I have a question. Most of my Jack Vance reading is his Dying Earth stories. Would you consider those to be swords-and-sorcery in the social sense that you discuss on the interview? In other words, I'm not wanting to argue about genre; I'm curious if you see the same qualities in Vance's post-historical age.
Probably. The social sense you're talking about is the one about a person's power vs an institution's?
In the Dying Earth, there are all these preposterous institutions and social hierarchies, and the people who benefit from them feel really, really entitled to them. But nobody's enforcing them but the benefactors themselves, and they're often totally inept to do so. Fortunately for them (until Cugel comes along), the people oppressed by the institutions are just as inept.
Cugel, while still vastly inept, is slightly less inept than they are, and that's all it takes to overthrow them. Vance's sense of humor delights me.
In the interview, you say, just in passing, that because this is an anthology system no-one needs to be present except for the person who is owed a turn next--and I remember that that is the way it the play-test rules read.
When we were playing last year we couldn't be sure that that person would be present. All we did was post-pone the set up of elements to the next session, and when we sat down to play, we looked down the list to the next person who was present, and just go ahead with them.
It's a tiny point, but I think its worth mentioning because it removes that slight constraint.