Showing posts with label drama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drama. Show all posts

Monday, July 1, 2024

Monstrous Mondays: Nouveau Orcs

 Still busy this week so this is drive-by. 

Art previews of the new D&D 5R (D&D 2024) Player's Handbook were released including art for orcs as a playable species.  As expected the Grognard crowd is taking this with measured patience one should expect from the elder statesmen of our hobby.

5r Orcs

No, they didn't. They predictably completely lost their shit. Again.

This seems especially true of the segments that claim never to play "WotC" versions of D&D and don't pay any attention to them.  So the ones that will be least likely to play this version are also bitching and moaning the loudest.

I mean the art is bit too cutesy for me, but a.) this is for a Player's book, not the monster book. and b.) I am not (nor should I be) the target audience.  That is something I am going to get back to, but let's address the prominent issue; that of non-evil orcs.

When it comes to orcs many like to point to their history as defined by the Professor. This great, IF (and only if) we are talking about Lord of the Rings or Middle-Earth. This is D&D and Gary did nothing else if not spend a lot of ink telling us that D&D is not Lord of the Rings. So all the talk of "Melkor can't create" is cute but has little bearing here. 

D&D and AD&D has had "good orcs" before, this is not a new concept. The Forgotten Realms boxed set had them. The AD&D 2nd Ed Monstrous Compendiums had them. Good Orcs are not a new thing. Even Half-orcs were a playable race as long as they were non-good.

One of the cardinal rules of D&D has always been to change what you want to work with your group. That means yes, people can have "good" orcs, and other groups can have "evil" orcs. This should counter any "one true wayism" that seems to clutter up the D&D-related YouTube channels.  

Besides no one is saying you can't have purely evil orcs as well. I have several sub-species of orc, some good, many very evil. Works great for me. Pathfinder 2 has orcs you can have as characters and still fight. 

I think what the older crowd, of which I am a member of that crowd, needs to realize is that we are no longer being catered to. We do not have the buying power we have enjoyed for so long. This group, or at least many members of it, have said "we are not buying any non-TSR D&D" and WotC has said "fine, we don't really need your money."  And they don't. The younger generations have shown they have buying power all on their own. 

Look, Wizards of the Coast is not without some serious flaws and a lot of blame. Their handling of the OGL, sending out Pinkertons, all the layoffs and firings. Not to mention some rather lack lustre adventures. But freaking out over good orcs? Yeah, that should not even be on the list.

So here are a couple of reminders.

  1. Whatever appears in the D&D 5r books only maters to people playing D&D 5r.
  2. Nothing posted in D&D 5r effects any other game. Same as nothing in Pathfinder effects any version of D&D.
  3. Despite the Chicken Littling out there no past book has ever been changed.

Play how you want. Let others play how they want. Stop acting like it's the end of the damn world.

Better yet, adopt these new orcs into your old-school games to challenge your players. 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

NuTSR Continues its Downward Spiral

NuTSR's Not Star Frontiers
NuTSR's Not Star Frontiers
Honestly, I have been trying to avoid the latest RPG Drama du jour.  Yeah, it gets me hits, but I'd rather get them for my game-related content and not my stance on whatever shit storm is going on.

But some things can't be left unsaid.

So last year I talked a bit about the NuTSR. I wanted to call them NotTSR or !TSR, but NuTSR won out.  

A quick recap they are suing Wizards of the Coast so they (NuTSR) can keep the name they stole, the game they stole (Star Frontiers), and get WotC to remove the content disclaimers on DrivThruRPG. All of which have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting accomplished. All of this is online in places (waves vaguely) and you should have no trouble finding it.

Frankly, I was happy just to wait around and watch WotC/Hasbro wipe them off the face of the gaming world forever. 

That was until the reported Playtest Version of their Not Star Frontiers was leaked.

And man, if you thought FATAL or MYFAROG was bad. The playtest was leaked by Tenkar at his eponymous Tavern and YouTube channel. You can see the rules in his video.

Look, I have NO IDEA if this is a legit set of rules. Many people with solid industry inside knowledge and contacts claim that it is. It is a truly horrifying document. Let's ignore the atrocious grammar and spelling. Let's move past the extremely terrible game design. I mean what I have seen so far screams "fantasy heartbreaker written by high school loner." let's get right into the racist bullshit.

Actually, no I am not going to give them the bandwidth and sully these pages with their madness.  Instead go to the "There's No Place For Hate in Gaming" website and read it all their with the rest of Dave Johnson's hate-spewing nonsense. 

Here is a bit from their Twitter feed (read the whole thread):

That's pretty damning really.

I am not going to try and insult you all by saying shit like "well this matches with things Johnson has posted in the past" or "the style here matches things Justin has written before."  No. Just read this all for yourself.  

Do I trust that Tenkar has good information? I trust that he trusts it. We don't see eye to eye on, well a whole lot really (it's a Chicago vs New York thing), but I do trust him that he is covering his bases. 

Right now Justin et al are in full DARVO mode saying that it is others attacking them and and "photoshopping" the screen-shots.

NuTSR Garbage

Seriously, all NuTSR has to do is issue a statement denying this was their writing, unequivocally denounce it as racist garbage, and pledge that nothing of this sort is in their game or ever will be.

It's what a real publisher would do. It's what a real writer would do.

But to date, they have not that. Nothing at all from Dave Johnson or Justin LaNasa on this. 

This is all developing. So far The Gamer website has picked up on the story, and rumor has it that WotC had an "emergency meeting about it." (that one has yet to be confirmed and I remain skeptical but hopeful.)

Lots of people are covering this and lots of people are talking about it. I am sure we are just at the beginning of all this. So why am I talking about here?

Simple. This sort of behavior needs to be called out.

It is not ok, funny, or edgy to print this shit in 2022. It wasn't right even in 1974, but less so now.  Nazis, racists, sexists, and any sort of bigots need to feel unwelcome in this hobby. More to the point they need feel like outsiders, like uninvited guests that are about to get the boot out the door. There is no room for them here, now, or in the future.

People will bitch and moan with "oh you are just gatekeeping!" No dumb ass. We are keeping hateful rhetoric out of our spaces. If you don't like that then you kindly fuck off and keep fucking off until you are gone.

For anyone that wants to play Star Frontiers, there is a vibrant community out there for it. You can use the original rules or the newer retro-clone.

Star Frontiers

I had this to say about the whole thing:


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How to Destroy a Legacy in a Week

I was not going to talk about this today.  I wanted to do a One Man's God today.

But in truth, I can't be silent about this. Last week I talked about Bob Bledsaw II and his racist, anti-Semitic, anti-woman, posts on Facebook.  Some fans of Judges Guild were content to ignore them or try to separate the "art from the artist".

Well, I am here to say that is all bullshit.

If you buy one of my books you are buying a piece of me. You are buying the stories I read, the music I listen too, the movies and TV shows I watch.  When doing research I make choices to read Book A or Book B, Article C or Article D, Documentary E or F.  This goes on and on.  What I choose is based on my interests, my time, and yes, my political leanings.  You don't have a choice in this save for one; to buy or not buy my books.  When writing I have one principle that applies; is this fun to play. If so then I do it.  If I do it right you buy and enjoy it too.

But don't pretend my politics don't enter into it.

Well. Now all the hemming and hawing and handwringing aside, Bob Bledsaw II posted the following unhinged screed on the Judges Guild official Facebook page.  There is no separation now of art and artist.  And to be 100% accurate, BBII did not, as far as I know, create anything for Judges Guild.

You might need to click on this or download it to read the whole thing.  Otherwise, Tenkar over at his eponymous Tavern has been doing a good job of keeping track of this whole clusterfuck.

There is so much wrong with this posting that it would take me several hours to point all the self-contradictory statements, the outright false-hoods and tin-foil hat wearing conspiratorial bullshit and frankly, he is not worth my time.

But there are only two facts that matter to me.
1. This was posted as part of an official release on the Judge's Guild page.
2. It is so full of hate, bigotry and vile thoughts as to be repulsive to any reasonable individual.

Does BBII have to right say what he wants? Yes. So fuck off with the "free speech" bullshit argument.  There is no such thing as consequence-free speech.  He can say what he wants. So can I.

BBII has destroyed any sort of good legacy Judge's Guild had left.

So fuck him. Fuck his ideas. Fuck his company's products.
And if you support him or his ideals then fuck you too.

I am not going to buy any of Judges Guild stuff. If you decide you don't want to buy my stuff.
Good. I don't really want your money here.

I am happy to note there are many in the community, and in the OSR community too, to stand up against this type of behavior.

Here are some videos that address the topic.

There are undoubtedly more and plenty of Twitter and Facebook conversations too.

TL;DR Bob Bledsaw II is a piece of shit and if you support him don't fucking buy my books.
Likely you are too stupid to understand them anyway.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pulling Games

So unless you have not caught up on your reading yet this week (I haven't really myself) then you might not know that OneBookShelf, the owners of DriveThruRPG and RPGNow have opted to pull a title by +James Desborough from their virtual shelves.

Here are the links of what people are saying today.
And James' first post on this:

TL;DR. OBS pulled James "Grim" Desborough's latest game, a card game based on "Gamer Gate".

You can see OBS' comments here:

I don't want to spend a lot of time on this. But here it goes.

1. I support OBS' stand on their right to pull any game they choose.  It's their store. They can choose what they want to sell or not.

2. I support Grim in making and selling any game he wants.  I do not agree with his stance on Gamer Gate, but I also feel the guy is often accused to saying and doing things he actually never said.  He says on his own blog, posts and everywhere else that if we have a question just ask him.  Turns out that works great.  I do think it sucks that his game was tossed out pretty much sight-unseen.

So my issue is not really with OBS or James.

My issue is with the publisher that forced OBS to make a decision.  They used their own market power as a bullying tactic to get a game they, or rather one person in particular, did not like.   It was a dick move.

This is not the first time this particular publisher has pulled some rather dickish stunts.  In fact it is the third I have heard of in the last year.

I am not getting into details. I have no desire to challenge this publisher and no power whatsoever to have them address their own bad behavior.   All I can do is not play or promote their games here.

If you want to buy the Gamer Gate card game, then please head over to Postmortem Studios   I have no interest in it myself, but maybe I'll buy something to show support.   Machinations of the Space Princess is a good choice.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Just Play the Damn Game

I had this long-ish rant about the latest tempest in a tea pot internet battle about various parts of the new D&D5 game.

I decided to delete the whole thing instead. Why? Internet "battles" are stupid. Sure I have done my fair share. Hell there have been times I have been on the front line screaming for (virtual) blood.

But man, they get old fast.

The biggest reason of all. 90% of the people who buy this game don't care about this, don't know the people involved, and it has 0% chance of changing their buying decisions.

For once I am going to listen to the advice that had been tossed back a me for so long. I am ignoring it.

So give me my dice and let me pretend to be an elf in peace.  Oh. And get off my lawn.