If you have read my previous San Checks, you probably gathered that I have strong opinions. Has my opinion changed now that WotC has released the PDFs of previous editions?
At some point, I read that WotC once sold PDFs of previous editions and later pulled them. This was drama I missed. I had what I needed to play, so it did not matter. This last thought was short sighted of me.
`but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
When I started gaming with The Delvers, I realized if the girls decided to carry on with this hobby they could not rely on my books. So, we moved to Labyrinth Lord, the retro-clone of the best version of D&D. A better D&D than the game it was based on.
I did not turn to Labyrinth Lord because I believe WotC is some “big evil empire.” I love to support people, products and companies I believe in.
The opposite is true as well. I loved going to the Alice and Wonderland themed Fry’s (there is a Fry’s closer to where I live and I went out of my way!), but on one occasion I received poor service at this location. I quietly let the manager know. I was not ranting and raving in his face. I was calm and straightforward. Based on his reaction to the employee in question, I decided that I would not go there again. Ever.
He was not phased.
Every Time You Say Indie
You do not need to be “small and independent” for me to care about you. Although, my best investments have been Dwarf Fortress, Red Letter Media and Barrowmaze II, arguably small and independent ventures.
Since this site is RPG focused, I mention Barrowmaze a lot. My links to purchase Barrowmaze throughout this site are not referral links where I get paid pennies on the click. They are me saying, “OMFG! You need to own this!” with all the emotions that comes with true fandom. I even created a game in order to give out copies of Barrowmaze.
I wanted to spend my money, so you could own Barrowmaze. That is not rational.
Put another way, you know that feeling you get inside when you hit play on Evil Dead II or Troll II or Birdemic or whatever, because the foolish person in the center of the couch has never seen it before and you just need to share it with them?
Like that. That excitement of something you truly enjoy is what drives my support for things like Dwarf Fortress, RLM and BM II.
I am just a fan.
You Can’t Piss on Hospitality
I understand everyone lies. I do not believe the importance of when and how to lie is taught enough. When it comes to gaming, deception is a very useful skill. In role-playing games, the best Dungeon Master is the best bullshitter.
But, WotC is like a former friend who lied too many times and for the nth time asks for forgiveness (and never directly). You do not keep those friends. You move on to people you trust. It is sound advice to cut off ties with a person who has mislead you in a negative fashion on more than one occasion, let alone pissed all over your food.
Mike Mearls, the lead developer for D&D 4E R&D cries, “We fucked up! I get it now! Will you help us fund 5E?” Well, he did not say those exact words (that would have been honest, direct and appreciated!). He did tweet, “My favorite part of my job is, by far, the days I feel like Santa Claus, all working for a year+ in advance to one day make people happy.”
Trying to make people happy when you cannot see the point is a failed endeavor.
You are a fool to trust someone who has burned you more than once and you are a fool for getting back together for the nth time with a liar.
I can forgive a friend that makes a mistake, just like I hope they forgive me when I screw up. But, Mike Mearls is not my friend and WotC is not a company I will support. Ever.
This will not phase them.
Get Off My Lawn
Maybe you are more forgiving than I am. Maybe I am just stubborn, so stupidly stubborn that I will drive on an empty tank passed that gas station, because the other gas station has better service even if it is ten miles down the road and I might end up walking. Barefoot. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways.
Either way I am buying gas.
I am not better than you for it.