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Messages - Pat

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1
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« on: Today at 09:48:37 PM »
Fuck that. Some of what happened in Portland definitely could have used some tasing. And not one of you fuckers would have objected to it either. Look, you want to protest on your own property, cool. You want to protest of public property without interfering with others, also cool. But you don't get to protest on someone else's private property, trespass and refuse to leave, without consequences. Getting your ass tased is one of those possible consequences. I know you all get that, when it's not some cause you agree with.
<tases Mistwell>

2
About two decades ago or so, on the Citizens of the Imperium forum, there was a guy who wasn't satisfied with Traveller. He wanted to be able to take his character's personality, download that personality onto a picotech bot, then have it as part of a neutron star's crystal memory structure as a virtual being, before uploading into an artificially gestated biosculpted human body. Basically, do everything in the last chapters of Alaistair Reynold's Revelation Space novel.

He was stopped short when somebody asked him, "How do you roleplay that?"

I think a similar question kills Eclipse Phase, "How do you actually roleplay this game?"
This question is true of scifi in general. It’s never been about realistic exploration of what the future could be like, given that humans have been shown to suck at predicting things. (E.g. smartphones and social media have rendered large swathes of scifi obsolete.) It’s mostly been about holding up a mirror to humanity.

Actual transhumanist and posthumanist fiction is so alien as to be unrelatable. If it’s not a comedy with flying monkeys and weirder shit, then it’s going to be very surreal as it describes the adventures of our alien descendants.
Time travel might be a solution. Not the magic time travel of Back to the Future and kin, but the time travel we do every day, just over decades and centuries. Run a longitudinal game, where the PCs start in the modern era, and then come up with some excuse to shift them forward in time. Corpsicles, braintapes in storage, heads in jars, whatever. Then come up with another excuse, and then another. Each new jump leads to a new world, that's still close enough to the previous one to be comprehensible and create a sense of continuity, but it starts to add up. Eventually you can get really out there, without losing the players.

3
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« on: Today at 09:33:57 PM »
Pat - you're talking about Black Lives Matter versus the Capitol riot -- but political protest hasn't been the subject of the thread, and I certainly never mentioned them. We had been talking about covid, and most recently about police enforcement of masks. Zelen characterized this as the government sending out "stormtroopers with guns to physically and psychologically terrorize innocent people" - and we noted the Logan Ohio tasing incident.

This is a bait and switch - claiming that I'm drawing an equivalence between BLM and the Capitol riot when I never mentioned either, or about political protests at all in this thread.
It's not a bait and switch. You were talking about police killing protestors, and people on the other side doing the same and being let go; and vice versa. I did bring in new elements, but you had already broadened the discussion beyond masks.

4
Both sides have a point.

It's very hard to disappear, today. Too much is tied to central databases, and too many things in life, from jobs to apartments to loans, require proving who you are. To disappear, you either need official help (like battered women or witness protection), or to be hiding from just a few people with limited resources (like your parents).

A thousand years ago, it was very hard to escape your village. You had to uproot yourself from everything and everyone you know, and you had no money because subsistence living. Travel was very hard.

A hundred years is in the middle of a transition. Travel was easier, there was more discretionary money to facilitate escape, and social ties had weakened. But while passports had started to be a thing and the government was getting ready to track people with magic numbers, databases and social media and omnipresent surveillance didn't yet exist. It was still rough, going out on your own, but it was easier to escape than either the earlier period, or the later period.

5
There are plenty of wondrous animals to steal ideas from, in various legends. On the boar theme, how about the Aetolian boar from Greek myth? (Memorably reinvoked in Zelazny's This Immortal as the Black Boar of Thessaly.)

Quote from: Ovid
    A dreadful boar.—His burning, bloodshot eyes
    seemed coals of living fire, and his rough neck
    was knotted with stiff muscles, and thick-set
    with bristles like sharp spikes. A seething froth
    dripped on his shoulders, and his tusks
    were like the spoils of Ind [India]. Discordant roars
    reverberated from his hideous jaws;
    and lightning—belched forth from his horrid throat—
    scorched the green fields.
Eyes of flame, spikes protecting his neck, tusks the size of an elephant's, and lighting breath. And so ferocious, it drove the people of the countryside to seek shelter behind the walls of the city, as if besieged.

Though the most interesting parts of the story aren't the boar itself, but the intrigue surrounding it. The boar didn't just happen, it was sent to plague a region. By a god, who was pissed off because the king forgot to honor her in an annual rite.  In response, the king sent out messengers to seek out those who would try their hand at slaying the beast, and earning its hide and tusks as trophies. One of the heroes is a savage huntress representing the scorned god, another is the son of the king, and there were assorted other kings and princes, and others that were just heroes.

A long list of petty, mean, and stupid things happened during the hunt. Before it even ensued, most of the heroes, driven by jealousy and prejudice, refused to hunt with the huntress. Though ultimately, they were won over by the besotted prince. During and after the hunt, many heroes turned on each other, trying to keep the spoils to themselves. Accidents happened, like the hero who inadvertently killed yet another king, who happened to be his father in law, and thus had to flee.

Ultimately, the huntress took first blood, and the prince slew the boar. But out of love and honor, gave the spoils to the huntress. Which precipitated another fight, because of the sons of another king claimed that if the prince refused to accept the spoils, it belonged to them by right of birth. In a fit of pique, the prince slew the sons of the other king. But his mother was sister to the other king's sons, so she magically killed her own son in return. All of which was due to the god's meddling, in order to get revenge against the king.

Even after it died, the boar's hide was taken to a temple where it rotted and shed hair and bristles in majestic glory. The tusks were taken by a great empire, and one was broken.

To turn that into a game scenario, start with criers, rumors, or posts on billboards that notify the PCs of a great event. Bring in all kinds of heroes and adversaries the PCs have met or heard rumor of, including NPCs of high stature. Have a celebration before the hunt, where the PCs can ask questions, observe, spy, and otherwise figure out who else is there, and open and secret motivations, including conflicts. They might spot liaisons or suspicious gatherings, overhear plans of ambush, see spells being cast, and so on. Then have at least one incident happen that night, to demonstrate, even to the less perceptive PCs, that hidden trouble boils beneath the surface of the gala.

In the morning, have the hunt. The hunters split into various bands, which head off in different directions, based on different guesses about the location of the beast (drop hints enroute or the night before). Some bands hunt. Others try to hinder other parties, setting traps or trying to lead them astray, with magic or mundane skills. Others shadow other bands, hoping to steal the kill. Some even ambush. Mix in the cultists of the offended god, who are there at their god's behest, not to directly attack, but to use magic and mundane wiles to stir up trouble and aggravate tensions.

The PCs might be attacked, run across an encounter, run across the aftermath of an encounter, stumble on a tragedy, and may even be asked to bear witness or make a judgment. And, if they choose correctly, they might run across the beast. The fight of course attracts the other hunters, bringing in the PCs as needed, and ultimately leading to a multi-sided conflict. The different factions make attacks of opportunity, usually at least plausibly deniable, at their rivals. This might escalate into outright attacks, if sufficiently provoked or magically infuriated by the cultists. In general, make it a mess of a mass melee. Treat the boar as a boss monster, with enough hp, defenses, and the ability to attack groups or multiple opponents to make it a formidable foe even in the face of Lancester's law. Maybe even have a horde of thunder piglets, or the land turning against the hunters, or lighting from the sky, or sylphs or other spirits coming to its defense. It might even be spontaneously resurrected several times, in a blast of lightning.

Then even after the boar is killed, they still contest the spoils, making up arguments and excuses that are variously valid. The PCs can take sides, stay neutral, or try to make peace. But most resolutions will involve the spoils being separated, and where they will be taken depends on the NPCs (or the PCs) who gain the goods. First blood and the killing strike should be the strongest arguments.

However they're distributed, the ideal is to make the trophies them long-standing fixtures of the campaign. Have them staged in important locations, like in the hall of a mighty lord, on the altar of a great temple, above the gates of a grand guild, or so on. Give them magical powers, but make them more domain-level than personal -- the PCs can't wield them as weapons or armor, for instance. But they might dispel the clouds in the hex around them or bring rain in drought; or maybe they can be rubbed to endow magical properties on items; or perhaps they ward a great area against certain creatures; and so on. Wherever they go, have them affect the course of the campaign.

Still rough; the factions are still vague ideas rather than concrete. But hopefully, you get the idea.

6
Was going to mention Gamma World, but its not a fantasy setting. But you can port over mutations fairly easy.
That's a good point. I've certainly ported over critters from Gamma World, but it tends to make D&D feel like Gamma World. But just porting over a few mutations here and here would do a good job of making D&D feel like a fantasy world without making it completely gonzo. A lot of the plant mutations, in particular, would be great. Instead of giving plants a half a dozen, give them one, maybe two

7
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« on: Today at 07:45:15 PM »
i get why people have fun pointing out supposed hypocrisy but consider: we are now an openly politically tribal sociey, so yes it is indeed okay when it hurts them and not us, because it's them and not us.
I throw bricks at both sides. And if the second amendment allowed, I'd be throwing nukes. I'm mostly peaceful like that.

it does allow they're just real heavy and hard to throw and it doesn't have any language about planes or launch silos.

that's how Big Nuke gets ya, you buy the war
head and learn you can't get a silo
12th century technology to the rescue!
https://youtu.be/cs8gamnMIS0?t=50

Remember...close counts with horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermonuclear weapons!
And anthrax!

8
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« on: Today at 07:43:10 PM »
And yeah, sometimes non-violent protestors get tased.
So you're saying that last summer should have been the Summer of the Taser?

I think there's a problem of people looking only at the news headlines of their chosen politics, and get differently-biased views of policing.

To liberal people watching only liberal media, then there are dozens of cases of police abuse or killing of non-white people and peaceful protesters -- and white conservatives acting violent and are arrested peacefully or even let go.

To conservative people watching only conservative media, then there are dozens of cases of police abuse of white people acting peacefully -- and non-white people acting violent and being arrested peacefully or even let go.

I think judging from the generality of police behavior from a handful of cases isn't accurate. The police aren't one-sidedly either stereotype, and it's difficult to judge the spectrum of their behavior - but I also don't think it's necessary. One can say that it's wrong for the police to abuse and offer violence to people peacefully breaking the law regardless of their politics. We can talk about how police use of force independent of political side.
There's a massive difference between riots in a hundred cities and towns, 30+ dead, 150 federal buildings burned, and billions of dollars of damage. And prosecutors are dropping most of the felony charges, including violence against cops that was caught on camera.

Versus an "insurrection" where the cops pulled aside the barricades and invited people in, who stayed behind the ropes, and didn't smash the statues. And yes, a small contingent broke down some doors, took pictures of themselves muddying the desks of important nobles, and maybe swiped some stuff like laptops. And 1 got shot by a cop (the other 4 deaths are now known to be just unfortunate medical emergencies). And who are now being hunted down like terrorists.

You're making a false equivalence. Yes, there have been bad actors on both sides, but one side has been far worse, yet it's the other side who are being demonized by the press and hounded by the law out of proportion to their actions. Mostly, because of partisan politics. But significantly, because the protest was against the people in power, at their seat of power, and the reaction of the power-elite was a clear-fuck-no-we-can't-allow-this, based on a sense of noble privilege, and expressed as outrage at these common plebs who dared to intrude on their sacred place and defile their precious property with grubby hands.

The latter in particular pisses me off. Fuck partisanship and bias, sure. They suck. But the Capitol is not the palace of the oligarchy. It's supposed to be the place where the voice of all people are heard. If we are going to protect the right to protest anywhere, it should be there. But the response of the entitled on both sides, like Schumer and McConnell, shows they think they're the kings and queens and how dare we.

9
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« on: Today at 07:24:10 PM »
i get why people have fun pointing out supposed hypocrisy but consider: we are now an openly politically tribal sociey, so yes it is indeed okay when it hurts them and not us, because it's them and not us.
I throw bricks at both sides. And if the second amendment allowed, I'd be throwing nukes. I'm mostly peaceful like that.

it does allow they're just real heavy and hard to throw and it doesn't have any language about planes or launch silos.

that's how Big Nuke gets ya, you buy the war
head and learn you can't get a silo
12th century technology to the rescue!
https://youtu.be/cs8gamnMIS0?t=50

10
It's a lot easier to face a mob when you have allies and friends, rather than alone.
Where's that Captain America quote, about standing like a tree?

Or how about the greatest hero in the MCU?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMjnqhn4ycg
(Hint: It's not the guy in spandex.)

Fuck mobs. Fuck bending the knee. Fuck taking sides because fear needs numbers. We need more people to stand up, and do what's right. Even when the world's against them.


11

I get it.  I know you post this shit in order to build up your 'social credit' score with the wokists.  You are too smart to not see where all this leads and you have your history here that you can cash in.  That may very well enable you to avoid the first few rounds of the woke cannibal frenzy.  The disgusting part is that you do this from a self-preservation point of view with no pretense at actual principles. 
That's way over the top. I've certainly been frustrated by interactions with John Kim, but jumping to the conclusion that it's some grand plot to get in with some undefined crowd elsewhere is ... well, it's a conspiracy theory. It's creating an elaborate set of hidden motivations and actions to explain fairly straightforward behavior. Kim seems to be an old school liberal. Not in the classic liberal sense, but in the old 80s era liberal sense. Not woke, and in fact opposed to some of their tactics, but sympathetic at least with the professed motives of social justice. And that bleeds through.

12
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« on: Today at 02:30:25 PM »
i get why people have fun pointing out supposed hypocrisy but consider: we are now an openly politically tribal sociey, so yes it is indeed okay when it hurts them and not us, because it's them and not us.
I throw bricks at both sides. And if the second amendment allowed, I'd be throwing nukes. I'm mostly peaceful like that.

13
That article does not get off to a good start: "Lead designer Wes Schneider told Polygon that the goal was to move beyond the derivative tropes that have plagued the Ravenloft setting in the past."

Derivative tropes exist because they're time-tested, and they're precisely the things that people loved about the setting. So they're ditching that, and replacing it with what's going to end up as a new of set of derivative tropes, because anyone who thinks they're so original that they're not going to use derivative tropes is deluding themselves with hubris.

14
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« on: Today at 01:52:20 PM »
And yeah, sometimes non-violent protestors get tased.
So you're saying that last summer should have been the Summer of the Taser?

15
I've seen the opposite. Either a person has the fortitude to endure the scorn of people they once admired, liked, and/or loved, and deal with the fact that many will abandon them for being worse than Hitler, or flagelate themselves until the mob is finished sucking every last drop of self-esteem from them, leaving a husk of a person. And that's just online. I can't imagine going through something like that in real life.
Yes, to many people it's pretty terrible. There are less physical consequences, but an interesting analogy would be medieval excommunication.

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