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Mark Delsing
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#cute   #overload    
I wouldn't have believed that an owl and a dog could become best friends until I saw these surprising and adorable photos by Tanja Brandt, a professional animal photographer and collage artist in Germany. Ingo the shepherd dog and Poldi the little owl seem more than happy to cozy up to each other for photoshoots bathed in golden evening light.
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Hey +Michael Prescott, remember when I said I was a sucker for games with good typography? Well, #whitehack arrived today. 
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+Jesse Coombs it's amazing! Well worth it.

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Looks like this whole GenCon thing is pissing off all the right people. Kudos, GenCon, LLC. 
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FYI, GenCon's actions made the morning news on NPR today. Indy Chamber of Commerce was mentioned as not being fond of this legislation, either. 

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Medium is a new kind of type­writer—the bil­lion­aire’s type­writer. It’s not the only bil­lion­aire’s type­writer. So is the Kin­dle. So is iBooks. So is Twit­ter. What dis­tin­guishes these new type­writ­ers is not the pos­si­bil­i­ties they make avail­able to writ­ers, but what they take away.
The billionaire's typewriter. A friend pointed me to a story on Medium called “Death to Typewriters,” by Medium designer Marcin Wichary. The story is about the influence of the typewriter on digital typesetting. It references my “excellent list” of typewriter habits.
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I love this, "Like all non­sense, it’s in­tended to be easy to swal­low."
 
Chicago Gameday 40 a rousing success

Gameday 40 was this past Saturday and it was a blast! Lots of people, lots of good games. And I was actually there!

We had a very high turnout this time around: 45 or so that I can confirm, plus a number of people who showed up to play Dawn Patrol in the afternoon. This puts us north of 50, which is the largest Gameday since #36 back in October 2013! Not to mention, lots of new faces, which is always great to see.

Here are some pictures I took of the events:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gameday/sets/72157651089331890/

Unfortunately, I was so wrapped up in my afternoon game that I did not document that half of the day very well. :) But at least I got this sweet shot of Cosmo the Space Dog from my afternoon event.

(Said event was the Avengers vs. the Guardians of the Galaxy, a Marvel Heroic event run by +Willow Palecek. So awesome! Star Lord, Rocket, and Cosmo squared off against Iron Man, the Hulk, and Black Widow in a race to control the Trapezohedron, i.e., one of the Infinity Stones. It was rollicking fun and a reminder of why I enjoy Marvel Heroic so much. My only regret is that, as Star Lord, I was unable to acquire Black Widow's phone number.)

Stay tuned for Gameday 41, which will be happening on July 11th. Mark your calendars now!

#chicagogameday #chicagogameday41
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This post has received more plusses than any Gameday post I've ever made. I need to attach dog photos more often!

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OMG JUST FINISHED #AGENTCARTER WHEN DOES NEXT SEASON START OMG NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW
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+Matt Wilson Aww, I kinda like Stark.

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Hey everybody, back this so that they do the stretch goal with rules for aliens and robots and stuff, because I really want to see that. 
Sean Gomes is raising funds for Uncharted Worlds: A Space Opera Roleplaying Game on Kickstarter! A Space Opera pen-and-paper roleplaying game of exploration, combat, politics and commerce across the stars.
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Peculiar! 
Have him in circles
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Man, so The History Channel is pretty much all aliens, Jesus, and alligator hunters now, huh?

I had a choice between that and Fox News at rehab today, and I wasn't sure which one was more horrifying.
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Alas, yes.  Sturgeon's Law applies.

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Jürgen has been posting the best stuff lately.
 
The struggle continues.
This essay is adapted from a piece originally printed in the March/April 2015 issue of Orion. Request a free trial issue of Orion here. To teach evolution at the University of Kentucky is to teach at an institution steeped in the history of defending evolution education. The first effort to pass an anti-evolution law...
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In other words: Those tabletop gamers who decry Blue Rose for being "political" are just as wrong as those GamerGaters who want video games to "remain apolitical" - the politics have always been there, and if you don't see them it says more about you than about the games.

Jürgen totally nails it. I think this is just as relevant to criticism regarding GenCon's threatened move away from Indy.
 
10 years ago, the RPG publisher Green Ronin produced Blue Rose, a tabletop role-playing game which was intended to emulate the "Romantic Fantasy" genre (which can be found in the works of Mercedes Lackey).

Among other aspects, what made it noteworthy is that it portrayed same-sex relationships and marriages as a normal and accepted part of the main "good guys" nation. This caused lots of discussion, and more than a few flamewars - many role-playing gamers decried this as "pushing an agenda" and said they wanted their games to be "apolitical" - a curious precedent of today's "GamerGate" movement.

But like with GamerGate, those gamers forget that most RPG settings have "political agendas" embedded into their core, and failing to detect them does not mean that they are not there - that they are "apolitical". Let us just look at the two most popular lines of horror RPGs:

World of Darkness: Left-wing horror, since it focuses on the alienation of the protagonists from society.
Call of Cthulhu: Right-wing horror, since human society is presented as a fragile construct that needs to be defended against the Alien Other by any means necessary.

That doesn't mean that either game line can't be enjoyed by gamers of either political orientation, of course. But let's not pretend that these games have no politics at all.

In other words: Those tabletop gamers who decry Blue Rose for being "political" are just as wrong as those GamerGaters who want video games to "remain apolitical" - the politics have always been there, and if you don't see them it says more about you than about the games.
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Milwaukee was too small for the convention to grow. Indianapolis is almost too small as well, but they did a big expansion in 2009-2010 almost doubling their exhibit hall and meeting space. This was to accommodate GenCon and many other trade shows.

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How NOT to run The One Ring

I played in a fairly disastrous session of The One Ring this weekend. The GM was unprepared, having minimal understanding of both the rules and the scenario (something from Ruins of the North). In essence, we didn't really play TOR, but instead played that general kind of trad RPG'ing where you meander around accomplishing nothing, occasionally punctuated by the GM asking for a skill roll. It reminded me a lot of the TOR AP video I color-commentaried a few months back.

One player actually kind of exploded at one point, ranting at the GM about how he's our eyes and ears in the game world, and we can't do anything if he's not telling us anything useful or providing meaningful feedback to our input. It wasn't the most diplomatic way to handle things, but it was pretty much what we were all thinking.

My takeaway from this is that, in both cases (mine and the video's), you have a GM who is assuming that because TOR is about parties of elves and dwarves and such who each have "callings" and go on adventures, that the game is basically D&D/Pathfinder, and so they run it pretty much how they've been running every other FRPG for most of their lives.

But TOR is not D&D or Pathfinder. It's Mouse Guard. It has rules that actually push the game in a specific direction and embody a specific tone, and you are expected to use those rules. The text is explicit about procedures the GM will use; it assumes you will read the whole book and internalize those procedures.

You don't approach this game if you're playing Pathfinder. You approach this game the way you would Dogs in the Vineyard. I firmly believe TOR is an indie game in trad clothing.

(Apologies in advance for use of those terms, problematic as they are, but that's what leap to mind.)
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Okay, that's definitely not how I like to roll. If there's a mission, I just want to make it clear and not beat around the bush. (Thus why I like TOR and MG.)

But if it works for you, then cool. 

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Yay! #PTA3 Thanks, +Matt Wilson !
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That's certainly why I think he's awesome. 
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Roleplaying games, SF and fantasy, comics, design, Apple, feminism and social justice, film critique, guitars, fatherhood.
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