Category Archives: RPG

We need an alternative to DriveThruRPG

If you are closely following what’s happening in the RPG scene, you have probably heard about the kerfuffle about a product called “Tournament of Rape” which was sold at DriveThruRPG for a few days before being removed. At first OneBookShelf (the company behind DriveThruRPG and RPGNow) tried to talk down the problem, before they took action. And there’s now a new policy in place which shall prevent issues like that in the future.

BUT this policy might create more problems than it solves. At first OBS will be reactive not proactive. The publisher still decides what to upload and the uploads will not be screened by OBS. Customers of the site can flag content they deem offensive and then OBS is taking steps. When the site update goes live, a press of a button is all it needs to flag a product. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Alas there is number of people who think they have the wisdom to decide what is good for the rest of us and take steps to enforce their world view. And the internet gives them the power to enlist countless people to their cause, a lot of which are not even remotely interested in our hobby. Under the new policy, flagged products are immediately suspended from the store. Which means, if someone doesn’t like your work, he or she can easily flag you on a Friday to make sure your weekend sales are gone. Poof. Can this be misused? Yes. Will it be? You betcha!

All this would be not that bad if there were alternatives to OBS’ sites. But alas they basically have a monopoly on the sale of digital RPG products at the moment. This makes it the perfect target for the kind of bullies mentioned earlier. Don’t get me wrong. I agree with the removal of “Tournament of Rape” from DriveThruRPG. But I also fear that a system as the one OBS now put in place can easily be misused. It would be better if OBS screened products themselves to decide if it’s within what they seem appropriate for their store.

That’s why I am hoping for an alternative to the OBS monopoly. We need at least a couple major marketplaces for digital RPG products which may or may not cater to different target audiences. Perhaps one for family-friendly material, another for more adult-themed products. But the current situation is problematic. Publishers are now basically at the whim of OBS which might be easily bullied into action by certain parts of the hobby (and beyond).

Update: I have read a couple of good arguments and changed my mind. At least regarding the reasons why OBS should remove a product. If they think it’s not fitting for their store, they should remove it. But not when some people feel offended. Some people may be offended by something like “Carebears – The RPG”. Is that a valid reason to remove it from the store? I have my doubts. Noone is forced to buy stuff they don’t like.

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 31

And so we come to the end of #RPGaDay2015, this has been a great month, I’ve gotten back to blogging, reconnected with a lot of people, and I’ve pondered lots of interesting bits about RPGs I don’t usually think about. A big thanks to David F. Chapman for coming up with the idea, also to Michael Wolf, our very own Stargazer, for keeping the door open to me here in the blog, even when I disappeared for a long time, and most of all, a HUGE thanks to all our readers who turned up to read my ramblings, especially to Johnkzin who’s been a regular poster on the comments.

I hope to keep on posting after I untie Michael and let him out of the basement. Any particular topic you’d like to me to cover or write about? Are you interested in reviews, more background information about my campaigns, like I’ve posted before? Feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments. Now, to the final topic for 2015…

Day 31 – Favorite non-RPG thing to come out of RPGs

The big picture well thought out rational response would be RPG computer, console and MMO games, tabletop games sowed the seed and to this day you can see the influence of the tabletop hobby in the electronic medium. But in a way that is an RPG thing.

Second choice would be the Knights of the Dinner Table comic. KotD started in gaming magazine, but became its own comic. Yet again this is somewhat RPG related. I was wracking my brain thinking about this topic, and then the answer was so clear…

My favorite non-RPG thing to come out of RPGs has been life-long friendships!

(Warning, this is where I get a little sappy! I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again…)

Through RPGs I’ve met some of my longest lasting friends. Gaming I’ve met people with whom I share far more than the game. RPGs keep me in contact with friends with whom I might have drifted apart due to real life. Having that one day where we meet to roll dice and tell stories means we have one day a week where we see each other and get to know what’s happening in each other’s lives. I’ve gamed before important events, after tragic events, it’s the glue that’s kept some friendships going.

Thanks to RPGs I’ve been involved with Puerto Rico Role Players and shared my love for role-playing games with many people who I would not have met were it not for this group. I’ve been lucky enough to write about my hobby here in the blog and to become friends with a person I’ve never met in person, but whom I consider one of my dearest friends in the world, thanks Michael.

That’s my favorite non-RPG thing to come out of playing RPG games for almost 30 years, and I hope I will be able to make many new friends and share my love of gaming with many more people. Thanks for reading, may you also meet lasting friends at the table!

PS – This post is dedicated (again) to all the people who’ve played at my table, with whom I’ve been lucky enough to game, and to my current players. That’s them in the blurry picture down below. Have a great week!

Gaming Group 2015

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 30

The next to last post for #RPGaDay2015, I’m already sad it’s ending; hopefully we can do this again in 2016. Here’s the final Sunday post…

Day 30 – Favorite RPG playing celebrity

Celebrity is such a charged word… What makes you a celebrity? The modern concept of celebrity is so often maligned. In the context of the hobby many of the artists and writers would be celebrities for us, but not outside the industry. I went with the more general concept of celebrity in my pick.

My favorite RPG playing celebrity is Mark Sinclair, aka Vin Diesel! Let me tell you why. He is a very well know celebrity, open and honest about his love for D&D, while at the same time being very guarded about his private life.

Vin Diesel 1 Continue reading RPG a Day 2015 Challenge — Day 30