Personal-ish Share OGL 1.1

This OGL debacle is going to turn the TTRPG industry back into that Wild West scenario of writers stomping on each other just to get an interview. There’s no sign of stability with the drastic measures some companies are taking just to stay in business right now. People are worried about making the rent in a month or two, not hiring new talent.

I took a break yesterday to talk about something I enjoy.

Soon to be upgraded to OGL 2.0 according to Wizards of the Coast via Gizmodo. Linda Codega (my new personal hero, btw) posted this article. Personally, I’m hedging my bets that OGL 2.0 looks pretty similar to OGL 1.1 with a few changes in semantics. The RPG community has been by and large railing against WotC and parent company Hasbro all week.

I’m still kinda low key disappointed Chris Cocks won’t face me in a steel cage wrestling match. My wife says it’s bad for my back, fibro, etc anyway. I think Cocks just got lucky. (No pun intended…)

My educated guess is WotC is trying desperately to smooth over ruffled feathers after spokesperson/D&D celebrity Ginny Di publicly cancelled her D&D Beyond membership, admonishing Wizards for their foul behavior. In a related note, D&D Beyond suddenly had problems that strangely caused the removal of the subscription cancellation button. (Hey, isn’t that illegal? That’s a monthly renewal.)

Lucky for me I never pay for my D&D Beyond subscription, anyway. I never saw the sense in giving WotC money every month, and I doubt I will after this either. WotC is likely scrambling to retain as many of those players that they so desperately want to milk for cash, right?

So many (former) D&D fans and TTRPG companies have become flustered over the OGL debacle that they have started their own game licenses, systems, etc. Some of the bigger names such as Kobold and Paizo have banded together to create what is being hailed as the Open Roleplaying Creators License or ORC license. Paizo’s website is down, but you can read the Linda Codega article here. (*Linda is probably going to get tired of me using them as a reference, but they’re just so good!)

Some days I should just avoid social media.

So, this gaming celebrity-ish person who I shan’t name and shame said some things I find incredibly ignorant regarding the OGL debacle. After I quote-tweeted the thread with some rather harsh criticism I was promptly shouted down by a bunch of this person’s followers. Drink the Corporate Cool-Aid all ya like, folx. It’s okay.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it wouldn’t be the first time XY person has offended me. In fact XY regularly says things that not only indicate a lack of wisdom, but an overall lack of experience outside of WotC and Critical Role. Look, kiddo. With all due respect, you’re only as good as your corporate programming.

It gets my hackles up when people basically try to pass off obedience to the McMachine as sincere, heartfelt advice. Yeah… it sounded to me like, “Just blindly obey WotC so we can get back to making games for them. Sign your OGL contracts and be good little sheeple. Don’t stress yourself out by making your own games or banding together in solidarity.”

The thing that offends me more than this person taking up space in my head is the level of insensitivity to what is surely going to be the plight of others when half of the industry collapses under an unfavorable OGL announcement. Not that XY has to worry. Their job will be safe. Even with the OGL 1.1 leak we’re seeing all kinds of chaos and disarray in the TTRPG industry. Get a clue, WotC.

Maybe I’m just a bitter old Grognard.

I’ll freely admit I’m a pretty bitter b🦆stard when it comes to dealing with corporations and their well-programmed zombie drone types. I’ve been off work for a year and a half after getting canned by such a company. I’m still not allowed to trash talk the lil sh🦆tz directly due to all the NDA and severance garbage I signed. But I’ve also been around the TTRPG and hobby industry for 40 years.

Y’all youngins should gather around and listen for a minute. I’ve wanted to be employed gainfully by the TTRPG industry for over 35+ years. The closest I’ve gotten so far is on the retail end of things. Even then, selling one D&D book along with a crapload of Magic: the Gathering, boardgames, and other product is just not that darn fulfilling. Sorry, gotta be honest. Not to mention minimum wage retail gets to be a real drag when you know you could be doing so much more in life.

Once upon a when, breaking into the TTRPG field as a writer seemed to be a matter of who you knew or, uh, who you bl- did certain favors for behind the curtain. I’ve written a few magazine articles and such for publications that no longer exist but they never really got me noticed. Before OGL 1.0 there was little to no hope of getting hired because there was really no good way to get noticed. The line I got from an original T$R editor once was, “Come back when you get published somewhere else in the industry, kid.”

Sigh. This OGL debacle is going to turn the TTRPG industry back into that Wild West scenario of writers stomping on each other just to get an interview. There’s no sign of stability with the drastic measures some companies are taking just to stay in business right now. People are worried about making the rent in a month or two, not hiring new talent.

I’d like to think I haven’t squandered the last 20+ years.

I’d like to think that, but it’s sorta true, I guess. I’ve always tried to stay on top of the happenings TTRPG industry minus a couple of years when I checked out almost completely and only wrote things for some of my ICONS characters/campaigns. Meditation and enlightenment took priority for a while. But otherwise I’ve always kept an eye open for the one niche I could fill in a way that only I’m meant to fill.

It’s not like I love being unemployed. In fact, this OGL 1.1 business has taught me how much I truly miss having money for Christmas presents, food, gasoline for my car, and disposable income to spend on friends. I miss having an excuse to occasionally get out of the house. And then I remember how much is sucks being around people, how much pain I’m in on any given day, and how crippling depression really can be sometimes.

But hey, it’s Monday. Let’s see what new corporate McBullsh🦆ttery this week brings from our friends at WotC. I mean, what’s the best that can happen? (nervous chuckle)

I’ve probably chewed on everyone’s ears long enough for one night. I had a lot more to say, but it’ll keep until the 19th or my next personal share. Thanks for being here, fam. Love you all in a Universal way.

Oh Freedom Day!

I AM realistic. I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!!!

I’ve been liberated from the grind of 12 hour work days for three months!

I want to preface this with the thought: Be responsible! Don’t do anything rash on account of what somebody on the Internet said. I wouldn’t be here right now were it not for the kindness and understanding of my family. For that I am extremely grateful.

If you’re working hard to keep food on the table, keep going. You got this!

Things I’m grateful for since freedom came to me:

  • I’m my own boss and my own employee of the month.
  • Freedom from McCorporate Team environment.
  • The slow 12 hour workday trudge to the grave is no more.
  • Time for my family.
  • Time for my own health and sanity.
  • Setting my own schedule.
  • Deciding my own fate over putting money in their pockets.

Hallelujah! I am so happy and grateful to be free on this day! This is proof that the Law of Attraction really does work. It’s not always easy or painless, but it does come together in its own special way. We live in a benevolent Universe. I believe in good things and they are there for me. I AM realistic. I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!!!

I’ve worked toward manifesting this moment right here, right now. I’m my own boss, working my own hours, reporting to me. I’m my own employee of the month. This guy is truly moving onward and upward. I give me all kinds of praise and good reviews. Gotta keep that vibration up, though.

My Chairman of the Board. Taken from my mobile office/studio. I love this guy!

I’m so happy and grateful to be free from the corporate environment. If that’s your thing, great. You do that. Me? I’m my own boss. Technically still unemployed by the current socioeconomic cultural matrix standards, but that’s their label, not mine. I find things that are awesome about me.

It’s like finding inner peace on a whole new level. I set my own standards for success. I’m happy being me. It’s beautiful. There’s no one breathing down my neck. There are no performance “SMART” goals. No upper-middle-lower management clowns to bug me. No one setting standards they can’t meet themselves. My life is beautiful now that the greasy corporate mentality is all washed out of my system. I only get on my own case if I need to, and I’m learning to be more gentle with myself.

Teams? I’m it. It’s just me. The whole corporate team concept is broken. I’ve seen it fall apart or just plain fail for over 20 years now. You have a group of five to ten employees (sorry, “teammates” because we can’t just call people what they are) sitting around a table, forced to make small talk and participate in fakey fake team-building exercises that no one truly enjoys, and then one or two people end up doing any real work. It’s sad. I’m so happy and grateful to be a one man show.

I’m going to do a whole article on why the team thing doesn’t work. I’ve always had problems with it as a sociologist. It looks great on paper, but then you come out here in the real world and well, it looked great on paper.

Photo by Vinta Supply Co. | NYC on Pexels.com

I’m so happy and grateful to be free of “the trudge.” I report to me, on my time, and I love it! I know I say it a lot. Before I started working toward manifesting my dreams, it was a long, slow, painful, miserable, insufferable trudge toward the grave. Every day and night looked the same. Now every day- Every. Single. Day. is an adventure! Sometimes it’s just a nap with the cats or sitting on the couch while scarfing junk food and playing video games, but I’m allowed some free time. I’m excited to wake up in the morning. It’s genuine.

Time for my family is very important to me and I am grateful now that I have more of it. I missed out on over a decade with my three older boys while I was working nights. I’m happy to be free to take them to school, pick them up, and just spend some quiet time with them. I see more of my wife now. I’m happy to be supportive on the home front.

Time for my own health and sanity is so amazing now! I suffered so much at my last job, I mean truly suffered, that I put myself back in therapy. I’m still dealing with some psychological junk in the trunk, sure. I still have chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and depression issues. Sure. that’s the tired old labels talking. Here’s the kicker- I’m healing. I don’t have to rush out the door after barely having enough time to eat, sleep, shower, and maybe wave at my family on the way by. I’m here to tell you, being free is its own reward.

I get to decide when I eat, work, even nap now. My wife is about the only person who gets to object to anything, and she’s pretty cool about my schedule most days. Thanks, Honey!

It might not make sense to a lot of people. Many do work weird rotating 4 x 12 hour nights or some other freaky calendar nightmare. We can still exchange knowing looks. Working oddball, non-nine-to-five hours really can take a toll on one’s sanity. I’m glad to be free. I’m still and always will be a Nocturnal American, though.

I’m looking at NaNoWriMo next month as a serious possibility. Pretty sure I can hit word counts and page goals per day and then some. It’s just so nice to be able to sit down and work on things without all the pressure. My wife might roll her eyes, but I can make it work. It’s ideal this year, really. You’ll know if I go quiet for all of November.

No longer getting up every day to put money in the pockets of people who don’t care about anyone else.

If I do anything now, it puts money in MY pocket. I love helping people out, sure. That’s what we’re here for. But the thing I’m absolutely loving more than words can tell is that I’m no longer subjected to artificial concepts like sales goals, target savings goals, and other artificial standards that all translate to putting money in some executive’s pockets. Seriously, why bust my hump every night, just so the company I’m working for can outsource everything from custodians to human resources in the name of saving money.

You know who profits from the toils of corporate employees? Corporate executives. These people are no different than anyone else except for the fact that they got a slap on the back and a handshake that put them in a corner office. We no longer live in a world where you work your way to the top from the ground floor. (Not sure if that ever really existed.) These managers and executives don’t care if one of their cubicle inmates works hard or knows what they’re doing. It’s all about the bottom line.

Here’s the kicker- Entrepreneurs worry about their own bottom line. That’s were I am today. That’s the threshold I’m presently standing on. It’s exciting! I’m a writer first and foremost now. The whole profits-before-people thing is dead to me now.

I encourage writers, artists, musicians, dancers and anyone else with a dream to shed the corporate grind and go have a free life. Yes. Be responsible. Take care of yourself and your family first. But beyond that? Please go on out and live your dream life!

Create the life you want to life!

Thank you for being here. Stay safe. See you again soon.

Drifting

Stuff happens. Yeah, maybe I “manifested” it. If I did, then I’ll own it. I’m a pro at making mistakes and fixing them. My wife can vouch for that. I have a dishwasher held together with loose screws and zip ties to prove it.

This will be a little different by way of a blog.

Some days…

Hey, it’s my blog. I’m going to be a little vulnerable. I know the mighty “they” say not to do what I’m about to do. They have hundreds or even thousands of followers. They have advertisers, sponsors, and maybe even “real” day jobs. The mythical they say “You shouldn’t post personal stuff on your blog if you’re trying to land a job.”

Well, what do they really know? I’m sitting here, still unemployed. Still trying to land a writing gig or something meaningful. I’m still looking for joy in, uh, well I won’t say all the “wrong” places. More like, I’m looking for joy anywhere I can find it, honestly.

I think some of the LoA gurus get it wrong.

It’s always the mantras of keep smiling, keep your vibration high, and chase away all the negative stuff. You have to clean all the mentally repressed junk in your trunk. You create bad days for yourself, so don’t create bad days for yourself. (That last one’s almost a verbatim quote, btw.)

Stuff happens. Yeah, maybe I “manifested” it. If I did, then I’ll own it. I’m a pro at making mistakes and fixing them. My wife can vouch for that. I have a dishwasher held together with loose screws and zip ties to prove it.

The all-knowing LoA experts will say I’m doing it all wrong. Do I always live in the dream fulfilled? Not necessarily. Do I practice my intentions every day and then forget them? I did that for a couple of years straight. Well, it landed me a third to half of what I wanted. Now I’m backed off from some of those intentions.

Or just have a dream.

I do intend to be prosperous.

Maybe not filthy stinking rich. Money in and of itself is a human construct, not a human value. Yes, I’d love to be a millionaire. But, more importantly, I’d like to make sure all the bills are paid. I’d like to be able to go out and buy that dishwasher that can accommodate a family of six. I’d love to go take a week and hide out in the north woods somewhere with no electricity or WiFi connections. But money only buys things that make me smile.

I think the last two letters in prosperous are the ones that matter. US. If we can’t all be share in the wealth, why are we knocking ourselves out earning it? I mean, I’m not embracing socialism or communism here. I’m just saying I want a flow of steady cash for my family first and foremost. I intend to have the bills paid and food in the fridge. I want to have some fun on the holidays and weekends.

Of course I’m not going about it the way they say to do it.

Them: You gotta get a job and work hard every day.
Me: Nope. Did that shit for 30 years so far and look where that landed me.

Them: You gotta show your employer you want to be there and earn your way to the top.
Me: See also 30+ years of their bullshit. Where did it get me? Hmm…

I’ve watched multiple companies go belly up. I’ve been fired a couple of times from jobs that were going to pieces anyway. I’ve spent countless hours of toil and brain sweat putting more money in other people’s pockets. Where’s that big promotion? Where’s my office? Yup. You guessed it. I’m here on my couch with a bum knee and a bad back.

Them: Don’t chase your dreams. Chase the almighty dollar. Plenty of time for hobbies after you retire.
Me: Screw that. I love my various pastimes now, but I do have a dream. Prosperity is part of that dream.

Them: You’ll never amount to anything. You’re too old, too fat, too poor too… (whatever.)
Me: Raises middle finger. You can say that, but we all know it’s false. I’m going to get where I want to be. I’m grateful for where I am and it’s only getting better.

I’ve kinda had the cruise control on lately.

Thank you!!!

I have you, if you’re here. Thank you. Otherwise, I have this lovely space in which to vent all sorts of things. I mean, why make my therapist do all the work, right?

I know a lot of folks probably read my blog because they’re “checking my socials.” Many are either potential employers making sure I’m not some subversive, conspiracy wackadoo, psycho, anti-corporate, pro-socialist something-or-other. And I know some are here waiting for me to say something negative about a certain former employer. (Big ole corporation’s scared I’m going to blow my top and say something serious about them. LOL!) Hopefully there are also a few genuine people in my audience. I’m super grateful if you are.

So, here we are. I’ve been very sporadic. Honestly, I hadn’t intended to go quite so deep with this one. I’ve been kinda floating lately. Not really stuck, just not moving toward anything specific. I’ve been cleaning the kitchen, taking kids to school, hanging out with the cats, and just generally taking care of myself. It’s not spectacular.

I feel like the breakthrough is there or here, even.

You see it all the time in the various LoA books and courses. Our beloved mentors start with stories like:

“I was sitting at my kitchen table barely able to pay rent for another month, when I got this idea.”
“I was selling women’s shoes at Blah Shoe Store in Los Angeles when…”
“I was dead broke and selling my book out of my girlfriend’s car when…”
“I was fired from 30 jobs in one year and decided to create my own life…”
“I was living in my grandma’s garage with all of my credit cards maxed out and I got inspired…”
And one of my personal favorites, “I had already earned a pile of money working in my parent’s restaurant when I invested in other things and…” (Is it really an LoA success story if you started out with money?)

The truly interesting thing to me is, I feel as if I’m in that kind of magical time frame right now. Sure, I have days when I’m ready to throw in the towel and go back to work for nigh onto minimum wage and work my way back up the career ladder. (In other words, bust my ass for someone else every day until I end up in the grave. Nothing but misery until the end.) But I also have plenty of days that I’m grateful for being alive, reasonably healthy, and my family is doing okay.

It’s not perfect. I’m not striving to control every little thought, every little thing from one minute to the next. I’m just living my life. Yeah, I’d love to be doing more. Sure, I’d love to wake up tomorrow and get hit with that million dollar idea lightning bolt or at least something helpful. It’s going to happen, mark my words. But I’d be happy just knowing there’s enough coming in to cover all the bills and do things that light me up.

When the focus becomes on the feeling of joy, the money in the bank is a side effect. Whatever I’m doing, I just want to have fun. I just want to enjoy it. If it becomes a grind, misery and suffering set in and who wants that?

Anyway, more writing to come in the days ahead. Thank you for listening this far. I am still looking to help someone out for a bit of spare cash if anyone would like some help. Stay safe. See you soon.

Any day now, Snoopy and I are going to be like…
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