Magic: The Convergence

James Delingpole observes convergence at work at Wizards of the Coast

This is the story of Magicgate. Yes, another scandal, but one that for a change doesn’t involve any actual rape or sexual harassment… only game players who like pretending to be witches and wizards.
Like Gamergate, it concerns ordinary people who just want to be left alone to enjoy their hobby.

Ranged against these ingenus is an orcish horde of bullying, preening, self-righteous Social Justice Warriors who believe that everything — even an innocent collectible card game like Magic: The Gathering — should be played and policed according to their viciously intolerant politically correct rulebook.

Even if, like me, you’re not among the 20 million people who play Magic: The Gathering, what I hope you’ll appreciate is that this is a story that should concern us all.

By the end, I hope, you’ll feel as angered as I am by this ugly, scary power grab by the regressive left. And I hope you’ll want to join me in making your voice heard by hitting the people responsible where it hurts most: in their bank balance.

That means the companies which own and profit by Magic: the Gathering. That means you, Hasbro toys. And you, Wizards of the Coast.

I want you to realize that playing games is not a left-wing thing or a right-wing thing but an everybody thing.

I want you to realize that it is not the business of games manufacturers to discriminate against or punish players for their political opinions.

I want you to realize that your miserable sordid scheme to bully everyone who plays your games into sharing your SJW values is not remotely liberal but authoritarian and fascistic.

I also want you to realize that we have got your number: you try to claim the moral high ground, yet your entire business model is based on the kind of predator capitalism I’m sure you’d be the first to condemn if you weren’t getting so rich off of it.

Great. Now we’re going to have to get into collectible card games…. Although, more seriously, if there are any hardcore – and I mean hardcore – Traveller fans who are interested in providing assistance to an RPG-related project that is not Alt★Hero-related, please email me with LBB in the subject.

Anyhow, to return to the subject, I’m pleased that the two books in The Laws of Social Justice series are helping people understand these actions by SJW-converged corporations and put them in the proper context. Because these actions are not mere happenstance and they are all connected by the same twisted vision of reality and civilization.

Really, it’s about that extremely creepy, insidious and dangerous phenomenon which Vox Day anatomizes in his latest book SJWs Always Double Down: the thing he calls “Convergence.”

Convergence, essentially, is the SJW equivalent of those parasitic wasps which lay their eggs inside other insects. The eggs then hatch and the hapless host body is devoured from within.

Obvious victims of this include organizations like Facebook, Apple, and Google, which increasingly put the values of “social justice” before more conventional free market goals like customer service and the bottom line. And, indeed, before more traditional values like freedom of speech or individual rights.

But almost no institution is immune.

Indeed, every institution and organization is vulnerable. Be sure to SJW-proof yours.

You need no other weapons

In case you’re interested what we’ve been up to at DevGame, we expect to have this little arcade game out soon.

We’ve now got two DevGame teams making steady progress on their projects and we anticipate doing our first game-related Freestartr sometime next summer. It’s going to be a remodel-and-update of one of my favorite strategy games of all time and will be set in the world of Minaria. Due to time constraints, Voxiversity, and personal interests, I’ve decided to stop blogging at Alpha Game and start doing more at DevGame.

That doesn’t mean Alpha Game is dead, as I’ll be turning over the blogging there to another astute observer of human socio-sexuality. But I think I’ve said all that I really wish to say on the subject, and I want to find more time to spend on my first and foremost area of interest, which is games.

We also have very good news on the Alt★Hero front. I don’t wish to go into any detail on the subject at this point, but I can say that we are definitely going to be able to hit the price point I felt would be necessary in order to seriously disrupt the comics industry.

Game theory and civic nationalism

Tipsy explains how logic dictates that civic nationalism is intrinsically doomed to failure in any multicultural society.

Civic Nationalism is doomed to fail in a multicultural society because it represents an unstable pareto-optimal equilibrium of the game of resource optimization through democratic politics. The non-cooperative Nash equilibrium, i.e., everyone out for their own group, becomes more stable when a democratic political system is overwhelmed by disparate ethnic groups.

For those inclined to read further about the distinction between these two equilibria, here’s an example of game that admits both types of equilibria. Suppose we have two players, A and B, who are playing a croquet game on a level field. Both players have a croquet mallet that can hit a ball exactly one foot in any direction and they get to hit it exactly once per round of the game. For each round, Player A is rewarded $1 for each foot the ball goes North and player B is rewarded $1 for each foot the ball goes West.

They both start the game willing to cooperate, and thus they decide to employ the Pareto-optimal solution, so they both hit the ball to the Northwest. They ball will go 2 feet Northwest and both player A and B will both get $1.41 (i.e., round(100*sqrt(2))/100).

Now, suppose in the next round, player A hits the ball to the Northwest as agreed upon, but player B decides to no longer cooperate. After player A hits the ball, player B hits it due West. Player A ends up with $0.71 and Player B gets $1.71 for the round.

Player A then gets pissed, and decides not to cooperate. So, the next round he uses a Nash strategy and hits the ball North and the still uncooperative Player B hits it West. They both end up with $1 for the round.

Note that the Pareto-optimal (cooperative) equilibrium yields the most money for both, but it is leaves each of the players vulnerable to the other cheating. The Nash-optimal (non-cooperative) equilibrium leaves both with less money, but structures the game in such a way that minimizes the consequences of the other cheating.

The Left has been using a Nash strategy for years, and “Conservatives” have been duped or shamed into using a Pareto strategy. The alt-Right is finally saying “Ok, you want to play that way, we will too.” This pisses the Left off, because they liked the marginal advantage that cheating in a cooperative game gave them. The alt-Right doesn’t care, goes full on Nash, because it understands the “game” is fundamentally non-cooperative now.

The scary thing is that the situation is even worse than he explains it. There have actually been THREE players, a Pareto player, a Nash player, and an anti-Pareto player. The anti-Pareto player has been playing to either a) hurt the Pareto player or b) help the Nash player, as he has no interest in money, but simply wants the psychic reward of achieving either (a) or (b).

What has changed is that a new Nash player has entered the field. This modeling is probably too complicated to bother with, especially since any numbers assigned would be arbitrary to the point of complete fiction, but regardless, both Tipsy’s original description as well as the more complicated version suffice to demonstrate that civic nationalism could never survive once sufficient Nash players were on the field.

There is nothing cooperative about US politics now. This is both an observable reality as well as a logically dictated consequence. Civic nationalism is now every bit as discredited and thoroughly disproven as communism, and any intellectually honest man will have to admit as much. Ironically, most of those still attempting to disprove it will achieve little more than revealing that they are actually Nash players hiding under a false Pareto front.

To sum up the discussion from last night in the other thread, it is observably better for a nation to be atomic-bombed, militarily defeated, and occupied by a foreign power than for it to adopt civic nationalism and mass immigration.

A home for Alt★Hero

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the Alt★Hero backers, we’ve just passed Stretch Goal #9 at 540 percent of the original objective, thereby committing us to providing a site dedicated to the series. This is a very positive sign as we enter the final stretch. There is strong interest in the role-playing game, so I’m confident that we’ll hit #10 without too much trouble. I suspect #11 is likely to prove a little ambitious, which is absolutely fine with me as we already have a considerable amount of work in front of us.

Fortunately, we have already brought two more experienced lead illustrators onto the team. As you can see, we’re now working with Timothy Lim, and although we lost Jinjerzilla as a lead illustrator, since he did not have sufficient time to take on the responsibility of illustrating full volumes, we were fortunate in being able to replace him with a longtime veteran of two major comics publishers who will be announced in the near future.

If you’re at all interested in role-playing games, I would strongly encourage you to back the RPG rulebook, as I think there is a very good chance that the system we are designing is not only going to be the best one for superheroes yet created, but will provide mechanics that translate effectively to science fiction, fantasy, and even military role-playing. What we’re doing here is more than creating a comics line, as we are building a strong foundation from which future offensives in the cultural war in comics, SF/F, and gaming can be launched.

No crime too small

This is why SJWADD was hard to finish writing. There are new SJW-related outrages occurring literally every single day! SJW convergence has gotten so out of hand in the game industry conferences that even women are now losing their jobs for the crime of inadvertently bumping up against the Narrative.

One of the largest video game industry conferences currently taking place in Poland has become subject to a controversy after its social media manager—and game developer—made a gaffe on Twitter. Her crime? Using the word “pretty” to describe other women.

Announcing a dialog between female game developers, Eve Poznan wrote: “Women in games is about to start! Gamedev ladies, join us and meet the pretty side of #gamedev” with a link to the event.

Her innocuous tweet was met with immediate fury from transgender game developers like No Man’s Sky’s Innes McKendrick, who assumed Poznan’s gender, and demanded that she “shut the hell up and listens to them.”

Other feminists in game development soon piled on, stating that Poznan’s use of the word “pretty” diminished their professional accomplishments.

Following the outrage, the conference organizer Jakub Marszałkowski‏ apologized for the incident, stating that “actions were taken for it not to happen ever again. GIC cares for inclusiveness” along a much longer explanation, which revealed the company’s decision to fire Poznan for her tweet.

Dear All, 

As the head of the Game Industry Conference (GIC) I am humbly asking you to accept my deepest apologies for what we all agree was unacceptable, disrespectful and sexist tweet and replies by our Twitter trainee. Her opinions are her own and are not representative of GIV or those of female developers, who attended the conference. 

I feel responsible for the conduct of all members of our team and I will do my best to make sure that a similar incident never happens again. To start with, the person who posted the sexist tweet will no longer be a part of the GIC organizational team. 

Please let me assure you that GIC is a respectful environment and we have zero tolerance for such remarks. I am sure that our guests can confirm that is truly the case. The inclusiveness programs that we have already put in place are also a testament to this. You can read more about them on our website. We will continuously work on making GIC more inclusive. And not because of this incident, but rather because this has been our goal for many years. 

With best regards,

This is one reason why I no longer bother attending game industry conferences. What is the point? They are no longer about games or game development anymore, they are primarily concerned with diversity, equality, and inclusivity.

Jerry Pournelle Week IV

This is an excellent article on wargame design, “Simulating the Art of War”, that Jerry Pournelle originally published in The General, and which he graciously permitted us to reprint four decades later in Riding the Red Horse. It is perhaps worth noting that Castalia House will be publishing the book mentioned below, The Strategy of Technology, in a new hardcover edition this winter.

by Jerry Pournelle

The title of this article is a misnomer. Although I have had some experience simulating the art of war, nothing would be duller for a game; so far as I can tell, the closer the simulation, the less playable the result. The best simulation of land warfare I have ever seen takes place at Research Analysis Corporation (RAC). an Army-related think tank in Virginia. At RAC, they have three enormous war-rooms, each equipped with a wargames table some twenty feet square, each table having elaborate terrain features at a scale of about one inch to the kilometer. ln the Blue room, only Blue units and the Red units located by reconaissance are shown; in the Red room, the opposite, while the only complete record of all units in the game is in the Control room.

Each team consists of an array of talent including logistics and supply officers. intelligence officers, subordinate unit commanders, etc. Orders are given to a computer, which then sends the orders to the actual units, while members of the Control team move them rather than the players Both teams send in orders simultaneously, so that the computer is needed to find which units actually get to move and which are interfered with. The last time I was involved with a RAC game, as a consultant to feed in data about how to simulate strategic and tactical air strikes, it took six months playing time to finish a forty-eight hour simulation—and that was with about ten players on each side, a staff of twenty referees, and a large computer to help. The game, incidentally was one which eventually resulted in the US Army’s evolving the Air Assault Divisions, now known as Air Cav.

The point is that although an accurate simulation—it had to be. since procurement and real-world organization decisions were based in part on the results—the “war game” at RAC was unplayable, and, one suspects, even the most fanatical wargames buff would have found it dull after working at it full time for months.

Yet. What makes a wargame different from some other form of combat game like chess? What is there about the wargame that can generate such enthusiasm? Obviously, it is the similarity to war; the element of simulation which is lacking from other games. Consequently, the game designer must know something about simulation. and must make realism his second goal in design.

There are two ways of making a wargame realistic. The first, which by and large has been exploited well, is “face-realism”. That is, the game designer attempts to employ terrain features similar to a real world battle or war; designates units that either really were in a battle, or might have been; calls the playing pieces “armor” and “infantry”, or “CCA”, or “42nd Infantry Regiment” and the like. He tries, in other words, to give the appearance of reality. He may also, as is often done, make the rules complex, usually by adding optional rules to bring in such factors as “air power” or “supply”, or “weather”

The second way of making a wargame realistic is much more difficult, and has seldom been tried. This method is as follows: the designer abstracts the principles of war as we know them, and designs a game in which only the correct application of those principles brings success. There are, as I said, few of those games. I am tempted to say none, but this would be incorrect; many Avalon Hill games partially meet this goal.

The second kind of simulation is admittedly far more difficult. To some extent it may even interfere with the “realism” of the first kind, in that some rather unusual moves may be required. In this and succeeding articles I shall attempt to analyze the principles of war which should be simulated, and the rules which may introduce “functional simulation” to the art of wargaming.

Tactics or Strategy?

The first decision is a key one: do we simulate tactics or strategy? This is compounded by the problem that no really satisfactory definitions of strategy and tactics exist, and neither is very well understood in the United States. For example, there is nowhere in this country a good work on modern tactics, and the study of tactics has largely been neglected for the study of something which we call strategy, but which is often not that either. This is a large subject, and not one to be settled in a single essay; the interested reader might refer to The Strategy of Technology, by S. T. Possony and J. E. Pournelle, University Press of Cambridge, Mass. for a fuller exposition on what I mean by that statement.

The average game of strategy, in any event, would be too complex, and simulation is extremely difficult because strategy operates against the will of the opponent rather than his means. Because there is no more penalty to a wargamer for losing utterly than there is for losing at all, it is difficult to make him surrender until his means of combat have been eliminated. I suppose rules could be devised in which a point system is employed, with a penalty to be paid for the number of points lost by the loser less those which he has gained against the winner, but then another difficulty arises: in the real world there are usually factors operating which make the victor anxious to accept the surrender of his enemy, in war games there is almost none, and consequently a player who is winning would be most reluctant to allow the loser to stop the war until the maximum number of points had been extracted. It is all a very difficult matter. and one which deserves more thought than we have time for in this article.

Consequently, we will discuss tactics more than grand tactics, and grand tactics more than strategy. The subject is, I think, large enough for our purposes.

Which Principles of War?

The next problem is, which principles of war do we wish to emphasize? For that matter, which list of principles will we accept? Every serious student has his own set of “the” principles of war, and few lists are alike. Again, for our purposes, we will have to be satisifed with an arbitrary set of principles which seem appropriate for gaming, leaving the question of which are the correct principles of war to another discussion.

It seems to me that the most important principle of war neglected in popular games is the Principle of Surprise. Surprise has probably won more battles than all the other factors combined. Certainly it has provided most clear wins by a side which should reasonably be expected to lose. Consequently, let us examine the characteristics of surprise as it operates in real battles, and how it might be simulated in games.

Surprise consists of doing what the opponent is certain you will not or cannot do. Classical examples are: night marches, attacks by inferior forces, the use of equipment, troops, or weapons in totally unexpected ways, attacks through “impassable” terrain, and “secret weapons” which quite often have not been secret in the sense of being unknown, but secret in the sense of a capability previously unexpected, such as when infantry has been trained to make forced marches at speeds not thought possible.

Many of these kinds of surprise are impossible in gaming. There is no way, at least none known to me, in which we can unexpectedly increase the striking radius of the gaming pieces, or change the terrain rules in the middle of the game, or combine forces in such a way that together they have a higher combat factor than they do separately. Certainly we could do any of these things, possibly by some kind of card drawing or random number system; but the resultant would not be the mind-numbing shock of the totally unexpected, because the opponent would know from the rules that such things were possible. The true effect of surprise goes beyond the immediate effect to a paralysis of the opponent’s will; if he could do that, then what else might he be able to do? Wars have been won by exploiting that kind of surprise.

We can, however, introduce surprise by imperfect intelligence; allow a player to do, if not the totally unexpected, then at least something which the opponent has dismissed as highly unlikely. The best way to achieve this at the game board, in my judgment, is through the matchbox system. In this system, each player has a certain number of headquarters-type pieces, and for each such piece a matchbox or envelope. At any time a player may move a certain number of combat pieces up to the headquarters and take them off the board to be placed in the corresponding matchbox. The HQ then moves on the board, and the combat pieces are considered to be stacked on top of it, or, in non-stacking games, in the squares through which the headquarters has last moved. Obviously, by judicious moving of the headquarters units together and then apart, a player can create confusion as to just what units are in any given formation containing headquarters pieces, so much so that what appears to be a minor raid might well be a full armored army, while what seems to be a major attack might be a reconaissance in force. The matchboxes are used to keep the players honest; only those pieces in the matchbox can be claimed to be with the on-board HQ.

This rule alone can produce a major effect on wargames; I have seen the emergence of an army in a totally unexpected place bring about a paralysis of will that brought defeat to an otherwise winning player. I have also seen the fear of surprise attack stop an advance even though there was in fact no real strength opposing it. In my judgment the rule should become a standard rule in all board-type wargames.

The second most neglected factor in wargaming is the principle of Economy of Forces, the judicious combination of units of different types to bring about a force sufficient for the objective set. Again, the really great exploitations of this principle are denied the gamer. We cannot change the rules in the middle of the game, or discover a new use for infantry-cavalry combinations unknown to the opponent. We can, however, provide a rich variety of really different units, each with a special capability. This was discussed at great length in my previous article on “The Decisive Arm” and cannot be repeated here. Therefore, we will only examine some possibilities open to the wargamer.

First, it seems to me, we will need complexity, and complexity is generally the enemy of playability. ln this case there is no help for it and what we must do is strive to make our complexities such that we do not lose ourselves in them. What we need is a variety of kinds of units which have some really fundamental differences between them, not merely differences in strength and mobility.

For example: in Waterloo, the artillery should be allowed to stack without limit. This means that a player who has husbanded his artillery can bring an enormous concentration of force against a single point-much as Napoleon was able to do. The P-A-A player, on the other hand, should be prevented from stacking dissimilar units, and in particular forbidden to place Prussians with Allies. Adding this rule and the matchbox rule produces a game of Waterloo entirely different from the standard game, and one which I think is more interesting. It automatically provides a role for cavalry as well—reconnaissance becomes absolutely necessary, with cavalry making sweeps to locate the enemy artillery prior to setting up a defensive position or mounting a major attack. Without such knowledge, the player is nearly blinded and can be surprised. In modern games, armor can have unique stacking capabilities, as infantry, or infantry-armor combinations, can stack.

The last principle we shall examine in this article is the Principle of Uncertainty: No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. It is the first maxim that the aspiring commander must learn.
This was, to some extent, brilliantly incorporated into the original Avalon Hill combat results tables. It has been less and less so as time went on, and I fear the results when the new non-random combat results rules become universal as they seem destined to do.

In simulation, you can never eliminate uncertainties. There is always a chance that a small unit, ordered to die to a man, will in fact repulse a much larger unit ordered to attack without quarter. The chance may be small, but it is there, and the really great generals have been those who understood this and made contingency plans for unlikely events. If we are to keep realism in our wargames, we must have uncertainty.

At the same time, there is no question but that the old, rigid combat tables were wrong. The defense should have the option of bugging out to save his forces, and the attacker should have the option of making feints rather than full-scale attacks. On the other hand, the uncertainties need to be preserved. A withdrawal in the face of a cavalry attack, for example, can be very difficult and might even result in greater losses than an attempt to hold the position. The possibilities are easy to speculate on. harder to simulate.

Still, simulation is not impossible. Better combat tables could be devised by spending a lot more time analyzing what happens in particular situations and adjusting the probabilities accordingly. Other future articles will analyse the Principle of Pursuit, the Principle of the Objective, the Principle of Unity of Command, Logistics and Supply, and the Center of Gravity, a European concept almost totally neglected in U.S. military analyses.

Zaharan Darklord

Thanks very much to all of you who supported the ACKS kickstarter. Here is one of the rewards. From the designer: “It’s a powerful class that oozes flavor and will likely see a lot of use in play.” Here is an excerpt from how the Darklord class is translated into game terms. I am told the artwork will be suitably awesome and will post it when it is ready.

Zaharan Darklord

And those who perceived his shadow spreading over the world called him the Dark Lord and named him the Enemy; and he gathered under his government all the evil things that remained on earth or beneath it, and the Orcs were at his command and multiplied like flies.” 
– Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Prime Requisite: INT, CHA
Requirements: INT 9, WIS 9, CHA 9
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 11
From time to time, a Zaharan arises whose cruelty, ruthlessness, and lust for power are remarkable even for one of their dark race. Such a being is called a darklord, and he brings doom and woe to all who cross him. If left unchecked by Lawful heroes, a rising darklord will inevitably unite the vile minions of Chaos and usher in an era of war, ruin, and darkness.
Though they prefer to allow minions to fight for them, darklords are nevertheless formidable combatants. At first level, darklords hit an unarmored foe (AC 0) with an attack throw of 10+. Thereafter they advance in attack and saving throws by two points every four levels of experience (i.e., the same as clerics). Darklords can fight with battle axes, crossbows, great axes, maces, morning stars, and swords, often decorating their weapons with vile runes, bloody spikes, serrated edges, and other sinister decorations. Darklords can wear any armor up to and including plate (and can cast spells while so armored), and can fight with a weapon in each hand or with a two-handed weapon, but cannot use shields.
Like the Zaharan sorcerer, the darklord possesses the ability to learn and cast eldritch spells. The number and levels of spells the darklord can use in a single day are listed on the Darklord Spell Progression table. A darklord’s spell selection is limited to the spells in his repertoire. A darklord’s repertoire can include a number of spells up to the number and level of spells listed for his level, increased by his Intelligence bonus. All darklords can use any magic items usable by mages or clerics. More information on casting eldritch spells, and individual spell descriptions, can be found in the Magic chapter (p. XX).
However, the paramount power of the darklord is his ability to dominate beastmen. By calling upon his implacable will and magical strength, the darklord can command the vile minions of Chaos to do his bidding. The darklord must be visible to the beastmen and be able to speak a language they understand in order to dominate them. The potency of this ability is determined by level.
On the Dominate Beastmen table, there will be a dash, an “A”, an “X”, or a number corresponding to the Hit Dice of the beastman and the level of the darklord. A dash means that the darklord has not attained a high enough level to dominate beastmen of that HD. A number indicates that the player must roll that number or higher on 1d20 in order to dominate the beastmen. If the beastmen are already friendly to the darklord, he gains a +2 bonus to the throw. If the throw succeeds, the darklord dominates 2d6 total Hit Dice of beastmen for 1 turn per level of experience. An “A” (“automatic”) means that the darklord automatically dominates 2d6 total Hit Dice of beastmen for 1 turn per level. An “X” (“extended”) means that the darklord automatically dominates 2d6 total Hit Dice of beastmen for 1 day per level. At least one beastman will always be dominated, as appropriate, on a successful domination throw. If beastmen of mixed HD are present when the darklord attempts to dominate them, the weakest beastmen will be dominated first. When the darklord’s domination ends, the beastmen will flee from his presence for 10 rounds, following the best and fastest means available to them. If they cannot flee, they cower in terror, taking no actions and suffering a -2 penalty to AC.
EXAMPLE: Theophanous, a 5th level darklord, confronts a gang of five orcs (1 HD) accompanied by an orc champion (1+1 HD) from the Blood Eye tribe, accompanied by an ogre (4+1 HD). On his initiative, he attempts to dominate the beastmen. He automatically can dominate 1 HD orcs, but he needs to throw 4+ to dominate the orc champion and 13+ to dominate the ogre. He throws 1d20 and the result is 14. Therefore he has (potentially) dominated all the beastmen. Had he rolled, e.g., an 13 he would only have dominated the orcs and orc champion, and had he rolled a 3 or less he’d only have dominated the orcs. He now rolls 2d6 to determine the number of Hit Dice he has dominated and rolls a 7. Since the weakest beastmen must be dominated first, he dominates the five orcs and the orc champion (6.25 HD total) but not the ogre. Had he rolled an 11, he could have dominated the 4+1 HD ogre as well (10.5 HD total). In any case, the beastmen will remain under his domination for 1 turn per level, or 5 turns.
All Zaharan darklords possess certain inhuman benefits and drawbacks from their demoniac bloodline. First, Zaharan darklords are inexorable in the face of horrors that terrify normal men. They are immune to all natural and magical fear effects. Second, darklords benefit from the ancient pacts of service and obedience by which the lords of Zahar ensorcelled the dark powers of the world. Some creatures still remember these pacts and will aid Zaharans when commanded. All Zaharan darklords gain a +2 bonus to reaction rolls when encountering intelligent chaotic monsters. Intelligent chaotic monsters suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against any charm spells cast by a Zaharan darklord.
Third, due to their background and training, all Zaharan darklords speak four dark tongues. In the Auran Empire campaign setting, these languages are Ancient Zaharan, Goblin, Orc, and Kemeshi. The Judge should substitute appropriate languages of his own devising for other campaigns.

Gamergate: the ride never ends

SJWs in the game industry are trying to enforce their goodthink again, this time on developers.

Hello Raw Fury fans and friends,

Today we revealed The Last Night during the Xbox Press conference and have been overwhelmed with the response we have received. Both good and bad, and we specifically want to draw attention to a few things the creative director has said in the past.

We at Raw Fury believe in equality, believe in feminism, and believe everyone has a right and chance at the equal pursuit of happiness. We would not be working with Tim Soret / Odd Tales at all if we believed they were against these principles in any aspect.

The comments Tim made in 2014 are certainly surprising and don’t fit the person we know, and we hope that everyone reading this who knows us at Raw Fury on a personal and professional level knows that we wouldn’t tolerate working with someone who portrays the caricature of Tim going around the internet right now.

The wording of his statements toward feminism in 2014 was poor, and his buying into GamerGate as a movement on the notion that it represented gamers against journalists was naive, but in the same year he also cheered the rise of women in gaming. In a similar situation as the one happening now, folks on the IdleThumbs forums found questionable tweets and Tim took it upon himself to address them. What came from that was a dialogue where different viewpoints were considered and debated in a purposeful way.

Here is a link to everything including his tweets, his response, and the response of the forum; we hope you’ll take the time to read through it:

Side note: Debating Anita Sarkeesian’s efforts toward highlighting sexism in the games industry is touchy, and though Tim’s post back then was naive we felt that he wasn’t being malicious like so many others have been to Anita in the past, so we share all of this with the hope people can see that first hand. We understand that no matter what there will be people who will not look at Tim the same again and we respect that, too.

A lot can change in three years, including viewpoints, and Tim has assured us that The Last Night does not spout a message steeped in regressive stances. We trust Tim and know that he is an advocate for progression both in and outside of our industry, and we hope that this will be apparent moving forward.

Here we go again….

It’s frustrating, but people encountering an SJW attack for the first time ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make the same idiotic mistake.

Tim Soret @E3‏ @timsoret  15h15 hours ago
Controversy time. That’s fine. Let’s talk about it, because it’s important.
1 – I completely stand for equality & inclusiveness.

Tim Soret @E3‏ @timsoret  12h12 hours ago
2 – In no way is The Last Night a game against feminism or any form of equality. A lot of things changed for me these last years.

Tim Soret @E3‏ @timsoret
 3 – The fictional setting of the game does challenge techno-social progress as a whole but certainly not trying to promote regressive ideas.


Oh yeah. From now until the end of time, I think this will be my response to those who insist I never accomplished anything. I can’t believe it’s on YouTube. Cracks me up every time; I think I like it better than the actual song. The only thing that would be better if it was accompanied by a playthrough video.

Hang on… there must be… yeah, there we go!

Holy crap, as I was watching this the music sounded really familiar and then, about half way through there’s a flashing sign in the background “PsykoSonik”… It’s literally a SNESized version of their 1st record and if you’ve never heard of them, go check them out. I recommend both records but the second is the better of the two IMO.

Guess who’s back?

Milo Yiannopoulos is back with what is, incontrovertibly, the most controversial book of the decade, DANGEROUS.

A few other sundries. First, I was pleased, and flattered, to learn that the Injustice Gamer has published his Dragon Award thoughts and is recommending John C. Wright’s SWAN KNIGHT’S SON for Best YA novel, and my own A SEA OF SKULLS for Best Fantasy novel. I’ll be publishing my own list later this week, but you can be fairly confident that you’ll find me in agreement with those two well-considered recommendations.

Second, John C. Wright fans will be pleased to learn that THE GREEN KNIGHT’S SQUIRE will be available very soon in hardcover. This is the trilogy that includes the aforementioned, plus FEAST OF THE ELFS and SWAN KNIGHT’S SWORD. We will also have the third Good Guide, PUSH THE ZONE, out in paperback within a week.

Third, the Divine Right team is looking for another volunteer programmer or two. The team lead has put together the following list of requirements.

  • Realistic ability to commit to minimum 5 hours per week for a year.
  • Real-world C# experience (doesn’t have to be professional paid work but something beyond a how-to course or youtube video).
  • Ability to work independently and take the initiative.

Those are the must-haves. He said it would also be desirable to have one or more of the following:

  • Unity
  • Entitas or working knowledge of MVC or ECS Architecture
  • Shader experience
  • AI experience

So, if you want to get some game dev experience with a real team working on a real game that people actually want, this is a good way to acquire it. If you’re interested, email me with DRDEV in the subject.

And fourth, the May Brainstorm will be tonight. Invites will be out within an hour. Sorry for the delay, but we’ve been extremely busy getting no less than five books ready to go out the door in the next two weeks.