Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Three Unforgivable Sins of the Grindhouse Edition

Things are in the home stretch. I've said much of this before, but I don't want anyone to be surprised by what I'm doing so I want to sum up again. Feel free to skip it if you've heard it already. Or, if you're a masochist, read on!

I've held back most of the Grindhouse Edition material that I expect to be controversial from blog previews. I believe that the early buyers should get to see some things that nobody has yet seen - and I don't want to sell the game on the grotesque. That's part of the package and I want people to be aware but it's not what I want to use to lure people in.

(and with the new webstore's PDF-downloading capacity, it will come instantly. When pre-orders go up, you'll need to wait for the books to come back from the printer before going in the mail but you'll get to see everything right away in electronic format)

The thing's going to have an 18+ warning on it and with it clearly being intended for adults, a lot of the problems disappear. Violence in a role-playing game is a given. Adults complaining about nudity in products for adults are silly. It's a fantasy and a horror game so bizarre and disturbing images are to be expected. So I feel comfortable with most of the stuff to be presented. A bit wicked, a bit naughty, but in the end it's all there to hopefully pass on the joy of vicarious wonder and fear.

And I don't think "vicarious" needs to mean half-assed or with a wink and a smile.

Think about A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was just 12 or 13 when I saw that movie. The scene where Tina is dragged up the walls and slashed to pieces is and was fucked up and it scared the shit out of me.

The scene where she later appears to Nancy in the school hallway in a bodybag? Literally nightmare fuel. But it not only scared the crap out of me, it had me waiting in real anticipation for the sequel because I wanted to feel that way again!

And then a little later came A Nightmare on Elm Street Part III. Even if it wasn't as hardcore a horror film, the building of the mythology was (remember, Freddy was conceived when a nun was locked in a mental asylum and gang-raped, grew up to become a child-killer and was murdered by Main Street USA parents in a vigilante lynching). Add the whole 80s D&D thing where the adults don't trust that the kids know the difference between fantasy and reality (there's even a role-playing game in the movie! Stupid wizard should know not to engage in melee combat!) and experimental drugs and combat happening in two realities at once (John Saxon & Craig Wasson vs stop-motion animation skeleton!) and Nancy falling through the chair was the most awesome thing since awesome was invented (little things count!).

But it had that suspense and the horror in the sense that things were going to hell and people were going to die in unexpected and creative ways... but it was an adventure!

"You stupid bitch! You're killing us!"

"Let's go kick the motherfucker's ass all over dreamland!"

My horror fandom goes deeper and nastier - there's the beautiful butchery found in Argento's work (not so much represented in the Grindhouse edition but there in bits and bobs - when I go Argento you'll know it), the horrid, savage barbarity of Fulci films (it's there), the underground feel of Herschell Gordon Lewis, the wet comedies of Peter Jackson (Bad Taste! Brain Damage!) and Sam Raimi (Evil Dead II, Drag Me to Hell), George Romero and the zombie apocalypse... and exploding head cinema!

It also goes more respectable - the Hammer movies that didn't have so much of the blood but had all the atmosphere and even a touch of class.

... you didn't think I was calling this the Grindhouse Edition because of the Tarentino/Rodriguez project, did you?

I also love heavy metal and its imagery and lyrics. I got into it seriously with the 90s death metal explosion - the lyrics of bands like Carcass and Deicide and Entombed and a hundred more a seared into my brain. Then there's the books and authors. Lovecraft, Barker, Howard, Leiber and the rest, presenting amoral stories depicting gruesome death and sketchy characters, often written by men with serious character flaws of their own.

I've previously told of the story of having the Monster Manual at age 9, scared to let my mother see the inside for fear that all the boobies would cause her to take it away from me. I was also scared to read it at night because of all the creepy undead, but was always poring over it by daylight.

What I release should reflect what I love. A celebration of the macabre that has enriched my imagination. But it should also address what I don't love and how that relates to what I do love.

I also remember the 80s witch hunts. So many people have problems with make-believe. How many horror movies have been censored to get an R rating? (or further, to PG-13, for marketing reasons)? How ridiculous is that? Especially the teenage chop-em-ups, written about and for teenagers. This continues to this day - take a search around the net for the Hatchet 2 fiasco. There's the PMRC for music, and BADD for our very own hobby. And it never ends - remember the Carcosa fiasco (It's fine that some didn't like it - it was the calls for McKinney's head that drove me to rage, but as these things often do, it caused me to inspect Carcosa more closely, and a few years later I'm going to invest 5 figures in releasing McKinney's books.)?

This isn't corporate lowest-common-denominator stuff, this gaming thing is my prime creative outlet. My work needs to make my stance on this shit clear, you know? The first time around, there was some of that - the cover was a statement to that effect, and some of the stuff inside as well. But that's old news now, and it needs to be reaffirmed. In the grand scheme of things, I know I live a small, unimportant life and when I die nobody's going to give a shit, except my wife if I'm lucky. That's the life I've chosen; if I wanted different, I'd live differently. So sometimes my ideals about bigger, important things are going to come out in the efforts I focus my life on, meaningless to the world at large they may be.

Thing is, I'm not expecting any problems anywhere but in the USA. Hell, in Finland last night there were three full-on horror movies on free TV on different channels beginning anywhere from 9pm to 10:35pm: Scream (what a messed up movie - show graphic murder with the blood and guts... but hide the nudity!), The Ring (US crap version), and My Best Friend's Wedding. And they were all uncut - every swear, every death, everything, all there. Hell, I saw Argento's Inferno for the first time on Finnish broadcast TV a few years back - uncut. My first visit to Finland was an eye-opener: An uncut prime-time showing of The Jackal, with tons of gunfire and death and I think Jack Black getting his arm blown off.

(I haven't been back in five years - is rampant even-worse-than-the-MPAA censorship still happening on US broadcast TV?)

(fun Finland fact: Little House on the Prairie DVDs carry an 18 rating here because the company that released them didn't want to pay the ratings board to rate them. Can you imagine IP holders of family entertainment in the US having so little respect for ratings that slapping an NC-17 on it is considered the easiest thing to do?)

So I will fly the flag proudly for both my Grindhouse Edition and the sources that influenced its final appearance and some of its content. This post up to this point is a celebration of great things, not an excuse for including unseemly elements.


There are three things within this edition which I don't think are covered by that background. And I think I need to let you know about them and offer my excuses.

The Grindhouse Edition is very, very white. On purpose, conscious decision. See, I decided to go for a north/west historical European flavor in the artwork, to the point of using Osprey Books illustrations as references for artists. There are exactly two illustrations with non-white ethnicities in them - the gaming group pic that was in the Deluxe Edition and a "The English meet American Natives" pic that will be in the campaign worldbuilding advice section in the Ref book. Remember that Iri-Khan is not really Asian, he just dresses that way.

It is precisely that wish for a historical feel that cemented the decision. The artwork has a lot of bad things happening to a lot of people. I wanted a late 1500s/early 1600s vibe off the thing. That era was vicious. Religious wars between western Europeans, the English thought the Scottish and Irish were different races, just general insanity all around my "target area." One of the pics is a very clear depiction of the kind of sectarian religious violence common in that era.

Say I decided to put some black characters in this mix - what would those illustrations involve if they remain consistent with the others? I'm not going there. Not here anyway, not unless there's greater commentary or context. The US slave trade started in this timeframe but no way was I going to put a slave train illustration or something near the "Slave" retainer entry. To use a black guy in another context without acknowledging any of that, well, then it would just be a "token" character, put in specifically to fill some sort of diversity quota and that's no good either.

In the end, I could have waived my hand and decided in a game that shows a dwarf, a halfling, and two pics with elves, there could have been a bit more non-white faces without the historical baggage attached to it. I just decided not to.

The Duel ends with a Dead Woman. Violence is everywhere in RPGs, and the Grindhouse Edition gets some of its horror by showing some of that violence in a more harsh light than lighter RPGs. I like having a lot of women in the pics as adventurers (ahistorical, but in the early part of this period women dominated the English throne, adventurers are outlaws anyway so what the hell, and Joan of Arc was old news by then, and ya know...). And in the illustrations for my game, adventuring is not a safe profession. So there are dead women here and there in the pics, and I don't consider that a bad or misogynistic thing. You play you pay.

But the duel, a pic in the Deluxe Edition expanded to a 7-piece sequence, ends the way it does because she's a woman, specifically because I was pissy about feminist blogs. I had already commissioned things like the Rules cover and a bunch of other stuff with strong adventuring women and I found myself worried that I didn't have an equal enough ratio of men-to-women adventurers or cocks-to-cunts (or pricks-to-pussies if you like softer language) and I caught myself doing it and got pissed and this is the result. That's not a good reason to do something like that, but it's the honest one. And thing is, the actual death-blow is not the brutal pic in the sequence - it's the guy tugging his sword back out of her head that struck me as just wrong. Amos nailed that one dead on.

Vince Locke. Known to me for his work for Cannibal Corpse... OK, let me show these to you so you get where I'm coming from. Click to enlarge.

This guy's work really left a mark on me, and I wanted that for my release. "Get me arrested" was what I told him when I hired him, but I sabotaged that by also insisting that the pic had to reflect a scene that could happen during a game. That greatly affected the composition, colors, everything. Instead of being a grand celebration with everything that could be absolutely wrong with an image, it was "reduced" to being a very grotesque depiction of dungeon delving gone horribly, horribly wrong. Which was not a mistake as I don't want it to look out of place with the rest of the art! Why this picture is completely out of line and purely the result of taking glee in the distress of others (in a real-life sense, not within the fiction) maybe won't be obvious until you look closer at it, but once seen, it can't be unseen.

So that's about all. I had a good excuse to get a bunch of horror pics together, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. :D

Oh, and for anyone who thinks this is a new thing for me:


  1. Holy shit, you did get Vince Locke!!! :D

  2. The cannibal Corpse album cover, where a parents advisory sticker appears right next to an image of a dead guy performing cunnilingus (or maybe 'entrail-a-lingus') on an evicerated woman, cracks me up.
    I approve of your message and look forward to seeing the book.

  3. "The Grindhouse Edition is very, very white"

    Carcosa will balance that out, as it is very, very colorful: Purple Men, Orange Men, Yellow Men, Jale Men, Dolm Men, Black Men, Red Men, etc. :D

  4. Gore in movies:
    The MPAA didn't really start going after slashers til around '87'or so. See the Friday the 13th flicks. By 7 Jason can't kill children, or even really threaten them, and no tits, slits(Remember 1985's Return of the Living Dead? Full, save for leg warmers, Frontal Nudity by Trash[Linnea Quigley] for like 40 minutes, even after she was zombified, butts[of either sex], cocks[of either gender!|unlike Sleepaway Camp!|], and bloody spurts and hanging guts, amputations, etc.. are gone.

    Dario Argento:
    The masterful Suspiria(everyone I've shared it with loves it!) alone warrants forgiveness for his output since '87 or so! I wish there had been a real Mother's Trilogy, rather than the seemingly random, slapdash entries in the series. Especially the last. Tenebrae and Inferno were also pretty good, imo. But the feel for over the top gore and brutality, seemingly unlike the inspiration(though there's always hope for a comeback!), never left Argento.

    Monster manual boobies:
    'all the boobies'? What, about 5 pair or so? Wow. What if there had been penor!?!? In all seriousness, that's the American attitude to sex.(Even in make-believe.)

    The 'sins':

    'The Grindhouse Edition is very, very white':
    Too bad, imo. I find that way too many 'alternate Earths' resemble our own too closely. More variety would be good. As to the 'slavery' issue, there were still a large number of people, of whatever ethnicity(many were 'white', like the Slavs, for whom the epithet 'slave' was coined!) enslaved at the time your game is set.

    The Duel ends with a Dead Woman:
    This is still very rare in RPG art(as much of it seems to focus on the bog-standard posing in familiar settings and/or the artists body part fetishes), so it could technically be considered a point in your favor, I'd say. Aleena dying in the Mentzer set(Holmes/Moldvay would seem to be more appropriate for that downer than the Easley/Elmore era of D&D, oddly enough!) is still the exception, rather than the rule, probably due to ridiculous attitudes(i. e. misogyny) about women and violence. I.E. 'women's' boxing/mma, gladiatrixes, Red Sonya LICKING her sword in some of the Rose McGowan ads for the troubled flick, etc...

    'That's not a good reason to do something like that, but it's the honest one.':
    Everybody's petty every now and then! :-) A safe way to 'vent', I'd say.

    Vince Locke:

    The first two are 'venal' at best, I'd say! And if the 3rd is wrong, I don't wanna be right!
    Looking forward to this!

  5. I bet the hand-wringers are already flexing their fingers after reading this.

  6. More thoughts on this in full blog post length: The Devil's In the Details Pt1. Briefly though - I'm really looking forward to this book! :)

  7. Re: TV censorship

    It's still pretty much "no dirty words, no nudity, no on-screen sex or violence". Some after-effects of violence in stuff like Fringe or the innumerable CSIs are getting more graphic.

    The only comparison I can really make is in terms of language. I watch the Craig Ferguson show, which airs *after midnight*, and they routinely censor the word "shit" and anything worse, pixelate his fingers if he flips someone off, and a couple nights ago, they pixelated his mouth because he mouthed the words "fuck you" or "fuck off". The censorship is so rampant that it's become a constant joke for him to have a fight with the censors.

    Other examples from his show:

    * he has a mug that he drew a cartoon penis on the bottom, and even though there's no way anyone in the TV audience will be able to see it, they made him put a CENSORED label on it.

    * he has a robot that occasional makes a hand gesture that looks sort of like masturbation; this is OK, but after Craig mimicked the gesture a couple of nights in a row, he was told to stop. The robot is still allowed because "he doesn't have genitals".

    * Carrie Fisher gave him kangaroo testicles. He is allowed to display and talk about the testicles, but wasn't allowed to hang them from the robot.

  8. Horror is such a strange thing.

    Gore does nothing for me. It doesn’t scare me. It doesn’t turn my stomach. I just simply have no desire to see those kind of images. I’ve walked out of at least one movie because the only thing it seemed to offer was gore.

    The horror that I do enjoy is generally funny rather than scary. I’ve enjoyed the Lovecraft I’ve read, but I don’t get the horror he tries to convey.

    When I do find something that really scares me, I’d rather stay as far away from it as possible. I never have understood how anyone finds nightmare inducing a good thing. “it can’t be unseen” Yeah, if I didn’t already know the grindhouse edition wasn’t for me, that would’ve made it clear right there. ^_^

    (But, as always, I’m glad you’re making the product you want to, James. I greatly admire that.)

  9. @Robert Fisher:
    'I never have understood how anyone finds nightmare inducing a good thing.':
    I think it's momentary jump scares that most horror fans are looking for. But being unsettled by fictional representations of carnage, otherwordly happenings, and general psychic disasters, for however long, does seem to make a fair number of people appreciate other aspects of life, from what I understand. Catharsis, I guess. I subscribe to it sometimes myself.

  10. I actually think pure jump scares are "cheap." The scene in Exorcist III is one of the finest scares in movie history and it doesn't involve any jump cuts (it's one long shot, zoomed way out), and you don't see any onscreen blood or violence.

    On the gory side, the scene from Fulci's Zombi is all about the anticipation. The face is drawn oh so slowly to the splinter. But then, scenes like that (and ZOMBIE VS SHARK!) are all the movie has going for it... as a movie, it sucks ass and is terribly boring when nobody's dying.

    As a kid movie fear was easy to find. All these horror movies that I saw young would shake me up, sometimes I'd have nightmares, but I knew it wasn't real. When the lights came up in the theater, or the video ended, I was still safe and sound and got to have the thrill of being scared out of my mind without dealing with the consequences of really being in a life-threatening situation.

    It's harder to get that feeling as I get older, unfortunately. Good movies, not so hard. Movies that give that specific feeling? Hard.

    It doesn't transfer over to real life though. In the movies, I've watched all sorts of graphic depictions of eyes being put out, penises being cut off (sometimes eaten), bellies being opened up, that one delightful movie where a woman vomited her organs (in correct order, the reviews point out), yet a couple years back I took a walk and there was a dead bird on the trail, fresh with its guts exposed. I got the severe willies and FREAKED OUT until it was out of sight. Not even a lot of blood, it was a tiny bird, and it freaked me out and I wish I never have to see anything like that again. I'd probably puke and/or faint if I saw a real dead person and have a heart attack if it was a messy dead person.

    But I'll be back at Back to Basics film festival in about a month hoping to see things that look far worse and hoping the movie around those images is good enough to make me believe them for the running time of the film.

    As far as the Grindhouse Edition visuals, that's the difficult part. Gore for the sake of gore is *lame*, so to give it any power there needs to be a story happening around it. "Artistic justification" nonsense, you know? Not the easiest thing to do in a standalone illustration.

    So the few "GORE!" pieces I have are less pure spectacles and are in an adventuring context. Whether that will make them more or less disturbing to the reader is something I can't possibly predict - I certainly can't say to people who don't like those things "Don't worry, it'll be fine!"

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  12. Veleran - Lots of movies were cut down before 1987. Most of the Friday the 13ths had to make edits before getting R ratings (and I do believe the uncut versions have still never been released). Lots of foreign-made movies got severely edited for US theatrical release.

    And in Return of the Living Dead, Quigley was wearing a prosthetic fake crotch for many (but not all!) of those scenes specifically so real full frontal female nudity wouldn't be onscreen.

  13. @JimLotFP:
    The MPAA:
    Oh yes, but they didn't really hit high gear on 'B' movies 'til about then.

    'Lots of foreign-made movies got severely edited for US theatrical release.':
    Absolutely. Even going back to Hammer Horror flicks.

    Friday the 13th:
    The First 3 Fridays have been released uncut, or so Paramount claims...(There's usually less than about 2mins. added to the films. But supposedly the MPAA cuts weren't too extensive either, at the time.) The level of gore/casual nudity up til seven was stunning compared to later slashers.

    'Return of the Living Dead':
    I'd heard the stories that there was a prosthesis and that there was no prosthesis(as you were supposed to think, of course), but this is the first I've seen about her having it sometimes and then not at others in the film! Ridiculous anyhow, as it's still a crotch right? According to DVD commentary, the shots of her specific nether regions were pretty much obscured anyway, so it wasn't needed. Funny.

  14. I know what you mean about movie gore vs. real life stuff... I worked in a medical lab for a while and saw my share of corpses and bits of corpses. It didn't bother me... but now that I've moved on I'm not missing it either.
    I love horror films but I've never been a 'gorehound', though the presence of extreme gore can sometimes signify the creators' willingness to go beyond the pale in other aspects as well... I like to know they're willing to 'go there' if the story demands it (Martyrs, Night of the Living Dead).
    Like you say, there has to be a story... otherwise it's just a poop joke.

    Will there be a 'suggested soundtrack' for this edition?

  15. Reverend Bizarre, Orne, Lord Vicar, tons and tons of Candlemass (especially the Lowe albums), Mellow Candle, Comus, Upwards of Endtime, Hour of 13, Mercyful Fate.

    (these days I like the idea of death metal a lot more than the actual sound of it... :P)

  16. The Grindhouse Edition is very, very white. On purpose, conscious decision. See, I decided to go for a north/west historical European flavor in the artwork, to the point of using Osprey Books illustrations as references for artists...

    At some point, I hope you'll take a few minutes to think about the origins of this idea and homages to retrograde cultural artifacts must themselves be retrograde; or to put it another way, why the racial demographics of northern/western Europe were so important to 'get right' in such a ploddingly familiar way.

    To be clear: I don't care about the demographics, really. I care about your unbelievably lame-ass justifications for all these choices you're making. Be conservative if you want, ultimately no one gives a fuck, but why be hypocritical/defensive about your conservatisms? Why not just say 'White is easier for me' and get on with the fun?

    Obsession with cartoonish ultra-violence is of course another conservatism of a sort, but let's not tackle all the fun subjects in one comment thread...

  17. Should be 'origins of this idea THAT...'

  18. I'm defensive about this because I detest racist shit - I've been surrounded by it all my life, it's disgusting, and I don't want to add to it.

    But my knowledge, such that it is (but not heritage or current environment - Raggi's hardly a proper Anglo-Saxon name after all, nor is Finland really part of the whole Scandinavian/Viking thing historically) is all about the north/west European focus. It is familiar and easy.

  19. Isn't it funny that a great deal of the conversation about the use and consequences of the images of woman has been dominated by men, (or the part of the conversation I saw, which was admittedly limited) yet you decided to commission a image of a woman being killed. What you should have done is commissioned a sequence of a naked sex slave stabbing a priest in the mouth, and then *pop* pulling the blade out with a flourish of blood. His diminishing arterial flow squirting facial after bloody facial on his own lifeless face.

    People who want to dictate how woman can be represented and how they can represent themselves have more in common with puritanism than feminism.

  20. >>Isn't it funny that a great deal of the conversation about the use and consequences of the images of woman has been dominated by men, (or the part of the conversation I saw, which was admittedly limited) yet you decided to commission a image of a woman being killed.

    There are multiple dead and dying men and women in the artwork. The only thing remarkable about that one piece was the motivation.

    >>What you should have done

    ... is exactly what I did. I follow my inspiration and to hell with all else. I may worry about it here and there, but frankly getting nervous about a decision is a pretty good indication that it's the right one to make.

    >>People who want to dictate how woman can be represented and how they can represent themselves have more in common with puritanism than feminism.

    I am a one man shop. Owner, operator, writer, art director. If I could draw or paint I'd be the artist as well. So I dictate how everybody and everything in my games are represented. Fictitious characters drawn on the page get no say in their depiction, be they male or female. All pieces using real people as reference models have the models' blessing.

    And the "Flame Princess" character literally is a Puritan.

    But I myself am neither puritan nor feminist, and plan to stay that way.

  21. I follow my inspiration and to hell with all else.

    Your definition of 'inspiration' should be broader than 'boyish impulses,' is the thing. Surely you don't think inspiration and calculation are mutually exclusive. Well, of course you don't, given the present sales job: your posts insisting on the secondariness of the grotesque in LotFP are all about selling the grotesque, the same way Gygax's insistence on AD&D's nonsimulationism was muddleheaded self-justification for an obsessively (poorly) simulationist game.

    Point being: eventually you'll let go of the idea that Your Interests are the most interesting thing going on in your head.

    But my knowledge, such that it is (but not heritage or current environment - Raggi's hardly a proper Anglo-Saxon name after all, nor is Finland really part of the whole Scandinavian/Viking thing historically) is all about the north/west European focus. It is familiar and easy.

    Oh. Well by all means LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THAT. Practically the motto of the fucking OSR, come to think of it.

    You do realize this is me cheering for you, right?

  22. I, like Wally, am a member of the cheering section. My, "what you should have done..." was (slightly) tongue in cheek. But you did not do what I suggested, which is hold the right party accountable - puritans, not women. You said the sin was unforgivable, so I'm not forgiving you. I'm playing along. (grin.)
    I wanted to correct your language, because I'm an asshole AND incorrigible: feminists are not to blame for the urge to censor, they may call themselves that, but I disagree, they're puritans. So I, as in me personally, wanted you to "stick-it" to the right party. Forgive the pun.

  23. Wally: "Well, of course you don't, given the present sales job: your posts insisting on the secondariness of the grotesque in LotFP are all about selling the grotesque,"

    Yes yes, I don't "wink wink" subtly. I think the art's great, I think it's a cool part of the total package, but it is indeed only part of the package. And these "wicked" pieces are a minority of the new art.

    Obviously I'm talking a lot about this stuff, because to me it's what's new about it. We're talking about basically a reprint of what came out last summer with some tweaks and a new paint job. The tweaks I think make it stronger (of course) but are hardly a huge selling point by themselves. And "Look at my increased knowledge of typography!" would make for a lame marketing spin. But art sells and there's some tasty, tasty new art to be had here. I've shown a bunch, but am teasing the "worst" of it, I admit it.

    But some people will legitimately be bothered by the art, and for all the boyish glee I take in having it in the first place, making these people aware of the situation is an actual Serious Responsibility.

    Two birds, one stone. (OK, two birds, barrage of stones)

    TheCramp: "So I, as in me personally, wanted you to "stick-it" to the right party."

    Sorry, I'm going to be meeting some of these people at upcoming conventions and I'm already mentally preparing. I do love my arguing...

    But if one is going to make art with the idea of sticking it to someone, baiting them is surely more fun than committing illustrated violence upon them in effigy, don't you think?

  24. What has been or will be tweaked in rules or "crunch"? I'm not saying this has not been interesting blogpost and discussion to read on the illustrations and all.

  25. The major things have been talked about on the blog already: The consolidation of the skills (see the Grindhouse character sheet download in the left column here) and the revamped spell lists (discussed here; although these are not the final lists it gives the idea).

    There are minor things like a changes to the grappling rules (discussed here) and changes to how crossbows work (not yet discussed, just changing the aiming modifier and not a big deal, just to be consistent with the future firearms rules), and it gets even more minor from there.

  26. Thanks for reposting links to those, I missed the one on Grappling Rules.

    Bows and crossbows have always given me gray hair when thinking of their use and differences in D&D.

  27. Nope, I am more of a burn-in-effigy kind of guy. But I trust that you know best how to pick a fight, so you do your thing man.