And now there are two offers on the table. The one from Alexander of The Escapist, and by proxy Zak of I Hit It With My Axe and Playing D&D With Porn Stars; and the other from my friend Carl and his friend Kyle from Three Hams Inn.
I can see the appeal. The Escapist seems to be a significant force online, as several people I've spoken to these last days have heard of it, without my having to even give the context. The question has been, "Have you heard of a website called 'The Escapist,' " and the answer as been, "Sure. Gaming site. What about it?" So Alexander, you can feel good that up here in Western Canada they've heard of your work.
So here's a recognizable platform, plenty of expertise, experience in creating an online presence, and opportunity to launch the proposed 'association' with a bang. No doubt, once it was started it would gain a lot of attention, what with eyeballs being driven there from your site - membership would take off within the first six months, I have no doubt, and there'd be significant opportunities to take advantage of that membership to do all kinds of things ... perhaps increase my own notoriety and even find my way into the Escapist family somehow, as Zak has done. Zak’s blog is booming and I Hit It With My Axe is an obvious success. I feel an honest temptation to reach out and grab on, however that might work between you and I.
However, and here I have to be honest … I really dislike the look of the Escapist website. I found I had to explain to several people that those weren’t ads on the site, those were links to articles and reviews. Unfortunately for me, upon reading those articles I found them trite and juvenile, as well as pandering to the industry you’re representing while at the same time purporting to slap it around. As a money-making venture I have no doubt as to its success, but where the very nature of the site badly taints your proposal. It light of the website, how can I take your word that commercialism and ultimately merchandising a D&D database is something in which you have no interest?
You may very well be sincere. All the worse for you, since you’ve chosen to present your sincerity side-by-side with this eyesore. I’m unable to correlate my expectations with what I’ve seen there. I see it, and because it exists I just don’t trust your word.
I recognize that I may be creating an enemy. For that I apologize. I feel that you may be reassured that the idea I advanced in my blog is not unique, and as such you are free to pursue it to your heart’s desire without my involvement. I don’t feel that I would be of any help to you in that regard. I am too academic, too particular and too prickly. Frankly, I don’t wish to wallow.
I should like to repeat my belief that I am in no way the appropriate face for any organization of this nature. People read this blog mostly to see just how far I’ll go towards alienating nine tenths of the community while trying to figure out how a frothing lunatic is still capable of churning out good work.
I shall try to demonstrate.
For those gentle readers who may still be reading this post …
If I rescind my challenge that you provide any capital at all, but provide an opportunity to present your world in context with other worlds, who reading this would step up and make an effort to provide me maps and descriptions of that world, to go on afore-described database?
Who would be prepared to produce thoughtful (not opinioned!) material comparing specific rules of various fantasy gaming platforms, such as D&D (all editions), Tunnels and Trolls, Rolemaster, S&W and what have you?
Who would be prepared to develop tables and methodologies for practical use regarding dungeons, encounters, treasure, combat, adventure, NPCs, magic, world design or otherwise?
Would you be prepared to submit to my judgment on whether said material was worthy of being published?