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Why is it so hard to get a game of Pathfinder going? Where are the people who are sane and actually interested in playing? I have moved to a new state and I really want to get a game of Pathfinder going and I am being stymied at every turn. There is a local game shop that has a Pathfinder night but it seems incredibly cliquish and if you're not a "pro" then you are kinda ostracized. Also, and this is a minor thing, the gaming area seems to have a lingering flatulence stench. I am an adult dang-it! I demand to not be surrounded by farts and snobby 19 year old's. I am not a "pro", I haven't played much in the last few years. I did play a ton of D&D way back in the day but I don't know PF as well but this should not prevent me from finding a group. I know this is probably stupid and I certainly know that this is not a REAL problem, I just wanted to vent. I know a lot of forumites play Pathfinder so I guess if anyone has a suggestion to locating a group to play with that would be welcome. Addendum: I now reside in Gainesville Florida.
1, Elf On The Shelf. I hate Elf On The Shelf. EOTS is portrayed as an American Christmas tradition. It is not. The actual little dolls existed in my childhood as generic Christmas decorations. The actual "Elf On The Shelf" tradition, on the other hand, is COPYRIGHTED and TRADEMARKED, and is a thing to SELL you, not anything resembling a tradition. EOTS is the absolute epitome of the commercialization of Christmas. 2. They have Charlie Brown's Christmas tree for sale. I saw it at the store, where they had a bunch of Christmas stuff out for sale. It looks exactly like it did in the ancient and much beloved TV special: an X shaped stand with what appears to be a single branch of sad, bent conifer weighed down and bent nearly double with a few lights and ornaments. I looked at the box. It was in fact fully licensed from the Peanuts estate, and had little buttons on the base which, when pressed, would play songs from the TV special, as well as Linus' extended quote from the New Testament, as heard on the TV special. I found myself thinking of Charles M. Schultz, creator of Peanuts, and how the whole point of the TV special was that Schultz felt that Christmas was overcommercialized, and that people needed a reminder of why there was a Christmas holiday in the first place. And now you can buy an iconic representation of this symbol of overcommercialization! That plays music and Bible quotes from the anticommercial TV special! I almost bought it. I thought about it. It was hilarious, in a "Billy Bass" kind of way. And then I decided against it. Sometimes, one can be TOO ironic, you know? 3. The Abominable Snowman. Yes, I know this is not normally a thing you think about with Christmas... but bear with me. I still remember the first time I saw "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." You know, the ancient and much beloved TV special, animated, from Rankin-Bass productions, featuring the ancient and much beloved Burl Ives as an expository snowman? I would have been around five years old. The first thing I noticed about it was that Santa's Workshop seemed like a colorful, pleasant, fun place... but Santa's house did not. For some reason, everything in Santa's house (except Santa himself and Mrs. Claus) was a sort of dull, grayish mauve color. Background, walls, furniture, ceiling, everything. Bleh. This can be seen in the scene in which Mrs. Claus is encouraging Santa to eat, because he's too skinny. Santa is supposed to be jolly and roly-poly! Eat, Santa, eat! I looked at Santa's food. It lay there glumly on its plate, as grayish mauve as everything else. Yeesh. I wouldn't have wanted to eat it, either. The other thing I noticed was the nightmare horror monsters that live in the frozen North, preying on anything that dares to venture into their Christmassy turf. You'll remember that Rudolph and his friend, the renegade dental elf Herbie, decide to run away from home and wind up face to face with the Abominable Snowman? The Abominable Snowman, aka Bumble, scared the utter crap out of me. Particularly during the commercial break where, right before cutting away, we zoom in on Bumble's fang-laden mouth, filled with teeth like an eternity of broken glass and sharky dreams. Death, horror, terror, madness! Our heroes are gonna DIIIIIE! I was genuinely upset. I was FIVE, okay? I hadn't watched enough television to soak up the tropes, and I was just too young and inexperienced to understand precisely WHY Gilligan screwed up the castaways' rescues, week after week. I don't remember what commercials followed that zoom on the Bumble's hideous horror maw, but I remember sitting before the TV, utterly paralyzed with horror. (Spoiler for a fifty year old cartoon: Yukon Cornelius saves our heroes from the horror monster. Later, Herbie the Dental Elf pulls all the Bumble's teeth, which inexplicably turns the monster into a good guy, who helps them for the remainder of the show. I'm assuming it went insane from the torture of sudden rapid unmedicated total dental extraction, and later committed suicide or something. If nothing else, I'm pretty sure Santa wasn't really equipped to handle the care and feeding of a twenty-foot seriously traumatized arctic carnivore who suddenly couldn't feed himself any more.) So I was pretty seriously traumatized myself. Horror monster from hell, near Santa's workshop! But being a kid, I adjusted. Kids adjust to ANYTHING, and I did, too. I saw Rudolph and Herbie escape death again and again, year after year, and I never feared the Bumble Death the way I did that first time. Didn't mean I trusted the wretched creature. I still think I was the only child in history to send Rankin-Bass letters asking about the Bumble's behavior after the special was over. The leopard does not change his spots, you know? And dwelling deep within my old and grizzled heart still dwells that five year old who's quite certain that miserable Bumble would rip Santa and Rudolph and company limb from limb and feast on the bloody fountains of gore in two shakes if he only dared... And now, I am old. It disturbs me to think that the neighborhood near where I work? The most popular front yard Christmas decoration is a Santa-hatted Bumble. With teeth.
I have a problem with the portrayal of RPGs and their players in the mainstream media. EVERY TIME, it seems, when RPGs and their players are portrayed on mainstream film or TV, they can't resist going for the stereotype. People who play RPGs are maladjusted nerds; normal people simply do not do such things. When we see it on "The Big Bang Theory," it's because all our male characters are maladjusted nerds. When we saw it on "Community," it was because our regular cast of attractive, if quirky, people, wanted to make the maladjusted nerd feel accepted and not like such a loser. When we saw it in "The Gamers," and "The Gamers II" ... well... actually, it was pretty good, but neither of these productions are what I'd call mainstream... the feel of these two productions is more like "made by nerds for nerds," to be honest. Independent films can afford to aim for smaller audiences. So I'd been hearing about this movie, "Zero Charisma," about a gamemaster, his game group, and how this hipster guy joins the game and shakes things up and the gamemaster winds up taking a dislike to him. I was curious; I wanted to see it. It's an indie film, and I had hopes. Regrettably, those hopes were dashed. Our protagonist, Scott Weidemeyer (Sam Eidson) is very quickly established as a stereotype; he's in his late twenties, perhaps early thirties, and lives exactly like he did when he was fifteen: heavy metal music, still lives with his grandmother in a room plastered with heavy metal band posters, fantasy art, and assorted Renfaire props, and has a lousy job as a donut deliveryman. He USED to have a job at the Friendly Local Game Store until he got canned for being too obnoxious and opinionated. Oh, and he's convinced that Hollywood stole his movie idea for "The Matrix." Our protagonist... is an angry, immature, maladjusted nerd. His friends aren't much better. One member of his group discovers his marriage is falling apart because he doesn't spend enough time with his wife. The others lack wives and/or girlfriends entirely, and tolerate Scott's tyrannical gamemastering and overbearing attitude because... well... we never get much explanation for why they put up with this guy. We establish quickly that this whole group is a pretty sad bunch, and that the center of Scott's world is that for a few hours every Thursday, he gets to be God. After twenty minutes of this, I began to wonder precisely who this movie was aimed at. Who wants to see this? Ordinary folks would be saying "Yeesh, what an unlikeable nerdy bunch of people. Why are we watching this?" and gamers would be saying, as I was, "Yeesh, what a poisonous, unlikeable stereotyped nerdy jerk being abusive to his poor geeky friends. Why are we watching this?" The zit scene in particular made me feel like I was watching staged bumfights between children with Down's syndrome; it literally plays as if you're watching a date rape. ...but then, we introduce Miles (Garrett Graham), a likeable, well-adjusted individual with an interest in gaming, fantasy, comics, and so forth. He has a decent job, an EXTREMELY popular fantasy and gaming blog, and a gorgeous, sexually insatiable girlfriend. He's lighter, funnier, more pleasant, and far more interesting than Scott... and when Scott's social circle starts gravitating towards Miles at the same time Scott's relatives invade his home life and start making it into even more of a living hell, the movie really gets rolling. Regrettably, it grows even less pleasant and more uncomfortable as it goes. The movie is pitched as a comedy, but it ain't real funny. It's the story of a bunch of squalid clueless losers caught between a loud, obnoxious, maladjusted nerd and a much nicer seeming person who is ultimately no less of a jerk. And as a gamer and general nerd myself, it made me feel kind of nasty and unpleasant. I shouldn't want to take a shower after seeing a "comedy." Even a "black comedy." This is a flick that can't decide if it wants to make fun of its loser protagonist or not, but ultimately can't decide what to DO with him, either. In short, if you're not a gamer, this movie is rather squalid and unpleasant... and if you're a gamer, it's rather squalid, unpleasant, and INSULTING. Either way, it's frankly kind of depressing. Not recommended. I really hope "Knights of Badassdom" is a better experience...
So, I am reaching for my afternoon snack, which happens to Nekoy crackers, when on the packaging I see, "Made with real peanut butter!" Uhm, there is fake peanut butter? And dont start with Nutello, that is not peanut butter. And just what do they fake in fake peanut butter? Peanuts? Or butter?