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About Sumath

  • Rank
    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    GM of RQ2 & RQ3, Golden Heroes, and player of CoC, MERPS, WFRP 25 years ago. Just started playing, GMing again. Starting a RQ campaign in 2019.
  • Current games
    D&D, Blades in the Dark, RQG
  • Location
    Battersea, London, UK
  • Blurb
    47 year-old grognard who's returning to RPGs after a 25 year break. Gods, I'm old.

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  1. I've been posting on here less than a year. One of the things I really value about BRP is the light touch moderation and I'm heartened by Rick and Jeff's statements above. I feel it would be wrong to alter the nature of the forums just because of (rare) bad behaviour by a few individuals. That would be punishing everyone else who has used the forums respectfully for the transgressions of others.
  2. @TrifletraxorFor what it's worth, I don't think censorship is really an answer to opinions we disagree with, and I appreciate the sensible level of moderation on these boards. @Cultist of Sooty I would just like to say that the vast majority of people I've engaged with on these forums are wholly welcoming, reasonable and chilled, and are just interested in making their games better and talking about those games, rather than pushing any kind of agenda. So please do not feel that this is not a place for you - it absolutely is.
  3. Good, don't let me trouble you then. But equally, don't imagine that your Never Never Land in which HPL was some beleaguered innocent is ever going to be accepted as the real world. Or... you could give up: - pretending you're a victim; - the idea that literary history and matters of record should be whitewashed in order for you to feel better about your favourite author; - trying to stifle other people's freedom of speech; - generally behaving like such a ludicrous fanboy.
  4. Oh, come on. Read back what you've written. If this is what you're expecting for HPL then you're basically asking for a safe space for yourself, in which nobody denigrates your literary hero. And you're objecting to Chaosium telling the truth about HPL's thoughts about other people. You're essentially asking for a cover-up. There is no need to bring all that ugliness up? So you think it's best that people remain blissfully unaware that HPL was a racist, and considered other people to be subhuman? Why should anyone who held those views have their image pampered? Why is that more important than knowing the truth about what he believed and what he wrote?
  5. You're in luck! There are plenty of them still about. And just to be clear, I do not consider myself to be politically correct, and indeed I have argued against political correctness on many occasions in the past. This is not a matter of following a fashionable etiquette or trying to show how 'woke' I am. It is a case of recognising really quite blatant bigotry in a body of historical fiction and being honest enough to say "yeah, that's what that is" and then moving on from that. In the same way that Heart of Darkness is a great novella, and inspired a great film, but is also a fundamentally racist and misanthropic book. Recognising the deficiencies of an artist and their work, as well as their merits, is a sign of honest and credible critique. Total denial of an artist's deficiencies should be left to fanboys.
  6. 1) Nowadays people are more likely to associate VW with the emissions scandal than Adolf Hitler (that's Trivial Pursuit-level association, not brand identity). 2) The world changes. Businesses attempt to change with it. Those that don't, tend to disappear. And really, you're criticising a business for acknowledging that some of their previous products could have been better? If you looked back at a product you once released and were now cringing at bits of it because, you know, the world has moved on and so have you, why wouldn't you be honest about that? It's also what capitalism is implicitly made out of ("New and Improved!")
  7. 1) Ford aren't selling model T's either, and Ford is a brand in its own right and not reliant upon Henry Ford - indeed he forms no part of their modern brand whatsoever. That is never the case with an author and their works which will always be associated with one another. So again, it's a poor analogy. 2) And yet Chaosium are selling thousands of CoC RPG books. 3) I have no idea who ST Joshi is, so I have no idea what bearing that has upon the human capacity to admire something produced by someone you profoundly disagree with.
  8. Are you seriously suggesting that if Ford were asked 'Do you agree with Henry Ford's views on Jews?' they wouldn't fall over themselves to say no? Besides, the analogy is a poor one - many people have never heard of Lovecraft or the Cthulhu mythos. If you're going to introduce people to a body of work, it's advisable to be open and honest about it from the start, not sweep it under the carpet, only for people to find out afterwards and say "Hey, you never said anything about that...". Because the art is not the artist. But there is the possibility that some people will write off the Cthulhu mythos on the basis of HPL's prejudices. It is not only honest to make a statement about where Chaosium stands, it is also commercially sensible. Well, that's a very interesting theory and perhaps you'll write a dissertation about it at some point. I doubt that anyone is going to base a business enterprise on it just yet though. Are you related to HPL somehow? I can't help feeling you're taking this all rather personally. I'm not denying HPL's creative talent (he wasn't a great writer, but he did dream up a fascinating mythology). I like some of Jamiroquai's songs, but that doesn't stop me thinking Jay Kay is a bit of a prat.
  9. Wow, this all escalated quickly. My take on this is as follows: If you and your gaming group don't want to discuss HPL's racism, or play scenarios with explicit parallels between HPL's xenophobia and the horror themes of aliens from beyond, then... don't. That's fine - everyone is free to decide what they want to explore in their own games. But that goes both ways - so coming on to a forum and trying to tell everyone else they (or Chaosium) shouldn't talk about HPL's racism is an imposition upon others. You don't get to decide how other people game. And the idea that politics doesn't belong in role-playing is itself a political position. I can't think of a single role-playing game that doesn't adopt a political position of some sort. As far as freedom of speech goes, trying to stop people referring to HPL's prejudices is just an attempt to close down discussion. Why shouldn't they refer to them? There is no obligation for gamers to refer to them (much as there is no obligation to talk about how carcinogenic a packet of cigarettes is - you can just smoke them if you want to). But there should be no bar on referring to the author's personal beliefs either and there are clearly strong feelings about this. Finally, from an ethical, reputational and business point of view, the OP's idea that Chaosium (or any other modern international business) would not seek to distance themselves from the kind of repugnant views expressed in some of Lovecraft's stories is incredibly naïve. Which company is going to promote a product based upon the work of a highly problematic writer, yet not acknowledge those problems, or point out that they absolutely do not agree with such views?
  10. Ah, sorry. I just naturally assume anything on here is about RQG these days. Didn't even notice the RQ3 comment at the beginning.
  11. Even with high CON, your max ENC is limited by your STR though. Every point of ENC above that penalises your parry by 5%! The extra few armour points is not worth borking your 12-point shield parry for, surely?
  12. But what 'small person' can afford to carry 20ENC of weight anyway, before you even pick up a weapon, shield or backpack? There's not much point in having such armour if your parry, attack (and most of your other skills) are suffering high ENC penalties.
  13. There are plenty of Chaosium publications that indicate that 'Incomplete Modelling' is in effect. For example, in the Dragon of the Thunder Hills, reference is made to several rune spells that might be used to defeat the dragon, without actually using the Runequest rules names for those spells. Equally, I can remember POW or magic points being referred to as 'soulforce' etc. However, even if the relationship between rules and game world is 'Incomplete Modelling', that still doesn't rule out the idea of different rulesets modelling different versions of Glorantha...
  14. That could be why actually: snakes, as creatures of Earth, should in theory be associated with axes. Swords are weapons of Air, and maces of Darkness. But an 'axe-snake' would look silly, so that's probably why they've been dropped in favour of more traditional pythons etc.
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