Profile

Cover photo
Bruce Baugh
Lives in Seattle, WA
2,273 followers|2,714,116 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

 
Blizzard has apparently been paying attention to people remarking on the lack of diversity among female characters in Overwatch, when it comes to build and role.

http://us.battle.net/overwatch/en/heroes/zarya/
13
2
Dana Fried's profile photoFlavio Carrillo's profile photoRob Donoghue's profile photoAnna Kreider's profile photo
8 comments
 
Zarya is packing some serious heat there. Nice gun.
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Black Mask (I). Black Mask (I) was created by Luang Sārānupraphan (Ghost Face) and appeared in the Thai mystery “Phrāe Dam” (Sēnā Su’ksā Lae Phāe Witthayāsāt, Dec.1922-July 1923; as a novel, 1923). Black Mask (I) is a masked, hooded villain, dressed all in black, who runs a counterfeiting operation in modern Bangkok. He is brutal and makes use of murder and child kidnaping to help his schemes, but he ends up being opposed and defeated by a Costumed Avenger who dresses just like him.

A couple of things of note here. First, Luang Sārānupraphan was no minor Thai writer; he wrote the lyrics to the Thai national anthem, and was one of the most prominent figures in the Thai literary world in the early 1920s, both because of his own work and his editorship of two journals. For him to write crime fiction like this…well, picture someone like William Maxwell ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Keepers_Maxwell,_Jr. ) writing crime fiction.

Second, “Phrāe Dam” came at a time when, in the words of the editor of Sēnā Su’ksā Lae Phāe Witthayāsāt, “there are few original Thai works of fiction being written which do not take their plot from foreign fiction.” “Phrāe Dam” was something new in Thai literature—not Thai crime literature, but Thai literature itself. As with some other Southeast Asia literatures (as we’ll see), Thai literature got its start in the genre ghettos, not in the High Art skyscrapers.

Lastly, consider the story content. “Phrāe Dam” is hardboiled fiction, albeit with pulpish elements. The usual literary histories claim that hardboiled fiction began in the 1920s in the American pulps—specifically Carroll John Daly’s “Race Williams” stories in Black Mask in the early 1920s—but this ignores the proto-hardboiled fiction of the American dime novels of the 1890s and early 1900s, which were in turn influenced by the British casebook mystery fiction (proto-police procedurals) of the 1850s and 1860s—the true start of the hardboiled pose and tone, its milieu and characters. “Phrāe Dam” didn’t take its plot from foreign literature, but was influenced by the tone of American/British crime fiction—but reinterpreted it and made it recognizably Thai.

Anyone who’s read any modern Southeast Asian mystery fiction will not be surprised at finding hardboiled material in a Thai novel—SEA mystery fiction gets as hardboiled as they come—but should not be surprised to find hardboiled material in the early 1920s, before the American hardboiled material really took hold. Hardboiled mystery fiction, as a genre/subgenre, predates the Americans and is a British invention, and spread across the world via British cultural imperialism—but was taken by the colonized and used for their own purposes, in their own milieu, to produce literature that was distinctly their own.
3 comments on original post
6
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
Feeling in an old-school rock kind of mood. Therefore, you get Kansas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jseTa7HUIDU
7
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
On the side from my previous kvetch: a friend of mine is checking out Lord of the Rings Online, and I'm looking forward to hearing of his experiences. +Gretchen S., memory is telling me you played it for a while, and others may have too. How is it in terms of neat scenery to see? Obviously there's a bunch of smiting because that's how these things go, but what else is there, and how is it?
2
Joshua Ramsey's profile photoAaron Dawson's profile photoGretchen S.'s profile photoBruce Baugh's profile photo
8 comments
 
Thanks, Aaron and Gretchen, very much!
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
Sometimes I just crave a good computer game - single-player, MMO, whatever - with the richness of world that good computer RPGs and such have, but where I wouldn't have to just go around fighting things to earn shinies.
18
Gretchen S.'s profile photoDaniel Forinton's profile photoTim Kirk's profile photoBruce Baugh's profile photo
34 comments
 
I would play that. :)
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
Something interesting about Atlantis: The Second Age: it very strongly assumes that characters will travel much of the world in the course of their adventures. You certainly can go for a tight local focus, but Grayson shows his influences (Clark Ashton Smith, Moorcock, Howard) really clearly here with stuff RPGs seldom support. A sample trip through the life path system (which is great) sent my test character from their start in Aztlan to friendship with a Veddan prince (maybe in Vedda, equivalent to central/southern India, maybe elsewhere), shipwreck and harpy fighting in the Sargasso Sea, and an offer of marriage to a Zinnite prince or princess (Zin being equivalent to the Middle East).

It also led to my test character making one of the gods lose face and thereby having a god wishing him or her dead, and to marrying the love of their dreams only to have an angry god (presumably the same one - annoying two gods a lot would be bad) turn the partner into a disfigured beast.

This feels really swords-and-sorcery. Really, really.

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/124386/ATLANTIS-The-Second-Age-World-Map
11
1
Topher Gerkey's profile photoShreyas Sampat's profile photoBruce Baugh's profile photoKirt Dankmyer's profile photo
5 comments
 
It's easy when +Jerry Grayson made it be this awesome.
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
Some music by which to read Atlantis: The Second Age. If you like it, thank +Daniel Swensen for the lead. if you don't, blame him. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyIU_3OppuI
3
Daniel Swensen's profile photoBruce Baugh's profile photo
2 comments
 
Just because you've triggered the stocking of a whole folder in my music library....
Add a comment...
Have them in circles
2,273 people
Mike Estes's profile photo
Naveed Ali's profile photo
Ruqi Omar's profile photo
Didier Misson's profile photo
nettinho oliveira's profile photo
Scott Dorward's profile photo
Darren Watts's profile photo
Zimm Zam's profile photo
Robert Saint John's profile photo

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
Time for some more happy burbling about Atlantis: The Second Age. This post, its life path system. Life paths, for those who haven't encountered them, are a way of giving your character prior history - things they've done, connections they've made, skills they've learned along the way. Atlantis chargen gives you someone ready for adventure who's a young adult, competent at something, with a cultural context to draw on, but not yet experienced. You can, if you want, put your character through 1-5 rounds of adventuring as an adult.

I like this note in the gamebook: Note: The Game Master and players may have realized that this creates characters that are not balanced against one another, and that is fine. Characters of all ages and walks of life populate the world of ATLANTIS.

The first set of life path charts covers a character's growing up: their upbringing in civilized, rural, or savage circumstances, and a little detail; a memorable childhood event or encounter; and the status of their family. These are nicely loaded with fun examples, and I'm going to pick a few from each set of charts to illustrate.

I want to say some things about them overall, and those'll be in comments to the main post here.

Upbringing:

* Child of a retired Hero. Gain +1 in any Skill
* Parents were artisans. Gain +1 Handicraft (player’s choice)
* Bastard child raised by tribe. Gain +1 Unarmed Fighting

Childhood encounter:

* Met a great Hero in a market. She took a liking to you and gave you a small trinket and told you to hold it safe. You never saw her again.
* Met your lifelong rival.
* Hid in a dragon’s lair for 1D20 days and escaped to tell about it.
* Stood at the deathbed of a great Hero and watched a god take his soul to the afterworld. The Hero looked backed ant you and winked.
* Ran the Amazon mazes of Hesperia.

Family status:

* Family is under a curse of some kind
* Family status is on the rise but tenuous
* Family is feared because of some advantage or great power

Then comes the section on previous adventures. Each of these adds some years to your character, from 1-7 based on your roll on a chart. You pick a general category: high adventure, or traveling with an experienced mage, priest, rogue, sailor, scholar, or warrior. The category gives your character a guaranteed skill boost - any skill of your choice for high adventure, any of the magic mode skills for mage, and so on.

There's also a great event within the course of the adventure, and you roll in two steps for it: first to see the overall kind of event it is, and then on a sub-chart for that kind to get details. The kinds include Battle, Enemy, Relationship, Great Fortune!, Tragedy!, Scholarly Pursuits, and special events specific to the type of adventure your character is on. So there's a special event chart for each adventure type, and the other options (battle, enemy, etc.) all share the same charts regardless of the type of adventure that got you there.

More examples ensue.

Battle:

* Fought as a mercenary in the jungles of Awalawa, against the forces of the Back Circle. You were noticed by the great Nubian general Niankhe, taken under his wing, and taught how to command men during battle. +1 Influence Skill.
* Fought in the slave pits of Yallock and won your freedom after a year of slavery. Gain +1 Resolve.
* Battle at the Well of Madness. You stood at the lip of the well and fought the horrors that issued forth. The psyche and soul were blasted, and forever changed by the antediluvian horrors that you saw. +3 Resolve skill and now the pupils of your eyes are different colors.

The Enemy:

Your enemy is:
* A God
* Another player’s Relationship Disadvantage
* A Son or Daughter that you never knew you had

They are your enemy because:
* You foiled their insidious plot and were hailed as a Hero.
* Was a romantic rival.
* Caused a physical disability.

What they plan to do about it:
* They want your life ruined.
* They want you dead.
* They will ruin the lives of those around you to make you suffer.

Relationships:

* Befriend a wild beast and it becomes your pet.
* You found the love of your life, but the lover is ill and will die soon if they do not get a unique medical treatment.
* You found the love of your life, but the lover has fallen into the arms of your enemy (if the Hero has no enemy, roll on enemy chart).

(It is possible to get relationships that are both happy and successful on these charts, I should note.)

Great Fortune:

* Stopped a war between two countries and was rewarded by both governments. +4 Renown, and a home in one of the rival cities.
* Encountered a group of Sea People who gave you a special map. All your travel times on the open sea are reduced by 20%.
* Befriended by a Veddan prince and given one of his fastest horses. (+4 to its SPD)

Scholarly Pursuits:

* Found a golden, mechanical bird that whistles bits of wisdom. He’s become your constant companion and grants you +4 to any ancient history lore roll when he is around.
* A fellow academic out-spoke and disgraced you at a symposium. The scandalous things she said besmirched your good name and even now the lies follow you. Lose 4 Renown.
* On a pilgrimage to Zin, you lost a trusted friend in a boating mishap. His ghost now haunts you until his body (lost in the sea) is laid to rest.

Tragedy:

* You become sick with a rare and almost fatal illness. Lose 1 STR.
* Watched your family sacrificed in a horrible magical ritual. Their souls scream for a brief moment anytime a fire is lit and at noon each day the shadow you cast also includes them.
* Through a tragic mishap, you are responsible for the death of a Noble’s only son. Lose 4 Renown and gain the noble as a new enemy.

And a smattering of special events from the various adventure types:

* Called upon to settle a dispute between two kings. Roll 1D20: on a 1–10 you decided fairly and gain +2 Renown; on 11–20 you made the matters worse and lose 5 Renown. (High Adventure)
* Ventured to the top of a great bellowing volcano and watched two gods make love in the fiery tempest. The coupling blasted your mind, but gave you great insight into the universe. +1 Magic Rating (High Adventure)
* Listened to the whispered murmurs of the sleeping giant on Mount Meru. Gain +1 WIL. (Mage)
* Traveled to the Underworld, and begged the god of Death for the soul of a loved one. The dark god took pity on you and your gloomy story, and allowed you to leave with the loved one. Gain +10 Renown. (Priest)
* Stole a great artifact of significant Renown or power. Receive 10 Renown and then roll on the Enemy Chart to find out who you stole if from. They plan to kill you and reclaim their item. (Rogue)
* During your travels, you saved the life of a travelling poet and he has written a very popular song that regales your exploits. The song is overblown and most of the facts are untrue but it always gets you free drinks in any tavern you enter. Gain +5 Renown. (Sailor)
* You have discovered a little known fact during your academic studies. +5 in any Lore. (Scholar)
* You saved the life of young boy and he has pledged to follow you anywhere and repay his debt to you. He learns at your feet and respects you for your prowess. (Warrior)
6
Jerry Sköld's profile photoBruce Baugh's profile photoTim Kirk's profile photoJohn Till's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Tim Kirk ​if I run a 4 hour game at a con, is there a natural break point between gut work on chargen I can do in advance and letting the players have some fun with life paths? 
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
This is wonderful!  

#cosplay  
My name is Phaedra Cook, I am 46 years old and I’m a cosplayer. That sounds like some kind of intro to a confession at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, doesn’t it? There are certain types of people who would like me to have a sense of shame about my hobby, but that’s not going to happen. Cosplay has been beneficial and it is my little way of combating ageism.
View original post
18
2
Wilhelm Person's profile photoTheron Bretz's profile photoPeter Ward's profile photoNathan V's profile photo
2 comments
 
Funny thing:  She's local and I read her food columns all the time.  Never knew she was a cosplayer.
Add a comment...
 
I love this kind of thing. Books heavy on cutaway illustrations, looks inside outer surfaces, and the like have always been favorites of mine.
5
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
Whatever it is Dymphna is up to is likely to be good stuff, because she's insightful. Help her out, if you're one of the people she'd like to contact!
 
PLEASE RESHARE

I'm looking to interview women who are interested in tabletop gaming or LARPing, but have either (1) never played a game or (2) played games in the past, but are no longer actively gaming.

Trans women, WoC, disabled women, non-American women, poor women, and other traditionally marginalized women are specifically encouraged to reach out.

Please contact me directly on G+, Twitter, or via email at shemhazai.grigori@gmail.com. 
21 comments on original post
2
Add a comment...

Bruce Baugh

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Ok, here's my solution.

1) Print this
2) Put your name on it

Done. You're a game designer.

If you don't believe me, just bring it to any "real" game designer, and they will sign the back for you, thus indoctrinating you into our millenia old secret order. 
39 comments on original post
17
1
S. John Ross's profile photoKlaus Teufel's profile photoDavid Bolack's profile photoVivian Paul's profile photo
4 comments
 
Nah. I'm retired.  That part of the brain keeps trying, but I stomp on it really hard...
Add a comment...
People
Have them in circles
2,273 people
Mike Estes's profile photo
Naveed Ali's profile photo
Ruqi Omar's profile photo
Didier Misson's profile photo
nettinho oliveira's profile photo
Scott Dorward's profile photo
Darren Watts's profile photo
Zimm Zam's profile photo
Robert Saint John's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Writer
Employment
  • Writer, present
Links
Other profiles
Story
Tagline
Generally dismissed as an epiphenomenon
Introduction
Writer, tender of cat, commenter in a digressive mode.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Seattle, WA
Previously
Pasadena, CA