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Erik Jensen
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I know the satisfying stank of GenCon is in the air, but if you're a tabletop gamer in the Mid-Atlantic, you should be thinking about attending TridentCon in November! Get more info and your badge here: Two days of fun in Baltimore!

I don't understand how one can shout WOO LOOK HOW OUTSIDER THIS IS and also WHAT WHY ISN'T IT WINNING MAINSTREAM AWARDS at the same time. There's some cognitive dissonance there. I get wanting other people to appreciate a thing you love, but the answer to "why doesn't the culture appreciate the counterculture" is kind of right there in the question, yeah? (I say this as somebody who has the American Visionary Art Museum in his city, so this is not the first time I've had this discussion)

Anyway, I'm pleased to have my hands on Veins of the Earth so I can see what the fuss is about for myself.


After a week of the same twentysomething neighbors arguing and shouting outside at 3AM, I finally went out to confront them this morning. Although we had thought we'd overheard them arguing about video games once, it became clear that had been an argument about D&D that night. The drunk guy was telling his roommates about how shitty things at work were and how angry he was, etc, as I walked up; he was also saying he was sorry for how upset he got at D&D.

I gave them the business, told 'em to get their shit on lock and act like goddamn adults. And, more to the point, D&D was a team sport and supposed to be an outlet after a shitty day at work, not an addition to the aggravation, so f*cking do it right or don't do it at all (their eyes got big when the stranger called 'em out on D&D). Apologies all round (especially from the roommate who was always previously trying to keep drunk guy quiet - guy looks downtrodden, to be honest). I told them I didn't want to hear any more 3AM rants and the next conversation I have with them better be about their awesome D&D session or else I'd call the cops.

I can only wonder if they'll stay quiet at night, and whether one of them will grab me in the parking lot to talk D&D now.

Adulthood is weird. These guys almost remind me of some of my housemates from twenty years ago. If this turns into a strange mentoring situation...

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Tonight, we (the Boy and I) turned off the electronics and read books while the Smaller Boy slept on the sofa.

I think I'd forgotten how pleasant it is to read.

Anyway, I sent him to bed, and now can return and finish The Broken Sword.

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Pursuant to the ENnies nominations being announced, I am forced by cruel circumstance and industry tradition to counter-shill accordingly.

Get your submission in for the Golden Crab Mallet Awards by the 15th! Tiny awards you've never heard of! Not beholden to any corporate sponsorship or shrill clique! Not afraid to say the Golden Crab Mallets don't matter! Winning probably will not measurably affect your sales!

There are only two categories - FREE PRODUCT and FUN ADVENTURE. That's it. That's what we want to celebrate - fun adventures, and the community spirit of free product.

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The random encounter table for Saturday's dungeon levels includes an entry for "Derro scouting party", and that makes me inordinately happy.

I feel like these Derro deserve a Wampus Country twist, but I'm still working on that.

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So here's the interview I did with +Erik Tenkar yesterday. I had told him I'd get it posted this evening after work, but he's beaten me to the punch. His transcript is accurate.

This is on the heels of this thread:

I'm grateful to Tenkar for granting the interview.

I was a little disappointed in some of his answers, actually, and I don't mean the interpersonal drama one - to wit:

* I don't think writing a press release off as marketing absolves anybody of what might be written within it. As to the 'Voice of the OSR Market', I think I would have been more satisfied with an answer that was conciliatory ("Yeah, that was over the top; I've talked to Illusionist about it and we won't be using that phrase again") or muscular ("I think you can make a good argument that I'm one of the louder voices, and my blog a hub for the community, and I don't see the need to back down from that claim.")

* "It's a stream-of-consciousness blog" is the blogger equivalent of "but that's what my character would do", and comes across as excuse-making (and preemptive excuse-making at that).

I'll be sure to review the Tenkar's Tavern Crate as it arrives.

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A reshare of this announcement. We have a small handful of submissions already, but would love more.

Who wouldn't want a Golden Crab Mallet for their awesome product?
Putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak, by announcing the GOLDEN CRAB MALLET awards for excellent excellence in roleplaying games. See the linked announcement (and share it as you please, note this rare Public post as well).

The awards themselves - consisting of a gold spray-painted wooden crab mallet and probably a t-shirt or something - will be awarded at TridentCon this year in November. Submissions need to be in by 15 July.

There are only two categories: "Fun Adventure" and "Free Product". That's it.

Why a crab mallet? Because TridentCon is all about old school Baltimore this year! And also because a crab mallet is a tool - something meant to be used, not something to be held up as great art and discussed on forums but never actually brought to bear at the table. <-- note guiding principle of awards snuck in there

I'll recruit a few judges next month. If something you produced is in contention, you won't be asked to be a judge, obviously.

I bought graph paper and a micron pen today. ELATED.

I'll be spending Free RPG Day next weekend at Collector's Corner (Parkville, MD) running a 5e megadungeon open table. Drop in, drop out. Pregens or bring your own. If you're a Maryland-type and looking for something to do, join us! Other GMs will be around offering games as well (I know of a Paranoia game for sure).

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