Aw Yeah, That’s the Good Stuff

And not the “Lawful Good” stuff, either.  This is high quality writing coming at you.  (Last alignment post – none so blind as a horse you can’t make drink and all that – I promise.)

Leave it to Cirsova to hit the nail smack on the head.  Most of you probably already follow his blog, but just in case you’re part of the great Angry Thumbsucking GM’s trainwreck rubberneckers, go read his post:

By using two axes, chaos moved away from, in the minds of gamers, opposition to Laws of Nature to opposition to the Laws of Man.

The man cuts to the chase here and explains in simpler and less judgmental language than your ‘umble hostess cupcake how to make this stuff work in your game. This guy is probably the one who explained to me how what I have been doing for decades. When it comes to D&D, I’m a natural, and do all this stuff instinctively. So sometimes it’s a struggle for me to put into words what I do. This Cirsova guy has a gift for conciseness. He should be an editor, because he’s really good at it.

But when everyone is playing half-demons, orclings, and priests of nebulous gods of mystic ambivalence, then, yeah, alignment means jack. The cultural and moral framework of elves, half-demons, fae-cat-girls, and all of the other dumb shit you see in post TSR D&D are so alien to the traditionally western framework of morality that both the 1 and 2 axis alignment systems were designed to model, of course it’s not going to actually work!

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If you decide that being “good” means you are high quality then alignment doesn’t work either.  If you decide that neutral means your driveshaft doesn’t engage so you roll down hills easily, alignment doesn’t work.  If you decide “lawful” means that your character is full of laws, alignment doesn’t work.  This isn’t a mystery – if there’s a thing that lots of people make work just fine, and you can’t make it work…you’re doing it wrong.  Try doing it the way they do it, and it will probably work as well for you as it does for them.

Trust Saint Gygax.

Trust Cirsova, too.  Go over and back his magazine, because it’s the real deal.  Better than the trash fiction you find at the Barnes and Nobles box stores.  The first four were great, especially one and two.  Full of the kind of stories that you just can’t find anymore, except that now you can, because of Cirsova.  I haven’t read the latest issue yet, but I’ll get to it eventually.  I found a trash bag of old porno magazines out in the woods behind (((my mom’s))) house, and have to finish reading through those first.  I mean, it’s not everyday that you can find a bunch of free pornography that easy, you know?

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Heh

Musta hit a nerve yesterday.

hornet

Welcome to the big time, newcomers. Stick around, we’ll teach you how to game (and live) like a man!

Ain’t nobody call me out tho.  Musta been too impressed by my iron-clad reasoning.

For you newcomers, let me assure you that the Alt-Right DM is no mere troll.  This blog is not one dedicated simply to slicing the wounds and sucking out the poison infecting the tabletop role-playing hobby.  That’s a big part of it, sure, but stick around kid – you might just learn a few things that will make your gaming, your life, and the world a better time, experience, and place all at the same time.

As Above – So Below.

Fixing your gaming can fix your life.  Your old pal E. Reagan Wright is here to show you how to do the latter by doing the former.

By way of demonstration, let’s take a look at alignment.

Let it go.  Just take a deep breath, and let it go.  You are making low-g planet sort of mountain out of a high-g planet size sort of molehill here.

We don’t need to settle on one single universal application of alignment.  Like every other rule between the covers of your preferred edition – even the girly editions of the Current Century – it’s just a suggestion.  It ain’t the law of gravity, it’s a framework that can be tweaked and adjusted to fit your table, your world, and your game.

Assuming for the moment you play a devolved version of the Sacred Game, by which I mean any version that includes the Good-Evil Axis of Alignment, then you have to deal with the Good-Evil Axis.  Great news!  That’s the easy one!  If you aren’t a complete ‘tard (or a Muslim) then you know the difference between good and evil.  There shouldn’t be any table talk about whether something is good or evil.  If it’s Mom, Apple Pie, leaping creeks in an orange car with a Confederate Flag on top to escape crooked cops, and driving the heretics and undead into the sea, you are doing good.  If it’s soccer, sitar music, driving trucks through crowds of people, and raising an army of undead to do your bidding – you are doing evil!

Even for tables full of degenerates like those who think, “We must secure the existence of safe and voluntary brothels and a future for kobold hookers,” then you have a clear (though bizarre and thoroughly wrong) idea of the difference between good and evil.  Go with that.  Straight into the arms of the Devil and an eternity bathed in the righteous fires of hell, but hey – memories of the virtue you signaled will keep you cool as your flesh is flayed from your sinful bones.

Oh, but what about the Chaos and Law Axis, smart guy?

Whatever.  Those are poles of the cosmic fight between incarnate forces.  Choose your side in the fight.  If there’s no cosmic fight that your drug-addled albino elf fighter-wizard can jack up six ways to Sunday then what do you care?  If there’s no fight, then your neutral.  If there is, then pick a side and quit your beefing if your side loses.

Here’s the thing:  These rules are not set up for role-playing purposes – they are set up for rules playing purposes.

Those are two very different aspects of D&D.  “Role Playing” and “Game.  Two faces of the same coin.  Two aspects of the same God.  Two tits of the same rack.  When you are clear about which aspect you’re dealing with, you run into trouble.  It only gets worse when you try to straddle them.

So stop doing that.

Just accept that sometimes you need bright line distinctions to make adjudicating the game go smoothly.  Pick your alignment, suffer the slings and arrows of making the wrong choice.  Or don’t use the rules at all if they interfere with your happy fun time story hour, and then you can keep playing a game in which choices have consequences even though you don’t have the stones to accept those consequences.

Remember what I said in the first paragraph?  Fixing your gaming can fix your life.  Step up to the plate.  Choose an alignment based on the rules and on where your character’s allegiance lies in the great cosmic battle – and not based on your snowflake character’s personality type – then sit back and accept that your choice will have natural consequences.  The experience of accepting and dealing with consequences at the table will reverberate throughout your entire life.  It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s a step in the right direction.  If you do this – if you change your gaming mindset – then your real-life mindset will naturally follow suit, and after enough steps like this you will be thinner, richer, happier, and more successful.

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The Angry GM is a F%#king Coward

Get a load of this goofus.

angry

Hoo boy, where to start with this prize pig?  The chicken shit way he rages and swears…without actually swearing?  Nah, low hanging fruit.  Heh, fruit.  How apropos.

Let’s start with the biggest difference between the House of Wright and the Pigsty of Angry.  He ransoms out his thoughts like a filthy whore.  Maybe he needs to grub for the money, I don’t.  My high stress (pimpin’ ain’t easy) job is very lucrative (thanks largely to Angry’s mom’s oral skills).  That means E. Reagan can bestow his wisdom upon you completely gratis.  E. Reagan does not sully himself with such mundane motivations as cash on the barrelhead.  He generously donates his time, words, and brainpower to you, dear reader, solely for the purpose of improving your tabletop play, and thus your lives, and ultimately all of Christendom.

Not when it comes to the D&D blog, anyway.  I save the money grubbing for my fiction writing.  Like Hugo Bait – a harrowing science fiction tale that’s fun for all ages and guaranteed to win a big silver rocket in 2018.

But hey, don’t take my word for it, The Angry Diarrhea Mouth freely admits he prefers Girl D&D.  (Seriously, this guy never says in 12 words what he could say in 500 words.   I thought I was verbose, but this guy takes pointless rambling to a whole new level.  His post is up to his manboobs in meaningless verbiage.  I can only assume he’s trying to justify things to his sugar daddies on Patreon:  “Look, me am write 2,000 word post. Ignore that it only 200 words of content.  Am 2,000 words!”)

Now, although my critics will deny it like insane street preachers ranting about the end of the world, I am a story gamer.

This here critic sitting in the library discreetly trying not to notice Chet watching porn on the computer next to me?  He would scream that from the rooftops if he had a roof to top.  My cardboard box in the alley won’t support my weight, so I’ll just stick with using the computers here at the local library/homeless entertainment center/free mystery meat child day care.

Of course Angry plays Girl D&D.  It’s right there in his chosen internet handle – he is all about the emotions, bruh.  RPGs are a safe space for yuh feelz.  He thinks he’s a tough, spilling a thousand about how sad he is that some don’t feel the way he feelz.  Get the man a puppy to stroke, stat!  He couldn’t hack it in a grown up game like D&D, so he retreated into the soft and plushy world of storygames like the mangina he is.

And that’s because, whether we like it or not, we live in a world without a single, provable, objective moral framework.

The devil you say?

TAGM doesn’t understand what “single” means.  He doesn’t understand what “provable” means.  He doesn’t understand what “objective” means.  He’s playing that High Atheist game of using words with dual meanings to that you cannot pin him down.  Hammer at him what he means when he says, “proof” and he’ll shuck and jive like Muhammad Ali in the ring, refusing to land on any one single meaning because doing would expose the emptiness of his argument.  He’s relying on the classic motte and bailey tactic of SJWs everywhere here.

The truth is that you cannot be a good game master without becoming a good story teller.

Spare me the heavy handed judgments here, Mister “Judge Not, You Don’t Even Know”.  he talks about one specific bastard child of tabletop games here – the modern storygames that place the word story first because games are hard and happy fun time is easy.  Anyone can be a fantastic DM without telling a single word of story.  You set up the dungeon, and let your players decide the story to drape over the game framework as icing on the all important GAME cake.

Morals aren’t physical laws. They aren’t like gravity. At least, they aren’t provably objective physical laws. But who knows? Maybe one of the major religions is right. Maybe there really is an objective set of moral laws that apply to the universe and maybe some day we will be able to prove that. I can’t say. No one can. Not with a certainty.

Yes, they are.  They arise out of natural laws as sure as gravity arises from the nature of mass.

This is where TheAngryGM stops being wrong and starts being a coward.  Why anyone would listen to a coward like this discuss morality is beyond me.  One of the major religions is right.  There is an objective set of moral laws that apply to the universe and they have been proven time and time again.  The fact that we live in an age where scientism is rampant and people’s education has left them susceptible to the whispered seductions of the, “Well, that’s just like, your opinion, man,” crowd doesn’t negate two THOUSAND years of study and scholarship.

Closing your eyes to the light doesn’t make the room dark – it just makes you blind.

[N]o good story is about the conflict between good and evil

Every good story is about the conflict between good and evil.  It is the fundamental conflict, and just because you don’t have the stones to man up and choose a side doesn’t mean those sides don’t exist.

What is important is to understand the good and evil are not forces that are in conflict.

Gray goo.  Pink slime.  Sloppy, sloppy thinking and blindness.  You can’t turn on the news without seeing the forces of good (Christendom/Trump) in conflict with the forces of evil (Islam/The rest of Washington D.C.).  You can’t have an interesting conflict unless one of the sides is good (or right) and the other bad (or wrong).  And the greater the contrast between them, the greater the stakes.  If nothing means anything in your world, then your games are utterly meaningless, pointless, and drab, gray wastes of time.

Oh, and before anyone objects to my argument, remember that under the Angry’s own rubric, I cannot be wrong.  You can’t prove I’m wrong with science.  You cannot judge things.  You can’t judge me or my argument because “subjective”.  I’m just as right and good and noble as he is.  By HIS rules.

To suggest that the only people who are wrong are people who admit that wrongness exists is the sort of post-modern meaninglessness that the schools were designed to teach students to ignore.  Hey kids!  Don’t believe in anything because nothing means anything.  The most important in the world is that you believe that nothing in the world is important.

This is not intellectual courage – it’s intellectual cowardice.

There is a big problem with the two-axis, nine alignment system in D&D. You know, lawful-good through chaotic-evil? It isn’t as severe nowadays because the discussion of alignment in the rules has been stripped down to almost nothing, but it’s still basically there.

Yeah, the problem is with dolts who refuse to acknowledge that we live in a fallen world where good and evil even exist.  The spineless weaklings like the GOP and the DNC and the non-RPG tabletop crowd (read: storygamers) have the strength of their utter lack of convictions to guide them.  The only people they are willing to fight are the people who say that there are things in this world worth fighting for and worth fighting against.

That’s childish poopytalk.

This world is filled with good and filled with evil.  There are things in this world worth fighting for, things worth believing in.  There are good guys and bad guys all around us.  There is true, objective, and recognizable Virtue.  Seven virtues, in fact. If the Angry GM could be bothered to pick up a book, he’d know that.  The world contains recognizable Vice – whole religions dedicated to it, in fact.  The Angry GM is clearly well acquainted with most of those, gluttony being the most obvious.

Here’s the real kicker, though.  You know who really doesn’t want you to think that the fight between good and evil doesn’t exist?  It’s Team Evil.  That The Angry GM refuses to accept the fight tells you everything you need to know about how effective protection from evil would work against him.  (Spoiler alert: +1 to AC and saving throws against ineffectual spittle when The AndGay GM is around.)

Don’t be The Angry GM kids.  Not even once.  Just say no.

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The Dungeon – Sesh 3

Another Saturday night, and I don’t got no…respect for writers who constantly fall back on song lyrics to start their blog posts.  That’s a cheap gimmick to establish false rapport and pad the word count using somebody else’s words.  Don’t do that, writers, it’s cheap and it’s lazy and it’s not clever.

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I’ll tell you what is clever. My players, that’s what’s clever.

Elfo McGayFace stayed away tonight, the poor dear still smarts from being handed a valuable lesson in not blowing a credible ambush with a bunch of “muh motivations!”.  That made for the regular five with two ‘plus ones’ in the party.  The two plus ones are a kid torchbearer and his cleric uncle, a good call paying that old guy a few extra shekels, given that they were making their first real foray into The Tomb.  Two clerics, even if one is an NPC, can make a real hash of a sealed tomb rife with the walking dead.

And boy howdy did they!

My players waltzed through the tombing turning more tricks than my Mom did when I was growing up.  They’d walk into a room, turn half the shamblers, and kill the rest.  Then they would root, loot, and scoot to the next set of guardians.

They got dinged a few times when the thief blew a few Find Traps rolls.  The traps in these old halls held rusted and busted gears and cogs that meant Drummer Hoff only fired off 50% of the time.  In other words, miss finding a trap, and half the party coul dwalk through it before it finally triggered harder than @Jack reading my Twitter feed.

One of the two tanks took a spear to the gut that killed him, and the player grabbed Old Man Turner, the NPC cleric, for the rest of the night.  The odd trap situation got so bad that, during the middle of the session, there was talk that the thief had gone renegade and was hoping for a bigger cut of the loot by letting a few characters shuffle off the PC coil.

Cray crayest thing they did though: they spiked a couple of pit traps open.  These are big 10 by 10 affairs that span the hallway, so the party was cutting off their options for retreat.  The party didn’t get it, but the magic-user insisted.  Not my place to judge – well, I mean, it is my place to judge, that’s kind of the DM’s role, but you know what I mean – it’s not my place to judge their tactics, only to judge what happens next.

Meanwhile, old E. Reagan is sitting behind his screen growing nervous as the turned undead started piling up in the back rooms.  They don’t stay turned forever, you know.  As the players sacks got heavy, they seemed to get more and more cocky.  Their move rates dropped, and they were running out of room in the Tomb.  Sure, they had killed a few of the low level types, but that left a whole lot of pain in their forward firing arcs.

Wandering monsters aren’t likely in this part of The Dungeon.  It had been sealed for so long that the only potential critters were a few vermin, ghostly effects, and the like.  That probably saved their bacon, because eventually they did run out of dungeon to plunge in.  They blundered into a back room and found somewhere around 20 skeletons and a like number of zombies waiting for them.  With nowhere else to go and done being turnt for the night, the whole mob bum rushed the PCs, who were ready for them.

They hoofed it back to one of the open pit traps, and the magic user blew his scroll of Tenser’s Floating Disk to magic up a lily-pad that they could leap frog across.  They hustled the last tank over, dropped the spell and stood jeering and mooning the frustrated dead for a moment before exiting The Dungeon down a man but up a great big pile of gold and long lost forgotten lore.

I love it!  Smart play makes for levelling up.  These guys are having an easy time now because they are still monkeying around on the first level of The Dungeon.  Once they open that big, heavy, solid metal trapdoor that they found leading down to Level Two (actually Level Three, but they don’t know that) things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.

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Gay Shirt or Gayest Shirt

Hur dur, I’m such a tough DM.  *wheeze*  My players all *puffs on inhaler* fear what I’ll do to them *dabs sweaty brow with lace kerchief* next session.

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Tee hee!

You are the dungeon master.  You don’t take sides.  You stand aloof and impartial, and you judge the game with the dispassionate air that would make a Vulcan tear up with pride.  You’re the guy that paints the white lines on the football* field.  You’re a football referee – and I’m talking about real American football here, not that rigged and crooked two hour tedium of soccer that they whoop and holler about in the less developed countries.  (Which is all of them.  That reminds me:

am2.)

But that’s just when it comes to adjudicating the game.  These are your friends we’re talking about.  At a minimum they are people who you have willingly chosen to spend time with.  You’ve labored for hours for these ingrates, and it’s all just to stroke your massive ego that, with all the power of a fake world at your hands, you can laugh when you stuff them in situations that kill them?  Yeah, you’re a real badass, poindexter.

This might be the most gamma shirt I’ve seen in a long time.

Don’t be that GM.  Be the judge that comes down harsh on a crook because you want wants best for him.  Celebrate with your players when they use one clever spell to defeat your big bad bossorc.  Cheer when they sneak in and steal a shield out from under the Goblin King’s seat.  Root for them when they win, and mourn when they lose.

And for God’s sake, don’t brag about being able to kill players or congratulate yourself for it.  If your players keep dying and dying and dying in stupid ways, you’re playing D&D wrong.  You’re all stick and no carrot.  You’re not teaching them anything about the game and how to play it right!

If you wear this shirt, you are a bad DM.

And if you are a player who sits at a table with somebody wearing this shirt?  Run, don’t walk.  Lumber, don’t stroll.  Just get away, because the guy wearing this shirt is like the brightly colored poison dart frog – he is telling you to move on, I’m not worth your time.

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Seriously, Coming Soon

I have to apologize for teasing everyone with this sexy hambeast of a cover for my next collection of stories.  I’m just waiting to hear back from Uncanny Valley Magazine.  This thing has been languishing in their slush pile for over a month!  Ludicrous.

UltimateV-Small

Who knew that ostensibly professional fiction magazines would sit on a golden egg laying goose like me for so long?  I coulda pushed this fiction-baby out of my mangina and been making fat loot out of it for a month.  Why, I coulda sold at least six copies by now.

The good news for my faithful readers is that old E. Reagan Wright’s masterpiece is hovering at 17 in the review queue, down from a high of 185.  Like I said to Mrs. Wright on our wedding night, don’t worry, this won’t be long.

Hoo-AH!

The way I see it, there are two possible outcomes after Uncanny X-Women Magazine’s slush readerette towels off her chair after reading my submission, White Privilege.  Either they reject my story and the vast riches and accolades it would bring them, in which case I’ll release the two other tales to astound in the Ultimate Victim triLOLogy.  In which case you’ll have to wait for Ultimate Victim’s origin story to appear in the digital pages of Uncanny.  Or they’ll reject it and you get three whopping superheroic stories that will pin your ears back and leave you gasping for breath and a cigarette.  Like everything I do, it’s a win-win situation.

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I Love This Review – No Homo

That’s a lie – this review of Shitlord: The Triggering has a little homo:  the guy that wrote it.

 

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And I thought the Poles were supposed to be smarter than this.

SJW Rule One in action. (Explanation for the derplords.).

Lie One:  It’s just barely touched Swords and Wizardry, which I used as a source material only because it’s totes the bestest OSR supplement around.  I only credit MythMere games in the legal page, and then admit as much in the Designer’s Notes.  It’s a wonder detective Strzzkzilickeelickee managed to get it in the ballpark with the White Box guess.

(Althoooough…come to think of it, maybe I should have used WHITE box D&D just for the bonus privilege points.)

Lie two: Does not have the content to trigger any liberal.  I’ve had anti-harassment activists tell me to die in a fire.

Lie three:  It was not removed from DriveThruRPG.  It never made it to DTRPG.  DTRPG shuddered in their comfortable shoes, pinched their noses, and then delicately waved their fingers for the peasants to take it away.  At once!  Like a van Vogt painting, they will only appreciate this work of art once old E. Reagan dies in a fire.

Lie four: No art.  Here are just two of the fourteen (heh) examples of original artwork included in the game, gratis:

Page80Page81

“Still better than a Wayne Reynolds painting.”  HA!  Still funny after all these year.  Sometimes I forget how hilarious I am.

[Edit to add:  Shitlord wasn’t written to trigger leftards, it was written to make shitlords go lolololololozzzzzzz.  Leftoids aren’t smart enough to even notice most of the jokes in this thing.]

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