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
When Dom Zook joined the CAR-PGA, I thought his name was familiar. I associated him with Kickstarter, but couldn’t recall why. After having Dom on as a guest for our virtual panel, I solved the mystery!
It was June 2014 when Dom created a Kickstarter to support the launch of Saving Throw, an instructional web-series and website, designed to teach you not only how to play but why. The first series covered Paizo’s immensely popular Pathfinder role-playing game but soon branched out to other systems. Seven years later, and things have come full circle. Dom was a guest on our video stream about his video stream. You can view our interview here.
There’s a reason I backed Saving Throw seven years ago. Back then, Saving Throw was beginning of a wave of instructional and how-to videos, followed by YouTube juggernauts like Critical Role, which launched a year later. People didn’t understand how role-playing games work and video was the solution. Dom knew it before the rest of us did.
Dom’s been busy since that Kickstarter, as you can see from his extensive filmography on the Saving Throw wiki. You can help Dom out by following Saving Throw on YouTube, support the show on Kofi, and follow Dom on Twitter.
We are currently scheduling guests for the next three months to the end of the year. If you’re interested or have someone in mind you’d like to be a guest, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for joining and I look forward to catching up next month!
Convention Report: DragonCon 2021
By Ted Skirvin
DragonCon took place Labor Day weekend as an in-person event. There was also a virtual convention that ran concurrently. In 2020, the entire event was virtual. I had volunteered to run RPG sessions in the non-campaign section this year. I signed up to do five sessions, so that meant I got a free convention badge. Before the pandemic, the con was said to have an attendance from 80,000 to maybe 100,000. This year we had probably half of the old attendance.
Since I ran five game sessions and each one was four hours long, I did not get a chance to see much of the convention. I did manage to see a few discussion panels. I saw the art show, but it had about 25% fewer artists than before COVID. I heard that the film festival had been cancelled for this year. I did get to the dealer’s rooms, and it seemed like there were just as many vendors as in the past, but there were far fewer customers. I heard that they did stage the DragonCon Parade this year but did not allow spectators on the sidewalks. Perhaps the world will have recovered enough next year so that the con will get back to pre-COVID attendance levels, but I kind of hope not. It was nice not having to deal with excessive crowds.
The con seems more diverse each year. I would estimate the male/female ratio (and I do realize that is a loaded concept nowadays) to be about 60/40. There were a few folks that I presume to have been trans. The ethnic/racial mix was probably something like 70% white, 20% black, 5% Latino and 5% Asian.
FROM DAVID MILLIANS
Bidaux, Thomas (2021 September 1) State of Kickstarter and games – mid-2021 update. https://medium.com/icopartners/state-of-kickstarter-and-games-mid-2021-update-132964d2c523. Still growing through Covid and beyond.
Carter, Charles (2021 Sep 3) The Broken Token CEO steps down after laying off over half the company’s staff. https://www.dicebreaker.com/companies/the-broken-token/news/broken-token-ceo-steps-down-firings. Background and statement from the company regarding sexual assault allegations.
Carter, Charles (2021 Sep 3) Indie initiative SideQuest bookends the year with a second zin-focused TRPG event. https://www.dicebreaker.com/topics/sidequest-2021/news/sidequest-rpg-zine-collective. November festival of collaboration and support.
Carter, Chase (2021 Sep 17) Nigerian board game company Nibcard has won the Diana Jones 2021 award. https://www.dicebreaker.com/companies/nibcard/news/diana-jones-winner-2021-nibcard. Support for growing tabletop movement in West Africa.
Carter, Chase (2021 Sep 28) Brazilian TRPG designer calles attention to the relative invisibility of games from the Global South. https://www.dicebreaker.com/companies/kickstarter/news/tabletop-games-global-south-invisible. Language, markets, Kickstarter, and more limit access and exposure.
Chancey, Tyler (2021 Sep 15) TGG CEO Banned from GenCon, Loses Support. https://techraptor.net/tabletop/news/tgg-ceo-banned-from-gencon-loses-support. Jeff Bergren and his company continue to experience setbacks from accusations of white supremacy imagery in a game.
The Diana Jones Award (2021 Sep 29) The Lost Trophy. https://www.dianajonesaward.org/the-lost-trophy. The physical trophy is officially missing in the mail.
McCluskey, Megan (2021 Sep 28) The Board Game Business Is Booming, But the Global Shipping Crisis Could Be Disastrous. https://time.com/6096497/board-games-shipping-crisis. Price and availability drive crisis in production and income, especially for the smallest companies.
Rimmels, Beth (2021 Sep 17) NERDS Play Dungeons & Dragons. https://www.enworld.org/threads/nerds-play-dungeons-dragons.682643. Wizards of the Coast partners with candy company to create six small adventures to introduce D&D to new players.
© Copyright 2021 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 email@example.com. 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.