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1:45 AM
5
Q: Will temporary Dex penalties prevent you from getting the benefits of the "Two Weapon Fighting" feat if your Dex score falls below the prerequisite?

JoshuaDOur fighter is exhausted and is suffering a -6 to Dexterity as a result, bringing his Dexterity from 15 to 9. He has the feat Two-Weapon Fighting, which reduces the penalty for fighting with two weapons. The feat has a prerequisite of 15 Dex. Will exhaustion preclude him from getting the bene...

 
@BESW yeah he was a pretty sick puppy
Some of the stuff I hear or read is a little hard to believe
 
I just wish Evil Hat had been willing to avoid using his specific name and creations as if there's no other way to explore stories about existential dread. They've given two-thirds of a page to "Lovecraft was trash but we like the ideas so we're gonna use his stuff anyway instead of making up our own, because creators of color are reclaiming that space which means it's the same if we stay in the space but just avoid the most obviously nasty parts right?"
Which is better than most Lovecraft-inspired material, but that's a low bar to clear.
[shrug] They got Misha Bushyager as a sensitivity reader, so that's something.
(She wrote for Lovecraftesque, among other things.)
 
2:06 AM
Also honestly
He was not a very good writer in my opinion
 
Surely by now the things he created have moved beyond their beginnings? Works today that are "Inspired by Lovecraft" are actually "inspired by the things that were inspired by things that were inspired by lovecraft"
 
I've read some of his stuff and while I can see how he inspired people they were not especially good or scary reads
He made one where a guy was dying at sea and saw a black fishman and that was supposed to blow your mind or something I guess?
 
Should the good work of people who expanded upon his mythos be forever tarred with his reputation?
 
That's got nothing to do with what I'm talking about, but also no that's not how it works in practice.
 
@linksassin I think the problem with that is that his name is still all over it
Even his face with that one award
 
2:09 AM
In most cases, iteratively inspired works still inherit the original allegorical bigotry rather than confronting or subverting them.
 
People are not done giving him credit
So we should not be done giving him criticism
@BESW also this
 
What I'm suggesting is perhaps we should be done with crediting him. But that doesn't mean people who enjoy things inspired by his mythos shouldn't get to create new things in that domain
 
And in many many cases, like Evil Hat's "Fate of Cthulhu," they're still going back directly to the source material, because the traditions of existential horror in media tend to be very concerned with reference material both diegetically and non-diegetically.
@linksassin Again, that's not what I'm talking about?
 
Though if the new authors demonstrate knowledge of those problematic themes and combat then that is a good thing to be sure
 
Like I've said above, and yesterday, there are people who are reclaiming that space in positive ways which Evil Hat is not doing.
But as someone who'd be welcome in Lovecraftian spaces already, and thus cannot be a reclaimer of those spaces, I prefer to focus on non-Lovecraftian ways to explore existential horror.
Fate of Cthulhu doesn't need to use Lovecraft's name or monsters. It could have its own organic/otherworldly apocalypse to exactly the same effect and not continue to make one guy's name synonymous with an entire genre.
They say what they want to explore is that "fear of the unknown" element which makes his work admittedly compelling. But then they just.. use the products of his fear rather than exploring what monsters their fears and our fears might produce.
Like literally. Cthulhu, Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlathotep, they're just using those.
 
2:22 AM
@trogdor Of course it was supposed to blow your mind. The last line was in italics!
 
@linksassin First, I'm not telling anybody to stop doing things. I'm talking about my opinions of what people are doing. Thinking something is being done poorly is not the same as trying to stop people from doing it.
Second, I'm not saying it's impossible to respond to Lovecraft's ouvre and influence in a positive, responsible way. I'm being very clear about why I think Evil Hat is falling short of the mark while still being leaps and bounds above most contemporary HPL-attributing material.
20 hours ago, by BESW
Horror authors in the Lovecraftian vein whose works should be derived into an Evil Hat RPG: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Victor Lavalle, Mira Grant, Aliette de Bodard...
 
So the issue is that they're using the figures from Lovecraft's mythos, which credits HPL, rather than creating their own mythos to recapture the eldritch horror vibe?
 
2:38 AM
To a large extent, yes. In their "Content and Consent" section they unquestioningly assume that stories exploring the "fear of the unknown" are inextricably Lovecraftian in nature and that his specific works are the default lens through which to explore those fears--to the point of implying there is no other lens.
The man and the genre are presented as synonymous.
19 mins ago, by BESW
They say what they want to explore is that "fear of the unknown" element which makes his work admittedly compelling. But then they just.. use the products of his fear rather than exploring what monsters their fears and our fears might produce.
They're still exploring HIS fears. The monsters in Evil Hat's Fate of Cthulhu are still rooted in allegories for paranoid white fragility and the terror of being toppled from a position of power.
And even for people who don't think HPL being synonymous with an entire genre is stifling and exclusionary, it could be distressing to see how our obsession with him keeps our gaze narrow and blinds us to finding modern allegories for being at the mercy of powerful beings and systems which regard you as a non-person, disposable or ignorable, and likely to mindlessly crush you while pursuing their own goals.
7
 
Ash
@BESW this.
 
Or, imagine this, exploring other kinds of existential dread than "I am not as important as I would like to be."
 
Ash
(will be in and out in small doses for the next few days, I got myself a nice concussion)
 
@BESW I wasn't trying to imply you were. I haven't read Evil Hat's rpg as you have so I won't assume to speak on it. However I'm not prepared to write off a work because it uses Lovecraftian mythos and creatures. Sure they could have renamed it but using the name Cthulhu doesn't mean you are using HP's version of it. I like to believe someone would be capable of reinterpreting these well known creations through a more sensitive vision.
 
Turn to Doctor Who and see how 1960s Britain's fears of automation and artificial organs combined to create the Cybermen, an allegory for the fear of a future where we've become so dependent on machines to live that we've been forced to suppress our humanity in order to stay sane.
 
2:50 AM
I don't know if that is that case here but I don't like to judge things by the connotations of their inspirations.
 
I don't have to judge the content in order to wish that they weren't perpetuating the synonymy.
 
@BESW Does using the name necessarily mean they are though?
 
I'm not saying "this is a bad game." I'm saying "This is a bad look that perpetuates a trend which enables harm."
 
@Ash ouch
 
@linksassin Yes, by using Cthulhu as shorthand for a genre, they are literally doing that in the name of their product.
 
2:54 AM
@nitsua60 I would laugh more but it was both a sad and underwhelming read, but looking back on it also horribly racist and dumb
 
Ash
@trogdor I hit my head off a chair of all things. It's mild bit its still a brain injury wheeeee
 
@Ash oh man
 
There are cases like some of the authors I mention above, where their handling of the context in context is arguably beneficial enough to justify the harm of passively perpetuating the synonymy.
Evil Hat might be clearing that bar, barely, but I'm not the person who can make those kinds of calls.
I can just say that they didn't need to use the Lovecraft brand for this, but they did anyway, and I'm disappointed.
I'll also admit that they'd probably run the risk of losing money on the project if they didn't use the Lovecraft brand. Which then becomes a question of "should you do this."
 
@BESW I get that. But does using a well known and popular brand to attract attention really need to explicitly deny the rest of a genre?
 
@Ash I've never had a concussion before but just the idea of it is scary
 
2:58 AM
We regularly use Tolkienesque fantasy as a reference which (IMO) does not deny that there are other kinds of fantasy.
 
@linksassin ...you keep trying to generalize principles out of a specific circumstance, and then ask me to defend the general principle when I'm talking about the specific circumstance.
 
@linksassin it doesn't but, the problem is that HP Lovecraft is more widely known for his work rather than his,... Issues
Again, he still has an award shaped after his head
 
And Tolkien is a poor example, because he has the same influence.
I'm not saying that Lovecraftian horror means there's no such thing as slasher films.
 
If we can prove he is still revered by some without acknowledgement of the problems with his works it's still a problem
And stuff like that us proof enough in my opinion
 
I'm talking about the genre of existential dread, cosmic panic, etc, which is dominated by Lovecraft to the point that his name is synonymous with it. And Tolkien's name is similarly synonymous with epic high fantasy.
And I have just the same problems with Tolkienism, albeit to a less fervent extent for a variety of reasons.
 
3:02 AM
Until he no longer at least has an award shaped like his head, among other things, we aren't done with his influence
 
@BESW while it shouldn't meawe ignore the problems with Tolkien's work, I think it's at least safe to say he wasn't nearly as rabidly,.. horrible about it as HP
Maybe that's not saying much in his favor though
@BESW fair enough
 
Heh, yes, point to Tolkien.
 
Good start
 
Ash
@trogdor I don't recommend it, even if it is forcing me to hold still and rest, finally.
 
3:06 AM
@BESW yes, this. very much so, it's kinda stunting what can be done with the idea (not that I really do existential dread)
 
@Ash yeah I think I would prefer almost any other injury for keeping me in bedrest
 
But I think it's important to remember that Tolkien's orcs are just as anti-miscegenation as Lovecraft's fishmen, his Easterlings as savagifying as Lovecraft's Cthulhu cultists, his glorification of ruralism as classist as Lovecraft's condemnations of egalitarian city life.
And we reproduce Tolkien's forms just as unquestioningly as we reproduce Lovecraft's--moreso because he didn't leave reams of letters about how Eastern Europeans have "swart, aberrant physiognomies, & gestures & jabbering born of alien instincts." (letter from 12 Oct 1928)
 
@BESW yeah I don't want anyone to think I was defending Tolkien for sure
He had his own problems
 
We don't have to look to the author at all. It's the ideas that contain the germs of hate and harm, and that's what I object to perpetuating. In both cases, perpetuating one man as emblematic of a genre stunts the genre's ability to grow beyond those men.
 
Also fair
Also in a weird way, at least HP was honest enough about his vast stores of bile that it's easier to really stare his problems in the face
 
3:17 AM
There is that.
 
I personally admit it's easier for me to criticize him in pretty much any conversation about Mythos stuff than similarly with Tolkien in any given fantasy setting
 
@Shalvenay My relationship with existential dread is weird, because I don't have any but I love stories about it?
 
@BESW We could say the same for Asimov for science fiction, Rowling for modern(ish) fantasy and Critical Role for live-action roleplaying. I think it is unfair to criticise a creator for their success.
 
@linksassin I think the problem becomes when you peg a genre so strongly to one author's conceptualization of it, it starts becoming a box
that the genre then needs to be stuffed into
 
If largely because sometimes I forget both Tolkien's problems and how much influence he had
 
3:18 AM
@linksassin I'm criticising the flaws of individuals' creations, and communities for their lionizing of individuals as avatars of entire genres.
 
instead of being a platform which more and more varied conceptualizations of the genre can be built upon
 
@Shalvenay And I would agree that that is a problem. But it is not that fault of the creators that the community chooses to do this.
 
it's one of the underlying currents of worry about me branching out into new communities and new territory, for instance -- how will they react to my tendencies to think outside that box?
 
@linksassin Yeah, I dunno where you're coming from with that. It's not what we're talking about.
 
I wish Lovecraft's "Come to the Light" moment had come earlier than, you know, literally the last 1% of his life before he died. I'm curious what a "hey, I'm starting to realize my old politics were shit and maybe we need to address that" Lovecraft story might have looked like. But it's difficult to write those kinds of stories from your deathbed.
 
3:20 AM
@linksassin it indeed isn't, and I don't think BESW was pinning the fault on Lovecraft or Tolkien, but on subsequent authors who develop a misguided...need? to keep their stories within that box
 
@Xirema Check out Georges Prosper Rémi (pen name Hergé), for that kind of character arc.
 
No one is pinning HP's mistakes to Tolkien
Neither of them needs the help
Mentioning them together was intended for comparison
And contrast too
 
Hergé's early Tintin novels are notoriously racist, literally cartoonish. Over the course of his life he slowly realized that everybody's people, and you can see the progress through the Tintin stories.
 
I'm not saying that is what you guys are doing. But too often I see people blaming creators for the negative community they created. Tolkien cannot be held accountable for the actions of his fans. Neither can Lovecraft or any other creator.
Their views are terrible yes. But viewed in the context of the time they wrote them they weren't quite so egregious.
 
@linksassin Well, let's be clear: we're not blaming Lovecraft for the fans: we're blaming fans for not seriously considering the context of the person they're celebrating.
 
3:24 AM
@linksassin that's true to some extent but they can be criticized for the works they put out and the flaws in those works
 
Noooope let's not go with the "product of their time" thing.
 
Ehh... HPL wasn't really a product of context and external factors. Tolkien maybe.
 
And what works they made were still an influence on people
 
@linksassin This is one of those things that's true (lower-case-'t') without being Accurate (upper-case-'A'). Certainly plenty of people of his day&age were just as bad, but there were lots of people who weren't, and Lovecraft had enough education and life experience to have known better.
 
@BESW Why not? How can we expect anyone to be expected to know context beyond the world they live in? I'm just saying judge people by the yardstick of their world not yours.
@Xirema HPL was bad by the yardstick of his own time certainly, and should be judge accordingly.
 
3:26 AM
@linksassin You could compare them to their contemporaries
 
They shouldn't be judged according to today's standards. @MikeQ That's exactly what I'm suggesting.
 
@linksassin By the yardstick of his world, which was a time literally called the "nadir of American race relations," he was still considered horrifically bigoted and prejudiced by his contemporaries.
 
Ash
@linksassin even by that metric Lovecraft was still a damn monster. And that's a terrible judgement, and shows a lot of privilege thinking you can just go oh well it was different then, like those things still existing and being perpetuated isn't harmful to people all the time in our current reality
 
And I will HAPPILY judge content by current standards when evaluating its role in current culture, regardless of its origin.
 
@BESW also this yeah
 
Ash
3:28 AM
Since he still plays such an active role in todays culture, we need to and should judge it by today's metrics
Stuff doesn't exist in a vacuum and it is a very privileged position to suggest it does.
 
That shouldn't be an excuse that makes someone's work or beliefs above criticism anyway
 
Ash
For sure.
 
I think it's also important to remember that there were a lot of black and Eastern European and Indigenous people at the time who were pretty clear on what was and wasn't super bigoted attitudes toward them.
3
 
And yeah the fact that we still have similar problems today exacerbates the problem
 
Ash
It's very "second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse"
 
3:30 AM
@Ash This is the big argument that I hew to. I don't really care if Mark Twain was especially Racist "for his time" or not because pretty much no one is making derivative works based on his stuff today. For Lovecraft, LOTS of people make derivative works based on stuff in his name. It matters to frame his works in a modern context.
 
We need to grow out of bigotry and excusing it because a lot of people did it isn't any better than excusing it because people do it now ( it just feels less horrible because of its distance)
 
"That's just how people were back then" is basically saying "Well he chose to only surround himself with bigots so we can't blame him for being bigoted." Which is also untrue, his wife was very vocal about how horrible he was being, but IF IT WERE TRUE it would still just be saying it's okay to be bigoted if you surround yourself with bigots.
But yeah, I'm really trying to focus on the modern context.
 
@Ash I'm not saying that we can't discuss the impact is has today. I just don't think we can blame creators for their works surviving beyond anything they could have imagined. We can blame him for the atrocities of his work compared to his peers, everything else is beyond the creators control anyway.
 
@linksassin I'm kinda confused why a discussion about modern influences and how modern creators can choose to respond to them, keeps turning into a discussion about the morality of the long-dead sources of those influences.
@linksassin We are trying to have that conversation about the impact today.
You keep changing the subject.
 
Ash
@linksassin we can't just handwave away the effects his racist biofgted stuff has on things constantly now, please stop suggesting we should.
 
3:33 AM
@linksassin If I'm understanding this discussion correctly, the issue is moreso that HPL's and Tolkien's writings contain a filter of the author's beliefs, and so accrediting and copying their ideas sorta perpetuates their mindsets. The problem isn't whether a certain genre has 1 dominant author.
 
Ash
By allowing entire genres to effectively be "let's do Lovecraft and only that", we are constantly saying "his attitudes were okay to perpetuate"
 
@MikeQ yup -- it perpetuates their mindsets at the expense of mindsets that would give the genres that get pegged to them a chance to grow beyond its origins in a way that comports with modern beliefs
 
6 hours ago, by BESW
@Xirema As bad as his fiction is (and Red Hook is baaaad), one doesn't really get the full effect until reading his letters to friends; then it becomes clear that his mistreatment of various groups of people in his stories is quite restrained, and it's his monsters where he shows how he really feels about other people.
 
@MikeQ Yes. The beliefs are coded into the ideas, and if we use the ideas in our work... we can either directly confront the beliefs and try to challenge them, or we perpetuate the beliefs through negligence by spreading the ideas.
3
 
@BESW very much this!
 
3:36 AM
@BESW What I was trying to say was how do we know which Evil Hat did just by their title?
 
If you import the Aesthetic of Lovecraft without meaningfully challenging its assumptions and rhetoric, then you will, outside of some sheer miracle of writing happenstance, reproduce (and unwittingly endorse) the bigotry and biases of that Aesthetic.
 
@linksassin I never said we do.
What I did say is that even when confronting the beliefs, we are still giving air time TO the ideas in which the beliefs are coded.
And that it's rare for the benefit of confronting those beliefs to clearly outweigh the potential damage of giving the ideas more space.
 
45 mins ago, by BESW
@linksassin Yes, by using Cthulhu as shorthand for a genre, they are literally doing that in the name of their product.
 
And then I talked specifically about the content of the RPG, based on having read some of it and having read the designer's discussions which I've linked here previously.
 
@linksassin Bear in mind: that was a discussion about the creator's commentary, not merely the name of the product.
 
3:39 AM
@linksassin Yes. which was in response to you asking if using the name perpetuated the synonymy. Which it does.
Using the word Cthulhu as a synonym for existential dread perpetuates the synonymy of the two concepts.
 
@BESW I'm saying, does it have to be? What would it take for something to subvert this?
 
This does not mean Evil Hat also failed to confront the beliefs inherent in the idea of Cthulhu.
 
@linksassin Something monumental. And also very delicate.
 
@linksassin As in, how to appeal to the eldritch horror fanbase, without accreding HPL directly?
 
@linksassin You can't. In the context of modern horror culture, using the word Cthulhu on your product reinforces the association which already exists. We can't remove Cthulhu from that lexical pedestal by continuing to use him.
@MikeQ This, one can do. With difficulty.
 
3:43 AM
@MikeQ Sort of. Think of it from the creators perspective. If we use it we gain additional attention and risk alienating a small subset, if we don't we may not get any attention at all. (Note I'm not advocating either way just making the discussion)
 
@MikeQ The easy answer, I think, is to just avoid mentioning Lovecraft or his IP in any capacity. It's unsatisfying, and I think there's better approaches, but it's also the cleanest and, if you're trying to be mindful of this stuff as a company with multiple creative voices all needing to work in collaboration, the most feasible.
 
@linksassin I think it would probably take a lot if work and more people implicitly understanding the issues with HP's works and how his,.... Ideas about certain types of people seeped into them
 
What if they called it The Fate in Yellow
 
@MikeQ A little better. Chambers got sucked into the all-consuming shibboleth long ago, though.
 
Ignoring this problem doesn't do the job, confronting it and changing how we do stories about does
 
3:45 AM
@MikeQ Exactly that. If they did a large portion of their potential audience may never find their work since it doesn't use the correct key-word.
 
But it's likely to be difficult and also delicate and take some serious time
 
47 mins ago, by BESW
I'll also admit that they'd probably run the risk of losing money on the project if they didn't use the Lovecraft brand. Which then becomes a question of "should you do this."
 
The (IMO) more interesting, more difficult method is to recontextualize the Lovecraft mythos for exactly what we see it as: as figures of Racial and Nationalistic bigotry. Import the characters as avatars of that bigotry, and frame your heroes (tragic or classical) as resistance against that bigotry.
 
Stuff like this always seems to really take a lot of time honestly
 
Sometimes the answer is "There is no completely responsible way to do the thing." And then you have to decide if your idea/profit/fame/self-satisfaction is worth the harm that implementing it will cause.
 
3:46 AM
@linksassin Given the other Evil Hat products, I think they could have come up with their own IP that captures the intended feel, without using "mythos" or "cthulhu" or "indescribable" in their dictionary
 
@BESW Apologies, seems I missed that comment. It is an excellent one.
 
@MikeQ Another more responsible way to do it would have been to hire more people on the creative team who are members of the groups that Lovecraft's bigotry exploits.
 
@MikeQ In doing so would have spent significantly more development cost for a likely lower return.
 
Partly because they would be more likely to create a product that does less harm and more good once it's in the world; partly because it shares resources with members of the group most likely to be harmed by the work.
 
@linksassin How so? Most of their previous products had their own identity and lore and such, while still sufficiently targeting one or more intended genres. e.g. Venture City shouts "superheroes!" without specifically nodding to Marvel or DC
 
3:49 AM
2 hours ago, by BESW
[shrug] They got Misha Bushyager as a sensitivity reader, so that's something.
 
@MikeQ Consider the amount of creative effort to create your own setting. Then marketing and proofing and everything that goes with it. After all that additional cost yours is still less well known and less popular than the Lovecraftian one which you could have used for free.
 
Unsure about that. Also, Evil Hat is already an established company with a pretty strong online media presence
 
@MikeQ I am certain that by using "Cthulhu" in their branding got more eyes and more discussion around their product than they could have achieved otherwise.
 
I linked this video earlier because the quote was hilarious (and relevant to the "I can't believe how racist Lovecraft is!" discussion), but it's also a really good video because it examines an (imperfect) attempt to try to reconstruct the Cthulhu mythos in a modern context; one where the "brainwashed cultists" are explicitly coded as a Homophobic community; like a challenge to the inherent bigotry in Lovecraft's works.
 
Notably, Venture City and the other "well-known IP with the serial numbers filed off" material are almost all Fate Worlds, which are lower-budget projects funded exclusively by Patreon subs and written mostly by third-party hires.
@Xirema This is the sort of thing that makes me excited about Sundown, too.
 
3:54 AM
@Xirema Basically, the "Cthulhu-esque" monsters in the movie are instead manifestations of Lovecraft's own bigoted beliefs and ideology.
 
Except Sundown's not really Lovecraftian at all, it just allegorizes marginalization and then lets the horror of being marginalized do the work.
And yes obviously Evil Hat's got a big loyal base but "Fate of Cthulhu" is gonna dramatically expand their visibility into previously unplumbed depths of the RPG community by virtue of their cleaving to the Lovecraftian canon.
2 hours ago, by BESW
And in many many cases, like Evil Hat's "Fate of Cthulhu," they're still going back directly to the source material, because the traditions of existential horror in media tend to be very concerned with reference material both diegetically and non-diegetically.
That's part of what I'm talking about: the fact that the horror community fetishizes and valorizes going back to Lovecraft as a virtue in and of itself.
 
@BESW it does make me wonder why the existential horror genre community lionizes going back to the source material seemingly more than other genre-communities do
 
@Shalvenay You've clearly never read the reviews of scifi books deemed insufficiently Campbellian.
 
@BESW I probably haven't -- Campbellian?
 
Or... need I remind anyone that "vampires don't sparkle"?
John Wood Campbell Jr. (June 8, 1910 – July 11, 1971) was an American science fiction writer and editor. He was editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact) from late 1937 until his death and was part of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Campbell wrote super-science space opera under his own name and stories under his primary pseudonym, Don A. Stuart. Campbell also used the pen names Karl Van Kampen and Arthur McCann. His novella Who Goes There? was adapted as the films The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982), and The Thing (2011). Campbell...
 
3:59 AM
@BESW ah
 
By using "Cthulhu" in their title, Evil Hat is exploiting the existential horror community's obsession with limiting their scope to minor variations on the "canon" of the Mythos. And in doing so, reinforces that obsession by validating it.
 
@BESW yeah
 
They're gonna make bank on it, to be sure.
And since last year they ran into financial troubles and they've had to pare back staff and projects significantly, I can see the appeal in an easy marketing push.
 
although, this conversation has me thinking about a world-backstory thing I'm having a fair bit of trouble wrapping my head around, actually, if someone can help me
 
I can still wish they'd found their way to a publication that opened more doors and didn't reinforce as many harmful trends.
@Shalvenay I'm sure somebody will be willing to try!
 
4:05 AM
@BESW No one is saying you can't. I would love to hear a solution though. Wishing only goes so far.
 
A solution to what? I've already talked about using other authors for inspiration, with some specific examples I'd like to see. I've also talked about specific tactics for making a Lovecraftian product less harmful and more beneficial. And how sometimes a project just can't be made to work without too much harm and needs to be let go.
 
@Shalvenay World-building is always enjoyable.
 
I've also given examples of existing non-Lovecraftian RPGs which explore similar existential themes.
 
@Shalvenay hit us
 
and it's what happens when you have a very long-lived species crossbreeding (with fertile hybrids produced) with a much shorter-lived species during the context of the two species sharing a population bottleneck....I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how the family trees would come out, and also how much of A vs B you'd get in the resulting crossed bloodlines, assuming introgression (of A into B and B into A) takes place as well as straight hybridization
 
4:09 AM
Well, if it's a community of sapients then presumably there'd be complex social structures influencing the process.
 
@BESW yes, I'm sure there would be :) taboos against inbreeding would have some influence, although those do tend to wane under bottleneck conditions
"you married your....great-grand-uncle?!"
 
@BESW How can an group replicate the mass appeal of Cthulhu mythos while also mitigating the harm it does? Your examples are good but most of the drawbacks of lower appeal/increased effort. It's one thing to wish they did it differently it's another to actually do it.
 
> I've also talked about specific tactics for making a Lovecraftian product less harmful and more beneficial. And how sometimes a project just can't be made to work without too much harm and needs to be let go.
 
I guess the greater question is "what conditions would drive towards hybrid convergence (i.e. two species "collapsing" into one) vs cross-introgression (where A and B are still distinct species, but retaining traits introgressed from the other?)"
 
@Shalvenay What exactly do you mean by bottleneck population?
 
4:13 AM
@Shalvenay A long-lived person might conceivably survive long enough that their descendants are no longer considered close enough relations for taboo to kick in.
 
@BESW that is a very good point, yes
after a certain point, intrafamily relationships would be no longer considered taboo....
that does open up things a fair bit
 
I think that definitely depends just how long lived they are in comparison
 
@trogdor an order of magnitude is a good rough starting point here :)
 
You probably want at least like,... 5 generations for that?
 
A population bottleneck or genetic bottleneck is a sharp reduction in the size of a population due to environmental events (such as famines, earthquakes, floods, fires, disease, or droughts) or human activities (such as genocide). Such events can reduce the variation in the gene pool of a population; thereafter, a smaller population, with a smaller genetic diversity, remains to pass on genes to future generations of offspring through sexual reproduction. Genetic diversity remains lower, increasing only when gene flow from another population occurs or very slowly increasing with time as rand...
 
4:15 AM
And that's probably honestly at the low end
The age difference is still a bit of an issue though, because they are people
 
@trogdor This might be a useful chart: customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/…
 
@trogdor or "about the time sticking prefixes onto the term "grandparent" becomes too awkward to say"
 
How distant a cousin does the society accept? Then find N such 1/2^N equals the same
 
@Shalvenay that seems to about be the same time
Still feels a little weird
 
@linksassin yeah, I'm not clear on how cousin distance works
 
4:18 AM
It might make more sense for their to be taboo on direct descendants. But great great uncles/aunt are fine.
@Shalvenay Basically it's the number of generations before your have common ancestors - 1
 
@linksassin yeah, that's another thing I was considering
 
@linksassin yeah direct decendabnts should be avoided
 
@linksassin it's starting to make sense now
 
1st Cousin: 2 generations - same grandparents
2nd Cousin: 3 generations - same great-grandparents
@Shalvenay How similar are these races? Other than long lived. Are we talking Sapian/Neanderthal, Human/Elves or something different?
 
@linksassin Elves/Humans is close :) (it's actually Elysians/Ambermoon Orcs, where the modern Wood Elves in the world trace their heritage to the Elysians with introgressed Ambermoon bloodline and phenotypes, while the current Ambermoons have a few conserved introgressed Elysian traits still)
 
4:24 AM
Also "removed" means change of generation. I.e. Your parents 1st cousin is your 1st cousin once removed.
In genealogy, a cousin is a relative, other than an ancestor or descendant, who shares a common ancestor. The word cousin is often used to refer to a person's first cousin - the child of someone's aunt or uncle. == How the removed cousin system works == A first cousin is someone who shares the same grandparent(s) as you, but not either parent; the child of your aunt or uncle. A second cousin is someone who shares the same great-grandparent(s) as you, but not parents or grandparents A third cousin is someone who shares the same great-great-grandparent as you, but not parents, grandparents or great...
 
@linksassin I gotta say, that right there always confused me
I think I understand it but I feel like it deserves a different name
At the very least
 
@linksassin yeah, I got that far :)
 
4:39 AM
@Shalvenay So is this just ancient history for your campaign setting? Why bother with such detail?
 
I think one big thing is,... We definitely don't have a real world example of how this would work to see In any culture, so no example to work off of, and also it probably means atomatic contact with real world taboos activated by the conceit of the difference in lifespans I think
That might be what's specifically getting to me about this
 
4:51 AM
Hmm. Any math people around who can tell me what it'd look like if we used Fudge dice in the Pip System?
 
chocolatey
 
Lol
Like a bell curve of the numbers you would get or something?
 
Yeah, because it'd be adding neutral values.
In the Pip System you roll a number of white d6s equal to your skill at the task, and a number of black d6s equal to the difficulty of the task. Subtract the number of four-or-over black dice from the number of four-or-over white dice; if the result is at least 1, you succeed.
 
@BESW Would it be 1dF for every 1d6 ?
 
@MikeQ Yeah.
Bonus round: what if white dice were d6s and black dice were dFs?
 
4:55 AM
It's sort of already how Overcome actions work - you're comparing whether XdF beats YdF is the same as XdF - YdF
 
@BESW Well, 1/2/3 are already neutral values. It's actually adding negative values, and you'd have to decide how to handle that.
 
Ah, right.
Hmmm.
Nope, don't have enough brain for this right now.
 
Although using Fate points to reroll does change that a bit
 
@BESW Oh a one to one replacement yeah that's gonna change it a lot XD
 
@BESW i.e., imagine for Overcomes, you rolled both your dice and the opponent's dice, and then subtracted the opponent's results from yours
Subtracting two dice pools (XdF - YdF) is nearly the same as comparing two dice pools (XdF vs YdF). The exception is rerolls, which complicate that.
And since 1dF = 1d3 - 2, the constant value (summation of -2s) is just a bias, and doesn't change that the distribution is normalish
...And I should have read the whole description of Pip dice. IGNORE ME!
 
5:04 AM
For anyone who plays D&D, a survey someone's doing for a class: reddit.com/r/dndnext/comments/bgo6sg/a_quick_survey_about_dd
a link to the survey itself: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/…
 
@BESW It wouldn't work well at all, because all Fate Dice are expected zero and you're only changing the character of the noise? You might make it a bit gentler by doing "suns and moon" - blue positives minus red negatives, ignore other results?
But... one second...
Margin of success matters slightly, though "crit by 2" can replace "crit by 3" in that case fairly cleanly.
 
I suspect the way to do it would be to leverage the +/- to get 2 axes of outcome.
 
oooh I like double-bitted axes.
 
I have no idea what they've kept in the master pip system, but anything else that works off margin of success is going to be a little weaker as a result.
 
I'm not sure what it would look like in a generic system, though.
Success/failure and positive/negative side effects, possibly? I think I've seen something along those lines in another system.
 
5:14 AM
Oooh countdown clock.
 
Huh?
(I'm not very bright atm, fyi)
 
The second axis could be, instead of a secondary quality of the immediate action, a check for whether the scene/adventure countdown clock advances.
The countdown can be to... whatever you like, a bomb going off or the sun coming up or the curse taking effect...
Anything where there's a time pressure to get things done.
It also can be more abstract like in Apocalypse World where your fronts have clocks which represent the enemies' plans advancing.
 
Ooooooh, that gives me an idea.
You'd need a very specific sort of game, but that "failure" could act as a trigger for the enemies getting a scene (nothing happens if the audience doesn't see it)
 
Nice.
 
You might want to make it easy for them to see it though
Just so it has a decent impact
Whatever that entails
 
5:25 AM
Wrath of the Autarch made use of the Deck of Fate to add some of that. Roll with Fortune:X to flip X cards and add the suns; Misfortune:Y to flip Y cards and subtract the moods; Stress:Z to flip Z cards and take suns physical and moons mental stress.
If you're running Accelerated you could pretty easily take that as suns stress and moons "secret stress" on the countdown.
(the eclipse is 4 if you're looking specially for suns or moons, and 2 of each if you're not)
If you have no deck it says to just keep rolling and treat + as sun and - as moon, with the matching 4 being an eclipse, but that takes longer of course.
 
@trogdor I think for this to work, the enemies are also players (the same players? different players?) and the scene is switching back and forth...hmmm.
 
That's one way to do it
But I think it could also be done by the minions of the bad guy retreating after they get some buzzing noises on their coms
Or the the villain already being at the same party and suddenly bees appear
XD
(and somehow that was what they were doing I don't know)
The point is it can be done by making sure they are nearby in some capacity for you to witness something went down
It definitely takes extra effort and creativity but it adds to your idea
But yeah if you had a game with multiple player facing sides that could work too
 
5:57 AM
Oh, in the version where the failure causes a villain scene, the players would always see it. Their characters probably mostly wouldn't, but when I said the audience I meant the players.
 
@Glazius Huh, I wonder if you've won me a populist badge.
 
6:18 AM
@Miniman I assumed you meant that yeah
 
6:32 AM
The whole thing is pretty brilliant. Everyone has a scale, meaning their skill or notoriety. For NPC opponents, you compare your scale to theirs and then, after some chatty fight narration (conversational fights being a staple of the wuxia genre), you roll the appropriate move.
A thread about Fate of Cthulhu as hopepunk. I don't totally agree with the conclusions but I like the idea and some of the examples downthread may work into my own games.
 
 
2 hours later…
9:02 AM
@BESW Oh this seems super interesting
 
9:19 AM
@kviiri The entire thread is pretty idea-sparking.
 
9:36 AM
Indeed so
 
10:33 AM
1
Q: Do you award the encounter XP if the encounter was not solved via battle?

Theo ScholiadisI have created an encounter with monsters, with their relevant CR and XP. Normally, when the party kills everyone, they are rewarded the XP. If the party chooses to, and succeeds in, resolving the encounter without combat, do they get the XP they would've received if they killed the monsters, or ...

 
 
2 hours later…
12:29 PM
1
Q: How do I handle milestones for levels?

Theo ScholiadisI understand the concept behind milestones, and what the DMG recommends. I was planning to use old fashioned XP points per encounter for my campaign, but the more I read the more I prefer milestones. My question is, how do I handle milestones in a sandbox setting? In a more linear story it is ea...

 
12:48 PM
6
Q: Is this homebrew racial feat, Stonehide, balanced?

Unaligned OozeIs this homebrew racial feat, Stonehide, balanced? This feat uses the Dragonborn racial feat Dragonhide and the UA Stone Sorcerer Stone's Durability feature as a basis. Stonehide Prerequisite: Dwarf or Gnome The mystical link between your soul and the magic of elemental earth grant...

 
hotnessbot, stop spamming chat
 
It should at least disclose if it has any affiliation with the services it links to
 
1:09 PM
should talk more
moreover, didn't Wednesday used to be "Dinner with @BESW" day?
where are ours weekly free recipes?
^_^'
Jun 7 '18 at 9:48, by BESW
For tonight's dinner I fried up leftover whole wheat spaghetti, cut short, in sesame oil with teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper, to use as a base. Then I sautéd carrots and vegan hamburger in olive oil until they started to blacken and added chopped tatsoi stems at the end. Put that aside and went back to the pan to steam the tatsoi leaves (torn into pieces) with a bit of soy sauce. Served the veggies on top of the noodles.
 
Stop it, you're making me hungry!
 
I don't think that was ever specifically a Wednesday thing, or a regular thing?
Also, hello! o/
I've been mostly away for a couple of weeks on a family vacation.
 
I actually broke away from a quite long habit of mostly eating whatever my SO prepared me and actually cooked some curry yesterday. Nothing special otherwise but I went the extra figurative mile and used fresh ginger instead of powdered.
 
Nice work. :)
Fresh ginger is excellent.
 
@doppelgreener just trying to trick BESW into restarting the trend, so I am pretending that was a regular weekly thing to use the guilty felling of leaving us without our recipes against him.
 
1:25 PM
I've been quite unmotivated to actually cook since I tend to have a surplus of money, so I can afford take-away, and a deficit of time and energy, so getting myself to actually prepare something for myself beyond sandwiches hasn't been easy.
 
BESW is a busy person/persons/collective entity of undefined nature, let's let them post their recipes and dinners whenever they're comfortable with it and feel it's valuable to share.
 
and my SO usually doesn't eat my cooking which has further discouraged me
 
@doppelgreener Actually, I think I may have discovered the real nature of BESW.
 
Last month I moved in with my brother and he's recently become a vegetarian. I've always been entirely happy with vegetarian meals, so at home we've been having just those. We haven't had much time to cook recently but last night I took my first turn cooking a vegetarian recipe. It's the first time I've cooked for someone other than myself in a year and it feels good.
 
My current theory is that "he" is a prototype of the next generation of personal assistants (think Alexa) built by the Illuminati group
 
1:28 PM
brb
 
I prepared a large type of ravioli I can't remember the name of, with a pretty simple tomato sauce: lightly sauted some crushed garlic in good olive oil, added crushed tomatoes after a couple of minutes with sugar and salt and pepper, and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes to let it thicken. I also sauteed then flash boiled some broccolini for a side.
Next time I'll make that tomato sauce with added chilli flakes to take the heat up a notch.
 
@doppelgreener en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pasta#Pasta_with_filling choose one, but also know that the word "raviolo" can actually be used to describe (almost) any type of pasta with a filling.
 
The reason my SO doesn't usually partake in whatever I cook is not because I was bad at cooking, but because she's a very regimented person who doesn't hot meals in the afternoon like I do
Nevertheless, no one else eating my cooking is quite discouraging and drained any enjoyment I derived of it for years.
 
..... should I be worried that I read that as
> The reason my StackOverflow doesn't usually partake [cut...]
 
Abbreviations are dangerous
 
1:35 PM
no, seriously... what does SO mean in that context (sorry, but I must be missing something very obvious)?
 
Significant Other
 
Ah.
 
(I assume)
 
Yep
 
OK, that was like what I expected but I wouldn't have guessed the exact words in a thousand years.
 
1:38 PM
29
A: How do I Raise the Dead and Look Good Doing it?

TridusProtection against Spells Disguise Undead does just what it says - hides undead. Unfortunately Clerics can't cast it, so you'll either need an Arcane casting lackey to do it for you, or an item that can do it (Wands with Use Magic Device, or some other use per day item). Undetectable Alignment ...

Anyone know 3.5 tools well enough to replace the links in ^^ to tools that (a) are up and (b) are legal?
 
Ah, thought you were trying to say something about kviiri's cooking..
 
Kinda sad how looking for external validation for things we do and like is often frowned upon
 
@kviiri Though if everyone was always going 'look at the cool thing I did' it might drown out a lot of other communication
 
@Someone_Evil Kinda, but there's ample space between the extremes
 
Btw, are you referring to cooking or creating undead?
 
1:45 PM
Cooking, but it applies to hobbies in general, too. I've been particularly frustrated with my music hobby lately
It's been about a year since I reinvigorated my old hobby of playing the piano. I've practiced passionately and made lots of progress --- somewhat rewarding, but really laborous too. And then I realized there aren't really any pianos I could perform on
And a few times, there were, but "sorry no, we have other music now"
 
@vicky_molokh For that I'd need to get to 10. But I noticed a typo when I got the notification and figured why not.
 
And when one does get to perform to an eager audience, it's still a rather tricky deal: after you finish a piece, they want to hear more. Which is kinda nice but building a repertoire is slow and laborous :(
 
Couple this with the general attitude that musicians who push their art even in the slightest are a whole different kind of annoying, propagated by caricatured characters like Cacophonix (from Asteríx)
If I ever start blogging about weird culture thoughts that guy has a spot reserved. He's my bro for actually having a passion despite being constantly put down
 
@kviiri to be fair, I always assumed that Cacophonix problem was that he is bad at music, not that he is pushing his art too much.
 
1:56 PM
@Derpy Being bad at music is the first step towarss being good at music!
 
@kviiri :''''(
 
I mean... there was a whole story built around the core concept that his music causes rain
 
@nitsua60 I've dropped the links and added sourcebook references.
 
That's a bit Thermian isn't it? Just underscores how the authors thought that a bad musician is an acceptable target. I mean, I get it's comedy, but my recent experiences of not being wanted to demonstrate a skill I've literally spent hundreds of hours on still makes him very relatable to me.
 
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