Weekend Reading 39 – Reverting to the Status Quo

Our Weekend Reading series (brought to you by our Patreon backers) continues with a curated selection of articles—and a few other things—from around the Internet that interested us this week! We’re currently on an every-other-week schedule (again.)

Jenny

Through my regular internet browsings, I came across a lovely short comic about angels titled Gloria! from comic artist Taylor Leong. You can also purchase the PDF from her Gumroad store. She also wrote a pretty cool post on the descriptions of angels in the Bible vs. the way in which it is currently popular to portray angels in certain artistic circles. Both the comic and the subsequent blog post are well worth a read (though the font is pretty small, so you may want to zoom in a bit to read the blog post.)

However, I’d like to address something that I’ve seen a lot in the tags/commentary on my comic and angel artwork–a lot of people have complimented me on making my angels look more “accurate,” since I draw angels with many eyes, limbs, and more like eldritch horror creatures rather than humans with wings. While I definitely appreciate the compliment, and am glad that people like the designs, I’d like to clear up some misconceptions!

Due to the recent release of the game Sea of Thieves, a lot of my friends have recently been on a bit of a pirates kick. As such, I have heard a lot of talk about cool boats. This is a very cool boat, and I can imagine using it as a game setting really easily.

At 439 feet in length, the five-masted, 42-sail Royal Clipper is the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world.

With 19,000 square feet of open deck and accommodations for up to 227 guests, the Royal Clipper is a sight to behold.

My dad is red-green colourblind. This doesn’t affect his day-to-day life in a massive way, but it has led to some interesting conversations, like the one in which he couldn’t believe that a truck was orange. He was quite sure it was a dull green. One of the things that does frustrate him though are games that aren’t colourblind friendly. Ruel Gaviola, writer and game reviewer, has the same problem, and has come up with some pretty simple solutions to make certain games easier to play.

From colorblind-friendly colors and hues to unique icons complementing each color, games have become easier to play for those with vision issues.

But what do colorblind players like myself do when there are so many games already out there that aren’t colorblind friendly? For most of us, we’re not tossing aside a great game simply because of a publisher’s failure or inability to address accessibility. We take matters into our own hands and do it ourselves, with some help from readily available supplies.

Grant

Oh, hey, I’m back! Neat.

Many of you may have seen this article making the rounds when it was published, but Elizabeth Garn wrote a wonderful article in C&PC about a month ago that strikes at the heart of what we do in these parts. “Dungeons & Dragons and the Church” is in many ways a summary of our mission here:

Crafting a story with other people is a shared experience that endures, one that resonates on a heart level. When my friends and I sit down on Friday nights, we’re not just playing a game and then running off; we care for each other. We share our successes and our struggles, we talk about our lives and our faith. Relationships aren’t just forged through the conversations during down time though, the game itself acts as a catalyst for dealing with real life issues. Grief, loss, anxiety, addiction, and any other human struggle can be a part of the story and can be faced in a meaningful way. The most honest look at depression I’ve ever seen was in a game, and that shouldn’t be surprising, because as I’ve already said, stories are powerful. Sharing events in the story world leads to the friendships we long for in the real world. Our hearts ache for adventure and meaning and while stories like this are still just stories, they are stories that convince us we were created for more.

The blog Shane Plays has pulled together some really intriguing material for writers, game designers, and RPG historians: TSR’s Code of Ethics (D&D “Comics Code Authority” Rules). These are slightly differing rules sets from 1982 and 1984, from different major figures in the early years of the hobby’s development. They’re a really interesting look at what TSR thought was appropriate and what wasn’t—and the interviews accompanying these rules put them into context very nicely.

James Lowder: There are some versions of this code with minor variations. Just looked at my contract for Prince of Lies and a couple of the clauses are worded a little differently and the bits about Depiction of Self (19) and the LARP hating (20) are gone.

Peter Archer: I don’t remember including it in any WotC contracts.

Miranda Horner: If it helps at all, I vaguely remember that [removed] wanted us to drop the Code during the acquisition period.

Jolly Blackburn: When we had the D&D license for Kalamar and the comic book we ran into some push back similar to some things on that list. We had several covers rejected on the comic because the heroes were shown running away from a larger foe. We were told heroes never run away.

Mark Rein-Hagen: It has been a long time since I saw that, it looks and feels even more ridiculous now than it did then… and back in the day it seemed whack. It was attitudes like this that gave Vampire the space it needed to be it own thing, and why we had such a hard time getting distribution at first. Strange to think back now that once Vampire were an “edgy” product seen by some (well many) as “irresponsible” and even “unethical.” What s**t we got for it…

Finally, I present to you a true story told on Facebook, and first related to me (and others) through Twitter. I agree with Matthew Champion that this is indeed (one of) the greatest stories ever told. It must be read in its entirety; but here’s a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:

When I had covered enough ground, I returned to the hotel. I remember walking down the long hall and opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls in my room. I didn’t have time to count, but there must have been 40 of them and they had been in my room, eating pepperoni for a long time.

Enough said.

Peter

Given our recent conversation about sainthood, this article about African ancestor reverence and Christianity seemed particularly appropriate. I found it  fascinating, a little convicting, and eye-opening. A very cool piece.

Regardless of that history of suspicion, reverence for ancestors has a place within Christianity of any place. The practice can enlarge our understanding of the communion of saints and of the body of Christ through time. It can challenge the individualistic approach of Western Christianity by recognizing the corporate nature of salvation.

I always enjoy The Angry GM, and this is no different. In this particular post, he outlines how to recreate the narrative trick of trying to get away from a monster you can’t confront directly. While doing it fairly and with maximum emotional impact, which I appreciate. I could see doing this with a number of different creatures in the setting I’ve been designing.

And you’re not trying to screw your players. Hell, you’re trying to give your players one hell of an experience. Because, when they escape or defeat the thing or whatever, they sure as hell are going to be high-fiving. After they change their pants. And you are keenly aware of the issues because you want to make sure you’re doing it fairly and giving your players every chance to succeed. That’s a GOOD reason to have a too-powerful monster. Go for it.

This is one of those little bits of real-world culture that definitely belongs in a game world: a caffeinated, alcoholic beverage that’s ON FIRE.

Perhaps the epitome of après-ski treats, this triple-whammy offers the jolt of coffee, the heat of a cozy fireplace, and the buzz of sweet liqueur all rolled into one. And if it’s your first time, you’ll need to follow the instructions for correctly drinking the hands-on, multi-step beverage. Failure to do so may result in the loss of an eyebrow.

 

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