Freedom Day, a Year and a Half Later.

I’ve been out of work for a full year and a half now. My prospects are nonexistent. Between my physical (pain) issues and my really shaky mental health I’m in no condition to work a “regular” job, not that any would take me. That’s more fact than self pity. Cats and small, fuzzy animals on the Internet keep hope alive these days.

2023 has been a bit intense so far.

I can relate.

I’ve gotta be honest. I could be enjoying it a lot more. It’s been kind of a mopey month. It’s had a few positives. I’ll cover those. Yesterday was pretty bad. I’ll talk a little more about that, too.

This time last month the TTRPG industry was freaking out. That has improved somewhat. Wizards of the Coast has sent D&D Executive Producer on a quest to apologize and spread as much of their PR propaganda as possible. I wasn’t kidding when I called him WotC’s pet manure spreader.

Personal junk first, I suppose.
We love our Nemo.

People seem to take interest in others’ personal drama. Sad but true. I hear misery loves company. So, here goes.

I’ve been out of work for a full year and a half now. My prospects are nonexistent. Between my physical (pain) issues and my really shaky mental health I’m in no condition to work a “regular” job, not that any would take me. That’s more fact than self pity.

I’m not ready to go back to work. This is as close as I ever want to get to being around people. My therapist says I need to start slow and build a tolerance. That very idea makes me want to hide under the couch. I’ve completely fallen off socially and in terms of work. Lots of anxiety there.

The next part is probably worse. I kinda think my wife wants to give me the boot. Can’t say I blame her. I’m pretty mopey as a parent these days. Apparently I’m pretty crappy as a husband, too. I swear if life gets much more depressing…

My wife is doing the best she can. She’s an A+ mom, awesome teacher, super breadwinner. I think her biggest concern is having to do it all by herself, with no Dad support. Maybe things will improve. Otherwise, I’ll be living under a bridge or something.

My blog, this blog, is pretty much my world.

Our little Peekaboo.

You guys are loved, Internet Family. Writing this blog, even if it’s just a quick hello and a few pics, means so freakin much to me. I have a dream to one day publish my own RPG works. Maybe even write a full fiction novel. Right now I’m blogging and I’m happy with it.

However, there is a dilemma on the horizon. My site dues to WordPress are going to come up in May. It’s only about $100, but no plan, no site. Is it possible to start a GoFundMe for that little? Otherwise I’m going to have to start selling on Ko-Fi, maybe Patreon?

At the rate things are going, I might have to start finding money just to get by. It’s possible at this stage. My biggest concern is making sure my wife and kids get by. After that, I love my cats.

This is Snoopy. He’s named as such because of his curiosity.

Now for the TTPRG scene.

No matter what WotC says, WE won.

Last month we (theoretically) fought a massive battle across multiple social media platforms to save the D&D OGL. With SRD 5.1 now under CC-BY-4.0, we can rest easy with our right to publish 5E content for a very long time to come. OGL 1.0(a) is also remaining untouched for the time being as well.

It was like the whole #ttrpgfamily came together under a common banner for the singular purpose of saving our ability to create new and exciting content under the OGL. This one single document is the key to several lines of TTRPGs. Entire movements such as the OSR rely on the privileges afforded by one document. Then, after our fleeting victory, everything started to come apart at the seams again.

WotC Executive Producer of D&D, Kyle Brink has given interviews to selective YouTubers. 3 Black Halflings, Ginny Di, and Mastering Dungeons (Teos) have been granted interviews so far. They wouldn’t touch me with a 10′ pole because I tend to ask raw questions and take no nonsense for answers. Although I am low key disappointed Kyle “Jar Jar” Brink won’t meet me in the squared circle for a little pro wrasslin action. 😋

The interviews so far have been edited or scripted in a fashion that’s pretty favorable to WotC’s PR efforts. Ginny Di is not a WotC shill, but I’m curious what got edited out of her video. She’s a good kid, though.

Teos from Mastering Dungeons sent the questions ahead of time and played right into WotC’s strategy. That interview had me screaming “BULLSH🦆T!” for about 3/4 of the video. Everything that rolls out of Brink’s mouth is either a carefully crafted PR response or further evidence that some of my wacky WotC conspiracy theories will be true. Tom at TableTop Tap Room did an excellent video covering Teos’ interview with Kyle Brink.

No one has gone out of their way to refute the pitifully stupid statement made during the 3 Black Halflings interview. I noticed good ol Kyle hasn’t left the hobby yet. All the old Grognards are still around. I’m still here, too. I see WotC is still pretty pale and monochromatic at the top. Hmm…

If I thought I could stand WotC’s obvious toxic corporate culture, I think I’d probably be a good replacement for Kyle Brink. I probably wouldn’t last long at WotC or Hasbro, because they don’t seem to like hearing the truth. Kyle Brink should probably thank the Forgotten Realms gawds that I don’t have an active YouTube channel to put him on blast. I’d probably hurt his feeling and give their PR people nightmares for years to come.

I don’t care if people go back to WotC. I’m done buying official D&D products. (It’s easy since I’m without funds currently.) I’ll support any number of creators making indie games and Third Party Products for 5E or 3/3.5E. As much as the OSR grinds on my nerves, there are some really good games out there. And as dozens of people have mentioned, Pathfinder 2E is a pretty good game. My point is, there are hundreds of good TTRPGs out there. Screw WotC.

I’m also working on a handful of projects in addition to my daily writing prompts. I have a campaign or two in the works for the Cypher System. There’s also Monster of the Week, FATE, Call of Cthulhu, and the Renegade games. (Transformers, GI Joe, and Power Rangers RPGs.) Plus a city setting for ICONS.

This time next month I might be living in my car.

Or things might be looking pretty good. I choose the good stuff. My wife thinks I’m crazy, delusional, and wearing a tinfoil hat too often. I have faith that the Universe is benevolent. I can rise above the gloom and doom. It’s a matter of willpower and time. Things will work out eventually. They always do.

Thanks for listening to my rants. I appreciate you. Stay safe. Have a good one. Hopefully see you tomorrow.

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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