Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Not really a resolution...

I've been thinking a lot about the role a dungeon or adventure designer assumes in the play experience at the table created by the GM and the players and have come to the humbling conclusion that the designer is a lot like a writing utensil - a tool that exists only to make the GM's job easier. A GM chooses what tool to bring to the table (a pencil, a dry erase marker, a pen, a colored pencil, a grease pencil, The Mouth of the Shadowvein) based upon the needs of the game.

With that in mind, I've decided to try and become the Palomino Blackwing of old-school dungeons design pencils. If my utility is that of a pencil, I want to be a good one.

Not really a resolution, but something that I think should be consciously considered and integrated. A viewpoint to remember, IMO.


grodog said...

Hmmm. Until reading your post, I wasn't familiar with the Palomino Blackwing, Joe. I'm a huge fan of my Parker 95 rollerball pen (and it's blue ink), so I totally grok your interest in them, but do please tell me more about the virtues of the Palomino Blackwing, and why you like them so much!


jgbrowning said...

I honestly don't know enough about pencils to make an informed critique, but I will say they are the best pencil I've ever used. Smooth, dark, hold a point well, and don't require much pressure. An ease to use.

I'll have to check out the Parker 95... I'm also in the mood to finally have a good pen, but my knowledge of pens is worse than my knowledge of pencils, and I *know* that there are a lot more pens out there than pencils.

I guess its time to do a bit 'o research I suppose...

grodog said...

Hmmm. Thanks for the info. Sounds like I have a little pencil research to do myself!

FWIW, I like the Parker 95 because it fits my hand really well, I like the smoothness of the ink cartridge's flow when writing, and that the pen barrel isn't super-thick like most higher-end pens out there (Mont Blanc, etc.). And even thought it's OOP, it's also much more affordable than such pens which are as much for display as use (IMO): you can usually buy one relatively cheaply for ~$50-$90 or so on eBay; the $70 one @ looks like a frankenstein/hybrid to me (I don't think the black bottom barrel pictured goes with the stainless steel barrel design). IIRC that's close to the original retail price, too.

Parker also made plastic ones in the same form factor that were in the ~$15-20 price range, retail (and in a variety of fun designs, too).

Oh, and in case you want to see current designs, Parker has apparently just launched a new pen too that looks pretty interesting:


PS; If you're going to be at GaryCon or NTX and want to try my Parker 95, just ask :D

grodog said...

PPS - Here's my favorite of the plastic designs they offered (the seller's good: I bought some replacement parts from him a few years ago):


jgbrowning said...

I won't be a GaryCon (alas), but it looking like I may actually make NTX this year (finally). Thanks for the info...

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