Why It’s More Important Than Ever.

LGBTQIA+ people should not have to live in fear. They shouldn’t have to live in fear of who they are. They shouldn’t be afraid to speak of who they feel they are. No government or religion on Earth should tell them otherwise.

To Support Our LGBTQIA+ Family.

This was not the article I intended to write today, but the one I felt I have to write. My lesbian, gay and trans friends/family are in jeopardy tonight- not just in this state, but all over the United States. New laws are being proposed and passed regularly that are setting LGBTQIA+ rights back 25 years in the same appalling way the recent overturn of Roe vs Wade set women’s rights back 50 years.

I’m not going to pin this on SCOTUS or any political party. I’d love to. Scapegoats make things so much easier. Like the idea that my LGBTQIA+ family is used as scapegoats for crimes involving children. Without naming names, I’ll say the real pedophiles are in other organizations, parties, and secret societies. Kids being taken to drag shows would be the least of our concerns if the public knew who the real seriously disturbing sickos are.

Iowa gets worse by the day for my family.

Courtesy of the Des Moines Register.

On Wednesday East High School joined other teens in a march to the Iowa State Capitol to protest a bevy of new anti-gay and ant-trans bills being introduced to the Iowa Legislature this session. Iowa is also looking to ban gay marriage at a State Constitutional level. These changes affect my wife (teacher with trans students,) several of my gay and trans friends, and even my own direct family (not saying who.) The way this is going is so harmful to a community that recently came so far to heal.

Have we learned nothing over the last 25-75 years?!? When people are forced to live closeted, isolated lives so many negative things happen. Suicide rates go up. The quality of medical care goes down for LGBTQIA+ folx gets worse. Homelessness, joblessness and violence can occur just for publicly admitting being gay. It’s not even remotely okay.

This has become a personal problem for me on so many levels.

I have made a lot of trans and gay friends though the #ttrpgcommunity and sharing the hobby I love so much. I don’t understand why people feel they have to be so bigoted against the trans community especially. If you truly got to know some of my trans friends? They’re the most kind, considerate, thoughtful people you’ll ever run into. They’ve been through a lot, too.

My wife has students at her school and in her classroom that will be affected by some of these laws. Imagine having to deadname a student and use only cisgender pronouns to refer to that student who is also prone to self harm? What if that was you? Or your child in question?

We have a member of our immediate family who came out as trans last year. I have lesbian and gay family, too. I was the wedding photographer for one of the first lesbian weddings in Iowa after it became legal. These are people I care very much about. I don’t want to see anyone ever get hurt.

This isn’t me being sex positive or an admission of really anything. It’s not part of any “woke” agenda. (*See It’s Awakened, Not Woke.) This is simply my wanting people I care about be safe and healthy. Peace, joy, love, freedom, and prosperity are pretty key tenets around here.

We are NOT supposed to live like this.

If we’re not careful, many of us are going to be wearing patches on our sleeves again. The same people wearing patches are going to be deprived of jobs, housing, and eventually liberty or even life itself. Are we really going to let it get that damned far?

LGBTQIA+ people should not have to live in fear. They shouldn’t have to live in fear of who they are. They shouldn’t be afraid to speak of who they feel they are. No government or religion on Earth should tell them otherwise.

Just slide in a line about LGBTQIA+ and there we are.

We fought an entire World War to give people the freedom to live their lives being Jewish, Black, or Gay. Those men fought and died to free the oppressed and here we are trying to pass laws in the United States that look a lot like Germany 1933. They weren’t afraid to set national women’s rights back 50 years. What’s to keep them from taking the next step, and the next?

Freedom of expression is freedom from control. I think there are people in religion and politics that are terrified of losing that control. Anything that disturbs the paradigm and shakes up the human collective scares them. People who go against the grain of the old narratives are just terrifying to the old guard.

Does anyone really think Jesus Christ wanted us persecuting and hurting one another?

Photo by Katie Rainbow ud83cudff3ufe0fu200dud83cudf08 on Pexels.com

I’m no Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination. Wouldn’t be surprised if other major religions were similar. “Don’t hurt one another. Don’t kill one another. Don’t oppress one another.” Seems to run through a lot of religions, yes? Yet, in 2023, here we are.

Why is it so hard to live and let one another live? I mean globally, not just the United States. People don’t have to suffer and die just because they want to be something besides heteronormative. People should not have to go their entire lives pretending to be someone they aren’t. No one should be denied basic human rights because of who they want to lie down with at night.

For cryin out loud. If we don’t agree can we at least not sh🦆t all over one another? Can we at least show one another the most basic respect and understanding?

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it. Probably back to gaming or something slightly less serious tomorrow. Please be kind to one another.

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.

Merry Christmas 2022.

Happy Holidays! I hope today is full of wonderment for you regardless of religion, politics, and other machinations. Be safe. Have a good one.

Just wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you for making this a special year for me. You guys are awesome. Regardless of what holidays you celebrate or maybe don’t, I hope today is filled with peace and joy wherever you are.


I’m truly grateful for all of you, my readers. Thank you for being here. I couldn’t do it without all of you. I know I say it frequently, but I really do love and appreciate you, even if we don’t always agree. That’s family, right?

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the USA.

I know this time of year is a time to relax for many, but for some it leads to the same stress many experience on a daily basis. I’m no psychologist, so please understand this is based purely on my observations and understanding. Many content creators whether streaming, social media, YouTube, even bloggers, feel a certain degree of pressure to keep going even when everyone else has a day off.

Some YouTubers who regularly broadcast on Thursday night may or may not have something in the proverbial can scheduled to run the next night. Social media creators are basically always on stage unless they have scheduled posts ready to go out. If it weren’t November, even my own humble blog has posts scheduled up to as many as 10 days ahead. (Right now I’m “pantsing” as they say in NaNoWriMo.)

This leads to, “Dinner’s off the table. Time to go to work.” for a lot of people. I mean, I used to work retail, which was way more stressful, and sometimes meant putting in Thursday night hours. Graveyard shift workers know what it’s like to have to go to bed while their partner cooks, get up early for dinner only to dash out the door the minute the table is clear. When I was in the grocery business, holidays were never a day off. Sometimes it was a week of straight overtime. (I don’t miss it.) Regular 9-5 day people and “regular” folk probably don’t have a good grasp on what it’s like to have to wave goodbye to the family and dash out the door.

This is why I’m grateful now.

I’m truly grateful for all of you, my readers. Thank you for being here. I couldn’t do it without all of you. I know I say it frequently, but I really do love and appreciate you, even if we don’t always agree. That’s family, right?

My appreciation also extends to all of the content creators, third shift workers, retail employees, and anyone else who works long hours on the holidays. It’s never easy. Thank you for doing what you do.

Back with more tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.

Collection of Random Thoughts.

One thing about being around this hobby that should have stuck with all of the old heads out there is COMPASSION! Some people shit on us hard back in the day during the Satanic Panic. The persecution some members of the community felt then are still in play today. At least there was never a “Don’t say D&D” law passed or anything. We older gamers have a duty to uplift and preserve the hobby.

A lot of bits and bobs from inside my head tonight.

TableTop RolePlaying Games (TTRPGs) are my passion. I follow the industry, my fellow fans, and everyone else involved because gaming is my passion. It’s not necessarily the playing of adventures or running an event as a Game Master/Dungeon Master/Judge, etc. It’s about the camaraderie and the friends along the way.

So, I learned what might actually be “wrong” with me psychologically. It’s finally starting to make sense. I think I might have sociophobia or Social Anxiety Disorder. That makes thing interesting for a hobby where there is typically a gathering of 2-7 (or more) players. I have a family of six, so it’s not impossible.

But, yeah. Being around people kinda freaks me out. I try to limit my time and trips out in public. I don’t work and might never work again for all I really know. At this point I’m not sure I would feel comfortable in any job. I start to panic at the first signs of freelance work. (*Longer story, but still comes back to fear.)

The irony, of course, is that love writing for my blog. I love you, family online. Thank you for being here. Fear is not the same as hate. I love my audience. Y’all are awesome.

Along the TTRPG lines.

A couple of things have come up more recently in TTRPG news that I have been meaning to address. Please don’t come at me with your Satanic Panic trauma. I lived through that time, too. Yeah, it kinda sucked. But we survived.

One thing about being around this hobby that should have stuck with all of the old heads out there is COMPASSION! Some people shit on us hard back in the day during the Satanic Panic. The persecution some members of the community felt then are still in play today. At least there was never a “Don’t say D&D” law passed or anything. We older gamers have a duty to uplift and preserve the hobby.

Keeping new players away from Dungeons & Dragons or any game is counterproductive, counterintuitive, and downright sad. Embrace fresh talent in both the hobby and the industry. It’s the best way to keep going and really the only way for gaming to perpetuate itself.

Say “No,” to the bigots, the edgelords and the creeps. That’s not gatekeeping. That’s just the sane smart thing to do. It’s not gatekeeping so much as being safe.

The old gamer worry of the week.

Is Wizards of the Coast going to introduce an Open Game License for the new, upcoming One D&D? The answer to date is: doubtful. The new management in charge of D&D came straight from Microsoft. They know jack and shit about the RPG industry nor do they care. They want to make money, pure and simple.

I think with the obvious push for an electronic platform using the Unreal engine, they are trying to basically turn D&D into Fortnite. Physical retailers and physical D&D books could easily be on the way out as far as WotC is concerned. PDFs or whatever they sell from their app/platform are going to be the way of the future. The Player’s Handbook as we know it might come out as chunks along with other microtransactions on the platform.

Want to play a Barbarian? Buy the new shiny Barbarian skin in the item shop. Get your character a big freaky two handed sword bling for another $1.99. Use in-game currency to pick up the fur-topped leather boots. Get the 10th level Barbarian leap of doom feat in a package deal for $4.99. (Yeah, I play Fortnite. I don’t want D&D to look like this.)

WotC isn’t worried about older editions of the D&D game or compatibility because they won’t need to. They’re turning D&D into a video game because that’s what they understand. It’s about big money. Unfortunately, the DMsGuild proved to them that RPG gamers are suckers for smaller transactions. We’ll buy a $1.99 subclass before we’ll shell out $69.99 for Spelljammer’s failed box set. But I digress.

Personal notes:

I’m trying to keep my publishing streak here on the blog alive this week. It’s going to be harder than ever. Thanksgiving dinner got moved to Sunday because our youngest child is getting his tonsils out tomorrow. We figured it was better to do it while he could still eat solid food. Poor kid. Any holiday revolving around food is rough when you can barely talk and are restricted to a popsicle diet.

I’m hesitant to comment on this next part. I have kind of a conflict brewing internally and I just want to vent it a little. Sometimes seeing it on the screen helps sort it out.

I have a dear friend and mentor who I would gladly take a bullet-for who has kinda strayed from the spiritual path a bit. This person is openly promoting a Republican governor who has repeatedly made very anti-LGBTQIA++ statements. As a parent of a Trans child, it’s very hard to stomach. It’s like, I want to still love you but I will always love my child more. It’s not cool and it hurts.

Every person on the Earth plane has free will. Love it or not, it’s how humans work. But how do you reconcile love and kindness with a governor who says brilliant things such as, “Iowans still know boys from girls,” in a bloody political ad! I swear this state and this country have lost their damn minds. WTAF?!? Spiritually, how do I still love someone who supports that?

For God’s sakes, gay/lesbian and trans people were gunned down in a nightclub again. That popped up on my news feed alongside Trans Day of Remembrance. I’m sickened and saddened by this news. It’s not why we came to the Earth plane. I’m sending as much love and healing energy to the survivors, families and friends. When are we going to stop senselessly killing each other on this planet?

On a final note, everyone seems to be concerned about Twitter going belly-up. I think it’s still too soon to tell. Yeah, the Donald and some other dipshits have been allowed back. Hey, if that’s what the Lord Chief Twit-lon and his robotic minions want to do- okay. I don’t have to interact with them. I have other social media accounts where I actively avoid/block idiots all the time. No big deal.

I did start a Mastodon account. I’m going to be updating all of my social media links soon. I’m probably going to become a bit more active on Instagram and elsewhere again soon. Twitter is starting to smell like ozone, burning styrofoam, and marijuana smoke from its owner.

I’m trying to imagine what I would do with $44 Billion. Buying a social media platform is not the first thing to come to mind. I don’t begrudge anyone for having that kind of money. I’m all about prosperity. But let’s think.

That’s roughly $5 for every person on the planet. What happens if you send 8 billion people $5 each? That’s a small fortune in some countries, a cup of coffee in others. $44 Billion is more than the GDP in some countries.

What if that $44 Billion got thrown at agriculture? Or eradicating homelessness? Or clean energy technology? Social media falls way, way farther down on my list of potential expenditures. For that kind of money, I could probably reinvest in some businesses and ideas to truly help people get back on their feet in the US and every other country on Earth. Imagine the good one could do.

Imagine what would happen if someone spent $44 Billion helping trans people get the surgery and hormone therapy they desire? Imagine what would happen if someone spent $44 Billion to assist in migration away from Republican controlled states in the US. Imagine what putting that kind of money into the mental health care industry would do. Suddenly, this country could become way less of a toilet fire.

Thanks for stopping by. I love and appreciate every single one of you who read my blog. We might not always agree on everything, but you’re still here and I love you for it.

I’m Going to VOTE today.

Just a short reminder to please go out and make your opinion known. Regardless of which side of the issues you stand on, please go vote?

Hopefully we all do the same (if eligible.)

Please note: I didn’t say who to vote for. Nor would I ever these days. That’s up to you. Use your own discernment when it comes to that.

If you live in the United States of America, it is one’s civic duty to vote. Say what you will about this country, but please say it at the voting booth or mail-in ballot. Democracy does not function without the participation of its citizens.

Freedom Day, Oct 2022 Edition.

I’ve made a lot of gay and trans friends in my forays onto social media as of late. I have to say, homophobes and transphobes are really missing out. I have met some of the most warm, considerate, understanding, and caring folx in the LGTBQIA++ community online.

Here we are again.

I’m just gonna fumble my way through this post by the seat of my pants. It’s been 15 months since I brought home a paycheck. Before anyone rolls their eyes, please understand some of this has been self-imposed.

I’m not entitled to anything. I’m very aware there are people out there in far more need than I. I would love nothing more than to be able to help folx out. I believe in local, grassroots improvements.

I’d probably make a third-rate billionaire, but could we at least slap an “M” on the front of “illionaire?”

I’ve said before I have plans if I can ever get to that million dollar mark. My own family aside, I’d love to be able to help friends out. I’ve met some pretty remarkable people on Twitter, Instagram and out in public who could really use a monetary boost and probably deserve all I could do to help.

Twitter friends are the first people who really come to mind. But it goes farther than donations and small product buys on Ko-Fi, Patreon and Kickstarter. Those avenues are all great, but what if we could do better? What if we could round up a bunch of community members in one place and form a charitable organization?

At the rate we’re going in the US, it might be an underground railroad.

I’ve made a lot of gay and trans friends in my forays onto social media as of late. I have to say, homophobes and transphobes are really missing out. I have met some of the most warm, considerate, understanding, and caring folx in the LGTBQIA++ community online. I almost feel guilty for all the years I wandered around with my proverbial head up my butt.

I thought the #TTRPG crowd on Twitter was pretty cool. Yeah, there are some shmucks out there, but the friends I’ve made far outnumber them. Then, through the very active gaming community, I met a lot of gay and trans folx. I am more than happy to stand up to the bigots, bullies and assholes of the world on their behalf. I feel like I’ve got more family and friends online than here at home in BFN IA. (*Bum Fork Nowhere Iowa.)

The sociopolitical and cultural climate is turning hostile to some of my friends and family. Entire states are threatening to cut medical services and even blatantly discriminate against members of the LGTBQIA++ community. Heck, some states are threatening women’s’ health outright with their abortion ban psychosis. It’s like a big chunk of our politicians have plum lost their damn minds.

Back to my own situation for a few moments.

Race, gender, sexual preference, age, and ability play into everything right now. I regularly get my butt handed to me when it comes to age and physical ability. I would love to rub the noses of some former employers in that particular smelly mess, but I can’t.

What can I say? Big shmucky McCorporate values just don’t match up to helping people and building communities. As long as they’re growing their bottom line, who gives a shit, right?

Lookin at you, Wizards of the Coast. Lookin at you, Paizo. Lookin at you large convenience store chains. I could name companies all day. It boils down to the same old shenanigans. Kick the slightly less “functional” employees to the curb in order to hire younger, more capable ones? Oh, they won’t call it that, of course.

They’re “optimizing.” They’re “economizing.” They’re “maximizing their opportunities” by outsourcing entire departments and firing anyone who doesn’t walk lock-step with their corporate culture. Sorry, my McIdiot doublespeak skills just aren’t in tune with their bullshit corporate culture. At the end of the day, it boils down to a bunch of older, usually white, healthy, cishet, wealthy men making decisions that affect (screw) the rest of us.

Prove me wrong. I’ll wait. What? Oh, that’s right. I’m basically correct.

That 1% (rich people) of the population is pretty monochrome, cishet, and ableist from what I can see. What really blows my mind is that more of the mighty 1% seem to have very little regard or compassion for anyone but their own kind.

I’m happy for you if you’ve got piles of money, honest.

I don’t begrudge anyone who “makes it” in this world. That’s a pretty big statement, all considered. One of the people I admire most in this world, Laura DiBenedetto, totally broke the mold more than once. That’s amazing!

I’ve never asked my friend how much money she’s sitting on. Not my concern. I know it’s likely not chump change. And the major difference is- she’s helping people. She’s making a difference in the lives of other women and even guys like me. There’s one exception among thousands, maybe millions of people.

I was talking to another friend on Twitter about the infamous JK Rowling. The comment about how well she deals with the pain of alienating a portion of her audience with her transphobic views. Rowling replied, “I read my recent royalty cheques and find the pain goes away pretty quickly.”

Needless to say, that comment makes me a bit queasy. I love money. Money can do a lot of wonderful things for people. I think it turned JK Rowling into kind of a bitch. It’s sad but when some people hit the big time, they forget that so many others are struggling with the day-to=day. It sucks.

I’d rather see my next royalty check (*if I had one) as a way to feed my family and maybe help some friends out. Why couldn’t Rowling say something like that? Maybe she could have even gone so far as to say she hates losing fans and she’s grateful for all they’ve done to support her? I know, I’m an idealist at heart.

I’m happy for celebrities that went from living out of their car (Lizzo) or being otherwise homeless (Rowling) to making heaps of money. God/Source/Universe bless each and every one. Awesome. But I’ve come to realize I relate more closely to the person they were before that first big break came along. I love them now (Universally speaking,) but I’m rooting for who they were when that first check rolled in. The gratitude, the love, the joy and the excitement were all there! That’s what I think many of us are aspiring-to.

That’s my rant for now.

I had way more I wanted to discuss, but this is getting kinda long. There’s a lot going on in the RolePlaying Game industry worth discussing. I see a lot going on in the world, or at least in my world that is worthy of comment. There’s more to come.

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you stopping by. Carry on.

Product Volume ≠ Players.

It’s not “Cancel Culture” as some have suggested. We’re not out to ban the OSR. It’s not an active threat. But what happens when we don’t speak up for friends and family who belong to groups that have been put down and marginalized for centuries?

Someone recently commented on YouTube about how many products are listed under the OSR (Old School Renaissance) category on DriveThruRPG.com. I would like to politely point out that just because there are thousands of books, supplements, and adventure modules does not mean people are playing them.

One search of DriveThruRPG for OSR yielded 9,075 results. That’s pretty extensive. My guess is there are a few products in the wrong category and a lot of art or 2D counters. Still nothing to laugh at, however. Then there are companies that don’t even publish on DrivethruRPG.

The question that comes to my mind is, “How well do any of these products sell?” If you really think about what OSR means in terms of product, some of us have had everything we’ll ever need or want for Old School D&D for the last 40+ years or can get reprints. Then we start getting into retro clones and knockoffs. How many times do we need to buy the same set of rules?

Please understand, I’m not here to bash on the OSR.

There are plenty of wonderful people who play OSR style games. I’ve been getting more interested in Dungeon Crawl Classics and Old School Essentials myself, lately. I know plenty of well-meaning, good-intentioned, non-judgmental, caring, inclusive folx who just love to play games. It’s been stated many times over that there are good examples of inclusion and diversity to be found in the OSR community/subculture.

Our values align when it comes to gaming. We can all sit down at the same table for four hours and play our characters. Roleplaying is in my blood. I’ll be running RPG’s long after they wheel me into the old gamer’s home someday. I’m expecting at least one of my kids to really get into the hobby eventually.

We can focus on the “good actors” any time. (Eric) Tenkar has an outstanding YouTube channel and represents the best every chance he gets. Tom/Jedion is another YouTuber who works hard usually two or three times per week and conventions, etc. I’ve listened to both guys during this past year or two with the whole NuTSR debacle.

But is it enough to focus on the good ones?

What happens when a society doesn’t call attention to the “bad actors?” I’m sorry, family. There are bad actors in the OSR community, the broader RPG community, the RPG industry and (news flash) the rest of the world, too!

#DropDaveCon because they’re willing to support bigots, transphobes, homophobes and others who hate. It would be worth going to if/when they change their Guest of Honor. It might be a great convention, but is it great for everyone?

It’s not “Cancel Culture” as some have suggested. We’re not out to ban the OSR. It’s not an active threat. But what happens when we don’t speak up for friends and family who belong to groups that have been put down and marginalized for centuries? I’m often reminded of a poem:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Pastor Martin Niemöller

This is the longer version on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in Britain. It serves to remind all of us that if we don’t act when we can act, there might not be anyone left to act. Please, family, call people out on their crap when you hear it. One of the things the Nazis, the KKK, and most terrorists count on is indifference. The more oblivious we appear to be, the stronger they become.

It’s not another edition war, either.

Play whatever edition of D&D or whatever other RPG you like. Heck, ask me and I’ll recommend games all day. Take my word for it. Explore on your own and find whichever RPG works best for your group and you as a GM. No one has the right to restrict speech or the press (including the RPG industry) in the US.

As far as I know, no one has said it until now:

If the new One D&D and Wizards of the Coast no longer think in terms of editions, then I guess I can start creating 1st Edition AD&D adventures and they should port straight over into One D&D, right?

What do you mean, “lunatic?” Why won’t it work? OGL? Pfft. We don’t need no license. Stop telling me how to run (or print) my game! It’s fine.

At the rate we’re going, none of it might matter anyway.

Enjoy what you have today. Tomorrow is never promised to any of us. Please be kind to one another. Strive for peace when you can, fight for it otherwise.

Thank you for stopping by. You’re awesome. I appreciate you!

When they came for me,

A Moment of Silence Today.

No full article today. Please take time to remember and honor our fallen.

We Will Never Forget.

Photo by Lars Mulder on Pexels.com

If you served anywhere as a civil servant and you see this, THANK YOU for your service.

In honor of all of those who lost their lives that day and the millions more affected by that loss, there will be no article today.

Take care. Thank you for everything you do. I appreciate you!

Freedom Day +1 Year, +1 Month, +1 Day.

…right up until I look around me or I look in my wallet. I’m cool right up until we have another discussion about bills or my kids want to stop at the Burger King drive-through. I’m one happy sonuvagun as long as I’m out in nature, away from the commercial world, with no distractions.

Everything works out in divine timing.

Despite all of the adversity, all of the struggle, and all of the nonsense that has gone down since- I’m still here. I don’t miss it. I get to spend my time doing what I want to do. To think I chose this. WE chose this.

Earth life can be tiring. As a luminous spiritual being having a physical experience beyond the Veil of Forgetfulness on a 3D/4D planet, we volunteered for this. I can’t definitively say “Earth is ascending.” Maybe it is? It’s no 2020, but after this past year in my life? There’s a lot of things I wonder about.

I try to imagine it other ways.

What if I was still working in that place? (That fired me.) I was about at the end of my rope with them anyway. The PTSD is real, folks. Maybe not war-in-Afghanistan real, but real enough. If it weren’t for all of the NDA crap I had to sign for my severance package, I’d have some four letter words for certain people even now. (But we wouldn’t want someone trawling my social media for lawsuit fuel. LOL!)

What if I had fled town with some meager possessions? What if I had a tuna salad sandwich for breakfast? Who knows what might have taken place in alternate timelines? We may never know. The way time works is a very freaky thing to us. Then again, reality might be a mystery compared to what we <think> it is.

Someone very wise keeps reminding me I’m not a victim.

I’ll admit I’m stubborn. I might be a bit thick headed when it comes to certain lessons. I have to be reminded regularly that life happens as a result of choices we make. Experiences happen for us, not to us. There’s no one else pulling all the strings. It starts and stops with us.

Choices lead to suffering. Suffering leads to depression. Depression leads to sitting on the couch for days not wanting to make any more choices that could potentially hurt again. Yup. Being honest. Do I choose to feel depressed? Hell no!

Maybe brain chemistry plays into depression cycles a bit. Sleep, stress, and other physiological concerns affect hormones and brain chemistry. Depression is an ugly cycle that feeds on itself in a downward spiral. The only way out is through. Getting out of an old pattern usually involves making a choice to start a new habit or rework an old one.

Previous generations hid their physical and emotional pain.

Not me. My generation grew up with way more psychological education. Good old Gen X with our Ritalin and Prozac growing up. The stigma of being labeled as “crazy” was just starting to come off. That nice President of the US during the 1980’s was even nice enough to deinstitutionalize a lot of people.

I don’t have all of the numbers in front of me, but I know mental healthcare is on another rapid decline in this country and in Iowa specifically. It might be the only thing going downhill faster than education, and that’s a sad state of affairs.

My dad’s generation never talked about their feelings. They drank, smoked, gambled, did dope, and had sex to distract from all of their problems. The men of that era were badasses. Unfortunately that meant we, their children, never learned to talk about our feelings in a meaningful way and inherited all those distractions.

It’s not that they didn’t feel pain. I’m sure the problems may people in older generations experienced were more harsh than the ones we face today. Sometimes the farther back one goes, the worse it seems in terms of physical labor, political strife, emotional trauma, and so on.

Depression is real.

Just ask my therapist, or really any therapist. I am not my feelings. I am a person who feels things. It’s tough to remember that sometimes. I choose how I feel. And yet, I still feel depressed? Can’t I just choose to be happy all the time?

Yeah, right up until I look around me or I look in my wallet. I’m cool right up until we have another discussion about bills or my kids want to stop at the Burger King drive-through. I’m one happy sonuvagun as long as I’m out in nature, away from the commercial world, with no distractions. Peaceful, quiet times are truly some of the happiest times for me.

I can’t just go live in a cave off the grid somewhere or I would have probably done it by now. Sometimes life is about choices we didn’t make. I could choose to be in physical and emotional pain every day at a job I don’t care about that leaves me incredibly unfulfilled. But I’m a heck of a lot happier this way than I was then.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I’ve been at this human business for 50+ years now. The more answers I find, the more questions I have. It’s a never-ending cycle of experiences and discovery. I’m not going to have it all figured out in one night.

Thanks for listening to me vent. I’m grateful you’re here. I appreciate you! Back to more gaming content after this. Deep discussion again soon, too.

%d bloggers like this: