OOC – Update

Far more successful bloggers than I say that updates are important. One of these more successful bloggers is also doing a “no self-depreciation” challenge so I won’t say why I think they aren’t important.

Today’s post is going to be the last one in the main Elapocalypse story for a while. I’ve been running out of steam for a bit and I want to shake things up.

You see when I was a kid there used to be this thing called TV shows. They made loads of them and most of them didn’t survive. Like fish laying eggs. Sometimes when a show was not doing well they’d try to tweak it a little to save themselves. It never worked. I’ve always thought it would be neat if in that situation the show took a wild swing. If your sitcom about a married couple in Chicago isn’t working how about you inexplicably make it a supernatural drama about mummies?

If you’re going down why not go nuts?

I know why, they have to think about their careers, but the point is I’m going to do some flashbacks/background/prequels/whatever where things get funky. Why not? I’m just writing for my own amusement anyway.

Anyway, I’m probably going to take a few posts off before I start up with that. Or post about random stuff.

What kind of random stuff? Stuff like this – when I started out on WP I had three blogs. With my busy social calendar that was one blog two many. Now that I’m re-posting blog #2 on wattpad I’m getting into the same scenario. I’m doing a lot more new material on wattpad that I planned.

Sidenote, I found out that “wattpad boy” is slang for a dude who’s super-dreamy, which makes me more convinced than ever that it’s for 12-year old girls and maybe I shouldn’t be there.

The funny thing is I would prioritize wattpad first even though I only have 1 reader and I think it’s a terrible platform to attract readers. Maybe just because I’m exciting to be re-writing the Grace story.

OOC – Wednesday ramblin’

I was reminded recently that I joined twitter because a package was delivered to my house by mistake and the only company information on it was a twitter handle.  Sidenote, getting that package to its rightful owner I learned that tons of people will tell you everything about where someone lives and all sorts of other personal details even if say you don’t want to know and you just want to send a package back. 

Thinking about that reminded me that I joined Facebook because I heard Paul F Thompkins had a deal where if you got 300 people in your area to join a FB group he would come to do stand-up in your town.  Shortly afterwards I found out that he had stopped doing that because a guy in Texas repeatedly set up tons of fake accounts to get him to come to book shows that no one would buy tickets for.  Why?  Did that person have a personal beef with Paul F Thompkins?  Also he doesn’t even do stand-up anymore. 

One time I almost joined Instagram because I wanted a lady to draw a picture for me and that was her only contact.  Thankfully I had someone else make that request for me. 

Wattpad calls itself social media but seems different to me.  I joined that because a guy on another blog talked about it. 

Twitter sent me down a Kickstarter hole the other day and I saw all kinds of cool comic books that will never be made.  That got me to thinking about all the great stuff on Wattpad I read that will never be made. 

That got me to thinking about a guy I used to game with sometimes.  He was in a band called the Hudson Falcons.  I was curious if I would find anything about them with google and I did. 

He got back from a tour of Europe and decided to hang it up and work in an office.  I found this a surprising.  I figured if a band was touring Europe that meant they were doing well. 

He told me something that has stuck with me.  I’ve probably blogged about it before.  He had come to realize that “normal” jobs are expandable.  The more people there are in the world the more accountants and firefighters and electricians and male strippers you need.  For every X people you need Y accountants and firefighters and electricians and male strippers to meet the demand of those people. 

On the other hand with art, be it music or acting or painting or writing or drawing or whatever, you don’t always need more people doing it.  The same number of people can fulfill the demand for everyone no matter how many people there are.  The Beetles aren’t even a thing anymore and they can fulfill a good chunk of music needs no matter how many people like music. 

As he put it tons of people can be mediocre accountants and live a pretty sweet life whereas you can be a fantastic artist and never make a dime.  In theory one super awesome singer could meet the music needs of everyone in the world, but those people would still need millions of accountants. 

It’s kind of a bummer for all those comic book people on Kickstarter and Wattpad but as my yoga lady says, we don’t get angry about these things or frustrated about them, that’s just the way that it is. 

I wonder sometimes what the difference is between acceptance and nihilism.  I know that one is good and adult and the other is for immature sadboys who watch too much Fight Club. 

OOC – Questions are just friends you haven’t met

Yesterday when I was brushing my teeth I decided that my toothbrush was done and I would throw it away afterwards.  Then I realized that the toothpaste tube was as empty as it was going to get as well. 

I don’t know when parents start making their kids brush their teeth so I don’t know how long I’ve been brushing.  I’m going to guess to guess at least 40 years.  That has never happened before.  Brush and tube “running out” at the same time? 

Now I’ve seen it all. 

It bugs me how much toothpaste must be left in the tube no matter how much you squeeze it.  One time I tried ripping the tube open and scooping out the clinging paste but it didn’t work well.  I want there to be some way to get it all.

I follow a lot of blogs.  What I think is a lot.  One time another guy talked about all the blogs he follows and it was hundreds.  Sometimes the authors of those blogs ask for feedback.  Usually no one responds.  I feel bad about it.  But I also don’t respond. 

Some of these questions are related to my other blog. 

https://agtheshine.com/

It’s massively popular and will probably be a show on Freevee soon. 

When you enjoy fiction do you prefer for it to be fiction all the way down or do you like it when real life people pop in? 

Example, if Bessie Love the old timey actress was revealed to have been a magic monster hunter in her day would that be “cool” or “lame”? 

In that example does it matter one way or the other that Bessie Love is a fairly obscure reference?  Would you feel differently if it was say, Jennifer Lopez?

Does the inclusion of real people make things feel more real or hurt you suspension of disbelief?

Decades ago in the early times of the internet I was a writing site and I hated it when people had their characters interact with real people.  But I think that’s probably because they were shitty writers more than anything. 

If someone writes a story in a world that has well established canon do you like it if the major characters show up or would you prefer that they be absent? 

Example, if I write a Star Wars story would it be “dope” or “gross” if Darth Vader showed up? 

Scenario one – straight up murder.  Scenario two – the protagonist uses magic to unbind a spell that someone else was using to live beyond normal lifespan which makes them die of “old age”. 

Logically these two actions are the same.  The main character did something that resulted in someone else dying.  But they feel different to my feelings.  Do you have different reactions to these?

When a character doesn’t kill bad guys does it bum you out if it comes back to bite them in the ass?  Is it annoying when they talk about their conflicted feelings about it all the time?

When a storyline doesn’t have a solid conclusion does it make things feel more “real” or does it seem lazy and crummy?  Or something else?

Do you like pumpkin pie? 

Freaky Friday – The Unreturn of Super Ela

I’ll pick back up with the Elapocalypse next week for anyone paying attention. The Super Ela storyline has been my favorite to write so far, it’s too bad she suddenly died. One of the 8-17 ideas I have for the future, assuming I don’t get bored of this blog, is doing another version of that. I had the urge to write a possible preview of what that might be.

When I got home, Mythandria was stretched out on my couch on her side idly playing some game on my tablet.  Like she always is.  She was wearing her magic metal monokini thing.  Like she always is.  As far as I know, she only ever took it off to shower and she doesn’t even do that anymore.  She’s a gorgeous being, truly and indisputably she is, but I’ve come to loathe the sight of her body.  You see all that skin every day, day after day, and it starts to wear on you.  I wonder if the same thing happens to security guards in a museum.  After you’ve looked at Michelangelo’s David hanging dong in your face for two hundred days in the row, can you still appreciate it or do you wish you had a sledgehammer?  She would be a little more gorgeous if not for the trail of Flamin’ Hot Cheeto dust on her smooth hairless belly and the smear of chocolate on her cheek (or maybe BBQ sauce) but that’s par for the course these days. 

Zamphour Santraginean was sitting in my chair watching my TV.  Like he often is.  His current appearance was that of Brad Pitt.  Like it often is.  I hate when he does that.  You know how weird it is to come home to find Brad Pitt sitting in your crappy apartment watching the news?  The worst part is his posture.  I don’t know if Skrulls are natural slouchers or what his issue is, but seeing Brad Pitt slumped over like a round-shouldered loser really ruins the mystique.  Same goes for a shirtless Tom Hardy struggling to open a pickle jar in a full body dry heave.  When you first start living with a shape-shifting alien you think “this will be fun” but after you’ve seen Kevin James come out of the bathroom after a shower with no towel, you change your mind in a hurry. 

At least Zamphour means well, he works a part time job at Sub Shack.  When he remembers what day he works and what day it is.  He has a real problem with earth dates.  Notwithstanding telling time, he pitches in whatever money he makes.  I could point out that he could make a lot more money as a celebrity impersonator or a model but I won’t, because at least he contributes.  Mythandria doesn’t do jack shit but lay around in her Mithril Return of the Jedi Princess Leia outfit and play Candy Crush.  She doesn’t pay rent, she doesn’t cook, she doesn’t clean, she doesn’t do anything.  She might as well be a house plant.  Actually no, at least a plant makes oxygen, she takes my oxygen so she’s worse than a plant.  I will point out that she could make a fortune as a model or an “actress” that can’t act because she doesn’t contribute anything.   

“Ghoram steel.” Mithandria’s voice is so luminous and melodic that sometimes it takes a moment to realize that it’s a person talking and not angels singing. 

“What?” I said confusedly in my tiny bit-too-low voice.  Sometimes on the phone people think I’m a dude. 

She tapped on one of her tit-plates, which was struggling to contain her bounty in a way that looked like some kind of bondage porn you’d see online “It’s made out of Ghoram steel, not Mithril.  Mithril isn’t real.” 

“Stay out of my mind!” 

“You were projecting, I couldn’t help it.” 

“Well at least put on some fucking pants.” 

She raised a naturally perfectly framed eyebrow that she never has to pluck or maintain at me “Language Ela, there’s no need for profanity.” 

I snorted “How many times have you been cited for public indecency?  Seventeen?  Who are you to lecture me?” 

“You can’t legislate the beauty of living creatures.” 

“They can legislate your ass cheeks jiggling in some six-year old’s face.” 

She hadn’t looked up from my tablet during this entire exchange but she gave Zamphour a look as if to say “this bitch right?”  I dropped my bag and keys on the table with a sigh.  What do I do?  I perform standardized lab tests on colors, flavors, and fragrances used mostly in pharmaceuticals but also for food and beverage, cosmetics, home and personal care products, and specialty printing ink.  For example, orange juice is stored in these giant tanks where they put so much gunk in it to keep it from going bad that it ends up having no flavor or scent.  So before they sell it to you, they buy orange juice taste and smell chemicals from us and dump it in the vat so you can drink it and pretend like it’s not a glassful of organo-nitrates.  It’s even more boring than it sounds.  But it pays the bills.  Like eighty percent of the time.  

Zamphour pointed his Pitt chin at the kitchen in a very awkward ugly un-Pittlike way “There’s sausage balls on the stove.” 

I walked into the kitchen “What the fuck is a sausage ball?” 

“Cream cheese, ground turkey sausage, flour, shortening, shredded cheese, bake at three hundred and fifty earth degrees.” 

I poked at the saucepan on the stove with a wooden spoon “You don’t have to say earth degrees, I know we’re on earth.  How old was that cream cheese?” 

He looked up, which is not a real gesture he does when thinking but something he does to try and mimic what humans look like when they think “Uh . . . three years.” 

“A year is how long it takes the planet to make a full orbit around the sun, try again.” 

He frowned in concentration, another affectation – Skrulls mostly emote with their ears I’ve come to know “Three minutes?” 

 I shook my head “Jesus dude, learn time.” 

The sausage balls didn’t smell too bad so I dumped some in a bowl and put them in the microwave.  While I was waiting, I leaned on the doorjamb and saw what Zamphour was so engrossed by on the TV.  There was a big commotion downtown with tons of cop cars and reporters and choppers and barricades and the usual rigmarole.   

“What’s going on?” 

“Duke Eaglevane took the city council hostage.  He’s got them wired up with bombs.” 

I halfway laughed “The city council?  Why would he take them hostage?  Most people don’t even know who’s on the city council.  He should have strapped a bomb to Kylie Jenner if he wanted people to pay him any attention.” 

Mythandria piped in helpfully “Kylie Jenner is in Curacao, I saw it on Instagram.” 

“Metroman hasn’t showed up yet?” 

Zamphour shook Brad Pitt’s head, which is a real thing he does, that seems to be a universal gesture even with aliens, human-like aliens anyway “No, Galactic Contest of Champions.” 

I thought about it for a moment “Oh shit, you’re right, I totally forgot that was coming up.  Have they given any updates on the Five?” 

“They’re across town helping the police deal with the Scorpion, bank robbery.” 

I shook my head “Fucking Duke does that every time, get some chump to rob a bank across town as a distraction, he needs some new material.” 

Mythandria chimed in again “Why would he change his tactics when it always works?” 

“Shut up Mythandria.  Have they said anything about his demands?” 

Zamphour clenched his hands together nervously as he does when I bicker with Mythandria “A thousand bitcoin.” 

“How much is that in actual money?” 

He pointed “They have a counter in the corner, it keeps going up.  The price of bitcoin has more than doubled since they started reporting on the hostage situation.” 

I shook my head again “Fucking savages.  Those people driving up the price are the real villains.  Have they said if anyone is on the way?  I feel like the Shadow Vigilantes would be next on the depth chart.” 

Mythandria finally looked away from her stupid tablet game “They’re out of town.” 

“How do you know that?” 

“Instagram.” She held up a picture of Dr. Midnight on a beach somewhere.  I don’t know who started the trend of superhero bikini pics with your mask on but I hate it, it creeps me out.   

“What about Amazonia and Shan-Ra?” 

Zamphour did a pretty poor job of making his Pitt-face imitate human bewilderment “Shan-ra?  She’s dead.” 

The microwave dinged just them “What?!  Shan-ra the She-Devil is dead?!  When did that happen?” 

Mythandria went back to her game “Week before last.  Talisman sawed her head off and left it on the steps of city hall.” 

I gawked at the callousness she was displaying “You remember how good and nice and kind you were when we first met?  What happened to you?” 

“Earth” she said sourly.  I can’t really disagree with her there.   

I grabbed the bowl of now way too hot sausage balls out of the microwave and came back into the living room “Jesus Christ, that crazy bastard finally did it huh?  He killed her.  What about Amazonia, where’s she?” 

Zamphour dipped his head with the proper respect “No one has seen her since the murder.  Probably she went back to her secret island in the Amazon to mourn.” 

I poked at the sausage balls with a fork, starving but not wanting to annihilate my mouth with hot meat (phrasing) “I’m surprised she didn’t tear Talisman limb from limb before she went.  Shit, it’s probably up to us then huh?  Maybe we should get geared up.” 

Mythandria settled deeper into the couch “You’re the only one who needs gear.” 

Before I could tell her to shut up, Zamphour stepped between us with an enthusiastic grin that did not fit Brad Pitt’s face at all “I’ll check the bus schedule.”     

Mythandria sighed theatrically “We wouldn’t have to take the bus to fight crime if someone could fly.” 

Before I could unleash a blistering retort, Zamphour jumped in again desperately “You go get ready Ela, I’ll call and see if anyone else can join us.  Cosmic Girl, Star Slayer, maybe that guy with the big axe, I forget his name but I have his number in your phone.” 

I went into the bedroom and started shrugging on my armor vest “Don’t call Star Slayer, that idiot almost blew my head off with his damn laser rifle last time we teamed up.” 

OOC – Black Friday the 13th

One unexpected side effect of starting a WordPress blog is the many other blogs I’ve started reading.  There’s a few oddballs in the mix but they generally fall into three categories –

RPG blogs (mostly D&D since that’s the most popular RPG by a substantial margin these days) that I read to get ideas for RPGs and to shake my head at how the young people play RPGs these days and lament that the world I grew up in in gone.

Movie review blogs that I read because I enjoy how upset everyone gets by each new Marvel movie (and Star Wars to a lesser degree) because it RUINED everything because there was a female character in it. 

And horror movie blogs.  I enjoy the occasional horror movie but I am by no means a big horror guy.  My sister is a huge horror movie fan.  She honestly tries to see EVERY horror movie that comes out each year.  It’s crazy.  I like reading these blogs because I enjoy how into it people are.  People who are really into horror movies are REALLY into horror movies.  There’s been so much written about Friday the 13th and what’s really going on there and which movies should be “canon” that there should be a Wu-Tang American Tale style documentary about it. 

This is how I learned that Friday the 13th Part 9: Jason Goes to Hell is generally reviled by the Jasonheads out there.  I get why you wouldn’t like it, if you’re really into the Jasonverse, making Jason a Deadite and the Voorhees family Deadite cultists does pretty much overturn the mythology they had going.  It’s not as bad a Midi-chlorians to Star Wars people but its close. 

As a casual horror fan though I love Jason 9 the most, and not because of the Deadite thing, even though I am a fan of the Evil Dead.  I love it because of the opening scene. 

If you’re not familiar the opening scene is a sexy lady (the same actress who did the nude karate fight in Point Break which was the greatest thing I had ever seen when I was a young fella) going up to Camp Crystal Lake alone.  She goes into a creepy old cabin and immediately gets naked.  Which of course is how you summon Jason.  Sidenote, I one time wrote a Friday the 13th script where a lady gets naked and Jason doesn’t show up and it makes her self-conscious that she’s not attractive enough to get the attention of a supernatural killing machine.  That’s probably not okay anymore but I think that was in 1998 so I’ll forgive myself on your behalf. 

Anyway, Jason shows up and nudity 2-shoes dodges the machete attack and after falling off a balcony onto a coffee table she springs away like a gazelle.  At some point she wraps herself in a towel because as we learned from Zombieland no one wants to see a naked woman running full speed. 

Jason chases after her and she leads him into a trap where a small army of FBI dudes shoot Jason to pieces with an illogically wide array of firearms.  Also they appear to be in each other’s line of fire, but whatever.  Dudes even quick-rope down trees with assault rifles to get in on the action.  And then the pièce de résistance, after shooting Jason several hundred times the FBI guys all hit the deck and they finish him off with a mortar attack.

This is awesome.  But it also does what any great film does, it makes us think.  What did the FBI know about Jason?  And what does that imply?  Some people (you know the type) have tried to say that the FBI was just going after a serial killer, but to them I say – you don’t have small artillery  weapons for close fire support at the ready to blow up a serial killer.  Even in the 90’s you’d get in a lot of trouble for that.  To me this clearly indicates that they knew they were dealing with something supernatural. 

I submit that the FBI had collected all the details of the many times Jason has been dealt “fatal” wounds and shook them off, and the times that he had “died” and come back.  And based on this they decided to try some good old fashioned heavy firepower.  Let’s blow this fucker up with a mortar and see what happens. 

So, we have to wonder, is this the first time the FBI acknowledges and deals with a supernatural threat?  If not was there a special unit that deals with that kind of thing?  This is what I need to know more about.  Has there been some FBI agent out there (Mulder?) for 20 years trying to get attention to this Jason Vorhees thing and someone finally paid attention to him? 

Or was the FBI supernatural kill unit born after the federal raid on Innsmouth, Massachusetts in 1928?  These are the questions I want answered.  Were the people that killed Jason (he came back don’t worry) working on a pill to protect teenagers from Freddie Kruger and other dream masters?  Were they trying to figure out a way to harness the power of the Hellrasier dimension to create portal that would generate unlimited free clean energy?  Did they have a Chucky operation in the works? 

The Chucky angle is especially interesting.  Eddie Caputo is a serial killer who manages to voodoo throw his soul into a doll.  I have to assume the FBI was already on his trail since they deal with serial killers, and the information that voodoo can throw souls around is something that it seems like they would be interested in.  Not very PC since voodoo is a real religion, but what can you do?  If not Innsmouth maybe the FBI magic division came sprang from the Chucky case and they started recruiting people with knowledge of African diaspora religions to build their new squad. 

And what about the army?  When they heard about Jason did they want to learn his secrets so they could build an army of nigh-invulnerable Jason-like soldiers to take out the Russians?  Did the FBI have to work against them as well to prevent that horrific dabbling?  What did POTUS have to say about it?  What about the Supreme Court?  Does the Bill of Rights extend to supernatural entities?  Does Jason have civil rights? 

But that’s not even the most interesting question raised by Jason 9.  The real story I want to know is what the heck is going on with Creighton Dukes?   

So Dukes goes out to Camp Crystal Lake as a teen and Jason murders his girlfriend so he dedicates his life to learning about how to defeat him.  Uh, excuse me?  How does one study Jason?  Where does that information come from?  Is there a Jason section in the library I don’t know about? 

And why does he break that dorky dude’s fingers as “payment” for telling him what the hell is going on?  Is he magic and he draws power from pain?  He later produces a magic dagger that is the only way to kill Jason.  I submit that he’s a magic man and he made that dagger.  His girlfriend was murdered and he traveled the world Dr. Strange style looking for true magic and he found it.  And now he lives in an armored compound and has brought in six serial killers as a bounty hunter.  I want to know more about this dude. 

He tells Jessica Kimble that she’s the only one who can kill Jason because she’s actually Jaon’s niece.  How would he know that?  Because he’s the one who did the magic on the dagger of course.  It all makes sense. 

And while we’re on the subject of the Kimbles, Diana Kimble is Jason’s half-sister, the daughter of Elias Voorhees.  We don’t know much about Elias Vorhees, but we do know that he’s “far more evil than Jason” and he was killed by Momma Vorhees for beating Jason.  Oh, and we know that his great-great-great-grandfather was a warlock who was maybe burned alive when girls started going missing in Salem Massachusetts. 

So Diana is the daughter of this dude and whom?  And how did it all go down?  Does she really not know the deal?  She was hanging around Crystal Lake working at a diner, can that be coincidence?  Was there waiting for the day the dude with the magic dagger would show up so she could kill Jason?  She tells the dorky dude I mentioned before that they need to talk about Jessica.  She’s killed before she can give much exposition but that implies that she knew something about what was going on.  Is she magic too?  Was her mother a witch?  Did she specifically seek out Elias to get pregnant because he knew that only a Vorhees could kill Jason and she was getting the bloodline going for that specific purpose?  I need to know. 

Stolen writing advice from someone better

Being a soulless Gen X mutant, normally I don’t try to help people or do anything, I just sit in my flannel shirt in my dimly lit basement listening to Alice in Chains and reveling in the fact that I don’t care about anything and only being happy when it rains.  And also not even then.  As a Xer I spend my time normally not caring about money or success or anything but Bikini Kill. 

Normally I wouldn’t post twice in a day either, but if I wait I’ll forget.  Sometimes I write myself notes of things to write about later and then I never remember what they mean later.  This has been going on for 30 years.

There’s a pretty common piece of writing advice which is “write a lot”.  If you feel blocked it’s because you’re thinking too much.  Just write something, anything.  Write every day all the time.  The theory is that you get better at something by doing it.  A basketball player doesn’t get better by thinking about shooting, they get better by shooting baskets in an empty gym. 

Part of the idea is that most of what everyone writes, except for a few geniuses, sucks.  So if ten percent of what you write is going to be good, you need to write tons and tons to make that ten percent pile as big as possible. 

For me, this advice was one of those things where I said “That sounds right” but didn’t really take it to heart.  Today though I heard something that really made it land for me. 

This information is coming to me 5th hand so the details are probably wrong but the gist is correct I think.  There’s a book called Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.  According to a different book that referenced that book that was referenced on a YouTube video that was referenced on a TV show that was referenced on a podcast I listen to, in Art &Fear they talk about an art teacher.

This art teacher decided to play a cruel joke on their class in the name of the social sciences.  They divided the class into two groups.  Group one was told their grade would be based on the number of pots they made.  Group two was told that their grade would be based on their best pot.  But hold onto your butts folks, because the first group was lied to, everyone was judged on their best pot. 

The gag is at the end of the semester (or whatever) the first group had made better pots.  The theory is that while group two spent all their time trying to make one or a few good pots, group one was cranking out pots right and left; ergo they got good at making pots, ergo they made a lot of crappy pots but the good ones they made were better than the people who were trying to make good ones. 

This may not even be a true story, but it made the “write a lot” advice sink in for me. 

I already write almost every day but nevertheless in order to write more, I will be starting a 5th blog with a new fiction narrative,  working title – Blood Orgy in The House of Pain.

Midnight on Dagger Alley (OOC shamboozling)

I thought the title of that module was Midnight IN Dagger Alley but it’s not.  It’s Midnight ON Dagger Alley.  Which doesn’t make sense.  Or does it? 

As you all know, Wednesday is when I post world-building and background stuff for the funkadelic 70’s adventures of Ela 2.0.  But I don’t feel like it today so I’m not gonna.  In the old days of D&D Ela, I never would have dreamed of not posting EVERY day like I promised the zero people that read it.  But these are new times where rules mean nothing.  I’ve learned that the less I post, the more people seem to like it.  I don’t take it personally. 

“Jeremy what are you doing?  Don’t you have another blog for random thoughts?”  No, that blog is for deep personal reflection and is only for my dear friends and 8 (and counting) Russian bots.

I was playing DND (yay!) on roll20 (boo!) the other day and after the customary 7 to 99 minutes of fucking around, the game began with the DM letting out a huge sigh and saying “okay then”. 

I thought in that moment “I think that’s how all my DND games have started”.  Which is an exaggeration, it’s probably not even most, but maybe 30% of them have been something like that.  It reminded me that as much fun as playing RPGs is, it’s a lot of work. 

Sometimes my friends and I sit around and shoot the shit (before covid you know) but more often we’re playing a board game or a RPG.  I often wonder how people that don’t game maintain friendships.  What do they do?  Talk to each other without any agenda?  Awful.

It’s kind of a bummer though because it means that someone has a part time job that’s necessary for friendship time.  Which I guess is okay because friendship is something that should require some work, but being a DM is kind of a drag.  I love running games and obviously am the best at it in the world, but even I sometimes am just like “ugh, I don’t really want to do this tonight” but you sort of have to or you ruin it for everyone. 

In the past few years, I’ve seen tons of “gmless” RPGs and “zero-prep” adventures, I hate-follow one blog where the blogman talks at length about how any adventure that requires any prep is utter shit and the person that wrote it should die.  Being a judgmental old man, I turn up my nose at these things – damn millennials want to have the fun of DND without the work?  In my day there were only two character classes and you had 8 STR and you got killed by a gopher and you LIKED IT DAMN IT!!!

But I get it.  If you can have fun playing a game without having to bust your ass, why wouldn’t you?

What I’m saying is that I beat Zelda without the wooden sword when I was a kid and I thought that was great.  But then the internet was a thing and I found out that tons of people have done that.  So I guess my proudest accomplishment now is that I threw a 20 sided dice and turned off my friend Joel’s Nintendo from a legit 20 feet away when he was being a jerk and playing Dragon Warrior while we were all waiting for him. 

That’s a lie, I didn’t do that, one of my friends did.  But as I get older, I’ll start to remember that I did it because memory is stupid.

Once in a while other blog people say on their blog that people should read my blog.  The people that read their blog never do, but I still appreciate the tiny crumbs of attention thrown my way like young crows like it when you toss them corn. 

If you like wrestling or comic books or pop tarts, you should read this – https://swoproductions.com/home/ – they also talk about anime sometimes but nobody is perfect.

If you like seeing DND where a TON of work is put into making it look awesome, you should read this – https://storiesfromthewifeofadungeonmaster.wordpress.com/

If you like Shadowrun but hate its insane rules system, you should read this – https://doubleproficiency.com/

If you like goblins with ballistas, you should read this – https://goblinwithaballista.com/

And if you think that Stephen Amell should hire me as a writer on his new wrestling drama HEELS, you should read this – https://cultissuchanuglyword.wordpress.com/ and then badger him on social media.