Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Random Thoughts & Posts

Here are some random thoughts for the day.

Twitter Dungeon - DUNSÖNs & DRAGGANs - Ikea themed text dungeon.

Monster Colors - So there is a whole series of posts going on about monster colors. On one level I feel like, well, yeah, it says it right in the books that even humanoid monsters have lots of different skin colors. But then again just because some other people are just noticing the "odd" colors of some old monsters doesn't mean I'm special because I noticed before them. Still, it's why you'll see my monster minis painted many colors. Nothing says monsters should all be dull earth tones and humanoids variations on human skins.

In my own collection I have:

- goblins that are bright orange, yellow (mine and the original paintjob on some Reaper pre-paints), olive green, and blue.

- blue bugbears.

- purple metallic snakemen.

- yellow, orange, flesh-toned, brown, red, and blue ogres and giants. I use one of the blue ogres as a demon lord. No purple ones, purple is for snakemen!

- golden, red, brown, and blue lizards.

- a veritable rainbow of slimes! (I just like saying "veritable rainbow of slimes.")

- demons in red, white, blue, grey, green, yellow, and more.

- all sorts of brightly colored mutants and monsters and aliens. Any even slightly reasonable excuse to make crazy colored monsters is enough for me.

Okay, sure, my orcs are green and my hobgoblins are grey - shades of both. I like green orcs. I like grey skinned hobgoblins. But it's only a good thing if people re-discover the many hues and colors of monsters. By all means pick duller colors if you like, and picking a single theme for a race or type is probably a good idea just for player recognition purposes. Like red berries and tri-color snakes, it could be a hint of danger, and you can't have look-alike monsters if the looks don't tell a story. But yeah, bust out your other colors. If it takes Gary Gygax's monster descriptions to make you do it, that's fine, just do it!

Lawyers & Litigants - All negotiations and agreements in my game eventually seems to end up in some form of "technically, the wording of the agreement say that the party of the first part shall . . . " line of reasoning. Check the comments in this post. Remember, the spirit of the agreement applies to you; the letter of the agreement applies to them!

Blogging about blogging. - Want to start a new blog? Here are some pro tips for you:

Tenkar's Tavern - how to create a blog and a community.

Mailanka's Musings - how to blog about GURPS, but like a lot of GURPS material it's universally applicable.

and this post by Justin Aquino spelling out some of what he's looking for in posts, which might inspire you to write some.

Me, I pretty much came out of the gate with a plan and stuck to it. But although my chosen career is teaching people how to do things (speak, write, move, hit, etc.), I'm probably not going to blog about blogging. I might encourage you to do it yourself, but that's about all. Good thing others will tell you how to make the sausage.

Usually I post minis on Tuesday, but I'll see if I can't get a mini pic up for tomorrow instead!


  1. But the important question remains, Peter: Do I get extra XP/CP for the albino orc? ;)

    I came in with my own welcome page a while back for my blog, but looking back on it I've really only stuck with the table top gaming aspects of what I thought I'd be writing about. That was probably a good thing; I'm told mixed-subject blogs are kind of annoying to follow.

    1. Sure, distinctive feature is a 1 point disadvantage.

      Mixed-subject blogs are tough, even if they're geared to to let you sort out the subject. Your subject can be pretty big as long as it thematically hangs together. I don't regularly read the "gaming, minis, my life in general, music, and politics!" combo blogs, for example. It's easier if you break out your fiction from your boardgame AARs. And so on. It's trivial to have multiple blogs, so if you've got multiple topics why not have multiple blogs? Unless you're only seeking fans of you, not fans of the same topics as you.

      I've got a fairly broad but connected set of topics. I think that helps. It's rare for me to veer off into a non-gaming, non-minis topic even within a post. But I feel like there is a unified theme in what I do.

    2. Agreed; yours holds together well. Mine as well has stuck to table top games the whole time so far. Not sure if I should have broken out d20, wargames, and GURPS into their own distinct blogs, but others seem to have kept them all together. And they are all table top games, that's for sure.

      I think I'd initially thought I'd include tea, cooking, and other things I was into, but I tossed that out pretty quick since I was afraid I'd dissuade people. Not been motivated to make another blog on those subjects, either. I'd rather spend my writing energy into keeping this one active.

      That said, beyond game mechanics, fluff stuff will eventually feature, though it'll be tied to games I'm designing for GURPS...hm.

  2. RE: Lawyers & Litigants
    It is very hard to negotiate in good faith with most PC adventuring groups. They tend to organize as a mutually supportive anarchy, which means adherence to agreements with folks outside the PC group is limited by the least agreeable member. If the behavior of the least agreeable member causes conflict all the PCs will usually pile on to support the PC side in a fight unless the violation was particularly egregious.

    1. That's a good point.

      I also find that in general groups are negotiating in good faith in the sense that they'll probably stick to the agreement so long as the NPCs honor the spirit and the PCs have to only honor the letter as interpreted after the fact. The agreement usually ends when the PCs don't want it, but any breach by the NPCs even after the fact is treachery.

      I enforce that with reputation. Word gets around if you are a hard but fair negotiator, or if you overdeliver on promises . . . and if you play lawyer and cut corners and honor the word as you see fit, that gets around too. I try not to get vindictive ("How dare you do that to my NPCs?") or make the NPCs too clever, but I do try to be fair . . . if you agree and then weasel out of the agreement via the wording, you'll get a rep for that and people either will do that back or just won't negotiate or take agreements seriously.

      It's largely the negative reputation that gets developed, since PCs tend to see any NPC action that isn't wholly beneficial to them as wholly antagonistic.

      The same tendency gets PCs in trouble with wishes. I've that happen over and over again, fearing the wording so much they wordsmith away their own wished-for results. I feel like that's got the same root. Something like, "I'm bound by wording, and I can control my success in the universe by choosing just the right words."

    2. Sounds like bad playing. Not bad players, but bad play none the less.

      I guess you could say the players "know words" and hope they "have the best words" ;)

    3. Heh.

      You might be right - it's possibly intended to be good play and get good results but not actually get you those.


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