LOL Whoo-ut?

lolwhoo-ut

Guess Mike didn’t get the memo…

The irony here is that Mikey wants to kick out the rules complexity people, when his version of the game requires a massive 320 page tome just for the players. Give me simple rules with infinite applications and I’m as happy as an antifag in the patchouli patch. If you can’t give me a game in 64 pages, complete with monsters, magic, and combat…GTFO, I’ve got dice to consult to find out what 90 degree turn my campaign just took into cray-cray land.

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AltStarHero: Avalon: Rulebreaker

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Oi! Yer coppers got nerfin’ on me!

Arkhaven drops another issue, the sixth so far for we happy comickal book fans smart enough not to go all in on Diversity and Cuck-mics. This here Freestartr (pour a Mountain Dew forty on the curb) project just keeps grinding out page after page of content, it’s up to 120 already if my math checks out, for like five quid instead of the twenty-five American smackeroos for 120 page plus owning the libs Richard “We all know what the C stands for” Meyers charges for his titles.  Twentyfive bucks is only like 18 in real money, but add in that international shipping for the title and you’re talking about some serious pastel portraits of the Queen, God Save ‘Er.

Plus, you have to deal with the whole virtue signaling thing that Dicky Mymy has going on there.  Seriously, bruv, this schtick never works.  Check this groveling out:

Woof.  That ain’t no “Get Out of Fake Media Jail Free” card, that’s a big white flag of surrender.  Might as well slather yourself in greased molasses, truss yourself up, and spit roast yourself in front of Gail Simone’s concrete reinforced front steps.  That gal salivates over signs of weakness in her prey like this as bad as she salivates over literally anything actually edible.  I’m not saying she’s fat, I’m just making a lot of sly references to her obesity because its funny, and I have to do it now because her poor overtaxed heart means she won’t be around long.  I mean, she’ll be a round, if you follow me, but not for long.  The good news is, her cats will survive being locked up in her apartment with her corpse for a loooooong time after her death, if you follow me.

Psst, Dicky See My Ire?  Let you in on a little secret: It ain’t gonna work.  The only reason you pulled a Houdini after your “Comedy” Central bit is that you stuck to your guns, doubled down, and embraced the suck.  Embracing the cuck will have the opposite effect.  Enjoy the dogpile, you earned it.

BUT!

We’re not here to talk about Ironic Sights, we’re here to talk about the Legend Chuck Dixon’s Avalon, which descended from the heavens to bequeath us with the gift of a second glorious issue, and what an issue it is!  No real eye candy, so that sucks, but my waifu pillow is grateful that she’ll get a few extra tender ministrations until the next Alt(Star)Hero title drops.  We see that gimp-suited broad ice a crooked alderman and meet a cop tasked with hunting her down.

A black cop.  In an alt-right comic.  A sympathetic one who ain’t stupid no less.  I was assured by Top Reporters that wouldn’t happen.  Soldiering on through the pain and misery of that little hiccup –

Black and Blue Lives Matter and Don’t Matter! *raises fist, takes knee, salutes flag, and helps me recover my stolen stereo from Dante down the block *

-we finally get to the thick, throbbing meat of the issue, a disagreement between Real Hero King Ace and Grubby Vigilante Fazer.  In the middle of a set piece battle they have a falling out about whether or not you can steal stolen money from the bad guys they are putting out of business.  Russian bad guys!  Come on!  As a dedicated member of the alt-right who clearly loves the Putin and who serves part time as a robot on the tweeter site, I’m supposed to root for Russian interference, and The Legend gives me Russian mobbed up villains?  I am confuse.  So much bewilder. Perplexed to max.

Having shown his true colors – red, white, and blue – King Ace gets an invite from the Superhero Protection Unit Dudes (SPUD) in the form of a final splash page that features a second whole African-American, and one that gives me the Milo’s deep down in my shallow loins.  Big Simba can burn my Uncle Scar in a fire anytime.

The art in Avalon, but some bloke name of Frank Fosco, has a dirty, low down quality to it that feels right.   This seems like a more street-level title than the bigger, glossier Alt(Star)Hero mainline, both in production and art, and it works.  These guys don’t fight on bridges in broad daylight, they skulk about in dank alleys, like me.  They get grief from their slumlord about rent, like me.  They wear glossy black gimp suits, like me.  I guess what I’m saying is that these characters like me.

This issue also feels like it packs the most content.  It’s a tight story that introduces several new characters, spends enough time with the central King Ace v. Fazer relationship breakdown, and resolves that big story arc, all in the space of 20 pages.  That’s some tight writing.  You know who could learn from writing like that?

Literally EVERYONE.

Go buy it, especially if you’re one of those homos that plays supers RPGs.  It’s a great inspiration for your campaigns.  Sweet-ass powers, sweet ass, powers…it’s got everything

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Oh, Mikey!

Mike Mearls asked me what I thought of D&D.

And you can too!

I was going to have fun with this by just submitting a gag answer sheet, and I did:

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How could I not with jokes that write themselves.  Notice an edition missing from this question?  Hmm, really gets your d20 spinning, don’t it?

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If you fill out the survey, an exercise I highly recommend, make sure you mention Chez E. Reagan on question 43, just for shiggles and gits.

 

 

 

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D&D: The Numbers Game

In an odd bit of synchronicity, both Pits Perilous and The Tao of Crawling Up You Own D&D Ass, Intellectually Speaking ran photos of old timey groups of D&D players.  I include them here with full attribution:

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Notice anything unusual about those photos?

That’s right, you’re looking at groups of D&D players that each number at least nine players and a DM.  Can you imagine trying to run a game of 5e with that many players?  Forgetaboutit.  Even if you could knock off a few characters to thin the herd while the players scurried off to roll up replacements (spoilers: in D5D you can’t do this), you’d still have way more players than the game was designed to accommodate.  The modern D&D game would crawl to a standstill with that many players hemming and hawing over what they should do given how the sitch changed in the six seconds since the last player moved his token.

Ah, but the sacred texts?

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Team A.  Team B.  With a dash of going around the table to declare intentions.  It’s the fastest way to get from initiative to rifling pockets yet to be baked into the D&D cake.  Allow the DM some latitude for corrections, for interpretation, for shading the events that transpire and you’re cooking with gas.  Besides, it’s not like everybody will act in every phase of the turn.  Not everyone moves.  Not everyone shoots.  Not everyone melees.  But once you know what everyone does, you can whip through those actions toot sweet, my friend.

And then you can invite a lot more people to the table, because they’ll have more to do in the three combats you bang out in a four hour session than they would in a single combat six-hour session of modern D&D.  There’s something self-limiting about modern D&D that appeals to the kinds of people who beg for a Staling to step on their face forever, but right thinking players embrace the freedom that comes with a well regulated militia party, grab it by the ears, and make it’s wet hole work their gaming shafts to creamy Treasure Table completion.

Old school D&D forces you to invite people to the table – hell, you’ll bribe crackheads off the street with a rock an encounter if you’re smart and that will put two more stat sheets on the table, because you’re going to need them for the first level character fight against a hermit and his pet cougar.  It encourages friendships and outgoing attitudes and acceptance of others in ways our current tinpot game designers and their restrictive efforts at codifying every jot and tittle of what your pawns can do just can’t hope to match.

Y’know, it’s funny.  Those giant awkward dorks in those photos innately understand a whole lot more about friendship and human nature than the supposed adults pushing D&D and our culture down a steep cliff towards feel-good empty achievements and the isolation that results from the selfish desire for “spotlight time uber alles”.  In a lot of ways, those dorks are so much cooler than the “cool kids” on YouTube so busy ruining D&D for a generation that they can’t step back and analyze the ways their are making the world a worse place to live.

Other than on fat stacks of cash, I don’t know how they sleep at night.


Special thanks to all of you who bought a copy of Psyberfrog: A Comickal Gated Community Adventure.  Rest assured the funds are going to be placed in the jar with the rest of the money I’ve been saving for my penile reduction surgery.  At the rate I’m going, by next summer I’ll be able to go swimming in my Speedos without looking like I have a purple-buckled rope belt wrapped around my waist.  You guys really are the bestest photon-space buddies a guy could ask for by sacrificing small rats before his shrine to Burt Reynolds.

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Psyberfrog: A Comickalgate Adventure

My water hath broken.

My front hole has dilated all the way up to a Spinal Tappian eleven.

My doulah hath run the warm bath and the breastfeeding gestapo are on stand-by to SWAT team my door at the merest hint of a bottle or first sign of any other implement of scientific progress.

My doctor has been called from the links, husband summoned from work, father notified, and the other possible father texted too.

HRRRRNGH!

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Splortch!

All ten fingers of fun.  All ten toes of terror.  One whopping big wail of healthy lungfuls of pain at the cold and harsh and too bright world of mankind.

And this bouncing baby short story, all five thousand glorious words meticulously arranged in a pleasing and entertaining order for your pleasure, can be yours for the low, low price of just ninety nine copper reliefs of Honest Abraham Lincoln.  It won’t just entertain, it’ll make you a better man, a better lover, and a better Amercian.

Available Here.  Click.  Buy.  Enjoy.

You’re welcome.

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THE MUSE IS UPON ME!

My mind is awhirl with festering thoughts both sublime and satirical!

soonStay tuned, true believers, for the fevered swamps of my imagination are pregnant with the unholy flipper baby sired by twin masters.  The gamma waves of the universe shove their thick and meaty proboscises down my throat and deposit the love seeds of their inspiration amid my ample guts to hatch.  Soon, the gestating ideas shall burst forth from my chest and spew their majesty upon an unsuspecting Amazonian.  The gates of creation themselves swing wide to bring you the comic ecstasy of my pen and soon you shall know the secret, whispered glories of an entertainment so sublime you’ll need to keep a box of Kleenex by the bed and read in private lest your mother interrupt you with pizza rolls verily at the moment of a love explosion summoned deep in your shallow loins by the ASMR-like caresses mine very own prose.

Soon.  SOON!  SOOOOOOON!

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Faction Play – The One True D&D

The hack behind Hack & Slash laid down some serious analytical analysis sussed from the moldering oldies.  Give On Gygax Design III a read for a solid Bryce’s Ten Inch Pole style reaming of old school goodness:

Here’s another thing that’s explicit in the module. “With this knowledge, they might be able to set tribes to fighting one another, and then the adventurers can take advantage of the weakened state of the feuding humanoids.” In this adventure, indeed in most of his adventures Gygax assume that there will be multiple forces, often in equilibrium that the players will disturb or can leverage as they explore. It’s this dynamic response that creates emergent adventure and dramatic scenes.

Baby, I love it when you talk emergent gaming to me!  Where’s my lighter and Swisher Sweets?

Modern linear adventures are so boring to discuss, as are most of the people with whom you might discuss them.  It’s just a series of, “Hey, remember when that happened?” queries, and that style of play wore out with the Tomb of Horrors.  Much more interesting is the question, “How did you deal with them?” Or even better yet, “What did you think of them?”

Because even if you suck so much truck-stop dong you don’t feel a need to use the reaction table, it’s impossible to know which side players will take in a fight.  Maybe they take a shine to Nameless McExposition the NPC and maybe they take an instant disliking to him.  You just never know.  Being a frequent host of Old School games down to the local Funky Gas Mine and Gaming Hole, I often run the same basic adventures for tables composed of different players, and let me tell you a DM can describe the same setup down to the jot and tittle to two different groups, and the way those groups react can vary based on everything from the temperature outside the shop to whether or not the guy driving the PC bus finally convinced his old lady to try anal the night before.  Your own mood as a DM can factor in as you smile when your PC greets the party genuinely Monday night and have to force the smile in place on Tuesday night, and Monday’s Party trusts the guy where Tuesday’s party guts him like a fish to find the gems he might have swallowed.

Of course, that requires a lot more thinking in module design and DM practice, and as the great washed hordes of normies poured into the hobby, the adventure designers changed tactics and chased that sweet Dunning-Krueger cash by dumbing everything down to a recipe style of “adventure” that lists every ingredient and every step the players should take along the way with the natural result of these abominations:

Hat tip: Sly Flourish. Because I ain’t throwing money from my long hard nights at the truck stop at WotC.

We can all share memories of the exact same adventures now!  You know, the EXACT same adventures.  Remember when we fought off a blue dragon at first level?  Yeah, that happened to me, too!  Remember when we got eaten by a roper guarding the dragon eggs?  Yeah, that happened to me, too!  Remember when we gave up on Fifth Edition after half a dozen sessions and the horrible sinking realization that death was not on the table?  No, because I’m retarded and follow whatever the crowd tells me too, because that’s what being a rebel means these days.

How much better to brag about clearing out the Caves of Chaos by bribing Senor Yark to smash the minotaur for you and spark a civil war among the orks and blame it on the gnolls so that you can cakewalk your way into the cultist’s lair with your goblin allies?  And then to hear how your new pal slogged through, murdering every stinking chaos critter one by one in a prolonged orgy of righteous Vietnam-style tunnel clearing?  And then to have rando passerby explain that he focused on the outdoor encounters until he could convince the castellan to send fifty retainers out to clear the caves in one fell swoop?

Now that’s adventure design.  Smart adventure design.

A lost art I may have to demonstrate for you fine readers some day.

 

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