she's excited for me. Probably more excited than I am, truth be told. Now don't get me wrong - I am looking forward to spending the night in the company of the congenial Dr. Lear. It's just that it hasn't really hit me that the Ball is tomorrow. I wish that Deirdre and I could have gone to one of the waltz lessons this week. Not that we don't waltz together fairly well as it is, but we could definitely use some more practice. Maybe I'll seek her out today and we'll work on our rotary.
Classical Phoenix Earth is definitely happening. I'd like to hold my first session over spring break (end of March), but that will be a little tricky to swing. The party will consist, initially, of Twilight, Ayudaren, Lionell, Islington, The DM, Kharmak, and Maclaeden. My sister is welcome to join if she likes, and I'd like to have Kathelia over to observe a session, followed by a provisional invitation to join the party. What that means is an invitation to join the game without any understanding that she will continue to play in the game; it's a trial period. That's pretty much standard practice for most roleplaying games, for the simple reason that you can never tell if someone is going to click as part of the party until they've actually joined. And Kathelia has never played before in anyone's game. Now, I don't actually anticipate any problems on that score, but it's better to be safe than sorry and it would be very awkward if I were to start the game with her, find out against all odds that I didn't really want to play with her, and then have to kick her out.
Things I still have to do to get ready for a spring break session:
1). Finish the equipment list. I've finished and balanced the armor; weapons will be hopefully be finished today. I still have to do throwing weapons as well as self, composite, and cross bows. After that I'll have to review these various implements and make sure they're balanced enough that every weapon has a good reason for existing.
2). Finalize the rules for human magic and devise a spell list. I originally hoped that the party would start sending me spell ideas, but it seems I'm going to have to take the initiative on that and come up with some prototypes to give them a feel of what I want. Elven magic may be able to wait, assuming nobody decides to play an elf.
3). Figure out what this world looks like geopolitically. I've got Darios (dar-ee-os) pretty well down, and I'm starting to get an inkling of what Celahui (sell-ah-wee), the City of the Gods (as ever, Phoenix Earth owes a huge debt to Tamora Pierce) located near modern-day Venice, feels like as well. There are a number of human kingdoms left to figure out, though.
4). Figure out what this world looks like religiously and ethically. Orcish morals I've started to figure out (thank you, Blake Hutchins), and ogres are already modeled pretty strongly after the ancient Greeks so I might just do a cop-out there and model their morals after Greek ones. Elven morals and religion I understand quite well; trollic and dwarven not so much. Goblin and human, not at all. I should talk with Antilles about that. The two major human religions I've started to figure out, as well as the possibility of a third. Non-human mythology is something I'm slowly getting a handle on.
5). Get a party of characters from my players. The DM and Ayudaren seem fairly well set for characters; Lionell has an idea I'm told (goodness news gets around fast!) but I need to talk to him about it.
5). Figure out a plot. This actually isn't as important as you might think. In the apocalyptic game I got away for about a year and half without plotting more than a few sessions in advance. That's the beauty of a game where the players are actually asked to decide where things go (the modern game didn't do that nearly as much as the apocalyptic one, which is something I didn't like about it). However, I should have a vague idea of what it is the players will be asked to do, so that if the players get stuck I can move them along.
Right, so off to those throwing weapons. Talk to me!