Now and then, the thing tends to be that if I am going to work unbridled on my game, dig into the creation of new rules or expand my wiki, this blog suffers. That's more or less the circumstances just now. It seems like ages since I've gone off on a tear about history or the importance of directing a DM's energies towards some given ideal - but part of that is certainly finishing the Dungeon Book about a month ago.
On the whole, I am undecided if the reader gets short shrift in the bargain or comes out ahead. I suppose it depends on the reader. Many readers, I'm sure, get very little out of long lists of rewritten spells or some new weather system that they're never going to use, even if it does work. By and large, no doubt, most readers are poking about with five minutes to waste, who are coming here because they've already finished reading the other ten blogs on their list and they're still bored without a thing to do. Someone like this, a completely legitimate reader, isn't going to sit through a long, insufferable post describing in detail how I compose a random number for the night time temperature in a desert on the far east periphery of modern day Syria. It's not the reading their looking for.
I am positively stunned when someone actually follows my advice to the nth degree, as T. Xenos has, or takes a few words I've said on something and embraces it full on, as Preston Selby has. These are rare fellows in a world where tl;dr could be the traditional epitaph on this blog. These fellows suffer, I'm sure, when I don't sit and write, point-by-point, on how I'm creating the little figures I've been designing lately for the battle scenes I posted earlier today. They suffer if I don't reveal my upteenth effort to create a weather system that doesn't produce the same weather every day or weather that would be more appropriate for a planet half the distance from the sun that Earth is.
Thinking about it, they probably don't 'suffer.' Their days are just a tiny bit more grey.
I've been writing this blog nearly seven years. I'm quite prepared to go on writing it another seven. But since my epiphany back in August, I have begun to look differently at what's written here. This brutal, abusive post back in January was a watershed moment as well.
A year ago, for those readers who may remember, I was counting the number of days since I had lost my temper on the blog. The first time through, I reached nearly 30 days. The second time, I stopped counting after 45. That was an experiment - an attempt to change my habits and stop this blog being an attack platform. I had doubts, however. Doubts that Toronto helped settle and that recent doubts about what I do here have been carefully deconstructed and examined.
Back in the day, when I argued flame war after flame war (the reader can find many of them back in 2010 and 2011, before I began to moderate), I was always being accused by people of not wanting to listen to people who disagreed with me. In response, I argued that no, I was ready to listen, but if they weren't able to convince me, I didn't see any reason to change my mind.
I don't want to argue anymore. At all.
I'm bored with it.
I have come to a point where, yes, I'm more or less done with people who want to disagree with me. Not that they can't - of course they can. But if they disagree, I'd rather they did it elsewhere; on their own blogs, in their own heads, to their friends, wherever. Just not here. Because I don't care, anymore, about people who disagree with me.
In seven years, every person I can think of who has made a significant, profound change in my thinking has started by making it clear, first, that they agreed with me. Then they made suggestions on how to make my plan better. Some of those suggestions have made their way permanently into my world: spell effects on experience; details for the character generator or the hex generator; the wilderness damage system that I am doing the ground work for (I need better weather tables to make that work). I have heard from lots of readers who had lots and lots to say. I thank all of them.
I guess I have learned a lesson the hard way.
I haven't gotten angry at anyone since January.
I wonder how many have noticed the disappearance of the 'dislike' button. Not from here, specifically, but generally around the internet. Back in the beginning, 15 years ago, there was a like button and a dislike button on everything. Step by step, however, the dislike buttons are vanishing. It's a change in the culture. The internet has been an experiment in letting people dislike things and the trend is very definitely towards eradicating visible dislike. Oh, we can still figure it out - if something doesn't get many 'likes,' it's obviously nothing special. But the deeper truth is hidden. We don't know how many people, exactly, disliked it. Because we don't care.
If there's something I'd like to do with this blog over the next year - apart from continuing to post the sort of content that Xenos and Selby like - it would be to stop writing about disliking things. That's going to be an effort. Not a real big effort, like giving up something addictive, where wanting to do that thing is constantly there until I give in. This will be more like forgetting that I made a promise to quit, so that the thing sneaks up and gets written without my having remembered.
I'll try to remember, though. I've ranted less in these last 100 posts - a lot less - but there's room for improvement.
There, that's around a thousand words, for those who have been a little less bored before not reaching this last sentence. tl;dr, remember? For those who have made it to the end, here's to those who are disappointed that it's over. But don't worry. I'll post my rewrites for 3rd level druid spells tomorrow or some long detailed and hopeless post about making weather rules based on almost no weather data. I'll think of something else to say after that.
In the meantime, go out there and fail to dislike someone.