Someone in a thread over at the Pathfinder RPG pafe said said “These personal issues really distracts from the game. Does anyone remember the days when none of this stuff was a friggin issue and all we had was fun????”
Such a time never existed, and if you think it does it’s because either as a guy you never had to deal with it, or for some reason your experiences were sheltered.
You know what days *I* remember?
I remember being told no matter how well I rolled, my female D&D fighter could not, as a matter of the *rules* be as strong as a man. Another player could decide his 13-year-old boy PC had a 18/00 Strength because he was magically blessed, but as a female character I *couldn’t*.
I remember bringing in a new character and being told they’d pick me up at the next village, and my background would be randomly rolled for. And do you know what was rolled? Harlot. And then I had to see what KIND of harlot. But, I was assured, this was totally fair. Because I might end up being a pimp, which would mean I was a male character.
But no, I was a wanton wench.
I remember not being ABLE to find a figure for a female warrior who didn’t have her tits, ass, thighs, or all of the above exposed. I remember being shown an editorial in Dragon Magazine where Kim Mohan *admitted* that sexualization in female miniatures was a problem, but claimed the Strength cap wasn’t “something any reasonable person could argue with” … AND didn’t offer any suggestions on how to deal with either issue.
I remember being told that since my magic-user’s level title for the next level was “sorcerer,” and not “sorceress,” and there was NO evidence in the rules of female sorcerers, I could NOT gain that level.
These were the people who TAUGHT me to role-play. And yeah that last argument is stupid, but I had NO WAY of knowing that. I mean there were racial caps for classes, and a Strength cap for gender, so why wouldn’t I accept a gender cap for classes?
Those days sucked. Roleplaying was so great a thrill I wanted to do it anyway. It wasn’t until one of the toads I played with physically assaulted me I left that group, because I was young and impressionable and they had LOTS of evidence that was just How the Game Was Played.
Never, EVER think that HOW a company describes things, presents itself, covers issue of gender and sexual orientation in the rules, and comports itself with customers doesn’t have a MAJOR impact on the culture of people playing the game.
TSR, and then WotC, had a LONG history of showing that women are second-class PCs at best, and mostly exist as sex objects to cling to the thighs of Conan-like heroes. Played by Boys. Gary Gygaz once said that women’s Brains are “Wired Differently,” and that’s why they just aren’t interested in rpgs. Of course that attitude impacted how woman were portrayed, and thus how a lot of players and DMs played.
It’s NOT that “All Cheesecake is Bad.” I’m not claiming you can’t have sexy character and nods to pulp – you just have to have them for both genders, and you have to have more than that. You have to show a RANGE of characters, male and female, spellcaster and warrior, preferable in every product but absolutely in the core rules.
Paizo and Pathfinder do a MUCH better job of that than anything WotC did before 5e (and 5e is too new to fairly judge either way). And so yeah, it is NO surprise to me when I can have fun with every Pathfinder group I ever meet, and get inappropriately harassed by about a third of the MTG and D&D groups I encounter.
So yeah, this stuff matters. It has ALWAYS mattered. And we NEED it in order to allow EVERYONE to “all have fun.”
Reviewers/critics/mean anonymous commenter might never ever compare my music to a mans because I am not a man. There is a sort of unnecessary aggression when you compare two musicians who are women (at least in my observations).
I remember when Chelsea Wolfe and Zola Jesus were in similar places…
It took me a long time to understand what these songs were about.
At first I had an image in my mind of an empty room. A room left to its own devices. Maybe just for a moment, maybe for decades, maybe several lifetimes. The still air slowly drifting motes of dust from one corner to another. Sunlight and the moonlight sliding across the walls and the floor. Objects settling, sighing as they slowly dissolve. Rooms full of automation that still ran, its purpose lost.
When asked what he had learned in all that time alone, he replied “Get enough sleep.” Then:
“’What I miss most,’ he eventually continued, ‘is somewhere between quiet and solitude. What I miss most is stillness…I’d stretch out in the water, float on my back, and look at the stars.’”
And there it was. That’s what these recordings were. The stillness. Whether it’s thirty years of it or just the world pausing for a breath for a couple minutes, that’s what I was looking to capture.
It happens to me often, if not often enough. A still moment. Where I live, when it gets very cold (much colder than the winters our hermit friend managed to endure), this is easy to experience. Sometimes, after the temperature nears more-or-less absolute zero for the twelfth day in a row and you step out into that cold, you can imagine atoms sluggishly clinking together. But there are also summer nights when frog-talk is the only sound, or the wind turns the tall trees into a white noise generator. One can try to hold on to these moments of stillness, but they always pass.
These songs are meant to be…not background music exactly. But something to change the environment around the listener. A sort of sideways transportation to artificially slow time, just as those moments of stillness are ultimately artificial. These songs are not meant to capture those moments, but to instead provide a space for those moments to be captured.
The full “album” is 12 hours long and will be available soon at zacbentz.bandcamp.com
This is an ambient / haunted music podcast curated by Warren Ellis. It’s me little hobby, innit.
@warrenellis / email@example.com
Please tell other people about this podcast for sleepy people if you like it. Since I turned warrenellis.com into a static site, I suspect a large amount of the previous listenership lost track of the podcast. You are the hallowed few.
We are #SPEKTRMODULE on the Twitters and the Tumbles. Know us by our hashtag and our grim cobwebbiness.
“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson (via wilwheaton)
For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine, creeping into homes, and surviving on what he could steal. He became a legend. Then one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest. His name was Christopher Knight
This story is fascinating to me on so many levels.
1. From 1986-2013, he had almost zero human contact. In that time span, he spoke a single word to a human being. Astounding. I speak for a living. I can’t imagine just letting that part of my brain atrophy. I take human interaction for granted. Turns out, when it’s not a part of your life for many many years, you forget how to do it.
2. The survivalist instincts, especially in the winter are baffling. I grew up in Wisconsin, and the cold is something with which you don’t fool around. He lived in it every winter for almost 30 years. I could see maybe a night or two of it. Not a lifetime.
3. This man has not experienced the internet in any form. He’s like an unfrozen 80’s man. Large portions of human history have passed him by. I wonder if he knew about the Clinton administration, or 9/11 or ANYTHING at all. Sure, he was stealing reading materials, but I wonder if you really care about current events when your two main foci are concealment and survival.
4. No one ever found his lair. I guess not many people were looking for him, but still- how does someone live for so long in the same place without someone stumbling upon his camp? His careful plotting and planning were flawless for so very long.
"This new discovery could be one of the oldest evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, and it certainly brings to mind the famous colony of ”Vinland” mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas. This mythical colony would have been established by Leif Ericson around the same period as the settlement at l’Anse aux Meadows, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most famous site of a Norse or Viking settlement in North America outside Greenland."