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Guerilla Gaming: Samizdat: An Introduction

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In Russia about the 1700's, someone came up with a new way of brewing tea. A water tank wrapped around a funnel that would be filled with charcoal and set alight to heat the water around it. A smaller pot with water and tea leaves would be sat on top of the funnel to brew really strong tea. One would then pour a little bit of the tea concentrate from the top pot into a cup, then add hot water from the larger pot to dilute it to taste.

It was so clever, because it sat on the table instead of taking space on a stove, that people said it was like the tea "made itself". In Russian, that was "Samovar".

In Soviet Russia, everything was owned by the state - including the typewriters and the printing presses. If you wrote a book that the Party didn't like, it didn't get published - officially. But there was an underground network that would print books and newsletters and they would share them. You might have something for a week, or for a night. And sometimes, a book or newsletter would be found by the authorities. To keep from going to prison for this misuse of state property, the authors would not name themselves. It was as if the book "wrote itself". In Russian, that was "Samizdat".

So what has this to do with Guerrilla Gaming, you're wondering? Some people object to role-playing games still, claiming all sorts of wild things about it such as promoting witchcraft, devil worship, murder and suicide.

Then there's the high price of role playing books filled with pretty, glossy pages with all sorts of excessive decoration. What once took up a single book has spread to three or four, all needed to play a game that's grown so complex that you need to use an online generator.

I've been putting together a role playing game I call Samizdat, based on Anime. And because most of my gaming has moved online, I decided to keep the system as simple as possible so it's easy to understand and play.

More later.


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