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Harald Wagener (oliof)
For every terrible idea, there is an equal and opposite terrible idea.
For every terrible idea, there is an equal and opposite terrible idea.


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Looking for games? ConstantCon lives!


(h/t +Jez Gordon for this text)

What is ConstantCon? ConstantCon games are online RPG sessions with diverse groups visiting GM's worlds and creations. Some of these follow the FLAILSNAILS conventions (see for details).

Register your game here:

Look up games here:

h/t +Jason Kielbasa for the ConstantCon registry!

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Some of the usual scumbags in the tabletop RPG world are trying to start a "DnDGate" along the lines of Gamergate. They want to get all those evil SJWs, particular the women, people of color, and queer folk, out of their beloved field. Therefore, I'd like to talk some about one of the most important women in the history of tabletop RPGs, and about a part of the field's history that many folks who've come to it in the last...gee, twenty or more years may not know.

Amateur press associations are one of the interesting kinds of modern social network, invented in the late 19th century. An apa has a membership list. Each member writes up their submission for the next distribution ("issue", effectively) and sends a copy for each member to the central mailer, who collates them and sends the results out. You get a copy of each thing submitted.

As you'd imagine, this leads to all kinds of funkiness. Some apas have themes, like comics or science fiction; many don't. Some have amazing production values, with work by people who literally have their own printing presses (or, later, sophisticated desktop publishing capabilities); others banged out on typewriters and mimeographs.

Yes! This is directly relevant to roleplaying games! Seriously!

See, one of the big early 20th century fans was a guy named Howard Philips Lovecraft. His enthusiasm and that of others of his time led to a strong emphasis on sf, fantasy, and horror in many apas, and that continued on for decades - in fact, into the 1970s. There were apas like APA-L, the official apa of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, with a membership roster filled with both apa-loving pros and apa-loving fans, who all talked about whatever was interesting them at the time. (This kind of mingling has helped sustain the widespread view in various fandoms that we're all fans, it's just some of us also sometimes get paid for it. :) )

There'd always been people into wargaming, storytelling at various levels of organization, and so on, and it's no surprise that in the summer of 1974, this new game called Dungeons & Dragons got a lot of attention. And kept on getting it. A lot. People talked about their campaigns, their characters, their house rules, their bizarre digressions, all like today except slower because you were commenting on previous distributions ("disties") for your own submission in the next one. In fact, it kept getting so much attention that a bunch of non-rpg-loving folks wished, ever more loudly, that it would go someplace else.

And this is where we come to that important woman, Lee Gold. In 1975, she'd already been around sf fandom a good while, with apa experience and all, and she decided, fine, she'd go ahead and make an apa just for roleplaying games. She created Alarums & Excursions.

Early on, she made some twists to the usual apa model. In particular, since she had the equipment to reproduce from stencils, she offered a page rate for any stencils you sent her ready to go (and a higher rate for material you sent for her to re-type onto stencils). This gave A&E a (relatively) consistent look, since so much of it came off one machine - hers - and could be stapled into a single compilation rather than a bunch of separate booklets. She was also able to make some additional copies - not just for the membership at any given month, but for sf-knowledgeable bookstores (like Book Village, in Pasadena, CA, where I ran into it a couple years later, the Compleat Strategist in New York City, and like that).

Gamers came to A&E and talked. And talked. And talked. And talked. Year after year, decade after decade. Some of them were already professionally published when they showed up, like Dave Hargrave, Greg Stafford, and such. But in addition, A&E proved to be a ridiculously good incubator for talent. People who got started doing professional work because of A&E: Robin Laws, Mark Rein*Hagen and Jonathan Tweet, Rob Heinsoo, me, and a whole bunch of others. Gaming of the '80s and '90s is thick with A&E alumni.

And we were able to do it because of a talented, energetic, hard-working Jewish woman: Lee Gold.

So anyone who wants to tell you that gaming is somehow now being corrupted by SJW influences, including obviously non-gamer sorts like women and practicing Jews, is either lying to you or simply completely incompetent to say anything at all about the field. Don't believe them. Don't spread their stories. Don't let them get even one fingerhold more. Push 'em off and give attention to the real, cool truth. :)

Footnote 1: In addition to the careers started thanks to A&E, friendships and connections made there amplified a bunch of others. Lots of folks got better prospects because of A&E even though they were already underway. But that'd be for them to tell, rather than me to semi-recall.

Footnote 2: I must find one of the places Lee wrote up the time Gary Gygax called her. It's hilarious. He, um, doesn't come off super well.
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Birb hackers at large...
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I made a useful thing with a 3d printer!
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Today's doodle I blame on +Dan Dillon. Yesterday he brought up the D&D campaign I ran back in University ("Snail Lords of the Salt Flats") and I decided to pull up my long-untouched document / rule book / notes for said campaign.

And suddenly I'm drawing one of the PC races, the Crystals of Arhald. In the original campaign they were just "the magic crystals", but they finally got a name when +Harald Wagener received badly labeled Starbucks coffee one day.

Drawn on Friday, June 15th, using a Sharpie, a 08 and a 03 felt tipped technical pen.
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So, apparently there is a piece of malware going around that hacks peoples Facebook accounts, gets control of their messenger app or otherwise comprimises their Facebook.

Please check your and if you have been sending our messages like this, try to find out why this happened and how to get back in control of your account.

EDIT: Info in German
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Apparently it's cake day at the office
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In a new installment of "Chthonic Weirdness Worlds Tour", the group fled the Hvitr's Horn, the volcano full of flaming skeletons and cultists, met an old Lady in the village of Meervold who was unfazed by the Cephalopod lady giving suprisingly easy birth to her Goatopi twins (which she gave the names Thing One and Thing Two after some deliberation), left the village searching for a Gate Elsewhere to maybe save the villagers, mended an old and forgotten gate with stupid Artificer magic (Repair mends one object. This gate was a single object, stone stairs of the Giant God Hvirtr, so it was fixed, but the fragments of stone flying around hurt everyone badly).

The Gatekeeper Nemo, with the support and help of the Stargazers Agnes and Maria-Shoshana (the new mother who found out that having extra tentacles is helpful when wrangling unruly kids) who were finding and granting very good omens, and of course with the help of Artificer Wolfgang's collection of scrap, made the key to the Cloud Domain of Hvirtr's Host

... but why am I as referee using this Skyfortress book all the time to describe the Gatekeeper what he sees when peeping through the gate before passing through? And does anything have anything to do with the fact that the few remaining good folk of Meervold believe their God has forsaken them?

Not to mention the fact that the poor villagers are still exposed to the Cinder Queen Cultists, even though their master died last session. We'll see what comes of that.
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It's alive!

Now to figure out why the PLA filament sticks to the roll ...
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Always be posting job opportunities.
Non-engineering job plug: The current contributor to my personal food and shelter fund is looking for help with our Berlin office. That's currently a site with a few hundred employees in Kreuzberg, moving to a larger site in Mitte next year.

We have both soft (office manager, event organizer) and hard (janitor, handyman) work positions available, and we're happy to consider part-timers.

We're also hiring in engineering, but who isn't.
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