Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Scales of Action

This, got me thinking. In particular:- 'Carefully marshalling equipment, using it when it is needed, improvising where necessary, making good logistical choices.'


  1. Hi,

    James here from the Teleleli blog. Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    A while ago I put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's mostly short stories, with some obvious gamer-interest material. For example I have a story inspired by OD&D elves, as well as poems which retell Robert E Howard's King Kull story The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune and HP Lovecraft's Under the Pyramids.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog (either a normal book review, or a review of its suitability as gaming inspiration).

    If so, please let me know your email, and what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy. You can email me ( or reply to this thread.

    You can download a sample from Smashwords:

    I'll also link to your review from my blog.


    1. Hi James, i'm sorry I have way too much to read and to do. Good luck with the book though.

    2. No problem. Thanks anyway.

  2. This is reminiscent of my dad's books on principles of engineering I'd try to read as a kid. Maybe the consequences of failure in engineering and war require insight into how engineers and soldiers think.

    1. Hey Matt.

      It's actually something I nicked from a book called 'Polarity Management' by Barry Johnson.

      The idea is that some problems are made of opposed but interdependant opposites, which can't exist at the same time but define each other and can't exist alone.

      So you can never 'solve' the problem but can try to become good at moving smoothly between the two sides of the chart, staying in the upper part and spending minimal time and effort stuck in the bottom half.

      It's just something that struck me when dealing with the different kinds of thinking people bring to the table and how they can conflict/support each other at the same time. You are in a very complex relationship with strong or strange players because they are always shaking the game and adding energy to it at the same time. If you try to stop them you often stop the game doing its neccessary transformation and get stuck in the negative zone.

      I think you're right about thinking about thinking. Everything I read seems to end up in a strange mash in my head. This week it seems to be Polarity Management and Carl Von Clausewitz. His chapter on the kind of mentality requred by a general does sound very like someone who can manage complex polarities under huge amounts of stress. And direct them towards sometimes violent ends without cracking up. The 'qualities of the heart'.

      Sometimes its difficult to know if I am actually finding parralels between things or just being batted around by flighty crackling synapses.

      The only logical way to find out will be to do a long series of posts comparing Claueswitz to Sun Tzu to find out which was the more old-school (in D&D terms). So expect that in the coming weeks.