Friday, October 29

Granting Immortality to Children

I had a conversation the other day where we started with science, then moved into genetics, then lifespan. Or rather the future of all of those things.

I wonder about the humans that are currently tinkering around with our DNA, like how someone would putter around in their garage on their old Chevy, and whether they will someday succeed at granting Humanity the long sought after gift of Immortality.

Just as a brain exercise, let's imagine what such a breakthrough would look like:
  • I'd imagine that it would have something to do with our genetic code at a base level. I highly doubt that you could hand someone a drug and freeze their body in time. Perhaps a type of chemical solution could keep someone alive longer, but over time, I'd think the natural programming of our genes would take over and shut everything down. This means that most likely, it would have to be something you would alter before conception. A baby would be born immortal, birthed by scientists and rich patrons.
  • Definitely--It would also be expensive. New technologies almost always are. Maybe over time the price would drop, but think of the supply vs. demand equation, and we are talking .0001% of people on Earth who could afford it. A middle class salary isn't going to cut it. Just think how things work in catastrophes, and you have your answer about who would live for a time, and who would live forever.
  • It would redefine everything. There would be those with everything that would risk other people for their own gain. Indefinitely. Those people would become a separate species, only bound by their everlasting nature. They would share something in common, however--birthed into great wealth, they would be the children of money. They would be the immortal Princes and Princesses of industry, bred for the nobility of money.
Nations rise and fall, and power changes hands, as one leader dies, and another, less capable, or less ambitious leader fails. If that first leader lives forever, then will power every change hands again? So I wonder, not whether someone should "cure" aging (because if that is at all possible, it will happen), but rather, when scientists cure aging, can we trust the Children Who Live Forever?

Why PCs Shouldn't Summon Lackeys

Written for this thread.

Picture this:

You are sitting around the gaming table. Through the dim light you see Big Dean toss his d20 with one meaty hand, and growl, "My dwarf rolls a 19. I hit AC 27. Eat that goblin scum." Smoke flitters past the table fan as a puff of light shines from behind the DM screen.

Pages rustle as a raspy voice grates across your ears: "You hit. The goblin's eyes widen as the blade of your axe severs his head from his neck. The body crumples to the floor as the head rolls several feet, and the beady red eyes blink in amazement, then peer into oblivion." The DM coughs, and puts out his cigarette. He reaches out from behind the screen and places something on the battlemap.

It fills up a 3v3 area. That is huge! As his bony hand slowly creeps back, you hear a gasp from Christina. You turn your head to figure out what the commotion is, and your eyes are mesmerized by the miniature. It's a red dragon! It has fire coming out of it's mouth and little plastic grass that has even been scorched. Little bits of body parts have been strewn across the base, and you see blood. Blood everywhere.

All eyes turn to you as cast your gaze down to your crisp new character sheet. You preordered Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, just so you could atone for your last three characters that have died. (Two of those times weren't your fault!) This time, yes this time, you will conquer. You will prevail. This must be overpowered, right? It's new afterall. WotC wouldn't sell new stuff that's suboptimal.

You will show Big Dean with the hairy arms that you too can read message boards and select optimum feats and items. You will show Christina that you too can roll high when the situation demands it, and when she sees the imaginary bloodied carcass on the ground, she will know that it was you that tipped the miniature over, and maybe she will draw a picture of your character in her notebook.

Finally, you will show the DM that his miniature, that he probably bought off of Ebay because he's a cheapskate, is worth less than the might of your newly printed character.

You turn the page with triumph, and as you slide your fingers down the page, you stop and read your saving grace, your redemption...

"Todd." The skeletal DM hand gestures toward the miniature. "It's your turn, dude. Go."

You look up. You see Big Dean, eating a chicken salad. You see Christina, dear Christina, who is texting (probably her boyfriend), and lastly you see the gleaming miniature, as the cigarette smoke caresses its ghastly claws.

You say, "I summon...I summon...a Spined Devil...Lackey."

Big Dean snorts, "A spined devil what?"

You deflate, "Lackey."

"Couldn't you cast something more, um...useful?"

"It is useful," you are getting pissed. You glance at Christina. Is that pity in her eyes?

The DM says, "Just let him cast it, My raid starts soon."

You place your puny miniature under the nose of the red dragon, you pick up your faded d20, and you think, "Please, please, please, let this be the time. My time. Let my lackey pwn this boss."

You roll, and the die spins, and everyone at the table leans in, and it finally stops on...

A 1. A freaking 1.

You stare in disbelief as you vaguely hear dice rolling from behind the screen, and it's as if you are underwater when the DM says, "The dragon eats your lackey. Christina, your turn."


That, my friends, is why Hexblades should not summon lackeys.

Thursday, October 28

Not a Total Slacker

Just to show that I've been doing more things than I give myself credit for:

I've written two guides to League of Legends. If you are into that sort of thing, you can read those:

Zen Malzahar
Sun Tzu Teemo

I've also been writing random guides for Dungeons and Dragons. Things like:

Dwarf Pitfighter
Half-Elf Knight


I've been trolling random forums, stirring up the craziness in people, and periodically helping those in need of my mystical knowledge of the gaming arts.

I think that watching this video has got me thinking on how to be, if not proud of my pastimes, at least content in knowing that in the right place and time, they can be appreciated. Now the question remains, how do I get myself from where I am to where I want to be?

Well Hello!

It's been awhile since my last post (well, my second to last post). I think it's because at some point I ran out of things to say. I could have keep talking, but really, why blather on about nothing? My wife knows that I have difficulty speaking at times, and that can apply to creative endeavors as well.

They say that the only way to be good at this stuff (and by this stuff I mean the act of creation) is to keep doing it over and over again until something you make doesn't suck. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Hopefully I can find the balance between productivity and drivel, and not subject anyone (mostly myself) to thoughts and ideas that are better left unsaid.

Toddler Wisdom

Harmony (my two year old): "I love everybody!"
Justin (my four year old): "I love spoons!"
Harmony: "I love spoons, too!"
Me: "You love spoons?"
Harmony: "We love spoons today!"