Lady of Pain
(for Adam White)
“You guys are jerks,” Steve says. A dawning haze
of horror fills his eyes. I lay more cards. He’s
still. I raise his champion to highs
he never dreamed, then steal it, turn it, hose
his few remaining troops. Ken laughs, says, “Who’s
your daddy?” fans his hand, leans back, and weighs
his options. Steven says, “You’ve made a weasel
game out of my baby!” Ken cracks wise,
replies, “She never loved you. And your woes
have just begun,” then spanks him till he’s woozy.
In 1994, preparatory to TSR’s 20th anniversary, my buddy Steven Schend was assigned to design the Blood Wars trading card game, based on the AD&D Planescape campaign setting. I was assigned to edit it. Steven put together a very flavorful game, with options for combat, intrigue, and magic. Then Ken Whitman and I sat down to play test it with him, and we built decks that used cards in ways Steven had never intended or imagined. Thirty years later, Steven still chides me about it whenever I see him.
The thing is, while I do have a reputation as a weasel, Ken Whitman takes card deck assembly far beyond my meager skills. He’s the only person I’ve ever asked to retire a V:tES deck as impossible to beat. (Technically, I said, “If you ever bring that deck to the table again, I’ll quit playing.”)
What brought this all to mind this week was a message from Adam White, an old Spellfire player (another TSR card game I edited, designed by Tim Brown, Jim Ward, and Steve Winter), saying he was digging through his collection, found the “Weasel Attack” card pictured above, searched it out on the Web, found my blog, and backed my current Kickstarter project.
It got me feeling all nostalgic, and this poem resulted.
One thought on “Lady of Pain”
Thank you so much for the poem. I enjoyed it, and I’m honored to have my name mentioned. I still have that card sitting in my collection here.
I’m also very much looking forward to the complete d6xd6. I fondly remember idling in the #ad&d chatroom on Internet Relay Chat back in the 90’s waiting for any DM’s who wanted to host a pickup game. This was before virtual tabletops were popular, so we had to imagine battle distances and such, but they were a lot of fun.
I never got to play Spellfire online at the time, but I did enjoy being able to play locally with my brother. I recently found out that your Weasel Attack card is one of the most valuable cards in the collection (nothing like Black Lotus MTG valuable), but worth a few bucks. That’s neat to to know, but it’s going to occupy its permanent place in my collection.
As someone who grew up on the Three Stooges and Mystery Science Theater 3000, a card like that was bound to be my favorite.