Friday, October 14, 2011

So damn predictable.

Still waiting to see anybody take notice of a post on the forge without the comments instantly turning into "hurr they are using terms I can't be bothered to understand they can't possibly mean anything by them they must just be using them to sound all smart and stuff let's go take their lunch money on the playground."

Like everybody who plays roleplaying games isn't using a big pile of terms that would be opaque to a random person overhearing them who couldn't be bothered to ask what they meant.

Auditing the thread for Forge-specific terminology:

Vincent's original post, as far as I can tell, did not include a single word of Forge-specific terminology!

Neither did the first reply by Judd.

Eero used the words "gamist" and "coloring" in his very long post.

Vincent's second post used the phrases "Step On Up" (another term for "gamist" or "playing for the sake of exciting challenge" and "Story Now" (another term for "narrativist" or "playing to see what story happens"). The context might have made these clear to someone more inclined to think than to whine.

Callan uses no forge-specific terminology in his reply.

Nor does Vincent in his third post.

Eero uses the word "narrativist."

No forge terminology in James Nostack's post.

Ron refers to an "old, incomplete, Color-first project" in passing.

Vincent's next post had no forge-specific terminology in it.

Callan's had none.

James Nostack's had none.

Vincent's next had none.

Ron's talks about "Color" a lot but his post mainly is talking about how Vincent's expectations, which were not fulfilled, might have been unreasonable, since he didn't take certain obvious steps to help make them happen. (This is ironically similar to what some commenters of Raggi's such as Jeff Rients said, that if the atmosphere of the game is supposed to come into play in a game like this, that the GM must take more of a hand in making that happen, and can't rely on the book enforcing it like it does in some of Vincent's games).

Ron's next mentions the word "Color" again.

Vincent uses the word "color" again. Someone reading thoughtfully would probably have grokked what it meant (atmosphere/look/feel/attitude/style/colorful details) long before this. He also uses the word "framing".

David Berg's post had no forge-specific terms.

C. Edwards uses "color" and "fruitful void."

Ron's next post has no forge-specific terminology.

Vincent's post has no forge-specific terminology.

Geez, it's almost as if people at the Forge are speaking English rather than some crazy Forge jargon designed to keep other people out and make themselves look all fancy. They're just trying to think about things and figure out how things work, why they worked out the way they did, and what that could mean.

You wouldn't know that from the comments on Raggi's post though. Advice: if you post on the Forge about anything, watch out for your lunch money. You've marked yourself out as one of those smart kids who thinks they're better than the other kids and needs to be taken down a peg on the playground.

My OSR bretheren, I like you and I like what you're doing. But why do so many of you have a chip on your shoulder about the Forge?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holy crap, it's going down.

Liz Danforth is auctioning off one of her most iconic pieces: The Summoner from Tunnels & Trolls fifth edition.

All I can say is I wish I was rich.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yet Another "Hey This Reminds Me Of Sorcerer" Thing

(It doesn't quite seem to fit right in this post; to view it better you should probably click through to YouTube.).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

People designing Sorcerer demons without realizing it

A friend of mine, who doesn't game at all, was talking about how he wanted to get a license plate for his motorcycle that said MOLOCH because it has double headlights, and reminded him of the owl from Bohemian Grove that the conspiracy nuts say is actually the god Moloch.

Then he IMs me this:

>yeah, moloch would be a good name for a money pit motorcycle that begs you to
>break the law mercilessly without care for your own safety or that or others.
>Selfish indulgance

HOLY SHIT, he's got the Need (constant maintenance) and the desire (mayhem or maybe corruption) right there in one sentence.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Played Sorcerer with Ron Edwards and Konstantinos Rentas at GenCon. This is Chuni, my character's demon. She's a porn star, with a very dedicated following, one of whom threatened to ruin my character's nice middle class suburban life in the hopes of getting to meet her.

Thing with demon porn stars is, some need to be paid in blood instead of cash.

Monday, August 08, 2011

"And people say I'M stuck in the Seventies!"

--Ron Edwards, realizing that I was using icosahedrons numbered 0-9 twice as d10s.

(Hey, you can still find them at Gamescience if you dig around!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ed posting cause God forbid I work on things I'm being paid to work on

Ron has a post up where he talks about some games about religion he's working on, and talks about a "type" of gamer who came from a religious background. I first heard him discussing this on the Walking Eye podcast.

I've been going back & forth about how much I fit into his typology, and thought I'd post here rather than drop what is basically just personal musings into a forum thread about his game.

Here it is with comments interspersed:
The following points aren't intended to describe any single individual, but two or three per person do seem to show up again and again among the role-players I've been thinking about.

i) A strong tendency toward rebellious-looking attire and hair, frequently hippie-pagan but also sometimes punky - and completely divorced from the original political context in which these looks originated.
My hair is long, but I don't think it's rebellious-looking. My attire is more "slob" than "rebel." I would probably look like an extremist in 1960. By the time I was born, in 1969, all the rebel value had worn off long hair eons ago. I do in fact have far left politics, as it happens. But it's got nothing to do with my hair. So yeah, I don't know whether to say this one applies. I'm saying "no" in general but giving this one a 10% "yes" rating cause I do in fact have hippie hair and I don't think of it as a political thing.
ii) A strong tendency toward prudishness in RPG content once you get past the original rebellion of playing RPGs at all. It's a weird kind of Victorian prudishness, though, perfectly accepting of extreme porn when it's "in its place," i.e., available in private and quite distanced from anything resembling ordinary or public human interactions.
Partially. Depends on context. I think "prudishness in RPGs" is the default among most of the people I've played with, historically, but that's not always so anymore. Calling this one 50% cause the tendency is there in my gaming history, it's just not always in play anymore.
iii) A strong tendency toward saving and helping others especially in anonymous masses, often in the full assumption that one knows exactly what to do and think better than they do. (i.e. despite breaking with one's natal church, retaining and even elevating its presumption of secret spiritual insight over that of humanity; i.e., not joining the ignorant mass "down there" but rather elevating above the church to a third plane of super-insight)
I dislike elitism. However, I do think that most people including me could use a lot more "saving" and "helping" than is available to us in our society. (Far left politics, remember?) I don't think I have secret knowledge that makes me one of the few people who can do it though. But I think it should be done. So... I don't know, I'm giving that one a 25% application.
iv) An overwhelming need, even anxiety, regarding being liked, as opposed merely to operating in one's own terms and letting being liked find its own level.
Oh FUCK yes. HUGE problem of mine. 41 goddamn years old and I still am stuck with this bullshit. True and I hate it. 200%.
v) Bright as hell, full of ideas, but often choked-up and anxious when it comes to implementing them.
Nope, I have no ideas. Doesn't apply. (Or does it apply because I'm so choked up and anxious I have given up on even having ideas anymore, and strangle them in the cradle?...)
vi) Surprising tolerance for militarism in details and even in full-blown political content, both in fiction and in life, to the extent of occasional fetishism and not recognizing military criticism or satire.
Jesus, no.
vii) A very strong commitment to a new name representing their break with their old upbringing, whether legally changed or a username or whatever.
No, never been able to stick with an alias or username or whatever for very long.

Oh, here's the intro:

For a couple of years, I've been thinking a lot about how many of the role-players I've met in the last decade had strict religious upbringings. Many although not all of them come from the American evangelical tradition. Maybe "strict" is misleading; I've found that people will say, "Oh, it wasn't strict" and go on to describe hair-raising guilt trips and routine practices which are best described as behavior-mod indoctrination. In fact, I don't mind telling you this up-front, the main thing I've found is that many role-players flatly lie when it comes to admitting how they were raised in these terms. Or they deflect into what might as well be a lie when they go on and on about their current free-thinking atheism or exceptionally fuzzy feel-good alternate church, as a way of not actually saying how they were raised.

I was going to address this point before I posted, but I don't think I can. My family's relationship to religiousness and irreligiousness was a complicated one. My father's side of the family had no religious inclinations whatsoever; they were a prosperous working-class-risen-to-middle-class family, whose highest aspirations ran to vacations and appliances and hobbies. Stable and soulless. My mother's side of the family were the children of a rural truck driver missionary's kid, and a woman from a very strict Calvinist family who went to church twice every Sunday; the family as a whole stayed working class, with very few having very much money; there was drama - divorces and remarriages; religiosity in the family tended to be concentrated in a few intense women, from whom it extended to everyone else. My mom was unusually intellectual and intelligent among her siblings, and transmitted the family's faith to us in only a very kind and thoughtful manner -- but we *were* sent to Christian schools, which were a whole constellation of influences on their own, with a variety of different emotional and social tenors. (My father was physically and, increasingly, mentally disabled by hydrocephaly, which went undiagnosed most of his life until CAT scans became common and one was done to him. He died in a nursing home when I was 19. Because of this, his influence on me in religious and other matters was much less than my mother's.)

It's complicated, as is clear even from that bare and brief overview. (And in that, I've only described influences on me, not my own response to those influences -- whether and when I accepted or rejected them.) So I don't know if I'd qualify for a "strict religious upbringing" from Ron's point of view, but I'm probably a lot closer to that than I am to his own completely secular upbringing.

BTW, the ironic "God forbid" in the title was a total accident -- I wasn't trying consciously to be clever at all. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oh snap, SAT style

Best analogy-style review of a generic worldbuilding RPG EVAR!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thirty One Days of T&T with KSA

Ken St. Andre at T&T Delver's Tales is undertaking a "d31 blogging challenge," doing a piece on a given number in the rules and history of Tunnels & Trolls and Trollworld, each day of the month of May. He's a day behind as of this writing but it's a lot of fun -- well, it sure as hell is for an old T&T nerd like me.

Following Ken and Liz Danforth on Twitter and blogs and stuff, I sometimes feel like all the gaming I've done since Tunnels & Trolls was a waste of time, and I'd be happiest just going back and playing that again. I mean, if I actually played roleplaying games instead of reading and talking about them. (Wait, I can't write that anymore! I do play an RPG regularly; I've been dealt into a very old house-rules-original-D&D campaign in Iowa City. I just don't do much in it because it's an old world and everyone else involved knows it much, much better than me, and everybody's mostly higher level than me and more powerful than me, so I kind of sit back and watch, a lot. I imagine that will change eventually but right now I'm shy and quiet.)