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Jesse Cox
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A shy, quiet, introverted... wait a minute. Why is everyone laughing?
A shy, quiet, introverted... wait a minute. Why is everyone laughing?

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+Michael Prescott , have you seen this?

AW principles are great for conveying how a setting works, and what's awesome about it, those often-hidden assumptions. Mr. Perry here has done a great job of unpacking them.
So here's a thing I've been working on. It is an Apocalypse Engine-style list of GM Principles for running OSR-style games in PbtA or rules-light systems, primarily cobbled together from writing by +Ben Milton and Steven Lumpkin. I've got it in a state that I'm only marginally hesitant to expose to an arbitrary number of eyes. I’ve reached that point where I don't feel like it's quite finished, but my eyes glaze over when looking at it. In particular, I think there may be some principles or references remaining that might be too specific for the spirit of the collection.

I’m also wary of the apparent tension between nominal PbtA playstyles and OSR playstyles, especially in the light of recent blog posts from prominent folks in the respective communities. I’m certain that there is overlap these styles somewhere in ludic space, but in its current state, this document is kind of orthogonal to the search for it. I feel like I should do more to directly address this, though I don’t know if I should heap on further disclaimers in the document itself. Perhaps I should just strip out the references to PbtA and focus on rules-light games and folks new to running the original games without the implicit/historical context.

Feel free to post opinions here, and proofing suggestions and comments to the doc itself. Thanks!
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Not the best reference, but if you don't remember this happening it's a summary

https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/2r3d54/what_happened_with_reddit_and_the_boston_marathon/



I live in Boston, and was in nurse school when the marathon bombing happened. I knew people who were running, and a few who were saved by chance.

One of the things that happened after the Marathon bombing was that people wanted to help get the guys who did this. They coordinated online, and despite the stated wishes of the man running the thread, started spinning into vigilanteism.

There's strong evidence that this resulted in at least one death, and that the investigations tactics were skewed by trying to react to a new emerging menace.

These were people eager to help. They knew the police were on the job, but wanted to get their own licks in too.


Ok. Fast forward to now.

Nazis walk openly in the streets -- as to white nationalists. Proud boys. Vigilante militias, some associated with the three percenters and some with open carry "enthusiasts." Hate crimes and violence, particularly murder, against ethnic and religious minorities is surging.

A Nazi (I will call him this because he was clearly and expressly identifying as such, although I suspect he'd prefer the term Troll) was harassing people. Police were called. Some folks online coordinated for the purpose of vigilanteism. No one dies, but someone is badly beaten.


This sucks. But it's not the same.


The police are overworked and understaffed. At least when I was an EMT and knew a bunch of officers casually, I often heard that the job was all about the overtime -- that is, to maintain a decent pay, working over 40 hours a week was basically required. Than means tired cops, and cops under time pressure.

This leads to a police force that can't respond to everything, and has to pick and choose where to send their resources, and how quickly. When they arrive, they're well armed but not necessarily well trained in deescalation, or well respected enough to be the obvious mediators.


There's real fear that police will harm the messenger, whether or not there are actual threats on scene. This threat falls disproportionately on minorities, but is by no means exclusive to them -- two white (blonde, even) women and their assaults at the hands of officers have recently been major news.
(And in the rural areas of TN where my father-in-Law once lived, wealthier people bears arms openly and contacting the police over anything that isn't a shooting event is seen as a nuclear option -- nearly everyone has had legal trouble or expects it)

There's also a fear that police will choose not to act. Like many, I was very frightened when three percenters fired their guns in Charlottesville and the police stood down. In Berkeley, we've had violence between protesting groups several times without any police intervention. In Boston, the police instead showed up in full gear, and any violence that broke out was over swiftly.

Again, this is an old problem for many minority, female, LGBT citizens. But it is more obviously not restricted to those populations now. Being white won't just save you, no matter how much (or little) people joke about "we only shoot black people."


So...what now? We have people, legitimately I think, afraid that police will not intervene to make the situation better. And that, as as more military gear heads out to police departments again, that involving police has a chance of making things dramatically worse.

Vigilanteism is poor form, but under this circumstance not expecting it means you're in flat denial.

And if the police can't be relied upon for nonviolent addressing of harassment and problems, and citizens can't be relied upon for nonviolent addressing of harassment and problems, then...we have a problem.

We need to have people show up who can solve these problems without fists, or solving these real problems will be left to people who do.

So to everyone who decries the violence: it's not enough to say things are bad. Underlying issues matter, and clearly can't be papered over any more.

Remember this when you criticize, please.
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Science tells us how to measure results.

It doesn't, in the human sphere, tell us what results should be.

But a system that produces certain results does. and fearing that truth, fighting that truth, isn't science -- it's denialism.

We all can know, from climate science and the "scientific" racism of the colonial era, what denialism to support the current situation looks like.
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We also know, from a thousand junk science breakthroughs peddled online and in the backs of old magazines, what fake science in support of a hopeful future looks like.

Watch for cons. Don't lump preliminary results or unpopular theories in with them.
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What is this I cannot even!
Taking a status check on the current US administration
#geekery

From reddit via UU Geeks on FB, but God knows where originally.
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Wooh.

Insert profound statement about narrative structure and non-linear chronology in storytelling for contrast and emotional impact here.
Well now I'm crying. My poor Obi-Wan.

(Obs massive spoilers for people who haven't seen star wars yet.)
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Realization:

When I hear people talking about upholding western values, I'm realizing that the same words are used to mean two very different things.

Some uphold the Enlightenment as the font of western values.

Some uphold the Roman Empire (and its successors, who traded heavily on its former glory) as the font of western values.

These things are not the same.
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My usual goal is to get something that makes sense on an index card.

This is my most succinct summation of the complex "alignment system" behind Nod, and which I'll probably drop into Bento Dungeon.

If I handed you this and said "describe your character's moral views," would you understand what to do?

What would you find confusing, offputting, or missing?
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For the modern witch.
This is totally my style of broomstick.
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Short and sweet.

Pardoning Arpaio and ending DACA do have connecting logic, but "rule of law" isn't it.
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