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Everything posted by PingosHusband

  1. Death and Injuries to PCs in RPGs

    Almost, but not quite, the plot of Bored of the Rings. 5'11"s your height. 180's your weight. You cash in your chips. Around page 88.
  2. Death and Injuries to PCs in RPGs

    Danger in games can sometimes act like "Raising the Stakes" in writing. It can create a deeper involvement, but it can also be done gratuitously because the GM or writer thinks it's necessary and that without it everything will be boring. But often the opposite is the case. One of the games I'm playing in now is a variant of Shadowrun. The first adventure of which was extremely bloody and dangerous. Since then we have worked very hard to avoid direct battles in the game. The GM will set up a dangerous objective and we will spend most of the session working out ways to accomplish a goal that is close enough to the goal or solves the underlying problem of which the goal is only one possible solution without getting anywhere near what he's set up. Sometimes the GM expresses frustration with this, but he enjoys doing this, and besides, we learned this lesson about him many years ago. <Digression> The same GM was running a game of Champions a long time ago. He also loves making mazes. He came to the session with a huge maze full of enemies and traps. And we kind of felt obliged to go through it because of the work he had done. It turned out that the whole thing could be circumvented easily and he had just made the maze for the fun of it. <Digression within Digression> As a player he's been known to do the same sort of thing. Again, years ago I was running a high fantasy type game with home brewed rules. His character was fated to marry a particular NPC, but his family and hers (both deep magical lineages with non-human ancestors) had been feuding for centuries. So her relatives set him a fairy tale style quest to obtain the materials for and make her wedding dress. He dutifully wrote down the long, complex, mythic requirements they had set. Then he turned to his bride to be and said, "Would white satin do?" and she replied "That would be lovely." Best short-circuit ever. </Digression within Digression> </Digression>
  3. Death and Injuries to PCs in RPGs

    I have run both kinds of games. Recently, the games I've run have had little to no character death, because the game is about the players having fun through their characters interacting with and affecting and being affected by the world. On the other hand, it's been a long time since I've had the kind of player who would try to take advantage of that.
  4. I'm more than happy to concede that all of her good qualities come from you, and all the problematic ones come from me.
  5. I've used Psionics a number of times in D&D games. It can be fun having both systems in play at the same time. But I think it's important to have the flavor of each be kept distinct. So, I've always made sure that the backgrounds and goals that go with each point the characters in very different directions. The last time I did this (running D&D 3.5) I had magic as being derived from the memory of the world and psionics from the thought of the world. Memory was much older so magic had been around for a very long time. Thought was more recent so that psionics were only developing during the course of the game.
  6. Need Help breaking down Heraldry for mini painting

    Sounds great. Are you going to post the work as it goes on?
  7. Need Help breaking down Heraldry for mini painting

    That last is inevitable. There's always someone more authentic than thou. And far be it from me.... I'd suggest painting the escutcheon on the top or maybe on both shoulders. It looks like there's enough room. But don't bother with the supporters or the crest or any of the rest of it. But if you take individual elements out of the escutcheon then it won't make heraldic sense because it's the composition that is supposed to be unique not any subpart of it. Basically, there's a limit to how simple you can make it and have it work. It is true that people often used their crests on battle banners, but in this case the crest is more complicated than the escutcheon so that doesn't help you. There are a lot of ways you can make it more complicated. If you want to make people who know heraldry's eyes pop out a bit, you could add marks of cadency to represent units being commanded by princes or princesses. https://rarebooks.nd.edu/digital/heraldry/cadency.html If you want to get really complicated you could quarter these arms with other arms indicating someone who inherited more than one line of nobility. But that gets really complicated.
  8. Need Help breaking down Heraldry for mini painting

    My heraldry is from time spent in the SCA a few decades ago, so I'm very rusty. But I do have a big cool edition of Fox-Davies that is falling apart, so that's something. So, here's the Gutenberg link to Fox-Davies, but it's way more than is needed for dealing with one achievement. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/41617/41617-h/41617-h.htm The whole thing above is called an achievement. It is also called someones arms. The wikipedia entry diagrams the major parts of it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achievement_(heraldry) Heraldry has a language to describe the contents of an achievement, so that one herald can tell another without having to draw it. Blazening is a lot less important if one can actually cut and paste images, but it's likely to stick around for a while (a few centuries at least) because Heraldry's all about tradition these days. The full achievement might show up in someone's castle, but the practical point of heraldry was to identify a person on the field of battle, since them suits of armor all look pretty much alike. In battle one would only be displaying the escutcheon (the part that looks like a shield). This one's pretty simple. The gold color is called "or". A bird splayed out like that is blazened as "displayed" it's also "crowned" and there's a crescent with a cross on it. Heraldry has a lot of fake rules many invented much later than the actual time of knights on the field. There are also a lot of pop-culture terms misapplied (like coat of arms). A coat of arms is an actual coat that has arms on them. A coat of arms is not worn by the person whose arms they are, but by a retainer to that person. There are a few practical painting considerations. Standard heraldry uses a small palette of colors (called tinctures) which is divided into two groups: The Metals: Or (gold) and Argent (silver or white)) and the Colors: Gules (red), Vert (green), Sable (black), Azure (blue), and Purpure (yep, it's purple). The standard rule is that one does not put metal on metal or color on color. This is supposedly because the contrasts are better, whether that's true or not I can't say. So the bird being largely sable (black) is on the gold background and the crescent+cross is argent(white) on the aforementioned sable bird. But you may notice that the bird has more than one color. That's because if you blazon something as "proper" than you use whatever colors are needed and you don't care too much about the above rule. Hence the gold claws on the gold background don't violate the rule... even though they clearly do. Arms are granted by the crown, not assumed. I.e. a person was not supposed to just claim that they had arms. But you know how it is. Sometimes a guy with an army would just start carrying arms and back that up with force of... arms. There are a lot of heraldic complications (like quartering and marks of cadency) which don't show up in this achievement, so we'll leave them be until and unless needed.
  9. I could easily whip up a husband and father of cosplayers outfit.
  10. The way calculus is taught is very difficult for people who do not have analytic minds, which is very goofy because the inventors of calculus (particularly Newton) both thought and wrote in Geometric terms. If you ever read Newton's Principia, it looks nothing like a modern calculus text. One of the biggest problems with calculus teaching is that it is that the math teaching is divorced from the physics purpose. My brother the physicist describes calculus as the language of motion. If it were taught along with the practical applications, calculus would be a lot easier for most people. I have a much longer rant on the subject, but it's part of a book I'm writing, so it'll have to wait.
  11. I agree absolutely about the need for learning critical thinking, and that a knowledge and understanding of history are vital. I also think that a grounding in science is extremely important. <Heresy Alert>Literacy is, for the current time, important, but that might change with the advance of tech. </Heresy Alert> Exposure to stories and storytelling from around the world is a good thing. Beyond that, it gets complicated. Given modern times I think everyone needs to know enough computer programming to understand that their phones and other devices are not magic. <Digression on Math> Math education is important, but how math is taught has changed over time and the current methods bias toward a certain way of thinking. Math has three parts Algebra, Geometry and Analysis. These correspond to three different ways of thinking. Each person has different biases toward or away from these three. Geometric minds tend to form their thinking into image and maps. Algebraic minds see things in terms of objects and operations. Analytic minds see things in terms of functions and processes. My mind is mostly analytic with some algebraic. Modern math is mostly algebraic so I had a pretty easy time of it. Pingo's mind is largely geometric. She struggled with math in college. 200 years ago math was largely geometric. I've told her that in that time she would have been regarded as the math genius and I as the struggling, confused student. All aspects of math can be formulated in ways that can be taught to these three different ways of thinking. Math teaching needs to be reformed in such a way as to do this. There's no good reason I did well and Pingo had trouble. Red has some of each of ours. So she has an easier time in different directions than either of us did. </Digression on Math> Initial teachings in many arts would be a good thing as well. Sports-- I think I've made it clear as to my attitude toward them.
  12. No need for you to apologize. Indeed, I offer my apologies for the tone. Over the years I've found that this is one of those frustrating topics that I've found counterproductive to approach gently. And I understand the hyperbolic use of 'everyone.' However, those who do not seem to belong to 'everyone' often get the sense that there must be something wrong with them if the experience is a bad one for them. It takes skill and experience for people to separate their enjoyment of something from their view of that thing. I've had talks with English teachers who try to convince students to love the books they love, and had way too many discussions wherein people think that foods they love must be objectively good. I've noticed that people with these views often disregard objections as if the objector simply needed to be exposed to the thing mentioned in order to have their view completely changed. They often disregard alternative views. To reference the topic of this thread, Red's view of the Taming of the Shrew was radically opposed to that of her teacher (who regarded it as a romance not a horror story). That teacher (otherwise a good English teacher) had a condescending view of Red and her fellow students' objections. To take a stronger example, when I was young I was pushed into playing football (something I despise). My family had a number of sports fans and the logical conclusion that because of my build I should play that game. I don't like sports at all, and I found it a miserable experience, but because the social assumption was that everyone should play sports (as a means of socialization and character building and exercise), it was difficult to make clear that my objections should be taken seriously. On the matter of live theater. I'm very fond of it, but I hate crowds. I'm okay sitting down and watching, but getting in and out is a strain. Some people have that difficulty more than I do and can't tolerate the atmosphere of theater (live or movie). For people to whom the experience is a drain or a source of confusion, a play is much easier to understand if they read it than if they watch it performed.
  13. I'm going to say this very sharply: There is no experience that everyone should have. There are no books that everyone should read. No art everyone should view. People are a lot more varied than people know. Everyone has things that provide them insight and things that leave them with nothing. Good art reaches its audience and conveys understanding to the people who make up that audience. But no art has a universal audience. People are different and one person's vital center of their mental life is another person's nothingburger with boredom sauce.
  14. Except they weren't being protected from reading it. They were being warned about its contents. In the writing biz, we do this all the time. Books have covers and jacket copy and so on in order to give readers an idea of what's going on in the book. Trigger and content warnings are not the same thing as censorship. They're alerting people for what to expect, especially if they are likely to react badly to the contents. It lets them make informed decisions and to be ready for what's to come if they are required to read it anyway. Trigger warnings should be no more controversial than restaurants marking how spicy their dishes are.
  15. Best Version of DnD?

    Also, "Why are you rereading that sourcebook?"
  16. Best Version of DnD?

    There are too many different variants of elves in the cultures that have them for a coherent culture to be created. Even Tolkien's elves have a wide variety of cultures and they are as susceptible to jerkiness as his humans. They even have elf to elf prejudice depending on whether they went to Valinor or not and among the three groups that went to Valinor there was prejudice. This may be a failure of imagination on Tolkien's part, growing up as he did in a very prejudiced culture. Terry Pratchett's elves exist as a counterpoint to Tolkien's. Pratchett's elves are complete jerks, but as shown in his last book, it is possible for them to learn better. Michael Moorcock put elf variants into several of his Eternal Champion books including the Melniboneans, the Eldren the Vadhagh, and the Sidhe. There are many cultures there mostly based on being really old and having seen a lot of stuff over the millennia. Elves as phenomena of Celtic cultures depend on the religions and myths of those cultures. They do not form a consistent narrative because mythologies do not form consistent narratives (that's not what they're for). D&D elves started out as explicitly lifted from Tolkien, but they've mutated and diversified over the decades given the many writers and GMs who have worked on them.
  17. Embarrassing Crushes

    The common phrase around this house for that kind of appreciation is "I'd draw that." Pingo didn't coin the phrase; our daughter did.
  18. Getting to Know Each Other, September Edition

    I don't remember what it was in original D&D, but it actually doesn't matter for that trick since the MU can shapechange into a bird and fly with the other birds over the castle then polymorph them. At the moment I'm running a game of Exalted, playing in a seriously weired out game of Shadowrun and also playing in a homebrewed game that is really hard to describe.
  19. Getting to Know Each Other, September Edition

    A couple of stories from a game a friend of mine in college ran before I got there. Things like this are why some of the D&D rules were changed in later editions. This game was run under the original rules + supplements (that's Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, Underworld & Wilderness Adventures, Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, Gods Demigods and Heroes). They revolve around an overpowered high level Magic User. 1. He used Polymorph Other as a siege weapon by releasing small birds to fly over castles and polymorphing them into blue whales. Few of them survived the polymorph itself, but that didn't matter. Note: This was done before the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy came out, so the falling blue whale was his own creation. 2. He used a wish spell to become a Balrog (because we knew what Type VI Demons really were) with the head of a Ki-Rin. That was not his original intent. He wanted the physical power of one and the mental power of the other. 3. The Interplanar Ballistic Roc. I don't remember how this got going, but somehow he became a roc flying uncontrollably through the Astral plane at a ridiculous speed. This attracted the attention of some demons, who teleported in front of it, but it missed them, so they gated in more demons who gated in more demons and so on in order to create a giant target to catch the roc.
  20. Getting to Know Each Other, September Edition

    Many years ago when I was in college, I was running a Runequest second edition game (set in Glorantha, the only place for Runequest). During this time period many games had brutal combat fumble charts. The PCs were approaching a forest in which lying in ambush were 4 Elven master archers and a Dryad (in Glorantha elves and dryads are plants). Master means having a 90% or higher skill. So this was a well set up ambush. I proceeded to roll the most absurd set of fumbles ever in which the four elves proceeded to kill each other and the dryad with bad dice rolling. The rest of the adventure was a bit of a walk for the PCs owing to a demoarlized GM.
  21. Happy Birthday TheAuldGrump !!!

    Happy Birthday!
  22. Apparently, that was the initial plan, but they scrapped it. But there are interesting bits and shards within the WOD that point back toward Exalted and interesting bits and shards in Exalted that point forward toward WOD. A few examples: 1. In both the demon realm is named Malfeas. 2. In both the capital city of the Underworld is named Stygia and exists near a place called the Venous Staircase. 3. There are a few references in WOD to two beings called the Ebon Dragon and the Scarlet Empress (important beings in Exalted). 4. The Abyssal Exalted are like super vampires and the Lunar Exalted are like super werecreatures. Exalted Fair Folk are like super faeries. 5. In Exalted the Primordial machine god is named AutoChthon and his body is a realm called AutoChthonia. In Mage, there is a mysterious place in Space called AutoChthonia that is ruled by a sentient computer. 6. Exalted has natural sources of power called demenses. WOD has similar things in both Werewolf and Mage (cairns and chantries respectively). As for the Dowager. In the game I'm running, all the Deathlords and the Abyssals were pulled into the Void when the Neverborn went into it, so they're gone. The Dowager had an escape route planned using the Well of Udr, but the Shoat of the Mire killed her just before the end. In practical terms, I can't have Exalted era bad guys (or good guys) surviving the change of the world in any useful form, because they would simply have taken over (being so powerful compared to WOD characters). So, one way or another they've been removed from being active (a lot of them are just gone, others are in various states of inactivity).
  23. Randomness XII: Eighteen! Purple! Squirrels!

    Nope. The guy I saw had no pinstripes on his velvet jacket. That guy looks cool as well.
  24. Randomness XII: Eighteen! Purple! Squirrels!

    Just saw a guy headed off for ComicCon in full on Joker cosplay (old school somewhere between Ceser Romero, Jack Nicholson and the Batman the Animated Series (Mark Hamill) version). It's amazing the sight of a homicidal maniac can brighten ones day.