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Mark Delsing
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Mark Delsing

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These are amazing. I'd love to see WotC think outside of the box and use illustration like this, but honestly I know that they know their core audience would throw a fit.

h/t to +Jürgen Mayer for the link. 
"Beetles usually feed on carrion, but monstrous varieties rarely pass up a warm meal." —D&D Monster Manual 4th edition "Part human and part horse, centaurs are untamed warriors that revel in the glory of battle and the raw...
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They're good pieces. Definitely wouldn't want them in a monster manual though. Would subtract from my my immersion. Different strokes, I guess.

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Lots of folks in my circles are sharing this, so count me in. A fascinating very well-written article.

So that's where American politics stands today: on one side, a radicalized, highly ideological demographic threatened with losing its place of privilege in society, politically activated, and locked into the House; on the other side, a demographically and ideologically heterogeneous coalition of interest groups big enough to reliably win the presidency and occasionally the Senate. For now, it's gridlock.
 
This article nicely summarizes why, when a nerd describes themselves as "not political", I hear it in the same way I do one of my grandparents telling me they're "not technical".
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I don't think the problem is actually specific to "tech nerds," this sort of confusion about American politics seems pretty commonplace. But I guess it's interesting that it persists even among otherwise intelligent, inquisitive people.

Mark Delsing

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This is just plain brilliant.
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I read my first Scalzi this week: Redshirts.

I found it quite a page-turner, evolving from what I thought was going to be a pretty well-worn premise into a very engaging, human story. I was admittedly a bit let down by the very last chapter — it was a bit on the nose — and I found the first of the three codas sort of tedious.

Still, very enjoyable, though I'm a bit surprised that it proved Hugo- and Locus-award-worthy.

Should I move on to Old Man's War?
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I also reccomend Lock In.

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Favourite inspiration for your game

By "your game", I'm assuming this topic means "your current campaign". Seeing as I don't really have one, I have a feeling this isn't going to garner as many plusses army last post.

In general, games inspire me to build campaigns around them more often than something inspires me to choose a game and build a campaign (or a session). It's been pretty common for me to find an RPG that then spurs me on to look into its source material. E.g., Eden's Buffy RPG got me to start watching the show, and Evil Hat's Dresden Files RPG got me reading Butcher's books.

That said... does anyone remember John Coyne's novel Hobgoblin?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobgoblin_(novel)

It was one of the "D&D drives a kid crazy" novels that appeared during the Satanic Panic. IMO, unlike Rona Jaffe's Mazes & Monsters, it was actually a decent read, more of a horror/suspense story that happened to use roleplaying as a hook rather than a treatise on the evils of gaming.

In the book, the main character plays "Hobgoblin," a fantasy RPG set in mythic Ireland. It uses a custom deck of cards with weird art and crazy dice combos, like using d1000s (and somehow generating decimal points) and other stuff that shows the write didn't really grok how D&D worked. However, to 11-year-old me, the game was fascinating. The Irish mythology was awesome and the cards sounded like the coolest thing ever. Plus, the book describes them using the cards in chargen, and producing characters of all kinds, not just the standard D&D tropes (one being a minor noble girl who then goes on an adventure that feels like a gothic novel). Honestly, it was like cards plus lifepaths from BW or careers from WFRP.

For na very long time, I wanted to try and find that game. I went through a lot of fantasy RPGs, tried to integrate cards (mostly tarot) into my games, and named multiple characters "Brian Ború", the legendary Irish king (and the paladin played by the main character in the novel). The book also fired off my obsession with all things celtic, and why Dark Ages settings are like crack to me.

I'm tempted to go back and re-read the book, but I feel like that could taint my fond childhood memories.
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Favourite Revolutionary Game Mechanic

This: "Every moment of play, roll dice or say yes."

I think that this phrase from Dogs In The Vineyard by +Vincent Baker has more functional GM practice packed into its five words than almost any GM guide ever published for any game ever — which is probably why the adulterated version ("Say yes or roll the dice") has appeared in many RPGs published since.

This is the phrase that tells the GM to be a fan of the players. This is the phrase that tells us that system matters. This is the phrase that tells us to play to find out what happens. This is the phrase that tells us to focus on what's important and move the game forward. This is the phrase that fixed roleplaying.

/mic drop
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"rule 2" should not be used with DitV. "rule 1" should not be used with AW (and this is very, very, very, very important: "say yes or roll the dice"  kills AW (the MC should not hand-wave rolls) . They are very different games that require different kind of GMing.
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Favourite RPG website/blog

Honestly, Google+ is my favorite right now. This is where I spend most of my time online, and this where I'm having some of the best RPG discussion I've ever had. It's also pointed me to more games — mostly via Kickstarter — than any other site, save maybe ENWorld back during the d20 boom.

The runner-up would be +Chris Chinn 's "Deeper in the Game", as it's maybe the only RPG blog I follow now. https://bankuei.wordpress.com/

Special mention would go to +Ron Edwards's fantastic Doctor Xaos blog, but it's not strictly about gaming. https://adeptpress.wordpress.com/

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Metaphorically, I have had this exact conversation with our dogs.
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Ah! Sage, sir. Sage. 

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Favourite game you no longer play

Wow. Uh, all of them? Welcome to fatherhood + full-time employment.

I also wonder what is meant here by "no longer play". Sure, one can lack time to play, but would there be a reason one would actively avoid playing a favorite game? Besides an inability to find others willing to play?
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Amen, brother!

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Favourite idea for merging two games into one

Honestly, I've got nothing for this; I can't say I've ever done it. Instead, let me direct you to the classic article from The Strategic Review #5, "Sturmgeschutz and Sorcery, or How Effective is a Panzerfaust Against a Troll, Heinz?" (which starts on page 3).

http://annarchive.com/files/Strv105.pdf
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Thank you for posting this! It was one of my favorite articles/scenarios when I was a kid. Brought back many good memories.

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Chicago Gameday 42 event planning has begun

Gameday 42 will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 starting at 9:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. if you join us for breakfast). Yesterday we started the event planning process.

If you'd like to run an event for us, head over to our planning thread on ENWorld and post your idea. We're looking for events that can host yourself plus 4 or more people and keep them occupied for 4-5 hours. We have both a morning roster and an afternoon roster. More details are in the first post of the tread.

#chicagogameday   #chicagogameday42  
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LongCon is 10/23-10/25, so yes. 

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Favourite house rule

I'm going to have to recuse myself on this one, as I'm not sure I've played any game in recent memory that used any house rules I liked, much less house rules at all. The closest I can come is hacking bits from one game onto another, e.g., using Marvel Heroic initiative in Fate, or using Arcana Evolved Hero Points in straight 3e.

Honestly, extensive use of house rules often feels like a symptom of a larger problem to me.
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In the spirit of pointless pedantry I will argue that even those are house rules. After all when you sit down at the table to play poker, how big the ante is and the maximum bet and raise are all decisions the design expects you to make...and they are quite literally the Rules of the House.
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