Friday, July 11, 2014

HOW to RUN – I am not buying it

As children we learned, different people have different opinions.
As adults we accept that sometimes people will argue.
No one should have to tolerate abuse or derision.
I will not patronize a ‘professional author’ who makes sport of 
insulting his potential customers in a public format.
My latest experience with Alexis (YMMV)
He wrote something about hit points on July 7th.

You are correct, it is highly unlikely a humanoid with one hit point would survive a single prolonged fight yet alone twenty years. Hit points is an abstract term reflecting the current status of an opponent.
Monster or humanoids with low hit points are nursing and recovering wounds from previous battles. The violent existence of humanoids assures that at a given time a large percent of their population is recover from previous conflicts or inter-tribal brawls.
.. .
For untrained and uninjured ‘0’ level NPCs minimum hit point total equals 1/3rd their strength adjusted by one’s constitution modifier.
July 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM


Well, that's an argument for the status quo, Clovis, but "abstract term reflecting the current status of an opponent" is only a different pound of shit pulled out of your ass.

Why does THIS humanoid have 1 hit point at this time? Based on what? The fact that 1/8th of all 1 HD humanoids are feeling 'down' this morning? Who says they had a battle just previously? Where are these other creatures who so conveniently fought these particular humanoids as of a day or two ago? Really? A tribal brawl every three days? Given the numbers, its amazing ANY humanoids are left. In the very least, they'd know not to brawl before going on patrol.

If these humanoids are injured, why are they now ambushing the party or otherwise joining in with their squad of perfectly healthy associates? Why are there always some humanoids that are 'recovering'?

I don't know where that rule is about NPCs minimum hit points. Can you point to it in the DMG? I hope you're not referring to something in 3e or such, since I was very specific what edition I was addressing.

Why is it your quoted bullshit rule is so different from my proposed rule for 7 to 8 hp per die? Hm? I suspect you think there is something special about the way your shit smells.

Damn. It is good to be back.
July 7, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I comment – not published
NO need for obscenities, you are a better writer than that

I am only a 'better writer' when it's convenient for you, Clovis. The word 'shit' is perfectly clear, everyone knows what it means, it is easy to spell, it is recognizable in multiple languages and EVERYONE DOES IT EVERY DAY. I wish every word in the English language was as commonplace and perfectly comprehensible. That must be why a significant portion of the population shies away from it - the difficulty of accomplishing mendacity without the accompanying odor.

Show your math, JD. I only get that an '8' will show up 1 in 4, not 1 in 3. That is a hell of a difference. I believe you are basing YOUR arguments on the one-time 3 round battle, while I'm basing MY arguments on the multiple battle principle . . . that only grows more and more in my favour and not yours as time passes. But then, you don't care, because you have your way of doing it, created on the spur of the moment AFTER you took half the idea from me. See point (2) above? Where it says don't piggyback your shit on this blog? there's that word again). Well, don't piggyback your shit on this blog.
July 7, 2014 at 2:37 PM

One last appeal to reason, 
again not  published
You  do not need a ‘story’ to justify low hit points …  most non-garrison units are not a full efficiency: 
 . . .
Many real things in the world would cause attrition in a monsters CURRENT  hit points;
disease, starvation, fatigue, sleep deprivation, festering wounds and merely traveling:
The victorious British Army at Agincort was truly in a pathetic physical state (low hit points) , yet they conquered:
John Keegan, The Face of Battle  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What is REALLY wrong with the VA/ ACA

Friday, May 30, 2014

Alignment & Spell Casting

                I use alignment to power SPELL selection
therefore, alignment has real meaning and game application.
...You can cast a spell repeatedly provided you don't exceed level based limits for SPELLS ALLOWED PER DAY if any only if your alignment is congruent with the magic school.

        Lawful creatures are reliable and dependable.  They respect authority and tradition. Lawful characters can be counted on to follow rules and leaders, even when leadership or regulations appear to be inconsistent or erroneous.   Lawful civilizations often have a hereditary monarchy whom are limited by feudalism  and/ or codified law.  The vast majority of property is passed to the oldest son; thereby, insuring the wealth and integrity of familial estates.
            Divine spheres or magical schools that are considered Lawful (L) are abjuration, alchemy, earth, justice, protection, runes, and strength.

CHAOTIC individuals avoid details, platitudes and commitment.  Some may view them as reckless and undependable; however, they tend to be tolerant and accepting of others. They place a great value on liberty and choice. Chaotic societies tend to be organized by clans or tribes with property being inherited by the strongest progeny or the bulk of the estate is buried with the decedent.
            Divine spheres or magical schools that are considered Chaotic (C) are air, charm, enchantment, illusion, liberation, luck, trickery and wind/ zephyr.

            NEUTRAL creatures value their families and personal security over cosmic or moral issues.  They will only take a risk if the gains are large or if their family or homes are threatened.  Neutral civilizations tend to be ruled by elected officials or guilds.  Property is inherited thru adherence to a written will.
            There are no ‘neutral’ magical spheres, but Nature has her own adherents (plants, animals, weather). Any caster may use general or unassigned spheres ( - ) of magic such as conjuration, evocation, fire, knowledge, transmutation, travel, war and wish.

      GOOD creatures revere truth, beauty, charity, chastity, sobriety and the property rights of the weak. Good PCs will pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to defeat tyranny.
          Divine spheres or magical schools that are considered Good (G) or white magic are divination, creation, healing, honor, nobility, sun and water  .

EVIL creatures do not respect the life, liberty or the property rights of others. They are motivated by personal gain and a sense of entitlement.  They take, kill or deceive without remorse and follow leaders because of ambition, fear or greed, not adoration. 

            Divine spheres or magical schools that are considered evil or black magic are curses, darkness, death, destruction, disease and necromancy.

      Players may choose any alignment they want and need not reveal it to others.  There are some magical items that can only be used by one alignment of characters.       If the Dungeon Master feels that a character has begun to behave in a manner inconsistent with his declared alignment he may rule that he has changed alignment and penalize the character with a loss of one level. 

No cleric, priest, agent or mage can know or learn spells that are of opposite alignment than their own;
lawful mages cannot cast charm or illusions.   And 
 good priests may cast cure wounds multiple  provided they don’t exceed their level based limits or spells allowed per day.

             Evil people seldo declare their motivations.    Evil NPCs will attend charity events, political rallies and worship services alongside decent and loyal villagers. Many evil people actually have little insight into their true nature, hiding behind half-truths and excuses, insisting that the problem lies in other people’s misinterpretation of their behavior.  Part of being an effective conman, charlatan, politician, blogger troll or trial lawyer is to actually deceive yourself into believing that the product, cure, cause or argument that you champion is just or righteous.  

Evil people depend upon duplicity and deceit to further their selfish and malicious goals.  The wiser and more powerful the being, the more established and influential their social ties; therefore, even if the truth is openly declared, it will often be ignored, distorted, mocked or violently denounced as slander. Although know alignment spell is personally edifying to the caster, it will seldom convince others that an influential NPC is a crook, liar, undead or worse. 

                Real people (your friends, family and neighbors) are often more complex than fantasy characters. Discretion and tact dictates it is best to avoid using fantasy game mechanics to categorize individuals or political parties as good or evil & lawful or chaotic. Real people tend to have diverse motivations and do not readily settle on Table 4.1 that was liberated from the blog of Roger the GS on 29 Sep 2010.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Kids are NOT Alright


"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet andrespectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful  and impatient of restraint"
 Hesiod, 8th century BC 

I  will give you THREE reasons why the composition of modern youth have doomed the future of the USA
(maybe Canada , maybe Europe).  
There is an unholy trifecta in our youth that has never before been seen in human history:

 a Thought experiment for those of you over forty;
Close your eyes and think back to high school, who was the fat kid 
Can you  picture him/her? 
What was their name?
That’s right - you can recall the face, probably the name - why?
Because it used to be that obesity was RARE.  Now, more than 1/6th of kids are obese.  I am not talking 10- 15 lbs middle-age overweight. I am talking fat - so heavy that you look overweight in your high school year book photo. (That’s right, twenty years ago,  Americans called excessive accumulation of   adipose tissue , ‘fat.’)
We all understand, that obesity  does NOT imply lack of moral or intellectual capacity but it is a severe detriment when dealing with health and occupational opportunities.
They are illegitimate.
About 40% of US children are born without a father in the house. I understand divorce, we are not talking about unsuccessful marriages.  About 40% of children are born without an extended family structure.  Even in West Germany and Japan after world war II, 40% of children were not born out of wedlock. Illegitimacy is a big predictor of poverty, downward social mobility and dropping out of high school.

 . .. .
 . .. 

 . . .
They are entitled…
It has been consistent throughout human history that the children of the wealthy and aristocracy felt that they were privileged - the world owes them a living.  Now this defect of the spirit has spread to the middle and lower income quintiles.
(we don’t really have classes in America, ‘class’ is an old world concept -         Kim Kardashian is extremely wealthy, but would anyone honestly label her ‘upper class;’ meanwhile Charles Ramsey is poor, but would any respectable human being call him ‘lower class’). 
Many modern youth narcissistically believe they are entitled to health, employment, housing and protection by virtue of having a pulse – they are required to accomplish nothing, yet the ‘government’ should provide for them forever.


Yes, I understand that there are MANY quality young people in this generation; however, the tough question  remains:
Can this minority of quality youth carry BOTH
the heavy load created by the failings of my generation
 as well as the burden of their incompetent peers ?

(70% of young people don't  qualify for military service)

Thursday, June 6, 2013


An abandoned city in Barsoom’s South West hemisphere, that falls within the domain of the green Martian tribe of Torquas.  Aaanthor has a famous broad boulevard that leads to the central plaza known as the Avenue of Quays.

“He gazed about in bewildered astonishment. There indeed was a great city, but it was not Ptarth. No multitudes surged through its broad avenues. No signs of life broke the dead monotony of its deserted roof tops.  No gorgeous silks, no priceless furs lent life and colour to the cold marble and the gleaming ersite.  No patrol boat lay ready with its familiar challenge. Silent and empty lay the great city—empty and silent the surrounding air.”  (TMM III).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Atmosphere Plant

  A square building located in the eastern hemisphere, its walls are 200 feet tall and 2 miles long!   The building in which I found myself contained the machinery which produces that artificial atmosphere which sustains life on Mars. The secret of the entire process hinges on the use of the ninth ray, one of the beautiful scintillations which I had noted emanating from the great stone in my host's diadem.

“This ray is separated from the other rays of the sun by means of finely adjusted instruments placed upon the roof of the huge building, three-quarters of which is used for reservoirs in which the ninth ray is stored. This product is then treated electrically, or rather certain proportions of refined electric vibrations are incorporated with it, and the result is then pumped to the five principal air centers of the planet where, as it is released, contact with the ether of space transforms it into atmosphere.

“There is always sufficient reserve of the ninth ray stored in the great building to maintain the present Martian atmosphere for a thousand years, and the only fear, as my new friend told me, was that some accident might befall the pumping apparatus.

“He led me to an inner chamber where I beheld a battery of twenty radium pumps any one of which was equal to the task of furnishing all Mars with the atmosphere compound. For eight hundred years, he told me, he had watched these pumps which are used alternately a day each at a stretch, or a little over twenty-four and one-half Earth hours. He has one assistant who divides the watch with him. Half a Martian year, about three hundred and forty-four of our days, each of these men spend alone in this huge, isolated plant.

“Every red Martian is taught during earliest childhood the principles of the manufacture of atmosphere, but only two at one time ever hold the secret of ingress to the great building, which, built as it is with walls a hundred and fifty feet thick, is absolutely unassailable, even the roof being guarded from assault by air craft by a glass covering five feet thick.”   (PM XX)



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Carrion Caves

"consist of a series of twenty-seven connecting chambers, and present the appearance of having been eroded by running water in some far-gone age when a mighty river found its way to the south through this single breach in the barrier of rock and ice that hems the country of the pole.”

"That I should have lived to witness the reality of the fabled Carrion Caves!   If these indeed be they, we have found a way beyond the ice-barrier. The ancient chronicles of the first historians of Barsoom—so ancient that we have for ages considered them mythology—record the passing of the yellow men from the ravages of the green hordes that overran Barsoom as the drying up of the great oceans drove the dominant races from their strongholds.

"They tell of the wanderings of the remnants of this once powerful race, harassed at every step, until at last they found a way through the ice-barrier of the north to a fertile valley at the pole.  At the opening to the subterranean passage that led to their haven of refuge a mighty battle was fought in which the yellow men were victorious, and within the caves that gave ingress to their new home they piled the bodies of the dead, both yellow and green, that the stench might warn away their enemies from further pursuit.

"And ever since that long-gone day have the dead of this fabled land been carried to the Carrion Caves, that in death and decay they might serve their country and warn away invading enemies. Here, too, is brought, so the fable runs, all the waste stuff of the nation—everything that is subject to rot, and that can add to the foul stench that assails our nostrils.

"And death lurks at every step among rotting dead, for here the fierce apts lair, adding to the putrid accumulation with the fragments of their own prey which they cannot devour. It is a horrid avenue to our goal, but it is the only one."  . . .

"If it be true, and let us pray that such may be the case," I said, "then here may we solve the mystery of the disappearance of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, and Mors Kajak, his son, for no other spot upon Barsoom has remained unexplored by the many expeditions and the countless spies that have been searching for them for nearly two years. The last word that came from them was that they sought Carthoris, my own brave son, beyond the ice-barrier.

“The bones of dead men lay man high upon the broad floor of the first cave, and over all was a putrid mush of decaying flesh, through which the apts had beaten a hideous trail toward the entrance to the second cave beyond.  The roof of this first apartment was low, like all that we traversed subsequently, so that the foul odors were confined and condensed to such an extent that they seemed to possess tangible substance. One was almost tempted to draw his short-sword and hew his way through in search of pure air beyond.  

“It was not until we had passed through seven caves of different sizes and varying but little in the power and quality of their stenches that we met with any physical opposition. Then, within the eighth cave, we came upon a lair of apts.
“A full score of the mighty beasts were disposed about the chamber. Some were sleeping, while others tore at the fresh-killed carcasses of new-brought prey, or fought among themselves in their love-making.  Here in the dim light of their subterranean home the value of their great eyes was apparent, for these inner caves are shrouded in perpetual gloom that is but little less than utter darkness. (WM VIII)

Artwork by the master, Joe Jusko
Map by Neal McDonald