The Troubles

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:22 am
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Continuing from yesterday's entry ...

Pathfinder. I have to give Paizo this - they're either giving their fans exactly what the fans want, or the fans want exactly what Paizo's producing. Either way, Paizo is making plenty of money and they're doing some creative things with their setting. Golarian is chock full of gods, with every intelligent species having a whole pantheon, and semi-regular appearances of these gods and their avatars - no sane thinking person can deny the existence of gods in this setting. Yet in Golarian, there are atheists - they don't disbelieve, they just have no use for gods in their lives. I get that. Before I admitted to myself that I just didn't really believe, I was very comfortable with Yahweh and me not interfering with each other.

Trail of Cthulhu characters can have their religion as a pillar of stability, something they can (almost) always fall back on when things have stopped making any kind of sense; the new edition of Call gives investigators a similar resource as a shield against unyielding horror. There's good role-playing and storytelling to be mined out of a character trying to reconcile their faith with exposure to the monsters and other entities of the Mythos, and it can be handled with respect.

This is Where you can Reach me Now

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:59 pm
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Since starting the rewatch of Battlestar Galactica (2004 edition) and catching a few episodes of the original on one of the local digital side-channels, I've been thinking about the role of religion and/or faith in my gaming and related writing.

I'm, for sake of labeling, a post-Christian atheist. I grew up in a pretty mainstream rural Methodist church, and was somewhat involved in youth groups and things like that, but never really wanted to be warming a pew on Sunday mornings (evenings, at Wednesday night prayer meetings, revivals, you see where I'm going). To be honest, I think I learned more about being good and doing right from episodes of Star Trek on WAVE-3 than I did from most of the preaching I was exposed to - I sure enjoyed them more and loved Sunday mornings when I didn't have to go to church.

I remember a Palladium Fantasy game in high school, where the PCs were crusader-missionaries, spreading their faith by example and at the point of the sword. There was a World of Darkness game in the mid-90s, with the PCs caught up, indirectly, in angelic and demonic machinations. My D&D 3 historian/lawman/wizard was devoted to his goddess, if occasionally angry with her, and cared little for the beliefs of others. Currently, my Pulp Cthulhu investigator was raised a Quaker, left that belief for something between non-specific Protestantism and agnosticism, saw some weird shit while part of the occupation of Haiti, and is now confronting Yig's cultists. My CP2020 solo was a lapsed Catholic, more so in stories I wrote about him than in play.
In my current Star Wars game, there's no real discussion of religion, outside of the Force.

Quirky

Sep. 16th, 2017 08:21 am
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Bad week. Not gonna talk about it here and now.

More important topic. Gnomes. What the fuck?

D&D gnomes, specifically. Why are they necessary? What role do they serve? What is supposed to be their unique schtick? 'cause as far as I can tell, they're basically comic relief for people who don't think halflings go far enough out on the "wacky jolly small people" axis.

Now, I have seen halflings played straight, and played downright unnerving (looking at you, Kulik). But that's rare in my experience. Gnomes... seem to have taken too many cues from their counterparts in World of Warcraft, what with the slapstick pranks and anime hair and woo-woo anachronistic tinkering. (Not being an old-school D&D player, I am uncertain if they were like that before WoW came on the scene.)

Sleep Like a Baby Tonight

Sep. 13th, 2017 04:10 pm
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Days go by.

My Dodgers broke their twelve-game losing streak last night, beating the Giants and securing a playoff slot. The NL West pennant is up in the air, though.

Raised by Wolves

Sep. 10th, 2017 07:56 pm
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Pro football season started on Thursday the 7th, and for a few shining days, the Patriots were the worst team in the NFL, having lost the season opener to the Chiefs. It's still a little strange to want the Chiefs to do well, but here we are.

Unfortunately, my Dodgers continue to slide. They've now dropped ten straight games, and hopes for a 100-win season are fading fast. It's a teamwide slump. Hitting, pitching, defense - just everything.

UofL's 2-0 now, after wins over Purdue and UNC. Neither game was especially pretty, but wins are wins. Next up is the home opener against Clemson, who is defending a national championship. Last year, the Cardinals came close to beating Clemson on their home field, so next weekend should be a good game.

Spent last night at the farm, and it was a good/bad night. No middle-of-the-night anxiety attacks, but it took forever to get to sleep, and I only got about five hours. I've been dragging all day, and this was a busy day. Drove back here in time for a Fathom showing of The Wrath of Khan at Preston Crossing, then over to the Phelps' for [REDACTED] - which is going pretty well.

As you might expect, I'm a sleepy boy. Watching the Dallas-NYG game, in a desultory fashion. I have a Google Docs tab open, but that promise is likely to go unrealized tonight. There is a small cluster of neurons arguing that I should brew some coffee and make a more constructive night, but that voice is being shouted down quite effectively.

Volcano

Sep. 6th, 2017 10:56 am
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Today, on his 70th birthday, Dad is hauling a couple of turbofan housings from Ohio to somewhere in the greater Massachusetts wastelands. As of a few minutes ago, he's on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, escorts front and rear, and limited to 55 miles-per and daylight travel only.

Hurricane Irma is closing in on Puerto Rico and Hispanola, the best models show it heading into the Florida Strait, then turning north and going up Florida's west coast. The thing is at category 5, sustained 185+ MPH winds and gusts to 225 and better. Tropical Storm Jose is a few hundred miles to the east of Irma, and a depression in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico just got strong enough to be named Katia. This is not going to be good. Florida's in a statewide state of emergency; tourists are being evacuated from the Keys, and Miami's evaccing people with mobility problems.

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