Parrying: I Get It Now

Sometimes you can know something, or two somethings, but they don’t quite click in your head for whatever reason.

I’d never been a fan of Parrying skills; why spend time not attacking when clearly the obvious way to stop being attacked is to kill the monster that’s in front of you? Games like Neverwinter Nights that are basically “D&D without a party” makes Parrying seem even more useless because while you’re parrying, no damage is being dealt!

One of my big pet peeves is that a lot of people do melee wrong; in D&D, once two characters are in melee, they are in melee period, until one of them dies or spends a round trying to run away. Characters who are in melee can be attacked by characters not in melee without those characters attacking becoming locked. Now, this is important for a reason: high HP low AC fighters and clerics lock down the bad guys by getting them into melee – those baddies so engaged  cannot just say “Well, I’m going to attack the squishy wizard/thief now because I’ve randomly chosen a new target!” They are stuck fighting those opponents until they die, run away, or kill them. While stuck fighting the bruisers, the baddies can be backstabbed and bespelled with impunity by the thieves and magic users, unable to strike back.

In comes Shitlord: the Triggering, which has a Dex-based Parrying skill unique to the Dickpuncher (Fighter) class. For each point of Dex over 13, the Dickpuncher can effectively improve his AC by one against the combatant he’s in melee with instead of making an attack. Now, my first thought is “He’s wasting his time parrying; why would he not just attack instead?” Then it clicked:

With an active defense vis a vis Parrying, a Fighter character can potentially lock down a much tougher opponent longer without sustaining damage to give thief classes more opportunities to backstab. As strong as a fighter’s attack is, a Thief’s backstab is ALWAYS better. Depending on the system, you could easily be doing 3-4 times as much damage per hit with a bonus against the enemy’s AC. The high dex parrying skill negates that huge attack advantage monsters tend to have over PCs and classed NPCs so that a fighter can go toe to toe against something that could very well cream him otherwise for an extra round or two. Yeah, he may not get his chance to do 1d8 damage, but the Thief is almost guaranteed to get 4d6 damage. As long as the DM is abiding by proper melee rules, the Fighter can always keep one baddie locked down so as to ensure that the Thief can get his backstab on.

Thank you for opening my eyes to this, Shitlord: the Triggering!

Also, this is not a real review, but silly Alt-Right shit-talk aside, S:tT looks like it’s a pretty solid retro-clone. It borrows from the best and presents it well, but it also brings in a few original ideas that are absolutely worth incorporating into your game. My group is fairly liberal, so I don’t know if I could get away with running this even as a one-off except for April Fool’s, but I’ll probably borrow several bits and bobs from it.  Also, thank you for not sorting spells by level.

“Leftist” Gamergate & the Alt-Right

817

Sometimes you get to choose the wars you fight in… Sometimes you get drafted and war chooses you…

I haven’t written much about Gamergate lately, but with all of this stuff about Gamergate and the Alt-Right coming up recently, I felt I needed to get some things off my chest.

First, I want to talk about GGRevolt and the ethics cuck thing. Even if GGRevolt was more or less right about Social Justice being one of the root problems in journalism, many failed to articulate it in a way that could convince anyone, and the term ethics cuck was not just off-putting, it sounds really stupid. Dan Wolfgang (the QuQu’s producer), pointed out to me that it’s not particularly worse than Social Justice Warrior or Feminazi (which, despite being a catchy portmanteau is, as he noted, invoking Godwin). FWIW, I’m not big on calling folks SJWs or Feminazis either.

Second of all, depending on who you ask, I’m either alt-right or not welcome in the alt-right (muddy blood, and what not). You might say I’m on the left-fringe of the Alt-right. But I’d like to talk about the inescapable political conversation and politics surrounding an “apolitical” movement, especially as those in the left stake claim of Gamergate while disavowing the right.

A lot has been made, and is still being made, of that Gamergate Political Compass meme, which is often tossed out there to “prove” that Gamergate was a left-libertarian movement.  The problem with this is that the meme is a snapshot from one moment, fairly early on in Gamergate, with no meaningful data behind it, based on a political test that skews left-libertarian with ranked statements that basically sound like “I believe people should have rights” and “I believe corporations should be allowed to rape the earth.”

The new Alt-Right meme vs. the Gamergate is leftist meme is another way that the media has managed to successfully create drama and in-fighting among people who’d done the whole ‘ethics in games journalism’ thing together. While I haven’t seen many people on the Alt-Right try to claim broadly that Gamergate was a rightwing movement, some have (rightly) tried to point out to certain left-leaning individuals, who are trying to distance themselves from Trump and the Alt-Right, that yes, there were a lot of conservatives involved in Gamergate. Heck, I was one of them.

I don’t have a problem with people who lean left in Gamergate; I don’t deny that they exist, nor do I deny that they may have made up a sizable portion, if not a majority, of those involved. I don’t have a problem with people having left-leaning politics. I am annoyed when folks on either side of politics try playing the “You’re not really Gamergate” card, but honestly I can understand why someone would suspect a person (in the US) didn’t actually care about Ethics In JournalismTM if they remained, after what they’d learned, a loyal Democrat supporter.

One of the reasons why, on the face of it, Gamergate is appearing to many as a right-leaning movement is that you have those who genuinely want to fight the fight for Ethics in Journalism who see, understand, and will try to expose media corruption and cronyism, and the inconvenient truth of the matter is those things presently are far more to the benefit of left-leaning, pro-social justice, and Democrat politicians than anyone else.

Democrat and Republican voters actually have a lot in common; not the least of which is their hatred for elected Republicans!