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Some musings on GURPS - RPGnet Forums
Most useful stuff is early. Stop around post #130 or a bit after: after there it starts getting into a couple posters' particular problems with GURPS (with a few last posts of general utility) and then the thread spins in circles around them.
gurps  advice  forum-thread 
april 2018 by eggdropsoap
Is is still possible to bring a sense of awe and wonder back to fantasy?
While I have my doubts (despite whatever my fellow players say) about any real insight on this, here's what I do when facing feeling too repetitive with genre stuff (since really, fantasy is hardly alone in this):

Fantasy isn't an original. Fantasy is a remix.

We're not trying to come up with something new, we're trying to come up with a fresh take on something that already exists. This is, after all, what so many creators were doing. Tolkien didn't just imagine Middle Earth out of the blue. He explicitly wanted to craft a version of mythology that was updated to be appeal to contemporary audiences in a way that repeating the same old stories wasn't. George Lucas once described the Jedi and the Force as religion's greatest hits.

Things have gotten repetitive as people have tried to remix the remix without really going back to the original first. That's why things start to feel stale and self-referential. How many ways can you really remix D&D remix of Toklien's remix of different European myths many remixed already by sources like Wagner, and really have something that's not?

I feel like the best fantasy is stuff that goes back to first principles. If a first principle of fantasy is retelling traditional mythology in a new contemporary way, well we don't need to worry about how to make Ents cool enough to avoid Timmy jokes. We need to say, what stories did the Ents come from, and what about those stories would translate into something fantastic now?

If, for example, we want to revisit dragons, lets look at Fafnir. I think it's fair to say that Fafnir is very responsible for the modern cultural association of dragons with greed and gold (even if it predates that, he's iconic thanks to Wagner). But Fafnir was a Dwarf cursed to become a dragon because of his greed. The Icelandic sagas tell a very messy story of essentially a tragic and fatal mistake bringing out the worst in people as good faith attempts to allow for amends are hijacked by the desire to use the event to screw others over. Wagner changes this in various ways, especially the role a magic ring plays in the tale. Tolkien goes farther by cutting out the idea that Smaug is a literal result of a dwarf's greed resulting in a transformation into a dragon, and a larger metaphor of the dangers of unchecked greed. But the iconic image of a dragon sitting on a hoard (esp. with magical items hidden in them) was further distilled. But that image has lost most of it's power because we just assume a dragon has a horde of treasure because that's what dragons do.

So instead of just tossing another gold hording dragon into the mix, we have a lot of options. We can go back to Fafnir and remix that story like Wagner did, but go in a different direction that's interesting? We can pick a different mythological dragon and think about how to distill that into a new idea of what dragons are. What if our dragons are based on Ladon? Rather than having a horde of golden treasures from greed, they're guardians of sacred objects? There's a lot of things you can do with that that are both 'wow' factor fantasy, and not something you see a lot of in mainstream fantasy.
forum-thread  fantasy  commonplace-book  roleplaying-games 
march 2018 by eggdropsoap
The Nano Reef: a Step by Step Guide | MyFishTank.Net Forum
Introduction

The purpose of this article is to provide a how-to, step-by-step guide at starting your very own "nano reef." It is quite long, but...
aquarium  forum-thread 
february 2018 by muffin
Do clownfish "feel happier" in pairs?
{duncaholic} I try very hard to avoid using words like always or never on this or any forum, but I do have a lot of experience with clowns and would say that they almost always thrive in pairs. I don't know about emotions when it comes to clowns, but I can tell you with very little fear of contradiction, that most clowns will be stressed (if not unhappy) in a tank either by themselves, or with more than one other clown. I breed clowns so I have had the opportunity to observe thousands of them in conditions ranging from 300 3/4" juvis in a 30g grow out tank to a single sexually mature female clown in a tank by herself awaiting the addition of a suitable mate. I actually believe that sub adult clowns crowded into a smallish tank are happier than any clown that is isolated. Even with all the bickering in a heavily stocked grow out system, most of the juvenile clowns will grow healthy and strong, and the fighting at that age is more akin to posturing than the all out wars that inevitably will occur when they reach sexual maturity. But more to answer your question, all my new clowns that come in from outside sources are quarantined for 6 weeks prior to introduction into any of my systems. Even during this relatively short period of isolation, their behavior is dramatically different than when they are in with another clown. They tend to be more skittish, and generally just look more stressed, than paired clowns. Clowns that I have had isolated for longer periods of time say 6 plus months, seem to loose all their character and spunk. I had one that ended up swimming upside down in the top corner of a 55g and wouldn't even turn right side up to feed. I literally think that isolation drives clowns crazy. All that being said, singles do seem to fair OK in a system with other species and and inverts. It may not be the most desirable interaction for them, but it seems to keep them occupied enough.
clownfish  aquarium  forum-thread 
january 2018 by muffin
The many methods of training Dragonets (Nano-Reef.com Community)
Hi everyone! I'm a long time fish keeper (both salt and fresh for quite some time) and a first time poster. With the subtle introductions aside, I'd like to...
aquarium  mandarin-fish  forum-thread 
january 2018 by muffin
Oversized protein skimmer in 16 G tank - Equipment Forum - Nano-Reef.com Community
Total newbie here, a ridiculous question about a ridiculously large skimmer for my new tank. I'm setting up my first reef tank: 16 G (60 L) tank and I was...
aquarium  protein-skimmer  forum-thread 
january 2018 by muffin
lgreen's Ultimate Guide To Nano Fish
Fish Stocking Guide For Nano Reefs
By lgreen (copyright 2005-2013)
aquarium  forum-thread 
january 2018 by muffin

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