[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2019-02-06

Ethnographics of a fantasy world

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 23:21

So here’s something weird that I have never thought of before. I am planning to run a fantasy game in the next month or two, and have been contemplating various setting options. One that seemed to pique the players’ interest was what I described as an “Asian slurry” fantasy world (ASFW from here out) — a not-Earth mixture of various Asian myths and legends, with an overlay of the anime version of China and/or Japan and/or Korea.

The premise of the game is that the PCs are transported there from our world (something like the Thomas Covenant books or the Doomfarers Of Coramonde).

So I am thinking of this, and it occurs to me: there is a virtually zero chance that all of the PCs will have what we generally think of as Asian features. I don’t think I have ever run a modern day game with more than one PC with Asian ancestry. So these visitors from another world will look strange and different to the people of ASFW.

I’m not sure if this is a problem or not. At first I thought it would be, but now I am thinking I might be able to tie that into the background of the game. Maybe they aren’t the first round-eyed strangers from another world to have visited ASFW…

Now for the weird thing. This — the difference in appearance between the population of a fantasy world and the PCs-from-another-world who arrive there — has literally never crossed my mind before. None of the other fantasy settings I was thinking about sparked this thought. Mentally, I just populated them with the same melange of Europeans of varying swarthiness with a sprinkling of Arabs and Africans, such that any PCs from our world would blend in with the population with little effort (at least until they start talking).

I don’t have a conclusion to draw from this. I just thought it was weird.

Wednesday, 2019-01-30

R.I.P., Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 08:00

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe
Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (née Clemm; August 15, 1822 – January 30, 1847) was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The couple were first cousins and publicly married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 26. Biographers disagree as to the nature of the couple’s relationship. Though their marriage was loving, some biographers suggest they viewed one another more like a brother and sister. In January 1842 she contracted tuberculosis, growing worse for five years until she died of the disease at the age of 24 in the family’s cottage, at that time outside New York City.

Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off and on for several years before their marriage. The couple often moved to accommodate Poe’s employment, living intermittently in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. A few years after their wedding, Poe was involved in a substantial scandal involving Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet. Rumors about amorous improprieties on her husband’s part affected Virginia Poe so much that on her deathbed she claimed that Ellet had murdered her. After her death, her body was eventually placed under the same memorial marker as her husband’s in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. Only one image of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe has been authenticated: a watercolor portrait painted several hours after her death.

The disease and eventual death of his wife had a substantial effect on Edgar Allan Poe, who became despondent and turned to alcohol to cope. Her struggles with illness and death are believed to have affected his poetry and prose, where dying young women appear as a frequent motif, as in “Annabel Lee”, “The Raven”, and “Ligeia”.

(from Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, Wikipedia)

Friday, 2019-01-25

The limits of rationalization

Filed under: Technology — bblackmoor @ 11:06

So here’s a fun thing. NVidia just came out with the RTX 2060 (a computer video card), which is 50% faster than my current card (GTX 960 — a pretty fast card in its own right). The RTX 2060 costs $380… not cheap… but I could rationalize it (it’s 50% faster!). HOWEVER…

I have three monitors. They have DVI inputs. The RTX 2060 has three DisplayPort outputs. A DisplayPort to DVI adapter is $107. I would need three of them. It would almost be cheaper to buy three new monitors. In any case, I can rationalize spending $380 for a 50% faster video card, but I can’t rationalize $700 for a faster video card — not while my current card works perfectly well.

Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2060

Wednesday, 2019-01-23

Translation job scam

Filed under: Work — bblackmoor @ 11:03

If you get an email offering you a job cleaning up translations into English, like the one I have pasted below, it’s a scam. Just delete it. It’s not a real job. Do NOT reply to them

Our rapidly enlarging company is searching for a Business Correspondence Corrector who is fluent in English language to assist in interaction with our foreign clients. Your duties are to overview our business textual content files and also modifying grammar issues.