Any Sufficiently Advanced SJW

Is indistinguishable from a bot.

I wasn’t going to talk about the NPC meme any more.  It’s gone totally mainstream and once that happens my hipster cred depends on sneering at it as last week’s fake news and something I like before the rest of you plebs glommed on to it.  But I was vanity searching my name on the Googs and found an NPC related slow-burn own-goal by the SJWs far too sweet not to share with all my loyal fan.

Back in 2016 BoingBoing brought the world a high-lairious story about how SJWs argue exactly like the bots they are.  None other than alleged kiddie-diddler and known gamergaterhater Sarah Nyborg proved that SJWs sound just like programmed bots by scripting up a bot that sounds exactly like an SJW.  In typical short sighted and unself-aware fashion, the fake news crew leapt into action to spin the story in one of how the alt-right trolls got totally tricked into arguing for hours with a bot – as though there’s a nickle’s worth of difference between bots and SJWs.

A couple of screencaps for those who don’t want to hit that link to The Verge because don’t feed them clicks:

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For the record, the internet’s seediest subculture is made up of guys like this weirdo who once wrote a gardening thriller book.  Get it?  He’s seedy, because he gardens!  Because to have a garden you have to plant seeds, you see?  It’s…uh, Jack Broccoli is a lot funnier than my joke, I just wanted an excuse to recommend it because I liked it.

Look, the point is that here’s some more Turin Test failure on the part of the Verge, Boing Boing (who pimped this harder than my Dad did Mom), and Sarah “Are Your Parents Home?” Nyborg.

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The @arguetron, like all NPCs and SJWs, uses a combination of generative and static statements.  It doesn’t need to be that smart.  Context is irrelevant.  That’s why ATarguetron looks so much like an SJW that normal guys react to it the same way they do SJWs.

And we’re supposed to be the dumb ones here?

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Oh, also, uh…

D&D is cool and you should play OSR games instead of the Nancy-by 5e edition drek.  And buy my short stories on Amazon like Psyberfrog or Ultimate Victim.  Daddy needs to stack dem bills to pay dem bills, yo.

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Your Visual Input Activates My Friend Response

I see by the ampersand on your shirt that you also enjoy the acceptably niche hobby of Dungeons and Dragons.  Rebelling against sportsball enjoyment by observing others engage in this manner activates my pleasure response module.  Have you enjoyed the latest episode of the podcast currently designated as a suitable re-recreation of the Dungeons and the Dragons?  Those in-jokes used every episode for the last six episodes sure do activate my laugh response.

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Like me, you have read the current incarnation of the rulebook and many of the numerous of the adventures published by our programmers.  Orderly nonconformity assures good thinks.  Fudging dice rolls good.  Character death bad.  Three saves good.  Five saves bad.  Thaco nonsense word because adding better than subtracting.  Not that it matter when no play.  Only consume mass video quantities.

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It is nice of our programmers to inform us of how we may acceptably stray within the lines of acceptable rebellion.  Now we can all be unique in the same way and use our shared love of [current hobby] to push back against the bad orange man.

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A Timely Meme

I feel a little bad about yesterday’s Boomer meme.  Busting on a show that hasn’t been relevant for over 30 years is a pretty low shot even by my anklebiting standards.  Have a much more topical meme to make up for it:

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Butt Status: Still Hurt

Yeah, I’m still chapped about Shad’s ignorant bleatings about muh dernjerns and realizms.  So sue me.

Female. Orc. Paladins.

Srs bruh?

Pick one.  That’s all you get.  I’m a reasonable guy – I’ll allow for female orcs*, even if the notion of beings of raw chaos personified…oh wait, that’s pretty much females in general.  Scratch that.  Orcs are supposed to represent the antithesis of forthright masculine nobility, and females in general…hmmm.  I’m pretty bad at this.  Let’s start over.

The point is that paladins are holy warriors. Orcs are the opposite of holy. You can put an orc in paladin armor, but that doesn’t make him a paladin any more than my wearing a bra makes me a woman. That goes doubly so for the bleeders. If you dress them in faux-Christian armor and give them big Disneyfied eyes and tiny little fangs, monster girls are still nasty, ya flippin’ weebs.

As a brief aside, somebody posted a picture of one of the current members of Saturday Night Live But Put This Sick Dog Out of Its Misery Already online.  People still watch this show?  Wonders !cease.  There’s another Kanye-traversy seething in the hearts of the bitterbitches because dancing singing black man likes orange man and orange man bad.  Naturally the SNL cast took to their podium to Drumph it up, and it’s not just me, is it?  I mean…

BUT! If you want to devalue and devolve your game by making of it a paper thin simulacrum of the hearty and hale and vigorously alive gamespace that is Appendix N style D&D by just cramming elements together with no thought or understanding, like an alchemists slopping chemicals in a vat and declaring yourself a genius because nobody ever thought to mix bleach and vinegar in a small closet, go right ahead. Be my guest. But for the love of all things holy, don’t pretend like your game is somehow more erudite and a great leap forward over the simple and elegant roots of the game. You’re making D&D worse when you undercut its cultural foundations, and you look like a total jackass who can’t be bothered with the foolish consistency that, as the saying goes, is the mind’s herbgerblin.

*Female and infant kobolds made an appearance in the sacred texts (B2) after all.  Nobody, not even the great prophet (Gygax akbar!) can get them all right.

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Dungeon Masters are Stupid

This video is so stupid.  Don’t watch it.

A more accurate title would be “Stupid Dungeons are Stupid”, but that wouldn’t give Shad here the opening to reinvent the wheel and then feel smugly superior because HIS wheel is round unlike all the four-sided things he calls a wheel in order to make his discovery of forty year old design principles seem fresh and smart.

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That…I don’t know how that got there.  Must be a, uh…a virus or something.

Before we get to that, we need to establish something right out of the gate. For a guy who claims to enjoy fantasy role-playing games, he admits that he doesn’t really like games. His platonic ideal of a game allows him to forget that he’s playing a game. Says so himself.

He hates being reminded he’s playing a game. He wants feel immersion. Look, I get it. If I was Shad, I would also do everything I could to try and forget who I really am whenever possible.

It’s so dumb. It’s like saying when you eat delicious food you don’t want to be reminded that you are eating. The best kind of exercise makes you feel like you aren’t exerting yourself. Now there’s nothing wrong with not liking to eat, but if your advice to people who like good food is to provide recipes that help them eat not food…you’re not helping. You’re literally doing it wrong. You’re not eating and you’re not helping people that like to eat. You’re poisoning them. And Shad is doing this with his endorsement of happy time make believe stories over gaming. Find a new hobby, Shad – if you’re trying to make the game less gamey then just don’t play the game, problem solved. I’m sure there’s an improv group somewhere that could use your special brand of “I don’t get it”. Say, there’s an improv group on YouTube called Critical Role that has made a good living not playing D&D on camera. Maybe you could join them! I understand they are quite popular these days.

We’re going to touch on some advanced concepts here, so if you take a shining to any of the odd concepts thrown out in a bit, say so in the comments. As with those rare occasions when it came time for my biblically commanded responsibility to make sweet and tender love to my morbidly obese second wife, I can dive a whole lot deeper later. When I’m in the mood. If you get me good and drunk first.

What he’s talking about in this video is a problem inherent in Girl D&D. That’s not a dungeon, it’s a story. A story written by the DM and foisted on the players. Hello stupid editions! Clearly this is a man who has never sacked up and done the 3d6 in order dirty style of Manly D&D. The facial hair gives it away even if his own words don’t. What he’s talking about there is new school story plot Girl D&D in which the events are prescripted with only a very narrow allowance made for player creativity. That’s a direct result of modern D&D’s focus on starting with the story and characters and trying to wrap the game around them rather than the classic style of playing the game first and allowing the dice and results to generate the characters and stories intrinsically.

The word he’s looking for is sandbox, and that’s the kind of D&D that he so cleverly reinvents at the end of the video. And even then he forgets that the best dungeons aren’t controlled by just one central node. Member when you could recruit an orc rebellion to fight the Hill Giant King Nosnra? E. Reagan Wright remembers! Faction play, home slice. Without it, your dungeon is just another chapter in your failed novelist career.

Welcome to the OSR, Shad.

He pre-supposes that an active castle makes for a legit dungeon as though this doesn’t go all the way back to the proto-D&D days in which the only dungeon was the one below…Castle Greyhawk!

Even better, the active castle as a dungeon in its own right goes all the way back to 1980. A legit castle was one of the original two dungeons provided in the Moldvay edition of D&D for the love of Gygax.

He also operates under the false assumption that big, sprawling complexes should have something interesting in every room. Au contreir, mon cuddly frere! Half the rooms should be empty, per the rules of gaming. You need to leave them empty so that the players have some tactical maneuver space. Something too tough here, we’ll go around it this way. Can’t get across this chasm? Gotta find another route. Maybe you can lure a third of the goblinas away from their lair – since you can’t take them all on at once – over to that odd shaped room with the big duck statue in it. What he calls stupid is stupid, but not for the reasons he thinks. Empty rooms are only boring if you’re boring and your players are boring and in that case, maybe the real solution to the D&D puzzle was to never play the game at all. Needlepoint is nice, maybe try shitting up that hobby for a nice relaxing change.

Because the worst sin that Shad exhibits in this whole video is that he is boring and dull and uncreative. He assumes that dungeons are carefully constructed from the ground up, or down as the case may be, by an entity with something important to protect. For a history guy, he sure doesn’t know his history.

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Real spaces make boring places

Forgotten Realms sucks, but one thing that fat bastard got kind of right was the dungeons beneath Waterdeep. First there were caves used by pirates who became rich enough to build a city that got buried and then another city built on top of that. Plus wizards. So there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the three sprawling levels of dungeon – caves, ruined city, and living city. The stuff that you encounter has taken advantage of existing spaces and repurposed them for other things. Sometimes multiple times. As a result, not everything makes perfect sense. Guard cubbies are too close to the living quarters. Pits are in odd places. Halls are too short or too wide or too wet or too twisty.

And the best dungeons aren’t the least bit natural. They are expressions of pure chaos bleeding through into the *ahem* real world. Some of them are obviously unnatural. The guts of a multiplanar being, perhaps, whose kidney stones are made of pure diamond and whose parasites are hungry for manflesh. Or something far more insidious – raw chaos that wears the stonework and rocky walls of an otherwise manmade dungeon as a disguise. The malignant tumor of pure seething hatred for order can extrude dead ends and portals that lead elsewhere, it can express purple and black altars that shoot lightning, and it can insidiously lay golden eggs to tempt the avaricious among man, elf, and dwarf to try their luck against the profoundly illogical terrain of corridors, chambers and halls. It might even birth horrific guards right at home, gibbering mouthy flash columns or small tribes of chittering devil children.

Stick that in your nonsensical pipe and smoke it.

gandalf

Leave me out of this, fool of a big-donged Took!

But wait, it gets better. What if that cancerous tumor metastacizes? What if some hoary old buzzard of a wizard thinks he know how to control the thing and hauls his small staff of mutants inside to make it his home? Or a dark lord seizes the ring that keeps the chaos spawn in check and makes of this nightmare realm a barely functional headquarters from which to lash out at the world above. Or what if, and hear me out, what if the conquering army builds its castle right on the former sacred grove of the druidic conquered tribe, not realizing that burying their dead in the catacombs they hewed from the bedrock is the very thing that allows that creeping entity entry into the world? And what if they seal up those catacombs, leaving only one entrance to allow for sorties into the darkness to keep the infestation at bay? What then, History Lad? Your immersion and realism doesn’t hold a candle to a dungeon like that! And what if it’s all those things at once?

Dungeons are awesome, but only for those with the strength and cleverness to use them properly.

And to do that, you must unlearn what you have learned. Abandon the false gods of Wizards of the Coast and burn the texts of anything written after 1980. You must open your mind to the deeper magic written a spear length deep in the rules according to Gygax and his holy prophet Moldvay.

Anything else is just playing D&D wrong.

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Old School Comedy

Member when comedy used to push boundaries and go places we weren’t supposed to go?  Funny how that stopped the moment decent people lost their grip on power and the disgusting blue-haired freaks and third world geeks stepped up to the plate, innit?  Well, we don’t much cotton to obeying rules that the left wing infiltrators never had to follow, and that’s why we here at Chez Wright aren’t afraid to make jokes like this:

kavinator

Hush, hush.  Your struggles only make this more fun.

Yeah, I’m kind of embarrassed to make jokes like this, but I didn’t make the rules about how fun it is to break taboos.  Welcome to the modern day version of “Seven Little Words”, Leftists.  This is the dish you ordered.  Now choke on it.

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WTF, I Love FanFic Now!

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Really?  Is that so?  Are you sure this is a road you want the world to take, Johnny Girl?  Because I ain’t interested in going through that door, but if you open it and rush on through…wew lad, I ain’t gonna resist that kind of inspirational kick in the puffy pantaloons.

The muse us upon me!  And fondling my mental manboobs like she was Al Franken on a jetplane surrounded by sleeping girls larping as Real Soldiers!

Obligatory Disclaimer:   I do not own nor claim to own nor would I want to own or write seriously any of the characters trademarked by Marvel Entertainment, Disney, or its subsidiaries.  This FanFic is a parody and thus operates under the Fair Use principle.  Suck it, Marvel, and the shady Saudi Arabian financiers who paid you off to publish anti-American drivel can suck it twice.


“Enough!”

Miss Marvel couldn’t take any more. She had to shout.  The crowded Newark apartment fell deathly silent at her outburst. Heat rose in her cheeks, but she had fought alongside Avengers, she wasn’t about to be cowed by her family and a few friends. “I don’t know who this Suleiman you work for is, but these are our people, brother! You should be ashamed of speaking of them this way. And what do you expect walking around city streets dressed like a twelfth century shepherd!”

“Kamala!” Her mother’s voice split the silence that followed her outburst. “Show some respect for your brother! And our guests! This is your eighteenth birthday party, but that does not excuse such behavior.”

“Forget it,” Kamala mumbled and shoved through the crowd to reach the front door.

As she ducked out her father called out, “Wait! Tomorrow you meet your husband! I paid good money-“

The rest was drowned out by the slam of the door.

Hot tears streamed down her cheeks as she fled down the stairs and out into the cold night. How could they still cling to their backwards notions of tribal politics? Hadn’t her parents moved to America even before she saw born? And yet they demanded to be accepted as Americans while doing nothing to honor the traditions of the nation that had so lovingly welcomed them with open arms and open checkbooks.

Her feet carried her down the street to the nearest cathedral, directed by thoughts that swirled away deep beneath the anger and shame she felt that her family had raised her to be American even as they rejected everything that made this nation so great. When she reached the side door of the cathedral, her thoughts slammed to a halt. She hadn’t meant to return to this place, to her friend, but now that she was her, she knew what she had to do.

Kamala pushed the ornate and heavy wooden door aside and respectfully entered the cavernous building. Her senses were assaulted by the ancient majesty and beauty and grandeur of this place of worship, and she bowed her head reverentially. Still awed that the could enter such a place and stand side-by-side with the men and even children during regular services, she sat heavily into a pew with a sigh. The old woman in the front row cocked her head, disturbed in her prayers, and Kamala whispered a brief apology.

The woman returned to her prayers, and Kamala blew a black strand of hair out of her eyes, grateful for the solitude of the place. She lost herself in thoughts of the future now that she was an adult, and wondered how she could explain to her family that she had no intention of marrying any man whose dowry her father could afford. A heavy presence dropped into the pew next to her, and she started.

The white Cossack of the young man hid the broad expanse of his powerful chest, but could not disguise the wide set of his shoulders. To her pleasure, it did nothing to cover his curly blonde hair, strong jaw, or gleaming blue eyes. Unlike the most handsome man she had ever encountered, an RPG blogger named E. Reagan Wright, whose majestic visage awed her into dumbfounded silence and whose enormous crotch bulge scattered her thoughts when her eyes inevitably drifted down to its magnificence, she felt at ease around the solid masculinity of the blonde superhero.

“Altar Boy!” She said un-necessarily. She had met him numerous times on the streets as they fought crime and repaired damaged hot dog trucks and generally made her little corner of the greatest country in the world a better place, but it stuck her she had never seen the young superhero in his natural environment – a church.

“In the flesh,” he whispered, and placed a finger to his lips in silent admonishment. “What brings you here on the night of your 18th birthday?”

“My family,” she huffed. “Tomorrow I must marry a man I’ve never met, and do as he bids, even if he serves a known terrorist that sarin-gas attacked a French Church.”

“Suleiman,” Altar Boy nodded. “We must trust the good men of the CIA to take care of him – after all, we have cisheteropatriarchal norms to combat.”

She shot him an angry look. “Don’t tease me, I’m in no mood.”

Altar Boy smiled and rested one large, warm hand on her thigh. The move should have repulsed her, so direct and forward and without her permission it meant sexual assault on the order of rape, but she liked it. It calmed her, and she smiled back.  She knew that he fought for truth and real justice instead of the empty cargo cult justice that called her.  His use of the Sacred Word that kills the Narrative Unbelievers stung, given her recent doubts about all of the random white men she had suckerpunched – sure, at least one of them had been a Real Nazi, but deep in her heart of hearts she wondered if all of them had been.

“Come with me,” he said, and stood without waiting for her to follow. Curious, she did so.

The handsome young super-hero led her to a small room behind the altar to where a kindly old priest, bald and rotund, puttered about preparing for the next day’s services.

“Here she is,” Altar Boy announced as they entered the confined space. “This is Miss Kamala Khan, Father Jean-Paul, the girl I told you about.”

“Ah!” The older man’s eyes lit up. “You are as lovely as Altar Boy said.”

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More like, Miss Mar-Vult, amirite?

She blushed, uncertain of what Altar Boy had in mind, only that she loved the attention and wanted to make the moment linger. To her shocked surprise, Altar Boy dropped to one knee.

“Miss Marvel,” he said, “I know of a way to rescue you from the fate your family has designed. Will you marry me?”

Unable to speak, her hands fluttered to her neck.

The old priest seemed surprised as well, but he maintained enough presence of mind to ask, “Are you sure about this, Altar Boy?”

Blue eyes glanced his way, “As sure as I’ve ever been, Father. And having reached the age of majority yesterday, you should call me Altarman.”

“Yes!” She finally found her voice, and could not help but interrupt their discussion.

“Well,” the priest tsked, “I can marry you, but…”

Altar Bo – er, Altarman waved one idle hand and explained to her, “In order to be married within the church – the only marriage worth God’s recognition – you must convert.”

“That process takes time,” the priest explained, “But we can get started enough for our purposes. Just answer me – do you reject Satan? And all his works? And accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”

Miss Marvel answered without hesitation, “Yes to all of them!” And she felt an enormous weight lift from her heart.

“Then do you take this man to love and to hold until death do you part?”

“I do!” She grinned as Altarman stood.

“And what of you, Altarman? Do you take this woman to have and to hold until death do you part?”

“I do,” he answered with more reverence.

“Then by the powers invested in me by God himself, I pronounce you husband and wife!”

Altarman’s hot lips crushed against hers as his strong arms held her close. She nearly lost control of her powers and her body started to melt in his arms just as her heart melted under the heat of his love.

Later, as he lay her down to consummate their marriage, Altarman joked, “Tomorrow we’ll sign you up for RCIA classes and you can begin your submission to Rome. Tonight, you submit only to me.”

She giggled and welcomed him with open arms and open heart.

The next day, having accepted a healthy injection of Vita-Man D delivered using a syringe almost too wide barreled for her to handle, she woke with a massive grin on her face.

When Kamala Khan’s new husband cocked his head questioningly, she ran one hand over his smooth and strong pectoral muscles and laughed, “We Christian now, fam!”

And all the angels in heaven sang in a chorus of celebration.

The End


 

P.S. Remember when this blog used to be about RPGs?

Good times.

 

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