Monday, July 7, 2008

No Pics Please, We're Mathematicians

Yes, I know, the posts with the math haven't been terribly interesting. I have a friend who believes that while he likes it, no one else will...and the comments line clearly directs that.

I just can't post about artwork, however. Artwork and D&D that is. It seems strange that nearly every blog about D&D that I've come across seems to post regularly about the artwork, and I have no idea why.

Don't get me wrong. I like art. I can wax poetic about it. I'm more likely to talk about Turner and Botticelli, or the Group of Seven, or Gainsborough...or the many interest artistic developments in the field of pornography. But fantasy artwork? No, not too much.

I grew up around a great many artists who produced artwork leaning towards the elves and fairies and large castles and big burly fighters tearing the heads off other things. Very impressive. I couldn't match their efforts. But not particularly interesting to me. Didn't expand my consciousness, if you get what I mean.

I can't remember one conversation about art in D&D in twenty years of playing that didn't end within about three minutes. Have you seen this pic? Yeah, not bad. Yeah, I liked it. End of conversation.

So, why so much time spent on blogs? I guess they've run out of things to talk about. Or they don't want to post about their worlds for copyright reasons.

Me, I'm happy to go on about math. Oh, sure, its a limited appeal. I don't pretend to have the handle on what appeals to the blogosphere...I have never had much in common with it. But I will babble away about my systems and then move on to other things. Things about my world. Things about actually playing D&D.

Not pictures.

Baffling. Some kind of softcore pornography for I don't understand who...


  1. Nice!

    Player1: Wow! Have you seen this new art?
    Player2: Yeah, cool. Wtf is a Tiefling doing as a player race?

    I like the economics discussion. I studied it a bit in college and the economics of D&D has always been a thorn in my DM foot. I finally gave up a few years ago and declared a gold piece to be worth $50 and then handwaved the rest as any society with that much magic flying around would be pretty much equivalent to the world we know in a short period of time. I'm lazy, yes, but I'm coming around.

    Recently, I wanted to address the issue of selling and buying stuff in towns that were obviously too small to be able to absorb or produce the goods in question. I was tired of handwaving the purchase and sale of magic items because, "The rules say you that if you have enough gold, you get to buy the item, and I have enough gold. Now gimee."

    I came up with a system of describing a town's economy with a few simple statistics, and using the concepts of a price limit, meaning the maximum retail value of any single item available in a town, and a purchasing capacity number based on a fraction of the former number. This at least allowed me to state without completely shattering my player's suspension of disbelief that a character couldn't sell a Sword of the Planes in a town of 1100 because there wasn't enough money in town to buy it. Nor would there be.

    This stuff is fascinating, Alexis. Keep it up.

  2. I got those concepts from the 3.5 DMG, by the way. I'm lazy, but I'm not a plagarist. Well, I'm not much of a plagarist.

  3. No posts since Monday? Are you OK, Alexis?

  4. I guess they've run out of things to talk about

  5. Actually, I've been at the beach. The last post came from a webcafe.

    Back home now.

    Post in morning.

  6. I always wondered who liked Botticelli. Now I know.

    Now if you can explain why, I'd be unimaginably grateful.

  7. Offhand, the compelling, yet unreal nature of his subjects, the porcelain skin, expressions that suggest aloof intelligence or even blatant disconcern for the surroundings ... I find that technique soothing. I am free to become part of the picture without feeling I am being dictated in what I should think or what's acceptable.

    Botticelli is better known - in his earlier works, especially - for being less concerned with the religious condition. Even in the Birth of the Magi, it is Botticelli (in the self portrait that is my avatar) staring out at the viewer, with the attitude, "Can you fucking believe this?" The personality of the man comes through in many of his paintings, working in a time where anything that wasn't strictly religious was dangerous ground.

    Keeping this short, let me finish with my loving the Birth of Venus. Stunning.


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