View Profile: Alexander Kalinowski - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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About Alexander Kalinowski

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About Alexander Kalinowski
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RPG designer from hell
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Author of the Knights of the Black Lily RPG
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The dark gods await.
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The dark gods await.
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Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 03:07 AM - Aldarc mentioned Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    ...serve any other purpose than punishment? If that is the main purpose, it is punishment by private citizens, outside of court, before conviction in court. It's just not physical. It's social, perhaps economical, punishment. But it's punishment. It's legal, sure, but how does this not undermine the spirit of our court systems? Don't we now have to reduce sentencing terms because we need to figure in the punishment by private citizens that convicted felons already have to pay? And that ignores that punishment by private citizens is more likely to end in miscarriage of justice than regular trials.For someone who claims not to care either way, it amazes me how you have spent an exorbitant amount of time and effort in your arguments to provide him recourse and cushion him from criticism. He is not being lynched. He is not being asked to serve time in prison. The discussion is about revoking his Ennies, which makes your argument all the more absurd to the point of ridicule. Because yes, Alexander Kalinowski, as you seem to ignore, such practices are common to the point of banality in even the most lauded of democratic societies. This sort of action is not the exceedingly harsh or cruel and unusual punishment that you imagine. If it were, then we would see such things condemned far more frequently than they are. But society often lauds when non-governmental bodies show a commitment to justice.

Sunday, 10th February, 2019

  • 04:20 AM - pemerton mentioned Alexander Kalinowski in post Introducing Complications Without Forcing Players to Play the "Mother May I?" Game
    Pemerton decided to XP a poster that had said twice that traditional-styled games are not games. Do you disagree with Pemerton on this issue?You'll have also noted, then, that I expressly stated my lack of consensus on that poster's account of OSR gaming. But the bigger point came up a year or two ago in a discussion between chaochou and SAelorn (I think my tagging won't work here because Saelorn has me blocked). Saelorn ran a line similar to Alexander Kalinowski, that all the players ever do in the context of a RPG is to make suggestions to the GM about how the fiction might change, and the GM actually makes all such decisions. chaochou's response to this was that, in a literal sense, it meant that only the GM actually played the game (ie made decisions that affect the state of the game, which in the context of a RPG is the content of the shared fiction). Other participants were simply advisers or kibitzers. I take Enthusiastic Grog to have been making a similar point - if everything about the shared fiction is the GM's unilateral decision, then only the GM is actually playing the game. I guess it would be possible to recharacterise the nature of the game - eg for non-GM participants, playing the game means making suggestions to the GM which s/he may have regard to in deciding how the fiction changes. But that would seem to reinforce the thought that we're talking about a "Mother may I" style of play, I think. The most obvious way ...

Thursday, 24th January, 2019

  • 07:20 AM - Hussar mentioned Alexander Kalinowski in post Worlds of Design: How "Precise" Should RPG Rules Be?
    I guess that kind of depends on what level of complexity you're used to. I'm a 3rd edition player/DM myself, so I don't find the game very simulationist either (and I don't find it particularly different from 5th edition). But I can see how people who are more used to new school roleplaying games might find it a bit too detailed. 3rd edition leans strongly towards miniatures* and such (because of positioning, flanking, attacks of opportunity) and character progression (allocating skillpoints and such). Maybe this is what they mean with 'simulationist'? (* Note though that miniatures are by no means required to play 3rd edition) Heh. By that metric, 4e D&D would be the most simulationist of them all. :D Somehow I don't think that would fly. But, to answer you Alexander Kalinowski, Sim games are all about providing systems that tell the players what happened. The more detailed the sim, the better the answer. But, at it's heart, that's what defines simulationist games. The systems of the game break down events and adjudicate them in such a way that someone observing the game could easily (well, hopefully easily) follow the chain of events. D&D has never actually provided that. D&D has always been pretty heavily gamist. Even 3e is despite a pretty thin veneer of sim nods. Like I said earlier, in D&D, no one has ever been able to answer what 10 points of damage looks like. You can't even categorically state how something took that damage. For examples of Sim play, sure, GURPS qualifies. Star Fleet Battles. Battletech (both the wargame and the RPG). HARN. The Riddle of Steel. A number of the Palladium games are steps in that direction. So on and so forth. I think there is another issue with these discussions in that people tend to associate certa...

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Saturday, 16th February, 2019

  • 05:41 PM - DMMike quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post Rules Light Games: Examples and Definitions
    We will never be able to agree on what rules-light is, there are too many shades of grey. I like the approach of defining rules-medium, however. For me, D&D 5E is rules-medium. I can cite plenty of games that are significantly easier/more difficult to play. . .It's certainly less cumbersome than D&D in gameplay. Oh ye of little faitb*! Never is a strong word. You're probably offending some #WOTCstaff by suggesting that 5e is rules-medium instead of rules-light, but that's what they get for being on top. Your comparison of Cthulhu to D&D agrees with my definition; whatever the gray is, D&D is in the middle of it. I am intending to do so. I thought of this, but because I get such varied responses from individual players, I really wanted to get a sense from the community, rather than from companies putting 'rules light' on the cover, what their thoughts are. Getting a sense yet? Try my (impromptu) questionnaire: - Do characters take 30 or more minutes to make, WITH GM assistance? - Are there 3 o...

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 01:30 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    I know, believe me. Personally, I have no issue with the complexity of, say, D&D 3E or Shadowrun (any edition). But I get that not everyone feels the same way, so my current sweet spot is somewhere between D&D 5E and D&D 3E. Just a correction, I meant to type ‘I would NOT hold it against the game”—-edited the original post to fix the typo.
  • 01:27 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Well, sure. But we've got to acknowledge that realism is a continuum and where it starts is highly subjective. Some HEMA folks, for example, seem to have pretty high standards. Otoh, I can see why, for example, someone would consider an axe strike on average doing more damage than a knife cut a mechanical attempt at realism. That said, I guess realism in games generally requires some consistency across the entire system or at least across a subsystem.Yes, but the argument here is about changes to the game to increase realism, done for the sake of realism. If the baseline for this is "longswords," we're at a point of no discussion. Firstly because that's not realism and secondly because it's utterly banal as an example of realism in RPGs. A "longsword* in D&D is a loose grouping of weapons given arbitrary* game mechanics. "But we have swords, that's realism!" *and they are arbitrary, if you doubt it give me the reason that they do a d8 without indexing to anything else in D&D. That was picked out b...
  • 04:33 AM - Hussar quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    You got it backwards, I'm afraid: we have given up on people taking justice into their own hands. It leads to lynch mobs. And in modern times to internet lynching mobs. We have laws against sexual harrassment, established procedures to detecting it and agreed upon sanctions. We have those so that private citizens do not go out there and avenge alleged offenses themselves - in whatever form. Boycotts to punish wrong-doing are just vigilantism. You're just not beating someone up physically. Do you understand that? And do you understand why it's so important to give up on personal revenge? Because being part of a lynch mob feels gooood. It makes you feel both righteous and powerful. And you know what? Lynch mobs always have good reasons. They always just protect the innocent and helpless from the wicked. Wow. NOw that's doubling down. Refusing to buy a product because you find that author's personal life distasteful is now the equivalent of a lynch mop murdering someone. Huh. So, when we boycot...
  • 04:28 AM - Hussar quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    If you don't take justice into your own hands, you're an enabler? Yes. You are. If you fail to condemn behavior, but, instead, hide behind your door and refuse to take a stand, then, yes, you are an enabler. Full stop. So you need to punish Zak Smith over allegations that you consider credible? Let's say he was convicted of some of the charges made. Then he would have to pay the price that society has agreed upon that should be paid in such cases, right? Prison time, most likely. Do you think private citizens should ADD to that agreed upon price by adding economic and social sanctions on top of that? Would that imply that the official sanctions of sexual harrassment are too low to be satisfactory? Or do we engage in personal justice because it makes us feel good and powerful? You presume that public condemnation is "punishment". It's not. It's simply taking a stand and declaring that no, this behavior is not acceptable and does not belong in our community. Do you understand why...
  • 04:20 AM - R_Chance quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post Hidden
  • 03:10 AM - billd91 quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    That's good. Because I suspect some people would even want to punish felons who have served their time. As to the first point, it's a matter of principle: does stripping of awards serve any other purpose than punishment? If that is the main purpose, it is punishment by private citizens, outside of court, before conviction in court. It's just not physical. It's social, perhaps economical, punishment. But it's punishment. It's legal, sure, but how does this not undermine the spirit of our court systems? Don't we now have to reduce sentencing terms because we need to figure in the punishment by private citizens that convicted felons already have to pay? And that ignores that punishment by private citizens is more likely to end in miscarriage of justice than regular trials. It does nothing to undermine the spirit of the court system. People have the right to freely associate (or NOT associate) and that applies to honors they extend, such as ENnie awards. If Roman Polanski, despite his artistry, can be b...
  • 03:07 AM - Aldarc quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    ...serve any other purpose than punishment? If that is the main purpose, it is punishment by private citizens, outside of court, before conviction in court. It's just not physical. It's social, perhaps economical, punishment. But it's punishment. It's legal, sure, but how does this not undermine the spirit of our court systems? Don't we now have to reduce sentencing terms because we need to figure in the punishment by private citizens that convicted felons already have to pay? And that ignores that punishment by private citizens is more likely to end in miscarriage of justice than regular trials.For someone who claims not to care either way, it amazes me how you have spent an exorbitant amount of time and effort in your arguments to provide him recourse and cushion him from criticism. He is not being lynched. He is not being asked to serve time in prison. The discussion is about revoking his Ennies, which makes your argument all the more absurd to the point of ridicule. Because yes, Alexander Kalinowski, as you seem to ignore, such practices are common to the point of banality in even the most lauded of democratic societies. This sort of action is not the exceedingly harsh or cruel and unusual punishment that you imagine. If it were, then we would see such things condemned far more frequently than they are. But society often lauds when non-governmental bodies show a commitment to justice.
  • 02:57 AM - Aldarc quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    If you don't take justice into your own hands, you're an enabler? "The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people." “It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, "Wait on time.” A common motif raised in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. is about how the silence and idleness of nominally good people enables the persistence of social evils, hindering the realization of justice. So you need to punish Zak Smith over allegations that you consider credible? Let's say he was convicted of some of the charges made. Then he would have to pay the price that society has agreed upon that should be paid in such cases, right? Prison time, most likely. Do you think private citizens should ADD to that agreed upon price by adding economic and social sanctions on...
  • 02:50 AM - dragoner quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    As to the first point, it's a matter of principle: does stripping of awards serve any other purpose than punishment? It protects the integrity of the award by not being associated with the perpetrator. It's legal, sure, but how does this not undermine the spirit of our court systems? You mean the same system that routinely imprisons and executes innocent people? No, not really.
  • 02:40 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Do you understand that? And do you understand why it's so important to give up on personal revenge? Because being part of a lynch mob feels gooood. It makes you feel both righteous and powerful. And you know what? Lynch mobs always have good reasons. They always just protect the innocent and helpless from the wicked.What I understand is the fact that the leap to "NOT BUYING A RAPIST'S BOOKS AND TAKING AWAY HIS AWARD IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE TO LYNCH MOBS" is all sorts of a :):):):)ed up position to take. At this point, I'm beginning to question whether you are actually a real person or an AI chatbot programmed to emulate ethics by someone who made the program read every SAW script.
  • 02:37 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Sure it's about punishing him. No doubt it is. THAT is an open-shut case. If you wanted to condemn him, you would merely say it. Condemnation is a verbal thing.For some people it is, no doubt, but you can't see beyond that because your empathy gas tank is empty so your car doesn't drive very far on the humanity highway. But you want him to feel it. That is the punishment. It's the modern vigilantes equivalent of "Let's beat the ********** bloody." Yes. Taking away his award and not buying from him is EXACTLY the modern equivalent of beating him to hell. EXACTLY. (Because nobody goes around beating the crap out of people in this day and age, let alone all the other nonsense inherent to your point.) I have a question for you: suppose someone else was convicted of child molestation and had served his time. Do you see any reason why anyone should give such a guy any money for anything at all? Or should we add to his punishment AFTER he paid the official price (which implies the served time was no...
  • 02:31 AM - billd91 quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Sure it's about punishing him. No doubt it is. THAT is an open-shut case. If you wanted to condemn him, you would merely say it. Condemnation is a verbal thing. But you want him to feel it. That is the punishment. It's the modern vigilantes equivalent of "Let's beat the ********** bloody." I have a question for you: suppose someone else was convicted of child molestation and had served his time. Do you see any reason why anyone should give such a guy any money for anything at all? Or should we add to his punishment AFTER he paid the official price (which implies the served time was not enough)? Well, since Zak hasn't been accused of child molestation, doesn't seem at all contrite about his behavior so it doesn't appear any rehabilitation has happened, and we aren't beating the bastard bloody... I'm having a hard time seeing exactly how excoriating someone online and recommending that his ENnies be rescinded is really all that comparable. That said, if someone actually pays their penalties and...
  • 02:18 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    And let's be clear: stripping away awards does not serve the purpose of protecting anyone.Unless you're adult and empathetic enough to realize that by showing people that a specific type of behaviour isn't welcome within a community, at all levels (including something incredibly public, like say ... an award) that you're doing something so that those people who have been victims hopefully feel safer, and would be victims feel like the community has an eye open and is watching their back. You know ... just for example. But you've already illustrated that you and empathy are not on speaking terms, so ...
  • 02:01 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    I wouldn't even rule it out if he was convicted of any charges. Here's why: it's not my job to punish anyone for any wrong they have done. We have courts for that.And many jurisdictions within which courts operate have laws about people being able to make money from books and the like while they are behind bars. But not buying anything from him isn't about punishing him. It's about condemning what he's done to others and not wanting to put money in his pocket. I'm not at all surprised this escapes you. (Granted, I'd probably see it differently if I knew any victim personally and believed them but that's another thing.)And we're back to your position of ethics by proximity. It's like you've somehow managed to fail to even be qualified to participate in a conversation involving ethics. That's all kind of messed up.
  • 01:24 AM - S'mon quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Can you guarantee that three people (not necessarily women) from your past won't ever come forward publically and make up some false claims about you? I would be pretty surprised!! :D Certainly if three people I knew disliked me enough AND liked each other enough to make false claims about me. IME the kind of people who tell lies are not nice people and don't tend to like each other much either, so conspiracies are quite rare. Anyway all I'm doing is not buying his stuff going forward (I only have Vornheim). I probably wouldn't have bought his stuff anyway due to him having demonstrably been a jerk on other occasions. I don't need criminal standard of proof to make that decision.
  • 01:22 AM - Shasarak quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Also, I have already said too much in this thread. People these days just love to judge and condemn others; they pretend they do so because they have some real or alleged victim's interest in mind. I think they just like doing the condemnation; it feels good for a moment or two. Pointing fingers at the sinner, a secular form of holier-than-thou. Yeah, I agree. Three fingers point back at you. You have to work on yourself first.
  • 01:21 AM - Jester David quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Can you guarantee that three people (not necessarily women) from your past won't ever come forward publically and make up some false claims about you? I can't and I have been a saint, LOL. If you think back of your life, can you think of 3 people (again, not talking about women) that have been habitual liars? But maybe that is the difference between me and certain others in the public: I am not willing to condemn Zak Smith (and I am banned from his blog due to a brief debate about GNS, LOL) because something is "probably true". Imagine it wasn't - would feel pretty bad to do so then. To only look at probabilities without looking at the consequences of error is wrong. It's better to abstain. If a crime has been perpetrated, law enforcement should be involved or should have been involved - so that all the hobby sleuths and wanaabe inquisitors out there don't have to. Other than that, the people who actually know the people involed in person may possibly make up their minds in a more informed manner. I can'...
  • 01:18 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Can you guarantee that three people (not necessarily women) from your past won't ever come forward publically and make up some false claims about you? I can't and I have been a saint, LOL. If you think back of your life, can you think of 3 people (again, not talking about women) that have been habitual liars?There's a certain type of man who hears the sort of thing Zak has been accused of, from multiple women, and says something like this.
  • 01:15 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted Alexander Kalinowski in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    You made a comment that could be read as sarcastically implying that I think sexual harrassers of women should not be held accountable. If you do that again, I will flag the post.OH NO! You'll flag a post that takes your logic and actually applies it to the situation at hand! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! If that was not your intention, you now have an opportunity to clarify. How magnanimous of you. If Zak Smith commited a felony and it can be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, he should be held accountable for it. No doubt. But if some people who I do not know make some accusations against Zak Smith and I cannot verify the veracity of these statements whatsoever, I do register these charges and that's it. It's hearsay. It's rumor-mongering. It might be true, it might be not.Why am I not surprised that you consider mutliple accusations of sexual abuse, from numerous people, over years, to be "hearsay" and "rumor-mongering." I am Jack's total lack of sur...


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