I Figured out Mastodon #Mastodon #SocialMedia #tech

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A few days ago, I complained about how clunky Mastodon was. I stand by that. However, I managed to figure it out. So, let me tell you some things that, for some ridiculous reason, no one else seems willing to tell you.

First, if you go to Mastodon.com, you’re screwed. It won’t work. So, how do you do it? The best way to get on Mastodon is to know what server you want to join. In my case, I went with https://chirp.enworld.org/web/home. Another popular one for nerds is https://dice.camp/explore. I applied for membership 🙄, which was accepted. Mastadon.social appears to be the baseline, as a few celebrities are on there, but it doesn’t allow signups for some reason (maybe it’s just me). However, I learned that you don’t have to be on a server to follow someone on another server. As long as you see them appear in your server through a re-toot (yeah, their “tweets” were called “toots,” but now they’re called “posts”), you can follow them. I’m not sure how that works, but it does, so there you go.

Now, if I wanted to join a server that’s dedicated to sports, I wouldn’t know where to start. Someone had to give me the name of a server for me to find it. Again, going to Mastodon.com doesn’t help. You just have to know the URL of the server to find it, but for all I know, no such server exists. How could I possible find it?

I’m sure it can be done, but Mastodon is horribly clunky, so it’ll be a slow burn to get there. It’ll also take a while to get followers. To do so, I think I need to pepper my followers on other social media outlets to do so. In other words, the only way to even get on Mastodon in the first place, then to make it work for you, is to use other social media sites. Not a good business plan. Note, however, that there’s a setting in your profile that allows you to be found and promoted based on other members’ searches. It’s off by default, so I imagine you’ll want to turn it on.

So, join whatever server you want, then migrate to my profile and follow me. I’m at https://chirp.enworld.org/web/@gsllc and https://dice.camp/web/@gsllc. I believe these can also be found by searching for gsllc@chirp.enworld.org or gsllc@dice.camp once you’re in Mastodon.

Follow me!

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Bodine’s Law of the Internet #science #internet

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My annoyance with the legal department at Wizards of the Coast led me to create a new law of the internet. You all know Godwin’s Law:

As an online discussion grows longer (regardless of topic or scope), the probability of a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches 1.

Put another way, if an internet argument goes long enough, someone’s going to call someone else a Nazi. Then, there’s Poe’s Law:

Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, every parody of extreme views can be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied.

In other words, you can’t tell the difference between an idiot and a comedian unless they’re a comedian and they ruin their joke by explaining it. Well, Poe’s Law inspired the text of my own law, which unsurprisingly I call Bodine’s Law:

Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, an arrogant author’s exploitation of another’s ignorance can be mistaken by some readers for a sincere, ignorant/incompetent expression of the views being expressed.

In other words, arrogant authors, thinking their dishonesty will never be exposed, tend to take advantage of the ignorance of others by knowingly making ignorant or incompetent statements, but if you understand the topic, you won’t know if the authors are actually ignorant themselves. The arrogant authors generally rely on an argument from authority, but not necessarily, so I think this rule is useful to keep in mind.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc


The Little Guy #traffic #travel #psychology

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A while back, a Reddit post from three years ago began circulating again. It referenced that when the poster, and apparently everyone else, were little, they imagined a little guy that ran along fences, power lines, etc. while on a road trip. I did so as well, but my guy did something else that neither the tweet, nor the replies, discussed. My guy was a risk taker.

Passing Zones

On a long road, in addition to zones where no one may pass, lane dividers will occasionally create three zones in succession: 1.) one where only one side can pass, 2.) another where both sides can pass, and 3.) a third where only the other side can pass. In case it isn’t clear, I’ve edited an image I found to describe what I’m talking about, which I’m sure you’ve all encounters.

I’ve never seen lane dividing lines printed this way.

I’ve ridden across the country on many occasions and never seen the three zones painted in this order. I’ve always seen them in the order I presented them — 1, 2, then 3 — with no interrupting “nobody gets to pass” zone. YMMV, I guess, but my little guy always had to deal with them in this order.

My Little Guy’s Game

This is the additional game my little guy had to play. Like a passing car, he couldn’t switch lanes unless he had dashed lines. He’d switch from my lane to the other lane when he had the dashed lines on my side, then see how long he could last before switching back to my lane. The goal, as you might expect, was to make it all the way to the third passing zone, switching back to my lane at the last possible moment. However, if he got caught in the other lane because he couldn’t even make it to the second zone, he was killed. I also recall several instances where he’d bounce back and forth between lanes in the second zone. That was perfectly legal under the rules of the game.

My decision of when to move him over was dependent on how heavy traffic was and visibility. I had many instances where his ability to last was disappointing but remember only a couple where he died. Whenever that happened, I shivered.

Are any of you this crazy?

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I Don’t Have Time to Get Mastodon to Work #Mastodon #SocialMedia #tech

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Many of my contacts are flocking to Mastodon, so I decided I’d give it a try. That was a waste of time, and I’ll waste no more time on it.

First, let’s discuss what it is to the extent of my understanding.

Which ain’t much.

Mastodon is a group of servers each acting as its own Twitter. You can create your own server with your own rules, which can cover content or speech moderation. In other words, you can say, “No naughty language,” or “This server is for discussing race cars and nothing else.”

So, I decided to create a login. The first thing it asked me is what kind of server I wanted to join. This is similar to what Twitter does (i.e., asking your interests), but in the case of Mastodon, it’s non-optional. You have to pick one. The choices I was given were about 10 in number. If I attempted to search for others, it would search from among those 10 options. I sighed and picked the one that was closest to what I was interested in, then hit “Next.”

Here, I tried to create my account. No matter what I chose as a username or how I modified my password, I received a “forbidden” message. I went to Google to see if I could find answers (Mastodon help is useless) and found this tweet and an interesting reply.

Image pasted below in case the tweets are later deleted.

I can’t find anything backing up the reply’s claim, but I did find several other complaints posted over the past week (among other issues), so it’s not just me. No matter how idiotically I’m behaving, if your system isn’t idiot proof, it’s not going to be popular.

But I’m no idiot, which is why I’ve stopped trying.

EDIT: It turns out that I am an idiot. I kept trying and succeeded.

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Playback Speed Controls #media #streaming #Netflix #Hulu #Paramout #Disney

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Google chrome is my browser of choice, and it has several plug-ins that allow you to control the playback speed of certain streaming services, which are Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu for me. Netflix requires no such plug-in because it has the feature built into its platform. Apple TV is my only platform that doesn’t have an associated Chrome plug-in, though I get the impression that, like Netflix, its proprietary streaming software includes it. I wouldn’t know because I’m a PC guy. MACs are for people that to use computers without knowing how to use computers.

PC users are so cool.

Enough insults. My observation is that the speed at which TV shows and movies are presented is too slow for me. I often use 1.25x speed when watching a show even if I’m not in a hurry to get through it (though sometimes I bump it to 1.5x). My mind wanders if I watch them at normal speeds, and there are some shows that I would never have finished if it weren’t for being able to watch them at a higher speed. Maybe I have undiagnosed ADD. I don’t know. I’m not going to diagnose myself.

I don’t have this problem with my Paramount+ shows, which right now are Star Trek: Lower Decks and the new Beavis and Butthead. I have no idea if there’s a plug-in for Paramount+ because I have yet to need one. I also haven’t had the need to use the plug-in for Disney+. I’ve watched all the MCU and Star Wars series that have come out and not once noticed a problem with their pace. Maybe those shows are just better written. Or maybe I’m weird (maybe?!), and these plug-ins exist because people’s time to watch shows are limited.

Could be both.

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Forms of Intelligence #science #biology #intelligence

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An internet rabbit hole led me to an article on the nine types of intelligence: naturalistic, musical, logical/mathematical, existential, interpersonal, linguistic, bodily/kinaesthetic, intrapersonal, and spatial. Some other articles claim only eight, leaving out existential intelligence, while another claimed there are twelve, adding emotional, creative, and collaborative intelligence. I bet if I search long enough, I could find articles claiming anywhere between eight and twenty forms of intelligence – I seem to remember hearing a claim of 27 once – but I don’t want to work too hard at this. It doesn’t matter which model I use because I’m not addressing all forms in this post.

This will be nowhere near as important as an evaluation of me by others, but it seems like an appropriate post to follow the debacle that was Inktober. Here it goes.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

“An understanding of oneself and the human condition as a whole.”

“Sensitivity to one’s own feelings, goals and anxieties, and the capacity to plan and act in light of one’s own traits.”

I think I have exceptionally high intrapersonal intelligence. This should surprise no one considering the existence of this post. I’m brutally honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly. Anyone involved in competition develops skills in this area regardless of whether their intrapersonal IQ is high. Part (not all) of winning a fight is evaluating your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, comparing them to your own, and then making the fight a contest relying on the things you do better than that opponent. Over my life, competition has taken the form of martial arts and lawyering, both of which involve “fights.”

This is an intelligence I use often, as it can span areas that we’d generally associate with other forms of intellect. For example, I’ve trained in martial arts since I was 14, but I wouldn’t say my bodily/kinaesthetic IQ is particularly high. And then there’s . . .

Musical Intelligence

“People with musical intelligence are generally more sensitive to sound and often pick up on noises that others would not normally be aware of. They have an excellent sense of rhythm and the ability to recognize tone and pitch.”

“Sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody and timbre.”

If I could have a higher intelligence in any of these forms, it would be musical intelligence. I played alto saxophone from 4th to 11th grade, moving onto guitar and (electric) base immediately after that. I dabbled on the keyboard every now and then since my undergraduate days and the University of Maryland (Go Terps!!!), and the keyboard my current focus. Beyond the saxophone, however, I’m entirely self-taught, and it shows in the terrible habits I developed on guitar and keyboard.

Despite my bad habits, I’m still “musical.” My musicianship is an example of how practice, persistence, and knowledge can overcome raw intellect. My knowledge of music theory is far above average, though there’s still a lot more to understand.

I’m looking at you, jazz.

I’ve used that knowledge to make myself better, but obviously Eddie Van Halen, who couldn’t read sheet music, was a better musician in his sleep than I was on my best day. Raw musical intellect served him far better than my study of music theory served me. I, on the other hand, can’t learn by ear; I need that sheet music. But that’s okay. Music has never been more than a hobby to me, so I can live with that. I just think anyone in earshot, as well as I, would appreciate me having a higher musical IQ, and not being high on that scale would always have held me back from a career. A career would otherwise have still been in play in my retirement.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence

“People with this type of intelligence are excellent at maths and working with numbers. They can recognise patterns easily and work out processes in a logical manner. They have excellent reasoning skills and can often talk themselves out of trouble. People with high logical–mathematical intelligence are often drawn to games involving strategy and the solving of puzzles.”

“The ability to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations and investigate issues scientifically.”

This is easily my highest form or intellect – I’ve forgotten forms of math that many people don’t know exist – but one I don’t use to any appreciable degree. When I was 15, I knew what I wanted to do for a living: Combining science and math with the law through the practice of patent law. Unfortunately, my experiences at a large law firm soured me to the practice of patent law. There’s nothing wrong with it; there’s just something wrong with that firm and the people who ran it. I can’t help but stay sharp in these areas, but patent law specifically gives me the shakes. It’s a behavioral thing, similar to a phobia but not nearly that bad. I associate anything patent related with a feeling of dread springing from how terrible my experiences were. I have little patience for people stupidly putting me through hell for no reason other than, “That’s just how we’ve always done it.” I’ve worked with both copyrights and trademarks professionally since leaving that firm, so this is specific to patents. It’s a shame. There’s serious money to be had there, and I have the background for it (i.e., a physics degree).

Interpersonal Intelligence

“People with this type of intelligence are often good at reading verbal and non-verbal cues as well as determining temperament and mood.”

“The ability to interact effectively with others. Sensitivity to other people’s moods, feelings, temperaments, and motivations.”

This is by far my lowest form of intelligence. I fully understand that humans are just apes flinging pooh, but that doesn’t mean I can predict your behavior. This comes from the fact that my childhood was rough, and in particular I was discouraged, and sometimes denied, close relationships that threatened my nuclear family’s control over me. As a result, I never developed a lot of the basic relationship skills that most of you take for granted. Being an attorney taught me to deal with people in some sense, but more in a ritualistic than intuitive way. Combined with a lack of interpersonal IQ, and viola! I’m middle-aged and have never been married despite that always being important to me.

Linguistic Intelligence

“People with high linguistic intelligence are very good at putting their feelings and thoughts into words in order to make others understand them.”

“[S]ensitivity to the meaning of words, the order among words, and the sound, rhythms, inflections and meter of words.”

As an attorney, this is the intelligence I use the most, but it’s exceptionally hard to evaluate myself in this regard. I have no sense of how high my linguistic IQ is. For example, I can write a mean legal brief, but I wouldn’t know how to start to write a work of fiction meant to entertain.

I would start every novel with this line just to spite all of you.

I think this fact reared its ugly head with my most viewed blog posts. Those posts were written for two different audiences, and I had a lot of trouble navigating between the two styles of writing. It negatively affected my clinical writing while doing little to grab people that don’t think that way. Perhaps my linguistic IQ is low, and I’m relying on other forms of intellect to compensate. Perhaps my linguistic IQ is high, and I would be an excellent creative writer if I put my mind to it and broke habits that make me a good technical writer. I certainly have an idea for characters that could be the basis of a series of novels, but I doubt I’ll ever even try to put that to paper. I may never know if I’m capable of it.

Existential Intelligence

“[P]eople with high levels of existential intelligence often think more deeply about daily occurrences.”

While I’m not sure what my existential IQ is, this definition certainly applies to me. A high existential IQ could be what I’m relying on to be a good lawyer. I have a passion for constitutional law, and there’s nothing concrete about that. That’s all philosophical. The average person’s inability to understand why the Supreme Court does what it does is often grounded in a misunderstanding of the nature of constitutional law itself. I’ve read (or re-read) easily over 1,000 pages of Supreme Court text within the past couple months. Here’s just a few: Apodaca v. Oregon, Edwards v. Vannoy, Ramos v. Louisiana, Johnson v. Louisiana, Carson v. Macon, Espinoza v. Montana, Kennedy v. Bremerton, Dobbs v. Jackson, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Roe v. Wade, Citizen’s United v. FEC, Google v. Oracle, Craig v. Boren, Clark v. Jeter, United States v. Virginia (VMI case), Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, Reed v. Reed, Romer v. Evans, Fourth Estate v. WallStreet.com, Loving v. Virginia, Matal v. Tam, Miller v. California, Paris Adult Theater v. Slaton, Walker v. SCV, McDonald v. Chicago, and District of Columbia v. Heller. Of all these cases, I’m willing to discuss only Google v. Oracle with people, and even that could get me in trouble. I don’t need the headaches you give me, but I do love reading landmark cases and those tangentially associated with them.

Collaborative Intelligence

“In the organizational and social media environment, has emerged a new type of intelligence that refers to the ability to work as a team to achieve a common goal.”

This is one of the additional 3 forms of intelligence, and I’m not sure what to make of it. First, collaboration precedes social media by millennia. Seriously, cave men collaborated to take down dinner. It’s who we are. This actually seems like a hybrid between interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. It combines your ability to work with others (interpersonal) with knowing where to place yourself within the team to maximize everyone’s strengths and minimize everyone’s weaknesses (intrapersonal). Oddly enough, despite my low interpersonal IQ, my high intrapersonal IQ always leads me to seek out a team to accomplish a goal. When I do so, I suggest placing people exactly where they belong without any consideration for how their placement insults them. 🙂 This is probably why I greatly prefer collaborative board games (e.g., Pandemic, Wizards of the Coast’s games based on the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons engine) to competitive ones).

I have nothing to say about the other forms of intelligence. Maybe I’d make the best gardener in the world, but I simply don’t care if I can grow tomatoes. And reading maps is far less important to me now that I have Google Maps to do it. I’m happy in my job, and if I weren’t, I’d probably go back to software engineering. I doubt I’ll ever “live with the chimps.”

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc

Your US Level (Whatever That Means) #home #geography #USA

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A couple of weeks ago, a website tool started circulating social media. It produces a map of where you’ve lived, where you’ve stayed, where you’ve visited, etc. You can read the legend.

The question everyone asks is, “What’s the difference between stayed here and visited here?” My answer is that stayed here requires an overnight stay, whereas visited here requires that you went there to visit a particular place for the day, then returned home at the end of the day/evening. For example, I went to Wisconsin twice: Once for a day of paintball, and the second time to visit Lake Geneva, home of Dungeons & Dragons. When I was finished, I went home to Chicago. Likewise, I attended a bull riding competition in La Cruces, NM while visiting El Paso. Once the event was over, I went back to El Paso. The bull riding event was more entertaining than I expected, but there was an aspect to it that was even more interesting. That’s a story for another day.

For the record, stopped here means I stopped to use a rest area or eat, and passed here means I drove through without stopping. In no event am I including layovers at airports or flyovers on a commercial flight from one place to another. Otherwise, I could say that I passed here with one of the Dakotas, Wyoming and/or Montana, and Idaho when I flew between Minneapolis and Seattle. I don’t think that should add to my score.

I seem to have a higher score than most of my social media contacts, but the highest I’ve seen is 191. That guy’s been everywhere. My mission remains to stay (here) at the four purple places.

And for the record. . . .

Someone on Facebook asked me, “Why Germany but not Austria?” For the most part, I have no touristy reason for picking one country over the other. I’ve never been overseas. In fact, I’ve never been outside the continental United States except for Juarez (twice), Montreal, and Vancouver. My family tree has four distinct branches: German, Irish, Italian, and Scottish. All but the Italian portion has a nonnegligible amount of Dutch in it. Hence, I chose those five countries. I added Iceland because I hear it’s incredible.

What’s your score?

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Dumb Watch: Dark on @Netflix #netflix #GoodWatch

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The next time some website says, “This is the best show on Netflix that no one is watching,” I’m going to assume there’s a good reason no one is watching it, and I’m not going to watch it. Last week, I learned that lesson the hard way. Dark (2017) was dumb. It tried to be smart, but failed miserably.

The show centers on a science fiction premise, and I understand that science, law, medicine, etc. always come in a distant second to drama. House M.D. was not medically accurate but still a good show. Armageddon was not good science, but I enjoyed it for the action movie it was. Even shows about the law don’t bug me; I just laugh it off. I’m cool with all that. That said, you shouldn’t throw around catch phrases like “the God particle” without any grounding in what they actually are. The end relies on a trope I see as a great big cheat, but I won’t link to prior posts on the subject. That would be a spoiler for those brave and patient enough to watch this.

A larger issue is that the dialogue is just terrible. I understand that something may be lost in the translation from German to English, and if that’s all it is, fine. It still sucks. But I don’t think that’s what it is. It seems that every other line is someone asking, “What are you saying?” They don’t even change up the wording, such as, “What are you talking about?” It’s always, “What are you saying?” Over and over and over again. It never seems to stop.

The second dialogue-related issue is that people never answer questions. The first person will say, “What’s going on?” or something like that, and the second person will respond, “I have to leave now.” On multiple occasions, this conversation occurs even though the second person just arrived at the location in order to have the conversation. They’re there for the sole purpose of communicating a message, and then they refuse to do so. Again, this happens over and over again. It’s maddening.

The acting is also, for the most part, intolerable. Yelling at people and long, awkward pauses don’t create drama. They must be justified by drama the script has already created. These writers don’t seem to get that. Regarding the awkward pauses, it was yet another way characters avoided answering questions. A lot of time was devoted to one person staring at the other while getting yelled at to answer the question or tell them what’s going on. This could much more easily be blamed on the translation or the screenwriters, so I’ll give the actors the benefit of the doubt and assume that’s the cause. It still sucks. The 10-year-old who played the deaf girl was adorable, so it’s got that going for it. Not much else.

Where have I seen such makeup before? Oh yeah! A dumb movie from 1989.

But take all that with a grain of salt. It has great scores on Rotten Tomatoes. My only assumption is that you’ve all lost your minds. (Metacritic doesn’t seem to have an entry.) If you do watch it, just make sure to take note of who’s related to whom and how. Try to remember which kids belong to which parents, and, of course, who is who’s sibling.

Really dumb.

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Follow Netflix @netflix

AD&D Divine Fight Club #ADnD #DnD #RPG #TTRPG #1e

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Today (well, by the time this post is published, yesterday) I asked a question of the nerd hive mind. To summarize, the basic question was this: Has anyone ever conducted combats between the various pantheons from the 1st Edition AD&D (“1e”) Deities & Demigods to see which pantheon was the most powerful?

Some say he’s a god.

Here’s the full post:

I wonder what would happen if we held a combat tournament of the pantheons in the 1st Edition AD&D Deities and Demigods. Who would win? Maybe have a randomly-paired, single elimination tournament leading to a round-robin final four where each battled the other three. That way, the final four at least would minimize the effect of a particularly poor match up for a specific pantheon. Or maybe do it like the soccer World Cup where the round-robin occurs at the beginning of the tournament, and then it’s single elimination from there on out. I don’t like that as much because you couldn’t get a fair sense of who’s really second best. Ideally, it would be far more complicated, but I’d be surprised if anyone would be willing to play all that out (or design software to handle it).

Has anyone here ever done that for even two pantheons? I’m just curious which pantheon would have the last man standing.

EDIT: Another related question is whether the monstrous entities would be involved even if not summoned by a god. If not, the entire Cthulhu mythos and gods for nonhumans might be disqualified. 🙂 There’s certainly have to be some sort of criteria to make the whole thing reasonably fair.

The most colorful response was, “Dude you need to get laid,” to which I responded, “True, but irrelevant.”

This coming from a member of the self-professed “official” 1e group on Facebook. My answer was a serious one, but I should probably say more; hence this post.

Wait a second! He’s just a demigod.

My question springs from a general sentiment in our gaming community, but voiced as well as anyone by the author of the 1e Deities & Demigods, James Ward:

DDG (for short) may resemble MONSTER MANUAL, and in fact does include some monsters. However, the purpose of this book is not to provide adversaries for the players’ characters. The information listed herein is primarily for the Dungeon Master’s use in creating, intensifying, or expanding his or her campaign.

1e Deities & Demigods, page 5.

Yes, there are a lot of quotes in this post.

Anyway, given James’ explanation, he still isn’t giving a good reason as to why there are stat blocks at all. If the PCs aren’t expected to fight them because it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so, then who is? Well, how about the gods fighting each other? It would be an interesting experiment, but without software designed to simulate combats in 1e, that would be a lot of work just to satisfy one’s curiosity.

But it would be cool. I’m curious as to what bias James had in creating these characters. He obviously tried to stay true to the general nature of the gods, and to an admitted lesser extent, their legends.

While DEITIES & DEMIGODS is ideally suited to the task of working deities into an AD&D campaign format, everything has not been covered in the book. In the 6,000-year plus span of this work mankind has spent a lot of that time adding to the myths dealt with herein. We did not try to encompass everything, and it is silly to assume that the five years or so of research that created DEITIES & DEMIGODS could suffice.

1e Deities & Demigods, page 4.

In our research and compilation of this book, we ourselves hove altered many facts, either for reasons of game balance and consistency or because sources conflict. DEITIES & DEMIGODS is not a scholarly work or reference – it is a game accessory.

1e Deities & Demigods, page 5.

The Rules

Of course, even Fight Club has to have rules. Do we include monsters? If so, then doesn’t that completely remove the Cthulhu and nonhuman pantheons? Can’t do that, so maybe there’d be an exception for those two pantheons. We’d also have to assume that the nonhuman gods cooperated, which usually makes no sense, but doesn’t always make sense with gods. I can live with that nonsense; this is all nonsense. Besides, the monsters from other pantheons could still play a role to the extent that the gods would choose to summon them if they have summoning powers, or if those monsters are actually more powerful than gods. Why does the latter matter? (Tee-hee.) Someone pointed out that the Greek pantheon had to win simply because there were so many gods (damn titans always screw up everything). The Norse pantheon is a distant second.

Even this chart is controversial in terms of counts and categorization of heroes v. monsters.

To balance that, we’d want to give each side the same number of combatants, but we’d first have to determine which gods from each pantheon would make the cut. They should be the most powerful among them, so I guess we’d have to first have internal fights for each pantheon.

Ack!

And, of course, if we could somehow develop software to run these simulations, we’d want to run 1,001 simulations for each fight so that we minimize the effects of rolls on either end of the bell curve.

Ack!

It appears that some pantheons have no chance of competing (e.g., Arthurian). For example, the Greek and Norse pantheons lean towards greater gods, so whatever number of gods we assign to fight, they have an advantage. On the other hand, it looks like the Babylonian and Nehwon pantheons cap our gods-only battle at only 8 gods, and because the Egyptian pantheon has seven greater gods, they’re at no disadvantage despite being slightly lesser-god-heavy. In fact, such a hard cap leaves many pantheons relying on greater gods for the most part. Of course, all of this assumes that lesser gods, demigods, and monsters are weaker in combat than greater gods, but I have no idea if this is true. That’s what this experiment would be about.

Puny gods.

The Map

Someone on MeWe raised the issue of terrain. My knee-jerk reaction was a blank battlemap with no terrain, but under the assumption that the lack of terrain shouldn’t restrict the use of any ability or spell that a god has. For example, the web spell should work even thought there aren’t any walls. I’m not asking the question of which pantheon is more powerful in, let’s say, the desert. You just have to handwave a bit of in-game logic to make sure the stat blocks are being tested for something akin to an average level of power across all combinations of obstacles, terrains, and weather.

Further Basis for My Curiosity

Besides the fact that I’ve started running 1e for the first time in decades, there’s another inspiration for the question. As a mythology nut, but also an MCU nut, I really want the MCU to expand on the pantheons. They made a Disney+ series I really wanted to see, Moon Knight, and made the Egyptian Pantheon part of that show. This continued (modestly) in Thor: Love and Thunder, and will continue to some yet-unknown extent in Wakanda Forever. We also got to scratch the surface of eastern mythology and folklore in Shang Chi. Speaking of Wakanda Forever, I was also thrilled to find out that Namor is being played by a Mexican-American so that they can expand on a central American pantheon. (I’ve never read comics, so I don’t give a rat’s ass about canon.) I want to see this expansion, so naturally my brain is always looking for an excuse to think about issues like this one.

So, you see, I absolutely need to get laid (or at least choose more appropriate photos), but since that’s not in my immediate future, I’m thinking about this.

In any event, this interesting experiment would finally give us a good use for the stat blocks.

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