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Messages - Ratman_tf

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31
Biden's gone from gaffes to outright lunacy, and we're only one month into his Presidency.




32
Media and Inspiration / Re: Gina Carano fired by Disney.
« on: February 18, 2021, 01:04:55 AM »


What a shitshow. I was hoping Mandalorian would be a turning point for Disney/Lucasfilm, but it's looking like a brief anomaly, crushed by the upper management in favor of getting back to pissing on the fans and running the franchise into the ground.


33
So Tolkien did base his dwarves partly on Jews - though that doesn't inherently make them anti-semitic. He wasn't anti-semitic in the nazi sense, but stereotypes like love of gold and gems about Jews can still be considered a problem, even if the dwarves are overall are portrayed positively.

By whom? And to what end?

In another time I might agree, but the suffusion of social justice ideology into culture has set an idea illustrated by the article linked in the OP. Identity politics. Everything is offensive, everything is racist, and if you aren't a part of their solution, you're part of the problem.

As I see it, hyper-partisanship means that either *everything* is racist or *nothing* is racist. One has to always side on calling out racism, or always side against accusations of racism.

As I see it, racism exists -- and especially lots of racism existed back in the 1930s. Also, there are different forms and degrees of racism. The U.S. Army fought against the Nazis in WWII, but they also had their own forms of racism - including segregating black soldiers to be cooks or serve in all-black units.

On the other hand, not every accusation of racism is going to be correct, and sometimes I'll disagree about a given claim. In the case of the link from the OP, the author was correct that Tolkien's dwarves were modeled after Jews and represent some negative Jewish stereotypes -- but I think other points of his were exaggerated.

And that's how they get well intentioned people apologizing for their racist ideology. There's usually a glimmer of a point, and then they slide to that hyper-partisan side of the issue.

34
The issue with material components gathered from monsters is that it encourages players to think of creatures more as harvestable commodities and less as fantastical creatures. Charaters carting around bloody bags of monster bits like a World of Warcraft player, hoping a Basilisk toenail can cure someone's gout.
Which may or may not be a feature you desire in a game.

Well, players certainly aren't encouraged to think of them as fantastical now. That was what I was originally complaining about. Players already think of griffons in terms of whether they're a valuable mount or source of treasure and nothing else. (I find the fantastical vs natural dichotomy nonsensical anyhow. Medieval bestiaries had tons of bizarre ideas about real animals that make them feel more "fantastical" than many D&D monsters.)

Furthermore, medieval bestiaries did describe creatures as harvestable commodities. That's pretty much a side effect of human beings thinking of the world around them in terms of utility value. That's always been the case around the world and in folklore. For example, descriptions of the manticore state that rich people in "India" would have baby manticores captured, their tails crushed, and kept as pets in choirs because of their pleasing trumpet-like voices.

It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Humans by nature think of everything around them, including fantastical creatures were they to exist, in terms of utility value. It may destroy the fantasy for you personally, but for me it feels more immersive because that's exactly how humans would perceive fantastical creatures if they existed. By existing in the same world as humans, they're no longer nebulously "fantastical" but concrete creatures that you can use as mounts or sources of medicinal and alchemical and magical components.

IIRC, ACKS has a section where it mentions that the party wizard can open their own dungeon to lure magical creatures in order to harvest for spell components.

Doubly so in a table top RPG based on a table top wargame. The gods themselves were reduced to stats and values.



Something famously used by groups so they could beat up the gods and take their loot.

I think the depiction of fantastic things relies a lot on how the GM approaches the game. For a "beer and pretzels" game, monsters are wandering bags of loot and xp. On the other end of the spectrum is pure Role Playing, with everyone in character and less focus on metagame concerns. Most games, I think, fall in-between somewhere.

35
I see nothing in Dwarves that could relate to Jews except their fascination with gems, gold, precious metals etc.   And that's something that could be applied to just about every other racial or religious group.

Well one other thing maybe. They seem to strongly favor their own in-group. You never see "half-dwarves" in fantasy games or novels.  Dwarven societies are mostly homogenous as well.  But again that's kind of pushing it looking for something.

As I commented in (Reply #3), the parallel between Jews and dwarves was confirmed by Tolkien himself.

Quote
In a BBC radio interview with Dennis Gueroult, recorded in 1964 and broadcast the next year, Tolkien made a statement connecting his Dwarves with the Jewish people. What he said was: ‘The Dwarves of course are quite obviously – wouldn’t you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic obviously, constructed to be Semitic.’ Also in 1964, he wrote to W.R. Matthews: ‘The language of the Dwarves [...] is Semitic in cast, leaning phonetically to Hebrew (as suits the Dwarvish character).’
...
Tolkien had added a remark about ‘a tremendous love of the artefact, and of course the immense warlike capacity of the Jews, which we tend to forget nowadays.’
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265759803_Jewish_Dwarves_Tolkien_and_Anti-Semitic_Stereotyping

Though he also had a distaste of the nazi anti-semitism of his time.

Quote
In a letter to Stanley Unwin regarding this affair, dated 25 July 1938, an outraged Tolkien called the racist Nazi laws ‘lunatic’, adding ‘I do not regard the (probable) absence of all Jewish blood as necessarily honourable; and I have many Jewish friends, and should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribed to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine’
Source: same

So Tolkien did base his dwarves partly on Jews - though that doesn't inherently make them anti-semitic. He wasn't anti-semitic in the nazi sense, but stereotypes like love of gold and gems about Jews can still be considered a problem, even if the dwarves are overall are portrayed positively.

By whom? And to what end?

In another time I might agree, but the suffusion of social justice ideology into culture has set an idea illustrated by the article linked in the OP. Identity politics. Everything is offensive, everything is racist, and if you aren't a part of their solution, you're part of the problem.

Quote
As a side note, I think Staff is expressing a common view - that this sort of racial allegory is totally projection on the part of any liberal reader of old fiction. But at the time when the book was written, racial segregation was the norm even in countries opposed to nazism, and lots of different race-doctrines were mainstream.

And as you pointed out, Tolkien expressly rejected anti-semitism.

I disagree with your assesment that the "common view" is that racial allegory is a total projection. I think, like Robin DiAngelo, it stems from the guilt generated by the racist thoughts and feelings of so-called "liberals". They have a point, but project their point onto others as a means of coping with their identity as a person who values social justice. [/armchair psychologist]

36
Media and Inspiration / Re: Gina Carano fired by Disney.
« on: February 17, 2021, 11:39:24 AM »
Funny really, I did actually subscribe to Disney + to watch The Mandalorian, but I cancelled it after I finished watching all 3 season.
I bought it for a month only, so it's already expired, otherwise I would have cancelled it over this.

Lol, NM, even though I wanted to watch the Boba Fett series etc, I'm not really that fussed and can go without.
Happy to read a book instead!
Three seasons? Really?

I assumed that's a typo. :)

37
Media and Inspiration / Re: Gina Carano fired by Disney.
« on: February 17, 2021, 11:24:06 AM »
Her Holocaust comparisons were extreme. While the woke have stated numerous times that they want to subject conservatives to re-education camps, drone strikes, etc... conservatives still make up around half the country or so. The woke simply don’t have the numbers to ever start the Holocaust they want within the foreseeable future.

Considering the other anti-woke stuff she said previously, Disney probably fired her because the image she re-posted was excessively gruesome. That’s just bad for business.

But whatever. I’m not omniscient.

Her point was that the persecution of the Jews was incremental. The important lesson of the Holocaust is not that Nazis are bad. It's that we all have the capacity to act like a Nazi given the correct circumstances.

And Disney did not fire Pedro Pascal for posting a nearly identical meme.



Only Pedro's tweet was hilariously inept, as the second picture is of Palestinian children who were not being detained for any reason.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Et9MrzbWgAAcBfJ?format=jpg&name=large

Gina Carano has since taken down her "offensive" instagram, while Pedro's tweet remains.

https://twitter.com/PedroPascal1/status/1009572721548595201

Gina's "offense" is that she didn't bend the knee hard enough, and on her own time, didn't parrot the woke ideology being pushed on her by her co-actors and the Disney corporation.

boop, bop, beep


38
The issue with material components gathered from monsters is that it encourages players to think of creatures more as harvestable commodities and less as fantastical creatures. Charaters carting around bloody bags of monster bits like a World of Warcraft player, hoping a Basilisk toenail can cure someone's gout.
Which may or may not be a feature you desire in a game.




39
https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/recovering-cool-receives-a-%F0%9F%92%80-permanent-ban-being-too-awesome.877367/

"Recovering Cool receives a 💀 Permanent Ban: Being Too Awesome"

Recovering Cool said: You'll never get rid of me!

Moderator Text: Recovering Cool, we have warned you several times about exceeding the parameters for acceptable levels of awesomeness clearly laid out in the RPGnet Rules & Guidelines. We are therefore permanently banning you for being too awesome. Appeals may be sent to the admins.

On another site, that might be funny. On rpg.net, it's tone deaf.

40
My copy of Ravenloft just shipped. Should be in in a weekish. I'll post an impression of the quality of the print job.

41
Quote from: ”Samsquantch”
They seem to forget that phobia means fear….

“phobia” also means to be repulsed by something, such as hydrophobicity in chemistry.

Social justice re-defines terms for their own useage. They don't mean fear or repulsion. They mean some social hegemony nonsense.

Relevance: SJW terminology making it's way into RPG texts.

42
Media and Inspiration / Re: Film and TV criticism done right
« on: February 15, 2021, 03:11:51 PM »
Red Letter Media used to be my source of laughter in between decent movie reviews. Then they just kinda gave up and focused on the laughter. Its still decent but not on the same level as before imho.

I like their Re-View stuff, and the TNG retrospectives.

43


Trump's clear to run again in 2024, if he so wishes, and the Dems and establishment Republicans look like hypocritical assholes, on NBC of all places.






44
It is not as goofball as some like to claim. Just very broad in its tone from deadly serious to very lighthearted.

Yeah, I don't mind lighthearted, but I think Spelljammer didn't have as solid a tone as other campaign settings. Joke races and biomechanical elves. (It sounds cool, but the writeup was pretty dull)

I think if I ran Spelljammer nowadays, I'd focus on a Jules Verne / Adventure Planet type of tone, and not be distracted by the grab-bag of ideas floating around.

45
The Helms running on spellcaster power was a neat idea, but had the issue others have mentioned. You get a spellcaster with no spells if you run into a random space encounter.

Keeping the original idea, I'd change it so that helms can store magic for a week, and anyone can "drive" the ship by sitting at the helm. (IIRC it takes someone sitting at the helm, and a crew running the rigging like a water ship) That way the magic cost can be spread out over a week instead of all or nothing day-by-day. I'd have to go over the Spelljammer rules again, of course.

And IIRC there were other power sources, but they weren't nearly as widespread as the Spelljammer helm.

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