Saturday, February 22, 2020

TotalCon Day Three - Strike of the Crud

I woke up at 630 in the morning with a death rattle in my chest. Uggh!

I do 4 to 5 conventions a year and this is the first time con crud has struck AT the convention, but it is a horrible year for the flu. Not that I have the flu, but you know what I mean.

I was told at Urgent Care that the URI is likely the result of seasonal allergies. Another uggh!

I have a break from 3 to 7 and run a game of SWL at 7pm. Hopefully, I've got a second wind (and a nice nap) for the game.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Kickstarter -Artifices, Deceptions & Dilemmas (Courtney)

Sometimes, while at a convention (currently Total Con), I find it difficult to stay current with outside events. I'm happy to say I'm pretty much on time with my coverage of Courtney's second Kickstarter - Artifices, Deceptions & Dilemmas. If you don't know Courtney, he is a skilled and prolific creator of RPG content. While solidly rooted in old school gaming, his works are generally system agnostic and suitable right through to Pathfinder and 5e, if one were to go such a route.

So, what is Artifices, Deceptions & Dilemmas?
What's the difference between a room and a chamber? What's the difference between a mausoleum, a sepulcher, and a crypt? Would disarming traps be more exciting if you understood how those releases, springs, and snares worked?  
Do you think it would be exciting if a classic group of fantasy artists got together and drew pictures of all these artifices, deceptions, and dilemmas for you to use as a reference at your table with your group?
I did. - Courtney
1 buck for access to a digital draft copy of the book. Final digital and draft copy is 10 bucks. 20 bucks adds an at-cost softcover book to the mix.

Simply put, Courtney does good shit. You won't regret backing Artifices, Deceptions & Dilemmas.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Total Con Day One - The Arrival

Rach and I actually arrived yesterday afternoon. Uneventful ride up from NYC. I must say, heated seats take some of the sting out of lower back pain ;)

It has been s slow burn since early last night, with Frogs and others friends arriving and settling down at the hotel bar. Yep, Total Coneven has its own beer this year. It’s a Belgian White with a light hint of raspberry. Very cool. I’m keeping the can ;)

As usual, working the Frog God booth. Running SWL tomorrow and Saturday. Planning to close down the hotel bar each night.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Judges Guild - A Private Message from Bob II - Regarding Recent Accusations - to Help People Better Understand the Personal Views of the Owner

Link is valid as of this posting (gone now)
Note - comments at the link have been pruned of comments that Bo II sees as insulting.

Regarding Recent Accusations - to Help People Better Understand the Personal Views of the Owner:

I Have Traditional Christian values. My family crest attests to 3 European Crusades, and I regard that as a calling. That means I am pro-life, anti-gay, and against self-mutilation.
I believe we are all God's Children, and hold a compassion for everyone.
I am not their judge, and judging the morals of others is Not my job.
I have my Views and unless asked, or in my home, I keep them to myself.
I keep my personal views out of my professional life.
I respect people based on their behavior, not what they are, or think they are.
That could be why people can be surprised or offended.
In my opinion, they cannot expect everyone to agree with them.
Social Morals do not change overnight, and progressives must not expect them to.
I do not expect to change the view or other, and I do not try because that is not my job.
I believe in Free Speach: I understand that being offended comes with that freedom.
I apply the Golden Rule, and treat others as I would wish to be treated.
My family fought the Revolution; the two Rutledges who drafted and Signed the Constitution
and Delcaration of Independence, so I do take American Politics personally.
Being a peace-loving person, I do not own a gun, but I would never give up my right to get one.
I stand against corruption in high places and No Country should be above question, or be feeding off ours.
Politically, I am an Independent Libertarian. I Voted for Perot, and Paul, but do support what Trump has managed to do for America, despite being labeled Hitler.
I do believe the Media is Controlled in America by Leftists and Zionists, but I do not Hate them. I hate what they do.
I do have relatives and friends in Government with Top Secret Clearances.
Prior to 9/11 I also did some private work for the Government, no tin-foil here. Today's Conspiracy often proves to be Tomorrow's Truth. Mud is everywhere, and they revel in getting us to throw it on each other.
I have never been one to chase money: I lost my belongings in an explosion in 1974 at age 12, so what is dear to me hold sentimental value, not material. I have been homeless before, and slept nights in cornfields and under bridges, but never begged or stole to feed myself. I know what being down is like and exhibit a given nature because of that experience.
I am not interested in money and my intention here should not be construed that way. I consider myself an artist by nature.
My goal here has always been to keep the works of the Guild alive and in reach of the public, because I consider those I grew up with to be family. If you have helped me, I consider you like a brother. We will not always get along, but I will love you regardless, because you helped me once.
I live a very humble personal life on very little income.
Am I a perfect Person? No, but I am the first to admit it. I do not Lord over others, anywhere.
I raised 6 Children with those values, but as they are now adults, I respect their choosing their own way.
I think All Paths Lead eventually to God, and there is good to be found in All People and Religions, I have studied several of them.

I have been accused of being a Racist. I am not. I have made and keep friends of all races.
I am not pure white; being part Cherokee, Dutch, and Romanian. My family came to America in 1643,
and by 1665 owned Slaves, sold to us by Jewish Slave Merchants. I personally would not own
anyone... All God's Children.
When they first started bussing blacks to my school in the 60's, two were introduced to my class, Renee and Tony. I was the first white boy to make friends with Tony, and we are still friends to this day. We shared Elementary and High School years together. He knows I do not hate blacks, but knows I am just as capable of racial humor as he is.

My ancestors' slave-ownership eventually surfaced in my life. I was contacted by a black female Bledsoe seeking history of her ancestry. I provided her with what documents I had, wills and deeds bearing the names of her forefathers.
She lives in Texas, where following the Civil War, a group of my relatives migrated, wishing to hold the investment held in their slaves. It was personally chilling for me to read in those documents where the daughters of one slave was to be given to one, and the sons of the same slave be given to another
family member... the idea that children be separated so, as was common then, bothered me a lot because I have 6 children on my own. The woman informed me that the reason they kept our family name was because my ancestors treated them well, and with kindness, allowing them to receive Christian learning. Do I feel shame for the actions of my ancestors? No. My ancestors walked in a different time.
Do I feel a kinship with the Black Bledsoes? Yes. We share a common bond, of having walked together in that time. My home is open to them, as it is to all people. That does not sound very racist.

I have been also accused here of being Anti-Semitic. The answer to this is more complex because it addresses both Race and Religion. As for Race, I have and keep friends who are Jewish; as I stated, we are All Children of God, but I am not a Zionist, nor do I believe they are any better than anyone else. I have worked for Jewish Causes several times, and donate yearly to MDA, which benefits Ashkenazim Jews. As for the religious aspect, I do not believe in Judaeo-Christianity.
As I said, I am a Traditional Christian, therefore I embrace one or the other. My views do not come from studying the Scriptures from Hebrew, but from the original Aramaic. I do not believe Christ was a Jew, but I do not expect
others to hold that opinion. I suggest they study the Books of Moses in Aramaic, as it was the language of Christ, and would give them a different perspective. I will always oppose things which to me seem anti-Christian, but I have friends of many faiths, and Love them all as brothers. I do not try to change them.

I state these things with a sincere heart, and know that in today's world it is easy to label and pigeon-hole people. I hold no grudges and wish to be friends with everyone. I ask for your understanding, but not for your forgiveness. I am truly sorry for offending anyone, as I have never tried to single any individual out. I will in future try to be more sensitive, but in this social climate I walk on a lot of eggshells. The living DNA in me scaled walls of castles with an axe, fired muskets against the King's Army, and fought in most every war America has ever had. I am a Proud Boomer, and I do hold my tongue more that one thinks.

Sincerely - Bob Bledsaw II

edit - the following was sent by a community member:

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Goodman Games - NEW Official Written Statement re: Judges Guild

Following up on our recent video, this statement is to confirm the following points regarding Goodman Games and our former relationship with Judges Guild.  
To start with, we are disgusted and disheartened by the antisemitism, bigotry, and racism exhibited by the current owners of Judges Guild.  
Goodman Games has stopped selling our previous Judges Guild products through all distribution channels.  
Judges Guild will no longer receive income from Goodman Games products now that sales of their titles have ceased.  
We have one remaining product to release, which is a collector’s edition focused on the works of Jennell Jaquays. Jennell’s story is one quite different from the views espoused by Bob Bledsaw Jr. Judges Guild and Bob Bledsaw Jr. have agreed to receive no royalties of any kind from this title. To say it bluntly: Bob Bledsaw Jr. and Judges Guild will not profit from the Judges Guild Deluxe Collector’s Edition Vol. 2 focused on the works of Jennell Jaquays. Goodman Games will match 20% of the proceeds of this title with donations: 10% to the Anti Defamation League and 10% to GLAAD. The funds that would have been used for a Judges Guild licensing fee will be included in this donation, as requested by Bob Bledsaw Jr.  
After this final volume, we have no plans to release future Judges Guild titles.  
We are deeply saddened and frankly horrified by the views espoused by Bob Bledsaw Jr. 
It answers the questions I had from yesterday's video.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Goodman Games makes an Official Statement re: Judges Guild / Bob Bledsaw II

The official statement is itself a video. Watch the video, then read my observations below it. It is less than 7 minutes long.

You DON'T start your official statement saying you are making the statement because "we need to get out in front of that drama."

I felt it was more of an attempt to protect their licensed project that is in the works than to make a true statement about the current situation with Bob Bledsaw II.

There is no statement regarding any possible future projects licensed from Judges Guild, nor does it mention current properties licensed from Judges Guild and their future.

Jennell and Godman were going to donate 20% of their KS monies to charity. They approached Bob II and through no suggestion from them, he offered to donate all royalties that Judges Guild would receive. Bob's donation does NOT increase the 20% donation, so more monies for Jennell and Goodman and NO MONIES towards the CSIO Kickstarter. Bob II has said in past comment all monies coming into Judges Guild from royalties and PDF sales would go towards making CSIO backers whole.

Compared to other publisher statements regarding Judges Guild, I find it lacking.

Did I mention a small thing about Kickstarter and charities?

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Time for Me to Brush Up on My AD&D 1e Knowledge

It looks like I'll need to brush up on my Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1e knowledge, not just the rules but the history and evolution.

Which is why I am breaking out my copy of the Dragon Magazine Archive. I didn't realize how important this would be for me on a personal level when I bought it back when it was released back in 1999. Apparently, I've lost the DM utility disk over the years. Doubt it would work on my Mac in any case ;)

Before the internet and social media became what they are now, the best way to get a feeling for the pulse of anything was magazines and the like. Dragon issues from the bast should give a decent view of the "inside baseball" of what became AD&D 1e.

Going to be some fun times :)

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