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Month: June 2004


“Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle).”



Down by law

So the whole thing where Bush says “I’m going to say it one more time. In fact, maybe I can be more clear. The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law.”

That would be so much more comforting if the infamous memo didn’t argue that it’s not illegal to torture certain classes of people.

Torture memo

Eric Muller may have somehow gotten his hands on the first 56 pages of the March 6th, 2003 memo on torture. I haven’t read it yet. Note that there’s no pedigree attached, so it should be considered suspect until and unless more evidence rolls in.

Update: MSNBC has the same thing. Except not exactly the same; it’s a different scan. The PDF MSNBC has looks like a photocopy of the version that was scanned to create Eric Muller’s PDF. Someone’s leaking those 56 pages all over the place.

WISH 99: Genreriffic

Impending WISH deficit! But this week:

Pick three to five genres and name the best RPG for that genre. Why do you think it’s the best? What makes it better than others? What are its downsides?

Pulp: Adventure! This is a very close race, because Feng Shui has better core mechanics which are better suited to the genre. Feng Shui really gets damage and fighting and stunts right, which is important for a pulp game… but it’s an action movie game rather than a pulp game, and while the genres are similar they aren’t the same. So the detailed and comprehensive power list brings Adventure! ahead by a hair.

Action Movies: Feng Shui. That’s a freebie. Feng Shui is a really significant milestone for genre-specific rules and it’s aged (and evolved) well.

TV Adventure: Unisystem Lite, as presented in Buffy and Angel. I was watching some Alias last night and marvelling at how well Unisystem Lite would work for a campaign in that setting. You could use it for Xena. The key is a) how quickly play flows — quickly enough to make play-by-IRC viable for me, and I don’t usually like play-by-IRC — and b) the clever use of Drama Points to channel themes. It is amazing how much better Unisystem became when all the excess crap was carved away.

Conspiracy: Over the Edge. Ginger said best RPG, not best rules! Over the Edge is mostly setting, with a nice minimalistic functional set of mechanics. At first glance it’s not obvious how the mechanics support the wild surrealistic genre, but I think the pioneering lack of a skill list is absolutely perfect for the world of Al Amarja; it makes it clear how open the setting really is. And the GMing advice is superb.