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Absentee Note

Hey everyone - sorry I haven't 'blogged in so long, but stuff is in the works.  Yes, I'm still working on the Demon Idol (new 'blog coming about that one very soon), and new videos at the youtube channel and all.  Stay tuned!

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Irritated With the Latest Nonsense From Wizards of the Coast, "OSR" thoughts

As I stated in earlier 'blog entries, Wizards of the Coast authorized the release of older products on Print on Demand; I was pretty happy about that turn of events.  Now, I figured, I could show people where they could buy old-school stuff - but brand new!  Unlimited amounts of it!  No PDF-only, or having to go with a comb-bound or printed-out copy.  This, I felt, was the great and proper turn of events.
Well, my happiness here has been short-lived.  Inexplicably (and I mean, inexplicable: I have asked three points of contact at Wizards of the Coast about this and gotten nowhere), the Dungeon Masters Guide and Players Handbook have been pulled off of PoD.  The progress of modules being added has slowed to a stop, and there's no indication at all that any original D&D items are or were being put up.
I was going to review (for the long-neglected YouTube channel) a Print on Demand module I'd ordered, but now, I doubt I will: it's not like I can tell folks "Well…

Now More Than Ever, The Role-Playing Game Community Needs Its Harlan Ellison

My interweb buddy Rob Schwalb, author of the fantasy game Shadow of the Demon Lord made a salient point over on Facebook.  To paraphrase, he said "pay what you like" is bullshit, to value your work.  I agree, and I was motivated to quote Harlan Ellison who wrote (and stated) "Pay the God-rammed writer!". And, of course, Ellison is right.  Whether it's twenty five people, twenty-five hundred people or twenty-five thousand people, if you have an audience willing to pay you should get paid.


But this isn't just about my opinion or agreement with Rob Schwalb, or Harlan Ellison.  I thought about Ellison's perspectives on writing, what it is to work in an industry that is fundamentally a con game, within (we make up books about elves and dragons), and without: we do what we do convinced that we're making a huge mark on the hobby, that we might be the Next Hot Thing.
Now Ellison is one of those people you either love or hate but regardless of which it is, …

Happy 2016!

Thanks for sticking around, those of you who have stuck around!  It occurs to me that since I migrated across several websites I may have "lost" the text of my interview with Gary Gygax from 2002.  Fear not, adventurers.  I still have it, but I'm not sure it's online in an easily accessible form any more (archive.org notwithstanding).  So without further bloviating on my part, here it is in it's entirety!

B: “When you look back at Dungeons and Dragons as a whole, back in those early days did you think to yourself “This is going to have a huge impact,” that is, did you think that Dungeons and Dragons would become synonymous not only with Role Playing Games in general but synonymous with the Fantasy/Science Fiction subculture as a whole?
G: Not exactly.Matter of fact, nobody was thinking of role-playing as the emerging, soon-to-be dominant form of hobby gaming.I looked at the D&D game with my partner, Don Kaye, as likely to be the most popular of the vario…