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D & Dean

I think reading this paragraph (from a New Republic article about the Democratic primaries) provides a pretty definitive geek test:

As a result, the only way Edwards catches on is a) if Kerry makes a huge mistake; b) if Edwards manages to stick around long enough for the press to savage Kerry; c) if Dean draws blood against Kerry with all those $100 donations he's planning to turn into rhetorical RPG attacks.
Real men immediately recognize "RPG attacks" is a reference to rocket-propelled grenades.

Guys like me, on the other hand, first summon a mental image of Dean sitting at a table, acting out a fiery denunciation of Kerry, and then rolling a 20-sided die against his CHR attribute.

P.S.: By my reckoning, the stats work out to be about:
Howard Dean

STR: 11
INT: 13
WIS: 9
DEX: 10
CON: 12
CHR: 13

Wesley Clark

STR: 14
INT: 12
WIS: 11
DEX: 12 (-4 when trying to dodge questions about his platform)
CON: 14
CHR: 10

John Edwards

STR: 10
INT: 13
WIS: 10
DEX: 12
CON: 10 (+2 for Forehead of Perpetual Youth)
CHR: 13

John Kerry

STR: 10
INT: 13
WIS: 13
DEX: 9
CON: 10
CHR: 9

Posted on February 05, 2004 to Observations


wot? No character classes or alignment? And you call yourself a geek...

Posted by: paul on February 5, 2004 12:52 PM

I think "lawful evil" can be safely assumed for any presidental candidate.

"These characters believe in using society and its laws to benifit themselves ... to this end, lawful evil characters support laws and societies that protect their own concerns. If someone is hurt or suffers because of a law that benifits lawful evil characters, too bad. Lawful evil characters obey laws out of fear of punishment. Because they may be forced to honor an unfavorable contract or oath they have made, lawful evil characters are usually very careful about giving their word. Once given, they break their word only if they can find a way to do it legally, within the laws of the society." [source]

Posted by: Matthew on February 5, 2004 1:02 PM

my guesses:

Howard Dean: Chaotic Good
John Kerry: Lawful Neutral
John Edwards: Neutral Good
Wesley Clark: True Neutral
Dennis Kucinich: Chaotic Evil
Rev. Al Sharpton: Chaotic Crazy

Posted by: Justin on February 5, 2004 1:13 PM

How are these strange people you refer to?

pr0n from Canada

Posted by: pr0n_j3r3my on February 5, 2004 1:17 PM

>How are these strange people you refer to?

They're all fine, and all the better for your asking.

Posted by: Corwin on February 5, 2004 3:36 PM

Hey, why stop with alignments? Here's NPC summary codes (think Geek Code for supporting characters) for the Dems...

Howard Dean: CGhemSP6(Asclepios, minor power)
John Kerry: LNhmF7
John Edwards: NGhmW4(abjuror)
Wesley Clark: LNdmF11
Dennis Kucinich: CEgmT6
Al Sharpton: CNhmC5(baptist)

And because I can't resist:

George W. Bush: LEhmT12
Dick Cheney: LEhmT20
Karl Rove: NEhmW9(illusionist)

(If anyone fits the LE definition given by Matthew, its this administration. But RPG alignments are the *only* context in which I'd use the term "evil" to describe real people in any seriousness. Which isn't much.)

Posted by: bughunter on February 5, 2004 3:39 PM

And with that, we are officially out of my league.

Posted by: Matthew on February 5, 2004 3:57 PM

Dude, Kuchinich is Chaotic Good. Hes in it to stir things up, but for a good cause.

Sharpton is Chaotic Neutral, cause hes just......stupid. And in it to cause trouble.

Posted by: FrEaK on February 5, 2004 6:10 PM

How do you figure Clark with a 12 intelligence (less than Edwards and the others)? Say what you might about our military academies, but graduating first at West Point, then going on to win a Rhodes scholarship is to me indicative of some potent brain sauce.

Posted by: Collin on February 5, 2004 7:14 PM

i used to think i could get away with calling myself a geek, but i am clearly unworthy of the title.

(even though I never would have thought that RPG stood for rocket-powered grenades.)

Posted by: blunder on February 5, 2004 8:00 PM

/me waves his staff of 'boy am i out of the loop since AD&D circa 1980s' and rolls d20 against butt rocker status.

Posted by: Greg on February 5, 2004 11:01 PM

Label me a geek and swat my hind with a melon rind. My immediate though of RPG was the same as you.

I have to question your attributes (or at least wonder about the state of politics/the Democratic Party) for the candidates. Politicians maxing out with charismas of 13? A cast of thoroughly average individuals, especially when you have governors running around with strengths of 17 or 18. Is this the future leadership of this country?

Posted by: Jon on February 6, 2004 4:42 AM

I laugh at all the democratic nomination candidates with their weak stats and suggest that whoever wins, the President of the United States will never be a handy fifth member of the party.

Instead, I propose Bill Gates for President. Call that a stat block? Now that's a stat block.. Oh, wait! Isn't he the most powerful man in the country already?

Posted by: Chris M. Dickson on February 6, 2004 5:47 AM

Now, now ... any good RPG'r would know that WIS would be used for dodging questions.

Wesley Clark
STR: 14
INT: 12
WIS: 11
DEX: 12 (-4 when trying to dodge questions about his platform)
CON: 14
CHR: 10

Posted by: TJ on February 6, 2004 6:21 AM

When I read bughunter's stats, my first thought was why isn't Al Sharpton donig better in the primaries? Charm Person is only a first level spell after all.

Posted by: edosan on February 6, 2004 6:22 AM

but when newbies cast it, it sucks and you can see through it horribly. like oh say, al.s behavior now. ya gotta get rolling with that lvl30's casting of charm...like billy boy. or the almighty demigod reagan. just watching him charm or vent was always a treat.

Posted by: araboth on February 6, 2004 7:05 AM

Something I don't understand here: Every single stat is shortened to three-letter form by simply taking the first three letters of the word. Except for Charisma. Why is that?

Where *I* come from, one simply uses "CHA". At first I thought maybe this was just a confusion of "R" and "A" since they look similar when handwritten, but now I wonder if it's simply because "CHA" is too strongly associated with Chairface Chippendale's Moon alterations. Or maybe there's some "Chapping" stat I'm not familiar with. Or "(looks good in) Chaps"?

Posted by: Eric on February 6, 2004 7:45 AM

there are not enough stats - didn't any of you ever play a decent rpg like rolemaster with thousands and thousands of pages of rules? :)

anyway, the character classes - I'm kinda conservative when it comes to those, so here goes:

wes clark - warrior
howie dean - conjuror
al sharpton - jester
john kerry - paladin
kucicnichch - who's he?
john edwards - bard

dubya - illusionist/farmer
dick c. - trader/illusionist
rummy - barbarian
wolfie - priest (the evil kind)
colin p. - left out of the loop

there are so many more, arrrgh once you get started putting people into character classes, you can't stop!

oh, I would've recognized rpg, sorry.

Posted by: christian on February 6, 2004 9:28 AM

CHA is the charbroiling skill, that's why! or was it ChaCha dancing... or Chastity?

Posted by: treecake on February 6, 2004 9:29 AM

Chairface Chippendale. Now there's a man (man?) with vision. Vote Chippendale in '04! He takes a seat for no man.

Posted by: Keith S. on February 6, 2004 10:29 AM

Um, "CHR" for some reason was what was in the books way back when. I think this is because Ernie Gygax put something in Gary Gygax's whiskey when they designed their character sheets. (Or is that CHRCTR SHTS?) Since then, Charisma has been abbreviated as "CH" or "CHA" for two or three letters, as needed. (Making Constitution and Charisma the "Tuesday and Thursday" of the attributes, given that they need two letter abbreviations where every other attribute gets only one. This is no doubt why the Comeliness attribute never made a big splash.)

Posted by: Nik, lord of the Geeks! on February 6, 2004 11:05 AM

This is a shoe-in for Matthew Baldwin's Annual Good Gift Games Guide 2004. All it needs is a catchy name... Here's my votes:
D&D (Debates & Donkeys)
AD&D (Advanced Debates & Donkeys)
Ars Politica
Magic: The gathering deficit

Posted by: Crash on February 6, 2004 11:06 AM

Well, here's one more vote for the "CHA" party. Which is a lot more exciting and involving than any of the other parties running for the nomination.

Posted by: *** Dave on February 6, 2004 11:19 AM

altho i didn't think of the rocket thingies first, straight to the twelve sided die, i am a bit relieved that i haven't conqured full 100% geek yet, because after that, i pretty much glazed over.

i'm more of a equal opportunity dork, lacking social skills, into things that aren't "cool", but with a nanosecond attention span. So in middle school when i was the only 'day' in my group of guy friends (who were all nights of the round table) when they pulled out all their rpg things, i tended to color my hair with highlighters.

Posted by: sara on February 6, 2004 1:00 PM

Dean's STR should be way higher - haven't you seen his super Popeye forearms? They are spectacular!

On the other hand, I'd say his CHA should be lower, because I don't think he's the least bit "smooth".

Posted by: spygeek on February 6, 2004 1:15 PM

Chairface Chippendale - The Tick! As good as the villains were (El Seed, The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight), the heros were better - Der Fledermaus, American Maid, Sewer Urchin. That toon was funny as hell.

Posted by: Bob on February 6, 2004 1:56 PM

What do all those acronyms mean?

Posted by: Smush Bush on February 7, 2004 10:33 AM

I don't play these games but get the general idea. I think this throwing method seems as good as any currently in use.

Posted by: Miel on February 7, 2004 7:26 PM

what about weapons?

+10 Vorpal Blades of Tort Reform
+5 Sheild of Military Service
+3 Bag of Previous Voting Records

/me gives self a wedgie

Posted by: anon on February 8, 2004 10:13 AM

You think you're a geek? The first time I took a purity test, and saw the question "Have you ever kissed an MOS?", my first thought was, "Metal-oxide semiconductor?"

Posted by: Allan on February 9, 2004 10:40 AM

Then there are the older and even geekier, who never got into role playing games, whose first thought was of the ancient retarded bastard sibling of COBOL: Report Program Generator.

Not that I fall into that category ...

Posted by: Doug L. on February 9, 2004 1:21 PM

What, does Karl Rove have that +3 Bag of Previous Voting Records in his pocket? Kerry is god's own flip flopper...

Will the Shrub's Bag of Infinite Pork run out before the election?

Will CNN use their Orb of Undisclosed Location Scying to find Dick Cheney?

Will Edwards Amulet of Charisma be enough to defeat Kerry?

And if you thought RPG meant 'Report Program Generator', take an extra stack of punch cards and go to the front of the class! :-)

Posted by: David Mercer on February 9, 2004 4:52 PM