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Friday, February 17, 2017

Zak S Goes Full Story Gamer - Main Author of Vampire the Masquerade: We Eat Blood (and other related drama)


Yep, Zak S has gone full on story gamer. Good for him. Its all about the Benjamins anyway ;)

Now, if you read the linked post, there is some vagueboooking about allegations dealing with Zak's behavior online. That alleged behavior was apparently directed at David Hill. I could guess as to where such postings were made but really, does it matter? White Wolf has conducted a full investigation and found nothing wrong. Because investigating your own is always on the up and up.

No research assistants were harmed in the composing of this post...

35 comments:

  1. Good for Zak, people can (and do) enjoy more then one kind of game and he certainly has the writing/art cred to do the job.

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  2. Seems to be a never ending hate fest.

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  3. No proof because Zak always deletes his post after an epic meltdown

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    1. Nah, not our Zak. He always has fair and balanced discussions, never perma-blocks people that get the better of him and is an all around "nice guy"

      Shit, that refers to Zach - as for Zak, yeah, you are right ;)

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    2. I haven't seen a word Zak has said after I called him out...

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    3. If this is a known behavior then you'd think someone at some point would be smart enough to screencap one of these epic meltdowns. I don't read every word the guy has ever written, but the closest thing to a meltdown I've seen was Zak losing his shit over people saying nasty stuff about his significant other. I don't recall all the details, but I do remember thinking at the time that if someone talked about my wife that way I'd freak the fuck out too.

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  4. PRO TIP: When photo editing, never flip a photo that legible text in it.

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  5. Talking about Zak right now feels like pissing on the camp fire while the forest is burning.

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  6. I wouldn't VtM a storygame. Storygames were created as a reaction to WW games by people who didn't like the Storyteller System.

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    1. What Thomas said, though I still prefer the Forge term "narrativism" to "Story Games". Vampire made a name for itself by presenting the script for a game, a practice that is antithetical to the concept of narrativism.

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  7. Zak S gets hired by White Wolf!

    Roll 1d6

    1-2: Zak sold out! He's gone Full Storygamer!
    3-4: Zak will turn Vampire into D&D! Oh no! Vampire has gone Full D&D!
    5-6: Zak is as Evil as the Dark Lord Pundit himself! No one should hire these people! Proof is unavailable, they delete their posts after the fact!

    This table can be used in every message board, comments section or forum across the Great Divide between True RPGers and True Storygamers. Rage! Rage against the dying of the light! Before the Fasa Police (now hired by the Swine) shows up to take your favorite games away!

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    1. As evil as me? Please. He's not fit to lick my wizard-shoes.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Nothing more Punk Rock than Yale.

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  10. He's *always* been an insecure, narcissistic opportunist. Any "OSR" people surprised by this "big change" also probably send money to long-lost relatives from Nigeria. Grow up fatbeards!

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  11. Like all socialists that come from money and studied at Yale, Zak knows what's best for all of us because he's so brilliant.

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  12. I conducted my own investigation of Zak's wrongdoing. Though he comes across as brusque and curt or even rude in online interactions, I've never seen him outright insult people. Nor does he write passive aggressive posts about people he doesn't like on his blog, unless you count his screencapped 'word from our sponsors' as passive aggressive - but I would classify those as calling somebody out for saying awful things online, which is something his accusers don't seem to be able to produce: a screencap of his bad behavior.

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    1. Well, seeing as I'm "The Fucking Cop" and I'm friends with the "Pope of the OSR" and have been blocked by Zak on G+ since the early days for having the audacity of disagreeing with him, I haven't seen his behavior, good or bad, in years.

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    2. I would suggest trying to make peace, but then I'm not you and I don't really know how you feel about him and I don't know what Zak thinks of you and I don't know what interaction caused him to block you. I think he was probably block-happy when his 'sponsors' first started antagonizing and spreading lies about him because he almost blocked me once.
      I mean, what he says on G+ isn't very different than what's on his blog. He takes time to respond to comments more frequently on G+ and he tends to post less game-related stuff there.
      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    3. In July of 2015, when he was getting attacked, I defended him here at the Tavern and asked him to remove the block.

      He said he'd consider.

      A year and a half later, still blocked.

      As a person Zak can go fuck himself. As a creator, he does good work for the most part.

      BTW, Zak doesn't block because you disagree with him, its when you disagree with a defendable position that you get blocked.

      I don't actually miss much being blocked by Zak and his inner circle. I avoid drama and when I do get attacked (rarely and not by Zak but by the circle) I always have friends that share the screenshots ;)

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    4. Let's be honest, being blocked by Zak is like being told you can't wrestle a pig in shit anymore.

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    5. I've had disagreements with him, but I don't think disagreements have to conclude with somebody being wrong or admitting they're wrong. He only ever threatened to block me because I ignored his questions, which I find reasonable.

      I'm also guessing that if you routinely say he can go fuck himself then he's likely not going to unblock you.
      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    6. First time I've said it in public. I figure I'm perma blocked at this point. I'm not expecting it to change.

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    7. I've seen Zak on forums acting in a way that I'd consider to be unnecessarily combative and inflexible in his stance. That's just my opinion; I can imagine him blocking people for flimsy reasons, but I can't attest to this, one way or the other.

      For what it's worth, I've agreed with a lot of what Zak has written, and as you admit, he's put out some quality content. It's good of you to admit that, which is why I'm surprised at your snarky comments about WW's investigation of him. It makes sense to me that they would want to check out Zak before they hired him (which is what they said - not after he was hired, as you suggest) so as to avoid scandal.

      And I have seen Zak accused of a lot of bullshit over the years that has nothing to do with his abrasiveness. I think it's good that WW looked into this before it hired him, and good that they stand by him now, having done so. I don't know the whole story between him and you - what you describe certainly sounds possible and dickish, but I don't know enough to form a judgement, and the situation doesn't require me to do so, anyway.

      As for the whole "storygame" thing, I am not invested in that whole conflict. I haven't kept up with WoD, but I always got the impression that it remained an RPG all the while. It may have been all downhill from V:tM, but still. And if Zak is able to put out good content under the WW imprint, or he is just getting a good paycheck, I wish him luck. Even if it's just another schlocky Hot Topic take on Anne Rice, I don't have to actually BUY it, and neither do you.

      Of course, let's not forget, Zak wrote A Red and Pleasant Land. I'll be interested to see if he can breathe some unlife into WW's vampires. We'll see.

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    8. If you expect me to keep my personal biases out of my postings at all times, you will be sorely disappointed.

      My distaste for Zach's "persona" (as I've been told face to face he is a bit different) is what it is. He likes me even less than I like him, so there is that.

      There is certainly more to this ongoing story (as well as the investigation such as it was), but whether or not The Tavern is the place to share such is a question I need to answer myself.

      I've already given Zak more exposure and attention than is warranted :)

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    9. "If you expect me to keep my personal biases out of my postings at all times, you will be sorely disappointed."

      I would be disappointed if you did! :) I dig this site, and I like a lot of what you have to say. I don't agree with everything you say, but that's fine and to be expected.

      "There is certainly more to this ongoing story (as well as the investigation such as it was), but whether or not The Tavern is the place to share such is a question I need to answer myself."

      Well, you brought it up. And I still feel like you mischaracterized the investigation as one that occurred after the fact of hiring. Unless they are lying, of course. So it seems like either you are being unfair, or you are implying that WW is lying.

      "I've already given Zak more exposure and attention than is warranted :)"

      Like I said: you brought it up. To be honest, I'm not really interested in the whole story, and I'm not asking you to bring it up now. You may be 100% correct. I'm just saying you probably shouldn't have made a bunch of unkind implications about Zak if you weren't willing to put some substance behind them. And maybe you shouldn't anyway, even if you're completely right, because this is just your personal internet drama.

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  13. Vampire: the Masquerade may not be old school (though I consider the 1st edition to be so), but I've never seen it devolve into a story-game.

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    1. I never played it, but the local group I knew ran it as Shadowrun with more fangs.

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  14. I think it'll be cool to see his fingerprints on Vampire. If it were Werewolf, I'd be tempted to preorder it, and that's not a habit for me.

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  15. Well I say good for him! Pardon the pun, but VtM needs a bit of new blood. I have had my own issues with the WW crowd in the past but I look back on my days of playing VtW and Mage with absolute fondness.
    Zak has the drive and energy to do something really fun here.

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  16. Zak is an interesting muse. I find reading his blog makes me feel creative, at the same time as I find his ideas unusable for any kind of game I run or ever would run. But the occasional shot of creativity his writing mostly inoculates me from caring about his online personality.

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  17. Actually this entire story has exploded rpg.net with angry mobs out to get Zak. Makes for fascinating reading to watch everyone drag out all their old accusations and allegations mixed with Zak's own interpretive dances.

    Still....man's written and illustrated some good books. No denying that.

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  18. For what it's worth, I think the product this article is talking about isn't so much a story game rpg - it's one of WW's first attempts at getting back into the video game market via a mobile app version of an interactive novel.

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