Eyrie of the Dread Eye

By Courtney Campbell
Autarch
ACKs/BX
Levels 6-8

… Now the Awakening is near, the Spheres are coming into alignment, and the Oculus is beginning to open. The dark power is reaching out and for the first time in an age the Eyrie of the Dread Eye is accessible again. As the Eye opens, reality itself comes under further and further  strain. And as rumors of a new valley containing an underground forgotten city filled with untold riches spread out from the Dark Wall, the Oculus continues to open ever wider.

This 59 page adventure describes a ruined city. There are about sixteen encounter areas prior to the city, and about eight “faction headquarters” in the city. This description, though, trivializes the emergent play sections of the city, a major part of the adventure, as well as the ever-present danger of the “minigames” that the locale proper provides. One of the better Lost Cities adventures, combined with a great example of pull-no-punches DM’ing that DOESN’T feel adversarial. Its complexity is its downfall and it could be organized better, going a little too far over the line of emergent play. But that don’t mean it ain’t a treasure, cause it is.

This isn’t a dungeon. It’s not even an adventure. It’s an adventure site location. The title, EofDE, makes it sound like a dungeon or adventure. It says “site-based adventure” somewhere in some description, but that shit gets thrown around like a marketing term. But this thing ain’t fucking around: it’s a site-based adventure location. And it’s gonna fuck up every party that meets it in a non-adversarial DM’ing manner, unless they are EXPERT players making multiple forays.

Rappan Athuk did something interesting: it highlighted threats outside of the dungeon. Bandit groups, with hundreds of members, preyed on you. This sort of thing is generally abstracted ot skipped over in adventures. What if, in X1, you came back to find your ship destroyed because it was continually attacked by large monster groups? And how many adventures deal with the consequences of the wandering monster table with respect to the hirelings & henchmen & horses you leave camped outside of the dungeon? This is an adventure for levels 6-8, which Courtney describes as “high level.” And that’s been my experience as well; Level 6+ B/X characters can be monsters. Lots of magic, both in spell and item form. A player with any sort of creativity can overcome A LOT. As a high-level adventure it does not abstract.

So you’ve got the 20 on a lost city rumored to be full of loot and off you head. Getting close you encounter the Argonath, in the form of a giant snake man statues, broken, behind it the path to the lost city. [IE: you are entering the mythic underworld and shit is about to get real.] From this point on wyverns are a constant threat. There’s a lot of wyverns in the cliffs and if you wipe them all out then more will show up eventually, in restocking the dungeon format. Thus we have an ever-present environmental danger to the party in the form of wyverns. Who are guaranteed to show up and assault stragglers and whenever the party is weakened or vulnerable. Like during a partial cave in. Or while climbing cliffs. And they HATE flyers. And thus the designer takes care of both “why fly spell doesn’t work” as well as causing trouble for Ye Olde high level party.

It’s a constant threat. Rappen kind of did something similar with that bandit/wilderness stuff, and a couple of adventures have tried to intimate something similar, but not like this. This is the sort of difficulty modifier that high level play should expect. It’s not those bullshit cold/heat/humidity rules that lots of “exotic” adventures turn to that cause so much logistical trouble and get in the way of fun. Of no, the party knows about this threat, will be aware of it, and will have to deal with it. They can always nuke the wyverns to buy some time (yeah! Party choice!) but they WILL come back.

It’s hard for me to write this review. I like to focus on the positives before moving to the negatives, but this adventure feels different. The encounters tend to be interactive. The boxed text, what there is, is short and evocative. But unlike most adventures, the traditional format is left behind. All adventures are emergent play adventures but this one is more so than others. Sandboxy? Emergent Play focused? Toolkit? There’s some element of truth to all of those descriptions, but never in a bad way. “Toolkit” doesn’t even go over the line the way it usually does.

There’s a cliff face 400’ with some caves/edifices that the party will confront after the giant snake-man statue. It has about eight locations, three of which lead to an dinner chamber which leads to the lost city. You need to get up the cliffside and explore the holes. Also, don’t forget the ever-present wyverns to deal with. Once inside the inner-chamber there are, again, about eight more things described, including the centerpiece giant multi-armed statue who’s hands/arms can act like an elevator. Cool! Then, you reach the lost city …

It’s large. It has several groups within it. There are eight locations described in about a half page to page each. There’s a wandering monster chart in which each monster is given a number of different things they could be doing/engaged in, as well as a “random ruins generator” for exploring the various ruined buildings around town.

You made it all the way to this point in the review. Do you know yet what the adventure is about? It’s about that last part, the random ruins. Courtney never explicitly states it, I think, but the goal of every page of this adventure is to focus on the play around the looting the ruins. Stealing every fucking thing you can. Explore every nook and loot every last dime. (ok, it could be “make a daring dash in and steal some shit without getting gacked, but it’s the same thing in my mind, just different degrees of willpower and success.) “Hey, giant lost city form a fallen civ full of gold and magic. Lots of monsters also. Want some loot/xp? Go get it!” That’s the adventure.

Now the wyverns make a lot more sense. Now the cliff makes more sense. It’s all there to make looting that fucking city more complicated.

The emergent play is looting the rando sites in the city. While dealing with the wanderers. While dealing with the factions inside the city. While dealing with getting it out/down the cliff. While dealing with those fucking wyverns outside.  

To a certain extent this is the same thing that happens in all OSR adventures. The difference is that those have a more finite environment, representing the dungeon, with an abstracted “outside.” This doesn’t. Hence the description of it being pull no punches DM’ing. The DM has set up a series of harsh game-world rules and put the potential of a FUCKTON of treasure in front of you. It’s up to you, high level adventurers, to figure out how to extract it, and to what degree.

Courtney understand this and the adventure is focused on it, almost every choice in the design being oriented towards that. But, given the rarity of this sort of thing and the degree to which Courtney is focused on it, it could have used a one paragraph designers note section explicitly stating that’s what it is and how it works together.

Fuck if I know what else to say about this. Good rumors, good wanderers doing things. The wanderers are also VERY opportunistic, almost every last one of them, picking off strays and wounded and running away. There’s a section in which you can encounter an NPC party, but you’re told to roll one up on your own; a half page of pre-rolled ones would have been nice.

There’s a couple of party gimps with spell levels and undead turning and scry scrolls. They mostly feel out of place. I get the undead thing, lost cities should have undead and undead should be a threat but high level clerics fuck off with undead. The options to just make them tougher seeming to be its own issue. I don’t understand the spell level gimps the other prohibition against scrying, it doesn’t make sense to me. Calling the main opponents “the optics” I guess you could make the case that it fits in that, as well as the usual pretext of “a place of great evil.” I’d probably just not mess with the spell levels or the scrying thing. The undead thing is a major old school issue, but again I’d probably just let it be without a gimp. The turn rules in older D&D need to be better without the BS in modern D&D. Then it becomes closer to a resource game mechanic.

I have trouble with one of the main maps, the cliff map. I can’t make out some of the features on it, or what they are supposed to represent. Stairs? Just art to spruce up the map? The “climb the cliffs” minigame also takes up a little more than column and could be better organized as well. It feels a little free-form and could use better organization, bolding, headings, etc. Climbing information feels buried in a wall of text of rules dictating climbing that seems hard to follow during play. The city map though, being isometric, is great, allowing the DM to describe landmarks seen at a distance, etc.

The factions are not what I would consider factions. They are more “the major people/organizations present in the city.” While not all hostile and the designer mentions to ensure reaction rolls and even hostile doesn’t mean combat, , they don’t seem to have needs & wants, at least in a traditional way that you can bargain with. Even the “enemy of my enemy” stuff is not really present. This is a miss. It doesn’t feel like there’s a place/way to find common ground, because they have no ground mentioned.

What is not said is that this adventure will dominate play for several months for expert PLAYERS. This isn’t a quick in and out, probabally. The party will go back, to a location 70 miles away, several times. They’ll get their asses kicked. They organize logistics. Hire mercenaries. Hunters to feed the merc. Elite guards to watch the loot they bring out and protect it from the mercs and hunters they brought out. There’s a “loot extraction logistics” mini-game implicit in this adventure, that will take a long time, game time, to execute. You could write a page or two of NPC’s and adventure/complications ideas and include it in this adventure and it would only make it stronger. (Good advice. Should have been done.)

This is a good example of high level play and one of the few “loot extraction” adventures written. It could be better with organization in several parts, and some summaries of how thing works, better faction play, and maybe some logistics help. But that don’t mean it’s not good enough to be centerpiece of a campaign for months.

This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview doesn’t work. Not that I think any preview of this could relate the adventure.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/268206/Eyrie-of-the-Dread-Eye?1892600

I see a 5e version is available. I have no idea how that would work in this environment.

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98 Responses to Eyrie of the Dread Eye

  1. Dave R says:

    Funny how the comment section blows up for bad adventures and good one leaves nothing to say.

    I already had this in pdf and hadn’t even got around to looking at it. Bought off author’s name alone since I read the blog. Skimming now it does look good. But considered purely as reading material it’s drier than many worse adventures – another piece of evidence too many adventures are written to be read more than played.

    • JD says:

      Dave R said – “Funny how the comment section blows up for bad adventures and good one leaves nothing to say.”

      You were saying? 😉

  2. Dave R says:

    Also, preview works for me just now.

  3. Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

    From this review, I’m getting a ‘Dwellers of the Forbidden City’ vibe from this adventure. Even the wyverns seem like a callback to the giant wasps that would attack fliers in the Forbidden City.

    Hard pass on anything by Autarch, though. I don’t feel like spending five bucks to help Macadoo dig himself out of the hole that Milo Yabbadabbadoopolous put him into.

  4. Yora says:

    Boo… This sounds really good. If my money would go to any other company, I would buy this.

    • Gus L says:

      Agreed Yora, unfortunate, but yeah Autarch and Campbell aren’t people I’ll give money to.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m out of the loop… Why are they bad?

        • Gus L. says:

          This isn’t the place to discuss it – given the nature of this community, but let’s just say Autarch and it’s fans are a reason I support burning the OSR and scattering the ashes so no one can venerate them in the future.

          • Ice says:

            Hi, it’s Thursday, and I’ve had a few beers and I am an outside observer to this whole ‘OSR’ scene, but I would like to share my thoughts with you.

            I can totally relate to why you wouldn’t spend money on products written by these people. I wouldn’t either.

            But you seemed to have soured on this whole ‘OSR’ thing and that is a bit of a shame, since this is where so much great RPG material is currently being produced, even if it is, in some cases, being produced by people who aren’t the greatest in the world.

            In the grand scheme of things, the RPG hobby has made huge steps toward being more inclusive and I think it continues to move in that direction.

            If you look carefully, you can tell that a portion of the early purveyors of this hobby were misogynistic and probably racist men. A lot of the early material has a weird lurking misogynistic edge. See Dragon number 3, for wonderfully idiotic female characters. See Dragon 39 for the most comically idiotic article on women in role-playing games ever written. Also, I’ve only read a little bit of the Judge’s Guild stuff (and it’s really quite great,) but the female NPCs in that material seem to be one of three things: Whores, slaves or completely insufferable nags (much like the alt-right depiction of women). Also, apparently everyone in 70s fantasy was white.

            If the people who were writing this material in the olden-days had the exposure that people have today, many of them would be completely insufferable, I am sure. RPG games and the world in general have definitely moved on since those olden-days though.

            With that said,
            The OSR scene is pretty much the lunatic fringe of RPGs. It’s like the punk rock of the goblin-game world. It’s loud, simple and in your face. It’s the corpse of Bob Bledsaw with acid poured on it. It’s the RPG nerds who said ‘fuck you’ to mainstream commercial bullshit. It’s raw, wild and got no rules at all. That’s all great. However, it also draws a lot of unpleasant folk who may not be welcome elsewhere.

            You shouldn’t let that get you down, though. Even though there is a camp filled will alt-right weirdos, you really shouldn’t let them own this whole thing. Melan seems like a bit of a Arrow Cross bootlicker, but as far as I can tell, he is not actively supporting hate-mongers like ‘Milo Fabulous’ other than maybe a few paltry dollars from his less-than-spectacular post-soviet income. (that was probably some serious shots fired, but fuck it, this is the internet and I am being intentionally bombastic. I’ll still buy your shit, Melan, I have no problem with you, you seem like a descent person from your blog and the very few tidbits I have read about you.)

            This alt-right camp has obviously has opinions that differ from people like us, but as a whole though, I think the ‘OSR’ is working towards being more inclusive, even if it is at a much slower rate than the rest of RPG games in general. Abusive crybabies in the OSR are regularly black-balled. People get called out of their fucking bullshit. What seems to piss you off so much is the wave of childish, racist, self-victimizing right-wing insanity that is washing over the whole world right now, not just the ‘OSR’ scene. These particular assholes just inhabit the same space as you do.

            The point I am trying to make here is that a lot of us who consume this OSR material don’t agree with the alt-right bullshit either. I really like the material I’ve found on your now-defunct blog. If you had to stop updating your blog because you were sick of writing about DnD, then that’s fair, but if it is because a bunch of man-children are occupying your space, then fuck that, don’t let them define you.

            Happy Thursday everybody

          • mwschmeer says:

            Oh Gus, I love you man, but the OSR ain’t all bad.

        • Anonymous says:

          They’re not. Some confused and very angry people like to follow around any whiff of a product released by Autarch and try to sabotage its sales. Some people are sad no-lifers that need a hobby. Not sure why this posted at the bottom the first time…

        • OSR Caveman says:

          ACKS is bad because Macris is a LITERAL ALT-RIGHT NAZI
          And Campbell, despite being part of the Mongrel Breakfast Club, the SJW OSR Illuminati that chased of Greg Gorgonmilk for daring to say that it is not okay to punch people based on their politics, is also a LITERAL ALT-RIGHT NAZI

    • L says:

      Thanks for the info, and to Gus L for the additions. I like to know where my money is going.

      Seriously, would you people get so offended if some guy was like “why buy something written by [insufferable soyboy beta cucklord SJW goes here]” about another adventure? Are you going to pretend you’d be all “um why bring up his left leaning opinions? I don’t know why everything has to be made political :/ learn to separate the art from the artist”? For real? Don’t make me laugh.

      Anyway, excellent review. This looks great. I might still buy a copy if it goes on sale one of these days, or find some other legitimate way to grab it. In the end despite politics we’re all getting fucked over by capitalism and I don’t want to punch down and spit in the face of good third party content creators. God-fucking-speed.

  5. Melan says:

    This sounds truly interesting. In practice, even most “OSR” people hand-wave adventure logistics, while they can add tremendously to play. I have even played in a 3.5 game that was mostly a solid “Meh”, but gained immensely from scrupulously following encumbrance and spell component rules. Suddenly, going the supply train rolling, scaling a tall rock or swimming a river with a giant crocodile on the bottom became a problem, and solving these problems made the victories feel well-earned indeed. So an adventure which capitalises on these aspects of the game and plays to D&D’s traditions in this area is a major win, and I think the review outlines rather well why that is so. Goes right on my wishlist.

    BTW, just because Autarch guy had once worked for Milo Fabulous, does not mean the adventure will give you The Gay. Come on.

    • Gus L. says:

      Alexander Macris the owner of Autarch was the CEO of Milo Yinnapolis’s media company during the period that it was most active and hateful – not simply an office drone. Likewise he’s was an early supporter and booster of Gamergate through The Escapist. He is also linked with and appears to support Vox Day/Theodore Robert Beale – the white supremacist sci-fi publisher/gadfly. So it’s not so much a concern about being “give[en] the Gay” – but points for typical 8-Chan style deflection with a side of homophobic bullshit there Melan.

      Campbell I’ve known for quite a while, used to play online with and let’s just say interactions in the dying months of G+ lead me to believe he’s in the same camp as Macris and friends.

      • Melan says:

        I’ll take that as a compliment, Grand Inquisitor.

        • Gus L. says:

          So sensitive Melan. Why can’t I refuse to spend my money on Alt-Right creeps’ game stuff? Why do you hate freedom?

          Bryce – your blog has a case of the Nazis again…

          • Fiasco says:

            Nazis? Really? I find that statement ridiculous and intellectually dishonest.

            It’s bad enough when people insist on parading their politics in places there’s no call for but branding people with one of the worst evils of the 20th century (when there is no reasonable basis for comparison) is disgusting.

          • Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

            Intellectually dishonest? Did you not see this video?

          • Will Arnold says:

            You lose, Gus. You called people Nazis, denigrating the lives lost to real ones. Especially in regards to Melan, who possibly had family to live through their predations.

        • mwschmeer says:

          NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for the information, Gus L.

    • PK says:

      Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew. Don’t do this, Melan. Don’t take a legitimate grievance against an alt-right figure and paint people with it as homophobic. That’s gross.There are a million reasons to hate Milo besides homophobia.

      Because Gus is right, that kind of twisting of reality is right out of the alt-right playbook. Eventually the joking lies become facts if they’re repeated enough, and we’ve seen that repeated over and over the past three years.

      Don’t be that kind of person. Don’t give shitheads that sort of cover.

      • PK says:

        And to be clear, the rhetorical technique used here is called “Gaslighting” if it was intentional. I’m not sure Melan was actually intentionally gaslighting, but still.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting

        There’s the wikipedia link, for the various commenters who are confused as to why Gus seemed to overreact to that comment. Gaslighting is bad. Don’t do it.

  6. Gus L. says:

    Note Fiasco & Melan’s comments – typical of the tactics used by internet 8Chan/Alt-Rightest trolls. First Melan, rather then addressing the claims as to why someone woulldn’t want to support Autarch makes a ‘joke’ that’s both a lie about Autarch’s founder’s activities and implies that the only reason one might object to him is that the product would turn one gay.

    Then when offered a list of the ways that Autarch and it’s owner are linked to and involved with misogynist and white supremacist causes Melan doesn’t dispute the claims or even say something like “These shouldn’t matter to purchasing a game product” – likely because he knows that the claims are true and understands that they aren’t frivolous.

    Then faced with snide hyperbole in response to Melan’s, an unknown and previously uninvolved 3rd party shows up to make a bad faith claim that the use of the word ‘Nazi’ to describe the support of misogynist and white supremacist causes is disgusting. Nazi itself becomes a slur for describing the views that are typical of Nazis. Fiasco doesn’t find Melan’s calling me the Grand Inquisitor offensive – despite it being a reference to religious inquisition, likely the Catholic inquisition as lampooned by Dostoevsky – arguably “one of the worst evils of the [13th century].” He’s obviously not simply a sensitive soul who takes his historical crimes seriously – rather his outrage is fake, aimed not at recognizing the seriousness of the holocaust but delegitimizing the use of the word “Nazi” to describe white supremacists. It’s all entirely predictable. It’s all blatantly transparent.

    All this is precisely why I didn’t want to discuss why I wouldn’t buy Macris, Campbell and Autarch shit. But hey, I really hate the way this hobby is heading the direction of videogame fandom towards being a engine for online hate – so despite the fact that I’d rather talk about games it looks like I have to be one of the only people willing to call out the “Nazis” around here again. If you find it fucking tiresome, imagine how I feel?

    • WrongOnTheInternet says:

      I knew the stuff about Autarch. What’s this about Courtney Campbell being a nazi?

    • Fiasco says:

      There are no Nazis in this forum.

      “Does not agree with Gus L’s politics” doesn’t equate to “is a Nazi”.

      Bry

      • Gus L. says:

        Really, cause you sure seem to be using their talking points and techniques of argument. I mean maybe I called a mallard a duck, but that’s hardly a crime.

        • Aaron says:

          No, being wrong on the internet is not a crime. Deliberately sabotaging someone else’s well-being with lies… might be? I’m not a lawyer. Even if it’s not a crime it’s certainly wrong.

        • Eddie F. says:

          Lets cut the shit. Courtney’s crime is being willing to take money from a piece of shit to make rent, something you also do with your day job except its not a niche industry so no one cares.

          Don’t go egging the houses of Amazon workers even though their labor is directly giving Bezos money to be an asshole with. If you wanna be brave, go throw eggs at Bezos directly and get shot by his private security, just leave the working stiffs alone.

    • Reason says:

      Then maybe… just don’t buy it & let others buy or it or not based on their own priorities in games.

      No-one enjoys watching two tribes of jerks fight culture wars all over the elf game spaces in their internet.

      • Gus L. says:

        That’s precisely what I did – I said I wouldn’t buy this crap – Melan had to lie about my stance to try to score some cheap fascist talking point and then get snippy when I clarified.

        So you need to come get your boys Fiasco and Melan.

        • ~ZOZ says:

          Wew there bud, nobody forced you to jump in the comment section and vaguebook about how noble you are for not wanting to buy this product. You knew exactly what you were starting. Please don’t act like you’re the exhausted victim here. It’s pathetic and insincere. And you’re not some hero holding the line against the reborn Wehrmacht because you’re shitposting on a blog that reviews obscure, niche RPG products. My dude, if you really despise the OSR so much you should completely disengage. Otherwise you’re going to turn into Kent 2.0.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a shame when people feel the need to punch down on independent creators.

      • Jeff V says:

        “Alexander Macris the owner of Autarch was the CEO of Milo Yinnapolis’s media company during the period that it was most active and hateful – not simply an office drone. Likewise he’s was an early supporter and booster of Gamergate through The Escapist. He is also linked with and appears to support Vox Day/Theodore Robert Beale – the white supremacist sci-fi publisher/gadfly.

        “However, please don’t call him a Nazi.”

        Does that work better for you?

        I am not an American. I know little or nothing about the people mentioned above. If you think anything Gus L posted above is factually inaccurate I’d be happy to read a correction.

    • DimensionDork says:

      Alright, Gus, from one liberal to another, you are full of crap.

      First, I am a longtime player and backer of ACKs, been playing it since at least 2012, long before the Vox day or Milo controversy.

      I am also a card carrying member of Planned Parenthood: https://imgur.com/ISPLkil
      I have also donated
      to RAICES: https://imgur.com/N1TLdOf
      in support of Immigrants: https://imgur.com/a/tsROQLW
      in support of trans rights: https://imgur.com/hRm9z4x
      to Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign: https://imgur.com/2YRTz3R

      When Donald Trump was inaugurated, I joined the Women’s March: https://imgur.com/eZd0xCU
      and later the student led “March for our Lives” (no pictures of that)

      For a while I joined up with my local chapter of Indivisible in the early days of the Trump administration to do anything I could to curtail the damage of his admin. In all of my pursuits and searches for way to protect marginalized communities, I have found one constant, and it’s that keyboard warriors like you are a waste of oxygen.

      Alex Macris is not a nazi. I have discussed all manner of politics and philosophy with him at length. We have disagreed on many, if not most, issues. He’s a conservative libertarian, and from my vantage point as a lifelong democrat and liberal, he has exactly the kind of blind spots and ignorance I would expect. It’s not just me, either. The ACKs community is full of all manner of political persuasions, including die-hard unionists and socialists. Alex has a penchant that I personally find questionable, to be willing to hear out idiots like Milo and Vox, but he is not a nazi, white supremacist, or white nationalist. The fact that you and folks like you are still out here peddling this crap over a couple hundred book sales is an absolute disgrace.

      Alex Macris is an independant games publisher with opinions that people on the internet don’t like, who took a job with a guy people on the internet don’t like for a whole YEAR out of the 7 I’ve been playing ACKs. He is also trying to support and care for his disabled wife.

      Courtney Campell isn’t a nazi either. he’s a single dad trying to make a break in an incredibly punishing indie RPG scene, and you are coming after him over less than 500 sales of a PDF that costs $5 each. That’s barely enough money to pay rent and food, and you show up in somebody else’s blog to convince people that if they can keep Eyrie from selling another dozen copies and keep Courtney in the poor house, it will help all the marginalized people who are victimized by the actual alt-right. BS. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

      And as if we needed more proof, you deleted your blog, what, about a year ago? You deleted in a huff because you can’t tell the difference between someone who disagrees with you and a nazi. And yet here you are, blog deleted, because nobody took your hissy fit seriously, so you’re still out here throwing shade to satisfy your own ego. You’re a disgrace to the ideals of liberalism and charity, and you’re useless to the marginalized groups you claim to care so much about.

  7. Kent says:

    Sipping my tea
    On a beach
    In Thracia

  8. Slick says:

    “Wait, 20 comments already? I thought Kent got banned?”

    >ACKS

    Hahaha I fucking knew it

    • OSR Caveman says:

      Redditspacing AND meme arrow misuse?
      That’s gonna be a Yikes! from me my dude

      • Slick says:

        Do you not see the irony of ridiculing someone’s internet syntax while using lame, overused slang like “yikes” and “my dude”? Truly pathetic.

        • OSR Caveman says:

          Goodnight OSRAMANIACS and jabronie marks like Slick that don’t know it a work when you work a work and work yourself into a shoot,marks

  9. nexusphere says:

    Hi! I’m the author!

    My name is Courtney Campbell. I vote democrat, have donated to both Yang and Warren so far in the coming election. I’m a veteran of the USMC. I’ve spent 20 years doing social work with disadvantaged youth, including 5 years in alaska working with native youth.

    I’m an independent creator. I’m sad that people feel the need to harass me and punch down at people who struggle with mental illness (I have a class A personality disorder that causes me significant issues with, well, life). I’ve spent my whole life working at near minimum wage to help disadvantaged youth, mostly of color. When I worked downstates it was mostly adolescents who were victims of family abuse.

    I’m horrified there’s people who show up wherever I am being discussed to spread lies about me. I honestly don’t have any idea what to do about it.

    I’m shocked an honored brice took the time to review my module and considered it one of the best. I worked very hard on it, and as noted, it isn’t designed to be read, it’s designed to be played.

    I am certain if you read my blog or check out my twitch channel or come on to my discord, you’ll find a welcoming inclusive place where we talk about gaming, support other low income people who suffer from mental illness, and share support for each other.

    I’m incredibly thankful I can eek out an existence publishing game materials. The fact that someone I respect as much as Bryce likes my work makes me feel like perhaps I can continue to be of service to society.

    I don’t have any hate in my heart, and I’m sad people choose to engage in this campaign of hateful attacks.

    Bryce, Thank you. To answer your question, I rewrote the 5th edition version of the adventure extensively to fit the style of superheroic play that 5th edition expects. It should work for 5th edition the same way it works for the best version of Basic/Expert in print, Adventure, Conqueror, King.

    • WrongOnTheInternet says:

      Yeah, for some reason I thought the whole “Universal Positive Regard” thing and social work didn’t really square with being a nazi. Gus apparently has a history of this sort of thing.

      • nexusphere says:

        There are literally millions of words and hundreds of hours of video of me online. The accusations are so sooo far out of touch with easily verifiable facts about who I am as a person, I don’t understand why people who are supposed to be increasing inclusivity are engaged in a campaign of harassment and hate against me.

        I hope they find there way to some sort of peace with their anger. I don’t hold it against them, and continue to support their work and love them as people and creators. I know from the horrible things people have said directly to me that they are carrying real anger and pain, and I hope, at least, that their hate directed towards me is part of whatever process they need to pass through to heal,

    • Brian says:

      Thanks and congratulations! A couple questions about your product if you have time . . .

      1. Bryce describes a focus on “loot extraction” presumably beyond standard D&D/OSR. Was that your intention? And does ACK have rules for encumbrance and such that facilitate that kind of game?

      2. Someone mentioned Dwellers of the Forbidden City. I was also thinking of Cynidicea/The Lost City. Are these meaningful comparisons? Lots of edible fungus?

      3. Anything to say about the factions? Personally, murderhobo has limited appeal, and my players actually respond well to “these people need our help!” I guess what I’m asking is whether there are any semi-sympathetic factions or even individuals?

      Again, congratulations on having a vision and seeing it through.

      • Olle says:

        1. Yes. And encumbrance for mules, wagons etc. even elephants (if you have Lairs & Encounters any creature listed in the book + any creature you make up in the rules).

      • nexusphere says:

        1. Yes, and Yes! ACKS is super suited for encumberance and that style of play.

        2. The adventure was written as an intentional and deliberate homage to the Forbidden City.

        3. I have no preconceived outcome when I write an adventure-there are no “good” or “bad” factions, just groups with competing agendas. It’s super-unlikely that a murderhobo approach of “kill them all” will have much success. All of the factions “need help” and often have divergent goals. It’s a place ripe for *your* emergent adventure,

  10. Anonymous says:

    They’re not. Some confused and very angry people like to follow around any whiff of a product released by Autarch and try to sabotage its sales. Some people are sad no-lifers that need a hobby.

    • Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

      Confused? Not at all. Angry? Nah, I find it hilarious that Macris got taken by a scam artist even bigger than JMal and watched the Mercer cash cow go tits up. This free entertainment beats any entertainment value a five-dollar PDF could provide.

      You’re projecting, nonny.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah, being a keyboard warrior IS your hobby. Got it.

        • BACLF says:

          Now, now Nonny, I’m not the guy who’s claiming to be saving Western Civilization by hiring a shitposter to say stupid stuff like ‘Feminism Is Cancer’. You’re projecting like an IMAX again, you angry, confused thing.

          • Nonny says:

            No one is claiming to be saving western civilization by hiring a shitposter to say stupid stuff. And yes, someone here certainly is projecting.

  11. Well, it’s certainly no Dead God Excavation…

  12. Beoric says:

    None of you know who the fuck I am, but I feel a need to say something. At the least, it will give you all a common enemy to hate on.

    Melan, your comment “just because Autarch guy had once worked for Milo Fabulous, does not mean the adventure will give you The Gay” was clearly meant to be provocative, even if you somehow weren’t aware of how homophobic it comes off. Being deliberately provocative, and then acting shocked when someone is provoked, makes my eyes roll. The same goes for most of the people who piled on to help you.

    Gus, your response to Melan’s comment was grossly disproportionate. He took a cheap shot with his elbow, you used a bazooka in response. Most of the escalation is your fault.

    I’m not familiar with the controversy with Autarch that you are referencing, but the rhetoric you’re using doesn’t make for good Google searches; I was able to verify very little of what you are suggesting, and what I did find was equivocal. Your comments were inflammatory, but not persuasive. You failed to make your case.

    I don’t know what your beef is with Courtney, but it comes off as personal, not principled. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve read a lot of his stuff. I’m having a hard time buying what you are selling.

    It should be a wake up call to all of you that Kent is obviously following this and didn’t feel a need to instigate anything.

    Courtney, I’m glad your response is more measured and courteous. However, to be completely fair, there is nothing is what Gus wrote here, in the public sphere, that would suggest he was attacking you BECAUSE you have a mental illness.

    • Melan says:

      Oh, there is no need to babysit anyone. Freedom ain’t free; the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of shitposters and virtue signallers. It is its natural manure. Some problematic guy had said so.

      Free Kent!

    • Melan’s comment about “the Gay” was obviously accusing the commenters who are advocating a boycott of the product of being homophobic. Trying to spin it as Melan being homophobic is either disingenuous or stupid.

      And as long as we are being provocative–

      There are two kinds of people in the world: Judas Priest fans and homophobic troglodytes.

      • Melan says:

        I was, honestly, just taking the piss out of people who are bringing self-important political crusades to the game table.

        Ceterum censeo, Kent was better than this stuff.

  13. DimensionDork says:

    (I tried to post this earlier and it didn’t go, so i’m posting it again. don’t murder me if it ultimately ends up showing up twice)

    Alright, Gus, from one liberal to another, you are full of crap.

    First, I am a longtime player and backer of ACKs, been playing it since at least 2012, long before the Vox day or Milo controversy.

    I am also a card carrying member of Planned Parenthood: https://imgur.com/ISPLkil
    I have also donated
    to RAICES: https://imgur.com/N1TLdOf
    in support of Immigrants: https://imgur.com/a/tsROQLW
    in support of trans rights: https://imgur.com/hRm9z4x
    to Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign: https://imgur.com/2YRTz3R

    When Donald Trump was inaugurated, I joined the Women’s March: https://imgur.com/eZd0xCU
    and later the student led “March for our Lives” (no pictures of that)

    For a while I joined up with my local chapter of Indivisible in the early days of the Trump administration to do anything I could to curtail the damage of his admin. In all of my pursuits and searches for way to protect marginalized communities, I have found one constant, and it’s that keyboard warriors like you are a waste of oxygen.

    Alex Macris is not a nazi. I have discussed all manner of politics and philosophy with him at length. We have disagreed on many, if not most, issues. He’s a conservative libertarian, and from my vantage point as a lifelong democrat and liberal, he has the kind of blind spots and ignorance I would expect, but he isn’t a nazi. It’s not just me, either. The ACKs community is full of all manner of political persuasions, including die-hard unionists and socialists. Alex has a penchant that I personally find questionable, to be willing to hear out idiots like Milo and Vox, but he is not a nazi, not a white supremacist, and not a white nationalist. The fact that you and folks like you are still out here peddling this crap over a couple hundred book sales is an absolute disgrace.

    Alex Macris is an independant games publisher with opinions that people on the internet don’t like, who took a job with a guy people on the internet don’t like for a whole YEAR out of the 7 I’ve been playing ACKs. He is also trying to support and care for his disabled wife.

    Courtney Campell isn’t a nazi either. he’s a single dad trying to make a break in an incredibly punishing indie RPG scene, and you are coming after him over less than 500 sales of a PDF that costs $5 each. I don’t know his finances, but to me that sounds like barely enough money to pay rent and food. But here you are, showing up in somebody else’s blog to convince people that if they can keep Eyrie from selling another dozen copies and keep Courtney in the poor house, it will help all the marginalized people who are victimized by the actual alt-right. BS. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

    And as if we needed more proof, you deleted your blog, what, about a year ago? You deleted in a huff because you can’t tell the difference between someone who disagrees with you and a nazi. And yet here you are, blog deleted, because nobody took your hissy fit seriously, so you’re still out here throwing shade to satisfy your own ego. You’re a disgrace to the ideals of liberalism and charity, and you’re useless to the marginalized groups you claim to care so much about.

  14. Chomy says:

    After reading the post, i was wondering if i should buy the product on DT’s current sale.

    After reading all the comments, i just went & did it.

  15. Yomar says:

    This bickering is depressing. Especially between creators I enjoy, like Gus and Melan.

    Gus, I love your stuff, for the record. Exploding over Melan joking about an adventure “giving you the Gay” is such a massive overreaction that I can only assume you and Melan have existing bad blood. I like men like I like my coffee (tall, short, black or white, three times a day) but I didn’t take it as anything other than a harmless joke.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, holy shit, right?

      It’s like, OK, you don’t support a guy/company for reasons… whatever, that’s totally your right. Don’t buy his stuff. Defend your reason for not buying his stuff if you feel the need to explain yourself. Easy solve. But don’t come on and start denouncing everyone who buys his stuff – the choice to do that is theirs.

      I mean, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Hugo Boss, Adidas… all associated with Nazism at some point. Do you shout the same things at all the people shopping at car dealerships and Footlocker?

      No?

      Then why would you do it here?

      There’s a polite way to educate the ignorant, and there’s an impolite way to do it. Nobody has a problem if you feel the need to change other’s minds or educate someone who has been left in the dark SO LONG AS YOU DO IT IN A POLITE, CIVIL MANNER. if you feel the urge to get accusatory/antagonistic/slandering about it, you’re going to face backlash. This has been a truth throughout all of human history – how people are still surprised by this is an absolute mystery. Even small children can grasp the concept of being polite.

  16. Gnarley Bones says:

    Once is a very great while, I had to invoke Godwin’s Law at DF. I never thought I’d live to see the day it reared it’s hoary head in module review comments. What a world.

    I’m here because I play a game with blink digs and talking trees. Your mileage may vary. 🙂

    • Knutz Deep says:

      Preach it Gnarley! Remember when D&D was an escape from life’s bullshit? Sadly, some now use it as kind of Bully Pulpit.

  17. Bigby’s Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

    Macris, Zak S
    What a fracas!
    Gives the neckbeards
    Heart attackses!

  18. Bryce Lynch says:

    I had some buddies and let the relationships drop during my divorce a decade ago. I didn’t burn them down, I just let them die from neglect. I saw him and a couple of others at a bar during GenCon a few years back and tried to buy them drinks. He alone refused to accept it. The standards of honor that he told himself were so important to his self-identity could not accept a friendly hello. His bitterness and everything else that flowed from this extreme position in self-identity turned him in to an alcoholic and ruined his marriage.

    Combined with a Frankie Goes to Hollywood lyric, “Listen to the voice saying Follow Me!”, I raise a questioning eyebrow at black & white views of the world. My experiences have me believing that the world is a grey spectrum. There’s a point in the middle of the line where we can all agree and as we approach the extremes of either end our views diverge. There’s a wide spectrum on the that line to find agreement and collaborate, while recognizing the nut jobs at either extreme end are nut jobs. To make things even harder, everyones view of that spectrum is different and the middle changes over time. People are very complex things and they change over time.

    I haven’t seen anything about Courtney to say he’s out on the extremes of the line, the place of near-universal condemnation where Kents worst homophobic and anti-Semitic comments come from. And I don’t follow Autarch much at all. I know hyperbole sir, he is my friend. When Melan blows off pithily making a middle-of-the-road comment and gets branded a Nazi, well, then I have to examine everything else said through what is now a known black & white viewpoint. If Melan=Nazi is stated, from something I’ve directly seen, then what other hyperbole is hiding in the Escapist/Vox Day statements?

    My fucktard (lowercase, not OUR Fucktard) of a neighbor with his Trump sticker is not a member of the alt-right. His name is Ed and he lost his job and worries about a better future for his kid. The same as 99.9999% of everyone else on the planet. Evil treats people like they are a part of a group instead of as individuals. Disassociating the individual and creating a group membership for them is the very first step to distancing yourself from whatever horrors you are about to inflict.

    Which in no way says I think Gus is completely wrong in his actions. We must each search our conscience and deal with the consequences. If Gary gave 90% of the proceeds from Barrier Peaks to the Khmer Rouge then condemning Gary and letting folks know is fair game. But Courtney? EddieF said it best, “his crime is being willing to take money from a piece of shit to make rent, something you also do with your day job except its not a niche industry so no one cares.” Empathy & Compassion are not mutually exclusive to hating repugnant positions. We all know this.

    None of this matters when it comes to adventure reviews. I freely admit to being a hypocrite.

    • Gus L. says:

      Bryce, I like you – but your willingness to see playful humor in Melan’s efforts to obscure Machris’ record, while seeing my own phrase “You’ve got Nazis on your blog again” as a grievous harm worthy of hand wringing and pearl clutching means you’re part of the problem. You buy into the argument that it’s worse to point out when someone is supporting fascistic policies then when they are doing it. Politeness is the only value you seem to care about here.

      Your neighbor may just be worrying about his kid’s future like everyone else, but when he joins up with authoritarians who are dismantling representative government and committing human rights abuses while fomenting violence, it hardly matters what his personal concerns or motivation are – his politics are still rooted in massacre and white supremacy. If that sounds too harsh or worried to you go read some damn Italian history.

      Sure this is just a silly little community about elf-games – but perhaps the fact that the CEO of the media company that coined the phrase Alt-Right and who was one of the early Gamer Gate boosters is operating in it should be of some concern. The problems of extreme rightest politics are everywhere – even here – and they are corrosive to norms and values other then their own.

      So far all I’ve done is:
      Said I wouldn’t buy ACKS stuff.

      Said why I wouldn’t buy ACKS stuff, listing the company’s owners past affiliations – doing correctly as far as I can tell. You might characterize Yinnapolis and Gamer gate as harmless fun – I don’t.

      Mentioned my own bad experiences with Courtney in a private online group suggest he harbors distasteful views. I make no mention of anything personal or related to his mental health, and I’m not going to elaborate because I don’t want to go after the guy. Courtney isn’t the point here – but I note he’s more then capable of publishing his own stuff or finding a less ‘controversial’ publisher if he wanted to.

      Said that there were “Nazis” in Bryce’s comments. Given past discussion on here that hardly seems extreme and should be obvious as polemic in response to Melan’s own obviously polemical and insulting prior comment. Of course given the compassion and leeway this gang seems to extend to right-wing assholes like Bryce’s neighbor I understand why you see yourselves in the term and feel defensive.

      The sheer volume and anger in these comments at the idea that I don’t want to buy an elfgame product because the publisher is someone with extreme right wing politics or that I’d mention these reasons when Melan ascribes my unwillingness to buy the product to homophobia pretty much sums up the state of the OSR and why it needs to die as a scene, label and community.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gus, mad respect for what you’ve done, but man, you are kinda blowing this stuff way out of proportion.

        You condemn a whole industry because of a few narrow-minded individuals (while failing to see the irony in your own narrow-mindedness). If you applied the same logic to other industries, you’d never buy a book because Mein Kampf was published, you’d abolish TV because FOX News is a thing, you’d kill the internet because Stormfront exists, you’d protest against churches because of Westboro Baptist, etc. To condemn the whole OSR because you disagree with one or two prolific OSR-ers is the same absurdity.

        They are not the entirety of the industry. Most of us are good, decent people trying to create and share and inspire and have fun.

        • Gus L says:

          We can still play and write games oe content without the OSR label. Try it. There’s plenty of other gaming community out there and even an interest in classic style gaming. OSR just label’s one as a grognard at best and well at worst…

          I know that’s not a popular opinion in old school circles – but it seems to me the best days of the OSR ate long gone and the husk That’s left is a brand which gives shelter to both bad designers and bad actors. The ideas and such are freely available, adaptable and enhoyable without the craft of the scene.

          • Yomar says:

            The OSR label is a useful Google search term, and an even more useful network of blogs belonging to people with likeminded views on games. I suspect I’m speaking for the majority of readers here. Bad design (the latest OPDs are pretty trash) or bad actors (Zak S. is a douche) don’t tarnish that label, because they’re nothing to do with what it means to us. If we got rid of the term “OSR”, we’d just need to replace it with an equivalent term that let people find and enjoy the same sites.

            People who maintain blogs and engage heavily in online debate might possibly have an understandably lopsided view of “the OSR”, might have a bad taste in their mouths from dealing intimately with people they dislike. Most of us don’t do that. The only reason I’m in this comment section at all is because of you, specifically, Gus, because I respect you and I like your work. The stuff that’s causing you pain simply isn’t a factor for the majority of us. It’s all about the games. It’s not a “community”, it never has been. The actions of one person operating under the OSR label do not reflect on another. Again, I think I’m representing the majority when I say this.

      • Yomar says:

        Gus, I’m not angry, but I am confused. Melan is “supporting fascistic policies”? Seriously, in order for this accusation to be less than crazy, there has to be more to it than this comment section, in which he’s made four posts, none of which seem to be sporting the ol’ rod and axe. Accepting arguendo that he’s a nazi etc, that you’ve seen convincing evidence of it in the past, don’t you think the problem in the way you’re being received might be due to lack of context? To someone judging solely by this comment page, you are the one who comes off as unreasonable, because we don’t know whatever additional history (I assume) that you know that causes you to react in this way.

      • Fiasco says:

        You sprayed your politics all over the forum like so much unwanted stale jizz. I used to find your blog entertaining but when you shut it “because politics” I took it as a sign of an unwell mind.

        Your views on gaming are most welcome, save the rest for somewhere else.

        • Knutz Deep says:

          Some people see Nazis everywhere. Not all that different than what happened during the McCarthy era but with Commies. Check every woodpile because they’re all over the place. Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep.

    • Edgewise says:

      Thanks for some sanity and balance.

  19. Mr, Lynch
    Thanks for reviewing this. I asked for it. I was curious how you would judge it because you referenced Campbell’s Hack and slash blog before. What does, ” But that don’t mean it’s good enough to be centerpiece of a campaign for months. ” mean. It conflicts with you thinking this is one of the best adventures. If you think it is one of the best, why wouldn’t you want to play it for months?

    I was surprised by the political mess this comment section turned into. Hope to meet you and Campbell at Origins or GENCON if you go. I will judge you when I meet you. Until then, be good.

  20. The Dungeon Analphabet says:

    This is why we all should be playing Tunnels & Trolls.

  21. Blugarg says:

    Every time Gus bleats, I buy an extra copy in his honor.

  22. Melan says:

    Since this blew up in a spectacularly ugly fashion, and I am feeling partly guilty for fanning the flames, I will outline my position clearly and briefly, without diversions and obfuscation. Take away from it what you will. Capitals are added for emphasis.

    1) The RPG hobby, and our specific corner of it is built on a shared interest in GAMES. People from very different walks of life have something common to speak about. It is INEVITABLE that in other respects, we would not share common views.

    2) On the other hand, the RPG hobby is OPEN to everyone with an interest in gaming. In our time, there are no effective gatekeepers or financial barriers, nor any central authority to enforce its will. Whatever your background or interest, you can find – or make – something that fits you. Nobody is being kept out of gaming. Neither the people you like, nor the people you hate.

    3) Following from the two previous points, it is mighty tasteless to expect other gamers to conform to your ideological hangups, or hound them across the Internet. NO YOU DON’T get to be the ultimate arbiter of who is in and who should be chased out. Gaming belongs to EVERYONE. Yes, even people you don’t personally like, or approve of.

    4) This is an old-school module review site. Discuss old-school modules and their finer points here. Contribute. PLEASE take the rest elsewhere. Open a blog or something. Thank you.

    • Edgewise says:

      I was with you until almost the end. I agree that Gus is overreacting in many ways. However, I think you’re taking the other extreme. Neither of you gets to dictate how the community will operate. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the premise that people can choose not to buy products from people who they are ideologically opposed to. It’s free expression and free enterprise in one tidy package.

      This can obviously be taken to absurd extremes. IMO that describes Gus in this case; I mean, can you throw around the N-word (Nazi) a little more, Gus? But you, Melan, take things to a different kind of silly extreme when you try to tell people what conversations to have in this forum. That’s kind of laughable, don’t you think? You have no authority here, so stop trying to tell people the rules according to Melan. And let’s not pretend that you weren’t trying to bait Gus – it’s a little late to play the adult.

      Honestly, you’re both being pretty tiresome in this thread.

      • Gnarley Bones says:

        Melan said “please,” which is the precise opposite of a demand. Quite frankly, Gus shot any hope of real discussion down by invoking Nazis, which is why Godwin’s Law exists.

        I will say, for myself only, that gaming provides an escape from the dregs and dredges of the real world.

        • Edgewise says:

          Gus did not shoot down hope of a real conversation because we’re having one now. And that really doesn’t have anything to do with Melan’s prescriptions. He said “please” for one directive that was only part of one of his four points.

          But let’s not quibble. My main point is that it’s ludicrous to say that one should never take ideological issues into consideration. Such a broad prescription is a much weaker argument than to point out (rightly) that Gus has gone way overboard in this case.

          I personally despise Milo with the heat of a galaxy of supernovas, and I strongly dislike Macris or anyone who would provide him with a platform. However, I noticed that Macris didn’t actually write this, and it sounded really cool. I really don’t like putting any money in Macris’ pocket, but those two factors pushed me over the edge. Blanket prescriptions are for people who don’t like to think about the situation in front of them.

          It helps that Courtney sounds like a pretty cool dude.

          Like Bryce said, there are grey areas.

        • Michael McNally says:

          Do you know that there are actual people who actually use the term “neo-nazi” to describe themselves? Do you think we shouldn’t call those people Nazis? (Too bad. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…)

          Do you know that the founder of the group “Alternative Right”, responsible for the spread of the usage of the term “alt-right” is a self described white supremacist? Do you imagine that the overlap between white supremacists and neo-nazis is smaller than it actually is? Do you know that an actual person relevant to the discussion worked with and supported someone who is a member of these groups?

          I mean, there was a discussion about people, at least one of whom is an actual verifiable Nazi. But for some reason, using that word is forbidden.

          I’m not even sure that Gus was exactly calling any particular person a Nazi. I do know that some people here were defending the right to promote Nazi ideology though.

          • OSR Caveman says:

            Imagine unironically attributing a grassroots contrarian political meme movement by (literally) autistic NEETs and edgy teens to a failed Cointelpro e-celeb figurehead.

  23. Miyu says:

    Thanks Gus L, I feel I need to buy this module now. And again, multiple times. I’ve always thought of myself as on the political Left, but it’s nutjobs like you that make me realise that I haven’t left the Left, the Left has left me.

    Thanks for the awesome reviews Bryce, keep up the good work.

    • BACLF says:

      I used to be a liberal, til Gus’ criticism of Macris made me outraged by Medicare.

      • DimensionDork says:

        Hello. Hi. Yes. I’m the liberal from farther up thread who posted all of his bona fides in imgur links.

        I’m also a really big fan of Medicare. My personal favorites for the 2020 primary are all supporting Medicare For All, which I think is just great. I didn’t realize I would have to lay that out in a post about a tabletop RPG adventure, but here we are.

        Also as I mentioned up above, I really enjoy ACKs. easily my favorite version of D&D and the one i most like to play. I’ve been playing it for something like 7 years at this point.

        I know it’s inconvenient to have to think about people who have similar political opinions as you despite playing games by creators that repulse you. But, once again, here we are nonetheless. I’m afraid you’ll need to try harder with these pithy characterizations.

        Oh, you also did a cute little limerick farther up about Alex and Zak. fun fact: for about a year or so before he got kicked off the OSR, he was one of the most vocal critics of Alex Macris, constantly demanding that he be run out of town. If he were still out and commenting, you might have found him alongside you agreeing with you. How does that make you feel?

        Props on “Bigby’s Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist” though, that gave me a solid chuckle. You seem like an affable guy who cares about the future. I humbly suggest you try something like volunteering IRL or donating to good causes instead of trying to talk people on the internet out of another half dozen sales to an independent artist trying to keep a roof up and food on the table.

        • Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

          I humbly suggest you try something like volunteering IRL or donating to good causes instead of trying to talk people on the internet out of another half dozen sales to an independent artist trying to keep a roof up and food on the table.

          My, aren’t we presumptuous? If that’s you being humble, I’d wonder what you sound like when you’re being pompous.

          Enjoy your elfgame.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I read the conversation, now…..

    Format C:/

  25. Michael McNally says:

    I actually hadn’t played DnD since the 1e days. While trying to get back into the hobby, I found I really didn’t like most of the modern changes, so discovering that OSR is a thing was a revelation. Maybe I’ve been lucky, maybe I’ve only scratched the surface, but I haven’t found any alt-right influence in any OSR blog so far. (Oh, and I’m a fairly standard east coast liberal, so I do notice these things.)

    Guys, 1e rules had a framework for the kind of problem discussed here.

    Nobody should be surprised when the Paladin refuses to join the party when a demon worshipping Assassin joins them for one adventure. Nobody should be surprised that the druid and the chaotic neutral cleric are fine with it. If the Paladin refuses to ever work with the druid in the future because of this, that isn’t supported by the rules. The rest of the party is justified in thinking the Paladin is being a dick.

    On the other hand, if that CN cleric turns out to be a major supporter of that CE assassin, that could be a problem for that cleric. If their deity resides in Gladsheim, they are going to have a lot of explaining to do before they get access to any spells over second level in any campaign I’m running, no matter how much his chaotic good teammates say they’ve never noticed them do anything evil.

    Gus:

    I don’t know who Melan is and I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything they’ve written. But I read their “catch the gay” comment as satirical and tongue in cheek. Maybe I read it wrong, but the reaction of everyone else here makes me think I didn’t.

    Gus, I agree with you in principal about the Trump supporting neighbor. But I also live in the real world. The head of my department at work is a Trump supporter. There isn’t a practical solution to this. I get along well with him, and he is an otherwise good guy. I do get your viewpoint though.

    When you make the claim about Courtney that you “believe he’s in the same camp as Macris and friends.”, well you owe it to Courtney to either specify what you mean by that or take it back. Or have everyone who reads your post think you’re a troll. At the very least, discuss it with him directly.

    I read Courtney’s blog regularly. He has written one and only one post that made me wince, and it’s very relevant to this discussion: http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2018/10/im-bowing-out.html. There is a hint of fake both sidesism somewhere in there. Screaming out hate speech or proposing policies which do real humans actual harm is not the same as screaming for that speech and those policies to stop. Just isn’t. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil and all of that. I get the idea of not wanting to be part of the screaming match, but it does matter what is being screamed.

    That aside, Courtney seems a decent person. He seems to follow a different path, and personally, I think that path is better than the one you and I have chosen, Gus. Engage instead of withdraw and put people in positions where they have to interact, in a neutral manner, with people they think they don’t like. Hope the people you disagree with learn something in the process.

    (By the way Gus, I found your blog after you quit posting. Thanks for keeping it online, it’s the second best source of valuable advice and information about how to play RPGs, after Courtney’s.)

    • Maximilian Damacion Wilson says:

      Thanks for writing that post Michael. After I read the last paragraph I Googled Gus’s blog and found some interesting stuff! Probably would never have done so if you hadn’t written that. -Max

  26. Ice says:

    Well everybody that was quite educational

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