The Communist Manifesto: An Informal Review

Was rereading The Communist Manifesto because it had been a couple of years, and I wanted to distract myself from a barrage of awful news in my corner of the world. Afterwards, I reflected on why it advocated for this or that policy, and thought about whether the platform would be sufficient in our times. I don’t have any major point to make here really. If you have any videos of baby animals being cute, that would be nice. Just so I can mark this as an informal review: you should read it because it's good. Marx and Engels offer a succinct summary of history as class struggle, explain the different material interests underlying different notions of socialism (from bourgeois socialism to feudal socialism and more), and sketch out the Party's political platform. I'm focusing on the last bit, but just know that in general it's a worthwhile text to read or revisit. It's not just an introductory thing! Maybe it's not as concerned with a structural/immanent critique

Southern Mac & Cheese

This is a cross between two recipes. One of them required more ingredients that I don't usually have in my apartment [1], and the other one was like super plain and also locked behind a paywall once you open the website a couple times [2]. Literally like if you don't have any spices, what's the point? Anyway, posting it here is easier than having notes on my phone or a text file on my computer! Goodbye recipe screenshots. I'd probably want to give the first recipe a go for Thanksgiving though, for like the extra effort. I want everyone to love me for it and promise not to be rude to me as a person. Maybe this will persuade them! (Half-joking.) Ingredients 8 oz elbow macaroni. ¼ cup butter. 1 large egg. 1 cup whole milk. 1 tsp cayenne pepper. 2 tsp garlic powder. 3 tsp onion powder. 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese. 1½ cup Mexican blend of cheeses. Salt and pepper? Directions Preheat oven to 350° F. Cook pasta al dente. Put it somewhere else idk. Reduce stove heat to mediu

Thoughts on RPG Reviews

I posted a review of Frontier Scum on Bones of Contention just over a week ago! Well, sort of a review. I'm not really that interested in the game itself which, as I say in the introduction, is "totally serviceable". The wording and placement of that whole mini-discussion was intentional on my part, to signal that there is not much remarkable about the game as such (the rules and all that) if not for its presentation. Overall, I'm a very easy-to-please player anyway and don't care much about rules if they're not going to annoy me. It's not a bad rulebook; it's a fine rulebook. I don't know if good rulebooks even really exist. But I think my attitude touches on a certain discourse about reviews, and whether reviewers should play games or adventures prior to reviewing them. The main reason why this has become an issue is because big-name reviewers tend to be commercial, not wanting to say anything too critical about works, often being paid by publi

Dice User Experience

Just thinking about dice. I remember seeing advice, like six years ago at this point, that you can use d6 (with modifiers) to replace other dice as far as like weapons go since the average is the same. This rationale sort of persists from the Fifth Edition crowd into the later OSR crowd, that since OD&D only used d6 so should you—and modify the d6 as you want. Personally, I like d6 for being common and predictable, but lately I have been wondering if there isn’t something more user-friendly about using differently shaped dice instead of adding or subtracting from d6. Variable Size Average d6 Only d4 2.5 d6 – 1 d6 3.5 d6 d8 4.5 d6 + 1 d10 5.5 d6 + 2 d12 6.5 d6 + 3 Let’s take d6 + 1 for example, the much-maligned basic bitch magic sword. As such, you roll d6 and add 1 for a result from 2 to 7. Rolling d8 has the same average, but it has a range from 1 to 8. In aggregate you’re going to roll just about as well, but you have the chance of rolling

Switching from Spotify to the Open Seas

I heard that Spotify is switching to an annoying interface and I didn't want to keep paying $10 a month for it, so I'm switching back to VLC and downloading MP3s like I used to do in high school. I didn't want to grab individual songs to start with because it's kinda tedious, so I thought about which couple of albums I could listen to if I had nothing else. In alphabetical order! Aly & AJ, We Don't Stop. Carly Rae Jepsen,  Dedication. Carly Rae Jepsen,  Dedication Side B. Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion. Carly Rae Jepsen, The Loneliest Time. Daddy Yankee, LEGENDADDY. Fall Out Boy, Folie à Deux. Rosalía, MOTOMAMI. LMAO, I didn't expect to be on CRJ lockdown for the afternoon but I guess I couldn't help myself. After that, I added a couple songs by Bad Bunny, Cardi B, Chloe Moriondo, Doja Cat, The Killers, Lil Nas X, Matchbox Twenty, Paramore, Rascal Flatts, Speedy Ortiz, Taylor Swift, and others. Every time I start with a new library of music like this,

FMC Appendix B: Optional Rules

I wanted Fantastic Medieval Campaigns to serve, first and foremost, as a reference for the original 1974 ruleset that is easier to browse and parse. For me, the original booklets are just kind of an eyesore and an organizational disaster, so I wanted to have something nicer to read. That being said, it may be more interesting if the book had more going on. I would not want to modify the three main chapters and the first appendix, but I think there is room to show how the original ruleset expanded and transformed over time (both as a text and how people have practically used it). So I've written Appendix B: Optional Rules , for which you can find a preview on Google Drive . From Supplement I , I've included: Ability modifiers : For combat rolls, opening doors, knowing spells. Super strength (percentile): Additional strength benefits for fighters. The thief class : Based on the pre- Greyhawk version, with original hit dice. Variable damage: By weapon. Variable hit die sizes: By

OD&D/FMC Metric Conversion

On the Itch page for Fantastic Medieval Campaigns , LtPinback asked if I would consider including metric conversions for the game. Here is my attempt at converting the 1974 ruleset to use metric units, taking into consideration not only the fictional distances in the game-world, but also that the game as written is meant to be played using a physical ruler (in this case, a 30cm ruler). By the way, if you missed it, Version Beta of FMC is available now and (as always) free to download! Click the link above to check it out, and I hope you find it interesting and/or useful. Tabletop Scale As y’all know, the basis of movement in OD&D/FMC is the twelve-inch ruler whose length represents different distances in different contexts. I’d go as far as to say that the tabletop scale is more important than any of its conversions (tens of feet, tens of yards), and that the latter are ultimately just justifications for using a ruler. All concerns are secondary to physical, tabletop scale. C