How Dungeons and Dragons is endorsing the darkest parts of the RPG community
Note: The people named in this article have a history of harassing their critics. As such I have chosen to keep my sources and any traceable information they have given me anonymous to protect them.
Three weeks ago the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons came out. D&D is the iconic tabletop role playing game, so a new edition is a big deal. It’s one of the few times that the small, insular pen and paper community gets noticed by the rest of the world. Many game websites have talked about it, notably Polygon’s piece on gender inclusive language. Yet at the same time as D&D tries to appeal to those outside the gender binary, it has been driving them away by employing two of the most toxic personalities in tabletop gaming.
Jesus *fuck*, this is why I do not identify myself publicly with gaming or fandom in any way. Whenever I think it’s terrible, it digs a new hole under the holes already there.
Yoplait ‘Greek’ yogurt is thin and watery and mildly flavored, exactly everything a Greek yogurt should not be. The texture of the stuff in the cup is better than Chobani (‘gritty’ for days), so there’s half a point in its favor. Oikos remains tops if you want flavored yogurt, but Fage and Trader Joe are the best ‘major’ brands I’ve found so far for plain-ass Greek yogurt for snacking and cooking.
And here is possibly the most pointless first world post you’re gonna read today. Yoplait was incredibly underwhelming.
And now, that old gif of dancing stormtroopers.
Dream of the Endless (If he were a rather odd mouse)
When the Mice Council made their way to the Lord of Dreams, they cried out to him high on his throne their question. “Why are we so tormented by nightmare? Why must you make us dream of the cats and the traps and the sweet-smelling poisons?”
The bone white mouse looked down at them, his pale paws toying with the ruby at his throat. “It is my gift to you.”
"A gift?! We dream of our deaths, and you claim that as a gift!"
"Death is not my domain and so not ever mine to give. But nightmare is, as equal in worth and power to restful sleep. And in the nightmares I kindly gave thee, I give you a reminder against the dangers of complacency." The round mouse eyes seemed to form into feline slits, and the claws began to curl into something sharper.
I wish I could take photos worth a damn.
Polymer clay, finished with acrylic paint. Probably about 3 inches high, glazed, wood base, two glass gems (ruby and emerald) for details. Photographed ineptly. You can see other warrior/fandom mice I’ve done here - Loki, Mousinidas the Spartan, and Ser Willem Apodemus.
Crap I make sometimes. Polymer clay on a wood base, the gem is purchased. Painted with acrylics.
usual fanfiction shit
sigh. Okay, original work remains the focus for the near term, but I’ve already got the first rough outline and the central thematic element in place for the next SHIELD Codex. A vastly shorter story, though. Maybe 6-10 chapters, going to guesstimate it’s a story to be told in 25k-30k words. I’ll come back to this post when I’m actually done and laugh at how wrong I was. Still, forecast 2-3 weeks before any real news on it.
Captain America, True Believers
Last night, in addition to the news of a new Thor, it came out that we will be seeing another figure taking up the mantle of Captain America. Steve Rogers faces a new crisis, the loss of the super serum that’s been keeping him alive and strong for decades. Now old, he needs a new hand on his shield. To that end, his friend, Sam Wilson (AKA The Falcon, played fantastically by Anthony Mackie in The Winter Soldier) is taking the mantle.
If this last detail bothers you, I need you to stop. “But Cap is white!”
No. Steve Rogers is white. Steve Rogers was made into the perfect Aryan ideal from common, unfit stock in World War II and it was his perfect blonde hair and blue eyes that fiction needed to punch Hitler in his fucking face. He was the irony America needed in World War II.
But even then, he wasn’t the only one.
In 2003, Robert Morales (writer) and Kyle Baker (pencils, ink, and color) created Isaiah Bradley for the seven part miniseries, Truth: Red, White, & Black. Bringing a face back to the too-easily forgotten black soldiers and using the Tuskegee Experiments (not to be confused with the airmen, but shoutout to them, too!) as a basis for inspiration, Bradley became another face of the Captain for World War II.
(YOU NEED TO READ THIS STORY. THIS IS A GOOD FUCKING STORY)
Long debated as canonical or non-canonical, today Bradley and his family are a firm part of Earth-616 comics history. Still strong but recovering from decades of abuse from both the Nazis and his own country, Isaiah not only came to the wedding of Black Panther and Storm, but his bloodline lives on to fight - Patriot, his grandson Elijah, founding member of the Young Avengers.
Isaiah’s story has added much-needed dimensions to the history of the title “Captain America.” He challenged the status quo, and in the context of his own story, like countless more stories in the real world, he paid for it dearly. Isaiah comes out of his story still strong of spirit, but not without immense cost, as Rogers comes to learn at the end of the miniseries.
Steve Rogers is white. Perhaps he truly needed to be then, to impress into the children of and after WWII the hatred that had come in the name of the white man’s ideal he was forged in, and the good he could still be. But Captain America does not have to be Steve.
He (or she) needs to be America. And America has never been made of one color, or been represented by one, or should be represented by one.
With Ms. Marvel, Thor, and Captain America this year, we’ve seen Marvel at least *try* to see the faces of today’s readers. Maybe that’s not enough, and by God, certain contingents of ‘fanboys’ will scream about the new faces of Marvel. I am not here to listen to them, and in time they will dwindle.
If America as a story is strong, then Sam Wilson, Captain America, will be, too. I’ll be there to read it.
"There’s no sitting around in jeans and a t-shirt ordering a Frappuccino in this costume."
I’ve gone to Burger King in weirder.
Ren Faire for life, yo.
The SHIELD Codices: A Clear and Present Loki
Well, it’s done. The Beast is available online in its entirety and my hands are washed of it. This is depressing me more than I thought. Oh, well. Onto the next project.
The SHIELD Codices: A Clear and Present Loki -
Being a tale of action, occasional humor, and supernatural oddity, summarized thusly: Loki is forced to see that all permutations of his future ultimately end at Ragnarok, and like so many iterations before him demands his own chance to unbind himself from an unwanted destiny. The odds are worse than terrible, but one path might be found in the company of his enemies: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. currently busy with enough troubles of their own.
General fiction, PG-13ish, nobody gets laid in my stories. I prefer to take a character’s already fragile psyche and run it over in the driveway a few times before feasting on the creamy goo inside.