An international network of researchers into all aspects of role-playing games
David Millians, Editor
Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Black Lives Matter. The Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games emphatically believes that only through a diverse and inclusive gaming environment can everyone enjoy the game, at our tables and around the world.
To that end, we’ve added a new category to our Best Practices section around Diversity & Inclusion. It includes how to support diverse creators as well as diversity & inclusion statements from companies. These lists are far from comprehensive and I plan to keep adding to it as more statements and support is shared.
I contributed my best-selling tabletop RPG product, 5E RPG: Ancient Adventures, to DriveThruRPG’s NAACP Legal Defense Fund Bundle, which ended on June 22. I share this because it gave me a unique opportunity to see how many copies of my product (and therefore the bundle) sold. At $10 per bundle, the NAACP bundle sold over 1,600 copies, or $16,000. Multiplied by the number of bundles DriveThruRPG offered (six in total), the DriveThruRPG sale alone could easily have made over $100,000. That’s dwarfed in comparison to the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, which included many tabletop RPG contributions and finished with over eight million dollars raised.
At a time like this, it’s entirely possible to fail to step up when customers and the community expect it most. The Origins debacle is a stark reminder that silence is not acceptable by any organization interested in serving the public.
We mentioned last month how CAR-PGA has expanded to include diversity and inclusion as part of our mission. That’s just the start. We need to continue to expand our membership. I hope you’ll invite gamers from all walks of life to join us so we can truly represent the gaming population in all its rich diversity. Please share our Join Us page whenever and wherever you can.
In other news, CAR-PGA member Hawke Robinson is managing the herculean effort to rescue the dearly departed Paul Cardwell’s RPG archives and launch an RPG Museum. He could use help. Please read his note below and contribute however you can.
Thank you for reading.
SUPPORT FROM HAWKE ROBINSON
[Editor – Hawke is doing some of the most important work in hobby gaming, testing and extending our understanding of its applications, nuances, and technologies. Please, support his work in any way you can.]
A lot going on. There is far more than covered in this email, but here are some key points.
Just a heads up that I had a lengthy phone conversation with Paul Cardwell’s widow, Gladys, and she is preparing/packing things so that I can come down and pick up his legacy to put together the beginning of the RPG Museum. We’re still working out the exact details, but the basic plan is I pick up as much as possible, bring it to my house, and have volunteers scan in everything possible. Then we go from there. One possibility I want to discuss with her is incorporating it into the RPG Museum.
I’ll be driving the RPG SUV down to Texas to meet with Gladys. While I would love to take the RPG Bus and RPG Trailer on such a great road trip, I can’t afford the gas. The SUV (if keeping speed around 60/65 MPH) can get 19 MPG, while the bus which can only drive around 45 MPH only gets 6.5 MPG. So I’ll just be taken the SUV and camping in a tent much of the time to save costs. It will be a round-trip around 7,000 miles, so that will be around $1,500 just in gas for the SUV (would be around $3,500 using bus).
I’ll spend at least a full day just being there to be supportive by being there as someone for her to talk to.
She was up around a 12-20 boxes of materials when we spoke. I’ll help her with sorting through the rest when I’m there.
She said she was disposing of the personal correspondence and other materials due to concerns about privacy, but I asked her to please reconsider, in that we’ll handle this like a museum and such correspondence could be historically valuable. I don’t think she was convinced. I’ll be grateful for whatever she is okay with.
The plan is that once I get there and see how much there actually is to haul, I’ll pick up an appropriately sized U-Haul trailer and load it all up. The SUV can haul up to 10,000 lbs. I’ll take it with me back to Spokane. There volunteers will begin to organize, categorize, and scan in everything possible and prepare to add it to the RPG Museum website as appropriate.
I have wanted for decades to setup an RPG Museum, and this is the catalyst to finally make it happen.
We’ll start with a virtual museum, but over time I hope we can get enough donations to afford a warehouse to move RPG Research training and streaming out of (mostly) my house and have a section set aside as a walk-through museum with the full history of RPGs, a large potion potentially based on Cardwell’s collection, my collection since the 1970s, and hopefully other donors to fill it out over time.
We desperately need donations to afford a facility. My house is overflowing, and the Monroe office is just a “virtual physical office” shared with lawyers, which use is heavily limited to only one person at a time due to COVID, and I have an awful lot of volunteers coming and going nearly every day for training and such to and from my house, so now the neighbors are complaining.
With the RPG Bus, two RPG Trailers, and RPG SUV, some of the neighbors are increasingly angry. I bought some time by promising to find a place by September to move operations, the Bus, and Trailers to, but we don’t raise anywhere near enough yet in monthly donations for even a minimal 2,000 sq. ft warehouse or storage space (around $800-$1600/mo.).
They have to have a 12′ high bay door for the trailers.
We typically only raise about $250/month so far, even though our community programs have increased about 300% with COVID from 1-2 per week to 3-7+ per week, plus training four times a week for different time zone accommodations.
I’ve been trying for a long time to find something around 2,000-4,000+ sq. ft, but all of the pot growers and micro-breweries keep buying up those smaller more affordable ones. There are plenty of warehouses over 4,000+ sq. feet, but I can’t afford the $2,000+/month for the those more available spaces.
Also all the computer and server/website hosting is in my house, but colocation hosting is too high for our current budget too, so I’m doing the best I can with what I have to help RPG Research grow, but we’re coming to a point of being maxed out, and without administrative volunteers and more donations, we’re going to be stuck.
So, a lot to get done in very little time. We’d appreciate any resources to help spread the word and help us reach our goals, especially appreciate suggestions for the RPG Museum as well.
RPG Research donations options include: https://www.rpgresearch.com/donate
- Amazon Smile
We also desperately need administrative volunteers. We have a ton of GM and research-related volunteers but very few administrative. Last month we hit volunteer number 131 across 5 continents. We’re getting ready to host and run programs at WorldCon and GenCon online this year, so a lot of is riding on those working out.
We really need: https://www.rpgresearch.com/volunteer
- Volunteer coordinator
- Grant writers
- Community development/outreach
- Marketing/social media manager
I’ll be posting online when I begin the RPG Tour 2020.
I’ll have lots of video and photos about the Cardwell collection too, though I’ll try to be careful about copyright and privacy, as we develop a museum model for providing open access to these resources while also protecting the legacy. Anyone here ever worked in a museum and able to provide some suggestions?
RPG Research Staff
RPG Research is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization providing research and community services. https://www.rpgresearch.com
1312 North Monroe, Suite #114
Spokane, Washington 99218, US.
Spokane Local Number: (509) 608-7630
Toll-free: (833) RPG-INFO (774-4636)
Book Review: Rise of the Dungeon Master
By Ted Skirvin
This book is actually a graphic novel published by Nation Books which is a member of the Perseus Books Group. The full title is Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D. It was published in 2017. The book was written by David Kushner and illustrated by Koren Shadmi.
The book has nine chapters. Each chapter is focused on a specific person. Most of them are focused on Gygax but a couple are about Dave Arneson and there is one focused on William Dear. Overall, the book gives a quick and rather general history of the game including the anti-D&D activities of the 1980’s. It does not go into great detail. Physically, it has the typical height and width of a comic book and it’s 136 pages long. The panel sizes are typical of a comic book. So, there is only so much information they could cram into the thing.
The artwork is good and fits well with the narrative. It is neither too realistic nor too unrealistic. Personally, I like the artist’s style. The cover art is particularly attractive.
In general, I would rate the book fairly highly. It is well written and meshes with the art. My only complaint is that it would have been nice to go a little more in-depth on the historical aspects.
FROM DAVID MILLIANS
- Beg, Zaiem (2020 Jun 8) The Wizards I Know. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RDhVZ4x_Zf1abOpGfEGMI4xtYMA7AghCN5uWIfJRa6c/preview?pru=AAABcrssKnc*34ig3gk0A079zdYiOmJUVA. Damning description of a culture of racism among some creators and players of Magic the Gathering.
- Carpenter, Nicole (Jun 23) Former employees accuse Cards Against Humanity of a racist and sexist office culture. https://www.polygon.com/2020/6/23/21300435/cards-against-humanity-max-temkin-report. Employees accuse Max Temkin and his company of racist and sexist culture and sexual assault.
- DePass, Tanya (2020 Jun 4) Black AF Roundtable of TTRPG Creators. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5LvppNUmas&feature=emb_logo. Engagement, visibility, real ongoing support, and kindness. Rise above the privilege of your own background.
- Editor (2020 May 29) Top 50 Tabletop Game Creators on Kickstarter by Learning. https://tabletopwire.com/top-50-tabletop-game-creators-on-kickstarter-by-earnings/. Raising money through crowdfunding.
- Editor (2020 Jun 2) Statements on Racism and Black Support from Tabletop Gaming Companies. https://tabletopwire.com/statements-on-racism-and-black-support-from-tabletop-gaming-companies/. From Wizards to Mattel to tiny indie companies.
- Editor (2020 Jun 3) Tanya DePass Helps Raise Over $150,000 for The Bail Project. https://tabletopwire.com/tanya-depass-helps-raise-over-150000-for-the-bail-project/. Supporting bail assistance for low-income people and Black Lives Matter.
- Editor (2020 Jun 4) GAMA Creates Diversity Committee. https://tabletopwire.com/gama-creates-diversity-committee/. The Executive board has only one person of color.
- Editor (2020 Jun 5) Tabletop Tycoon Provides Free Games for Store Recovery. https://tabletopwire.com/tabletop-tycoon-provides-free-games-for-store-recovery/. Helping retailers recover with a bunch of games for only shipping costs.
- Editor (2020 Jun 11) Sales of Rap Godz Board Game Raises $81,000 for Black Lives Matter and Other Organizations. https://tabletopwire.com/sales-of-rap-godz-board-game-raises-81000-for-black-lives-matter-and-other-organizations/. Board Game Brothas and Danny Quach collaboration.
- Editor (2020 Jun 16) Leder Games To Disassociate From GAMA, Will Return Origins Awards. https://tabletopwire.com/leder-games-to-disassociate-from-gama-will-return-origin-awards/. Publisher of the game Root distances itself from the Game Manufacturers Association.
- Editor (2020 Jun 17) Darker Hue Studios CEO Chris Spivey Elected GAMA Vice President. https://tabletopwire.com/darker-hues-studios-ceo-chris-spivey-elected-gama-vice-president/. Award winner Spivey wins on platform of increasing diversity in the hobby through community, products, and inclusion
- Editor (2020 Jun 17) GAMA Director Apologizes to Hosts Who Walked Out Of Origins Online. https://tabletopwire.com/gama-director-apologizes-to-hosts-who-walked-out-of-origins-online/. Apologies and new commitments.
- Editor (2020 Jun 17) 17 Reviewers Leave ‘Everything Board Games’ Website After Being Told to Keep Politics Out. https://tabletopwire.com/17-reviewers-leave-everything-board-games-website-after-being-told-to-keep-politics-out/. Owner Leafty responds with accusations of deceit and cyber bullying.
- Embry, Egg (2020 Jun 4) The Rise of Single-Artist RPGs. http://www.d20radio.com/main/the-rise-of-single-artist-rpgs/. Increasing artist involvement in projects and creating cohesive visual brands.
- Hall, Charlie & Susana Polo (2020 Jun 25) The game and comics industries are grappling with widespread allegations of harassment and abuse. https://www.polygon.com/2020/6/25/21302341/video-game-tabletop-game-comics-allegations-harassment-abuse-racism-metoo. Video games, tabletop games, and comics creators accused of a wide range of unacceptable actions.
- Harmon, Lawrence (2020 ) To Whom it May Concern. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tKsYkdEEfU9u-_27ZvVWu8Wkm2bThe3lfov24f2brjM/preview?pru=AAABcp_LwME*fHR56VY4pxPnvlpmCYG7Sw&fbclid=IwAR0CKc4FK36B3VKES7iYr2eY-wrS7OS9GnK6P9r5SmweFHWPzxSizJwA634. Damning analysis of patterns of race-based exclusion at Wizards of the Coast.
- Harrison, Sam (2020 Jun 10) The Utilitarian Pleasures of Playing Board Games By Yourself. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/utilitarian-pleasures-playing-board-games-by-yourself. In a time of isolation for many, choosing games and playing games.
- Hartlage, David (2020) Meet the Woman Who by 1976 Was the Most Important Gamer in Roleplaying After Gary. https://dmdavid.com/tag/meet-the-woman-who-in-1976-ranked-as-the-second-most-important-person-in-roleplaying-games/. The contributions and legacy of Lee Gold and her Alarums & Excursions amateur press association.
- High Level Games (2020 Jun 6) Great Games: Black RPG Creators and Publishers. https://www.highlevelgames.ca/blog/great-games-black-rpg-creators-and-publishers. Raising the profile of some of the hobby’s great but underrecognized creators.
- Hooks, Christopher (2020 Jun 18) Greg Abbott Invites You to Figure Out What His Coronavirus Executive Orders Allow. https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/abbott-mask-riddle/. Reporter to Texas Monthly refers to governor as, “…a Dungeon Master, leading the state through a role-playing game of his own devising.”.
- Jackson, Gita (2020 Jun 2) The Video Game Industry Has No Clue How to Respond to Protests. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kpbva/video-game-industry-awful-response-black-lives-matter-protests. Being part of the problem and calls out Wizards of the Coast.
- Lloyd, Martin (2020 Jun 15) Introducing Amazing Lessons and Using Amazing Tales Therapeutically. https://amazing-tales.net/2020/06/15/introducing-amazing-lessons-and-using-amazing-tales-therapeutically/. Supplements for specific game have wide application.
- Maas, Jennifer (2020 Jun 26) Netflix Pulls ‘Community’ Episode ‘Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’ Due to Blackface. https://www.thewrap.com/community-advanced-dungeons-and-dragons-episode-removed-netflix-blackface/. Netflix and Hulu remove episode depicting gamer in drow blackface.
- Moose, Tauriq (2020 Jun 5) The Pillars of Privilege. https://ineeddiversegames.org/2020/06/05/the-pillars-of-privilege/. Engage with privilege, not with guilt but with a sense of responsibility and possibility to life everyone to higher ground.
- Morris, Dave (2020 Jun 26) Reclaim the dame. http://fabledlands.blogspot.com/2020/06/reclaim-dame.html. Ending prejudice in gaming. Again.
- Morrissey, Russ (2020 Jun 11) Origins Online Cancelled After Many Pull Out Due To Lack of BLM Support. https://www.enworld.org/threads/origins-online-cancelled-after-many-pull-out-due-to-lack-of-blm-support.672633/. Tardiness in response to wider societal issues ends this summer’s convention.
- Morrissey, Russ & Peter Coffey (2020 Jun 14) Podcast #104: Cultural Consulting with James Mendez Hodes. https://www.enworld.org/threads/podcast-104-cultural-consulting-in-rpgs-with-james-mendez-hodes.672690/. Hobby news and conversation with Hodes concerning thoughtful creating.
- Morrissey, Russ (2020 Jun 15) WotC’s Jeremy Crawford on D&D Races Going Forward. https://www.enworld.org/threads/wotcs-jeremy-crawford-on-d-d-races-going-forward.672716/. Changing the terminology of “race” and less rigidity and stereotyping in official D&D settings.
- Morrissey, Russ (2020 Jun 23) Paizo Apologizes For ‘Police’ Themed Adventure Path. https://www.enworld.org/threads/paizo-apologises-for-police-themed-adventure-path.672858/. Agents of Edgewatch draws criticism and response.
- Noonan, Brenna (2020 Jun 7) #tabletoppaidme. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tabletoppaidme&f=live. Twitter thread on pay rates, expectations, and professionalism.
- O’Brien, Michael (2020 Jun 30) Student-produced Call of Cthulhu supplement wins 2020 ENnie Judges’ Spotlight Award. https://www.chaosium.com/blogstudentproduced-call-of-cthulhu-supplement-wins-2020-ennie-judges-spotlight-award/. Taylor University class project shines.
- Onyx Path Publishing (Jun 26) Addressing Two Recent Concerns. http://theonyxpath.com/addressing-two-recent-concerns/. Harassment accusations lead publisher to suspend and remove respectively two creators from their employ.
- Pondsmith, Mike (2020 ) Cops and Racists. https://rtalsoriangames.com/2020/06/12/mike-pondsmith-cops-and-racists/. Institutionalized violence is coming for us all in the end, unless we work together to change our society.
- Stephens, Owen KC (2020 Jun 7) #RealGameIndustry. https://twitter.com/hashtag/RealGameIndustry. Telling the truth about TTRPG professionals and their lives.
- Sowa, Alexander (2020 Jun 14) Dungeons & Dragons: How Actual-Play Shows Are Boosting LGBYQ Representation. https://www.cbr.com/dungeons-dragons-actual-play-shows-boosting-lgbtq-representation/. Visual representation makes the hobby more welcoming.
- Tabletop Micdrop (2020 Jun 2) Pay Attention: Black Voices in the RPG Community. https://medium.com/tabletop-micdrop/pay-attention-black-voices-in-the-rpg-community-34fd75f8bad8. Boosting black voices in the RPG community of creators.
- Twenty Sided (2020 Jun 8) Black Lives Matter | Black Game Designers. https://twentysidedstore.com/blogs/news/black-lives-matter-black-game-designers. Raising the profile of some of the hobby’s great but underrecognized creators.
- Von Ehren, Sam (2020 Jun 11) Why Do People Love Games?. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/style/why-people-love-games.html. Activities of controlled freedom inside a magic circle.
- Ward, James (2020 Jun 4) Gaming with Gary Gygax. https://www.enworld.org/threads/gaming-with-gary-gygax.672277/. Learning to play with a master.
- Whitehead, Adam (2020 Jun 26) SFF field rocked by multiple allegations of improper behavior and abuse. https://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2020/06/sff-field-rocked-by-multiple.html. Science fiction and fantasy authors criticized for racism, misogyny, and sexual coercion.
- Wizards of the Coast/D&D Team (2020 Jun 17) Diversity and Dungeons & Dragons. https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/diversity-and-dnd. Creating in diverse community and changing the presentation of orcs, drow, and everyone.
FROM MIKE TRESCA
- Tresca, Mike (2020 May 25) The Ultra-Mysterious History of D&D’s Iconic Monsters. https://www.enworld.org/threads/the-ultra-mysterious-history-of-d-ds-iconic-monsters.672346/. The influence of Ultraman toys.
FROM TED SKIRVIN
- Blum, Jeremy (2020 Jun 28) ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Race Issues Have Deep Roots In The World Of Fantasy. https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/dungeons-and-dragons-diversity-evil-races-155227649.html. Tolkien’s foundational biases.
New listings every month for many years were provided by Paul Cardwell, and this section contains his compilation work through this month. Convention schedules have changed, and many organizers have canceled their events, but online conventions are also happening. This humble editor does not know the state of conventions listed in this schedule, so please check their web sites. Updates appreciate as well!
If you participate in a convention, be sure to send any information you can gather for upcoming conventions. CAR-PGa is international, so this includes anywhere in the world.
“[LARP]” means only LARP events as many RPG cons include at least some LARP, as likewise applies to the mention of specific game systems. The same bracketed information applies as well to game systems when the con will have only those games present.
A review of any attended convention afterwards for the Newsletter would be appreciated too. These reviews should include demographic data such as attendance, percentage male/female, white/ethnic minorities (or what- ever is the majority/white/others), games in addition to tabletop RPG, and more subjective matters such as unusual events, quality of games and dealers’ room, encouragement of new gamers, and whatever seems worth reporting. We need to work to restore CAR-PGa’s reputation as the media’s go-to on gamer demographics, especially since the media are still citing a study that cut off all those over 35 at a time when that was the median age of gamers – it is closer to 40 now – which indicates we also need to work on recruiting younger players, although some increase in college age players at conventions has been noted.
- 2-5: Play On Con, Alabama 4-H Center, AL; http://www.playoncon.com/
- 3-5: In Con Junction, Indianapolis Marriott East, Indianapolis, IN; http://inconjunction.org/
- 3-5: RTX, Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX; https://rtxevent.com/
- 4-5: FanCon, International Convention Centre, Cape Town, SA; http://fancon.co.za/ [some LARP]
- 4-5: Feencon, Stadthalle Bonn, Bad Godesberg, Bonn; http://feencon.de/
- 8-12: Dexcon, Morristown Hyatt, Morristown, NJ; https://dexposure.com/home.html
- 8-12: Historicon, Lancaster Convention Center, 2300 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster, PA; https://www.hmgs.org/page/HconHome [wargaming]
- 8-19: Festival Ludique International de Parthenay, all over Parthenay; http://www.jeux-festival.com/
- 9-12: Anime Matsui, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX; https://2020.animematsuri.com/
- 9-12: Connecticon, Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT; http://connecticon.org/
- 10-12: Southern-Fried Gaming Expo, Marriott Renaissance Waverly, Atlanta GA; http://southernfriedgameroomexpo.com/
- 13-17: GACUCon Game Cruise. Hialeah Gardens Holiday Inn and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
- 17-19: Berlin Brettspiel Con, Station Berlin, Luckenwalder Str 4-6, Berlin; https://hunterundcron.de/
- 17-19: CharCon, Clay Center, Charleston, WV; https://www.charcon.org/
- 17-19: Con-gregate, Downtown Marriott, Winston-Salem, NC; http://con-gregate.com/
- 17-19: KantCon, Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS; https://www.kantcon.com/
- 17-19: Kitsunecon, Ki Convention Center, 333 Main St, Green Bay, WI
- 17-19: Open Gaming Convention, Holiday Inn, Northeastern Blvd, Nashua, NH; http://opengamingconvention.com/ogc/
- 17-19: Sioux City Comic-Cade, Hilton Garden Inn, 1132 Larsen Park Rd, Sioux City, IA
- 17-19: Tokyo in Tulsa, Tulsa Convention Center, Tulsa, OK; https://www.tokyointulsa.com/
- 17-19: TwisteeLordsCon, Reed Conference Center, 5750 Will Rogers Rd, MidWest City, OK; http://twistedlordscon.com/
- 18-19: Ettin Con, Blackheath Community Centre, Great Western & Gardiner, Blackheath, NSW; https://ettincon.org/
- 18-19: MiniCon II, University of Canterbury, Christchurch; http://saga.org.nz/
- 18-19: Wintercon, Fitzroy Pavilion, Canberra, ACT; https://cgs.asn.au/
- 24-26: Dokidokon, Marriott, 2747 S 11th St, Kalamazoo, MI; https://www.dokidokon.org/
- 24-26: Mechacon, Hyatt Regency Downtown, 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA; http://www.mechacon.com/news/
- 24-26: Ropecon, Helsingin Messukeskuksessa, Helsinki, Finland; http://ropecon.fi/
- 25-August 2: World Boardgaming Championships, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Campion, PA; http://boardgamers.org/wbcindex.html
- 28-August 2: DrachenFest, Auf dem Quast, Diemelstadt; http://drachenfest.info/ [boffer LARP]
- 31-August 2: AnimeIowa, Marriott Conf Center, Coralville, IA; https://animeiowa.com/
© Copyright 2020 by the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa), ISSN 1071 7129. The CAR-PGa Newsletter is a monthly publication. For more information contact David Millians, Editor, Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA, phone (404) 808-1070, fax (404) 377-3491, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Back issues are available. Contributions of material from the membership are urged, and the byline is responsible for content. Deadline is the last weekday of the month, email preferred. Permission is granted to copy anything in the Newsletter, provided we get a credit line in the publication copying it, and it doesn’t have someone else’s copyright on it. Information, including details on joining CAR-PGa, can be obtained on the Internet at car-pga.org.