Archive | June 2015

Caring is Meaningless

This is a thing I wrote in response to some SFF fandom bullshit going on. If you’re reading this and don’t know what the Sad/Rabid Puppies are, well, I envy you. Stay unaware. Don’t google it. Google prehistoric squirrels or Steven Universe conspiracy theories instead. It’ll be time better spent. For the rest of us poor bastards who have eaten of the Fruit of Bullshit from the Tree of Train Wreck, this post is for us.

When someone says, “Well, at least I care!” all they’re saying is, “Well, at least I have an opinion!” I’ve read this from one of the Sad Pup ringleaders, and couldn’t help but read the bit about “caring” as the foot-stomp of the petulant, self-righteous child. Caring is meaningless. Caring can be split so many ways and made to mean anything. You can carry it down into all kinds of Godwin Law absurdity. Mussolini cared about train schedules. Custer cared about the Sioux. You can’t say they didn’t. They certainly cared enough to have opinions about them. To state so sternly that you’re justified in your actions, because “you cared” is simply a sleight of hand attempt to raise feelings up to the level of values, because you’re not wise or self-aware enough to process your feelings without making noises.

That 5e Game

With the thesis winding down, and nights opening up I’ve started running a 5e game here in town. So far it’s been fun, and with the tweaks I’m enjoying it. The seed of the campaign comes from the one of the two RuneQuest modules* I own and is very much a sword and sorcery sort of thing.

House rule 1: the only playable races are human, dragonborn, and tieflings, and tieflings have to roll for random mutations. Even with the horrible defects this has not dissuaded players from running tieflings.

House rule 2: the only playable classes are barbarian, bard, monk, paladin, and warlock. I like this. It makes things weird in a nice way. Barbarians are the weird outlanders. Bards are wanderers and rogues. Monks make for strange mystical opponents. Paladins are like wizard-knights, and warlocks are just weird. Maybe not so surprisingly, everyone has decided to play one of the above except for a paladin, which I’m fine with.

House rule 3: slower level progression. 300XP to get to 2nd level? Fugg that noise!

As a DM I’m totally sloppy, and pretty much rely on the one player who is a rules junky, but not a dick about it. I’m more likely to just use the advantage/disadvantage rules than look anything like a spell effect up in a book. “I don’t want want to look up what this does. Let’s just say you have advantage and go with it, okay?”

* Reading these modules I have to wonder if you needed a PhD in anthropology to play RuneQuest.

The Next Hot Subgenre

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Were-Tornado Erotica
The Epic Mundane
Grimdark Judy Blume
Fan Fiction for Famous Mathematical Equations
“-gasm”: wherever you see the suffix “-punk” now, you’ll see “-gasm” in the future: Mythgasm, Cybergasm, Steamgasm, etc.
Lord of the Sweet Valley Highs
The Genre Adjacent
TV Trope Twister
Interspeculative Conservatism
Noirnoir, Neo-noirnoir, and Revisionist Neo-noirnoir
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New Retropunkgasm