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Sunday Reading – 2020/07/12

Today is the fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the Fifths Sunday of Matthew. It is the feast day of Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilary of Ancyra

Today’s Epistle is Romans.(10:1–10)

Today’s Gospel is The the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (8:28–9:1)

Reading Rolls

D4: ”You cannot have a meaningful camaign…”
D6: ”if strict time records are not kept”

While I agree with Jeffro about this rule creating an entirely different game, I would argue with him about this being “real D&D”. While it may have been Gygax’s strong conception for AD&D, by 1977, well before first edition Dungeon Master’s Guide appeared, every play style seen today already existed. You can see evidence of them in fanzines and magazines of the period.

That said, ignoring this rule is the reason for a lot of rules changes in later editions. Even the “long rest cures all HP lost” in 5e is reflection of ignoring the time dimension of the game.

Finally, Dungeon World includes most of the ideas of emergent setting Jeffro discusses. It doesn’t include random tables, but those are easy to find and could be used seemlessly.

D8: Greyhawk Grognard on the Wizards disclaimer
D12: petition to remove the Wizards disclaimer

The way I see it, Wizards want it both ways. They put out this non-specific disclaimer on all 4e and earlier products. Thus any future istophobia is covered without giving up any profits from istophobic materials. Wizards should identify the materials they own they believe are racist, sexist, etc. and pull them from the market, having the courage of their convictions and sacrificing those sales. If they are not willing to do that, they should remove a disclaimer so open to interpretation that everyone from Dave Arneson to Mike Mearls could be read as being an istaphobia.

Video of the Day

For the lighter side of D&D culture, Brandon of cult movie review fame, ranks his top ten Ray Harryhausen films. I am not surprised by his choice as number one and while I would probably put it there myself, his number three choice is also a good choice for the top spot.

Song of the Week

It is great to see that Dieter and Boris are still at it. Perhaps this their chance to get a second US chart hit.

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  1. BobtheRegisterredFool BobtheRegisterredFool

    Yeah, I’ve gotten useful insights from Jeffro. Not everything fits my needs, but that enthusiasm is a gold mine.

    I’ve got to wonder; is this a good time to ask if the deliberate pro LGBT stuff in 5e is simply an extension of the alleged Zak S. grooming/abuse matter.

    • I don’t know. I tend to think it was more a preview of what we’re seeing with orcs and drow being re-written to not be “racist and the disclaimers on all pre-5e and some 5e products at DM’s Guild.

      Also, Zak has won the only court case concerning the accusations against him, a defamation case in Australia. There are other things on the Zak front, so I’m not sure what’s going on.

      With respect to Jeffro, it’s not that he’s wrong. He’s appendix N stuff is great and his interpretation of ways to play are completely valid. It is the “true D&D” line that gets me for two reasons. First, AD&D came several years after D&D was released and to call it the true version in its most Gygaxian form is to dismiss that it was not released initially in that form. Hell, Gygax and others declared AD&D was a completely separate game in legal filings. Second, at some point D&D in a very real way ceased to be the property of anyone. Yes, the trademark has an owner as does the copyright of actual texts, but by 1978 D&D as a concept, not RPGs in general but that specific genre that is D&D, has a thousand flowers bloom and all of them put a different spin on those little brown books. AD&D was in some ways an attempt to scale that back, but the genie was well and truly out of the bottle.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool BobtheRegisterredFool

        On Zak S., I have two datapoints. The first was his approach to managing the controversy over the playtest of the new Vampire. That was either a) someone who didn’t want to admit the obvious, that the character was a clumsy attempt to discredit a European anti-establishment political movement by associating it with a character more plausible as having establishment ties b) sexual predator behaving in ways engrained for defending inappropriate behavior. The later allegations fit the second model better, but hardly proved it. The second model is much better for trolling folks, suggesting that now that WoTC has bent the knee, they have no excuse not to replace 5e with a much more heavily sanitized 6e.

        My inner jerk very much wants to make organizations that offer these ‘harmless’ concessions suffer, and regret.

        Agree on the no one true DnD.

        • I had quit reading his blog by the time Vampire 5 controversy hit. I have no trouble saying he was an ass. It drove me off his blog despite the quality content he often made.

          I did ask him about the gender bit in what you could play in 5e with the “you can play an elf, isn’t gender openness obvious” and he said something about how it could be comforting/supportive to confused youth. I guess, but I don’t see that as the job of D&D. I am a bit disturbed about what appears to be a large number of people who not only use D&D to work out their gender issues (hey, you do you), but demanding that every table be open to that, even ones they aren’t at.

          As for the bend the knee part, a local D&D club collapsed over sexual harassment. Its successor has the following mission statement:

          The mission of ATLRPG is to create a safe environment and community for fans of tabletop roleplay games (TTRPGs), such as but not limited to Dungeons & Dragons, and people interested in learning about them. We believe that playing TTRPGs can and should belong to everyone of all backgrounds for their own enjoyment, if not education, catharsis, creative outlet, mental exercise, fantasy, or other amenable goal.

          That sounds great an all, but I’d much prefer a statement about providing the ability to organize and host games being the mission. Under that mission statement if they create a safe environment that never succeeds in a single game occurring they have still meant their mission. That might sound pedantic, but you cannot serve two masters. Their master is D&I and everything else will be second. To that end they require X cards and that idiotic “consent checklist”, so I won’t be running games there. I refuse to use S&M tools that aren’t primarily about consent and that fare poorly as consent tools in the S&M world in my RPGs.

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