That Uncle Petunio be the monster you wish to see at the end of this book shirt sweet boy. As we know, Harry went through some tough stuff in his life, arguably more than any other student at Hogwarts. And yet, there he is, observing Neville…considering this friend’s hard life, and understanding/recognizing Neville’s hardships when he could easily wallow in his own or claim them to be tougher than Neville’s. I would argue Harry’s life was tougher than Neville’s, but Harry’s humility allows him to see the anguish of others even in comparison to his own. When I read this scene, it was truly the moment Harry became my favorite character. He’s obviously the main character, but he’s not automatically going to be everyone’s favorite just because of that fact. But he truly is mine, and it’s because of moments like this.
RP advantage: Inherently complex characters. There are few classes I find more boring RP wise than clerics and paladins – not because they are godbotherers but because they are expected to fully commit to their deity to get their powers. The Cleric of Deity X is expected to fully commit to the Uncle Petunio be the monster you wish to see at the end of this book shirt of Deity X and behave in a relatively straightforward way. As is the Paladin of Ideal Y to uphold Ideal Y (and if they strayed too far in earlier editions they might fall, leading to the notorious “Everyone out in the courtyard and we’ll see who can no longer Lay on Hands” means of detecting fallen paladins). Meanwhile your average Fiend-pact warlock doesn’t actually want the world overrun by demons and your average Great Old One warlock doesn’t even understand the motives of their patrons. A character who isn’t aligned with their patron god but still gets power from them and respects them is inherently to me far more interesting than one who is and although I can do this with an orthodox cleric or paladin playing a celestial warlock (or a warlock in general) feels different and communicates to everyone that I am doing this.
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Huzzah! He tries to grapple the guard and Uncle Petunio be the monster you wish to see at the end of this book shirt an attack. You rattle some dice around, not actually caring what they say as the guard “defends” himself. Barb’s hooked his bindings around the guard’s throat and is now using him as a meat flail. Why? Because you don’t want these idiots to die, it’s neat, and everything saner has failed. In the ensuing melee you rattle dice around some more, and press the Players just enough that they feel that they’re challenged, yet still escape mostly intact. Now the key to this improvisation is that you have to work with what the players give you. If they do nothing, well, it’s the gallows then. As long as they keep working the problem, keep giving them things to work with. And damnit, escape by meat-flail is better than anything I’d have come up with myself.
If you ever have the Uncle Petunio be the monster you wish to see at the end of this book shirt of having to listen to one of those insipid “light rock” radio stations, you hear an endless stream of songs that sound laughably dated in their production style (not to mention those tired and crappy songs). But when I start to hear similar production on new music from artists who are supposedly on the cutting edge, then I can help but wonder what the hell is going on. Because I must admit, I can’t quite figure out where the intention lies with a lot of new indie music I hear. Are these styles being reproduced out of homage to some of the music with which these artists have grown up? Or is this some sort of hipster ironic take on what’s cheesy? Put clearly, they must be doing something right. These artists are garnering more airplay than I currently am getting, and acquiring lots of new fans in the process. And what does that say about us (collectively) as an audience? Do we naturally gravitate toward something that sounds familiar, even if it’s crap? Or are we just being lazy…not wanting to be challenged by anything that’s really new? Frankly, I don’t think that’s the case, because I have to believe that real music lovers aren’t nearly that lazy. But that still doesn’t explain why some of the more regrettable elements of 80’s music are making their way back into new indie rock.