Monday, October 31, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: The Horror of Horror in Tabletop

It's hard to do some sorts of genres in tabletop RPGs, and one of them is horror. (The other is romance.) The common player is sufficiently detatched from the situation (as one expects in a medium of play derived from tabletop wargames) that the sort of visceral reaction that proper horror produces in the audience--dread, terror, fear, etc.--are absent in tabletop gaming. This is why tabletop RPGs have to resort to employing mechanics to generate the same effects.

Perennial favorite Call of Cthulhu has its SAN mechanic to enforce the Cosmic Horror feeling of Lovecraft's stories, despite the fact that what we know now of the cosmos renders so much of that moot. Yet, to keep that feel, you got chuck the dice and watch out for your mental Hit Points as much as you do your physical ones. Otherwise you get play experiences so contradictory to the source material that you lose the point of the game. (This is why the Cthulhu boardgames are better experiences; they dispense with playable spaces outside of what the sources allow.)

Horror requires scaring the audience to succeed, and tabletop RPGs don't allow for that. That's the horror of horror RPGs: it's like being a eunuch- you still dig it, but you can't do it, so there's no payoff and therefore no reason to bother trying without bringing in widgets to workaround the dysfunction. Tabletop RPGs are about doing, not being, and doing trumps being psychologically; this is why "just do it" is actually sound advice most of the time.

So, with all this crap going on, what known tabletop RPG does its source material well without needing Fuck You mechanics used on players? Well, that's easy, and if you can find a copy of the rulebook I recommend giving it a read:

All Flesh Must Be Eaten

It's not strictly a zombie-themed horror game. It's an adventure game where the zombie rules are applicable for damn near any sort of monster that fills that niche: zombies, vampires, xenomorphs, terminators, slasher movie killers, etc. (And yes, that means you can replay Cabin In The Woods if you like.) The sample settings and supplementary materials make this crystal clear. Yes, there is a PDF available, and you can dig for that on your own if you (sensibly) avoid SocJus-converged outlets like RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

Honorable Mention

If you're unwilling or unable to use Call of Cthulhu or All Flesh Must Be Eaten, and you want something more blatantly using that tried-and-true D&Dish framework, well there's one go-to choice that's been in print for a generation now: Beyond The Supernatural. Palladium also has its own zombie RPG (Dead Reign) and Hidden Monster PC game (Nightbane) if you want those flavors of horror on said framework.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cernovich Shows How It's Done

Mike Cernovich put up a post on his blog today showing how well his writing business is doing. Gorilla Mindset alone pulls in $18K+ a month in revenue for him, and he's got other books as well as other revenue streams going for him.

I'm posting about him (again) and this (again) because he's walking what he talks; he's demonstrating the rewards that comes from all of his hustling--and the man hustles--so he shows you that what he's offering is the real deal. I talk him up because there are so few men like him out there: men who are clean, clear, concise, and concrete in his dealings. He's putting in plain terms what all of us should've gotten from our fathers when we were children about what this world--this life--is and how to make it work for you (and why it is that way), and he doesn't waste time smoothing it over because he doesn't give a fuck about anyone unwilling to embrace the truth.

Now that he's showing what--for many people--is the real question ("Does doing what he says pay off well enough to go with it?") I fully expect a surge in people following Cernovich's lead. More specific to the publishing world, including the writing world, what this means is concrete and verifiable evidence that Traditional Publishing is for suckers now and Indie is where it's at hereafter. Be it wholly independent or working with an upstart business like Castallia House (and Mike's done both), this is the hotness now and if you're wanting to break away from the dying light of Traditional Publishing he is the example to follow.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: Steam's Halloween Sale

If you listen carefully, you can hear the screams of Steam wallets the world over as they hear that another big holiday sale has come. (Louder ones realize that this is one of two, with the Christmas sale yet to come.) The Halloween Sale has arrived, and damn if there isn't something for damn near every gamer in the sale. Some of them aren't even horror-themed games.

The discounts range from the pathetic (10%? Come the fuck on!) to the Oh-My-God depths (90%!). Some of what's on offer is what you'd expect: the Left 4 Dead series, Dead Space series, Killing Floor series, both How 2 Survive games, and so on. What I'm going to note (and link to) below are games I think are particularly notable and (if you're into that genre and don't have it for PC yet) you should get it.

  • Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide: This is Left 4 Dead for the fantasy set, with an emphasis on melee combat. Four players, four heroes, horde mode gameplay with special monsters all in the decaying and threatening Gothic styled Warhammer Fantasy world. Good fun co-operative play, and very much a game that rewards teamwork.
  • Darkest Dungeon: It's a single-player game, but this game is very good for livestreamers to play because it is turn-based in its nature when delving into various parts of the dungeon. This is a roguelike crawler--your heroes are expendable, so perma-death is a thing--where the real persistent character is the Estate you develop over the course of the campaign. It too is Gothic in style, and Lovecraft is all over the place. The Narrator's voice will enchant you. Get this game.
  • The Banner Saga/The Banner Saga 2: These two single-player warband-centric RPGs are heavy on the Norse themes and mythological roots, and they are fantastic games delivering fantastic experiences. Choices made have consequences; choices made in Saga 1 carry over to Saga 2. If you love making calls and games about leadership as well as personal effort, these are for you.
  • Castle Crashers: Behemoth's brilliant four-player co-operative side-scrolling brawler is hardly a horror title, but at 80% off it is too good to pass up. (Battleblock Theater is also on sale, and worth getting; yes, there is a bundle.) Yes, even if you already have it on your console(s) of choice, for this price (A whopping $3!) why not have it for your Steam library?
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines: This CRPG adaptation of (now-defunct) White Wolf's ambition and pretentious tabletop RPG of personal horror (which really was Superhumans With Fangs in actual play) is a cult classic for a reason, with it being a superior representation of what the game is meant to be (instead of what it is) to what most experiences in tabletop or in LARP ever were or are now. If you like VtM, get this and play the hell out of it.
  • Salt and Sanctuary: Want a side-scrolling Dark Souls style of game? Here you go, complete with a cutesy (by comparison) art style. It's a Souls-style game; if you like that, you'll get into this.
  • Ember: This is an isometric CRPG, done by folks who know this specific style and genre of RPG, and feels much like a love-letter to the classics of years before. If you like this genre, you should give this a try.

Not an exhaustive or definitive list, of course, but enough to get you feeling your Steam wallet's pain. Enjoy and game on.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Religion In Fiction: Read Brian Niemeier's Post!

Today I'm asking all of you who write genre fiction, design fictional worlds for gaming, and so on to head on over to the blog of Dragon Award winner Brian Niemeier, author of Nethereal and Souldancer, because he's got a great post on the matter of believable portrayals of religion in such contexts. This post links to a guest post he did at Ragnarok Publications on the topic, which expands upon the excerpt in the post.

I'm pointing out this post because of what he points out in Kairos post: that attention to detail makes the story (setting, etc.) easier for a reader/player to accept despite it being unreal, and well-done creation allows for exploration of ideas and themes in a manner that is fun for all concerned. Fun, entertaining, and not "(unsolicited opinions on Israel)".

You can have religion be fun in your fictional work, writing and gaming alike, but like anything else you have to put in some work to set it up and make it so. Don't shy away from that; the payoff is spectacular, as we can clearly see in Tolkien's Middle Earth (which is informed by Tolkien's Catholicism without being so) and Lewis's Narnia (informed by his Protestantism). Give it a go, and if you don't feel like making one up wholly then take some existing one and see if you can make it better (e.g. all of any D&D world's religions).

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Infogalactic and the Culture War

Though my day-to-day gaming centers around World of Warcraft, my heart lies with tabletop RPGs. As a business, such RPGs are notorious for being terrible all around due to the very nature of the product and how it is used. You need to buy it only once, and you can enjoy thousands of hours of entertainment with as many friends as you can manage (provided that you're willing and able to make up your own content, which better RPGs make easy to do). Therefore, publishers have a financial incentive to lobotomize this genre in order to induce the dependencies that provide ongoing revenue in other RPG media: officialdom, canon compliance, and a focus on exploiting the rules over playing the world.

One way this gets monetized is by the cultivation and deliberate growth of an official setting, complete with lore. It pads product page counts with stuff that only those who read more than play (and like it that way), those putting together a setting bible for a shared universe line of sanctioned fiction, or those running some form of officially sanctioned Organized Play campaign care about. In short, they do what Wikis do better and cheaper.

So, I began arguing a few years ago that such publishers would be wise to cut their publishing costs by setting up and managing their own lore wikis instead of letting someone else do it for them. (I pointed out that Wookiepedia was a better Star Wars lore archive than anything else, including the official stuff, as an example.) All of that useless lore crap would be cut from their products, making them cheaper (and thus easier for people to buy), while the lorehounds would get their fix online- and once more a proper division of labor would make for healthier fan scenes as well as businesses.

Of course this got poo-pooed, with the chief objection being that anyone could write or edit; I pointed out, correctly, that such permissions could be locked down and only those vetted and confirmed to support an editorial mandate could be so permitted. Again, more naysaying. Well, I had no worries about proving them wrong; if I didn't come up with a Proof of Concept, someone else would.

Enter Vox Day, the Supreme Dark Lord, and Infogalactic. This is a Big Fork project, meant to surpass and replace Wikipedia due to the latter being fully-converged by the Social Justice death cult, and one of its key features is that it controls who gets editing and writing permissions. In short, Infogalactic is, at its base, the sort of wiki I argued for and therefore is a successful Proof of Concept.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In Case You Missed It: The Hillary/Podesta Emails Summarized

And that is NOT all. There is more coming, but what we have above is more than enough to make certain the following:

  • Hillary Clinton is guilty of several High Crimes against the United States.
  • Barack Obama is complicit on several levels in either covering it up, or abetting the act, making HIM guilty of High Crimes.
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton are acting as agents of foreign powers, laundering bribes through the Clinton Foundation.
  • Chelsea Clinton is complicit in the laundering and thus also guilty of the larger crimes as an accessory.
  • The media establishment is guilty of covering up these crimes. Individual actors and corporations alike bear criminal guilt.
  • These actors conspired to commit all of the above.
  • These actors' actions, and conspiracy to do so, show an allegiance to a foreign power and thus constitute acts of Sedition.
  • Combined, this is treason, and failure to punish according to the law these acts is itself a criminal act by those obstructing justice.
  • Get the gallows ready and call up the firing squad; the penalty for Treason at the Federal level is death.
  • A vote for Crooked Hillary is a vote for Treason.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Razorfist Shows You How To Become Someone on a Dime

Hugo Award 2016 Nominee Razorfist returns with a new episode of his Metal Mythos series. This one is about Accept, and I'll let the video do the talking here. Get the popcorn, get comfy, and come back in an hour.

Enjoy that? Good. Now, I want you consider the follow:

  • It's just him and Terran Gell.
  • It's just what their resources allow.
  • It's still better than many professional outlets with several orders of magnitudes more resources and personnel have at hand.

Yeah, he's been doing videos like this for a while, so he's got experience and (most important) confidence going for him; go watch earlier videos of his, and you will see the difference in both what he does and how he does it. That's good for you to know, because it means that you too can get on his level just by doing the stuff. Make your videos, put them up, and then go make another video. Keep doing it. Some will suck less than others; that happens, and it happens to everyone, so don't sweat it.

That's all it takes: persistence in effort, regularity in production, and the willingness to improve as you go. There will be ups and downs, and turns that you may not see coming, but you will get there if you stick with it. These Mythos episodes are themselves stories about ordinary people doing just that journey. Music, videos, writing, whatever- there is sweet fuck-all that doesn't conform to this formula for success. I'm pointing out Razorfist because he's doing this on a shoestring budget, on the sort of resources you can acquire without undue effort. Success is yours, if you're willing and able to stick it out.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Legion Hype: Patch 7.1 & The Pacing of Content

The first content patch for World of Warcraft: Legion goes live tomorrow, after maintenance. What makes this interesting enough to post about it again is the strategy that Blizzard's following with this patch, a strategy heretofore only done at the launch of an expansion or in very specific situations. In short, they are attempting to extend the lifespan of their content by delayed release and other forms of gating.

When the patch goes live tomorrow, only a fraction of the content on offer will actually be available. The final raid for the first Legion tier will not be available until at least nine weeks after, and you must do it to gain access to said raid (The Nighthold), so that's one hell of an artificial barrier to content access meant to keep things going for a while. In addition to that, there are new World Quests, new rewards to chase, and other player-retention mechanisms meant to keep you logging in for something other than the latest raid or PVP season.

Yes, it will be nice to have a small raid (Trials of Valor) to tide us over until most players are in The Nighthold, and a new dungeon is also nice to have even if it's not immediately accessible, but I suspect that the devs still don't get what folks are after here. Players want content that grants continual significant character progression; if doing the thing doesn't make their character stronger, it's not worth doing and doesn't count as content at all.

That's the source of a lot of "There's nothing to do!" complaints: nothing there makes your man stronger anymore, so it's usefulness is gone and player burnout makes doing it all against on alts not-fun very fast. Pacing content releases properly means both ensuring that such stuff comes out on a regular basis, but not so frequent that the spoils can't be enjoyed once gotten. Quarterly patches, with new raid tiers and their PVP seasons every six months, seems ideal; why this is not industry-standard by now is beyond me.

We'll see if the devs got the memo presently.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

No Mercy For Traitors

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague."-- Marcus Tullius Cicero

I do not care who you are or what you are. You are expected to be loyal to your nation and your country, just as you are expected to uphold your oaths. We call it "treason" when you stab either or both in the back and instead give allegiance to either a foreign nation or to an alien country. It does not matter what your excuse is; treason is unforgivable, and its punishment demands ultimate severity, because such treachery damages the very fundamental bonds of trust that any people--however great or small--requires to survive (nevermind thrive).

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Leave Them Alone, Dammit

When I was a small boy, my father took the time to drill one very simple lesson through my thick skull:

"Don't go where you're not wanted, unless you're looking for a fight."

Lots of people never got that message, in particular those adhering to the Social Justice death cult and other forms of similar barbarism. Allow me to lay out what this means in simple terms:

  • You don't get to go wherever you want; you're not entitled to be anywhere you want. Not physically, not socially. Some spaces are already owned and occupied, and you stepping where you are not welcome is called--politely--"trespassing" and that's an unlawful act. (Note: "Legal" is not "Lawful"; this is about order, not rules.) Yes, you can trespass socially; ever gone someplace unwelcoming? That's you trespassing.
  • If you trespass, you can expect to be told to get the fuck out, and if you don't want trouble you damn well do what you're told and leave.
  • If you get told to leave and don't, motherfucker you asked for it and what shit you get thereafter is entirely on you. You had your warning and you ignored it. Fuck you for thinking otherwise. You deserve whatever you get.
  • No, there's no "why" here; it's their space, not yours, so they don't have to justify or explain shit to you. You trespassing on their turf is nothing less than attempted theft of territory, and because you're trying to steal shit that ain't yours it's justified and proper to do whatever it takes to make you stop- permanently.

Lots of dumb motherfuckers never got this memo, some having to get them or someone they know fucked up or killed before they get it- and I see that many more will have to learn this the hard way in the years to come. The stupidity of entryism is this violation without the violence; what's to come will be more of the old-school variety, as we're seeing in the media out of Europe and parts of the U.S. now. Either way, this shit's got to stop- and stop it will. Civilization can't exist without obedience to this basic tenant of Natural Law.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: Making a Better RIFTS

Palladium Books' flagship line is RIFTS, first published in 1990. Since then it's grown to have three distinct sub-settings, and make up the majority of the company's publishing efforts. This is not surprising considering that the game is based around a future Earth that's post-apocalyptic due to a magic-related global catastrophy. Magic, science, horror- it's a kitchen sink, and would be a superhero setting if not for a subtle difference in tone between it and its Heroes Unlimited line.

As written and presented, it's the greatest tabletop RPG if you were an American boy on the cusp of adolescence in the late 1980s or early 1990s. There is so much wasted potential within this property that I cannot help but to suggest how someone wanting to make a better RIFTS could do so and do so with ease. First, you're going to do what I did with cloning Robotech and use a stripped-down d20 System as your chassis. Second, you're going to get your hands on all things to do with Conspiracy World: David Icke, Zeitgeist, Hal Lindsey, all of the Ancient Aliens crew, Art Bell and his successors, and so on. Long before you start making shit up, go through all of the stuff out of that world; you need not make much shit up because what they present, straight-faced, is far better fiction material than ANYTHING you can make up. So don't even try; you're just going to start tying this together into a coherent hole, like what Carl Macek did to create Robotech, only you won't suck at it.

Let's strip down RIFTS to its essentials:

  • There was a global cataclysm that destroyed the world we live in now.
  • That cataclysm returned obvious sorcery to the world, and with it supernatural inhuman entities returned in force.
  • Remnants of the old world held technologies to make superhumans of various sorts, and using this technology built successor states.
  • Players can access, by default, many superhuman technologies or supernatural powers.
  • Players can access means to travel far beyond Earth, both in space and in time.
  • Asmovian levels of supertech exists. (Where the fantasy/science fiction lines blur, as Asimov's Law states.)
  • Power levels between player-characters can vary more than in the roster of Dragonball Z, and this asymmetry applies to threats; one man's horror scenario is another's heroic challenge and a third's curbstomp.

So, what does Crazytown give us:

  • More source material that Palladium could ever publish, increasingly for free online.
  • A coherent model of how the universe works that allows for space travel, star travel, and time travel by multiple means.
  • A metaphysical unity that is not only playable, but also sufficiently grey that you can emphasize subsets without missing anything.

You think I joke? Let's just stick with the presence of the Sumerian mythos influence on Crazytown, presenting a unified antediluvian world paradigm that includes Atantis, Lemuria, Mu, and other legendary lost civilizations. (The last time someone in tabletop RPGs tried this sort of thing, it was the unified HERO Games timeline, and even they succumbed to the Dumb here and there when fidelity to Crazytown would've produced a more compelling series of settings.)

The days of having to sit at your table or desk inventing this shit is DONE. You've got racks upon racks of books, decades of magazines, and years of video about the very topics that RIFTS uses for its setting fodder- all of it presented with an earnest quality that makes the adaptation of it to fiction appealing and easy to do. (Don't say it hasn't been done; it has- "Ancient Aliens" alone has about a dozen now, two of which are Battlestar Galactica, and Battlefield: Earth is another.) I'll need to read my notes or watch a few videos again for something specific to give an example with any depth, but you can start with what I'm embedding below and run with that.

Remember: Passio's serious here. You don't have to accept what he's saying is true; you just want to follow his line of argument so you can make it work as a framework for gaming, and that's where the magic lies. This a very interesting story to work with, which is why I think this is a better foundation for a better RIFTS than whatever Siembieda implies. Instead of wasting time making up shit that's never going to be as fantastic as what the real theorists devise, focus on making their stuff into playable content.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

My Life in Fandom: The Hamster, Jezza, and Captain Slow Talk "The Grand Tour"

The former Top Gear hosts are now ramping up the hype for their show on Amazon, The Grand Tour. What I've embedded below is from Richard Hammond's YouTube channel, and it is the audio from his appearance (with May and Clarkson) on Adam Carolla's podcast. Because it's pure audio, just throw it on and go about your business. Hell, find a way to download it and put it into your tablet or smartphone to listen to at your leisure while out and about. I'm looking forward to the show coming in a month's time, and I expect everyone else who follow them away from Top Gear after they left.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Legion Hype: The Honeymoon Is Over

World of Warcraft: Legion has been live for over six weeks now. The first content patch goes live on Tuesday, so the honeymoon period is over and it's time to take a moment to assess how well things went.

The Good

  • The Broken Shore scenario is an improved version of the Tanaan Jungle introductory scenario for Warlords of Draenor, and it does a far better job of setting up the stakes for this expansion's narrative. Three well-known lore characters get Killed Off For Real, setting up the major Alliance/Horde conflict this time around, and the credibility of The Burning Legion (with Gul'dan as the current invasion master) gets established in a satisfactory manner.
  • The new Demon Hunter Hero Class gets the best starting zone and introductory experience in the game to date, but getting the most out of it does require consulting an external guide so you can get all of the hidden upgrades and bonuses- things that will make the rest of leveling to from 100 to 110 easier.
  • The establishment of the Class Order Hall, and the acquisition of the first Artifact weapon, finishes the narrative stake establishment for this expansion. It works as intended, if not spectacularly so.
  • The leveling experience, so long as it is confined to the core narrative in each zone, is equal to that of Warlords of Draenor in its quality. The side quests and objectives, where they coincide with the main narrative thread, do not obstruct it; those out of the way can be safely ignored. Only the one dungeon quest gotten at the end is at all inconvenient, and then only if you're unable or unwilling to go as a Tank or as a Healer.
  • The World Quest system, once unlocked, taken as a whole with the Emissary system is fantastic for time-poor players. You need log in only every three days to play and stay abreast of those who do so daily, and the Flight Master's Whistle makes it convenient without needing true flight capability. As a new form of Daily Quest system, this is the best iteration yet; it's a nice adaptation of Diablo 3's Adventure Mode and Bounties.
  • Suramar's core narrative is good, and serves well to disguise the fact that you have to do it to unlock and attune to two dungeons (and, in 7.1, the final raid in the first tier), but unlike the other zones the welcome wears out quickly without having an external guide to show you what to do to progress through the narrative quickly.

The Bad

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oliver Campbell Presents: Metro City Boys Podcast #1: What About Pilots?

(Disclosure: I am a regular when Oliver streams at Twitch, and a moderator in his chat.)

Oliver Campbell launched a podcast on Sunday, the Metro City Boys, and after some tech issues he got it up and running. This was a pilot episode, the try-out and shakedown cruise sort of affair, and expectations for we who were there live adjusted our expectations accordingly. The initial episode went for just over two hours, and I'll make it easy for you by embedding it below.

So, why put this show on instead of Totalbiscuit's Co-Optional Podcast? That's the question most of you will ask, and I'm going to say right now that this question is irrelevant and unfair, so set that aside. Co-Optional is well-established, with a known format and dynamics between hosts that they've established (and have so well enough to use it as the basis for animated shorts). Metro City Boys is new and still in flux in terms of its format and emphasis. As with any new show, there's going to be a period of time wherein the show finds its feet before it settles down and gets on with fulfilling its mission in earnest. Give this podcast time to carve out its place among its peers. That's all I ask, and send any feedback directly to Oliver.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Empire Strikes Back (At Wikileaks)

This weekend had its big push from the Empire come at the end of Sunday. It started with this:

We later got word as to who the state actor was.

This meant the activating of certain protocols, some of which were the release of hashes--keys authenticating a given file, proving possession and authenticity without release thereof--which Wikileaks tweeted out:

Shit got real.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Podesta Emails, American Rome, and Crooked Hillary w/ Sargon of Akkad

Wikileaks has had more impact in the last few weeks than they have in all the years previous. There's a lot of emails from Crooked Hillary and her allies to sort through. Just reading a few a day will take you years, and that's assuming nothing else comes out. Fortunately we've got some folks willing and able to plow through many at a time and do so before a live audience. Enter British YouTube user Sargon of Akkad, a Classical Liberal (and therefore not keen on Wicked Hillary). He did a livestream with another European YouTube user, Vee, about these emails.

Sargon's well-known for his moderate position, informed by his adherence to the Enlightenment, so he's no Alt-Right guy. Most folks become familiar with him through his ongoing series "This Week in Stupid", such as what I'll embed below.

What Sargon can be relied upon is to do his best to get away from Rhetoric and move towards Dialectic. You can count on him to prefer Dialectic, and will go that way whenever he can, which is why he's not keen on SJWs or any other form of cultism or identity politics. That, in turn, means that he's open to good-faith engagements on the evidence.

And he gets into it. I watched this live, and while he's definitely taking it seriously he's doing what he can to maintain a sense of perspective. That matters, because it produces videos like the one below where he draws parallels between the U.S. now and Rome's Republican period.

Don't dismiss that short video. Sargon's a smart guy with a sense of history, and he's talking sense given his interests and perspective- a sensibility that would not be unwelcome in the United States. Put all that evidence before him, let him sift through it, and trust him to use that skill at logic and reason to arrive at a conclusion. If you're a regular at all, then you know where this goes.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Full Transcript of Trump's Florida Rally Speech

The full transcript of Donald Trump's speech on Thursday of this week. Read the whole thing. This is a historic moment right here. Brilliant rhetoric.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, folks.

Thank you, folks. It’s great to be right here in Florida, which we love.

In 26 days, we are going to win this great, great state and we are going to win the White House.

Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt — now, when I say “corrupt,” I’m talking about totally corrupt — political establishment, with a new government controlled by you, the American people.

There is nothing the political establishment will not do — no lie that they won’t tell, to hold their prestige and power at your expense. And that’s what’s been happening.

The Washington establishment and the financial and media corporations that fund it exist for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself.

The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. As an example, just one single trade deal they’d like to pass involves trillions of dollars, controlled by many countries, corporations and lobbyists.

For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind. Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before.

This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we the people reclaim control over our government.

The political establishment that is trying to stop us is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry.

The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories, and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries all around the world. Our just-announced job numbers are anemic. Our gross domestic product, or GDP, is barely above 1 percent. And going down. Workers in the United States are making less than they were almost 20 years ago, and yet they are working harder.

But so am I working harder, that I can tell you.

It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.

Just look at what this corrupt establishment has done to our cities like Detroit; Flint, Michigan; and rural towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and all across our country. Take a look at what’s going on. They stripped away these town bare. And raided the wealth for themselves and taken our jobs away out of our country never to return unless I’m elected president.

The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure. We’ve seen this first hand in the WikiLeaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.


So true.

AUDIENCE: Lock her up, lock her up, lock her up.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Trump's Moment in Florida: World-Historic Moment Right There

Oh. Shit.

Look, I was going to write a post about the new Rogue One trailer and how it gives me hope that it's not going to disappoint like The Force Awakens did, but then Trump had his rally in Florida today and said that. I recognize a historical moment when I see them, and this is one of the biggest in my lifetime.

This is the sort of speech that gets you on the fast track to assassination, and we all know now (thanks to Wikileaks) that Crooked Hillary is quite willing to arrange for extra-legal executions of enemies. With all of the Establishment trying to get Trump, and many of them showing their incompetence in their treachery, it is incompetent to say that Trump (a) isn't a threat to them and therefore (b) assassination is on the table.

And if they do assassinate Trump, they'll martyr him. Yes, despite being so good at fucking with people's perceptions, they are that stupid; if they get sufficiently frustrated with their media-based Narrative Warfare, then they will go to the Jackals (as John Perkins calls them) and kill him good and hard. They will want to make an example of him to dissuade others, so it will not be the sort of deniable murder that we see with Seth Rich or Antonin Scalia.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The election will not end the existential threat to the West. Only deliberate, concerted action by me, by you, by us will make that happen and then only after a long period of sustained effort. Vox Day didn't become The Supreme Dark Lord overnight, and Mike Cernovich did not blow up out of nowhere with nothing. Much like working out and improving your diet, this will take time before you see results. Leaving it all up to Trump is nothing more than setting yourself up to fail.

The work to save our civilization, to save Civilization, and preserve the West--and the unique nations that comprise it--will not be done over an afternoon. It won't be done easily, especially in places with the SocJus Death Cult holds sway, but it can be fought and it can be broken- but not without sacrifice. Be prepared to pay dearly for something you may never see.

Seize this moment. If we Nationalists cannot prevail within Rule of Law, the Ultra-Nationalists will tag in and finish the job. Either way, the Globalists are done- it's just a matter of time, and Trump's speech is the marker that this moment had come once more to the United States.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Gloves Are Off & Trump Goes For The Throat

Oh shit, what could this be about?

Oh, I see the gloves are off. ABOUT FUCKING TIME! But this doesn't seem to be it. Hmmm, let's see what Mr. X was on about.

Oh shit, son! Trump's called out the Globalists for what they are: parasite banksters. He's doing what Iceland did, before Iceland flat out jailed a bunch of them for preying upon them, and that thing is calling them out for what they are: international psychopathic predators who don't give a fuck about anything but gorging themselves on the wealth created by the hard work of others. I've followed this beat for years, and many of the folks I featured at my political philosophy blog are even longer on that than I am, so seeing someone like Trump actually do this is a Big Fucking Deal. And this reaction? Hmmm...

From what I'm hearing, his Florida rally really hammered George Soros, the other prominent Globalists, and the international central banking system that these folks own and control--a power separate from and set over sovereign governments, yoking them as slaves--as part of a Rhetorical attack on Crooked Hillary. This will work; no one respects the banks, and haven't for a century, especially among the working and underclass- the damage done by the Great Depression remains present in living memory, and the ruin done remains immediate in many places. The 2008 collapse, while minor by comparison, still has open wounds in much of the U.S.; combined with more exposure about Sick Hillary's contempt for we common people, as Wikileaks' releases repeated reveal, and that's why hammering at the Man Behind The (Wo)Man is going to work- everyone hates the Fat Banker Crook.

This is going to be GLORIOUS. A decade after the original Zeitgeist film, when I first saw this wretched scheme exposed, someone with power and prestige speaks about it openly. Cat's out of the bag, as it is with so many other things (media, psychology, nationalism, the SJW Death Cult, etc.), that this present global order simply will not endure much longer. Trump winning or not only determines the severity of the coming disruption, and who bears the brunt of it, because whether or not what Trump catalyzed will go on after the election is no longer in doubt. Either a Nationalist revival under his leadership, or an Ultra-Nationalist coup that he does not. Globalism is on its way out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Life in Fandom: Star Wars, Blur, and the SWTOR We Should've Had

So, there's a new thing for Star Wars: The Old Republic coming, building on Knights of the Fallen Empire: Knights of the Eternal Throne. Of course this means a new Blur trailer to push it, and damn if it does not top the trailer for Fallen Empire. Just watch.

If only the game was as good as the trailers. I'd be all over it if it weren't another hotkey based themepark MMORPG with some rail shooter minigames on the side. But complaining about the game is not what I'm about here.

What I want to call your attention to, again, is just how good Blur is at nailing what Star Wars is about. They get it better than Lucas does, and their trailers for this game are consistently better than the Prequels, the tie-in TV series, and now better than the new films. (Yes, I am already calling these being better than Episode 7 and Rogue One; they do far more, far better, with far less and far greater impact.) In addition to displaying superior comprehension of visual storytelling techniques, they also comprehend something else better than Lucas and his successors: Star Wars is meant to be superversive pulp fiction.

Go watch ALL of the trailers again, especially in narrative order. The first thing that disappears are the characters speaking. After the first one, where the Sith Empire retake Korriban, that's gone. Voiceover takes prominence, and character is instead shown in doing over saying. Villains are evil. Heroes are virtuous. Rogues show their character when pressed, revealing their good or evil natures. With a fraction of the time, budget, and personnel Blur makes better Star Wars than anyone else to date.

And that Star Wars? Not one with Disney Jedi Princesses, flubbed sand analogies, mood-destroying comic relief moments (and characters), out of place diners, extraneous characters, and cowardly businessmen interfering in the process. Blur gets it, and all you folks into the Pulp Revolution and the Superversive Movement would be wise to take note of Blur. You do have fellow travelers out there; find and connect with them.

As for SWTOR, it is an EA thing and so hold no hope for it. But imagine, if you will, a future where someone finally decides that wasting time and money copying WOW (which SWTOR does) is stupid and stops doing it in favor of something else. Hell if I know what that will be, but it won't be another hotkey themepark MMORPG, and what we had before with Star Wars Galaxies ain't coming back.

Imagine, therefore, something entirely different. You're still controlling one character, and you're still in a massively-multiplayer environment, but that's about all I can guarantee will be in place. First person is on the table. VR is on the table. Sandbox is on the table. Procedurally-generated content is on the table. Rogue-like is on the table. You see what I'm on about.

Oh, and it won't be called a MMORPG. WOW owns that mindspace now, so a new term will arise for whatever I'm imagining. Once potato PCs are beefy enough to make stuff like this trailer easily handled as in-game footage on average settings this becomes more than idle wishing and hoping. (Instead, the legal issues will fuck it over.)

But one thing's certain: SWTOR shows us a viable Star Wars where the Jedi/Sith dichotomy is broken, and thus we can talk about the Force with a new and superior degree of nuance that otherwise is not present. (This is also my only hope for the new trilogy, but I have little faith that Disney will allow it.) Star Wars is popular pulp science fiction, and as such deserves better than it gets right now at the hands of incompetents and SJWs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Giant Robots & Me: A Love Story (Part Three)

When anime and manga finally got major commercial releases in North America, I finally got the opportunity to see the shows that sucked me into this as a kid as they were released in Japan. Out of necessity, I long ago became comfortable and proficient with watching foreign language media subtitled into English and in the early days English language dubs were truly horrible. (You want to know what that's like? Go watch dubbed anime porn. Imagine that terrible voice acting for Your Favorite Show. Welcome to old time fandom.)

So, at long last, I could finally start watching Macross without the changes Harmony Gold made to create Robotech. It began with getting my hands on Macross Plus and watching one of the most believable love triangles in the franchise's history to date, complete with a Redemption-Equals-Death climatic plot twist. I'd heard of Macross 7, and I knew of Macross II, but I didn't watch any of that until much later (and I still haven't seen either in their entirely). Instead, my next major hit was when AnimEgo released a remastered boxed set of the original Macross series on DVD.

Ho Lee Shit. Just the change in theme music alone was a major one. The other just how totally unneeded the splicing was; of the three components of Robotech, Macross really did stand alone. Everything that got neutered or Bowlderized for 80s kids in the US did not exist; none of those euphemisms were present. The original series did not sugarcoat what it showed to you, but it did exercise discretion in what it did show to you.

Then I got wind that Palladium and Harmony Gold made a new license deal for a new RPG, using the failed pilot Shadow Chronicles as the basis for the new product line. Well, yeah, I got into it. By now, the Internet was a very much a thing and fansites with official stats were all over the place. So, when I got my hands on this stuff I compared the printed product with the fansites; at last, no contradictions. Mecha had all they were meant to have, in the proportions and with the capabilities intended. Then the new gameplay stats did a better job of reflecting that, and the new character options sucked less.

Fine, I bought a bunch. (Okay, I have all but one product in the line to date.) I haven't gotten to play or run it, and that's because of that aforementioned love-hate thing with Palladium's game design acumen (or lack thereof), but it has informed my own tinkering on the matter. (Which I will summarize here: remove all possible Murphy's Rules incidents by sticking to a Ruling-Heavy design principle, and therefore only the minimal amount of mechanics required to answer "Did it happen or not?" and "Can I do this?" questions are present.)

And I would go on to return to BattleTech and Mekton after this, only now with a far more experienced and informed perspective on both the games and how I regard the properties that they stem from. I have a bare-bones approach to how I'd run a Giant Robot game in a previous post, which I'd like to try out in person sometime.

Less sperging over numbers, mechanics, and rules. More time being present in the virtual situation and addressing the matters at hand. That's what I want out of my giant robot RPGs--out of all my RPGs--now. If I want to sperg, that's what World of Warcraft is for.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Giant Robots & Me: A Love Story (Part Two)

BattleTech and I have a certain love-hate relationship, much as I do with Palladium Books. Whereas Palladium's Robotech RPG could, and did, allow you gameplay experiences that felt and delivered like the source material you didn't get that with BattleTech. I always called it "The Game of Lumbering Tin Cans With Guns", because that's how it felt when you played it. However, you could always trust the game to do just that, so when that's what you wanted you broke out the boxed set and got out the Mech sheets.

I got into this game because it had the Destroids from Macross featured prominently on the cover. The names were changed, and how they performed was different (yet familiar enough), but I went with it just the same. As with Robotech, BattleTech took art assets from existing Japanese shows and built a wargame around them. In time, they bolted on a tabletop RPG (MechWarrior, now A Time of War), and off to the races FASA went.

The other reason for why I got into this game was due to folks I knew not being into either watching or playing Robotech, but otherwise dug giant robots. Sure, their transformer rules were full of suck, blow, and ass and they never had combiners but we went with it anyways. We used the construction rules (as we were all into Car Wars also) to build OP-as-Fuck Mechs and shit on each other with Alpha Strikes, until we got the Vehicle rules and started coming up with way to use them to shit on each other. The lore, such as it was, was not something we cared about. Killy McKillface was our pilot and that was it.

Then came the 2750 book, and the new toys and mechs that came with. Then came the fucking Clans. By then I was out of high school and fumbling my way around adulthood, so after some time with Clan stuff I dropped out of the scene. I didn't get back into it until recently, where I found that the core game was unchanged and most of the stuff I found bothersome had been addressed as optional rules. (Still no combiners, but hey.) By now, however, I had long since become a historian and writer and as such the game's lore now had relevance to me.

However, BattleTech still has a distinct feel to it--that same lumbering tin can feel--and as such it's appeal is limited to those who want something harder than what you usually seen in mecha anime and manga these days. The late-70s, early-80s sources were a lot more in common with the game. Fang of the Sun Dougram, in particular, had that aesthetic nailed.

However, there was something missing. I wanted to design and play my own mecha, but I didn't want lumbering tin cans and nothing else. Enter R. Talsorian Games, publisher of Mekton. When I first got into this tabletop RPG (which has its own wargame subset baked in), I came in through previously playing Cyberpunk. so I already grokked the rules. The problem? The game was clearly made with Mobile Suit Gundam in mind, and I did not know Gundam then; it was Mekton that got me into Gundam because I wanted to know where Maximum Mike was coming from. The issue I ran into was that most people did not share my passion for giant robots in general, so that went by the wayside in favor of RIFTS from Palladium Books and I would not get to actually play that game again until my 30s.

But by then I had become well acquainted with all things Gundam. In the same time that I got to witness the Clans' impact on BattleTech, I also got introduced to the Gundam franchise. I wasn't part of the anime tape-trading network, knew no one until I was about 20 who had a laserdisc player, and anime on VHS was a pain in the ass to acquire (hard to fine and expensive as fuck) legally. So, it is no surprise that what little I did see made an impact, and one of those early encounters was with a raw 1st gen dub of 0083: Stardust Memory- specificially the first 20 minutes or so, where a training exercise would lead into a Zeon attack on an Earthside Federation base. They had me at the first good look at the cockpits. I would later see 0080: War in the Pocket, and then suffer for years until Gundam Wing and then--finally!--the original Mobile Suit Gundam (and my favorite, 08th MS Team) all on Toonami.

Which would lead me, in time, back to where I began, but that's for tomorrow.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Giant Robots & Me: A Love Story (Part One)

I turned 42 this past Friday. I've been into some things now for about 30-35 years. Star Wars is one of them, and Giant Robots is another. When I was a kid, the TV station out of St. Cloud was a wholly independent one that did a lot of syndicated reruns. So were the two stations that now are FOX and CW affiliates, which did the same thing. Yes, I was into G.I. Joe and Transformers, and I watched Voltron, Tranzor Z, and Macron 1, but everything changed when a company by the name of Harmony Gold bought the rights to three unrelated Japanese science fiction series and spliced them into a single TV series: Robotech.

I did not know it at the time, but I became a life-long Macross fan in 1986. As with so many other fans of Robotech, I was really a Macross fan as I didn't like Southern Cross or Mospeada as much- something that bore out when Macross Plus finally got to retail in North America in the 1990s. But I get ahead of myself.

By this time I'd become a gamer, specifically a tabletop RPG kid, and when Palladium Books released their RPG for Robotech, I snapped that up the day after Thankgiving. (I played poker for the first time the night before; turned $3 into $30 and busted an adult cousin of mine. Never played poker again, figuring my luck ran out. Damn right I spent my winnings.)

Remember, this was the mid-80s. Atari had crashed, the arcades were still in recovery mode, and the original NES by Nintendo was the new hotness (that I never had). Sega Genesis wasn't here just yet. Most of us who were gamers were tabletop gamers then, playing wargames like Car Wars (also new then) and BattleTech (ditto). We played RPGs to scratch itches that had sweet fuck-all to do with storytelling and everything to do with playing out fantasies, and they were "If I was there, this is what I would do!" fantasies.

And good God, did I ever have fantasies of being a Valkyrie pilot. It was the coolest thing I'd seen since being a Jedi. All the awesome glory of being a fighter pilot--remember, Top Gun hit not long before--and it transformed into a giant fucking robot! How could I not see that as the most awesome thing ever? Rick Hunter was Surrogate Me, and Roy Fokker was the Cool Older Brother that I never had. (And then there's Minmay; even then, I wasn't keen on her.) Giant aliens! Giant robots to fight giant aliens! Dogfighting, in space, with F-14s that turned into Giant Fucking Robots of Awesome.

I was 12 on 13 then, so yeah I got hooked. I'm enjoying it, some more than others, and then WHAM! Fokker dies. In his girlfriend's apartment. Of blood loss. Just pitched face-first into the pineapple salad on the table.

You younger folks grew up in a world where that sort of storytelling is not unusual. In the 1980s, that shit was a Big Fucking Deal. "Killed Off For Real" was a rare thing in any entertainment aimed at kids, and Robotech was; as with the Transformers (G1) movie, when we saw someone we looked up to as a leader or father figure not just die but do so as a result of their fighting--seeing them die, in a sense, for us--it hit hard. I cried when Roy died; I just lost this Big Brother figure, and now I don't know what to do. Watching Rick--Surrogate Me--struggle to step up and take over (which he did, eventually) his mentor's place (and squadron) was huge for not-quite-teen me.

That was why I was so into Robotech then. I wanted that sort of thing for myself, though at the time I didn't get it as such.

Palladium Books, then as now, was notorious for schedule issues. However, they did do more than publish books covering the three TV eras and the failed follow-up (Sentinels); they published adventure modules and campaign modules. One of them, co-written by the man who would go on to become the founder of Starlight Runner Entertainment (Jeff Gomez) was a slim one titled "Lancer's Rockers".

Set during the Invid Invasion of Earth, this was about a 80s-style rock band-cum-resistance cell (as Lancer was) who got their hands on some sonic weapon tech because a traitor group also had sonic weapons and the team that created both groups fractured. (It's more involved than that, and silly in an 80s kid-friendly way, that many today balk at.) It had opportunities for action, romance, and metric fuckloads of Giant Robot Combat- all the things that I wanted out of my giant robot gaming. Big moments, big stakes, but still personal in its play; at the time, this was something I wanted but had no words for. Today, this is something I know as the formula for making superversive pulp fiction- science fiction in this case. Back then, all I could say was that it let me be a hero.

Hmmm...this is getting to be long. I think I'll break this up and do it over the week. Got to talk about BattleTech, Mekton, and the Gundam franchise.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The GOPe Stabs Trump in the Back

So, the Establishment is attempting to make shit up about Trump. Again.

As October Surprises go, this is shit tier. James O'Keefe's threat of some damning Hillary footage has more weight to it. This? This is just dudes talking about chicks. I've done it. My father did it. Every guy I know who isn't a wuss has done it, including the gays. The libs on my Facebook feed? Virtue-signalling on cue, to a man. (Especially the women.)

We miss you, Based Graham Chapman.

Goddammit, I expect my friends and acquaintances to know better than this. As Cernovich notes above, this is a coordinated hit on Trump that stems from the Globalist traitors in the GOP who rightly see Trump as an insurgent outsider threatening their lucrative scam on the American people. If Trump wins, he will reorganize the GOP. That means sweeping the cucks, traitors, and scum out of the party in favor of loyal, patriotic, and nationalist members- all of whom, like Trump, are actually fucking relevant to the current situation.

In short, this is a deliberate act of treachery by the GOP Globalists intended to sabotage Trump's campaign. They want to lose to protect their racket, as they believe themselves immune from the consequences of their actions. (Just as the Democrat traitors do.) Hans-Hermann Hoppe nails it here:

These people are idiots. Slightly less stupid are the people suckering them for cash in the guise of being an adviser or expert in their camp. The most stupid of these backstabs are the calls for Trump to drop out, again. That CAN'T happen. The reason? Early voting. Many states allow voters to cast their ballot well ahead of Election Day, meaning that millions have already received and cast a General Election vote. The ballots are already finalized and printed. Nothing short of death will do shit now, and these chucklefucks can't kill anyone without some General, Admiral, or the FBI Director giving the order.

So that leaves election fraud. This is why Wikileaks' continued release of Sick Hillary's emails is a big deal; it blunts that avenue of attack, and prepares Trump and his allies for a reasonable legal counterattack in the event that Crooked Hillary somehow wins. (Monitor the Electoral Collage; if there is a year for faithless electors, this is it.) There is no clean end to this election, and the level of treachery shown this time around will not be forgotten. We're talking levels of fuckup that we haven't seen in the U.S. since the end of the Seven Years War, when British attempts to recoup the expense led to the abuses that sparked American Independence.

Gollum's retarded cousin seems to come from a very rabbit-like branch, because there sure are a lot of fucking retarded morons out there pretending to be worthy people. Mr. Bones' Wild Ride never fucking ends. Nevermind solar; if we could harness stupidity as fuel, we've have limitless energy for eternity.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Based Japan Shows Muh Diversity For What It Is: BULLSHIT!

Today's my birthday, so I'm having a good time one way or another. Let's get to it.

I saw this comic by Red Panels, and well I'm saving it because nothing destroys "Muh Diversity" and "Muh Representation" like pointing out that foreign counterparts do not give a shit about this crap and thrive accordingly.

Nailed it.

I fucking love the Ghost in the Shell, Gundam, and Macross franchises. I enjoy Record of Lodoss War, Cowboy Bebop, everything I've ever seen Miyazaki make (which is why he is the God of Animation), thought One-Punch Man was hilarious, and find even the older stuff to be far better than Western animation of that period in terms of storytelling (e.g. Fang of the Sun Dougram) and holds up well now. Little, if any, of the rot afflicting Western media is in place in Japan, and that is why they thrive globally. When they go superversive, they nail it like the fist of an angry god, creating beloved classics in the process.

None of this "Muh Diversity", or "Muh Representation", amongst them. You take manga and anime on their terms or not at all, and that is the cornerstone of the respect that they get in the world. The SocJus cult hates this, which is why they try so fucking hard to infect them and (as a fallback) control what gets out and how it's perceived.

God bless Based Japan. Just keep on showing us your best and brightest, and appropriate the hell out of the West; we'll do it right back, and soon we'll all be talking about who does cooking comics better.

On the off-chance that you feel like surprising me, let me make that easy for you. I have Wish Lists at Amazon and Steam>. Gift Cards for Amazon, Steam, and Battlenet are a-okay with me. Ditto for Christmas time in December.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Narrative Warfare The SocJus Cult Shows Its Hand

So, Ricky Vaungh got banned from Twitter. Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) got shadowbanned. Both of them are Trump supporters, as are previous ban targets Milo Ynannoopoulis and Vox Day. While Gab is up and quickly eating Twitter's lunch, and Twitter's stock keeps falling as more information on how badly mismanaged and politically biased it is comes out, some folks are wondering why CEO Jack Dorsey isn't hanging from a lamppost yet.

Well, we have an answer:

Well, that is an answer. It's the most reasonable one given the evidence at hand. Saudi ownership, coupled with a SocJus cultist regime, use Twitter as a propaganda tool for their causes. Right now, that means stopping Trump and boosting Sick Hillary. They're targeting pro-Trump users with sufficient reach to influence daily and weekly cycles, and thereby monkey-wrench Narrative Warfare maneuvers. The reason is clear: they can't rely on the usual means to control the narrative, so they're targeting and silencing those able to lead memetic insurgencies against them.

The U.S. Establishment is not the only one to notice this power. The European Union has, and moves to thwart it:

You should expect more of this within and around the European Union now, following the lead of the People's Republic of China to implement a regime of technical and legal restriction designed to engineering compliance with the Narrative and exterminate resistance to it. The problem, of course, is that the Internet interprets censorship as damage and inevitably routes around it. Forks are emerging; Gab is the first to appear and acquire prominence over the others. Brave forks browser control away from Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google (all of which are wholly converged) while solving the revenue problem that plagues browser-heavy outlets such as Twitch. Another is due to announce itself in a few days, forking another major converged online organization.

This is why the SocJus convergence of many online and realspace institutions is bothersome, even damaging, but ultimately passing in its power. By diverting the converged organization away from the purpose that justifies its existence in favor of advancing its cult dogma and thus control over others, it weakens the organization and opens it to attack from a superior alternative. By going hard against users like Jack has done at Twitter, and others at Facebook have done, they push people to the forks even faster via the Streisand Effect.

Remember, folks: the common SocJus cultist isn't Sauron. He's not even Gollum. He's Gollum's retarded cousins from some fanfic a teen girl wrote to indulge her lust for Legolas. Let them fuck themselves over; it just makes victory for us come faster.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: Tabletop is for Tinkers

The problem with tabletop RPGs is that they are a hobby and medium that has no need for the cottage industry that's arisen around them. This is a hobby and medium that arose out of tinkering with wargames, and it remains a tinker-friendly hobby and medium to this day. The problem is that a lot of folks who work for tabletop RPG companies, or in the TRPG end of larger companies, is that they can only find relevance by attacking that very fundamental quality.

Tabletop RPG publishers justify their existence by pushing product. They avoid being tinker-friendly by promulgating rulesets and settings that promote Cults of Officialdom due to be too bothersome to handle otherwise and Cults of Canon Worship by pushing settings and developing them such that Canon Nazis get normalized via Organized Play regimes.

That sounds like a big ball of bullshit retardation because it is.

The problem that's come up is thinking that playing (Game) means playing (Setting), when that is not necessarily so. Traveller need not require The Imperium, let alone specific Imperiums or epochs within them. Star Wars need not involve the movies at all. Call of Cthulhu need not involve Lovecraft's creations or any of his lesser imitators. 40K? Make shit up.

Yep, you really don't need Official Material from the publisher, and that does include the rules themselves. If I want to do Middle Earth, and I don't want to break out the MERP collection (still some of the best around), I'm fine. Strip D&D down to its fundamentals, limit race and class access, monkey some with the magic rules, and GO. Conan? Even easier for me.

That's the big secret: Tabletop RPG publishers are irrelevant. They don't bring value to the table anymore, and if not for the decades of building up that aforementioned bullshit that they use to justify their existence, they'd all shut down tomorrow or dump TRPG publishing in favor of games that actually make fucking money.

What do you need? A ruleset you can explain in its entirety to a normie in five minutes or less, and where characters fit on a 3x5 card because neither the rules nor the sheet are the game. The play is the game, and the less you look at anything that interrupts play is the more you enjoy the magic of the medium. Tabletop RPGs work best when everyone is present in the moment, wrapped up in the situation at hand, and nowhere else. Tomes of rules, canonical settings, and other things publishers push to make themselves seem relevant, get in the way.

Tinkers get it. They make up shit, run with it, and fiddle as necessary until they walk it into where they want it to be. Use wikis, reference books, and rule on the spot what needs to be decided. The old ways are best.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: My Dude Ain't a Robot

First, let me define a term:

Virtual Robot Thinking: The habit of seeing a character in a role-playing game solely in terms of game mechanics, as if that character were a chassis for a vehicle upon which they install subsystems and from which they expect certain ranges of performance, instead of as an individual. Tends to arise from thinking that the rules of the game is the whole the game, as one expects out of other forms of game.

I didn't get into tabletop RPGs to be told that my dude is suboptimal because he doesn't have this stat maxed out, or doesn't have the correct skill build, or picked this power or that one. I got into them because the rules of tabletop RPGs are NOT the whole of the game, but merely what one can use to make and issue rulings when required. Yes, even when doing commonplace things like combat. Yet this attitude, which has always been an issue, got normalized into tabletop RPG culture with D&D 3rd Edition. Even with the current 5th edition, it's an issue; Pathfinder encourages it as an unspoken norm.

Virtual Robot Thinking has no place in tabletop RPGs.

It's bad enough that this thinking dominates RPGs in videogames (and arose emergently for technical reasons), but the instant you start talking builds and optimizing in tabletop is where you lose the plot. The core of tabletop RPGs is "What Do You Do?" as a feedback loop. Everything else is second to that.

Virtual Robot Thinking gets you too far into the game and out of playing the role. Your character is a character, not a robot that you remotely operate to do things. You stop thinking from your character's perspective. You stop thinking in terms of natural language, as you do in your real life, and instead think only in terms of mechanics and rules, missing all of the incredible experiences to be had in favor of an inferior boardgame or videogame knockoff. In short, you miss the point of tabletop RPGs.

Stop doing it. It's spergy, and no one likes spergs.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Coming War Will Be Over a Dog

You ever notice that major world-changing events occur for some of the most trivial of reasons? Some of these are so stupid that we immortalize them in song, such as the cause of the Trojan War (a prince makes a cuckold of a foreign king and steals said queen for himself, or in plainer terms a royal dick fucked another man's wife for the lulz and kept her around afterwords). Such, I think is what will set off the coming Global Civil War between the West and the alliance of Traitors and Aliens seeking to destroy it.

In this case, it's going to be over someone killing someone else's dog. Westerners in general are dog-lovers and greatly appreciate both their utility as well as their company, as we have for centuries. Muslim cultural generally, and Arab culture in particular, despises dogs and being called on is still a serious insult. We're already getting stories out of the U.K. and in Continental Europe of clashes between Muslims and dog owners, so (barring a government turnover into nationalist hands) what starts the war will happen when a Muslim kills a dog and the owner retaliates by killing the Muslim who killed his dog.

Count on it being something like that. Dog owners love their dogs, and Western (especially American) dog owners view dogs as beloved members of the household--treasured and valued--if not outright family. Cops who kill dogs are already getting shat upon for being trigger-happy, especially when that killing is part of a bigger fuckup, and so are the agencies that employ them (and if they don't stop they too will feel the wrath in due course). With the continued exposure on how useless the state is in stopping these incidents from happening, retaliation will become commonplace in instead of legal resources for remedy.

And if you think it can't go like that, consider this: there have been wars waged over events that never happened, so a war breaking out over someone killing someone else's dog is hardly far fetched. Far more serious events broke out over far more petty incidents; a global war, involving several civil wars, starting over a dog is nothing.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

One-Skill Wonders Are Not a Thing

I'd been working on my post for my political philosophy blog when I saw this Tweet by Mike Cernovich:

I'd seen him Tweet like this long enough to know he's going somewhere with this. Because he's taken to quote-Tweeting, I can skip some posts without losing the thread, so I'm going to do just that. Follow along, folks. What he's on about applies to you.

You want proof that this is true? Go look at the music business. Madonna is a good enough singer and dancer who sold herself brilliantly to a far longer career than many of her peers, even many of her would-be successors. J.K. Rowling is a competent writer, but by no means a genius. What she is, however, is just savvy enough to know what delivers the fat checks (Potter) and what doesn't (everything else), so she'll be around a while if she can keep feeding good Potter to her audience. (This is also true of many other SF/F writers who did very well financially; good enough talent and just enough savvy to know where to apply it.) Peyton Manning? Good athlete, but smarter at selling himself.

The great musicians? Often, as Cernovich says, not that good at selling themselves. They become the sessions musicians that everyone wants on their albums. They become the brilliant character actors that have long, steady careers in key supporting roles.

In short, they become second-fiddles to the shot-callers who may suck by comparison, but are better at selling. "Puss In Boots" applies to those people, and it only becomes an issue when said great one becomes dissatisfied with where talent alone gets him; if you want to be The Greatest Character Actor EVAR! then nail that shit, and enjoy the never-ending applause when you get your moment during the Oscars when they go over everyone of note who died in the past year. If you want more than that, you had better learn to sell.

Monomaniacal focus on one skill gets you only so far. You need a suite of skills that you can stack together, forming Voltron-like into a greater whole, if you want to get wherever you want to go in life. As I write, I need to learn to sell. I don't resent Cernovich's success. I'm inspired by it, which is why I pay attention to him and talk a lot about him: he's got stuff I want to learn, to know, to master and I learn best by watching others and reading what they write- by observation, directly or at some remove, in other words.

To put this in terms many of you will find easier to comprehend: Life runs on Charisma. Not Strength. Not Intelligence. Not Wisdom. Not Dexterity. Not Constitution. Charisma. Stop thinking it's a dump stat, folks. Learn how to sell yourself; with that talent, the rest of your stack will suddenly and dramatically increase in appeal and thereby in value, allowing you to go where you want and do what you want in this life.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Narrative Warfare: No, We Don't Got To Do Shit

Welcome to Year Two.

There's stuff to do, so let's get on with it.

The more I see the Social Justice cult and their fellow travelers push into other areas and continue to converge what they hold, the more I find the power in the simple rebuking of their dogma. They say "We need to make a safe space.", so I say "No, they don't have to do shit." They say "We need more diversity.", so I say "No, they don't have to do shit." Muh Representation! Nope, not a damned thing required.

It's not quite one of Scott Adams's Linguistic Kill Shots, but it IS a reliable Rhetorical hammer that is adequate for the job. The triggering that results will produce the usual shaming language as they attempt to Discredit & Disquality, to which a Zero Fuck Given approach reliably stops that before it gets traction.

You want an example? Here's Razorfist, going after a hapless cuck carrying failed academic SJW cultist Natalie "I'm getting a PhD. in Gamergate!" Zed and her go at Metal.

This entire mess--call it Social Justice, PC Culture, Cultural Marxism, etc.--is nothing more than Basic Bitch bullshit behavior and it gets handled by not having your spine turn to jelly and wussing out. You do until them what Grandpa did when Grandma got out of line and started acting the fool: you confront it, you call it what it is, and you shut that shit down. In short, you be a man- especially when you're not. It doesn't have to be a big production number; what you see below is quite sufficient for most occassions.

That's it. That's all there is to it. Just say "No, I don't have to do shit." when they act up. Only now, after doing it myself and seeing others do it--all with varying degrees of success--can I be confident that this IS a valid Narrative Warfare counterpunch to the SJWs and their ilk.

And yes, this is the SJW Entryist pattern at work. They come into a space that is not theirs, throw around fake claims to get a victim narrative going (Narrative Warfare Part 1), through which they attract suckers and sociopaths that they use to gain power (Part 2), and then converge what they conquer into part of their Memetic Complex for the purpose of spreading their narrative further (Part 3). This is the Cultural Marxist form of Permanent Revolution. It is War Without End because the Narrative itself demands war, and the sacrifices it requires as fuel, to sustain itself.

And it's put down simply by not fearing their shaming-words, by not caring what they think, and tell them to Stop Being Dumb. Their Narrative is built on a foundation of fraud with a cornerstone of crap; once you see it as weaponized Basic Bitch bullshit, you can't unsee it. Go read SJWs Always Lie, compare with your usual Basic Bitch bullshit, and see for yourself. (The SJWs hate the Manosphere for more than the usual Narrative stuff; those guys actually see SJWs for what they are and know how to deal with it.)