AD&D 1e, Roll20, and method III of the PHB

AD&D 1e, Roll20, and method III of the PHB

For those of you who have used Roll20 to play online with friends, but don't do more than a quick "/roll d20" and you want to try out 1st edition AD&D, method three presents a challenge. Roll each stat in order. Roll 3d6 for each stat. Six times. Pick the best. Go to the next stat. To make this easy, you can use the following: /roll {3d6,3d6,3d6,3d6,3d6,3d6}kh1 This translates to "roll six sets of 3d6, keep the highest one"…

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Style is Part of the Substance

Style is Part of the Substance

Alexandru Constantin notes that not only is much of modern fantasy shallow in substance, but it also posesses no depth of style, rendering it almost unreadable. Most of all, all three of the books had pedestrian writing that lacked any hint of style. The prose felt like early young adult, middle school grade, nothing fancier than early Animorphs, and the plot and characters felt stolen from a overwritten D&D module. But to get back twitter and the whole point of this post. I posted about giving up on most fantasy because the writing sucks. People responded, we had…

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The Last Couple Weeks

The Last Couple Weeks

I count myself fortunate to have work, but one of the consequences of the last week has been a lot of time spent scrambling to help people get moved to working from home. That said, it's been home cooked meals for the last couple weeks. I've gotten my inline skates working again. The hard part was tracking down a suitable brake replacement since Solomon hasn't sold skates in the US for over a decade, putting me in the position of "do I replace an otherwise perfectly fine $150 set of boots for the lack of a $5 part". I've spent…

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Things to Do, Things to Avoid

Firstly, I guess we'll see what actually will happen with the Wu Flu here in the states. I've been running around helping other people prepare to work from home. A few thoughts on the impact on our day to day lives so far... It’s clear that many of us live day to day solely dependent on our massive globo-capitalist system. No spare food, no spare supplies, no safety net of any sort. We live in a fantasy that we will be taken care of by a big-government that does not exist in reality. At the time of this post…

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Risk-Shifting

Risk-Shifting

A long time before reading Taleb's Skin in the Game with his much broader application of the concept, I'd already realized that authority and responsibility had to match. Authority without consequence / responsibility for one's choices was the ultimate "power corrupts", and responsibility without any authority was to be a slave to the whims of others. One example of how some dodge consequence is by offloading the risks onto others. Take "companies too big to fail." They get the profits when doing well (and fat salaries even when not), but when they implode, others lose their jobs, and the taxpayers get…

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Barbarians Among the Civilized

Barbarians Among the Civilized

After Pournelle finished the first set of "There Will be War" anthologies, he started a series that ran for two books called "Imperial Stars" (because, he joked, "There Will be Government" was an awful title). Much like TWbW before it, it was a series of essays and fiction centered around how people would end up governing each other - which overlaps heavily with war. One essay that stuck out had as its premise that to the ideal tribesman, rooted in order and tradition and set place, the barbarian and the chaos and apparent formlessness were anathema. Yet the barbarians kicked…

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Pop Kult

Via Castalia house, an excellent post on how pop culture is more accurately, as Brian Neimeier puts it, Pop Kult (or "Cult"). The Epistle of Captain America – The Pop Cult is Truly a Cult That said, I do think he's overlooked something: When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney…

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Literally or Seriously?

Literally or Seriously?

I've seen it said that those opposed to Trump take him literally but not seriously, and those who support him take him seriously but not literally. There's some truth to that, but I don't think it is quite right. The problem is that "taking him literally" is done very selectively. Just try to get any Trump hater, especially a woman who's face betrays her disgust as she calls him an illiterate pig, to actually literally parse his "grab them by the pussy" comment. Vulgar? Yeah. But accurate - if you recall that what he's describing are…

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