Adventurers and BEM Lurker

Just finished this private commission today.  The client gave me great latitude with subject matter, but wanted a group of ‘dungeoneers’ in peril.


Labor Day should be for those who labor

The first ever ‘Labor Day’ parade happened in NYC in 1882. Workers marched and rallied in support of an 8 hour work day. (photo of that ‘first ever’ parade at right). No floats or drum corps; just a bunch of workers tramping down the street. Since 12+ hour days were the norm at that time, I’m pretty sure no one had time to build floats or sew costumes. ‘Labor Day’ did not become a national holiday until 1894, when, with a stroke of a pen, Grover Cleveland signed into law a holiday honoring those who toil for the greater glory of capitalism.

In 2011, a labor group in Wisconsin has declared that Republican politicians who supported changes in collective bargaining for public union employees will not be welcome to participate in this year’s Labor Day parade in Wausau. Link here. The mayor of Wausau has declared that unless republicans are allowed to participate, no public funding for police, etc., will be made available by the city (and then, I would guess, any parade will not take place). Mexican standoff.

I realize that if you are a politician, you never want to miss an opportunity to press the flesh and show your face, but I also feel like marching in a ‘labor day parade’ when you have actively campaigned against workers is a bit like a conscientious objector marching in a victory parade: it makes a mockery of the purpose of the parade. ‘Labor Day’ and ‘Veteran’s Day’ and many other public holidays in the US seem to have become reasons for matress and discount furniture sales and opportunities for those who seek office to kiss babies and shake hands. I’m suggesting that perhaps only those who labor (which means performing the physical work of lifting, carrying, digging, sewing, welding, etc.) should participate in Labor Day parades… and only soldiers and ex-soldiers should be in Veterans day parades, etc., (although I always like the high school marching bands — special exception for those). Perhaps Republican or Democratic or Green Party or Independant candidates should shut up and be on the sidelines as the workers or soldiers go by.


Weather Report; Blog Status Update

Candidate Michele Bachmann on natural disasters: “I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

It seems to me that the God that Michele Bachmann beleives in is way too subtle and needs a message consultant. I think if God wants to tell us that we have to lower the national debt, he should present us with messages that unbelievers can’t just blame on plate techtonics or the weather. Something like having Ted Kennedy, George Washington and Elvis all come back from the dead and wander up and down the national mall preaching the doctrine of lower revenues might work. Or millions of angels throwing gold coins to the Tea Party faithful while shitting on the heads of tax-and-spend Demorcats and RINOs might work. But sending an earthquake and a hurricane to tell Washington to rein in spending? Bad plan. Earthquakes and hurricanes usually cause every district that lost even one elm tree to request even more money for disaster relief.

Update: (8.30.11) Bachmann now states that the comments were intended as a joke. My own guess is that her handlers decided that pitching her message to the Pat Robertson style weirdies was not the best move and this is damage control. As far as what she really believes about how or whay earthquakes and hurricanes happen, your guess is as good as mine.

I said before, I decided to move my blog to another site. My big blog move is not quite ready for the ribbon cutting ceremony; I am still figuring out what I want. My intention is to have all my stuff linked up at one place where people can leave comments, etc.; how well that will work remains to be seen. A very rudimentary version is here. I don’t know how long it will take for the new version to go live.


I read it on the Internet so it must be true…

I was surprised to learn recently that I am now a Nazi. Don’t take my word for it; the proof is presented by that scholar of the Interwebs, Faserip in his Flikr account:

Faserip notes the nail in the coffin from film critic Roger Ebert:

“‘Fight Club’ is the most frankly and cheerfully fascist big-star movie since ‘Death Wish,’ a celebration of violence in which the heroes write themselves a license to drink, smoke, screw and beat one another up.”— Roger Ebert

Well, Faserip said that Roger Ebert said that Tyler Durden said that Brad Pitt said that Edward Norton said that since I watched the movie ‘Fight Club,’ I was a fascist. Seems like an open and shut case, really. Now all Faserip needs is a TV studio with puppets hanging from the ceiling and a chalk board on which he can draw lines and circles all over my name and George Soros and swastikas and Angelina Jolie and Bohemian Grove and we’ll all be convinced.

BECK: Hello, America.

There are a few working parts to a puppet show.

There is the puppet master. Here. There is a stage. There’s the audience. There

are the strings to each puppet. And then there’s the story.

There is also why? Why is the story? Why is the show happening?

What is the puppet master?

What is his motivation? Is it for the money? Is it for entertainment? Is it

personal gain? What is it?

(Too bad Faserip got it all wrong and I’m really one of those reptillian/humanoid hybrids who is working with The Rothschilds and The Bilderberg Group to turn your children into our meat and sex slaves).


Updates: Blog – Shaver – Fletcher Hanks – Art Stalker

Still moving into the new blog-thing. Have to make some decisions and have been too busy, so it stays on the back burner for now. I have been trying to crank out some mosaic work for one of my local buyers… plus it is harvest timer here at the farm… and last night my Richard Shaver comic, which I have not touched in weeks, finally got some love. At this rate it should be ready sometime in 2013 (groan).

Recently got a new Fletcher Hanks book — You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation — some great weird-ass art in there… I love it. I will eventually have to track down some more of his work — I first ‘met’ Fletcher Hanks’ art through some reprints of “Stardust” and have been digging it ever since.

Will be spending at least part of this weekend at The People’s Art Festival down at The Russel in Detroit — just checking things out and seeing what else is going on.


Updates: Blog – Shaver – Fletcher Hanks – Art Stalker

Still moving into the new blog-thing. Have to make some decisions and have been too busy, so it stays on the back burner for now. I have been trying to crank out some mosaic work for one of my local buyers… plus it is harvest timer here at the farm… and last night my Richard Shaver comic, which I have not touched in weeks, finally got some love. At this rate it should be ready sometime in 2013 (groan).

Recently got a new Fletcher Hanks book — You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation — some great weird-ass art in there… I love it. I will eventually have to track down some more of his work — I first ‘met’ Fletcher Hanks’ art through some reprints of “Stardust” and have been digging it ever since.

Will be spending at least part of this weekend at The People’s Art Festival down at The Russel in Detroit — just checking things out and seeing what else is going on.


Be a Better DM

Everyone else is talking about it; I may as well put my 2 cents in.

I’ve read a lot of good advice so far — do this, don’t do that, etc., but I wanted to see if I could try to boil it all down to one very simple rule that would cover just about everything.

I think my basic rule would be ‘don’t be a dick.’ ‘Don’t be a dick’ could apply to so much more than DMing, but I think games are primarily a social activity that count on interaction with other humans (would apply to playing over Skype or internet). Most of the games I haven’t enjoyed have been ones where someone (or several people) were behaving like dicks.

Women can behave like dicks. When I say ‘dick’ I don’t mean like a penis — I mean being stubborn and selfish and rude all at the same time.

So if everyone gathers to play a game and you show up without books, dice or preparation and expect everyone else to sit and wait while you get ready and you need to borrow a pencil, borrow dice, borrow a book, “Oh, I lost my character sheet but, give me a moment and I can recreate it…“, you are being a dick. You are treating other people like their time doesn’t matter (stubborn/selfish/rude).

If someone else is trying to talk and you keep interrupting them or talking over them or not paying attention and then when it is your turn you need to be told what is happening and you make everyone wait while you consider all the options, again, you are being a dick. God I hate that one.

When you continue to dispute a rule or a call long after everyone else has decided to move on, you are being a dick.

If you eat and drink stuff but never contribute anything, that is a dick move. If you make a mess and don’t clean it up or don’t help the host set up/clean up or treat the host or other guests (or the place you play) with respect, then you are a dick.

If you consistently show up late, that is dick-ish. I understand that people’s schedules can be unpredictable, but some people (we all know them) are ALWAYS late. If you think there will be traffic, leave a little earlier. If you want to stop off at a store, leave a little earlier. If you figure out that you are running late, call and let people know.

If other people are completely bored because you insist on dominating the proceedings, then you are being a dick. This applies to both the DM and players. I remember one DM who would insist that the players do whatever he wanted that session… “You are going to do this quest…” even if we wanted to do something else or had gotten interested in some other quest or location. I know a player who just talks about whatever the fuck he wants to in the middle of the game even though people were at first rolling their eyes and giving hints that he was going off track, and, after he had just ignored them and kept going they would say, “Come on, let’s play the game,” and he would get huffy and say, “Don’t interrupt me!” After that, I didn’t play with him anymore. Because he was a dick.

There was one guy who would come over and just get bored when other players were doing something and he would start wandering around, pulling books of the shelf and reading them, etc. Then, after the action would move on he would come back to the table and suddenly announce that he wanted to go to the alchemist to buy something… and as DM I would tell him, “Well, the rest of the group is already traveling through the woods; since you were with them I would assume you are no longer in town — unless you wanted to stay in town, then you will have to wait while the rest of the group fights these bugbears, etc.,” and he would complain that “no one had asked him” even though he was right there but too busy going through my books to pay attention (and, seriously, if you are going to go through someone else’s stuff, ASK first. They might not want you poking through their shit).

If you don’t let other people have their turn or try to tell other players what they ought to do when it is their time to act, then you are being a dick. I was a player in one game where another player kept trying to tell me what spells I should cast. I quit playing with that group because that player was such a dick.