Why “Bad Actors” in the OSR Endanger the Hobby.

Outside of the hobby, the OSR is just a bunch of (older) D&D geeks. Most average Americans couldn’t distinguish between Ernie Gygax and Matt Mercer. Unless of course Ernie lets something ignorant slip (accidentally or on purpose.) Then, it’s “Did you hear that gamer guy say something racist?”

Recently, I’ve heard some of the Old Grognards making the case that every community has a few bad actors.

The Old School Renaissance (Revival) has been called out online for the racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, and transphobic comments made by some unscrupulous individuals in the community. However, several members of the OSR community have not made good examples of themselves trying to defend the point that we’re not all bad. Then let’s discuss the claim that the OSR is too nebulous, widespread and diverse to be affected by these negative elements.

From there, it’s the same old songs and dances we’ve heard in almost every community on the internet. “Well, there’s only a few bad apples, they don’t speak for all of us.” And, “we’re sorry for their shitty behavior.” Or, “Obviously you’re ‘-ist’ because you’re calling it out.” And then my other favorite, “X community will never die because of that Old School spirit!”

As witnessed during the Satanic Panic, all it takes is for a few loudmouth, stupid, vocal stooges to make an entire community look bad.

Outside of the hobby, the OSR is just a bunch of (older) D&D geeks. Most average Americans couldn’t distinguish between Ernie Gygax and Matt Mercer. Unless of course Ernie lets something ignorant slip (accidentally or on purpose.) Then, it’s “Did you hear that gamer guy say something racist?”

That negative stereotype is going to stick around for a long time in the eyes of people already looking to judge the hobby or don’t know anything about it except that statement. I’ve seen it happen in so many communities, so many times, and damage so many reputations I just can’t let it slide. For whatever reason, (long explanation) humans tend to recall the negatives a lot more than the positives. All you have to do is watch the nightly news on any major station to see what I’m talking about.

“Well, we can’t really define the OSR and it’s so spread out.”

Yeah, we can’t define the OSR right up until we need to separate and divide ourselves from the rest of the RPG community. A bunch of us OGs (Old Geeks) don’t want to be associated with that new fangled D&D. We’d rather play the old, original version of the classic fantasy game. There are OSR gamers who staunchly claim they never looked at an edition of D&D after 2nd Ed AD&D.

When we (they, OSR) need to be a community, suddenly we’re everywhere. Yet when someone fires off harsh criticism of the OSR movement or ideals, well then there’s no one to be found. Or worse, the ones who do pipe up only serve the point that the criticism is fundamentally correct.

There are plenty of blogs (including this one) and YouTube channels that have defined the OSR. It’s a product, a community, an attitude- in total: IT’S A SUBCULTURE! That’s my definition. I know we don’t all agree. It’s something people (Old Grognards) identify with. Say whatever else you like, it’s a smaller part of the greater Role Playing Game culture.

Why is the OSR even a thing?

The short answer is because not all of us tabletop RPG family like the latest edition of D&D. We don’t all drink the proverbial Wizards of the Coast Kool-Aid so to speak. The OSR was born when D&D 3E came about, which coincidentally is when WotC took over the D&D properties from the bankrupt T$R.

Not everyone liked the new rules. As D&D grew in edition after edition, those of us who really enjoyed the old, original D&D/AD&D rules. More recently with 5E and the announcement of One D&D, reprints and retro clones (DCC, C&C, OSE, etc) became even more popular. It’s a big difference in attitude, statistics and play styles.

There are some other Old School games. Gamma World, Star Frontiers, Boot Hill, and Top Secret S.I. are all popular remakes. I mean, some of us still have our original copies, but not everyone. I also should mention some other really old school RPGs like Role Master, Tunnels & Trolls, Call of Cthulhu, and scores of others. The 1980s and 90s were a good time for RPGs.

It’s not about hate. Most of us harbor no ill will toward WotC. They hold most of the cards in the industry to this day. It’s hard to even challenge them, given they’re owned by Hasbro. Big, nameless, faceless, corporate empire is kinda neutral all things considered.

It’s about LOVE. We love those older rules sets! They are joy for those of us who grew up one them. Some things get better with age, like wine. Others get old and phased out, like computers. RPGs fall somewhere in the middle. If you loved it, you keep it around and teach friends to play.

If we say, “We’re good people,” can we maybe act like it?

Any day now, some reporter for a major news publication is going to latch onto Star Frontiers; New Genesis or some other batch of racist nonsense in the RPG community. Yeah, wait until cancel culture turns ugly for the RPG crowd overall. There’s going to come a point where the “bad actors” may have already spoken for all of us.

According to some, the RPG community is widespread and hard to pin down on much of anything. How could a specific subset of the community cause problems? Anyone who thinks a few motivated rabble rousers can’t make a mess has either never studied history or has been living under a rock. Not to mention the entire hobby was started in a basement by a couple of rabble rousers.

Sure, literally every community in the world, on the Internet, wherever- has its own share of bad actors. That’s true. Such is life.

Is it right to call that crap out when we see it? Absolutely! If we were teachers, we wouldn’t want known racists among us. If we were nurses, we wouldn’t want transphobes among us. If we were librarians, we wouldn’t want ableists hanging out with us, would we? I don’t think so.

A lot of respondents to Dave’s video about how The OSR is Dying have replied with more racist, phobic, fascist nonsense. What good is that doing? For the love of God, please start reinforcing the positives. Show off that yes, we’re not all a bunch of freaks for a change.

While I’m on the subject, please stop apologizing for the bad actors. Without naming names, we know who they are and what they’ve said. I feel bad for some of these guys who have tarnished their own legacies as well as their family’s. Maybe they can redeem themselves? But they have to want to change, and that’s seemingly not happening yet.

I might be barking in the dark on this one again.

Here’s the deal. If no one speaks out, nothing changes. I want to be as positive as possible. I intend to live in a world of joy, prosperity, and peace. It’s difficult to do that when I’m part of a (mostly online) community where people openly hate on my friends and family. That’s not to say racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc is ever okay. Just don’t do it.

No one wants to be told what edition of D&D to play, or even what games to play in general. OSR style games aren’t going away. OSR people? Well, a lot of us aren’t getting any younger. Dave from Gamers on Games is right. A lot of us in the RPG community aren’t always in the best health, either. Yeah, it’s likely a good number of OSR pundits are going to be gone in the next decade or two, myself included. Sad, but true.

Will the OSR subculture survive? Maybe. If enough people discover the greatness that is Old School Essentials by Necrotic Gnome, Castles & Crusades by Troll Lord Games, Dungeon Crawl Classics, or any of the other (some are free) games by other companies? Maybe the OSR legacy will continue.

I’m only able to do so much.

Sorry this interrupted our regularly scheduled, somewhat subdued blog schedule with this stuff. I’m one tiny blog. I care. I care about my community. I care what people say about the OSR because I sort of identify with that. (*Child of the 1980’s,)

I’m not going to apologize for the bad actors. I’m trying to be one of the good guys. I know there are plenty of other well-meaning, kind, understanding folx still out there in the OSR community and in the RPG community.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you, as always. Please be kind to one another today.

Where 5E of the World’s Most Famous RPG Loses Me. Part 3.

I’m not doing anything to try to get hired by WotC. Not sure I’d take that job if it were offered. Yes, they need input from one of us “Old Grogs” as we’re called online these days. Someone needs to provide WotC with feedback that’s not focused on the younger, new player demographic. They don’t seem too interested.

This article is not part of an open letter to Wizards of the Coast, but for my own peace of mind.

WARNING: Long rant ahead. Sorry. Big topic to cover.

I honestly hope someone at Wizards of the Coast at least noticed the previous two articles. While I’m not 100% sure they did, I honestly did intend to give some feedback. I guess we’ll see what happens.

I know I’ve said a lot about D&D 5E and One D&D. The game has gravitated away from some of its roots and pillars. I’ve seen a lot of cases as a Dungeon Master where the game is not longer oriented toward exploring the wilds; searching out vast underground complexes; battling monsters; and bringing home big piles of loot.

Instead, what we seem to be getting (officially) is a lot of really deep; overly dramatic; intense emotional; statistically advantaged characters. It’s like going to acting class with dice. There’s so little DM crunch and challenging involvement that it’s like going to a movie with my DM screen in front of me. It’s not quite the game that it used to be.

I wanted to make it clear to WotC that I’m not doing this for my own personal gain.

I’ve been running D&D and other RolePlaying Games for 40+ years. I was born in 1972. Coincidentally, so was D&D. I wish I could have gotten involved sooner, but <confused elementary school kid noises.> Still, I’ve seen a lot of gameplay. I’ve spent a long time behind the DM Screen. I’ve also been forehead deep in other RPGs that wouldn’t even exist were it not for original D&D.

I’m not doing anything to try to get hired by WotC. Not sure I’d take that job if it were offered. Yes, they need input from one of us “Old Grogs” as we’re called online these days. Someone needs to provide WotC with feedback that’s not focused on the younger, new player demographic. They don’t seem too interested.

Furthermore, I don’t think you could pay me enough to hang with all of the “big corporate teams” in all of their meetings. The feedback they’re supposedly getting from fans right now? To me it looks like they’re just seeking a bunch of head nods and hand waves on their new ideas. If I had to bet, the thing is already in the can, ready to go.

We know I don’t do corporate anything. I probably wouldn’t touch Paizo, Wizkids, Fantasy Flight, Catalyst, or any number of other fairly large RPG/Wargaming producers either. I just don’t like the mentality. I get that all businesses want to make money. Their growth is good, but it’s not in my value set the way it is in corporate <gag!> culture.

My last job was at a Fortune 500 company. Unfortunately, not as a writer. But the mentality of the people in charge made me physically and mentally ill. Still to this day I absolutely refuse to put myself in that type of situation ever again. I’m not joking when I say I have PTSD over that sh*te.

Disclaimer: Statements expressed in this article are strictly my opinion. If you disagree or have a different opinion, that’s okay. I’m not an expert on everything. I’m not always right. I’m just writing from my experience as I know it. Your mileage may vary.

Their (WotC’s) new One D&D approach is to supposedly integrate all editions, emphasis on 5E.

Let’s be clear about race, age, etc. I don’t honestly care who they get to provide feedback from a more Old School Renaissance approach. OSR is based on original D&D whether WotC likes it or not. Some of us (Old Gamers) really love those fast and loose older rules sets.

5E just doesn’t have the same feel to it that older editions had. Death does not lurk around every corner for the characters. Everyone seems to want to be all Critical Role Actual Play podcast. That’s great if that’s what you’re into. (Again, MY opinion.)

5E/Critical Role has been wonderful for introducing new players to the hobby. That’s really wonderful. (No sarcasm intended.) I think the innovations in the hobby over the last 10 years or so have been amazing. Virtual TableTop games, video conferencing, and cell phone apps are great. 2020, the year best left unnamed, gave us a greater sense of internet gameplay. Cool.

Here is where one of my biggest concerns about One D&D comes in.

IF/F (If and only iF) everything D&D goes virtual and all distribution of physical product goes strictly through their website, as has been suggested numerous times by WotC, Friendly Local Game Stores are going to evaporate. IF/F VTT D&D using the Unreal Engine becomes the preferred method of gameplay because the books, character avatars, dice, and everything else goes virtual- in-person gameplay is going to dry up. Conventions are going to dry up. WotC does not care.

Hooray for profits. Remember all of those little game shops that ran events and put you (WotC) on the map? No? It shows. I wish Hasbro cared more. All they’re seeing is the bottom line and not the people or the game. Someone is sitting in their office right now thinking, “Yeah. But think of all those profits.”

I think it’s pretty sad, but what do I know? I’m just a guy with a blog. I’m just a guy who liked D&D up until August 2022.

I have one last article in this series that I want to discuss. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you!

Two Headed Otterkin Enigma

MiaPiper are one of the oldest and wisest of all Otterkin. Their wisdom has been hard earned by the magical accident that fused their bodies and granted them near-immortality. Over the centuries, they have learned a great many things and could prove a valuable ally or gruesome foe depending on how one treats them.

For Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.

Based on another cool otter meme.

Two heads are cuter than one.

MiaPiper are one of the oldest and wisest of all Otterkin. Their wisdom has been hard earned by the magical accident that fused their bodies and granted them near-immortality. Over the centuries, they have learned a great many things and could prove a valuable ally or gruesome foe depending on how one treats them.

MiaPiper, Otterkin Enigma

Init +2; MV 15/20
Atk Weapon +4 Staff melee (dmg 1d6+2);
AC 14; HD 4d8 (28 hp); MV 30’;
Act 1d20, 1d14; SV (Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +4); AL N
Spell Check Bonus: +5
SA: Mia (Right head) breathes fire Ref 18, 28 damage or half with save. Line, width 10’, length 3d6 x 10’ Piper (Left head) Hypnotic Gaze. Will 15, On a failed save, target must act as a friend to MiaPiper for one day. Actions that contradict the target’s safety and well-being will break the effect.

Cast spells at a Level 3 Wizard.

Instruments: the Otterkin duo are capable of playing the fiddle (Mia) or Bagpipes (Piper.)

The Treasure Trove Known as Polyhedron Magazine.

A good number of writers aspired to work for Dragon magazine back in the old days. One of the best and at that time only ways to really break into the RPG industry as a writer was to get published in Dragon or possibly Dungeon. It definitely looked great on one’s resume back then. An RPGA membership and writing credit in Polyhedron was a good foot in the door.

If you love #ttrpg I highly recommend looking it up.

I still have most of my print copies of the magazine around here. I loved Polyhedron and the Role Playing Game Association up into the Wizards of the Coast years. Here is a link to the Internet Archives. These magazines are part of gaming history alone with a veritable treasure trove of articles on a wide range of RPG topics.

Fair warning: you do have to slog through some of the RPGA bunk such as tournament results and specific club related articles. The ads are nostalgic T$R. A lot of the modules and tournaments are still useable in D&D today with just a bit of conversion. Some of the company’s best writers sidelined in Poly at different times.

Polyhedron was sort of the farm team for Dragon and Dungeon magazines.

A good number of writers aspired to work for Dragon magazine back in the old days. One of the best and at that time only ways to really break into the RPG industry as a writer was to get published in Dragon or possibly Dungeon. It definitely looked great on one’s resume back then. An RPGA membership and writing credit in Polyhedron was a good foot in the door.

I sat in on a number of writer’s workshops when I went to Gen Con many, many years ago. One of my first questions was always, “Where is the best place to start?” I took a lot of notes. I also met a lot of cool notables in the industry.

I was also fortunate enough to share a table with some of the RPGA notables at a few local conventions. Jim and Tom both gave me a lot of great advice on running a convention game and specifically running RPGA tournament modules. Those were truly good times.

Side note: If you have never been to a convention, I highly recommend trying it at least once. Not only do you meet a wider variety of players and game masters, but you get to occasionally bump into some big names in the industry. You also get to try out all kinds of neat games! 

Nowadays, WotC isn't the only company in the industry with big names in RPG design. Actual Play podcasters and notables also occasionally make con appearances. Either online on in-person, conventions are usually worth the price of admission, even for a day. Don't forget to visit the vendor's room.

The RPGA used to welcome tournament submissions from a wider variety of games than just D&D.

In case anyone wonders, I always type it out as T$R to honor this old logo. It’s a dragon, not a dollar sign.

Before WotC got ahold of T$R, the RPGA used to cater to a wider variety of games than just D&D. Much like Dragon, Polyhedron dwindled down slowly over the years from a variety of games ranging from D&D all the way through Marvel Super Heroes, Star Wars (West End,) Star Frontiers, Battletech, Gamma World, and Boot Hill. Top Secret S.I. and some other T$R properties were on the list. There were also some broad-ranging articles that could apply to any system.

I ran RPGA sanctioned Cyberpunk and Star Wars events at a convention. Back in those days, the industry was a great deal less competitive than it is now. Even though not everything was a T$R product, many were welcomed to the table in the name of camaraderie, fun, and role playing.

Sad to say I miss the magazine more than the organization.

It’s also why I don’t participate in the 5E Adventurers’ League, aside from some of the DM horror stories I hear about their content. The RPGA was always a bit too full of itself. It also had the tendency to bring out a real ugly side of people when it came to points, loot, and social status. I just want to run a fun game then and now.

After WotC took over, as you may have surmised by now, Polyhedron and Dragon became strictly current edition D&D. The ads were all aimed at D&D and other WotC products for the most part. Toward the very end, everything was just another promotion for the latest D&D product. I say this with all the love in the world: There are other games out there besides D&D.

Online/PDF ‘zines just don’t have the same look and feel to them for some reason.

Hey, my heart goes out to anyone producing an online PDF or other format magazine these days. It’s not like back when Polyhedron was huge and there was no Internet or professional trade publications to really compete with. I collected a few fanzines back in those days, but none came close to T$R quality.

The look was what we now think of as OSR. Mostly black and white artwork, reasonably cheap printing, and works of love by fans; some of whom happened to be T$R staffers. There was also an air of discovery. Tons of blogs and articles cover the same topics that originally appeared in those early ‘zines from “How to run a fun game,” to “What to do when D&D combat gets stale.” These types of articles are commonplace now.

So many resources that we take for granted now just weren’t available back then. There’s no need for a D&D trade magazine now. That goes for Dragon and Polyhedron. We also have lots of apps and sites such as Patreon to fill the same niches from various indie creators for about the same price we used to pay back in the day.

Would it fly now?

I’d have to say it’s unlikely. Even if it were an email newsletter or website, a ‘zine dedicated strictly to articles about D&D and related WotC content just doesn’t have the same appeal. With One D&D and the new VTT D&D Beyond coming, I feel like ‘zine style content is going to be more on the decline.

Now, that’s not to say a more generic fanzines or Gongfarmer’s Almanac, the Dungeon Crawl Classics (Unofficial) ‘zine don’t sell. There are fanzines likewise dedicated to OSR content all over the web that seem to be doing okay.

WIth approximately 50 million or more RPG fans in the world, I’d say the interest might still be there. If someone could pull together OGL content from a variety of sources and combine it with some general articles, fiction, and maybe some comic strips, it might do okay. But it will never have the official support that T$R and WotC gave to Polyhedron. Having really the only official club in the industry makes a bit of difference.

Lots of love to anyone who tries it, though. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Game on.

Hobbyist vs “Professional?”

I still can’t believe we’re doing this. It truly makes me ill. I haven’t been this traumatized by an argument since World of Warcraft players were crying “Casuals are ruining the game!”

RPG Family, are we really doing this? Seriously?

This whole discussion is why I take meds. It’s as if Imposter Syndrome weren’t bad enough. It’s royally pissing me off. Seriously, it should come with a unique Trigger Warning.

Disclaimer: Statements expressed in this article are strictly my opinion. If you disagree or have a different opinion, that’s okay. I’m not an expert on everything. I’m not always right. I’m just writing from my experience as I know it. Your mileage may vary.

*TRIGGER WARNING* 
This entire debate is stupid, unproductive, divisive and generally fails out loud. Only consume in small quantities. Has been known to cause seizures in Old Grognards. It's right up there with the old MMORPG saying of "Get better, NOOB!" Jeff is not responsible for any brain damage caused by this debate. You were warned. 

Let’s define “Hobbyist” first.

I still can’t believe we’re doing this. It truly makes me ill. I haven’t been this traumatized by an argument since World of Warcraft players were crying “Casuals are ruining the game!”

Sigh… A Hobbyist in the TableTop Role Playing Game sphere is defined as someone who creates mostly free content. It’s part of the ttrpg experience. It’s what a GM/DM/Judge does for their campaign every day, every game session. New creatures, magic items, characters, cities, maps, dungeons, adventures, and so on are all a GM’s bread-n-butter as part of the hobby/game. It’s what we do!

The same can be said for Twitch streamers, YouTubers, Actual Play podcasters before they’re monetized. Artists, too. Sometimes people sketch their character. Some GMs sketch their monsters. We all have to start somewhere.

I use Bitmoji for my website. I would never *sell* anything with my Bitmoji on it. Ethically it’s a bit sketchy to do that. Legally, it could potentially cause a lot of trouble. This is similar to the arguments revolving around AI art right now.

I would like to point out a couple of Hobbyists that created this game called Dungeons & Dragons. T$R, the original company who produced D&D, was started when Mr Gygax and Mr Arneson got together with some friends and turned their hobby game into a money-making endeavor.

People are forgetting THE WHOLE DAMN INDUSTRY STARTED OUT AS SOMEONE’S HOBBY!!!

Yes, I use Bitmoji and stock photos on this site. Probably because my own art is mediocre at best and I know it.

There’s a monomolecular wire thin line between Hobbyist and Professional. Let’s talk about Pros.

Sorry, family. We all know how I feel about perfeshunalz. Sorry, Professionals. It’s a lot of things I don’t readily identify with because I’m pretty laid back. Yay, money. Boo snobby, pretentious, gatekeeping crap.

We’ll define “Professional” as someone who makes a living in the TTRPG space. They create games. They sell games.

The title likewise applies to the myriad of artists, editors, layout experts, and others who contribute to the TTRPG industry for a paycheck. Technically, if one has sold a PDF product on DriveThruRPG or Itch.io, they should be considered an RPG industry professional.

Professional is also an attitude. After some folx start making serious money selling their TTRPG products start looking down on the rest of us. Suddenly there seems to be some kind of competitive rivalry with anyone looking to break into the industry. It’s like people are afraid new writers are going to cut in on their bread and butter.

Where I become annoyed or even enraged:

Gatekeeping in the TTRPG sphere is not a new phenomenon. I’ve been personally seeing it in the RPG industry since 1988-ish. I once made the mistake of sending a letter (via snail mail, kids) to Dragon Magazine asking how to become a “professional game designer.”

The gist of what the editor told me was “Come back when you’ve been published elsewhere in the industry, kid.”

Yeah… 16 year old me was almost discouraged for life at that stage. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of teachers, friends, and even professional game writers tell me I’ve got potential.

Back in the 1980’s and 90’s, breaking into the industry was considerably harder than it is now. Now all I have to do is publish an adventure on DriveThruRPG or similar PDF sites. I have to make sure all the legalese is included and pay the artist if I have one. It’s not terribly hard.

Back in the day it was either sweat it out to hope to maybe get published by a major company or start one’s own. I dare say old T$R was indirectly responsible for starting several game companies. Those other companies were started because other writers had a plan and a dream that almost got shut down by professional gatekeepers.

Please forgive me if I rage on social media about this.

I love creators of all sizes when it comes to TTRPGs. It’s been my hobby and joy for 40+ years. I dream of having publishing credentials in the RPG field. I’ve only been on this quest since I was a starry-eyed nerd in a small Iowa town with my gaming books and legal pads.

I recently saw someone who used to work for Wizards of the Coast and is now in a similar position for another creator talking mad crap about us “casual hobbyists.” I won’t name and shame on my blog. Needless to say, I’m pissed.

Okay, I’m not working for Matt Colville or Matt Mercer. It doesn’t mean I’m not important. It doesn’t make me less of a creator. It sure as Hell doesn’t mean professionals are any better than the rest of us.

Yes, please be proud of your own accomplishments. Yes, love yourself. I never begrudge anyone for doing well. Don’t we all want to do what we love all day? Don’t we ALL want joy in our lives?

But, don’t shit all over the “hobbyists” who buy those products y’all produce. Don’t tread on the people who got you where are are today. And stop treating anyone trying to break into the industry as competition. There’s enough room for us all.

End rant for now. I’ll say it again when it comes to gatekeeping: Just. F*ckin. DON’T!!!

Thank you for hearing me out. I appreciate you being here. Game on. More tomorrow.

Where 5E of the World’s Most Famous RPG Loses Me. Part 2

Maybe you (Wizards) have overlooked the demographic of the 30+ year old gamers, many of whom were around for the older editions. Yes, it’s extremely important to continue to bring new players into the game. However, it’s also important to have people who want to be a DM. Some of us old guys are perfect in that role. Teaching younger generations is something we (“Old Grognards”) very good at.

Open Letter to Wizards of the Coast,

Thank you for coming back. Yesterday I discussed that the current edition of the game has become very player oriented. The Dungeon Master is slowly being pushed out of the process. Anemic creatures, the death of experience points, and a solid lack of encounter building guidelines combined with the official over-buffing of Player Characters is pushing long time DMs away and discouraging people from wanting to DM.

“Just wing it” worked in the early days of the game. Dumping everything in the DM’s lap was fine then when the game was in its fledgling state back in the 1970’s. One D&D is supposedly aimed at getting rid of the concept of editions. Yet, you (Wizards) have seem to have completely forgotten everything before Third Edition. I don’t think it’s a coincidence and it’s the reason why a lot of us “Old Grognards” have gone back to the Old School Renaissance which (no surprise) is based on Basic, B/X, BECMI, 1st Ed AD&D, and 2nd Ed AD&D.

Maybe you (Wizards) have overlooked the demographic of the 30+ year old gamers, many of whom were around for the older editions. Yes, it’s extremely important to continue to bring new players into the game. However, it’s also important to have people who want to be a DM. Some of us old guys are perfect in that role. Teaching younger generations is something we (“Old Grognards”) very good at.

Wizards, you’re growing to the point where you’re forgetting the name of the game. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is the name of the game. So, why are you getting to a point where there are practically no DUNGEONS and the DRAGONS are toothless and weak? But that’s okay, because players have tons of options

Seriously, it’s as if we’re talking about two completely different games now. There’s good old D&D with monsters to fight and underground complexes to explore. There are magical treasures to be found! You can slay monsters, explore forgotten pyramids, and gain fortunes.

Then there’s this kind of weird, overly dramatic, almost completely character focused “game” we see on Critical Role. It’s almost as if it’s scripted. As I stated in Part 1 of this article, if I wanted to watch drama? I wouldn’t be a DM. I’d watch TV, movies or read a book. This newer, evolved version of D&D is more like acting class with some dice.

D&D came from a time when we didn’t have computer games, cell phones, tablets, or an Internet to play games on. I see where One D&D is heading. Virtual Table Top (VTT) gaming is the wave of the future. That’s great. Connecting people via the Internet is a good thing. PDF books, cell phone apps, and conference call D&D became a way of life in 2020 and continues today. Great.

But please remember the origins of D&D. No electrical components needed. It’s about books, dice, pencils and paper. This hobby was born from miniatures wargaming. The original creators of D&D did not have cameras aimed at them while they were playing the game.

People play D&D on camping trips. People play together in person in their parents’ basements, in the back of the Friendly Local Game Stores, and in classrooms. That’s not going away, especially with families of older gamers bringing their kids and students into the game. Please remember the rest of your audience?

Sorry, I know this was kind of a long rant. Thank you for being here and bearing with me. I’m going to put out a Part 3 to this series of articles, but more from my own perspective and my own benefit. I appreciate you. Thank you!

Where 5E of the World’s Most Famous RPG Loses Me.

Dear Wizards of the Coast,
Okay, I’m one of thousands of Dungeon Masters who have experienced A LOT of frustration with 5E. I know your new not-an-edition is coming out and you’re looking for feedback. I don’t think you’re asking the right questions.

An Open Letter to Wizards of the Coast,


Okay, I’m one of thousands of Dungeon Masters who have experienced A LOT of frustration with 5E. I know your new not-an-edition is coming out and you’re looking for feedback. I don’t think you’re asking the right questions.

From Day 1 of owning 5E, I’ve wondered where the rules for creating fair and challenging encounters are. The Dungeon Master’s Guide failed us in that regard. Other roleplaying games and other editions of D&D had mechanics that get it done. Why wouldn’t I play those instead?

This is also why I think so many DMs have switched to Milestones as the preferred method of character leveling. Experience points seem to be dying as a concept. Other games and editions still use XP.

A lack of effective encounter creation guidelines is accompanied by the rather anemic Monster Manual. Why do you think there are so many monster books on DriveThruRPG.com/DMsGuild.com? It’s because many of the basic core monsters are easily overcome at low levels.

This leads to another problem. Why do most campaigns seem to drop off at about 10th Level? Could it be there just aren’t a lot of good challenges at higher levels? Many DMs are just plain frustrated with the higher end of the game.

Let’s talk about what I feel is the most basic issue in the game as of 2022. The D&D game has become too player-oriented. The DM, that person running the game? Has been completely overlooked. And from what I hear about One D&D so far, it’s only going to get worse.

Don’t worry about new DM’s right now. Worry about retaining people who want to be a DM at all! If you don’t have people wanting to run the game, it’s going to fall apart. Yes, thank you for bringing more players into the game. Now focus on DMs a bit more, please?

Players are constantly seeing character buffs and very beneficial class revisions. That’s great for the players. Please bear in mind, this is not about the DM having an adversarial relationship with the players. It’s about the DM having the ability to challenge powerful character builds with monsters, otherwise the game devolves into a game of one upmanship among the players.

If I just want to watch characters banter among themselves, I’d watch TV or read a book. Yay plot! Yay description! I love telling great stories, but we’re starting to lose the game part of roleplaying game. I don’t need to be a DM just to give a few prompts for the characters to play off-of. Why have game stats at all?

As this letter is getting rather long, please see Part 2 of this article. Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by. You rock! Game on.

Backgrounds in Fantasy RPGs

Seriously, too much background story is a lot of reading, however interesting, for GMs who usually have a lot on their plate already. Personally, I find anything much beyond three standard typed pages to be overkill. Other GMs might see this differently.

The comment in question specifically referred to D&D, but I think we can broaden it to all fantasy RPGs in general.

I personally love it when players take the time somewhere in the first session or two to provide me with some kind of background on their character. I realize some games have a basic background generator built into them. (Notably 5E and W.O.I.N.)

Dungeon Crawl Classics has its infamous 0-Level funnel wherein the PCs are considered peasants who decided to take up the life of adventuring and miraculously survived long enough reach an actual character class. Unfortunately, the town is now missing its butcher, candlestick maker, haberdasher, and about a dozen other peasants who went down into some scary hole in the ground and never returned. Some background of the surviving actual characters is already built in. That poor, poor village, though.

Whether it provides a statistical advantage or free item, it should still be worth creating a background.

Every character in books, theatre, TV, or movies has to start somewhere. True, Peasant #3 in the background of the bar scene probably lives out his entire life in those ten minutes, but he still might have had a cool backstory. If the group actually took a minute out to talk to him, they might even learn something. Maybe not even relevant to the plot, but… can’t win em all.

I know a lot of games are trying to coax players into coming up with more elaborate backgrounds with all kinds of rewards. Everything from skill boosts to items, even magic items can be awarded depending on the system and whether or not the GM thinks the player did enough. I’m even somewhat guilty of this. I’ve handed out Experience points for anything over half a page but fewer than three pages. I’ve also given out minor trinkets or even masterwork/low end magic items for a well-written, well thought out background. I like to have something to work with as much as any GM does.

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

Plenty of resources to help players generate that background.

One of the best backstory generators ever made.

My all time favorite books for generating character backgrounds are Central Casting: Heroes of Legend. (Also Heroes Now! and Heroes for Tomorrow.) A quick search of DriveThruRPG gave thousands of options for fantasy character backgrounds. A quick Google search of fantasy character backstory generator listed several hundred more options, many of which were free.

Even the often maligned 1st Edition AD&D Unearthed Arcana had something of a background generator vaguely sandwiched into it. 3E D&D had the Hero Builder’s Guidebook which contained a very nice background generator. One of my absolute favorite 4th Ed D&D books, the Player’s Strategy Guide also had some great tools for building a backstory. These are all very helpful if you can find them.

Players: Please don’t write a novel about the character?

Lovingly submitted, your GM. Seriously, too much background story is a lot of reading, however interesting, for GMs who usually have a lot on their plate already. Personally, I find anything much beyond three standard typed pages to be overkill. Other GMs might see this differently.

It’s good to give the character some depth of personality. Reason and motivations that have helped shape the way the character acts in certain situations are good for roleplay. Not every character has to be suitable for television or movie drama. Too much background might make it look as if the character should already be 5th level and have some really decent magic items.

On the other side of this, I always ask players for at least a half page (even hand written) of background for their characters. I know there are plenty of minimalists and adult players with other commitments. I understand having a busy schedule. But, half a page? C’mon. Three key lines. I’m not picky.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Here’s an example:

Bronk, Half Orc Fighter:
Bronk was born to a family of peasant sharecroppers who were very poor. Father was an Orc cast out of his traditional Orc clan and went to live with mom’s Human village. Bronk heard many tales from adventurers at the pub and thought adventuring would bring him more gold than farming and help his family.

Count it! Now we know a little about the character, who/what is important to him, and why he started adventuring. Not overly dramatic. No distinct character advantages written in. Manageable in less than 5 minutes.

Score! 500 XP for the character and inherits dad’s old leather armor and gets to keep his trusty farm ax to help him on his was courtesy of a grateful GM. Nothing freaky. No angst for anyone. Easy.

One of the new, great ongoing Internet debates.

Thank all of the gods, not another D&D edition war. (Although it’s probably coming.) One of the new Twit-ragers is going to be Backstories: Are they necessary? I know I’ve already seen some shameful examples of this, not to name any names.

There are two main camps of (mostly) D&D players on this one. Either you’re big on the newer editions and think backgrounds are an absolute must-have OR you’re totally old school and think backstory is something that might happen later if you absolutely must.

I’ve done it both ways over the years and seen it used, mistreated, and even abused in the past. Modern-ish D&D is systemically built about more drama and depth of character. Looking back and 2E and older, we were happy if the character survived long enough to warrant putting a last name on the their line.

Heck, I remember a time when physical description was asking a lot. Wouldn’t matter much if the character fell 30′ into a dungeon’s giant meat grinder. Alas, poor Dave Number 3 we knew him for one hour. Oh, look it’s Dave Number 4 coming around the corner with fresh rations and torches. Yay!

Now we have all kinds of Death Saves, healing and other second through fourth chances short of bribing the DM. (I accept bribes, or more like Faustian bargains, but at least your character gets to live.) 5th Ed has built up the notion that story comes before statistics. Do kids even have characters wander into dungeons any more in D&D?

Hopefully this has provided a little amusement. More on the story of backstories to come someday. Thanks for stopping by. Please be good to one another.

It’s Freedom Day, 14 Months In.

There’s a few other minor tidbits to share. I find myself constantly burned out on depression. The only thing more disappointing than my career aspirations is the lack of funds in my wallet. (LOL!)

My monthly personal share. This month I learned…

New psychiatrists ask a LOT of questions. New to me, not new to the profession. He’s a nice guy, though. Hopefully I’ll stick with seeing him. Or he’ll want me to? However that works.

There’s a few other minor tidbits to share. I find myself constantly burned out on depression. The only thing more disappointing than my career aspirations is the lack of funds in my wallet. (LOL!) I’ve even been staving off writer’s block and I never thought that was possible. Finally, summer vacations are nice for the teachers and kids but school starting is priceless when I’m home all alone with just the cats.

Nemo (Left) and Snoopy (Right) just snuggled up on the couch.

I’m looking for positives here.

“Pain. All I know is pain.”
Pain Bot- Teen Titans Go!

I wake up in pain every morning. I go to bed in pain every night. Somewhere in the middle, there are a lot of ups and downs. Usually pain, too.

Anybody who tries to convince me I stupidly chose this? Is probably crazier than people accuse me of being. Oh, I hear plenty of “It’s all in your head,” and “You’re making it all up,” from doctors and nurses who I thought were supposed to be helping me. Well, if I’m nuts, then it’s from the pain on top of why ever else I might be crazy. I know what I go through every day.

Each morning I get to wake up in pain is still another morning I get to wake up. I’m grateful for that. There’s a roof over my head and a warm cat by my feet. I celebrate any time I find a quarter in the laundry or a dime on the ground. (It adds up.) There’s a bumper crop of abundance in each day if you know where to look.

I’d be happy if corporate America shriveled up and blew away tomorrow.

Disclaimer: 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.

Yeah, I know. I’m anti-capitalist. I’m what the crazier half calls crazy. I’m a lunatic, a socialist, and a dreamer. I’m just “woke” enough to believe there’s maybe life outside of chasing the almighty dollar. Not that I trust my government any more than I trust corporations. They’re all corrupt and greedy as Hell. Prove me wrong.

Okay, admittedly I’m pretty bitter. I’ve tried like mad to get over it, pretend it isn’t a thing, even spiritually bypass the fact that I’m unemployed. I’m still pretty pissed off over a year later. It’s just like any relationship ending suddenly, really.

I still can’t give specifics because ya never know when one of the shifty lil shitz might be reading my blog in an effort to hang me with my own words. I’ll just say that if I ever hear “It’s what’s best for the company” ever again? Well, friends and family will be visiting me in the nut farm for a while.

F$@&%x*

You hear about “quiet firing” and “quiet quitting” these days more and more. I think there’s some truth to it. People are getting fed up with being mistreated and undervalued in the workplace. And, strangely enough, large corporations are usually the workplace in question. I never want to find myself tied up in that position again. Any employer lacking in compassion should be… Well, uh, trying to think of something at least Rated R to say right now. Yeah.

I still stand by the notion it’s better to suffer the lack of free spending cash and a lavish lifestyle than to go to a job where my values don’t match my employer’s. I think it’s better to breathe fresh air than show up to a stuffy office building every day and hate it. I firmly believe I’m better off writing blog articles about my unemployment and the inconveniences it has caused than blindly trudging through life every day just waiting to kick the bucket.

My psychological journey has been in the forefront of my day-to-day life these days.

It ain’t pretty. I’ve been in a pretty dark place. I haven’t tried to delete myself or anything, but I ain’t happy. Not kidding, I really feel like a failure most days. I don’t know where I’m headed, but I sure know where I’ve been.

I had quite a day a couple of days ago. There was a big shift from my sort of quiet, stagnant state to an overwhelming amount of domestic productivity and creative energy. It’s a little freaky, but I like it. Then, the next day I crashed- hard. Suddenly I was back to being exhausted, sore, and somewhat unmotivated.

Even my beloved hobby, TableTop RolePlaying Games, has had it’s shares of ups and downs as of late. We spend a lot of time in the TTRPG community discussing racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia and other negative things. Sure, it would be more fun discussing books, settings, dice, Game Master advice, Player advice or really anything game related, but a few rotten dipshits have wrecked that for all of us. Someday down the road I hope people will embrace what they love and joy instead of criticism and hate.

Life is full of ups and downs. Learning experiences come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and forms. Sometimes we don’t know what it all means until ages down the road. I’d throw my hands up and say. “It’s all part of God’s plan,” but we all know that’s not how I do things.

Speaking of my favorite hobby.

TTRPGs have been a big part of my life for 40+ years. Yeah, I take my gaming pretty seriously. I’ve been a collector, player, DM/GM/Judge/whatever, designer, writer, and critic for most of those years. I still have a lot to learn. The hobby has only really been around for a little over 50 years in a way we would recognize it.

Modern Dungeons & Dragons (Fifth Edition or 5E) has failed some of us. This has led to the creation of the Old School Renaissance movement. (Or Revival, Rescue, Revision. Just insert your favorite “R” word after Old School.) Some of us in the #ttrpg community really enjoy running older versions of D&D or even other games developed in the 1980s and 90s.

The problem arose when a lot of us older, white, male gamers gained a reputation for bigotry and other negative behaviors. It may have always been there, but this modern crowd of gamers is far more sensitive (in a good way) than those in the past. It’s not going to fly now.

If new players are discouraged from joining in at the game table, turned away from conventions, or shouted down on social media? Those are players that might never come back. New players are the lifeblood of any game system. For the Love of God, please consider inclusivity and diversity in all things hobby related. We (humanity) have got to get past the hate and the negative rhetoric or we’re never going to evolve as a species.

This takes a toll on my mental health. I get that we old, white, (presumably cishet) males have been screwing up the US for centuries. It’s finally coming back around to haunt us in our own socio-cultural interactions. I’m pretty saddened that people behave so poorly toward one another.

The TTRPG/boardgame industry is just one tiny example. It’s not even that many of us OGs have these hateful feelings or are bigoted in some way. It’s the perception that we’re bad news. That stereotype is going to kill the OSR despite our best efforts. And trying to break that negative stereotype through love and positivity can be exhausting mentally as well as emotionally. Then we go out into the rest of the (“real”) world and see it even more prevalent out there.

This seems like a good stopping point for now.

Please remember to be kind to one another. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you, always. Take care.

So, I Woke Up to This Video Yesterday…

I’m an OG (Old Gamer) fighting an uphill battle, starting with my own mental health.

Here’s the video from Gamers on Games:
He can be found on Twitter here, which is where I met him: https://twitter.com/YTGamersonGames

Strap in, family. This is going to be a LONG article. There’s a lot to unpack here.

He makes a lot of good points. Well worth listening.

When I woke up to this video yesterday. (literally, not “Woke.” Although that’s an issue, too.) I wanted to argue initially. I agree with most but not all of what was said. We’ve got some people in the Old School Renaissance community that regularly make embarrassing, bigoted comments.

We are literally seeing the tides of racism turning the other way within the RolePlaying Game hobby. Older cishet white (Caucasian) males are rapidly on our way out. (I say “our” because I’m sorta in that category.) There are still plenty of us around and the camps of bigots/everyone else are rapidly dividing.

The tragic irony is Dungeons and Dragons was created by a bunch of older white guys who were originally miniatures wargamers. Minis wargames were traditionally dominated by older white guys. It’s getting better. #warhammer is seeing a broader audience despite the gatekeeping in that community. The OSR RPG community is struggling with racism.

Racism is not possible in the face of Universal love and peace.

Get it right. It’s “Awakened,” not “woke.” This is NOT directed at Gamers On Games. I know all too well there are members of the OSR community who will cringe when I start talking about spiritual awakening. Right wing Christians, racists, transphobes/homophobes and others call it “woke.” My eyes were opened by the Universe.

Maybe racism has always been present in the RPG community. Maybe the spotlight has finally shown upon the dark corner that is racism in the RPG hobby/community in general. I’m Old School. I’ve had some pretty sketchy players in my groups before which were okay at the time as long as they kept their mouths shut about race, politics, and religion.

Over the years it has gotten better. The hobby has changed. I have changed. When one awakens to the Source of all creation and realizes we are all one at the end of the day. We are all a miniscule speck in the greater Universe. When one realizes we are effectively God experiencing all of creation, perspective on race shifts dramatically. How can one look at another person and hate when one is effectively hating on oneself?

I believe in forgiveness. I believe in a benevolent Creator. Yes, there is bad shit out there. There are very difficult people in every community, not just RPGs. These people (racists, -phobes, haters) are a challenge placed in the path of anyone who seeks to love all beings (in the spiritual sense.)

I’ve made my share of dumb mistakes in life and said some pretty horrific, regrettable things that I can’t ever get back. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I intend to do better. We’re ALL in this together. Some of us have bigger burdens to bear than others, especially in the RPG community.

#DropDaveCon is a legit hashtag.

Long spiritual rant aside, The nice folks at DaveCon, a premier gaming convention in the Midwest needs to either drop known bigots from their Guest of Honor roll, or lose attendees and vendors. There needs to be a clear, obvious message sent to the organizers of this convention that these old school bigots need to hit the road or radically change their views.

This hashtag, this convention makes me sad. I live in Des Moines, IA. It’s pretty much a gaming convention deadzone. We have one or two piddly conventions per year. I’d organize my own, (*And I KNOW how,) but it’s a lot of work and a lot of money to put a convention together.

Minnesota, on the other hand, has a ton of conventions. Davecon is about a three hour drive from where I live. I’d love to go. Except, money aside, their guest list includes some people I just can’t hang out with.

Sorry. Imagine driving all the way to Bloomington, MN just to be turned away from the table because of the color of your skin or your blue/pink hair? I can’t let that go. That would suck. Why not support conventions that encourage inclusivity and diversity instead?

Having an entire hashtag telling people to boycott a convention? Ouch. That’s bad press for any convention. Losing attendees can kill a convention for good. I’ve seen it happen. It’s not pretty.

Let’s talk Gygax for a moment.

Learn a little more about Ernie.https://g.co/kgs/Ger99Z

We all know and love E Gary Gygax, creator of the original T$R Games and specifically Dungeons & Dragons (Along with Dave Arneson and others.) Gary was an amazing man. Unfortunately, he did have some quacky views of women in gaming, but every big name game designer has a few skeletons. But Gary is still revered and loved by the most of the RPG community.

His son, Ernie Gygax (Jr.) is another story entirely. He has aligned and embedded himself in what we call NuTSR. For those who might not know, NuTSR has nothing to do with the old company beyond buying up the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum in Lake Geneva, WI, birthplace of D&D.

I’ve listened to interviews with Ernie. Some of them make me cringe because of some of the just ignorant things that roll out of his mouth. He’s kind of the face of the OSR in some ways, being the son of Gygax. His brother, Luke Gygax is still involved with the hobby to some extent, but not nearly as vocal.

Truthfully, I want to side with Ernie on one concept and only one. He is honestly trying to keep his father’s dream/legacy alive. I’d support him more if he hadn’t fallen in with the likes of Dave Johnson and Justin LaNasa. I’d be a fan if he hadn’t openly spewed a lot of negative comments about the LGTBQIA++ community and some pretty racist comments.

Having Ernie as a “Special Guest of Honor” at any convention? Ouch. I seriously question the judgment of the convention organizers at this point. #DropDaveCon. Yeah. Let’s say no to racism.

None of us are getting any younger.

The video, getting back to the original point, makes a very obvious, true statement about a lot of us OGs. Here in the next 20-30 years, most of us older (white) guys will be gone. I’ve got diabetes, fibromyalgia, obesity, bad teeth and bifocals. The video really makes me feel my mortality.

I’m just one example. I know a lot of OSR gamers have their share of health issues and none of us are getting any younger. However, I happen to know a younger generation of gamers that are starting to embrace a bit of that OSR goodness. It is possible for that part of the hobby to survive in much warmer, more sensitive, caring hands.

Take a look at a game called ShadowDark. It’s an OSR game if I’ve ever played one. If one were to talk to Kelsey, you would know she’s not one of us OGs. She is a brilliant, hard working RPG designer. @thearcanelibrary. on Twitter. I’ve written about her before here. (Yeah, I’m a fan.)

Yes, there are parts of the OSR that will vanish from the Earth eventually. Maybe they need to as a natural course of the hobby’s evolution. It saddens me as a RPG aficionado, writer, and lifelong GM that our legacy as gamers is so tarnished by a pack of loudmouth hate mongers as Gamers On Game’s video suggests.

I wish he (Dave/GamersonGames) was wrong. I would love to say, “Let’s just get back to gaming.” For the Love of God, I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t bring myself to ignore the hate and negativity in OUR (as in ALL of us) gaming community. We need to heal. We need to grow.

I love my hobby with all my heart. I love humanity in the eyes of Source. I won’t just sit here and let the racist crap go unchallenged any more. We have to live on this Earth as a family. Skin color, gender, sexuality, age, and so on has to be something we ALL have to accept as people. If Jesus and Buddha (or some other deific figures) wanted to sit in on your gaming session, wouldn’t you let them?

I’m not making excuses for all of the NuTSR crowd, Venger Satanis, and Evil DM. I think a lot of things that have been said and done at this point that are inexcusable. The sad part is, the actions of a few have spoken for the many in the OSR segment of the community, if not RPG enthusiasts in general. It stinks. I hate it. It’s up to the rest of the RPG community to pick up the pieces and try to repair the damage that has been done to the hobby’s reputation.

I feel for the companies that could potentially go belly up as a result of the OSR movement going away.

The one last point I want to make about the video is I have a lot of concern for companies such as Goodman Games, Necrotic Gnome, and the Arcane Library if the OSR movement in the RPG hobby goes away, which we most assuredly will someday. I love those companies that are putting out OSR/D&D retro clones. I have high hopes that some or all of the OSR producers will survive.

Wizards of the Coast is kinda the elephant in the room. You can’t swing a dice bag around in the convention scene or a game shop without hitting something touched by Hasbro. Wizards of the Coast and Renegade Game Studios are huge right now. That’s probably not going to change. However, that means the RPG community has to deal with their corporate culture for better or worse.

Wizards of the Coast profits from pretty much all of it, and they don’t seem to care much about the OSR.

WotC also controls the rights to most or all of the original TSR trademarks and copyrights. This is especially true of D&D. I know they want to push their new products. We’re going to hear no end of rhetoric about One D&D for the next approximately two years. When 2024 rolls around, we could very easily see WotC pull the plug on all of the reprints, DMsGuild, and pretty much anything in the various Open Game License content that they don’t like.

WotC could end up being the dreadful gatekeepers of PDF products, especially TSR reprints, that some of us were always afraid they would become. I’m sure they’ll find some clever McCorporate way to put it to the fans like, “We don’t see editions any more in One D&D. Come buy all the new stuff.” All the Indie creators that rely on OGL products could have to move away from DriveThruRPG in the coming years. That will also fuel the demise of the OSR because we rely on reprints and a lot of independent content providers for our games.

Imagine a world where no one plays original D&D, BECMI, 1st AD&D, 2nd Ed D&D or anything that remotely resembles them ever again. Imagine entire conventions shutting down because attendance fell off. What’s it going to be like when WotC presents their virtual platform and all their new, young 5E/One D&D crowd flocks to it, consequences and side effects be damned. Yeah, I’d say a world without an OSR is possible.

Remember, RPG family: your hobby is being judged by the actions of some loudmouth, hate-mongering stooges.

WotC was smart to file an injunction against NuTSR to stop production on Star Frontiers New Genesis and other reprint products. An inferior product produced by a pack of known, very vocal bigots would not help the hobby. It would make us ALL look like idiots. It’s bad enough we OGs have to try to shake the stereotype applied to the OSR.

That’s my final thought on the subject. It was pointed out in the video. All of us old, white guy gamers are being stereotyped and judged based on the actions of loudmouth racists. I can’t stop stupid. Duct tape can’t fix it. Please forgive those of us who don’t think the way they do and don’t behave the way they do. Thank you!

I appreciate you being here. More on this topic to come. It really hit home between the old white guy/OSR stereotype and the mortality bit. I’m not lying when I say I’m pretty bummed out right now.

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