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On Fri, 17 Sep 2004, Mark J. Reed wrote:
>
[snip of non-con-language/culture stuff]
>
> Anyway, my problem is an obsession with rules. I can't be happy with
> a statement like "the Dankarans play a chesslike game", or "a
> football-like sport", or such.  I'd have to work out in detail exactly
> how each game works.  Which is, of course, painstaking and
> time-consuming (not to say tedious, since I personally find it fun) and
> distracts one from the actual business of language-creation. :)
>
> So I have, in fact, been pondering what a Dankaran chess-like game might
> be like, since battles of old featured gravity-controlling wizards as
> well as the usual assortment of archers, footsoldiers, cavalry (mounted
> or vehicular, not sure yet), etc.  So far I'm envisioning a second board
> above the main, accessible only to wizards, who can immobilize foes
> below them, or perhaps aid in the movement of allies . . .

One useful reference for designing rules systems is the "Encyclopedia of
Chess Variants" (by David B. Pritchard) which is chock full of
examples of games, types of movements, and many thoughts on designing a
chess-like game.

If I ever do any con-culturing for my langs, I would probably include
a "Tafl"-type game (e.g. tablut, hnefetafl, tafl, etc.)  There is lots of
room for inventivness there, the game is amusing (though IMO less rich
than chess, for example).

--Apollo