Once Upon a Time, and Arguing on the Internet

Sean Reynolds makes a lot of good points here.

Sean K Reynolds

Back when I still used Facebook, I used to argue politics on the internet. A lot. A lot a lot. Like, Id be late to a social event because I “needed” to reply to someones wonky political take on something. Or Id stay up late for the same reason. Or Id have trouble falling asleep because I kept thinking about it. Or Id review my “on this day” Facebook memories page to see arguments Id made the previous year. Im good at debating. I fight hard at it. I bring the receipts. Im ruthless. At the time, I thought I enjoyed it.

Around this time, I was married, and my wife was a fan of the TV show Once Upon a Time. At some point, the show creators were on Twitter and doing an AMA sort of thing. And instead of reacting to questions from fans of the show…

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Monstober Day 28: Choir.

These beings resemble a floating set of choir robes, holding a dagger or song book in invisible hands. If encountered as a group, they form a powerful amalgam, each more destructive than the one before it. Their faces have narrow eye slits and elongated mouths. The sounds they emit are capable of driving sane beings mad or destroying structures.

Choir of Discord.

For Dungeon Crawl Classics or similar D20 games.
These beings resemble a floating set of choir robes, holding a dagger or song book in invisible hands. If encountered as a group, they form a powerful amalgam, each more destructive than the one before it. Their faces have narrow eye slits and elongated mouths. The sounds they emit are capable of driving sane beings mad or destroying structures.

Dark Singer:

Init +1; Atk dagger +3 melee (1d4); AC 13; HD 5d8; MV 20’, fly 30’; Act 1d20; SP destructive song (DC 13 Will if soloist. See Below.) Disruptive Aura; SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +6; AL C.

Solo stats are as above. However they rarely appear this way. Song of Madness. AC, HD, and Saves as above.

Duet. Init +2, Act 2d20, Song of Torment- save becomes DC 14. AC14, +1d8 HD, All Saves +1

Trio: Init +3, Act 2d20, Song of Destruction save becomes DC 15.

Quartet: Init +4, Act 2d20+1d24, Destructive Song save becomes DC 16.

Chamber Choir (5 -12) +1d8 HD per member. Act 2d20+1d24. All saves +1 per member. Dischord of Discord. All with hearing within 10′ per choir member must make a Fort Save DC 13 + 1 for every two members. Take 6d8, save for half damage. Nearby structures begin to take this damage (no save) every round after the second.

Disruptive Aura: Any creature that moves within 5′ of a Dark Singer or group must make a Will Save DC 12 (regardless of group size) or lose 1 action for 1d4 rounds.

Thanks for stopping by. Art and more on their abilities as well as origin to come.

Random D12 Table for the Month.

Pretty much all of this has happened at one point or another.

Roll 1d12 and consult the table below to see what went sideways in November this time:

  1. Someone’s sick. Roll on the Disease of the Week Subtable.
  2. Toilet is backed up, leading to bigger plumbing issues.
  3. Distracted by Internet Drama.
  4. Family issues. Drop everything and tend to one family member.
  5. Crippling Depression and Social Anxiety.
  6. Dirty dishes and laundry pile up. It’s like no one heard I was writing this month.
  7. Car problems. Roll a d2. Odd: Mine. Even: Hers.
  8. Bills start piling up. Family tension over money increases.
  9. Kid gets in trouble at school.
  10. Holiday panic. In-Laws might be coming for Thanksgiving.
  11. Red letter pain flare puts me on the couch for three days.
  12. Multiple internet outages and days on the phone with tech support.
Subtable 1-1, Family illnesses.
  1. Icky Cough-Coughs. aka Covid, or the Beer Virus. We live in Iowa. Go figure.
  2. Strep Throat.
  3. Appendicitis.
  4. Strep Throat leading to Tonsilitis.
  5. Ear Infection.
  6. Strep Throat leading into Covid. (Yes, that really happened.)
  7. Pink Eye. (Euww.)
  8. Stomach bug. Everyone roll a Fort Save DC 14. Usually one person makes it.
  9. Food Poisoning. Usually only one person gets sick, but see Stomach Bug.
  10. Big school project requiring adult assistance.
  11. Fever of unknown origin. There’s a fun day in the ER.
  12. Gnarly cold that’s not strep or Covid. It happens.

Gratitude.

I’m truly grateful for all of you, my readers. Thank you for being here. I couldn’t do it without all of you. I know I say it frequently, but I really do love and appreciate you, even if we don’t always agree. That’s family, right?

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the USA.

I know this time of year is a time to relax for many, but for some it leads to the same stress many experience on a daily basis. I’m no psychologist, so please understand this is based purely on my observations and understanding. Many content creators whether streaming, social media, YouTube, even bloggers, feel a certain degree of pressure to keep going even when everyone else has a day off.

Some YouTubers who regularly broadcast on Thursday night may or may not have something in the proverbial can scheduled to run the next night. Social media creators are basically always on stage unless they have scheduled posts ready to go out. If it weren’t November, even my own humble blog has posts scheduled up to as many as 10 days ahead. (Right now I’m “pantsing” as they say in NaNoWriMo.)

This leads to, “Dinner’s off the table. Time to go to work.” for a lot of people. I mean, I used to work retail, which was way more stressful, and sometimes meant putting in Thursday night hours. Graveyard shift workers know what it’s like to have to go to bed while their partner cooks, get up early for dinner only to dash out the door the minute the table is clear. When I was in the grocery business, holidays were never a day off. Sometimes it was a week of straight overtime. (I don’t miss it.) Regular 9-5 day people and “regular” folk probably don’t have a good grasp on what it’s like to have to wave goodbye to the family and dash out the door.

This is why I’m grateful now.

I’m truly grateful for all of you, my readers. Thank you for being here. I couldn’t do it without all of you. I know I say it frequently, but I really do love and appreciate you, even if we don’t always agree. That’s family, right?

My appreciation also extends to all of the content creators, third shift workers, retail employees, and anyone else who works long hours on the holidays. It’s never easy. Thank you for doing what you do.

Back with more tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.

Monstober Day 29: Wing.

The Turkey Demon: A jet black fire-breathing turkey with six tentacles and it can fly, too.

The Turkey Demon: A jet black fire-breathing turkey with six tentacles and it can fly, too.

Turkey Demon (Type 3): Init +2; Atk tentacle +9 melee (1d4) and beak +10 melee (1d8); AC 16; HD 6d8; MV walk 20’ or fly 40’; Act 7d20; SP Infravision, darkness (+12 check) grasp 1d4, Breathe Fire SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +5; AL C.

Immune to weapons of less than +2 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures of 5 HD or less; half-damage from fire, acid, cold, electricity, gas.

Tentacle attack: For each tentacle that strikes the same character, the demon receives 1d4 on an opposed Strength check to hold the character down. For example, if 6 tentacles hit a character in a single round, the character takes 6 points of damage, and the demon rolls 6d4 on a Strength check against the character. If the demon wins the Strength check, the character is grappled and cannot attack unless he spends the next round struggling and succeeds on an opposed Strength check. The demon may not use its breath weapon while a character is grappled.

Breath Weapon: The Turkey Demon breathes a cone of shadowy fire, width 1d4x10’, length 1d6 x 10’ 6d8 damage, Ref save for half. Characters hit with the breath weapon continue to burn with corrupt flame for 1d6 damage per turn for 1d3 turns.

Monstober Day 27: Judge.

It’s all fun and games until you go from “Not guilty” to “Please lock me up.”

A Monster of the Week challenge.

Intro: A Reptilian hybrid in Des Moines, IA has managed to wriggle her way up through the ranks and become a judge. She’s now dispensing “justice” according to what her Reptilian masters have ordained. Unfortunately, she’s also become more bloodthirsty as time goes on.

Day: Judge Julie Latch lets certain specific criminals loose on orders in a plain white envelope given to her by her courtroom deputy. Her overseers give the orders, she follows them. Some of the criminals who are released are of special interest to the Reptilians. Anyone who questions Judge Latch is silenced by outside influences and manipulations.

It comes to the group’s attention that someone who was recently arrested because of their actions has just been released from jail on a technicality.

Shadows: Judge Latch starts questioning some of her orders. She becomes increasingly annoyed that some of the worst criminals are, in fact, being cycled through her court and given a free pass. Something begins hunting criminals down shortly after their release.

Sunset: Judge Latch excessively sentences a criminal to jail against her orders. Her overseers order her to take administrative leave. Her three hench people depart with her. A conflict between Reptilians and hybrids begins. The human pawns are caught in the middle.

Nightfall: Latch and her crew start killing and possibly feeding on criminals in the streets at night. It becomes obvious enough that the local news catches on before the Overseers can cover it up. Curfew is ordered by the Office of the Mayor. Police begin to actively patrol the streets, making it more difficult for anyone to do anything after 6:00 PM

Midnight: Latch and/or her hench people get caught on camera eating one of the criminals she let out on a technicality the week before. The Reptilian apocalypse begins. SCP has to be called in to contain the situation before it gets completely out of control.

This is my first go at creating a true MotW timeline. I still haven’t quite mastered monster generation. More on that when I get it figured out. Thanks for stopping by. More to come.

Collection of Random Thoughts.

One thing about being around this hobby that should have stuck with all of the old heads out there is COMPASSION! Some people shit on us hard back in the day during the Satanic Panic. The persecution some members of the community felt then are still in play today. At least there was never a “Don’t say D&D” law passed or anything. We older gamers have a duty to uplift and preserve the hobby.

A lot of bits and bobs from inside my head tonight.

TableTop RolePlaying Games (TTRPGs) are my passion. I follow the industry, my fellow fans, and everyone else involved because gaming is my passion. It’s not necessarily the playing of adventures or running an event as a Game Master/Dungeon Master/Judge, etc. It’s about the camaraderie and the friends along the way.

So, I learned what might actually be “wrong” with me psychologically. It’s finally starting to make sense. I think I might have sociophobia or Social Anxiety Disorder. That makes thing interesting for a hobby where there is typically a gathering of 2-7 (or more) players. I have a family of six, so it’s not impossible.

But, yeah. Being around people kinda freaks me out. I try to limit my time and trips out in public. I don’t work and might never work again for all I really know. At this point I’m not sure I would feel comfortable in any job. I start to panic at the first signs of freelance work. (*Longer story, but still comes back to fear.)

The irony, of course, is that love writing for my blog. I love you, family online. Thank you for being here. Fear is not the same as hate. I love my audience. Y’all are awesome.

Along the TTRPG lines.

A couple of things have come up more recently in TTRPG news that I have been meaning to address. Please don’t come at me with your Satanic Panic trauma. I lived through that time, too. Yeah, it kinda sucked. But we survived.

One thing about being around this hobby that should have stuck with all of the old heads out there is COMPASSION! Some people shit on us hard back in the day during the Satanic Panic. The persecution some members of the community felt then are still in play today. At least there was never a “Don’t say D&D” law passed or anything. We older gamers have a duty to uplift and preserve the hobby.

Keeping new players away from Dungeons & Dragons or any game is counterproductive, counterintuitive, and downright sad. Embrace fresh talent in both the hobby and the industry. It’s the best way to keep going and really the only way for gaming to perpetuate itself.

Say “No,” to the bigots, the edgelords and the creeps. That’s not gatekeeping. That’s just the sane smart thing to do. It’s not gatekeeping so much as being safe.

The old gamer worry of the week.

Is Wizards of the Coast going to introduce an Open Game License for the new, upcoming One D&D? The answer to date is: doubtful. The new management in charge of D&D came straight from Microsoft. They know jack and shit about the RPG industry nor do they care. They want to make money, pure and simple.

I think with the obvious push for an electronic platform using the Unreal engine, they are trying to basically turn D&D into Fortnite. Physical retailers and physical D&D books could easily be on the way out as far as WotC is concerned. PDFs or whatever they sell from their app/platform are going to be the way of the future. The Player’s Handbook as we know it might come out as chunks along with other microtransactions on the platform.

Want to play a Barbarian? Buy the new shiny Barbarian skin in the item shop. Get your character a big freaky two handed sword bling for another $1.99. Use in-game currency to pick up the fur-topped leather boots. Get the 10th level Barbarian leap of doom feat in a package deal for $4.99. (Yeah, I play Fortnite. I don’t want D&D to look like this.)

WotC isn’t worried about older editions of the D&D game or compatibility because they won’t need to. They’re turning D&D into a video game because that’s what they understand. It’s about big money. Unfortunately, the DMsGuild proved to them that RPG gamers are suckers for smaller transactions. We’ll buy a $1.99 subclass before we’ll shell out $69.99 for Spelljammer’s failed box set. But I digress.

Personal notes:

I’m trying to keep my publishing streak here on the blog alive this week. It’s going to be harder than ever. Thanksgiving dinner got moved to Sunday because our youngest child is getting his tonsils out tomorrow. We figured it was better to do it while he could still eat solid food. Poor kid. Any holiday revolving around food is rough when you can barely talk and are restricted to a popsicle diet.

I’m hesitant to comment on this next part. I have kind of a conflict brewing internally and I just want to vent it a little. Sometimes seeing it on the screen helps sort it out.

I have a dear friend and mentor who I would gladly take a bullet-for who has kinda strayed from the spiritual path a bit. This person is openly promoting a Republican governor who has repeatedly made very anti-LGBTQIA++ statements. As a parent of a Trans child, it’s very hard to stomach. It’s like, I want to still love you but I will always love my child more. It’s not cool and it hurts.

Every person on the Earth plane has free will. Love it or not, it’s how humans work. But how do you reconcile love and kindness with a governor who says brilliant things such as, “Iowans still know boys from girls,” in a bloody political ad! I swear this state and this country have lost their damn minds. WTAF?!? Spiritually, how do I still love someone who supports that?

For God’s sakes, gay/lesbian and trans people were gunned down in a nightclub again. That popped up on my news feed alongside Trans Day of Remembrance. I’m sickened and saddened by this news. It’s not why we came to the Earth plane. I’m sending as much love and healing energy to the survivors, families and friends. When are we going to stop senselessly killing each other on this planet?

On a final note, everyone seems to be concerned about Twitter going belly-up. I think it’s still too soon to tell. Yeah, the Donald and some other dipshits have been allowed back. Hey, if that’s what the Lord Chief Twit-lon and his robotic minions want to do- okay. I don’t have to interact with them. I have other social media accounts where I actively avoid/block idiots all the time. No big deal.

I did start a Mastodon account. I’m going to be updating all of my social media links soon. I’m probably going to become a bit more active on Instagram and elsewhere again soon. Twitter is starting to smell like ozone, burning styrofoam, and marijuana smoke from its owner.

I’m trying to imagine what I would do with $44 Billion. Buying a social media platform is not the first thing to come to mind. I don’t begrudge anyone for having that kind of money. I’m all about prosperity. But let’s think.

That’s roughly $5 for every person on the planet. What happens if you send 8 billion people $5 each? That’s a small fortune in some countries, a cup of coffee in others. $44 Billion is more than the GDP in some countries.

What if that $44 Billion got thrown at agriculture? Or eradicating homelessness? Or clean energy technology? Social media falls way, way farther down on my list of potential expenditures. For that kind of money, I could probably reinvest in some businesses and ideas to truly help people get back on their feet in the US and every other country on Earth. Imagine the good one could do.

Imagine what would happen if someone spent $44 Billion helping trans people get the surgery and hormone therapy they desire? Imagine what would happen if someone spent $44 Billion to assist in migration away from Republican controlled states in the US. Imagine what putting that kind of money into the mental health care industry would do. Suddenly, this country could become way less of a toilet fire.

Thanks for stopping by. I love and appreciate every single one of you who read my blog. We might not always agree on everything, but you’re still here and I love you for it.

Rest In Peace, Jason David Frank.

We’ve lost yet another legend this year.
Too soon, my friend. Too soon.

I’m still in shock over this one.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’m a big Power Rangers fan. My wife is a huge Jason David Frank (Tommy Oliver) fan. Our kids all admire the original Rangers, too. Needless to say, the news of his passing hit like a ton of bricks around here.

He was 49. He inspired millions of people on and off camera. We’re going to miss him.

Monstober Day 26: Toy.

Kronus’ most recent creation. Mega Action Man comes with 16 points of articulation, Super Jujitsu Grip, Laser sword, Atomic Raygun, Rocket pack, and Missile launcher. Other figures and playsets sold separately. Batteries not included.

Toy Robot Man for Power Rangers RPG.

Mega Action Man

THREAT LEVEL: 7
SIZE: COMMON | HEALTH: 12
TOUGHNESS: 16 | EVASION: 16
WILLPOWER: 13 | CLEVERNESS: 16
GROUND MOVEMENT: 30 ft.
AERIAL MOVEMENT: 60 ft.
Kronus’ most recent creation. Mega Action Man comes with 16 points of articulation, Super Jujitsu Grip, Laser sword, Atomic Raygun, Rocket pack, and Missile launcher. Other figures and playsets sold separately. Batteries not included.
SKILLS:
Initiative +d4
Intimidation +d4
Melee +d6*
Perception +d4
Targeting +d6*
PERKS:
Rocket Powered Leap: .
Super Jiu Jitsu Grip: is a trained combatant and receives Edge on all unarmed combat as long as it is not wounded.
ATTACKS:
Unarmed Combat (Melee): +d6*, Reach (Toughness, 1 Blunt Damage)
Atomic Raygun (Targeting): +d6*, Range 30 feet (Evasion, 1 Energy Damage)
Lightning Vision (2x/scene, Targeting): +d4, Range 20 ft. (Evasion, 1 Electric Damage) lightning from its eyes in a 20 ft. line, targeting all creatures in that area.
The Laser Sword: (Melee): +d6*, Reach (Toughness, 1 Laser Damage)
The Missile Launcher: Once per scene: Targeting): +d6*, Range 120 ft. (Evasion, 1 Explosion Damage)
POWERS:
Plasticine body:
HANGUPS:
Weak Point: Mega Action Man’s strength resides within the screw on his back that holds him together.

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