They’re Called Modules for a Reason

And we’re back!  Let’s get the personal blabbity-blab out of the way first:  My transitioning is going great.  My hormone replacement therapy hasn’t had any unintended negative side effects, only fully intended negative main effects.  The best part is that my breast augmentation surgery is scheduled for next month.  And!  The docs said I have such enlarged man-boobs that if I maintain my current diet and exercise regimen I won’t even need implants, just a general nip and tuck!

Way back in the golden age of D&D, “adventures” were known as “modules”.  There’s a reason for that.  They really were modules as in “modular” that could be bolted together in all sorts of interesting ways.  You’ve read about my stashing the Tomb of Horrors right inside the Caves of Chaos – that’s modular campaign design.

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Here’s another example – I once started an experienced table of players though the Lost City.  They’d been through it a few times and thought they knew exactly what to expect.  Except they never met a single Cynadicean.  Instead, they found that the Lost City was actually the Shrine of the Kuo-Toa!  And the expected Underground Catacombs turned out to be Descent into the Depths of the Earth.

“But, Reagan,” I hear you bleating through your mouthful of hot pocket, “Those modules aren’t designed for low level players.”  Wipe the pizza sauce off your chin, fat boy, and think about this for a second.  The Shrine isn’t written for low level players to run a slash and burn kill everything play through, but if you’ve read it, you know it isn’t written for any players to do that.  It’s a setting, rife with all sorts of potential for role-play and intrigue, and yes, even dungeon delving.  My players wound up dealing with a few threats for the Shrine in the surrounding caverns – the sort of thing the Shrine needed done, but couldn’t risk getting their pseudo-pod prints on.  But the only did those while scouting out enough information to run a heist on the Shrine treasury that aaaaaalmost worked.  Most of them made it out alive, and the survivors considered the whole process a smashing success.

untit3Another group of my players thought they could make a mid-level run through the Temple of Elemental Evil.  “It’ll be a cakewalk,” they said.  What they didn’t count on was that waiting until they were mid-level meant the Temple had time to secure enough loot to buy the services of a number of hill giants.  The players learned early on that the hill giants were mercenaries hired from the steading of the hill giants.  So they did a side-quest to G1, barred the doors of the steading, and basically nuked the joint from orbit.  They didn’t want the treasure, so they didn’t treat the place as a dungeon.  They just wiped it out as a spawn point for the hill giants at the Temple.  Worked like a charm, too.  The remaining giants went home to help Nosnra rebuild, and the players earned their cake-walk through the Temple.

My preparation consisted of stripping out the parts of G1 that didn’t apply here.  No storm giant, no drow, just hill giants dealing with a little insurrection in the basement.  Now, that prep went for naught when the players threw me a curveball and just torched the steading, treasure and all, but I ain’t even mad bro – it was a great plan.  And the point of throwing hill giants into the Temple wasn’t to perfectly tailor the threat level to the players – the point was adjudicating a living campaign world where taking time to prance around the countryside instead of dealing with the Temple had the foreseeable result of allowing the Temple time to ‘level up’ too.

So the moral of the story is this: Modules are better than adventures.  They force the players to play like grown ups.  They force the players to make decisions and direct the play.  The give the DM infinite amounts of flexibility.  Go ahead and try dropping your average Dungeon adventure or Pathfinder movie-script – er, I mean ‘adventure’, yeah right – into an ongoing campaign without doing more work than you would have if you just wrote your own damn adventure.

Also, check out the Mixed GM’s Space Demons in Space.  It has nothing to do with this post, but I like adding links to help that crazy bastard with his search engine optimization.

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Reminder: The Watch Kickstarter

You can still back The Watch on KickStarter, Sandwich Girl’s game in which women are doomed to starvation because all of the men have been taken over by The Shadow and are no longer around to open jars of pickles and peanut butter.  It features that new Orwellian brand of inclusivity that is marked by excluding the sorts of people without whom Anna would not have been able to see this project through to completion.

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Men DO tend to dominate the far ends of the bell curve.

They’ve raised more that 30,000 Canadian Dollars, which is almost fifty bucks American, pretty good for a plucky young rebel who really knows how to stick it to the man and teach people about white cis-male privilege.  Which is great, because I don’t have time to take classes on male privilege what with working a job that half my money goes to pay for homeless and rehab shelters for women, a family court that won’t let me see my kids because I tricked my wife into stabbing me with a kitchen knife, free medical care for immigrant women, the massive numbers of university courses and research required to prove how much I suck (it really takes *a lot* of time and research to massage the data to fit that theory), and the salary of the prosecutor who charged me with raping a woman whom I’ve never met – she made an accusation and that’s all the evidence needed to convict a man who makes the mistake of not bowing down to woman on the street these days.  I might have been able to afford it, but all the contracts for my electrical business keep going to female owned business set-asides that I’m not eligible for due to the presence of my big swinging richard.

Anyhoo…here’s the Kickstarter video where they explain that The Shadow infects men, “for some reason”. It’s not that pesky XY chromosome, because these Effing Love Science em effers don’t believe that chromosomes play any role in determining male and female. It’s a choice, and non-binary transgendered dudes and dudettes aren’t susceptible to The Shadow.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/medeiros/the-watch-rpg/widget/video.html

Why would that be?

h/t: The Frisky Pagan

Andrew Medeiros:  If you should stumble on this page during one of your ego-google sessions, please understand that I’m only saying this to help you.  Get swole.  Get right with the lord.  Get yourself a group of Proud Boy style buddies who can keep you honest and forthright.  You’ll live so much longer and happier.  Fat, dumb, and under a harpy’s thumb is no way to go through life.

Yes, I always rooted for Dean Wurmer.  Man had a solid forehead and the right attitude.  Shoulda just gone full General Jessup on those punks.

P.S. If, instead of supporting The Matriarchy, you want to give money to an author who doesn’t hate your guts, I’ve got a short story hitting the Amazaon (oooo, patriarchal reference there) tomorrow, but you can pre-order it now for the low price of $1.99.

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It’s got everything you need in a Hugo Award Worthy story.  Gimmickry, jim-crackery, sexual deviancy, preachiness, smug superiority, pointless vulgarity, political messaging, self-referential humor, satire, political commentary, and it might even have a little bit of science-fiction if you squint really hard.

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Coming Soon: Hugo Bait!

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Mind blowing

Roh-roh, Rorge Ahr Ahr Rahrtin!

There’s a new fictioneer in town and he’s not leaving until he wins all the Hugos!

It’s Hugo Season, and you know that means!  Time to lock up your kids, get out your XXXL cosplay, and hop on the next flight to Helsinki for a little glad-handing, circle-jerking, and ivory tower exclusion to save the world from the wrong kind of inclusivity.

The smash hit success of Shitlord: The Triggering gave your ‘umble host a sipped at the sweet ambrosia of success, and Daddy wants more, More, MORE!  This time xhe’s not looking for financial remuneration – xer day job as a video booth mop boy more than covers the protection money xhe pays the local homeless mob for the dry spot in the culvert that xhe calls home.  No xir, this round of prose was written for one reason and one reason only – the validation that can only be provided by a far off room full of strangers!  (E. Reagan Wright doesn’t have Facebook, so xhe needs his fix somehow, and the silver rocket handed out by his fellow blobby sci-fi authors will look great shining in the light of the Circle K that xhe can see from xer culvert.)

Following hot on the heels of his smash hit, The Prolapsing Empire, comes E. Reagan Wright’s crystal magnum opus, Hugo Bait.  This epic 3,300 word short story checks all the boxes necessary for the modern Hugos, and it was written by a bona-fide gender dysmorphic, so according to the Hugo fanboys, you know it’s good.  Not only was it written by the right kind of person – not one of those filthy white males, not for long anyway – it features the obtuse prose and literary chicanery that makes it a slog to read, and if that wasn’t enough, it features a bleak and depressing world view that is guaranteed to leave you wanting to put the business end of a gun in your mouth and practice a little end of life care: The Home Edition.  It’s fun for the whole family!

Orwellian double speak?  It’s in there!  Sexual deviancy?  Woah Nelly, it’s got reams of it!  Smug condescension?  Come on, it’s E. Reagan Wright – I piss smug condescension for breakfast!

It’s vague.  It’s literary.  It’s tedious.  It’s written by the right kind of person.  It’s everything you ever wanted in a Hugo nominee!

You should buy a copy today, so that when the Hugo Awards roll around in 2018, you can say you were there when E. Reagan Wright began his march to the see you next Tuesdays!

Available for pre-order now, or you can wait until Friday, April 28th, when it drops faster than Walter Breen’s pants in a boys’ preschool class.

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Gen Con’s 2017 Industry Insider Panel Analysis

GenCon, with an emphasis on the CON, released the list of “Industry Insiders” this year.  No surprise is a regular freak show of nobodies with a few serious contenders thrown in to lend a little bit of legitimacy to the affair.  No surprise E. Reagan didn’t make the cut again, what with my still packing a large caliber weapon below the belt rather than a silky smooth holster.  (Next year! *crosses fingers*).

Based on the wafer thin justifications for the presence of so many zero-rep ladies of the dice on this table, it’s clear that once again it should really be called the Industry Inside-Her table.  That’s the only plausible explanation for the inclusivity of bloggers and accountants as Guests of Honor.  (Or is that Guests of On-Her?)

In the spirit of the thing, let’s just take a little peeky-peek and run a bit of analysizzle on this year’s top list of top flight RPG social media elites.  Unlike most blogs, we’re going to run down the list based on what REALLY counts!

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There you have it, folks!  As long as people are going to make sex an important part of this decision making process – and the most important part if the press is anything to go by – this is the natural sort of analysis.

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Female

Ack-chully, this was inspired by the last two decades of Hollywood ackchun films starring 120-pound waifs.  If you want to play a female character in the Alt-Right GM’s new game, Space Demons in Space, here’s a handy chart:

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I had to move the free space a little to make it work for women.  Bitches be crazy, yo.

 

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The Old Reacharound

I owe The Mixed GM a solid.  He’s my enabler.  You know those two obnoxious kids that used to sit in the back of the class and goad each other into ever greater heights of foolishness, always trying to outdo each other?  Through the magic of the internet, we found each other – two halves of a shitlord soul bound together in mutual disrespect for the unspoken rules of decorum.

Now the circle is complete, and the student has become the master.  His Demons in Space is truly a thing of beauty.  Witness,

Let me be frank with you. Don’t bother creating a complex backstory for your character. Your characters will probably die quite a few times and you will need to create a new one. If you need help with characterization, pick three traits at random from the chart below.

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This might just be the single greatest jiu-jitsu move in RPG trollery* mine old soon-to-be-woman eyes have ever witnessed.  Do you see what he did there?  He took that bingo bastard and tai chi’ed it like a boss.  He grabbed the insult, embraced it, and through it right back in their fishlip bemouthed faces.  That’s some masterful gamesmanship right there, boy, I tell you what.

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This is going to take a while.  We’re going to read through XXX a little bit at a time.  I’ve begun to delve into its secrets, and had to pull back after a brief excursion.  As I studied it’s layered genius, I soon became aware that it was studying me back. It touched me in a bad place, and whispered secrets to me that made me desire its touch.  For my own sake, I had to punch abort and eject out lest the void claim my soul for its own.

More to follow once my hands stop shaking and the night terrors ease up a little.

 

*Hey, have I mentioned lately that I’m transitioning?  Because I totes am!  Soon I’ll have a faux-gina, and this will be the odds on favorite for the SJW voting bloc.  It’s too late for the Hog-O’s, but the Dragon Awards are coming up, and no doubt the fat fingers of the SJW landwhales are even now scouring gamerdom for the appropriate candidate they can use to signal their virtue.  Shitlord was written by a girl, and these days we all know the best women were born men.  Look at Olympic world record holder Katie Jenner, or soon to be Senator Brianna “Moon Rocks” Wu.

Well, Shitlord was written by the Mister Garrity of the RPG set.  Stick that on your ballot and vote it!

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That’ll Teach Me A Lesson!

Oh, how I’ve waited for this moment.  I shall cherish it upon my death bed as I’m surrounded by the doctors, the priest, the guards, and the warden, and watched through the glass by the families of my victims.

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This is some grade F trollery right here, people:

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I can’t even give him an E for effort on that one.  It’s just so tired and pathetic.  Mein gott! How did the right ever lose to these people?!

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