Game Night… Consent?

I need to mention, up front, that I have not downloaded this thing from Monte Cook games (yet), so some of the thoughts that have been formed in my head are based on the threads/arguments/rants that I have read.  Please, forgive AND inform me if I have something skewed.

I’ve been playing tabletop role-playing games for over 3 decades.  Too say the least, I’m old… school. So when this RPG CONSENT CHECKLIST was published by Monte Cook Games and all the discussions began, I admittedly scratched my head.

Image result for rpg consent checklist

It just didn’t make sense to me.  Part of the reason for that was some of the more volatile threads I was seeing concerning using or not using this checklist and simply the point of it in the first place.  I just didn’t see why some folks felt the need to make all the proverbial noise they were making.  It’s just gaming.  Each to their own…

The other reason was that “old… school” thing.  Of all the gaming groups I have been with over the years, I just couldn’t recall a need for something like a consent checklist, and that included groups that were mixed with adults and kids and/or male and female.  If there was some concern over a type of content in the game, there was a discussion (group and/or individual) and we moved on with adjustments made.

As a DM/GM, I have always been upfront about the content of my campaigns.  When there was an issue over something in my campaign, it was discussed.  We resolved the issue and continued on.  The resolution was not always perfect, but I never passed judgement on those that brought up the issue.  I never felt any need.  I would rather work something out and understand the issue rather than be a jerk and hurt feelings and lose players.  So, maybe that’s why I’m initially uncertain about the value of this checklist.

With that said…

This checklist could be quite useful when trying to form a new group.  It is a convenient collection of possible contents in a campaign that a person can go through and give their acceptance (or lack thereof) to in a written form that the DM/GM can quickly read and get a preliminary understanding of potential player requirements.  He/She can then go through and choose players that appear to be the best fit for the intended content of the campaign.

When you don’t know people, admitting being squeamish or having issues with certain content might sometimes be difficult.  So, having a form like this makes it a little less personal than having to explain issues face to face.  It’s a win then and carries some value.

I don’t know that I will use it since I am the type of person that is more than willing to discuss these things directly and without judgement.  But if a possible player approached me and gave a checklist to me, I would not be offended in the least.  Some folks are just better at communicating that way.  I would go over it and see it as an opportunity to begin a conversation with that person/potential player.

That brings me to the next point I’d like to make…

Who gives a shit if some people want to use this checklist and some don’t?  I guess I don’t see the point of all the “angst” this has seemed to create.  It’s a tool that can be used or not.  It might help some socially awkward folks better communicate with potential gaming groups about concerns they have over the content of a game.  If it helps better inform, what’s the problem?  If you don’t want to use it, so what?  It’s up to the individual to decide whether to use this checklist and whether to try and interact with other individuals that decide the opposite way.  If you don’t like how a DM/GM handles things, you don’t have to be a part of that group… walk away.

Look.  I understand that gaming has many personal facets to it.  I have gotten to know gamers over the years way better sometimes than casual friends. It’s amazing what you learn about people when you play RPGs with them. There is potential to strike some deep chords with individuals with certain types of situations, even if it is just in a game.  I have even creeped myself out while running a game because of situations the players helped me create.  I understand where this checklist idea probably came from.

I still don’t understand why, though, this has seemed to boil up like it has.  I think some folks are being too rash about this.  I don’t think it’s right or wrong to use or not use a checklist like this.  I don’t think it’s right or wrong to have conversations about possible content in a game before starting that game.  I don’t think it’s right or wrong to have a combination of these things.  I don’t see a reason to judge people either way.

The fear of being a bit vulnerable is, I guess, why this seemed to escalate.  When there is concern over the content of a game, folks with the concern must admit that concern making themselves feel, at least, a bit vulnerable.  Just discussing the possible use of this checklist makes folks think about vulnerability, and I suppose, opinions are strong because of it.

Again, though, I’m going to admit to not understanding the tension this has created.  Some people like the idea of the checklist, some don’t.  There’s no need to argue about whether it should be used and be butt-hurt if there is disagreement.  Quite frankly, if you’re going to try and ram your side of an argument down my throat, I’m not going to be interested in wanting you around as a fellow gamer (or person) anyway.

Everybody has the freedom to choose.  Gamers can choose with whom they will group up.  If part of the criteria for joining or not joining a group is the use of the checklist, so be it.  You do you, and I’ll do me.

I would appreciate hearing from you folks about his.  Do I have this wrong?  What other insight is there concerning the consent checklist in gaming?

As always, if you like what you’ve read here, click the like button.  If you have something to say about this post, please, leave a comment.  I always want to hear what other people think.  Conversation is much more fun than monologue.

Type to you later 🙂


Game Night Is Upon Me

I’m not sure what exactly to think or how to feel about this.  Sunday night – as of right now – will be my first “game night” in quite some time.

Let’s define “game night” from my perspective.  To me, it means tabletop role-playing games.  It means D&D, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, Twilight 2000, Hero, Alternity… etc.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was asked to get a D&D game started.  Well, I guess I’ve done that.  I got a group (my best friend, a mutual gaming friend of ours, my daughter’s boyfriend and possibly my daughter) together.  I started a dialogue of campaign idea and character creation.  Now on Sunday, we should begin “official” character creation and kick off the campaign.

I’m pretty excited and looking forward to the idea of “returning to the table”.  I’ve been playing tabletop RPGs since I was a teenager (many moons ago).  But it’s been about a 5 year stretch since I’ve played or DM’ed a game.

So, I’m a little nervous due to the time since I’ve played and my expectations.

The time issue is just being concerned about being rusty… no big deal.

The expectations thing is what has me apprehensive.  What I want in a D&D game is not necessarily what others want.  Perspective: most gamers are looking to play the game and have a good time. I am looking for similar things, but I want a great story to happen.  I get hooked on the characters and the adventures and the end goal of the campaign.  The game itself is merely a tool to help accomplish that to me.  I am pretty forgiving of many game systems because, to me, it is only the vehicle that helps to create “reality” in the action and produce a mechanism to allow a chance of success or failure for the characters in the story.

I do like the game, but I will happily sacrifice rules and game mechanics if there is an opportunity for a great “scene” that could be… less… because of game play.  I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, my nerves over this are because I am running a group where I know the game is significant to at least one of them.  I’m not sure about the others yet (haven’t games with them much or not at all).  I want everybody to get into this and enjoy it, but I don’t want to lose the “integrity” of my style of play.

The only thing I have for me is that this guy has gamed with me before and seemed to be good with how I run a D&D game… we’ll see.

Had to rant a bit.  Thanks for listening.

By the way, would you like me to post game session “diaries”?  Let me know 🙂

Another One in the Books…

Well, like so many others, I’ve decided to acknowledge the end of another year. I’m not going to provide any horse shit reflections and promises of great futures, though. I try to be a realist and keep an open mind. I also don’t get overly wound up about things unless… Just don’t mistake my apparent lack of emotion/excitement for apathy.

So, 2018…

I woke up breathing every day of that year.

I got through life in decent order, I think. I have a job, a good marriage, a decent place to live and a kid that’s doing pretty well for herself as she pursues a means to live life on her own.

I’m still fat. I did not exercise last year like I needed to. I have no excuses. I just did not have a drive to be “in shape”. I’m going to suppose that it has to do with… I have no fucking clue what it has to do with.

I kept a job with potential last year. I didn’t mind going to work. While I can’t deny wanting to set the place on fire (with some folks still in said place) now and then and watching it burn, that desire was not high on my list of things to accomplish on any given day.

Now 2019…

I’d be bullshitting you if I told you that I don’t look to the future with some degree of desire to accomplish… something. But once again… I’m a realist. I’m not going to sit here and type out a bunch of fluff that indicates anything resembling a “New Year’s resolution”. Like I said… no horse shit.

I intend to wake up breathing every day this coming year.

I want to get through life in decent order throughout this coming year. I will work to keep a good marriage, a decent job, a passable place to live and will support my daughter in hopes that she makes progress in her pursuit of an independent life doing what she wants to do with it.

I hope that there isn’t too much bad shit that comes along in my life this year.

I would like to lose weight… you know… be less fat. The wife and I have been discussing some options to begin working on that. I think what we have discussed is possible and will lead to being less fat and a bit more healthy. I’m not going to spout a bunch of shit about feeling motivated and being ready to “push it” in 2019. I would just like to do a little more to start getting the weight down and the longevity up.

As far as the decent job? Well, I’ll just get up and go to work each day and try to get shit done. I have a few things that I would like to see happen with this business and my place in it, and my work ethic will keep me motivated to try and make those things happen. If not, I will have at least learned something and end up on a course that allows for a job that I will continue to not mind performing. Remember… I’m a realist.

I will continue to post in this blog when my muse slaps me in the back of the head.

I will play games… I will be sim racing again. I am teaming up with a guy that I’ve been friends with since I started iRacing. I’m looking forward to running some endurance races with him. Y’all will probably read about it some 🙂

I might be starting up a tabletop RPG in the not too distant future. There are possible opportunities for such that I am going to explore. I miss tabletop gaming and would like to get back into it a bit… nothing heavy… just once or twice a month.

I will continue hanging with my best friend whether it’s online or in person. I’ve known him for over 30 years now. We don’t always agree on things. We sometimes go for stretches of time where we don’t talk and “hang out” much. But we’re like brothers, I think, and that is enough.

Sounds like I might be kinda busy this coming year… I hope so

Now that I’ve regaled you with my less-than-exciting thoughts about last year and the coming year, I hope y’all have a decent year and get through whatever crap life throws your way. That’s what I plan to do 😉

Free Will… What a Pain in the Ass

So, there’s a guy’s blog I follow on here.  Dirty Sci-fi Buddha has got some interesting things rattling around in his head.  He likes to philosophize about shit 😀  It is very thought provoking and entertaining.  He posts really good stuff and it’s worth reading and processing.  Do yourself a favor and go check it out after this.

Let’s understand that I’m a simple creature and no genius.  So, what follows is probably a huge simplification of this subject and lacking some of the necessary substance due to the lack of intellectual prowess I possess and this subject deserves.

So anyway, Dirty Sci-fi Buddha has made some posts about free will – it’s possibility of existence and how he chooses to make use of it.  I agree with a lot of what he says about how to make life choices from the big ones down to the minute-to-minute decisions.  I tend to disagree, however, with his take on the existence of free will.  He gives off a vibe of “studied uncertainty”.  What I mean by that is that he appears to have made an analysis based on the data he’s gathered and has come to a CURRENT conclusion (you’ll have to go read some of his posts to get that) that the factual existence of free will is an unknown.  In other words, he’s not sure if we really have free will.  His reasoning about this uncertainty is very compelling.

But I still disagree with that uncertainty.

Free will exists, and it’s a pain in the ass…

Maybe that’s not entirely accurate… give me a minute here…

Free will exists.  Of that, I’m fairly certain.  Now my certainty is based on data that I’ve collected throughout my existence on this rock.  Situations I’ve observed people in and things I’ve said and done in my own situations make up most of this data.  Since it’s mostly undocumented, I’ll call it anecdotal evidence versus scientific data. I understand the mine field of credibility that could create, but this is a post about my thoughts concerning free will 😛  Feel free to offer your own thoughts in the comment section.  I welcome it 🙂

I’ve heard many, many times people say that they don’t have a choice, or their choices are limited.  So, I consider that line of thinking as an agreement on the side that argues there is a lack of free will.  And, again, that is where I immediately disagree.  You have a choice.  You have many choices.  You have the freedom to make any of those choices, too.  It’s your perception of the reality you’re in at the moment that is limiting your perception of available choices… or lack of choices altogether.  This perception is based on a huge amount of factors; some of these factors include life experience, desires, peer pressure and your emotional state.  In spite of all that, and consequences for making certain choices notwithstanding, you still have free will to make any choice you want.

Don’t get me wrong.  All these factors that create your perception of the choices you have in a situation where you have to make a decision are very strong and very real to you.  I completely agree with the fact that a person’s perception of the available choices can be neck and neck with reality from that person’s point of view.  So, it is easy to think, believe and/or feel that your free will is stifled or non-existent.

But the reality is that your free will is there just waiting to be exercised… all the time.  You have many, if not infinite, choices for your decision and you CAN CHOOSE any of them.  It’s an extraordinary property of reality.  In moments of contemplation (like this), I like to marvel at having free will and the wonderful gift/trait it is.  I like to “know” that I have this amazing “power” in me to choose however I want.  It gives me hope to think that no matter what my situation is, I always have the ability choose what I want to do or say next.

Pain in the ass #1

The difficulty with realizing free will is developing the ability to overcome the influence of all those factors I mentioned (something I wish I had the strength to do more often) and understand that you DO have free will to choose any course of action.  The self-realization of always having free will can be a monumental task and, unfortunately, seems to be impossible at times.  As I type this, I am very aware of that fact and continually fail to realize in many situations my ability to exercise free will.

Pain in the ass #2

Do you know what’s both hilarious and infuriating (sometimes both at the same time)?  You have free will.  You can choose to do or say anything at the moment of a decision.  We have this incredible ability and it can be the absolute worst and/or funniest moment of realization you can have.

Example… it’s Monday morning and my wife wakes me up to get ready for work.  I can decide right then and there if I will actually get up and get ready for work.  It is my choice.  I certainly don’t want to get up and go to work.  I was up too late Sunday night and I want to sleep some more.  I could choose to stay in bed.  It is MY choice.

It’s infuriating when you think like that, isn’t it – especially when you consider that my choice to get up and go to work Monday morning is based on the fact that I decided at some point that I need money to get by in this world?  Considering that I don’t want to live in the woods like Big Foot, I exercise my free will again and go to work.  The only reason that I go to work is because I have chosen to.  It’s not funny 😛

If you’re still reading this, THANK YOU for choosing to stick with me.  I hope this was fun and thought provoking and not entirely infuriating 😉


I Should Be Working

‘Tis true, good folks.  I should be utilizing my synapses and command of the keyboard to  produce content in a document that is part of my task list in the “professional” portion of my life.  Yet, here I sit, pelting this keyboard with fingers driven by synapses that have an apparent need to express themselves in a different venue.

I am hoping this “distraction” will help reduce the block that continues to appear in front of my path to completion of said professional document.  Perhaps it is a means to find the path around the block?  I hope so…

I should be working 😉


I have started wondering periodically if there is any wisdom in preparing myself and family for living off the grid…

I look at some of the shit going on in the world and start wondering if I should become a little like some of those folks that spend considerable time and resources to prepare and begin living off the grid… in the woods… out of the way.

Maybe I’m being silly, but there are a lot of news headlines that don’t necessarily instill fear, but definitely concern.  I try to filter out the facts as I read this stuff, but I find it difficult, at best, sometimes to find the actual, neutral, unbiased facts.  Instead I think that maybe it’s getting worse… less facts, more opinion… sometimes just downright raving mad words that only condemn and try to instill fear and anger.

Big companies are having ever-increasing influence on what people consume in the news and media.  Things get sensationalized for the sake of getting ratings and/or notice.  The louder the rant and the bigger the drama, the more likely to get into the news feeds and social media.  Having civil discussions about anything involved in politics and faith seems to be something that is just going away.

I sometimes feel like the world around me is a powder keg with folks defiantly playing with fire all around it.  I hope I’m wrong…

20 Followers… woo hoo???

I just noticed that I have 20 followers.  At first, I was like, “Very cool!”  Then I noticed something else.  I saw that one of the followers is me.  I don’t remember following myself, but okay… <shrugs>.  Then I noticed that 2 of my followers are the same person.  So, I guess, technically I have 18 followers.  I can’t count myself as a follower because I’m stuck with me O_O

It still feels good.  So, thank you, followers.  I hope you’re enjoying some portion of the stuff that gets out of my head and onto this electronic medium.  Feel free to let me know what you think of any of it.  I’m eager to learn what I could do better, and/or hear that someone likes what I do here… or a different opinion, some advice or random passing thought.  😉

Until next time…