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“Clanbook: Nyctaphobia”

This is an ancillary document that will appeal mainly to fans of the artist formerly known as Devon Oratz, although fans of “Old World of Darkness” Vampire: The Masquerade might find it an interesting piece of marginalia. It is first and foremost a document for internal use, further defining the vampiric clans that exist in the Nyctaphobia; Hope In The Mist; Gilead/Vampires Will Never Hurt You universe and further differentiating them from the Vampire: The Masquerade clans they were based on circa 2004.

Clans are divided into two major meta-factions, clans which participate in the Wild Hunt (taking part in annual “wildings” in which entire human towns are slaughtered, and the Cotillion, which prioritize the concealment of vampire kind from human awareness above all else and which do not take part in or approve of wildings, although they are not actively at war with the Wild Hunt. Vampire: The Masquerade players will recognize elements of the Sabbat in the former and elements of the Camarilla in the latter.

 

Clan Nightshade

Vulgar Labels: Serpents, Typhoid Maries
Philosophy: Wild Hunt
Members: Lorenzo Medici, Meriwether Davis, Catherine Faraday, Melciah Salomon
Abilities: Standard Vampire Abilities, Hypnotic Gaze, Blood-Venom

Notes: Clan Nightshade is by far the most important of the vampiric bloodlines to the overarching plot of the as-yet unfinished Nyctaphobia/Hope In The Mists saga. All of the major named vampire characters from Gilead/Vampires Will Never Hurt You belong to Clan Nightshade. In Vampires Will Never Hurt You, the rewrite of Gilead, Clan Nightshade will have a unique ability where anyone they bite but don’t drain completely will rise as an extremely weak vampire without any of Clan Nightshade’s special abilities. This does not follow “the rules” of how vampires in general are presented in Nyctaphobia, because every other clan must create vampires through an act of abundant intentionality, draining them down to a few drops of human blood and then feeding them their own vampire blood until they are reborn as undead. This is also the only way that Clan Nightshade can create full-blooded members, rather than blood-hungry ghouls. In addition to the vampire-plague spreading venom of their ordinary bite, older members of Clan Nightshade can transmute their own blood into a venom deadly or paralytic even to fellow vampires.

Spoilers: In the rewrite of Gilead, Vampires Will Never Hurt You, Clan Nightshade will be the clan we see “on camera” to be compromised by the Cult of Shade.

 

The Minders

Vulgar Labels: The Busybodies, Management
Philosophy: Cotillion
Members: Seth Rowald, Monica Winters, Hawthorne
Abilities: Standard Vampire Abilities, Levitation, Thaumaturgy, Hypnotic Gaze

Notes: The Minders is the second most important clan in the Nyctaphobia/Hope In The Mists trilogy, playing a reasonably significant role in the early parts of Hope In The Mists. They uphold with grave seriousness the dual responsibility of ensuring that humans remain under the misapprehension that vampires are purely the stuff of fiction and monitoring the greater world of magic and the supernatural for existential threats to vampire kind. The Minders have thoroughly compromised many or most human intelligence and law enforcement organizations, so their access to human law enforcement personnel and equipment is unparalleled.

Loup-Garou
Vulgar Labels: Furries, Hairballs
Philosophy: Wild Hunt
Abilities: Standard Vampire Abilities, Animal Forms

Notes: Many humans in their moments of pants-shitting terror mistake the Loup-Garou for werewolves before being torn apart by them, an understandable confusion. The Loup-Garou are not actually werewolves, however, and can take the forms of bats, ravens, timberwolves, and rare individuals have been reported to take on a variety of exotic “creatures of the night” such as mountain lions, panthers, bears, or tigers.

 

Clan Rose
Vulgar Names: Snobs, Eurotrash
Philosophy: Cotillion
Abilities: Standard Vampire Abilities, Hypnotic Gaze, Fascination

Notes: Clan Rose is made up of individuals who are passionate about art in all its forms, and as an organization, is almost exclusively dedicated to the preservation of the very greatest works of art made by man and vampire. Vampiric art and vampiric performance art tends towards the grand guignol, with human life little valued and blood and corpses preferred mediums for artistes to work in. The unique Clan Rose power of fascination

Gargoyles

Vulgar Names: Gargoyles is already a disrespectful epithet. This bloodline does not have a proper name.
Philosophy: Wild Hunt
Abilities: Standard Vampire Abilities, Talons, Claws, and Fangs, Winged Flight

Gargoyles don’t appear remotely like human beings, instead somewhere in appearance between Max Schreck’s Count Orlok in the 1922 silent film Nosferatu and something that might have given H.R. Giger nightmares. Of all the “wilding” factions, the Gargoyles are historically the most cooperative with the Cotillion factions, for reasons that are, after all, fairly obvious. The Gargoyles complete their wildings within the assigned time-periods and geographical coordinates, reliably not going “overboard”, which has led to most of the other Hunt factions referring to them as “the Cotillion’s (butt-ugly) bitch”.

 

Clan Umbra
Vulgar Names: Necrophiliacs, Creeps
Philosophy: Cotillion
Abilities: Standard Vampire Abilities, Necromancy, Shadow-Play

A very pure bloodline of French and Italian origin, many have hinted or more than hinted that the purity comes from a carefully curated mixture of necrophilia and incest. While it is fairly parallel to the story, it still might count as a spoiler that Clan Umbra is entirely loyal to the Cult of Shade and has been since time immemorial: however, the Minders have known about this for long enough to prepare “ contingencies” for this primarily European bloodline, a shadow war between the Minders (aided by the Gargoyles) and Clan Umbra that can be assumed to happen somewhere between the events of Gilead/Vampires Will Never Hurt You and the events of Hope In The Mists.

 

Clan Romani

Vulgar Names: Gypsies, Pikeys
Philosophy: Wild Hunt
Abilities: Standard Vampire Abilities, Hypnotic Gaze, Levitation, Fascination

Not all Romani are vampires but Romani vampires consider themselves Romani first and vampires second. Every stereotype and epithet assigned to real world “Gypsies” is stapled to the Romani Clan by the other vampires of the world. They are almost universally distrusted and regarded with at best suspicion. It is the fact that vampires as a rule don’t particularly trust each other—that and the delicate internal politics of the Cotillion and the Wild Hunt and the other minor bloodlines not worth mentioning here—that allows the Romani clan to navigate vampire society as well as it does, perpetually a potential “enemy of my enemy” to someone.

Unmasque, Unmasque

For any VtM players who didn’t follow, here’s how I collapsed the original thirteen or fourteen clans into seven. Clan Assamite and Followers of Set: Clan Nightshade; Clans Ventrue and Tremere: the Minders; Clan Brujah, not used; Clan Malkavian, not used; Clans Tzimisce and Nosferatu, Gargoyles;  Clans Toreador and Tzimisce, Clan Rose; Clans Giovannni and Lasombra, Clan Umbra; Ravnos, Romani.

Standardizing Vampire Abilities Kind Of Sort Of Without Numbers

Abilities and weaknesses. And did I mention standardizing and without numbers? What an ask of an ex game designer. Vampires in fiction are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike, from the sparkling twinks of “Twilight” to the bloody tornadoes of fangs and rust from Ben Templesmith’s and Steve Niles’ work on 30 Days of Night. Here is my best attempt at presenting MOSTLY WITH WORDS AND NOT NUMBERS YOUR BASIC GILEAD/VWNHY vampire’s abilities.

Strength: Anywhere between twice and ten times as strong as a minimum would be your basic range. Double the range for each century the vampire’s been alive. In areas where agility and skill also inform strength (like swinging a sword), hundreds of times human competence might be seen. A vampire who had spent two centuries serving as samurai could cut you apart before you saw his hand move.

Toughness: Largely indifferent to bullets except for large caliber shotgun blasts and the like which only slow them down. Decapitation kills, impalement paralyzes, usually the former than the latter. Anything else (fire, blades, blunt force trauma, just plain running them over with cars) damages them normally, but they have a hyperbolically quick regeneration factor. Let’s stay it starts as Wolverine/4 and doubles for every two centuries they survive as a vampire. It never reaches a speed greater than, Wolverine x 4 but in terms of what a vampire can regenerate from, the rules of ridiculousness are “weapons free”.  As long as it has blood to drink, a vampire can regenerate to more or less “full health” after being burned in a fire until nothing but a blackened skeletal husk remained. Exactly this happened to Lorenzo in Gilead. The only thing that stops vampiric regeneration is the paralyzing stake through he heart.

Speed: Any vampire can move too fast for you to see. The differences in speed that come with clans and centuries only matter in showdowns between vampires. Vampires are more perceptive than humans—about as perceptive as a wolf at night, with human intellect—but they can still be surprised. A vampire that isn’t paying any attention isn’t any harder to hit than a human that isn’t paying any attention.

Weakness: The Sun: Each clan reacts a little differently. The sun destroys young blood of Clan Nightshade and the Gargoyles and instantly incinerates even elders of Clan Umbra. Elders of Clan Nightshade and Elder Gargoyles are deeply sickened and weakened by the sun.  For the Minders and Clan Rose, sun means weakness and unconsciousness for young bloods, and an inability to use your powers even for elders. For Clan Romani and the Loup-Garoup, young blood felt weak and sickly in the daylight, but sufficiently aged Elders suffer no special handicap from the sun.

Other Weaknesses: All but the oldest elders can enter a domicile without special permission and cross running water; only the oldest elders need sleep in the soil of their homeland. If a cross is brandished at a vampire, what matters is the faith of the holder in the object. So a Star of David in the hands of a pious Jew is better than a crucifix in the hands of a half-assed Christian. Holy water see above: the person doing the blessing needs to be a true believer. By the same principal, areas that count as “hallowed ground” will be rare. Garlic does not do anything. Only the Loup-Garoup care about silver bullets or other things made of silver. Most vampires would list “fire” under their dislikes.

Innate Abilities: Most vampires have telekinesis of a level commensurate with their age. All vampires can telempathically communicate with their children.

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“Mood Is A Thing For Cattle And Love-Play!” – Gurney Halleck, Dune (1984)

Captain Jean-Luc Picard, USS Enterprise.meme

Anyway ladies and gentlemen, this is a kind of unstoppable force meets immovable object type deal. And from the title, you know I’m talking about MOOD.

As you can imagine it’s been pretty much impossible to be in a good mood since the person I love the most left and abandoned me, taking with her everything I care about most in my life…especially knowing that I deserved it for the most part. However, I also want to observe at present that it’s pretty damn hard to be in a bad mood in this 71 degree and rising San Diego weather, instead of being back home in New York where I’ve heard it is -30 Degrees factoring in wind chill or some such terrifying shit.

I just hope my family is finding a way to keep warm during the New York fimbulwinter.

Suspended Animation

So, I’d like everyone (everyone who cares, a small and elite group, I know) to think of all of ETG’s game lines to be in a state of suspended animation (what a paradoxical combination of words!) like cryosleep. I offer no guarantees that any of them will be thawed out or revivified, but anything is possible. Also, on a personal note, at the moment I’m not dead. To try and not be too maudlin, I’ll just say that while I have no desire at all to be alive–none, not one iota, not one whit–I am badly maladapted towards suicidal action, and besides that, suicide is a fundamentally discourteous thing. It’s way too tempting to start talking in any depth about my personal life now, so I won’t. I suspect that some of the readers of this blog (there aren’t many) are hate readers and I really don’t want to give them the satisfaction of the schadenfreude. I hope no one else is going into the holidays with severe clinical depression or suicidal ideation, at least there’s very few people I would wish that on.

On a professional level, obviously it’s IMMENSELY FUCKING FRUSTRATING that ETG was just starting to hit its stride and really click into the groove when it fell apart, but, to make a stunningly original observation: life isn’t fair. I think in the time we were around, we made some kickass games, adventures, and supplements, all of which would have been impossible without Mik. I felt like we were just hitting a meaningful level of market penetration when the bottom fell out, which obviously sucks ass. Our stuff will continue to be for sale in the usual places. We’re probably doomed to fall into total obscurity as time passes, but at least a few people will hang onto their copies of our games and enjoy them. I can think of worse ways to have invested the last six years of my life.

The exception to the above paradigm of “Suspended Animation” is the fulfillment of the Systems Malfunction Kickstarter. That’s an awkward situation. I have no intention of backing away from our obligation, but I also have been made to understand that the fulfillment is being finalized by Mikaela who is most resolutely not taking my calls, in the most absolute sense. I don’t knows what printer she used (is using? is planning to use?) or what state she’s at in the fulfillment, only that she’s promised me to take care of the fulfillment, and I’m not even sure that’s a promise I should take at face value all things considered, because it was delivered in a missive that was, I have now discerned, about 90% bullshit. It’s all horribly entangled with the destruction of my life and the kidnapping of my pets and…oy vey. Oy. Vey. I will do my best to make sure that everybody who pledged gets a book, but my former business partner is not making it easy for me to get a window into the fulfillment process right now.

I post about this here and not on the relevant Kickstarter because the Kickstarter update would amount to “My life is completely fucked and the person who I would ask about fulfillment stole my dog and has gone off the grid” which seems like the kind of update that would just annoy many backers.

I’ve been trying to focus more on my writing, when I’m feeling well enough to focus on anything, which is increasingly rare with my failing health. Vaguely considering making another blog focusing on that, but very likely won’t bother. Not many people read this (as I make frequent mention of), I don’t know if I could transfer even that pitifully small readership to the new blog, and most importantly, as Egon Spengler so wryly observed back in 1984 (the year, not the book) “Print Is Dead”.

“And that’s the waaaaaaaaaaaaay the news goes.”

Fission Mailed

I don’t imagine I will have a whole lot of game design to be blogging about for the foreseeable future. End Transmission Games is kaput, at least for the time being. I might try doing my own stuff under a different masthead after a while, but I don’t think that will be any time soon.

I had a random thought though which is really the only reason I make this blog post. Considered by many the first “post-modern” video game, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty’s themes and messages are more relevant now than ever, particular its Gainax Ending . Just before the final boss fight, the literal talking heads of the Patriots (the La-li-lu-le-lo!), the simulated Colonel Campbell and Rosemary, lecturing Jack on the dangers of a post-fact, post-truth world feel eerily urgent in the face of a game released in 2001 and largely developed pre-9/11. The worst case scenario that they are talking about sounds a lot like the post-Trump, “Fake News” era we live in now. It’s uncannily prescient for a 16 year old Japanese video game. Echoes of the themes of the popular musical Hamilton (“What is a legacy?”) are also surprising coming from a 16 year old Japanese video game. I suggest anyone who has had this gem collecting dust in their collection or never got around to playing it seek it out and a console to play it on, just for the ending.

There’s no good reason that the often brilliant, frequently self indulgent, and always pleasantly bizarre Hideo Kojima should have been able to predict the death of truth in media and the rise of echo chambers and thought bubbles instead of discourse, but he did. It almost makes me wish we had a censorious GW like AI, like that housed within Arsenal Gear, to prevent us from reaching this sad point in our society. Almost.

Transmissions from The End #18: No Country For Great Old Ones

So, while all my many haters will definitely scoff loudly at this, I’ve never really felt comfortable tooting my own horn. But, now that I’ve reached the point where I pay other people to toot my horn, I figure that stepping it in to toot it myself from time to time is really the only decent thing to do. It’s like…really it’s my horn. I bear some responsibility.

No Country For Great Old Ones is an RPG adventure scenario that is coming to the Kickstarter machine in the next two weeks (yikes) based on an idea I had for a Delta Green adventure well more than a year ago. It is not in fact a Delta Green adventure (as of the time of this posting: I will probably figure out some way to release it ported for the DG rules, possibly for free, as long as the KS funds). It has statistics for DicePunk, and is officially licensed and compatible with HERO System and Savage Worlds, which is kind of a big deal, and so it goes without saying it’s gonna have FRED and SW stats too. And it may not stop there. Depending on where we wind up with the Stretch Goals, we might have officially licensed crunch for upwards of six other game systems. If you build it, we will crunch.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAhPAAAAJGM1ZDI5ZDUzLTk3ZmItNDMxZS1hZmIxLTNhMmRkNjNiY2I2NA

Two Sides To Every Story

No Country For Great Old Ones is in the so-played-out western neo-noir crime/Lovecraftian-conspiracy-horror subgenre. The truly cool thing about this adventure in my opinion is that it does this mini-Rashomon type thing where it can be played either from the “A” side of the adventure where you’re law enforcement types, or the “B” side of the adventure where you’re the criminals, and we actually suggest you do play it both ways to get the whole story or at least to see two very different interpretations of what happens.

Each side has what are I think really strong pregenerated characters but obviously I wanted either side of this adventure to be able to be slotted into anyone’s ongoing campaign here which means they can be thrown out the window in favor of established PCs. And in fact, we will provide guidelines for just such figurative defenestration (hooking in established PCs instead of the pregens) in the adventure itself, specific to our level of expertise in each system the game is translated for. All that being said, I’ve been thinking a fair bit about the pregens since they’ve been around over these past couple of years, so I’m going to use their names when I lay out the two sides to the story.

Oh, and this was all vividly inspired by the exceptional 2016 film Hell Or High Water, written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by David McKenzie. I can’t recommend the film enough.

Cops

An elderly Texas Ranger within weeks of his mandatory retirement date, Marcus Bridges represents a classic Western stereotype–the man who has lost touch with time, and knows it, the man for whom, like Stephen King’s Roland or any number of classic western heroes and anti-heroes, “the world has moved on”.

no_country_for_old_men_a_p

The character of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell from Cormack McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men is the iconic example: an old timer whose memories of a more idyllic west don’t allow him to truly conceive of the chaos and carnage of modern times.

Like many other western antiheroes, Marcus is also rough, gruff, surly, ornery, and generally unpleasant.  As Marcus Bridges represents the longing for the tranquility of the past, his long suffering partner Jorge Quesada represents the uncertainty of the present. He quietly tolerates his incessant politically incorrect barbs about his Latino heritage out of a sense of profound respect for the man’s experience…while worrying that Marcus is looking for an opportunity to die in a blaze of glory rather than face the slow decay of retirement.

US Marshals Roger Barrister and Gina Torres are not “really” US Marshals. They belong to a fractured, fractal conspiracy within the various agencies of the US government and the interstices and interfaces between them. Call it “the Shop”.  Agent Barrister and Agent Torres attach themselves to the Rangers’ case, and of course, they too want to catch the bad guys (and make sure that the situation never becomes publicly visible). They know things that you aren’t cleared to know.

And the bad guys that are taking more than money from the crime scene. Things like fingers. Things like eyes.

…And Robbers

The Quinns were a crime family in the deep, dark, muddy backwaters of the Lousiana Bayou since the turn of the 20th century or even sooner. Throughout the years they’ve operated as smugglers and trafficked in moonshine, “white slaves”, gun-running, and meth. Unsavoury rumors persist about the Quinn clan intermarrying with things from the Black Bay region…inhuman things.

The ghastly rumors about the Quinn family are true. Alectra’s mother Annabelle met her Deep One daddy some time in the late 80s and she followed family tradition. By the time of Hurricane Katrina, Alectra was already beginning to show signs of the change (see appearance).

Jimmy was always shy growing up and he still seems nebbish and retiring much of the time when he’s not in the midst of committing an armed robbery. He was a shrimpy little kid growing up, and a magnet for bullying, and he tends to be quiet and keep to himself. The love of his life is Alectra Quinn, who washed up on his doorstep when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans in 2005. The two are now happily married and love, but Alectra isn’t entirely human and Jimmy isn’t entirely sane. However, deep down, he knows that the Deep-One Hybrid he’s in bed with is more than just his true love, that she’s evidence of a world of hidden wonders and horrors that the average “normal” person will never, ever witness or comprehend until it’s too late, and they’re dead. Jimmy takes great satisfaction in that.

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Here in the dry Texas heat, Jimmy “The Squid” Quinn is a ways from his home in the Lousiana Bayou. He met Chris Foster as his cell mate at the Federal Penitentiary in Pollock, Lousiana while he was doing a five-stretch for armed robbery. Jimmy got out first and gave Chris his contact info, and Chris contacted Jimmy for help on the job. Jimmy brought along his partner in crime, and in love.

Poor white trash from birth, Chris Foster has a criminal record a country mile long, gradually escalating from vandalism and aggravated assault to armed robbery (mostly gas station and convenience stores). Just out of prison on parole, and he was already thinking about the kind of hell-raising that would get him thrown right back in again. But then his straight-arrow brother, Taylor, with whom he’s had a very rough relationship, suggests a more ambitious plan. One which involves robbing a large number of banks in a short period of time.

A wildman outlaw, Chris was born into the wrong era. He takes genuine joy in the chaos and violence of the rough life of a career criminal. It’s not institutionalization–he hates being in prison–it’s just that he feels like the best use of his freedom is raising hell. Various lawyers working to reduce Chris’s prison sentences and increase his chance of parole have had psychiatrists (mostly correctly) diagnose him with anti-social personality disorder, ADHD, sociopathy, and oppositional defiant disorder, which Chris dismisses as “a bunch of bullshit”. His hatred of police and other authority figures is downright pathological. Deep down, he is badly scarred by his alcoholic father’s abuse, and resents his ailing mother for dying while he was in prison. The only person he cares about is his brother Taylor, who he’ll treat like shit, but ultimately, will do anything for. While Chris likes to appear dim so people underestimate him, he’s a lot smarter than he appears.In fact, he’s smart enough to know that he’s not meant for this world–a relic of another age–and is willing to die in a blaze of glory, laying his life down at the right moment.

they_call_em__outlaws_by_brissinge-dalrl8i

Chris Foster’s brother, Taylor has dealt with their poor white trash background and their abusive alcoholic father in the exact opposite way as his brother, by keeping to the straight and narrow in life. He did his best in school, got through some college, met a woman, had kids that are now teenaged, and got divorced, all without once spending a night in a jail sell. Now his ailing mother has died and Texas Heartland Bank stands ready to foreclose on the Foster ranch. Two other things have happened that have given Taylor the glimmer of an idea. His brother is just out from prison, and oil has just been discovered on the ranch property.

Taylor grew up in poverty and has a plan to finally drag his family out of generations of poverty. His plan is meticulous and if everything goes according to the playbook, he’ll be able to pay off the reverse mortgage on his mother’s ranch with their own goddamn money, laundered through an Indian casino, and they’ll get off scot free. The only challenge is going to be keeping his wildcard brother–who doesn’t believe anybody ever got away with anything and acts accordingly–and the even less trustworthy help that Chris brought on board.

***

And that’s all I can say about that. I really can’t go into any more detail about how the Mi-Go, Yig the Father of Snakes, or the Screamers from Phantasm(2010) may or may not be involved. Look out for our Kickstarter coming scarifyingly soon. But some time time before Halloween. Um…boo.

<End Transmission>

Hellllllloooo Woild!

so if you’re just tuning into this site (if i had to guess, I would guess it has not had double digit readers during its five year plus existence, but I haven’t checked, for fear of confirming sad expectations) or just check it occasionally, i just felt like making a few random declarations:

  1. site masthead is by Mikaela Barree
  2. my “selected ludography” is probably pretty badly out of date, i should fix it some time
  3. my “about me” might be pretty outdated too
  4. i should probably add a permalink to a download for phantasm(2010) at the top since this is currently perhaps the only place it’s available after it was yanked from DriveThru and it is an ENnie award nominated RPG
  5. (if i wanted to get really fancy, I could start archiving the Transmissions From The End posts)

 

ENWorld’s New Inclusivity Policy: RAI vs. RAW

This is kind of an open letter type deal.

Anyway, I love that ENWorld’s site has

“In gaming parlance, please don’t attempt to “rules lawyer” these rules, find loopholes, or otherwise exploit them: the rules below are intended to help you understand the tenor of our community, but they will be applied “as intended” (RAI, not RAW). If you need clarification, feel free to ask”

as a masthead above its rules. Nicely put, considering the site’s focus. Apparently three simple rules (keep it civil, keep it clean, keep it on topic) kept the site running smoothly for 20 years, which is impressive. Now they’ve added a fourth:

Keep it inclusive: EN World is an inclusive community, and we encourage and welcome all people here. To that end, we strive to make it a welcoming place where nobody feels alienated because of who they are. You MAY NOT use the terms “agenda”, “ideology”, “politics”, or “propaganda” in relation to the inclusion of people slightly different to you in gaming products or other media, or post any message which is discriminatory towards those who differ to you in terms of skin colour, gender, gender identification, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, or any other personal attribute. We do not subscribe to the argument that tolerance means that we need to tolerate intolerance or that inclusivity means that we need to include non-inclusiveness.

So,  here’s the thing because I’m going to proceed to rules lawyer the shit out of this. By “RAW”, you’re not allowed to refer to propaganda coming out of the Trump White House as “propaganda” (Republicans are “people slightly different to you”) or tell a climate change denier that they have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about (not believing in climate change is a “personal attribute” and that would be “discriminatory”).

I wonder what the RAI was for this one?

See folks, the thing about policies in the real world is that, as a rule at least, there is no one around to “DM”, interpret, or adjudicate them. So it’s a very bad business to make it against the rules to express the opinion, for instance, that The Dark Tower was a shitty movie for myriad reasons, merely one of which is that they prioritized a political agenda over making a quality film, especially when you word it in a way that implies that you can’t say any of the above about the Trump White House or climate deniers. Then you’ve put yourself in a place where you’re either selectively enforcing policy based on politics (cough, rpg.net, cough) or you’re taking a stand as being against freedom of speech, period.

Freedom of speech is a two way street, folks. And I can’t stand the argument that “we’re so tolerant and inclusive that you can get the hell out and stay out for daring to disagree with us in any way”: it always is the worst kind of nonsense, and it always has been.

Disclaimer: I do not actually post on ENWorld, although I intend to when I have more free time i.e. when I am less hopelessly addicted to Elite: Dangerous. In spite of this, ETG has had the good fortune to be nominated for two ENnie awards thus far. This little essay was sparked by a tweet I saw from @Morrus who I gather is one of the head honchoes (if not THE head honcho) at ENWorld.