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Showing posts from May, 2018

Full Parsec Five - A Minimal d6 / Miso-Six setting

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Awhile back now, Ann (of DIY & Dragons) and I were chatting about Traveller RPG character creation, specifically the fact that players can roll a result that ends in character death during creation. Traditionally, at that point one starts the character creation process over again.

But what if, we speculated, you did not start with a new living character?  What if rolling death merely changed the focus of the game? A series of adventures with undead astronauts in a dark secondary universe took place?

We were both intrigued by the idea, but (to me at least) it seemed like the sort of thing that could take a lot of work and an entire setting to flesh out. And, at the time, due to other commitments, didn't find much time to pursue it further.

But every now and then I'd jot down a couple notes about the sort of elements one might find in such a basement-universe setting. The results gradually became influenced probably less by Traveller and more other favorite space opera and …

Orcs, Evil, etc. (Part 2)

(continued from Part 1)

. . . but that was Tolkien's world.

There does seem a strong trend in the current era of trying to humanize the Other. In a lot of senses I think this is a good impulse. I suspect that viewing other living creatures (and people in particular) as having more than just a material value, makes one take a greater interest in creating and maintaining beneficial institutions. Empathizing with those not like oneself and feeling some bond of fellowship is both important in society and provides interesting narrative opportunities.

In the real world I feel we need to love and respect other humans, even treat animals well. But I always feel a little cautious about ascribing such human traits to non-humans.  In the real world I think many folks make a distinction:
Human: Intelligent. Capable of culture, self-reflection, empathy and caring. Is inherently worthy of some measure of respect.Animal: Less intelligent. Culture? Self-reflection? Empathy? Maybe worthy of affecti…

Orcs, Evil, etc. (Part 1)

Emmy Allen's posting about Orcs, Violence and Evil, got me thinking about this issue again.
So the following is probably less a response, and more a bunch of rambling thoughts inspired by it. Also, though I've read Lord of the Rings again recently, her Tolkien lore rating (and your own, dear reader) may be higher than mine, so with a grain of salt:

Big "E" Evil as Emmy's post characterizes it is a rare thing innate to certain alien non-person entities: a monomania or existential necessity for specific innately destructive or corrupting concepts, similar to other beings of alien mindset or more akin to elemental forces. I find this idea interesting, and have enjoyed stories where this was the case in the past. But reading the post gave me an urge to do a more in-depth compare and contrast of the idea against how evil and personhood appear in the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself.

Few of the powerful supernatural beings in LotR quite start out as monomaniacal alien/d…