Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Pretentious lore

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Humanity has risen!, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Parrots:
    4,829
    Location:
    Russia
    Click here and disable ads!
    You're being dishonest for the sake of an argument - most RPGs praised on 'dex break at least a few of those paradigms or avoid the problem, even if they aren't simulation of medieval Europe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
    ^ Top  
  2. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Parrots:
    1,910
    PoE is certainly not Renaissance, it lacks one of the most important pillars of its thought - that the person is magnificence in God's creation and everything can be done and be known. The different eras aren't just technology levels, it's more important that they are philosophical ones. PoE is modern-day-like pseudo-medieval age-if-paganism-wasn't-ripped-from-society in that context, if that makes sense. Not to mention that paganism can't lead to the Renaissance (and it didn't, pagan cultures even now can't ever dream of achieving that), it lacks certain features and thought processes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,519
    Location:
    California
    I meant "Tolkien pastiche" high fantasy, i.e., something that could someone might casually describe as "medieval" as Azarkon did. Arcanum, PS:T, and MotB (to name just a few) are radically different from bland medieval settings (although overwhelmingly they, too, anachronistically use 21st century morality), to be sure, but since none of those settings are even colorably medieval, I thought we weren't talking about them.

    That said, to be honest, which fantasy games are you thinking of where those problems aren't present? I should note that I actually am not that widely played, so I can't speak to Gothic or Wizardry or The Witcher. The killer counterargument is Darklands, which is obviously extremely good at avoiding the problems I describe. But even Darklands lets you build a party of female adventures with military and academic backgrounds, right?

    I guess some of the zanier settings like Xeen are so weird that some of those paradigms might be absent.

    Yes, PoE gets the Renaissance very wrong, just as other fantasy RPGs think of Medieval Times mostly in terms of bread bowls and jousting. But the historical era that PoE was meant to get wrong was the Renaissance, not the so-called Dark Ages. Basically no RPG other than maybe Darklands seems to make much of an effort at capturing anything about religious thought, probably because so few RPG makers are religious and those who are aren't religious in the way that folks were back then.
     
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  4. Azarkon Arcane

    Azarkon
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Parrots:
    2,551
    God damn it, I knew I shouldn't have left the Codex in those in between years.
     
    • Doggy Doggy x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Azarkon Arcane

    Azarkon
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Parrots:
    2,551
    All opportunities, in my opinion, for improvement. But most of it being less obvious than a walking lore dispenser, and therefore more easy to tolerate.

    Right, and I expect that you can find support for the opinion that "deep lore is better." But understand that I am not criticizing deep lore. I am criticizing pretentious lore, and poor presentation, the latter of which is especially obvious in the form of lore dumpster design. This particular design is what I find fault with, not the general principle of more detailed world building. I'm sure I've argued for the same in the past.

    I don't know the writers personally, either, so I can only judge based on the results. Since lazy is an alternative to incompetent for explaining the same results - bad writing - I usually list both. Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear has bad writing. I've given specific examples & critiques in the past, so I won't repeat it here. But I don't think this is subjective, so I'm left with the choice of either going for the obvious, Occam's Razor explanation, or to wring my head to find excuses for the developers. As a Codex poster you can guess what I'm going to do. This also applies to the agenda pushing which is again not excusable and also, in my opinion, foolish in light of the fact that they were making a sequel to an old game with the goal of exploiting nostalgia.

    Gaider & Avellone can have their own opinions, and you're right, Beamdog has the right to pay more attention to their criticism than mine or that of anyone from the Codex. But that doesn't mean, therefore, that when I call the writing bad, I cannot be allowed to fault the writers. Blaming Gaider and/or Avellone for the end result is a terrible excuse, both because Gaider and/or Avellone are not necessarily themselves the best critics, and because the nature of their relationships with the industry & the company prevents them, presumably, from being anything but diplomatic. You don't shit on the hand that feeds you, so you can't expect 100% honest criticism from people with conflicts of interest. This goes back to what I said about the lack of an independent body of criticism in the video game industry. Movie critics frequently bash the shit out of summer blockbusters regardless of how successful they are; yet the vast majority of game reviewers will almost never stick out their heads against a top selling AAA game.

    This is what makes the Codex so necessary.

    Then they're incompetent. I'm sorry, but there's just no way to excuse this. There are MANY ways to present lore other than a walking lore dispenser, and a video game writer/designer SHOULD know better.

    Which brings us back to the institutional failures within the game industry. But whose fault is that? Is it the companies, which manipulate reviewers and black list critics? Is it the developers, who are content to exist in their own comfort zones and to surround themselves with sycophants? Is it the players, who tolerate the above behavior while throwing their money at shit games like Dragon Age Inquisition?

    Maybe it is the system, which rewards all three, but that's a topic beyond this thread.
     
    ^ Top  
  6. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,519
    Location:
    California
    Your experience may be different, but I have seen lots of complaints about quest dispensers, life-story dispensers, and high-level magic item dispensers over the years I've followed RPG criticism, and I'm only just now seeing complaints about lore dispensers. It may be that PoE reached some critical mass of lore dumping that nothing else had ever done before, but I remember oodles of lore dumping in older RPGs (starting more or less around Ultima VII). It's true that I quit PoE within five minutes of completing character creation based on the lore (the faux-Welsh or whatever it was supposed to be, coupled with diarrhea as a plot hook, was enough to make me unwilling to tolerate the low FPS my computer could muster), but I dunno. I think people generally tolerate lore dispensers just fine. If they didn't, there would be more vocal criticism of them. It may be that the current crop of games has finally gone too far, but that doesn't mean that the mechanic is intolerable.

    But deep lore and lore dumps are often fellow travelers. For example, every Marvel movie has at least one and usually two or three lore exposition scenes. GoT had them all the time. Bioshock had it all over the place. You're right that they don't have the specific "1. Talk to me more about stuff that is irrelevant to gameplay" structure, of course.

    That's crazy talk. Their agenda may be wrong, and you may be entirely justified in pushing back against it or boycotting their game or certainly in disliking their game, but in what crazy universe shouldn't creators moralize through their creations? "I mean, Moby-Dick's not bad, but that agenda, and all the fucking lore dumping about whaling...." People may disagree, I guess, but to me the basic principle that all decent people should agree upon is that the moral duty of people creating culture is to foster people's better traits. You certainly can entertain them at the same time, but if you're moving them in fundamentally the wrong direction, or are just indifferent, that seems inexcusable to me. Of course I don't agree with the values of many people creating games, but I can't fault people for having values or trying to foster them.

    No one said that. I just said that I wasn't in a position to fault them, not having played the game. It is entirely possible that they are lazy and incompetent, but the most-praised RPG writer in history says they're awesome, they made a full-featured game that at least most players seem to have liked, and given my experience in game development, I see no wway they could've done that while being lazy. I might be wrong. And to be sure, they could be terrible writers. There are lots of bad writers in the world.

    Who was blaming them?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. If the overwhelming majority of players like lore dumpsters, then they may be right. I don't particularly like the mechanic, but I haven't seen evidence that peopel dislike it. In fact, I've seen the opposite. I mean, people used to gush about the dumb books and stuff in Morrowind, which seem way worse than lore dumps, so I've given up trying to understand what people do and don't like.

    Yes. If only someone had suggested pages ago that there was a vicious cycle where designers are trapped pandering to players' bad tastes rather than improving them. :roll:
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Azarkon Arcane

    Azarkon
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Parrots:
    2,551
    I don't think you can equate exposition in movies and animated reels in Bioshock with Obsidian's talking lore dumpsters. That also applies to the various "history books" found in CRPGs, which nobody ever had a problem with, because they fit the context and were plausible artifacts of the world itself. People criticize Obsidian's approach harshly because it represents an approach to NPC design and dialogue, not just because the game has exposition. It ruins interactions and characterization.

    They were making a sequel to an established franchise, while trying to appeal to nostalgia. In what world is it smart to push your own modern political agenda, however moral you believe them to be, in this situation? You can push your own agenda in your own franchise all you want, but don't shit on other people's legacy. Baldur's Gate is NOT a vehicle for LGBT feminism and I cannot respect developers who disrespect the material so much to make it so.

    Maybe, but the reason I don't want to continue this discussion here is because I think it requires a much more in-depth post than what I can respond with in the middle of another conversation.
     
    ^ Top  
  8. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,519
    Location:
    California
    But Richard Cobbett says they treated the source material with respect and that there was no heavy-handed agenda pushing; and Richard is an honorable man!
    I guess I don't think of BG as having any particular legacy*, I don't care for the game, so maybe I'm less sensitive to these issues than you are. Given that it was David Gaider's creation, I'm somewhat skeptical that it is as devoid of agenda as you suggest. I suppose I do think that if you take over someone else's franchise, you should treat it with respect; but I don't think that means no agenda pushing. It might mean never taking over someone else's franchise, but wouldn't your theory also apply to an artist changing his agenda within his own franchise? Doesn't he owe the same obligations to his fans?

    (My own views on this are tentatively that a creator does owe an obligation to his fans, but how much of one depends on how he marketed the original work. For example, I think Lucas owed a considerable duty to his fans because he took many deliberate steps to weave Star Wars into the impressionable minds of children, and certain moral obligations follow from that.)

    Also "smart" is totally debatable. For example, Disney seems to have been very successful in adding new agendas to existing franchises (whether we're talking The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Star Wars), if by "smart" we mean "profit-making."

    [EDIT: * Obviously it has a tremendous legacy in terms of the impact it had, I just think it's a pretty dumb story with pretty lame characters in a pretty lame setting, so I don't see it as some monument to be preserved from vandals at all costs.]
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Zombra Arcane

    Zombra
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Parrots:
    4,378
    Location:
    Black Goat Woods !@#*%&^
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    To jump back in here, I actually have a major problem with in-game lore books in RPGs as they are destructive to role-playing. Their existence implies that they are the method through which the player is supposed to learn the lore, which is fine, but they also imply that the player character is supposed to learn the same way. Therefore, I am denied the ability to make, say, an ivory-tower magic-user who spent his whole life reading books - a character type I enjoy playing. In P&P, I can say to the GM, OK, my character has an 18 INT, I am educated on this subject, tell me the answer. In a CRPG, it doesn't matter what your character's INT is; he has the education of a newborn baby until the player actually sits down and reads all the books. A good RPG allows the player to convincingly act as though his character already knows this stuff, even if he himself does not. On this basis, I submit that lore books are a bad way to deliver this kind of information to the player.
     
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. Ranarama Novice

    Ranarama
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Parrots:
    79
    Location:
    NZ
    It's even worse than that. When you actually have a simulation of medieval Europe, like Darklands it's still different. Because the "medieval Europe" of shitty RPGs is one without any of the colour of Swabia or actual Europe.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. FreeKaner Erudite

    FreeKaner
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Parrots:
    738
    Location:
    Devlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿErdogānīye
    Renaissance had different thoughts and ideas in different countries and amongst different classes as well, the particular thought you present was more dominant in England but definitely not present in say more staunchly Catholic countries like Spain (Iberia Proper, Spanish Netherlands and Naples was different) or Poland, definitely was not the thought process in Germany where the religious uncertainty was dominant, perhaps it could be argued it was also present in France but then again France's dominant feature during this period is Absolutism and Habsburg Paranoia. Thinking there was some pan-European zeitgeist that everyone believed same thing "because it's the renaissance guys" is such an 101 history class simplified viewpoint.

    Also as far as I know PoE is more influenced by Renaissance, 30 years war, colonialism and Baltic crusades than trying to represent its philosophical thought in particular, its setting is based roughly on early modern period Europe rather than trying to project it. Like how medieval RPG's combine Charlemagne and 100 years war together, because, well, it's fantasy not a historical RPG. PoE is more involving quirks of the early modern period, which is a long period of time. Society wasn't just its thinkers you know, for most people in Europe "renaissance" saw an increase in purchasing power, urbanisation, death of feudalism and replacement by Absolutism, mercantilism, early colonialism and lots and lots of very deadly wars. Day to day things that affected their lives not what "Renaissance actually means". Renaissance as a term and period is a very loosely categorised and retroactively defined area anyway.

    In any case, there is nothing different in making a game set in hypothetical medieval world and hypothetical early modern period, you just accept one as "default" and roll with because hey castles, inns, plate armour, lords, kings and chateaus it's the medieval Europe right? While expecting some high brow projection representing mindset, thought process and the fabric of society in general from other because it's not an established setting in fantasy genre. When they are each just settings and can be either thematically fitting for the sake of fantasy or go deeper in its exploration to what it meant to live under a specific political system or struggles of everyday life in emerging political situations or the concurrent status quo. PoE is a lot more first with a touch of latter meanwhile just trying to do its own thing in its setting, which is based on Early Modern world.

    I wonder though is it just you want more medieval fantasy? Because if PoE was set in medieval fantasy with exact same attention to detail to its setting, while it would still not be an in-depth analysis as you seem to have expected, it would be much more detailed than literally any RPG set in medieval fantasy I can think of now in terms of representing the zeitgeist, it definitely would be more detailed than any D&D one. Since it pays attention to, at a base level, political implications on economy and trade, scapegoating of newly found methodologies for ongoing disasters, interaction between the colonisers, colonised and social implications and sufferings of it from both sides. At a more complex level it tries to highlight the conflict between religious devotion and desperate solutions, as well as implications of concurrent religious dogma being challenged (Printing press and Protestantism).
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
    • Brofist x 3
    • Agree x 1
    • Salute x 1
    • Informative x 1
    • :M x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. MWaser Learned

    MWaser
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    Parrots:
    188
    Location:
    Where you won't find me
    You could have just said "It represents the reality of life at the Renaissance period rather than being based upon any particular central ideology in renaissance." but instead you decided to write all these words.
     
    • retadred retadred x 1
    • Doggy Doggy x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Parrots:
    60,390
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Goalpost Moving Championship 2017

    The first time I ever heard somebody complain about "lore dumping" in an RPG was Serpent Isle, specifically the city of Fawn therein. Although it was really more about the fact that every NPC there repeated the same lore rather than the dump itself.

    And that's probably a smart way of looking at it. Categorically opposing loredumpy NPCs because "loredumps == bad characterization!" is dumb and bound to provoke a pro-lore counter-reaction if ever actually implemented. What players really care about is how it affects pacing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Parrots:
    1,910
    Oh, yes, my intention was totally to give a comprehensive analysis of the Renaissance with a single sentence. Humanism (the idea that the person is at the center) was a key interest during that time and was present in the Catholic world (including in the writings of many popes). It may not have been phrased the way I did it, but I wanted to note the religious tone as well. I don't want anything specifically and I'm not a measure for interests, mainly because I enjoy well-written/well-constructed anything. PoE isn't it however :p

    Quote from the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy -

    It may not have been EVERYWHERE, but it was a central tenet nonetheless. Here's a handy list of humanists - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Renaissance_humanists ; As you can see, there are even Spanish authors.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
    • Bad Spelling Bad Spelling x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. hivemind Arcane

    hivemind
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Parrots:
    4,963
    Location:
    Snapcity
    central tenet
     
    • meh meh x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Parrots:
    1,910
    My bad, it was an error due to fast writing.
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Make America Great Again deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Parrots:
    6,751
    Location:
    Flowery Land
    I've been fond of in-game encyclopedias for common knowledge ("King Haralus is the 43rd ruler of the Kingdom of Swadia. He was the cousin of King Esterich, Swadia 42nd ruler. He took power after declaring Esterich's daughter, Lady Isolla of Suno, to be unfit as a leader. His love of feasting is widely known."), though they can be done really poorly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    ^ Top  
  18. IncendiaryDevice Arcane The Real Fanboy

    IncendiaryDevice
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Parrots:
    2,837
    While reading this I automatically skipped from:

    I've been fond of in-game encyclopedias for common knowledge ("King Haralus is the 43rd ruler of the Kingdom of ... [to] ... His love of feasting is widely known."), thought they can be done really poorly.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    ^ Top  
  19. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Parrots:
    4,962
    Location:
    Over there.
    To this point in particular, I have a huge issue with this. This is where the whole "video games as art" concept gets extremely muddy. In what I'll label "conventional art" just for the sake of argument-- that is, the expression of a thought, idea, emotion, etc. in a particular medium done for the sake of expresssion-- the artist enjoys the freedom to display his biases because it makes up the whole of what the end result will be. When you're talking about a consumer product, sure, a developer may still be free to express himself and his biases as he wishes, but he does so at the risk of alienating a portion of his customers.

    It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't heavy handed. I mean, I get it that certain ideas and philosophies spring up any time you have a group of people that must co-exist, but when you take concepts that are clearly a modern, current era Earth issue and try to shoehorn it into a society that is supposed to have evolved based on its own environment, various customs of its people, and the distilled effects of its own histories, it jarring as hell to see our own modern interpretations of social issues be shoved down our throats.

    I mean, I enjoy the Frazetta images of fantasy as escapism because on some level they tell me that my masculinity is not only okay, but it is praised. I don't need to fire up the Bioware RPG du jour only to be told, in a manner of speaking, that my having a dick and light pigmentation is the reason why the world is so fucked up.

    Perhaps off topic, but when has that ever stopped a post from being made in the history of the Codex, ever?
     
    ^ Top  
  20. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,519
    Location:
    California
    I really don't see a distinction here between consumer products and high art. There are very sophisticated plays and "masterpieces" of contemporary art that hold no interest for me because of their messages, and there are dumb consumer things like cartoons that really engage me because of their messages.

    [EDIT: The other thing I'd add is that it is basically impossible to draw a line between consumer products and art. For example, Shakespeare and Dickens were both selling to an audience and Shakespeare in particular had lots of anachronistic morality in his stories -- today both are considered high art, though. I don't really see a way or a reason to try to distinguish between art and commerce, though of course you're right that if you're selling art, you depend on people to buy it, and you antagonize them at your peril.]

    I'm not entirely persuaded that it's an anachronism problem, though the anachronism of ideology in RPGs does annoy me -- in part because I personally find it fascinating to try to get inside an alien world with alien values, so it's just less engaging to be in an alien world where people still think the way we do in Los Angeles.

    But honestly there are games set in the present day, or near future, or far future which are just as annoying when they have heavy handed, poorly thought through messaging -- by which I mean, messages I disagree with, obviously. :)

    There is probably going to be scant overlap between people who approve of Frazetta's messaging and people who approve of Beamdog's messaging, but I don't see why one is sillier than the other. Let a thousand flowers bloom!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. Sykar Arcane

    Sykar
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Parrots:
    3,199
    Location:
    Turn right after Alpha Centauri
    Gandalf is though.

    Show Spoiler
    :troll:
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Disgusting! Disgusting! x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Parrots:
    4,962
    Location:
    Over there.
    In this, we're in 100% agreement.


    There is a free market aspect to this. Anyone is free to purchase a product, patronize a business, or not based on who or what they want to spend their money on. If I like and support one organizations messaging and product, I respond by giving them my business. If I don't, then... well, I don't. If I do end up buying a product on the pretense of it being an amazing roleplaying adventure in a fully realized world and find that it's populated with lispy Ren-Faire actors saying or acting anachronistic bullshit that's clearly the developer's attempt to preach at me, I'm going to be pissed. And when I do and express my dissatisfaction with a product I paid money for, I get the bruised egos of the likes of David Gaider telling me I'm clearly not progressive enough to appreciate the messaging and am on the wrong side of history.

    And this circles back to the original premise of this thread, if I'm reading it correctly. You have the pretentiousness of shallow writing, the pretentious way it's presented by NPCs as a vehicle for loredumping, and the pretentious idea that somehow some Joe Schmuck of a writer with an agenda is going to exploit our consumer/provider relationship by assuming his is the "correct" way of looking at the world and the problem of my dissatisfaction with the product is wholly my own.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,519
    Location:
    California
    To paraphrase Homer Simpson, why can't it be both, like the Ultima series? :)

    I realize this is non-responsive, but you really did walk into it, since Ultima specifically invokes Ren-Fairs as the greatest of all things, and is famously the first RPG to preach at the player.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Parrots:
    4,962
    Location:
    Over there.
    I'm not really a fan of Garriott and the Ultima series. :D What I meant was that characters used for disseminating the aforementioned bullshit come across as some Ren-Faire dude dressed up like Henry VIII lamenting the mistreatment of women.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,519
    Location:
    California
    This actually perfectly describes the Ultima series. :D (The absurd Ye Olde Englishe is second only to the weird sprite pitch among things that make it impossible for met to engage with the game. The moralizing is actually fairly interesting given its coherence -- in some ways, the problem with the moralizing you're complaining about may be that it is not prominent enough...)
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)