User blogs

Ari and Caper met the Jakobs, Jake and Liz, and their five kids, baby Ameira, Will, Bill, Cassie, and Sandra on the road to Milyagon. While visiting at the Witch's cottage Ari got to wondering about whether they had arrived in Milyagon yet. She had become attached to the children and thought she might be able to help them.

Jake and Liz named their first child Cassandra hoping to call her Cassie but everyone called her Sandra instead. So they named their second child Cassie.

Sandra seems restless, always shifting her feet about. In spite of Liz's careful plaitwork Sandra's braids remained unruly. She is constantly active, grooming the horses while talking and jesting.

Cassie was her sister's shadow but she couldn't be more different in her pretty blue dress and her braids falling over her shoulders. Her eyes dart about keeping up with everything that's happening.

Jake and Liz named their first boy William hoping to call him Will but everyone called him Bill instead. So they named their second boy Will.

Bill and Will were often mistaken for twins. Will was big for his age and almost Bill's size. They were both healthy, ruddy, and husky with a glint of wit in their eyes. Bill is headstrong and doesn't understand why he can't do everything his sisters do. Will is more likely to heed his parents strictures partly because he sees the trouble Bill gets himself into.

Ameira, the baby, is almost a year old. She is a beautiful baby with blue eyes and golden curls. She is not, however, an easy baby to care for, her troubled nights have kept both Liz and Jake awake in the campgrounds.

Jake tends horses and he hopes to start a breeding business with the herd of seven horses he has brought north to Milyagon. He wears a knit cap he can pull down over his ears and he meets everyone with a grin. He's lean but muscular enough that you can tell he work's hard caring for his horses.

Liz's countenance radiates a composure that is remarkable in light of the chaos that surrounds her. She controls her girls with a look or a hand sign that Ari quickly learns to copy. A wave, a nod, or a flip of the hair is all it takes to tell the girls what to do next.

The big news this week is that the Main page is back. Thanks to ZDL for reporting the outage. I got right on it and tried everything I could think of and eventually the offending post scrolled off the page and the site fixed itself.

So great? But also ???. I am still looking into migrating to Open Source Social Network which is being currently maintained, has a better mobile app, and offers paid support. When I get a test version up and running I will post a link here in the Gamer+ News for anyone interested in helping me test it.

I am glad that Gamer+ fixed itself because that takes the pressure off and I can take some time with the migration. My music composition lessons start next week so once again I will be a little bit too busy.

Saturday, January 15, at 11:00 AM Central, Inspired Unreality continues in it's new day and time. Some of the regulars are noticing the transition. Last week it was just Vivian and I so we continued in our Ari and Caper adventures in Milyagon. They have left the witch's cottage and are back in Milyagon where Ari and Caper are visiting with the family they met on the road. We named all the kids and Mom and Dad too so now it's my job to write a couple of sentences about each.

Inspired Unreality open game chat is held every Saturday morning at 11:00 Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you haven't been to Tankar's there's a link here.

Today is Vivian's birthday. I'm just adding this here to rub it in. Vivian has been role playing longer than I have in fact she was a DM before there was D&D. As Arimeth with her cat, Tude, she and Caper are building out the Milyagon locale. By cat we mean mountain lion. Tude comes up to Ari's waist which means shoulder high on Caper the halfling. It's kind of cool having a mountain lion nuzzling me in the face.

I love Gamer+ which has chat and messaging. I am also active on Discord at Tenkar's Tavern, Megantopia, Family Chat, and on my music server, hairylarryland. Here's a link to the HairyLarryLand Discord server.

But if you want to get in touch with me email is the thing. I check my email several times a day and I check everything else several times a week and I don't always get every message then.

So, forward this email. Share this link. And send me an email.

Hairy Larry

It came to me in a flash this morning. I will run Gamer+ on my home server. That way this instance can continue running until I have the new Gamer+ install stable. And this instance can remain up as a read only archive of everything posted. I will blog the project here.
Inspired Unreality open game chat tomorrow, Saturday January 8, at 11:00 AM Central. Bring your own topic. All gaming is on topic.

Inspired Unreality is held in the gamerplus chat rooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. Everyone is welcome to come chat about games.

Last week was Fantasy and Science Fiction and I did some short readings from the Lyonesse Trilogy by Jack Vance illustrating my idea that every NPC deserves at least two sentences. There is nothing like short descriptive text to help the DM portray the NPC in a believable manner. Jack Vance is a master.

Thanks to Ducalisto for joining us at Inspired Unreality open game chat.  We discussed fantasy and scifi gaming systems.

The main page at Gamer+ is down. I have been working on it trying to resolve the issue. I've also been adding occasional posts trying to scroll the issue off the screen. So far no luck. Somebody needs to roll luck for me.

All the other pages are working fine. You can still post and read other people's posts, comment, etc. It's just the Main page that's not working.

So as well as trying to fix Gamer+ I have also been looking into changing platforms for Gamer+. Oxwall is a good platform for computers but the mobile app is poor at best. In today's world most people prefer to use their phone so I would like to upgrade to a platform with good mobile support and good tech support too.

Any suggestions? I have been looking into the Open Source Social Network. I have also used Elgg but I don't know how good the mobile support is on Elgg. It will be work to change platforms so I want to do my research up front.

We got a domestic robot. I for one look forward to serving our robot overlords. But until then scrub that floor.

Vivian and I played an Ari and Caper in a Milyagon game yesterday. The brownies made Ari a wreathed hat out of wildflowers that acts like a love charm. The Milyagon witch gave Ari a basket to keep it in so it's not "on" all the time.

Vivian also filled in a lot of back story about Ari and Tude and set us up for an encounter with a family she met on the road.


Hairy Larry


I wrote a new program called Plain Text Blog and it is what it says.

Install the program and put your text files into the text directory and it all becomes a blog with permalinks, rss feed, table of contents, and automatic link detection.

It's cool.

Here's Hairy Larry Writes using Plain Text Blog.

I rely on it.

hairylarry Jan 3 · Tags: blog, text
This is the last Gamer+ News of 2021 and the first Gamer+ News on our new schedule. I bet a lot of you were wondering why you didn't get the news last Monday. Well, here it is! Now on a Friday.

Tomorrow, Inspired Unreality open game chat at 11:00 AM Central is in the gamerplus chat rooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. It's the first Saturday of the month so this week our topic will be Fantasy and Science Fiction.

If you haven't been to Tenkar's Tavern there's a link for you here.

I am re-rereading The Lyoness Trilogy by Jack Vance and in this rereading I am getting a lot of tips for DMs as well as for writers. Join us to discuss your favorite Fantasy and Science Fiction books, games, movies, etc.

What I got for Christmas.

Carl gave a stack of magazines to each family. I also got two nice carnivorous plants from Kier. I'll post pics of those after I paint them.

I added a photo gallery with the magazine covers.

In with the magazines were five copies of Swords & Wizardry Light, written by Tenkar, a Gamer+ gamer and proprietor of Tenkar's Tavern home of Inspired Unreality.

Bembo the Barbarian.

Questionable Content is a rom com webzine with robots. But for the last several days Jeph Jacques has been drawing Bembo The Barbarian and it's a hoot.

Please forward this email to your gaming friends and share this link.

Hairy Larry

We're on Christmas Break! No Inspired Unreality until January when we'll start the New Year discussing Fantasy and Science Fiction.

I will be changing the time for Inspired Unreality to earlier in the day on Saturdays. Probably 10:00 AM or 2:00 PM. Please weigh in. January 1 is right around the corner. Here's a link to Gamer+ and my email is below.

I am also looking for DMs interested in hosting a one off with only me as the PC. This can be in any game system and doesn't have to be, but could be, at the time specified for Inspired Unreality. I would record these actual play sessions for the DM and possibly for a Gamer+ podcast. Since there's only one PC, character creation can be quick. If the game hosted has unusual rules or other quirks the DM can explain them as we go. I like to set goals so.

Goal 1 - have fun
Goal 2 - Gamer+ podcast
Goal 3 - Introductory material for the DM and the game

Let me know if you're interested. I have several DMs in mind. If this happens on Inspired Unreality it will be monthly at most. If you prefer another time I'll work with you.

I have been enjoying ZDL's series of posts based on Georges Polti's The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. This is the kind of thing that can really help DM's create dramatic tension. Here's a link to her latest.

Vengeance taken for kindred upon kindred.

I graduated Saturday and those who are related to geeks gathered here for my graduation party, birthday parties, and chicken enchiladas. Continuing our traditional Christmas Festivities we had Cookie Day on Sunday, the day when DMs and players gather, not for role playing, but for cookie baking. I mean it ain't a good game without snacks, right?

Please forward this email to your friends. And share this link.

Thanks and Merry Christmas,
Hairy Larry

Another exploration of a dramatic situation from Polti's The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations.  We're keeping on with the vengeance theme here, though this time it's "vengeance taken for kindred upon kindred".  While this may seem a little bit repetitive—how many different kinds of vengeance can there be, after all?—there is something different about this one in terms of its emotional context.  Thus it is that Polti thought it warranted its own heading.  (Polti considered each of his dramatic situations a separate emotion, after all.)

In this situation we have two kinsmen: the "avenging kinsman" and the "guilty kinsman", we have the more abstract element of "remembrance of the victim" and, for the emotional impact to have punch, a "relative of both".

Strap down, this is going to be an emotional roller coaster!


This situation has four necessary components.  I'll address the need of some of them after the list.  First and foremost there are the two obvious: Guilty Kinsman and Avenging Kinsman.  Less obvious than these two, however, though equally necessary, is Remembrance of the Victim and the Relative of Both.

This situation is fraught with raw anger, mixed, likely, in equal parts with sorrow.  Families traditionally have a tight code of conduct with trust being at the foundation of it all.  Breaches of that trust lead to extremes of emotion: both anger at the betrayal and sorrow at the need for revenge.

There is a lot of dramatic potential here, but it only works if the relationship of the two Kinsmen to the Victim is remembered explicitly.  It can't just be mentioned in passing.  It must be wallowed in for a while to hammer home just how important the relationship was.  Further, to amplify just how out of place this situation is, another family member related to both Kinsmen needs to be there to react and try to mitigate or mourn as appropriate.

It's a heady situation and it comes in a few flavours.

1. A parent's death avenged upon the other parent.
2. A child's death avenged upon the sibling.
3. A parent's death avenged upon a spouse.
4. A spouse's death avenged upon a parent.

Now personally I think all of them involving death is a bit much.  There are other situations that could invoke this kind of wrath.  But let's bear with it for now.  There are thirty-two more situations to go through after all and maybe what I'm looking for here is available in other situations!

In role-playing, this situation would be difficult to integrate.  Not impossible, but difficult.  The hardest part would be getting players invested enough in their families to actually have that aforementioned betrayal and sorrow to rise up.  If you can pull it off it will likely form sessions that become the "stories of lore" in gaming groups talked about years later in hushed tones.

There's another option, however.  It would be easier to integrate one or more PCs into the role of Relative of Both and still make the RP meaningful and connected.  Alternatively the PCs could be people outside of the family, but associated in some way with one or more of Victim, Other Kin, or the two Kinsmen.  These outsider views may not quite give the visceral grip that being one of the main elements would have, but they will, if played out with gusto, still form good, satisfying RP.

Tonight on Inspired Unreality we have a guest, VB-Wyrde of Elthos. He will be chatting about his game Elthos focusing on character creation and what makes Elthos different.

I think we'll actually roll up a few characters to see how it works. If you are interested in Elthos or just exploring new RPG systems in general I'm sure you will enjoy Inspired Unreality tonight.

Inspired Unreality open game chat is held every Monday night at 10:00 PM Central in the gamerplus chat rooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. For more information and an invitation to Tenkar's go here.

ZDL has started a series of posts she is calling "The Thirty-Six" reflecting on Georges Polti's "The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations". She has links to the original version and the modernized take.

Dramatic Situations get right to the heart of what I love about role playing so I'm looking forward to these posts and to getting acquainted with Polti's work.

Thanks ZDL. I'm as excited as a podcaster.

One of Thirty-Six from ZDL's blog

Two of Thirty-Six from ZDL's blog

Three of Thirty-Six from ZDL's blog

Follow Me And Die posted a blog about Grave Growth. If you're like me and you don't know what grave growth is he explains in his first sentence. "The flowers and other flora that grow on graves is called Grave Growth." He then goes on to explain how to use grave growth in a game.

Modern day grave growth includes glass jars holding plastic flowers.

Pete Seeger also covered grave growth in his song "Where Have All The Flowers Gone".

And since I've cleverly segued into music I have a personal announcement to make. I will be taking my second degree, a Bachelors in Music Composition this Saturday. Since I'm retired I don't expect this to change my career. Especially since my retirement hobby is writing and playing music. But, I did the work and now I'm getting the degree and I'm trying not to break my arm patting myself on the back.

Please forward this email to your gaming friends. And share this link.

Hairy Larry

Continuing in The Thirty-Six, based on Georges Polti's The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations, today's situation is "vengeance of a crime" in which an "avenger" wreaks vengeance upon a "criminal" for past crimes.


In this situation there are only two necessary components: an Avenger out to wreak revenge, and a Criminal upon whom vengeance shall be delivered.  This situation can almost be viewed as the reverse of DELIVERANCE or SUPPLICATION, in that the Avenger could be the Persecutor or Threatener while the Criminal could be viewed as the Suppliant or the Unfortunate.  The difference lies mostly in sympathies: in DELIVERANCE/SUPPLICATION the victim is sympathetic to the onlooker while in this one the victim is viewed negatively.  (Of course playing with viewpoints could have this be a parallel dramatic situation and the resolution could have the story start with VENGEANCE OF A CRIME only to have it, via a mid-plot reveal, turn into DELIVERANCE, say.)

There are three primary forms of this dramatic situation.

1. Vengeance for direct injury upon persons valued by the Avenger: kin and friends, for example.  The nature of the crime can one of violence (death or injury), one of honour (which would include seduction in most cultures) or other such personal injury.

2. Vengeance for more abstract injuries like crimes of property, deception, false accusation or other forms of calumny, or even vengeance for having been robbed of an opportunity for vengeance.  (The opening sentences of "The Cask of Amontillado" would be an example of this type: "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could, but when he ventured upon insult I swore revenge.")

3. This one is an odd one out: professional pursuit of criminals.  Think cops and detectives here.  While it seems a little oddly out of place in this heading compared to the others, the same dramatic tensions exist.

Vengeance is a dramatic potboiler in RPGs!  In the first two types, it's going to practically spring up by itself in a normal campaign as the femme fatale steals the vital gem, as the orc tribe that massacres villagers the players had grown fond of finds it bit off more than it could chew plus a thousand more things.

That being said, however, that third odd duck out has serious potential for driving campaigns.  Picture the PCs as an investigatory team sent out by the powers that be, or self-motivated (for mercenary reasons, or others) to hunt down criminals.  An old west campaign, for example, (even if it's the weird west or such) could have the PCs be lawmen or bounty hunters quite easily, and such professions would exist almost anywhere.

Similarly, even in places like Ancient China or medieval Europe you often found magistrates who had personal investigation and enforcement arms (even if the methods were ... unscientific) who would solve crimes.  Moving this into an RP scenario would not be difficult.

So never underestimate the power of vengeance and crime to drive RP in games!

ZDL Dec 13 '21 · Comments: 1 · Tags: the thirty-six, situation three, vengeance of a crime
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