All manner of scifi/fantasy/nerdness: RPGs, comic books, Firefly, RPGs, Community, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, RPGs, Avengers, Doctor Who, And RPGs. And comic books. And RPGS. Not a "fandom" blog, unless D&D alignments count as a fandom.
Me: Just for the record, you're a level 19 friend.
Rose: Not level 20?
Me: To become a Level 20 friend we need a temporary party member to perform a ritual. Generally the family members of both party members come to witness it, but we'll just have some friends.
People like Zak S. and John Tarnowski/RPGpundit are horrible, toxic cancers on the hobby as a whole. Their attempts at gatekeeping is more destructive than any “story-gaming swine” conspiracy Tarnowski could ever cook up, and their rampant shaming and abuse towards those that disagree with them is horrendous.
Trying to get rid of them won’t work; they are too firmly rooted, and with their consultation work on D&D they will lord that over others like a kindergartner who just got a gold star from the teacher. By accepting their help, WotC and Mike Mearls are saying that it’s A-OKAY to act like a massive shitlord to those that play games you don’t like.
So what, then, can we do? Simple: we can do better. And the only way we can do better is by banding together and working towards a better, more inclusive, less toxic hobby.
First: speak out against them, louder and more brilliantly than they can. Don’t stoop to their level and do personal attacks/stalking, or send others to do so on your behalf, but make it VERY CLEAR that the majority of roleplayers and hobbyists do not like these two or their ilk.
Two: Catalog every instance of their shit. Evidence will mount very quickly of their misdeeds, and it will become difficult if not impossible to dismiss their behavior and their antics when there’s a laundry list of their abuse.
Third: Point newcomers AWAY from them and their products, and towards better, more inclusive games, made by people who care about the hobby and the games it produces.
Fourth: Foster a better community through positive outlooks and friendly, inviting people and fantastic games. We can’t fix the broken people who poison the hobby, but what we can do is make a new generation of players who will be better than the last. Who won’t devolve into personal attacks and creating hate campaigns over games they don’t personally like. And who will teach the next generation after them the values they learned from us.
Remember: silence is acceptance. Don’t let them rule over us and warp people to their twisted outlook. We can be better than that. We are better than that.
From Old or New Version, D&D Is Still Inspiring, by James Floyd Kelly at Wired.
Whether you’re a fan of the fifth edition or not, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that this release, timed for the 40th anniversary of the game that started it all, is generating a lot of positive coverage from the mainstream press.