Category Archives: Two Minutes of Hate

RPGs are Cook Books

I’ve made lots of comparisons to RPG’s are like cooking likethe Bacon Cheese Burger of Offense and Pizza, Pineapple & RPG’s. Well with all this OGL drama it got me thinking again.

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Let me get the easy part out the way first. Publishers make rules. Gamers make the actual game. Like a cook book, the rule book is just a recipe. OK, yes. I know baking is chemistry but the savory or other stuff is more art than science. That’s where the cooking part comes in. Really, most recipes are just guidelines. You can tweak as you see fit. It does take skill and know how but it can be done. It’s very much once it’s out of the publishers hands, it’s the people at the gaming table that actually make the final “product”. So there. So publishers, tough luck, you don’t get any say what goes on at individual tables. When the dice meet the table, it’s not your game any more.

Now this whole thing also applies to strangers. Even with all this stuff about the OGL, there’s still folks who seemed more obsessed with happening at strangers table. Really, with this crap going on? Let’s give up that crap forever. I see that ugly specter coming back to online chatter. Sigh.

So there it is. An RPG’s are cook books. They’re guidelines for you to have something cool at your table. Don’t let any publisher or stranger tell other wise.

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OGL 1.1 and #OpenDnD & What to do

I just feel like I said even more on this. First, I’m not a lawyer. Second, I know some folks are getting tired of hearing about it. Well, I think there needs to be more screaming about it.

There’s already been plenty of analysis and commentary about what it all means so there’s no need to rehash that. And it’s safe to say that nobody is happy. It’s not a good deal for anybody but WOTC. So what to do about?

People are already doing the standard things. Boycotting WOTC and the upcoming movie. Cancelling DNDBeyond subscriptions. Cancelling pre-orders. Keep it up. There are already Change.org petitions. Here. Here. And here. Sign one. Sign all. There’s also an open letter site set up. Sign there too. Will this make a difference I don’t. But there’s more.

Keep up the pressure on WOTC. Post often. If you’re like me then Facebook knows you’re a gamer and you’ll see ads for D&D and DnDBeyond. Leave comments. They might get deleted but do it any way.

Amp up the pressure on licensees. We’re not sure who they all are and they probably have an NDA but let them know that if they support this then you won’t support them. That means everybody from the rando who sells licensed socks to Wizkids who makes miniatures. Sure your comments might get deleted and they probably won’t respond but they will be on the phone to WOTC saying that they need to do something about this.

I shouldn’t have to tell you to be polite about it but do be terse and professional.

There’s a couple of other groups I want to call out. The “It Doesn’t Affect My Table” crowd. Maybe it doesn’t. But it does affect so many other creators and tables. Show a little empathy out there. And the “I Won’t Stand Along Side This Bad Person” crowd. There have been arguments that have gone on for years about specific individuals. Just put that aside for a while and focus on the major threat to the RPG community. We argue that stuff later. In order to protect a community from bad actors, you need a community left. I’m not saying that any body has to be friends or forgiven. There’s a larger danger to everyone so burn down the whole thing just to get at few people.

So got out there and use the Internet.

The Underground RPG/Franken-Gamer Credo

This has bounced around inside my head for a while. I’ve made similar rants on previous posts and I’ll try to bring a bunch of those ideas together here.

Let’s face it too many people are worried about what game others play and/or how they play it. Sure there are games I don’t like. I don’t like to rant about those until something really starts to tick me off. There’s plenty styles I don’t like. Doesn’t me you can’t play that way. It means that I don’t want to.

I’m also starting develop a little theory. There’s the kind of person who will scroll right by something they don’t like and won’t buy and that’s pretty much the end of it. Then there’s the kind person who doesn’t like something and doesn’t want anyone else to have the option of deciding for themselves. This doesn’t mean that everything is OK. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t bad actors out there. Things shouldn’t be a total ick fest. But I think a few have gone too far with name calling and bitching.

So here go:

  • Play whatever games that you want with whomever want and have fun without apologies.
  • Make whatever house rules that you want. Take rules from other games and fold spindle and mutilate them to your liking. If a rule doesn’t work at your table. Change it. You do not need the any one’s permission.
  • Spend more time supporting and talking about the things you like rather than the games and people you don’t like.

I know I’m missing a few bits and subtleties here. But in a way, that’s the point. Think for yourself. Do it your way.

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Living in a Small Town

Call it a suburb or what. Basically, I live in a small town. But it’s growing and fast. When I first moved here way back in 2000, the population was just under 8,000. A couple of weeks ago, they changed the sign. It’s now clocking in just over 80,000. That got me thinking on gaming stuff.

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The charm of small town or odd ball community seems to attract people. But then eventually, there are so many people that all that charm and what drew folks to the area to begin with dies and withers. The quaint farmer’s market gets replaced by a mixed use development. The friendly greasy spoon where every one knows your name is replaced is replaced the latest and greatest chain restaurant. That local festival gets moved and morphed into a bare shadow of what it once was. Neighborhoods are replaced by HOA’s. The irony is that they then go and attempt to create artificial “artist” districts or whatever. Communities like that just happen. You can’t make them appear out of no where.

What the hell does this have to do with gaming? One D&D, of course. Sure, I got nothing against businesses making money. Heck, it’s looking like they’re coming up with ways to rake in the cash. But I can’t help but just think that’ll end up being a curated mess. I could be wrong. I hope that I am.

Personally, I’m sticking to my guns. I’m sure there’s this underground community of gamers who don’t care about One D&D. Heck, they might even be using rules based on 5E. Sure I basically don’t care what WOTC does any more but what I’m trying to get across is that us weirdos need to stick together. Preach the gospel that there’s more than just WOTC. Prop each other up. Spread the word about cool stuff. And just have a good time at the game table without apology to some stranger on the Internet.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.

One D&D

Well, there’s already been lots of chatter on this so I might as well throw out some of my own thoughts and predictions and see how much hate I get. The best nickname I’ve seen so far is D&Done.

Let me start with that I’ve got nothing against a company making money. That’s cool. But I see in the future a lot of folks getting thrown under the bus. And I’m going to throw this little bit of politics out there. There’s a big swath of the 5E and RPG community that leans pretty strong to the left. You’ve probably seen the “capitalism bad” and “corporations are evil” type rants and posts. But there’s a bit of double think going on out there where some of those very same folks are going to throw cash at Hasbro.

So who remembers back to release original release announcements for 5E? You know where they looked at older editions for inspiration on what worked. They wanted to bring together a fractured fan base. When 5E first came out there was still a feel of some old school or even gritter play but that’s going to go away. It’s hard to find those old posts and articles. WOTC scrubbed their archives. But I did find this old Wired article and here’s one from Bleeding Cool. That mindset is gone. I don’t think they want certain kinds of fans. Oh. I know some of you may be saying old man screaming at clouds. But it’s not about age, it’s about taste and play preferences. Even Matt Colville, the popular Youtuber, has said that D&D isn’t one game. It’s thousands. Each table, each group is their own game. But WOTC wants only one D&D. Yeah, that may be an overreaction on my part but wait there’s more.

I’ve already commented elsewhere that the whole One D&D thing is like renting a house in gated community with an HOA ran by mob of Karens. There’s plenty of folks who claim that gatekeeping is bad then turn around and gate keep. If you aren’t the kind of person that will jump on the group think train then be prepared for even more toxicity. Heck, Ill even go out on a limb to say that their “public” play test is being conducted in an echo chamber.

Now here’s where things are going to get interesting. Hey, OGL. Well, that I bet is going to be unrecognizable. All you third party publishers. Come on over to the curated community or screw you. DM’s Guild/OBS. Screw you. Roll20 or other VTT’s. Well, screw you. FLGS. Screw you. Any other various content creators. Screw you. I don’t think that WOTC is out to get the little guy. They don’t have time for that. But the little guy is just inconsequential collateral damage in pursuit of market share. You don’t matter.

I’m not against WOTC making money. I’m just putting out a warning signal based on my opinion. Let’s face it. They basically have a monopoly in the RPG sphere. I know many say that a rising tide lifts all ships. But also, name any time when a monopoly benefited the consumer.

Sure Hasbro owns the D&D IP. But the real heart and soul of D&D is a bunch of friends around a table (even a virtual one), rolling dice, having fun, and doing their own thing. No matter how hard they try, they can never own that. No matter how big a community, they can never actually control that. They may want to. But don’t let them even think that they can.

So. Now and in the future, it’s important to go out there and support all those little independent creators. This is where imagination, ingenuity, and creativity will live. Let’s face it. They already have to fight against internet algorithms, corporate shill sites, and face a corporate marketing budgets bigger than their gross profits. As I have said before we need to start looking at those small publishers as the garage bands, punk rockers, underground comics, and local diners. They are small and quirky places with actual personality.

I’m not telling you who to support. That’s up to.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.