Pinned Post: Looking at My Stats and Revisiting My #RPG #Copyright Posts

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The quarantine has me doing a bit of blogging lately, which means I’m also looking at my stats. With respect to my posts regarding copyright and RPGs:

The posts are broken into two separate issues. Part 1 and part 2 are about the copyrightability of RPG stat blocks, and part 3 (not relevant here) is about the OGL. As to the first issue, to date, part 1 represents ~30% of text by page count and has 17,037 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 17,667 hits), whereas part 2 (70%) has only 704 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 802 hits). Moreover, part 1 spends much of its text on going over basic copyright principles that don’t represent the actual argument. It’s clear by the stats and the basis of the criticism itself (often peppered with personal insults) that the vast majority of (non-lawyer) criticism I’ve received is from people that have read only 30% (at most) of that argument. I know it’s long, convoluted, and at times poorly written (mostly because it targets two very different audiences); and you’re under no obligation to read it (or even care about it). However, it’s all connected, and if you’re going to criticize it, you should probably understand it first.

Or not. Free speech and all that.

Endnotes:

  • Part 3 has only 703 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 849 hits), which is surprising. I thought it would be the most read post.
  • Part 3.5 provides necessary clarification and correction to Part 3.
  • Part 4 answers frequently ask questions and addresses frequently raised issues.
  • Over on a lawyers-only subreddit, the attorneys seemed to want to discuss only my side note on patentability of the Shadow of the Demon Lord initiative system. I guess it’s great that they all agree that my argument is trivially correct, but Rob Schwalb has seriously hijacked my glory. I let him have it when I saw him last February.
  • Stat blocks can be found for the
    • Monster Manual are here.
    • Volo’s Guide to Monsters are here.
    • Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes are here.
    • Dragon Heist are here.
    • Dungeon of the Mad Mage are here.
    • Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica are here.
    • Ghosts of Saltmarsh are here.
    • Tomb of Annihilation are here.
    • Tales of the Yawning Portal are here.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Christine McVie’s Songwriting Credits Ranked (by Me) #ChristineMcVie #music #FleetwoodMac #RIP @StevieNicks @LBuckingham @MickFleetwood

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The world lost a special songwriting talent when Christine McVie died on November 30, 2022. Below is a list of every songwriting credit I can find for her (co-writers, if any, are in parentheses). After the list, I provide my ten favorite songs of her. Some of my links are to their songs I first heard on their Live album.

Chicken Shack

Who came up with that name?

40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve (1968): When the Train Comes Back, You Ain’t No Good
O.K. Ken?: Get Like You Used to Be (Stan Webb), A Woman Is the Blues (Stan Webb)

Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey seems preoccupied.

Future Games (1971): Morning Rain, Show Me a Smile, What a Shame
Bare Trees (1972): Homeward Bound, Spare Me a Little of Your Love
Penguin (1973): Remember Me, Dissatisfied, Did You Ever Love Me
Mystery to Me (1973): Believe Me, Just Crazy Love, The Way I Feel, Why
Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974): Heroes Are Hard to Find, Come a Little Bit Closer, Bad Loser, Prove Your Love
Fleetwood Mac (1975): Warm Ways, Over My Head, Say You Love Me, World Turning (Buckingham), Sugar Daddy
Rumors (1977): Don’t Stop, Songbird, The Chain (per curiam, so to speak), You Make Loving Fun, Oh Daddy
Tusk (1979): Over & Over, Think About Me, Brown Eyes, Never Make Me Cry, Honey Hi, Never Forget
Live (1980): One More Night
Mirage (1982): Love in Store (Jim Recor), Only Over You, Hold Me, Wish You Were Here
Tango in the Night (1987): Everywhere, Mystified (Buckingham), Little Lies, Isn’t It Midnight (Eddy Quintela, Buckingham), You and I, Part II
Behind the Mask (1990): Skies the Limit (Eddy Quintela), Do You Know (Billy Burnette), Save Me (Eddy Quintela), Behind the Mask
Time (1995): Hollywood [Some Other Kind of Town] (Eddy Quintela), I Do (Eddy Quintela), Sooner or Later (Eddy Quintela), Nights in Estoril (Eddy Quintela), All Over Again (Eddy Quintela)

Solo Albums

🖤😥

Christine Perfect (1970): Let Me Go [Leave Me Alone], Wait and See, Close to Me (Richard Hayward), No Road is the Right Road, For You
Christine McVie (1984): Love Will Show Us How (Todd Sharp), The Challenge (Todd Sharp), So Excited (Todd Sharp, Billy Burnette), One in a Million (Todd Sharp), Ask Anybody (Steve Winwood), Got a Hold on Me (Todd Sharp), The Smile I Live For
In the Meantime (2004): Friend (Dan Perfect, George Hawkins, Robbie Patton), You Are, Bad Journey (Dan Perfect), Anything is Possible (Dan Perfect, George Hawkins), Calumny, So Sincere (Dan Perfect), Easy Come Easy Go (Eddy Quintela), Liar (Dan Perfect, George Hawkins), Sweet Revenge (Dan Perfect), Forgiveness (Dan Perfect), Givin’ It Back (George Hawkins, Billy Burnette)
Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie (2017): Feel About You (Buckingham), Red Sun (Buckingham), Too Far Gone (Buckingham), Game of Pretend, Carnival Begin

Does anyone else find it funny that Sweet Revenge and Forgiveness are found in succession on her In the Meantime album? Anyhoo . . . .

Top Ten List

I’m a Fleetwood Mac nut. That said, I like to say that I was raised on Rumors, so my bias is clearly for the classic line up of Buckingham, Fleetwood, McVie x2, and Nicks. Rumors was the first album my brother owned, and Live was the first album I owned, so I listened to them both incessantly. They’re both remarkably important to me, and yet none of Christine’s songs off of Rumors made it into my top five. Go figure.

The Chain is not on this list because Christine’s songwriting credit is diluted by the fact that everyone in the band has a songwriting credit to it. But that’s a damn fine song too, and I was thrilled that it got so much screen time in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

#10. Only Over You

I received Mirage on vinyl for Christmas in 1982. This song starts off with a lyric that was downright jarring, so I skipped the song every time I was listening to the album. After a month or two, I let the album play nonstop and heard the whole thing. That’s a month without this song I’ll never get back. That specific lyric, which is repeated in every chorus, still has a bit of that jarring effect on me, but the bridge more than makes up for it.

#9. Love Will Show Us How

This is Christine’s only song from her solo career that makes this list, but not her only non-Fleetwood Mac song to do so (see #5). Definitely an 80s song, and definitely an 80s video. I turned 12 in 1980 and 21 in 1989, so you can imagine why this is right up my alley. The video seems to capture Christine’s style in a different, non-big-hair way. She wasn’t flamboyant but rather stood on the strength of her music. This worked far better in the context of a band than as a solo artist, which is why Lindsey and (especially) Stevie had stronger solo careers. Still, that foundation of great songwriting is something you shouldn’t miss. Click through a few of the links on this post and give her a listen.

#8. You Make Loving Fun

As I mentioned above, you’d think all of Christine’s songs from Rumors would make this list, and yet this is the only one. It’ll probably be even more surprising in light of the fact that, when I first heard Rumors, You Make Loving Fun became my favorite song by any artist. I could always listen to it at home, but when I was old enough to, for example, go to roller-skating rinks (it was the late-70s, early-80s, kids), I’d always request it from the DJs. If I was in a restaurant with a juke box, I’d give my last quarter to play it. Yet over time, the song fell further down the list of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, and even on my list of Christine-written songs. Still, if you look at only Christine’s songs, it makes the top ten. How could it not?

#7. Little Lies

When the average person (i.e., non-Fleetwood Mac maniac, assuming any such person exists) thinks of Tango in the Night, they probably think of four songs (whether by name or by melody): Big Love, Seven Wonders, Everywhere, and Little Lies. Big Love and Everywhere are hard to forget considering that they were given new life to new, younger audiences by appearing on The Dance. But it’s interesting to note that of those four songs, Christine wrote two of them without a co-writer. Obviously, everyone in the band contributes at least a little to each song — I love the Mick Fleetwood’s drum part in Little Lies — but Christine deserves the credit for giving them such a solid foundation.

#6. Say You Love Me

With Monday Morning, Say You Love Me started off the Live album with a one-two punch. Before I won this album as a door prize at a middle school dance, I had never heard Monday Morning, and more importantly I never appreciated live recordings. I thought they were rough and scrappy, and I was right. I just didn’t realize how awesome that was. Not only does it showcase how talented professional musicians are by being able to stay in tune and in beat with each other without the comforts of studio do-overs, but it also allowed them to riff a bit (see the guitar intro to Monday Morning) and switch up the dynamics of a song (see the intro to Say You Love Me). Live got me into that, and I couldn’t tell you how many times in a row I listened to the live rendition of Say You Love Me.

#5. Red Sun

This is from Christine’s 2017 collaboration with Lindsey Buckingham, which flew far too far under the radar. I assure you that this is no token choice just to make sure this wonderful album is represented on the list. I really love how this song drives despite being relatively mellow, and the harmonies are as brilliant as you would expect from members of Fleetwood Mac.

#4. Sugar Daddy

Perhaps unsurprisingly, what I love most about this song is the keyboard part, which often improved songs by other songwriters, sometimes providing the final touch to put it over the edge towards greatness (e.g., Gypsy). It’s also a perverse twist on love songs. You have to appreciate that.

#3. Everywhere

I’m glad Chevy is getting everyone on board on this song, even though it’s a shameless play at capturing the glory of the cranberry juice guy. As I discussed in my R.I.P. post, Christine had a way of breaking the tension on albums. She was capable of writing energetic music (see #1 below), but Lindsey and Stevie were mass-producing high-energy songs, especially while their relationship was crumbling. Sometimes you needed something light, and Everywhere was one of those songs that did that. It not only gave you a needed step back while listening to the first side of Tango in the Night, but also when listening to a random mix of Fleetwood Mac music. Their best songs were often heavy, but a random list of their best songs usually included Everywhere.

#2. Think About Me

I imagine this might be a surprise choice, especially so high. The composition is fairly simple, and it has a droning quality to it, at times as much white noise as music. But I always loved this song, and I associate it with getting swept up in the fervor of the Miracle on Ice from 1980 and picking up street hockey. The song was still getting plenty of airtime during that event. I never grew out of my love for this song, and it remains one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs. Music is often about association, right?

#1. Isn’t It Midnight

Other than the aforementioned The Chain, which involved the entire band, Tango in the Night was the one and only Fleetwood Mac album where Christine teamed with Lindsey to write some songs (at least to the extent that a co-songwriting credit was appropriate). It produced this song, which is a driving combination of Christine’s sultry, bluesy voice and Lindsey’s terrifying guitar work. It produced my favorite song among any with a songwriting credit for Christine.

So, there it is. Those are my favorites. If you disagree, that’s great; to each his or her own. But I hope this list has given you an excuse to revisit or discover some of her work. Most of us didn’t know her, so we’re not in true mourning. Instead, we’re in a position to celebrate her legacy. Do so. You won’t regret it.

Yes, Christine, it’s now midnight. Sleep well.

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R.I.P. Christine McVie @StevieNicks @LBuckingham @MickFleetwood @Andrew__McP #music #FleetwoodMac

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I don’t get bothered by many celebrity deaths because I don’t know the people. However, even I experience the sense of mortality that those deaths impose upon us. Christine McVie has died. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, Christine was an important part of one of my two favorite bands. The other is Rush, who lost who lost Neil Peart just under three years ago. Around that time, I googled all the members of those bands for their ages. It painted a grim picture, but despite some scares, everyone held on until this morning. Because I rarely go to concerts, I’ve never seen either band live, so I was excited to see Lindsey Buckingham had a concert scheduled for nearby Tysons Corner, Virginia. Unfortunately, he cancelled the show at the last minute. Stevie Nicks is on tour, but she isn’t scheduled to be anywhere near me. I may never get the chance to see any of them live, but I can live with that. I’m appreciative that as long as I’m still around, I get to hear their music anytime I want.

The fact that Fleetwood Mac stayed together was always a mystery to me. I understand the idea of being professional even in the midst of personal breakups, but the nature of their jobs was such that Lindsey and Stevie were constantly taking shots at each other through their music. Just looking at Rumors for the moment, you have Lindsey telling Stevie that loving her was a mistake because she had no sense of loyalty (Go Your Own Way), leading Stevie to respond that he was the one abandoning her (Dreams). One of my favorite songs of all time (Silver Springs), which almost made the album, and to which I have a mild, personal connection, was even more biting, as its musical composition drove as deeply as the lyrics did. Then you have the entire band coming together to write a song (The Chain) filled with the bitterness that accompanies a failed relationship. Lindsey and Stevie always had to sing these songs with and to each other as if they were just words.

[C]obbled together by Buckingham at a time when certain people in the band weren’t even speaking to each other . . . “[t]he Chain” is a stark reminder that you’re forever tied to the people you love most, even while they’re betraying you. –Jillian Mapes, https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/stevie-nicks-in-33-songs/

As completely fucking brilliant as those songs are, too much of anything can grate on you. Christine provided the counterbalance. Despite being in one of the couples that was splitting at the time of writing those songs, she gave us the needed break from that anguish with the optimism (Don’t Stop) and gave us a sense that she was willing to move on (You Make Loving Fun). Even disregarding the lyrics, her compositions changed the tone at just the right times within the album, and it was just as brilliant as the rest of it.

I could go on with other albums, but I’m sure you get the jist. Instead, consider some music that might be new to you. If you get the chance, take a listen to her unheralded album with Lindsey Buckingham entitled, rather unimaginatively, Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie. It’s a nearly perfect album for Fleetwood Mac fans.

Here are some thoughts on how that one came together.

R.I.P. Christine McVie. Your musical legacy is on solid ground.

A nice tribute.

I know what music I’ll be listening to for the next week.

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My “Masterplan” for 4th Edition D&D (Get It?) @andy_aiken @Luddite_Vic @flashedarling #4e #DnD #RPG #TTRPG

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I recently discovered Masterplan by Andy Aiken, which is campaign planning, management, and execution software for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons (“4e”). You can download it here. Just click on setup.msi and follow the prompts. If you’re not a 4e player, he’s created a similar online only tool for 5th Edition, Dojo, here. But enough about that. This post is about 4e. 🙂

This tool is fantastic, but it’s 4e-based, so adapting it to my 1st Edition game would be too time consuming without much benefit over what I’m doing now. Because I’ll be a player in my upcoming 4e campaign for the foreseeable future, my first step was to create libraries for my my synDCon Dungeon Delves (referred to as “synDClash” for the convention), my divine stat blocks (with corrections) for the Egyptian and Central American pantheons (which occasionally generate interest on my blog), and some other stat blocks I thought were pretty good.

I’ve finished every pre-existing element I planned to input into Masterplan except Monster Manual 3. That’s going to take a while. Because of WordPress restrictions, I can’t upload the library unless I change its extension to an allowed extension. So, for example, I’ve changed Central American Deities.library to Central American Deities.pdf. Likewise, Giant Problems.masterplan was renamed Giant Problems.pdf. You can download everything I’ve done to date using the links below, but you’ll need to change the extension back to .library or .masterplan. Libraries must be placed in your Masterplan/Libraries directory on your hard drive, but projects can go anywhere that’s convenient for you. They aren’t loaded automatically when the software boots up, so the system doesn’t need them to be in a particular place. Adobe Acrobat/Reader can’t read these files, so you won’t be able to view the material until you change that extension and load them into Masterplan. I’ll add more libraries as I create them, so expect hyperlinks to be added to this list. Well, that’s my master plan anyway.

(Now do you get it?)

Libraries (must change extension to .library)

Central American Deities.pdf
Egyptian Deities.pdf
synDCClash Erelhei-Cinlu Rises.pdf (difficult)
synDClash Giant Problems.pdf (easy)
synDClash The Great Metal Dungeon.pdf (difficult)
synDClash The Pit of the Queen.pdf (impossible)
synDClash Return to the Borderlands.pdf (easy)
synDClash The Ruins at Inverness.pdf (medium)
The Three Pieces (a campaign including, among others, characters inspired by the X-Men and Futurama)
Monster Manual 3 (I’m only up to “craud,” so this is going to take a while to complete)

Project Files (must change extension to .masterplan)

Erelhei-Cinlu Rises.pdf
Giant Problems.pdf
Return to the Borderlands.pdf

The Great Metal Dungeon.pdf
The Pit of the Queen.pdf
The Ruins at Inverness.pdf

synDClash Pre-generated Characters (created by @flashedarling)

Cart (Runemind)
Cikatak (Barbarian)
Elaine (Seeker)
Isabella (Hexblade)
Isaiah (Cleric)
Quinn (Mage)
Rakash (Knight)
Sirocco (Scout)
Sly (Psion)
Tyrus (Corrupted Paladin)
Urgar (Warlord)
Xerxes (Shaman)

Player View

I want to point out a great feature that mimics what I’m doing in my 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons game with Roll20. You can run your maps and minis online. If your computer has two monitors, you can hide one from the players, but a “player’s view” appears on the other monitor. This obviates the need for a battle map on your table. This isn’t exactly Earth-shattering to a 2022 audience, but this was implemented over a decade before the COVID pandemic accelerated the need for tools of this nature. As such, this doesn’t facilitate remote play over the internet, but as someone who runs my games in person but places maps on a computer screen, this works really well. It’s better than using Roll20 because it’s all self-contained. I can do this on a single computer within a single software application. With Roll20, I have to bring up a second browser, switch to player view, then always bounce back and forth between the two to make sure what’s on my screen matches what’s on the players’ screen. This isn’t a huge burden, but it’s technically a little more difficult. Masterplan makes it trivial. Of course, you may prefer the battle map to either solution for a game like 4e. Players may want to move their own minis around the board, but from the DM’s perspective, moving multiple minis is a lot easier on the screen than on a battle map.

Bug/Defect Report and Wishlist

I’m just getting started with Masterplan, but with what little I’ve done, I’ve already encountered some consistent defects. First off, some of the issues aren’t defects. The system doesn’t properly calculate suggested attack expressions because those depend on how many targets a power targets, but you often enter things like “one or two creatures in the burst” manually, so there’s no way for the system to calculate the proper attack bonus. For the record, an attack against multiple targets’ ACs suffers a -2 penalty in relation to an attack against one creature’s AC (-1 if the monster is a controller). So, you just have to watch your attack expressions.

That said, initiative isn’t even close to correct. According to page 184 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide (“DMG“), a soldier has an initiative bonus equal to its Dex bonus + 1/2 its level (rounded down) +2 because it’s a soldier. For Quetzacloatl, that’s 8 (27 Dex) + 17 (level 34) + 2 = 27, but Masterplan suggests 21. In some cases, Masterplan is off by as many as 9, but I haven’t yet figured out if there’s a pattern.

Defenses are also off. A soldier’s Fortitude should be 12 + level, which in the case of Quetzacoatl should be 12 + 34 = 46. This is exactly what Masterplan recommends. However, Masterplan doesn’t account for how ability scores change the default calculations. Specifically, each defense relies on the higher of two paired ability scores, which are Str and Con for Fortitude. The average ability score for a monster should be 13 + 1/2 level (rounding down), which is 30 at level 34. In the case of Quetzalcoatl, his Str is 36, and his Con is 30. So, take the higher of the two (Str 36), and compare that to the average (30). Accordingly, Quetzalcoatl has a Str 6 higher than average, so you should add half that (3) to his Fortitude, giving him a Fortitude of 46 + 3 = 49. As I said, Masterplan recommends 46, not 49.

I get that small differences in defenses may not matter too much, especially considering that one’s choice of ability scores is often based on flavor considerations or downright arbitrary. However, as the DMG suggests, sometimes you need to give monsters those bumps for game balance. Moreover, the pairing of ability scores facilitates making, for example, a low-intellect character whose Reflex defense can still be competitive due to a solid Dexterity score. Besides, for whatever reason, I’ve included the bumps, so I wish Masterplan factored in that aspect of the games’ rules.

Some of the math is solid. Hit points are good. Skill bonuses are good. Masterplan doesn’t provide damage expressions, so there’s nothing to check there. Also, I’ve created an Excel spreadsheet that performs all the correct calculations and helps me catch the errors, so where there are systemic issues, they’re easily corrected. If you find anything wrong with my calculations, please let me know, but I think I have it right for monsters. Just to make sure, I created and started populating the missing Monster Manual 3 library, started entering creatures, and found my Excel spreadsheet to match the WotC entries perfectly in most cases (exception: Silverback Ape), while the Masterplan recommendations still suffered from the same math errors. NPCs are treated a little differently than monsters (see DMG, page 186), so those aren’t relevant here.

Masterplan gives you the capability to copy an existing monster and paste it. That sounds like it makes things easier, but I find myself ignoring that feature. If the pasted stat block is of a different level or role (i.e., artillery, brute, etc.), when you adjust either, Masterplan will add miscellaneous bonuses to trained skill bonuses to keep them from changing. You’ll have to go through each one and delete the bonus. Moreover, you’ll inevitably have to change most of the attack expressions anyway, so why not do that from scratch? Still, there are some exceptions where it’s easier to make a copy, so YMMV.

To make a change to a part of stat block (e.g., a power), you open a dialog box, make your changes, then hit OK to save it. It returns you to the main stat block but jumps to the top. I’d rather the position of the view not change so that it returns me to where I need to be to continue making changes.

I’m not permitted to add a trap/hazard to an encounter map even if the trap/hazard has a stat block and is added to the encounter. I’d like to be able to add the trap, but then make it invisible on the “player view” screen.

Notice that the stat block for the sinkhole doesn’t appear in the list to the right of the map. Therefore, it can’t be added.

In the aura dialog box, the tab order for the keywords field is off.

But seriously, this software is amazing. These are nitpicks, and as long as we all help each other identify these problems, we can work with them even if the software is never patched.

Hobgoblins Don’t Work!!! I did a significant amount of testing, and here’s a strange error I discovered. If your monster (or one that comes with the system) has the word, “hobgoblin” in its name, and if the NPC isn’t of a certain level, the software crashes whether you’re creating the stat block or just trying to view it. A hobgoblin of 5th or 6th level seems to work, and bugbears and goblins aren’t affected. I got around the problem by calling my Hobgoblin Warcaster a “Hobo Warcaster” instead. The presence of “hobgoblin” within the powers doesn’t create the problem. I hope Andy has the time and desire to fix this, but I think he moved past this project a long time ago.

Below are the list of monsters that are confirmed to crash the system. You should expect this list to grow as I continued to plow through the program. I’m placing them in a library called “Replacements,” which I’ll eventually provide for you to import.

  • Dungeon Master’s Guide 2: Hobgoblin Legionnaire of Avernus (page 113); Mezzodemon (page 214).
  • Monster Manual: Hobgoblin Grunt (page 138); Hobgoblin Soldier (page 139); Hobgoblins Archer (page 139); Hobgoblin Warcaster (page 140); Hobgoblin Commander (page 140).
  • Dungeon Magazine: Advanced Hobgoblin Warcaster; Nycademon Warmaster (citations unknown).

More Downloads

If you want to complete your 4e downloads with the offline Character Builder, then use one of these three videos for instructions.

I provided three videos because at least one of them didn’t work, and one of them I never tried. I’ve forgotten which is which. However, whatever I installed doesn’t include later material, and it appears there’s a newer version of the CBLoader here. This one may include the missing material, but I have no idea how well it works. Caveat emptor. (It’s free.)

Play what you want.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


Baldr, the Norse Goddess of Light, Joy, Purity, and So Much More #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg #folklore #norse

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As the holiday season continues, I give you yet another god that embodies the season’s spirit. Depending on who you ask, Baldr represented a lot of different things. The only commonality among these interpretations is that he was clearly the most beloved god. Everyone liked him.

Here’s a video on his tragic end.

Don’t feel sad, though. Baldr “returned” when Christianity spread through Scandanavia.

I hope Baldr’s joy reaches you during this holiday season.

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Caltrops #DnD #ADnD #RPG #TTRPG #SatanicPanic

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s a bit of history. Not a lot of people know this about 1st Edition D&D.

Who knew playing D&D required a concealed carry permit?

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to, nor endorsed, the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Happy Thanksgiving, Nerds! #Thanksgiving #DnD #TTRPG #RPG #StarTrek #TNG @BrainClouds

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A few years ago, David posted this stat block, which he recirculated recently.

Oddly, he received criticism for the stat block along the lines of, among other things, “wild turkeys can’t fly!” This is a stupid criticism because 1) dire turkeys are works of fiction in which magic may be involved, so they can be whatever the creator wants; and 2) even if you disregard #1, regardless of its biological cousins, even birds as large as an ostriches or cassowaries can’t fly because their just too damn big. Personally, I think my response (on Facebook) was the best he received.

If only Mr. Carlson had had access to this stat block in 1978….

But what would the holidays be without a little Star Trek thrown in?

It wouldn’t be a holiday at all, that’s what!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Online Petition to Complete and Release Cancelled 4th Edition D&D Books #DnD #4e #RPG #TTRPG @MarkMeredith

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Last week, I signed an online petition. There’s very little I could do that’s dumber than signing and online petition.

There’s no guarantee that each signature comes from a unique individual. I alone have a seemingly infinite number of email addresses through which I could have voted. In the case of political petitions, there’s no guarantee that the signors are from the relevant jurisdiction, but that’s no relevant here. The petition at issue here is requesting that Wizards of the Coast (“WotC”) complete and release four cancelled books from the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons (“4e“) era: Player’s Handbook Races: Humans, Gazetteer: The Nentir Vale, Player’s Option: Champions of the Heroic Tier, and Class Compendium: Heroes of Sword and Spell.

Don’t Hold Your Breath

We have no idea how many people actually want that, but that number has to be far too small to justify a release of books. Also of note, even if we know Fred Snerd signed the petition, how many of those books would he buy? These aren’t core sourcebooks; they’re supplements. Supplements never sell as well as sourcebooks because only the core sourcebooks are necessary for the game. Supplements don’t necessarily appeal to everyone that plays. If Fred never plays humans, he’s not going to buy Player’s Handbook Races: Humans.

Besides, the timing couldn’t be worse. Earlier this month, WotC removed the last remaining 4e content they had from their site. I think the remaining material was their Dragon and Dungeon magazines archive. There’s simply no way they’re going to reverse course so quickly. You can still buy existing content via the DMs Guild, so the material is out there. Hell, I recently bought a ton of 1st Edition material, and I now having everything that was every lost, stolen, or destroyed. It’s a bit much to expect WotC to create new content for that edition. The legacy communities have to rely on each other to create and publish material for those editions. Of course, that’s made difficult by the fact that WotC legal have stifled such creativity with horrible mischaracterizations of intellectual property law, but do you really want me beating that dead horse again?

I love 4e and am currently in discussions to host a new campaign, but WotC has moved on, they have no reason to complete new material for it, and they have no reason to believe it would be worth their while financially speaking.

But it felt damn good signing that petition. I can’t wait to play again.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)