Saturday, May 21, 2016

The curious anger against The Forge

I read a post earlier this week that was one of those that makes you wonder what world the poster lives in. The thrust of the argument was that The Forge has ruined indie publishing, and that the theory discussions there were pretentious, and that Ron Edwards hates old school.

The last point is fairly simple, as Ron have posted a lot publicly about games he has played and what he has liked or not. That he wrote a essay about D&D and used the words "brain damage" doesn't prove much. I have myself used those words when talking about alignment, many times. I have played with Ron, read his actual play posts about e.g. T&T, and know how ridiculous that claim is. But, even if it's true, what does it matter? How does Ron and The Forge threaten you?





I wonder, why do some people who feel affiliated with OSR sensibilities feel so threatened by The Forge and its inheritance? I can understand how an approach to gaming that focuses on actual play to see how it works, can feel theoretical underpinnings and that kind of talk to be pointless. Let's disregard for the moment to what extent a theoretical conversation means you do not play. I know I found some of the jargon sometimes obscured the experience of play, so I see some point with that criticism.

But, apart from that, what is so threatening? Is it the thrust towards cooperative storytelling, where the DM no longer reigns supreme, the big threat? I know some people don't care for player narrative powers and just want to explore the world and roll dice. I can sympathize with that approach as well, even if I don't see it as a threat.

This leaves me wondering.

12 comments:


  1. It is, of course, extremely silly to suggest anyone feels threatened by the Forge. It is not a military body.
    However, it is undeniable that genuine problems have occurred inthe RPG community because of the Forge. It's acted as a kind of Republican party in gaming, moving very low burdens of proof into the overton window and throwing prominence on Broken Stair types. The Forge itself never launched any harassment campaigns--but the most vigorous supporters of said campaigns met because of the Forge and were (and often still are) supported by money and message by FOrge friends.
    Concrete examples here:
    http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2016/04/why-theres-no-tabletop-rpg-theory.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. It appears from reading his blog that the RPG Pundit goes into berserk mode at the mere hint of Ron Edwards, the Forge, and Story Gaming.

    I will state that I enjoy the work of the Pundit, Zak Smith and Ron Edwards, but each of them has demonstrated the occasional edge to their on-line personas that sometimes leads to heated exchanges. Personally, I think their mutual passion for gaming leads to the inability to agree (like a dedicated Rap fan and a dedicated Country Music fan would probably disagree about many things Musical).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Pundit is not the only one I was thinking of, even though he was the incentive that made me post. There is a strain of OSR identifying people, specifically, that seem to have a serious hangup about the Forge.

      A worthy difference between Zak and Pundit specifically is that the former is erudite and clear in his argumentation, and the latter is just frothing at the mouth. Ron is not as wild, but also not as clear. One of them is really grating on my ears.

      I think you are onto something why these three personalities seem to stir up emotions, though.

      Delete
  3. It's deeply creepy and discouraging that you guys are talking in abstractions about personalities rather than addressing the concrete issues here.

    Tone is not the issue.

    True and false and right and wrong are the issues here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry it took a while for me to address this issue. I got distracted and just posted a reply to your first post.

      You surely have reasons to be quite angry about very specific people. I kind of lumped that in with a more general case, which was sloppy of me.

      Delete
  4. Um...while I have been associated with the OSR quite a bit, I have a high regard for both Edwards and the work that was done at The Forge.

    Which is to say: I agree that the issue is weird. But then, so are "edition wars," yeah?
    ; )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we are just weird, investing all this time and energy, eh?

      Delete
    2. Nope, its pretty much every hobby. Baseball fans argue about designated hitters, Model Train fans argue about scale... where ever there is passion there will be arguments. Even within the OSR there are a number of recurring divisions (ascending vs descending armor class, race-as-class vs rave-and-class, whether the thief and/or cleric should be removed from te game).

      Delete
    3. It's not weird:

      Forgies went on to participate in harassment, smear and libel campaigns and support people participating in them and still do it.

      Being wary of that isn't weird--it's responsible.

      Delete
    4. It's not weird:

      Forgies went on to participate in harassment, smear and libel campaigns and support people participating in them and still do it.

      Being wary of that isn't weird--it's responsible.

      Delete
  5. It's sorta funny, but the only person I see on here attacking anyone else is Zak. Obviously he has a problem with someone at Forge or someone he somehow "associates" with Forge. If it's a legitimate beef, then take steps to correct it with the people involved (legally, or whatever). But coming on someone else's blog with glittering generalities designed to discredit people who probably aren't even aware this discussion is occurring seems...well...somewhat contributory to the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeff,

      Zak gives a link to his blog in his first comment on this blog, there are also more details on his blog if you feel like digging into it.

      Actually the one dealing in vague generalities here was me. I was thinking of some thing I'd read by the guy known as "RPG Pundit" and also some views I've heard espoused by some conservative people in OSR circles. I did not, and this almost embarrass me to admit, even think about the existing conflict involving Zak!

      It is indeed a legitimate beef, and I was indeed thinking like you that it could be handled by an "adult conversation". But, it has progressed into a place where situations are quite entrenched and I think it's hard for people to talk it out.

      Make not mistake, some quite terrible things have been said about Zak and his loved ones. It's not a one sided spat.

      That being said, I can understand if Zak comes across as quite abrasive. He is very forthright and when in a conversation, he digs in when he feel you waffling or are inconsistent in your arguments.

      Nobody should let that or any other bad behaviour online lead to threats or hostility, but that's sadly how things tend to go down online.

      Thanks for chiming in Jeff. If I can clarify things further just let me know.

      Delete

Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Andreas Davour. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Blogger.