First, three minis-related posts:
James Holloway has a great idea up on his blog: aquarium jellyfish mounted on inverted plastic wine cups. Brilliant! I can now go and find an electric jellyfish (DFM1, p. 13) mini!
Frugal Gaming Giant Jellyfish
Next, Black Tree Design is having a Black Friday sale:
Black Friday Sale
50% off most of their Dark Ages, Hundred Years War, and Fantasy minis . . . plus Doctor Who and others at a lesser discount. Time for daleks and orcs!
Wargames Foundry and Casting Room Miniatures too, plus it seems like Northstar is as well - probably a good chance to pick some stuff up, now that the USD-to-GBP ratio is so good. Thank you economic uncertainty!
Next, Goodman Games is having a Black Friday sale. It's a good time to get your own copy of Sailors on the Starless Sea. Use the code blackfriday2016 for print or blackfriday2016P for PDF.
There are two excellent posts up about being a good player that I wanted to link to. The first is from Mailanka:
GURPS-Day Cross Post: So you wanna play in a game, huh?
He's got a lot of good points, well worth reading. I think you can sum up a core of it by saying: engage in the world, engage with the other players, and do the things that work best for the game instead of for you personally. That's good advice, right there. It also echoes something Doug said a while back - play the game that you're playing, don't fight it. That applies to system and setting alike.
The second is from Benjamin Gauronskas:
Editorial: Sometimes It's OK If Someone Does Something Wrong
This hits one of my pet peeves about veteran gamers - "helping" a newbie with an overwhelming "here is how you do it right" set of advice. Actually, that's veteran everyone. The trainer or gym rat who will give you an info dump on how to bench press "better" and change your whole program and explain the science behind creatine monohydrate even if you don't ask. The cycling enthusiast who is outlining why you need three bikes to really do the stuff you want as you shop for your first bike. The painter who will explain why you need Windsor & Newton Series 7 brushes and $200 worth of paints and a color wheel before you try to paint your first mini.
It's "help" but it's not helpful. It's a bad human trait - talking instead of listening, trying to demonstrate knowledge, and - more generously - not realizing the value is in the experience of doing. Especially in gaming, there are no real consequences for being wrong or inefficient or whatever. Just do what you want to do - and get a story and an experience out of it. By all means, veterans should step in and help someone who asks. If you play side-by-side with someone and they get something wrong ("Okay, it says I have Broadsword-16, and you said I have to Parry? I have a 16, right?" "It would be 11, not 16.") but otherwise, let them experience it themselves. It's just a game. Let everyone have that terror experience of shooting a wight with silver arrows and realizing you can't even hurt it with those. Don't mess it up for them by saying, "It's a wight, none of your weapons are useful. You should back off, the fighting retreat rules are on page such-and-such of the red book. Don't let it touch you or you'll get level drained. That's really bad because Restoration is a 6th level cleric spell and you'll need a new character instead." Boy, is that a story the person will remember forever, eh? The stark terror of knowing the answer and having someone tell them what to do and all of the related rules?
Just let the new guys try it out. Step in when asked. Fix math errors, at best. Let them enjoy it. It'll be better for everyone.
Finally, there is a good Q&A with Allen Hammack, author of C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness, over on Adventures in Gaming V2.