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Everything posted by svensson

  1. Folks, we'd be here talking about this if Greg Stafford [MHRIP] said the same sort of thing. Sandy Petersen carries that kind of weight around here. We've ventured into other controversial subject matter in other threads, so a response to Sandy's Twitter shouldn't surprise anyone. So far, everyone has been polite and reasonable. No curse words are being bandied about, no name calling, no marginalizing. Everyone is treating the subject with the gravity the subject requires. Yes, the discussion has struck a few nerves, but for good reasons and no one has lost their minds and started screaming profanities at anyone. Most importantly the conversation is beginning to taper off as threads are wont to do. It appears to me that most people who wanted to be part of this conversation have said their piece[s]. So let's all just let it go.
  2. Of all the topics on this board, none generates as much 'traffic' as the Lunar Empire. We have excellent resources on the general nature of the Empire, it's history, cultures, and goals. We have a lot of discussion about Lunar ephemera, apocrypha, and nitty-gritty details. But what we don't have is a definitive RQG guide on how to generate Lunars from farther away than Tarsh. Is such a book in process?
  3. My comments are based on general news reading... I do not present myself as any kind of expert on the subject. Furthermore I have repeatedly said 'As I understand it' in the course of the discussion. I might be wrong in some of my information. But I base my comments on those by relevant experts, not some clown with a medical license. You don't ask an auto mechanic to fix your marine diesel engine and you don't ask a general practitioner about cancer treatments. When you need an expert, you go find an expert. That said, I am basing my comments on the American Medical Association's LBGTQ board and news stories therefrom. Same with the psychiatric issues involved with the APA. Not the generalists, but the people who've chosen to specialize in this area and are peer reviewed and qualified to offer opinions for general consumption. Furthermore, as I have repeatedly said, I am NOT trying to equate transgenders as some mysterious 'them', like they're a terrorist group or something. Each and every transgender is a human being, with a face and a name and a real stake in these discussions. Just like a woman does in breast cancer studies, or black folks have with sickle cell studies. To quote the Founder of the Feast here on this board, "We are all us". And last but not least, I am NOT trying to present my views as if I'm altogether right. Like most of you, I welcome correction if I'm in error. I forget who said it but a very wise man once said, "My opinion changes just a soon as the facts do." I've linked an American Medical Association story where they went to SCOTUS advocating for transgender rights as an example of the sources upon which I base my opinions. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/population-care/ama-advises-us-supreme-court-transgender-individuals-rights
  4. And I'm fine with ostracizing and marginalizing those who preach political and racial violence... in ANY context. But that's not what I was referring to. You can't have a conversation or discussion with ultra-nationalists, street corner preachers, mad mullahs, or anarchists. They're so rigid in their beliefs that an actual discussion comes down to 'you either agree that [insert agenda here] or you're an enemy'. That's no basis for responsible and peaceful change. And mind you, I'm absolutely against political violence in a functioning democracy. And that means that as a historian it is incumbent on me to note that many of our nation's Founding Fathers were indeed terrorists. If burning a man's house down in the middle of New England winter and tar-and-feathering him [literally!] while he family watches isn't terrorism, I don't know what is. And that's precisely what Samuel Adams and several other did. As the English speaking world being fucked, a lot of people, from Emperor Napoleon III to Kaiser Wilhelm to Josef Stalin, have tried to use the flaws of democracy against it and thus far it have never worked. Every single form of government has its flaws and vulnerabilities. No government is immune to overthrow. That's just how us semi-evolved monkeys do business and it's been that way since Lucy came down from the trees.
  5. I agree with @Pnick and @Qizilbashwoman wholeheartedly.... up to a point. If you're going to resolve anything by debate and discussion, both sides have to be open to the ideas of the other. And there will always be that percentage of people who refuse to be convinced of anything. There's not much you can do with those assholes. But here's the thing about that: everybody is a stubborn mule about something. We all have our sacred cows in our individual beliefs no matter how open minded we try to be. It's just human nature.
  6. Ten years ago when Congress mandated that gays and lesbians could serve in the US military without bar, I thought to myself: 'Damn! AT LAST, a major piece of civil rights legislation happened in the correct forum, in the proper branch of government. Presidents should not make laws based on Executive Orders. The Supreme Court should not make laws by twisting the words of the Constitution to fit some modern narrative. It is the Legislative Branch's job to make laws, and they finally got off their asses and freaking did it.' THAT'S what 'free speech', the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, did. Just like with the Civil Rights Act of 1963, our society talked about it, reached a consensus and passed the appropriate laws. Yes, it took some shouting and activism, maybe even a little revolution, but it got done and it got done reasonably peaceably. Grouse as much as you like about 'let's talk about it brigade' [after all, you have the right to say so], but it beats the shit out of 'burn it all down and start over'. Democracy might be a lousy form of government, but it's a long country mile ahead of whatever is in second place.
  7. Qizil, if I made you feel 'horrible and dissected', I apologize. That was unintentional. As I mentioned, I've known three people with enough gender identification issues that they began the reassignment process. These were not casual friends. They were people I gamed with, celebrated holidays with, knew in the SCA, and so forth. But they are PEOPLE, with feelings, not subjects one talks about in college level Intro to Biology. Those of us outside the trans community are trying to understand and respond in a rational way. YOU are NOT a subject of study or an object in a Petri dish. THE SUBJECT of transgendger[-ism?] is what we're trying to wrap our heads around. Yeah, it's semantics, but I really do think it's important in this case. If we in the mainstream Hetero majority 'get scientific' when we talk about the issue of transgenders, mostly it's because we're trying to remove the emotional stuff out of the discussion... the 'men in girls bathrooms' nonsense [which I personally equate to the 'you can catch AIDS from toilet seats' bullshit from back in the 80's]. And yeah, when we do that it can seem like we're purposely forgetting that transgenders are human beings. It's an awkward subject for us and that generates a VERY awkward response. I think for most of us who know trans people, that's where it starts and stops. But I'd be a fool if I didn't recognize that there is a solid bloc of hateful individuals out there mucking up the discussion.
  8. Thanks for the reply. Yes, her mom [my niece] is in the game and I checked with her about complimenting the grand-niece. I'm good there. What I said at the time was 'So-and-so, I'm going to give you a compliment but don't take it wrong. You look nice in a tee-shirt and jeans.' That seemed to work. As for love triangles etc. we're not doing 'relationship gaming' per se. That's a little advanced for a girl who's still having trouble with first person roleplaying. She's very introverted and has to be coaxed out of her shell, so throwing the 'Twilight' nonsense at her would be counterproductive, I think. Another thing I probably should have mentioned... in the course of becoming reenactors, my wife and I have gotten into the habit of 'raising each other's kids'. There's a lot of dangerous stuff laying about in an 1860s camp, from gunpowder to axes, tent lines, horses, fires, cast iron cookware, etc. and so on. So pretty much every adult reenactor watches every child reenactor to make sure they're not about to hurt themselves. The same goes with what you might call 'deportment' or 'conduct'. We all make sure that boys treat girls with the proper respect, how to tip one's hat, that young girls behave as ladies and so on. So one time my grand-niece was wearing a skirt and leggins. The leggings were on that edge of being girlishly cute or young woman provocative. Anyway, she was sitting inappropriately and I cautioned her about that. I still wonder if that was a 'geezer moment', but I honestly think it's something that she's of an age where she needs to start paying attention to that kind of thing.
  9. Well, Ian, I can only go back to the concerns about PEDs and the Soviet era experiments with their Olympic gymnasts, swimmers, weightlifters, and a couple other sports [memory fails me but I remember a fair laundry list] where their 'sports science academies' would inject girl and women athletes with male hormones to give them a competitive edge. There was one notable case where TV film coverage showed a female swimmer that had enough facial hair to require shaving and her before and after pictures from the World Championships two years before and her musculature at the Olympics were significantly different... like 30 lbs of pure muscle different. Then you add in the stories from the 90's 'Roid Era' in US Football and especially Baseball. Then add in Lance Armstrong disgracing himself. So I don't see Sandy's comments in your OP as being anti-transgender but more protective by a concerned grandfather. You correctly give the formula of a winning athlete: a] physical body capable of the sport, b] training and technique, c] the will and determination to not only win but to put in the long training hours it takes to put yourself in a position to win. And we both know families that have their kid on Weider muscle diets at 10 years old and find nothing whatever wrong with finding some shady 'clinic' in Florida to send them PEDs by the time the kid is 15.
  10. Then I can't recommend The Gloranthan Bestiary enough. You can get it through Chaosium in both HB and PDF. Classic Fantasy is also useful, but it's more of a set of variant BRP rules than a beastie book.
  11. In absolute fairness, this was included in the 'grab bag' portion of the board. I'd posted something earlier last night on this board about 'Gaming with Relatives' dealing with games, sexuality, getting older, and my struggles with them in a tangled knot. I guess that's what got me considering Ian's complaint about Sandy. At this point in the discussion everybody is being reasonably civil. Some feelings are bruised, but nobody's breaking out the curse words. And I couldn't agree with you more about Twitter. 'Meme warfare' is about the lowest form of platforming one's viewpoint that I can imagine. Facebook and Twitter [and Tik Tok and...] reduce what ought to be a discussion down to 'gotcha' politics and 'what about' arguments. There's a certain conceit that I've noticed on each end of the political spectrum both in the US and in Europe [or, at least in Holland, the UK, and Germany where I have friends]... the conceit that if one doesn't agree with with a given viewpoint one isn't 'something' enough. Using the US as an example [it's what I know best, after all] if you disagree with a Right /Conservative /Republican /Libertarian you're not 'Christian' enough [that's code, btw, for evangelical Baptist, Methodist, etc. Episcopalians like me need not apply], or MURCAN! enough. If you have the unmitigated gall to disagree with Left /Progressive /Democrat /Socialist, you're obviously not smart or evolved enough to understand them. Either way, the conceit is the same... you don't agree with me and therefore you are some kind of 'untermensch'. And populist social media just fuels that nonsense.
  12. Qizil, I've never said one intentional word to disrespect you. If you have found disrespect in my views, I can only say that I didn't intend to condescend or belittle anyone. We've had honest and frank discussions in the past and I've always respected what you've had to say even when I disagree with you. Let me make a couple things you mention in your reply crystal clear: a] I have no specific issue with transgenders. Do I understand them? No, I do not. I compare being transgender with being pregnant or a combat veteran: you've either been through it and therefore understand, or you have no idea what you're talking about. I do not know the emotional impact that being transgender has, and I never claimed that I do. b] No, I don't understand how puberty effects transgender people. But I also said that psychology and medicine are at odds over the issue. So, failing a solid scientific platform upon which to make a reasonable and rational decision, I defaulted to what I do consider reasonable: waiting until a person is fully developed before undertaking such a radical process. c] Each and everything I said is just one man's opinion. I do not state that 'this is how all should be done' or wave God, or the flag, or anything else to support that opinion other than the specific points I raised. d] I also fully support anyone's right to agree or disagree with that opinion. Including you and Ian. e] Transgender issues have long been tied up in the greater LBG-Trangender-Q movement. Perhaps I should rephrase my 'sleep with' comment as 'I don't care what your sexual /gender /identity issues are'. As for Transvestitism, I don't know if you're aware of this, but DSM 4.5 listed Transgender and Transvestitism as related diagnostic phenomena. In DSM 5, the two were separated and there is a large argument in the APA [American Psychiatric Association] specifically and mental health field generally as to how Transgender is supposed to be addressed in DSM 6. This is the conflict I was referring to. f] At no point am I treating the transgender issues you're concerned about cavalierly or with disrespect. You object to my viewpoint. That's fair and I can easily accept that. But I have NOT treated a subculture that I don't fully understand with hatred or contempt. Just because you disagree with me does not make what I said 'hate speech'. I advocate for NO violence, NO silencing, NO sidelining to those working for the transgender community. g] As to my age.... I am following my own advice about 'they meant it the other way' and making a choice not to be offended. I'm not 'boomering' anyone or acting like someone's issues aren't important because 'I'm old and things were tougher then'. I offered a perspective based on 50+ years of riding this rock around the sun. The changes you want to see ARE happening, and I used the events I've observed to illustrate that fact. There was NO condescension in what I said. h] As for calling people 'transgenders', exactly what should I call people who are pre-reassignment trans? 'Gott im Himmel', I'm only trying to identify the human beings I'm speaking about, not talking about an animal in a zoo. Finally, I acknowledge that you feel angry and offended. I respect your feelings and sincerely apologize for upsetting your morning. I am truly sorry for the unintentional insult and I really do hope that you and I can find a balancing point where we can talk without hurting each other's feelings. Respectfully, -- Carl H.
  13. So, @Ian Absentia, it took me a little bit to work out how I feel about your post. Let me say that I want to offer an honest and candid reply to the issue you're expressing here. But I also recognize the controversy and hot-button nature of it. My wife and I have a rule around our house: "If your partner says something that can be taken two ways, and one of those ways either insults you or pisses you off, they most likely meant it the other way." If we can proceed from that premise, I think we'll be fine. I certainly mean no insult or condescension in my comments. Let's start with the basics here: there are sports where muscle mass counts for more than agility or flexibility. You don't ask weightlifters to do gymnastics routines at a competitive level, after all. ALL sports require the will to win, the dedication to excellence at the competitive level, so that's not an issue. But muscle mass and testosterone play a role in some sports. When you remember, as Sandy and I do, watching Soviet and East German 'gymnasts' [among other sports] show up to the Olympics after a four-year course of male steroid treatments, you can understand where Sandy would like to a solid consensus, a firm rule, of who can compete in girls sports. As things sit right now, I am unaware of any scientific consensus as to when a transgender should undergo the gender reassignment process. As I understand it, there is a big debate among the psychology and medical fields as to when the healthiest time in a person's life is for this radical and irreversible decision to be made. Even psychology is divided in it's definitions of 'transgender' vs. 'transvestitism'. At least, as of DSM 5 anyway. I'm aware that there's a large amount of argument over what's going to be changed for the upcoming DSM 6 on the LBGTQ front. Now in my own personal opinion, I think that the decision to undergo gender reassignment should wait until a person is 21 years of age, when they are legally responsible for their own decisions, or 25 when science tells us that a person's brain stops developing. At this point in life a person's identity is fairly well 'set' and they're largely over hormonal confusions that our teenage years impose on us. I also think that a person should compete in boys sports if they're biologically male and female if biologically female. Does this leave transgenders out of a large part of international competition at a young age? Yes, it does. Is that fair? Probably not. But life is not fair. That's not me being heartless or unsympathetic [I know three people who begun gender reassignment, only one succeeded (completed?) in the process]. I'm just telling the truth, however uncomfortable. And let me poke the bear just a little bit here: @SandyofCthulhu has every right to be uncomfortable with transgenders competing with his granddaughters. It's his opinion and he has every right to it, just as you have every right to disagree with him. Now, I've never met Sandy. Don't know the man, so I'm making no claims about his character one way or the other. But the process of social change demands activists AND resistance to activism for responsible change to happen. Consider this: I'm in my mid-50's and when I served in the US Army back in the 80's, being called a 'faggot' was an INSTANT fight. This was the era of the Cold War and before 'Don't ask /Don't tell'. People I knew [two of whom were better soldiers than I was] were thrown out of the Army in disgrace for being gay. But as of right now gays, lesbians, and transgenders may serve without bar in any of the services. And in 2020 Pete Buttigieg, with his husband looking on, came within inches of being the Democratic candidate for POTUS... the single most powerful elected office on Earth. Positive change DOES happen and it IS happening. Is it fast enough for you? At a guess, I would say no. But it's CERTAINLY happening in this generation much faster than the HIV victims of the 80's thought it would. Let me conclude by saying that I have no dog in this fight. I honestly don't care who somebody loves or sleeps with so long as three simple criteria are met: a] Everyone is an adult [as opposed to 'age of consent'] b] Everyone has given their informed consent c] No one is being forced or coerced into it. If those are met, then what you do with your personal life is your own affair.
  14. You know, one of the hardest things about gaming with relatives is.... -- the 'sex' part. My grand-niece is 13 and it's pretty clear that she's going to be a lovely young woman in just a few years. But the LAST thing I want to do as her great uncle is come across as the 'pervert uncle' or as a 'dirty old man'. That makes it hard to compliment her on her hair or outfit even when with the best of intentions. I keep it to a simple 'that looks nice on you' and leave it at that. But this also intrudes into the 'faux Atlantis' game I'm running. It's rather difficult to show my niece 'Troy' or the 'Spartacus' HBO series when somebody is getting naked every 15 minutes. It also makes it tough to discuss sexuality or gender roles in a factual way as I'm making up multiple societies as I go. And I also don't want to lecture during a movie like I'm some junior high social studies teacher either. I didn't realize the awkwardness of all this when I started this project, though I probably should have. I don't regret for a minute the work I'm doing on the game or the mental struggles I'm going through, mind you. I probably need to do it as a part of the getting older process anyway. But it helps to talk about it a bit.
  15. @AaronLionhart So, I'm just a little bit confused about what exactly you're looking for. Are you looking for the standard elf or dwarf tropes? Are you looking for elves and dwarves that diverge from the standard tropes, but are still recognizable? For example Forgotten Realms 'Gold Dwarves'? Are you looking for new races that are way off the beaten path? Or have I misidentified what you're looking for? You can find the standard Dwarf and Elf types in Classic Fantasy. You can find some REALLY different versions of Elves and Dwarves in Glorantha Bestiary. The GB also gives you statistics on generating playable Centaurs and Minotaurs, It also adds a bunch of new races that you've likely never seen... Ducks [yes, intelligent weapon-using ducks], Dragonewts [intelligent dragon-people], Newtlings [amphibious salamanders], and Trolls. Two of these races, Dragonewts and Trolls, are gone into in depth. The rest are sketched over with character generation stats and a quick description of their place in the world. And obviously, you can change any or all of that at your table.
  16. When I was in the Army, I was a tank crewman on the very first model of the M1 Abrams, an 'Em-Wun-Ay-Nuthin'. All the older guys who'd crewed the M60 variants called themselves 'dino-tankers', so I guess I qualify as a 'Neandro-tanker' 😁
  17. So, like most people I don't really follow the Olympics all that closely. I keep track of the medal count and that's about it. Apparently the US only won a Bronze Medal in a Skateboarding event and someone on reddit commented that the US culture was going to Hell. Someone replied, "Well that's what happens when you can only send skate-heads who can pass a drug test..." 😁🤣😆
  18. Like Simon, I take breaks from gaming including reading gaming stuff every now and again. One thing I've noticed about myself is that if I gorge myself on a diet of gaming material I actually impede my own imagination somewhat. It kind of stifles my own creativity to some degree. When I catch that happening, I completely flip gears for a month or so and concentrate on other interests. For me that's history, for others it could be gardening. And make no mistake, I LOVE reading gaming material about milieux that I'm interested in... Traveller, Tekumel, Glorantha, Middle Earth, all these have had given me endless hours of fascination for 40 some-odd years. But every now and again you just have to vary your 'mental diet'.
  19. Adding on the what Brother g33k said, some of the balance will come from sheer common sense and physics... centaurs are pretty badass but they can't crawl and have 4 'instant kill' hit zones rather than a human's three [head, chest, forequarter, hindquarter as opposed to head, chest, abdomen], for just a couple examples... so it isn't quite so bad. Also remember that the more 'bestial' races [minotaurs, for example] tend to not be very smart and have not developed much in the way of culture, so they will tend to both not have very many skill percentiles assigned by profession but will also not be as good at many of them as well. Some races will be very good at hitting things and noticing things, but lousy at languages, Lores, some physical skills [Swim, Boat, etc.], and other necessary adventurer type activities. This is a hidden balancing factor as well.
  20. No problem mentioning DnD. Firstly, it's the big dog on the RPG block. Secondly, we wouldn't be here without it. There's no problem in acknowledging that. Let me offer an 'old grog's' warning about BRP and RQ... No matter what the label says, there no DnD-style 'kobolds' or 'gobins' in d100 games. What I mean by this is that the mechanics of BRP /Call of Cthulhu /RQ are far far more deadly. Even the most limp-wristed trollkin is only one or two lucky rolls from killing you outright [one critical hit and one 'head' result on the hit location table, if used]. There are NO 'warm up' fights in d100. There are no DnD 'whack the trivial monster for beer money' minor fights. In d100, every fight could kill your character so your character should treat it that way.
  21. Well, thanks for the 'like'. Your criteria make sense to me, especially tying the Passions mechanic to it. And yes, if you're a member of an accepted and open cult, you can display your affiliation all you want. But when Gimgim the Grim is on your tail, Air /Motion/Mastery together [Mastery implying Rune Master status] is not a good thing to have inked to your face 😁
  22. Certainly true. A LOT of cultists display similar runes so you'd need other distinguishing insignia to tell them apart.
  23. But just like outlaws in the American Wild West, robber bands in Europe, or bushrangers in Australia, even these bad men knew when to restrain their predatory urges for the sake of their own safety and security. I DO see your point about Gargath being more prevalent in Prax, though. It IS the Land of Outlaws so far as many Sartarites and Lunars are concerned. That would make Gargath's worship more available if only because it's more needed.
  24. Akhorahil's Gargath thread got me thinking about cult insignia and how prevalent they are in campaigns. Now, we all know that Glorantha artwork is chock full of illustrations with people wearing their cult runes openly. Most of them show the cult runes in large sections gear or blatantly obvious tattoos. But does everyone actually display their runes so openly? It seems to me that most people have good reason to keep their runic affiliations less pronounced than the artwork implies. For some peoples and in some situations, knowledge of what cult a given person belongs to is a VERY bad idea. For example, during the Lunar occupation it's not a very good idea to display the runes of Orlanth Adventurous. Orlanth Thunderous, yes, but Adventurous... probably not a good idea with Red Inquisitors running about. After all, we know that some Orlanthi had to hide their Orlanth worship in a completely separate pantheon [such as Barntar and Heler cultists]! Criminals bands would not do well to display Gargath or Lanbril or Black Fang runes. And secret Chaos worshipers aren't gonna display those where they might get burned at the stake for it. OTOH, a Rune Master would obviously have to display their runic affiliations as part of their religious clothing. And since a Rune Master's time is taken up by their religious role 50+% of the time.... I can see getting your runes tattooed onto your body as part of your initiation into the cult, and as one is promoted those runes might even be augmented to be bolder or more visible.
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