Thursday, April 7, 2016

What Not To Be - Removed!

By me.

Nobody removed it on me, but after some consideration I decided to take that section out of the players handbook. Why?

Because just this past weekend my sister and her family came down from New Jersey for a visit. We decided it would be fun to take them to St. George Island for a picnic on the beach. To get there you have to drive through the quaint hamlet of Carrabelle, FL, where in the center of town a new billboard has gone up...


It wasn't discussed.

I'm sure we all saw it and I'm sure we were probably left thinking the same thing - glad I don't live here - which is sad because Carrabelle is actually a pretty nice place. I know a few people who live there and I'm pretty sure they are not getting drunk and raping their daughters on the weekend. Still though, something must be going on to warrant this huge PSA billboard in the center of town. Is there something in the water? Are all the hundreds if not thousands of homes of people I don't know actually housing some demented hillbilly rape cult? Carrabelle is a predominantly white place. Could it be that the sign only pertains to black people? They chose a black girl to be in the picture, maybe this means that if you're white you're alright, but beware of the black people in the area - they are not who they seem to be.

The imagination reels.

Or it could just be that someone somewhere received enough funding to make the world a better place by bringing awareness to a problem with a billboard. They may not live in Carrabelle or even know of the place.

Now, I don't doubt that this sort of thing happens. This is Florida after all. However, the problem is a matter of perception and frequency. Studies have shown that smoking leads to cancer, and so the warning label on a pack of cigarettes is warranted. But the warning label on this town - and that is what it is no matter what the original intention may have been - I highly doubt has been backed up by a serious study. Undoubtedly there have been cases reported and the people involved should seriously seek help, but when compared to how many people live in Carrabelle it probably represents a fraction of less than one percent.

I don't know.
I don't have the time or money to do a credible study either.

To get back to gaming. I pulled the "What Not To Be" section from the PHB (you can still read it here on the blog) not because I disagree with it but because I feel it may be sending the wrong message by being in the core rule book. This is just too prominent a position for it to have.

Over the years I have encountered all of the denizens mentioned, often inhabiting actual friends from both in and out of gaming. But here's the deal. Nobody filled those roles all of the time, and it is all from back in the 80's when we were young irascible munchkins just looking to make dicks of ourselves. During my next big bout of gaming in the 00's I encountered none of this. We had a small group of players who were just looking to have fun and at nobody's expense. Not once was the matter of "not being a dick" brought up, because it didn't need to be.

So I still think that you shouldn't be a dick and you should always use deodorant, and there will always be some asshat just looking to make a splash by being the dick who never uses deodorant, but most of us are grown ups. We're good people who never needed to hear such advice in the first place.