Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Evil Mastermind from grognards.txt

Come out and play.

I'm "fascinating" to you?

Come over to the comments. We will have a conversation.



EDIT:

I'm serious.

We'll talk about games and what-all.

That's what we do here, after all.

I mean, if you want to just have this all be one way: I say something, you quietly mull it over in the corner that's fine, but I think we would all have some fun if we had a conversation about how games get talked about on the internet.

I promise not to bite.






EDIT:

Listen: you can complain about how things work or you can try to fix them.

I am right here, asking you how we can fix them.

Oh,

there's somebody saying "Hey why don't we do this via email and then put it on the net"

totally cool with me. you can email me.

I just don't know any other way to contact you.

And why you?

You seem like a decent person, altogether. Maybe.





_______

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hire Women.

Let's talk about sexism in gaming again.

(Edit: There's a lot of traffic coming in on this post from various forums. Just letting you know: if you pull one of those 'I didn't really read but I am going to complain about what I thought he said anyway" things on your forum I will make fun of you.)

Let's start with a less controversial subject first. One seemingly unrelated, maybe. This is an exchange from a lit blog I sometimes write for:

Why Does No One Write About Their Day Job?
by Seth Fisher

In a manifesto (er, “ideas piece”) about the importance of the workplace in writing, Alain de Botton calls on contemporary writers to write about work. “If a proverbial alien landed on earth,” he says, “and tried to figure out what human beings did with their time simply on the evidence of the literature sections of a typical bookstore, he or she would come away thinking that we devote ourselves almost exclusively to leading complex relationships, squabbling with our parents, and occasionally murdering people.” Yet work, according to de Botton, is at the core of who we are. So why don’t we write about it?...
_______________

(in the comments)

Zak S:

Two points, at odds with each other:

-It would be to everyone’s benefit if good books kept coming out that, collectively, covered every single aspect of human existence.

-Getting writers to write about things they don’t want to write about is no way to get good books.

So:
It’s all up to luck. We’re just going to have to hope that, for every situation, there’s some good writer somewhere who’s interested in that situation.

__

Priorities.

I think the following list pretty much covers it as far as the priorities people refer to when the possible sexism in gaming art and the themes in games comes up:

A-Quality: Is the thing good? Would people choose to play it instead of choosing other activities? Would you yourself the producer choose to consume it? Obviously this is subjective (and not a popularity contest). If not even the designer wants it to be the way it is, it can only be good accidentally.

B-Justice: Does the thing promote social justice? Will the world be a more fair place due to the influence of the imagery and stories told in the product on children and whatever proportion of the adult audience takes its ethical direction from what's in a piece of fiction?

C-Money: Does the thing make money? (Also Known As: Does It Serve The Audience? Often dressed up in a million other guises. Common Alternate Guise: Does It Hurt The Brand? i.e. does the thing make money over a long period of time?)

D-Does it grow the hobby? This is distinct from making money. A product can make money by growing the hobby into a new audience and selling to that audience (like indie black-and-white comics where people cry grew the audience for comics into the uptight-assholes-in-sweaters demographic) but it can also just broaden the audience period but not necessarily make any more money because of it.

(Caveat that will probably go unread: There are, quite obviously, other priorities one could have, but we are only talking here of ones that come up in the context of sexism in games.)

____________

Priorities mean a very specific thing. If a situation arose where you had to choose between A and B, which would you choose?

For example: You are producing a game, the game needs to be illustrated and out in the next week or else your company will fold.

Only 2 artists are willing to take on the job: Artist A who is good and you like his/her art and they render with skill and marvelous expressiveness and sublime color and Artist B who is bad and you do not like his/her art but who will depict the technologically not-advanced tribe described in the text with a high degree of sensitivity. Do you choose A or B? Or do you choose artist A orB depending on what you think your audience will like best, which would be prioritizing C? Or do you think if you choose artist B then more kinds of people will buy it (Priority D)? Or different kinds of people (also D)?

That's priorities.
____________

My personal priorities when looking at a given game product go A, then B…… and I don't care about C or D.

I don't care if game companies make money and if I want new people to play a game I talk to them, I don't expect the product to talk to them for me.

I am ok with other peoples' priorities and will live and let live with them unless they don't start with A and then move on to B:

If your priorities go B...(and then anything else) then I think that is a condescending attitude toward the product you are looking at. That is: you see it as more of a vehicle of social change than a hobby you like to do.

This is true: social change is actually more important than whether a game is fun. However, in the scheme of things, an RPG game designer can do a lot more in the way of making a game fun than they can about injustice in the world so that is where the lion's share (most but not all) of their effort should be directed.

If yours start with C…(and then anything else) then, usually, fuck you. If you are a small game designer and will be unable to make any game stuff ever without pushing out some bullshit to make money, well, I suppose you get a pass. But if you are a big game designer? Fuck you. You don't need the money. Make something good instead. If you are not even a game designer, why do you even care?

If yours go D…(and then anything else) then I think this is a long-term losing strategy for you: you will be disappointed because the best you can do is attract a large variety of people to a hobby which no longer has anything good left in it and so why bother attracting them? And who wants to broaden a hobby's appeal if it ceases to have anything good in it? While I respect but do not share your desire to grow the hobby, I don't think prioritizing that over actually making good stuff is going to help you get what you want.

___________
A lot of the discussion of comic books I like--it seems to be from people whose priorities about the comic in question start with B or D. Like Concerned Parents' groups, it never even occurs to them that the comic could be, in any real sense, good: so sacrificing any element of its goodness for some larger pedagogical goal seems fine to them.

Like, they think: Batman comics will never be good, so why not turn them into effective tools for producing desirable citizens or broadening the comic book reading public so that there's a bigger audience for more black-and-white-indie comics where people cry?


___________
So that's that part: Games and the things in them should be good. In evaluating games, the rest needs to be secondary. Secondary does not mean 'nonexistent'. It just means second. Just ask Will Riker.

___________
Stakeholders

These are the stakeholders in these debates:

The Company
The Audience
The Creative People

Another thing that seems to come up a lot in sexism-in-RPG debates is this idea that the game Company is obsessed with money and the Audience is the Audience and is interested in being either expanded or pandered to or catered to and the actual people making the product (the Creative People) are performing monkeys in the middle who simply enact whatever the company tells them.

This is wrong. In terms of who is responsible for what, the creative employees need to be thought of as real artists in the following sense: they get paid so little compared to other jobs they could perform with the same skills that we have to assume they would not be in the field at all unless it was because they hoped to (and occasionally did) produce things that they liked and wanted to see.

In other words: if there are boobs in a picture, the main reason is not necessarily because the Audience wants boobs or the Company assumes the Audience wants boobs but because the artist wanted the boobs there.

Ask anyone who has commissioned art for RPGs: artists will fuck your art order right up and put all kinds of stuff in there. And the better they are at producing intense, memorable imagery, the more often they do it. They do this because it is not fun to make art unless you are doing something you care about and the job does not pay well enough to be unfun.


___________
Now:

Why do artists put in the boobs?

The ordinary idiot answer is They are sexist They are unconsciously sexist or They exist in a sexist context etc and all this is lies.

Let us consider an example that has been attacked: Jim Lee's new Justice League comics.
We have a rare opportunity here because Jim Lee not only drew them but designed the costumes. He is the responsible party.

I think we have a legitimate case of maybe-sexism here in terms of the composition of the group: Black Canary and Hawkgirl could easily have been added without messing with the Iconicness of the JL and were not. John Stewart, the black Green Lantern, maybe, too, and Jim Lee himself might have wondered why we still don't have an iconic Asian superhero. But this isn't what I have seen jumped on...

This has been attacked as sexist on account of the costumes. That is: Wonder Woman's costume is way more revealing than the rest of the team.

Now some people, citing the ineluctable and uncategorizable variety (from a straight guy POV) of What Women and Gay Dudes Consider Sexy, might say the men here are as sexualized as the women. I am not one of them. I am going to go ahead and say, for my money, absofuckinglutely the men here are not as sexualized as Wonder Woman.

However, I think saying this makes it sexist is as much of a mistake as saying the imagery in an Enya video is sexist, and for the same reason.

This isn't (as so many people would like you to believe) about who the audience is, it's about who the creator is. Jim Lee wants to look at this Wonder Woman because he is a heterosexual male and wants to make a team that Looks Good (so he can look at it) and his sense of Looks Good is tied tightly to his nervous system and his nervous system (like everyone else's) is concerned primarily with Food, Potential Danger, Does This Baby Need Help?, and People You Want To Fuck.

It is widely acknowledged that the creative process is mysterious. You can't just say "Hey, take out this and put in that and make it work exactly the same". Alien would not be Alien if Ripley were suddenly male. It would be a different movie and making it good all over again would require responding to whatever psychoemotionalaesthetic imperatives were suddenly imposed on it by having an actor where an actress once was. You change something, you have to re-jigger things to work with them changed.

All artists work well with some limitations, none work well with limitations that keep them from thinking about what they want to think about. We don't have any choice about the fact that a great many artists are male and the majority of them want to think about and describe women they think are beautiful in their work and we don't have any choice about what about them they consider beautiful. If we ask them to be democratic and draw something else then sometimes this is a challenge they'll take, but if they don't, well, that's probably because they realize they are not going to be able to do anything with it.

Watch what happens when we ask someone to design a game they wouldn't want to play...


_______________

"How much money do you have? Well, there’s no absurdly simplistic "3d6x10gp" here. *snerk* Oh no. Starting characters have Net Worth, and Bank Accounts, and Cash on Hand, and Disposable Monthly Income, all determined by random rolls derived from their social class, sorry, SEC. On top of this they also have their Basic Possessions: Dwellings, Clothes and Furnishing, Misc. Gear, and GM's Option. We're also told to refer to the Advanced Mythus rules for even more(!) detail."

--Vaults of Nagoh on Gygax and Newton's "Mythus"


Hey there! This is Dave Newton - I co-wrote Mythus with Gary. So sorry to hear that you felt the game wasn't to your liking. One of the first things I did when I started playing was to throw out half of the rules we wrote. Most of the filler was intended for the anal-retentive GMs and min-maxing players that couldn't solve a roleplaying issue without consulting a rulebook.



Cheers,

Dave
___


An art magazine asked me to draw the women on The View once. I said Look, I am not going to parody people just because I can't think of anything else interesting to me as a draftsman about the way they look and I cannot sit and think about the women on The View for as long as I can sit and think about the women I actually paint in my pictures and I do not feel bad enough about sex to feel bad about that: get somebody else.

If Jim Lee made the team look like this because he was worried about selling comics: fuck him, he's already rich and is prioritizing money over social justice. But if he did it because that was what he thought looked best? That's him doing his job. His only job.

Jim Lee can't be called sexist and neither can his cover. He's Jim Lee being Jim Lee which is what he is getting paid to do because no matter how hard the industry tries (and it has tried very hard for a shockingly long time) you can't get anyone else who isn't actually Jim Lee to draw like Jim Lee. However...


__________
So it's not sexist? Ok, it is actually...

Now wait, other than composition of the team, there is a real problem with this Justice League cover: this team looks like a million other teams. As people so often point out, sexism is about context.

In a world where comics are read by very young people (and games are played by young people) and some female people (not many I know, but I suppose either they are out there or there's only one but she has a lot of screen names) do not like the relative revealingness of Wonder Woman's costume, there should be a variety of kinds of costumes for female characters. There kinda isn't. I mean: an infinite number of comic book costumes exist, but most women in comics that show up a lot show up in the sexy and revealing kind.

And that might possibly mess with priority B.

The sexism is not that this comic exists or is popular, but that some art director somewhere did not also order hundreds of other comics that are different from it.

You cannot blame artists for expressing their own proclivities and desires in their art. They have to (in one way or another) or else they are going to suck. You can blame companies with a mass audience for hiring the same artists over and over and not others.

Yet if we ask artists to make art they do not want to make, we are messing with priority A. Which is the most important one.

So what do you do?


______________
Hire women.

Hire lots of women. And hire gay dudes. And hire every kind of person because they make a talented version of every kind of person. They exist.

(Plus, big game companies, in addition to a handful of talented people, the fact is you're also going to hire some hacks--because you are cheap. So long as you are hiring hacks, why not hire female ones?)

That is the sole and only answer that is fair and that will get us good work while sacrificing neither of the real priorities here.

Hire women (50%!) and let them do whatever they want. Don't hire men and tell them to make work that does not appeal to them. Don't hire a writer and ask him to write a world he will not want to play in. Hire a woman and ask her to do whatever.

If you hire me to write a succubus, I will write you a nasty disturbing succubus that will chew off your neck and have teeth for nipples. By all means hire me. Just hire someone else, too. Have them write the dryad.

If we are trusting the Creatives to make worlds for us (and, frankly, begging them to do it and yelling at them when they don't) then we also have to trust that their artistic instincts are more than a set of tinkertoys that can be stuck together any old way. They know how to thread things together so the things are more than the sum of their parts. It's what they get paid to know. They are people who want and think things and their work reflects what they want and think and when it does not, it is dishonest and fucked and comes out bad and we just kinda turn past those pages.

(And, p.s., just because there is a connection, the connection between the artist and the art is not always--is in fact rarely--easy to psychoanalyze the way Naught tries to in the comments below. Does Jim Davis think all cats are fat and love lasagna? Does Giorgio Morandi hate all people because he never paints them? Move along littlebrain.)

Have you seen Wayne Reynolds' men? Meh. His monsters and babes? Excellent. Stop hiring him to draw dudes--he totally does not care about them. It makes the world worse and uglier every time Wayne has to draw a dude. I mean, if he wants to keep trying and maybe get better, let him, but if he doesn't: let the man draw what he wants to draw.

So: you want justice? Hire women.

Hire them and give them the same free hand men have had since the beginning and--rather than art directing them into a corner (the all-female creative teams on the Barbie comics complained because Mattel told them none of the characters in the cast were allowed to display any negative traits) let a specific fantastic world that is theirs aggregate around their creativity the way it has around the creativity of men for decades.

__________________

Do you know why nobody asks for this? It's the scariest option.

It's the one that demands the most work from the company (Find people, give them freedom).

It's the one where the audience gets the least certainty (Bbbbut what if we hire women and they don't give us what we want either? What if what women with talent want isn't exactly the same as what people who like to complain about art want?)

It's the one that demands that the product actually be creative, which means the artists don't get to rely on "Oh I was just giving the client what they asked for" and have to actually think and be responsible for the awesomeness or lack thereof of what they produce.

In other words, nobody's ass gets covered in this solution. There are no guarantees.

There are already a million RPGs on the market. The only reason to buy a new one is if it brings something new to the table. If we aren't willing to let artists be Artists then we might as well admit we are just buying shit to see ideas we already have reified in print rather than to experience new ones and admit we came to this show hoping for Comfort rather than ROCK.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another Utility Post

(Note: this refers to nobody in particular, I just want this here for when I need it)

I am attempting to have a conversation with you.

Why? Because we have a fundamental difference about not just taste (about which it is easy for reasonable people to disagree), but about the nature of reality.

This can only be because:

1) We have different underlying assumptions about how the world works. Since I don't know what these differences are yet, they might be interesting, informative, or enlightening to explore (and that exploration might--hey--even change my mind),

or

2) You are insane.

Since me just assuming (2) and moving on with my life is condescending and would put me in a position where I'd have to view anything you said from now on as suspicious and probably not worth listening to and would cut me off from any wisdom or insight you might actually come out with in the future, it is way safer to assume (1) at this point.

Therefore, in order to find out what the assumptions behind (1) are, I am going to ask questions.

...because I am curious about the experiences that lead people to do, say, like, and believe different things. It's one of the very few good reasons there are to talk to people you don't know on the Internet.

If you want to answer these questions and therefore maybe make the world smarter for anyone who reads the dialogue now or in the future, answer them.

If you don't want to, don't. (And if you feel like being nice, tell me that now.)

In the best of all possible worlds (for me and my particular goal here) you'd also want to understand what creates an assumption-gap between reasonable people and you'd want to assume I'm sane and ask me questions, too. If you do, know now that I'll always answer them--but you asking questions is not essential.



_________________

You might assume I am asking you questions in order to change your mind--since asking, essentially 'In the case we're looking at, I just think X, what's wrong with X?" can look more like an attempt to explain the validity of X than an attempt to understand whether there are unexpected-but-reasonable objections to X that I hadn't thought of, but there we are. I am not trying to persuade you of anything, I probably don't even know your name and will probably never meet you.

I just would like to know how a reasonable person came to decide X was a bad idea. It may make me re-evaluate X.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This Is Mostly Just Here So I Can Remember What Happened This Week

_Last session they went to the Ice Labyrinth--still trying to capture the Ice Medusa.

_Didn't but fought the king of the Royal Fist Monkeys. Near TPK. Everyone's down from monkey fighting but Connie. Until the king tried to bite Connie and she shoved a sleeping potion in his mouth and he rolled a four. Took his crown, cut their losses, and headed back to civilization, screw catching medusas. (Got attacked by a witch that sinks their boat on the way home, but whatever--they have a rowboat.)

_New session:

_So then like new player coming in--Izzy. She is used to straight up 3.5, she's a Raptoran which is like a bird person but not a birdhead kind of bird person. She's speaks elvish. Like Izzy does, not her character--like actual Drow. So does or did Satine. Her PC has this Elvish name but we can just call her Mi.

-Also here's a twistment: Kimberly Kane decided to go druid, she is not elvishnamed. Her new character's name is Dirty D. No, her barbarian did not die. KK just got real excited about Call Lightning.

_Same dog though. Or same dog family. She's up to Sueno 7. She swears Sueno 7 is making it to 20th level.

-Anyway so they like show up and go drinking. And so like I get to roll on the chart with the bars in it in that book I wrote, they walk into the Frigid Cudgel where the bartender has a ferret

-...that is actually a polymorphed wizard. Which fact is on my chart in my book for some reason. And KK knows this because she's a druid and can talk to animals.

-So then I get to do a ferret impression. Always a pip.

-Life goes on, an objective is selected by the players. (One of those Red Marches days where they could pretty much make you go anywhere if they were perverse enough.) It is across the sea.

-I just realized I implied like I do ferret impressions all the time. Which I don't. This isn't Ferret Guard. Satine's old character had a ferret. But I think she died before anybody could talk to it and find out like the feelings it had and who it really was inside. Or was it a weasel? Need continuity cops. Are you still reading this?

-They catch a boat manned by some Drownesians.

-Things progress. At some point I have to solve the following physics problem:

If you fire a Type III-era Fireball at the surface of the ocean directly beneath a giant mutant mindcontrol starfish* that is chewing on the side of a boat which that starfish is approximately the same size as during a combat round where that starfish has been frozen in time, what are the chances that the boat itself will catch on fire (which of course consideration is the reason for the water's surface being targeted and not the aforementioned radially symmetrical megachinoderm)?

-Now they are playing an organ where the pipes are shaped like life-sized petrified people screaming.




___
*The answer to the question you have about the mindcontrol starfish is "Yes". My mental powers work even without me putting a fish on your face.

Never mind me...

I'm just posting these here in case I need to show them to my players during today's game....













Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Instaregion

Die drop Instaregion:

So as you may or may not know, I made this Die Drop Instadungeon. (Which I remember now about how someone made an easier-to-read version of the map-part here).

The nice thing about it is, it not only stocks monsters and room types (which all random generators do) but it does it fast and gives you the spatial relationships between them immediately--which is otherwise hard to do without automating the whole process which is not always optimal.

Anyway, the idea is you make a grid of interesting dungeon features, drop lots of dice on them--everywhere a die lands: that feature is both present and located there. (Maybe read it if you're confused.)

Also, you read the dropped dice according to a chart which is separated out by die type, so like a 4 on a D8 means a wizard is there wherever the d4 landed.

AAAAAnyway it occurred to me that this approach is equally (actually better) suited to making hexmaps.

So this is my die-drop Instaregion....

Above is a hex-version I drew on top of the board for an old TSR game Mandy bought me called Chase", below is a more portable gridmap version I drew for my D&D notebook.


So you take the map, drop some dice:
Then you have those places with those things in them. If you make copies of the Instaregion map you can circle them (superfast, you can build the region as its explored if you are a megaslacker) or just make a new map where you white out the other stuff, like so:
My Instaregion does not include basic terrain type (like: are we on permafrost, water, grassland, desert, etc or what) since in my game that level of granularity is already known. (Though you could totally make one of those). This is more for just "hex dressing" and setting what random encounters or other features are in the hexes.

Also, I know a really sexy convincing proof-of-concept would involve using way more dice but those 2 were the only Gifs of dice I could find on short notice and I got things to do.

I'm sure you can figure it out from there, right?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Difficult Adventure

by Charles Bernstein*

originally published in Harper's Magazine June 2003, Volume 306, Issue 1837; ISSN:0017-789x

All of us from time to time encounter a difficult adventure. Sometimes it is the adventure of a friend or a family member, and sometimes it is an adventure we have written ourselves. The difficult adventure has created distress for both GMs and players for many years. Experts who study difficult adventures often trace the modem prevalence of this problem to the early years of the last century, when a great deal of social dislocation precipitated the outbreak of 1978, one of the best-known epidemics of difficult adventures.

But while these experts have offered detailed historical discussions of difficult adventures, and while there is a great deal of philosophical speculation and psychological theory about difficult adventures, there are few practical guides for handling difficult adventures. What I want to do in this essay is explore some ways to make your experience with the difficult adventure more rewarding by exploring some strategies for coping with these adventures.

You may be asking yourself, how did I get interested in this topic? Let me be frank about my situation. I am the author of, and a frequent player of, difficult adventures. Because of this, I have the strong desire to help other players and GMs with hard-to-play adventures. By sharing my experience of more than thirty years of working with difficult adventures, I think I can save you both time and heartache. I may even be able to convince you that some of the most difficult adventures you encounter can provide very enriching aesthetic experiences-if you understand how to approach them.

But first we must address the question-Are you playing a difficult adventure? How can you tell? Here is a handy checklist of five key questions that can help you to answer this question:

1. Do you find the adventure hard to survive?

2. Do you find the adventure's purpose or goal hard to understand?

3. Are there unexpected logistical, moral, or philosophical dilemmas brought up by the adventure?

4. Does the adventure make you feel inadequate or stupid as a player?

5. Is your imagination being affected by the adventure?

If you answered any of these questions in the affirmative, you are probably dealing with a difficult adventure. But if you are still unsure, look for the presence of any of these symptoms: high mortality, tactical, or intellectual activity level; elevated mood intensity; rules irregularities; initial withdrawal (adventure not immediately comprehensible); poor adaptability (adventure unsuitable for use at childrens' birthday parties, pick-up games with random hipsters, etc.); sensory overload; or negative mood.

Many players when they first encounter a difficult adventure say to themselves, "Why me?" The first reaction they often have is to think that this is an unusual problem that other players have not faced. So the first step in dealing with the difficult adventure is to recognize that this is a common problem that many other players confront on a daily basis. You are not alone!

The second reaction of many difficult-adventure players is self-blame. They ask themselves, "What am I doing to cause this adventure to be so difficult?" So the second step in dealing with the difficult adventure is to recognize that you are not responsible for the difficulty and that there are effective methods for responding to it without getting frustrated or angry.

The writers of difficult adventures face the same troubling questions as players, but for them the questions can be even more agitating. Often a GM will ask himself, if he is a man, or herself, if a woman (transgendered individuals also find themselves asking these questions): "Why did my adventure turn out like this? Why isn't it completely accessible like the adventures in the back of rulebooks, which never pose any problems for understanding?" Like players of difficult adventures, these writers of difficult adventures must first come to terms with the fact that theirs is a common problem, shared by many other GMs. And they must come to terms with the fact that it is not their fault that their adventures are harder to understand than the ones in the back of rulebooks, but that some adventures just turn out that way.

Difficult adventures are normal. They are not incoherent, meaningless, or hostile. Well meaning players may have suggested that "something must be wrong" with the adventure. So let's get a new perspective. "Difficult" is very different from abnormal. In today's climate, with an increasing number of adventures being labeled "difficult," this is an important distinction to keep in mind.

Difficult adventures are like this because of their innate makeup. And that makeup is their constructed style. They are not like this because of something you as players have done to them. It's not your fault.

Difficult adventures are hard to play. Of course you already know this, but if you keep it in mind, then you are able to regain your authority as a player. Don't let the adventure intimidate you! Often the difficult adventure will provoke you, but this may be its way of getting your attention. Sometimes, if you give your full attention to the adventure, the provocative behavior will stop.

Difficult adventures are not popular. This is something that any player or writer of difficult adventures must face squarely. There are no three ways about it. But just because an adventure is not popular doesn't mean it has no value! Unpopular adventures can still have meaningful readings and, after all, may not always be unpopular. Even if the adventure never becomes popular, it can still be special to you, the player. Maybe the adventure's unpopularity will even bring you and the difficult adventure closer. After all, your own ability to have an intimate relation with the adventure is not affected by the adventure's popularity.

Once you have gotten beyond the blame game-blaming yourself as a player for the difficulty or blaming the adventure-you can start to focus on the relationship. The difficulty you are having with the adventure may suggest that there is a problem not with you the player or with the adventure but with the relation between you and the adventure. Working through the issues that arise as part of this relation can be a valuable learning experience. Smoothing over difficulties is not the solution! Learning to cope with a difficult session of an adventure will often be more fulfilling than sweeping difficulties under the carpet, only to have the accumulated dust plume up in your face when you finally get around to cleaning the floor.

Players of difficult adventures also need to beware of the tendency to idealize the accessible adventure. Keep in mind that an adventure may be easy because it is not going anywhere. And while this may make for undisturbed playing at first, it may mask problems that will turn up later. No adventure is ever really difficulty-free. Sometimes working out your difficulties with the adventure is the best thing for a long-term aesthetic experience and opens up the possibilities for many future encounters with the adventure.

I hope that this approach to the difficult adventure will alleviate the frustration so many players feel when challenged by this type of aesthetic experience. Reading adventures, like other life experiences, is not always as simple as it may seem to be from the outside, as when we see other players flipping happily through collections of retired 20th level PCs. Very often this picture of playerly bliss is not the whole story; even these now-smiling players may have gone through difficult experiences with adventures when they first encountered them. As my mother would often say, you can't make bacon and eggs without slaughtering a pig.



_________

*I have made the following substitutions:

The word "poem" in the original essay has been turned into "adventure"

"Read" has been turned into "play"

"author" and "poet" into "GM"

"1912" into "1978"

Identifiers 1, 2, 3 and the paragraph after the list have been substantially altered.

"of billy collins" has been replaced with "in the back of rulebooks"

"saying anything" has become "going anywhere"

"best loved verse" has been replaced with "retired 20th level PCs"


The unaltered version is here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Because Fuck You, That's Why.


Myxomatosis is an animal's disease,
But I got so shook up mama that it ate away my knees,
And I'm Left Hand Luke and the beggar boys,
O yes we are.

-T. Rex ("Left Hand Luke And The Beggar Boys")

What we end up with are dinosaur-riding sorcerous cavemen exploring ancient ruins and pursuing the Greys for their nifty rocket launchers while being pursued in turn by Nyarlathotep and some undead mummies.

Why? Fuck you, that's why.


-Jim Stutz (RPGnet review of Carcosa)

People talk about and think about this idea:

Are RPGs art?

Now first off: I don't care for pretty much the same reasons I don't care about the answer to another question I get asked a lot: "Is pornography art?".

Is a cake art? It doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is whether you personally would take time out of your day to eat it: the rest is academic in the most boring possible sense of that already pretty boring word.

What actually is a little bit interesting to me is why people tend to line up in the RPGs-are-art or RPGs-aren't-art camps. Mostly because they both do it for the wrong reasons.

The question rarely comes up totally by itself. It usually comes up in the following context:

Someone wants to take what happens in RPGs seriously.

Someone else does not.

The person who does claims RPGs are art.

The person who does not claims they are not.

This seems to me pretty much fundamentally dumb: the idea these people have is that if RPGs are art then we (pick one depending on which side you're on: get to-/have to-) decide they "have meaning".

And what meaning is that?

Usually a meaning like this: Whatever you do in the game is a thing you secretly want to do in real life.

(Variations: It "expresses and urge you have in real life", "vents a frustration you have in real life", "is a more exciting world than the one you have in real life", "reflects attitudes you have in real life""explores issues you deal with in real life")

This is all, if not actually incredibly stupid, then at least really not at all well thought out or democratic. It suggests that the reason we (all) like actual art (those things we can agree are art) is always something we can name and be sure about.

Check out that addled T Rex line at the beginning of this post. It makes no fucking sense at all. It is also entirely awesome. If you like T Rex you can't help but listen to that line and smile and admit life isn't always awful and no butterflies died in anybody's jars today because that line is there. That clunky, meaningless line just works. Why? Because of something mysterious. Because something in your lizardmonkeytroglodyte brain likes rhymes for some stupid reason. And the excitement of rhyme divorced from any reason sometimes (and not always) just works. And it throws it in your face that it works anyway and you enjoy it being thrown in your face that it works. After a long day of interpreting all the signs and symbols necessary to survive jobs, traffic and other people there is sometimes a glory in finally receiving a signal that is definitely not asking you to do anything with it but is still somehow compelling. Or: Because fuck you, that's why.

Maybe there is a meaning and maybe there isn't but it is arrogant to assume that you will understand your pleasure before you take it and tedious to live that way. (If not for you, then at least for everyone has to listen to you and your off-ham-handed assumptions about why they like what they like.)

Or, as this guy who wrote some things that make a lot of sense and some even better things that make no sense at all, put it:

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.

-Oscar Wilde


__________________
This whole situation makes some people tremendously anxious. Some examples:

There are conservative religious people who are afraid they might like RPGs because they get to do bad things in them.

There are not-conservative and not-religious people who are afraid they might like RPGs because they are miserable humps whose lives are sucky and they are fleeing from these lives.

There are not-conservative and not-religious (but still, emotionally, deeply conservative, and deeply religious) people who are afraid they might like RPGs because they harbor secretly fascist attitudes deep within their souls.

Despite the variety of people who have this problem, their solution is always the same: find some other definite reason you like any given thing and then you can rest assured you're not taking badwrongpleasure. It can be as simple as: "I like escapism and I've decided escapism is ok" or as complicated as "I want to explore intergender conflict and power exchange in a postcolonial context". And then (this is the actual sad-result part) they reject any idea that isn't in line with doing that thing.

Whether or not RPGs are art, these people are making a dumb mistake that, being in the art business, I get to see people make every day: they make the criticism before they make the thing. Which is a little like deciding what's good about a cake you've invented before even baking it.

Ask the baker: Different cakes do different things. Mainly the baker knows the baker likes baking and then eating what baking brings. And, yes, you can (and should) try sometimes to do a cake that does specifically this and try to do a cake that does specifically that, but you should also do a different thing too:

Just try stuff, more eggs or less flour--and then let yourself be surprised by how it is good--and if you never are, then you suck and so will your muffins and stupid bread because your fear of liking something for the wrong reasons has made you afraid to experiment.
Pleasure in the potentials of invention is its own and sufficient reward, as this or any wrinkly-cyclops-car-driving baby could easily explain.

And now for something that makes no sense and is rad:

bing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Library of Generic Comments

Ever get tired of typing the same old thing again, even though you typed it last week and the week before?

As you know, we here at D&DWPS are dedicated to saving all of you busy game masters time. So instead of wasting those long hours you could be using to work on your Random Bullette-Sniffing Table or preparing the PDF version of Asymptote of Infinite Slaughter for print slapping buttons on your machine in an attempt to imitate articulate thought, you may now simply refer back to this page and write "GENERIC COMMENT 16" or whatever next time you are enraged by The Internet.

(this material stolen from-, written by-, initiated by-, and made possible by- a bunch of people on Google +)


HERE ARE PICTURES AND WORDS - Comment - Hang out - Share




1. ADULATION AND/OR RAGE Yesterday 7:55 AM


2. NON SEQUITUR, VERNACULAR ENGLISH Yesterday 7:56 AM


3. NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY OR POSTED I WILL RESPOND THE SAME AND ACT LIKE TL;DR; ABOUT A FEW HUNDRED WORDS IS A VALID OPTION BEFORE COMMUNICATING Yesterday 7:58 AM


4. LENGTHY, RAMBLING COMMENT OSTENSIBLY ABOUT YOUR POST BUT ACTUALLY ABOUT ME AND HOW AWESOME I AM/MY OPINION IS/MY BLOG IS. Yesterday 8:02 AM


5. NOT GETTING THE JOKE. Yesterday 8:06 AM


6. THING ABOUT HOW WELL WHAT You SAID WAS OKAY BUT WHat SOmmmEPEOPle (UNNAMED) YOU HANG WITH SAY ON THIS ISSUE IS REGRESSIVE AND ATAVISTIC AND THAT'S WHY I CAN BARELY STAND IT AROUND HERE Yesterday 8:06 AM (edited) -


7. QUASI-RELEVANT STAR TREK REFERENCE

Yesterday 8:09 AM +1


8. HAWKWIND REFERENCE, EXPLAINS JOKE TO THREE PREVIOUS POSTER

Yesterday 8:10 AM - +2


9. DISAGREEMENT BASED ON CLOSED MINDEDNESS

Yesterday 9:24 AM


10. (a) ACCUSATION OF SOME MANNER OF -ISM! (b)AD HOMINEM ATTACK THAT NEGATES ANY ACTUAL POINT I MAY HAVE HAD.

Yesterday 9:27 AM +1


11. IRRELEVANT ANECDOTE and/or INTERNET MEME

Yesterday 9:29 AM (edited)


12. ARGUMENTATIVE CONTRADICTION

Yesterday 9:29 AM


13. RESPONSE TO ORIGINAL POST INDICATING I DIDN'T READ THE COMMENTS (W/REFERENCE TO COMMENTER'S WIFE)

Yesterday 9:29 AM


14. RELIGIOUS OFFENSE

Yesterday 9:35 AM +1


15. LOOK AT THIS CAT.

Yesterday 9:36 AM +2


16. JOKING STATEMENT ABOUT ORIGINAL POST UNDERMINING LEGITIMATE COSPLAY Yesterday 9:37 AM +3


17. POSTING ABOUT SOMETHING COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO THIS THREAD Yesterday 9:39 AM


18. DID YOU READ HUGE RUINED SCOTT'S POST ABOUT THE TOPIC CURRENTLY UNDER DISCUSSION? MAN! Yesterday 9:40 AM - +3


19. PRAISE FOR SOMETHING ZAK/JRIENTS SAID


=P Yesterday 9:41 AM +1


20. POSTING LATE TO PARTY, RE-TREAD POINTS ALREADY COVERED. DIDN'T READ PREVIOUS POSTS. Yesterday 9:42 AM +1


21. POST IN RESPONSE TO PREVIOUS POST THAT STARTS THE ARGUMENT ALL OVER AGAIN Yesterday 9:44 AM


22. ADULATION AND/OR RAGE Yesterday 9:45 AM +2


23. BLOG POST TO EXPLAIN WHAT I DISAGREE WITH IN THIS THREAD.


http://betweengoodandawful.blogspot.com/2012/02/blog-post-to-counter-things-i-disagree.html Yesterday 9:47 AM +3


24. LINK TO A FORUM THREAD CURRENTLY DISCUSSING THE TOPIC AT HAND IN A WAY I FIND RIDICULOUS AND/OR SAD Yesterday 9:48 AM


25. WELTSCHMERZ-DRENCHED HEAD-SHAKING POST ABOUT HOW THOSE POOR BENIGHTED SODS ON THAT FORUM STILL HAVE NOT GOT THE MEMO Yesterday 10:06 AM (edited) -


26. RIDICULOUS COMPARISON OF TOPIC OF DISCUSSION TO ACTUAL TRAGEDY/SERIOUS SOCIAL ISSUE/CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY and/or INVOCATION OF GODWIN'S LAW. Yesterday 9:50 AM +1


27. ASSERTION THAT I HAVE NOT DONE THE THING DISCUSSED AND THEREFORE NO ONE HAS AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE Yesterday 9:50 AM


28. ASSERTION THAT I HAVE DONE THING DISCUSSED AND HAVE SINCE 1974. Yesterday 9:52 AM (edited)


29. ASSERTION THAT YOU ARE REVISIONIST AND ELITIST AND DON'T WANT MY FRIEND/SPOUSE/GRANDMOTHER TO BE INVOLVED IN THE HOBBY Yesterday 9:52 AM +4


30. BRIEF BOLD SMUG SMIRKING ASSERTION OF MY POSITION AS NORMATIVE FOLLOWED BY LAUGHY EMOTICON Yesterday 9:53 AM - +1


31. DECLARATION OF MY QUITTING THE 'OSR' AND ALSO WHY BOTHER Yesterday 9:55 AM


32. PERSON WHO MADE MOST OVER-REACHY STATEMENT AND WAS CALLED ON IT NOW ASSERTS MOM IS CALLING/THEY ARE MOM IN QUESTION AND SAYS THEY HAVE TO GO DO ACTIVITIES THUS HOPEFULLY IMPLYING PEOPLE QUESTIONING SAID STATEMENT ARE ONLY DOING SO BECAUSE THEY ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH CONCERNS OF NORMATIVE HUMAN MEATWORLD Yesterday 10:00 AM -


33. IF THAT MAKES ME A (gaming niche group) THEN OH WELL Yesterday 10:00 AM


34. WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN Yesterday 10:02 AM


35. ACCUSATION THAT PREVIOUS POSTER IS SECRETLY ATTACKING (same gaming niche group) EVEN THOUGH HE IS NOT. OUTRAGE OVER THE FACT THAT HE CLAIMS IT DILUTES (game x) Yesterday 10:02 AM


36. FEELINGS HURT OVER ACCUSATIONS, BLOG DELETED IN RAGE. ONLY TO REAPPEAR LATER WITH APOLOGIES TO ALL INVOLVED. Yesterday 10:03 AM +2


37. RANDOM SEXUAL INNUENDO FOLLOWED BY WINKY EMOTICON Yesterday 10:05 AM


38. JOKINGLY GENERIC COMMENT IN ALL CAPS Yesterday 10:05 AM +1


39. IGNORES PREVIOUS POSTER TO FLIRT WITH TWO PRECIOUS POSTER Yesterday 10:10 AM +3


40. LINK TO WEIRD YOUTUBE VIDEO :EMOTICON-D Yesterday 10:11 AM


41. CHEERIO PIP PIP GUMDROPS BELLYDROP RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE Yesterday 10:11 AM


42. ALL JOKING ASIDE VERY LONG LIBERAL "YOU'RE BOTH RIGHT" POST THAT CONTAINS D4 LOGICAL FALLACIES BUT GETS +3 ANYWAY Yesterday 10:13 AM - +3


43. VEHEMENT DISAGREEMENT WITH "RABBLE RABBLE" COMMENT REGARDING HOW ILL INFORMED PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE POND ARE.
Yesterday 10:13 AM +1

44. ALSO, STOP RUINING MY LANGUAGE, SPEAK MURIKAN DAMMIT Yesterday 10:13 AM +1


45. POINTLESS AFFIRMATION OF LIBERAL POST WITHOUT ACTUALLY +1ING IT. Yesterday 10:15 AM +1


46. POOR READING SKILLS LEAD ME TO AGREE, YES, BOTH ARE RIGHT Yesterday 10:15 AM


47. ^ THIS. Yesterday 10:16 AM +2


48. FATMAN ASSERTS Y'ALL NEED TO RELAX Yesterday 10:16 AM


49. ANNOYED IGNORING OF ENTIRE THREAD, STARTS IRONIC METATHREAD TO MOCK THE TROPES OF THE ARGUMENT ELSEWHERE Yesterday 10:16 AM +2


50. (a) ASSERTION THAT METATHREAD TRIVIALIZES ISSUE, (b) DEMAND THAT METATHREADER STOP TRYING TO SILENCE "US" (SET VAGUELY/OBVIOUSLY-INCORRECTLY DEFINED) Yesterday 10:18 AM


51. RESORTS TO "OH YEAH LIKE GAMING IS SRS BIZNESS" ARGUMENT, SUBTLY MANIFESTING HOBBY'S INHERENT SELF-LOATHING Yesterday 10:22 AM


52. EXTREMELY ANGRY COMMENT BUT MY AVATAR IS A SMILEY WHITE BABY I HAD Yesterday 10:23 AM - +3


53. OUTRAGE BASED ON MISUNDERSTANDING SEVERAL PREVIOUS POSTS WERE SARCASTIC CAUSED BY THE LACK OF VOCAL AND NON-VERBAL CUES ON THE INTERNET. Yesterday 10:24 AM


54. CITES DAVE ARNESON PRODUCT OR ANIME THAT DID THIS THING DECADES AGO, MAKES OP SAD. Yesterday 10:25 AM


55. REMINDS YOU ALL OF YOUR OBLIGATION TO HOW I AM RAISING MY CHILDREN Yesterday 10:26 AM +1


56. ADD COMMENT REDUNDANT TO PREVIOUS COMMENTS INDICATING NOT HAVING BOTHERED TO READ ANYONE ELSE'S. SUGGEST GAME PRODUCT YOU ARE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH Yesterday 10:27 AM (edited) +2


57. Barry Blatt SUGGESTS WHOLE ARGUMENT IS FREAKISHLY PROVINCIAL VIA DEFT USE OF COCKNEY SLANG (aka "Pulling a Barry") Yesterday 10:28 AM - +1


58. COMMENT ABOUT HOW THE OP IS POINTLESS BECAUSE NO ONE USES THAT SYSTEM/RULE/BOOK ANYWAY COUPLED WITH A SUGGESTION OF MY PET SYSTEM THAT IS COMPLETELY INCOMPATIBLE WITH WHAT THE OP WAS ASKING FOR. Yesterday 10:29 AM


59. ASSERTION OF HOW ITS DONE IN POSTER'S RETROCLONE/HEARTBREAKER THAT CUTS GORDIAN KNOT PERFECTLY & THAT GETS +8 BUT WILL NOT BE IMPLEMENTED BY ANYONE READING BECAUSE PRODUCT IS NOT ANY EDITION OF D&D. HEARTS BREAK. Yesterday 10:31 AM


60. POSTED LINK INCITES MONOSYLLABIC TROLL REPLY Yesterday 10:31 AM


61. LONG DIGRESSION IN RESPONSE TO JOKE EXPLANATION RENDERED POINTLESS BY CONFUSING HAWKWIND WITH HAWK THE SLAYER. Yesterday 10:32 AM


62. FORGET CONSEQUENCES OF THE LAST COMMENT POSTED ON A LIVELY THREAD LIKE THIS, CARELESSLY POST SOMETHING THAT DERAILS ENTIRE DISCUSSION. Yesterday 10:32 AM


63. GETS INSPIRED TO WRITE HEARTBREAKER TO ADDRESS THIS ENTIRE THREAD'S PROBLEM. TOTALLY FUCKING PUBLISHES IT TWO YEARS LATER TO CRICKETS. Yesterday 10:32 AM +1


64. CRICKETS DEVOUR WORLD Yesterday 10:33 AM +2


65. (a)ADD POINTLESS CC TO +Zak Smith . (b)PLUG KICKSTARTER PROJECT THAT YOU WILL GET LESS PRODUCT THAN IF YOU PAID RETAIL Yesterday 10:33 AM +1


66. POST TO LET YOU ALL KNOW I JUST MUTED IT AND WILL NOT BE RESPONDING TO ANY FURTHER ATTACKS WHILE INSINUATING THAT YOU ALL ARE IGNORANT SAVAGE CURS Yesterday 10:34 AM +3


67. AFTER RETIRING FROM BLOG AND PUBLIC STATUS, RE-EMERGE AND DUMP OIL ON FIRE. ONLY TO DISAPPEAR FROM NET WITHIN MINUTES OF POSTING. Yesterday 10:35 AM +2


68. IGNORES ALL COMMENTS AND DISCUSSION TO POST I 'JUST WANT TO THANK ORIGINAL POSTER FOR BEING SO BRAVE SAYING THESE THINGS' Yesterday 10:36 AM


69. (DOES NOT POST BUT CHECKS TO SEE IF EVERYBODY ELSE WHO IS WRONG IS G+ FRIENDS WITH CUR-INSINUATOR AND/OR DESIGNER OF OBVIOUSLY UNDESIRABLE GAME WHOSE PREMISE INDICATES OBVIOUS INCONGRUITY OF GAME'S GOALS WITH CHECKER'S GAMING AESTHETICS) Yesterday 10:37 AM (edited) - +1


70. POST ABOUT HOW MY FATHER SAYS WHATEVER PREVIOUS POST SAYS, POTTER! Yesterday 10:37 AM


71. OBSERVATION ABOUT HOW I GO AWAY TO LOCAL CONVENIENT CHAIN STORE FOR 10 MINUTES AND THREAD BECOMES SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER. CHAIN STORE REFERENCE WILL CONFUSE 25% OF READERS, ONE OF WHOM WILL REQUEST CLARIFICATION SIMULTANEOUS WITH IN-KNOW READER POSTING INSIDE LOCAL JOKE CONCERNING IT. POSTERS WILL REALIZE THEY LIVE ACROSS STREET FROM EACH OTHER. GET OFF-LINE, GO PLAY GAME. Yesterday 10:41 AM - +3


72. GO PLAY GAME OF [INAPPROPRIATE ACTION]! YEAHHHH! Yesterday 10:46 AM


73. MAKE GENERALIZED ATTACK ON THREAD PARTICIPANTS ANONYMOUSLY. EXHIBIT SEXUAL ANXIETY.


Yesterday 10:47 AM +1

74. TL;DR; Yesterday 10:47 AM +1


75. GERTCHA! Yesterday 10:54 AM +3


76. (YouTube Link) Chas And Dave GertchaYesterday 11:02 AM (edited)


77. COMMENT ABOUT HOW YOUTUBE VIDEO IS BLOCKED IN COMMENTER'S NATION OF RESIDENCE Yesterday 11:03 AM (edited) - +1


78. EXPLANATION OF YOUTUBE VIDEO THAT IS REALLY BORING AND NOT FUNNY Yesterday 11:06 AM


79. FINAL WORD THAT IS REALLY CONDESCENDING AND DEROGATORY Yesterday 11:56 AM +2


80. LATE-TO-PARTY COMMENT INTIMATING THAT I READ ENTIRE THREAD, YET ABSORBED NOTHING. TRIES TO BE QUIRKILY AMUSING, BUT IS IGNORED BY ALL AS IRRELEVANT. CRIES ALONE IN BASEMENT. Yesterday 12:15 PM +1


81. GODWIN

Yesterday 4:39 PM ........................................................................................


82. EXACT SAME ARGUMENT ONE WEEK LATER Yesterday 10:11 AM


83. (FORCED) CHUCKLE ABOUT HOW DIVISIVENESS OF ISSUE AMONG FINANCIALLY INSIGNIFICANT SUBCLIQUE OF GAMERS IS IRREVOCABLE EVIDENCE THAT 5E IS A MISGUIDED AND QUIXOTIC PROJECT Yesterday 11:48 AM -


84. (a) PERSONAL MATTER OF TASTE PROJECTED AS STRONGLY-WORDED VALUE STATEMENT. (b)PIOUS SERMON IN FAVOR OF SMALL CAPITALIST ENTERPRISE OVER LARGE CAPITALIST REPRINTS OF CHERISHED OLD GAME PRODUCT Yesterday 11:59 AM (edited)


85. YELLING AT PREVIOUS POSTER ABOUT UNINTEREST IN CAPITALIST PRODUCT BECAUSE OF SOMEWHAT SIMILAR THING ALREADY ON A BLOG THAT IS FREE BUT ANOTHER CAPITALIST IS MAKING AD MONEY OFF OF.


THEN REALIZING I MISREAD WHAT HE SAID. Yesterday 12:17 PM (edited) +3


86. ZAK EXTENDS OLIVE BRANCH TO 4E PEOPLE AND ATTEMPTS TO UNDERSTAND THEM Yesterday 12:32 PM +2


87. 4E PARTISAN DECENDS UPON THREAD WITH Fire and Brimstone (Level 5 Daily Power) AND Magic Missile (Level 1 At-Will). Yesterday 12:36 PM +1


88. DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE A TO-HIT ROLL FOR THAT? Yesterday 12:37 PM


89. Fire and Brimstone IS VS FORT OR BE STUNNED FOR ONE THREAD.


Magic Missile IS VS REF OR BE PUSHED TO UNRELATED THREAD (Save Negates) Yesterday 12:39 PM


90. WE HAD THESE STATUS CARDS THAT WERE REALLY FULL SIZED PIECES OF PAPER AND WE FOLDED THEM INTO PAPER HATS AND PLAYERS WORE THEM. IT WAS FUN. Yesterday 12:50 PM +1


91. HOPES (argument) WILL NOT BE IN 5E Yesterday 12:50 PM


92. WHY ARE YOU GOING BACKWARDS MY GOD Yesterday 12:55 PM (edited)


93. LAMENTS THE FACT THE WE ALL CANT JUST GET ALONG. PERSONALLY CAN, WARMED BY SMUG SUPERIORITY Yesterday 4:40 PM


94. QUOTES CS LEWIS OR ROBERT HEINLEIN

Yesterday 12:36 PM +1


95. STRANGE REVERIE/TANGENT ABOUT HOW WE USED TO ROLL IT BACK IN THE DAY, CLEARLY PAINKILLER-FUELLED Yesterday 12:38 PM +1


96. COMMENT IRONICALLY ASKING WHAT? IS COMMENTER NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE OWN OPINION? IN WAY THAT INDICATES COMMENTER COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND HOW MANY THINGS ARE WRONG ABOUT THAT RHETORICAL QUESTION Yesterday 12:40 PM +1


97. SEX DWARF Yesterday 12:43 PM +1


98. Hello this information are like simple to learn more message to this website and also getting the wonderful to follow this message i easily to achieve this ranking position to this field. Yesterday 12:47 PM


99. COMMENT DOOMED TO BE IGNORED SINCE COMMENTER LOST ALL CREDIBILITY LONG AGO Yesterday 12:54 PM


00. COMMENT WHERE YOU'RE LIKE IS THIS JUST NOT A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER OR IS THIS PERSON SUCH A TWEEZER THAT HE ACTUALLY TALKS LIKE THAT? Yesterday 12:50 PM +1






Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Random Inter-NPC Relationship Table

1-2....is toying with...or using it/she/he for entertainment
3-4...is obsessed with...
5-6...has an uneasy alliance with...
7-8...seeks to control...
9-10...reluctantly trades with...
11-12...sexually involved with...
13-14...seeks the destruction of...
15-16...seeks the return of...
17-18...is inside...
19-20...secretly serves...
21-22..is at war with...
23-24...loves...
25-26...wants to eat/consume/absorb...
27-28...cannot sense____ & this is dangerous
29-30...is inoperative/immobile/comatose without....
31-32...does not want to harm____but feels s/he must
33-34...worships...
35-36...requires___as a raw material for some magical/psychic alchemical scheme
37-38....desires___'s dwelling/home
39-40...wants to attack___ but is bound by some thing not to do so directly
41-42....uneasily shares power with...
43-44...pressured to be allied with...
45-46...wants to frame______ or otherwise have his/her/its actions mistaken for his/her/its own
47-48...must distract...in order to enact plan
49-50...is mystically joined to...
51-52...will be unstoppable once allied with...
53-54...will be more vulnerable once allied with...
55-56...wants to be rescued from...
57-58...requires ___ to reproduce
59-60...seeks information possessed by...
61-62...seeks the love of...
63-64...seeks information about...
65-66...just killed/is about to kill...
67-68...came from..
69-70...seeks the capture of..
71-72...seeks to secretly undermine...
73-75...hates...
76-77...is allied with...
78-79...serves...
80-81...is or wants to perform experiments on...
82-83...requires_____to complete a work of art
84-85...secretly is...
86-87...is only vulnerable to...
88-89...has key info about...
90-91...is impersonating...
92-93...is struggling with ____ for control of an organization
94-95...is unaware of but vulnerable to s/he/it
96-97 ...is betrothed to...
98-99...is married to...
00 ...roll twice

Automated version on Abulafia here.