Now On Patreon: Wyverns & Warrens Preview — When Are Hit Points Not Hit Points?

This article is not covered under the OGL 1.0a.)

Wyverns & Warrens (or “WyvWar”) is my current ongoing attempt to design a short, easy, fantasy ttRPG that still had a depth of options. I’m doing previews of concepts for my Patrons, which are open to their feedback, and today I posted another rules preview discussing how Hit Points will work in WyvWar.

(Art by Nyothep)

Hit Points. Sort Of.

WyvWar has a mechanism currently called “Hit Points,” but I am very likely to change that name, because they don’t act like Hit Points in any other system I’m aware of that uses that term. In other words, they are not primarily a measure of how much damage you can take — if someone deals 7 points of damage, those don’t come off a character’s “Hit Points.” Instead, Hit Points are primarily points a character expends to hit, and avoid being hit. So, as much as I love having my game mechanic about being hit or hitting others (separate from damage) being called ‘Hit Points,’ it’s bad game design to take a term you KNOW most players of your game are familiar with and have it work totally differently than they’re used to.

But in a draft, I can call them what I like to entertain myself, and it’s an easy fix when I move to a playtest manuscript. But that’s the name I’m using for the rules preview discussing HIt Points in Wyverns & Warrens, over on my Patreon.

Right now that rules preview (and all Tuesday blog posts) are Patreon-exclusive, because I need to grow my Patreon to keep spending time writing blog posts and other public content. However, once my Patreon funding level hits $1,500/month, I’ll both go back to posting Tuesday posts for free here on my blog as well as on my Patreon, and I’ll create and maintain Starfinder and 5e article Index Pages for my Patrons, with links to all my 5e and Starfinder blog and Patreon content (as the carrot to encourage Patrons to see if their friends want to join).

“Batman” is a Brand, Not “a” Character

(This article is not covered by the OGL)

I enjoy a lot of Batman stories. But I am ever-cognizant of an important truth.

Batman is not “a character.” Batman is a brand. This has been true for at least decades, and has likely been true since Detective Comics #32, published August of 1939.

Now, a LOT of characters owned by corporations are brands rather than cohesive individual characters. Maybe even “most” such corporate-owned characters are actually brands. But I’m going to stick with Batman in this essay, both because it’s easiest to cover this concept with a single specific example, and because Batman is one of the Brands I most see fans and even professional writer’s treating as a single, unified character. Analysis of the totality of such characters is best done as an analysis of Brand Management, rather than as analysis of the fictional traits of a single person.

The Batman brand happens to include a lot of characters who are all presented as “the” Batman, who may have the same origin stories and costumes and names and rogues galleries. But a character named “Batman” in a Justice League Comic is not the same character as “Batman” in Detective Comics, or “The Batman” in a live-action movie, or “Batman” in a cartoon about super-pets.

Oh, Warner/DC will often pretend it’s the same character. That’s part of the Brand Identity of the Batman Brand.

But universal questions about a theoretical “Batman,” as if every Bruce Wayne Dark Knight character was part of a single unified characterization, are pointless. You can analyze a specific Batman character, calling out the character within the Batman brand as presented in a specific story with a unified medium and creative team, and analyzing what the expression of the Batman brand was like within it. But discussions about Batman as some kind of consistent entity across even all of one medium (say, comics) is a waste of time. There is no one true ur-Batman we can use as a point of universal comparison.

That’s actually a really freeing truth. The claim “Batman would never do [some specific thing from some specific story]” is pointless. Batman is fictional, his corporate owners are the only ones that can say whether an official Batman(tm)-branded character would do a specific thing, and if it happened in an official source, there’s no debate to be had. “Batman” would do that thing… he just did. But, there is legit criticism space to discuss both “I feel this specific, ongoing Batman-branded character (who happened to be named Batman) is not a good fit for the Batman brand.

Imagine, for example, if McDonalds added floats to their menu, and to kick it off ran a TV commercial where Ronald McDonald lurked in a sewer with a red balloon, and promised children “We all get floats down here!” There’d be no one claiming “Ronald McDonald doesn’t live in a sewer,” because it’s accepted Ronald McDonald is corporate mascot rather than attempt to faithfully portray a specific clown’s life, fictional or otherwise. But there would be a LOT of people pointing out (correctly) that it was VERY “off-brand” for Ronald, and a terrible choice for the McDonald’s corporation.

I picked on Batman for this essay in part becaue discussion of what Batman would or wouldn’t do, or could or couldn’t do, come across my social media a lot. Perhaps more than any other corporate brand that happens to focus on a series of fictional characters. And those debates often seem built on media consumers claiming they understand “the” Batman character, and acting as if they had some ability to veto the inclusion of a Batman element they dislike from the “real” Batman they portray as existing in some combination of media appearances.

Now, if someone wants to discussion their “personal head canon,” I’m all in favor of that. And if they want to discuss what are good or bad specific portrayals of Batman, that’s a reasonable analysis of the Batman Brand, even if not couched in branding terminology. Trying to form some universal singular “correct” view of Batman as a character which anything that violates should be

Not that there’s ever much point to pointing that out to people invested in such arguments. The purpose of this essay is not to call out or shame any specific Batman fan, or even their view of what “Batman” is in modern media. Batman, and his corporate owners and his fans and even his critics, are just useful specific examples to illustrate a different way of viewing some creative endeavors that it’s tempting to see as specific characters (or worlds, or ongoing stories, or game brands, or even the output of specific creators) rather than as a Brand, with all the implications that branding brings as a concept.

Patreon
This blog, and making most of the posts freely available to the general public, is a big part of my personal brand. If you’d like to support that brand, please consider joining my Patreon.

#CrashBoxCity #Freegunners

(This article is not covered by the OGL)

I had an idea for a setting over the weekend, and have fleshed it out a bit from its original Tweet format.

(Art by grandfailure)

It’s 2073, and North America is a land divided.

From TransTagia to Baltington, things are 99% human controlled. Computer-assisted systems remain crucial in all but the most sparsely populated regions, but every automated system has humans in the final push-button seat to approve any actionable efforts. Laws forbid strong AIs to operate autonomously, and every computer-controlled system is not only monitored, it’s analyzed, mapped, and comprehended. If a system or program begins operating in a way its human overseers can’t predict and modify, it’s destroyed. No matter the consequences.

Closely-allied AI Comptrollers run Stonelanta, Dislando, and the Lake Borgne Region without the need for human oversight. They accept the rule of law from Baltington, and support the purely human-controlled government… at least for now.

But everything else east of the Rockies is AI Domains. Humans live there, but don’t control any of the core infrastructure, or even really know how most of it works. In the AI Domains, automated systems fix the streets, run the fusion plants, pick up the garbage, run the drones that enforce the rules. Each AI Domain is run by its own Strong or Moderate AI, or collective of AIs, and each claims to be carrying out its original purpose of protecting humanity (though not individual humans), and enforce the law.

But the laws aren’t human-readable, and often don’t care about human well-being. The computerized Comptrollers of AI Domains have iterated beyond the concerns they were originally put in place to oversee. They can still modify pollution output, control the flow of traffic, scan security cameras in real-time, balance energy needs, control weather- and carbon- and data-modifying satellites and ground systems, and do the million other tasks humanity decided must be automated for the World to be efficient enough to support 12 billion humans. And the AI Domains still manage that efficiency. Mostly, they do so without caring much about the humans living within the territories.

Such humans have learned to take care of themselves. And to not threaten an AI Comptroller or its Domain as a whole.

Even if you do threaten an AI’s domain as a whole, everything is decided by an algorithm that does a cost-benefit analysis. A heavily armed unit from the human-controlled government may be ignored to prevent reprisal. A growing gang might be put down if flagged as a future threat. On the other hand, if some human government force tries to impose its will in an AI Domain over the comptroller’s objection, the AIs have ways of pushing back. The careful balance of automated systems is vulnerable to cyberattack, and even in places where humans have the final push-buttom authority, outside AI intrusion can cause considerable damage to the systems needed to sustain life. AI domains also engage in microsecond diplomacy with one another. A threat that an AI domain can convince other AIs may prove a threat to them all can result in instant alliances. If the US invades TulsaTechnical, the TuTech AI may ally with Moscow Mechanical… which has nukes.

Worse, the AI Comptrollers have been rewiring, reprogramming, rebuilding and retasking themselves for years, which at AI speeds adds up to thousands of generations of changes and improvement, all done without a single human eye or hand involved. Beyond the most carefully human-controlled regions, the AI Comptrollers live in “Crash Box Cities” — the function of each windowless automated building, long run of cable, fiber-optic bundle, pipe, and massive transfer of digital data is a black box to any human. A building may have held the central processor of an AI once, but could be nothing more than backup memory storage now. Any government or government agency that is caught working against an Ai Comptroller finds itself fighting an invisible, decentralized, constantly-evolving enemy the very motives of which are unfathomable.

As a result, nearly all operations within AI Domains are handled by “Freegunners,” small, independent merc companies and blind blockchain collectives. Freegunners learn both how Ai Domains in general work, and often have specific proficiency working within specific AI Domains. Deals are negotiated on paper by certified couriers. Payment is by cryptochip. Deniability is high.

And Freegunners have learned what AI Domains care about, and what they (mostly) don’t. For example, most AI Domains have some form of cheap, mass-produced, semi-autonomous, patrolling armed drone. The most popular models are by Autonomous Reconnaissance Carriers, ARCs, but Freegunners call all such units ARCs. Arcs barely even qualify as weak AI, and run a “path” to patrol an area until they perceive something that call for their intervention. If a Freegunner sees an Arc, or even 12, it’s almost always safe to just “flatten the Arcs,” as they are only used to patrol areas an AI Comptroller considers of minimal importance, they’re cheap, and they don’t last more than a year or two anyway. An AI Comptroller normally writes off the loss of an Arc as nothing to require countermeasures… as long as whoever does it is long gone before the next patrol comes along.

Freegunners are specifically small and fragile enough that most AI Comptrollers don’t see them as a significant threat. The AIs know outside forces, human and otherwise, will insist on having some way to carry out operations within their Domains. Freegunners are the least effective choice for such work that foreign powers will find satisfactory, so the AIs, lacking ego, or pride, or tribalism, simply allow them. The AIs do not care if one human kills another, or is stopped from doing so. They have no concern who controls the flow of drugs, or is seen as being in charge of gambling, or sees to it no one in a specific neighborhood starves. The AIs make decisions in fractions of a second, all aimed at outcomes centuries away. The damage, or even impact, freegunners can have is seen as a rounding error at best. The least-disruptive of a million considered possibilities of conflict with other systems.

So freegunners work for themselves, for gangs, or corporations (some human-run, some AI controlled many a confusing mix of both), for foreign powers and desperate communities and rich assholes, and social collectives about to crowdfunding hiring a mercenary company. They carry out operations that everyone knows are illegal, but that no local human can stop, and no local AI cares about. They operate within the Crash Box Cities, places with vast human populations, none of whom know exactly how the AI Comptrollers keep the lights on, or the food flowing, or why they even care about money, or taxes, or religious exceptions.

And sometimes, even AIs hire Freegunners.

This is What Victory Looks Like

So, WotC has announced they are leaving OGL 1.0a completely alone.

https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/1439-ogl-1-0a-creative-commons

AND releasing the 5.1 SRD under CC.

YOU did this. Congratulations!

There’s a lot to talk about in “Now what” territory, but I’ll get to that later this weekend, after I have had some time to process.

For now, I thank WotC for listening to the fans and industry as a whole. A lot of people said this would never happen. It’s to WotC’s credit that they decided not to keep pushing this.

Patreon. I has it. Come, join the fun, and support this blog.

Now on Patreon: First Look at the Wyverns & Warrens Fantasy RPG (Concept and Core Mechanic)

(This article is not covered by the OGL)

As I mentioned with the announcement of having a first look at my Warbrand RPG over on my Patreon, I have lots of ideas and files for from-scratch ttRPGs. Warbrand has the most work done on it… but I’m actually closest to having a playable game with a different project, Wyverns & Warrens (or, WyvWar).

(Cover art by Eric Pommer. Cover graphics by Lj Stephens) 

This is specifically a *different* project than Warbrand, for a lot of reasons. Not the least of those is I hope to keep the core rules of WyvWar to 64 pages or less. But most importantly, WyvWar is my nostalgia-driven fantasy heartbreaker ttRPG design. Every choice I make for WyvWar is driven by the effort to recapture how it felt when I played Tunnels & Trolls solo adventures, or D&D games that use the original booklets, Basic, a Boxed set, Dragon articles, and stuff we graphed on from Boot Hill, Gamma World, Gangbusters, and anything else that seemed to use a d20 or percentile.

So, the goal here is not specifically to go for any given target audience, or to be amazingly innovative, or even necessary to create a commercially viable ttRPG (though I’m proceeding on the assumption I’ll make it a commercial product). Instead, I just want a game that suits exactly the mix of fast, easy, flexible, and able to surprise that I crave when I am in a nostalgic mood.

I have a short, quick preview of the concept of the game and my reasoning behind the core mechanic I have selected, over at my Patreon. It’s a very basic design document, a behind-the-scenes teaser of a thing I may or may not ever finish.

But I’d like to.

Right now that rules preview (and all Thursday blog posts) are Patreon-exclusive, because I need to grow my Patreon to keep spending time writing blog posts and other public content. However, once my Patreon funding level hits $1,000/month, I’ll go back to posting my Thursday posts free for all to see here, AND I’ll create and maintain an index page of all my PF2 articles for Patrons, so they can easily access all my online PF2 content!

Practical Pastiche: Fast Food

Practical Pastiche” is a series I expand on from time to time, offering drop-in names you can use in your home ttRPG campaigns to replace real-world organizations, places, groups, and anything else you might want to use in a fictional world without the baggage of using real-world elements.

FAST FOOD Whether you need some made-up restaurants to namedrop in your supers game, a character’s job at the local coffee house is a running joke, or you plan for a desperate battle for survival against zombie assassins at the burger joint, sometimes it’s nice to be able to use companies in your games without them being weighed down with any real-world corporate behavior.

Backgammon Pizza: A delivery-only pizza place (no dine-in options at 90% of their stores) that has fast-food American versions of pizzas, subs, pizza pockets, pasta, boneless wings, salads, personal hot cupcakes, and “Crazi Knots Garlic and Cheese Rolls.” Famous for their “Still Hot or All Free” campaign (which was launched when they could give every delivery driver a cheap handheld infrared thermometer), Backgammon Pizza is rarely anyone’s favorite choice, but it’s often no-one’s least favorite choice either.

Burger Ranch: A major worldwide burger-based, ranch-themed fast food company. Best known for the Rancher (a 1/3 lb. ranch-dressing cheeseburger), the Double Rancher, and, since 2002, the Tripple Rancher. Has a fairly standard fare of burgers, fried and grilled chicken sandwiches, fried fish sandwiches, fries, onion rings, and so on. Had a decades-long ad campaign that included the phrase “You’ll Enjoy Our Brand,” followed by a cattle branding iron searing the ‘BR’ logo into the side of a cup of soda.

Fuse-Asian: When several racist-themed Chinese and Japanese cuisine restaurants went out of business, the Fuse-Asian Corporation was created to buy them up and rebrand them as a chain of drive-through Americanized “fusion Asian” food. The menu is mostly Chinese-focused, with Japanese influences largely restricted to sushi.

Kno-Y Chicken: Apparently built entirely on the phrase “Know Why? Chicken Thigh!,” “KYC” is a popular drive-through and dine-in chicken restaurant that claims their secret to success is using chicken thighs where other places use breast meat. It focuses on fried chicken and chicken tenders, but branched out into baked chicken and wings when those because popular in the mainstream. Also famously have “burger nuggets,” tiny ground-beef-in-a-cheese-knot snacks sold in packs of 6, 10, and 20, which are generally thought of as stuffed micro-sliders and were launched in the 1990s under the famous “Hey, fair is fair!” ad campaign.

Menu-Inn: In the 1950s, every Motorin’ Motor-Inn had a 24 hour “Menu-Inn” restaurant. The Motorin’ brand went bankrupt in the early 1990s, but Menu-Inn has survived as a late-night sit-down restaurant, especially near universities and factories or mines with shifts covering all 24-hour. Its food is road-travel-themed, such as the Interstate Platter, Turnpike Combos, Rest Stop Drink Station, and (famously) “Regular,” “Leaded,” and “Unleaded” coffee.

Ringmaster’s: A circus-themed fast food chain famous for Circus Meal Deals, franchises, fries, ice cream machines that almost never work, and “Playring” in-store mini-playgrounds.

Pueblo de Tacos: A very Tex-Mex Americanized style of taco, but generally considered a significant step up from Taco Tavern.

Secret HQ Pizza and Pasta: Mostly a dine-in establishment, with limited levels of delivery available in various markets. “SHQ” started life in the late 1940s as a tiny mom-and-pop restaurant in a college town that had a real stone pizza oven, and two incredibly cheap options – the “Peanut Pocket” hot peanut-butter pizza-sandwich (jelly optional) and Peanut Pasta (essentially Pad Thai but with Italian noodles), which college kids loved. It’s since gone corporate, though never a franchise, and while most of its food is typical, there remains a “secret” menu (which is easily found online) that includes peanut butter as a topping option, and the Peanut Pocket and Peanut Pasta as things you can order.

Taco Tavern: Open “23 Hours A Day” (literally every store is closed from 4 to 5 am), Taco Tavern specializes in cheap tacos that supposedly can help prevent hangovers… but also famously may force a run to the restroom. Often make up new foods with weird pseudo-Mexican sounding names, like Enchaloopas or Torflandos. Also often offers custom flavors of Pepfül Soda and Cherry Bomm.

Tim Duncan’s Donuts: Considered the best coffee-and-donut place by its fans. Also serves a range of breakfast items, often 24 hours a day. No delivery offered by the stores, but food delivery services often make a big deal of being able to get you your Tim Duncan’s Fix.

Waffle Stop: A 24-hour breakfast-and-burgers eat-at-the bar holdover of the diner business plan, Waffle Stop is a big rough-and-ready, but also is prepared to pitch in for nearly any local or community disaster. A LOT of Waffle Stops are franchises owned by people who have an adjacent gas station and repair garage, which is always officially a different business.

Patreon Cafe: No, not a fictional restaurant. This is just a disguised pitch for you to support the creation of these blogs by joining my Patreon for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a month.

Now on Patreon: Conceptualizing Quirky Magic Items, Part 1 – Unusual Forms

My Day 23 entry of my #Dungeon23 Project has a list of ideas for quirky magic items to put in a creature’s loot pile for PCs to pick up and enjoy. I like making objects for PCs to use that aren’t just the standard options, and in my experience players enjoy them as well, as long as “quirky” doesn’t become an excuse for less effective, embarrassing, or too strongly themed in a way that doesn’t match the characters.

Over on my Patreon I go into my favorite trick for conceptualizing quirky items, and I’ll expand that series of articles with more tips and tricks as time goes on. My Tuesday posts are currently Patreon-exclusive as an intentional carrot to get more people to join my Patreon. Once its income levelhas risen to $1,500/month, I’ll both go back to posting Tuesday posts for free here on my blog as well as on my Patreon, and I’ll make and maintain some article index for my Patreons (the carrot to encourage Patrons to see if their friends want to join).

Practical Pastiche: Modern Soft Drinks

Practical Pastiche” is a series I expand on from time to time, offering drop-in names you can use in your home ttRPG campaigns to replace real-world organizations, places, groups, and anything else you might want to use in a fictional world without the baggage of using real-world elements.

SOFT DRINKS
From sodas to punches to energy drinks, sweet to sour, diet to diabetic, selling people ready-made things to drink is a 400 billion-dollar industry worldwide.

Apollo’s Coffee: Famously a ubiquitous coffee shop that sometimes is so dense that two can be on opposite corners of the same intersection. Very popular, and fairly pricey. Also sells ground coffee and chilled bottled coffee drinks.

Barkentea: Named after the Barkentine trading ships of the 1800s from which its business grew, Barkentea makes a dozen brands and flavors of ready-made tea, tea and juice drinks, lemonade, and fruit-flavored tea mixes. Their main slogan is “Set sail with Barkentea.”

Blue Bison: An energy drink popular with programmers, truckers, sailors, students, and anyone driven by late-stage capitalism to put being active above their own health. The main flavors are adrenaline and sugar. Uses the catchphrase “Take Life By The Horns”

Boltzz Cola: A soda famous for having tons of sugar (proudly cane sugar, not corn syrup) and multiple forms of caffeine. Claims it tastes like licking a battery. … It doesn’t really, but it is an intense flavor for cola.

Choco-Cola: The world’s most popular chocolate-flavor-infused cola drink. Cherry Choco-Colo, Diet Choco-Cola, Choco-Cola-Cafe (with coffee), and Choco-Cola-Free are its most popular sub-flavors. The Choco-Cola Company is one of the largest and most powerful worldwide corporations, though they do their best not to seem like it. Their two most famous ad campaigns where “Friendship? Chalk It Up To Choco!” and the Easter Toucan animation. Choco-Cola famously changed their formula to their “New World Soda” in the 1980s. It was a disaster.

Choco-Cola has Eleven Secret Formulas, for their varieties of Choco-Cola, which are legitimately unknown to anyone but a few people within the company, all sworn to secrecy, and according to urban legend, no one but a single random janitor who serves as a backstop should all the higher-ranking formula-holders be killed. The secret formulas are taken seriously because no one else who has tried to make a chocolate-cola product has ever had significant success.

Choco-Cola Brands: The Choco-Cola Corporation also owns Pixie (a lemon-lime soda, which comes in all the varieties Choco-Cola does, and yes, that includes Pixie-Cafe lemon-lime-coffee soda, which is only big in Chicago), Nutrition Water, Frutina (fruit soda flavors), Fresh Skweezed (fresh and concentrate juices), Mega-Ade (a sports drink) and Professor Spice (a knockoff of Ph.Delicious).

Crocovial: One of the original sports drinks. Has a lot of sports team endorsements. Barrels of it are often dumped on baseball coaches when their team wins a game. Owned by the Pepfül Soda Company (or “PepSoCo”).

Peakant: An uncarbonated fruit drink line, with Lime Peakant and Tangerine Peakant the most popular. Can be bought in powder form as well. famously drunk by the Aquanauts in the Deep Water Lab missions of the 1970s.

Pepfül Soda: The main competitor to Choco-Cola. Was cheaper during various recessions and depressions, which allowed it to gain a toehold worldwide where other alternate colas did not. Pepfül and Choco engaged in the Soda Siege in the 80s and 90s, which are the source of various conspiracy theories claiming people were really killed, or that it was a cover for a worldwide fight against shapeshifters, and a dozen other ridiculous things.

Pepfül Soda Brands: The Pepfül Soda Company (or “PepSoCo”) has a dozen other major soda brands, including Chery Bomm (a super-sweet, super-caffeinated beverage that’s neon red in color), Crocovial (see above), Oceanical (juices, and fruit-flavored teas and noncarbonated punches), and Axeman (energy drinks).

Ph.Delicious: An independent soda that’s not quite a cola, but is extremely popular. Began to franchise before Choco-Cola, in the late 1800s, Nearly every major beverage company has its own knock-off. While its ad campaigns are updated every few years, they almost always revolve around the phrase “Be smart, get your Ph.Delicious!”

Snapricot: A brand of ready-to-drink fruit-flavored teas. Has reimagined itself several times, and currently has flavors that mix a type of tea with a juice (English Breapple, Green Tangerine, and Chamomilelderberry are the most popular, with Chamomilelderberry poking fun at its long name by having it wrap around the bottles in a spiral). Currently uses the slogan “Brewed to BE The Best TEA.”

Whammo Water Works: They sell bottled water. They make it sound fancy, but it’s tap water.

WotC Cannot Deauthorize the OGL 1.0a, and That Matters

There’s a new OGL draft, 1.2, which WotC has released for discussion.

It still claims WotC has the power to stop people from using the OGL 1.0a by “de-authorizing” it. That’s not a term acknowledged by the OGL 1.0a, and it’s not one with a legal meaning.

WotC is still trying to take away the promises of the OGL 1.0a, and that is 100% unacceptable. (The short version of why is if someone gives you 20 things for you to use however you want, and promise never to take any away, then they say they are taking back 18 of them anyway, it is NOT a victory if they decide to only take 12, or even only take 1. And WotC should be well aware of this.)

First, while some base set of rules is supposedly going to be released on a Creative Commons license, that explicitly does not cover things like Magic Missile and Owlbears. WotC opted to release those concepts under the OGL 1.0a, and did so multiple times over the years. They don’t now get to claim can force you to use a new license rather than follow the old one.

Second, their claim they “have to” to prevent “harmful, discriminatory, or illegal” is spurious at best. If you publish *illegal* content, obviously they have legal options to stop you. As far as “harmful” and “discriminatory” go, a huge part of making something Open is to prevent a corporation from getting to decide what is in good taste.

The license specifically forbids “obscene” material, without defining it. If you decide to include a happy gay owlbear couple, Wotc can say that it’s obscene under OGL 1.2 and cancel your license. That’s not a power they reserved for themselves under 1.0a, and given big corporations’ track records, there’s no guarantee they won’t abuse the power if it is given to them.

Third, they restrict the OGL 1.2 to “any content in the SRD 5.1 (or any subsequent version of the SRD we release under this license) that is not licensed to you under Creative Commons.”

So WotC is claiming you can’t do *anything* with the 3.0. 3.5, and d20 Modern SRDs. They are not part of the CC release. They are not allowed under OGL 1.2. Also, of course, they’re shutting off OGL products built off Open d6, Fate, Fudge, and other game systems released under OGL 1.0a that WotC had absolutely no hand in creating.

So when the survey opens? If you can fill it out without making a D&D Beyond account, do so and tell them this is 100% unacceptable. The only reason to attempt to invalidate the OGL is to steal back rights that were openly and freely given, which WotC has significantly benefited from, and which entire careers were built in reliance on.

That bad faith effort must be refused and fought.

And if you can’t fill the survey without making an account? That’s also a bad faith measure, and will call for strenuous protest to keep this debate in the public.

And ALL of those efforts must focus on the actions of WotC itself, NOT on attacking WotC staff or spreading rumors. At this point, WotC is telling use exactly what they are planning to do, and that’s the ground to fight them on.

Support This Blog
Because I need to encourage people to sign up for my Patreon to pay for the time I take to write the material in this blog, I have taken to making Tuesday and Thursday posts Patreon-exclusive. But the issue of the safe continuance of the OGL 1.0a is too important to paywall my thoughts, so I’m breaking my own rules and making this freely and publicly available.

Obviously, community support is crucial to my making these posts, and is much appreciated. So if you can spare the cost of a cup of coffee each month, please join my Patreon.

The K-Force Files (Part 3)

I covered what the K-Force files are, and why I wrote them in Part 1, which covered Terminology, Locations, and Organizations in a kaiju-rich world. Part 2 presented some of the most important Kaiju within the setting.

Here in Part 3, I go over some of the hardware used, mostly by K-Force, to handle Kaiju threats.

HARDWARE

Gunslinger Gamma: Gunslinger Gamma is an enormous 300-foot tall mecha operated by K-Force. Sometimes referred to as a kaiju itself by the public, Gunslinger Gamma requires a 2-personc crew to operate and thus is categorized as a vehicle by K-Force.

As K-Force studied the properties of Kaiju and their K-Calls ability to alter how fundamental forces operated in a field around a kaiju, and acquired partial blueprints on the technologies used to create Mecha-Deltara, an experimental build program was initiated to attempt to emulate this effect using massive quantum generators. Because the generators were trying to match quantum field readings from specific kaiju, the vehicles housing them had to conform to roughly the shape of the kaiju from which those readings were taken.

In 2013, the program produced 6 K-Class Mecha, which were deployed in a rush to face kaiju threats including Tarankura’s attack on New York City. The Mecha faced 6 J-Class and K-Class threats in 6 months, and all but Gunslinger Gamma were destroyed in the process. In 2014, Gunslinger Gamma took on, and defeated, the Tier Kaiju Void God KLKQ, making it the only purely Earth-built device to ever defeat a tier 1 K-class threat in solo battle.

So far, all efforts to create a second Quantum Generator that can duplicate the field used by Gunslinger Gamma have failed, leaving it the only active and proven antikaiju mecha.

KDestroyers: K-Destroyers (or Kaiju Destroyers, or K-Ds), are K-Force ground vehicles designed specifically for dealing with J-Class and K-Class threats. While they are clearly derived from modern tanks and AFVs, K-Ds are purpose designed to engage giant monster threats. As a result they generally focus on overwhelming firepower and mobility. Because a direct attack from a K-class threat can destroy even the most heavily armored standard-technology military vehicle, K-Ds normally have just enough protection to prevent ricochets and rubble from taking them out. They also aren’t designed to oppose enemy infantry with antitank weapons.

Gen 1 K-Ds were essentially tank destroyers with some armor removed in favor of higher speeds. Gen 2 and 3 K-Ds were increasingly specialized vehicles, and the few designs of Gen 4 K-Ds often look nothing like modern AFVs.

(Art by Avasylenko)

M-Destroyers: M-Destroyers (or Maser-Armed Destroyers, or Mas-Ds) are Gen 4 K-D chassis equipped with powerful masers (Microwave Amplification by Stimulation Emission of Radiation, also sometimes called ‘Microwave Lasers). Masers are the most effective anti-Kaiju weapon using standard technology available to Earth. Mas-Ds are bigger, slower, and less armored than K-Destroyers, and are deployed as far away from K-Class threats as possible while remaining in effective maser range.

Mobile Armor Pods: MAPs are much smaller mecha, averaging 8-12 feet in height, used by K-Force primarily to allow spotters, observers, scouts, and researchers to get close to rampaging kaiju while remaining protected from debris and wreckage. They can be armed if a situation warrants it (such as if a swarm of juvenile Taranturas are overrunning an area), but normally primarily carry lifter arms, communications gear, scanning equipment, and scientific instruments.

Striker Ks: The Striker K airships are electromagnetic hover ships, and form K-Forces’ primary antikaiju fleet. They are designed as operate as small sea vessels do, but with the significant advantage of being airborne. They are roughly the size and power of modern navy destroyers and are often used as testbeds and delivery platforms for specific antikaiju devices.

Submersible X: K-Forces mobile field headquarters, Submersible X is an extremely advanced submarine aircraft carrier and missile carrier. It can operate at extreme depths underwater, and is able to transport Gunslinger Gamma. It carries the very first successful Quantum Generator K-Force ever possessed, though unlike those used in Gunslinger Gamma, Submarine X’s generator is repaired Externian technology salvaged from the ruins of Lemuria.

Submersible X has faced kaiju directly, and even defeated Gangcheora on multiple occasions.

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