prokopetz
prokopetz
David J Prokopetz
Social Justice Henchman; main website at prokopetz.net
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prokopetz · 2 hours ago
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@digitrev replied:
Probably aprocyphal, but my high school music teacher told me that, when Steely Dan were asked about the meanings of their songs, they'd go off on crazy long explanations. Then when asked, "wow, is that all true?", they'd immediately backtrack. So you're in good (aprocyphal) company
I am 100% going to start describing shit as “apocryphal” when I’m the one who made the claim in the first place.
If you ask me what my work is about, I can give you a pretty authoritative answer, but if you ask me what it means, that question is making a large number of assumptions, including (but not limited to):
That I knew what I was getting at when I wrote it
That I remember what that was
That I’m prepared to admit it
That I haven’t subsequently changed my mind
That I’m not just fucking with you
Like, if I were the one asking me, I wouldn’t confidently make any of those assumptions, let alone all of them in a row. I’ll death-of-the-author my own damn writing.
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prokopetz · 2 hours ago
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Basically, if you’re trying to frame an argument about how accepted a particular practice or identity was in a particular historical time and place, you’ve gotta take a step back, look at the examples you’re citing, and ask “was this person representative, or were they just rich?”
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prokopetz · 3 hours ago
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Really, the “boy, would it be fucked up if this happened or what?” episodes are only half the appeal of the classic Outer Limits. The other half of the equation are the episodes that are framed like they’re very earnestly setting forth an important moral message, but what exactly that message is is utterly indecipherable.
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prokopetz · 5 hours ago
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Gaming with Godot is a compendium of fifty tabletop RPG supplements – playbooks, scenarios, rules modules, and other miscellanea – by 48 different authors, with a catch: none of the games the material is written for actually exist. Entries run the gamut from transdimensional diners, to polyamorous starships, to a character class which can only be taken by a character who has killed God, each one offering a tiny glimpse of what tabletop roleplaying might look like in a world very slightly askew of our own.
Gaming with Godot can be downloaded for free via itch.io:
https://penguinking.itch.io/gaming-with-godot
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prokopetz · 10 hours ago
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Blog header drama really is just a platform-specific version of that dumbshit “you have a moral obligation to come out even if doing so would put you in danger because otherwise you’re Setting A Bad Example” discourse that goes around every few years, isn’t it?
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prokopetz · 11 hours ago
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If you ask me what my work is about, I can give you a pretty authoritative answer, but if you ask me what it means, that question is making a large number of assumptions, including (but not limited to):
That I knew what I was getting at when I wrote it
That I remember what that was
That I’m prepared to admit it
That I haven’t subsequently changed my mind
That I’m not just fucking with you
Like, if I were the one asking me, I wouldn’t confidently make any of those assumptions, let alone all of them in a row. I’ll death-of-the-author my own damn writing.
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prokopetz · a day ago
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The fun thing about this game is that its core gameplay loop is a pretty standard urban parkour simulator, but by making the player character an ordinary housecat, the exact same moveset that would represent an impossible level of strength and agility for a human protagonist becomes something that literally every cat owner has seen their own cat do for no better reason than boredom.
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prokopetz · a day ago
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“It doesn’t matter what other people think, just express yourself” yeah, bro, but one of the principal functions of self-expression is communication, and if nobody’s picking up what you’re putting down, you’re not communicating. Like, it’s not shallow to care about whether the message you’re putting out there is being received.
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prokopetz · 2 days ago
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There is a semi-famous math algorithm developed by David A. Cox and Steven Zucker. It is known as the Cox-Zucker machine.
For a long time I'd been assuming that they knew what they were doing, but today, via Peter Woit, I got confirmation. Cox writes in a memorial for Zucker:
I met Steve in the fall of 1970 when we were entering graduate students at Princeton. We both studied algebraic geometry, though I was more algebraic (à la Grothendieck) while Steve was more transcendental (à la Griffiths). This made for some lively conversations. A few weeks after we met, we realized that we had to write a joint paper because the combination of our last names, in the usual alphabetical order, is remarkably obscene.
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prokopetz · 2 days ago
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Remember when everybody was assuming that “Knockin’ on Hooty’s Door” was going to be a filler episode?
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prokopetz · 2 days ago
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This was posted way too late to be included in the published anthology, so I’m reblogging it separately for the sake of posterity.
Character Class: Magician
(a long belated “Gaming with Godot” jam entry, with a grateful nod to the anonymous author of the now-deleted Heavy Metal Future wikidot - hey, if you’re out there and happen to see this, drop me a line!)
A magician lives in a universe much too big for them. In a galaxy haunted by chrononauts and gigalomaniacs and principalities, the magician survives by the skin of their teeth and by leaning on mortal humanity’s ancient strengths: persistence, tool use, and preparation. In other words, cheating.
It’s theorized that witches are not always proto-gigalomaniacs; some of them would be more simply explained if they were, instead, apprentice magicians who have cheated especially well.
Foundation: Defy Ontology
When a scene begins, a magician may choose a single Ontology. Once during that scene, the magician may take an action that ignores that Ontology.
Alternatively, a magician may choose any number of Ontologies with total Magnitude less than or equal to their own to be suppressed for the entire scene.
Unlike the innate power of Tigers to ignore Ontologies and Lies, a magician’s Defy Ontology is not automatic. Newly established, changed, or revealed Ontologies cannot be defied mid-scene; time off-camera is necessary for the magician to adapt to them.
If the character that created an Ontology witnesses it being defied, they can Grok Ontology to discover that the defiance is a magician effect. Principalities get their usual bonuses to this even though the Ontology is their own.
Keep reading
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prokopetz · 2 days ago
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Talia al Ghul: He’s so stupid – I can’t believe I’m gonna fuck him.
Random ninja trying to diplomatically play off a total TMI: I mean, you don’t... have to.
Talia: No, I’m gonna.
The story of how Batman learned his skills still works if his Bruce Wayne facade isn’t an act, but it becomes much, much funnier. Like, imagine a twentysomething idiot who inherited more money than God going on an incognito world tour to “find himself” and just dipshitting his way into becoming a ninja assassin. I want you to hold that image in your mind.
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prokopetz · 2 days ago
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The story of how Batman learned his skills still works if his Bruce Wayne facade isn’t an act, but it becomes much, much funnier. Like, imagine a twentysomething idiot who inherited more money than God going on an incognito world tour to “find himself” and just dipshitting his way into becoming a ninja assassin. I want you to hold that image in your mind.
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prokopetz · 3 days ago
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You ever have one of those days where you can’t spell one specific word?
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prokopetz · 3 days ago
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I’m immune to feeling old when people don’t get references to stuff that was popular when I was a kid because I don’t get references to stuff that was popular when I was a kid either.
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prokopetz · 3 days ago
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@we-are-monk​ replied:
what's a poison type transhuman look like?
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If I were to put together one of those transhuman sci-fi RPGs where humans have genetically engineered themselves into a bunch of different environmentally specialised subspecies, how long do you think it would take folks to notice that the standard playable types match up perfectly with the type grid from Pokémon?
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prokopetz · 3 days ago
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If I were to put together one of those transhuman sci-fi RPGs where humans have genetically engineered themselves into a bunch of different environmentally specialised subspecies, how long do you think it would take folks to notice that the standard playable types match up perfectly with the type grid from Pokémon?
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prokopetz · 3 days ago
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Ageism in fandom spaces is definitely a thing, but let’s not go putting 100% of the blame on teenagers. A lot of the people acting like it’s disgusting for women over the age of 25 to participate in fandom are dudes in the 35+ age bracket themselves, and they have a pretty specific reason for wanting to cultivate that particular double standard.
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prokopetz · 4 days ago
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Gaming with Godot is a compendium of fifty tabletop RPG supplements – playbooks, scenarios, rules modules, and other miscellanea – by 48 different authors, with a catch: none of the games the material is written for actually exist. Entries run the gamut from transdimensional diners, to polyamorous starships, to a character class which can only be taken by a character who has killed God, each one offering a tiny glimpse of what tabletop roleplaying might look like in a world very slightly askew of our own.
Gaming with Godot can be downloaded for free via itch.io:
https://penguinking.itch.io/gaming-with-godot
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prokopetz · 4 days ago
IMPORTANT (for me)
What is a good, super simple RPG I can play with my family who hasn't played many large games?
That's far too vague a question to provide good recommendations, I'm afraid. A few points to consider:
a. What range of ages are we talking about? You wouldn't suggest the same game for a group whose youngest player is sixteen as you would for a group whose youngest player is six.
b. Does your family have any shared interests in terms of favourite media – or, conversely, any pointed lack of interest in particular genres of media?
c. What level of prior experience with other tabletop games (e.g., card games, board games, etc.) is it safe to assume? The learning curve is going to look very different for a group whose regular game night is Monopoly versus a group where some members might have trouble reliably finding the sum of two dice.
d. Is there any particular content that's off the table? A sword and sorcery game probably won't work well if one of your group members can't stomach violence, for example. (I don't usually ask this one, but it's particularly relevant for family gaming because family-based gaming groups don't self-select for similar comfort levels.)
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