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Adam Bragg
Teller of stories, creator of worlds.
Teller of stories, creator of worlds.


A question for those involved in the actual DTP side of things. When developing products, do you use any form of internal naming conventions for tracking different versions of products as they are being worked on, shared, revised, etc?

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I've been busy...
As it's been quite some time since I've posted anything, here's is an update of the pile of things I've been up to since... October?  last year?  Yeah, I need to post more often... Novel Writing Everything looks easy from the outside I started a novel.  Yep...

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Adam Bragg commented on a post on Blogger.
In a campaign I ran years ago I had a player who started off as a Human Fighter, and after getting killed in a fight, the party paid a Druid to have her reincarnated, unfortunately she came back as a Bear. This affected her ability to remember whether she was actually Human or a Bear unless she passed an (easy) save once per day. She role played the occasional days of confusion when she would forget she was a Human.

The party then did a small side quest, specifically to recover a magical amulet which would either grant someone the ability to speak a language they didn't know or speak a language they did know if otherwise unable to speak. This was given to the bear player.

She was then overheard speaking to a party member outside of town and accidentally created a local superstition concerning "Witch Bears" which I incorporated into the setting. Years later (game time) a different party (same players) revisited that region and the superstition persisted.

The player then multi-classed as a Druid, taking on as her mentor the NPC Druid who had performed the original reincarnation. This eventually lead to the player retiring the character as the Druid needed her to spend a long period of time within a sacred grove to fully develop her Druidic powers. By this point the player was seriously role playing a character who psychologically considered more of a Bear than a Human.

No one at the table regretted my letting the player run with the happenstance of getting reincarnated as a Bear instead of a standard PC race. Granted, the player in question did not abuse the situation and in fact took a mature approach, exploring many aspects of the situation, both positive and negative. Depending on the group of players you play with, your results may vary...

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Adam Bragg commented on a post on Blogger.
It's an interesting game, but I'm curious about your design choices for the asymmetrical board layout and placement of the special hexes. Based purely on just this teaser video, both aspects of the game design appear to be rather arbitrary. Perhaps you could do a future post explaining the design of this game a bit more and discussing the why's of some of your design choices.

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So a few days ago someone posted a message about a friend of his and described them in a few sentences, during which he referred to them and their personality, and how much he liked how they act in life using various forms of the word "they" instead of a more obviously singular pronoun - just as I have done right now. It looked linguistically broken to me and I had wondered what was going on. The answer is, while I wasn't looking English evolved again as confirmed in the linked article below.

So, if there are any other social or linguistic dinosaurs out there, hello from a fellow "Brontosaurus", be sure to update your mind map for what is proper English as now it's acceptable to describe a single person using "they", "their", or "them". Personally, I'd have preferred if English had instead gone the route of other languages and adopted a distinct gender-neutral singular pronoun instead of co-opting the gender-neutral plural pronoun and making it perform double duty, but it's not MY English, it belongs to all who speak it and "correct" usage is a matter of majority consensus, not innate laws. This is linguistics, not physics or maths.

Still, it'll take me a while to get used to seeing and saying that. It's like when people say "give me a couple of those" and they don't mean "give me two", they actually mean they want a small group of them, as in "a few". So, if I say "a married couple" are there some people out there wondering if I'm talking about a group marriage or 4-5 people? :-)

Of course, I'm being silly with that example. The real concern which brought about this linguistic change is gender bias in language and how our language shapes our thoughts and behaviour. Perhaps the best solution would be to do away with the gendered pronouns. Do we really need "he" or "she"? Why is it important to specify gender in the sentence, "They went to the store to buy their favourite book?" Does it matter if the "they" in question was male or female? For that matter, what do we even mean any more by the terms "male" or "female"? Is a trangendered M-t-F or a lesbian female more or less of a "she" than a heterosexual female who has been physically female since birth? People will divide themselves all over the spectrum on those definitions. A less contentious solution for language is to sidestep the whole debate and not bring up gender in a sentence which isn't even about gender. My example was about the purchase of a book, why do we care what the gender of the buyer is?

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I don't know of or agree with EVERY sentence here, but the basic sentiment? Yeah, that's definitely one of the reasons Trump is the 45th US President. The social pendulum had swung too far, so far that liberalism became confounded with libertarianism, and then morphed into totalitarianism, making even social and political moderates prefer hardcore conservatism instead.

Has anyone else noticed a sudden surge in "Recommended for You" and "Trending on Google+" posts littering up their feed? I went from about 10% such posts to ... 70-80%. I'm literally scrolling past pages and pages of such garbage to find posts on topics I'm actually interested in from people who I've intentionally put into my circles. I'm really hoping this is just a random algorithm oddity and not a sign of the future of my feed.

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Adam Bragg commented on a post on Blogger.
slow clap Well done! This really captures that maverick, "breaking all the rules" portrayal of Humans in RPGs. Humans may not have a singular archetypal trait or ability, but they do stand out from the other races in their versatility, cavalier attitude and brashness of a youthful race.

I could rave about the traits, but they all read like they always should've been there. In honour of the Star Trek meme over on reddit you should have an advanced trait named "Hold my beer, I got this". LOL!

The flaw "Perfectionist" doesn't feel like an actual flaw to me. Whether or not I take the flaw, I'm going to have the occasional 1 on a D20 - once out of every 20 rolls likely! ;-) Taking this flaw provides a benefit on top of something which was going to happen anyway. I can see a lot of Munchk, er "optimal build" players always taking this flaw instead of any of the others as it doesn't impose any cost or penalty. Perhaps if one voluntarily turned a nat 20 into a 1 to gain the benefit it would be more like a flaw, but I'm not sure that fits the concept of being a perfectionist.

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Adam Bragg commented on a post on Blogger.
As with the other races, this is super thematic and cool. I really love the ties to the fey as you've presented them. I could even see some of these traits applied to a custom setting where the Elves are of the fey - sort of an "Unseelie/seelie, Elves are of Avalon" thematic approach to Elves instead of the more contemporary view of Elves in fantasy rpgs. ;-)

Bleaching. This racial flaw reads more like an individual character flaw than a racial flaw, unless one were to suppose a whole lineage of Gnomes descended from a splinter group of oath breather Gnomes or a group who turned against the fey realm in some manner, which would make for a cool specific setting element, but I suspect isn't what you were angling for with this one.

Dream Feast. This is both cool and odd. Odd in that it combines two similar, but unconnected ideas: dream "feeding" from a nearby dreamer (somewhat vampiric in nature), and entering the dream of a nearby dreamer. Personally, I'd split them into two separate traits and expand both a bit. Also, while it is supremely cool to feed upon another dreamer, there should be a cost in some way - it's not really feeding if you don't actually feed upon the source. An obvious cost would be to deny rest or HP gain to the fed upon dreamer. Thus some people may think unkindly of them if they figure out Gnomes are the cause for why they always wake up tired while the Gnome is bright eyed and bushy tailed... ;-) Also, what if two Gnomes sleep next to each other? Who ends up rested?

Fey Step. Perhaps this is assumed, but it should be noted that for that one round, you are vulnerable to anything which targets incorporeal creatures...

Gnome Fighting Style. Y'know, is there any reason to NOT simply make this a universal trait of all races? More along the lines of a "Racial Familiarity" trait where if you are race "x" and you pick up an item (weapon or not) specifically designed for race "x", you gain all these benefits. If I'm a Human, Halfling, Elf, or whatever and I use a thing so intrinsically crafted for my race that it gets distinguished as such by the game system, then it should be my kind of thing to use more so than the generic version or one specifically crafted for another race.

Pixie Friend. Similar to Dream Feasts, this seems to be two unrelated abilities combined. Also, gaining a daily shrink ability is really powerful, perhaps not as powerful as an enlarge ability, but still seems a bit much to grant as an ability that all or most Gnomes would have, certainly in combination with the first half of this trait...

Touch Emotions. Despite the obvious opportunity for abuse, I love this one. Even without the telempathic aspect it is really flavourful and interesting.

Gnomecraft. I think your opinion of this trait is accurate. I think the biggest cause of this not feeling right is its "kitchen sink" approach. There are abilities in there better suited to a class build than a race build. Some abilities would be fine on their own with some minor tweaks, while others are just flat out overpowered. I get what you were going for, but the catch-all approach is what did it in IMO.

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Adam Bragg commented on a post on Blogger.
I'd like to chime in on the idea of a thematic listing for Humans. My personal opinion is Humans should be as thematic as the other races. I'm personally tired of the approach wherein Humans are somehow "not really" a race in the same sense as a Gnome, Dwarf, or Elf. Are Humans a race distinct from the others, or are they some sort of racially amorphous blob which can only be defined by the ways they aren't like the other "actually different" races? Just because in the real world the players are Humans shouldn't be a reason to assume Humans in a role playing game are so bland and generic the default rules sans any racial flavourings suffice to accurately portray them. This approach to races is equivalent to some older edition approaches to classes where you'd have classes like Fighter, Thief, or Cleric for Humans only and separate Elf and Dwarf classes if you wanted to play a demi-human...
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