Thursday, June 25, 2020

A Memo To the Meme-Makers of 'Merica: Please Think Before You Do It

We interrupt the blasted hellscape of 2020 to re-arrange some deck chairs on the Titanic. This will not make anything better, and it won't solve any problems. All I know is this: I get disproportionately incensed at the little things, because I really can't do much about the big things. There's currently a surplus of bile in my stomach from all that's going on, and shit like this doesn't help. 

What am I going on about this time? I'll tell you what. 

It's that "Pop Culture Pick-Your-Car" Meme.

If you have a nerdy friend, you've probably seen it scroll by on your Facebook feed. If you know only nerds, then you've likely seen it a dozen times. It's this damn thing, right here:

See it yet? I'll give you a big hint: Every single one of these cars is a car except one. No, it's not the Hearse. It's not the panel van.

It's the mother-fucking time machine. 

Why this irritates me, I don't know. But if the point of the meme is to pick a fun cool car, then the whole list has to be cars. We're allowing for Ghostbusting, for pop up machine guns, and for AI robots in the hood. But it's all still cars. The Delorean from Back to the Future is a time machine that can fly. Thus making the rest of the list superfluous. 

"But Mark! It's still a car! God, you're so pedantic!" 

You know what else is a car? The 1966 Batmobile. Surely it's got a place on the list, yes? Or what about the Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit? Steve McQueen's Mustang from Bullitt? The British Flag Jaguar from Austin Powers? The Bluesmobile!? I'd argue that any of those cars, or a dozen others you could come up with would, in fact, be a 100% better fit on this list than the TIME MACHINE.

I know, I know. This is supposed to be harmless fun. A distraction. A way to check out for two minutes and think about movies and TV shows that made you smile. I can't do that. I just can't. I stare at the list and think, "WHY WOULDN'T I CHOOSE THE TIME MACHINE!?" 

The irony of this is that I think it's a fun idea for a meme. I do. And I like these things, in general, because they are harmless, sometimes spark fun discussions, and make for a pleasant five minute distraction until the real world comes rushing in and we all go back to day drinking. I just want the people who make these things to not...suck at it so badly. It's a good idea, but take a second to think it through, please, for all of us anal-retentive types out there. 

And don't ever think that I'm one of those guys who likes to point out problems but never any solutions. Thirty seconds of Google-Fu found the original source for this meme and what do you know? The Batmobile WAS on it! Along with Herbie the Love Bug, but hey, no one is perfect. 

So I reconfigured a few cars to get the Batmobile on the sheet. The fixed version is here:

Now we can have a more nuanced conversation. And the Batmobile? I Gotta say, it' s not my first choice, here. Street parking in that thing would be a nightmare.  But's it's nice to have been considered!

For those of you who don't like the above list and want to make your own, there's this big-ass poster to cut and paste:

Just promise me you'll keep the Delorean off the list, okay? For me? 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Stop Talking About 6th Edition Or I'll Burn This Place to the Ground: A Rant

I am starting to see it more and more, now: despite the fact that there are no stated plans to do this, a small but insistent clutch of Internet pundits and YouTube Personalities are calling out for a 6th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Nate Howe's article on CBR and Professor Dungeon Master on the Dungeon Craft Youtube channel are the most vocal champions, but there are a lot others out there. I'm no Internet influencer or Big Name Personality in the Gaming world, or any other world, really; I'm just a guy with a small following and a 'zine I am working on. But I have to say this, as respectfully as I can, in the hopes that my small cadre of fans might see fit to amply my voice with the following directive: please shut the fuck up about this.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Monty Haul #1 is Alive and Kicking

You can scuttle over to DriveThruRPG right now and pick up a copy here!

Monty Haul #1 is a 'zine dedicated to expanding your options for fantasy table-top role-playing. Issue 1 focuse on magic-users and includes campaign notes on creating magical cities that feel magical, new archetype options for warlocks (the King in Yellow patron), sorcerers (Eldritch Ancestry), and Wizards (the school of Things Man Was Not Meant To Know). 

Two new backgrounds are aslo including, along with a new rule set for dealing with alchemists and apothecaries. A rules light NPC reaction system and a collection of magical pests to plague your mages with rounds out the issue. 48 jam-packed pages in all!

It's a kaleidoscope of usable options, written in a conversational style and grounded in the gaming days of yore. If by "yore" we're talking about the early 1980's, that is. Monty Haul is suitable for discerning DMs and players of the fifth edition of the world's most popular fantasy rpg. 

If you pick up a copy, please let me know what you think. Also, please consider writing a short review on the site. It really does help. Okay, I'm working on issue 2 as we speak! Lots to format. I may not get everything into the issue...what to do, what to do? 

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