Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quick 5e Character Generation Reference Thingy

I can't be the only one who wished, during character creation, these were all in one place for reference. So here you go, in the approximate order you need them…

All the 5e Races (p17)
Hill Dwarf
Mountain Dwarf
High Elf
Wood Elf
Lightfoot Halfling
Stout Halfling
Forest gnome
Rock gnome

All the 5e Backgrounds (p125) (it helps to pick background before class because then when you move to class and pick skills you don't pick skills you already have)
(Variants backgrounds in parenthesis)
Folk Hero
Guild Artisan
(Guild Merchant)
(Noble Knight)

All the 5e Classes (p45)

All the 5e skills (p 174)

STRENGTH                WISDOM
Athletics                       Animal Handling
DEXTERITY              Medicine
Acrobatics                    Perception
Sleight of Hand            Survival

Arcana                         Deception
History                         Intimidation
Investigation                 Performance
Nature                          Persuasion

Trinket table: p 159
Starting money: p 143
Armor: p 144
Weapons: p 146
Other gear: p 148
Spells: p 207
XP Table: p15

And here's a Random 5e PC Generator it doesn't roll and crunch the numbers but it does pick race, class, background, etc. The race and class has two versions--one that leaves out bards and gnomes because they suck and one that leaves them in because I am merciful.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Converting To Type V?

I made my first by-the-book (ok, kinda by the the book, I rolled stats 3d6 in order just to see how that'd go) 5th Edition D&D character last night. Trullvenly the Slav, half-orc barbarian, noble background.

Thinking I might convert my current home game (AD&D/3.5 hacked mash-up) to a hacked version of 5e. Things to consider (and I freely admit I may not know what I'm talking about here, but that's why there's a comment box)...

-Conan can be easily charmed by a 1st level wizard
Unless your class specializes in a save, it doesn't improve as you level up.
Because of the nature of the format, this kind of thing actually happens a lot in serial fiction--the epic hero is laid low by a clever low-level loser who gets lucky. Because Thor's been around for 400 issues fighting epic threats and it's nice to have an ironic reversal once in a while.

-Robin Hood and Gandalf are equally likely to hit the bullseye (sorta)
Robin Hood will do more damage and probably get multiple attacks and Gandalf would have to use a light crossbow but if they're the same level all classes have the same chance to hit. Ok but then Robin Hood probably has a feat that makes him even better with bows and has a better dex. But still, it's a little bit of a thing.

-Gandalf should be using a staff, not a sword
…since one of the things left that separates the fighter from the wizard is the fighter's using better weapons, or at least the fighter gets to add a level-based bonus to a sword attack.
An easy hack around this is to just use class-based damage unless a weapon is specialized. Wizards=d4, Rogue/Druid=d6, Cleric=d8, Fighter/Ranger/Paladin=d10, Barbarian=d12

-Hit points aren't old school
That's super easy to hack, though.

-Adam doesn't get Limited Wish
There's no Limited Wish and he was all expecting to get it next level

-I have no practical first-hand experience with the global effect of the spell system at high levels 
…on the other hand, the same could be said for the current spell system I'm using, which is totally experimental.
Might let people grandfather-in old spells.

-Random unattached stuff I don't like/care about
This is a catch-all for stuff I can just ignore, so whatever. That's what I do with every other edition.

-Players have new shit to remember
Everybody gets abilities they didn't have before which they need to keep track of. Like my half-orc has the ability to pop up to 1 hp when he's knocked down to 0 hp because he's a half-orc.

-I have to rebalance monster hit points and weapon damage
I usually build monsters from scratch so this is no big deal.

This, by the way, is how I do it at high levels: I want a relatively high-armor, short-combat game.
The unit of damage is The Fireball (an unavoided, average-damage fireball from a caster at 10th level. That's 35 points of damage in D&D Type III or D&D Type V if the caster uses a highest-slot fireball).
A backstab should be roughly equal to a Fireball.
An average successful melee attack from a 6th level fighter should be 1/2 fireball. So if both attacks from a high-level fighter hit, that guy might as well have just gotten fireballed.
A 10th-level fighter-type monster should have about 2 fireballs worth of hit points.
To see how it'd work, I converted Connie's character over to the new system.

It took about an hour of working together and wasn't totally boring. Trying to retroactively decide what background and archetype you have is a thing.
Asterisks indicate things Connie's going to have to learn how they work.

Half elf
Background: Urchin
Level 12

Prof bonus +4
XP 70,660 100,660

Wis 10 14 (+2)
Dex 15 (+2) (+6 save) 16 (+3) (+7 save)
Cha 13 (+1)  16 (+3)
Int 15 (+2) (+6 save)
Con 15 (+2)
Str 11 14 (+3)

Close combat +9/+4 +7
Shooting/throwing/finesse +11/+6  +7
Melee Damage bonus +0 +3
Armor: Chainmail (no proficiency) Studded leather 15
Hit points 51


Improved Uncanny Dodge *Uncanny Dodge see p 96
Defensive roll *Evasion see p 96
Sneak attack: +4 to hit(you'll usually have advantage) +6d6 damage
60 ft Darkvision
+2 vs enchantment & sleep Advantage vs enchantment & sleep
*Urchin stuff (items, mouse, city movement, etc), see p. 141)
Archetype: Assassin
*Cunning Action see p. 96
*Assassinate see p. 97
*Infiltration see p. 97
*Reliable talent see p. 97

Sleight of Hand (Expertise +11) 
Stealth (Expertise +11)
Bonus to listen search spot for being a half-elf  Perception (+6)
Acrobatics (Expertise +11)
Insight (+6)
Deception (+7)
Intimidation (+7)
Animal Handling (Expertise +10)
History (+6)

Reliable talent plus existing bonuses means a thing has to be like 22 difficult before our thief even has a fail at her specialties.
Gypsillia is about a fireball and a half worth of hit points tough but uncanny dodge takes a huge bite out of that. So did the old version of Improved Uncanny Dodge.
Gypsillia is a little better at animal handling and a little worse at forgery than the previous version
She can't really climb anymore because she didn't go for athletics and chose the assassin archetype instead of thief
She's averaging something like 7.5hp (a little over 1/5 fireball) on a successful hit, but will be doing more than fireball damage on a backstab thanks to sneak attack plus the Assassinate ability. Without that assassinate ability, she's quickly outstripped by any high-slot fireballs.
I currently add the d20 roll to the damage for every non-spellcasting class, as a Fireball-offset. It adds 10.5hp to every damage roll. I may just keep doing that.

"Because of the urchin thing I now have the song from Aladdin stuck in my head"
"That's another emergent effect of switching over to the new system. I'll have to note that on the blog."

Monday, August 11, 2014

"…and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes"

--Daniel 8:5

Animals are the most common monster in your setting.

Yes, your druid can talk to them, but what do they say? Oh I want to pull your sled, hippie? No.

Animals are political--flies hate toads and frogs and toads and frogs hate my Monday group, because they killed a Slaad, one of their gods, which in turn hates the Chasme, or demon-fly.
…and in Carcosa it's even worse.

Point being there is, even before the new Monster Manual arrives, a great deal of nascent animontrosity nascent in your world. Dormant hates, waiting for a moment to bray and bite. Yes, your honey badger Animal Companion will help you, but if you tell it to kill snakes--it might not stop.

Which brings us to the goat. We imagine animals are us and imagine their inner world is the world we'd have had we that face.

By and large, our ancestors seem to have looked at goats and seen a sharp-featured male face, whose beard made him old, whose hollowed cheeks spoke not of softeing age but of having been harrowed, shriven and shrivelled and whose side-slit half-open eyes made him sly and drunk.

We aren't complete idiots, though--and once dealt with domestic animals daily--so much of what we decide is based on what they actually do. So we can add in that this particular senior citizen is omnivorous, tenacious, and difficult.

At some point, most of Europe decided this was the worst kind of man you could be. He, like, the serpent, had been too far and taken in too much.
Might've been the horns
People say goats are lustful, serving Baphomet, a duke beneath Demogorgon, but then, people say a lot of things.

What is known for certain is that the goat is contemptuous of the sheep, which obeys, that two goats--Toothsnarler and Toothgrinder--draw the chariot of Thor, that they give milk, meat, cheese and hide, that sin may be invested in a special goat to purge a community of it, that they possess a two-breasted udder, that they whisper lewdness into the ears of saints, and that the Cathedrals of Tittivila used to be built inside the bodies of massive, 8-legged black goats.

While it is not true that goats may eat anything, they have been known to ruminate on a wide variety of topics. Those casting Speak With Animals and consulting a goat on any topic will likely be confronted with a well-developed (if not always well-conceived) treatment of the subject.

Beastmen are chosen of Demogorgon, and possess goat heads, but they lack the gimlet calm of their goat parents. It is said among goats that two-legged blood makes beastmen lustful.

War-goats have 2+2 hit dice and attack as wardogs, save they do +2 damage on a charge and are much harder to train. If you ask a wardog to fetch something it might work, your wargoat will probably eat it.

Halflings, dwarves and both tribal and witchwood goblins are known to ride wargoats, and it is claimed gnomes have a great affinity with them, but no-one gives a fuck because they're gnomes.

The goat's greatest foe is, of course, the troll. Trolls lurk beneath bridges, for they are places which connect, by civilized means, loci which Demogorgon--in his wisdom--preferred to conceive separately.

Typically, trolls will menace each goat that passes a bridge (to quote the Monster Manual) "unceasingly", until gored by an unusually large, pugnacious, skilled or lucky goat. Such a goat (known as an Escape Goat) then acquires the trolls' regeneration abilities. If, like Toothsnarler and Toothgrinder, they are slaughtered by their master and eaten in a goat's head soup, they will return healthy the next morning.

Another variety is the Night Goat, which is a kind of crime-solving goat. It has no special abilities, but murmurs in the darkness.

As the Icelandic Goat nears extinction, it requests your help.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dear Angry Gamers, I Am Calling Your Bluff

So the charges against me and the women in my group have been totally debunked.
Thank you, Molly.

However, some liars are still lying and pretending they didn't lie or defending their right to retweet lies and it's boring everyone. Aren't you bored reading this?

So, let's finish this like the gamers and do-gooders we are:

Here's the game--I ask you a question about things you did or said to create this controversy. You answer the question clearly. Each straight answer you give I donate 10 US dollars to the charity of your choice.*

No religious, anti-porn or other conservative charities allowed. Anarchist, feminist and LGBT ones recommended. Personally I am a big fan of the Downtown LA women's shelter since our party's thief works there but the lgbt center's good too. I cap out at 1000$ or when I run out of questions, whichever comes first. Multiple comers welcome.

Formal rules:

You have to answer. No rhetorical questions, no grandstanding, no "I can't believe you would ask that question", no bullshit joke answers for the crowd, no "oh come on, you know the answer to that." You answer the question, you answer seriously and succinctly. Then you wait for the next question.

You may ask questions of your own, that is permitted. No dumb troll questions and you still have to answer mine. No money for my questions, but I'll answer because I'm a good person.

Beyond that, you try not to make any other statements (so do I). This is hard (and asking a question often involves making a statement), but the point is to understand that which is not understood.

If you feel the question is leading or unfair, you can clarify and I will reformulate.

This is not a debate--this is an attempt to understand where the real, base-level differences are between whatever you think is going on and what everyone else does.

No interjections from anybody else.

The venue is this blog or Google + (public thread or private thread (to be moved to the blog when it's over)) whichever you prefer.

If you think a question is leading, say so and explain why and I'll rephrase it.

If you are afraid to reveal a source, we'll try to rephrase to get a plausible scenario out of what you're saying.

This offer is only good for a certain list of people, but you guys hate to be listed. So I'll just say: if you are Tom Hatfield or retweeted the Tom Hatfield article some time before Aug 9th and have over 1000 twitter followers you are eligible to win some cash for your favorite charity. Also, Ettin, Wundergeek and Schmelz are eligible regardless of how many followers they have, considering their roles here. (EDIT: Aug 13--you are also eligible if you have over 1000 twitter followers and shared it publicly on Tumblr or Google +.)

Questions you don't answer or evade get no cash. Personal attacks or insults disqualify you immediately.

So: do you care about not admitting you're wrong or do you care about the marginalized people in the community?

If you would rather just call me names, donate money yourself and then go about your business, that's fine, too--someone has been helped by this gesture and that's what's important.

Do let me know.

I have no doubt this will be called "grandstanding" by bitter jerks, but there's the money. Take it or leave it. Are you more afraid to answer questions than you are eager to secure aid for your favorite cause?

(EDIT AUG 18: Ok, it's been a week. Nobody who fits the requirements has responded, and there's evidence on they've mostly seen it. Even if they assumed the questions were. leading or insulting, they could just stop, so they were risking nothing and still couldn't get over themselves enough to answer questions about the accusation to help the causes they claim to cherish. We can fairly call them all Fake Activists now. But then, what do you expect from people who are scared of a shirt?)
*One of the liars involved has recharacterized this game as saying you have to "agree" I'm a "good guy" (instead of "answer questions") which, if nothing else, is conclusive proof he is a bad guy. Seems like a lot of bending over backward to avoid truth or generosity to the underprivileged, but there you go. Same shit, different day:


Friday, August 8, 2014

Fucking Save Goats

You know what's a big problem in the RPG industry? You people aren't saving goats.

Look at them:
We're goats
Save them!

They're the Icelandic Goat ok? Specifically. The Icelandic Goat is an ancient species of goat that's Icelandic, and if you aren't saving it, you're probably a fuck.

Ok that was mean but anyway save a goat. They're badass.

There's like, what? Almost no Icelandic Goats left. Like there's 8 or something. I don't know, not a lot.

Look, here's a goat. And it's majestic, ok?
See? Ma Jes Tic. Goat.

From Ice. Land.

Check how fucking metal:
My name is Lu Ci Fer PleaseTakeMyHand
He's a metal goat. And endangered as fuck.

You know what's Old School? Goats. Goats whose lineage predates the settlement of Iceland over a millennia ago(at).

Soon a farm in Iceland's gonna close and that's gonna be like half the goats there were. Right there.

Seriously: save goats.

As of last count here was less than 600 of this majestic and imperious, and fleecey beast. There isn't enough goats, ok?

So skip that splatbook and save a goat, you got it?

"But wait," you may be saying "I'm an indie gamer, I'm not metal enough to save goats!"

Don't worry, they also make them in NewWave:
Ground Control To Major Goat
Check it:
We'll kill you inna alley because of the devil we're goats
For 1000$ you can even adopt and name a baby goat.
I'm yours and fucking name my ass. 
Goats rule, ok? And there isn't as many goats as there's supposed to be.

So go. Serious. Goats, man.
This is Mandy with goats


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Apologies Plus Jerryrigged Sandbox Dungeon Construction Notes

First, to people who are e-mailing in apologies--

Since Mandy's still in the hospital we may not be able to answer every e-mail coming in immediately--but, in general, folks sending apologies for supporting, retweeting or otherwise signal-boosting Tom Hatfield's now-discredited smear job on us:

We appreciate that you are apologizing, that's big of you and provides an all-too-rare example of these dumb online things resulting in a little self-examination. However, we do ask that if you're making an apology you make it public.

We realize that most of this is down to people just wanting to reflexively back up their friends and that's not entirely a bad thing to do--but the mistake was public, so the attempt to fix it needs to be as well.

A situation where dozens or maybe hundreds of isolated trans- kids on Tumblr think their favorite game hates them just because of Tom Hatfield is not ok. And you can make that right--but not with a message that just sits in my or Mandy's inbox and doesn't go out in the world.


P.S. For those who asked: Mandy's doing alright, second feeding tube in, in less pain today but still under observation. We've been able to pay a few games via G+ and watch some movies so it's been alright. Thanks to everybody who ran those. Also: the new wheelchair did finally show up and is awesome.

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program…

As much as possible I try to hand-draw dungeons for the home group--but for the online game I use alotta tricks.

Chris H (human monk) recently out together a list of all the dungeons and fortresses that've come up in that online game in the past couple years. Since it's a sandbox game and most I thought it might be fun to run through them and how I threw them together.

Jackalman Fortress in Cobalt Reach
*gnolls, actually

Construction: Exterior was from the random fortress generator--inside was like a circle with a handful of squares in it based on one of those sketchy "fortress with (number) (kind of dude) lead by a (number) level (alignment) (sorcerer/fighter) descriptions in Carcosa.

Result: Full on siege--successful

Fortress of the guy we turned in to a Lich*--(Baron Vorgus)
*demilich, actually

Construction: Ditto, exterior was from the random fortress generator- then made a tiny 3 level sketch map that connected to the Echo Palace (see below). Like 3 rooms had a special stuff, the rest was just whatever monsters were in the warband.

Result: Joined besieging army, then took over.

Library of the Snakemen

Construction: This was barely a place--just the idea of a vertical shaft library with Librarians/serpentmen/reptile women in it.

Result: Went down a few runs, then ran out.

Dungeon Under Baron Vorgus' Fortress

Construction: Actually just a portion of the Echo Palace (see below).

Result: Took it over.

Dungeon Where Mandy Helped Us Fight Lots Of Bad Guys

Construction: North end of Search-And-Replace Dungeon

Result: Went about 1/4 of the way in, got some treasure, fought some dudes, left.

Echo Palace of Omnithroxia

Construction: Heavily modified Caverns of Thracia. I went through and modified it by hand for weeks before for use in my home game.

Result: They did about half to 3/4 of it then it got destroyed during the Slow War. They were there forever.

Bellet Osc (Hex King's Palace)

Construction: Mostly index cards--the laid over an image from the Book of Kells, which provided the layout.

Result: Halfway finished, then got driven off by run-ins with white orcs and cannibal mermaids

Giant's House 

Construction: One giant upstairs room, one giant downstairs room

Result: Squishing

Salamander Cave

Construction: Random rooms from the DIY D&D community's megalist, re-themed to match salamanders

Result: 3 rooms in, then fled

Island of Warring Goblins Tower Defense & Dungeon Assault

Construction: Random rooms, re-themed

Result: Pretty well scraped

Witch's Isle Dungeon

Construction: Random rooms, re-themed

Result: They never did find the beholder...

Battle of Nornrik

Construction: Basically Doctor Doom's castle from the Marvel Super Heroes FASERIP Dr Doom supplement with a few oddities thrown in and the eye of a god in the tower.

Result: A long battle but a total victory in the end.

Half-Orc Knight's Castle (where Sir Ward died)

Construction: Sarum Castle from the Great Pendragon Campaign

Result: Eventually saw all of it after getting Sir Ward killed in a hostage situation.

Naga's Dungeon

Construction: Random dungeon

Result: Success

Inside Vorn

Construction: An old dungeon from the I Hit It WIth My Axe era, literally inside the body of a god.

Result: Went a few rooms in, then fled.

The Glass Tower

Construction: From an old Al Qadim supplement

Result: Flew up, stole a thing, ran.
The Arcology of Cyanotica Bast

Construction: Heavily modified Seclusium

Result: Saw about 80% of it, largely on account of a demon refusing to let them leave.

Arcology of Nithrinn Poxx

Construction: Another Seclusium

Result: Saw about 25-40% during a siege, managed to replace the owner with a mind flayer

Abu Zin Zeer

Construction: Doctor Doom's palace again

Result: Searched until they found a horrible mechabeholder

The Castle of those Asshole Elves That Kidnapped Malice

Construction: The outside was the random fortress generator, the inside connected to the Echo Palace.

Result: Malice managed to escape his captors & hook up with the rest of the party in the Echo Palace.

Temple of the Winds

Construction: Top level--index cards, lower level: random dungeon

Result: Lost a cleric of Manpac but otherwise most of it got seen. Except the door with the thing screaming "daddy" behind it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How Dungeons And Dragons Is Totally Not Endorsing The Darkest Parts The RPG Community At All Even Though There's Some Tumblr Panic That It Is

Thank you, Actual Journalist and Actual Feminist Molly Crabapple

Courtesy Matthew Adams
So, conservative game blogger Tom Hatfield ( @wordmercenary on twitter ) wrote a lot of things that aren't true
He looks familiar, right?
Why didn't an actual news site take your story, oh Mercenary? Probably because of all the ways you fucked it up. Let's count them--but, in counting them, let's also take this opportunity to look back at a great many years of posts in D&D With Porn Stars that Tom The Word Mercenary clearly did not.

Why This A Win-Win For You, Reader

If you've read all of the posts from this blog I'm linking to below, you already know Tom the Word Mercenary is talking from deep betwixt the pressing and fleshy sanctum of his or some friend's butt--and you can skip this post entirely. Go grab some random tables off the Dozen.

If you haven't, it's almost as if these links to old but relevant posts are me writing a whole bunch of new posts about something other than embarrassing the hell out of a terrible writer today and you get to read them.

Special Note For RPGnet: Now the biggest complaint against me is that I made a list of people who endorsed a lie about rape threats. The stupid theory is that I did this to shame, embarrass or bully people into rescinding their endorsement. I had no such hopes: I did it to warn my friends that nobody on that list should be trusted because they just will endorse shit without evidence.

So, let's romp!

Let's watch Tom the Word Mercenary turn this into a conspiracy...

It starts with a simple fact-checking embarassment I would've gotten fired for back when I was an unpaid intern:

Dude. Seriously.

(4e stands for "Fourth Edition". Like, of D&D. Also a big 5e fan--having worked on it. Those are the two newest editions which, to be fair, Tom The Word Mercenary may not have known since he apparently doesn't know about Google.)

#3 "Zak S is famous for two things: Playing D&D with pornstars, both on his blog and for a little while in a web series for the Escapist, and being banned from half the major RPG communities on the net for derailing any and all discussion about diversity and discrimination."

Click to enlarge the actual awesome thing I said that got me banned from RPGnet
and here's a feminist takedown of RPGnet's bullshit

…and I got banned from Story-Games for pointing our Wundergeek was a repulsive bigot

#4 "Zak...spends all his time derailing conversations on sexism"

#5 "...defending sexists…."

"Whatever could be the matter with this door?" said Alice.
"It is being held shut by Zak. He has no other entertainments." said the Mercenary
"Wait, the Zak that drew me?" said Alice

Click to enlarge the extent of Tom Hatfield's failure.
And get a preview of Red & Pleasant Land.

#7 "...anyone who criticised the pair found themselves subjected to harassment, abuse and real world stalking…"
This is an unrelated bat picture from a book I'm doing.

So: anyone but Zak stepping up to defend Zak is "harassment". 
Keeping score?
Obscure + lying: not harassment.
Famous+ typing true things: harassment.
Famous+typing fake things: not harassment.

#8 "What they do is point out targets and refuse to admonish their fans when they step over the line."

#9 " the choice of victim that is the most telling. These attacks nearly always target women and LGTBQ individuals…"
Targeting for hugs, maybe?

The sole documented incident of Zak S harassing a trans person

"The years of trolling I did before I changed my screen-name don't count!"

…the end of Marshall's statement was too long too fit, but you can check it here --and +1 while you're at it

#11 "...Zak’s business model revolves around publically being a jerk. He is, quite literally, a career bully…"
…also a porn actor, but I figured that was implied. And it is the Post so, y'know….

#12 "...Zak was publicly speaking on Mearls’ behalf,…"

Do you see "On behalf of Mike Mearls?" I don't see that. Tom The Word Mercenary, do you see that? Tom The Word mercenary what are you on? Are there secret drugs given only to Mercenaries?

Maybe eating a sandwich before we take Mandy her new wheelchair is a "run-in"? I dunno, ask Tom The Word Mercenary.

In 2013 I discovered the secret best way to destroy homosexuals is to help them snuggle.
Soon, my pet…

ProTip: Best way to keep women out of the RPG hobby is to invite any woman reading it to take over your blog. Three times. The fourth time, they will turn into an apple tree and furnish only bitter fruit.

I do apologize for how gauche it is to trot out the LGBT and POC players in your game group to defend yourself against hating them, but there's only one person I've personally introduced to D&D who isn't LGBT or a POC or both so, y'know, I have nobody else to trot out.

Like seriously: what are you supposed to do when you're accused of being racist by a group, dozens-strong, that has less people of color in it than your actual home game group (5)?

Maybe I just hate secretly everyone. Except Adam, the white guy who plays a wizard. 
(Meet me behind the boathouse Adam.)


And, in the end you may be wondering, what exactly do Tom the Word Mercenary and the Something Awful goons and monocle-droppers he sourced his article from have on me after 3 weeks of looking for dirt?

If you have something, I urge you: go to the police. Go to Wizards of the Coast, the D&D company. Please do unmask and reveal my empire of hate and crime. It will be a pip for us to hear all about it.

Oh, wait, what's that? The evidence! Yeah. It's shit like that.

As any real journalist will tell you: if you're in danger, get the cops. If you're not--own your statements.

Y'know what'll be cited as "evidence" of harassment? This. The fact that I took Tom the Word Mercenary's public post and publicly pointed out the public mistakes he made publicly. Which is like what Tom did to me, only true and documented with links quotes and pictures to back it up.

When people claim to be "victims of harassment" that's usually what they mean: "Zak typing my name because and after I typed his name".

And what, pray tell, do we have on Tom The Word Mercenaries friends? Well this dork stalking Kiel, for instance...
Empathy means never asking if maybe you're just one of the statistically inevitable percentage of trolling dickwheels 6 years of talking about D&D and pornography simultaneously will stir up.

Luckily Tom the Word Mercenary is not the world's sole source of news. Here are some people who actually did their homework before posting words where people could read them:

Janis Lily
Shea Kauffman on how Tom the Mercenary is weaponizing marginalized people...

J.T. Seusoff

Jeff Rients

Annah Madrinan (now getting mansplained at by some pro-Tom Hatfield douche)

Bleeding Cool

Rob Monroe

Kat Fisher

Stacey Dellorfano

James Raggi

Ms Kamikaze Kitten


Jensen Toperzer

Alex Mayo

Tom K

Andrew Tran at

Jeff Russell

The Alexandrian

Wild Die

Patrick Stuart

Gary Mengle

Kirin Robinson

Doug Anderson



John Austin

Richard G like whoa

Seebs like triple whoa

Seebs again completely ripping the piece to shreds on every front after getting pushback.

and, the coup-de-grace:

Seebs actually discovering a theory of the crime underlying why people had convinced themselves all this was necessary.

And, as always, actual real journalist and fellow thief, Molly Crabapple:

You want the truth? Right there. The whole mess.


Goalpost-shifting scoreboard so far--

-Zak is a bigot and harasses all LGBTS and POCs in the hobby
(disproved, moved to…)
-Zak is not a bigot but harasses all LGBTS and POCs in the hobby
(disproved, moved to…)
-Zak harasses like maybe some LGBTs and POCs in the hobby
(disproved, moved to…)
-Zak incites people to harass some LGBTSs and POCs in the hobby
(unproved, moved to…)
-Zak quotes some LGBTs and POCs in the hobby which makes other people harass them
(unproved, moved to…)
-Zak quotes some LGBTs and POCs in the hobby which might've made some other people harass them
(unproved, moved to…)
-Zak quotes people who troll and attack him and insults them which might've made some other people harass the trolls and never said don't do that
(disproved, moved to…)
-Zak quotes people who troll and attack him and insults them….aaaand that's unprofessional
(vague, moved to…)
-Zak treats people who claim to be professional game designers who attack him out of nowhere better than they treat him but...that's still unprofessional because…ummm…because…..
(ineffective, moved to)
-Zak doesn't care about trolls' sad troll feelings
Guilty as charged.
(oh, wait, incoming goalpost movement….)
As of august 4th, the goalposts are at:"Zak has admitted to not wanting trolls around".