Tuesday, September 1, 2015

RPGNow's Offensive "Offensive Content Policy"

RPGNow's take on censorship

OneBookShelf/RPGNow/DriveThruRPG can take a flying leap into a pool full of razor blades.
Here's the email I sent to some poor support personnel of theirs in response to their new policy, that allows random users to flag titles on their sites as "offensive", and get that title suspended from sale.

"I received a troubling email today, informing me that OneBookShelf companies will begin censoring products that are flagged as "offensive."

I want to go on record as a customer who will immediately delete my RPGNow and DriveThruRPG accounts the split second that a single title, ANY title, is censored in this way on your sites. Even if it's a product that I don't personally like. 

Quite frankly, it has always been easier, and free, for consumers to pirate copies of the titles sold on your sites. I maintain my accounts in order to financially reward the creators for their efforts. The moment that you turn against those creators, ignoring the First Amendment in favor of a few mewling crybabies, is the moment that you have lost my business forever. If they don't like the product, no one is forcing them to buy it. Why on earth should they be able to censor its existence on a marketplace?

I'm sure that I won't be the only person whose business you lose should you continue down this cowardly path."

Here's the post from OneBookShelf about their new policy. Their CEO, Steve Wieck, makes some fine points about people pushing the envelope. I don't care about any of those points. Censorship is censorship is censorship. You censor, you lose my business. Period.

MonkeyBlood Design made the brilliant comment: "Seriously, why not have an offensive flag as well as adult content. Job done, no arbitrary vetting, no capitulation." Which sounds like a happy compromise to me, but we'll see how things turn out.

So, guys, who wants to start up a competing digital content sales site that has no problem with "objectionable" content? Looks like we'd be getting a lot of business in the near future...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

6x9 B/X

First, I'm psyched that I got to meet Zak S, Mandy Morbid and Joey Lindsey this past weekend, while viewing some of the original artwork that Zak made for A Red & Pleasant Land. Zak complimented my girlfriend on her shoes, Mandy complimented me on my LotFP shirt, nobody lobbed any Unforgivable Curses at us, and a good time was had by all. If you're near the San Francisco Bay Area, you should check out the exhibition at Steven Wolf Fine Arts. It runs through March 7, 2015. They've got a whole room full of Zak's work, and I gained a new appreciation for his style when I saw how many fine details he works in using literal drops, blobs and splotches of paint. My artist girlfriend and artist friend both assured me that they would have made a blotchy mess if they'd attempted the same techniques.
Note: This is hot shit!

I spent most of that afternoon fiddling with my own variation of the Black Book edition of B/X D&D, as mentioned in this informative post by Dyson. I decided that, in addition to nixing the watermarks, I'd like to shrink the books down to the portable, utilitarian 6x9 size that works so well for Lamentations publications. I can't hook you guys up with the finished pdf, obviously, but I thought I should at least share my re-sized versions of  Jeremy Deram's covers. I had to add some space between elements to avoid stretching out the words and images, but I think it came together nicely.
Here you go, internet:
These images should be 1913 x 2925 pixels, perfect for the "old" cover-creating wizard at LuLu.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wrist-Mounted DM Screen

After all the shit-talking that jocks have done about roleplayers over the years, it turns out that those bastards were walking around with goddamned DM Screens on their sweaty-ass wrists the whole time!

But seriously though, I can totally use one of these:

Football 5 Pocket Arm-Play Holder

Of course, it's not remotely as hardcore as actually tattooing Armor Classes onto your forearm for reference...


... but it's still a cute gimmick for literally keeping a little something up your sleeve. If you're rules-light enough, you could fit everything you need to run a game in one of these, and use it as your travel/on-the-fly/convention game-screen.

Plus, these wrist-screens are ambidextrous. That's right; you can totally do this:

Obviously, no one should do that. 
I will probably do that.
If anyone gives me any shit about it, at least I can tell them that it's football gear.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Shadow Transit

Sometimes, it's possible to travel very quickly across vast distances by moving through shadows.

If you're desperate enough.

The beings who make this possible are the Shadow Masters. They appear at odd intervals, in out-of-the-way places. Their agenda is unknown.

Won't you come away with me?

What is known is that they will dourly transport adventurers through the Plane of Shadows in their somber skiffs... for the right fee.

To take you where you actually want to go, the Shadow Master desires esoteric forms of payment. Perhaps a year off of the end of your life. Maybe your memories of your enemies' names, or of everyone you've ever loved. Sometimes, they only want an oath (mystically binding, of course) that you will or won't do a certain small something in the future. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Who wouldn't trust this face?

The Shadow Master might reluctantly take money as payment, but it's unlikely. Even when they are accepted, coins will not pay the way through to a desired destination. Instead, the traveler will find themselves deposited in some random place, maybe even on the wrong world. Those who truly offend the sensibilities of these lords of darkness will be left to fend for themselves in the Plane of Shadow itself. Best of luck with that.

For the love of fuck, don't forget where we parked!

The most learned sages have noticed that the dealings of Shadow Masters appear to be at cross-purposes with those of the Dream Merchants. It is unknown whether this is due to a genuine rivalry, or just because Agents of Chaos have an inherently hard time getting their collective shit together.

When the town mob is out for your blood, when the monster is hot on your heels, when no else can help, maybe you can hire... The Shadow Masters.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tricked Out

In honor of yesterday's Trick or Treating, I've Abulafia'd the TRICKS table (APPENDIX H) from the 1E Dungeon Master's Guide.

Like a lot of the appendices in the DMG, this one was always more about sparking ideas than generating a fully-formed Dungeon Trick on its own. I mucked about with the syntax a bit to try to create more-or-less coherent sentences, but YMMV.