So Fighters fight. We know that. It’s such a generic term that the generic verb is right there in their name. Over time, though, Fighters start to specialize. They settle on a style, a weapon, or even just a philosophy. When they do start down that path in this system, their class changes. They become known by their specialty, a reflection of the kind of Fighter they now are.

Today I’m gonna introduce you to the Initiate levels of Fighter specialization as it sits right now.

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Hooo boy, I have made some work for myself.

I guess I’ve settled on making NINETY FOUR classes for each Base Class. So here’s how it’s going to be set up.

You have your Base Class, who represent neonates, initiates, amateurs, and people who are just finding their talents or dedicating themselves to their new path. We’ve already seen these; Fighter, Rogue, Brawler, Accolyte, Arcanist, and Factotum (working name).

Once you set down that path, though, your class can, and will, change as you grow in both focus and power.

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Virtuous Violence

August 21, 2017

There’s a secret to bending the most toxic element of masculinity toward whatever political ends you want; dress it up as virtuous.


When you look at the myth of the Hero, the man who stands above the world as a savior and leader, he is always wreathed in violence. King Arthur’s badge of office was a sword. Saint George stood over a dead dragon. Heracles was driven mad to violence then used various acts of violence to attone. The entire cycle of Hindu Vedas surrounds various wars and how violence is both ennobling and necessary. The greatest gods of every place on earth are described with a power above all others that grant them the description of “greatest of the gods” – violence. Men are taught from the earliest that violence can not only be good but be holy, be virtuous. Even our idiomatic idea of a defender – the White Knight – is a vision of ennobled violence.

This is a dangerous thing for all of us.

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I’m gonna do a series of posts in the D&D rewrite series detailing three Core Classes (working name, since it’s still in the D&D framework…starting to think I’ll have to develop this out into a separate system so I can distribute it) that each Basic Class can ascend to. So, for example, the Fighter will become a Soldier, Bodyguard (Man-At-Arms), or Knight. In that post I’ll go through each of the advanced classes as they relate to the fantasy of the Dungeons and Dragons play style. Not just Classes from the history of D&D but specifically how they fill the roles of the stories we tell in D&D, and use D&D to tell.

That’s a concept I want to get into more specifically here. What do I mean, really, when I dig into the D&D fantasy? Well, I’m kinda crossfaded so this is mostly stream of consciousness but it’ll be a long winded intro into how D&D portrays itself.


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Thousands of years ago, a star fell upon the Earth. It was a black star, born of the infinite void and cold to its infinite depths.

Men sought out that star, brought it into their home, and formed it in their fires. They shaped and bent the star into a sword, though no matter how hot it was bathed it remained cold in its heart.

Great kings and warriors carried this sword, passing it from leader to leader, though it brought with it a curse. The sword sought the blood of men and it drank deeply. On the battlefield, the sword was a force of nature that destroyed armies without slowing. When it hung in peace, though, it drove those who carried it to madness and, eventually, death.

This sword crept through the world, seeking death and blood wherever it went. It was bent and broken, reforged and reformed numerous times. Every time seeking power and not understanding the price of blood. Eventually the sword became only known not by its many names but what it does – That Which Drinks Blood, or just the Drinker.

The sword fell from history but did not disappear. Its victims became those who were not known, those who were on the edges of the places where people lived.

Until the blade fell into the hands of Imanuel Kresk.

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A Cruel Wind Blows

August 14, 2017

A little while ago I wrote about emotions, about how our emotional maps are built, and how masculinity has deep roots in one particular emotion – violence. Around the temple to that emotion is an array of the stems and roots of violence in masculinity – the spear, the arrow, the club. Thousands of years ago, men started to tell each other that these things helped define what it means to be a man. At first it may have been in use in the hunt, but eventually the hunters turned their weapons on other people. They were celebrated for that violence, and thus violence became solidified.

This weekend, the echoes of those actions brought terror to the United States and, specifically, to the ongoing targets of that violence on the internet – people of color, women, queer people, liberal people, Muslims, Jewish people. Especially, though, Black people, Jewish people, and other targets of the KKK and the Nazis. This is the legacy of tradition, a tradition going back thousands of years to those spears, arrows, and clubs.

This is what is born of masculinity’s tradition of violence.

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Games of deduction and discovery can be fun, but they can also be maddeningly frustrating. Especially since the rules, as I’ve covered before, cover the social contract that allows a game space to exist. Because of this, games of discovery have to have at least two levels of game rules, possibly more.

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