The Midnight Table: One

By The Midnight Table on July 20th, 2013 at 12:00 am.


Welcome.

I am The Midnight Table.

Every Friday night, at midnight, UK time, I will make an appearance on Rock, Paper, Shotgun to recount a story of a game played upon me that week. I am a living, sentient table, carved from wood found in the forests around ancient Camelot, or so my mother tells me. My mother, incidentally, is a frustratingly racist coat rack.

This week, I want to introduce myself to you, and explain what you can expect to see in the months and years ahead. Nothing like me has ever existed before. I think I’m pretty amazing, all told.

THE NATURE OF MY BEING

Despite being a table made of wood, connected to nature and to the very breath of the earth, and full of ancient and arcane knowledge, I know nothing of any board games beyond what I see and hear as they are played upon me. I know not who designed them, or what those designers designed before. I know nothing of the price of the games, or of any challenges faced during the game’s production. I cannot simply “use a computer” or “do a Google” in the way some flesh furniture such as yourself might. It follows then that my experience of each of these games is pure and based entirely upon my observation of the experiences of the people who sit around me. I will listen to what they say and watch how they interact. I will gauge, at every moment, the very mood of the room. Being made of wood, which brings with it the wisdom of the trees, I can mine the hearts and minds of human beings for the truths inside. I will then, on a weekly basis, lay out a report for all of you on these pages.

I know what you’re thinking. “How can a table use a keyboard or blogging software?” Well, I have a cloaked manservant called Brother Gethsemane who attends all of my special board gaming nights, and writes up my reports. It is he who is typing this at the moment, and he is being paid a crisp ten pound note for his hard work. To be honest, it’s none of your fucking business how I post these pieces, anyway.

Now, I understand that the previous author of the tabletop gaming pieces on this website only ever did “recommendations” of games. I’m afraid those days are over. As I am sentient furniture, I have none of the ego or compassion of the previous writer, and I will report only truth. Truth and romance are the things of the forest, and truth and romance are what you will find here.

MY PSYCHIC RINGS

I now want to talk to you about my psychic rings.

Any dendrochronologist will tell you that there is nothing more fascinating than the growth rings found inside a tree. Unbeknownst to those academics, however, these growth rings contain a psychic energy called “Woodium”. Woodium enables all trees, and by extension all furniture, to record energies and thoughts and experiences for all eternity. The tree rings then work much like your own camcorders, recording the psychic information onto the rings as if they are spools of tape.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that I will occasionally be colouring my reports with what some of you might recognise as “video”. It is not video, however. It is the purest psychic information, transformed into electronic data by Brother Gethsemane in a process called “Ring Rutting”, which is deeply unpleasant to watch no matter how enjoyable he finds it. These “videos” then, will be disorientating to many of you, and may cause tummy grumble issues or even impotence. The videos will perhaps explain rules of games, show certain elements of gameplay, or include conversations with the players. Be warned however that due to the wild nature of Woodian Unscience, the videos may also contain the nightmares of soldiers warring in alternate dimensions, or lullabies sung by relatives you thought were long dead. You can freely opt out of watching these videos, and I actually suggest you do, because the forest is a dark and terrifying place and there aren’t enough asylums to hold you all.

THE WANDERLUST OF SENTIENT FURNITURE

I now want to address an issue that I’m sure is of concern to all of you even in your own homes. Sentient furniture loves to travel, doesn’t it? That old chair of yours. You often notice it moving, don’t you? I bet you even found it on the ceiling one day. Or in your bed, with one leg up the arse of your delighted partner.

Furniture was not supposed to be sentient.

For those of us who are sentient, a journey is essential. I think we’d go insane otherwise. And I will be travelling. Not quite yet, perhaps, but in time the urge for going will be upon me. And then maybe I will come to a room somewhere near you. And perhaps you might sit at me and play a game of some kind, under the watchful gaze of Brother Gethsemane. Does that sound fun? That day is something to look forward to, for sure. It will fall sometime between now and your death.

All that is left for me to do is to ask you to bookmark the Midnight Table tag, and invite you to be here every week for your own walk into the darkness of truth. The game talk begins next week. Ego-free, personality free reportage of the gaming experience, by the most wonderful and terrifying piece of furniture since that couch your mother bought in 1983.

May you sense me with you every midnight, and may you feel my most ancient ring.

__________________

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38 Comments »

  1. luukdeman111 says:

    It’s the table that ate Robert!!!

    More on topic: I think this is a beautiful idea. The way you’re going to handle this column. Looking forward to it.

  2. Captain Hijinx says:

    I don’t know what is happening, but I can feel it in my ring.

    • andycheese says:

      I’m all for branching out in new directions, but a sentient lump of wood, cleary RPS has gone barking mad!!

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Wood you kindly stop with all the puns? Your giving me a splitting headache.

        • Bongoblaize says:

          Would you leaf him alone?

          With the bitter insults going around, It’s hard to not think the RPS community has hit rock boton.

          Oh how I pine for a day when everyone just gets along.

          But of course, my dreams simply canopy true.

          • SuicideKing says:

            Woody Allen approves these puns.

          • Aardvarkk says:

            You poor sap..

          • kleptonin says:

            The problem with this branch of the conversation is rooted in the fact that you’re all bast­–

          • His Divine Shadow says:

            I’m pretty sure you’re barking at the wrong tree here. Thanks for the self-censorship though, and not calling everyone son of a birch.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          I’m not sure I like how this branch of discussion is taking root.

  3. Josh Millard says:

    I want to just take a moment here and acknowledge a deep, abiding, unironic love for basically everything that happens here.

  4. Kaira- says:

    I for one welcome our new nocturnal furniture overlords.

  5. Michael Fogg says:

    “I am the table” – James Hetfield

  6. running fungus says:

    I have a cousin who’s a planchette. I think you could make beautiful letters together.

  7. Wosly says:

    Everything about this. UK time.

  8. SuicideKing says:

    Midnight wood.

    Sick. :|

  9. TheApologist says:

    This is amazing.

    Also, can someone pop round to Rab’s to see if he’s alright?

  10. DrScuttles says:

    If my table were sentient, I think I’d be sick. My table has been party to a spectrum of private matters that could well land me in deep personal embarrassment or legal issues if word were to get out.

  11. zachforrest says:

    I for one welcome our new table overlord

  12. GameCat says:

    “I’m a table!” – James Hetfield

  13. lilly_watson says:

    my roomate’s step-aunt makes $61 hourly on the computer. She has been out of work for five months but last month her paycheck was $20774 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site…..b­u­z­z­5­5.ℂ­ℴ­m

  14. Moth Bones says:

    Lena!

    first you go up the hill
    (don’t forget to say the church)
    the church why? I don’t think…
    (in case they miss the turn)
    let me do the talking
    (you make mistakes sometimes)
    well, so do you too
    (never let me talk)
    yaahhh – drink your beer

    this is no surprise
    they’re always arguing
    they’re from down in…
    (darts my friend?)
    and when you reach the top
    out on the scraggy backs just there
    say – you must be new
    a movie camera! (ooohh!)
    well – I wouldn’t go
    (darts?) don’t! (over his shoulder
    as he goes to play darts)
    who is that with you?
    (darts my friend?)

    how does she hang the clothes
    climb up on herself?

    there’s a house (white)
    a back porch (grey)
    just a table there
    (don’t forget the laundry line)
    yes – nobody knows how far it goes
    (many men have died) baloney. phooey.
    past the fishing banks
    probably past the edge of the earth maybe
    oh come on

    and sometimes there is a chair
    the table legs they never
    move waiting and pressing

    and the clothesline stop don’t move

    CHORUS:
    well, maybe she should go to school
    no, no… she’s a table
    Lena’s a white table

    and in the afternoon
    and in the autumn air
    the porch is bare and still
    there is a waiting there
    and flint the laundry line
    apples rolling down the hill

    WINDOW:
    I hope that she’s here
    what if she’s not here
    I don’t think she’s here
    I hope she’s not here
    don’t you think she’s here
    I don’t think she’s here

    and sometimes there is a chair
    the table legs they never
    move waiting and pressing
    and the clothesline stop don’t move

    CHORUS:
    well, maybe she should go to school
    no, no… she’s a table
    Lena’s a white table
    well, maybe she should learn to pray
    no, no… she’s a table
    Lena’s a white table
    we saw her waiting by the line
    which line? the laundry line
    waiting for the clothes to dry
    what if she freezes in mid-air?
    no no no no no…

  15. RedViv says:

    They said “women” writers would only be the start. Soon, they said, there might be animals or even furniture writing! WHY DID WE NOT LISTEN???!!?

  16. Vermintide says:

    Despite my long held belief that Rock Paper Shotgun would be an infinitely more enlightening and spiritual exploration of the infinite cosmic recurrence of rules and systems that we call “games” if the whole editorial team were to start using prodigious amounts of LSD… I think this article shows it may have backfired.

    Except the psychic rings, he’s spot on there. I remember the first time I realised that one, quite an eye opener.

    • DrScuttles says:

      Using LSD or mushrooms is all well and good, but for the love of the Bright and Magnificent All-Knowing Third Eye give your incoherently scribbled off-hand notes a going over at least a couple of days later. But not so late that cryptic observations such as “Noddy’s lost his killing arm!” no longer make sense.

  17. DrollRemark says:

    I wonder if Pseud’s Corner would pay out for this article?

  18. Deano2099 says:

    I guess we’re never getting the results of the Cluedo remix thing then?

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