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TSR TSR3 Blames Widespread Pushback On WotC

In an unexpected turn of events, the primary individuals behind TSR3 have claimed the pushback they've received on social media and elsewhere was orchestrated by .... D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast (a company which has thus far remained completely silent on recent events).

TSR3 is run by Justin LaNasa, Stephen Dinehart, and Ernie Gygax. The controversy has been raging for over a week, since TSR3 announced itself with a press release.


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Stephen Dinehart and Ernie Gygax have since deactivated their Twitter accounts; Justin LaNasa doesn't appear to have one, but it is believed he is the person operating TSR3's Twitter account. A couple of days ago, Ernie Gygax posted about recent events on Facebook (note that he edited the post, but the original can be seen here).

I wish to state in the strongest terms that I never meant to hurt anyone of any race, creed or color. My video From the Bunker caused some to feel that they would not be welcome or would be looked down upon. That was never the intent, I was reacting to focus of modern role play into a more background and Role Play rather than the wargame that so made so many lives happy over 40 years ago.

As a gamer it meant that most of us were not worthy of any attention from others of our own age. We were Nerds. We were brainy-acks and others would snicker. Older classmen would ask to "borrow" something of ours to then pass back and forth a game of keep away. I used to receive some special attention from about 4 Juniors in my Freshman year. I played the Violin and often I began to wish that I had Super Powers, perhaps become a Giant.. I was far to shy and then embarrassed as attractive ladies would just lower the eyes while the jocks or other socially vibrant fellows had some fun at another geeky nerds expense. Thank goodness I grew 4 inches my junior year.

The only real comfort zone we all could share was a table in the lunch room. At least the fledgling TSR found fertile minds in those who had only those like us - gamers. Rather than have to risk embarrassing myself, since Phy Ed was going to force us to dance with those wonderful and yet scary girls. Well to get my Diploma I had to slave for a month to Mr. Gerber the head of the Phy Ed department. Fortunately I knew all about janitorial work as before D&D and TSR dad only made $5,000 as a Cobbler (five children) and we had food stamps and even free school lunches. Yes you had to go to the councilors office every week to collect your free lunch passes. Obviously you could feel all the eyes on you and the talk about....

Everyone has been welcome at my gaming table and multitudes of new friends have been created by the time spent playing the games we Love. Look at pictures of gaming on my site or anywhere I run games. Everyone is welcome, just like a Boot Hill game leave your guns at the bar until you leave town. If you come to the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum Jeff R. Leason will show you courtesy and a smile and you will see that gaming with elder gamers is a safe and entertaining environment.


 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Zardnaar

Legend
Sexuality, but not sex itself, is played out all the time in games I run.

My favorite game system is HERO 6e (sorry WOTC) and the characters have dependent NPCs and other character hooks that come into play all the time. My daughter is gay and she often has a girlfriend who gets in trouble, for example. No sex, just the normal human experience that INCLUDES the sexuality of the character.

Perfectly fine, romance/sex in game needs everyone one board with it imho.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
It requires the consent of those involved. Other players do not get a heckler's veto on their fellows backstories. That said, we don't spend a whole game session on romance. It's in the background, just like elderly aunts and rebellious cousins. It takes a few seconds, a few times a playing session. If someone was uncomfortable with that, I would probably recommend they find another group to play with. I would also question why they were uncomfortable, since it's nothing graphic, and it just like seeing a couple in a soup advertisement give each other a quick peck.

I don't run for strangers often, so the subject never comes up. I have one gaming group that's been playing together for 25 years (with two members who've been with me since 1980). The other consists of my kids and their friends.
 

I hear you. I just don't see any race doing this though. I guess, for many people their activisms or whatever in real life makes them not want to go play George Floyd and relive the experience in an RPG but as I said before and I will repeat again...ad nauseum none of it should be disallowed and it is whatever peanut butters your jelly.
But I think that's why the inherently colonial positions of a "keep on the borderlands" type scenario feels off to my group, because they also don't want to roleplay fantasy oppression/genocide/slavery from the position of the settler colonialist. Or at least, don't want to do that without a) a heads up and conversation about the content of the game and b) a chance to join the resistance. Seriously, there are some dnd scenarios that are like, 'what if you were the stormtrooper?'
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
My last post was much more snarky and in your face than I would have liked.

Every story I run has three plotlines running through it.

  1. Alpha Storyline: What were doing in this story. I prefer that players give me ideas on what to develop (semi-sandbox style).
  2. Beta Storylines: The individual PC storylines based on their backgrounds and long term goals.
  3. Gamma Storylines: The meta-story of the chronicle. What's happening on a big scale.
I focus on the Alpha storyline, but try to include beta storyline elements from 2-3 characters in each story. The gamma storylines advance slowly, like real world events. Sometimes a beta story becomes Alpha for a few sessions.

Players give me lists of people, institutions, etc... that are important to them. The beta storylines usually involve these threads. Is Kara's girlfriend in trouble again (my daughter informed me that she's a heavy drug user that gets involved with questionable characters to support her habit)? Has the rivalry between the temple of earthly delight and the temple of sybaris heated up again (both follow the same goddess, but attribute different attributes to her and claim the other temple is full of heretics)? Did Jelan's elderly aunts get conned out of more silver they can ill-afford by quick-talking purveyor of collective tressym plates - again!

Nothing graphic occurs because we keep it PG-13. There is nothing that would suggest a trigger warning. Drug abuse maybe, but descriptions never get graphic and the situation never crosses into any scene that plays into trauma. The focus is on the girlfriend and the questionable characters who want her to pay up now. There are threats that are mostly left unstated and never cross into descriptions of abuse.

Romance plotlines must derive from the player, as must any other abuse of their loved ones (which includes pets). Even then, it is never described in detail. The focus of the story is on convincing the street toughs to chill out and wait for payment. On finding the lost dog. On getting the money back and returning those odious animated tressym plates. On recovering the stolen idol of Elaria (our cleric's version of Sybaris) back from the Sybarites who've stolen it.

The darkest themes are in a game I play in, where the Eldreth Voluuthra was dressing up in drow face to commit violence against non-elves (and especially half-elves). After defeating them, I got a ship captain I knew to transport them out of the city, only later to find out that I had handed them over to a slaver. They had tried to burn down my friend's elvish martial arts studio because he was teaching elven fighting styles to non-elves, but still ....

My point is that many PCs have significant others. Since many of players have been LGBT over the years, these issues do come into the game in the same way that any other element of the human condition comes into the game.

Every time an NPC couple is walking hand in hand, sexuality (nothing graphic) comes into the game. Every time an NPC mentions a lover or their parents, it's there. Heteronormativity causes many players to ignore it, and think it's not present in their games, but it is. An LGBT character should be able to express the same types of backgrounds, families and friends as everyone else.

Since I do not include racism and sexism in my games (except for secondary characters who are clearly villain-coded), the background also contains same sex couples and transgender characters. Inclusivity in role-playing is no more political and no more evidence of an agenda than making the decision not to be inclusive.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
But I think that's why the inherently colonial positions of a "keep on the borderlands" type scenario feels off to my group, because they also don't want to roleplay fantasy oppression/genocide/slavery from the position of the settler colonialist. Or at least, don't want to do that without a) a heads up and conversation about the content of the game and b) a chance to join the resistance. Seriously, there are some dnd scenarios that are like, 'what if you were the stormtrooper?'

My kids were still teenagers when I ran a game for them that began with goblins raiding a local farming village. Their response was to talk to the goblins and find out why they were raiding. I already had a backstory, complete with no goblin children, in case they decided to hack and slash their way through the story. The goblins had fled because the evil temple in the caves had been taking their children to force the goblins to obedience. The goblins in question were the advance scouts and the rest of them (including most of the non-combatants) were still working their way down through the caves from the High Vale where they lived.

The characters negotiated a peaceful coexistence between the goblins and the local halfling farmers (who also required some convincing), then waited for the pass to clear, went into the high vale and rescued the goblin children from the temple.

This is what I did with the Caves of Chaos. The caves were spread out over a huge mountain vale and the prime evil was the temple of the Crawling Chaos that was hidden in one of the caves. Some of the non-humans were willing followers of the cult. Others were reluctant. Even within the caves of the willing followers, they were able to find dissenters and helped to free them and to help them to take over their communities.

Based on the actions of the characters in that first story, I was able to turn a somewhat problematic module from the Basic D&D days into a story that ran all through the first tier (we take a long time to level so that was several complete stories and one game year). Not only that, it was a story that allowed to characters to fight evil, while supporting the non-evil elements within each community. The only pure evil they encountered was the temple itself and the illithid scouts who were spying on the area (which they defeated with the help of a friendly flumph who was anxious to end the illithid thread before it came to the attention of the "great flumphtilla" that was passing through space nearby with flumphs the size of castles). It culminated in an old dwarven mining community that had fallen under the control of the orcs over the last two centuries (a mash-up of Quasqueton and the Forge of Fury). Even as they killed many orcs (who were threatening to invade the low-lands once their rivals in the temple had been defeated), they were looking for a reasonable orc leader they could support who would lead their people back into the orc caves and out of the fortress so the dwarves could reoccupy it.

You can have the same sorts of adventures in D&D without the colonialist narrative that you can with that narrative. Trust me. There was plenty of combat and treasure seeking to go along with the role-playing and negotiation.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
RPing George Floyd? This is getting deeply into the weeds.

And let’s not choose other hyper inflammatory examples, people. Take the two-stroke penalty and replay before someone gets DQed.
 


No, in the US, no one ever has to get permission to do parody or satire of someone else's work. But Al won't do a song if he does not get permission first. He has said so in many interviews.
Coolio really got the bad wrong feels about "amish paradise". Al might get permission from whatever record company that owns the rights to the song he wants to parody but he doesn't always both with the actual artist. /digression
 

Wait, I have it now.

This is just stealth marketing for the upcoming 5E Greyhawk release. In the new hardcover adventure, Tenser tries to form a new Circle of Eight after the death of Mordenkainen. Unfortunately he falls in with a bunch of motley rogues, despite young Melf warning him off. In the end, after a few badly worded sending spells, he falls afoul of public opinion, most likely due to the interference of other Wizards somewhere down the Coast.
 


Dausuul

Legend
Coolio really got the bad wrong feels about "amish paradise". Al might get permission from whatever record company that owns the rights to the song he wants to parody but he doesn't always both with the actual artist. /digression
That episode was a miscommunication: Weird Al had been told that Coolio personally was okay with it, and he went ahead based on that, and was shocked to discover afterward that Coolio had not given permission and was not at all okay with it. I don't want to derail the thread, but details here if anyone is interested.
 

Wait, I have it now.

This is just stealth marketing for the upcoming 5E Greyhawk release. In the new hardcover adventure, Tenser tries to form a new Circle of Eight after the death of Mordenkainen. Unfortunately he falls in with a bunch of motley rogues, despite young Melf warning him off. In the end, after a few badly worded sending spells, he falls afoul of public opinion, most likely due to the interference of other Wizards somewhere down the Coast.
All you need to do now is team with an artist and create a web comic to lampoon this whole disaster. Hopefully the comic has a short run, if you get my drift... ;)
 

mythago

Adventurer
"Attacking arguments that have not been made" You said this in reference to me stating people acting like Ernie's story is rare. Go see the damn response to his backstory of his gaming youth. I am not saying you have to accept his apology but in the very first page of this thread you have people saying things like so he was an incel growing up. I am saying his experience of DnD not being for the popular kids until very recently is highly accurate.

You implied that I can't hold up my experience but other experiences (from what I gather mainly only of those who have faced persecution) should be held up.
Again, the issue with Ernie’s experience is not its accuracy - many of us went through the same thing. It’s that he is using it as a justification and excuse for his behavior now, as an adult. The “incel” comments are not about his veracity, they’re about his sense (even as an adult) that he was unfairly denied the attention of attractive women.

And respectfully, you are accusing me of things I never said by claiming I ‘implied’ then.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I have areas where bad things can happen. Normally a slave state or religion with human sacrifices. I don't generally have racism in game beyond stereotypical Elf/Dwarf type thing.

Those bad areas are also where the villains tend to be. Normally I start the PCs in a stereotypical village or some CN anything goes port city.

Even then it's still PG-13 or so. A civilization might have Aztec style pyramid but not gonna go into the gory details.

Mod Note:
This thread is about TSR3, not about what folks do in their games at home. Bring it back around to the topic, please and thank you.
 
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seebs

Adventurer
Business associates are a covered entity for the Privacy Rule.

No, your employer may NOT just hand out your healthcare information willy-nilly. There are a few cases in which they don't need your express permission, but "to score points on the internet" is not one of those cases.
My understanding of this is that business associates of a health care professional are a covered entity, and only in their capacity as doing business with that health care professional. You have to have some kind of health care professional relationship happening before it kicks in at all.

EDIT: But good catch about the ADA also applying potentially. Also the general observation that even if you're legally allowed to share information, sometimes you shouldn't.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So this is a prime example of the kind of knee jerk insincere questioning I am talking about. You ask the question and responded not out of a desire to dialogue but rather for confrontation.

Mod Note:

You can read minds over the internet? Because unless they tell you outright, that's how you know what people desire. Failing that, don't tell people what they feel or want, please.

If we engage in the same mind-reading exercise on your posts, we might well consider much of what you write to be concern-trolling, intentional straw-man arguments, and sealioning, among other things. So, a variation of the Golden Rule then applies - do unto others as you'd have the mods do unto you.

Don't make the discussion personal - by which we mean you can discuss your own personal experience, but don't try to dismiss arguments or people by ascribing motives to the other person. Address their logic, not their persons, please and thank you.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Actually I was referring to some of the very specific examples you gave such as and I quote, "Person experienced prejudice (possibly severe, possibly just cruel taunts) due to being transgender and now stands up for anyone being hurt for who they are, and will loudly announce that fact." (Faolyn).
That's not Main Character Syndrome or Real World Only about that. That's a person having a motivation.
 

Arilyn

Hero
Thinking outside the traditional box in our rpg games can open things up to different kinds of societies. I was just musing about a fantasy culture where arranged marriages between men and women are normal, for the usual reasons, but married couples can have same sex lovers. It's right out in the open and perfectly acceptable. In fact it's not uncommon for the lovers to join the married couples' household. Having a lover of the opposite sex, however, is scandalous because of potential children born out of wedlock.

I was also thinking about Saxon burials. There's been an occasional women buried with warrior gear and the occasional man buried with woman grave goods. Some sort of acceptance was happening.

Also, we are finding out travel was much more widespread throughout most historical time periods, so those "historical purists" who argue they're just trying to be accurate with their "whites only" characters have nothing to back them up.

Diversity brings strength, interest and greater creativity. This is why the whole keeping gender out of games or the #keeping gaming fantasy (or whatever) makes me grind my teeth. Lack of diversity hobbled our games. Diversity frees them.
 

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