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Messages - Zirunel

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Tekumel has a few sentient insectoid species that could be ported into a home setting.

There's the Pe Choi Tenbones mentioned. Fairly dramatic looking, normally standing upright on powerful hindmost limbs, but mostly friendly with humans and many are well integrated into the human empires.

Then there's the scorpion-like Hluss, which are your nasty inimical hive-dwellers. A lot of their hives are nest-ships made of a body secretion, and they move around on the oceans and can show up almost  anywhere. One neat thing about them is that they like to adorn themselves with precious gems cemented onto their carapaces, so a mature warrior Hluss may be a glittering sight, encrusted with a fortune in gemstones.

And then there's also the crystalline, transparent Hokun, who like to hunt humans for sport.

All pretty cool.

If you're looking at Andean cosmology then yes it probably works better with binary oppositions like earth/sky, male/female, land/sea than anything "elemental"  in D&D. Especially since those oppositions will cross-cut and fit poorly with the D&D or medieval quadripartite  alchemical elements.  On the other hand, the Incas did have a quadripartite (social/ political, not entirely cosmological) division of space that you could tweak. So the southern quarter (high altiplano) could be sky, the northern mountain quarter earth, the western (Pacific) quarter water, and the eastern (upper Amazon) quarter fire. Not quite right cosmologically, but doable. Different elemental cults could be associated with the four quarters.

It kind of comes down to how much you really want to drill down into the cosmology and rework D&D, vs.  drill down into D&D and rework the cosmology.

I think sometimes one of the shortcomings of historically authentic settings is the temptation to overthink. And in the case of elementals, they are as important as you want them to be. At some level, S'mon is probably right, just make something up and do it


What we're saying is:

SJW's project their own inherent racism and bigotry on *everyone* else. They've adopted alternative definitions for words that do not comport with their actual meanings - and worse, they've conflated words and thoughts to mean actions and have lost the capacity to differentiate between the two. This may be (likely) an emergent quality of the ideology that has been taught to them. This ideology further insulates itself by leveraging the thought-mechanisms of cult-behavior by demonizing anything that does not comport with their doctrine.

The net-effect is a deracination of the individual from the moorings of reality. This leads to the justifications for their racism and bigotry and blinds them from their own hypocrisy because of their adoption of these conflicting definitions which supports the very racism SJW's pretend they're fighting against.

This is a the pathological adherence to Post-Modernism where in comparing two opposite things the individual loses the ability to make a discernment of quality between them. i.e. everything becomes "equal" in value. This is an illusion of epic proportions.

You may not wish to figuratively die on this hill... but it might be too late, figuratively, if you can't understand what we're saying.

I'm not certain that that is what BCT doesn't understand. I'm not even certain he disagrees with that, as far as it goes. For example, if we rewind to the post that began this thread, I suspect he would agree that "Alien as angry black woman" is preposterous. If I read him right, his argument with you would be more along the lines of "yes, but..."

 However, I can't really speak for him,  that's just my read, and maybe I'm wrong.

You can't write and sell an adventure and say it's for B/X or AD&D, that's verboten.

Legally, you can.

Really? Okay well if that's true, then perhaps I have misunderstood the whole raison d'etre for retroclones


I guess that's my pattern: I don't really run "OSR" games, but I love being able to draw on OSR game supplements/adventures/etc. as resources for my 1e AD&D and original D&D games.

Yes! See, I thought that's all the "OSR" ever was:  imprimateurs that allow people to legally produce new material for old games. You can't write and sell an adventure and say it's for B/X or AD&D, that's verboten. But you can publish an adventure for OSRIC or Labyrinth Lord, and Bob's your uncle, done and done. Everybody knows it's *really* an adventure for B/X or AD&D,  but if you observe the niceties it's all legal and above board.

That's fairly clever, all things considered.

I know, right? I mean, in the context of fantasy/sf literature of the day it's not that novel, but in an rpg , 45 years ago, as a rationale for "why are monsters evil/ hate us, and why do we hate them," it's fairly unique.

I'd say it was innovative, but since Tekumel was the first published rpg setting ever, "innovative" seems like a weak descriptor. Everything about it was innovative.

even so, It's still amazing how much it anticipated things that have become controversial all these decades later.

45 years ago, before it occurred to anyone that there might be anything problematic or colonialist about rpgs, Barker came up with a very new take for Tekumel. There are no orcs or goblinoids of course, but  the closest equivalents are the Hluss and the Ssu, the latter dubbed "The Enemies of Man." They are not " evil" in any real sense, just utterly alien and utterly inimical to humans. There is no negotiation or "getting along" (in fact, no communication of any sort). They must eliminate humans from the planet or humans must eliminate them.

So far so good, "inimical" is a useful approach for conflict between rpg enemies without introducing moral concepts like good or evil.

But what is really interesting is that even back then, Barker somehow anticipated this whole colonialism thing and confronted it head-on. The Hluss and the Ssu really ARE the indigenous inhabitants of Tekumel, the rightful owners of the planet. And then humans arrived, colonized the place, terraformed it beyond recognition, and confined them to reservations. Until the cataclysm, when the indigenes burst out of their enclaves. Now they want their planet back.

There's no hand-wringing about whether humans might actually be ruthless colonists, they very explicitly are (or were once)! But since the cataclysm, humans have nowhere else to go, so humans, Hluss and Ssu are stuck to battle it out with each other now. The moral questions are acknowledged, but have kinda been overtaken by events.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Covid, the "lockdowns" etc.
« on: August 25, 2020, 04:53:49 PM »
Quote from: Pat;1146418
Fuck the reputation economy. Don't react to people based on what other people might think of you, and assume they are a whole bunch of things because that's what you've been told. React to people based on what they say, and judge them based on your own assessments.

What I said. I'm not backtracking based on any "reputation economy." Just making an observation. To wit: you step out of line and suddenly you're an "SJW."

I'll concede, I'm still catching up, so maybe that's not a fair assessment. But so far, it's looking that way.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Covid, the "lockdowns" etc.
« on: August 25, 2020, 04:10:17 PM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1146408
Holy shit! A mature, responsible attitude towards masking--on the RPGsite of all places! Wow...

And thank you.'re welcome....

Catching up on the back traffic around here I have a sense that you are now persona non grata and your endorsement can only be a rod for my back! LOL! But whatever. It does seem like this is being blown up into some kind of "Man in the Iron Mask" imprisonment when it is really so much less.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Covid, the "lockdowns" etc.
« on: August 25, 2020, 03:05:52 PM »
Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1146380
Yes, we've got our share of Karen's, but they are a little restrained by the threat of a "bless your heart" comeback.  It's very clear that a lot of people are wearing the mask only the minimum necessary and as a form of politeness:  "I don't think this does anything, but if it makes that elderly couple in the store feel a little safer, no skin off my nose," kind of attitude.  I've heard many people say that in one form or another.  Also heard a lot of, "Do you want me to put this mask on?  No, ok, no problem."

That's pretty much my take on this. The elderly couple may not only feel safer, they may actually be safer. I've no idea how much, but even if the benefits to that couple are incremental, me wearing a mask in indoor public spaces is a tiny, tiny sacrifice to make for them. Not to mention, that elderly couple are my neighbours.

Pen & Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Old school questions
« on: August 16, 2020, 01:17:49 PM »
To anyone afraid that enforced "training" creates pacing problems, I can say that has never been my experience. Back when AD&D was rolled out, I and other players felt it was a terrible new imposition and resented it, but we all quickly became fans. I believe it is not only not a problem, but on the contrary, it can be a huge asset to the game. Especially if your players are somewhat passive and rely on the gm to present them with goals and opportunities. Forced training gives you a chance to get the party out of that mind-set, if only temporarily, and force them to pursue personal goals.

Obviously it doesn't have to be that way all the time, training can be just down time that draws cash out of the party but is otherwise hand-waved.

Or it can be a time for players who aren't training to come up with activities of their own.

Or best of all, it can be a time when players have to drive the agenda. Because, who are you going to train under? Sure at the early levels, it can be assumed that everyone has a mentor: somebody had to train you up to 1st level in the first place. But at later levels, you have to start looking further afield and trying to track down a high level npc to train under. That may often mean some exploration and travel, off to the far-off city of whatever to train under some legendary whoever. Maybe (often) the whole party will go along for the ride. You know what foreign travel is like,  mayhem will surely ensue. In my experience, the MUs quest for rare, arcane training, knowledge, and exotic materials will often drive the gameplan for the whole party.

Before you know it, voila. A sandbox driven by player ambitions, even when your players find it hard to define ambitions on their own.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Yes, SJWs ARE Fascists
« on: August 15, 2020, 01:46:08 PM »
Quote from: Pat;1144990
There isn't much difference between state ownership of the means of production, which is the definition of socialism, and the state exercising all the rights of ownership while lacking nominal ownership. Nazi socialism isn't socialism in the first sense (with a couple relatively minor exceptions), but the second sense definitely applies. The same is true for Italian fascism and syndicalism. They may not be socialism under the strictest of definitions, but they're certainly covered when the term is used a bit more broadly. If you want to call that something else, like collectivism, that's fine. But regardless of the definition used, they're close kin, and they're all descended from socialist theorizing.

Except that the Nazi state, at least, did not "exercise all the rights of ownership," at least not in any unusual way. Production of civilian consumer goods remained untouched by state interference, even quite late in the war.

It is true that there was considerable state (Armaments Ministry) interference in war production, mostly in the latter part of the war.  Private companies competed for government contracts, but the successful bidder became something of a slave to the demands of their client (a State Ministry). That could include, if the contractor couldn't produce the quantities required, forcing them to license or sub production to other competitors. Yes, the war materiel industry could kind of resemble the state exercising (some) rights of ownership. But that in no way differed from the ways the western allies dealt with war production.

The kind of control you're describing is not a feature of a fascist economy, or a socialist economy, or a communist economy, or a capitalist economy it's a feature of all of them under a war economy, and was practiced by all combatants.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Yes, SJWs ARE Fascists
« on: August 15, 2020, 12:52:57 PM »
Quote from: shuddemell;1144969
I would hardly say Nazi control of the means of production, which they did indeed do, is hardly political window dressing.

"Nazi control of the means of production" is not a point in the program, not in that form.

Perhaps you are referring to Point 13 : "We demand nationalization of all businesses which have been up to the present formed into companies (trusts)."

This might not have been window dressing if it had actually occurred, or even been attempted. But it was not. Civilian production, and even war production, remained almost entirely in the hands of the same old private companies. Nationalization as such never happened, although it is true that the Reichswerke Hermann Göring did build itself up into a huge conglomerate, mostly by absorbing a large percentage (but by no means all) of the industries in the captured foreign occupied territories.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Yes, SJWs ARE Fascists
« on: August 14, 2020, 07:27:22 PM »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1144880
Quoting shuddemel from a different thread because it's pertinent

Political window-dressing. Little different from the "democracy" of the DDR or the DPRK. This "program" was pronounced in 1920, the same year that they decided to add the word"socialist" to the name of the party. At that time any populist party hoping for electoral success in Weimar Germany had to give the nod to socialism, and the Nazis certainly did. But how much it really meant is made clear by what happened in 1934 when they finally had enough political power not to worry about elections. The embarrassing socialist elements that were no longer needed were henceforth ignored. Those prominent Nazis who actually thought "socialism" was part of the program, and yes there were some,  were brutally purged (e.g. Gregor Strasser) or, if they were more easily ignored were sidelined (e.g. Gottfried Feder, and Otto Strasser, who escaped his brother's fate but nevertheless ended up fleeing Germany with a price on his head to preach "national socialism" elsewhere).  The rest got the message that socialism was not and had never been part of the real program.

Quote from: VisionStorm;1144751
The old world was destroyed in a cataclysmic collapse that ended an ancient, world-spanning civilization and sunk its greatest population center into the sea. Millions perished in the event and survivors were scattered around the globe, forced to start civilization anew in a drastically altered landscape. Marvelous technological secrets were lost to the deluge and knowledge of magic and the mystical forces was greatly diminished--what little of it that remained being passed down largely through oral tradition amongst the tiny few who possessed the innate Gift to harness such powers.

Knowledge of the old world is but a legend, passed down through generations as stories of a great flood sent as punishment by the gods for humanity's greed and arrogance. The world now is a harsh and unforgiving wilderness, full of dangerous creatures and fearsome predators that scour the landscape for their next meal. And humanity must make do with primitive tools and limited resources as they struggle to rebuild civilization from scratch and rediscover basic technologies that their ancestors took for granted.

But new cultures have begun to emerge. The embers of new kingdoms and fledgling empires have begun to dot the landscape, as the fires of civilization have been relit, bringing new struggles with it as rival kingdoms and warring factions vie for control.

But shadows of the old world still remain, trapped in ancient ruins and crumbling monuments overtaken by the wilderness, swallowed by vegetation and dust. These ancient halls hold the secrets of an ancient era, forgotten by time. Great treasures and strange artifacts lie within them, waiting to be discovered by intrepid adventures daring to brave their stony hallways and explore their forgotten secrets. But they are not alone, for ancient guardians lie dormant waiting to strike at trespassers into their ruins. Powered by unknown magic and forgotten technology these fearsome golems lie ever watchful for intruders, tirelessly patrolling their halls.

The ancient sites may also mark places of power, attracting rogue sorcerers seeking to tap into their magical reservoirs, as well as drawing hostile magical creatures from the world beyond, slipping through the cracks in reality created by the overflowing concentration of magical energy in the area. Life is a daily struggle, but the world is teeming with opportunity for daring adventurers strong enough to brave its challenges and uncover its forgotten past.

I must sound like a broken record. Sometimes I feel like one. But I'll say it again: Empire of the Petal Throne. All this and with deeper mysteries. It was the first published ttrpg setting ever (1975, and you can also get the playtest draft from 1974). It already exists, it's been around forever, check it out.

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