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Ben Lehman
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Ben Lehman

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A repeated complaint I see about artists / authors / designers is that they're "not able to take critique." This is actually a pretty serious accusation: a person who can't take critique about their craft is not going to be able to consistently produce. But I think we should look at a bit of taxonomy.

* Reviews tell an audience of potential consumers whether or not they should buy a thing, and why.

* Critique talks about how something works, how it doesn’t work, and how to make it better. It happens while a thing is in progress, generally.

* Criticism is a work of its own that discusses how the thing fits into its genre, its artform, its society, the reader’s life, personal and human experience, and so on.

* Randomly being a shithead is declaring things to be “good” or “bad” without any attached examples or arguments or justifications (or with paper thing ones), telling the author personal things about themselves or just flat out insulting or threatening them.

Authors tend to respond badly to reviews: this is to be expected. Generally it's considered professional to complain in private, rather than in public, but we can forgive people in an emotional profession for undue emotional outpouring and, sympathetic to them, just ignore it.

We all need to be able to take critique, but of course it's a frustrating and raw process.

Criticism -- particularly if it's good criticism -- is a gift to humanity and everyone should love it.

The proper, formal response to someone being a random shithead is "fuck off."

So, before complaining about "someone not being able to take critique" figure out which one you're actually doing and, in that context, whether or not the response is appropriate.

(There is almost certainly some bullshit brewing on G+ right now that people will imagine this is about. It is not. It is a general statement about a thing which I've been observing for years. Please do not bring specific bullshit here, or to me.)
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I think (and +Ben Lehman, please correct me if I am reading this wrong) but the thing about emotional profession is more... kinda everyone has a bad day. But when part of your job might be interacting with people on the net, you might feel like venting to the net.

There's a difference between spewing toxic bile and venting out built up emotion (especially of a negative nature), is the point. One is a safety release. One is being an asshole.
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Someone stop me before I attempt to define role-playing again.
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it's that thing you start to do to revamp your sex life, but it ends with you and your wife throwing dices and not caring anymore for sex (unless it's a move in AW).

"weren't we suppose to play The Boss and the secretary?"
"Shut up and throw +hot"
"I love you"
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A french grad student in comparative literature did a wide survey of RPG players and designers, including me. +Paul Czege has been posting some of her questions and people have been responding.

She asked two very good particular questions which I'm going to repost here. Did she ask you any such questions? You should post those too!

Would you define Deeds and Doers as retrogaming?

I don't understand what retrogaming is. I've played Basic D&D pretty much the entire time I've been gaming. Deeds and Doers obviously takes a lot of inspiration from Basic D&D, also from Vast and Starlit and Apocalypse World and Tony's art and my prior work on High Quality Roleplaying. deeds and doers is an extension of that, and obviously more heavily D&D inspired, but D&D and similar games have always been a part of my play and continue to be, so of course they'll be a part of my design.

If retrogaming or OSR mean anything, it's a particular social group, so from that perspective I can answer. I'm not a member of that social group. Some people in that group like the game, which is swell. But the OSR is very much a reinvention of 80s D&D, whereas I am just ... playing the same way I've always been playing? So we have some pretty major differences in attitude and technique.

link to deeds and doers: http://www.tao-games.com/deeds-and-doers/


+Paul Czege +Emily Care Boss +Vincent Baker +Ron Edwards 

#coraliequestions  
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There is a group of questions she asked to almost everybody, or at least everybody within a same category (game designer, novelist, ...), and she made some specific questions for almost each of the people she asked questions to.
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Ben Lehman

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Apparently it's thanks to +Sage LaTorra that I have a giant number of new followers. #praisesage  Hi folks!

I am Ben Lehman. I write tabletop RPGs and other weird analogue games. If you know something I wrote it is probably Polaris or Bliss Stage or Hot Guys Making Out. You can get all of my games for pay what you want at http://tao-games.com/. You can support my designing weird games at http://patreon.com/benlehman

If you are a fan of Dungeon World you might like:
High Quality Roleplaying: http://www.tao-games.com/high-quality-roleplaying/
Deeds and Doers: http://www.tao-games.com/deeds-and-doers/

Welcome!
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I love that plus stuck this in blameSage the hashtag. 
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Ben Lehman

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As seen on twitter: There is an open list of women creators in indie games being created on Google+. If you are one, add yourself to it and pass it along! 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GeULGQzK6eoCJ3TX7S8bBHU6oNcgNvQiqp2pgFJJnuU/edit#gid=0
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Ben Lehman

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Gumroad posted an interview with me about my games in which I am really embarrassing rambly. Read it if you like that sort of thing.

http://blog.gumroad.com/post/89780866708/experimentalpsychology-pdf-games-by-ben-lehman
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yay!
 
Remodel is now available via DriveThruRPG. It's the game that is closest to my heart, in many ways. Deeply inspired by turning 40 and thinking about the close friendships I have with amazing women, and how much they mean to me.
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Stretch Goal Week is very strong.

(Also Worlds Without Master is good and you should buy it.)

(actually you should subscribe)

http://www.patreon.com/epidiah
 
It is the end of #StretchGoalWeek and it's time to go out with a bang. This final one is the most ambitious stretch goal yet. I have faith. Each of the previous stretch goals were extremely successful, the latest funding at 300%! But this one, well, it's big. Very big.

If 10 more back issues at www.WorldsWithoutMaster.com are sold before midnight tonight, I will personally download and read the whole free Basic Rules PDF for the latest edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

Cover to cover. Wall to wall. Soup to nuts. Dungeons to dragons.

If you were waiting for a stretch goal that didn't just supply Eppy with...
•   ...creature comforts...
https://plus.google.com/u/0/116481777618588720839/posts/RcVSSTmL7Di
•   ...a creature feature...
https://plus.google.com/u/0/116481777618588720839/posts/Enug6MvirNt
•   ...or a Barbarian Lord...
https://plus.google.com/u/0/116481777618588720839/posts/1E6YTyTGvwf

...but instead forces him to dance for his filthy coin, this is it. A trove of sword and sorcery fiction, games, comics and art lies before you. Grab all that you can carry and run!

Save 25% in the process by using the coupon code "WizardsEyrie." This coupon expires some time tomorrow morning when the moon is finally full, so, you know, make haste.
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A french grad student in comparative literature did a wide survey of RPG players and designers, including me. +Paul Czege has been posting some of her questions and people have been responding.

She asked two very good particular questions which I'm going to repost here. Did she ask you any such questions? You should post those too!

Even if your games are very different from one to another, some of them seem to have a particular link with literature and language: key phrases in Polaris, short stories in The Drifter’s Escape, we can create SF short story with Skew. Finally, does it turn around how to use and share the language for creating the worlds and the stories?

I'm from a family of writers; language fascinates me. Role-playing is one of the only conversational media left, and conversations have their own grammar and vocabulary that's different from prose or poetry. Maybe a bit closer to poetry.

I love to play with that, and to address it, in both subtle (the grammatical difference between Bliss Stage missions and interludes) and blatant (key phrases) ways.

#coraliequestions
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I feel like I want to draw a line between "how we speak" and "how our characters speak." Obviously, "how our characters speak" is a subset of "how we speak" but in Polaris (really, all my games, but Polaris is the most blatant) the rules directly structure how we speak as players, not so much the dialect that our characters speak in (although they do end up encouraging a certain dialect as well.)

This shows up a lot in RPGs! Like modules that have boxed text that says "read this aloud" to rules where if you say it your character says it.
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Ben Lehman

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Words Without Master is good stuff! Buy the back issues! Subscribe!

!
 
New Stretch Goal Unlocked!

If I sell four more back issues of Worlds Without Master by Friday, I'm going to indulge myself by ordering a copy of the new Barbarian Lord graphic novel: http://barbarianlord.tumblr.com/post/85808197732/a-grim-heartfelt-thanks-to-standard-design-for
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Ben Lehman

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Reflecting on 45 years since the Stonewall riots - the moment many consider the birth of the modern gay and transgender rights movement. Learn the story of the early days of the movement at http://buff.ly/VtCeyP
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Like, only in hindsight was any of that struggle worth it. I wish I could go back in time just for five minutes and tell them "I swear to god, what you are doing is right, it's worth it, thank you so much"
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Ben Lehman

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yay!
 
I want to share the news that Game Chef Korea has concluded for this year. Successfully, even. As its coordinator, I want to thank everyone - EVERYONE - who participated in Game Chef and made it such a great event.
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Have him in circles
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