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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Frank Mentzer Shares on Facebook: Truth, for the Record

The following was shared around 9 AM Eastern this morning. I'm sharing this without comment. You can read the original on Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/posts/2166010183478721

Frank Mentzer
2 hrs ·
Truth, for the Record

A. Dragonsfoot

In 2005, my friend and co-author Gary Gygax invited me to join him at Dragonsfoot.org. I posted often, freely interacted in several forums, and donated money when I could.

In 2015, I had a security problem (unauthorized use of my desktop computer), the only one in 10 years. But Dragonsfoot simply closed my account and never responded to my emails. They never handled the matter properly or fairly.

I did not write or send the nasty private message being quoted publicly. The recipient joined Dragonsfoot moderators Silvey, Marshall, and Gonnerman (the latter two having written OSRIC and BFRP, respectively) to make their accusations public at another website (Knights & Knaves Alehouse, now a locked NSFW thread). Their tales have been widely circulated in place of the facts. In falsely painting me as a bad guy, their actions crushed my former admiration for these two pioneers of 21st century roleplaying. Two of my idols had suddenly fallen.

B. Price

I was a Guest of Honor at Paizocon 2014. During that period I made many new acquaintances, including Lisa Stevens, Mona, Bulmahn, Alvarez, Radney-Macfarland, and others. More than one pointed out another employee, Jessica Price, and suggested that I include her in my new acquaintances, as she had notable potential. Price and I did not interact at the convention, but both of us attended a larger dinner at some point. She used feline analogies to describe herself, and spoke of her pet.

Over the next year I sent various FB friend invites to Paizo personnel, including Price. Her only response was “you’re sweet.” From that I realized that my words were misinterpreted, and I immediately pointed out that I was old and married, and left it there. However, she quickly attacked me during our subsequent Facebook interactions, so a few weeks later I unfriended her. She Blocked me immediately in her anger, and we had no further contact. As she requested, I never again had any effect on her or her life. (She has made other false claims referring to conversations that do not exist. Any claim that I meddled in her life is untrue.)

My words obviously affected and insulted her. She incorrectly treated my words as a threat, imagining nuances I did not intend. I was wrong to use the phrasing I did. I apologize once again for anything my words caused. I have tried to learn from my many errors, and I will keep trying.

Price left Paizo. Soon the “me too” movement occurred. Price dug up our brief interaction from two years earlier and repackaged it, adding paranoid fictions about my (nonexistent) meddling in her life. The careful timing of her attacks was a major factor in the destruction of my Empyrea kickstarter campaign and more than 30 jobs. I publicly apologized to her for whatever I had done, and asked for a formal investigation to clear up the falsehoods. That never happened; nobody cared. (I personally made sure everyone who worked for me got paid, whatever it took. I am poor and that hurt a lot, but I keep my word. I did not publicize that fact.)

Price was very publicly fired in July 2018 for irrational attacks on men, and became the personification of a vulgar internet meme. (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Rando-Asshat)

I respectfully ask that the reader consider the fact that this infamous and discredited person is the primary character witness against me.
.

Personal Notes

Those who attack me know nothing about me, so it’s time to fill in some details (also see wiki/Frank_Mentzer)

I’m 68, a suburban kid who moved to the rural Midwest in 1980. I was active in the tabletop gaming industry from 1980-1988, and have only dabbled in it since, though it has been my primary hobby. Tens of millions of my works were sold, but that was long ago, and I am not a Public Figure.

My many published works and unpublished tournament adventures contain Zero controversial or objectionable elements. I’ve run more than 1100 online games, also entirely G-rated and uncontroversial, and I have text logs of most of them (perhaps a future publication).

I was hired by TSR in 1980, and they sent me to game conventions. Over 38 years, in meeting thousands of fans at hundreds of cons, there have been Zero complaints about me or my events. This of course includes Gary Cons 2008-2018. The total is now too large for me to count… several GenCon South, East, and SoCal, and 38 main GenCons (WI & Indy)… several at both TotalCon and NTRPG… dozens of small cons coast-to-coast, two in Canada, two major international cons (Finland and Italy), and many more (sorry, no room). I have a perfect record of perfect attendance and behavior.

I avoid profanity, vulgarity, and obscenity. I’m pacifist, and avoid attacking anyone or anything. I’m very private, and tend not to respond when attacked. I practice what I learned in 35 years as a game auctioneer: There are too many critics already, spreading hatred and conflict. Find something good to say about every game and every gamer, and strive to be a positive influence.

I make lots of mistakes, as do all humans. I am averse to malevolence, hatred, and other negative emotions. I mention this because attackers prefer to portray me as a highly motivated Old White Evil Power. That is another of their fictions, created so they can pretend to be good guys. In reality I’ve always been poor, have marched with and fought for minority groups, and now stand firmly with my gay and trans friends.

(Brief Downer) I survive on a Fixed (government) income and Medicare coverage. I don’t drink alcohol, not even beer. I can’t walk much, and need a scooter to navigate game conventions. I take a dozen pills a day (plus more to deal with recent stress), and suffer from emphysema, hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, gout, cataracts, and other maladies. But retirement is wonderful.

Gaming style

At my gaming table, everyone is both welcome and equal, but you must leave your problems (and issues) at the door, for everyone’s comfort and benefit. I strongly feel that Gaming time is limited, and is for gaming and not Reality (whence we must all return afterward).

I removed the rules’ obvious white-male bias (limits on non-humans and females) decades ago. In games I include very little combat, and prefer interaction, dialogue, role-playing, and problem-solving… solutions other than ‘kill them all’. Race and gender are generally irrelevant peripheral details. In convention games and my ‘home’ (chatroom-based) games, I avoid mention of ingestion, excretion, reproduction, and other body functions, details that make some players uncomfortable. I’ve created a new roleplaying game (Fairy Tale Games/tm) that avoids the combat and bookkeeping so prevalent in modern games. I’m giving it away free.

Some Comments on the overall Situation

I do take full responsibility for my mistakes, and sincerely apologize for my errors of ignorance. Much of the fault is in not fighting back against the lies when they were created. But my internet expertise pales next to these formidable opponents, and I have no assets to balance their many accounts, platforms, and acolytes. Their machines are built to destroy, and I do not play that game.

Words & Deeds
100% of the valid complaints about me are about words. All complaints alleging real actions are false exaggerations and assumptions.

Internet Assassination
I keep getting Pearl Harbored. Dragonsfoot sought no fair resolution of our problems; they simply attacked without warning. Price sought no resolution, an ambush once again. Each attack also bears a hallmark: privacy violations. In business and law, Private generally means confidential and exclusive. To these amateur assassins, ‘confidential’ means ‘file for later public use.’ When compared to ethical professionals, their character seems markedly aberrant.

Segregationists
One extremist group promotes division, exclusion, and segregation, running convention tabletop games designed for that and advocating bans & boycotts. They publicly named me as a liability to Gary Con, basing their opinion on internet rumors alone. Despite their destructive mission objectives, their few good attributes do attract lots of forgiving fans, and that has influenced this situation.

No Resolution
I have publicly begged for someone, or some oversight body, to review the charges made in these controversial incidents and come to a fair conclusion. I believe that most of the accusations are invalid, and will be proven false. I am fully willing to be held accountable for anything I have actually done.

But in all of Hobby Gaming, including every aspect of game creation and manufacturing, organized play, and all of global fandom, there is no Oversight, no control. Anyone can claim anything, and nothing is ever resolved. Rumor and innuendo dominate the climate of the hobby, and the negativity has reached into local events. This situation is unsustainable, and is rapidly degenerating. Please fix this.

(end Part 1)

44 comments:

  1. Look for the answer from Paul Stuart Tucker in the Facebook comments field under Mentzer's statement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For those of us that don't do the facebooks. What does he say?

      Delete
    2. The Paul Stuart Tucker Facebook page hasn't had an entry since 2016 and even then barely anything. Looks like a sock-puppet account although I could be wrong.

      Delete
    3. You can see it and additional material if you follow my name to my blog. Sorry Erik, I'm seriously not trying to mainstream off you; they're asking and I'm merely explaining how the internet works.

      Delete
    4. Alexis - just give them the link ;)

      Delete
    5. @Ruprecht

      I'll have to go back and make sure to private whatever post that was in 2016, thanks for that.

      Just because my facebook posts aren't publicly visible doesn't mean i'm a 'sock puppet' account, and i'm pretty active on assorted social media and forums.

      Delete
    6. @Kev So I'm a Brit, so i'm going to assume that comment was sarcastic, and let's ignore that by commenting with my real name on mentzer's FB, and now using a well-used by me internet sobriquet here, it's readily searchable on those subjects to find things i've said on this subject before, what do you need to know i'm a real boy?

      Or, alternatively, why should I care what a random person thinks, as i'm all good with calling out a lying harasser who tries to intimidate people out of a hobby I give a shit about, and am okay with having my name on it even when it leads to assorted threats and shitty messages?

      Delete
  2. Well he doesn't sound like the raving nutter I've seen him portrayed in some places.

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    1. Really? you don't know that calculated speeches that probably took three days (or more) to write can hide the asshole within?

      Delete
  3. I am not nor have I ever been a Dragonsfoot moderator.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this, so more people can read it.

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  5. As I pointed out when this first came up a little over a year ago, Mentzer is demonstrably lying about the PM he sent EotB.

    In the obnoxious "Prince" post on DF, which he concedes making, Mentzer refers to EotB as "Bote". A search of Dragonsfoot doesn't reveal any other instance where he does so. The PM also refers to EotB as "Bote", which would make sense if the "hacker" were trying to frame Mentzer - except that, according to the time stamps, the PM was sent BEFORE the public post.

    Since Mentzer also claimed (on a Tenkar's Tavern thread) that he hadn't seen the PM until EotB posted it publicly, and since it belies credulity that he and the "hacker" would just happen to use the exact same odd term coincidentally at almost the same time, I don't see any other possibility except: Mentzer wrote both. And then lied about it for over a year.

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  6. If you pointed it out before, why beat a dead horse? YouvYo already floated your theory. Unless you have skin in the game, I can't see a reason to persist.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe because not everyone reading this comment thread will be familiar with what was posted on the subject "over a year ago?"

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    2. Maybe he doesn't appreciate egotistical, lying bullies who are so full of themselves that they threaten to have a nobody banned from cons and makes enough stupid hot air mistakes that he himself gets banned?

      Delete
  7. The end result is that we have some gaming elitists kicking around a 70 year old disabled man over bullshit they they have probably done themselves at one point in time or another, a false sexual harassment claim by a person with a track record of making such claims which pretty much crushed the hopes and dreams of greyhawk fans and managed to put the accused even further in debt.

    You know its real fucking sad that just about every single person shitting all over Frank Mentzer over an internet flame war is making a living off of the the hobby this man influenced while he gets to live out his life on a fixed income dealing with ignorant fucktards with an inflated sense of self importance who have to deny the man the pleasure of even showing up at conventions that probably wouldn't fuckign be there to begin with without his input..

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    Replies
    1. First, most people don't create elaborate lies to cover up their Internet rants. Frank did.

      Second, the KS failed completely before Price posted on Twitter. His KS engineer quit before Price posted too, as he was convinced it wasn't possible to succeed the way Frank was running it.

      Third, he's not banned from a convention. He's only lost his guest of honor status. He's still welcome to go.

      Delete
    2. So because he worked once in this field, making a product that I didn't use to base my game play upon, I "owe" him my allegiance, my loyalty and my blind faith. Also, I'm supposedly as guilty as he is because I've "probably" done the same thing.

      Firemane, I find myself having difficulties with your world view.

      Delete
    3. I'm sorry but fuck that. In this case I don't give a damn about what the guy did for the hobby before I was born.
      What matters is his attitude now.
      He obviously can't behave, hence people don't want him around and that is a good thing.

      Delete
    4. Keep that in mind when your time comes around and given everything you say and do is forever written for all to see, it will.

      Delete
    5. "bullshit they they have probably done themselves at one point in time or another"

      This is, generally, known as "tu quoque," and there is a reason it is considered a fallacy.

      Meanwhile, no, I have not creeped on some woman half or less my age, and then gotten huffy when called on it, and then threatened to get her blacklisted.

      But hey, if you assume -everyone- is creepy this way, it says way more about you then it does them.

      Delete
    6. "I made mistakes, I did some stupid things, I wish I had not, and apologize for what I said" HOW HARD IS THAT? I've said it to any number of people for the stupid things I said and did in my life. Just admit you screwed up and people will welcome you back! This is the thing that all the folks who did it for whatever reasons won't do and I don't know why! I get it, Frank is old, I am catching up with him and I expect that in 10 or 20 year I will apologize for the shit I said today!

      Delete
    7. There are all these screencaps and direct links floating and while there certainly seems to be a lot of panties in a bundle no one wants to do anything about it legally but by god do they ever seem to have the ability to keep the man away from the events that he enjoyed being at. i guess the scam artists and thieves that continue to attend these events and the people who sell their products just haven't pissed off the right people to keep them from being disinvited.

      Delete
  8. My world view Alexis I s innocent before proven guilty in a court of law not public opinion which is all people seemed to be good at. You start shit, still up the community and then hide behind the rules you enforce. And as far as that product goes if u base your works off of anything owes it's inspiration from dnd, you do

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    Replies
    1. I am here speaking to you, not hiding, within the rules that Erik Tenkar enforces. If I am innocent before proven guilty, how is it that you can claim "my time" will come around. I hope that everything I say and do is forever written for all to see, as I stand by my work, I am proud of my words, I have done my due diligence with my supporters, I have not created falsehoods about my shortcomings or blamed anyone else, I have apologized when it is appropriate and I am not a bald-faced liar.

      You may be surprised to learn, Firemane, that not everyone on the internet is an egotistical lying bully, nor uses their name as a weapon, nor threatens to ban people from public events, or threatens to use the law as a weapon, or belittles women on twitter. Some of us are good people and have nothing to be ashamed about.

      Delete
    2. Unless Frank is going to point a finger at the alleged intruder / house guest / family member he insinuates accessed his PC and continued an argument he was having, publicly, and then moved to threatening PMs in his name - i have to believe Frank wrote those PMs. Why Frank even brought it up is beyond me.

      Delete
    3. There's a lot going on lately with gaming "luminaries" getting hoisted on their own petards. In Zak Smith's case it was previous behavior that made the allegations against him believable. In Franks case it would have been even easier to fix it. As far as the sex harassment claims, he could have easily apologized without admitting bad intent. "maybe I'm just too friendly with people." As for the private message, admittance was called for. "I got caught up in dealing with what I considered a troll trying to harm my hard work. I got caught up. I never talk to people like this. I'm dealing with a lot of physical issues lately and maybe I'm doing too much. This was not the Frank people know. It was a bad day and I apologize." Done and done.

      Frank and Zak are manchildren who have gotten to feel entitled by sycophants laying accolades upon them. and Zak is clearly a sociopath. But Frank is old enough to know not to dig holes for himself. But I guess he saw his own rage in text and got ashamed enough that he felt denial was the proper way to go. Now its just too late to easily climb out. its sad, and most of us have gotten in trouble because of our mouths. the best resolution is usually to admit we are flawed people and commit to be better.

      Delete
  9. As for as the sexual harassment claims, much of the controversy isn't even about what he did (which is largely a matter of record) but rather how it has been characterized. Mob justice is a concern these days, but here we have evidence for our own eyes (in the form of screenshots) upon which to form our impressions. I don't know what to make of Jessica Price but can judge for myself that some of Frank's communication was flatly inappropriate and/or clueless -- even he himself acknowledges this to some extent. That's not a crime, but being treated as a bad actor in a voluntary community is not the same thing as being treated as a criminal. I don't know whether or not he deserves all of the backlash he has received, but it's pretty clear he is still *lying* about the Dragonsfoot nonsense, which makes it that much harder to credit his self-portrait as a magnanimous straight-shooter trying hard to "learn from his mistakes."

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  10. Alexis Well you must live in a perfect world, I have seen official licensed communities turn into a total shit show when the kids in charge decide to make an example of someone whose buttons they push responds in an unsurprisingly negative way with shit pulled up from 15 years past. My comments were not a threat but as a warning to everyone who seems to be getting some form of satisfaction in going above and beyond with this character assassination. All it takes is one or two disgruntled people with enough folders and pull in the right areas to bring you down. Living in the sjw era is dangerous

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps that is why I control the space where I write.

      Delete
  11. Nothing personal intended but a warning. We all might think we are immune but really we are not

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    Replies
    1. Clearly, some people who have lived 25 years with the internet, since the flame wars of DOS, who just past away this month, were entirely immune. There is reason to expect, through patience, respect, reason and empathy that MOST of us are immune ... far, far more of us than the tiny, tiny number who somehow manage to make themselves inappropriate and clueless. Your warning that we all need to "watch ourselves" is fear mongering.

      I'm vigilant against those who propose that because their fear mongering isn't "personal," that it is then somehow just fine.

      Delete
    2. Your reaction and characterization of me actually proves my point.
      What other things do you wish to accuse of me of?

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

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    1. That's what it seems to be on the surface and part of the reason for my poorly put together argument in this thread. I firmly believe that Frank pissed off the wrong person and that this is in part retaliation over something(s) that was tried in the court of public opinion by people who had no desire to take the legal route because it would cost them more financially then it was worth.

      Delete
    2. How can you "firmly believe" things you've just made up?

      Delete
  13. all these naive people believing that they'll never have their lives destroyed by the outrage mobs that they help fuel and incite.
    Firemane is right: the era of mob-enforced adherence to extreme PC-orthodoxy is dangerous to everyone, and being part of the cult of social justice will not protect you from it, as we've seen time and time again.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Evidence suggests that he's lying, that Price is not, and I am even less inclined to give him any benefit of the doubt given the repeated unwarranted attacks on Price in this memo.

    ReplyDelete

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