commenting

House Rules: Minions!!!

Sometimes you want monsters to come in droves and go down just as fast. 

A fight against thirty orcs is a grand cinematic battle. 

The players get to enjoy carving through the mob like a hot knife through butter, feeling confident and powerful. 

Unfortunately, the mechanics of standard monsters make that difficult. 

If you use a large number of monsters of a level similar to the PCs, you overwhelm them. 

If you use a large number of monsters of much lower level, you bore them with creatures that have little chance of hurting the PCs but take a lot of time to take down. 

On top of that, keeping track of the actions of so many monsters is a headache.

Minions are designed to serve as shock troops and cannon fodder for other monsters…

Four minions are considered to be about the same as a standard monster of their level. 

Minions are designed to help fill out an encounter, but they go down quickly. 

A minion is destroyed when it takes any amount of damage. 

Damage from any attack destroys a minion. 

Use minions as melee combatants placed between the PCs and back-rank artillery or controller monsters.


Minion

  • Specializes at disposable front-line combatant.
  • Groups in large numbers to overwhelm the party.
  • Is vulnerable in all types of combat, especially AOEs.
  • Usually is just composed of a large group of themselves.

Statistics:

A minion is very much like the monster itself, though it has the following benefits and penalties to its statistics:

  • Initiative bonus: +0
  • Hit points: 1
Tips on Reviewing

I want to review something more than “ahhhhh so cute” but I don’t know how to word, what do I do?

Now, squealing and yelling sweet nonsense at a creator is already going to mean something to them, but it’s always cool to get more than that too. 

But what else can I say?

When you’re having trouble coming up with a review/comment that you want the artist/writer to appreciate, here’s a checklist you can go through:

Reaction: How did the creative work make you feel? An overall emotion? Thankful? Happy? Angry? Sad? Emotionally exhausted? Was it an emotional roller-coaster? Were there certain parts that you had a strong reaction to?

Characters: Do you have anything to say on the characterization? Did the characters surprise you? Did you sympathize with them? Enjoy what the creator did with them? How do you feel about how they interacted with other characters? Their relationships? Were they depicted well?

Composition: Did you like how the work was presented? (Time skips, POV shifts, chaotic timeline, etc) Did everything feel like it was well put together? This went well with that and yada yada? Did the work flow well? Does the work give a complete feel, whether it be a scene or a story?

Plot: Did you enjoy the amount of plot? How the characters/actions helped move the plot along? Was there more than one plot going on? Did you like that? Could you see the climax coming? Did it surprise you? Relieve you? Make you anxious? What about the resolution and falling out? Was everything tied together in a nice neat bow? Did you feel satisfied?

Wordplay: Did any lines stick out to you? Were you ever like damn that line hit me hard or has that been a metaphor this whole time? Did you enjoy any of the symbolism or figurative speech? Were you ever like you clever girl, I see what the tomato means now? Did you like the diction?

Lines/Colors: Is the line-work bombastic? What about the colors? Are they beautiful? Shocking? Making you feel a certain way? Do you like the palette? 

Style: Have you seen this artist/writer’s work before? Do you like their distinguishable style? Is it very them? Are you enjoying everything they are producing? Is this piece just another freakin’ sweet cherry on top? When you read/see their work, do you just know it’s them? Are you interested in looking at more of their creations?

Effort: Can you tell they worked really hard on this? Is their work commendable? Do you think they are skilled at what they do? 

Aftereffect: Again, how do you feel after seeing/reading this? Have you read this before? Do you think something about it is going to stick with you? Did it brighten your day/night? Are you angry at them for giving you a strong emotional reaction? Happy? Are you going to favorite/save it to look at it again later?

Now, you do not to have hit every one of these or else all reviews would just go on forever, but maybe just pick a few that you think adds to your review/comment.

And last of all, but certainly most important, Thank them.

Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee have coached witnesses, scheduled interviews without first requesting important documents, and many fail to attend witness interviews, four sources close to the investigation said.
 

 
On one occasion, three sources said, Republican Representative Trey Gowdy told Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House aide, that he was testifying voluntarily and could leave whenever he liked. After about two-and-a-half hours, one of the sources said, Kushner took the cue and left before Democrats had finished questioning him. Kushner’s lawyer and Gowdy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
 

[…]
 

Three sources familiar with the House committee’s workings said Democrats had requested a meeting of all members to resolve differences, but the Republicans rejected the idea.

Let’s hear it for lurkers

So apparently round umpty-zillion of “people are killing fandom by not commenting” is going around, and I’ve seen a few posts trashing people for lurking/viewing/reading instead of actively participating.

My journal and my fic has always been a lurker-friendly zone. I think lurkers are great and people can fight me on this. Here’s why:

We all started out as lurkers. Or at least most of us did. Come on. I’m sure some people out there must’ve jumped into fandom with both feet and started writing and commenting right away, and good for you if you did! But I sure didn’t. I lurked for YEARS. And even now, though I’ve been in fandom since before Y2K, whenever I get into a new fandom or a new social media platform, I still lurk. I hang out around the fringes for awhile to get a feeling for the place before starting to participate. Back in the mailing list/bulletin board days, it was usually recommended that people do that on purpose, watch and listen and learn the local lingo and social rules before diving in. So you know what? You are not doing anything wrong and you are not doing anything that most of the people you see out there commenting and creating and reccing things haven’t done themselves.

We all have lurker days, weeks, months …. Nobody is 100% “on” all the time. Participating in fandom (commenting, reccing, creating content, and so forth) is WORK. It may be fun work, but it still takes effort! Even if you’re sometimes very active in fandom, then you’ll have life fall on your head or the brain weasels flare up, and you won’t have the time and energy to give. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to give fandom your extra spoons. No one in fandom has a right to demand a single spoon from you that you don’t want to give.

Some of today’s lurkers may be your friends tomorrow. How do I know this? Because I’ve made friends with some of them myself! I’ve had people delurk in my comments to say hi after YEARS of reading my fanfic without saying a word. Which I am totally okay with, by the way. And some of these people are good friends today.

So, in conclusion:

  • It is okay to feel too shy to come out of lurkerhood in fandom until you feel more comfortable there. It is fine, in fact, if you never do.
  • It is okay to be too busy and have too few spoons to comment or create stuff. You still have a perfect right to be in fandom and read and reblog whatever you want.
  • It is okay if you meant to comment on that fic or go back and press the kudos button but never got around to it.
  • It is okay if you have too many accounts already and don’t want to create a new one just to comment/participate on a social media platform. 
  • It is okay if your personal situation (a stalker ex, controlling parents) makes it unsafe for you to create an account or comment on things.
  • It is okay if you can’t or don’t want to comment or do any of the other things that constitute non-lurkerhood, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for why.
  • IT IS OKAY TO BE A LURKER.

While we’re on the subject of tumblr’s shortcomings as a fandom platform, I want to say one more thing. I’ve been thinking lately about how it’s really important to remember that fandom isn’t just on tumblr, but on AO3 as well. One angle that I don’t see people talking about a lot with regard to commenting on fic is that it’s another level of interaction that I don’t think fandom can live without–not just because it fuels writers, but because it can fuel readers too. 

Over the course of my fandom life, I’ve gradually worked my way up to leaving more and more detailed comments (not necessarily always longer, but definitely more specific) and let me tell you–it’s incredibly rewarding. Just recently, I left a comment that prompted a writer to share a lot more about what they were thinking while writing the fic and to give me a rec for a fic with a similar theme to the one they wrote. Sometimes writers will reply to comments by going into more detail about the headcanons they have for characters or explaining more backstory for a part of the fic that I mentioned liking. I’ve had people follow me here on tumblr after I commented on one of their fics on AO3 (and as a writer, I’ve followed people who have commented on my fic too–if I can find them here), and from that, sometimes new friendships arise.

What I’m trying to say is that the importance of comments as an aspect of fandom interactions can’t be overstated. It’s not just about stroking a writer’s ego. You can get things out of it too, whether it be a new headcanon to think about, an insight into the creative process, or even a new friend. Being specific about the parts of fic you like can give writers the confidence to write more things in the same vein or to write more period. Back in the LJ days, fic and personal posts were all mixed in together, so it was easier to have those kinds of interactions, but now that those worlds are split, I think it’s even more important to remember why commenting is important and what it can do for fandom as a whole.

So next time you’re leaving a comment, I challenge you to view it not as “paying your dues” for reading the story, but as an opportunity to interact with the person behind it. You don’t have to be long-winded. Tell them what your favorite part of it was. Pick out something that was unique about it and ask about their inspiration. Talk about how it made you feel or what it reminds you of. You won’t regret it. 

On Fanfiction Commenting

I have been both a consumer and a producer of fanfiction since I was probably far too young to be doing either, so here are some of my tips on commenting on fics:

  • Comment. Please. Comments motivate authors to write.
  • Incoherently rambling is okay. One word comments are okay. Smiley faces are okay. I guarantee getting a notification that someone commented AAAAAAAH :D on a fic will make a writer smile.
  • Really long comments are awesome. You want to talk about your favorite scene? Go for it. You want to talk about how much you like a character? Please. Explain how well you think this writer fits within canon, or is better than canon, or gave you a new headanon.
  • Talk about how it made you feel.
  • If you read something a second time, or a third time, or a fifth time, tell them. Writers love to hear that. Tell them when you stay up all night to finish a fic. Tell them that you cried. Tell them that you laughed.
  • Be careful with critiques. Some authors are cool with them, some aren’t, but regardless, if you have a critique of the story, be gentle, be kind, compliment them too, remember that they wrote this and provided it to you for free, and consider not sending it directly to them.
  • If you think they got something particularly touchy (sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.) wrong, first check to see if they say they are that thing that you think they got wrong. If they are, don’t say anything. People are allowed to interpret themselves however they want. If they aren’t AND YOU ARE, you can consider gently letting them know, preferably with thanks for attempting representation and maybe a link to a resource that might help them (unless they’re being malicious or have a particularly egregious error, in which case don’t thank them for representing you).
  • If there is one typo or mistake, let them know. if there are five, don’t. Most writers don’t want to go searching through their story to fix every typo they made at 3 am, but one thing is wrong–particularly if they wrote the wrong name–it’s not that much work to fix. They might not fix it, but you’re not putting much of an extra burden on them by letting them know.
  • If you read 50k words of a fic and then comment a dissertation on all the reasons you hated it, maybe consider just…stopping reading it, instead. You didn’t pay for it. You are gaining nothing from the cost of time of reading it. Go away. Also I will tell my friends about how ridiculous you are, and we will laugh about you.
  • Don’t share your life story. 9 times out of 10, we don’t care they you are uncomfortable with the idea of polyamory because your SO cheated on you and you think polyamory is like cheating and you don’t judge anyone else for participating in polyamory but you wouldn’t do it personally, so please, don’t tell us. (Fun fact, that’s a true story.)
  • “I would love to read more (of this story/of this world/of your works)” is fine (unless they explicitly say they won’t write more). “Have you thought about writing more” is also fine. “Hey, it’s been a while, I love your story and hope you post more” is pretty okay. “You need to write more” is a little iffy. “UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE” is kind of aggressive. “Why haven’t you updated, you terrible person” is way out of line.
  • Don’t be mean.

people are allowed to identify as queer.

people are not being homophobic by identifying as queer.

people are not forcing the word queer on you or anyone else by identifying as queer.

people identifying as queer does not affect you, it does not hurt you, and it is in absolutely no way your place to tell them to stop identifying as queer because doing so is queerphobic and disgusting. a queer person’s identity is not dependent on your approval.

So you’re thinking about leaving concrit on a fanfiction...

Hi there!  Dresupi here! Fanfic author, mostly MCU.  

So you’re browsing Ao3…you’re having fun.  You’re reading all your favorite ship or fandom has to offer.  And EGADS!  You’ve spotted an error in one of the fics.  

Originally posted by gurl

Well.  Surely the next step is for you to let them know in the comments.  Right?  That’s what they’re for, after all.  Communicating with the author, right? 

 Wrong.  

Originally posted by yourbasicaesthetics

Wait WHAT?  Dres…you’re telling me I shouldn’t alert this writer to their grave error in judgement (Or grammar, or characterization, or anything else I deem incorrect in this work they’ve posted out in public for everyone to see?)

Yes, imaginary fic commenter.  Yes, that’s exactly what I’m telling you.  

But WHYYYY? 

Calm down, I’m going to lay this out for you.  All professional like.  With bullets and everything.  ;) I got you, Babe.  Don’t worry. 

  • Okay, so the first thing you (as a potential commenter of fanfiction) need to do is decide…Did you like the fic?  If yes, please continue to the next step.  If no, I need you to go back up to the top of your web browser and click the arrow pointing left.  That will take you OUT of the fic and enable you to continue on your search for the perfect fanfic. :D
  • Okay, so, if you’re still reading, you’ve decided that yes.  You DID like the fanfic.  YAY!  I’m so happy for you!  I love finding good fics!  I really do!  It’s the best feeling to find someone who writes your OTP just right, isn’t it?  … Oh wait…you mean…you DIDN’T like the way they wrote your OTP?  A scene was too short?  The word count over all was too short?  Characters were OOC?  Goodness gracious!   Well, in that case…I’m going to need you to go on up to the top left of your screen and click the arrow pointing left.  This will take you OUT of the fic and enable you to continue on your search for the perfect fic with perfect A+ Characterization.  
  • NOW.  Okay.  So you liked the fic.  You liked the length.  The characterization.  AWESOME!  PARTY TIME!  … Oh?  A factual error, you say?  Oh no!  That really is kind of embarrassing, you know?  Really quick, though.  BEFORE you comment, can you check the author’s note and see if the author is asking for help?  A beta?  A general okay-ness with constructive criticism?  (Some authors really like it).   But no?  You don’t see anything like that in the author’s note?  Hmm.  Well, this is a tough situation.  You can either leave your comment sans unprompted concrit…or you can venture up to the top left of your screen and click on the left hand arrow.  This will take you OUT of the fic and enable you to continue on your search for the perfect fic with A+ characterization with bonus fact checking!   
  • Alright,alright, alright.  You’ve made it this far!  This must be an AMAZING fic.  Outstanding!  :D  All except for those pesky grammar and/or syntax errors, right?  Wow.  These are really interfering with your ability to enjoy the fic.  Either this author is in desperate need of a beta, or maybe it’s just that ONE GLARING ERROR in an otherwise perfect fic.  It’s time to leave a comment, tell the author, right?  *sigh*  Take a glance at the author’s note.  Is the author asking for concrit?  Perhaps there’s a call for a beta reader?  Or just a general call for help?  No?  *deeper sigh* Sorry, Friend.  If you’re able, please leave your comment sans concrit, otherwise…yeah…you know what to do.  Back click.  

Really though…what’s the big deal about me leaving concrit?  Even if mine is a touch rude.  I know for a FACT {this author} has many more positive comments.  This isn’t going to amount to more than a drop in the bucket.  


Well…and this is speaking from personal experience as an author.  You could have hundreds upon hundreds of positive comments, but that one negative, or concritty comment is the one that stands out.  It’s the one that makes an author stop before pressing that “post” button.  It’s the one that makes them second guess themselves.  


But Dres, these authors are sharing their works in the public.  They should really develop thicker skins about this kind of thing.  

Well.  I mean.  This isn’t really up to you to decide.  This isn’t something you paid money for.  All you’ve invested is your time.  Leaving unwanted concrit in the comments of a fanfiction is the online equivalent of receiving a handmade sweater from your Nana and saying, “This is cool, but I’d rather have had the store-bought one…”   

Maybe this author is having a really hard time this week.  Maybe their word count isn’t up to snuff because of it.  Maybe this was all they were able to put out there?  Maybe their beta reader is on vacation or taking a break?  Maybe none of the above, maybe this is just simply the best they can do and they’re very proud of what they’ve accomplished!  

Fanfiction is a free service. Fic authors take their free time to craft and write these stories.  A lot of us aren’t professional writers.  We’re moms.  Students.  High schoolers.  Investment bankers.  Scientists. Therapists. {insert name of other careers here}. In other words, people with real lives, who spend what little free time we have, creating content for you to enjoy. 

It isn’t like if you pay money for the latest book from your favorite author, only to find out that they’ve killed off your favorite character and made the other character into a villain and completely mucked up the series past all canonical help.  

Originally posted by nightpsychotic

Okay, okay.  I get you.  It’s rude.  But can’t I at least point out the grammatical/syntax errors?  

And here’s where it gets tricky.  And I’d like to defer to my mom on this one.  

She always used to say, “Never point out a fault that someone can’t fix in less than three seconds.”  

She used it to pertain to people’s appearances, their attitude, or their speech patterns.  But I think it applies here too.  

I think of single typos as like…the literary version of having spinach in your teeth.  Yes.  This is something you could technically point out.  KINDLY.  You wouldn’t point and laugh at someone you didn’t really know who had spinach stuck between their front teeth, would you?  

(I would certainly HOPE the answer is no.) 

Likewise, if you simply must point out a single typo…do it nicely?  Otherwise, it looks like you read this thing that this fic author put out into the world…this little piece of themselves…you read it, and found nothing good whatsoever.  Just that typo.  Maybe you didn’t mean it that way.  But it’s what it looks like to that author.  

On the other side of this coin…if the entire fic is a grammatical mess?  Just…back click out.  

Here’s why I say that.  To you, it might look like My Immortal…but to the person that wrote it?  It looks like the hard-work and effort they poured into it.  And you never know.  The person that wrote it could be ESL.  *shrugs*  And your comment could be the thing that keeps them from ever trying again.  You never really know.  It’s safer to be cautious.

I’m going to double star and bold this next thing.  Because I feel like it’s super important.

**A better way to point out typos, grammatical errors or basically any other errors is to contact the author directly.**  

I link my tumblr at the bottom of all my fics for this reason.  And I’ve gotten some lovely messages from people informing me of formatting errors, typos and grammatical errors. It literally takes the same amount of time to click on a link and type out your comment as it does to leave it at the bottom of the fic.  And I can tell you that I do not mind getting told about errors in private.  It’s when things get dragged out into the open that I start getting defensive.  

Which brings me to my last point before I shut up and leave you to your day.  

“I didn’t mean this in a bad way!  I was only trying to help!  Why is this author getting so defensive???”

I’d like to tell you about a little thing called tone.  

Something that is completely lost in online messaging and commenting.  

While you, the commenter, might have not intended anything bad from your comment…the author could have read it in a completely different way. Know why?  

I can’t speak for everyone, but for me?  Personally?  It’s because I’m self-conscious.  Yes.  I’m super self-conscious about everything I share.  Whether it’s a short prompt or an update to a longer fic, I’m self-conscious about sharing it.  And that translates over to how I read tone in online messages and comments.  I hate that I can’t read things neutrally, but…here I am.  In all my imperfection.   

I guess in short, what I’m saying is…and this is probably going to earn me some enemies for whatever reason…I mean…I stood up to someone leaving concrit on one of my fics and got called a c*nt and an attention whore for it.  *shrugs*  People are gonna do what they want to do, and that’s how it is.  

Originally posted by teachingfeelslike

It takes absolutely no time to back click out and say nothing.  *shrugs*  It takes zero effort to not be a dick.  So please.  Just…don’t be a dick?  Feed your authors.  Don’t leech from them.   

4

Day 18! This took longer than I thought, but it’s all good! Here we have The Sides™ all dressed up for Halloween! And yes! I seriously believe Patton would dress up JUST to say a dad joke!! (Thanks for the idea, Sammy) I had multiple ideas for Virgil, but at the last minute I decided to go with his own version of Jim’s Halloween costume from The Office, 3 Hole Punch Jim! Since Roman is a diva I figured he’d go all out for his costume and go as Winifred Sanderson Sister (and yes he’s upset none of the other sides wanted to dress up as the other sisters) and lastly we have Logan, I had multiple ideas for him too, but in the end I decided he’d go as a jar of Crofter’s! The costume isn’t sponsored, he’s just a fan. The only jelly he’ll put in his belly. Crofter’s.