A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Italian Festival

This will be quick, because I don't have time to be particularly verbose, but I wanted to post this.

We went out to the Italian Festival today in Memphis. It was great for us to get out, but holy cow - its crazy different with a baby. Before, we could just shower and dress and hop in the car and we were gone. Now its an involved and complicated process involving checklists and committees and such.

Anyway, we drove up there, found some parking about a solid block away, and made it to the festival shortly before 1, fortuitously just in time to get in for free, instead of the $10 a head they'd be charging. We wandered around, skimmed past all of the private booths, stopped and grabbed some food at the vendor stations, enjoyed some delicious Fat Tire beer, and did another loop around the park. We were there for a little over an hour. The weather was pretty nice, in the low 80's, and alternating between a little overcast, and really bright. In short, we had a really good time getting out and walking around the park.

Now my gripe: I'm glad we didn't have to pay to get in. In retrospect, $10 a head would have left me feeling disappointed. Granted, we were there before the band was playing, but that was okay with me, we didn't come to see the band. And our baby is confined to a stroller, and could not go and enjoy the little kids park area. But my biggest beef with this (and with Bar-B-Q fest) is that its a big private party that the public is pseudo invited to. Now, I'm not trying to pick a fight with any BBQ fest people or anything, I know they do these things as food competitions, but it seemed weird to walk by the fourty-odd food tents, each of which was marked 'private party - invite only', and to then make our way back around to the little vendors selling pizza. The food that we got from the vendors was fine, but the private party thing is weird, it feels like a high school party, and I'm not cool enough to do anything aside from stand against the wall and sip my soda.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dear World,

Dear World,

This sorta belongs on my baby blog instead of here, but I don't really want to mar it with this post.

So here goes:

Please quit with the racism and homophobia and the all-around hatemongering.

I've got a kid now, and while before I could just grimace, or ignore it, now I've got someone who's going to be learning by watching and listening to what goes on around her. At the end of the day, I don't care if she swears like a sailor, but I dread hearing a racist word that she picked up somewhere.

Obviously, I intend to provide her with an environment that will encourage her to think of all people as equal individuals, worth of respect - but it makes me wonder, when do you tell your kid about the things that you wish that they'd never find out about? I'm sure they discover it soon enough on their own.

Anyway, I'll cut this short.

So yeah, World, if you could work on that, it'd be great. Thanks.

This is not a real post

I started to come do a quick catchup-update, but I typed like three boring things, and thought "No one wants to read 'hi, I'm still real boring, nothing much new to tell you aside from that I'm not running and I wish I was, and that I get to play D&D this weekend',". That's not a post.

So instead, you get this. Think of it as a ping. Just a keepalive. I'll be back with more thrilling content eventually. Also, my apologies about my 365 project. I'm giving up on backposting photos here at this point, because I'm pretty sure that no one wants to scroll through 100 photos on here. Maybe I'll just link to my picasaweb album when I get it updated.

I need about 8 more waking hours in the day. I'm lying, I wouldn't really get more done.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Come play D&D with us!

Anyone reading this and living in the Memphis area interested in getting together for some old school D&D gaming?

No experience necessary - on the off chance that you read this and are not a gamer nerd, but are interested, that's cool too!

I'm trying to find a few more people to fill out a group that would play occasionally on the weekend.

Reply in the comments if interested!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monsters and Morality

I think I touched on this subject awhile back, during my D&D 4e game.

This has been on my mind again lately, and I've read or heard a few clever and/or insightful perspectives and thoughts on this subject.

In short, we're taking about killing stuff in your role playing game.

To give us a little more focus, lets talk solely about D&D/fantasy gaming.

Another blogger (if I were less lazy I'd link and credit, but I suck) recently had some similar musings, discussing how "intelligent monsters" in fantasy were largely an invention of Tolkien. Before him, most of the bad guys that Conan and others fought were human in nature. Whatever clever fellow it was that I'm talking about went on to describe that Conan typically did battle with whoever stood in his way and tried to stop him, and we did not really have evil races, the way we do in Tolkien with orcs and such.

Killing orcs and other baddies is a staple of D&D. And in its most simple (pure, if you will) form, there is no morality to it. It just never comes up, from players or the GM. Orcs and goblins and so forth live in dungeons, and its up the adventurers to go in and kill them and take all of their shit.

But as we all grow up, or invest a little more thought into our games, we wonder things like "What do we do with orcish children, or orcish prisoners?". Many a paladin has shuddered and writhed in angst and confusion, trying to justify killing defenseless children, despite his or her Lawful Good alignment.

Another clever fellow suggested that there's no such thing as orcish kids. Orcs, and all other manner of nasty monsters are not mundane biological creatures, the way that humans are. No, they are spawned from the energies produced from murders and rapes and torture hatred and all sorts of other nastiness. They aren't born and raised. They are formed from some nameless and invisible mist, and spring fully-formed and armed, ready to spread hate. In this scenario, there are no monstrous humanoid societies. Bands, maybe. This removes much of the morality from it, nipping it in the bud, so to say. They are, quite simply, evil. And I'm a big fan of this strategy.

You can certainly go far with morality plays in D&D, and have a great time with it, but I think that it depends on what kind of D&D game you and your players are after. Political and religious infighting and such is great territory for shades of gray.

But I think that killing monsters and taking their stuff is easier when you don't have to agonize over it.

'Course, there are whole games devoted to the morality of it all, like Vampire and Sorcerer and such. And I love those too.

(mmmm its nice to blog about gaming and get some of this stuff off of my chest!)

This thing still work?

Man, I've had like no time/energy for blogging, really.

Go figure.

In other news, my project 365 is still clinging to life, barely. I fear it'll be a project 361 or 357 or something of that sort. I know I missed at least one day, and who knows how many other days I've missed and not even noticed.

Anyway, I AM still taking some pictures. Almost all of them are of my cute kiddo, and I'm finding very few opportunities to snap descent photos of anything else.

It is what it is.

Eventually I'll try to do some uploading.