Robes are stupid. My sorcerer dresses like Petyr Baelish.

To expand: if you are a mage, dress like a noble. Do not dress like a wizard. Pointy conical hat and sky-blue robes is medieval semaphore for “kill first and with extreme prejudice.” Tailored black silk over cloth-of-gold and studded with rubies says “Harmless, but valuable; ransom if possible or kill last.” 

If you dress like a noble, they’re not going to pay attention as you take a turn or two to back away from the melee and prepare yourself. The ruse is only broken when you reveal yourself, at which point 8d6 fire damage is screaming toward them at Mach Fuck anyway, so no big.

counterpoint: if you don’t get to dress like someone ran a magical thrift shop through a rototiller and frankensteined the pieces back together what’s the god-damned point of being a wizard

The sartorial differences between wizards and sorcerers are on display, I think.

That makes perfect sense, really, since sorcerers don’t generally get a choice about gaining spellcasting abilities and might not want to advertise them 24/7 whereas wizards put a lot of effort into becoming wizards and didn’t spend years in Wizard Grad School just to be low-key about it.



I am sorry i just love the “do that and i’ll kill you” like yeah he’s the God of Mischief love but he’s also a pretty skilled warrior so he’s not afraid of your stupid threats







Imagine a typical FPS game where you start loaded out with grenades, machine gun, sniper rifle, etc, and are dropped into a war zone… but, in a starting cut scene, your character has taken a vow of nonviolence.

You now must use these weapons to puzzle-solve your way through environments (grenades make distracting noises, shotguns open locked doors, sniper rifles accurately knock things off ledges, etc.) and, if you accidentally DO kill or injure another person, you have to start that level over.

Forced pacifism is a huge backlash waiting to happen.

Well yeah, but that’s because gamers are assholes, not because there’s anything wrong with the concept.

Certainly nothing wronger with it than there is with forced violence, aka how 90% of all video games operate.

No it’s more because railroading is a terrible design strategy.

that’s why people hate mario, right, it forces you to stomp on goombas and drop bowser into a pit, the railroading piece of shit

or like pac-man, railroading me into eating all those dots, how dare that game have success perimeters i tell you

why won’t punch-out!!! let me calmly talk through my problems with these muscular men, who designed this thing, some kind of train engineer

It’s why Portal, which has a specific solution for each level, is so deeply unpopular. It’s why Assassins Creed, which desynchronizes if you kill anyone other than your targets, never got anything but hatred from the larger gaming community.

I would play that

I am always weirded out…


…When I encounter the ‘dumb cheerleader’ stereotype in media, because basically every cheerleader I ever met was an overachieving meganerd. Like in high school, the college bowl team and the math society had significant overlap with the cheer squad roster.  Both the Valedictorian and Salutatorian when I graduated were cheer squad.

Half the squad in college were pre-med, aiming to get into sports medicine, because surprise, cheerleaders get all the same injuries in hard to heal places that every other athlete does, so they want to be able to help out other girls coming up in the cheer programs.

It’s just a stereotype that’s so opposite of my experience that I can only assume that it originated out of malice and became received wisdom.

Things I wish people knew about SPD.


I saw a list of important things to know about SPD circulating on Tumblr yesterday, and it managed to skip pretty much everything that I wish people knew. I’m making my own list not in an attempt to talk over whoever made the first one, but to offer my own perspective.

Note: I can only speak for myself, so if anything in this post erases you or makes you feel invalidated, please tell me. I’m happy to add or amend things.


1. Not everyone with SPD is autistic. While most autistic people have SPD, the reverse is not true. I have read that while a higher percentage of the autistic community than the allistic community has SPD, there are more allistic people with SPD than autistic people who have it.

This one is important from a social perspective and a medical one. From a social perspective, it can be alienating for allistic people with SPD (like me) to see posts saying things like “allistic people cannot possibly understand what it’s like to have sensory processing disorder” or “don’t use these words I came up with to describe what sensory processing disorder is like unless you’re autistic.” I don’t think this misunderstanding benefits allistic or autistic people with SPD. I have had autistic people reblog stuff I’ve said about SPD before, so I think we’re likely to miss out on a lot of people who can relate to our experiences if we try to limit our understanding of SPD to include only one type of person. From a medical perspective, I worry that automatically linking SPD with autism might make it harder for allistic people with SPD to get help or support. If one of our parents is told it’s not autism, they are likely to go “oh, okay then, it must just be nothing” rather than continuing to explore other possibilities.

2. Adults can have SPD just like children can. It’s not something that people automatically “grow out of” once they reach 18. 

3. It is not safe to assume that adults with SPD received treatment as children. The one resource I’ve found for adults with SPD (that didn’t exclusively focus on parents) wrote about how “even though you’ve been treated in the past, you may still encounter difficulties as you enter new levels of development.” Considering that many people with SPD report having been bullied, punished, and threatened by caregivers when they displayed signs of SPD, and that SPD was not well-known (particularly as separate from autism) when many of us were growing up, it is not safe to assume that our emotional needs were always attended to. Many of us are dealing with trauma from the abuse that our abusers blamed on our “difficult” behavior in addition to the already significant challenges the disorder brings. 

4. Even those who have been to occupational therapy may still have sensory issues. Therapy is rarely a cure-all so much as an introduction to some strategies that might make a difference.

5. If someone with SPD is a “picky eater,” this person is not acting “spoiled” or entitled by limiting her menu or refusing certain types of food. Saying stuff like “oh boy, if you had had my mother, she would’ve set you straight about this ‘no spinach’ rule you have” is not helpful. In all likelihood, rather than “setting your friend straight” or “putting your friend’s pickiness in perspective,” your strict mother’s “I don’t care what you say, you’re eating whatever I tell you to,” attitude would have hurt your friend more than it helped. The foods that your SPD friend has on her “safe list” may be the only ones that she can even handle eating. People with SPD who have limited menus aren’t demanding their favorite foods every night; they’re trying to make sure that they actually manage to eat. Having our sensory issues triggered can make some of us literally unable to eat for a while, which is dangerous. Not eating is worse than being “picky” about what you eat.

6. Sometimes SPD triggers don’t vanish after the problem stops happening. Eating food with the wrong texture can mess up my appetite and cause feelings of shame that make me not want to eat. Being touched when I don’t want to be (including on the arm) can leave my skin crawling for hours if not days. If someone is still triggered after a problem is dealt with, yelling “I STOPPED, what’s the matter NOW????” isn’t going to help.

7. People with SPD who cringe and wince at blood pressure cuffs are not “pain wimps” or “cowards who hate fun” any more than sensory seekers who like blood pressure cuffs are “braver” or “less cowardly” than the rest of us. We simply receive different amounts of sensory information from things than you do.

8. SPD is inconvenient for the person who has it too. We don’t enjoy spending 2 hours at night talking about which dinner option is least likely to accidentally have a funky texture. We don’t enjoy working on a meal and having to not eat it (when we’re ravenous) because the texture is wrong. None of us enjoy having trouble sleeping, needing expensive toys to keep our senses in check, etc. None of us delight at finding every shirt at the store itchy. Even if these things annoy you, they’re probably more annoying for us because we have to live with them 24/7.

9. Sometimes SPD makes us enjoy certain things more than you would rather than just hating things more. The texture of a fuzzy or satiny blanket might be more exciting to us than it is to you. My striped sheets feel like they have ridges, which reminds me of eating ridgey chips. People who enjoy weighted blankets may like having more weight on top of them than you’d find comfortable. In short, our senses can be positively stimulated, it just might look different than positively stimulating yours.

10. For some of us, things like sex can be difficult or at least work differently than they do for people without SPD. Some people don’t like the feeling of any wetness around their faces and therefore dislike kissing. Others may need fairly firm touch and get “creepy crawly” sensation from touch that is too light. Some may have sex lives that aren’t too affected by SPD, while others may avoid sex altogether because of SPD. It’s important to ask anyone you’re thinking about being sexual with what their preferences are and to ask with an open mind.

11. When SPD is one of many “unusual” things we have going on, it can be difficult to find where it begins and our other concerns end. For example, a sexual trauma survivor might be unsure whether he’s triggered by kissing or just hates the sensation of it. Someone with fibromyalgia might not know if the way you’re touching them is bothering their SPD or if their fibromyalgia is flaring up. Sometimes, we may need you to stop doing things without being able to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with those things. 


whoa okay red flag red flag

with how she was talking down to him I didn’t expect them to be in any sort of relationship level at all but here she is kissing him

that changes it from “I haven’t learned to respect you and you winning me over will be involved in us becoming an item” to “we’re an item but I don’t respect you”


On Female Characters



I am tired of being told to like female characters.

Yes, I am going to judge male and female characters differently, I am going to be interested in a wider range of plotlines that feature male characters and, to be honest, I am going to like more male characters than female characters.

You know why?

1) Male characters are often written with more effort and originality, and the author understands the male characters better.

Let’s be honest. Authors are as sexist as everyone else. It takes a rare gem of an author to actually write stories with female characters with characterization as complex and interesting as the male characters in the story, or MORE complex and interesting. It takes a rare author to give women more plot, more agency, more original roles, more great lines. There is a difference between a female character your straight male readers want to fuck, and a female character your female readers want to be. 

I don’t want to have to cherish the underdeveloped, agency-deprived, two-dimensional stereotype just because I am so goddamn starved for representation. You know what, fuck the people who are feeding me cardboard and telling me it’s steak. I am allowed to spit out something that insults me.

2) There’s a certain amount of sexism I just do not want in my stories.

So I am going to have fucking problems with things like “the only female character in the book spends the entire book disguised as a boy” or “female character in a viciously sexist setting uses her enemies’ sexist misjudgment of her as a tactical advantage” or “female character uses stereotypically-female role to defend herself from enemies who are much more powerful than her”.  

Dealing with sexism is not my fucking power fantasyI don’t want to feel threatened or vulnerable by identifying with a protagonist. I want to feel heroic. I don’t want to have to chew through a crunchy candy coating of sexism to get to the part where she saves the day. Yes, Wonder Woman is an important character who kicks ass, but Superman doesn’t have to deal with sexism while he’s saving the world. 

If my options are character-constantly-threatened-by-sexism or character-not-constantly-threatened-by-sexism, I will pick the latter, even if it is at the cost of not reading about female characters. 

3) Sometimes it’s easier to be invisible than to look in the funhouse mirrors people hold up to people like me.

Sometimes I will pick up an interesting-looking book, and just wish that there are no female characters at all in it, so I don’t have to see what the author thinks of women. Sometimes I just want to read books without a mother/wife/sister/secretary/damsel-in-distress/hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold/mean girl/princess/sexy villain/love interest/rape victim. And there are so many books out there where women are no more than that.

Seriously, what are the odds of a random book I pick up having female characters that I can identify with more than male characters, and not having plotlines consisting of character-vs-brutal-or-pervasive-sexism? Hahaha are you fucking kidding me or do you have access to a magical fucking library? I don’t really feel like playing Sexism Roulette all that often. I don’t go looking for female characters unless I feel ready to get a faceful of steaming hot sexism, and when I see a new female character I wince, fearing what the author is going to do to her, and by extension to me. 

Now yes, there are some female characters I genuinely love. There are some female characters I want to be, some female characters with compelling stories, flaws and all. But not as many as there should be. And there’s only so much broken glass I can sift through to find more of them.

Wanted to share some thoughts from a friend about why she’s tired of being told to like female characters, or sometimes wishes a book has no female characters so she doesn’t have to worry about misogyny or sexual cropping up.

I know this is a bit off topic in terms of an “Escher Girls” image post, but it is about portrayal of women in fiction and how pigeon-holing female characters into certain tropes can be tiring to the readers/viewers and creates flat characters which can detract from the story.

The above also goes for how I feel about Asian characters and trans characters, that sometimes I just avoid watching a film about trans people because I don’t want to worry about surprise “man in a dress” jokes, or some myth about trans people, or something about “disclosure”, or etc… and people tell me I should watch it because “oh it’s about trans people.“  But so many portrayals are flat stereotypes, or used for humor, or about the "tragedy” our lives must be, or etc… and I just don’t want that sometimes, or want to deal with having that surprise me when I want to see a heroic trans person.

Or a heroic woman, or a heroic non-white character.  It’s… stressful to worry about the other shoe dropping, to sometimes just hope that you can get to the end without the heroine being raped, or racism showing up, or something.  So I totally understand what Summer is talking about her, and it really hit on how I sometimes feel when reading/watching fiction.  And part of this is sometimes how there’s only one.  One hero who’s trans, or who’s a woman, or who’s non-white, and then how they are represented takes on a different connotation and meaning than if there were 3 or 4.

Even with the new episode of Elementary which introduced a recurring trans woman character in as great a way as you could have done, I was half holding my breath the entire episode, because I was just worried that at some point her being trans would override her being just a character, that she’d necessarily have to face transphobia, or misgendering, or something else.

And that’s not to say that these things (transphobia, sexism, racism) don’t happen, or can’t happen in fiction, but so often it seems like creators feel this HAS to happen to characters, especially heroes, so they can “fight through it”, or teach a “very special lesson” to the viewer.  But for those of us who have had to deal with this, and deal with it regularly, we go to fiction (like everybody else) to get away, to have power fantasies where we can be heroes, or even supporting characters, without needing to be defined by stereotypes, or prejudice that we face in life. And often, as Summer pointed out, it leads to really flat, boring characters, so it hurts the story as well.

I want to read about a heroine who can blow up space stations, overcome her own hubris, punch giant robots, have an interesting backstory that doesn’t have to necessarily be about overcoming rape or sexism, etc etc etc… without her necessarily having to deal with “but you’re a woman!” or sexual harassment, or assault, or existing just for sex appeal.  While “overcoming prejudice” can be empowering, important & educational, when it starts feeling like it’s the only, or most common, story that a character who is “different” can have (or has to have), it can get really tiring, frustrating, and just plain boring.  Especially when the characters and their plot arc are rendered flat stereotypes.

And that’s what I think Summer articulated really well, and why I wanted to share her post. 🙂  Even if you don’t completely agree, it might be an interesting read. 🙂

Edit: She’s not saying that people should give up on fiction with female heroes and just want all male casts, she’s just talking about how frustrated she is that female characters aren’t written with more depth and thought behind them.

I’m bringing this back to talk about WicDiv.

Yeah, it has diversity. But what it does with that diversity is just as important.

Maybe if it was a story about a bunch of cis straight white guys it wouldn’t have hurt as much.