Saturday Morning Open Thread: D&D, the Family-Friendly Modern Edition

I first hooked up with the Spousal Unit when we were sharing a crowded off-campus ex-frat-house, and he was a serious Dungeon Master. (I wasn’t a player; it was obvious we could either game together or date, and dating won.) His feelings about the game’s new popularity are — as with so many phenomena for us late-Boomer nerds — somewhat mixed:

There was something about Dungeons & Dragons that spoke to Mario Alvarenga in a deep way. He tried it for the first time five years ago — never mind that he was not a teen, as most newbies are, but an adult. While experiencing the role-playing game, he could imagine scenes down to the tiniest detail: the bump of cobblestones on a street, the smell of baked goods in a market, the coldness of the wind. The boredom in his life melted away.

He joined one regular group, then two, then four. Soon, he was leading games as a Dungeon Master at his local game store. Alvarenga, who is 31 and works full time as a caregiver, quickly found his entire nonworking life overtaken by elves, gnomes, dwarves and wizards…

Yes, D&D is back. But it’s cool now (sort of). And legions are into it, including an unprecedented number of adult and female players, attracted by a popular recent revamp and new online playing options. It’s the ultimate sign that nerd culture is now mainstream.

Vin Diesel, Jon Favreau, Drew Barrymore, Dwayne Johnson, James Franco, Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper, Ta-Nehisi Coates: The list of celebrities who have “come out” about rolling the 20-sided dice is as long as a wizard’s beard. “Game of Thrones” writer George R.R. Martin first flexed his storytelling muscles as a young Dungeon Master, as did the showrunners on the HBO series. Joe Manganiello is so obsessed that he wrote a D&D movie script. The game has been on TV shows including “Big Bang Theory” and “Futurama.” Next month will see the release of a “Stranger Things” tie-in D&D starter set…

D&D has come a long way since Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson invented it in 1974 as an alternative to miniature-military war gaming. No longer is it a game to hide out with in Mom’s basement.

Today, people play it at bar and restaurant pop-up events such as “Drinks and Dragons” in Philadelphia, and “Orcs! Orcs! Orcs!” in Portland, Ore. They pay $2,650 per person per weekend to play it in Caverswall Castle in Staffordshire, England. They swell the ranks of the D&D Meetup groups from Tokyo (37 members) to Kolkata, India (501 members)…

More people are playing, partly, because it has never been easier. D&D used to be a nitpicky, number-crunchy affair. Then, in 2014, Wizards of the Coast released a new edition — the beloved 5th edition — that is more streamlined, more spontaneous and less rule-driven. As the longtime L.A.-based player Barry Thomas Drake, 58, explains: “No more arguing about the precise number of mouse hairs you need for a certain spell.”

The company also made it more inclusive. Gone is the rule mandating female characters’ strength be less than males’. Gone is the sexist artwork — no more armored bikinis, no more monsters with breasts, no more topless ladies (unless her character really, really calls for it). Characters come in a rainbow of skin colors and body types and sexual orientations — like the wood elves who identify as non-binary…

Women, in particular, love the new edition. D&D was originally a nerdy guy thing, emphasis on guy. Yet the number of female players is at 38 percent and climbing…

These days, even the most surreal of feats is possible: playing D&D as a career. Popular podcasts such as “The Adventure Zone” and “Critical Role” have turned anonymous players into Internet royalty. “Critical Role” began as a group of professional voice actors in Los Angeles goofing around with D&D in one another’s living rooms. It’s become a multiplatform series with an audience of half a million people a week.

Satine Phoenix started Los Angeles’s largest D&D Meetup group. She’s now Wizards of the Coast’s official community manager for the 40 million people who play the game worldwide. She travels the globe spreading the D&D gospel, organizing charity events, hosting Web series, fielding “social navigation” questions from Dungeon Masters and generally “orchestrating all of the experiences.”…

On a balmy Saturday night, a dozen people are sitting around a D&D table at Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory. Frank Contreras, 18, who typically plays two back-to-back sessions here every weekend, says he likes the “possibilities” D&D stories offer. “Our world, the real world,” he adds, “is kind of dark.” He’d just finished decapitating an ogre.

With D&D, a quiet, gray-haired accountant on disability like Leigh-Anne Anderson might reinvent herself as a sexy barbarian criminal enforcer suffused with rage. Anderson, 50, plays in Contreras’s evening group.

“I have a picture,” she says, unfolding a drawing of a buxom woman with long, flowing red braids. “That’s me.”…

We’ve come a long way since the Mazes & Monsters exploitation days, at least, and *that* is an unmixed blessing!






175 replies
  1. 1
    guachi says:

    I started playing D&D in 1984 with the famed Red Box Basic set.

    Stopped playing in 2001. Looked at the 3rd and 4th edition rules briefly but didn’t play.

    Stumbled upon the 5th edition Basic Rules (free online) a few months before its official release in June 2014 and was hooked.

    The core rules are great. The adventures are fair, but converting old adventures is easy enough if you are experienced.

    Love the current system and have been having fun with it for almost five years now.

  2. 2
    gene108 says:

    I blame Pokémon for killing the subversive nerd-chic of RPG’s.

    The youths of the 1990’s and early 00’s were all exposed to that card game, by the time they were in kindergarten. Some stuck with it and are now teaching their kids to play. Even the ones that didn’t take to it were exposed to RPG/fantasy gaming of some sort.

    So the whole RPG thing wasn’t new or subversive. It’s just something everyone did at some point

  3. 3
    gene108 says:

    @guachi:

    Played 2e AD&D in high school and college. Decided to get back into D&D about 10 years ago. I briefly played 3.5 games, but when 4e came out everyone said it sucked.

    Everyone moved to playing Pathfinder instead.

    Will start up 5e soon. From what I read, the rules seem like an updated 2e.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I had one brief exposure to D&D in the early 80s. It was a fun group, about 50/50 M/F (I was a dwarf) but real life kept getting in the way of my participating on anything more than once in a blue moon. As the games proceeded without me my character became more and more powerful. So they killed me. I was kind of disappointed that they thought so little of me but also relieved that I would no longer have to try to find time for it.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Somebody should tell trump about this miracle p3nis fertilizer and cure for baldness.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Happy 4/20 everyone.

  7. 7
    bjacques says:

    Cripes.

    On the bright side, at least now I’m more likely to have an appreciative audience for D&D references (guess I failed my saving throw for wandering dipshits) and war stories from back in the day.

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    We had dinner with our 20-something nephew a while back, and he mentioned playing D&D. I asked if there was a new video game version of it, and he said no, it’s the old school game. He said the unplugged nature of D&D is one of the chief attractions for his set. Huh.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Awake since 0407. Fuck this – or, as some say, blech.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Everything old is new again.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gin & Tonic: 02:23 for me.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    I played it once. Didn’t really get into it. I’m not much of a gamer.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Gin & Tonic: 3:30 for me, and I have to get ready for the market now, should be there by 6:45. The dogs have just decided to get up, they slept in 😊.
    Never got into games much, so know nothing about D&D. For a closet Luddite, I spent too much time on computers to enjoy sitting in front of one more. Main reason I’m on team Kindle, it can go outside with me. Where I usually put it down to wander away when I get bored.

  14. 14
    oldster says:

    Yeah, insomnia goes with aging. Like joint-pain.

    Now the days when my first wake up is after 5a seem like great gifts. Might as well get up.

    It’s the 2a wake up and the 12:30a wake up and the others that wear me down.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @satby: Same time for me. Have fun at the market and may all your customers be nice.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It only costs $450.00.

  17. 17
    Joey Maloney says:

    I played as a teen in the 70s, when the rules came in three mimeographed (remember mimeo?) booklets and were so badly written in spots as to engender endless meta-rules-lawyering as we argued over the original intent, and whether or not it made more sense to do it another way.

    Didn’t matter. It was all in the DM, and we had a brilliant girl running it. We started in a dungeon, then did another dungeon, then emerged above ground to a city, then traveled across the world to another city and before the game was ended by us all going off to college we were in spaceships traveling the galaxy.

    That DM grew up to become a fairly well-known artist and writer in SF&F. I still have a drawing she did of one of my characters.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: I’m surprised it isn’t called “trump’s Magical Miracle Cure for Everything Except Baldness and Crotch Fungal Growths”.

  19. 19
    Joey Maloney says:

    Speaking of crotch fungal growths, anyone seen Eric lately?

  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    Funny…I was just reading the dead-tree edition of the D&D article over morning coffee…great minds and all that! =)

    I only played a couple times as a teen but I still have all the ‘manuals’ (and 1 module). My 13-year-old found the ‘Monster Manuals’ and the module to be pretty interesting. I showed him how to create a character and what not. He was still back on his video games 20 minutes later, but I’m sure if/when his friends want to play with him, he’ll be into it. (Teenagers!)

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    Quick notes that The Gamers: Dorkness Rising is on Prime. Labor of RPG nerd (and Kickstarter) love. You will chuckle. Also, from the same production team, the mini-series JourneyQuest: City of the Dead. Uneven but enough cute moments to outweigh the rough ones.

    In the same vein but geared to video game players is the also on Prime mini-series, AFK.

  22. 22
    eldorado says:

    it’s a shame that stranger things edition is thin on content. i’m almost tempted to get it just for the box.

  23. 23
    MomSense says:

    I used to play back in the day. All three of my kids play. Many a Saturday, my kitchen table has been an all day game.

  24. 24
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I love most games, but D&D has never been (and never will be) something I find much interest in. Aside from not having the time for it, the one time I tried it, I found it incredibly dull and boring. Maybe my imagination isn’t active enough for it.

  25. 25
    raven says:

    Repost

    For those of you keeping track of my naked, screaming neighbor caper, I just talked to him. Dude has no recall of what he did, he knows now but doesn’t really remember. He said it’s a combination of not taking his proper meds and eat and sleep. I’m glad I talked to him quietly, I told him we were scared for him and scared for him. He saays it will never happen again but agrees if it ever gets even close that calling the cops is job 1.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Nice, dude. You handled that perfectly.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @raven: So I assume that means, you had a peaceful Friday evening.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😀😀😀

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    @JPL: We went to a fundraiser for the local council on aging,. It was mostly 50 something parents and a lot of kids.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’d bet donuts to dollars that trump can’t wait for a trade deal with the UK so he can get this at a special discount rate:

    A computer tool used by police to predict which people are likely to reoffend has come under scrutiny from one force’s ethics committee, who said there were a lot of “unanswered questions” and concerns about potential bias.

    Amid mounting financial pressure, at least a dozen police forces are using or considering predictive analytics, despite warnings from campaigners that use of algorithms and “predictive policing” models risks locking discrimination into the criminal justice system.

    No doubt the algorithm will have to be tweaked to account for the racial demography unique to the US.

  32. 32
    Anne Laurie says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Aside from not having the time for it, the one time I tried it, I found it incredibly dull and boring. Maybe my imagination isn’t active enough for it.

    A lot of the fun relies on the Dungeon Master, and then more on the people in your team. If your particular imagination isn’t in sync with that of the group, it gets tedious fast.

    The only time I tried, I had a great Dungeon Master (would say that even if I didn’t eventually marry him), but my idea of how things should go did *not* mesh with the five young men already used to playing as a team. Yeah, “does not play well with others” has always been my curse!

  33. 33
    JR says:

    I’m guessing that Game of Thrones played a big role in the D&D resurgence.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Chyron HR says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “This stupid thing is broken! It keeps listing members of my administration!”

  36. 36
    JGabriel says:

    WaPo via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    … no more monsters with breasts …

    B-b-b-ut, how will the baby monsters feed? How will they grow strong and develop their immune systems?

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chyron HR: Heh.

  38. 38
    Chyron HR says:

    The company also made it more inclusive. Gone is the rule mandating female characters’ strength be less than males’. Gone is the sexist artwork — no more armored bikinis, no more monsters with breasts, no more topless ladies (unless her character really, really calls for it).

    I know a lot of horny gals that would not consider that a plus.

  39. 39
    Groucho48 says:

    Never played the pen and paper version, because I am not a creative story-teller type and none of my friends who were story-teller types were interested in playing.

    I do play the online MMO game Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) regularly. It’s definitely not as open and free form as the pen and paper version, but, it is a fun game in its own right. I don’t suppose any of you guys play?

  40. 40
    zhena gogolia says:

    I wake up hungry for politics and you guys are talking about games.

    Anyway, so glad Prof. Chomsky is on the case:

    N. Chomsky: “The Democrats invested everything in this issue. Well, turned out there was nothing much there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him the next election. That’s just a-that’s a matter of being so unwilling to deal with fundamental issues-“

  41. 41

    @JR: GoT has raised a problem about a book draft that’s been on my computer since 2009 in its earliest version. It has dragons and dragonglass. I’ve been meaning to work on it once I finish the one I’m on. Now I wonder if it’s dead because GoT has those elements and I’ll look like I copied. Blech.

  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Some beautiful pictures of a disappearing way of life: Riding with the gauchos of Argentina: a photo essay

    I sit and talk with some of the men around the dusty town. They complain that nowadays they aren’t allowed to arrive at the bar on their horse, and that the children and women have moved to the city as there is no work in the fields. The city is no place for a gaucho, so they remain. A gaucho and his horse share a stronger union than wedlock.

    Almost every gaucho we meet has broken their back at some point. Oscar “La Mosca” (The Fly), who now spends his days playing music for tourists, has broken his back three times falling from a horse. I ask him if he still rides. His 76-year-old eyes brighten like those of a young boy. “Of course; that’s why they still call me The Fly. I stick to my horse better than any fly you’ll meet.”

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: The curse of a writer.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    He had a moment of clarity when he said people should vote for Hillary. But a leopard doesn’t change his spots.

  45. 45
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Intertextuality!

  46. 46
    zhena gogolia says:

    I hope Mnem gets good news about her kitty.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m going to send my fine, morally upstanding, servant of truth Senator Roy Blunt a short note concerning the Mueller report.

    “There is clear evidence that (the) President … urged others to obstruct justice. These are serious felonious acts that strike at the heart of our judicial system. Oaths taken in the American system of government are serious commitments to truth and the rule of law. Violating these oaths or causing others to impede the investigation into such acts are serious matters that meet the standard for impeachment.”

    -Roy Blunt, on the House floor, 19 December 1998

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Immanentize says:

    @raven: I’m impressed he agrees calling the cops is a good idea…. They don’t always have the best track record with mental health breaks. But I learned a valuable from you that I never considered — call the non- emergency line. And I thank you for that.

  51. 51
    Marigold says:

    Good morning!

    The article meshes pretty closely with my own experience. I was almost always the only girl in the group during my 20’s, and eventually moved on. Critical Role sounded like the stupidest concept–who would want to watch other people play D&D, unedited, for 3-4 hours at a time?–but after the 2016 election, regular television was unbearable, so I put it on as background noise while I decorated for Christmas. More than the story, it captured the feeling of good friends at play, and when told an old gaming buddy that I missed it, he just said, “Me too. When?” I’ve been running a weekly group for two years over Discord: 3 men, 4 women, 3 had never played before.

    If nothing else, it’s a regular social activity, like a bowling league. But when it works, my players text me about it (questions, speculation, memes) for days after, and we wouldn’t have the same effect from a more passive activity.

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    I have loved Noam C for a long time, he came and guest taught to my linguistis class back in college.

    But he, Biden and Bernie need to just go fishing together.

  53. 53
    Nicole says:

    I played as a kid to a teenager in the 1980s. I adored it, and was roundly mocked for it by my peer group (not just a nerd, but a GIRL nerd. Even some of my fellow kid D&D players were NOT COOL with a girl playing). I haven’t played in years, but a game store near us is offering weekly classes/meetups, and I am super, super tempted. My 8-year-old has been inquiring about it, so maybe I’ll dive in and see what’s changed in the last 30 years.

  54. 54
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    I’ve used the non-emergency line a few times. Better they decide the level of emergency than I. Plus, if need be, they get here just as quickly.

  55. 55
    Immanentize says:

    On D&D, I never got into it, but I did have this experience with the Immp. I sent the following (in texts) to my wife and BiL just two years ago:

    A parent works so hard. Tirelessly. Without hope of reward. To raise their children right.You try to explain the world because it is filled with sadness and dangers.

    And you think you have gotten through. That your kid is a “good kid.”

    And then one day you find his pack has fallen over and this lying beside his pack:

    Followed by a picture of twelve-sided dice.

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    “The Democrats invested everything in this issue.

    They keep repeating this but it isn’t true. It’s particularly sad with Warren, because her weekly roll out of policy is deliberately and almost willfully ignored. It takes effort to ignore it, but they make the effort.

  57. 57
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: After Raven’s story, I learned that the Boston Police Force bring mental health counselors with them on such calls to assess the danger level and to try to take the pressure of the cops to be all things in all situations.

  58. 58
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: I know — in fact, the big media push in 2018 was how many Democrats running for the House (who won) rejected impeachment. How many Connor Lamb stories emphasized that and how he wouldn’t vote for Pelosi.

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    My wife fell asleep on the couch last night. She has a cold and a bad crick in her neck. I went downstairs to get coffee and she opened her eyes. So I went over to ask how she’s doing and give her some good morning lovings and Woof decides that he needs some too. He sticks his head in between my legs and looks up at me with those big 100# puppy dog eyes that say,

    Love, love me do
    You know I love you
    I’ll always be true
    So please, love me do
    Whoa, love me do

    Percy, who had been upstairs with me and is watching from the top of the stairs sees all this and figures, “Hey, I should get in on some of this action.” Comes down stairs and jumps up on the couch in front of me. So with my left hand on Woof I reach out with my right hand and pet Percy.

    Woof raises his head into my crotch and starts scooting back, dragging me away from the couch. And Percy.

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    They’re also ignoring all the good legislation the House has already passed.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @Immanentize:

    Funny how the media and Noam are on the same page when it comes to talking points.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    It’s the Immp’s 18th B-Day today. Of course in the way back, my Dad took me out to the Polish Club for a shot and a beer. Today, I will take the Immp out for oysters and crawfish….

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    I feel like it’s revealing. They don’t really want to engage on Medicare for All or Warren’s anti-corruption or anti-monopoly stuff. There’s even a basic minimum income candidate- they could talk about that. There is liberal policy- what they supposedly wanted, but they’re not interested. They’d rather opine on large themes and offer half-assed political strategizing and forecasting. You know, punditry. The substance changed but their commentary didn’t.

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize:

    I learned that the Boston Police Force bring mental health counselors

    Good on them. For some reason or other I don’t think Washington County deputies do the same.

  65. 65
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: That realization would either send him over the edge or prove his point about state managed information. Perhaps both.

  66. 66
    raven says:

    @Immanentize: I’m glad I added something.

  67. 67
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It makes so much sense from a policing standpoint. Even from the Union standpoint, let alone the don’t-shoot-citizens standpoint. Therefore unlikely to happen in many places.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: It’s all about the horse race Kay. Who wins, who loses, it doesn’t matter how that result actually affects people.

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Basic minimum income! A Democrat put that forth. Discuss. Nah. They’d rather do political forecasting. He has a set piece- “Democrats are focusing on THIS to avoid THESE economic issues”. Except they’re not. They even have Bernie- the dream date- and the droning recitations of doom and gloom haven’t changed at all.

  70. 70
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    I didn’t play D&D but I read and collected all of the authors Gygax cited as influences (Howard, Moorcock, Dunsany, Eddison, Zelazny, Leiber, etc.), as well as drew maps of fantastic worlds. For anyone who wants to know the back story of Gygax’s influences, early fantasy authors other than Tolkien, and some tips on storytelling and imagining worlds, characters, animals, plants, etc., I recommend Lin Carter’s Imaginary Worlds. . The change in coolness is amazing — I recently framed some of my teenage era maps, and some workman in the house asked me if I was a professional artist. I told them when I was in college, drawing dragons was not the career choice it is today.

  71. 71
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    Happy birthday to the Immp!

  72. 72
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: Re:legislation — I heard a republican complaining the Democrats were only going after Trump when they could be working on securing future elections. It had to be pointed out that indeed, that was the House’s first piece of legislation, generally opposed by Republicans.

  73. 73
    Leto says:

    I played it, briefly, in Iraq. Turns out it was pretty popular among service members over there. Just about any FOB or main base you went to, there were groups going on. Our son DM’d some games during his high school years, but I’m not sure if he’s still doing them.

    @raven: I’m glad bananas and paint balls weren’t involved. Hopefully he can stick with his medications.

  74. 74
    Kay says:

    We’re going to Chicago to my son’s and his wife’s for Easter. We were going to go on a bike ride but it’s freezing and raining, so he’s planning something else.

    His wife makes beautiful meals- the table always looks really nice. They drink Danish liquor after, because there’s a Danish theme to these meals. I like all the sharp, herby flavors from that part of the world, so it’s really a treat.

  75. 75
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    Can you blame the poor Republicans for not believing in multitasking? After all, they only know from their own experience, like focusing solely on impeaching Clinton or solely on obstructing Obama or, more recently, failing over and over and over again to repeal ACA? //

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Being one of the larger, more sparsely populated, retrograde, and poorer counties in Misery, I would be surprised if there even are any mental health professionals around. Besides, what’s the difference between a meth induced hallucinatory state of mind and a schizophrenic episode?

    Who cares, let God sort ’em out.

  77. 77
    Leto says:

    @Immanentize: Happy birthday to the Immp! For our son’s 16th birthday (we were living in Italy at the time) we took him to the local joint we all hung out at and bought him his first beer. Belgian lambic. By his 18th, we were living in England, he was attending a fancy English school, and his house had a bar in it for the students so the could have drinks (max of two) on Fridays. When other kids talk about their high school experience, he likes to bring that fact up. The better reactions are on the faces of the parents when he tells this. Good times. :)

  78. 78
    Immanentize says:

    @Leto: I was working at a big restaurant with a bar/disco/live music side when I turned 18. I was bartending about 3 months later. Different times!

  79. 79
    tobie says:

    @zhena gogolia: It sounds like Chomsky accepted Barr’s summation and didn’t bother to read the report. That’s pretty upsetting from a famed intellectual who spent years warning us about how the media manufactures consent. I would have expected better from him.

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: I was a busboy in a small German restaurant when I was 16. Every now and again a keg would get rolled (don’t ask me how these things happened, I have no idea) at which point the beer was unsellable. At the end of the night the owner would tap it and everybody working would get free beers. Today? Sheeeeeeit……

    The 70’s were very different.

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    😠😠😠

    Tom Watson (@tomwatson) Tweeted:
    If @RepSeanMaloney is the face of no impeachment Democrats, this will not go well. This is horrific. https://t.co/M3nYM4O1d8 https://twitter.com/tomwatson/status/1119585379483574272?s=17

  82. 82
    Immanentize says:

    @tobie: I’m cutting Noam some slack here, he is 90 years old.

  83. 83
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Like Joey above, I started in the 70s (Yes, Joey, I remember mimeograph.) D&D, then traveler, some tunnels and trolls, amber diceless, and … and on to fate and cortex and burning wheel and … and yes, I am a GM. At my local game store I’m one of the people helping teach GMs.

    My opinion is – it’s a social thing. For some people social is competitive. For some it’s a ‘let down the barriers with your friends’ thing. And there is a range between. So when I teach GMs whichever system we’re learning, one of the many things I try to teach is to recognize if you’re not on the same page as your players and what to do about it — whether adjusting or helping find another group or in extreme cases telling the player(s) they are not welcome in any game you GM. (rare, but I’ve done it.)

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:
    Happy Birthday to Little Imma 🎂🎈🎉👏🤗🌈🎁

  85. 85
    Leto says:

    @Immanentize: Definitely! My biggest thing was simply trying to de-stigmatize alcohol. Take away the mystery of it so that when he ran into it later, specifically in peer groups, he’d be better equipped to make smarter choices. Everyone’s MMV and all that.

  86. 86
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: I thank you for the fellow. 🍾

  87. 87
    tobie says:

    @Immanentize: Is he really 90? Wow. Time flies. I think the last picture of him I saw was in Sascha Baron-Cohen’s Ali G show. I guess that was some time ago (and that makes me old, too).

    ETA: Happy Birthday to your son. I hope the sun is shining and the forsythia is blooming in Massachusetts. Spring comes to your state so late.

  88. 88
    Immanentize says:

    @Leto: I’m with you about trying to not stigmatize alcohol. My Dad famously told me when I was like 16 — “If you really want a drink, drink at home. But don’t water down my booze.”

    ETA. Gotta go get the cake!

  89. 89
    Immanentize says:

    @tobie: Forsythia is yellow fire right now in my back yard!

  90. 90
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: You can buy crawfish near Boston?

    Happy Birthday little immp

  91. 91
    Leto says:

    @rikyrah: I watched this last night and all I can say is, I hope when Nancy returns from overseas that she starts putting her foot into people’s asses. The amount of old white bros coming out against impeachment, trying to do the McConnell tactic of, “Let the American people decide” is bad. That shit needs to stop, pronto. Grumble about that behind closed doors, but we need to be all on a singular message. Nobody is above the law.

  92. 92
    Leto says:

    @Immanentize: Good advice. Enjoy the cake :)

  93. 93
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Immanentize:

    Not a fan of him as a linguist either. Team Jakobson!

  94. 94
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Leto:

    We don’t belong to any organized political party. We’re Democrats . . . .

  95. 95
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Regarding Warren, this went down the memory hole too:

    The takeaway from that was “OMG Warren is downplaying the Mueller report!” Never mind that she actually said yes, the Mueller report is important, we need to see the whole report, etc., but that’s not what voters are asking me about on the campaign trail — they’re asking about kitchen table issues.

    Now that Warren has come out in favor of impeachment, the narrative is shifting to “if it’s Warren vs. Trump, it’ll be a referendum on impeachment with no discussion of kitchen table issues.” Maybe our democracy really is too stupid to walk and chew gum.

  96. 96
    Sab says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: No they weren’t. My step-son was a dishwasher at a brew-pub in high school in the early aughts. Free beer samples for the 16 year old. By the time he got through high school he was a serious alchoholic.

    We only found out later. I would have turned them in at the time had I known.

    By the time we found out the old drunk had retired and closed the place.

  97. 97
    Marigold says:

    @Nicole: I hope you give it a try! Nerd culture has become so much more inclusive and welcoming, even compared to the early 2000’s.

    @Cheryl from Maryland: Those maps sound beautiful! I’ll have to check out that book, thank you.

  98. 98
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    White House’s always have some tug of war with investigative committees over document production. Some level of that is a normal part of the process. That’s not what’s happening here. The President is refusing every request, subpoena and, notably, blocking cases where the Congress has the explicit statutory right to receive and review documents with no questions asked. In oversight terms, it’s an open declaration of war. As a process matter, with a lawless White House, the main recourse is to the courts. But treating these as ordinary legal processes is a big, big mistake. It creates the impression these are just standard legal processes that take time and must run their course. That creates a facade of legitimacy that must be torn down in the political realm.

    In every portion of this Democratic leaders in the House need to be vocally and consistently making clear that what we’re dealing with is not a legal process but an on-going coverup, an unconstitutional refusal to obey the Congress’s lawful, constitutional mandate. That doesn’t force the President’s hands in itself of course. But it prevents lying to the public, pretending that what is happening now is a legitimate judicial process as opposed to a war on the constitution itself.

    -Josh Marshall

  99. 99
    Leto says:

    @zhena gogolia: My bad… * goes back to cat herding

    @Betty Cracker: I don’t know if this was covered downstairs someplace, but I saw this referenced on Chris Hayes last night and wanted to stick it here (wrt Warren and our electorate being too stupid):

    No. 3: 26% of current Bernie Sanders supporters said that they would rather vote for President Donald Trump over Senator Elizabeth Warren, if that were the eventual 2020 matchup.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldurkheimer/2019/04/17/5-weird-items-in-the-new-bernie-buttigieg-poll/#6caeddde7ddd

    I’ll be sure to keep that fact handy for future use.

  100. 100
    tobie says:

    So much is happening right now, and I’m also tending to elderly parents, that I almost missed this story that arose from the Maria Butina sentencing documents.

    Sherrilyn Ifill
    ‏Verified account @Sifill_LDF

    Sherrilyn Ifill Retweeted Rachel Maddow MSNBC

    The Russian govt was vetting the names of our Secretary of States nominees. Nothing to see here.

  101. 101
    Amir Khalid says:

    Damn. Manchester City won their third match against Tottenham Hotspur in two weeks: a 1-0 squeaker. This was the match where Liverpool needed Spurs to beat City, not the Champions League quarterfinal. We’re playing at Vincent Tan’s Cardiff City tomorrow, which should be a win for us, but City is not cooperating with our title run.

  102. 102
    Leto says:

    @tobie: That needs more coverage. Thanks for sharing that.

  103. 103
    Beef says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Janny Wurts? Certainly sounds like Janny Wurts.

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    They do make the effort 😠😠

  105. 105
    sixthdoctor says:

    “I’ve read the entire report,”Said Senator Romney. “In short,This admin is disgraced,Disgusting, debased,And has my continued support.”— Limericking (@Limericking) April 19, 2019

  106. 106

    @Baud: Well I have played it one less time than you did.

  107. 107
    Rp says:

    Have you ever seen the rock’s “it doesn’t matter” bit from when he was a wrestler? I want to see him do that to dems like Hoyer talking about the politics of impeachment.

  108. 108
    JPL says:

    @tobie: Why not.. That was their reward for buying the election for trump.

  109. 109
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    Happy birthday, Immp! 🎉🎊🎂🎈🎁

    My grandma was old school French. She started us on sips of wine and coffee with lots of milk when we were very small.

    Enjoy those oysters while you can – we’re having oyster wars up here. It’s not the kind of shooting wars the lobsterman have. It’s the lawyers kind with homeowners versus oyster farms.

  110. 110
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @tobie: I want to put up a full page ad in the WaPo, the NYT, and several other major publications with a picture of Pompeo and the words “Russian Approved”. Sadly, they will all want to get paid for that.

  111. 111
    Doug says:

    There are two things that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: Dungeons & Dragons and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    Paraphrased, of course.

  112. 112
    Tim C. says:

    My kids are super into the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG spinoff of course my 7 year old daughter decided to make herself a Wookie Warrior.

    I think I might be winning at this parenting thing.

  113. 113
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tim C.: In parenting, there are no winners or losers, only survivors. ;-)

  114. 114
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Groucho48: My granddaughter’s social circle at college are heavily involved in D&D. They’re mostly theatre majors so I am totally unsurprised. They also do interactive theatre which is a hoot.

  115. 115
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    My wife and I remember playing a sci-fi version of D & D about a month before we officially met. Neither one of us had any memory of meeting the other, but in describing the game and our characters we realized we’d both been in that same game because we had clear memories of each other’s characters.

    This was in 1978. Before that I played one game of actual D & D, a demo game at a sci-fi convention. Which must have been in 1977 or earlier as I’m pretty sure there was no such thing as Star Wars yet. Nor was there a ST:TNG or a Star Trek movie. So there was kind of a dearth of character personae people adopted: Basically they were either wearing Spock ears or sitting around singing Dorsai songs. Or both. The “Star Trek Blooper Real” was a big hit. I think the special guest was Walter Koenig.

    I’m sure conventions have gotten more interesting but I haven’t actually been to one since.

  116. 116
    Mike in DC says:

    I played D&D a fair amount. Still play Champions, which is a superhero RPG. The math is a bit more daunting, but you build characters from scratch, just the way you want them to be.

  117. 117
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Basically they were either wearing Spock ears or sitting around singing Dorsai songs.

    No Puppeteers or Kzinti?

  118. 118
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @raven: Well done. I hope he gets effective treatment.
    Off topic, last night I was speculating about a reverse mortgage pro & con and someone suggested that you might have some experience of this. If you have any wisdom you’d care to share on the subject I’d be grateful for same.

  119. 119
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Either would have been pretty cool but no, not that I recall.

  120. 120
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have only occasionally joined in an RPG, and that was decades ago. I wasn’t terribly good at it and never really got stuck in, although many of my friends did. Sorry.

  121. 121
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I have been a Known Space fan ever since I discovered Niven in the mid 70s. He is one of the authors I return to when ever I need a break. (Elmore Leonard, Hillerman, and Pellacanos being a few of my other guilty pleasures)

  122. 122
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Then you’re the guy to help me track down a story I started but for some reason never finished. There’s an isolated species which has just discovered the outside universe and the existence of other species but they are rapidly advancing. The Puppeteers (I think) are especially scared of them and launch a multi-species expedition to make contact. Last thing I remember reading is “they’ve deduced general relativity just from seeing our approach!”

    Does this ring a bell? Like I say, no idea why I never finished it, that happens with me with books from time to time for no obvious reason.

  123. 123
    oatler. says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Did you read of the passing of Gene Wolfe earlier this week? He was one of the masters (of all literature).

  124. 124
    debbie says:

    @tobie:

    Just appalling. So sad that North Korea wasn’t on board for the vetting. //

  125. 125
    NobodySpecial says:

    Played D&D from Iate 82, my DM was a fabulous woman who co-owned a book and record store with her husband. Fell out of playing after I graduated high school and got back in about 10 years ago. I still love D&D, but rarely play it, because my tastes for narrative changed from high fantasy to more horror concepts. The only problem I have with D&D now is that it still takes up so much oxygen in the gaming room that it’s hard to get people to try alternative RPG’s. It’s still a fantastic time, and the article is one more data point in how the nerds won.

  126. 126
    Emma says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: That’s Larry Niven, I think. One of his races in the Known Space books were called Pierson’s Pupeteers. Three legs, two heads.

    added: very long lived, very advanced, invented teleportation centuries before other races

  127. 127
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    I.married my DM.

  128. 128
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Emma: Definitely Niven but what novel is it?

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Oh, I know that line! Jane Austen, right?

  129. 129
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: It doesn’t ring a bell, but it probably ended with the Puppeteers carpet bombing the new species.

  130. 130
    MomSense says:

    If anyone is interested in fun podcasts in this subject, here’s a link to the pilot episode of the adventure zone.
    there might be gerblins

  131. 131
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I’m not sure as I doubt I have read everything Niven ever wrote, but I think you are conflating 2 different stories.

    In The Mote in God’s Eye an interplanetary spacecraft reaches a human space via sub lightspeed travel. They trace the trajectory of the spacecraft back to a star on the far side of the Coalsack and send an expedition to it to make contact with the resident species. What they find is a species “trapped” in the solar system via a technological lack and stuck in a population explosion/crash cycle due to the fact that birth control is impossible for them. Hence they are doomed to repeated wars of great destruction. This scares the shit out of the humans.

    The other book is Ringworld. In Rw the cowards of known space, the Puppeteers, are fleeing the exploding galactic core by moving their entire solar system out of the galaxy at sub lightspeed because only crazy beings go faster than that. In the process they have found (by sending their craziest to scout ahead) a star with an enormous ring constructed around it. The existence of a species with technologies so advanced they can restructure an entire solar system absolutely terrifies them. They then enlist the help of 2 humans and Kzinti to go and explore this strange world with the craziest Puppeteer they have.

    ETA: also in TMiGE the Moties having seen the human spacecraft pop out of… I forget the words to refer to this type of travel can deduce that it exists and how to do it. There is more but I do not want to give away too much
    Hope this rings the bells.

  132. 132
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

  133. 133
    dmsilev says:

    @Immanentize:

    I learned that the Boston Police Force bring mental health counselors with them on such calls to assess the danger level and to try to take the pressure of the cops to be all things in all situations.

    Yes, and it helps. An old friend of my family, who lives in Boston, is a couple of years down the Alzheimer’s road. One of the symptoms she has is paranoia, and she once thought that her husband was an intruder and called the police. Bonus, they’re an interracial couple and the language she used on the call was “there’s a strange black man in my house.”. You can see how that could have gone pear-shaped in a real hurry. The police, however, were absolutely fine. They showed up, assessed the situation (mostly by talking to the husband and ….seeing the wedding photos on the wall) and left him with a bunch of contact numbers to get help in coping with and managing the situation (this was not long after her diagnosis, and he was still kind of in denial about the implications).

    (She sadly has regressed further. Saw her at Christmas this year, and she looked at me, looked at my mother, and asked how long the two of us had known each other. Something along the lines of “oh, for a while now” was what I think I said in response. )

  134. 134
  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @oldster:
    I often can’t sleep in the first place and stay up till 1 or 2. Then it’s, as you say the constant waking up, thinking it’s morning and looking at the clock, it’s 3 or 4. Or 3 and 4 and 5 and 6. It’s rare on work mornings to hear the alarm.
    One night of sleep, that would be amazing. I remember decades ago sleeping for 10-11 hrs was normal. Docs tell me that I should get at least 8 hrs a night. I’d have to be in bed for 12-14 hrs a night to maybe add up to 8 and that actually feels worse than not sleeping.

  136. 136
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Emma:

    invented teleportation

    Stepping stones!!!

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    @JPL:
    If it’s $450 then DT can’t afford it.

  138. 138
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @oatler.: I have never read any of his stuff! Most certainly will now.

  139. 139
    Citizen_X says:

    @Leto: 26%, eh? Close enough to fall under the 27% rule.

  140. 140
    MomSense says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    I was late to that thread. I don’t have any experience with a reverse mortgage but wanted to share from my recent experience with moving an elderly relative who had stayed in her house far too long. She became increasingly isolated and overwhelmed by house maintenance. I hope you can give yourself a little dreaming space to think about what you want to be doing and with whom instead of where you live. I think we get stuck thinking about place sometimes when the real choices involve how we want to spend our time and who we want to spend our time with. These are difficult choices. Sending a hug to you.

  141. 141
    GregMulka says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I notice you’re leaving the, “so crooked it’s wonder his guts don’t strangle him” Josh Hawley out of that missive.

  142. 142
    NotMax says:

    Ought to mention that all three items I mentioned above are spoofs of game pl;aying and readily accessible to a general audience.

    @Leto

    26% of current Bernie Sanders supporters said

    So, like 50 people?

    ;)

  143. 143
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @GregMulka: You mean Josh “I’m under investigation before I even take office” Hawley?

  144. 144
    NotMax says:

    @oatler.

    Oh my. Books of the New Sun. Top tier stuff, that.

  145. 145
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Baud: I will never lack for a game.

  146. 146
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @NotMax: My favorite spoof of gaming is still Darths and Droids.

  147. 147
    NotMax says:

    Fast search of thread shows no one yet wishing a Happy Passover. So I will.

  148. 148
    Ruckus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Actually it does affect them. If they talk about all the dem ideals and get their tax cuts or tax cuts for their bosses, it’s all good. Because they don’t need the programs and they can always use a tax cut.

  149. 149
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: IIRC it’s in one of the “Fleet of Worlds” series, which takes place a couple of centuries before Ringworld – & the race (the G’w’oth) is a bunch of starfish that can merge minds. I think it’s Destroyer of Worlds (#3 of 5). ETA: All 5 are cracking good reads – if you are sufficiently versed in Niven’s prior work in the Known Space universe, otherwise it can get a bit confusing.

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    @tobie:
    I’ll give Norm a bit of a break, he’s 90. That may not be the reason, but it could be.

    @Immanentize: Beaten to the punch once again. At least my record still stands, never first.

  151. 151
    Ruckus says:

    @Leto:
    I solved that issue for my parents when I was 3. Parents had a party, I was seen going around and drinking out of glasses that people set down. Drunk off my ass at 3. Mom thought it was a funny story. Strange learning curve, but effective. Of course mom only told me the story when I was about 50.

  152. 152
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Maybe our democracy really is too stupid to walk and chew gum.

    It’s not the democracy.
    It’s the pundits who think that no one is as smart as them and wouldn’t/don’t understand what they can’t.

  153. 153
    James E Powell says:

    @Kay:

    Policy analysis doesn’t draw eyeballs or clicks. That’s why the press/media love Trump and work so hard to promote/protect him. They are going to be really sad when he is gone.

  154. 154
    Marigold says:

    @Kirk Spencer: Any resources you would recommend for improving GM skills? My players all keep showing up, so I can’t be that bad, but I am uncomfortably aware of my flaws.

    @NotMax: I watched Dorkness Rising, but was unaware of the other two. Thank you!

    @NobodySpecial: Any advice on how to pitch a non-D&D ruleset? I have a couple books I’d love to try out, but the fear of trying out an unfamiliar system with a bunch of newbies (what if I ruin their first experience?!) has me tied in knots.

  155. 155
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: That sounds like a definite possibility. Heading to the library website right now to reserve a copy.

  156. 156
    piratedan says:

    @Betty Cracker: tbh, I really hate the media folks that shape this framing… ok, so Warren makes her statement and she talks about the policies that she’s introduced and the media folks act as judge and jury when it comes to this stuff, never mind what she said, the folks out there will have to consume how we present it. Never mind that the people who watched it will know better, they’re a decided minority because our framing will be permeated endlessly and THAT will be the perception that is retained.

    I fucking hate these people because of the influence that they have among those that don;t have the time to be better informed. It’s exactly how Clinton’s campaign was manipulated, where she was seen as less trustworthy than Donald Fucking Trump.

  157. 157

    “No more arguing about the precise number of mouse hairs you need for a certain spell.”

    I’ve never heard of anybody arguing about trivial spell components. The rules even say not to!

    Somebody said this at a game I was playing the other day and it was perfect:

  158. 158
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Marigold: Pitch setting if they enjoy that sort of thing. A lot of high fantasy players have no use for superheroes or horror, so I don’t push very hard with them. Most gamers don’t mind learning new mechanics, though, if the story is good.

  159. 159
    Matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I, for one, endorse idiot Christianists drinking poison. I hope more of them take up the hobby.

  160. 160
    James E Powell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Democratic leaders in the House need to be vocally and consistently making clear that what we’re dealing with is not a legal process but an on-going coverup, an unconstitutional refusal to obey the Congress’s lawful, constitutional mandate.

    Totally agree with Marshall. Because the press/media are never going to describe it that way if the Democrats don’t describe it that way every time they appear in pubic or give a statement to the press/media. Come on Democrats! Repeat after me! Coverup, Lying, Coverup, Lying, Against the Law, Coverup, Lying, Defying the Constitution!

    I do not understand why the Democrats have not learned and adopted the Republicans’ method of having every living member of the party repeat the same message at the same time using the same words. It is extremely effective with an electorate largely composed of distracted and disengaged people.

    And we always have to deal with (some) Democrats’ desire to rush to the cable shows to be the Democrat that slams other Democrats. For that I have no solutions, but I do hate them, I really do.

  161. 161
    Mo MacArbie says:

    Heh, to all y’all in Team Broken Glass, I’m Team D4s. Haven’t played in ages, but the genius of AD&D is that the books are so bad, one is forced to learn basic office skills to produce one’s own. And history. And folklore. And math. And hydrology. It gives coding it’s eternal windmill at which I’ve been tilting since BASIC.

  162. 162
    cain says:

    @PsiFighter37:
    Sometimes it gets funny like this story.

    I played as a teen in the 80s. I feel like that the over digitalization of life seems to have want to crave everything from the older periods. It is probably influence from the Gen Xers and Boomers. We lead interesting lives I guess.

  163. 163
    J R in WV says:

    @satby:

    For a closet Luddite, I spent too much time on computers to enjoy sitting in front of one more.

    I’m sure someone has mentioned it already, but D&D isn’t an online computer game, typically, it’s a board game with icosagon shaped 20-sided elvish dice and a game leader making stuff up as you play called the Dungeon Master. So mostly no computers at all. Cards and a board and character types. That exhausts my knowledge of the game itself.

  164. 164
    cain says:

    @Kay:
    Because punditry stirs the human emotions gets people all rattled. Makes them stay on the channel and watch the advertisements. The media isn’t really about informing it is about generating revenue.

  165. 165
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    No board in the sense of traditional board games. Usually (as in nearly always) a drawn or printed map of some sort and figurines or some sort of tokens representing characters are involved at least part of the time. Depending on the type of game situation, may utilize 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20-sided dice. For true fanatics, there are even 100-sided dice. Not cards, per se, rather there character sheets which include things such as stats (strength, intelligence, experience, etc.), skills and bonuses unique to the character, and so on.

    /more than you wanted to know

  166. 166
    Fair Economist says:

    I loved roleplaying games way back when in high school and college, but I got tired of the stultifying character classes in early edition AD&D and moved on to other games like Runecraft, Champions, and assorted homebrew systems (I had some very inventive friends). I’d love to play now, including AD&D since they’ve vastly improved character flexibility, but a campaign demands a commitment in time I can’t make as an adult.

  167. 167
    J R in WV says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    GoT has raised a problem about a book draft that’s been on my computer since 2009 in its earliest version. It has dragons and dragonglass. I’ve been meaning to work on it once I finish the one I’m on. Now I wonder if it’s dead because GoT has those elements and I’ll look like I copied. Blech.

    Don’t worry about it. It’s no more a matter of copying than all space opera fiction having space suits for work outside the ship or safety in case of a loss of pressure. Elizabeth Bear has written a long series about a world with wizards, and the existence of Dragons and dragonglass is a small bit of background to the culture.

    Everyone who is educated knows that even a long-abandoned Dragon lair is poisoned, as is all the loot there, because anyone who enters for long, or even handles gold stolen from the lair for very long, will die a terrible death from what looks to us like radiation poisoning. Dragon poisoning in her novels. Interesting detail, the dragonglass is the only Dragon related material not poisonous to be around — but don’t breathe any dust from it if it breaks~!!~

    So feel free to go with Dragons in your work, they’re a part of culture on this planet almost everywhere.

  168. 168
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Hmm. Dragon powered space ships. There’s a story or two in that.

    ;)

  169. 169
    J R in WV says:

    @NotMax:

    I meant a real meat-space game as opposed to a computer game. Map, board, meh… still no computers.

    Did not know multiple shapes of dice were used, interesting. Odd that I’ve never played, as I’ve been a total SF and fantasy geek since Jr High 55 years ago… I’m not very competitive which might explain it.

  170. 170
    J R in WV says:

    @NotMax:

    “Dragon powered space ships. ”

    OR at least fission powered giant magic intelligent lizards… Would need an ironclad unbreakable contract with the dragon part of the space probes…

    And you know how twisty the fae can get with contracts, always a tiny loophole you never considered because of the different perspectives.

  171. 171
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    “Crewman Jones, it’s your turn to clean the litter boxes.”

    :)

  172. 172
    Mo MacArbie says:

    Computers can be a bigger part of it. Sometimes one or more players can’t make it in person or old farts can only round out a game of like-minded grogs at some remove. Game time can be a teleconferencing affair and between-game campaign actions/character enrichment can go as well via email as any other way. But yeah, it goes best when one’s books are in constant danger of pizza stains and beverage spills.

  173. 173

    @NotMax:

    Hmm. Dragon powered space ships. There’s a story or two in that.

    The much-maligned DND space opera setting “Spelljammer” comes to mind as does a Doctor Who episode…

  174. 174
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    As I recall it, upon its release Spelljammer managed the neat trick of simultaneously being a BFD and a dog.

    :)

  175. 175
    Captain C says:

    @Amir Khalid: Didn’t Spurs win the home leg 1-0? The tie finished 4-4 but Spurs had the away goal advantage.

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