Swords & Wizardry Light - Forum

Monday, September 11, 2017

TSR luminary Frank Mentzer Booted from Dragonsfoot

Its been a weird couple of days over on the Dragonsfoot Forum. I wish I could explain it, but in all seriousness, I can't. I strongly suspect there were some very strongly worded PMs going back and fourth between Frank and the admin of Dragonsfoot.

We'll start with the end because sometimes stories make more sense that way. Not that this makes much sense as written:


Wow! Like, damn Wow!

So, lets follow what we can, shall we?


Not quite goodbye yet but damn close to it.


I have no words after reading the above. Or rather, I have words but I'm not sure how to put them into coherent sentences. I will say this - in June the launch date was late July. Now we'll know "by October" which doesn't mean an October launch. I'm curious as all hell but it looks like Dragonsfoot won't be a source for the info.


Obviously I should have been spending more time on Dragonsfoot.


Which leads to Frank's removal at the front of this post. Its obvious that there's more going on than meets the eye, but this is what we have. I'm withholding my opinion until there's more info to form one.

Can someone shed light on the harassment of the game designers over on Dragonsfoot? Links would be useful.

Here's another link to the thread.

edit - I left this out by mistake - not sure exactly how it fits but included for completeness:


156 comments:

  1. Dragonsfoot has a long history of questionable positions regarding content management and an equally long history of bad PR moves. While this move wasn't expected, it doesn't really surprise me, either.

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  2. I've had dealings with DF members and I've had dealings with Frank. I cannot believe this has anything to do with Frank.

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  3. I'm not sure how a gaming website can have an ideology. That strikes me as odd at best. But, whatever. It doesn't affect me or mine. :)

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    1. It has a lot to do with who holds sway at any given time. A group of like minded folks start dominating the conversation, and bullying anyone that shows any opinion slightly different than their own. I've seen a few forums die due to this. Others get over it, and return to a more sane and civil level.

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    2. That is usually the issue with any subject in any forum. You have one who has different ideas and they are the "black sheep" and then castigated beyond redemption. That was my introduction into Dragonsfoot and other places and therefore I devoted my online persona in being a total jerk all the time. From there, those who did not like me will ridicule me but those who preferred my style stayed around. That is the crowd I prefer to cater to... ;D

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    3. So, basically, you fake it to gain an audience?
      Well, it's not a new technique, but it appears to work egregiously, lately.

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    4. “Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.”

      -Eric Hoffer

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  4. A note on "October": the communiqué clearly states "October 2" :)

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  5. Frank comes across as a pompous ass, to be honest.

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    1. Not usually, which is what makes this odd. Somebody who feels attacked and also feels they have nothing to apologize for and is reaching out can sound like an ass, as that is often the position of people who *do* have reason to apologize and are just being stubborn or ignorant. We are absent context to understand what's happening, other than Frank's history of being a friendly, easy going, and very generous person. Which is why I say this is odd.

      I do know that I've seen Rich Thomas, owner of Onyx Path, in the exact same position. He was unable to talk about some very critical things both when White Wolf closed down and then later when it was purchased. He just said that he'd continue publishing, he had talked to relevant people, and he was confident things would work out. They did, but he could not reveal details of unfinished closed door negotiations. Some people on the net attacked him brutally as some kind of totalitarian dictator for not instantly revealing everything he knew before all parties agreed to go public. Those attacks continue to today from at least some of them; people wholly ignorant of how businesses need to operate to be ethical to their partners, and honor both handshake and contractual obligations.

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    2. I agree with Evan. shots were fired across Frank's bow and Frank proceeded to drop the hammer.

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  6. Dragonsfoot has increasingly become a reactionary place - both generally and in terms of its attitude about what constitutes 'OSR' specifically a rejection of everything and anything that isn't an attempt to rewrite B2 or X10.

    I personally decided to write it off when the board supported some froth mouthed gamer-gater type who attacked Bryce of ten foot pole and myself (Dungeon of Signs) for liking Deep Carbon Observatory (which it's fine to not like) to the point of having accepted payola...

    As a forum Dragonsfoot has always been questionable by nature but at this point its basically a festival of angry mods and bad politics like RPGsite or RPGnet with an "everything since 1980 is bad" worldview.

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    1. Even when trying to lean more about the likes and dislikes of the members there I was attacked by many, defended by few, and ultimately took my questions to other fora where I could gain enlightenment without the stress.

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  7. Having known and worked with Frank, and knowing he's the exact opposite of pompous, and totally not an ass (at least, in my experience...) I can only think that the admins at Dragonsfoot had some behind-the-scene unpleasant communication with him; and that this communication was something like "Yeah right, Empyrea, come on, it'll never happen".
    I am saying this because, AFAIK, this is the only thing that can make Frank nervous: doubting of his work (especially his (game)life work, Empyrea).

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    1. Sorry, but referring to himself as a Prince in the "Once upon a time" post is pretty much the definition of being a pompous ass.

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    2. I'd agree! Frank in my experience is perhaps the kindest and most freely giving of all the ex-TSR folks I know. I suspect any sour reaction from him had its genesis with DF members attacks.

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    3. And yawn gives us a fine example of the prevailing demeanor on DF.

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    4. Never been there, but if refusing to give people special treatment is the prevailing demeanor there, maybe I should.

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    5. Yeah, well, me, I think that suggesting that someone notoriously prolific and creative as Frank will employ a ghost writer (as someone did, then rapidly denying it with "That's not what I meant"...) is totally against Wheaton's law.
      But then, as I said, I know Frank, while I know Dragonsfoot only by name (and in general, the name of that forum was told to me in a sentence with "don't go there"...)

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    6. Well from someone who knows, Frank is about the farthest thing you'll find from a pompous ass. Judging people you don't know though...

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    7. I'm just judging by his own words that anyone can read, while you refer to some private, "take my word for it" experience.

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    8. Well, I think you could INSTEAD judging by his own words in years and years, instead of by a single message in a thread in a forum that, you say, you don't know...
      Or by the words of literally hundreds of gamers who met him, played with him and followed his conferences.
      Who knows? Maybe you could be surprised...

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    9. I felt the Prince comment was not necessary. That stirred my first reaction to this incident we are discussing. Also his comment on his finances, which was also NOT necessary. Everyone has a different personae. Especially, if you are in the public eye, you want people to LIKE you. Sooner or later, their true nature comes out, regarding certain things.

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  8. Reading the entire thread gave me the feeling that, if they didn't want to provoke Frank, they must be singularly inept at online communication. Based on their complaints, they also must be rather inept at choosing Kickstarters -- only one out of something like 30 I've supported have ever failed.

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    1. Provoking was the intent without doubt.

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    2. "Judging people you don't know though..."

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    3. I know you think you're clever, but I do know them through plenty of experience. I'd say nice try, but it really wasn't.

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  9. I've been at Dragonsfoot since 2006, and it bounces back and forth from reactionary to... Well. They're good there, but it does tend to drag out some of the crazies in the hobby. Unfortunately they are also vocal, and that tends to drive away the good ones.

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    1. Well they managed to alienate the crap outta me and I'm pretty much one of the grogs they claim to represent. I mean play/run house ruled OD&D almost exclusively and dislike variable weapon damage but their one true wayism at Dragonsfoot is too much.

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  10. Yeah... I don't "know" Frank - but I've interacted with him here and there at North Texas RPG con over several years, and he's never been anything but friendly, kind, and caring - he does not come across as a pompous ass, especially taking anything he says with the context of his experience. People need to learn to chill out and stop being dicks behind the cover of the internet.

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    1. Same here. In person, he is so patient and welcoming with fans he doesn't know.

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    2. Same. My first year at North Texas RPG Con I was wandering around the main game room between scheduled games and Frank came up to me and just started talking to me about gaming. He told me about his collection of both RPGs and board games, some of his history with TSR, and finally asked me if I had some time to spare if I would like to learn a board game called Cathedral. I said sure and he spent the next hour walking me through this game I had never even heard about before, let alone played. He's always been a class act any time I had an interaction with him.

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    3. I will add my impression of Frank here too. I met Frank twice at two different North Texas RPG Cons and played in two games he ran. He was one of the nicest old guard celebrity guests in attendance. Eager to answer questions from fans, kind, patient and friendly. He happily signed several books for me and was always ready with a story of the old TSR days. Very nice man.

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  11. Frank is a friend of mine and is a man of unerring ethics. I don't know the people who run DF but I will weigh in from a personal perspective and say that Frank is a super caring and honorable person.

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  12. Huh, I've been hanging out on DF for a couple months now because I wanted somewhere to talk about B/X. A few people have been brusque but on the whole it's been no worse than any other forum. Maybe I'm on all the wrong threads...?

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    1. Or maybe you're just looking at things objectively.

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    2. Weird how the only person being critical of Frank here is also the only person who (so far) is posting from a completely anonymous profile.

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    3. Resorting to ad hominem attacks... classy.

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    4. yeah, that person seems strangely invested with all of this....

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    5. That wasn't an ad-hominem attack, but a simple statement of fact.

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    6. Pointing out that my account is anonymous is meant to distract from and discredit my opinions. It couldn't be any clearer.

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    7. James, you are right, it's not ad hominem, it's ad trollium.

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    8. By calling Frank names in your opening post and posting anonymously, you don't need any help discrediting your opinions, yawn. You very obviously aren't posting in good faith.

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    9. Well, I see we are done with anything resembling real conversation. Carry on with your blind hero worship.

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    10. You never even "began" a conversation, young man.
      You broke in stating your prejudices based on a single post.
      IF what you say about never being on Dragonsfoot is true (and, as I am too old to shush what I think, I don't believe that's true).
      When confronted with - howmany? A dozen? a few more than that? Confirmations contrary to your prejudice, you started sliding towards presumed "fairness".
      You might not know Frank.
      You might not know Dragonsfoot.
      At least know thee maths: 12 > 1

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    11. Bye bye, yawn. Your deflection tactics were amusing at first, but they grew as tiresome as the exhaustion that produces your alias.

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  13. Wait, what? The folks at Dragonsfoot insulted Frank Metzer, and then the mods BANNED HIM? If that's the case, then I guess I have no further use for Dragonsfoot.

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    1. Remember the elders do love their anagrams

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    2. Yep. Usually EotB is a voice of reason, or at least not as intolerant as most on DF.

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    3. EOTB is, by far, the least reasonable and most intolerant DFer on the site.

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  15. Sadly, without knowing what exactly Frank was looking for in Dragonsfoot or what correspondance went on between them, we can't determine who did what, but Frank's post basically dared them to ban him, and they followed up. I'm not sure how much influence holding the imaginary village named after their site hostage was going to have. Perhaps it was just Frank being poetic, but I can't say from this that the result surprised me.

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  16. I find this interesting when he(FM) led the charge to discredit Dave Arneson(the actual creator of D&D) every chance possible (multiple posts on DF) with brown nosing support from his pathetic excuse of a weed-smoking jerk best buddy who I will refer to as the PONS (Person of NO Significance).

    So sad and despicable how this community is so full of people who shovel shit...

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    1. Ideas & implementation are two different things. Dave would never have had a viable set of rules on his own. An Arneson D&D would never have happened and this hobby would not exist.

      From my own experience: Swords & Wizardry Light would not be the success it is if my initial idea of a one or two sheet OSR game, printed at home and distributed to libraries and game stores had come to pass. It would have made ZERO impact.

      Thanks to Zach, Bill and Matt and Frog God Games, not only did we get an amazing layout but a high quality release distributed for free in print and PDF.

      I'd say Gary's impact is more noticeable than Dave's would have been on his own, just as Frog God's impact made SWL a success.

      BTW, lets keep the personal attacks off The Tavern. You can make your point without shoveling shit yourself.

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    2. Sorry, I just crops-posted my response to "yawn" when.you were posting this. I'll bow out now.

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    3. No worries. Just trying to control potential fires before sleep calls.

      No need to bow out, just realize when the trap is being laid and that trolls thrive on attention. When one commenter has 20% of the comments on a very active post it becomes a bit obvious.

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  17. I've been an infrequent visitor to dragonsfoot. Honestly, outside of utilizing a few of the resources and live chatting with a handful of folks maybe 4 or 5 times a year over the past 4 years, I find it to be a very clicquey place and rife with trolls.

    That of course can be said about a number of rpg sites so I generally visit each of those I participate in and cherry pick.

    I've read a number of Frank's posts and found them to be generally interesting, articulate and inoffensive.

    It's an online forum, there is drama inherent to all such things. No surprise that it shows it's ugly side yet again.

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    1. I may have actually "trolled" you, Tony. ;) Sorry 'bout that. Probably about 5e, so it wasn't anything REALLY important - like BX, Holmes or 0e. lol.

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  18. I've known Frank since 1995 and he's always been down to earth and eager the engage with other gamers and share his knowledge. Hell every year at GaryCon he invites strangers and friends alike to his house for food and drinks and out of his pocket. He's proud of his legacy and his work and have right to be.

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    1. I met Frank a few years back when we started a literacy outreach gaming convention in our small mountain town in Virginia. I reached out to Frank and honestly never expected a return message. Within 15 minutes, he said, Sure, I'll come down." and he did....and helped us create an incredible event. Then the next year, he even brought his wife down to help us and was instrumental in getting almost 2,000 books donated so every gamer could go home with a book to read. I watched him talk to everyone. One young lady was wearing the Red Box t-shirt and is a huge fan of Frank's...Frank sat and talked with her for about an hour...about everything. Frank also spent time with a young man, neighbor of mine, who suffers from some social anxiety issues....he communicated with him on such a caring and honest level that the kid lit up. Frank took interest in every word he said.

      Frank is good people, plain and simple...someone I really look up to.

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    2. Same experience. In 1995 I didnt have much of a name at all in the business and he invited me to his home, showed me his extensive collection of old TSR material (including Gary's notes for various projects and his desk). Was pretty cool that he gave another gamer such access to the things he loved.

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    3. I knew a guy years ago on a BBS (like I said, years ago) who was a total jerk online; he and I were both doing programming on the site, and he was incredibly critical of my work and very rude in the process. Then I met him in person, and found out he was a really nice guy, a bit shy but very cool. Point is, people can be very different online than in person.

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    4. ...but that's not the case, as you can see by perusing Frank's internet "history".
      So... Well, whatever.

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  19. So, let's do some math - of all the posters here's, only two have spoken out against Frank. One of whom opened with name-calling and is posting from an anonymous account. The other of which is almost legendary for trolling Facebook RPG groups. I think I'm going to have to throw my lot with Frank on this one.

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    1. Ah, if only all the choices in life could be so easy...

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    2. Typical of most people who are limited in their understanding of who I am and how I typically respond to jerks, brownnosers(such as youself), and anyone else who simply disrespect me due to their rudeness, I simply do not cater to that particular crowd. You are no exception to the rule. I do not live for you or anyone else therefore I do not answer to you or anyone else. People like you that have not contributed one iota of usefulness to the gaming community are the root of the problem. I am not here to be your friend. I am not here win a popularity contest. I am not here expecting everyone to like me. That is not how I play. So, unless you know my history when gaming as a whole is concerned, stick to doing what you do best which is not getting your facts straight.

      Also, if anyone else issues with me and take it personally, that is your problem. You will get over it very quickly. Also, if you ever have the opportunity to meet me in person, then say what you feel and move on. To date, not one of you pathetic haters has ever done so.



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    3. The thing is, you weren't really responding to anybody with your original post, jumping in to throw shade on Frank. I understand you fine. It is exactly that kind of behavior you are legendary for.

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    4. As I stated before, I do not and will not live by your standards, nor anyone else. I am a free thinker and I will speak as I see fit. If you do not like it, you have the simple option of ignoring me. Trust me, do it. It will save you the heartache of trying to reform in whatever way you want to for me. By the way, do not hold your breath.

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    5. Straight up - I think you're a huge jerk and I think that your posting history EVERYWHERE pretty much bears that out. I'm not trying to reform you. It's clear you don't care about being polite and don't care if people like you or not. I give you credit for standing behind your words. That's something Frank's other sole detractor here couldn't do. I've never seen you post anonymously.

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    6. I suspect most are free thinkers. Whether they self censor before speaking is a whole other kettle of fish. After 20 years in Law Enforcement, three spent as a Liaison to another city agency, I've learned to self censor.

      I do miss "No Filter Paul" from the old Opie & Anthony Show ;)

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    7. You've told us what you're not here to do. That makes me wonder:
      ... why ARE you here?

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    8. Anyone want to clue me in on who William Cohen is and what his useful contribution to the gaming community is? Notwithstanding Internet searches his contribution seems exclusively to be being a dick.

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    9. I'm curious about that myself, Alex.

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    10. Now here is a name I recognize! Hey Chris!

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    11. William Cohen used to be kewlmarine at DF. He acted the same there as he is here. Just a troll. If you stop replying to him, he'll lose interest eventually and go away.

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    12. @Robert Weber: I sent you a PM over DF.

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    13. @Robert Weber Oh yes, I am a troll because I chose to stand my ground and not be a sheep. Yes, that is me. You know what, you will get over it very quickly.

      As far as my contributions to the gaming community is concerned, I am not one to brag about my accomplishments and how I cater to the gaming community as a whole. I have nothing to prove to anyone and see no need to thump my chest on accomplishments which as far as I am concerned is none of your business.

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    14. I should clarify: That meh was not for Michael Gross. You sir (Michael), are a gentleman & a scholar of highly discerning taste and overall awareness. May it serve you for many years to come. :D

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    15. Just FYI People he was banned from DF. He is doing the same thing here - he did there.

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  20. I'll throw my voice as someone that has met and talked to Frank at great length. I have not met anyone less pretentious in this business. Especially someone with his legitimate credits.

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  21. I've been at DF since 2006 and it USED to be about D&D and AD&D. Yes, the forums there were high spirited and I've seen arguments go back & forth about alignment, level limits, pants and cheese, and it was all in-before-the-lock good fun.

    Times are different there now, and I've bowed out of a lot of threads there simply because there is an insidious attitude of "OSR is new D&D", and if you still speak of D&D or AD&D as an actual game that is still played, you are not "one of the Gamer-Gatekeepers".

    I've also seen a LOT of posers there talk about how great their kickshitters are, when in fact, they really need to look down occasionally and see the shit on their own boots.

    And fwiw, I do not know Frank, and I don't like BECMI as much as BX or Holmes or 0e (SINGLE VOLUME EDITION!), but I have to agree that the level of contempt for anyone showing up and not towing their line is REAL. I remember an original player showing up and discussing his opinion of how the Hobbit related to the "Original D&D Thief" and getting roundly treated like SHIT from a lot of unapologetic posers. He never returned. Maybe this was the visiting "Prince" that Frank alluded to in his Dragonsfoot Village story? I (Bobjester) was only one of few posters there who attempted to defend the visitor, but it was too late; that guy would never darken DF village limits ever again - and I cannot blame him.

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  22. Having never heard of Dragonsfoot before now, I really don't have any urge to visit. I've met Frank quite a few times, and while I don't know him personally personally, I know that he is more than likely not the villain here. So "It's not my loss, it's yours." is the phrase that pays here.

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  23. I wouldnt know Frank Mentzer, only that he is Starting his (questionably) own setting 'across the sea' from greyhawk. I learned of it from the Greyhawkery blog. It seems harsh that there seems to be some argument over dungeons and dragons.

    There is a little boy singing frozen's 'let it go' on Ellen. So suck it up, D&D has been contributed to by the millions who play it world wide. Despite the corporate copyright, its no longer the wargame abandonware of the seventies.

    If Dragonsfoot is anything like D&D on

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    1. Frank Mentzer was second in charge to Gary Gygax at TSR in the 1980's. He's not just another contributor and he isn't just developing another setting. This is a 40+ year setting as part of the World of Greyhawk endorsed by Gary himself, but never published...until now. That anyone in D&D gaming circles could claim to not know who Frank Mentzer is boggles my mind.

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  24. I figured out who Bote is as soon as I read the thread (after, unfortunately posting here first). lol such is life.

    What happened has happened, and there is nothing else to do but move forward. Shake your sandals off, wash your hands and onward.

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  25. The one time I met Frank, he got up from the game he was dMing to shake my hand and eagerly show me his original maps and dice. He let me take pictures and he told me stories and took a selfie with me. Like, out of nowhere. He signed my Menzter Basic player book that I learned to play from. It was amazing fan service.

    But I don't have anything bad to say about DF either. I left there eight months or so ago apropos of nothing.

    It just seems so strange that an old school d board would broom THE Frank Mentzer. "Living legend" is a term thrown about loosely, but he really is.

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  26. DF is a damned cesspit and has been for a long time. This does nothing but reconfirmed that.

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  27. Let me explain something. It seems that over the years, Frank has made visits on dragonsfoot. All was well. After his post about the village of dragonsfoot, many were upset and felt it was an attack both on the site and it's members, myself included. As the last post stated, there were problems between Frank and Dragonsfoot for the last year or so. So this was building up and it climaxed yesterday. That was very apparent here. Every site has rules to adhere to, and you agree to those rules (and ideologies). Frank apparently did not do that. I have been on the site since 2008. I will continue going to the site. Frank is or was not above the rules and guidelines. He broke the rules - apparently and was asked to leave because of it. I respect and admire the site owner and it's mods. They have a hard job to do and have to make tough calls. I still support their decision on this matter. Frank was a member of DF who broke the rules period.

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    1. Any forum has arguments and "bad" people. Dragonsfoot is not an exception. Arguments and opinions are not breaking the rules. When you post something you are accepting the good with the bad. That is to be expected

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    2. There is a difference between "having arguments and 'bad' people," and being known for having arguments and "bad" people. DF is the latter.

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    3. I went to Dragonsfoot for the first time ever (as far as I recall) and read the entire thread that led to Frank M.'s being banned. It looks like Frank goes off after what appears to be an innocent question that is a natural outgrowth of a previous post... and I thought that there has to be prior history there that drive-by folks like myself weren't aware of.

      John Pare's comment here proves that to be correct.

      That said, Frank M. has never been anything but gracious and friendly to me, from the AOL forums days, through my deciding I was going to enter the RPG industry, up to the occasional exchange in the present day. There have been a few sharp exchanges every now and then, but at no point has he ever come across as pompous or otherwise full of himself. (He takes certain ideas about game design very, VERY seriously, and I recall having a couple sharp exchanges about them, but nothing beyond/worse than what I've had with designers of "my generation."

      And this may be the "fanboy" in me, since the 'Mentzer Edition" of D&D was the game I played--skipping AD&D1 entirely in fact, partly for a silly reason but partly because we were perfectly happy with the game we had--but I don't see Frank as the arrogant ass that some have suggested he is.

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    4. Steve Miller, there was nothing innocent about EOTB's questions. He hounded Mentzer until Mentzer chose to leave Dragonsfoot about two years ago. Mentzer publicly (probably privately) asked Dragonsfoot to do something about their trolls and they didn't. Mentzer comes back to talk about Empyrea and EOTB, who obviously knows his own history with Mentzer, insinuates that Mentzer needs a ghost writer and could be using fan volunteers to create the product. You have to ignore, or be unaware of, an awful lot of context to get "innocent question".

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  28. How did he break the rules? What specific rules did he break? DF sucks. I started posting there in like 2004-2005 and stopped around 2008 because the site started to go down the crapper. The fact he continued to post there just endears him to me more.

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  29. Just for context and some background.

    Frank actually left Dragonsfoot back in 2015 voluntarily. This was the big thread where the straw on the camel's back broke.

    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=70325

    This prompted some reaction in these two threads.

    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=70463

    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=70519

    I don't believe Frank posted until very recently since his departure, I could be wrong. He really only came back when somebody directly created a thread commenting on his Kickstarter.

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    1. Wow, I see it was my brilliant rhetoric got that first thread locked! :-O

      OK, so my impression is:
      1. EOTB can be really really annoying.
      2. Frank can't handle EOTB being really annoying.
      3. Unfortunately EOTB may be really annoying - a bit of a dick, in fact - but he is still within the DF rules. DF applies its rules evenhandedly, so Frank loses out.

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    2. Agreed. EOTB is the very worst troll on the website. However, the entire moderation team goes out of their way to protect and coddle the man. Its almost odd how much they protect him.

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    3. One of the bigger problems I see could be the fact that two of the Dragonsfoot mods are also K&K Alehouse mods, and that latter forum tends to me much more conservative in OSR terms as well as a little more "edgy"--plus that forum is pretty small so a lot of the regular posters (including the mods) will probably gather at conventions. Mods from there have also become mods at Dragonsfoot. (Which is kind of ironic since K&KA was formed as a reaction to what they considered too liberal a D&D stance on Dragonsfoot).

      While this may not be the case, I can see that being a little bit of a conflict of interest, and I personally think somebody shouldn't be a moderator at more than one forum at a time (when it comes to a particular single subject like D&D or OSR).

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    4. Of course, as I say that, there's a K&KA thread that appears to put Frank in the poorer light now, if that screen shot is accurate.

      http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14851

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  30. No dog in the fight on Mentzer vs DF, but I would really love to see further comment on that last screen shot from Mentzer. Chastising others for valuing truth over unity is a bizarre stance.

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    1. It isn't bizarre if you listen to Frank at all. He is all about growing hobby gaming (unity). He was part of an initiative by Me, Benoist Poire, and Jolly Blackburn who along with Frank were promoting unity among gamers from all walks of life, making the gaming table neutral ground for all divisions to be found in real life. Erik took the idea of "Neutral Ground" from that movement.

      I suspect, but cannot confirm the mind of Frank, that his reference to truth deals with personal beliefs that now masquerade as objective truth for many in this country and around the world.

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    2. http://omensandportents.com/2016/11/were-all-together-and-all-for-one-gamersforgaming/

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  31. I also stated "he broke the rules, apparently". I respect Frank and his contributions to the gaming world. I do not know him personally.

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  32. We do not really know what transpired here. All we can do is ponder what happened based on posts. I retract "he broke the rules". That phrase was in error. There are two sides to every story. We tend to forget that aspect of it. Whatever happened. Happened. That is all we really know.

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  33. I was a member of Dragonsfoot since 2002 and had my account closed last year after the admins banned me for a bit for dare defending my personal preferences. There are a bunch of people on that site who are incapable of understanding that their vision of AD&D isn't absolute, so having a discussion is futile.

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    1. If that happened it was for a reason. Sorry it happened to you! There are some great people there...

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    2. John F Pare, Dragonsfoot moderators are doing a very poor job of moderating if they allow EOTB to do his passive-aggressive weasel trolling, especially to somebody like Frank Mentzer, who is a treasure trove of information they claim to value. They can hide behind saying something like 'technically, he didn't troll him because his posts could be read more than one way' but they know better. They know what EOTB was doing. They just didn't care enough to stop him for what ever reason. I have posted at Dragonsfoot. I have used DF resources. I disagreed with the inaction toward EOTB and a few others a couple of years ago and I disagree with it now. Dragonsfoot deserves criticism for creating a climate that allows this. After all, it's very clear Mentzer tried to alert them.

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  34. Just how did you defend your preferences, Brad? Did you threaten anyone, or call anyone names?

    One thing that people who don't really know the personalities behind Dragonsfoot fail to understand is that it's run by folks from England. They have a strong policy of moderation in private... they don't air things in public basically ever, which is one of the rules you have to agree to if you want to be a moderator. I am global mod over there, though I rarely use my mod powers anymore; my own projects consume all my time, so I rarely visit unless someone is talking about said projects. But I looked into this, and all I can tell you is, (a) there was substantial discussion among the site staff before the ban was applied, and (b) there was definitely cause. These are people I have worked with, and talked with at length, and learned to respect for who they are and not just what they've done.

    I will say that I have always disagreed with the policy of keeping all moderation under wraps, but I agreed to uphold it.

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    1. Chris, based on the above not sure if you can talk about it, but was it the Dragonsfoot village post that initiated the discussion about the ban? I find that post so non-offensive, but I've got little to no skin in the game at DF at this point. Is there something particular in the public forum that he said, or was it in private? Not looking for the gory details, just a bit of understanding of the sequence of events.

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    2. "Just how did you defend your preferences, Brad? Did you threaten anyone, or call anyone names?"

      This is exactly why I closed my account.

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    3. I still find a little... uh, "not clear" that, among the other things, the reason for the ban is kept secret.
      But well, if the rules of the forum say "we can ban you for whatever reason, without telling anybody", I guess they are right...

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  35. Not that it matters, but I'll offer my experiences.
    I was a member of DF for years. There were astounding conversations, but the cyclical mobs and pitchforks were there. I had enough when people started asking if "The home of out of print D&D" would create forums for 3.X, and they were run off by pitchfork wielding mobs, or even banned for too much off-topic. I didn't get banned, I just quit going there.
    The first (only) time I met Frank, he taught my youngest daughter how to play a game - just the two of them sitting and him showing her the ropes - for no other reason than she wanted to learn. I was working with Gary at the time, and he was more than happy to talk about it, offer suggestions, talk about what he was up to. And he brought free donuts :-D.
    I have to say that if the two had a falling out, no matter how odd his quoted posts above may seem, I know who is likely at fault.
    As to his project, I want to learn more, but these things take time, particularly if they have partners... So I'll wait. Because we're once again in a time when there is a TON of good stuff coming out, so there are other things to look at.

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  36. Good, Frank deserves better and can do better then Dragonsfoot anyhow.

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  37. It all seems very unfortunate, but I certainly trust Steve to make the right call. He's about as far from an iron-fisted dictator as you can get.

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    1. Steve is great. He is fair, honest, and forthright. I respect him very much.

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  38. DF asked me to do a Q&A thread in 2007. I did, for about 130+ pages. It has since been locked, which I was completely cool with doing.
    I have not participated in any of the threads in some time; I occasionally stop by the chat room late at night if certain individuals are present. We chat.
    It has long been my opinion that DF has a socialist slant to it; give away everything for free and nobody has a right to profit from their own work.I'm cool with that; I don't agree, but neither do I decry their philosophies.
    Then there are the ignorant trolls. By ignorant I mean that their own words often display the inadequacies of their knowledge. (Sometimes the misspellings on their own pages do the job just as well.) There is no sin in being ignorant; the sin lies in failing to learn the facts when all of the knowledge is out there for anyone that cares to spend the slightest amount of energy.
    Now I am being dragged into this by certain snarky allusions. Well, sir, unless you have direct evidence and/or eyewitnesses willing to testify in a court of law, you need to shut your face and leave me out of your pissing contest. You have no credentials as a game creator, which both Frank and I do; you merely add to the work of others.

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    1. Hey Tim! The weird thing about this for me is that I've never really had a run in with the mods over there before. I'm astounded that Frank would (could) run afoul of them. It's mostly the membership that seems to be particularly skilled in some instances with skating right along the line between acceptable by the rules and not acceptable by the rules.

      If this is ongoing over there and you've been dragged in, don't get banned, but give 'em hell!

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    2. Who are you directing this to? And why would credentials as a game designer matter when it comes to this matter? Color me confused...

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    3. Right, I've seen stuff at DF that would result in a permaban in most places, go right by with no or the lightest Admin actions you could imagine. I've seen people get temp banned, come back afterward and pickup right where they left off. And that's not even considering the sock-puppeting that goes on. To get tossed from that site, something really, really nasty must have went down behind the curtain. I won't speculate because A) I have no basis to do, B) it would be more shit-stirring, and in the end, wouldn't serve Frank, the DF posters, or the gaming community at large in any meaningful way.

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  39. DF is no different than any other forum (or Facebook/G+/blogs/Twitter for that matter). It has its good and bad elements. We may never know what went down that caused the parting of ways between Mentzer and Dragonsfoot, but I do know that the DF admins are usually very protective of "The Old Guard". Whatever happened, I can guarantee that it wasn't done lightly or impulsively.

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    1. Yeah, there has to be more to this than has been made public.

      Like others, I've met Frank a couple times, just casually (I haven't gamed with him). He seemed pleasant. His posts in that thread may not have been his finest hour, but didn't seem to be ban-worthy. The moderation at DF is pretty far from draconian, IMO: it's generally lenient and forgiving. Permanent bans aren't handed out for minor infractions, as far as I've seen. All that leads me to believe that there must be some behind-the-scenes communication or activity that we're unaware of.

      I wouldn't rush to judgement in any direction.

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    2. Well honestly it is different. It is known to be a place of staunch gaming conservatism, arguments and skillful trolls. Most other places do not have that kind of reputation. I mostly go there because it is a repository of vast and useful knowledge imparted by the "Old Guard." I no long interact with any of the members or the staff.

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    3. I don't think Dragonsfoot is all that conservative in its gaming scope. I could think of a number of places on the internet with a much tighter focus. In fact, I think it's pretty loosey-goosey in its community. Sure, there are some twats and some cliques, but there are also some great people with fascinating ideas. All communities are like that, on the internet and in the real world.

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    4. Well maybe you could introduce me to some of the luminaries with the fascinating ideas, because I don't have time to wade through the muck. I know you (what's your username over there?) and grodog, but my experience there has been that it is more work than it is worth to get any kind of good discussion going.

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    5. Hahaha I'm wheggi2.0 over there, Alex. I don't post there nearly as much as I used to, but I still drop a note here and there. I think often it is more a matter of knowing who to ignore than who to seek out, and that's something that just needs to be matched to your tastes. Someone you find to be a kindred spirit may be someone else's biggest douchebag, and vice-versa. It's just a matter of navigating through the cacophony to find the music, and along the way you may find something interesting and unexpected. You never know, right?

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    6. Well I'm giving it another try, but I'm waiting on account reactivation since I had to change my email address (Verizon shut down their email in the spring). I'll send you a friend request or whatever it is called on the forums. :)

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. Frank is a dear friend of mine. Far be it from me to pour any gasoline on this dumpster fire. I hope this nonsense blows over soon.

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  42. I'll just fill in a little that is missing from your screenshots.

    Some of the history behind this: quite a while ago, EOTB was one of the (if not the main) reasons Frank (mostly) left DF.

    EOTB has flatly stated that his opinion of Frank's work is not positive, and for a very long time he had a forum signature where he took some of Frank's comments about the choose-your-path intro in the Basic set being for kids, but EOTB just cut up the quote so that it said, "...my Basic...it's for kids..." Having that as his forum signature served no purpose other than for EOTB to be demeaning and dismissive of Classic D&D and Frank's work in particular.

    Now, with that background, and with EOTB having that signature in the forum (the signature line was only removed by management AFTER Frank was asked to leave), EOTB comes in and tells Frank, "good thing you hired a professional ghostwriter." You can see how that might be taken by Frank, and why Frank didn't want to pretend to be buddy-buddy and just answer questions which, due to past history, could be taken as trollish.

    I don't agree with the way Frank painted all of Dragonsfoot with a pretty wide and unflattering brush though....

    It's an unfortunate situation all around.

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    1. Thanks for the heads-up Aaron.

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    2. Oh, so it was not me...
      I've been around many forums (gaming and not) for many years, and I learned to recognize a certain style of writing - as in "I am offending you, but LOOK! I didn't mean what you understood!"

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  43. Ouch... Frank and I had a couple of lively political conversations but then met in person at GaryCon a couple of years back, he recognized me, smiled we shook hands, laughed a bit and had a great conversation about gaming. Even if he did not respond in 100%?#the best way, and that is even debatable, but if someone took issue with his replies, we are all human and deserve the benefit of the doubt.

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  44. The only part of this I can comment on is that Dragonsfoot made me leave the OSR for years and nearly stop blogging at Cross Planes. I wasn't part of the inner circle and I got dog piled upon.

    Thankfully, I got past my shock and realized that their forum wasn't a good fit for me.

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  45. Agreed with Tony Rosten. You want conservative gaming? That's Knights & Knaves Alehouse. It's meant to be a small group of people who gravitate around a very specific fandom of pre-1980 O/AD&D. That's it. It's aware of this and going there trying to talk the usual posters into being 5E players or whatnot would just be asking for a flamewar. Nothing wrong with that, it's just what the place *is* and what people should know going in.

    Dragonsfoot has a different issue in that for years and years it's been the meeting ground of old-schoolers that have in fact little in common and often a loooong history of flamewars behind them. The legendary Castles & Crusades versus OSRIC flamewars should remind people of that.

    It all reads to me like this is another avatar of this long, long history between various members of the DF board, which includes Frank and other TSR alumni posting there regularly.

    One day, someone should write a book about all this. Would be a colossal undertaking to try and remain objective in describing all the strands of various gaming cliques and forums that interacted in various ways on various websites and how that shaped the social media chapter that followed and still follows it now.

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  46. Between Frank Mentzer's banishment from Dragonsfoot and Sandy Petersen's recent acrimonious departure from Board Game Geek, I see an increasing trend towards general unpleasantness in the RPG forum environments.

    This seems to reflect an overall increase of vicious dialogue, with a collapse of civil conversation that compels moderators to lock streams or banish users in an attempt to maintain their concept of their communities or just end streams of toxic rhetoric. Then everyone argues about the merits or faults of the control efforts until those threads are locked off as well.

    It's depressing.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Gaming icons off and looked of themselves as the final word. They are known to be set in their ways about the game. Times change, people change, and the way we play the game changes. I recall Gary saying somewhere that the rules are guidelines, many of us forget that

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  47. People are complex. Frank may be generous, giving and kind (as many have attested to here) and also post something pompous. That doesn't make him a bad person. It just makes him a real person.

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  48. I am not embarrased to say pr scared for that matter. That I am MILO on dragonsfoot. My final post was captured above. And again, I felt like Frank was attacking the whole site with his VILLAGE OF DRAGONSFOOT post. I do not regret what I wrote and I stand by it. I have never been accused of being a troll on there, trust me. Frank was addressing a small amount of posters about his project, but he made it seem like almost all of us were trolls. A simple re-wording of the post would have gone a totally different direction.

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    1. Using my phone to post. Forgive typos

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    2. And do you find Frank's reaction out of place, after EOTB creepy insinuation?

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    3. For a professional, yes i do. Eotb explained his post rather well afterwards. We all do that - meaning not being precise in posting. And spmeone is always there to misinterpret even more. Although i thought it odd he posted that, as was, as eotb is pretty specific in his posts.

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    4. I dont think it was an attack on Frank directly. But i can see how others do

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    5. After reading Aaron's post, I learned some things I did not know. Thanks Aaron for clarifying all that up. I had a feeling they had gotten into before, but could never recall a specific post. But still, I do not think EOTB meant it to be hurtful.... But we never know..

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  49. Well, here's 2 more Coppers worth, and a trip on the Wayback Machine. It was the summer of 1981, and a couple of the gamers in my college group had gotten some slots as "Alternate DM's" in the RPGA Tournament at that year's GenCon. They offered me one and I grabbed it. The adventure was "Egg of the Phoenix," and for some reason that I cannot recall, I wound up on a long distance (how many know what that is nowadays) phone call with RPGA Coordinator Frank Mentzer in the days before the Con. I recall talking about gaming and tournaments and such... now it is all a blur for the farm boy from the Midwest talking to one the giants of the industry. What I do remember is how cool he was to talk to. We went to GenCon 14 that year at the Univ of Wisconsin - Parkside and, although we were never called upon to do any DMing, it was a great time and a great place. Some things change, but my personal recollection of FM is of one great guy to hang out with. We now return you to the present... Enjoy.

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  50. I am a member of dragonfoot - (Post over there as Distorted Humor). In all those years I never had a issue with the moderators except for the occasional reminder in the workshop area to put which version the idea is from.

    It has some nice people there, and I respect Steve a lot. It also has people who are very skillfull trolls, and I suspect that Frank encountered one and it really got under his skin. As Frank by all my encounters comes off as a nice person. He also Taught me D&D though the red box.

    That said, this is regrettable.

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  51. EOTB has been taking shots at Frank Menzter for years. The mods at Dragonsfoot all back EOTB up. Every time. He's perhaps the biggest troll on the website and Steve, PnP and the others fawn over the guy.

    I'm guessing EOTB has some questionable photos of Steve or something. The hoops the site moderators are willing to jump through to appease *JUST THIS ONE DUDE* are outstanding.

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