Monday, March 28, 2011

Character Du Jour: Milia Gloriosa

What do you get when you stuff a drama archetype in a little package?

Milia Gloriosa!

Milia Gloriosa is a halfling.  Created by combining A4, S4, and G4 morphs!  Her body is 50% Aiko 4 and 50% the Girl.  Combined with S4 short and petite morphs -- and further reduced to 50% size.  Here she is, compared with one of her soldiers to show her size.

I had the idea when I watched a segment of A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum were Miles Gloriosus was played by a crooning dwarf (with a schlong that makes women swoon!).

Here are her Pathfinder statistics!

Milia Gloriosa
CR 5
XP 1,600
Female halfling paladin 6
LG small humanoid (halfling)
+1; Senses Perception +7
AC 22, touch 11, f lat-footed 21 (+8 armor, +1 Dex, +3 shield)
51 (6d10+18)
+7, Ref +3, Will +4
Speed 20 ft.
+1 longsword with godslayer blessing +12/+7 (1d8+7/19–20) or dagger +9/+4 (1d4+3/19–20)
longbow +7/+2 (1d8/×3)
Special Attacks
channel positive energy, smite evil 2/day
Spells (Save DC –
1stBless, Protection from Evil
Sample Dialogue: “Stand aside, everyone!  I take large steps!”

Str 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk
+6; CMB +8; CMD 22
Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Longsword)
Diplomacy +12,  Handle Animal (horses) +12, Knowledge (Religion) +10, Ride +4, Sense Motive +4,  Spellcraft +6
Common, Halfling
hafling traits, aura of courage, aura of Good, detect evil, divine bond, divine grace, divine health, lay on hands, mercy
half-plate, heavy steel shield, +1 frost longsword, dagger, 63 gp

To play her while you game, the best thing to do is have your wife sing "Bring me my bride" but change bride to groom at the table when she's introduced.   Oh, and tell her to ham it up. :D

Friday, March 25, 2011

Adventures in Terre nearing completion!

It's one of those days where I'm getting excited!

So, Query: What happens when a writer visits after he is completely unsatisfied with the GSL?


Originally going to be released for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Journey to Terre is going to have it's IP released under the Creative Commons License -- allowing for recopying and derivative works!  Love the setting but play 4e?  No problem!  Work out 4e stats, play through the adventure, and rewrite the adventure replacing Pathfinder Stats with 4e stats.  And sell it on RPGnow!

Love the Setting, but own an entirely different system?  No problem!  Rewrite the adventure to your setting's specifications and release it on  Think I'm nuts?

There are some undeniable benefits for releasing the IP as open source:
* Every COPY adds VALUE to the product.  When I released my first OGL product by myself, there was some problems.  IT was to niche-y-, and I copyrighted the product.  Not this time.  I want everyone from America to China to have a copy.

* Every DERIVATIVE WORK based on the Adventure adds value to the product as well.  The world becomes Richer as a matter of course.  Lore is added upon and added upon ad infinitium.  With today's publishing technology, it's much easier for a person to add to their favorite work.  Shakespeare's plays are the most performed works in the World.  Mostly because of translations and availability.  There is anime based on some plays, for instance.

* Creative Commons allows for Author Saturation.  The biggest danger to an author is not death, but obscurity.  Only the top one half of one percent writers actually are lauded.  Copyright prevents author saturation in various markets.

The world is one that is an Ahistorical Greek Setting.  This pretty much means that the world has some Anachronisms.  Marsela might be Greek through and through, but another town might be based on Renaissance Paris, for instance; and another might be based on 11th Century Britain.  Or a whole country might be based on Old Kingdom Egypt or Israel during the time of Samson or David.

The map is simple.  Barbarian lands are to the west, to the east are the Orc hordelands -- a mountainous land, and to the North are the elves.  To the south across the sea is an Egyptian kingdom.  Beyond the Hordelands is the End of the World and Terra Nova -- lands that aren't mapped.  Beyond the Barbarian Lands is the Trackless Ocean.


However, the most interesting thing are the skies.  Dominating the northern sky are three planets: Saturn, Venus, and Mars.  Heathens all over the world worship these planets as deities.  The adventure is simple: you start in the modern day, get transported to Terre after examining an out of place artifact, and you have to find your way home.

Or, at least it's a start to finding your way home. :)

It's one of those days

That I want to go to the Koala Bay naturist resort and just lose myself.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cover Art for Journey to Terre

The cover art for Journey to Terre is completely rendered, so this pretty much means that I'm on the home stretch of writing the rough draft and seeking playtesters.  If you notice, I'm getting a little better with my lighting schemes since I did the cover art for the Barsoom RPG.

Adventure Cover Image by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART

this practically means that my professional work is getting much better. Soon, I'll be able to render in Maya.  If I can (posed in DAZ, rendered in Maya, that sort of thing).  What do you think?  The lighting is 3Delight using the Uber-Environment 2 light shader.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dejah Thoris

I went looking around for reference works of Dejah Thoris and I found this:

Dejah Thoris by *ericalannelson on deviantART

Artists have wild imaginations based on the book A Princess of Mars.   I'll have a version of Dejah myself up today.  Perhaps in this very post. :)

Dejah Thoris by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guess the D&D Class

Lets play a game. Here is an adventuring party. The task is simple. Guess their classes.  guess their classes right, and you will see a write up for the four of them.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Art Preview Part 1

Noriel by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART

An Art Preview of the Adventure I am writing.  Here is Noriel, an NPC.  Seeing this, the Art is going to be full color in my adventure.  It will feature the talents of:
Danie and Marforno
Adiene and Vixiphene (RMP VAMP)
Aery Soul
Liquid Rust
and many others, including the classical artists:
Gustav Moreau (Hercules vs. the Hydra painting, just not the whole painting)

And a Roman Copy of an Greek Original of Ares (Mars).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

An Open Appreciation for Paizo

I am impressed on how PAIZO treats the 3rd Party Community for the OGL. Since I read the open letter about how 3rd Party Publishers enjoy the service they get from the company -- like being used as a sales point.

I write third party products, and I am very impressed. As a libertarian, it has become increasingly important to me to look at the issues on Personal Property Rights and how the Free Market operates. In this appreciation, I'd like to focus on Free Market Enterprise. The D&D Market is incredibly small compared to say: several Sports. This niche caters to the most creative of people (who are also very intelligent, I may add). Eventually, they create their own works -- campaign setting, house rules, what have you.

The OGL and GSL allows them to create their own work and to publish them for others to use. While the 3rd Party Publishers of 4th Edition materials are left in the lurch, PAIZO has realized that competition is healthy for the hobby as a whole when there is some level of cooperation. By all appearances the level of cooperation is very high. PAIZO uses 3rd Party OGL material in their products as well as do some low level advertising for these companies. It makes me smile. Back in the day, Wizards used very little if no OGL content (there was one or two exceptions -- the Razor Boar and the Scorpion Folk in the MM2). I don't know what has gotten ahold of Wizards' thinking; but people who bought the products felt that Wizards' material is absolutely the best and they buy nothing but wizards' products in later years.

Why that happened, I have a theory. But I do believe that the Free Market was in action! Now that things have sorted themselves out, the OGL community can continue forward with support from PAIZO itself. This will help a lot of people down the road. Not only we writers have reviewers, but we also have the people working at PAIZO, and that's a good thing. This actually helps everyone involved in knowing what might be gems, and what might be dross. It also helps us writers to actually write well and better additions to Pathfinder.

So this is a good thumbs up!

Elton Robb
♡2011 Copying Art is an act of love. Please copy and share.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Move Over Hot Orc and Hot Elf Chicks!

And let this human join the fray.  Okay, she's not human, but a dragon.  Tharkena joins the fray of Hot Orc and Hot Elf chicks!  And guess what?  She's more real looking . . .  Proud player of writer of products for Pathfinder.

Which will be copyhearted.  So that people who like the adventure and play 4th edition, can make their own versions and get this -- publish them on the web!

DAZ Studio 4 (beta/alpha?)

As some of you know, the DAZ Studio 4 Beta (or is it α) is out. and I managed to do a little something with Aiko 3 and the Sub-d Dragon.

What do you think?

Already, I reported two bugs with the Alpha version.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Intellectual Freedom and Learning versus Patent and Copyright

Stephan Kinsella gives his thoughts on Patents and Copyright vs. Intellectual Freedom.  It can be copied friends.


Intellectual Freedom and Learning Versus Patent and Copyright

by Stephan Kinsella on January 19, 2011 @ 11:27 pm


I’ve given several speeches about intellectual property (IP).1 Tonight I’ll take a somewhat different approach to the subject. Let me ask you a general question. Why are you here at this great (government) school? It’s to have fun, right? But it is also to learn; that is the basic purpose of education: to learn. To be sure, we learn things all the time. A university is a more formalized way of learning, but learning as a general matter is very important. This may sound like a trite observation. We make these comments all the time: “Education is important. Learning is good.”

The Role of Learning and Knowledge in Human Action

But this leads me to the focus of my talk, which is about learning and the importance of information and knowledge, and copying and emulation on the market and in life in general. So let’s think about how learning is important and how it’s used in everyday life.
Ludwig von Mises, the famous Austrian economist, the father of modern Austrian economics, systematized the study of human action and gave it a name: praxeology. This is the study of the logic of human action. Mises analyzes action in very simple, elementary terms. He breaks it down. I want you to think about it. If you haven’t heard of praxeology, don’t be daunted by the expression. The idea is to look at what the components of human action are; what we do every day, all the time.2

The Structure of Human Action: Means and Ends

When a human acts, what is he doing? He looks around the world. He chooses an end or a goal that he wants to achieve, some purpose of his, something he wants to happen, something that would not happen without his active intervention in the world. So he chooses one action over another. He chooses his highest value action or end, and demonstrates this preference by his action.
So we have a chosen end, or goal. But how does an actor achieve the goal he has chosen? He has to select certain means. This is what Mises and the Austrians call means: things that are physically efficacious, things that let you causally interfere in the world to achieve some desired goal.
Let’s take an example. You’re all eating now so let’s take a food example. Let’s say you’re hungry. So you say, “I know I like cake. I know I like chocolate cake. I think I’ll try to acquire a chocolate cake.”
You can see right off the bat that knowledge has entered the picture; the knowledge of what you like. Maybe you’ve learned this from experience, but knowledge is already playing a role in your decisions and actions. It has informed your choice of ends.
So how do you achieve your end? How do you get the chocolate cake? Well, you might obtain a recipe for cake and get the ingredients and tools to make the cake: mixing bowl, eggs, flour, spoon, kitchen, oven. Then you spend some time and effort and make a cake. You make that cake instead of watching television or getting your car washed or changing your clothes or making a vanilla cake.
This illustrates that human action is the purposeful use of means to achieve a desired end or result.3 Notice that the means you employ have to be physical or scarce resources, things that are real things in the world, things that you can affect, like the mixing bowl and the oven.4 This is what you employ to achieve your goal. The Austrians, especially Mises, go into the logical structure of human action, which we just discussed, and show that it implies so many things.5 For example, it implies opportunity cost. You choose this goal instead of the other ends. The things that you did not choose are the opportunity cost of your action.
Action also presupposes causality. You have to believe there is a way to achieve your result by manipulating the world in accordance with time-invariant causal laws. The structure of human action also has the concept of profit and loss built in, which is not only a monetary concept, but a psychic concept. Not psychic in the Shirley MacLaine sense, but psychic in the sense of pertaining to mental phenomenon, such as value and ends. For example, if you achieve your goal, which is to obtain a nice chocolate cake, and if it is as you envisioned it, and if you enjoyed it like you expected that you would, then you’ve achieved a profit. If it turns out to be a failure or you don’t enjoy it for some reason, then there is a loss.6

Knowledge as a Guide to Action

Where does this leave the role of learning? Learning is important because it is how we acquire information. Information is important because it gives us knowledge of how the world is. The more knowledge you have, the wider is your universe of choices. You have more ends to choose from, for example.7
Let’s say one person only knows the possibility of making a vanilla cake or a chocolate cake. If he learns that it’s possible to make a coconut cake, now he can choose between three possible goals. So his knowledge of the ends can expand and give him a wider array of choices.
Importantly, you also have to have knowledge of means and causal laws of the world because this informs your choice of means. To be able to choose a given end, you also need to know how to achieve it. You need to have a recipe.8 I don’t mean only food recipes. A recipe in this sense is just a general way to do something by exploiting resources in the world to achieve some end.
You know, for example, that if you take an egg, some flour, and chocolate, mix them in a certain way, and bake it, then, after a while, you have something that is edible. So the role of knowledge in action is to guide action. It is not the means of action. For example, you might know five different ways of getting the cake you desire. One may be to steal the cake. It’s immoral, but it’s a possible way. One may be to bake the cake. Another may be to purchase the cake. Yet another is to hire someone to bake the cake for you. So, in other words, the more knowledge you have, the wider the universe of ends and means that you have to draw on. This is the reason why learning is good.
Consider the great creators in the past — Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Bach, say — they drew upon knowledge that they acquired from the culture they were born into. Even the greatest of inventors, innovators, and creators didn’t think of everything on their own.

Scarcity, the Free Market, and Abundance

Now, let’s think about the role of scarcity in the free market. Given the above-mentioned understanding of what human action is, this very simple structural view of human action — that we use knowledge to guide our choices of ends and of what means to use to achieve the chosen ends — what is the role of external resources? That is, external objects, scarce things in the world? The role of these things is to be used by men to achieve their ends. Knowledge guides your action. It helps you choose what you want to do.
So reflect on the purpose of the free market system. What is its purpose, its role? What is its function or result? It is to help us achieve abundance. We live in a world of scarcity. We don’t live in the Garden of Eden.9 We live in a world where survival is not easy. It’s difficult. We have to find ways to survive because there is scarcity. There aren’t bananas hanging from every tree, enough for everyone to survive off of, but the free market operates to unleash creative energy and to allow tremendous productivity.
If you think about it, although we have scarcity and there is nothing we can do about this fundamental fact of the universe, the free market, in a way, helps us fight and overcome this situation.10 The thing is, the only way you can do this is by having a free market. A free market has to be built on private property principles. The reason we have to have private property is because these things are scarce. Economists call them rivalrous because you can have rivalry or fighting over them. For example, for a productive use to be made of the spoon, in the cake example, someone has to own the spoon. Someone has to be the one person who has the right to control that spoon. How do other people know that a given resource is owned, and who owns it? Property rights set up objective borders. They tell you who owns things. They’re visible and observable.11
This doesn’t mean there is no crime. This doesn’t mean that everybody respects these property rights. There can be thieves, but at least with thieves we can theoretically deal with them with crime prevention techniques. Paraphrasing Hans-Herman Hoppe, thieves and criminals are just a technical problem.12 People who want to live in harmony and use these resources productively have to have a system of property rights to allocate the use of the spoon.
Sometimes it’s said that libertarians believe in property rights and that other political systems do not uphold property rights. This is true in a sense, if you mean property rights in a particular way, but if by “property rights” you mean the right to control a scarce resource, which is what property — ownership — is,13 then every system on the face of the earth upholds some form of property rights. Every system on the earth will have a legal rule that says who is the owner of this platform, who is the owner of that factory, who is the owner of your paycheck.
For example, in the modern quasi-socialist welfare state that we live in today, the ownership rule is that the government owns about half of my paycheck. It’s clear there are property rights. It’s just that I only have about half and the government has the other half.
So in every society the legal system assigns an owner to a given contestable resource. What’s unique about libertarianism is not that we believe in property rights; everyone does. Rather, it’s our particular property rights scheme, which is basically the spinning out of the Lockean idea that the person who owns a given contested resource is the first user of it, or someone that he sold or gave the property to. The purpose of property rights is to permit us to peacefully, productively, and cooperatively use these things that are, unfortunately, scarce and cannot be used by more than one person at a time.14

Cooperation, Emulation, and Competition

I don’t know if all of you have heard of the Misesian “calculation argument,” but in the 1920s, Ludwig von Mises published a seminal paper that explained why socialism cannot work, why economics is literally impossible under full-fledged socialism.15 The reason is there is no way to compare competing projects unless you can do so in cardinal, numerical terms. It’s a very simple idea. You can’t compare building a bridge to planting an orchard. They’re not comparable units. Mises realized that in a free market system with money prices, everything resolves in terms of money. You can compare with money prices. The problem in socialism is you don’t have real money prices. You don’t have real money prices because there is no private property in the means of production. This is the basic insight of Mises as to exactly why a private property system permits the free market to be prosperous and to generate wealth and to fight this condition of scarcity.
The market is producing more things all the time. It doesn’t ever eliminate scarcity, but it fights it. If we had the government off of our backs, you could probably buy a Mercedes for $500. You could buy a microwave oven for a penny. It would not be infinitely plentiful, but it would be so plentiful everyone could have what they wanted.16
What are the key elements of a free market economy that allow this to happen? One is cooperation. The free market, by setting up property borders, allows people to cooperate instead of fighting over a resource.
It also gives rise to competition. My friend Jeff Tucker, of the Mises Institute, related to me a really good formulation of what competition is that was given to him by Larry Reed who is now the president of FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education. Reed’s formulation is “competition is the striving for excellence in the service of others.” That’s true. That’s what it is. You try to constantly improve what you’re making to try to please the customer. This gives rise to a relentless effort on the part of the people in the market to lower cost, to make things more efficiently, to serve customers the best you can because you’re in competition with others.
But we’ve left out one thing. Remember we talked about human action. A key aspect of human action is knowledge. You have to have knowledge to guide your actions. So how does this relate to the market? What’s the role of knowledge in human action, in the market context? It’s emulation.17 If you see someone successful in the market, you emulate them. This is how competition arises. You see someone attracting customers. Let’s say some guy invents a slushee stand and he’s getting a lot of customers. You might build your own slushee stand to compete with him. You copied his idea. So what? Customers are better off. Now the original guy might improve his slushee stand. He might offer more flavors.
This relentless striving to please the customer benefits everyone. This is the process of the market and it presupposes the idea of copying information, learning information, emulating. Competition means you can compete with someone, but you have to respect their property rights. You cannot trespass against them. You can’t steal your competition’s property, but you can “steal” their customers because they don’t own their customers.
Let’s tie this back to the structure of human action. Remember, we said human action uses means and it is guided by knowledge. So the means of action need to be privately owned only because they’re scarce. That’s why we have to have property in those things. Now, you can’t say scarcity is a bad thing, as it’s part of the nature of reality, but it’s definitely a challenge. We humans have to try to overcome scarcity. The free market allows us to create wealth.

Creation of Wealth versus Creation of Property

Now, I want you to think about this for a second. What does it mean to create wealth? Does it mean to actually create an object out of thin air? No. It means to make things that you own more valuable. That increases wealth.18
Imagine two people engaging in a simple exchange. I give you my goat and you give me some eggs from your chickens. Was anything physically created? No. There was just an exchange. But as we know from very basic Austrian economics that one transaction increased the sum total of wealth in society because I wouldn’t have given you my goat if I didn’t want the eggs more. So after the exchange, I’m better off and the same thing for the other guy.19
So just by allowing people freedom and respecting property rights, you can increase wealth, but the key thing to recognize is that wealth is not an object. Value is not a substance. Things are more valuable because they’re in a different shape. They’re more valuable to customers, for example. When we talk about creating wealth, what we mean is we are rearranging things that we already own, rearranging scarce resources to make them more valuable to customers or to yourself.
So, yes, you use your creativity, you use labor to do these things. Labor and creativity can be said to create wealth, but that is just another way of saying that one’s labor and actions are guided by knowledge to transform things that you own already to make them more valuable to you or to others.
I emphasize this because there’s an insidious argument that is commonly used, even by libertarians, by proponents of this idea of intellectual property. The argument goes like this:
Oh sure, I agree with you that if you find something in the state of nature that was never owned, you’re the owner. Finders keepers. Yes, that is one source of ownership. And sure, I agree that if someone transfers something to you by contract, which can include gifts, a contractual consensual voluntary transfer, that is another way you can come to own something.20 That’s another way of acquiring property rights.
So, they admit that we’re right on two things: you can come to own some scarce resource by finding it or buying it.
But they say if you create it, you also own it. It just seems natural. We’re used to thinking about this because what do we say in America? “You make money.” Now, all that really means is you had a profit from a certain entrepreneurial endeavor. These metaphors can mislead us if we’re not careful.21 You don’t really make money. (Now the Fed makes money, but that’s a different story! They don’t make real money. They make these artificial tickets we have now by printing them.)
Then they will say there are three ways to acquire ownership of things: you can find it, you can buy it, or you can create it. If you create it you should own it. It’s natural. If there is a thing that someone created, and it’s got to have an owner, well I guess it’s got to be the creator. He’s got the best connection to it. It just makes sense, right? Then they’ll say, well, who created that song? Didn’t you create that song? Who created that painting? Didn’t you create that painting? So, you’re the owner of it. The problem is they’re wrong. Creation is not a third means of acquiring ownership of things.
We can see it in the examples I gave already. Creation just means transforming things you own already. Think about a man who has a big chunk of marble. He owns it because he found it. He didn’t create any new ownable thing. I guess you could say he’s creative in finding it, but he’s not creative in the modern intellectual property sense. His neighbor sneaks over in the middle of the night and carves a statue out of it. Who owns the statue? Under current law, it’s indeterminate. Under libertarian law, the original guy owns it. This is a clear example that creation by the neighbor is not sufficient to give rights. It’s also not necessary since the first guy acquired ownership because he found it. So you can see that creation is neither necessary nor sufficient for property rights and things. Creation is not an independent source of ownership or property rights.
This is the mistake that is made over and over again by pro-IP libertarians. One libertarian philosopher says there are ontologically many types of things out there. Sure there are tangible things, but there are poems and movies. Why can’t we own those too?22
But what about, say, welfare rights? If rights are good, why can’t there by welfare rights? What do modern liberals say? They say, “oh, I believe in property rights, but there is “also” a right to education and a right to food. Now, of course, we libertarians already understand that the problem with this idea is that these rights are not free. They come from something else. When you have a set of rights allocated and you start giving out more rights, they have to start chipping into the previous ones recognized. They have to come from something else. Rights and obligations are correlative. If you have a right to education or welfare, someone’s got to provide it. They have to provide it out of their property. So recognizing “new” rights just amounts to a redistribution of property.
It’s the same thing with intellectual property, which is nothing but a redistribution of rights. It is a redistribution of property rights from the original owner of a thing, to someone who applied at a state agency for some kind of monopoly certificate that gives them the right to go to government courts to ask the court to point their guns at the original owner and tell them “you have to share your property with this guy, or you can’t use it in this way without this guy’s permission.” It is a way of redistributing property rights. The idea that you can just add IP rights to the set of property rights in scarce resources is a pernicious one that leads to redistribution of control that owners have over their property, to other people.
Here is what’s perverse about it. As I’ve already pointed out, the free market is working to let humans overcome scarcity. Yet, you have people who advocate intellectual property rights in the name of the market. What’s going on here? They’re actually imposing an artificial scarcity on things that are non-scarce by their nature.23 The free market is trying to overcome the problem of scarcity. These people are saying, “let’s make something that is already free and not scarce artificially scarce just like real things are.” Why would we want to do this?
Let’s imagine we had the ability to change physical laws so that you could easily duplicate a car just by looking at it. I look at your Rolls Royce and I blink my eyes and I have my own. It didn’t take anything from you. You can still drive your car around. Who would be against that? Well, the auto workers’ union would be against it I guess, but normal people wouldn’t be against this. This would be free wealth — a good thing.
Yet, we already have this idealized situation in the case of knowledge. We have an expanding base of knowledge that we have all benefited from. It is growing all the time with every succeeding generation. The idea of shackling it is crazy. Why would libertarians support the government in imposing restraint on information?

IP as Censorship and Monopoly

There was one free market economist who actually wrote for one of the free market think tanks that many of you have probably read from before. He explicitly says “patents and copyrights slow down the diffusion of new ideas for a reason: to ensure there will be more new ideas to diffuse.”24 We can debate whether he’s right about this means (slowing down the diffusion of ideas by means of state grants of monopoly privilege) achieving this end (ensuring there are more new ideas generated). I think, of course, that he’s wrong — obviously wrong — but he’s admitting that IP advocates want to slow down the spread of ideas. They want to make it more difficult to spread ideas.
There was a recent Salon magazine article about copyright in China. The magazine article’s author sort of innocently stated that “We may have more to gain, economically, from removing impediments to the widespread distribution of knowledge than from attempting to restrict them.”25 Oh really!
It should be no surprise that patent and copyright have such perverse effects. If you realize the history of these statutes, it is no surprise at all. Patents originated in the granting of monopoly privileges by monarchs. The first modern patent statute is called the Statute of Monopolies of 1623 in England. A patent was given to Sir Francis Drake, a notorious pirate, or privateer as he was euphemistically called, in the late 1500s, which authorized him to go around looting Spanish ships. The origin of patents is in privilege, monopoly, and real piracy. So all these proponents of intellectual property who point their fingers at today’s “pirates” and are against piracy, well, there is a link between piracy and intellectual property: they go hand in hand.26
Copyright’s origin is literally in censorship. Before the printing press, the state and the church found it pretty easy to control the distribution of thought. There were certain scribes who would copy books by hand. So the state and church could stop people from copying what they didn’t want copied. The printing press started to upset matters and so the state established an elaborate system of monopolies and controls over the use of printing presses. This led to the Statute of Anne in 1710 in England, is the first modern copyright statute. Actually, part of the reason that some authors in the French Revolution, and even in England, were in favor of modern copyright laws was they wanted the control back. The government was controlling whether their own works could be reproduced. It wasn’t a desire to get this monopoly from the state to go around suing people to stop them from reading their work. It was a desire just to have the ability to have it reproduced and copied.27 So the entire history of patent and copyright lies in statism. It lies in piracy — real piracy — pirates that kill people and break things, not guys that have a Jolly Roger banner on their website.
Let me give an example of a mousetrap. Let’s say some guy makes a mousetrap. He gets the idea to improve the standard mousetrap by coating it with Teflon. He figures these rat guts are sticky; they keep sticking to my mousetrap. I’ll coat it with Teflon and this will make a better mousetrap. So maybe he sells some and when he sells his mousetrap a lot of people learn about it. The realize, “Hey, it’s possible to make a mousetrap out of Teflon. It works even better.”
Let’s say I have some Teflon and a mousetrap. I improve my own mousetrap by adding Teflon to it. Now, the first guy has a patent on his Teflon-coated mousetrap. He can actually get a court order, an injunction, that tells me I cannot make this mousetrap even in the privacy of my own home or I will go to jail. This is really the force of government. So this is just an example of how patent rights literally rob people of their property rights. (Note: the patentee can do this to me even if I independently came up with the idea of a Teflon-coated mousetrap; even if I came up with it first.)28

The IP Mistake

Why did this happen? How did my property get transferred to this patentee? Ultimately, causally, it was transferred because of a mistake, a mistake in the law, a mistake in people’s thinking, a mistake in believing that ideas can be owned. Ideas cannot be owned. Ideas guide action. Means of action are scarce. Property rights are recognized in means because they’re scarce. Ideas are not scarce things. They are infinitely reproducible. The growing body of knowledge is a boon to mankind.
We need to cast off the mistakes of the past. The young libertarians — you get this. You’re immersed in the internet, digital information, easy access to online books and online information, billions of pages of information available at your fingertips, yeasty productivity, copying, emulating, file-sharing, social networking and borrowing. The movie The Social Network depicts Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, as being accused of stealing the Winklevoss twins’ idea. He was rightly outraged at the suggestion. He says, “Does a guy who makes a really good chair owe money to anyone who ever made a chair”?29
He’s right. The very idea is ridiculous. Copying information and ideas is not stealing. Learning is not stealing. Using information is not trespass. I urge you young libertarians to stay on the vanguard of intellectual freedom. Fight the shackles of patent and copyright and keep on learning.
Thank you.
Stephan Kinsella is an attorney and libertarian writer in Houston, Senior Fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the founder and editor of Libertarian Papers, and founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (C4SIF). His most recent book is Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe (co-editor, with Jörg Guido Hülsmann; Mises Institute, 2009).
♡ 2011 Stephan Kinsella. Copying is an act of love. Please copy and share.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An Adventures in Terre Preview #2



A new preview of the Adventures in Terre module sourcebook for Pathfinder.  The adventures continue in a world that was colonized by Lemurians and Atlanteans.  When the Sky is worshiped, and so called god stars light the night sky.  The pantheon of the Old Gods includes Saturn, Venus, and Mars.  The New Gods, numbering twelve, represent twelve achievements of mankind since the colonization of the Lemurians and Atlanteans on Terre.
Greater Deity
Symbol: Circle within a Wheel
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Sky, glory, nobility, liberty
Domains: Air, Community, Good, Law, Liberation
Favored Weapon: Scythe
Saturn.  The god that ruled over the age of Virtue, the Age of Perfect Harmony.  Called Kronos of the Greeks, and Saturn of the Romans, the Ancient God is a god of peace and wisdom.  Under his protection, the people of Terre was happy and there were no problems or complaints.  Since Saturn isn't seen in the sky, most people participate in a festival that celebrates a time when Saturn will return to the Earth and restore the age of perfect virtue.

Intermediate Deity
Symbol: Star
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Love, beauty, and awe
Domains: Chaos, Charm, Good
Favored Weapon: Dagger

Associated as the mother deity in the Ancient patheon, Venus is a woman to be both loved and feared.  She embodies the ideals of phenomenal beauty, love, and desire.  However, Venus has a dangerous aspect, that of becoming the Dragon (see below).  Venus inspired the Star symbol among Terreans, and her symbol is a five pointed, six pointed, or eight pointed star.

Intermediate Deity
Symbol: Scarred Soldier
Alignment: Lawful Good 
Portfolio: War, protection, agriculture
Domains: Law, Plant, Protection, War
Favored Weapon: Halfspear
The god of War and Protection, the Warrior God.  Mars is the eye of God, and the one that fought Chaos and fought the dragon. While farmers pray to him, Warriors sought to learn his weapon arts.  And they sought his protection in war through the armor they wore.  The leather kilt, the crested helmet, and so forth were all seen as ways of getting protection from the war god.

OGL Section 15
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Adventures in Terre preview ♡2011 by Elton Robb; Author: Elton Robb. Copying Art is an act of love. Please copy and share.
Based on original content from our Myths and Legends.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The eBook User's Bill of Rights

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights is a statement of the basic freedoms that should be granted to all eBook users.
The eBook User’s Bill of Rights

Every eBook user should have the following rights:
  • the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
  • the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
  • the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
  • the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks
I believe in the free market of information and ideas.
I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets. I believe that eBook purchasers should enjoy the rights of the first-sale doctrine because eBooks are part of the greater cultural cornerstone of literacy, education, and information access.
Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.
I am a reader. As a customer, I am entitled to be treated with respect and not as a potential criminal. As a consumer, I am entitled to make my own decisions about the eBooks that I buy or borrow.
I am concerned about the future of access to literature and information in eBooks.  I ask readers, authors, publishers, retailers, librarians, software developers, and device manufacturers to support these eBook users’ rights.
These rights are yours.  Now it is your turn to take a stand.  To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others.  Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nott Lady of the Night

Adventures in Terre Preview:

A new mother goddess for your Drow without the Insanity of being counted as Wizards of the Coast's intellectual property.  This is Nott, the Lady of the Night, and the Mother of the Drow.  Appearing in a series of Campaign Adventures I'm writing for Pathfinder, Nott can be used for your Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition games as well as your Pathfinder games.

Nott is from Norse Mythology, brought to life by Tony Puryear.  She is the goddess of the Night, and in Tony's Stories, she tempts Tyr -- the God of War.  In Adventures of Terre, to the Drow she is the Mother Goddess.  The Mother of their kind, much like Lolth is in the Dungeons and Dragons world.

D&D 4th Edition Statistics:
Area of Influence: Night, Civilization, Beauty, Arcane Magic (drow)

Pathfinder Statistics:
Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Night, Beauty, Civilization, Arcane Magic
Cleric Alignments: CE, CG, CN, N
Domains: Chaos (Protean), Charm (Love), Community (Family), Magic (Arcane), Void (Dark Tapestry)

Use Nott in your next Pathfinder or D&D 4e game.


OGL Section 15:
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based onmaterial by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.
Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, and Bill Webb;
Advanced Player's Guide. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn.
Paizo Blog. Copyright 2011, Paizo Publishing, LCC; Author: James Jacobs.
Nott: An Adventures in Terre Preview. ♡2011 by Elton Robb; Author: Elton Robb. Copying Art is an act of love. Love is not subject to law.
Based on original content from TSR.

--- Published under the GSL ---

Sunday, March 6, 2011

God Star Mythology: Using the Ancient Saturn Mythology in your games


 Using God Star Mythology in your Dungeons and Dragons (and Pathfinder) Game

Anciently,  Saturn, Venus, and Mars ruled the skies above our planet.  There was so star field and the sky was illuminated by the planet Saturn.  The planets in the sky were so imposing that many people had become heathen and worshiped these planets.

Using this cosmology in your campaign setting is quite easy.  Create a God Star, and have that represent your God of Time.  Be it Chronos, Ra, Shamash, or some other God.  In Pathfinder the God Star would have the following domains and sub-domains.
  • Glory
    • Honor
  • Good
    • Archon
  • Law
    • Inevitable
  • Time
  • Sun
    • Light
  • War
    • Tactics

The worship of that God Star grants domains, like worshiping an Anthromorphic god.  Planet two, which was Venus, becomes the Mother Goddess.  She is like Kali, Aster, Tiamat, Inanna, Ishtar, Diana, Ashtoroth, Aphrodite, and Venus.  This planet would grant the domains of:
  • Chaos
    • Protean
  • Charm
    • Love
  • Destruction
    • Catastrophe
  • Good
    • Azata
  • Sun
    • Light
  • Void
    • Stars
 The next planet is Mars.  Represented as Ares, Indra, Horus, Huitzilopochtli, Thor, Mars, Star-boy, and Hachiman.  Mars is known as the scarred god.  The god that fought many battles and received many scars across the face.  Mars was the Hero (Ares), who fought the Dragon (Typhon) to save the beautiful Princess (Aphrodite).  His domains would be:

From there, you can add to your pantheon of Gods.  As the heathen spread over your campaign setting, the gods they worship in their cultures will multiply.  As this would be the pantheon in Neolithic times, in time you can add the Sun (Apollo) and the Moon (Artemis) and other gods.  gods for traveling, gods for wisdom, and a host of other gods.  However, the original sky worshiping pantheon would number 3 gods and it would be a tight pantheon.  Clerics drawing on the ancient pantheon of the skies can choose any two domains from this list: Chaos, Charm, Destruction, Glory, Good, Law, Time, Protection, Sun, Void, War.

This pantheon, drawing on the ancient skies, would be the pantheon to start from.  For those who are not heathens, I'll be writing an article on Psionics for Pathfinder/D&D 3.5.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Role of Saturn in our Ancient Skies, pt 1

So, this blog post is about the Electric Universe, or Plasma Cosmology.   Yes, I'm talking about Plasma Cosmology again.  But this time, I'll be looking at the planet Saturn.  Or as some of us come to call it, the planet Kolob.

There are some, out there, who have been blinded by Comte's philosophy of Positivism and do not embrace the Liberalism espoused by the Founding Fathers of the U.S.A.  Liberalism was embraced by many of the Founding Fathers, including Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and George Whitefield.  In Liberalism, Revelatory Knowledge is as important as Self Knowledge.  Again, I may attract the same detractor on this blog post because his beliefs (and that of the Peer Review system) stems from Positivism, a philosophy that says the only knowledge that can be trusted is from conclusions you form yourself.  Which of course leaves out any Revelatory experience from the Father, the Creator, or the Son of man.

This blog post is about the Planet Saturn and it's role in our Ancient skies.  Thus this post will go into mythology and religion.  If you do not enjoy these two topics, don't read it.


Ahem.  The Planet Saturn, Venus, and Mars used to dominate our polar skies.  Venus, Mars, and Earth used to be in a saturn-synchronous orbit with Saturn's south pole.  and Saturn itself used to be in a binary star system with Jupiter.  Jupiter and Saturn used to be Brown Dwarf stars, providing illumination for the Earth.  In fact, during the Neolithic era, Mankind saw these planets in our sky and the presence -- and ancient memory of this configuration -- impacted Science and Religion.  The questions are: how and more importantly why?


Ah, the Wheel, the invention of which is often credited to the Sumerians.  No one knows when it was actually invented.  But has anyone truly questioned the inspiration for the wheel?  This simple machine is the foundation of human engineering: along with the ramp, lever, pulley, wedge, and screw.  What was the inspiration for the Wheel?

It wasn't Lucy watching a bone rotate in the air (as some science fiction authors suppose).  I say it is Saturn, Venus, and Mars.  During Neolithic times, after the Creation recounted in Genesis (which was a transition from the Paleolithic Era to the Neolithic Era), these three planets dominated the skies.  More importantly, our polar skies.  Back in the day, Saturn illuminated the night sky.  There was no starfield, no zodiac, and no Milky Way.  Just as this video shows:

Saturn, Venus, and Mars in this configuration became known as the Sumerian God Shamash, the Egyptians knew it as the Eye of Ra, the Eye of Horus, or the Wadjet Eye.  This is symbolized on the Salt Lake Temple as the Eye of God.  Even the Masonic Pyramid on the dollar bill, the "All Seeing Eye of God" goes back to this planetary constellation.

As time went on, however, Venus began to react with Saturn for being so close to the planet.  The planet itself, seeking electrical equilibrium with Saturn, created a number of plasma configurations.  Including the Five-Spoked Star or Pentangle, and eventually an eight spoked wheel.  Seeing this in the heavens, Mankind sought to replicate it.  First in art, and second in actuality.  The Wheel is a neolithic invention.


Scientists all over the world have a debt to pay to Abraham; whether they are blinded by Positivism or enlightened by Liberalism.  Before Abraham went into Egypt, Abraham spoke with Yaweh face to face (who we know today as Jesus Christ, or the Son of man).  Abraham received teaching from Yahweh about Kolob and the Heavens, specifically Kolob and the Kokaubeam.  It's LDS tradition that Kolob, the star nearest to where God the Creator dwells, is in the center of the Galaxy or the Center of the Universe. 

Several times, my father promised me that Earth would journey to Kolob and revolve around the God-star.  However, I could not fathom the distance that the Earth would have to travel to the Center of our Universe.  Then came David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill.  David Talbott proposed that Saturn once dominated our polar skies.  Suddenly it seemed like a thousand questions were answered for me, all at once.

In Abraham's vision and conversation with Yahweh, the El taught him:

And he said unto me: This is Shinehah, which is the sun. And he said unto me: Kokob, which is star. And he said unto me: Olea, which is the moon. And he said unto me: Kokaubeam, which signifies stars, or all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven.
(Abraham 3:13, The Pearl of Great Price revealed by modern revelation).

Kolob, which is star.  Kokaubeam, which signifies stars.  Abraham was being taught this ancient constellation of planets.  Father Abraham was also taught the principles of astronomy in accordance to that starfield in the sky.  Yahweh used the starfield as a symbolism of Abraham's progeny.  Soon after this, Abraham took this knowledge and journeyed to the land of Ham -- Egypt.  There, on a mission both religious and scientific, Abraham taught the Egyptians all that he knew from this revelation.  Eventually, the Greek fathers of natural philosophy would journey to Egypt and be versed these mysteries. 

Saturn is Kolob, the lesser light of Heaven.  From Saturn we got our our clock, our 360 degree circle.  Venus and Mars are the Kokaubeam.   From the interactions of Venus, Mars, and Saturn we got our symbols for star, the wheel, and the Ladder or Mountain of Heaven.  And from the Fall the Earth from grace we also got the stories of the Titans and the Clash of the Titans -- as recounted in the Theogony.

We have several traditions today that stem to this ancient constellation of planets.  The Christmas tree.  The maypole.  Dragons.  And comets.

NEXT: Modern Heathen Practices and the Kokaubeam.
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