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March 06, 2008

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I met Gygax once, at a conference. We spoke for a few minutes. I think he was bemused by the cultural phenomenon that D&D had become. He was a nice guy, sorta quiet.

I never got RPG's, myself. All those forms to fill out and tables to cross-reference. It was too much like making a hobby of preparing tax returns. To each his own, of course, and RIP to Mr. Gygax.

I'm not sure I can forgive him for unleashing the concept of XP on the world, though (if indeed he is responsible for doing so). Leveling is a pox on electronic gaming, if you ask me.

I approve of this message.

21-arquebus salute!

I've never done RPG (though I did do Avalon Hill wargames) but I did study Klamath, and the linguist who wrote the grammar and dictionary and texts (which is one of the first and finest sets of linguistic descriptions for a Native American language) M.A.R. Barker, was quite involved in it, specifically in creating the world of Tékumel. He was a professor at UM in Minneapolis and was in contact with Gygax. Some people feel that an interest in linguistics (at least in a particular aspect of linguistics) naturally connects to a desire to create these sorts of creations (cf. Tolkien), though the Minneapolis connection, with long winters and large basement floors (or better yet, ping pong tables!) might be equally foundational.

Cleric!

Although I've done a bit of work in the computer gaming field, and on choose-your-own-way books, and have bunches of friends who are game designers, or who have written gaming-based fiction and texts (hello, Bruce!), or worked for one or more of the gaming publishers, and I've long had endless friends into all sorts of gaming -- particularly because of the heavy, though still partial, overlap of gaming fandom/prodom and science fiction fandom/prodom -- I've never done more than dabble slightly in RPGs, myself.

One large reason is that it didn't come along until I was already into science fiction fandom/prodom as a way of life (by age 11 and 16, respectively), and just didn't have enough spare energy/time/interest to add a time-heavy interest like RPGing.

There are a few times later in life that I'd probably have spent some time gaming, if I had nearby friends into it, but when that hasn't been the case, I've been busy/not interested enough, and when it has been the case, I haven't had nearby friends into it, and RPGing be so dependent on the intelligent and wit and compatibility of one's fellow gamers that I've never felt interested enough to take the risk of going looking for some random gamers just to try it out again.

But if my life had had just slightly different dice rolls, or timing, I'd easily have been an RPGer.

I doubt I'd ever venture into LARPing.

Also, trivial note: LARPing not very compatible with all sf conventions primarily devoted to talking.

"Unforunately, having given up role-playing games almost two decades ago, I ain't qualified to say it."

So my "qualifications" are limited, but I'd suggest that there are some people who have RPGing and blog commenting confused.

"It was too much like making a hobby of preparing tax returns."

I do know perfectly well that RPGing is 99% imaginative mutual story-telling and joke-exchanging.

Unless your DM or fellow players are jerks, to which Sturgeon's Law applies like anything else.

Minneapolis/St. Paul has always had a large population of both gamers and active sf fans, and sf writers, for whatever reason.

It's also one of the birthplaces of furry fandom, and the earlier funny animal fandom, as well as having a lot of filk fans. Don't ask me why; the long nights and cold winters theory is as good as any, along with Minnesota Polite.

Which reminds me, I owe Brett Bellmore a reply to his email (I'm a terrible email correspondent).

They seem to like oobleck a lot, too. I suspect too much lefse and lutefisk.

Never got around to reading Barker's fantasy, though I've seen copies go by often enough.

Gromit's post made me reconsider:
I never got RPG's, myself. All those forms to fill out and tables to cross-reference. It was too much like making a hobby of preparing tax returns.

I am totally unexposed to RPGs. But, having horrified my geek daughter by claiming that Excel is my favorite computer game, maybe I should give those recreational tax returns a try.
:)

I never played D&D but I met my wife because of Adventure (Colossal Cave).

Gromit: II never got RPG's, myself. All those forms to fill out and tables to cross-reference. It was too much like making a hobby of preparing tax returns.

Goodness, yes.

Though I sat in on a couple of established RPG, once or twice, and discovered that it was really no more possible to "just join in" - as my host had suggested - than it would be to "just join in" the cast of a large musical. Or a group marriage. ;-)

It was interesting to watch, though.

Open Thread Topic: Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs live in underground tunnels with two openings. The excavated dirt from the tunnel is placed outside one of the two openings, elevating it above the earth’s surface. The other opening is level with the earth’s surface.

The laws of fluid dynamics state that the velocity of a fluid adjacent to a wall is zero (the low opening theoretically). The velocity away from a wall (the elevated opening) is the windspeed. The difference in wind speeds (dynamic pressures) causes different static pressures at the mouths of the holes.

The different static pressures between the mouths of the two holes causes air to circulate through the tunnels, providing oxygen for the prairie dogs.

How did they learn that?

Sometime I should set up a little IRC server or something and run a stand-alone RPG adventure for some of you folks. The us-versus-zombies game All Flesh Must Be Eaten makes for some nice self-contained fun, though admittedly it may be redundant with blogging....

I believe it's important to know What is your D&D alignment?

(Chaotic Good.)

"It's OK, Gary sent us"? I was a D&D geek, but the reference was too obscure for me. Something about an example in the first edition D&D rulebook?

*Chuckle* Big gaming geek here. In fact going to a gaming convention this weekend that I've help run, and been going to for a decade. This year the ConChair managed to get Jim Butcher (author of the Dresden Files which made it onto Sci-Fi Channel for a bit (and yes the books are far better than the TV))

I know of my friends, we spent the next couple of days posting our good happy gaming memories, not just of D&D, but of all gaming that has sprung forth from this continuation of war gaming that Gygax and Arneson created.

Through it, we've socialized, laughed, cried, become enraged, found friends, partners, and people who'll be there for us.

I know this weekend, at least one of my friends is going to run a D&D 3.5 game in the spirit of high-1980's Gygaxian style, and we're working on having a condolences card signed by everyone attending the Con and the guests.

As far as gaming is like a tax return, yeah some of them are "numbers crunchy" and some of them are more fluffy. In the end the rules set is simply a more-or-less impartial arbitrator of "Let's pretend."

To quote one of my friends:

Gygax (and Arneson) helped to reinvent the dying art of collective story-telling as a form of entertainment and socializing (through role-playing). Humans have been telling stories of the gods, their mortal champions and cultural heroes since before the invention of writing. It is no longer needed as a form of historical account keeping, but can still play a vital role in people's lives. As an entertainment vehicle, story-telling as role-playing serves as an opportunity to explore, exercise and enjoy the power of human imagination, often left behind as we assume our adult roles in an increasingly banal world.

Okay I'm done ranting.

I'm not a gamer myself; don't make enough time for it. But my oldest boy got his best friends (after not fitting in very well) because they all wanted to play his D&D basic game when he was 8.

When my 9, 7 & 5 yo boys come down for breakfast the conversation usually goes something like: "So you are a zombie and you stand in front of a wood. What do you do?" After which dragons are slain, treasures are found and if I'm lucky breakfast gets eaten.

i remember in 4th grade we were each given sheets of graph paper and a set of crayons. the teacher would start giving directions: "Start at the top, left. Walk five steps south. There is a tree, draw the tree. Turn left. Walk three steps. There is a door. Draw the door."

at the end, we'd be graded on how well we followed the map directions and where we drew all the things we encountered.

that was as close to paper-based D&D as i ever got.

DFS,
Maybe after your con, if you'd like to write a piece about gaming for clueless folks like me, I'd love to have you put it up at TiO.

More fun inside the Clinton campaign.

Gary, with all the threads available to you for Clinton bashing, is it to much to ask not to do so when the post specifically requests non-political comments?

Here's your open thread. You can LARP anything you'd like on it, save politics.

Re: "Gary sent us". It's a line from one of the (very) old D&D manuals, detailing a sample encounter between some players and a group of none-too-bright hobgoblins.

While amusing, a better epitath perhaps comes from Mr. Gygax's guest appearence on Futurama: "Anybody wanna play Dungeons & Dragons for the next quadrillion years?"

"...is it to much to ask not to do so when the post specifically requests non-political comments?"

Oh, sorry, I missed that. I just remembered "open thread."

Sorry.

Wait, "bashing"? What, the word "fun"? That's "bashing"?

Some of the best nights in my life (sorry, dear husband :-) were cloudy nights at an observatory. We'd pull out the D&D stuff and play all night long. Until someone got laser tag stuff....
Jes, I tried to be lawful good, but always ended up chaotic good.

LJ,

Sure, I should have free time Sunday night (my last free time for 8 weeks) to type up something. Throw it pass my resident editors to make sure it passes muster. :)

Odd. This must be some use of rocket-propelled grenades that I've been unaware of, up until now.

Slart:

and every time I heard news reports from Iraw I get confused for a moment as I visualize card tables, dice, papers, and figurines being flung at people ...

I still have an original copy of Dark Dungeons, the classic Chick Tract.

FWIW, I tried to be neutral good on the test, but ended up lawful good. Dutchmarbel, I wondered if you were my mom/dad at one point there ;-) I discovered D&D at about that age, and got some of my best friends from the experience. I've observed the evolution of D&D from the sidelines, and while it's definitively better run than TSR under Lorraine Williams (famous for declaring gamers her social inferiors), it's still not something I want to jump into again. It's like "Magic: The Gathering". (which isn't so strange since TSR was bought up by the company that makes it. ) One the one hand, they really try to listen to their customers, and they are quite enlightened on IP issues, but still, they encourage the mindset that you got to make players constantly buy new expansions, new editions, just to keep up.

Iraq! Iraq! sigh. And I even previewed it.

Slart, come on. You know RPG is the report program generator.

God: Gary, roll saving throw vs. Death.

[clatter]

Gygax: Um, does a “2” save?

God: No. You’re dead.

Gygax: What, no Resurrection or Raise Dead?

God: Not in my campaign world.

. . . .

Sigh. Well, at least we'll have 4th Edition in June to game away the sorrow.

I still have an original copy of Dark Dungeons, the classic Chick Tract.

"I declare Blackleaf dead."
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

:) Classic. Anyone who tweeks Jack Chick deserves special mention in the Book of Life.

I was very into gaming in college: D&D, RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, Champions. One of my friends was taking Urdu, and his textbook was my M.A.R. Barker. I remember reading the rules for Empire of the Petal Throne, the Tékumel RPG, but we never played it.

2 decades? Has it been that long. Man. I guess it's pretty close isn't it.

I'm playful evil! ;)

I'm playful evil! ;)

"I wish I had said that!" - "You will, Oscar, you will."

Oh, sorry, I missed that. I just remembered "open thread."

If only someone would police this thread .... ;-)

I used to play old-school D&D and AD&D back in elementary and junior high school, respectively. Ah, the 80s.

My church youth group actually showed us that Mazes & Monsters movie (starring Tom Hanks!) so we would avoid the evils of role-playing games. They also showed us a movie purporting to expose the demonic influences in rock and roll, including "evidence" of Satanic messages via backmasking in Stairway to Heaven. Good times.

Excel is my favorite computer game

Of late, I am finding PHP to be a very entertaining game.

*Chuckle* One of my earliest "real" papers that I wrote for school was comparing the suicide rates "due" to gaming versus suicide rates during those years of the same age rate; along with other mitigating factors of those "gaming suicides."

Chaotic Good ><

"One the one hand, they really try to listen to their customers, and they are quite enlightened on IP issues, but still, they encourage the mindset that you got to make players constantly buy new expansions, new editions, just to keep up."

The recent development that bugs me is the heavier reliance on miniatures. Which TSR sells, but only in randomized assortments in boxes that don't display their contents - a practice similar to the sale of packs of Magic cards or Heroclix figures, which requires customers to buy more than they want in order to get the few figures needed. It's also a case of artificially induced scarcity - desire for 'rare' figures induce players to buy more boxes in hope of finding a rare one.

Gary will be missed. Though I've only been gaming for a short two years, I find it a rewarding experience, and the paper only keeps track of the story rather than act as a focal point.

What impresses me is that while many game creators have met their demise, Gary gets special recognition. I think this alone goes a long way to demonstrate that DnD has been a major influence in a lot of people's lives. This man deserves recognition for his lifetime achievement.

*Chuckle* One of my earliest "real" papers that I wrote for school was comparing the suicide rates "due" to gaming versus suicide rates during those years of the same age rate; along with other mitigating factors of those "gaming suicides."

You're Michael Stackpole? :)

True Neutral ... hm.

Nope, but I grew up in Vermont as he did.

And I ended up True Neutral as well. :) Guess it's why I sit on this damn fence.

Of late, I am finding PHP to be a very entertaining game.

for my money, neither Excel nor PHP can compare to the intrigue and deep mystery of a good round of SQL Server administration.

I played D&D with a friend of mine for a while in 7th grade. It was really ridiculous, since we took rules a la carte as we saw fit, which I think is okay, except that we took it to the extreme. Let's put it this way - I was a half-elf, fighter/cleric/magic-user with 18/96 strength (the max for half-elves), 17 or 18 intellegence, 16 or 17 wisdom, and of whatever the other attributes were, none was under 15 or so. I had a Holy Avenger Sword, Elven Cloak and Boots, and any number of equally improbable possessions. I wavered between neutral-good and lawful-good, but wasn't disinclined to do things like subdue a Gold Dragon (since killing one was not in accord with my alignment) in order to take his gold. It was all very Alberto Gonzales. Carrying this gold, along with all the other treasures I had plundered as a lawful/neutral-good character, was not an issue, since we didn't take such considerations into account. (I guess my horse was infinitely strong.) As I said, it was ridiculous...and short-lived, if somewhat amusing.

I was playing "Pool of Radiance" when I found out about this. Mr Gygax'd been in ill-health for a while, but STILL...

Perhaps you should reconsider having given up RPGs. Ex-gamers make the baby Jesus cry.

Mostly chaotic neutral here. And I played in more-or-less the same campaign from 1981 until 1993 or so. Good times.

Why? Well, how about, "Moe said so."

Very sadly, methinks with much of the bad stuff I see over a Red State regarding our happy band of adventurers here, Moe has little to say to us, even along non-political lines. I think John Cole's reference to him a few months ago was right on the money, but can't be repeated here due to posting rules.

Okay, so this isn't about politics.

I stopped playing D&D long ago when I started playing whiskys and glasses.

"You open a small locked door and find a bottle of brown liquid..."

OK, I'll admit to having done a bit of D & D playing early on when I was in the Navy. But it was only because I didn't have enough cash to go out on the town and I was mesmorized by all those dice of many sides.

OK, I'm a geek by profession, spend hours on end every day doing things that most outside observers find incomprehensible and incredibly boring while I happen to love it (most of the time), all of that for comparatively low pay and status (well, the latter depends on the audience), and will freely admit having wasted weeks of my life on Civ 2, System Shock 2, Half Life and the like - but D&D? Only over my dead body, that's way too geeky.

To be fair System Shock 2 and also Deus Ex, which I both loved (grab a copy, the graphics are a bit rough around the edges by today's standards, but it's worth it), had a certain RPG element to them, since they belonged to this hybrid genre of first person shooter RPGs, but it was quite dumbed down and you didn't have to deal with elves and such stuff.

Mmmm, Half-Life, team fortress. Lots of killing, very little running to get to the killing. My kinda FPS.

I'm still looking for people to crush my ass at multiplayer computer games, which is the easiest thing in the world to do, as I've mentioned before.

I'm available to everyone I've ever pissed off, annoyed, or made want to kill me, in multiple virtual forms, willing to be shot, stabbed, chopped up, my countries and armies overcome, whatever, by you, the home player, if you email me and we have compatible games.

Note: I suck at replying to, or even reading, my email, and I may not get back to you for, like, a couple of weeks, and you should nag me if I'm that bad.

But, really, who would you rather humiliate and slaughter more: Jar-Jar Binks, or me? Act now!

Man, I once had people standing around me in video arcades in the early Eighties, awed at my mad skilz, but these days I'm grateful if I'm only the worst score in an online FPS by twice as much as the second worst player.

I blame large monitors, and the ability to be younger than 45.

But I truly suck and am the world's easiest beat, at 21st century online computer games, clearly. Now I just want to be crushed by people to whom it would truly mean something.

Win-win, people!

Although there's no way I'm going to be picking up even any $5 used games for quite a while to come, the main way I get computer games, I've been, I'm faintly embarrassed to say, gifted with some recent ones in recent months, including the Orange Box, although I've really barely played Portal and Half-Life 2, and haven't touched Team Fortress or the other stuff yet.

My real timesuck has been the other gift of Call of Duty 4, at which I am probably the worst multiplayer ever, apparently.

But also Civ 4 variants, and Total War II variants, and the now somewhat older Rise of Thrones variants.

(I can't wait until someone uses my mentioning this to take a shot at me; call me paranoid, but I'm in a poor mood, alas.)

Though I sat in on a couple of established RPG, once or twice, and discovered that it was really no more possible to "just join in" - as my host had suggested - than it would be to "just join in" the cast of a large musical. Or a group marriage. ;-)

If this is the case, then, in my opinion, they were doing it wrong. I'm in a Fantasy Hero game these days, and two of the players have no idea what the rules are. They just play a character.

What impresses me is that while many game creators have met their demise, Gary gets special recognition. I think this alone goes a long way to demonstrate that DnD has been a major influence in a lot of people's lives. This man deserves recognition for his lifetime achievement.

I understand that this is memorial thread for E. Gary Gygax, but it really needs to be emphasized that he was not the sole creator of D&D, as he liked to portray himself. If one wants to point to any single individual responsible for taking Chainmail and turning it from a miniatures wargaming system into what we now recognize as a role-playing game, it would be Dave Arneson. It was a team effort, but Arneson was the guy who first messed with the rules to add character interaction.

That he had to file five lawsuits over the ensuing years to get his name in the credits, and his share of the royalties, is a damned shame.

"I'm in a Fantasy Hero game these days, and two of the players have no idea what the rules are."

It's probably worth saying, though, that the difference between needing to have a broad sense of how a given RPG is supposed to go, and the general lay of the land as regards the guidelines, nature of the interactions, settings, and so on, on the one hand, and needing to memorize all the fine details, rather than just the spirit and structure, and good judgement on how much to emphasize the text/rules, and how much to modify it for the sake of the fun of the ongoing game, on the other hand, is large, isn't it?

I do ask that as someone who could fairly be labeled as a non-RPGer, to be sure.

Children are targeted and slaughtered because of their belief system. Their parents got the news today. Crowds in the street cheering. Honking horns. Nobody has the strength to discuss it or the reasons behind it. I never played Dungeons and Dragons. Which is probably why I drink.

Honking horns.

It's probably worth saying, though, that the difference between needing to have a broad sense of how a given RPG is supposed to go, and the general lay of the land as regards the guidelines, nature of the interactions, settings, and so on, on the one hand, and needing to memorize all the fine details, rather than just the spirit and structure, and good judgement on how much to emphasize the text/rules, and how much to modify it for the sake of the fun of the ongoing game, on the other hand, is large, isn't it?

Sure, though it's one of those things that there isn't a specific answer to. There are lots of different styles. I happen to think that the one a lot of people play is really boring, and wonder why they don't ditch the RPG and just play a miniatures wargame.

When I run a game, we've been known to go a couple of five hours sessions between times someone needed to roll any dice.

"Sure, though it's one of those things that there isn't a specific answer to. There are lots of different styles."

Indeed. This is why it was always clear to me that 94% of role-playing gaming was who you were doing with it, and 6% what the game was, and the specific rules.

Give or take.

But, as I said, I say that as someone who is primarily only a longtime borderline observer of RPGers and RPGs, rather than much of a direct reporter.

But it's also why I think the conclusion, however jokingly, that it's akin to doing tax returns completely misses the point, and is based only on looking at the books, or some typically dopey lowest common denominator user of them, rather than any experience with any of the zillions of smart and creative story-tellers that made and make the game so engrossing for so many zillions of grown-ups and younger folk alike, whose fun comes from telling each other stories that crack each other up, and carry each other into each other's worlds of the imagination, which is something that, as a mutual experience, more folks than not tend to lose somewhere between ages 11 and 15, if they don't find a way to make a living, or at least a worthwhile hobby, at it.

xkcd

Bill: Children are targeted and slaughtered because of their belief system

Yes, and it's horrible - but I think people are still allowed to talk about D&D in their spare time.

Really, I know this is DNFTT: but the notion that because awful things are happening in the world - and yes, horrible, awful things are happening - we may not talk about Scrabble, D&D, or Georgette Heyer? Bill, please: confirm that you understand that this is absurd?

"...but the notion that because awful things are happening in the world - and yes, horrible, awful things are happening - we may not talk about Scrabble, D&D, or Georgette Heyer?"

Um, Jes, although Bill has wacko opinions, and, in an open thread, posted about I/P with, um, his own unique take -- which I don't agree with, y'know -- he didn't, in fact, actually say a word about what anyone else should or shouldn't say.

Leveling is a pox on electronic gaming, if you ask me.

Leveling leads to grinding. Grinding leads to griefing. Griefing . . . leads to quitting.

We hates griefers. Precious hates griefers.

Also, bunny-hoppers.

He adds: "Their results suggest that the success of democratic market societies may depend critically upon moral virtues as well as material interests, so the depiction of civil society as the sphere of 'naked self-interest' is radically incorrect."
This">http://snipurl.com/216h7">This will relate to any cooperatove effort including RPG’s and civil vs snarky blogging and issues whose name may only be spoken elsewhere.

Bill: The different static pressures between the mouths of the two holes causes air to circulate through the tunnels, providing oxygen for the prairie dogs.

How did they learn that?

The prairie dogs whose parents did not do this, suffocated before they were old enough to breed. Natural selection: bizarrely effective as a "teaching method", in its own way.

So my "qualifications" are limited, but I'd suggest that there are some people who have RPGing and blog commenting confused.
Might we hope for elaboration? Sounds like suitable material for a punchy, perhaps inflammatory rant (in the good sense).

Talking about amazing uses of scientific principles by organisms, I was trying to find a thing I read once about how shellfish use Bernoulli's principle to space themselves to generate a more rapid flow of water and give them more food. I was unsuccessful, but did find this very neat link">http://snipurl.com/216h7">link with lots of fun science. I can't decide which I like better, the holograms made by explosives of the paint that generates electricity.

Argh. Link above is misdirected, and a corrected link produces a blank on the preview screen. The article in question can be found halfway down the Latest News box on the right under Psychologhy of Cooperation.

How did they learn that?

It was revealed to them by the FSM.

Children are targeted and slaughtered because of their belief system.

With respect, I think this is a little simplistic. The belief system of the folks targeted is, I think, significant mostly as a tribal identifier. What you have here are two groups of people who hate each other, and have done so, for a complex mix of reasons.

All of that, however, is more or less noise. Eight dead young people sucks, in anyone's world.

Thanks -

Portal was fantastic. not only a fun puzzle game, it was genuinely funny (all the way through, and not just the closing song).

Best tribute to Gyrax anywhere*: xkcd.

*Disclaimer: I have not seen or read every tribute to Gyrax everywhere.

pwned by KC in DC.

Modesto:
Order of the Stick's is pretty good.

Order of the stick is pretty good, period. :)

Reading about Gary reminded me that I bought one of the original D&D sets way back when it first came out and he was distributing it in Wisconsin (where I lived at the time). It sounded interesting but I didn't really understand what it was. Never used it. I packed it away somewhere when we moved. I wonder what it's worth now.

As for Adventure, I recall spending many nights monitoring database recoveries at work and playing with the twisty, turning mazes on TSO green screens to pass the hours while the old mainframe cranked away.

Free flight. Worth a smile.

TSO. Gack. Ick.

My first ever experience with a computer was playing Adventure with a bunch of fellow geeks over one Christmas break on a VAX 11/780. I was so green that I still was cracked up by the computer's response when I typed in "make love". Or Adventure's response when I typed in cuss words.

Ah, my first boyfriend introduced me to adventure on the mainframe, back when I was still in highschool. That's when I decided that computers maybe could be fun ;)

The prairie dogs whose parents did not do this, suffocated before they were old enough to breed. Natural selection: bizarrely effective as a "teaching method", in its own way.

But for some reason they complain when I teach algebra like that...

Sometime I should set up a little IRC server or something and run a stand-alone RPG adventure for some of you folks.

I think this crowd might like Toon. Not so critical to look up charts, and it's much more free-form and (IIHO) fun.

================

"Start at the top, left. Walk five steps south. There is a tree, draw the tree. Turn left. Walk three steps. There is a door. Draw the door."

I'm off the paper at this point. Helllllllp!!!!

=====================

for my money, neither Excel nor PHP can compare to the intrigue and deep mystery of a good round of SQL Server administration.

Select Count(*) from users where clue > 0;

** 0 rows returned **

=================

My favorite D&D (sort of) experience was with a guy who ran a game of Viking football using the AD&D rules. Spider webs were very handy!

(The only other computerexperience at highschool was because we had 'informatition technology' lessons, where we had to colour specific bits of cardboard cards in order to let the computer print your name 200 times. This was 1979/1980, computers were less important than today)

"The different static pressures between the mouths of the two holes causes air to circulate through the tunnels, providing oxygen for the prairie dogs."

Isn't this just a natural result of digging in one direction and ejecting all the soil from the entrance hole? By the time the critters make and emerge through a second hole, there won't be much soil to emit at that end.

Digging in through two holes, producing piles at both entrances, would be more difficult due to having to connect the two tunnels.

Do check out the gazebo story if you don't already know it.

"Okay, so this isn't about politics."

I was kinda hoping at least one or two people would say something like "sorry to hear about that," or something along those lines, by the way.

:-(

"I was kinda hoping at least one or two people would say something like 'sorry to hear about that,' or something along those lines, by the way."

I guess I don't know what I was thinking.

Gary:

And I was just thinking about how I dropped a nibblet about whiskey that resulted in no responses, and therefore no good natured arguments about Scotch vs. Bourbon, ice vs. straight or being hazed by Mr. East Bay about how Old Potrero is just too young to be palatable.*

I'm sorry to hear about your sitch and am surprised no one said anything. Then again, maybe it just shows how busy people are anymore. Or maybe how the site has changed. Anyway, I gotchya for half of your expected mover fees. Good luck in the search.

*The Hotaling that they've been aging since the start is actually pretty good. It still has that sweet start but less of the a**-kicking finish. Cheers y'all.

Back in the day I was an avid Runequest player and Mr Gygax was regarded as an opressive force much as Microsoft is now and IBM used to be.

I introduced my sons to D&D because they sort of developed one of their own and consistent-ish rules are then useful.

If ObWi were to RPG I would suggest the venerable "Paranoia" from West End games (RIP). It was a wonderful antidote to serious campaigning... rather like this thread? ;-)

Turning my head the boxes for Runequest, Jorune (rarity), Paranoia and Metatraveller are on top of my bookshelf and the latest D&D sourcebooks are in the bedroom.

Gary I will happily pummel you when my gaming PC gets back from having its burnt-out mobo replaced. I have resigned from World of Warcraft and get my (also aged) posterior handed to me in all the twitch games. I utterly recommend Overlord, no RP but wonderful fun controlling hordes of little demons. Have you tried EVE Online? It is a space-ship based massive sf online game with lots of admittedly crude politicking where attention to detail beats reflexes...

http://www.unclemonsterface.com/MP3s/ThankYouGaryGygax.mp3

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0536.html

RIP

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