5% of All Sales go to Support The Tavern

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The PM that got Frank Mentzer Banned from Dragonsfoot


I'm posting this with minimal comment. It was originally posted at the Knights and Knaves forum. Thread link is here: http://knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14851

I have verified the contents of the PM with multiple sources with knowledge of the situation that wish to remain anonymous. I do believe this screenshot to be true (the redaction is contributor names)

170 comments:

  1. So it was Mentzer sending this to someone, right? Just making sure I'm understanding this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Are folks sure Mentzer's DF account wasn't hacked? Going from no activity for about two years to this recent stuff smells funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems weirdly specific in a lot of ways for something from a hack.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, and Ted Cruz's staff went on Twitter and hit "LIKE" on a bootleg porn clip.

      Delete
  3. Thats not a hack. That's someone that has had enough, fed up with the bullshit, and decided to lay down the fire. If FM did this, good, the trolls on DF are wretched asshats who deserve the scorn and derision in this. I hope FM does burn them all to the ground and mocks them with the hellfire they have coming.

    To whomever leaked this, yeah they are screwed too, as this is a small community and the drama llamas will have a field day over this.

    2 things:

    1. I hope this is Frank who sent this
    2. I hope if 1 is true then he OWNS THIS.

    If Frank confirms this private message sent and says "Yes I did this, I had enough, I have the power and fortitude to make sure this doesn't happen to me or anyone in this industry" he will be lauded for it. If Frank backs out and claims hacking, or some other 'weak' point all these threats are for naught.

    The world does need to be lit up from time to time to drive those trolls back under the bridge. Let's hope frank owns this and holds the torch saying "FOLLOW ME!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Unfortunately this is just one side of it. Would love to hear what this person said/did to set Frank off like that. I've met the man and he didn't seem like a real a-hole that this makes him appear to be.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Creatives... we're a temperamental lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Digestives, better when covered in chocolate.

      Delete
  6. Wow! I can see now why they choose to cut ties with Frank. But this isn't a PM out of the blue. There must have been quite a build up of tension between the two for Frank or anyone to explode like this. I've only visited DF a couple of times because it's terrible reputation for trolls. Frank is better off without them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He voluntarily chose to go to a troll-infested place and then went full god-complex corporate dick waving when he was inevitably trolled?

      If this is true, I have 0 pity for Mentzer.

      Delete
    2. Trolls and assholes shouldn't get consideration just because there's more of them.

      Delete
  7. This just in: message boards are cesspools.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Since when has telling someone off been a offense to get banned for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean, he threatened him.

      He essentially tried to bully and blackmail him into leaving DF.

      Delete
    2. You're not allowed to break forum rules in PM's either. That's spelled out in the rules of most forums.

      Delete
  9. While I know little of the whole story, I think it's actually quite beautiful (his private message):) Trolls love to push people to the edge, especially with the protection of a screen in front of them. I highly doubt this person would never have this discussion in person with Frank or any other person...it's unfortunately a by-product of the internet and it creates these scenarios

    I've met Frank on multiple occasions and love talking to him...and while I can totally understand why some people might take this whole story and form their own opinions about either side... I'm going to fall on the side of the person I know for decades, who has gone out of his way for my son (helped set up an interview with Gary for him when he was in 3rd grade),and is always so welcoming. That's just me though ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thoughts, in no particular order:

    - I realise the RPG industry is pretty small, but I would be astonished if even a beloved figure like Frank could give people the sort of "customer blacklist" treatment he's threatening here.

    - And writing someone into a product as a villain as a threat to them feels not only weirdly petty, but also kind of oddly out of touch. It's the sort of extremely petty "revenge" which makes the avenger look goofier than the person they are trying to punish, and a genuine troll would be thrilled that they got so deep under Frank's skin.

    - Who is EotB to Dragonsfoot, anyway? Are they a moderator or site owner or something? Because I have to say, talking that level of smack to someone who runs a web forum is a good way to get banned from that forum. Their house, their rules - and I personally wouldn't let anyone into my house who spoke that way.

    - Having read this and the previous posts I have no idea what these people are supposed to have done to Frank that has him this angry. There may well be excellent reasons for this, but without the past context on this PM it's impossible to assess.

    - Regardless of whoever leaked this, it isn't a classy move. If it was Frank, then that seems beneath him. (But then again, writing someone into a product to take a petty revenge on them also seems beneath him.) If it was EotB or a Dragonsfoot forum moderator or one of their friends, then it feels like a calculated leak to put forth an out-of-context rant to make Frank look bad.

    - Weirdly, Frank talking up the scale of the project in some ways makes me concerned about the project. Sure, Mentzer's name is a draw in OSR circles, but beyond that? I mean, it's great that he's got this big team and plans to publish in so many languages, this is clearly a project undertaken on a grand scale - the worry would be what happens if this thing launches and then it's a big fantasy heartbreaker so what? Sure, it's a D&D world by one of the major figures from the game's history, there'll be interest - but there's lots of vanilla D&D worlds out there. Market's stuffed with 'em.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EOTB is just some low level schmuck on Dragonsfoot. However for some inexplicable reason, all of the Mods...Steve and Matthew especially, seem to fawn over him. He has complete immunity on that website to terrorize whoever he pleases.

      Delete
    2. "EOTB is just some low level schmuck on Dragonsfoot."

      As opposed to a "prince", right?

      Delete
    3. He's a K&K guy and they get special treatment from compliant mods, who are themselves K&Kers. They can insult, troll and bait others but respond in kind and the K&K Klan comes down on you.

      Delete
    4. Sounds like y'all need to go to theRPGsite!

      Fuck DF. We have better OSR conversation, and it'll be better still if people sick of DF's shit come there.

      Delete
  11. Dragonsfoot personnel have not contacted me. I was informed of a possible hack, and offered my assistance directly to Steve, site manager. I've never seen this text before. This is the first time I've seen this. Have no idea what's going on. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, someone's choice to spread this publicly without verification now forces me to consult an attorney.

      Delete
    2. Frank, I really honestly doubt you were hacked. If true, this hacker certainly seems to match the wrtiting style and tenor of your past writings on DF to a T. You should probably just own it and move on.

      Also, threatening to go see an attorney about this (which matches your opening line in this PM, by the by) is also not a good look for you.

      Delete
    3. lol, I just got ambushed and you think I should roll over?
      I DO need to go find an attorney now. More could be coming, I have no idea. :(

      Delete
    4. Frank: I believe you and I believe you are in the right. Look forward to seeing you vindicated.

      Delete
    5. Sorry this has happened Frank. This text seems completely out of character for you, so I believe what you say. I'm also sorry this follows on the heels of an exciting and huge venture for you and the gaming community at large. Keep on, keepin' on! And yes, retain an attorney. This is libel.

      Delete
    6. "Stuart MarshallSeptember 14, 2017 at 12:23 PM
      I can confirm without any doubt at all that the IP addresses are a clear match with contemporaneous Empyrea-related PR postings from the same account. I suppose it's not completely impossible that someone from the same place hacked Frank's account purely for the purposes of sending that PM."

      Putting aside that publishing that screenshot is not even close to being libel. It's also not fake. This why you just own up and move on, nobody would have remembered this 2 months from now, but now, now that the hole is still being dug deeper, it just does more damage.

      Delete
    7. I agree Jason, that or he should have just let sleeping dogs lie. He could have promoted his project on the site and ignored EOTB or any poster he found abrasive.

      Delete
    8. IP Addresses can be spoofed, and I ran a phpBBS; it isn't unbreachable.

      Delete
    9. If Frank says this is a hack, then I will believe that it is a hack unless more information comes to light.

      Delete
  12. It's hard to reconcile all the positive views people have on FM with the "Prince" post and now this. The first thoughts that came to mind for me were: neurological issues? drugs? My sympathies from experience if the former and I hope he can find the courage to ask for help if the latter.

    Account hacking also came to mind, but I suspect the DF folks could and did corroborate IP addresses and rule that out.

    Lastly, yeah EOTB was provoking, or very very bad at phrasing hard but fair questions. No excuse and all that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EOTB is a very annoying critter. But no excuse for this, yup.

      Delete
  13. If it's verified, then that's that, but here's the thing that makes me doubt it. This is stupid, but Int 7 isn't actually that bad. If he'd said Int 3, I'd totally believe it. Int 7 sounds like something written by a 3.PF min-maxer, not the author of BECMI.

    Yeah, it's a lot to extrapolate from from a single sentence, I'll cop to that. I don't know, this whole thing has been pretty weird from the start. The first I heard of it was Mentzer saying he was going to publish for 5e and red box, 5e because it was the new juggernaut, and red box because the OSR was a stagnant market as finically viable as Betamax.

    Don't ask me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank, if you're reading this, sorry; haven't finished my morning coffee.

      Delete
    2. It's funny that you point out the INT 7 thing because when I read it that was my reaction too. I thought "Well come one, a 7 isn't that bad! Just a little below average, I would've gone with INT 3 or 4 if I was insulting someone."

      Delete
    3. The whole thing sounds like someone who is attacking himself and framing someone else, but his own ego gets in the way. Does it read that way to you?

      Delete
  14. IF Frank wrote this, it is still injustice.

    Troll harasses Frank to no consequence.
    Frank responds to troll and gets banned.

    If he didn't write this, this is certainly actionable.

    DF - so glad I stopped going there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I haven't read much of either Dragonsfoot or Tenkar's before today, but having read both sides of the Frank/EotB exchange, including the purported "troll" post, I just thought I'd let you know that your post (and similar ones upthread) have inspired me to check out Dragonsfoot. It seems that what I think is reasonable, rational discussion, you consider trolling... which implies that forums that you refuse to frequent are probably a good place to have a civil conversation.

      FYI.

      Delete
    3. I actually have to agree with B.C.

      EOTB posts I saw are argumentative (in what amounts to a debate basically), but not trollish. Blanket statements like 'Sure you can be a dick' are actually more troll-like?

      Delete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So it's possible the whole thing is a communication gap caused by a hacker. Frank has very clearly stated that he's never seen the PM before. So there are two issues: (1) if it was a hack, did EotB nevertheless receive it as coming from Frank's hacked account, in which case EotB's later reactions, and the reactions of the Dragonsfoot staff, are entirely reasonable based on the erroneous belief that Frank had, in fact, sent such a PM. I assume that the DF mods can see private messages, or see them if they're reported with a report button, or whatever. It should (I would think, without the technological expertise) be possible for Dragonsfoot to see the ISP and verify that Frank's ISP isn't the source of the PM. (2) Dragonsfoot has a policy of not commenting on moderation issues, but since this isn't a matter of moderation, it's a matter of identity/hacking, I would think that Dragonsfoot can make a public statement that Frank's ISP wasn't the source of the PM, and essentially resolve the issue as most likely being a hack. I'm making the assumption that Dragonsfoot already verified that EotB did in fact receive this PM, and if they haven't I am sure they will -- that's not the same as verifying that it wasn't Frank (that would need checking the originating ISP source) but they should be able to confirm or disprove in very short order whether or not the graphic is a legitimate screenshot of an actually-received private message. The background of these discussions is very different if EotB received this PM and reasonably believed it came from Frank due to being under Frank's (hacked) account. Maybe I'm being optimistic, but based on Frank saying that he's never seen the PM, it suddenly becomes likely that there's a third party who caused this, and both Frank and EotB were affected by the red herring created by this third party. The possibility that it was just a photoshopped creation by EotB can, I assume, be immediately determined by Dragonsfoot just by looking to see if such a PM did or did not issue from Frank's account.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In other words, IMO everyone should stand down and let it get resolved.

      Delete
    2. I don't have anything against Mr. Mentzer, and I'm not calling him a liar. I will point out that "I was hacked" is pretty much the default claim of anyone caught with his hand in the online cookie jar. At that point, as you say, one has to assess evidence such as IP address to determine the credibility of this claim.

      Delete
    3. DF's forum software is phpBB. On the technical end, from my quick research, if DF is running phpBB version 2 or later (released April 2002, so I hope so...), they should be able to see the IP address of the logged in user from which any given PM was sent in the phpbb_privmsgs table of their database.

      Short of a hacker spoofing FM's IP address and getting his credentials (possible but on the high end of unlikely IMO), confirmation that it was FM's IP would pretty well seal it that it -was- he.

      Now, it could show a different than normal IP for FM, but still be FM. This is easily (even for a layman) done with a VPN connection, or just by posting from a Starbucks.

      So, easy to show if it was he, hard to show for sure it wasn't.

      (Other possibilities like a wholesale compromise of DF itself exist, but IMO are also unlikely)

      Delete
    4. Considering EOTB's long track record of abusing other people online, it wouldn't surprise me he photoshopped this. He has full immunity on Dragonsfoot and will continue terrorizing the community as long as they continue defending him.

      Delete
    5. What I'm saying is that just after release of a screenshot, it doesn't make sense to jump to any conclusions about anyone, because more things can be verified about it, which takes a bit of time, but which I assume will happen. There's no reason not to wait a day, because a screen shot is zero information, but (a) DF can verify/disprove that the screenshot is an accurate picture of a PM that EotB received, and (b) while they can't utterly prove that it wasn't Frank, as Douglas says in the tech analysis, they can confirm that the "was definitely Frank" test came up negative. No point in commenting until then.

      Delete
    6. Matthew the DF mod has confirmed it as an authentic message (link: http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14851).

      The question of hacking / originating IP / etc still remains.

      Delete
    7. Further info from the same mod:
      "As far as Frank Mentzer being hacked goes, the hacker would have had to have somehow posted from his IP address (the same one used in other private messages sent to us and posts made this month) and done so during the same period he was posting to the website 8th to 12th September, or more specifically 8th to 9th since this message is dated 9th. This is not to overlook the content matches with regard to what was actually written. You can understand why Dragonsfoot has concluded this is not a hack."

      Delete
    8. Well...

      Short of (throwing out all the possible but improbably stuff here):

      - DF itself being hacked and the database skillfully edited
      - The DF mods lying / a conspiracy
      - FM's home computer being compromised
      - All FM's posts (both here and on DF) since the 8th being from a compromised set of accounts

      ...it certainly seems like it was he.

      Of course, with computers, there's always shit you didn't think of, but that's what I've come up with.

      Delete
    9. "The DF mods lying / a conspiracy"

      Considering that EOTB is involved, this is certainly a possibility.

      Delete
    10. I can confirm without any doubt at all that the IP addresses are a clear match with contemporaneous Empyrea-related PR postings from the same account. I suppose it's not completely impossible that someone from the same place hacked Frank's account purely for the purposes of sending that PM.

      Delete
    11. It would be really stupid of Frank to threaten legal action, where all this will be sorted out beyond doubt, if he actually sent the PM. IP Addresses can be spoofed. We'll see where all this goes, but I suspect DF Trolls because my experience with them has been toxic.

      Delete
    12. So "hand in the cookie jar", then. Sorry to hear it.

      Delete
    13. "It would be really stupid of Frank to threaten legal action, where all this will be sorted out beyond doubt, if he actually sent the PM. IP Addresses can be spoofed."

      As long as people are willing to make excuses like "IP addresses can be spoofed", how exactly could this be "sorted out beyond doubt"?

      Delete
    14. Well it appears lawyers are getting involved, right? There are some pretty savvy IT folks in law enforcement. People with credentials probably much more impressive than the staff at DF. Subpoenas will be issued for switch and router logs, server logs, and they may even confiscate the computers of Frank, the DF staff and EOTB to comb through them bit by bit. They'll put together a clearer picture of what happened.

      In light of all that, if Frank did send this, it would be pretty stupid to kick this process off unless Frank is some kind of computing genius.

      Delete
    15. ...or a glutton for punishment. Neither of which is very likely.

      Delete
    16. I will be super-duper surprised if actual lawyers get involved.

      Delete
    17. @R Flowers - yeah, I'm not expecting to see any actual litigation.

      Delete
    18. Lawfare on this scale would cost a fortune, and damages would be...let's say highly speculative.

      Delete
    19. Subpoenas? Combing through confiscated computers? Over a whiny forum message that one party denies sending?

      You can't be serious Alex. This isn't CSI. That isn't how the legal system works.

      And there is a 0% chance of any lawyers getting involved.

      Delete
  17. Frank says he didn't write it. Innocent until proven guilty. A copy/pasrmte of a purported post is not evidence until it has been hard verified.

    I try to avoid the drama of the gaming community. Worse than a bad soap opera.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a shit-show. I've met Frank, I like Frank, I believe Frank, I'll stand by Frank regardless. DF posters have rubbed me the wrong way the few times I've visited, so I don't lend much credence to them.

    ReplyDelete
  19. One of the moderators at DF has already stated the following:

    "I can, at least, confirm that the content of the private message posted above is unfortunately authentic, and that it was shown to the administrator of Dragonsfoot and subsequently to the global moderators."

    Take that however you will.

    Also, the DF owner wouldn't post the following if they were in the process of working with Frank to overcome a "hacking issue":

    "Fellow Dragonsfooters, it is with great sadness that I must inform you that we have been compelled to end our relationship with TSR luminary Frank Mentzer. We thank him for everything that he has done in the past for this website and our hobby, but it has become clear over the course of the last year that there are growing irreconcilable differences between him and the ideology of this website. This has been divisive and problematic for us, but we have concluded that it is in the best interests of Dragonsfoot not to play host to such acrimony. Naturally, we wish him no ill will, and encourage those of you who wish to interact with him to do so at the many other websites he frequents."

    ReplyDelete
  20. This post...

    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1874215#p1874215

    ...is timestamp'd only 13 minutes after the PM, if that helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's assuming both are eastern time zone, right?

      Delete
  21. Seems appropriate to confirm all my recent public posts on DF are from Me. :) Not my best, I agree; sad mostly, and unwise with that quip about running a test (being a public call to resist trolls). But I repeat, I first saw that PM this morning, on Tenkar. I am not competent to discuss I.T. aspects.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I didn’t think of that! My time zone is Central, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I never liked Franks posts tbh but now reading this I like him a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  24. At this point, I'm not very willing to give Mr Mentzer the benefit of doubt.
    If he is going to sue any of the parties involved I'm ready to support them financially and see him ruined.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's unlikely you see him ruined. My 02c.

      Delete
    2. Yeah cuz EOTB has brought the community so much, right?

      Right?

      Delete
    3. So threatening people is Ok as long as they are 'trolls'? Sheesh
      And Eotb is a 'troll' because... His views on the purpose and intent of BECMI do not agree with Mentzer's?
      Try harder, mate

      Delete
    4. EOTB is a troll because of his lengthy rap-sheet attacking and abusing anyone he chooses to. Not because of his views on BECMI (whatever those are).

      Delete
  25. There are trolls yeah. But trolls that get ignored get forgotten. The PM's writing style looks very familiar unfortunately. I certainly hope it was just a hack, but really, some OSR forum troll hacking a forum account and spoofing IPs and typing like Frank and posting the PM on a small time forum? For what grand purpose? Lol.

    Doubt it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EOTB is Dragonsfoot's biggest troll. And he is given free reign to attack and abuse others without retribution from the Moderators.

      Delete
    2. His posts on that thread weren't that bad, I read them. Anyway, wouldn't be the first time someone got lured into overreacting to a troll.

      Delete
    3. You keep posting that, pizzle, but provide no proof.

      Delete
    4. Jay Hassan: Read his own words:

      http://knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14851&start=60#p233902

      Delete
    5. And? Looks like another threat of legal action.... lol

      Delete
  26. Also, as a DF member, I think he owes the community his excuses.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I played with Frank for years and consider him a dear friend. I posted at DF for years. What I know is this:
    1. DF is not the hell hole of trolling some people make it out to be.
    2. That PM does not sound like Frank. At all. When I read it, I couldn't believe he wrote it. That bit about EotB's intelligence and wisdom scores isn't something I could imagine Frank writing. I don't know what the hell is going on, but I won't believe Frank wrote that PM unless he tells me he did. I'm obviously biased as a friend. However, our relationship also means I know what his voice/writing sound like and I've been around him when he's happy, angry, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forum admins confirmed it came from the same IP as Mentzer's other posts...

      Delete
    2. Like I said, I don't know what the hell is going on. Based on my personal knowledge of Frank, I think a spoofed IP is more probable than Frank writing that PM. It just isn't the way he writes.

      Delete
    3. See my post below, about the way this message is written.
      Either Frank was REALLY out of his mind (as in "a second personality"...) or it is a fake.

      Delete
    4. As a once heavily certified system admin, let me restate that a bit: Forum admins confirmed that *their logs* show the same IP (likely; the specific wording was a bit less clear: "IP addresses are a clear match with contemporaneous Empyrea-related PR postings from the same account."). Even with accurate logs, it is not the same as saying it came from the same person, computer, or even that they knew of each other. It was a game in Davis California to edit the very active town wiki right after others in a cafe did, showing a line of the same IP addresses in the publicly viewable log.

      That said, it's also certainly not negligible as a point that at least one DF admin says that the IPs in the log match. It's just not CBS crime drama proof.

      Delete
    5. The sort of thing you're talking about is someone in the same local network as FM posting this. So someone in the same workplace or house (or with remote rights to those networks) sound like the options. This is technically not an issue, but would imply a betrayal by someone presumably close to him.

      Someone truly impersonating his IP without being connected to his same network is highly unlikely and difficult at best. You can spoof traffic going one way, but this is useful for things like disrupting traffic, not signing onto a message board like DF that requires back-and-forth between server and client.

      Delete
  28. Well, let me add a different competence to the pool: that of a linguist.
    The message screenshotted is written in a style that doesn't match Frank's usual style (the sentence lengths, the use of punctuation...), and uses a vocabulary quite different from its usual.
    Sure, a person's vocabulary may be temporarily altered under the influence of anger; and possibly his style too.
    But that's as probable as an IP spoof.
    To me, it looks like someone attempted (quite craftily, I admit) to imitate Frank's writing, failing simply because the copycatter wasn't the original author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and before someone comes out with "That's your opinion": no, this is a professional assessment.

      Delete
    2. So different? Can't say, it almost rhymes with the post at DF in which he threatened to slander ALL of DF because of Eotb. Oh, what a Prince Indeed.

      Delete
    3. So different, Luigi.
      To make a comparison in your field - as different as your style and JeShield's.
      (By the way, artikid is a great OSR artist. Hire him!)

      Delete
    4. Assuming we can put equal credence on claims made thus far, Frank should be looking at who else has access to his computer.

      One thing I'm curious about: if someone was misguided and thought they were "helping" Frank by sending this under his account, the message would still be under his account as a sent message. I wonder if that is indeed there?

      BTW, the IP could be the same if there are multiple computers in the same location all attached to the same router or system, like an office building.

      Delete
    5. I am not a technician, but I was onve banned from an online game because of my IP; we later discovered that the provider assigned the same IP to all the customers in the same area (and the banned guy was "another").
      I have no idea how this can happen, I just know it happened to me and that was the justification I was given - if I was lied to, please tell me, I have a provider to strangle with a data cord :D

      Delete
    6. Yeah, that can happen. Apartment buildings, office buildings, dorms, etc. typically have one "outward facing" IP address. Then the router behind that handles the IP addresses inside. Not sure about a general "area", but yes I would think that's possible. Zealous ban-hammer wielders looking only at IP should keep that in mind! :)

      Delete
    7. I should say, I'm not a technician either. I have a little knowledge of networking, just enough to help me along at home and work. And sometimes there are more than just 1 outward-facing IPs, it just depends on how big a network we're talking about, and the tech department's policies, etc.

      Delete
    8. I agree with the linguistic assessment. Some of the cadence was Frank's but most of the cadence and verbiage was not.

      Delete
    9. Actually the PM and the post 5 hours afterwards about the fictionalized village and the one at the same time as the PM all look very similar. I will grant you a re-roll on your linguistics check.

      Delete
    10. Honestly, Random? They do not. They are very different, just based on verbiage and sentence lengths. Frank is a diatribist, opting for longer, florid sentences. This questionable PM uses quipped language, focuses on profanity a one-word sentences, and makes a mistake in an INT stat insult that Frank is uniquely qualified NOT to make.

      I will grant you a re-roll on your liguistics check with an Aid Another bonus.

      Delete
    11. Yeah, they do. Even the capitalization idiosyncrasies. The content, as well.

      And from a sysadmin perspective, there's no way he got hacked in between both those posts with the same IP in the same line of thought against the same individual. Just is not remotely likely.

      Rolling a 1 back to back is a real shame :)

      Delete
    12. Just like the 2015 PM, I might add. Maybe that was the same mysterious Trollio the hacker.

      Delete
    13. As far as I can see, the PM has three main points in common with the "Once Upon a Time" post (which Mr. Mentzer stipulated he made):

      1) Ire directed at EotB.
      2) Boasting about the number of RPG professionals involved in the Empyrea project.
      3) "Threat" to lampoon the subject in the Empyrea product, including the use of the term "Bote" for "EotB".

      Now that doesn't prove Mr. Mentzer wrote both. One might argue the alleged hacker copied these aspects of Mr. Mentzer obnoxious "Prince" post deliberately. EXCEPT it appears the PM was sent PRIOR TO the post. One is forced to conclude that the hypothetical hacker coincidentally sent a somewhat similar (albeit more vulgar) PM without seeing the post by Mr. Mentzer. Or perhaps one needs to hypothetically extend the supposed ability to possibly forge date and time stamps to the alleged hacker?

      Not suggesting this is conclusive. Just food for thought.

      Delete
    14. Shadow, if you have the timetable right, that seems pretty convincing. A search for 'bote' on dragonsfoot by author 'extsr' turns up exactly one match, the recent post in question. Unless this name was used in private conversation previous to this and the party framing FM had access to that (can't find it on a quick scan of the 2015 PM), or that DF admins were involved (creating it after the fact with forged timestamps) I can't see any other conclusion than that he wrote it.

      Delete
    15. Shadow you forgot 4) threatening legal action, and 5) Using capitalization for Emphasis.

      And compared to the 2015 PM it is relatively the same, as well.

      Delete
  29. Dragonsfoot will be diminished because of this. Frankensteins Monster without Frankenstein is sort of aimless and uninteresting and needs to be put to rest...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Frank, you'll always be welcome at YDIS.

    ReplyDelete
  31. It's weird how in the middle of that missive he pops that, "In private" spiel in there with all the contributors list. That's sort of jarring. That could be a set-up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably cut and pasted from a press release that was already out there I believe.

      Delete
  32. Something people aren't considering is if Frank's computer was hacked, which may in fact be the case. Someone with hacked access to his computer could probably get into DF potentially without even having to enter a password. They could have seen the past acrimony with EotB and sent the PM from Frank's account without his knowledge. That would make the originating IP address match Frank's. Just sayin'.

    phpBBS doesn't always show sent PMs to the sender, unless they choose to save it in their Outbox. I think this is the most likely scenario.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Under my DF account, all my sent PMs seem to be saved under "Sent messages". I don't recall setting this up to do that, so I assume it's default behavior (for the user, anyway).

      Delete
    2. You are correct. It may have been Simple Machines Forum which I was remembering (I've administrated both), but if Frank's computer were hacked it would be a simple thing for the message to be deleted from Sent Items after being sent.

      Being that Frank is reporting being hacked, I still think this is the most likely scenario, followed closely by sudden onset insanity, psychedelic flashback, and scores of other things before we get to Frank sent this message that sounds nothing like his writing, and claiming public press release material was "private."

      Delete
    3. I can't confirm or deny anything, only Frank could do that, but I think this scenario is highly likely given the high visibility of Emyprea lately and Frank's long standing admission of being unqualified on the IT side.

      Hell, I've been in IT for decades and I still get security breaches on my home devices from time-to-time that make me wipe my system drive and start from scratch. I bet 70%+ of the people commenting here have computer security breaches they are blissfully unaware of, but they deign to pass judgement anyway. It is the way of the Internet unfortunately.

      Delete
    4. I don't know if it's true, but I'm told you have some kind of working relationship with Mr. Mentzer. If so, it raises my opinion of you, since it would mean you were defending him to protect your own self-interest, rather than out of blind hero worship. I can respect that.

      Delete
  33. Ugh. I have to go to work now. I hope the internet doesn't get blown out of existence by the time I get back home. I want to watch it all burn in real time. In the meantime, everyone stay safe in Real Life! Get to high ground! Support the Red Cross!

    ReplyDelete
  34. If this were a case of JoeBlowGamer sending EOTB a PM and getting banned for it, I don't believe for one nanosecond that people would be offering a lot of conspiracy theories about spoofed IP addresses and Mission Impossible computers hacks. They'd be saying JoeBlowGamer was a jerk and got what he deserved.

    I guess some gamers are more than generous with the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the "luminaries" (or rather "princes", as they apparently see themselves when they deign to grace the peasants with their presence) of our hobby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the scum-sucking low-life victim made the private message public I certainly would be defending the sender over the sub-human attention seeking troll. You could bet money on it.

      Delete
    2. Right. These scenarios for it NOT being Frank are contrived to the point of fiction. What is enough proof.

      It's not enough that is sounds just like a post made literally minutes later? Okay.

      It's not enough that it came from the same IP as all his other posts? Okay.

      It's not enough that it also happens to be the same IP that posted all the other Empyrea stuff? Okay.

      From those facts, we can clearly come to the conclusion that a L33T HACKZOR accessed Frank's computer (likely at Russia's behest, of course) remotely for the sole purpose of sending a nasty PM to a guy on a elfgame board. Strangely, I haven't heard that this hacker accessed anything else. Like say, credit card information, merchant logins, social security numbers etc.

      Delete
    3. Frank is well known in the community (to put it mildly), and well liked. I think it's natural to give him more of a benefit of a doubt.

      Delete
  35. I am disappointed that Erik posted the screenshot on the Tavern without first contacting Frank.

    ReplyDelete
  36. While I support Frank, the Alex-Jones-esque conspiracy theory being presented in defense of him is laughable at best.

    ReplyDelete
  37. To the idea that somehow Frank's account or computer was hacked or spoofed as opposed to Frank actually doing this with the evidence already given:

    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I sure hope Frank's account wasn't hacked because I find that PM hilarious. Internet trolls just can't help themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  39. There is no evidence presented from either side. There is Frank stating one thing and Dragonfoot (with their collaborators) stating another. Someone is lying. It is that simple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not quite. Frank and DF could both be telling the truth if there is a third party posing as Frank skillfully (from an IT perspective).

      Delete
  40. If you're being hit with trolls or just people you dislike use the block user option. It will save you reams of trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  41. The second wave of PMs from Frank were just released. From 2015. Dis' gon' be good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14851&start=60#p233902

      Delete
  42. Frank had EOTB's real name since 2015, according to EOTB himself: http://knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14851&start=60#p233902

    Why does Frank then say "if I find out your Realname" in this new post, years later? He does not like EOTB, so he's just going to forget he's already got his real name? Weird.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. Frank could have forgotten this, or doubted that was his "Realname" after all, or Frank may not have written the latest PM.

      Delete
  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  44. When/if they Kickstart Frank's project, I think one of the first stretch goals should be commemorative tin-foil hats and hat say "I Believe, 2017" for all of the conspiracy theorists who believe the account was hacked.

    And -gasp- what if the account posted on this very blog post claiming to be Frank was actually hacked too and not him! For that matter, what if Frank isn't actually really Frank but a pod person who took over Frank's persona years ago!!! The possibilities are endless...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about the possibility the account wasn't hacked but the Dragonfoot mods and collaborators are bunch of dishonest one-way truism elitists? I find that to be the most likely possibility of all.

      Delete
    2. Well what do expect from a bunch of "collaborators"?! :D

      Delete
  45. What's up with all these "Orange B for Generic Blogger" people with no profiles posting all of a sudden?

    ReplyDelete
  46. It is the act of a Coward to refer a private message like that, an idiotic rant, to moderators, particularly when those moderators are your K&KA pals. To then broadcast the private message, ostensibly to defend the moderator pals your preciousness has exposed to criticism, is the rare kind of behavior of someone I might describe as a Crybaby Coward of the First Fag.

    Perhaps EOTB showed the message to his mother first and she advised him.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Maybe I missed it, but has anyone actually seen the logs that show the same IP address was in use? I mean, anyone can say the IP was the same. Seems plenty of screenshots are being produced but the actual proof appears to be missing. Of course, it may be my eyes that are missing it. If so, move along, nothing to see here.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Yes, I've seen the evidence. No, I'm not going to post Frank's IP address here.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Easy enough to redact all but the last octet, and still provide logs that will back up the statements being made. I have no particular feelings either way, as I do not know either participant. However, I do prefer to see verifiable proof before making up my mind. So, I was just curious if some had been provided. So far, it looks like that is not the case.

    ReplyDelete
  50. That sure is a crap load of bad press before a project. What a pompous and arrogant posting.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I think it's what makes the whole thing interesting. Imagine, bad press after a major falling out with one of the "cornerstones" of the Osr world over what?

    I think if people are going to judge FM on this they need all the posts leading up to this for a clear picture because there is nothing scarier on the internet to deal with than a group of trolls with the backing of the admins of a forum. I've seem that in the lord of the Rings Online forums and I'd hate to see that happen to FM here especially given that alot of people have dreamed about this project since its hints many many moons ago.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Sounds like his project is off to a heck of a start! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Mentzerbaiting: the practice of trolling RPG luminaries known to have over-inflated egos for the purposes of eliciting the most megalomaniacal response.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Just who the fuck is EOTB? Of course, besides being a rat for trolling a 67 year old dude who, in my opinion, deserves to be treated with respect as much for his age as his work of life.

    Did this EOTB guy give the hobby anything ever?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does one need to have "done something" to be treated in a civil manner?

      Delete
  55. Some opinions:

    * I saw no trolling from EOTB, and I have had fruitful discussions with him in the past.

    * Reasonable discussions can often seem like trolling on the Internet, where you don't get facial expressions and body language. There is an "If *I* said that, it would mean...." which occurs that has nothing to do with what is intended by the author.

    * FM has accused me of trolling him when I definitely was not doing so, although I did disagree with his position. Reading his responses, I had no idea why he was drawing the conclusions he did about what I said. I still have no idea. In some cases, I was agreeing with him. Other threads included some exchanges that were more abrasive than those with EOTB.

    * That said, FM has never, in any way, threatened me. The PM screenshot in this thread is shocking. It is possible that this is not FM.

    * However, I trust the DF moderators in general, and the PM appears to be a slightly more vigorous continuation of the threat leveled in the DF thread itself.

    I haven't been to DF often recently because they aren't focused on DCC, which is my current game of choice by a long shot, but I do go there, and this incident will not change that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "...the PM appears to be a slightly more vigorous continuation of the threat leveled in the DF thread itself."

      To me this is the key point. Furthermore, unless time stamps have been forged, the PM actually PRECEDES the similar statement made by Mr. Mentzer (as he acknowledges) in the public post. It belies credulity that Mr. Mentzer would just happen to make statements quite similar to those made by a putative hacker shortly before, and which he would have no way to know about at the time (since he states he never saw the PM prior to it being posted on Tenkar's Tavern).

      Saying "I was hacked" like a husband caught with an Ashley Madison account is really beneath the dignity of a man of Mr. Mentzer's age and accomplishments.

      Delete
    2. Like I said, it is possible. As you say, it is not very probable.

      Delete
  56. What kind of sleezeball saves messages from 2 years ago? EOTB, that's who.

    The bizarre circling of wagons around him from the DF staff is perhaps the most puzzling part of this whole story.

    Why is DF protecting EOTB?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They just sit in your inbox unless you delete them. But sure, he saved them for just this purpose. The evil mastermind.

      Certainly more plausible than some guy hacking Frank's account from inside his home for the sole purpose of sending a mean fake message, I tell you wgat.

      Delete
    2. Jason Bossert: unstoppers decanter of endless agreement.

      Delete
  57. Also, is this a bad time to point out to Frank that the Town of Dragonsfoot was created by Ryan Coombs?

    I know I, for one, eagerly look forward to Frank's withering criticism of "Nostril of the Beholder" from "the Town of Dragon-Toe." Positively Swiftian!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I just noticed that Dragonsfoot has apparrently removed Frank's Q&A thread(s) from their site. The last time I looked a few days ago the thread was just locked.

    I know those Q&A sessions go back over a decade.

    ReplyDelete