Yerril

Totes McScrotes's page

Organized Play Member. 88 posts (100 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 26 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.


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So the same, standard, "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" narrative that one day poor white yeomen farmers could work their way up to becoming rich plantation owners if they just work harder?
Yeesh, the deeper you go the worse it gets. I don't even want to think about what that implies when you factor in what Max Weber wrote in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.


Just as nonsensical, since there are full-blooded Berber North Africans who don't look any darker than white Europeans with at most a light tan.


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From what I know of Haiti (operating under similar codes as Louisiana due to French colonization) the biracial Haitians, gens de coleur were indeed considered a third class as they were in Louisiana, at least by locals. Interestingly, a large part of the birth of jazz music in New Orleans is due to a fusion of styles between classically trained biracial musicians suddenly considered "black" under Jim Crow laws - Plessy/Ferguson happened in New Orleans after all - who found themselves performing alongside the descendants of black slaves playing a much different style.

After the revolution, the Dessalines administration only lasted two years before Haiti split into the north and south regimes, with Henri Christophe and Alexandre Petion in power respectively, and gens de coleur had it much harder in the north due to lingering prejudice against the French. Depending who you ask, Christophe was either another petty tyrant emulating the colonists and no better than them, or a man who got in way over his head and tried to keep order the only way he knew how (Haitians themselves disagree on this point today). Danny Glover's been trying to make a film about the revolution for twenty-odd years now, with major studios being too gun-shy to approach the project for fear that a mostly black cast would alienate white audiences.

The idea of "black" and "white" seem pretty peculiar to the Western hemisphere on that count, certainly African tribes had prejudices against one another as anyone who's read Things Fall Apart can attest, and for that matter Europeans still do maintain certain biases against one another. Just look at English nationalists attacking Polish immigrants, the idea of calling that "white on white" crime would be ludicrous. I remember hearing the notion of "whiteness" coming around to convince poor, uneducated whites that they had more in common with white aristocracies than they did with poor, uneducated blacks in largely the same economic situation. Samnell, I'd wager you've forgotten more about the Klan's strategy in post-war Mississippi than I've ever known, so I'll defer to you on that point but suffice to say that Karl Marx's ideas had been reaching American audiences shortly prior to the outbreak of the war. (Tangential, but I'd always heard the Klan was founded after the war by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who then left after it became too radical even for him; now I'm hearing it was around during the war or possibly before.)

The notion of "race" is complete b#*&@$+~ in any event. Determinants of individual personality can, to a degree, be traced to two factors, culture and genetics, neither of which we understand completely, much less how one affects the other, and trying to lump them together under the umbrella of something we call race is arbitrary nonsense.


I thought Louisiana was the exception, due to the Napoleonic Code and creole system of slavery (slaves were paid a wage, though a small one and could eventually purchase their own freedom - at least in theory). Delphine LaLaurie infamously was sued over how horrifically she treated her slaves. Seriously, don't Google her.


This is some really nasty stuff. http://www.history.org/history/teaching/slavelaw.cfm The Casual Killing Act really stuck out.


Necromancing this because I'd like to know as well.


I think if Cuba fired artillery on Guantanamo Bay, the US would be fully justified in considering that an act of war and invading.
Hence, War of Southern Aggression if anything.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Do remember however in votes for the Presidency, the popular vote means squat.. It's the winner takes all Electoral College which can elect a President that comes in second in the popular vote, a situation which has happened at least twice.

Also remember that the mass of the electron is 9.10938356 × 10-31 kilograms. I mean, as long as we're remembering things that aren't really relevant to the discussion, why not remember all of them?

The electoral college is normally divided on a state-by-state basis -- e.g., if 51% of the voters in East Dakota vote for the tall guy with good hair, the TGWGH gets 100% of the East Dakota slate. It's the size of the slate that matters, which is determined by the population. If the state population is a million people, half enslaved, then effectively 500,000 people vote for enough electors for a state of 800,000 people, so everyone in that state has roughly 1.6 votes per person. That's the electoral effect of the 3/5 compromise, and it applies not only to the presidency but also (of course) to the House.

Of course, 19th century America was notorious for further restricting the vote, so those 500,000 people included 250,000 women (who of course couldn't vote), and probably 150,000 men who didn't make the property cutoff, etc., but that wasn't something limited to the American South.

Given the way the EC breaks down, you can get enough electoral votes to win first-past-the-post and the presidency with a mere 22% of the popular vote. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC42HgLA4k


Turin the Mad wrote:

Which is a point GreyWolfLord has made in his self-appointed role as devil's advocate in concert with Samnell's eloquence. In part I suspect due to the adage of 'learn from history lest ye be doomed to repeat it'.

Failing to understand, however repugnant, the historical/antebellum Southern perspective in this matter can be seen right now on the campaign trail in the U.S., among other places.

Understanding is a far cry from embracing.

This was probably why West Virginia (as well as Western North Carolina) dropped out of being the poor men to die in a rich man's war.

I wonder if there were any, at all, Southern businesses that employed uneducated and possibly unskilled freemen. Doubtful that it was at any kind of living wage if at all - as we see in the postwar robber-baron era, many Northern business concerns didn't prove to be any more forward-thinking or humanitarian than slave plantations.


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It's the schooling I wish I'd gotten. Samnell's the cool prof, forget Google.


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Samnell wrote:
*knowledge drop*

There's a reason I asked you and not Wikipedia. Much obliged.


"Turn over everything on this humanitarian aid ship right now!"

Ah, wrong era.


Samnell, I can't recall where I heard these at first, so no sources but can you confirm/refute?

-Lincoln had a plan for repatriating black slaves to Africa.
-As a corollary to the above: free blacks sent to Liberia pre-Emancipation set up antebellum-style plantations and enslaved the natives on them.
-The Cherokee nation (not officially part of the US) kept slaves after the war.
-Lee's wife freed her slaves before the war while Grant's held onto hers until Emancipation.
-The worst race riot of the 19th century took place in New York City.
-The only black commissioned officers (and the first on American soil, though not fighting for the USA) during the war fought for the Confederacy in the Louisiana Native guard; being gens de coleur or mixed-race by modern standards, but enough to be considered just "black" outside Louisiana.

Also, this is tangential (17th century) but what are your thoughts on colonist Anthony Johnson? If Wikipedia is to be believed, he was a black freedman who sued to extend the contract of a black indentured servant for a lifetime, thus establishing legal precedent for lifetime ownership of a slave who had committed no crime, in contrast to the John Punch case.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Johnson_(colonist)


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Irontruth wrote:
2/3's of the posts seem like people trying to portray their own favorite style in a way that makes them seem superior to others.

Isn't that how these things always break down? Everyone's either an entitled whiner who just doesn't like change, or an easily amused man/woman-child ruined by smartphones and World of Warcraft.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


Question: I'm writing an alternate history campaign for an RPG, and I'm wondering: How feasible would it have been if, say, the British or some other power had gotten involved in the war by supporting the Confederates in order to make it last longer? Not necessarily fight in it, but rather help with resources and stuff like that.

I'm not Samnell, obviously, but it would obviously have helped. (There are very few situations where having a posse makes matters worse.)

That said, one of the biggest factors behind the Civil War from an international diplomatic standpoint was the fact that the United States was one of the few countries left that allowed/supported slavery. Abolitionism was much more advanced in both the UK and on continental Europe.

Here's the US State Department's analysis:

Quote:


Although Confederate leaders were confident that Southern economic power would compel European powers to intervene in the Civil War on behalf of the Confederacy, Britain and France remained neutral despite their economic problems, and later in the war developed new sources of cotton in Egypt and India. Although British Prime Minister Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston, was personally sympathetic to the Confederacy, and many other elite Britons felt similarly, strong domestic abolitionist sentiment in Britain and in his cabinet prevented Palmerston from taking stronger steps toward assisting the Confederacy. Napoleon III of France was also sympathetic to the Confederacy, but wanted to pursue a joint policy with Britain regarding the U.S. Civil War, and so remained neutral. Moreover, Napoleon III’s chief concern during the Civil War years was France’s intervention in Mexico.

I'm fairly certain by the numbers, the Rebels were outmanned something like three to one. It was a losing prospect from the beginning. Also not Samnell, but I'm glad he likes my forum handle.


I don't think there is such a thing as an unbiased account of history, much as I don't think there is such thing as objective journalism [backhanded remark about "ethics" removed]. Everyone has personal feelings about events as they occurred relative to their impact on their current situation, and I don't really know if someone could be truly impartial to either "side" of something from the Civil War to the current ISIS goings-on while also caring enough to get involved or document the events.


Huh, I need to go reread my sources. Can I ask what yours are, Samnell?

Zhangar wrote:
S$+~, I wonder if we would've been part of the Axis.

We'll never know. Michigan-born Henry Ford was a longtime Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite. IBM helped design the numbering system for the camps. Then again, just because some whites believed blacks inferior to them didn't mean they were necessarily pro-Nazism; white South Africans who supported Apartheid still fought against the Axis. Conversely, this guy wasn't a cosplayer.


Turin the Mad wrote:
Totes McScrotes wrote:
"Regulated" in that sense is usually taken to mean "trained."

If one is referring to the Second Amendment, keep in mind that the US did not have a professional, standing land army of any consequence until ~1917 (National Army).

For all practical purposes, the Army we are familiar with today did not come about until the aftermath of World War 2. The USN was far earlier, circa the late 1790s if memory serves, probably due to the Barbary pirates.

Under such circumstances it is understandable that the citizen-militias be armed without constraint. Radio took a wee bit to come into play while telegraphy has its own limits.

Much for the same reason the UK still has local regiments rather than a Royal Army in contrast to the Royal Navy.

Speaking of WW2, if memory serves the armed citizenry of the US was taken into account by IJN Admiral Yamamoto who cautioned against an invasion of the continental US, saying "Every blade of grass hides a rifle."


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Can't find it at the moment, but there was an article making the rounds about some court throwing out every petty money-making infraction in Ferguson since...I wanna say 2012?

Riots, violence and threatening the government seem to work okay sometimes.

Worked fine for us 'Muricans in the late 18th century. Not so well for France though.

LazarX wrote:
Totes McScrotes wrote:

Both of whom emancipated their slaves, with compensation, after their deaths. A method of graduated manumission that would be favored even by Southern plantation owners in the years leading up to the Civil War - Jeff Davis wanted slavery done away with before the end of the century. Agrarian economies like the South just weren't sustainable post-industrialization.

"Regulated" in that sense is usually taken to mean "trained."

Actually with one or two exceptions, Jefferson's slaves were sold off along with the bulk of Monitcello's furnishings, to help pay off the mountain of debt he left behind.

Huh, I always heard he managed to compensate a good number of them (hence why Jefferson along with Washington are more common surnames for African-Americans than whites by and large). Forgot about the debt, though. That does make sense.


Both of whom emancipated their slaves, with compensation, after their deaths. A method of graduated manumission that would be favored even by Southern plantation owners in the years leading up to the Civil War - Jeff Davis wanted slavery done away with before the end of the century. Agrarian economies like the South just weren't sustainable post-industrialization.

"Regulated" in that sense is usually taken to mean "trained."


Kalindlara wrote:
The Golux wrote:
I seem to recall some discussion of Changelings being (while always female at birth) more likely than many races to be transgender or something to that effect, is that mentioned in their section in here?
It is not.

I wouldn't even know what "more likely than many races to be transgender" means.


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If we took that one step farther, though, and made the "universal consciousness" Crowley wrote about, or a very dark take on Buddhist dharma - then the idea that madness wasn't the great other, but it was us all along, that terrifies me.

Cosmic? Maybe, maybe not. You'd need to be a better writer than me to pin that down. But that's one of the things I think is way scarier than any giant spider or evil race of squid-aliens. The idea that you already might be insane, but not even know it. That at any moment, your intuition might become full on voices in your head, that don't go away. Those nagging doubts in the back of your mind become a mocking, leering demon who haunts your nightmares. The little moments of forgetfulness where you can't seem to remember where you put your keys metastatize until you're utterly disconnected with reality, and you go to your grave never fully realizing it.

Uncanny Valley comes close (that's probably why Markiplier hates mannequins). Bret Easton Ellis did a great look into the mind of the Caligula-style sociopath, but as for Stepford-meets-Silent-Hill, I don't think that story's been written yet.


Hitdice wrote:
Samnell wrote:

If anybody would like to quote-fight the guns out, the Congressional Record only goes back to 1873. Before that, you've got the Congressional Globe. The author of many of my headaches reaches back to 1833. Its early end overlaps with the Register of Debates and then the Annals of Congress.

The further back one goes, the more care one should use. The Annals were a later-compiled highlights reel, not exhaustive or necessarily verbatim. The idea of doing that, and recording roughly contemporaneously, took hold during the Globe years. The reading is generally more interesting than fun.

I have my own opinions of the reasons the founders may have had to institute the 2nd Amendment (Yes, sorry Libertarians, it's an institution at this point), but it's important to remember that the Bill of Rights was a set of amendments to the original document.

Back to your regularly scheduled RPG talk! :)

Can't source it, but IIRC, I do believe the Bill of Rights was written in response to a riot in Massachusetts(?) involving burned Revolutionary veterans, that resulted in a raid on an armory. And at this time the fledgling US didn't have a proper standing army.

That said, I think the 2nd Amendment is an important one, or certainly was, in its historical context. As others here have said, it's a pretty moot point with drones and guided missiles.

thejeff wrote:

And if you'd said same-sex marriage would be legal throughout the country by now back in 2001, we'd have laughed in your face and possibly called the men in white coats.

Meh. Cali and Hawaii were doing domestic partnerships (though legally speaking those weren't worth the paper they were printed on). And Vermont and Massachusetts would legalize full gay marriage just a few years later. Still, I'd never have thought that Wyoming or Utah would've gone for it.


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And have demonstrated a willingness to shoot first, ask questions later. Plus, federal agents don't even need a warrant to monitor your phone or computer activity.

If you'd said this would be the world of 2015 back in August of 2001, I'd have laughed in your face, then, possibly called the men in white coats.


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I feel a slightly tangential ramble coming on.

Earlier we talked about the sense of "otherness" provoking fear - but what about a cosmic horror story that came from not how different the evil was to us, but how similar?

Ever been on the road and cut off by a terrible driver, and screamed "F$@! YOU A$~@+%!, I'LL F~%$ING KILL YOU!" Obviously you wouldn't.
But somewhere out there, there's a sociopath who would.

Maybe a slightly different mix of chemicals in utero, or a quirk of cognitive development, a bad early childhood experience, something like that is all that could've kept any one of us from developing into the next Jack the Ripper. For all any of us know, the guy posting above or below us went out last night and murdered a homeless person just to watch him die.

Maybe it's not "stranger danger" that's the scariest thing of all.
Maybe it's easy for all of us to go, oh, serial killers are monstrous, horrible creatures that are nothing like me and you. It's easy to think of Chaotic Evil as some kind of Saturday-morning cartoon villain or B-movie monster and not just an ordinary person but for one tiny factor - an aberration of neurochemistry, a late-onset psychological condition (that we may not even be aware of until it's too late!) or just one, single, REALLY bad day. The Joker is an inhuman monster, Rodion Raskolnikov was a guy who made a bad choice and fell headlong down a dark path.

Or, perhaps most troubling of all: what if we've already set these events in motion, that will, necessarily, lead us to one of these situations - a single rash action in a moment of anger, one little tipping point that changes everything forever? And there's nothing we can do about it? And you, personally, are going to be the last one to know?

That, is horror.


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I find him comparable to Tolkien in some ways. His plotting and pacing can be slow, even dull at times, but his setting and world-building are unparalleled.


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License & Registration: the real-time DMV simulator


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Dickies and Mickies: The game of shady goings-on at 1950s cocktail parties!

Dickies and Mickeys could easily be the crowd I hung out with from the end of high school to my early 20s.


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At first she was all cute cat gifs and Tower Defense games, but then the arguments began...


Granted. You're Polymorphed into poison ivy on the spot, and not immune to yourself.

I wish I could know the ultimate truth of the universe.


Kazaan wrote:

However, that doesn't mean the system has no room for improvement. Here's one I came up with:

Interesting idea (though, as in the Pathfinder game world, "Good" and "Evil" have absolutist connotations). I've thought about it myself - Altruism (capital or lowercase A) is not inherently good, nor is self-interest inherently evil. For an example of the former, consider Sofia Lamb from the second Bioshock game, so concerned with "the needs of the many" that an individual is essentially meaningless as far as she's concerned. Conversely, someone good-hearted may appear not to show concern for others but only because he knows that people would rather be left alone than have "help" they don't want pushed on them, and decides the best way to help people is to keep his own house in order.

Another way to look at it, as on TVTropes, is Discipline vs. Harmony. Law, and to a lesser extent Evil tend to fall under Discipline (the ruthless, ambitious, competitive, Darwinist aspects) while Chaos and Good both loosely align with Harmony. Look at the Jedi vs. the Sith. Both embody both aspects in a certain way: Jedi use discipline to control their emotions as a way of achieving enlightenment and harmony with the universe, while the Sith encourage their passions (Harmony) in order to achieve galactic domination (Discipline). This puts the Sith Empire in the curious position of being both Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil antagonists.

Really, it's bringing complex moral issues into a board game for ages 12+ that was never meant to address these kinds of things, so there's no perfect answer. Someone who sticks by his principles no matter what could be considered Lawful, and someone who's willing to compromise them for "the greater good" could too, despite them being diametric opposites in terms of ethical beliefs.


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thejeff wrote:
Totes McScrotes wrote:
Unless you buy into the theory that Deep Ones represented Jews, I don't see how Lovecraft's own racist views - even for the time he lived in - have anything to do with his work. Not any more than I (myself Jewish) can't get pumped to "Ride of the Valkyries" despite Wagner's publicly noted anti-Semitism, on top of the man's general dickishness.

Did you read the bits I quoted?

His views are blatantly in the work. It's not a matter of "Lovecraft thought blacks were subhuman so you shouldn't read his books even though it never comes up in the stories". It's "Lovecraft's stories talk about subhuman blacks".

Not every story. Some simply don't refer to such people.

I'm not familiar enough with Wagner to know if his anti-Semitism shows up in his work nearly so blatantly.

Those aren't major plot points though. It's not Birth of a Nation where the entire message of the piece is blacks being inferior to whites, it's offhanded remarks by the creator forcing his views into the narrative. Even the parts you quoted which showcase the author's bias don't have any effect on the story - nobody's going to read Lovecraft and go "Oh, hey, I guess whites *are* genetically superior on account of their whiteness."

Re: Wagner - Mimir, the dwarf in the Nibelung cycle, is a collage of contemporary anti-Semitic stereotypes, being a short, hairy, long-nosed creature with an innate, jealous distrust of the Teutonic hero Siegfried and a greedy, deceitful and treacherous nature that causes his downfall. Funny enough, Tolkien seemed to tap into Anglo-Saxon myth and took the dwarves-Jews analogy in a different direction, focusing on the more positive aspects of European Jewry and ultimately a much more dignified portrayal (making them an industrious, family-oriented people with a unifying culture and a lost once-great kingdom).

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
Lovecraft's virulent racism and how its built into his work inspires me with an idea to develop a mythos of antiracist, antifa cosmic horror.

Good luck to that.

Lovecraftian horror is essentially a mix of xenophobia combined with something akin to what modern graphic artists call "uncanny valley," the idea that to be truly scary, there needs to be a strong element of familiarity in something. His most successful works aren't the ones about icky tentacled horrors from the Great Beyond, but about the icky horrors without tentacles that are right among us and we don't even know (initially) how icky they are, only that there's something "odd" about them.

Without that, it's just a bug hunt.

So how are you going to make something familiarly human but oddly and subtly different, without making the difference something that someone will seize upon as representing a parody of some racial, ethnic, or cultural stereotype?

Hellboy made it work. Can't go wrong working in the SS-Ahnenerbe or the Thule Society, or some of the postwar Soviet experiments into shadier territory. This is if you don't want to go the tired old "Indian Burial Ground" route.

I'm honestly not a fan of political messages in art myself (I'm even of the view that if it's message first, art second then it's not even art, it's propaganda) unless it's examining conflicting views and how they'd play out realistically, as in Watchmen. But honestly, if this is something that really does inspire you, go for it. I'd like to see what you come up with.


Unless you buy into the theory that Deep Ones represented Jews, I don't see how Lovecraft's own racist views - even for the time he lived in - have anything to do with his work. Not any more than I (myself Jewish) can't get pumped to "Ride of the Valkyries" despite Wagner's publicly noted anti-Semitism, on top of the man's general dickishness.


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Seeing as Golarion is a fantasy realm completely different from Earth, and its cultures have only passing similarity to Earth cultures, I don't honestly see the issue.


For our next adventure, a Skinsaw antipaladin drops a deuce in the urinal


Bloodrager could be really cool for a noble if you were the shaman-prince of a wilderness tribe.

Hell, do the Marquis of Queensbury as a Brawler.


Ultimately I'd say it depends on the magic level in the campaign, and what sort of nation he's a noble of.


I'm glad it was ignorance in the case of the Walmart - not to sound like a snob, but we probably all have anecdotes about having to deal with their staff (what's that one website that's like a counterpoint of NotAlwaysRight?)

As for the second point - a business is private property, shouldn't state and local laws protect the rights of owners? Not just against angry drunks but unruly or belligerent customers. A friend who worked at Best Buy told me once store policy was to escort anyone off the premises as soon as they use the word "lawsuit" or anything related.


This is more or less why I think Paladins should be beefed up a bit (some bonus feats maybe?) and the restrictions on the code tightened. Bring back tithes or something. Make them awesome, but at a price.

Also, I'm thinking some of the people posting in this thread would be better off houseruling paladins out of their games and encouraging people to play Warpriests instead.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
I thank everyone for a civil and informed answer to my question . I posted it here out of genuine curiosity and appreciate the answers given . I don't believe it needs saying but just in case I am not in any way indorsing hate groups but they are protected under free speech so I wondered.

Yet another illustration of the complexities.

"Free speech" is a Constitutional right -- it only limits what the government can do.

You can put anything you like on top of a cake, and the government can't stop you.
You can ask the baker at Wal*Mart to put anything you like on top of a cake, and the government can't stop you. The government typically can't prevent Wal*Mart from making the cake, either.

But Wal*Mart is under no obligation to make that cake for you. Wal*Mart's not the government and doesn't have to respect your "free speech." Your boss can probably fire you even for asking for that cake. Your landlord can probably refuse to renew your lease because you asked for that cake.

Because those are disputes between private parties -- you and your boss, you and Wal*Mart, you and your landlord -- "free speech" doesn't apply.

However Wal*Mart, as a public accommodation, can't refuse to sell you a cake solely because you're a racist d-bag. They can refuse to make a Hitler cake for you on the basis that they refuse to make Hitler cakes for anyone.

I'm not sure that's true. "Racist d-bag" isn't a protected class.

OTOH, I'm not sure exactly how the distinction would arise.

Well, if I need a Hitler cake as a prop for a local performance of The Producers, I'm not a racist d-bag, just an actor, or possibly a producer. If I want the cake because I'm the Grand Pooh-Bah of the local Aryan Separatist group,....

But I believe Krensky is wrong. As you point out, "racist d-bag" is not a protected group, and Wal*Mart would be completely within their rights...

There was a Walmart in Louisiana that refused to do the Confederate flag as a cake, but were willing to do the ISIS flag. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/30/walmart-isis-cake_n_7695550.html

In any event, don't most private businesses make a point of reserving the right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason (unless the customer can prove discrimination on the basis of race, gender, class etc.)?


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Entryhazard wrote:
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
A bard is someone who serves a noble not a noble.
A lot of assumptions here

"A wand'ring minstrel I, a thing of rags and tatters..."


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Where are my african dwarves?

My Asian halflings?

We need more black elves, (Drow don't count).

Why even call them "dwarves" or "elves" if they're based on a completely different mythology, though? Other than for ease of understanding, out of game. For instance, just as my Kitsune is based on a Celtic trickster spirit-fox, my gnome Warpriest of Yamatsumi is a yama-bito or Japanese mountain spirit. Do we "need" a retread of elves with an African appearance (that have so few traits in common with the elves of Tolkien or Wagnerian myth it's just a misnomer at that point) anymore than we "need" 6' tall, musclebound, blond blue-eyed Samurai named Chad?


Gerrib, Cirsova, rcade and yamamanama all keep dragging up the issue and politicizing it after she asks explicitly not to, like they're talking over her. The people with pro-Puppy slants in contrast respect her wishes and leave all such discussion out as per her request.


I guess it's the same as fundamental problems with free markets. Or for that matter, democracy. But that's probably a separate issue.

thejeff wrote:
Reading that thread, I really don't see anything nasty. Of course, some are deleted and it appears the worst was in email anyway, but I don't see how you can conclude from that thread that "it's when the anti-Puppies start making it personal that things turn nasty."

Everything looks fine until someone drags in an agenda and starts all but shaming her because of the kind of people supporting her and not just "hey, great story" which is what it seems plenty of people with a variety of views are doing up until those points. I'd call that nasty, since they're clearly not "just saying" they're provoking with intent, in a way that looks pretty dishonest and manipulative.


RainyDayNinja wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Wrote about Annie Bellet
If you read the linked article in Wired magazine on the first page of the post in the thread, she talks about why she declined her nomination. It was because she didn't want to be associated with the slate and have politics dragged into it, not because she was pressured. She explicitly states that she wasn't pressured. She felt the nomination was tainted.

Of course she couldn't say outright that she withdrew because of the pressure. If she did, she would be accused by her harassers of falsely playing the victim. She had to (figuratively) stand up in front of them with a black eye and insist that no, really, it was her fault and she should have known better than to upset the people who attacked her. Classic Battered Woman Person Syndrome.

In her original blog post, she said she wasn't withdrawing because she was proud of the story. Then she withdrew later anyway. What do you think that means?

So wait, she was being harassed for being a Puppy nominee, initially? I'm reading the thread and it looks like people from all across the political spectrum are showing enthusiastic support, including Torgerson himself, it's when the anti-Puppies start making it personal that things turn nasty.

Why is this not being reported on further?


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Wait, since when can you redeem fiends? I thought as beings composed of evil they didn't truly have free will, as in, a demon who ceases to be Chaotic Evil ceases to exist.


MMCJawa wrote:
I would imagine the real satisfaction for an author in winning the Hugos is knowing that something they poured their hearts into was beloved by the fanbase.

Reminds me of something Salman Rushdie once said about when an elderly woman came up to him at a book-signing in India with a pirated copy of his novel. When he commented on this, she replied, "Mr. Rushdie, do you want royalties? Or readers?"

I'm still not sure what the story is with the Sad Puppies or that it's becoming another Gamergate, but it really is a shame that people are dragging divisive, partisan politics into something that's supposed to be inclusive. I'd rather see stories that stand on their own than ones that push an agenda, even if it's one I happen to agree with.


Googleshng wrote:
Ultimately though, the real problem is that fantasy art has such a longstanding history of whiteness to it, it's everyone's default. The only real fix for that is for writers, and particularly artists, to train themselves out of it.

I don't know if there's anything that needs to be "fixed" so much as fantasy fans can expand our scope. For the longest time, "fantasy" just meant medieval European fantasy, specifically Tolkien drawing on Anglo-Saxon myth (though Celtic and Slavic myths seem conspicuously absent, the latter being understandable given the time period though the former always struck me a bit of a glaring omission). R.E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft brought in early Mesopotamian influences, and soon Middle Eastern myth became part and parcel with djinni and the like. Ancient Egypt gives us mummies, Eastern Europe brings vampires and werewolves.

Again, there are so many traditions in other parts of the world that English-speaking fantasy fans would find both refreshingly original and polished, with a long tradition backing them, in much the same way Japanese and Korean films are becoming popular in America, as they've got long-standing tradition in their native countries but go by a far different formula than the mainstream Hollywood fare American film fans are accustomed to. People are starting to tire of the same old thing with elves and orcs and are looking elsewhere. Personally, I'd love to see someone try to do a monomyth based on a syncretistic look at West African or East Asian traditions the way Tolkien did for northwestern Europe. I'm not alone - Nnedi Okafor's African-inspired fantasy and speculative fiction is becoming popular, and there's a new action-RPG in development from a team in Cameroon based on the myths of the area.

Keep in mind also that a lot of Native American and African myths, for example, survived through oral tradition alone as the tribes that kept them didn't have a written language to speak of.

I'm myself currently working on a home campaign set in a region similar to South/Southeast Asia inspired largely by the events recounted in the Mahabharata and Ramayana since I wanted to try something different. I hope it works out.


Mosaic wrote:
Good question, and I agree that I'd like more diversity in the art for humans and non-humans alike. The only caveat is that I'd like to see non-human types of diversity for non-humans. Meaning, I don't just want to see black-skinned dwarves and elves from Mwangi. With humans, it's a little more natural to have them look like Earth-humans, plus we like to see people who look like us, so mirroring Earth-diversity for humans is fine. But find some other dimensions other than skin color and eye shape to vary the non humans. Heck, maybe Mwangi dwarves are really tall! Or maybe they have spots. Or clear irises. But absolutely more diversity. Not fair that all non-humans belong to the same globe-spanning phenotype.

Why even call them elves or dwarves at that point, though? Why not delve into the African mythology and/or literature inspired by it for some close cultural analogue? Just about every culture has trickster spirits and craftsman spirits, would there really be a point exporting European-inspired goblins to Minkai when bakemono would suit just as well? Maybe it's just a difference in terminology (like how my own Kitsune character has her race listed on her sheet as simply "fox spirit" as she's based more off the sionnach of Celtic myth).

That's a major strength and weakness both of Golarion, I think. On the weak side, trying to span so much with the world building stretches things thin, and you wind up trying to do too much with the storytelling - but it also happens that that lends itself well to something from everyone's tastes. To stick with Mwangi as an example, I love that it takes about equally from real-world African mythologies and Western writers' impressions of Africa and associated myth, from Hemingway and Kipling to H. Rider Haggard.


Almost a month behind on this one, but the thought occurred to me as well - as elves/dwarves are based in European, particularly Anglo-Saxon myth, they would most likely resemble, well, Anglo-Saxons. Much the same way a Kitsune's human form would likely resemble someone of Yamato Japanese or Ainu extraction (though with a small tweak they could resemble someone more Chinese or Korean, and call themselves gumiho or huli jing accordingly)

That said, no reason you couldn't have a dark complexioned half-elf who was full-blooded Mwangi on his human side, if your campaign looked more like American Gods than Lord of the Rings which seems to be the general vibe on Golarion.

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