Friday, 7 March 2014

Cap in Hand

I read The Tao of D&D because I enjoy it.  There have been times when it has produced such excellent posts that I had to point others there, and there have been times when I felt compelled to write about something I read there that I disagreed with.  However, there has never been a time when I stopped reading the blog.  I intend to buy and read Alexis’ book on DMing when it comes out, too, because even where I disagree with him, I respect that he is worth reading.

Yesterday, I read Alexis’ post on “The Sides of Power”, and I disagreed.  As a GM, I have never had to ask permission to run a game.  There have been points where I was willing to run, but there were other things happening, or people wanted to play a different game.  Frankly, if Bob is running his Pathfinder game when I want to run my DCC game, and Bob’s game is the preferred choice, I can change my time slot and play in Bob’s game too.

In my world, there are always more people wanting to play than there are wanting to run the game.  People who want to run the game need encouragement so that they don’t simply give up when faced by the work required to present a game milieu – even a single adventure!  I have known people who have found even the idea of running a published scenario daunting.  The idea that a would-be GM would be forced to go begging for players, cap in hand, does seem ludicrous to me.  I am not saying it doesn’t happen; I am saying that it is so far outside my experience – direct experience or through direct observation of others – that I have to imagine that this is an uncommon thing.  I could be wrong.

In my experience, if you build it they will come.

This morning, I read Alexis’ post on anger being his default position.  In it, he describes one of my comments to his post, intended to convey that even though I don’t always agree with him, I find he has insights I had not considered and that are worth considering.  That is not the way Alexis took it.  I have no control over that, but it makes me sad.

I try to take people as they are.  We all have flaws, but our flaws are not the only thing that defines us.  It is important, in my mind, to be able to call out flaws in an argument, but that is not the same thing as being cruel to the man making the argument.

In the immortal words of Bill & Ted, Be excellent to each other.


  1. Dude, you're dealing with someone who has a (pretty severe) personality disorder. Don't get too tangled up about it. The guy doesn't have the ability to react to things reasonably. He can't help himself.

  2. Perhaps, but, like I said, I try to take people as I find them, and I do think he has interesting insights. I wish I had the skill to make hex maps the way he does, for instance, or the patience to learn to do so. But you are correct that having a dialogue with anyone who takes anything other than "yes sir" to be derisive is somewhat vexing at the best of times.

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  4. I read his blog, but have refrained from commenting, for much the same reason that I have come to regret getting involved in discussions with some other members of the RPG blogging community. Being called a liar or otherwise dismissed for expressing an opinion proves they are not interested in dialog, but a greek-chorus to reiterate their points in a myriad of voices, or to expand their poorly developed ideas, but only if it matches what they were alreaady thinking.

    He does have some interesting insights and whether I agree with them or not, they are food for thought.