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Friday, December 31, 2010

Shooting Down 2010

When Matt "Lo Man's Land" Loman decreed yesterday on Twitter that he was going shooting today, I was excited for him. So excited, in fact, that I decided to go shooting today as well. Not only was it an opportunity to symbolically shoot the old year down, after months of forced Christmas cheer and family visits, I was ready to kill something.

Now, the last time I went shooting, I did all right but I knew I could do better. Today, I did better.


Erin has leveled up Firearms skill to Level 2.

This is me at 25 yards. Same rifle, same bullets. Much better shot grouping, yes? I'm kind of annoyed at those two errant shots in the 9 ring, but it's obvious that most of the bullets went into the bullseye.

Heartened by this success, I shifted lanes and decided to try my luck at 50 yards.


Slightly worse grouping, but most are still within the 9 ring.

Less impressive, I'll admit. The biggest problem I had was that at 50 yards, I couldn't see the bullet holes against the black background, even at max scope magnification. I actually had to aim at the white parts off to the side just so I could see where the bullets were hitting (hence the tight shot group on the middle left. Once I could see that the bullets were more or less going where I wanted them, I was able to shoot with greater confidence.

I have defeated the 25 yard range. The 50 still eludes me... for now. But I shall soon master it, with the aid of non-black targets.

So... how was YOUR day of shooting, Lomie?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fruit Oaty Girls Auction eBay Link

Due to circumstances beyond my control, the auction did not begin last night. However, it is live as of this moment.

Also due to circumstances beyond my control, the auction will end this Sunday, rather than next Wednesday. Oh well! Just make sure you aren't hung over two days in a row and everything will be shiny.

Remember, this is a once-in-a-lifetime level of rarity, so bid big and bid often!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Big Damn Auction: Fruity Oaty Girls

Now that Christmas is over and my brother & his girlfriend have gone back home, I can resume blogging. Hooray!

First off:  Big Damn Thanks are in order for the winner of the last auction, Marian Call's personalized "Bootleg" CD. The winning bid came in at five hundred and ten dollars. That is huge. That is amazing. I'd thank the winner personally but eBay keeps the auction winners anonymous and I want to respect his privacy. I don't know if the guy just wanted the CD that bad, or if he was looking for an excuse to give to charity, but either way... rock on, dude. Can I get a "Hell yeah!" ?

Now it is time for the next auction, and all of you guys who were willing to bid $100+ for the CD are going to be glad you still have your money, because this next item is very, very shiny.

The next item in our Big Damn Auction is a set of Fruit Oaty Girls bobblehead maquettes. Produced by Quantum Mechanix (visit their website for more details on this product), these maquettes are limited to 1500 numbered sets, but only THIS set has been signed by its creator Geoff Mandel -- the graphic designer behind Serenity (as well as many other movies and TV shows).

In addition, not only is the box itself signed, but the sub-boxes within it -- containing the maquettes of Jadem Cinnamon, and Sage, as well as the display stand which comes in the shape of a Fruity Oaty Bar -- are also signed. That's not one but FIVE signed pieces of merchandise!






(Note: the display stand and maquettes themselves are not signed, only their boxes. This was done to keep them in their original packaging, and therefore in mint condition.)
 
This is a once-in-a-lifetime level of rarity and no true Browncoat can bear to be without it.

Bidding starts tonight, 12/28, at 10 pm Eastern time, and will run for a week. The bidding will begin at $69.95 but I don't think it will stay there for long!




All the proceeds for this auction will go to help Jean Bauhaus, whose mother-in-law, Gina, died unexpectedly earlier this month without a will or insurance to cover the burial, and whose father-in law needs long-term medical care (diabetes, emphysema, schizophrenia). In addition to the funeral and medical bills, Jean and her husband Matt also have to clean up Gina & Rob's old apartment, moving furniture and making it ready for new tenants. There are also legal matters to attend to and creditors to satisfy.

We all know how hard it is to lose a loved one, and we all know how tough it is financially in this recession. Can you imagine what it must be like to be struggling to get along, only to have to bury your mother and find a nursing home for your father at your own expense? Now add to that the awful timing of this tragedy happening near Christmastime, and you know what Jean and Matt are going through. Fortunately, they are both Browncoats, and we take care of our own.



Product Details
(from the Quantum Mechanix website)
Created by Serenity Designer Geoffrey Mandel, the Fruity Oaty Girls Bobblehead Maquette Set includes the cheery trio of Fruity Oaty girls, display base and special Verse packaging. These hefty bobbleheads are cast in solid polystone resin and hand painted, with neck joints mounted on springs so they can move to the beat. Even the base – shaped and labeled just like a real Fruity Oaty Bar – is solid resin and color keyed, so girls can easily find their designated slots.


Sage, Cinnamon and Lavender will bring the shiny to anyone's day. Each girl stands 4.5 inches tall, not including the base, and comes in her own individually branded full-color box. The Fruity Oaty Bar base has its own unique box. All four boxes are nestled in a full-color master carton that's been designed to look like a standard shipping crate from The Verse.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bootleg Auction eBay Link

Just to be doubly sure, here is the link to the eBay auction.

Bidding is now open and will continue until 10pm Eastern time on Saturday, 25 December.

Oh yeah, just to be clear: the person actually eBaying it, wyrrd, isn't me. It's C.A. Bridges, fellow Daytonian and friend of mine.

Big Damn Auction: Bootleg

It feels like it's taken forever for me to get this thing in motion, but it can't be helped. This is the holiday season, after all, and most folks are either on their way to visit family, friends and loved ones, or have already arrived and are away from/too busy to check their email.

So what I've decided to do is stagger the auction in chunks as pieces become available I already have 3 pieces lined up, with the possibility of more to follow. That way, instead of there being a whole bunch of neat stuff that people want but can only bid on one, it's arranged so that if you don't get what you want there's the possibility that you can get the next nifty thing on down the line. 


The first item up for our Big Damn Auction is the rare and out of print Bootleg CD by none other than Marian Call, the Geek Goddess of Song and sultry chanteuse of fandom. This is her own archival copy, donated in the spirit of Christmas charity and generosity.





To make this CD even more valuable and desirable, Marian will:
  • Dedicate the CD to the winner
  • Autograph the cover
  • Smooch it with lipstick

So not only is this CD rare, it will be personalized and, if you're into biological sciences, you might be able to clone your own Marian Call from the DNA left behind by her lip-print.


This is the link to eBay auction.


This is a once-in-a-lifetime level of rarity and no true fan can bear to be without one. Bidding will start at $12.99 US (its original price). The auction begins tonight at 10 pm Eastern time, and will run until 10 pm Saturday, December 25. Can you think of a better Christmas present for a hard-core fan?

All the proceeds for this auction will go to help my friend (and fellow Browncoat) Jean Bauhaus, whose mother-in-law, Gina, died unexpectedly last week without a will or insurance to cover the burial, and whose father-in law needs long-term medical care (diabetes, emphysema, schizophrenia) but whose applications to nursing homes have been rejected due to lack of money or his age (he's 57). In addition to the funeral and medical bills, Jean and her husband Matt also have to clean up Gina & Rob's old apartment, moving furniture and making it ready for new tenants.

We all know how hard it is to lose a loved one, and we all know how tough it is financially in this recession. Can you imagine what it must be like to be struggling to get along, only to have to bury your mother and find a nursing home for your father at your own expense? Now add to that the awful timing of this tragedy happening near Christmastime, and you know what Jean and Matt are going through.


CD Details 
(information taken from Marian's blog with permission)

This CD includes live cuts that have had a limited or private release, live cuts never before released, and a couple of preview tracks from the upcoming album (live cuts, not studio recordings, which will probably not be released in the future). The audio is not perfectly mixed and mastered; the songs are mostly live bootlegs.  This is homebaked music — as in, burned on my laptop.  This is INDIE MUSIC IN ACTION.  The CD’s come with Marian’s homeburn guarantee — if the disc doesn’t work, I’ll make and ship you a new one from home, cuz I actually care about you since you’re ordering something weird like this.


Track List:
  1. Got to Fly (live at the Snow Goose) — the world premiere; first time ever in public
  2. Sugar Sugar Sugar (the gift shop of Wild Horse Rescue Ranch in Arizona) — preview from Something Fierce
  3. Vera Flew the Coop (Live at Whole Wheat Radio)
  4. I Wish I Were a Real Alaskan Girl (Snow Goose)
  5. Flying Feels Like (Lestat’s)
  6. Whistle While You Wait (Snow Goose)
  7. Good Old Girl (Live at Whole Wheat Radio)
  8. Dark Dark Eyes (live at Lestat’s)
  9. I’ll Still Be a Geek After Nobody Thinks It’s Chic (The Nerd Anthem) (Snow Goose)
  10. Fall Love (Whole Wheat Radio) — about bats. Bats aren’t bugs. Not scheduled for studio release, though I like it
  11. Highway Five (My Dad’s Living Room) — preview from Something Fierce, my next album
  12. Vanilla (with Commentary by Marian Call) — since I know you were wondering why I’m not sexy
  13. The Volvo Song (Lestat’s) — in which I forget the words; one of two times in over 300 performances
  14. I Think We’re Good (My Dad’s Living Room) — about springtime in Alaska. Not scheduled for studio release
  15. Never Did Catch Her Name (But She’s My Wife) (Basement Recording) — about Yo-Saff-Bridge of Firefly. Not scheduled for release.

For folks interested in hearing a sample of her music, I suggest this YouTube playlist.

WNW: Creative Profanity

I have to admit, I learned some new combinations watching this video. It's nearly a year old, but it's the first time I've seen it, so perhaps some of you haven't seen it as well.

Enjoy, you candy-cane dildoing Santa sodomizers.(NSFW)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl, when you can't do that...

...you find someone to carry you.

This is an update on my friend Jean, whom I blogged about yesterday.  She's posted a follow-up on her blog, but in case you aren't the link-following sort I'll reprint it here.

Flabbergasted.

That's the word that describes how I felt when I saw Erin Palette's blog post, and I felt it even more when I saw the e-mails from Paypal telling me that people actually gave. You guys... you guys made me cry, all of you. And in the good way, which is a nice change from the other kind of crying I've been doing a lot of lately.

I have to tell you that just last night, I was telling Matt how, when my dad died, and even further back when each of my grandparents passed, how my family was overwhelmed with people showing up and knocking on our door to bring food and love and sympathy and company, to make sure we were taken care of and that we knew we weren't alone. That hasn't happened with his mom's passing. His mom and step-dad valued their privacy and didn't have a ton of friends and neighbors and church family and what have you. My family is close by and they've given emotional support and let us know that they're available if we need anything, but otherwise most of our friends are long distance. So last night we were really feeling isolated and alone.

But you guys have given us the Internet equivalent of friends and neighbors knocking on our door bearing casserole dishes and comfort. And today we also received an outpouring of love and support from some of those long-distance friends. So now we're assured that we're not alone, and that means so, SO much to us both.

Thank you. Erin's right--I don't like to ask for help, especially this time of year when it seems like everybody's struggling to afford their holiday obligations. But I can't deny that we need it. The cremation wheels are already set in motion, and we can't undo that, but we've made our peace with it, so it's okay. But we have other needs, focused primarily on taking care of the living. I don't know whether we'll incur legal fees in getting power of attorney over Matt's step-dad's finances. There will be the cost of getting his things moved to the nursing home, and getting the rest of the apartment cleared out. And we still have to plan some kind of memorial service for Mom. I told Rob that we'd try to get a nice urn for him to keep her ashes in--I have no idea how much those cost. So the expenses are piling up, but you guys have helped to offset them, and Matt and I are going to sleep a little better tonight because of that.


Thank you, again, from the bottom of our hearts.
The TL;DR version is "Thank you so much for your donations, they mean the world to me." And I want to thank you as well, because Jean is a dear friend and this is the first time I've ever been able to do anything to help her through her troubles (2010 has been a very rough year for her.) Thank you for helping my friend, thank you for caring, thank you for renewing my dwindling faith in human goodness and charity. It isn't important how much you gave; all that's important is that you gave.

But... all of this was merely Phase 1 of what I am calling "Operation: You WILL have a Merry Christmas if it's the last thing I do!" or OYWHAMCIITLTID, or OY WHAM for short. Phase 2 of OY WHAM is a charity auction of high-value geek stuff, most of it Firefly-related (Jean is a Browncoat, y'all) but with some comic book and other stuff thrown in for flavor.

I'm still working out the logistics and nagging people to donate, but this is what we have so far:
  • An autographed and smooched copy of Bootleg, a CD by artist Marian Call which is out of print and otherwise unavailable.
  • A complete set of Fruity Oaty Girls maquettes, signed not once but FIVE TIMES by Geoff Mandel, the graphic designer for the movie Serenity in which they appeared: once on each girl, on the candy bar stand, and on the box which holds the entire shebang together. It hasn't yet been determined if this will be sold as a lot or broken up into separate auctions; we'll do whatever we think will bring in the most money. 
  • Some kind of autographed comic book (either a Common Grounds graphic novel, or the Twilight Guardian "pilot season" comic, or maybe even both) by Eisner nominee and friend of this blog, Troy Hickman.
  • and hopefully some other stuff by people from whom I've shamelessly asked to donate. 
I don't have a definite time for when the auction will start; I'm still working out logistics from donors and the person who has offered to use his eBay account. I'm thinking it will take at least the weekend to get things ironed out, but the very moment things are finalized and up for bid I post the news here, on Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much anywhere else I can yell and be noticed.

In the rare even that someone reading this wishes to donate to the charity auction, please contact me immediately at erin.palette@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support of my friend Jean in this trying time. Let's carry her for as long as we can.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Please help my friend

I hate having to say this, but since I have a bit of a reputation as a kidder and a tease and a storyteller, I want to say right upfront that this is NOT a joke, guys. I swear on everything I hold holy that I am being 100% serious here.

I have a friend named Jean Bauhaus and her family has suffered some devastating losses recently. Not only is her father-in-law in the hospital, but her mother-in-law (his wife) died suddenly and unexpectedly a few days ago. The really shitty thing about all this is that not only do they not have the funds to bury her (like she wanted), they don't even have the funds to cremate her and now Jean has had to go to the social services office and apply for a county-funded cremation. 

Jean will probably be pissed I'm telling you all this, but she posted it on her blog and Facebook page, so I'm not breaking any vow of secrecy here.

Now my friend is way too proud to ask for help, so I'm going to do it for her. I am asking you -- I am begging you -- I am pleading with you to please donate some money to her family so that they can bury her mother-in-law the way they want.

I know some of you might say "Well it's her own fault for not having a life insurance policy," but be that as it may, funerals are for the living, not the dead. Jean and her husband, Matt -- who I would like to stress lost his mother right before Christmas -- now can't afford to bury her, and once she's cremated they can't very well un-cremate her at a later date when they have more money.

So please. This is me, on my knees, asking everyone who can hear my voice to please donate even a little bit of money to my friend. This is Christmas, the season of miracles of charity and giving. Even if you only donate a dollar, that's one dollar less they have to scrape together.


She is a good person. Helping her is a good thing. Even the smallest act of kindness will be rewarded. 

I can't figure out how to make a permanent link to her PayPal account, but there is a donation button on her website, about halfway down on the right-hand side. If you follow the link it will say "JM Bauhaus Enterprises" because she is a writer like me. She isn't expecting people to donate, and she certainly didn't expect me to write this post. But I ask you, please do this one decent thing to help a family I know and care about, and help her husband bury his mother the way she deserves.

Please do this for my friend this Christmas. Thank you, and bless you for helping.

Curse/Or: Chapter 5, Scene 3 (first part)

It was another thirty minutes before Teresa was finally seen by the doctor, due to the confusion engendered by a screeching fire alarm and the subsequent efforts to shut it off before the fire department kicked the doors down. Dr. Rauche was a small, troll-like man, with thinning gray hair that was migrating down from his head and into his ears and nose. There was appreciable irony in the concept of an ugly man who nonetheless made people beautiful. She wasn't sure if he simply did not give a shit how he looked, in which case she admired his self-confidence, or if he compensated by working in a field where women begged him to put his hands on their bodies to improve them, in which case she admired his honesty of purpose. Either way, she found his physical ugliness refreshing, and the way his eyes were almost popping out of his head as he took her blood pressure nearly made her laugh. "Something wrong, doc?"

He blinked owlishly before removing the stethoscope from his ears. "Ms. Reyes, I have honestly no idea how it is you're still alive."

Now it was her turn to look perplexed. "What, the gunshot? I thought you were one of Netty's people, you were used to all this mystic hoodoo shit."

He shook his head. "No, not the gunshot. Even if we ignore the manner in which you were healed, people have survived far worse injuries with the appropriate medical care. What I am talking about is this," and he indicated the gauge on the pressure cuff. "Your B.P. suggests you're moments away from a stroke. Your lung function is terrible, and your breathing sounds like bits of gravel in a blender. When I get back the results of your bloodwork I fully expect to see a toxic level of nicotine and other carcinogenic substances."

He absentmindedly chewed the end of his pen as he consulted her chart. "According to your history here, your diet is horrible, you haven't engaged in any form of meaningful exercise in recent memory, and for the past twenty years all you've done is lie in bed and smoke." He looked up at her from his little rolling stool. "According to all of this data, just the effort of standing up should kill you. I've no idea why you aren't dead yet."

She briefly considered telling him about Tommy, just to see how he would react to the concept of a magical cancer-spreading tumor. "Clean living, I guess?"

He scoffed, repositioning the pen deeper into his mouth. "Please. There's nothing at all clean about how you live. I could probably pave my driveway with the tar in your lungs. This goes beyond any sort of healing, magical or otherwise. According to this data, not only shouldn't you be alive, but you can't be alive. No human being can operate under this level of hypertension and emphysema and still move, let alone survive a gunshot." His back teeth had gotten hold of the pen and were going at it vigorously.

Teresa snapped the fingers of her good hand to get his attention. "Yeah, I'm a miracle of medicine. Are you gonna do something about my hand or not?" she asked archly, shoving the wounded appendage under his nose as the doctor, lost in his thoughts, leaned forward out of unconscious habit. The tip of the pen in his mouth hovered above her hand, still fused and bandaged to her lighter. It pulsed warmly with magical power, and suddenly the end of the cheap plastic pen was aflame.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This is just cool

I think maybe I have this seasonal depression thing under control.

Maybe.

Still, I'm having a hard time getting motivated today, so I figured I'd share with you this video I just discovered. If you're a fan of the Battlestar Galactica reboot, you will greatly enjoy this; if you're not a fan, I hope you like the music anyway.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OK, I take that back, THIS amuses me today

Because right now the thought of blowing shit up is appealingly cathartic.

Seasonal Depression

Gah. I must be suffering from seasonal depression, even though I don't exactly feel depressed. I'm just exhausted all the time, for no real reason. I have zero energy and no desire to do anything except  sit in front of the TV and vegetate.

Wait, that's not entirely true. I have the desire to write, except I don't have the energy or imagination to write anything other than this half-assed entry. There's something I wanted to do for Pear Harbor Day, which was yesterday, and by the time I get around to it I fear it will be too late for the entry to have any meaning whatsoever (although honestly it wasn't going to have much meaning anyway).

I am so fucking tired of this holiday season and it's only going to get more "in my face" festive in the coming weeks. Please, someone kill me now. Or at least supply me with enough booze that I pass out until after Christmas. A coma sounds delightfully restful.

I know it's Wednesday and I'm supposed to post something wacky, but nothing seems funny to me right now. It's all fake. Everything about this time of year is fake, including the forced sentiment we have to endure in order to avoid being called grinches.

I'm not a grinch, or at least I don't think I am. I don't want to take anyone's Christmas away. I just wish there was some way for you to have yours without foisting rampant commercialism and false cheer on mine. You know that hush you get in a church when the lights go down, right before the candles start lighting up and the congregation sings "Silent Night"? That moment, that pregnant pause, is my ideal Christmas moment, and all I want is to celebrate it.

Unfortunately it's being drowned out by the glitz and schmaltz and lights and carols.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Odd but amusing

I frequently investigate the URLs which refer to my site, and sometimes I find the oddest things. Today, that odd thing is this link, which has referred someone to my site at least twice now.

I am particularly fond of this picture on that site as well:



I'm not sure why, but there's something slightly sinister about that tree. I think I will have to do something creative with that picture.

Saturday Shooting

Today I did something remarkable: I actually managed to put on pants, leave my house, and get on down to the firing range like I've wanted to do since summer.


 I took my .22 bolt-action Savage 46, aka "The Rev", with me and put about a hundred rounds through him. (Yes, him. Guns are boys. Obviously .) This was the first time in over 15 years that I'd been shooting, and I wanted to get a feel for the rifle and also sight in my scope (BSA Sweet .22).


Several hours and a hundred or so rounds later, I had this. Not bad for the first time in 15 years, eh?
 For those of you who are curious:
  • 40 grain, .22 Long Rifle ammunition
  • 25 yards to target
  • Shots were either unsupported or had an elbow on the firing table. No bipods, blocks, or other cheats.
Despite the fact that my shot group was consistently low (which annoys me greatly), I think this is a credible showing given how long it's been since I last shot. But there's room for improvement and I know I can do better.

I came home feeling like I'd just leveled up. What a great day!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Open Letter to Trollsmyth

Posted here because my reply to his post was too long for his comments section.


Trollsmyth,
Yours is a position I have heard several times before, and each time it leaves me shaking my head. In this reply I am going to detail exactly what is wrong with this system, and why it is good to have to at least SOME rules about social interaction.

First I shall establish a few facts for those who are reading. Prior to writing this, I talked to Trollsmyth over IM and asked him the following questions:
Erin: I believe your thesis to be "We do not need rules for social interaction because that is what talking in character, i.e. role-playing, is for."

Trollsmyth: Yep. For certain values of "we."

Erin: How would you define "we", then?

Trollsmyth: People who want a game about social interaction.

Sir, your thesis is flawed. Allow me to point out these flaws to you. 


Your System is Open to Abuse
 
Let us say that I am an unethical type of gamer – perhaps not a cheater as such, but one who is willing to exploit gray areas in order to have a more powerful character – and I am playing in a game such as this. My immediate thought will be "Since social actions will be carried out through role-play alone, and without consultation of stats or rules, Charisma will become my dump stat because I won't need to roll it ever and I can count on my natural quick wits and ability to improvise to keep me afloat. Meanwhile, all the points which would have gone into social skills can now go straight into combat abilities, which I will be rolling quite frequently."

Congratulations, you (the DM) have just made your problem worse. Would you care to do the same for mental skills and have puzzles etc. be handled with player brains instead of character abilities? Wonderful! Now I can dump all that as well and become even more of an unbalanced twink. And when you call me on it, I will argue with you that I am just playing the game the way you laid it out, where (obviously) the only mechanics which matter are those for combat, and everything else is player ability.

Good luck getting the genie back into that particular bottle. Even if you win that argument, it's a fair bet that the rest of that game session is a total loss. 


Your System is Not Fair to the Players
Conversely, sometimes I want to play someone who is far more skilled than I am. What if I, the player, have no social skills whatsoever, but I still want to play a smooth-talking seducer or a quick-witted scoundrel? Well then I am screwed, because it doesn't matter what my Charisma score is, because you won't let me roll it (no rules for interaction, remember?) and I am forced to embarrass myself in front of friends as I fumble an attempt to be suave.

The same holds true for mental abilities. Too bad for the player who wants to play a genius if he's not one himself. Again, he is unfairly penalized for wanting a character who is greater than himself, and once again the attitude that "Only combat stats are important because they are the only ones which have rules attached to them" reigns. If I were this player, having made a social or brainy character only to be effectively told that it didn't matter what my PC's Intelligence or Charisma was, I would loudly complain that I had been screwed and I would quit your game immediately.


Your System is Prejudiced
Do you require your players to actually swing swords to determine if their characters hit in combat? Do you require them to perform acts of dexterity to adjudicate success with lock-picking? No? Then why do you require actual performance of actual social abilities? Especially since, as I have mentioned earlier, not everyone is comfortable talking in character? Are they somehow less deserving of a game they can enjoy? Are they simply not welcome at your table? Or are they forever doomed to be the big stupid beatsticks and meatshields of the party?


In Conclusion
Unless you are gaming with a group of theater majors or other actors, odds are excellent you will have at least one player with sub-optimal social and communication skills. You state that "Festooning [social interaction] with mechanics undercuts [the game]. The players never really care about the in-game reality, because they're too busy dealing with mechanical bits that have been bolted on top of them," but in my experience, mechanics are sometimes the only way to make sure that some players are given a fair chance to shine. The shy girl who wants to play a social butterfly and be popular for a few hours; the slow-thinking guy who wants to pretend that he is brilliant and on top of every thing; these people are disenfranchised with your system, and worse, those players who are smart and quick-witted and smooth-tongued are probably going to run roughshod all over them.

I am not advocating a bloated rules system to be tacked onto social interaction. But I very, VERY strongly feel there should be at least some rules, because your system as stated is not fun for a significant chunk of the gaming population. Role-playing is supposed to be inclusive, and your approach is exclusionary.

Your post is titled "Support, not Replacing." In that vein I urge you thusly: support your players, or you will certainly be replacing them.

Sincerely,
Erin Palette

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