Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

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TheDukester
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Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby TheDukester » 28 Feb 2011 19:13

Okay, this one requires a bit of background:

I'm going to link below to a recent podcast interview with Peter Olotka, the designer of classic boardgames such as Cosmic Encounter and Dune (some of you might remember [but likely not] that it was the Dune boardgame which first got me to Jacurutu; I believe Chiggie or someone else either linked to my blog or posted on it or something similar ...)

Anyway, Peter starts talking about the Dune game at about the 32-minute mark, and some of what he has to say is just fascinating. Some of the chit-chat will probably be lost on non-gamers (and for context, one of the reasons the subject came up at all is that a new version of the game has been rumored for years), but there's quite a bit of talk about the novel and attempting to deal with the Herberts, which was a pain in the ass even back in the early 1980s, apparently.

The absolute highlight (I'll paraphrase it): Peter gets threatened by Herbert lawyers ... Peter calls notoriously litigious Harlan Ellison for advice ... Ellison calls Frank Herbert ... FH calls Peter (collect) to tell him not to worry about it, and in FH's words, "I hate lawyers." Good stuff!

Look for that at about the 39-minute mark.

Fair warning #1: Both subjects have heavy accents. The interviewer is the British chap; Peter is the old salt with the New England accent;

Fair warning #2: The interviewer mocks Dune right off the bat, calling it "ridiculous." But let's let him have a pass for that, please. He's a gamer geek, not a literary type. Please don't flood his blog comments; I ask that as a personal favor.

Link:

http://wp.me/pTaGn-av

(Also available as a podcast on iTunes)
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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby TheDukester » 28 Feb 2011 20:00

A quick add: Peter plays along with the interviewer a bit, for the sake of spinning a good tale. I know for an iron-clad fact that Dune is one of his favorite books ever and that he (mostly) enjoyed the entire series. He's mentioned this to me a number of times.

Rather than argue with the interviewer, I think he just went with the flow of the conversation, which is not very flattering toward Dune in a few places.

FWIW.
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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby SandChigger » 28 Feb 2011 20:03

(People tend to do that, rather than cause a fuss. I'm convinced that's what FH himself was doing in some of that McNelly interview... ;) )

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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby Omphalos » 28 Feb 2011 20:17

SandChigger wrote:(People tend to do that, rather than cause a fuss. I'm convinced that's what FH himself was doing in some of that McNelly interview... ;) )


Me too. "Spermatic?"

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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby Kojiro » 28 Feb 2011 23:33

TheDukester wrote:Fair warning #2: The interviewer mocks Dune right off the bat, calling it "ridiculous." But let's let him have a pass for that, please. He's a gamer geek, not a literary type. Please don't flood his blog comments; I ask that as a personal favor.


I'm not sure I can let that pass. Those're fighting words.
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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby D Pope » 28 Feb 2011 23:51

Wow Dukester! You're right, the interviewer is definetly somewhere else. If you can ignore it, well, so can I. Besides, there is a pretty cool story there because your buddy decided it wasn't worth it also. Despite Little Dogs opinion, I was very glad I heard that! Thanks mate!

:D

Have you played that game? Can you tell me more about how the wheels work? It seemed like he was talking about more than a randomizer, dialing in the troops you're willing to commit and inserting a card for players that may or may not be on your side. Are there only the three games that employ that system?
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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby SandChigger » 01 Mar 2011 00:08

Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:(People tend to do that, rather than cause a fuss. I'm convinced that's what FH himself was doing in some of that McNelly interview... ;) )


Me too. "Spermatic?"

BINGO! :dance:

(I'll listen to it tomorrow when I've got a faster connection. ;) )

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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby TheDukester » 01 Mar 2011 00:40

D Pope wrote:Have you played that game? Can you tell me more about how the wheels work? It seemed like he was talking about more than a randomizer, dialing in the troops you're willing to commit and inserting a card for players that may or may not be on your side.

Indeed, I've played. It really is an old-school classic. And ahead of its time in many ways.

You pretty nearly nailed the combat wheels. They were discs that rotated to show numeric values, and they also served as a way to hide the cards and leaders each player was going to play.

Combat in Dune consisted of a combination of troops (you used the wheel for these), leaders, and cards. Troops were almost always worth a flat value of 1 ... leaders could be insanely powerful (values of 1-6) ... and cards were the great equalizer. For instance, I could play a poison card and unless you played a snooper as a defense, your leader would be D-E-D, dead.

There was usually a lot of bluff and counter-bluff in a given combat. "Will he risk a good leader here?" ... "I'm almost sure he's got a poison card, but not totally sure." ... "Why is he fighting my five troops with only one troop; he must have the lasgun card." And etc., etc. Wheels within wheels, some might say ...
"Anything I write will be remembered and listed in bibliographies on Dune for several hundred years ..." — some delusional halfwit troll.

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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby D Pope » 01 Mar 2011 01:01

That makes a lot more sense than what I was thinking!
How many can play?
Is it a team thing, EMFH, or will it work both ways?
So far it sounds like something i'd enjoy- I hope my old gaming friends would like it.

Back in the day, I only dabbled in gaming. D&D, V&V, Talisman, FASA Battletech, Car Wars, that's about it. I could've gotten into the Cthulu stuff but lost interest when I learned about the short lived nature of the thing. Never had an interest in Magic but did enjoy Illuminati both times I played it.
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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Re: Frank Herbert: "I hate lawyers"

Postby Serkanner » 01 Mar 2011 05:57

I bought a complete and very good lookoing copy of the boardgame. I have opened the boz once to check the contents and now it is one of my "prize" pieces next to my first editions :)

PS: I really should try to find some players to at least play it once.
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