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So yesterday I got a text from Todd who apologized for not having sent an xmas present because he hadn't finished it and because he actually wanted my help with it.... Which is, we're making a game. We're making an Early Modern Poets Battlecard game!!!!!

Lemme back up. Okay, so years ago, Todd made a game for his kids called Warriors Battlecards, based off the Warriors series which is his eldest's favorite books. He made expansion sets for the other kids, like Creature Battles; the general idea is you have cards with an image of a character/beast/what have you and then a list of their stats. We used to play at lunch or on breaks because a ten minute silly game could go quite a ways towards recovering from a ridiculous meeting and whatnot. So anyway, we're going to make an iteration of Early Modern Poets, because relevant to our interests.

I spent a while yesterday building lists of possible cards and stat categories and just mailed it off. Here's my notes, in case anyone cares.


poetic genius
fame (lifetime)
fame (posthumous)
social standing

[Gender bonus? Ie. Women poets get +2 to any state when played against male poets.]


Thomas Wyatt
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
William Tyndale
George Chapman

Elizabeth’s Court Poets

Aemilia Lanyer
Edmund Spenser
Philip Sidney
Mary Sidney Herbert


John Donne
George Herbert
Andrew Marvell
Richard Crashawe
Thomas Traherne
Henry Vaughan

James’s Court

James I
Mary Wroth
Elizabeth Cary
Henry King
Sir Francis Bacon

Caroline/Civil War/Interregnum

Margaret Cavendish
John Milton
Anne Bradstreet


Ben Jonson
Robert Herrick
Richard Lovelace
Thomas Carew
John Suckling

Charles II’s court/Restoration

John Bunyan
Katherine Philips
John Dryden
Sir William Davenant
Alexander Pope????

Theatrical Poets

William Shakespeare
Christopher Marlowe
Aphra Behn
James Shirley

Possibly my favorite part of this whole thing is how my response to this was "OMFG THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER AND I LOVE YOUR BRAIN" and Todd was like, "I'm glad you liked this idea, because everyone I mentioned it to looked at me like I was an absolute NUT." In short, my friends are the best friends. <3


( 7 comments — Add your .02 )
Dec. 29th, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
Awesome. So much awesome!

Dec. 29th, 2013 08:42 pm (UTC)

Frankly, I'm amazed that there are people who think that a card death match between John Donne and John Milton WOULDN'T be the best thing ever!!!!!!!!!1
Dec. 30th, 2013 12:38 am (UTC)
Seriously!!!! It would be brilliant.

Dec. 30th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
Todd clearly needs to mention things to a different crowd. One that plays Apples to Apples war! (We also like to figure out what character we are based on the adjectives we collect.)

I think you would need a reason to have a gender bonus and have it only apply when a poet is known for being particularly charming/good at seduction/deferred to due to their gender. (Speaking of which, have you seen this Yuletide fic about Bryon and Polidori?) And possibly poets who are known to not have any interest in sex or romance can be immune to it.
Dec. 30th, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
I'll check the fic out!!

My logic for gender bonus has more to do with 1) the problems of preserving women's writing (both physically in terms of mss preservation over time and intellectually in terms of canon formation) and 2) maintaining their place in canon etc (eg. scholars who keep trying to demote Mary Shelley for instance. So, less about sexual seduction (that didn't occur to me) and more to do with how surviving women poets had larger hurdles to overcome historically. :)
Dec. 31st, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, gotcha, though if women have larger hurdles I'd think they would get a gender penalty instead of a bonus.

Maybe they get a higher impact or genius if they match the fame of a male poet to show they need to be better than the men to be remembered?
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
Oh this sounds brilliant! \o/
( 7 comments — Add your .02 )

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