Oh yeah, baby, wrap those tentacles around my big wet Earth.
John C. Cockbite*, John C. Cockbite, Auteur:
Dungeons and Perverts
Ah yes, the kink dungeon. A somewhat overwhelming place at first, however there is a welcoming air there and a lack of judgment. Whoever you are, whatever you are into, whoever you are attracted to, or how you identify… there is someone ten times freakier than you on the next St. Andrews Cross over. And that can be a freedom in a way in a world where freaky is wrong.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the kink efforts to reclaim the words slut and pervert, turning them from cruel invectives and callous hate into badges of pride. Yes, one can proclaim, I am a pervert, I’m into the “weird” shit, but that does not put me at risk or mean I am inferior to some sad sack performing missionary position with his wife every 9 months because his company’s insurance plan just blocked contraception.
And it is no wonder that the right-wing is cottoning in to this effort and in their traditionally heavy handed manner-
What? It’s not? Really?
Then what is the article actually about?
Shorter (or the last port before Jungle):
- AIEEEEE! Dungeons and Dragons has finally acknowledged that players can play as non-binary or trans* individuals in their demonic devil dice game, despite the fact that queer gamers and kinky nerds (huge overlap there) have been doing that for years and in fact fan additions to the game as well as rare items in canon have actually codified rules for gender swap spells or curses. Nonetheless, let me react to this no duh as if it was the very hand of Satan come to swallow our souls and turn all our most precious son resources into fags.
Oh… never mind then.
Wow, Dungeons and Dragons being the cursed devil for right-wing homophobes. Oh, how that takes me back. See, like many nerds, Dungeons and Dragons was my gateway drug for the hard corrupting influences of fantasy novels and decadent dice addictions. Sure, I may have just been in college, thinking I was playing it safe, but fast forward and suddenly I’m carting around a dedicated dice bag and fourteen source books and babbling about my lucky die.
Oh yes, much like the Chick Tracts warned us, D&D was my enticing entry point to a world of decadent sin and NEEEEEEEERDery, derailing a promising mind into learning new methods of crafting interactive stories and creating shared experiences while communicating clear and not so clear objectives and planning ahead multiple future options. Yes, truly a decadent and vile sorcery, unacceptable in any polite company. No wonder religious communities treated it as an unholy combination of a Pride Parade, a heavy metal concert, and an Anton LaVey interview all rolled into one…
Which might make it more ironic that the first group to get me into the tumbling die was a group of Evangelical kids (…I had kinda a rough adolescence). Sure, they may have tweaked the rules so that magic was actually just psionics (because apparently an omniscient ruler of the Universe with a hate-on for anything even hinting of the dark vile forces of magick is also apparently easily fooled by a simple search and replace… no no see, my fictional character is setting things on fire with their brain, not random fictional magical powers, so we’re all good), but it was still dice rolling and stat sheets, arguing whether or not something counted for a hit, and chatting about random shit and Monty Python references until the DM started rolling impatiently with a devious grin on his face.
D&D has had its draconic talons in me for a very long time and is the source of a lot of fond memories. D&D birthed my first experiences writing fantasy, were my first experiences with acting and improv, was the main bonding point for my small circle of friends in high school and undergrad, and so much more. Being a Dungeon Master (DM), or the person behind the small mountain of sourcebooks regretting having to roll the attacks for each one of the 50 kobolds they thought it would be so clever to throw at the heroes, polished my story-telling and writing skills more than a thousand school essays and building my own home-brewed systems were a point of pride for me when I was a wee pup.
And yes, D&D was my first real experience with being a woman. Sure, it was all for pretend and I wasn’t often allowed to do it because of what others smelled in me that I could not at the time, but my fictional
spell psionics-slinging sorceress was a comfort I did not yet know to appreciate.
So yeah, the dice and the dragons and the dungeons that were only occasionally kinky… okay, not that occasionally, especially when I started playing with other college kids have always been dear to me.
Which is why it is awesome that they have apparently always been responsible for Satan’s impending takeover of the Earth, the seas boiling, the skies growing red with blood, and DC’s comic releases getting worse than ever.
James Wyatt, the designer of the latest Dungeons & Dragons starter set, is trumpeting how progressive the game’s values are:
(sing-songy voice) ~Time for esoteric knowledge and backstory!~ (/sing-songy voice (because my voice is dead at the moment))
James Wyatt is but one of the three writers for the new upcoming fifth edition of D&D (see, D&D keeps coming out with various editions of D&D so that each generation of loser gamer can smugly look down on the next for playing the “easy mode for babies” that “ruined the whole game”). He’s not one of the lead designers for the game and there are four full editors credited with checking over everything.
This is important because the supposed “trumpeting of progressive values” is actually just a paragraph addendum in the section on character’s gender in the official fifth edition basic rule sheet released for free to the public.
But see James Wyatt must be called out by name as the sole arbiter of this PC madness because of Wingnut Rule No. 1238 which states that every business decision by a corporation that happens to favor equality or ruling by a committee or panel of judges must be credited to one single easily smeared topic in order to pretend that corporations are pure and wonderful and as wingnutty as a bright summer day (that happens to have a school shooting in it) and individuals are weak and cowardly and liberal and against the clear majority (who are becoming so vanishingly small that even the Bigot Party is not sure it wants to keep courting them).
What makes this whole scapegoating even funnier is that five seconds of googling produced the little tidbit that James Wyatt is actually a former Methodist Pastor.
Allow me a second to lol at the out-of-touch bigot and… continue.
You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon’s image. You could play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.
This is apparently the offending part of the Rules Handbook that is causing the usual bigots to rend their garments and dust off their old anti-D&D screeds.
It’s in a section on Character’s sex after a bit that goes:
You can play a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hinderances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior.
Which is in turn is surrounded by sections on crafting a name, figuring out the height of your character, their alignment, religion, languages, personality traits, ideals, and flaws.
In short, it’s about roleplaying and crafting a fictional character who can interact with the story one’s DM is telling as a complex person instead of a set of numbers to do other numbers to fake number monsters. Because that’s the appeal of D&D, the complex story-telling and interaction of characters, building the chance to grow and make memorable moments as some character changed and evolved or some hilarious expression of who a character was doomed or saved the party. It’s what allows a silly game about barbarians and wizards be a tool for nerdy introverted geeks to bond and build shared memories instead of some dumb math problem that eats 6 hour chunks of one’s life.
… It’s also what already fucking happens.
I mean, it’s a shock apparently to Captain Heteronormative here, but gamers, and especially queer gamers have always explored the fantasy options to include trans* and queer characters as well as sex and kink and pretty much every other permutation possible. Because fantasy can be fun and it can be an opportunity to explore or craft a more idyllic world or lend a fantastical solution to real problems. I’ve certainly DM’d my share of campaigns with major trans* NPCs and several queer and trans* player characters, because I’m playing with queer geeks and that just makes sense.
What this addition is is simply spelling out what a lot of gamers already do in a section which is basically about learning how to be a gamer and think like someone who roleplays. And sure, this might be the first time this has been specifically mentioned in the rulebook in this exact section, but this isn’t exactly the first time trans* elements have been part of the canon rules.
Hell, I still have my copy of the 3.5 edition of D&D Dungeon Master’s Handbook, specifically the section on cursed items you could have in your game, which was published back in 2003. See, cursed items were this trap a DM was encouraged to include in the game to get players to be careful about new items because a certain number of them carried a curse that effected a player in different ways. And there were tables you would roll a d100 or hundred sided dice (usually done by rolling two ten sided die) to determine what effect the cursed item would have with effects ranging from poison to major personality shifts and so on…
Or, in the drawback table, this entry:
30-32: Character’s gender changes.
Yeah, two editions ago, DMs were actually encouraged to gender swap their players as an official part of the rules, but since that was presumed to be mortifying for all parties that was cool as compared to the new evil which posits that there is nothing wrong or odd with playing trans* spectrum characters. Cause that makes sense for reasons other than reflexive transphobia… uh huh.
And what could possibly be more authentically faux medieval than that?
… And what could be… I…
A game where you can play as a devil-person wizard capable of bridging the party to whole other dimensions or a halfling ranger who worships a Raven Queen goddess of death and where random parties of adventurers conquer dragons and liches and there are no inherent gender restrictions is… “authentically faux medieval”, but add a line about your fantasy toolbox for making slightly obscured choose-your-own-adventure stories about being able to play as trans* people who actually existed in medieval times (I mean, there’s no way to be sure that Jeanne D’ Arc was a trans* man, but there are a number of other bodies buried around the medieval times with gendered accoutrements for a different sex than the bone tests computed that suggest that trans* people were definitely still a thing back then) is just breaking the “realism” of your fantasy game.**
Perhaps… and I don’t mean to be rude here… but maybe, just maybe your ignorant, inaccurate ideas of “historical realism” weren’t the main concern in this fantasy game about fantasy. Maybe, just maybe, it’s just a toolbox so that a bunch of nerds in the 70s could roleplay in Tolkein-esque fantasy settings and make their tabletop army game more rewarding and story-driven that happened to catch on as a universal fantasy-story-generator that each individual group of players crafts their own kind of story in.
But anyways, I think I interrupted. Please, continue.
I believe Shuma Gorath has already boasted how the worship of evil would supplant all other religions? And you thought he was just a comic book bad guy?
Uhhhhhh? (Flip, flip, flip) Was there something cut out or…
No, apparently not. Nope, instantly off of ranting about a Baby’s First Inquisition’s (let’s all just forget the Children’s Crusade, Love, the Catholic Church) understanding of “authentic medieval history” and what the word “fantasy” maeans, he suddenly shifts to a random reference to an obscure Marvel villain “based on” (i.e. shamelessly copy-pasted from) H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
I’m honestly just as baffled as you are.
I mean, the bolding of evil I get. It’s just the standard right-wing Christian ranting about how D&D is evil and corrupting your children that dominated right-wing Christian efforts in the 80s and built entire industries around demonizing a nerdy little pen and paper game.
But the rest…?
I mean, there’s the slow nervous laugh inducing shudder inherent in his apparent inability to distinguish reality and fiction as aptly demonstrated by the line about thinking a comic book bad guy is a comic book bad guy, which is… (cold shudder) anyways…
But the rest is just like a rubik’s cube of crazy. I mean, we went from trans* people being acknowledged to worship of evil destroying all other religions… I’m trying not to read anything into that, but I’m also not planning to walk anywhere within a 200 ft radius of him ever in my life.
And the horrifying thing is people this dumb and painfully delusional about reality are considered more qualified to hold positions of power in this country than trans* people… No wonder we’re poisoning our world to death.
There’s then a picture of an old Doctor Strange comic with a Trigon looking claw coming out of the sky and…
No doubt you are wondering ‘Didn’t John C. Wright, famed international author and curmudgeon, just use that picture yesterday
… Do you often use that picture in lieu of arguments? Do you think comic pages are actually arguments? I mean, is that a thing we can do? Could I just be linking to scans of Raven and Starfire homoerotically talking about love while bathing in the nude instead of using my brain words to make the argument stuff… actually, that honestly might be superior to my usual output… um, I need to rethink my life choices…
to underscore some point about Leftist crazies forcing Catholics to pay for abortifacient contraceptives and calling their unwillingness to do so a war on women?’
A) Employees asking for the right to use their earned compensation in the way they want and have their own religious freedom and basic health care rights respected ain’t forcing nobody to pay for anything.
B) Anyone who uses the term abortifacent contraceptives as if it is a real thing deserves to have a womb violently implanted in them and a crash course on the difference between contraception and abortion… also why that shouldn’t fucking matter either way.
C) You’re a moron.
No really, stop listening to Fox News and just stay away from the internet, because at this point, I’m honestly wondering how you function in day-to-day life and I don’t think you can afford to keep burning brain cells at your current rate.
D) Really? You used the same fucking nonsensical, delusional, and completely out of left field appeal to God and Satan as your response to the completely bullshit Hobby Lobby decision? Do… do you just use this picture every time your brain realizes it has no argument other than… durr, is not white cis male, smash with hammer…? And if so, why in Bob’s glowing green nuclear fallout Earth do you seem to think it is some slam-dunk knockout answer?
It’s like if instead of snarking I just responded to every wingnut post with a picture to a neon pink pumpkin and acted like that was the ultimate trump card of destiny.
WORSHIP THE PINK PUMPKIN, CRETINS!!!!
Yes, well the picture is appropriate today as well,
Uh huuuuuh, yes, tell me about your first obsessions with the picture… do you still have the wet dreams about the giant sky hand grabbing your hard one-inch cock? Yes, I promise not to tell your story to Fredric Wertham. Yes, I know he’s looking for new publishing material and I’m hard up for cash. I have integrity… mmm, hmmm.
now that gamer crazies are trying to manipulate kiddie ideas about decency
Decency is for pussies and children. Real grown-up men know that being a complete dick to people is where it’s at! Bullies for life, brahhhh!
and perversion in sex in a game otherwise concerned with spelunking robbers who slay monsters.
Dude. Have you ever met a nerd in your life?
They add perversion and sex to everything they come into contact with. Everything. I mean, rule 34 is an internet rule for a reason.
The picture is appropriate every day.
Yessss. The picture is always there to comfort you when you go to sleep. The queers and the wimminfolk won’t get you as long as you have your lucky picture, ha… ha…
Just go to sleep and we’ll just quietly sneak out of your scary murder basement just as quietly as we entered… and… RUN FOR IT! Trip the slow and the racist on your way out!
Just in case you forget, the insanity from the Left never stops.
Yes… The insanity from the “left”. Mmm hmm, yes, you are making such an incredibly strong case for sanity right now.
It. Just. Never. Stops.
No. No it doesn’t. Cause see, trans* people exist. Queer people exist. Women exist. Blacks exist. Black queer trans* women exist. And though you can retreat to your magic sky hand picture whenever you want and wish and hope and pray that it’s just the work of Satan’s throbbing giant red cock penetrating the Heavens over and over again, it doesn’t change the fact that people other than cis white straight men exist. And that the general culture is less and less willing to conform entirely to the desperate sad cravings of a bunch of sad old white men crouching in a hole wishing for the world to depart and leave them be at the expense of all those people who exist and continue to exist as well as their acquaintances and friends who don’t want to pretend those people don’t exist. Especially as that increasing group of people have money and votes and are rapidly becoming the majority in this country.
And that might frighten you, because you just can’t stop the world back when you were a child and your daddy told you how to think and everything made sense no matter how much you stamp your feetsies and call everyone else who exists an agent of Satan.
And so you stamp your feet harder and clutch your sky hand picture closer and… float on to obscurity as the world continues to spin, undestroyed, out of your control.
It never stops, John. It will never stop. Not until this solar system collapses.
‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. Wait, D&D is destroying the God worshipped by these petty authoritarians? Someone draw me a map and fetch me a d20, because I need to plan a campaign right the fuck now! We are aware of all Internet traditions.™
*Apparently, John C. Wright is a sci-fi author. A sci-fi writer who is a deeply bigoted, poorly-reasoned right-wing buffoon, say it ain’t so… because at this point that’s about as cliche as a pie thrown in the face.
**This reminds me of a batch of stupid surrounding a game called Crusader Kings that I used to play back when I actually had moments of free time to play video games. See, it’s a game where you play a dynasty in medieval times and you try and change history. And some modders have tried to make mods where you can allow women to have equal roles and where homosexual marriage is possible and a lot of clearly not-at-all bigoted douchebags have railed against the notion as that wasn’t “historically accurate”… in the game all about changing history. They also apparently seem to not understand that a modification of the game doesn’t actually change their personal copies and thus they don’t have to play a smelly version where women are people and people other than heterosexuals can marry if they don’t want… Yeah, bigots seem to have a great deal of difficulty understanding the notion of different people being allowed to do different things thing don’t they? Bu-bu-but if that person does something that’s helpful and refreshing to them, then I’ll have to do it myself, because everyone is an interconnected robot who follows the same program from the giant supercomputer that secretly controls our lives.
***Since, random appeals to the universe seem to be the rage, I’d kindly request the universe cease kicking me in the balls for five seconds, please. I mean, in the last week or so, I’ve had my car broken into, my family going full abusive tyrant “corrective therapy” on me making me worried about exactly how to make sure I never have to fall back on them ever, my credit card phished, and my brain cracking under the stress of it all. It’s a little much is all I’m saying. Maybe we could go back to one terrible a thing a week for awhile, just for a change.