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Ian Absentia

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Everything posted by Ian Absentia

  1. Was that an official genre pack, or just talk of homebrewed adaptations? !i!
  2. Wow. I uploaded a scan of the entire raw Selenim translation with editorial? What was I thinking? Oh, yeah, I was thinking that it was never going to see the light of day. And, besides, the French books were always available to the polyliterate. That upload was, what, 2005? Fortunes were very uncertain at that point. Dim, even. But look what's happened in the decade since! !i!
  3. ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿค” ๐Ÿคจ Granted, but not consistent cross-culturally, regionally, sub-culturally, etc. I've always found APPearance problematic in play as a result, and have leaned into APPeal/CHArisma. While it's more vague, that vagueness has allowed more flexibility. And I still generally don't use it. !i!
  4. I'm thinking to 20 years back when Pagan Publishing was switching the code of the customary Lovecraft-esque Call of Cthulhu adventures. Not always even-handed and definitely not all leftie-liberal-squishiness, they turned a hairy eyeball toward Lovecraft's dated sensibilities several times. They turned the tables on a classic Anglo-Saxon touchstone in their Golden Dawn book and its hideous interpretation of the King Arthur myth. Their inclusion of Tcho-Tcho-Americans in Delta Green: Countdown was a brilliant and savage take on US immigration policy (among other issues). Point being, gamers who love Call of Cthulhu have been moving past Lovecraft for years now. It turns out this precious goose ain't that fragile. And it ain't that golden, either. And -- here's a poorly-kept secret for you -- the Mythos didn't start with Lovecraft, and it hasn't ended with him. The game will change with the times. The game will survive. Chaosium will survive. Whether or not you want to change is up to you. !i!
  5. Well, he is invisible. So you like to watch, do you? All joking aside, yeah, I'm glad to see that Malkionism/sorcery won't inadvertently get short shrift by including a truncated rendition in CoG. !i!
  6. I hope readers have been keeping score in the preceding posts, but I thought I should add this one to the rhetorical scorecard: "Let's you and him fight." Carry on. !i!
  7. And since we're cataloguing rhetorical double-speak... "Let's begin an argument by agreeing that my opinions are 'objective' and sensible a priori." "Everything was going fine until you felt safe enough to complain about it." "I genuinely admire how your people held up under the oppression and exploitation of my people. You should be proud of yourselves instead of playing the victim." "He channeled his objectionable opinions and behaviors into a pursuit that I can enjoy without taking responsibility for encouraging him and others." "There were very fine people on both sides." Those are good ones. !i!
  8. A common tactic employed against liberals, progressives, and other socially-sensitive and -inclusive softies is to adopt a hand-wringing, beleaguered posture and demand recognition, sensitivity, and inclusion with no intention of reciprocating. It's a win-win for the trolls, and a lose-lose for the home team. If you acknowledge their POV, they've scored legitimacy; if you deny them recognition, they claim hypocrisy and undermine the legitimacy of your POV. Note: This tactic is employed on both the reactionary and the revolutionary ends of the spectrum. Protecting the rights of those who're determined to exploit yours is ever the slippery slope of liberty. !i!
  9. Maybe it's APPeal and not APPearance? That skews back in the direction of the widely mis-understood CHA, but doesn't have to be nailed down to an objective scale of physical beauty. I like this. Fast Talk has always struck me as a little too negative for some of it's potential uses. I'm thinking of the skills from classic Traveller like Liaison and Carousing, which are the stuff and subtle nuance of interpersonal communication, and have cropped up in BRP as things like Persuade and Charm skills. !i!
  10. I suspect you mean a world in which it became a problem for you five minutes ago. The "trendy current notions of propriety" you dismissed in your original post have been hound-dogging half of my family for the century or more they've been in the US, and ol' H.P. wouldn't have had an approving word for what I've been up to. Eat my butt, Howard. Look, his whole Innsmouth cycle was him looking down his nose at "miscegenation" amongst white people (code for European immigrants). The story Call of Cthulhu just plain calls out the Creole culture of Louisiana outright -- no code needed. At least in the Dunwich cycle he's looking down on backwoods incest, which no one seems to have a problem with, until you realise he's being a classist asshole. Then there's his whole MO with demonising the cultural and religious practices of anyone two degrees outside of late-19th century Protestantism -- something I call the "Ooga-Booga Syndrome." But this critique isn't recent. Within a year or two of discovering this game in 1981, my gaming group was openly mocking his opinions while enjoying the game. And I doubt we were the first to out him, precocious brain trust that we were. It doesn't. It really doesn't. You just have to trust that the institutions you enjoy aren't so feeble that they can't weather the scrutiny of changing values. And that includes getting a pass on shit that don't fly anymore. See above. The game will survive. Chaosium will survive. Yeah, let's not engage in revisionism and pretend he had nothing to do with the game, but let's not coddle his memory with pap like describing him as someone who "channeled his personal hurts and fears into gripping tales of horror and suspense." As I wrote in the other thread, Lovecraft and his fans are not victims. !i!
  11. Are you referring to me? Damn, son, if you're going to throw a party on my account, be sure to send me an invitation. Yeah, I have beef with Lovecraft, and with deriving entertainment from his works uncritically. Note that last word - uncritically. It's a bit like the time I took my son to an exhibit of Picasso's art and he pointed uncomfortably at a drawing of a bowl of fruit; I asked him what was bothering him, tilted my head sideways, then nodded and said, "You're right, it's an anus." Lovecraft included more than a few anuses in his stories. Some of his stories were all about anuses, and how they lie at the heart of most of today's problems. And that's fine (sort of), particularly in the context of his time, his up-bringing, and just who he was. It's been cool playing games in a world based on his imagination for a couple of decades, but my awareness of who he was and what he was really writing about (Note: Not anuses, but other topics one might not appreciate, much less enjoy) started to weigh heavily on my enjoyment of his stories and, by association, the game. That's on me, though, and I'm working my way through that. Cheers to Taliesin Jaffe for reminding me to keep on keeping on. But really, that's all it takes to "trash" Lovecraft? For all the talk of the sensitivity of "political correctness" and "SJWs", that's some mighty tender skin, and doesn't speak robustly to the author's literary legacy. As I suggested in my comment quoted above, Chaosium inherited a hot-potato with a game rooted in Lovecraft's works, and sooner or later they'd have to handle it. And I'm behind how they are. !i!
  12. Let's not forget ritual sacrifice to generate extra MPs, then you don't have to spend any of your own. But, yeah, generally anything more costly than even a half-dozen MPs is probably intended as a ritual with multiple donors. !i!
  13. "Once you label me, you negate me." - Kierkegaard But, yeah, how about that Critical Role playcast? !i!
  14. This, yes. And, hunh, "woad" and "weed" apparently share the same etymological root. (No pun intended.) Presumably, unless there's a specific ceremonial/magical attribute to woad itself, other pigments could be used. !i!
  15. In a word: Super. @Cultist of Sooty (I think?) had some similar ideas dating back to Hero Wars, which were my jumping-off-point. I leaned into HQ1, as well, and found that HQ2 kind of sucked the oomph out of it. !i!
  16. It passes the infamous Green Lantern Test* with flying colors. !i! [*c.f. The Doctor Strange Test, which is passes similarly, without resorting to structured rules for magic.]
  17. The Guide is vast, and we are small. I haven't read it cover-to-cover, either, and missed that bit. In retrospect, though, I think I already knew it. !i!
  18. Quite the opposite -- I was envisioning a returning son or daughter of Balazar, flush with experience from down south (or up north!), bringing the Hero Wars home to upturn the status quo. How are you going to keep them down in the swinegart after they've seen the lights of Corflu? That's Old Age thinking! Now that the game's opened up the Hero Wars and heroquesting to actual play, I reckon the sky's the limit for player-characters and canon-be-damned. I'm through watching published NPCs have all the fun. !i!
  19. Getting back to Balazar-proper, I think we've established that there's a host of neolithic tools (including weapons) at characters' disposal, but let's not forget about that other prime attraction of this land: Dogs and the cult of Brother Dog. I actually got to play in Balazar at the time that Griffin Mountain was first published, and though I resisted the setting at first ("No, Ian, there's no reason your character would be wielding a grain flail as a weapon when he comes from a hunter-gatherer society."), I eventually got into it when I discovered the near-symbiotic relationship some Balazaring hunters have with their dogs. This was a blast, and added immense flavor to our game. Here's a little primer from the (ironically named?) Art of Manliness website on hunting with dogs: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/a-primer-on-hunting-with-dogs/ The breeds described are certainly more specialised than any found in Balazar, but the hunting behaviors are doubtless in place. My character's two dogs were a large, burly hound and smaller, slighter pointer. I recall pumping a lot of effort into being able to keep up with them, and then protecting them in a fight. Xenohealing! !i!
  20. This helps put some perspective on backwaters like Balazar, and it's something I'm still adjusting to in updating my old-timey Gloranthan thinking to current sensibilities. Things don't happen on a grand and lasting scale in Glorantha without supernatural sponsorship. You want to raise crops? You can buy, plant, and tend seed all you want, but they'll eventually fall short of expectations and needs without entreating a deity or spirit of agriculture to augment your methods or change the land itself. Want to raise pigs even? Still not as simple as purchasing breeding stock from the Lunar traders; you need to have a god or goddess behind your efforts to make it last and part of your society. Even hunting, as you point out above, is going to peter out without negotiating spiritual rights. Balazar remains the primitive backwater that it is precisely because no one's changed the magical nature of the land since Balazar himself perished. And that is prime fodder for a Griffin Mountain campaign! !i! [Edit: Speaking of Blank Lands, is Garsting -- just over the hill from Balazar -- still considered one? Is anyplace in Glorantha still considered one?]
  21. Really! I threw you a bone in my response to Qizilbashwoman above, though. !i!
  22. Foundchild! First appeared in Griffin Mountain. This has struck me before; with proximity to and trade with the Lunar Empire, how have the Balazarings not risen to the hillbilly status of the Sartarites? And why aren't the Lunars relocating settlers here? Maybe that's what's happening at the citadels, though, radiating outward as the inexorable millstone of civilisation grinds onward. I somewhat unfairly leveled the hairy eyeball at Joerg above regarding an overwrought development of Balazar. There's room and opportunity for updating the 1981-era background. Ugh, remind me to not tell you the stoopid, stoopid story of dispatching a rogue rooster camping in my rhododendron thicket. I hear you. !i!
  23. You mean the Balazarings have been over-thought, too? What am I saying? Of course they have. You mean haven't been mentioned in published sources to date. And yet it's been used, structurally and/or decoratively. I'm being testy, but we're going to keep this about having fun in Balazar, yeah? !i!
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