No Hate At the Table, Please?

I dug up a bunch of my old Star Frontiers and Gamma World characters recently. We didn’t necessarily attach a lot of deep meaning to these characters back then. Somebody died in combat? Oops. Introducing the new guy at the next opportunity. Ship crashed? New crew next session.

This latest debacle over Star Frontiers: New Genesis is just eating at me.

I probably get called a lot of names. I get it. There are people who don’t like me for supporting LGBTQIA++, Jewish rights, Muslim rights, Asian rights, Black rights, Native Americans, and human rights in general. I’m also a big fan of the Constitution of the United States. The First and Second Amendments are pretty important to keeping the rest together.

I know a lot of people probably keep saying, “It’s just a game. ”

Why are we getting so bent out of shape over it? Simple. The Role Playing Game sphere is constantly expanding. Dungeons & Dragons is the game that opened the gate to all kinds of other RPGs. One really bad game published under the banner of the company that originally created D&D could ruin it for all of us.

It’s not “just a game” when people (at NuTSR) are using it to spread hate and fear. Role Playing Games aren’t supposed to be a platform for politics, spreading hate, encouraging real world violence, or any of the other negative crap. It’s about friends, snacks, rolling dice and FUN.

This “New Genesis” sure as heck isn’t your dad’s Star Frontiers.

Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn cover.

As Tom (@jedion357 ) reminded me on Twitter, original Star Frontiers was a fabulous old school RPG that contained no racist nonsense. No, not all characters were created equal. Bad rolls meant less favorable stats just like good ol’ D&D. Your choice of species did affect your character, but the negatives were offset by positives. This kind of game balance was common in the 1980’s. It was simply a game mechanic with no malice attached.

Original Star Frontiers Character Creation was fast and easy.

Back then, we just wanted to play games and have fun.

I know I’ve said it before. “Old Grognard” is not synonymous with hateful attitudes and behavior. We’re not all trapped in a broken, old, warped mentality. Obviously some people are, but I truly feel the number of good OG’s outnumber the rest.

I dug up a bunch of my old Star Frontiers and Gamma World characters recently. We didn’t necessarily attach a lot of deep meaning to these characters back then. Somebody died in combat? Oops. Introducing the new guy at the next opportunity. Ship crashed? New crew next session.

Being a Dralasite or a Yazirian in Star Frontiers was just an added bonus of not being a stock human character. Okay, you came from an “alien” world and maybe you have a backstory that’s two paragraphs long instead of one. Heck, I have characters with a couple of lines of backstory.

Pick up games around home and at conventions lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to four or five hours. (Just like D&D.) Our characters explored strange new worlds, hauled freaky cargo, met bizarre aliens, and brought in just enough Credits to keep our ship running another week. Good times. There was no deep philosophical or political intrigue.

The old Star Frontiers Games was a blast to play. Still is.

Part of why certain facets of the Old School Rules (Renaissance) movement are so popular is their loveable simplicity. D&D is a prime example of this. We didn’t used to have a separate sub class with tons of spiffy features for every character in the game. The designers left a lot of things blank because they didn’t have a comparison like they do now.

Star Frontiers is much the same way. There were no other games quite like it at the time. It was breaking new ground in much the same way D&D and Marvel Superheroes did. Top Secret S.I. another T$R property back in the day, was really one of the first games of its kind. These games were written in the vernacular and sometimes prejudiced attitudes of the time.

I keep coming back to this Wizards of the Coast disclaimer on DriveThruRPG:

We didn’t need this disclaimer back in the 1980’s.

The simple anthropological, sociological, and historical facts are we grew out of these old ways of thinking. We continue to grow and evolve with each passing year. I’m not endorsing the old way of doing things. All I’m saying is, many of us never stopped to think there was an even more enlightened world view to have at the time. We were wrong then, but people can change for the better.

Is using an example of racism, slavery, societal bias, sexism, etc okay within the confines of a game to illustrate a point?

That’s a tough question many of us struggle with. Truthfully, I think if the group has a Session Zero and it’s established that maybe some controversial subjects might come up and it’s okay then great. No, I’ll never endorse Player Characters owning slaves or having bigoted attitudes. But if the group undertakes a crusade to go free some slaves from a wealthy landowner? I think that’s acceptable.

Straight-up evil characters tend to get confiscated at my table even now. I’m not okay with players enacting any kind of sick, racist, homophobic attitudes out through the characters of any game. (Admittedly, I game with my kids, so…)

Those are my rules as a Game Master. My players are all aware of it ahead of time. Keep it relatively clean or else.

Let me give a couple of examples of things that are acceptable:

  • A character has it in her backstory that Orc marauders killed her parents and took her siblings as captives. Should the player be able to say the character generally distrusts Orcs? Probably not unreasonable within the circumstances of the character. Maybe that’s why it’s called “character growth” when she learns to forgive and even like some orcs.
  • The same character above, a Paladin and noble knight of the crown, later catches up to the marauders. Should she be allowed to slaughter every Orc in her path? Where will her loyalties lay? Again, lots of potential character growth.
  • The characters are taken prisoner by a heavily matriarchal tribe of some remote village. The female characters are set free. The male characters are kept in chains. The tribe simply does not trust men and the male characters will have to act as indentured servants until the group either does something to prove their men worthy or they finally leave the village. Maybe the villagers experience some character growth. Maybe the PCs have to experience some character growth as well.

Space games in particular have a ton of potential as teaching tools.

Look at any episode of the Star Trek TV series and you’ll probably find at least one moral lesson being conveyed. The same can be said for many space games. Just because we’re fighting Cylons or clones doesn’t mean we can’t maybe slip a message about the nature of humanity in there. Space exploration games lend themselves even more toward moral lessons. The various Star Trek RPGs have both dropped many such messages in published adventures and homebrew games.

RPGs are excellent for showing younger players the types of behavior you would like them to emulate in the real world. Non-Player Characters can be portrayed as oppressed, discriminated-against or even hated in a specific situation only to be later rescued by the PCs. The young players have a golden opportunity to do the right thing and uphold freedom, justice, and truth in a fictional environment as we hope they do it the real world.

Let’s make RPGs about fun.

Not every game has to be about some super serious deep topic or moral lesson. If the Dungeon Crawl Classics players want to tear up a dungeon, bash things in the head and steal filthy amounts of loot? Let em. As long as it was agreed upon ahead of time.

If the starship crew in Star Frontiers wants to roam the galaxy in search of profitable cargo to haul? Let them. Make the game about their wanderings and people they meet instead of trying to save the galaxy from certain doom.

What we should not be doing, as a certain company recently proved, is roaming the galaxy, learning to hate for the sake of spite and malice because some game designer thought it would be funny to include “Negro” as a player race.

Please remember the Original Star Frontiers had no overt, intentional racist overtones or unkind messages.

The old Star Frontiers was about traveling through space, having adventures from one week to the next, and having fun doing it. Please forget this “NuTSR” abomination even exists and just order the reprints from DriveThruRPG if you have to. It’s better than putting money in the pockets of radical extremists, anyway.

Thank you as always for being here. Please be kind to everyone you meet as much as possible. There’s no room for hate on this planet if we ever want to advance. Take care. See you soon.



Racism Has No Place In the Tabletop RPG Space.

@NoHateInGaming is very good at what they do. They, Tenkar and @jedion357 have done a great job exposing the racist drivel being spouted by “NuTSR” contained in Star Frontiers: New Genesis.

Recent spoilers of Star Frontiers: New Genesis on the Tenkar’s Tavern YouTube Channel have gamers fuming mad.

It’s not Tenkar’s Fault. He’s just being honest. I think he also did the community a favor. You can watch the video here while it’s still available. News of the drivel in the manuscript being discussed has gone viral in the last two or three days.

Screenshot of the Tenkar’s Tavern video.

If I had made the mistake of backing any “NuTSR” product on Kickstarter or elsewhere, best believe I’d be asking for my money back.

Dave Johnson and Justin LaNasa are proven racists. I’m appalled at the fact I even have to mention them on this blog or anywhere. These two clowns took over the old Intellectual Property for Star Frontiers Role Playing Game. The “product” that they are supposedly developing is showing to be some hardcore racist Nazi propaganda.

NoHateInGaming is very good at what they do. In this case, they’ve exposed Dave Johnson for his racist beliefs. I wouldn’t buy a game from this guy. Sorry not sorry at all. It might not be legal to outright censor someone, but we can expose their garbage.

@NoHateInGaming was kind enough to repost some of Dave Johnson’s atrocities.



If Star Frontiers: New Genesis ever hits the shelf anywhere, and all of the racist garbage is still within its pages?

The outcry in the #TTRPG community is going to be outrageous. There might not be a court case made against “NuTSR,” but damned if some of us won’t try anyway. Regardless of legalities, a lot of us will be on social media, at conventions, and harrassing sellers for carrying Star Frontiers: New Genesis if it still contains all the racist garbage shown during playtesting.

Not kidding, I can’t believe Wizards of the Coast, owners of much of the old T$R original property rights, let it get this far. There are already other lawsuits in the works between “NuTSR” and WotC, but no mention of Star Frontiers yet as far as I know. This has gone well beyond some small time game company trying to bring back an old classic RPG and well into insanity in my opinion.

@NoHateInGaming was kind enough to repost this on Twitter as well.

What year is this again?

“Negro?!?” Are you serious right now? And then the clowns go on to portray this “race” as physically able, but less intelligent. Come on. Really?

That’s bad enough, but then there are the “Nordics.” They may as well have not beat around the bush and just said, “Aryan.” It would have been more transparent.

They didn’t apparently think any of this book through.

Even though Star Frontiers: New Genesis contains parody races, they still did a damn terrible job. Don’t get me started on how little justice they did to Grays and Reptilians. The injustice they did to humans and the “Negro” is bad enough. I didn’t think people still used the word any more. Sad. Really sad.

It gets worse, if that’s possible.

Unfortunately “hate speech” is still protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. However, I would remind everyone that even though it is protected speech, so are the thousands of voices shouting down this racist nonsense! As long as there are no threats of violence, we can call these clowns almost anything we’d like and get away with it just like they do. That said, I still urge patience and tolerance when possible.

First Amendment.

Otherwise, loud outrage does quite nicely in this situation. I hope no platform such as DriveThruRPG will even consider allowing this book if it contains all the racist prattling of lunatics. It might be legal, but I know for a fact OneBookShelf controls their own platform and what is allowed on it. Even if it wasn’t a direct violation of their Terms of Service, do they really want thousands of gamers mad at them?

Wizards of the Coast at least has the wherewithal to put a disclaimer on their older products to reflect that fact that beliefs and values have changed. This disclaimer is even on the Star Frontiers products listed on DriveThruRPG:

WotC puts a disclaimer on a lot of their older products, especially D&D.

You know? I wish we could say, “It’s just a game. No big deal.” But that opens the floodgate for racism, homophobia, transphobia and just plain hate loose all over the industry. TTRPGs are supposed to be about friends and fun not hate and fear. And if it’s prevalent in our games, what stops it from being that way in society?

More on this topic later. Thank you for listening to my rant. I really appreciate you being here. Thank you!

Doing What I’m Passionate About.

I still love Role Playing Games wholeheartedly. I love writing. I like money, but we’re still working on that part. But a friend reminded me once that joy is a way bigger priority than money.

When last we left our hero…

July 19th was kind of a rough day. The day before was challenging because I went round with Imposter Syndrome yet again. I’ve had a bit of time to process. I’ve also had a TON of loving input from friends and and a certain amazing mentor.

Also, a huge shout-out to Space Freighter One on Twitter. He’s been encouraging the heck out of me before I’m even awake most days. I think it’s the benefit of being a sentient starship. Thanks!

Thanks always to Laura DiBenedetto as well. Without The Six Habits, I probably would have lost my marbles completely during the year that was 2020. Thanks for keeping me sane and reminding us it is possible to find joy. Laura on LinkedIn. If you ever need a Life Coach or just a good friend who’s unafraid to give you a swift but caring kick in the butt when needed.

Laura jumped right in with all kinds of suggestions and helpful ideas. I keep forgetting to mention, I own my failures. My successes I owe largely to The Six Habits and lots or great advice from its author.

I still love Role Playing Games wholeheartedly. I love writing. I like money, but we’re still working on that part. But a friend reminded me that joy is a way bigger priority than money. That feeling of being in my own zone every day is worth a million dollars and then some.

I knew it would be less than a day before I became inspired again.

Laura responded to both of my prior posts that went to LinkedIn.com. This amazing, talented, CEO with God-knows-how-much going on took time out to respond to my posts. Knock me over with a feather. Holy crap.

I watch a lot of YouTube when I’m not doing anything else. Or at least listening to podcasts while I’m in the shower. I shave my head while listening to Russell Brand talk about how messed up the world is or my friend @jedion357 talking about Star Frontiers and old D&D. Tom’s YouTube Channels are Table Top Taproom and Star Frontiers Gamer.

The thing I admire most about Laura, Russell Brand and Tom (aka Jedion) is their passion for what they do. Admittedly, Brand has something akin to 5.7 million followers. Tom has maybe 135 total? But regardless of follower count both of these talented and passionate individuals put out phenomenal content almost every day.

Tom is especially passionate about Star Frontiers and just listening to him talk about the game makes me want to run it. He’s been into the game a very long time and I admire his dedication to what is definitely considered part of the Old School Rules family. If he can stand so firmly behind this older game, I can certainly write about/run/play Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Let’s talk about Old School Rules.

Disclaimer: I want to clarify this is not about a specific product, but a category of RPG products. OSR and OSRIC are a line of RPGs that closely mimic rules of original fantasy and other games from the 1970’s, 1980’s and early 1990’s. Dungeons & Dragons is the main focus of many of these games, but not the only one.

My goal in life is not to refresh the infamous Edition Wars of D&D past. Some of us are very passionate about games gone by. Whether it’s Basic, B/X, White Box, 1st Ed AD&D, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, or even something slightly more obscure- you can still find a solid fan base for it somewhere on the Internet.

The #RPGTwitter sphere covers all sectors of the RPG spectrum from OSR to 5E, and more Indie designers that ever. Unfortunately, a lot of the OG, Old Grognard, bitterly jaded, spiteful OSR crowd lurk all over social media. On any given day it depends on who you run into as to the reaction you might get. Some of us are pretty darn friendly.

Huzzah!

I’d run AD&D 1E or Basic from the Rules Cyclopedia tomorrow IF I had players and those players had a copy of the rules. Obviously a fresh 5E PHB is much easier to pick up. But, Dungeon Crawl Classics is firmly rooted in the OSR tradition and it is widely available.

I’d love more opportunities to run DCC. The potential for unexplored territory and old school huzzah! moments is great. But, I ran into my fears of imposter syndrome at the sheer amount of material that exists for this game already. Goodman has been going at it steadily since the 1990’s. Third Party publishers who came over from D&D 3rd Ed or Pathfinder 1E have been putting out their own material almost as long. How can anyone compete?

Competition.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

This is also why I’m not trying to cash in on the D&D 5E market. Yeah, it’s hot right now. But that’s also why some third party publishers are selling at $.99 or less. Many times it’s Pay What You Wish. Or even free. I can do free here on my blog. Easy.

I firmly believe there is still plenty of untapped potential in DCC and OSR in general, really. Sure, there’s plenty of well-trodden territory out there. But, I think I have some things that maybe haven’t been done as much in mind.

There’s a well known Law of Attraction saying, “There’s no such thing as competition.” I’m a fan of the saying, “There’s plenty of room for everyone.” Quips aside, I believe it’s possible to still create even in a crowded market as long as I’m having fun. The goal becomes having fun. Money is a very welcome side effect.

With that having been said, I’m going to keep making DCC stuff here on my blog for sure.

Love you, Family!

I’m going to stop looking at other third party publishers’ material, though. Just because someone else has done a thing, doesn’t mean I can’t do it differently or maybe better. Right now I just want to have fun with it and strive for personal growth.

Would I like to be the next Gygax or Arneson? Yes and no. Popular to the point of other writers and game designers quoting me regularly- heck yeah! Would I like to be dragging around some serious ethical and philosophical baggage long after I’m dead? Aw hell naw!

Update: New avenues of discovery.

After conferring with some very wise people, I’m going to start looking at >gasp!< non-TTRPG work again. Like it or not, my skill set does apply to more that one occupation. Now if I can stave off sheer terror and existential anxiety, I’ll be fine. Keep on keepin on til then.

Thank you for being here on my journey. I’m staving off the imposter syndrome again. Folks like Laura, Russell Brand and Tom have inspired me to keep going. I am grateful to all of you every day.

My One Year Freedom-versary!

All I can do is speak my truth when it comes to pain. I wake up every day feeling as if I have been beaten with a sack of hammers one at a time.

Yay! or is it yay?

It’s officially been one year since I was um, uh, “released” from my job. On one hand it was a blessing. Spiritually, I’m still grateful for this on so many levels. I still have to be careful with what I say because of all the NDA and Severance Agreements. (Grrr.) On the other hand, being broke is kinda not fun…

This is going to be another bittersweet rant on my part. I’ve still got plenty of emotional and psychological scars that may never actually heal entirely. I intend to put myself on a timeline for my greatest and highest good, but it’s been some serious work getting there so far. Therapy has definitely been super helpful.

Pain. Physical, mental and emotional friggin pain.

The physical pain is one thing, but…

All I can do is speak my truth when it comes to pain. I wake up every day feeling as if I have been beaten with a sack of hammers one at a time. As a result, sometimes I have to call in sick to work, or at least that used to be the case. It got to the point where I had to apply for FMLA. My body has been used and self abused enough over the years that it just doesn’t function as well as it used to.

Fibromyalgia sucks. Arthritis sucks. Exhaustion sucks. Pain pretty much sucks. There, I said it.

I fight depression a lot. It’s been a year long battle not to feel like a total failure. I know I’m not, but sometimes I need to remind myself of that. Not having a job has left a bruise on my ego- a pretty big one.

I think some things may have been said prior to my unfortunate separation from that company that are still gnawing on me even today. Without getting into specifics, I flunked a friggin PTSD survey for crying out loud. Or passed with flying colors depending on how you look at it. (Whichever result we didn’t want? Yeah. That one.) My therapist says I’m still hanging onto a lot of anger and resentment, too.

I still can’t deal with criticism. It’s not pretty. I don’t even like going out in public. I know it sounds terrible.

Healing following the end of any relationship, including a job, takes a long time.

I’m still coping emotionally.

I keep telling myself I’m past it. I’m over it. I’m good. I’m happier without it than with it. For the most part I am over it. Really. I’m good.

Then something comes up to remind me I have zero income. My pride kinda steps in to remind me I’m not a breadwinner in a family of six. My oldest son has started busing tables at a restaurant. My next oldest is mowing lawns all summer. I’m working on… I intend to be a writer.

I turned 50 less than a month ago. It’s been a rough year. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting better. I can almost go out in public sometimes, for a short while. I’m still not big on “people-ing.” as my wife and oldest say it. Criticism tends to start a spiral ending in my poor therapist. Yeah. My therapist is awesome, though.

Some days the bear takes you to therapy.

It’s not all doom and gloom.

My wife, Heather, has been incredibly supportive through this whole thing. I’m pretty happy and grateful every day because I’m living in a house with my family. We have enough to eat. The bills are getting paid. She’s a super mom when it comes to taking care of the kids. She’s also an A+ baker.

I appreciate her a whole lot. She’s very camera shy, so no pic. Thanks, Honey!

My friend Laura DiBenedetto once asked me to draw up a list of 50 things I’m thankful for. It’s a good exercise. When you’re down it’s not as easy as it sounds, though. I think I actually did a hundred once. It’s 25 daily if you’re following The Six Habits Workbook. Regardless, the idea is I have plenty to be grateful for. I really am grateful for each and every one.

This website, my blog especially, has benefitted from me not traipsing out the door to work every day. Once toxic corporate culture wasn’t sucking the creativity and will to live out of me, I became much more productive. This blog means so very much to me. It’s been a daily endeavor for me every day since I rebranded it at the start of the year. I love writing!

Heather, family, Laura, readers, Bimoji, anyone else who I forgot.

It was for the best all around, I suppose.

Large corporations…

Was I the best employee? No. I mean, they did gimme the ax, didn’t they? Sadly, it wasn’t an issue with my skills as much as my attitude and my willingness to call bullshit when I see it. I don’t imagine the FMLA helped, but of course we can’t prove anything or really speak of such matters. BUT, it’s nice not having to be out of the house for 48 hours per week and deal with all the Mcgarbage of corporate life. I guess they did what they thought was “best for the company.”

Personally, other than missing the paycheck, I don’t miss all the bull I had to put up with (no specifics.) One of my main objections to the job, besides having one, was that I was working in an industry known to be incredibly destructive to the Earth. It was tough to reconcile spiritually every day.

In a very general sense, I believe it best to put people before profits. I also think it’s better to promote creation over destruction, which some industries globally are pretty horrible about. Last, I prefer prosperity for all over greed. Despite any company’s lip service, win-win usually doesn’t happen.

Side Bar: Some people mistake me for a Socialist or a Communist. Now, to be fair, I have studied about both quite a bit over the years. If we’re being honest, some tenets of a socialist democracy do appeal. Unfortunately it’s prone to abuse, corruption, misinterpretation, and ultimately suffering. So, love our government and economic system in the US or hate it? Still better than the alternatives as far as I’m concerned.

My happy place.

Flowers grow in shit, too- metaphorically and practically. I ought to know. I’ve seen enough of it.

I’m grateful I’m no longer working in that awful place, or any awful place for that matter. I love my family a lot more than I hate dealing with big businesses. More importantly, being on my own in the “workforce” has been a huge blessing!

Think about it. No job gets me more time with my family. Theoretically a cleaner house. (Still working on that. See also, kids.) I get to go to ball games and roleplaying games that I wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise. My wife loves all the attention she gets these days, I think.

Not to brag, but I get to rest on the pain flare days. No one freaks out when I say I have to stay home. On the days when everyone is in school (my wife is a teacher) I get the whole house to myself. Just me and the cats. Still… I get to meditate, nap, eat stuff out of the air fryer, write, play video games, and run errands. It’s freakin amazeballs!

If anyone thinks I’m ever going back to a corporate environment of any kind, they’re sadly, tragically mistaken.

Startups, small businesses, local endeavors, individuals are more than welcome to invite me in/ hire me. (<gulp!> I guess.) I’ve been known to bend over backwards to help doing volunteer work back in ye olde days. These days, I’d work for credit on the right project. I’m not sure about working pro-bono these days, but I might consider it for the right person.

The one thing I will never go back to, short of a corner office and a six digit salary (LOL!) is a large, unfeeling, uncaring, nameless, faceless, rotten corporation. (Which ones are rotten? Umm…)

About the time anyone started talking yearly performance reviews, big meetings, (forced) peer interactions, or any of that other corporate Mc-culture crap? I’d be out the door. The last thing I want is to put myself in a position where the review makes waterboarding seem like a summer olympic event. I will never do harsh criticism again without going off and I will happily die on that hill before I let anyone tear me down.

That is one nervous breakdown I do NOT need ever again. You could call me into a meeting with six or seven people to tell me I’m employee of the year and I’ll be f’kn absent as Hell or fightin mad. I don’t care. If I even sense it in the air, I’m gone!

Jeffco’s Employee of the Year.

Let’s be honest. Working for myself is where it’s at.

Yeah, my profits have been down since January. It’s easy to claim $0 on my taxes yet. However, we’re into July without any pesky profits. It’s like we’re selling money repellant around here. Oh, wait. Okay, we’re giving away too many free samples of money repellant. Check.

(I WAS JOKING!)

All joking aside, better times are on the horizon. I’m working on new ways of monetizing my endeavors. I intend to have some kind of income flowing within the next year. It’s going to get better. Seriously, that’s the next hill I’m willing to die on so to speak.

I truly love being my own boss. I haven’t applied to work at someone else’s business since February. Really, it’s the best way for me to go. I’m happy like this. I’m free to do just about anything I set my mind to. I wish I had come up with a plan to do this years ago.

I’m going to consider doing some freelance or contract work in the coming year. It’s similar to working completely for myself and it pays better. I’m also going to get something published one of these days, even if it’s small, electronic (pdf) publication to start getting myself out there. Part of the key to getting discovered is appearing somewhere, right?

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE!

Seriously. I can’t think you enough. I appreciate you being here. I love having readers. I love having people visit the site. You’re awesome! Thank you!

I love you all!
You ARE valued.
Photo by Katie Rainbow ud83cudff3ufe0fu200dud83cudf08 on Pexels.com

Please practice kindness. Embrace joy!

I bet someone scrolled down this far to see if I posted a different picture of me in a unicorn costume. Mmm hmm.

Does OSR Create Imposter Syndrome?

I mean, nothing new here, right? The RPG industry isn’t the first to run into this particular dilemma. How many truly original plots are there for movies, TV shows, YouTube podcasts, video games, comic books, and cartoons can there possibly be? The RPG industry is just one of the fresher faces on the block compared to other print media, radio, movies and TV.

Man, I thought this was going to be a gaming article.

Looking at the many various websites that have converted the old D&D material into Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC.) I was looking for old D&D modules from B/X and AD&D 1E that had been converted to DCC. I was also on my side quest for OA material that had been converted to Old School Rules. Turns out there’s a LOT of stuff out there. Like, a shockingly large amount out there.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m just wondering what am I even doing here any more? OSR already felt a bit like we were reinventing the wheel. Now it’s more like I’m trying to reverse engineer a Lamborghini. It’s like I’m way in over my head AND it’s all been done before only better. I feel like I showed up late for the game, in the wrong season, for the wrong team, not even the same sport.

I get that the definition of “retro clone” means it has been done before.

Photo by Rodrigo Chaves on Pexels.com

But, I was really digging DCC RPG anyway. I still do. I will probably even put some stuff up on the site here. But getting paid for it?

I feel like I’m barking up the wrong tree, in the dark, in the neighbor’s yard, three blocks over, and I’m a canary. Imposter syndrome? This is like a whole freaking plague of imposterism. Imposterishness? Imposteritis? Imposterior?

The idea was simple at first. Find a game I like. Find an OGL I can work with. Create material. Put material up for sale. Advertise and promote the material. Get paid, even if it’s a pittance in credit on DriveThruRPG. I mean, I can still do all of that, I guess.

I don’t remember the part where I discover new information, and then mentally trip, fall, stumble, and hit my head on the wall repeatedly.

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I mean, nothing new here, right? The RPG industry isn’t the first to run into this particular dilemma. How many truly original plots are there for movies, TV shows, YouTube podcasts, video games, comic books, and cartoons can there possibly be? The RPG industry is just one of the fresher faces on the block compared to other print media, radio, movies and TV.

There are probably over 100 different fantasy RPGs alone. Sci-Fi RPGs, Supers, Cyberpunk and Post Apocalyptic games are not far behind. I really feel sorry for folks operating in the Horror genre in any medium, much less RPGs. (Horror- literally competing with campfire stories in verbal tradition since man began creating stories. Yeesh.)

Retro RPGs are not entirely new, either. GURPS and Mythras are two examples of games born from much older roleplaying engines. GURPS isn’t new, either. The RPG industry is chock full of examples of people taking older games and repurposing/rebranding them to make money for themselves. D&D itself was an outgrowth of the miniatures wargaming hobby.

Disclaimer: I want to clarify this is not about a specific product, but a category of RPG products. OSR and OSRIC are a line of RPGs that closely mimic rules of original fantasy and other games from the 1970’s, 1980’s and early 1990’s. Dungeons & Dragons is the main focus of many of these games, but not the only one.

So, why am I here, exactly?

I’ll be in a better mood later.

The whole thing makes me wonder what do I have to offer? Like, at all? Should I go back to mopping floors or pumping coffee? (My back can’t really handle either, but sometimes I speculate. ) I’ve been at this for almost a year now. The self doubt has gone from creeping in to a flash flood. I just don’t know right now.

I’ve been posting daily to this blog in one form or another for almost six months solid. I’m not making a ton of money off of it. (Read: none whatsoever, much to the chagrin of my missus.)

Do I stop writing material for RPGs and about them? Do I just go back to running a game or two on the weekend for a few close friends and family members? It’s frustrating, it’s uncomfortable, and it likely means positive growth is coming in some way, shape or form.

Tonight, I’m upset. Tomorrow, I’ll meditate and be in a better mood. My inspiration will return. It’s just a small setback.

Back to the original question.

Why do we have OSR, anyway? I mean, I know a lot of well-meaning Old Grognards have a hard time accepting new editions of D&D. Okay. Back when reprints weren’t as commonly available, I can see that. But now? I own originals, reprints, pdf printouts, and digital copies of lots of old rulebooks. I also have a ton of bookmarks to sites that still rock the old game.

So, why is OSR a thing? It’s much the same idea as a throwback basketball jersey or reproduction Air Jordans. The idea is to take an old concept or product and alter it slightly and sell it for money. In RPG terms, same old rules, same old game, new title, art, and trade dress.

Where does the creative license come in?

Where’s the creative freedom in copying/rewriting the same old rules and slapping a new coat of paint on it? People like classic cars, too. I’d drive a rebuilt 1984 IROC-Z if I could. BUT… I wouldn’t be able to haul my family in it. In RPG terms, many of us run a current system/ruleset because it’s more widely available, popular and accessible to find a game.

If I walk into a FLGS on a Saturday and say, “Who wants to play in my 5E game?” I’m far more likely to get some takers than if I walk in and ask, “Who wants to play Tunnels & Trolls?” Many times, old fashioned bulletin boards or online groups/apps will help someone find a game for a specialized RPG such as Lancer. Likewise, it’s easy to walk into a club meeting full of Old Grognards and find a AD&D 1E game, Castles & Crusades, or White Box Swords & Wizardry, because those guys probably won’t need any explanation.

Why do I love DCC so darn much?

I chose that particular retro clone of D&D because it’s flexible, reminds me of multiple editions, and is a lot of fun to run. There’s nostalgia, cool dice, and lots of fun charts for everything/anything. It’s like Warhammer Fantasy and Rolemaster had a love child.

I love DCC because I can (re)create classes and concepts that I used to love. I can pump out new and different monsters or port them over from other games, D&D editions, etc. I own a sickening number of old monster books, especially from D&D 3rd Ed. They happen to work very well with DCC/MCC. So does Gamma World, strangely enough.

I’ll admit, I also have a strong sense of nostalgia and that’s present in DCC more than other games. I would still run Basic D&D per the Rules Cyclopedia if I didn’t have to come up with 5 copies of the game to distribute to my players. DCC is relatively cheap and easy to find, so is D&D 5E. Either works. One is easier to explain thanks to Critical Role.

The “Old Grognard Effect” does more damage to new players than Matt Mercer ever could.

Old Grognards of the world, OG roleplayers of the world, hear me please. There is a very ugly tendency amongst older gamers to exclude or act as gatekeepers to the hobby. The ugly act of discrimination affects the gaming table the same as anything else. Simply put- please treat people with kindness and understanding?

I hear a lot of stories about OGs gaming in public. Why do you go play at a game store with the same old group and the same old game if you’re not going to let other people join or even watch? Go hang out in the DM’s mom’s basement for five hours and continue to ignore the new players entirely.

Part of the appeal of D&D 5E is its current popularity. Please, let them learn about the “good old days” elsewhere after they’ve had a few sessions under their belts. Keeping new folx excluded from the hobby is ultimately self-destructive toward the hobby and industry. Please, don’t do it. Gatekeeping is unnecessary and kinda stupid.

The homebrew factor.

People have been hacking the rules and creating their own material for games since the dawn of D&D. B/X and AD&D 1E were a glorious and wonderful proving ground for funky new game mechanics, previously unseen or unheard-of monsters, and freakishly cool magic items. Some of us feel like D&D 5E is tied very heavily to the rules, even when they’re broken and dysfunctional.

We never needed a “Rule of cool” back then because all you ever needed was DM approval. It was the DM’s table, his rules. (I use male pronouns because unfortunately ladies were rare in the hobby back then.) Likewise, DMs could cook up some new, weird idea for a class, spell, magic item, or monster they could run it. If it flopped, it could be gone the next week or revised.

Heck, back then we didn’t have “Based on X Edition” mechanics. If someone built a game based on D&D, but set entirely in space? It was a “NEW” game. Most designers had the sense to rename the attributes, classes, abilities, magic and add spiffy rayguns. They wouldn’t rip the game off directly, but they could definitely steal concepts to make money. Sounds like what OSR games do. Hmmm….

Plenty more to discuss next time. Thanks for letting me rant. Feeling better now. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you.

Otterkin for DCC RPG

These small creatures average 2-3′ tall. They are extremely nimble in the water and have keen senses both underwater and on land. In general they are kind and gentle in nature. They do not seek encounters with other creatures unless they appear friendly or playful. Their first reaction in most other situations is to flee to the water immediately.

This was inspired by a meme on Twitter.

I love otters!

Here’s the pic.

The Otterkin:

Init +1; Atk tiny staff -2 melee (1d3); AC 11; HD 1d4; MV 20’ Swim 30′; Act 1d20; SP infravision 100’ Keen Smell; SV Fort -2, Ref +0, Will -2; AL N.

Their native language is a series of squeeks, whistles, and chirps. Their mastery of Common is quite good in many cases even though it is rarely ever spoken above a whisper. They also have an affinity for communicating with other aquatic mammals.

These small creatures average 2-3′ tall. They are extremely nimble in the water and have keen senses both underwater and on land. In general they are kind and gentle in nature. They do not seek encounters with other creatures unless they appear friendly or playful. Their first reaction in most other situations is to flee to the water immediately.

Otterkin are often found in pairs, families of 3-7, romps of 6 or more, or villages numbering in the dozens.

Each village is led by an elder (Same stats as above except +2 Init; HD 1d6; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0)

Each village has a wise otterkin. (Can cast 1 Level 1 Cleric Spell. Heals as a Level 1 Cleric.)

Generally these creatures are non-violent and try to get along with everyone. They are extremely playful, especially in the water. Generally they wear minimal clothing and usually only trade for food and shiny trinkets. They are generous to a fault and will always attempt to accommodate friendly visitors to their tiny warrens.

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DCC or any other OSR compatible.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you!

Tankzor: A New Threat for Power Rangers RPG.

“We didn’t technically ‘build’ Tankzor. We tapped into a time/space rift and lifted it from another Earth where the Zord Alone Project succeeded. Unfortunately, we lost control of this one, too.” –General Corby

Lightning Force Rangers vs the Military. Round 3.

“We didn’t technically ‘build’ Tankzor. We tapped into a time/space rift and lifted it from another Earth where the Zord Alone Project succeeded. Unfortunately, we lost control of this one, too.” –General Corby

(Art forthcoming.)

Resilient THREAT LEVEL: 14
SIZE: Extended II/Extended II/Gigantic | HEALTH: 25
STRENGTH 15 | SPEED 15 | SMARTS *2 | SOCIAL *2
TOUGHNESS: 29 (5 Armor) | EVASION: 25
WILLPOWER: *12 | CLEVERNESS: *12
GROUND MOVEMENT: 50 ft. | RUN: 40 ft.
SKILLS:
Might +d10* Power Fists
Brawn +d12
Initiative: +d12
Targeting (*Main Gun): +d12
Stealth +d6
Pilot Tankzor: +d8*
Languages: Putty, English

PERKS:
Duranium Alloy Hull

ATTACKS:

Main Gun: (Targeting, 5x/scene): +d12*, Range 40/300 ft. (Evasion, 3 Explosive, Area, 15′ radius, Fire Damage) 360 degree vision.

Secondary Energy Cannons: +d12, Range 30/100ft; (Evasion, 2 Energy) 2 attacks per round OR 1 attack + Main Gun/Missiles.

Power Fists: +1d10, Toughness, 3 Physical Damage.

POWERS:
Super Durable.
Transformable.
Self Activated. Limited autopilot capabilities. (+d8* Piloting, Zord) Capable of defending itself and following orders if pilot is not present/unconscious.
Not attached to the Morphing Grid.
From Another Reality: If disabled, reverts to inert components unusable in Earth 129’s multiversal bubble.

Hang-ups:
Stolen from another dimension. Can’t be repaired or rebuilt on Earth 129.
No Pilot.
Triumvirate corrupted.

Rangers- the implications of this new threat are indeed disturbing. The military is in possession of a multidimensional portal device. General Corby may be working with the Triumvirate to steal technology and bring in monsters not native to our Earth. This is a very serious. We will need additional help to overcome this challenge.

Alpha- Access the Morphing Grid dimensional communications grid. Contact Billy Cranston, Blue Ranger of Earth Prime and inform him of our situation. Ask him to come here via the Morphing Grid.

Rangers- When Billy arrives, he will help us locate the Zeo Crystal. It contains power sufficient to defeat these new threats. Until then, it is up to you and your Megazord to defend Bennet’s Cove from Tankzor. Good luck. May the Power protect you.
— Zordon, Earth 129 (Lightning Force Rangers)

d12 Tables: Freaky Things Along the River Bank

Roll 1d12 when characters stop along a river or large stream.

Roll 1d12 when characters stop along a river or large stream.

  1. Dragon Turtle! It may leave you alone, or not.
  2. 2d4 Giant Crayfish. (Use lobster stats)
  3. Mud Hen? What at first appears to be a normal chicken turns out to be a cockatrice.
  4. Mud Elementals. 1d4 of them slide up to the group. Why aren’t they covered in mud yet? The elementals will soon see that they are.
  5. A small boat containing 3 small hamster-esque humanoids sails by. Disturb them at your own risk. They seem harmless enough.
  6. Dinosaur (Gm’s Choice.) How it got here is anyone’s guess. It’s thirsty.
  7. Is that a Catoblepas? A large cow-like creature larger than a giraffe with a grumpy disposition rolls in the mud and sand on the bank. If left alone, it may not take interest in the party.
  8. Nereid/Nixie. Playful water sprites or aquatic fey appear in the water.
  9. Several Beaver-esque humanoids are working hard to dam up the river nearby. Could get messy for the people downriver.
  10. Humanoids. 1. Troglodytes. 2 Lizardmen. 3. Orcs. 4. Sahuagin. 5. Hag. 6. Merfolk. 7. Trolls. 8. Hobgoblins. 9. Kobolds. 10. Elf: Aquatic. 11. Doppelganger 12. Gnolls.
  11. Green slime infestation. Several yards of the acidic green stuff along the bank.
  12. A kindly old man fishing. Could be a dragon in disguise? Could be an old wizard? Could be an angelic being of some sort? Maybe a demon? Only one way to find out. Might literally just be an elderly human who lives nearby.
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Zines.

People have come a long way from printing fanzines from their basement photocopiers or their local Kinko’s. I remember when that was a thing.

I’ve come back to this question countless times.

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Will they sell? Do TTRPG fans still read magazines? Or fan zines? Anything like that?

We used to have Dragon as our number one resource for D&D. Okay, back in the golden years of Dragon, it was D&D, Marvel, Top Secret SI, Gamma World, Star Frontiers and a ton of fiction, comics and other cool stuff.

Dragon was a truly great print magazine. I still have fond memories of particular issues. Heck, I still have most of them around here in one box or another. (Pfft! My wife calls me a pack rat. Whatever…) I remember articles on bows and sword variants. The Ecologies articles were pretty cool. Marvel Phile was ahead of its time for that RPG.

Later on when WotC, Paizo, and then WotC got a hold of it again, Dragon became kinda the cheerleading mouthpiece for whatever they wanted everyone to buy next. They stopped including non D&D content altogether. The magazine began to lose its luster compared to online publications and blogs. I have the last print issue around here somewhere. <sniffle.>

Of course, Dragon has attempted more than one online reboot and is still running today as Dragon+ if I recall correctly. It is free over on the D&D site. It’s cool. Kinda reminds me of the way WotC ran print Dragon. It’s a lot of rah-rah for the newest and shiniest stuff that’s coming out. They occasionally drop some pithy interviews and other gamer stuff, too.

I could go all OG on Dragon+, but I won’t. It’s easy to be a Grognard and rail on the new stuff. “Those damn kids…” But really there’s not much point to it any more. Besides, some of this new stuff is worth checking out.

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Technically Polyhedron was the official fanzine of the Role Playing Game Association.

Ahh. The good old days…

Second only to Dragon Magazine was a lesser known publication called Polyhedron. I was a member of the RPGA back in the 1980’s and 1990’s until Wizards of the Coast took charge of it. The main draw of belonging to the organization was my monthly subscription to Polyhedron. That particular magazine offered more of an outlet to break into game writing. It was also a good source of short adventures and other crunchy gaming bits.

Some of my favorite articles in Polyhedron rarely had anything to do with D&D. Sounds strange, I know. but the articles such as a table of military unit names was really appealing to me. That little magazine dove into everything RPG and not just what T$R was running at the time, at least until later on. Not to dis the D&D content, either. There were some pretty awesome ideas for potions, magic items, character variations, dungeons. All kinds of cool stuff. I kinda miss it. (But I still have all of my back issues. 😁)

Speaking of Dungeons.

Dungeon Magazine was another popular fanzine back in the golden era of T$R and even later on. It gave us full on dungeons and modules we could run every other month. If nothing else, it was good for grabbing bits and bobs of encounters and characters. This is eventually where Polyhedron ended up. Maybe a little less newbie writer friendly, though.

Dungeon was also a playground for newer writers and accomplished T$R veterans alike. They even did things for AD&D such as Oriental Adventures modules and Battle System scenarios. Of course, the sales declined when the World Wide Web began to provide an outlet for unpublished authors and module sales in general declined a bit over time.

Print is, uh, kinda dead.

When I went to college, there was a saying going around. “Print is dead,” they’d say. It’s true to an extent. We live in a day and age when print magazines and other paper-based publications are rapidly becoming extinct.

Truly, why bother when I can carry entire volumes of books, magazines, and other publications that used to be printed on paper. I can hop on any given Internet browser and go to one of hundreds of fan sites for just about anything. My email inbox regularly contains at least one newsletter for someone or something I follow.

Things have changed a lot over the years.

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This is when I start to have doubts about zines in general. A lot of fan-based publications have popped up over the years in one form or another. I’ve seen blogs, like this one. There are any number of PDF publications. Some people put out email newsletters. I hear that Patreon thing is popular.

People have come a long way from printing fanzines from their basement photocopiers or their local Kinko’s. I remember when that was a thing. I ran articles for a little fanzine called Papyrus. Good times. Nowadays you can find almost anything those little fanzines ever offered on PDF, newsletter, or website. I’m deliberately avoiding any kind of forums or message boards.

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I occasionally read through Star Frontiersman and/or Frontier Explorer. I like to explore the blogosphere for some OSR content from time to time. There are a fantastic number of sites dedicated to Dungeon Crawl Classics and other OSR themed games. I also like to scroll around on DriveThruRPG for new (free) zines and content that interests me. There are so many options now.

I saw a couple of people on Twitter recently announce new zines.

If we’re being honest, I’ve considered it myself. I have the layout. I did that sort of thing in college. It’s a lot of fun. BUT, I have this blog. (Love you, family!)

More than that, I’m not sure how viable a zine would be financially. I encourage people to try that format out and see how it goes. A broader approach allowing for multiple systems and lots of non-gaming content besides might appeal the way Dragon and Polyhedron used to. Who knows? Maybe they’re onto something.

I want to keep my eye on these newly formed zines. I might even offer up an article or two, depending. (Probably for free or in trade for complimentary issues.) There’s a lot of potential in zines yet, but it’s also a LOT of work. I’ll be curious to see what happens.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’re having a lovely week. I appreciate you!

Thank you for being here!

Building a Community vs Tearing Others Down.

Yeah, we have some bad actors in the TTRPG community and I’m not talking about role playing skills. I’m not naming any names. They know who they are. They know what they’ve done to get sanctioned, etc so there’s no point in me dragging their names through the mud more.

It has come to light recently that some members of the online TTRPG community tend to want to tear others down more than focusing on the good stuff.

I have to ask, “Why the hate?”

Yeah, we have some bad actors in the TTRPG community and I’m not talking about role playing skills. I’m not naming any names. They know who they are. They know what they’ve done to get sanctioned, etc so there’s no point in me dragging their names through the mud more.

However, we still have other well-meaning folx who seem determined to out and expose these same bad actors every chance possible. I have to ask again. Why?

I may sound a little preachy and I apologize in advance.

Try to keep it positive!

Again, not calling anyone specific out. If you feel compelled to act based upon what I’m saying, great. If not, well, it’s here for anyone who might need it.

We all channel energy with our intent and actions in this Universe. I am speaking as a spiritual being having a physical human experience. (This is NOT to be confused with religion. There is a difference.) IF/F all are bound by Universal Law, then the Law of Attraction dictates you receive what you are. This means you get what the vibration of your thoughts, feelings, and actions would dictate.

Aligning all of the thoughts, feelings, and actions to the greatest and highest good of all is considered a high vibrational state to move into. That’s how Jesus and The Buddha along with many other Ascended Masters were thought to operate. They brought many marvelous things into their sphere while they were on three dimensional Earth. They were thought to be friends to all and act in humanity’s best interest. (No, I’m not starting a cult.)

I’m simply trying to illustrate one of the main tenets of LoA. If you put out a lot of static regarding someone, a group of people, a company, or some other egregore then the Universe/God/Source is probably going to put something in your path that looks a lot like an obstacle or challenge in alignment with that wavelength. If the intention is negative enough, it many even lead to karma that will have to be “worked off” in other lifetimes.

Basically, you get back what you put out. Put out “bad” vibes, get the same back. Promote love, joy, understanding, peace, and prosperity and the Universe/Source/God will eventually respond in kind. Sounds easy enough. People have been doing it for centuries.

Why good vibes are important.

Again, sorry if that sounds preachy.

Focus on what lights you up!

I’m only trying to demonstrate the basic principle that if you work toward building whatever your jam is- whether that’s writing, art, gaming, sculpting, feeding the pigeons, or whatever, then you’re putting up positive waves. Right? Even if you satirize or criticize someone on video or in print for something they probably should change about themselves it’s okay. Tis a small thing and not an overall vibe. The Universe is surprisingly forgiving at times.

My point here is it is better to work on oneself and building a community in the name of the highest and greatest good of all than to repeatedly dis, trash-talk, cancel, or bash on other people. It really kind of is a What Would Jesus Do kinda thing. Or a Golden Rule moment if you prefer. (I’ve never studied Islam or Hinduism to know what their versions are.)

Basically, treat others in the way you, yourself, wish to be treated. I would hope that if I were to start acting like a -phobic, narrow-minded, bigoted ass that someone would call me out on my junk and ask me to make amends. Please do so because it is never my intent to offend based on age, gender identity, sexual preference, race, religion, creed, or politics (in some cases.)

Which is not to say we can’t have preferences.

Regular meditation helps with clarity. I really think so.

I prefer to experience fun things. I choose to game with my family. I enjoy taking naps and walks around the lake. I’d rather meditate if given a chance.

Freaky as it sounds, the Universe doesn’t understand negatives very well. So, I try to phrase things in terms of what I’d prefer to see in life. For example, “I don’t want to get hit in the head with a tire iron, ” becomes “I prefer to be safe and free from harm.” Again, nobody’s perfect. I still point things out to my kids to try to keep them safe.

I prefer to live and associate with communities that are free from hate, fear, and other negative influences. They’re still going to come up. I’m still scouring my Twitter feed for people who post racist, transphobic, homophobic, sexist, ageist comments. I simply prefer to live a peaceful existence and try to keep friends and family comfortable or safe from those things counter to my core beliefs.

It’s okay to drop a bad review sometimes.

Sometimes negative reviews can be good.

For example, if I bought a brand new suit and my wife asked me if I bought a clown costume at the party store, I’d take the suit back and try again before I ever wore it in public. Honestly can sometimes save others from a bad situation. I might drop a bad review on that suit or even the tailor in the vague hopes of saving someone else. But it’s a one and done deal.

Just because I love animals and I’m not afraid of bears doesn’t mean I want to get eaten today. I’m not giving the bear a bad review or even the park. However, I will tell friends and family not to feed wild bears because Mr Brown Bear doesn’t understand, “All out of hot dogs.”

No bears were harmed in the making of this blog.

Mr. Brown Bear does understand that a camper with no food to offer is basically a meat popsicle that screams a lot. It’s not the bear’s fault. He’s just doing what he knows and does best. Which is why we recommend not feeding bears to keep things safe for everyone. Again, that’s not the same as giving bears a bad review.

It’s okay to unapologetically state your beliefs.

I ❤ bears!

This has come up frequently in the United States since that incident with the US Supreme Court in June. (You know the one…) Stating, I believe in “X” is different that saying “everyone must believe in X” This is why I by and large vote my conscience and not by party. This is why I can’t do organized religion. This is why I’m about to have issues with the government in this country.

For a different example of this principle, I don’t care what music you listen to. You like country rap? Great. Listen to it all day, with your headphones on out it public, etc. But, if someone rolls through the neighborhood at 2:00 in the morning playing it at full volume? We’re going to have issues because I prefer other things at a different volume and the old people next door are trying to sleep. The person playing the music is forcing the issue. I’m just stating my preference. There happens to be a noise ordinance in town which is another issue entirely.

Here comes the “however.”

What I started this article about before I got a bit sidetracked, is the notion that dropping a bad review and/or stating your opinion is okay. Flogging it long after the fact? Psychologically, emotionally, and energetically the time could probably be spent in a healthier way doing things to uplift oneself and the community.

It’s okay to set it and forget it when it comes to pointing out others’ bad practices or shoddy goods. Learning to let go in LoA and with negative beliefs is okay. I’m going to come back to it again and again- do what’s best for yourself and the highest good of others.

One last thing to mention:

I will say “Thank you” for pointing out someone for acting like a psychotic, Nazi, transphobic scumbag. I’ll probably steer clear of their company and their product. Please show proof of the claim. And likewise, people should also look into the facts for themselves. If it appears to be true that X said “Y” about this group of loving, caring people over here, then yeah. Sorry. X has to go at that point.

Money is a carrier of energy. It speaks volumes in this country and most others. If there are people saying things you don’t believe in? (TTRPG community especially.) Then, please ignore their Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or whatever. It doesn’t hurt to say, “I’m not buying X’s product because of their track record with this organization that hates people.”

On the other hand, if someone does a good job, please let them know. Praise especially helps all of us writers, ttrpg community especially, know we got something right. That little pat on the back goes a long way!

Choose what makes you happy!

There still comes a point when you have done your due diligence with a person or even a topic of interest. Please, please, please friends and family- DO WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP! Choose joy, love, freedom, and prosperity. Rock your jam every day.

Please, stay safe. Stay healthy. Choose kindness toward others whenever possible.

Thanks for being here. I appreciate you a LOT! You guys are awesome!

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