Wednesday 30 November 2022


“Because to me, fantasy isn’t wishful thinking, but a way of reflecting, and reflecting on reality.” Ursula K Le Guin

“Imagination is not imaginary.” Matthers OGD

There are two possibilities. 

One, the universe is finite, has an edge, has a limit. 

Second, the universe is infinite. 

So far as we able to tell it is the second, the universe is infinite.

There are two reasons.

1st, the basic obvious we cannot see it’s edge, we have not found it’s limit. 

2nd, all of our scientific studies have concluded; no form of energy ceases. It transmutes. 

We have to factor in imagination. 

Eckhart Tolle describes a human being as “life, nature, becoming self-aware.” 

We have the faculty of imagination.

There are two possibilities what is imagination.

First possibility: it’s where we make things up. Imagination creates new things which did not previously exist.

Second possibility: it is an imaging device, much like a lens capable of drawing information from somewhere.

This necessitates that information to already exist. Imagination, then is a combination of observing and deciphering, translating what we have observed from its source. As a generalisation we tend to bundle everything together into one raw chaotic mess. 

The concept of remote viewing, which many people claim to be a sensory ability of the mind, suggests that what we bundle together into one raw, chaotic mess, is a crude basic way of describing ‘everything out there’ into a singular concept. 

Which obviously is incorrect and misleading. Perhaps they should describe it as ‘arguably’ incorrect and misleading.

It is at this stage we recognise the description of ‘everything out there as a singularity’, as one entity, to be what is referred to by mystics as the ‘all-being’.

If the universe is infinite, if imagination is a visionary tool, able to peer into other parts of the infinity, it is a logical conclusion, that everything we can imagine exists as a reality, somewhere.

What we are seeing in the minds eye is an actual, real thing. If not for us here now, for some version of us somewhere.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Ice-Age 2020s

Reading this blog might be the most seriously you take this until too late. If that is the case, you will freeze to death. 

Surviving Rapid-Onset Ice-Age. 

Blankets across the windows. 

PREP: Get duvets and blankets. 

Pipes will freeze and crack. 

No water on tap. 

No gas central heating. 

Never burn resources excessively. 

Never burn plastic. 

PREP: stock up on firefighters. 

One fire to heat water and dry clothes on warms ten people. Ten fires of the same size wastes resources.

PREP: Get a metal cauldron with a lid. 

Glass will crack from cold. 

Brick up windows. Use cement if possible. 

Water will freeze in the cracks between the bricks. Use boards between frozen bricks and blankets across the windows. 

PREP: Stock up on soap.

Learn how to make soap.

Lye can cause blindness. 

Liquid soap is easier to make but is not easily portable/tradable. 

Your perfect survival space is a cave with a log-fire (a stove with chimney flume is best) and soap manufactory. 

Keep all rooms dry. 

Store all liquids at ground level. 

One warm-room for living in.

Other rooms (cold-rooms) are for storage. 

An air-lock room if possible. 

Managing Toilets.

There will be no more flushing toilets. 

The ground will be frozen solid. 

Luckily excrement and urine will freeze but it will stink and is unhygienic. 

Do all that outside in one place. 

Soap before returning indoors.

Converting a room to have an open-log fire. Cut a hole in the carpet or remove it entirely (it’s probably plastic, poison fumes if it burns: never burn plastic), expose the foundation cement of the ground floor. 

Drag rocks in to make a circle between the rocks no larger than twelve inches diameter. Clear space around the outside of the rocks, minimal twelve inches preferably at least thirty inches. 

Dedicate one corner or cupboard to keeping dry logs and wood in. Smoke-ventilation is a health & safety issue. Try to send it upstairs. Smoke will cause damage. Disable fire-alarms. 

Comfortable space around the fire for a group of people. Cushions and blankets, mattresses. Sleep huddled together for warmth near the fire.

Go outside and retrieve as much fallen wood as possible to dry-store in a cold-room. Bash insects from it before bringing it indoors. 

Killing trees is bad for our oxygen needs and their wood is too wet to burn anyway. Only idiots kill trees, it is not survival. Short Pine-needle tea is soap and nutrition (long or curly pine-needles are poison). 

Contact neighbours and express the fundamental importance of all moving into one room at a time to preserve limited local resources by sharing warmth and to discuss survival. 

Building a Water Filter: tutorials exist, acquire the necessary materials now. 

Prep to do before the big freeze:

Get duvets and blankets. 

Stock up on firefighters. 

Get a metal cauldron with a lid. 

Stock up on soap.

Spare tin-openers and various canned foods, stockpiled. Minimal of 2-tins-a-day-each-person rations. 

Build a water filter. 

Prep to do during the big freeze: 

Brick&Blanket all windows. 

Fire-pit in living room. 

Good Luck. 

Saturday 12 November 2022

Dungeon Ecology

This is a roleplaying community blog post. 

‘Dungeon Ecology’ is a great concept. It is not only about the plants and animals to be found in a dungeon. It is about all the denizens of the dungeon and the sustainability of their lifestyles.

This is where realism has to go out of the window for 99% of those rpg dungeons to exist. This blog is an exploration of applying realism to the concept of dungeon ecology.

The primary question to ask is:

What is the dungeon for?

The correct answer is: 

For a gang of adventurers to go in there, dodge traps, kill everyone and steal whatever they can find. 

You would’ve thought people would give up having dungeons by now with all that going on. 

The ‘Why would a person want to live in a dungeon?’ Table

1-2 they are mad. 

3-4 they are a monster who cannot find anywhere else to live. 

5-6 some other really good reason. 

The ‘Really Good Reasons To Live In A Dungeon’ Table 

1 can’t find a way out.

2 nowhere else to go. 

3 born there. 

4 paid to be there. 

5 looking for something specific. 

6 is a dungeon builder. 

That’s enough of good enough reasons. 

Dungeon Ecology is about how it’s denizens interact with each other. It’s about their food sources and waste management. Lastly it’s about what they do to prevent themselves from going stir-crazy with boredom. Not very different at all from any urban environment. 

Most supplies and resources are not manufactured in the dungeon. They are imported into it. This relies on ‘Trade & Raid’ interactions with the outside world. 

Attaining necessary supplies requires at least one denizen dungeon dweller to have skills involved with successful raiding and/or trading with outsiders. 

What do dungeon dwellers have to trade with, in exchange for the supplies they require? 

From where do they go to acquire those supplies? 

Do they buy in bulk and stockpile sacks of dry grains or tins of pulses? Do they source fresh fruit veg and dairy products daily? 

It is useful to be aware we have grown up in generations of affluence the likes of which history has never seen. We have better diets and eat more regularly than did mediaeval kings. While we know it is not sustainable to continue doing things the way we inherited from the 20th century, it does not stop us from continuing that lifestyle regardless. One must surely wonder who are the real monsters.

Most dungeon dwellers, as with most people throughout history and even alive in the world today, are for most of the time hungry. Only wealthy people eat daily. Most people do not. That is the harsh reality of the matter. It is the social and living conditions to which people adapt. Malnourishment. 

Let’s face it; the adventuring party are probably only going in there at all because they are hoping to make some money so they can eat tomorrow themselves. 

Oh yeah there’s that undead warlord wearing a magickal doohicky to save the world from but you ain’t gonna want to do that on an empty stomach, surely? 

Next up:  What plants live in dungeons? 

Answer: Gross-tasting sprouts covered in psychotropic mold. Probably. 

Check out  THE +O+TH TUNNEL blog! 


Friday 11 November 2022

Statistical Roulette

You have a six-shooter a pistol and three bullets.

At this time the writer would like to assert the writer does not like guns.

At all.

A diatribe about the US Constitution fifth Amendment right to bear arms and use them in self defence and to form militias in event of a rogue government, may follow.

None of that is what this blog is intended to be about.

You have a six-shooter and three bullets.

How do you load them?

Personally, despite having admitted in public my distaste for guns and an intention to never have anything to do with them if at all possible, I would load a bullet into every other cylinder. That way I can easily keep tabs on where the bullets are even after spinning the cylinder.

But as others have often pointed out, I do not think like other people.

It is from accepting that factor, I observe most other people will more probably load the three bullets into consecutive cylinders, leaving the next three cylinders empty.

Why is this important?

You could express it is important for the sake of argument. I have no intention at all in picking a half-cocked argument with somebody who is holding a half-loaded pistol. 

It is important for the sake of this blog. 

It is important for the following reason.

Today we are doing fractions. 

We are doing probabilities.

My friend, today we are doing maths.

The question is simple.

What is the statistical possibility of pulling the trigger and hitting a blank versus pulling the trigger and firing a bullet?

Most people will say, that is easy. It is a three-in-six chance, which is the same as a 50/50 chance. Those people would probably be right. What are the odds.

From here on in, it gets more interesting.

You pull the trigger a second time.

Now what are the odds?

You immediately understand the relevance of why I made a point of mentioning how we load the bullets into the barrel.

O I O I O I  = my method

O O O I I I  = majority method 

As stated previously, for the purposes of this blog we are going with what I have dubbed the ‘majority method’ for how those bullets are arranged.

I told you it would get more interesting. 

The second time you pull the trigger, is it more likely, less likely, or the same chance of firing a bullet versus firing a blank?

For the sake of argument and to keep things simple, we will go from the position that the first time you pulled the trigger, it fired a blank. No bullet. 

Are we here: 

X O O I I I 

or here: 

O X O I I I 

or here: 

O O X I I I 

Where the X signifies the first time we fired the gun (which fired a blank). 

At this time we simply do not know. 

Now you understand why I think the way I do and would personally have loaded it the way I have called ‘my method’.

So, we pull the trigger a second time. What is the statistical possibility of firing a bullet vs firing a blank? 

There are now less than 3 empty cylinders. 

It is no longer a 3 in 6 fraction. 

It is no longer 50/50. 

Or is it? 

One school of thought is that there is still a 50-50 chance. 

One school of thought is there is a 2 in 5 chance of firing another blank, which is the same as a 60% chance of firing a bullet on the second go. 

Which of these two schools of thought is correct? 

Is it possible they can both simultaneously be correct?

If they are both simultaneously correct, there are two parallel universes coexisting at the same time. 

Neither is more right or more wrong than the other. 

Has it clicked yet?

Now look at those three possibilities again. 

In two of the possibilities, the next cylinder is empty. In one of the possibilities, the cylinder had a bullet in it. That’s 2/3 probability the next cylinder will fire a blank despite we know logically there are more bullets than empty cylinders. How does that make sense? 

Theoretical philosophy is one matter. It all changes when you invest some money into it, gambling against the odds. 

It all changes significantly when a persons life is on the line, which in the case of loaded guns is deadly. 

Thursday 10 November 2022

GM Types

This is a roleplaying community blog post. 

Types of GM: The RailRoader

“For the good of the story...” 

“I own everything, even your decisions.”

Significant red-flag sociopathic, dominating personality.

The last time I encountered this guy several years ago online. 

I saw an online advert; 

“new players wanted for established campaign world.”

One of the players had quit and had left no forwarding information as to why he had quit. No mention was made of any other players. In retrospect I concluded they had already quit several weeks previously. The gamesmaster had been running the game regardless, using the player characters as NPCs to continue the adventure. 

So he was running that last remaining Player Character as an NPC ‘for the good of the story’. Fair play, He’s invested a lot of mental and emotional attachment, a lot of time and work into developing this adventure he wanted to see it through to its conclusion.

What he needed was another player to come in to play another character who it turned out was an NPC for the main character, who was now an NPC.

So we had a situation where the only existing player was playing a disposable NPC while the Gamesmaster was playing technically an NPC as a main protagonist.

That’s not a good situation for a role-playing group because it does not put the players at the heart of the action.

It delegates them to a secondary place to the NPC‘s which puts the gamesmaster in a situation of power and control.

Most people would have conceded defeat and shelved the project for lack of interest. Not this guy. His Obsessive score rates too damn high for that. 

It was when I realised this that I recognised the probable reason the other player had quit was to do with the gamesmaster investing more heavily into the story than into the players enjoyment. 

I suggested “Why don’t you start a new game with the new players?” He told me that would be happening later after ‘I’ have finished this story to its conclusion.

I mentioned I have no idea what my character was supposed to be doing as I had no leeway to make that decision for myself, or who these are other NPC’s / ex-PCs were in relation to my character. The Gamesmaster did not explain it to me. Simply that my NPC was a surprise element of an old adversary returned, to be thwarted by the main character before the build-up to the final scene. 

I was berated for not having read the backstory. I had read the games overview but I had not read the many excruciatingly detailed pages of previous adventure sessions yet. There are several hours of work to do in reading all that. I did not know if I wanted to heavily invest my time into this guys writing simply for the task of playing an NPC for a couple of scenes.

Bearing in mind I had been told my character had a specific type of task to do, which me made it feel like 

“Why not run that character as an NPC?” As I have not much if any at all player-input into that character anyway.

I did two sessions during which there was very little back-and-forth between myself and the Gamesmaster. 

I was expected to step in after he had finished writing a certain lengthy descriptive paragraph and complaining about how he was having to play everybody else’s characters because none of them have turned up this session either.

At that point I made the decision there are much better roleplaying groups and much better things to do with my time.

That type of gamesmaster is sociopathic. While it is admirable to invest a lot of focus and attention into the story, it’s also admirable to invest a lot of focus and attention into the people, the players who you are playing the role playing game with.

Sucking people in on the pretence that it’s a role-playing game only to dictate to them that they must write lines in your novel which you are writing anyway even without them, does generally tend to make people stop wanting to play with you.

We call them Power-Gamer Games-Masters. 

The mentality is such that if anybody is running a gaming group in the region and they find out about it, they will take over and assert their domination. They know the rules better than everybody else and their imagination is better than everybody else’s imagination. They tell other people what to think, what they must do with their characters ‘for the good of the story’.

They gravitate towards positions of authority. Games-mastering is a creative endeavour and does have a level of authority. 

However, authority is based on respect. Respect is earned. Respect is earned by respecting the people who you are involved with. 

When significantly high number of your gaming group drop out, not because they don’t want to play roleplaying games anymore, but because they do not want to play with sociopaths. That is when it is time to reassess the value of other people existing in the world and the relative value you bring to their lives. 

What happens with this type of Gamesmaster is social isolation further entrenches them towards their supremacy complex because it validates to them how everybody else is clearly in the wrong by not understanding their genius.

Such people are better off honing their skills by writing a masterwork of epic fiction which perhaps somebody might read someday. At the very least the time they dedicate to sitting in a room alone with a typewriter and their imagination cuts the rest of us a much needed break from having to deal with them face-to-face in a controlled environment. 

There are literally numbering into the thousands of people looking for role-playing gaming groups to become involved with.

A healthy ecology has biodiversity. Not all Gamesmasters are as the Railroader type. Because of their nature, you are likely to encounter these more often.

Attaining validation through critical control of those you seek validation from is abuse. 

Check out  THE +O+TH TUNNEL blog! 


ADDITIONAL 13.11.2022 

Since posting this blog I discovered the following relevant quote: 

“How are the Players going to do that? 

Thats not my job. 

That's their job. 

A lot of GamesMasters think of themselves as Story-Tellers 

but I prefer to consider myself a Conflict Designer. 

I create conflicts but I don’t need to know how the Players figure their way out of the conflicts. 

That is where the story emerges and that is their department. 

My job as I see it is to provide an objective, location, antagonists and time-limit. 

Players drive the action with their decisions. 

I never know what my players are going to do. 

Maybe they’ll kill the villain, maybe he escapes. 

Maybe they’ll live, maybe they’ll die. 

That’s up to them and the dice. 

So why plan further than the next session? 

If I did I might be tempted to steer the game toward my preferred conclusion. 

But I don’t want to do that. 

I want to be just as surprised as the Players.” 

Professor Dungeon Master, 

Dungeon Craft, YouTube

The Reviled Society, Part 1 (Ep.291)