Friday, February 22, 2019

Gen Con Bans Zak S

Yep. The final nail may have just been pounded into Zak S' RPG coffin. Here's the original link: https://www.gencon.com/attend/gencon_policies

Gen Con's Stance on Abuse & Harassment
At Gen Con we have a policy of not disclosing the names of individuals who have been sanctioned or banned from our events. However, our statements regarding a recent ban have caused confusion and more importantly, made people feel that Gen Con doesn’t care about attendee safety. To clarify, I want to state that Zak S has been banned from Gen Con and that we flat-out don’t tolerate harassers or abusers in our community or at our convention. 
As a gamer and con-goer myself, I believe that everyone deserves space in their lives for the fun, excitement, and community that tabletop gaming brings, and that action needs to be taken to make spaces safer and more inclusive, especially for marginalized communities and survivors of abuse.
We have and will continue to ban from attending those individuals who threaten the safety of our attendees or members of our community. Before, during, and after the show, we review incident reports and accusations, we investigate claims, we coordinate with local authorities, and we ban people who violate our policies regardless of their stature in the industry or their relationship to Gen Con. We ban people for actions that range from theft and counterfeiting all the way up to harassment and assault. We also ban people for actions that occur outside of Gen Con’s immediate control in accordance with our policies. When we decide to ban someone, we inform the individual they are no longer welcome to attend our show, we block them from buying a badge through our site, and if they show up anyway, we remove them from the convention center and event spaces. It’s a very important part of our regular process for managing the show and the community that surrounds it, and we are always looking for ways to improve. 
We admire the bravery of victims who report their abuse or harassment, and we’re here to support you. If you witness or experience abusive behavior or harassment at or around our event (or in online spaces), we want to know about it so we can take action. That said, reactive bans alone are insufficient and as an industry we need to do more. Earlier in the year we revised our Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policies and published them on our website under a Creative Commons license for anyone to use and improve upon. We’ve improved our on-site reporting procedures and developed a Policy Enforcement Team to review incidents and take actions, whenever they arise, anytime of year, and we will continue to focus on this going forward. You can email us confidentially at policyteam@gencon.com if you have any questions or need to report an incident or concern. We will continue to work to make Gen Con safer, more inclusive, and of course more fun. Please do reach out if you have further thoughts or questions. 
Peter D. Adkison
Co-owner of Gen Con and Chairperson of the Board 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

TotalCon 33 - Day One - Road Trip

This is the first TotalCon for Rach and I. Its also the first con we've driven to that we are staying overnight at because we drove up from NYC.

That snow last night made for some beautifully frozen trees in the early morning sun. I'm guessing there was a nice coating of freezing rain. Door to door, including a Burger King visit for breakfast, was about 3 hours, 40 minutes. Not too shabby. Rach doesn't know it yet, but my lower and mid back is going to need some repair work. Sciatica is not fun :(

Cell service sucks. Period. Hotel internet is poor. Period. I will survive. Somehow. This may be a pic free post. That is how long its taking to upload a single photo.

Other than that the con is great. Zach and Bill are dong a fine job of filling my trunk with goodies I will need to ship to them. Sigh

Looks like the photo isn't uploading. I need a drink...

Back to the Frog God booth in the AM :)

edit - internet is down - back to trying phone back to hotel internet

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Fantasy Trip Legacy Box - Photos and First Impressions

Yesterday I met Phil Reed and his assistant Amy (well, way over-qualified to be called an "assistant") for lunch in Manhattan. Lunch was great but what I left with was damn near priceless. One of three copies of The Fantasy Trip Legacy Edition to make it to the states. Kickstarter backers should expect to see theirs in late March or early April.

I plan on bringing this with me to TotalCon. I suspect if you drop by the Frog God booth you may catch a peek of it at some point.

The box is huge. Even the inside of the lid cover has a use (there are instructions on using it to drop dice on various drawings of the hex tiles to make an instant dungeon.) When Phil told me it weighed 8 pounds, he was NOT kidding.

 Aventure time!

I need to unfold the map later and take a pic of it in all of its glory.

 Character sheets

Mini character sheets Oh, and pre-gens.

 Dice and a handy folder.

GM's screen on its side. Grrr. 4 panels and solid.

Hexes for maps - and a dragon too!

Who the hell reads the Read This First first thing? Heh. I had to squeeze other goodies in my may and the sheet got a bit squashed ;)

The following doesn't exist either. Well, just a handful, as its a proof copy of Phil's zine. Half the pages of the final zine, as folks made it bigger and better ;)

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Dramatic Readings Anyone?

Today is Wednesday and that means tonight is Tavern Chat, where a bunch of geeks hang out in a voice channel on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord and talk geeky things. Last week there was even a "dramatic reading." Go figure ;)

Use the following link if you desire to drop in tonight. The festivities kick off at 9 PM Eastern in the Speakeasy Channel:


James Raggi / LotFP Cancels All of Zak Smith's Upcoming Work

You can read the original post on Facebook (sharing without comment)
5 hrs ·
'allo all... 
Jim here. Let's get this over with.
Do note that I have been advised by legal counsel to not comment about the content of statements released by various parties involved in the current situation. 
Similarly, I have been advised by legal counsel that LotFP is responsible for the comments left on our pages, so we will have to be heavy-handed moderating comments about this matter. There's a whole internet out there for you to express your unfiltered opinions, please respect our situation concerning this matter in our spaces. 
(thank fucking christ for lawyers, eh?) 
And something I would have thought could go without saying, but I have been advised to go ahead and state: Lamentations of the Flame Princess publications are purely fiction. There are many things our books portray imaginatively that are absolutely unacceptable in reality, including all forms of violence, which also includes sexual harassment and assault. Keep the bad things in make-believe, and the good in reality. 
And now on to the business at hand: 
1. All of Zak Smith's upcoming work with LotFP is canceled. We are not destroying stock or erasing things that have already been published (there isn't anything on this Earth that would make me a book burner), but should current stocks sell out, they will not be reprinted. 
Breaking this out, and clarifying the grey areas: 
2. Zak's financial interest is in Vornheim, Red & Pleasant Land, and Frostbitten & Mutilated, and that's it. He is not and has never been LotFP management and doesn't make decisions concerning books that he's not specifically credited on, and he doesn't have further financial involvement in the company beyond royalties from sales of just these three books. 
3. Zak had some time ago received considerable advances for two new books. One was in quite late stages of development and was planned to be released in April, and we had been preparing another printing of Red & Pleasant Land. These of course are not moving forward. Zak's Ref book contributions will also not be happening. I think that's all that was on his docket for us, but if I've missed mentioning anything here, they're still canceled. 
4. A new printing of Death Frost Doom, that has a considerable amount of Zak's work, is already at the printer and there's not much to be done about that. At this point I'm getting charged a near five-figure printing bill whether they deliver the books or send them straight in the landfill, and I'm not sending them to the landfill. His work on this one was done and paid for in early 2014 and he does not receive any royalties from sales of this book. 
5. Zak is credited as editor of Veins of the Earth but the writing there is all Patrick. Zak's involvement in that project ended in 2015 and he was paid his fee at that time, and he does not receive any royalties from sales of this book. 
6. We've got two full-time (including myself) employees and one part-time employee (who doesn't have another job), and investments in literally dozens of other Zak-free projects in various stages of completion. Many people are making royalties off of books that have nothing to do with Zak. Some people already have bailed from their upcoming projects. Some might still. But I plan on fulfilling all my current obligations and continuing to release for a long time to come a lot of things that uphold the LotFP standards of quality, intensity, and pure "What the hell were they thinking?" 
And now a personal note... 
I've talked to a lot of people this past week, people with different perspectives, from the deeply affected to my printer representative who doesn't know anybody involved. People who had all sorts of opinions on the matter, some favoring one side, some favoring the other. People I agreed with, and people I disagreed with. 
You know what they all had in common? They were bummed out. They recognized this was a tragedy from top to bottom. Even the people who agreed with my course of action here, hell, even someone that thought I wasn't going far enough, recognized what we were losing, even while they said we needed to lose it. 
But there are other people out there. People who don't think this is a tragic situation. There are people out there thrilled about how things have turned out. They're going to tell you they were right all along about things. And they'll be most helpful suggesting all the things that still need to be done.
You all need to keep your eyes out for these snakes slithering among us, feigning compassion when they once spat only cruelty, loving what this has done to us, ready to take advantage of the situation for themselves and further erode what we've all collectively built as a creative community. 
Don't let them. 
And one last thing. I'd like to thank Zak for all the work and support over the years. I am absolutely crushed that we cannot continue to collaborate.

Luke Gygax follows up on Frank Mentzer's removal as Guest of Honor at Gary Con

Luke posted the following on Facebook earlier this morning. I think it sheds some light (though not a lot) on what led to Frank's removal as a guest of honor at Gary Con.

Link to Luke Gygax's FB Post:
It’s been a very busy and long day between the Army and GC but I feel this is important. 
I want to share some more information to stop the rumors and give those of you that care to know some insight as to why I made the decision to remove Frank as a Guest of Honor. I believe that it was Frank himself who emphasized the importance of communication in our community way back in Polyhedron number one. That is sage advice that I want to heed. The way things get better is through communication and that is what I was trying to do with Frank. I called him several times over the past months. Sunday was the first time he called me back and we had a chance to talk. 
I needed to talk to him about something that had become clear to me; making Frank a Guest of Honor gave the perception that Gary Con condoned some behavior that was against our policies. I feel I am taking better actions now than I have in the past. The gaming community is in the midst of change and it is change for the better. Gamers are speaking up and demanding that we provide safe and inclusive environments for all of us to gather, play games and have fun. In the past we have had to talk to Guests about their behavior at Gary Con and even tell some not to come back the following year. Sometimes an attendee has crossed the line with a volunteer, and we addressed that with them and got resolution. I believe that due to Frank’s status and friendship with my Dad, I treated him differently in the past. 
However, I want to make some things clear. No one strong-armed me into making a decision. Sure people talked to me and gave me their opinions, but no one demanded that I remove Frank as a Guest of Honor. In fact when I talked to Frank I left the door open for him to attend Gary Con as he did last year. At the end of our communication it was Frank that closed that door. I respect Frank’s contributions to our hobby and all that he did to help Gary Con over the years. I hold no animosity towards him, he is a practically an uncle to me along with Tim, Jim, Tom and Mike. Quite the opposite is true; I wish Frank well. I am saddened by this entire situation. 
This is our hobby and in my mind it is about friends sharing good games and going on great adventurers together. Someone messaged me saying that a GM or GMs were considering canceling their plans to attend in protest. I hope that isn’t true, but if anyone is thinking about it they should realize that the people you are punishing is your fellow gamers who signed up to play in your game. As I said above, communication is critical, it is what will help us be better. I am willing to listen and I have read and replied to the messages that I received. If you have a concern or a suggestion please contact me. I hope that we can focus on what things unite us and get back to enjoying ourselves by rolling dice, creating new stories and forging strong bonds of friendship.

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