hairylarry's blog

Initial topic - Keeping it real.

all gaming is on topic

The yeep is an alien pet. Very affectionate. When RobboG described it as being like a ferret then that made it real for us.
When the yeep yeeped the other alien to death we could accept that because it's an alien.
So comparing the yeep to a known animal made it real but we knew it was alien so we could accept strange behaviour/powers.
One of it powers was extreme charisma - everyone loved the yeeps except Dolf.

He was the level headed one. Who invites an unknown alien into their spacesuit? (We all did except Dolf)

In literature there is a thing called willing suspension of disbelief.
That's definitely a thing in gaming that the DM can use.
In literature and gaming it is possible to go to far.
In The Chronicles Of Amber (not to be confused with The Chronicles Of Ember) Roger Zelazney has his characters walk in shadow which can be thought of as walking through the interstices between realities in the multiverse.

There is one point where the protagonist walks so far into shadow that there is really no connection to reality anymore. That was a hard chapter to read and probably equally hard to write.

He was intentionally no longer keeping it real as a literary device.

Still, I was glad when he got back to more familiar territory.

In gaming the DM relies on tropes to keep things real.
The characters are familiar with fantasy tropes so as long as the DM bases his story around standard tropes or archetypes the players can follow where he's going with it.
Keeping the fantasy real, so to speak.
So when the DM or the PCs break the tropes it can lead to surprise and excitement.

Philip K. Dick was expert at leaving reality behind.

You would think you know where his story is going and then you realize that the surface reality you were projecting onto the story isn't really in the story at all.
Maybe it's just the protagonist's schizoid delusion.
This works in literature but not so much in gaming.
For one thing the shared reality around the gaming table involves multiple PCs being played by multiple players.
It is highly unlikely that their schizoid delusions will match.
In fact it is a challenge for the DM to be descriptive enough to keep the PCs in the same reality.
It would be a real hat trick to cater to multiple paranoid delusions around the gaming table.
And then try to do that without an accepted underlying reality.
Philip K. Dick as a DM.

Not recommended.

Life is too short to live it without a few delusions.

Gamer+ News October 28, 2019

Open Game chat tonight. Inspired Unreality is every Monday night at 9:00 PM Central Time. Join us in the gamerplus chatrooms in Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. The initial topic for tonight is Keeping It Real, can fantasy role playing be too fantastic?

RobboG hosted our first If You Play You Win online RPG last Friday. We had a great time fighting aliens on an asteroid. And we ended up being teleported into another solar system. Always good to end on a cliffhanger. RobboG wants to turn this into a campaign. If you want to try his gaming system, Universe Unleashed, message him on Gamer+.

The question for the day is who drew the Yeep?

The Yeep is one of the alien species we encountered in Universe Unleashed.

And we have another If You Play You Win RPG online this Friday starting at 6:00 PM Central Time. Draklorx will be running Star Wars: Edge of the Empire - Escape From Mos Shuuta. Everyone is invited.

CarlHeyl posted a picture of my granddaughter, Emily. Carl says, "My 9 year old daughter running Swords & Wizardry Light."

DualClassic says, "One last day of prepping before the first session of my Delving Deeper game on Monday. Ideas have been pouring out like water down a mountain. Haven't been this inspired in writing up an adventure in quite some time. It's gonna be an interesting first session for sure!"

So, come and chat, come and play, run a game if you want to. Bring a friend. Stay in touch.


Hairy Larry

Links for If You Play You Win.

file area


Here's an invite link to Tenkar's Tavern on Discord.

Discord runs on everything, PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and IOS. Install Discord and then take the invite link. When you are in Tenkar's Tavern leave a message in the Common Room. You should be validated in about 10 minutes. You cannot leave a message in the gamerplus rooms until you are validated.

Questions or problems? Message me on Gamer+.

You can join us anytime to play or listen. The game starts at 7:00 Eastern/6:00 Central.


Our first If You Play You Win actual play podcast will be held Friday, October 25 at 6:00 pm Central, 7:00 Eastern. RobboG will be running a one off in his new game, Universe Unleashed. Here's a link to the pregens and rules.

Players will find everything they need to know on pages 3-6 of the Universe Unleashed pdf.

If you pick and name your character post a reply here or message hairylarry or RobboG so we will know what's happening.

It's also fine to jump in tomorrow if you can. That's why we're using pregens.

I will be playing Constant Comment, in the support division, and I'm a hacker.

I'm looking forward to a new experience tomorrow night.


We started early and I got the ball rolling talking about Carl's game, Wizards and Heroes, which I had just run at NEA Game Fest. And we also discussed:

PbtA - Powered by the apocalypse



Five Torches Deep

Shadow of the Demon Lord

Beyond The Wall

Maze Rats



Not all rules lite. Some had parts that were rules lite or were compared to rules lite.

We also discussed 5e as opposed to rules lite games. What's good and not so good about 5e. Of course many people love 5e but no game is perfect and we were born to complain about stuff.

Later on we got into castle building. Here's some links to blogs that were posted.

A Little Bit More About Strongholds

OSR: Building Castles

After I feel asleep they got into Blackmarsh.

It was a great chat. Thanks to Masked and Danger, Jake the Human, Mage, and others for carrying the ball while I tried to keep up.

Gamer+ News October 21, 2019

NEA Game Fest 2019 raised $5,418.72! Thanks to all who came out and supported The Children's Shelter!

Egyptian miniatures made of wood 3,500 years ago. I think they are brewing beer.

CarlHeyl comments, "My old school minis don't feel so old school now."

FollowMeAndDie posts "A good overview for what is the OSR. Presented in a way that should appeal to new RPGers and those who only know 5e. He limits Old School to D&D and omits all the other games from back in the day that had a similar quick style of play. Or games that started back then that may not be simple rules. AKA Nostalgia."

ZDL posts Chinese playing cards. "This is my second, believe it or not, 100% hand-made deck of playing cards."`

Please welcome DualClassic to Gamer+. Invite your friends. Help us grow.


Lightly edited text chat from Inspired Unreality on October 14, 2019. Initial topic - Staying In Character. Also thanks to Masked and Danger and Jake the Human for an extended discussion in voice chat.

hairylarry at 8:57 PM
Inspired Unreality in the gamerplus chatrooms in 5 minutes. Initial topic: Staying In Character.

sjard at 8:58 PM
i'm one of those who look at roleplaying as being completely unconnected with playacting/thespianism.

hairylarry at 8:59 PM
I see it as very connected to playwriting and playacting.

sjard at 9:00 PM
fair enough. fortunately there's enough room in the hobby for both of us.

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:02 PM
Roleplaying == making game choices as a character.
Roleplaying != acting
Staying in cahracter == acting

Opiyel at 9:03 PM
wouldn't making game choices as a character be staying in character though?

sjard at 9:03 PM

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:03 PM
different thing
but related

sjard at 9:03 PM
playacting is the fastest way to stop being in character in my experience.
usually because the accent (usually entirely inappropriate to the setting/campaign) takes over and the character goes out the window

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:04 PM
One can roleplay while dungeon crawling.  Acting is mostly the domain of dialouge and NPC interactions

Opiyel at 9:05 PM
BUt wouldn't making those choices while dungeon crawling be a form of method acting?

Ivicus at 9:05 PM
everytime the Dm describes something awful and someone at the table goes "Nope." is roleplaying a character haha

sjard at 9:06 PM
but, i have a feeling this is one of those things much like background music.

sjard at 9:06 PM
case by case, and group by group

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:06 PM
If I wanted to sound like an Shakespearean Englishman I'd just make my regular speaking voice, but earthier.  English RP came much later than the period fantasy emulates

hairylarry at 9:07 PM
I like background music that fits the theme too. or sound effects like thunder or wind

Ivicus at 9:07 PM
I need background ambience because I have tinnitus and having something just a simple as like a cave dripping helps with my sanity lol
Or bare minimum a box fan

I think it was Mat Covelle or however you spell it that had
  roleplaying (lower-case) = playing a Character in a game but it's essentially an in-game you
  Roleplaying (upper-case) = playing a Character in a game and make decisions based on what the Character would do, not you as the Player
  voices etc. are just extra
hairylarry at 9:07 PM
I don't think you have to do voices to be in character.

Masked and Danger at 9:08 PM
On the other hand, putting an English accent (or a fake scottish in my case, my current character is from Moonshae) SOUNDS better then just talking in my neutral american english

hairylarry at 9:08 PM
Or even act. I think you should be in character in your roleplaying. In what you do.  

Corra at 9:08 PM
I'm the same @hairylarry, that's why I like the definition I mentioned above

sjard at 9:08 PM
and for almost every group i've ever been in, background music/sound effects have been so distracting that they effectively end the game session until removed.

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:08 PM
The vocies are fun, but yeah it's all russian pirate by the end of the night. And that's before people started bringing hooch

sjard at 9:09 PM
scottish russian pirate if they're a dwarf

hairylarry at 9:09 PM
I agree Corra. Missed that while we were getting set up.

sjard at 9:09 PM
which isn't exactly appropriate for playing in warring states period china

Masked and Danger at 9:09 PM
I try to mix it up character to character

hairylarry at 9:09 PM
I like to play a character that has my interests so I don't have to pretend I don't know something.

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:10 PM
I don't think I'm allowed to do warring states voices anymore :stuck_out_tongue:

hairylarry at 9:10 PM
maybe torpedo noises

Masked and Danger at 9:10 PM
Like obviously, characters should be a reflection of the player.  That goes back to the beginning of the hobby, where the characters literally were the players isekei'd into Castle Blackmoor
But I am a multitude

hairylarry at 9:11 PM
Megan likes to play something completely different
I'm kind of always me but a variation.

Masked and Danger at 9:12 PM
I can play a refined privateer, a poor hedge knight, a fashion disaster wizard

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:12 PM
Most of my characters are a small piece of Jake, expanded into the simulacrum of a person

vivian at 9:12 PM
I usually just wing it. Never know what I'm going to do.

Opiyel at 9:12 PM
I generally try and challenge myself by playing personality types outside of my comfort zone

Masked and Danger at 9:12 PM
Granted, there is a circumstantial element to it

hairylarry at 9:12 PM
I need to do more of that.
For a long time I was always a bard because that's so me.
Now I'm playing other stuff. I even broke down and played a fighter.

Masked and Danger at 9:13 PM
In my current group, when I'm playing I'm the idea man and often the voice of reason

hairylarry at 9:13 PM
You know I'm a lover, not a fighter (blues lyric)

sjard at 9:14 PM
i think every character will likely be at least 50% the person playing it. can't help it, but when i play a new character, it takes a while to really fill up the other 50%.

Opiyel at 9:14 PM
I also ask "What would make my character act different from their personality?" rather that "What would my character do?"

hairylarry at 9:14 PM
Motivation. Just like method acting.

sjard at 9:14 PM
there are quite a few game of 20 question type things out there for various rpgs that can help with some of the alternate viewpoints.

Opiyel at 9:15 PM
Yeah there are good resources out there
THere was a book Tenkar had recommended that I got.

Corra at 9:15 PM
I usually give my Characters some bullet points that shape their ideal and stuff, that usually helps me play the Character I'd say. Granted, I'm usually doing it from the DM side of the screen

Opiyel at 9:15 PM
It has a lot of improv prompts that help you really get into the mind of your character

hairylarry at 9:15 PM
Kier uses the word concept. What's your character's concept?

Opiyel at 9:16 PM
I generally bullet point things like traits, quirks, flaws, and ideals

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:16 PM
That sort of brings up my pet peeve of people trying to roleplay someone either incompetent or has no place being in combat

sjard at 9:16 PM
d6 star wars had a section on the character sheet for a character quote. sometimes that's all you need.

Masked and Danger at 9:16 PM
Your character should be filled with the experiences you have as a player
With your other characters
Characters unfold like reverse origami

hairylarry at 9:17 PM
So this character's development hinges on past character's development?

Masked and Danger at 9:17 PM
For example
In my warhammer game last week, I found out my players would take a bribe to murder someone if they were told they were evil cultists
They killed them before checking
They were correct they were cultists, but if they hadn't?

Opiyel at 9:18 PM
So playing a coward is definitely something that everyone needs to be on board with. In literature and other mediums, cowards generally grow by learning to stand up for themselves and their friends. So the player of the  coward as well as the other players and GM have to be down with that. The coward has to ask themselves "What would make my character stand up and fight?" and teh players have to ask themselves "Why would we adventure with a coward?" Sadly, cowardly characters tend to be undercooked and played mostly by instigator types.

hairylarry at 9:18 PM
Yeah, I get that
I think killing humans is something to be avoided.

sjard at 9:19 PM
somewhat makes me think of the character Matthew Quigley

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:19 PM
@Opiyel yeah,  but is the coward actually useful.

hairylarry at 9:20 PM
At least you know the undead guy is a monster.

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:20 PM
It's a game not a novel

Masked and Danger at 9:20 PM

sjard at 9:20 PM
though that's more a variant of pacifism than cowardice

hairylarry at 9:20 PM
yes, a coward can be useful

Opiyel at 9:20 PM
To a degree you are right. Hence why I said the players in total would have to be down with it.

Opiyel at 9:20 PM
So the coward has to have other skills outside of fighting.

Masked and Danger at 9:20 PM
The main problem with a cowardly character is that you have to give them an extra kick to get them into action

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:20 PM
There are a decent number of archetypes that are innappropriate for PCs whaic are of literary value

sjard at 9:21 PM
depends on the game being played
they may be quite appropriate for low/no combat games.

Opiyel at 9:21 PM
I don't think there are inappropriate characters, just character types that require more work to fit in, both from the player, the other players, and the GM.

Jake The Human (Tavern Regular) at 9:21 PM
Useful i'd define as "helps us achieve our goals", for which combat is usually a suboptimal solution anyway

hairylarry at 9:21 PM
I think a coward can be useful in a combat game

Opiyel at 9:22 PM
And there are different types of cowards

hairylarry at 9:22 PM
It's difficult to play a coward because I always want to be in the thick of it.

Opiyel at 9:22 PM
You could have one that freezes up against larger creatures.
Or a younger, inexperienced fighter that isn't used to battle (yet...)

sjard at 9:23 PM
i guess it depends on how you define cowardice
some may not technically be cowardice.

hairylarry at 9:23 PM
I try to avoid fighting when I can - not the same as cowardice

Masked and Danger at 9:23 PM
My current character has claustrophobia, which comes up surprisingly often.  Not precisely cowardice, but does lead to good roleplaying whenever the GM asks me to role a wis save to keep moving

Opiyel at 9:24 PM
I like that a lot
I think the important thing though is for the cowardly character to grow their character

hairylarry at 9:24 PM
claustrophobia is a good idea


hairylarry at 9:27 PM
What does my character want. And what is he willing to do to get what he wants.

hairylarry at 9:28 PM
Motivation helps a lot with NPCs - keeping them real.

Opiyel at 9:28 PM
Also, what would it take to go against their wants. @hairylarry

hairylarry at 9:28 PM
as opposed to just a device to mave the game along

Opiyel at 9:28 PM
I think that's a good question to ask about one's character. What would make them act against their own wants or ideals.


Corra at 9:33 PM
I usually write a few sentences on how my monsters will act in combat, I find that helps at the table a bunch

hairylarry at 9:35 PM
Corra, that writing stuff down really helps organize things

Gamer+ News October 14, 2019

Inspired Unreality is tonight at 9:00 PM Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. The initial topic for tonight is Staying In Character. As always anyone can present a topic and all gaming is on topic.

The new Related To Geeks Podcast, Conventions, is up on Anchor. We discuss gaming conventions from the standpoint of the presenter. If you are interested in what goes into putting on a convention you will enjoy this podcast.

This weekend is the NEA Game Fest in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

ZDL has a series of posts with pictures on her profile about variations on Chinese Chess. Be sure to scroll down to find the Chinese Chess info. She has a ton of interesting stuff.

CarlHeyl has uploaded two photos of him running some games for kids.

Also check out RobboG's post about female character objectification. It gets deep quick what with elves and dwarves and all.

What else can I say? Post links. Tell your friends. Go to a convention. Play some games! Help us grow.

Hairy Larry
Gamer+ News October 07, 2019

Inspired Unreality is once again hosting the Related To Geeks Podcast tonight at 9:00 PM in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. We will be discussing putting on local conventions. Inspired Unreality is an open game chat, everyone is welcome to the discussion. After we finish recording the Related To Geeks Podcast we will continue with our usual open game chat where anyone can suggest a topic and all gaming is on topic.

There has been discussion about Buddhist UFO seekers and wizard's pointy hats so weird is the new normal at Gamer+. Or maybe it's the old normal?

CarlHeyl has been posting photos of his vintage miniatures, all painted up pretty.

I posted some of Mike's Free Maps with a link to more.

Hat tip to Froth and his Thought Eater blog where I found Mike's Maps.

I also posted a help blog called "Profiles, the Wall, Newsfeed, Dashboard, and Main". I'm the webmaster and I still don't understand everything but I tried to lay out some basics for beginners at Gamer+.

And ZDL posted a picture of her super cool bamboo dice tower.

Now that's cool.

I ended my blog post above with a paragraph about linking to your profile. Whether it's a link on your blog or a social network or just telling your friends about us we appreciate your help growing Gamer+

We are here to promote your game content. Please send me your links or add them by clicking Links on Gamer+.

Hairy Larry

Your profile is your most important page. This is where you let other gamers know what you're interested in. You can get to your profile or other gamers profiles by clicking on the username or the avatar. On a person's profile page you can message them, send a Friend request, or follow them.

Your profile can optionally have The Wall. On a wall there are no replies or likes. The discussion on the wall just continues from what was entered on the wall before. A linear thread so to speak.

Newsfeed posts have the header NEWSFEED above them. Newsfeed posts can be made from a profile, the dashboard, or main. Newsfeed posts have likes and comments. So they are a little bit more like Facebook than The Wall. On the Newsfeed text entry boxes there is a triangle made from several lines in the bottom right corner. You can use this to resize the text box so you can see more of your entry. When you click in a Newsfeed text box a camera icon and a Send button appears. Since you hit Send to make your post you can hit enter in a Newsfeed text box and post several paragraphs. The Newsfeed posts also have a smart link feature. Post a link on it's own line and Gamer+ will follow that link and try to provide information about it below the post.

Both The Wall and Newsfeed posts show you the camera Icon. Click on this to add a picture to your post.

The Dashboard has fewer posts than Main. I think it's mostly your friends or people you follow. Main shows a lot more posts and it also has a left column where it shows recent activity in other areas of Gamer+ like Photos, Videos, Groups, Events, and Links. Some of these areas in the left column allow you to sort the items differently to change what you see. The default is always Latest or most recently posted. Most of the areas in the left column also have action buttons at the bottom of the area allowing your to View All, Add New or Go to.

Although this seems like a lot to digest and takes a while to figure out I do want to reassure you that on Gamer+ no one is tracking you and trying to figure out what you ought to read or trying to increase your engagement. There are no algorithms at work behind the scenes and unless you choose differently you will see everything with the most recent activity at the top. Newest first.

One more thing about your profile. If you want to invite someone to view Gamer+ or post a Gamer+ link to your blog or website there is no better spot to send them than your profile. At the bottom of your profile page there are instructions on how to create a link. If you post links to your profile on social media or other websites you will be helping Gamer+ grow.


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