Friday, March 25, 2016


I've finished the manufactured goods page on the wiki, for those who are following along.  It has been . . . an interesting progression.  I look forward very much to continuing.

I wish I hadn't written the last post.  Since publishing it, I have thought strongly about taking it down.  When I consider doing so, however, I am faced with an uncomfortable truth: the words were honest.  They came from an honest place.  The urge to take them down originates with a strong feeling of shame - not because I overreacted but because I reacted exactly as much as my heart wanted to.  As it still wants to.

There is nothing that I've accomplished with game design that I am as proud of as these trade tables.  I conceived of them out of the blue.  The intention was never to create an 'economy' or a trade system.  The intention was to have a method for the price of things being different in different parts of the world.  I could have just assigned different prices but my brain does not work that way.  I wanted 'logical' changes in price.

I've never seen any company or role-playing manufacturer even propose something like these tables, much less follow through.

Yet I feel bitter that I exist in a game-playing atmosphere that continues to be, even after forty years of participation, consternatiously juvenile.  Worse, not only is puerility practiced, it is goddamn celebrated, as something for the participants to be proud of.  And I wonder, how the fuck did I ever fall in love with this game?

I can keep a lid on it for the most part.  Every once in a while it gets away from me.  I've gotten better in the past year.  I had my last flame war on this blog a little more than a year ago.  But the wise reader can go back and look over the blowups and violent incidents and see a single thread that runs through all of it.


I'll move past this and go back to writing intelligent posts for intelligent readers who see this thing the way I do.  They've made that very clear with the donations and the support.  It's been incredible, really.  My partner Tamara and I have discussed it a hundred times.  Do we believe this?  Did we think this was possible?  Would you have ever guessed?  Wow.

It makes me feel that I'm doing some good.  But it's all so unreal that - like a dream - I keep expecting to wake up.  And despite the success and the drive that has created things like the podcasts and the module and the wiki, there's this incredible wave of stress that we're both managing, that makes us a bit . . . tetchy.  Ready to go off.  Tamara and I have had more than a few goes at each other - but since last fall, we've found a new level of supporting one another.

Anyway, I'm sorry.  I'm only writing this post out for the same reason as the last one.  A stupid need to be honest, to record that honesty and to write it down.  I'm a writer.  The best thing in the world to write is honesty.

1 comment:

Ozymandias said...

To follow your example, honestly, I must express my sincere gratitude.

Don't give up. Don't stop. Keep doing the work you do. Keep sharing your thoughts and speaking your heart. We all appreciate your efforts and if there are those who don't, fuck 'em, they aren't worth the effort.

Personally - for what it's worth - and again, speaking honestly - I find your blog to be a welcome respite from the daily chaos. Your readers come from many walks in life and have many influences working upon them. You enable them to retreat from the world - to be challenged, sure, but in ways that are just different enough from the everyday.

Thank you.