Thursday, July 28, 2011


This is too good not to discuss ...

But before we do, I'd like to confess something of which many blogs seem to feel I'm unaware.  Yes, I am an asshole.  I am.  And yes, it actually IS the reason why I am not a world famous something.  I am aware of that.  I feel I must indicate that I am aware becuase of the people writing me comments explaining that to me.  If the gentle reader could, imagine the most exhausted voice possible being used when I say, "Yes, I know my failure to be rich and famous is because I am an asshole."

In my defense, it also has something to do with a lot of people willing to cheerfully exploit me and my efforts also being assholes.  But no, no, no we do not want to concentrate on that.  We want to keep my own assholesque nature directly in the path of the headlights here.  We want to give YDIS a boner for inspiration on the very next post he writes about me.  He deserves it.  He works so hard.

So, you see, no one needs to tell me that I am.  I know I am.  And I have a theory about it that goes like this:

I don't think people mind that I'm an asshole.  I think what people really mind is that I am unashamed of it.

Earlier today, on the post I wrote about Eric helping me with my equipment tables, I received a helpful comment from The Pon'farr Spock that went, "Opensource yoru equipment table project and people like Eric could contribute for free -- he seems to be doing that anyway."

Any one who jumps on the Pon'farr link above will take note that the fellow does not have a blog, so his contribution to the improvement of D&D is pretty minimal.  That's how I took it, anyway.  And I took it as an insult.  I'm sure many people reading this wouldn't have a clue why, and they can if they wish ascribe that to my being an insult, or they might consider this:

Suppose that you have just won the lottery.  Hey, it was pure luck, you don't even buy a ticket every week, the universe just turned your way and now you're $10,000,000 richer.

Now, suppose someone you've known all your life, that you've spent hundreds of hours getting drunk with, who attended your wedding, whose wedding you attended, who several times you helped with moving and with house repairs, came up to you and explained in a moment of woe that he needs $10,000 to help with his flooding basement.  Hey, you'd probably give the money.  You're pals.

Now imagine that someone who you've never met, who read about your good fortune in the paper, came up to you on the street and said, "Hey, you ought to give everyone you've ever known $10,000."

On some level you might think that's a good idea.  "Ever known" might apply pretty specifically to people you've known well, and not the kid who used to live down the street from your parents.  It's more likely, however, that you're going to look at this stranger and recognize a bit o' self-interest a brewin' there.  And if this is the fiftieth person you've heard make a similar suggestion, you're probably going to say "fuck off" to the stranger's face, then have your attendant manhandle the fucker into a light pole.

Alas, I do not have an attendant, nor a convenient light pole, so I wrote this:

"Total time spent on trade tables:

Alexis (including conception, development & implementation): 14,000 hours over twenty years.
Eric: 20 - 40 hours, being generous.
Pon'farr (who would get the benefit): 0 hours."

Because, well, I'm an asshole.

The answer I got from Pon'farr later was unprintable.  I would discuss it, but I deleted it, so I won't say what he said.  He's probably pissed right now that I'm writing this post without having printed his answer.  A lot of you readers out there are probably pissed too, at me, even though you wouldn't know about any of this except for me telling you.  It is sort of like the Republican Party coming forward and admitting all the shit they've done, and the listener getting pissed off for the first time, as though it wasn't already plainly obvious what the Republican Party was all about.

I am not interested in popularity.  I am not interested in being liked.  With regards to my career, I have earned more money from my writing than 99/100ths of the would-be writers in the world who ever put words to paper in the hopes of the tiniest bit of recognition.  With regards to my self-image, I am quite pleased with myself.  This, I know, is appalling.  It is as though the television universe you bought into about morality and comeuppance just isn't real.

No one, absolutely not a soul, reads this blog because I'm a nice person.  This I promise you.  People read this blog for only one reason, and that is because I put things on this blog that cannot be found anywhere else in relation to D&D.  This is my single distinguished reason for existing as a recognizable blogger in the community.  I produce unique, original material which you, the reader, cannot find elsewhere.  And believe me, I know you've looked.  How wonderful it would be to find all this great material on a blog not being published by an asshole.

Well, good luck.

For all the Pon'farr's in the world, let me make something clear.  Don't ask me for stuff.  I don't care if you're doing it for you, for some stranger you met on the 'net, for your pet Snippy or your grandmother that's got three weeks to live and desperately needs it to play the last game she'll ever play.  You get what you get, and not a drop more.  I'm not a tap you can turn on.  I'm not your go-to guy.

You want me to work for you?  Fucking pay me.


Zzarchov said...

"You want me to work for you? Fucking pay me."

On a serious note, what are your rates as a consultant?

Alexis said...


Eric said...

Thanks, Ponfarr! Now we get a rant today before/instead of the next shop chart. It's not like this is the first time someone has asked this either.

Compensation aside, I can't imagine Alexis would put this out in a unfinished, undocumented state. If you want a chance to see it someday, help out instead of mooching.

Carl said...

Consider this response applause from me.

I'm going to be smiling about this for the rest of the day.

Thank you, sir.


Anonymous said...

You want me to work for you? Fucking pay me.

That's a fair sentiment.

And it occurs to me, if Tao and the rest of the old school blogosphere accomplish everything they're setting out to do individually and collectively, the day may come when people really will. Pay game designers for useful content without waiting for a book to be published, that is. Sadly that is likely a ways off and the pioneers are certainly going to continue putting in more then they're paid for some time.

DRANCE said...

As I've said here before, you're output is admirable. Your dedication to the hobby is undeniable. Your creativity is clearly evident.

This whole "I'm an asshole and there's nothing anyone can do about it" is just confusing to me, however. I mean, I know you've talked here about some difficulties while growing up. I've experienced my own share of harsh treatment from friends and family. I'm just wondering if you're seeing more enemies than you may actually have.

Do you like the confrontational aspect of your approach to this blog? Why do you find it necessary? It has to be taxing to feel so ready to fight all the time.

People are either coming here because they like your ideas or they want to see what outrageous thing you're going to say next. Either way, it's more hits for you. So I guess that's your master plan. Or it's part of your personal pain. Whatever the case may be, I offer wishes that you do have peace at some point during each day.

gdbackus said...

I've had several good friends who were assholes, and unashamedly so. It's the ones who pretend otherwise that are utterly ignorable.

Alexis said...

Drance: "It has to be taxing to feel so ready to fight all the time."

On the contrary. Fighting is freedom, and freedom is exhilarating.

Poor Drance. You will never get it. I say, "fuck popularity" and you conjecture about my strategy for more hits. You're never going to get it. It's so enormously sad my heart breaks.

Eric said...

Oh, one thing I need to say: not neeearly 20 hours. Maybe 1 or 2 of actually looking things up, posting, having Alexis say "find an older source," finding one, reposting. Go to, search for the terms you're looking for, then click on "19th century" or enter a specific date range in the sidebar on the left.

I've got no degree in history; a lot of my impression of 17th-century Germany comes from Eric Flint's 1632 series.

What I'm trying to say here is that it's surprisingly easy to help out with this. Google Books Is Your Friend. There's bits of thread sticking out here and there in these tables; pull on 'em!