Sunday, August 9, 2015

One Of Those Sunday Posts Nobody Reads

Some notes:

*Despite what I said at first, aside from the usual Gurrrls Play DnD????? stuff, the comments on the Vice article on their Facebook page were incredibly sweet and surprising. So many people just love the game and want to play--there was not a single nerd-baiting comment. In Vice. In 2015. Weird.

*Sometimes I write actual play reports because there's a point they can make--sometimes I write them because I'm afraid I won't remember how insane shit is--like remembering a dream.

*Example of the latter: on Monday my AD&D group picked up a cursed object that attracts totally random encounters. I roll…Juiblex. The players are levels 8-11. They kill Juiblex. He tried, man.

*Spike's blog--Gorgonara--is new to me, but I like this:

Shadow people. They look like Asian shadow puppets. Theyre 2 dimensional organisms from the 2nd dimension that have immigrated to the 3rd dimension. The process of going into a bigger dimension has changed they permanently to be 2.5-d, they occupy a space 3-d space like anyone else but look the same from every angle. They were sent here to colonise the 3d world, and send back messages, but they failed miserably. Because they are different now they can never go home.

*I stopped rewriting the 5e Monster Manual because my manual was getting so taped over it was literally falling apart. I need to find a new way to do it. The monsters from there I did use turned out to work pretty well.

*People troll and play shitcritic because it's fun. (If fun--or "social re-enforcement"-- weren't the motive they'd be doing something more effective.) The way we made them stop is make it unfun. Really unfun.

*I liked Patrick's Marvel pitches

Luke Cage is lost in time. While he tries to survive and find meaning in a post-apocalyptic Britain somewhere between the fall of Rome and the Battle of Hastings, meanwhile Jessica Jones and his Kid search for him.

*Arnold Punch put up all his monsters on one list. Some entries are long, but all are interesting.
   - Candy - Turn your horrible old weapons into sugar.
   - Flower - Turn your boring old food into flowers.
   - Gem - Turn your shiny gold into awesome glitter.
   - Ice - Turn all of dangerous flammables into lovely toys.
   - Tooth - Can steal the teeth right out of your head.

*Dungeon Dozen is on-point, too, this weekend

9. Involuntary, boundless levity in approach to all things, no matter how dire, all conversation framed as hilarious "bits", great effusions of genuine or feigned laughter the glue that holds society together

*Some people want online to be a bar where they rib each other constantly but it means nothing.
Others are obsessed with civility.
They don't get along.
A third kind, the obviously fragile people who can only report on their emotions, follow neither the barfly rule of the first kind or the Always Ignore Really Bad Things rule of the second kind but are tolerated by both.
None of them can at all relate to the fourth kind: people who actually wanna get shit done.

*Harry Potter (as a structure) seems less D&Dable than Harry Potter inverted: you are the person trying to murder someone who is safe in the arms of the institution. I think this may also be true of Arthurian D&D: infiltration of stable and complex institutions is a more player-centric adventure than being invited into them and then having to ferret out trouble within. Or, at least, you get to tour more of the institution with the inverted structure. Like: you don't want to joust or drink when everything's going fine and you just wait for the trouble--you want to be the disrupting presence, so each of these events is full of drama caused by the PCs and the PCs have to examine the tourney from all the angles.

It's like that rogues-and-sandboxes thing but it also applies to anything with periodically repeated rituals (classes, feasts, etc): there's only a point to gaming through them when they become a problem, and it's better when the players are motivated to make that problem happen.

*Call of Cthulhuish dream:

In the form of a documentary trailer. There's people who believe humans and frogs and newts share a common ancestor.

This animal is currently alive:

it looks like a small fat stylized frog with a somewhat pointed hace and stubby legs, but with faces  on both ends. One set of small legs. One of the 2 janus-faces is always covered in an algae-colored goo. The dividing line is very clear and straight.

A scientist is trying his whole life to disprove that they are related to us, but also killing them in the process.

The imagery of the documentary contains an evolution-denier-style science museum exhibit, sort of natural-historyish, sort of totemic, of stacked sculpted creatures and faces, in a 1950s style. Lots of manilla-colored nameplates.

*Here's a game: Ask whoever you're sleeping with which of the Fellowship you most resemble, if they had to pick.

...and now, a word from our sponsor:
Only 74 copies left via mail order.


  1. I asked my wife the fellowship question and she said personality wise Boromir, appearace wise Gimli , but taller

  2. Loved your rewrite of the monster manual - was enter than the Fiend Folio stuff you wrote about ages ago. Hope you find a good way to continue it...

  3. I like Hogwarts as a megadungeon filled with forgotten sub-basements and abandoned towers. Places children aren't supposed to go, but the party does so anyway.

  4. Reading the FB comments: I don't think anyone actually read the article. Or at least, they aren't responding to anything in the article. It's either (a) what they think about the people in the pictures, or (b) telling their own D&D stories.

    But then, maybe the people who post comments on Vice's FB page are self-selected to be the sort of people who enjoy (a) trolling or (b) self-indulgence.

  5. That Inverse Harry Potter idea is brilliant. I think that might actually work with most fantasy books and movies.

  6. She asked if Gollum was technically a part of the Fellowship. We're no longer seeing each other... thanks.

  7. "I stopped rewriting the 5e Monster Manual"


    "I need to find a new way to do it."

    So, there is hope ...

    "The process of going into a bigger dimension has changed they permanently to be 2.5-d, they occupy a space 3-d space like anyone else but look the same from every angle."

    I pictured creatures always looking at you, no matter how you would move. Disturbing ... but also, no backstabbing and another level of gaze attacks. Oh, the possibilities!

    "Harry Potter (as a structure) seems less D&Dable than Harry Potter inverted"

    Never realized this, but I guess it is true. I do remember a game session long ago in which the PCs had to survive a siege. Their biggest enemy was time; so many ideas to improve defenses, but so little time ... was fun for once, but I agree that besieging a wreak havoc is more fun than waiting for the troops marching in.