July 23rd, 2007


Blurch (13 points)

So I managed to catch the plague this weekend. Not really, of course, although there are some ways in which it would be kinda cool to be able to say "yes, really, I had the bubonic plague." Well, except for the part where it's potentially lethal and I'm sure vastly unpleasant. I'm pretty sure what I actually had was food poisoning. Aches, general yuck feeling, most food highly off-putting. I slept a lot and tried not to whine too much. Took the day off today to recover, since I'm feeling better but still really tired.

Anyway, worth mentioning is that we went over & played Unspeakable Words with Chris & Rose & Alice on Saturday evening. It's a card game where you get a hand of cards with letters on them and try to spell words, kind of like Scrabble. The trick is that each time you make a word, you have to roll over the word's point value when you score it, or you lose a point of sanity (represented by these kawaii little Cthulhu tokens). Lose all five points and you're out of the game. (The point values of the individual cards are based on how many angles the letter has.)

It's a lot of fun. Mostly it's about luck of the draw and your skill in responding to it to find words, but there's some interesting strategy in how quickly to try and build up your score. I'm not sure I had figured it out by the end. Oh, and you definitely have to play with the optional rule that when you're down to your last sanity point, you can play any combination of letters, because "crazy people will believe anything's a word".

I was wondering how well it would play with other alphabets. Greg says Cyrillic has waaaay too many angles. You'd go crazy right away. And Japanese (katakana or hiragana) would be tricky, because there are a lot more valid symbol combinations than there are in English. And there's the interesting factor that English has (I think, anyway) a higher consonant density than many other languages, and the vowels are all worth either 0 (O, U), 4 (I, E), or 5 (A) points. (We won't even get into how the number of angles depends on the font you're using...) Anyway, it's a lot of fun. Definitely recommended.