Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Making Things Easy

Blogger tells me this will be my 2000th published post to Ye Old Blog...and that tomorrow (in about 30 minutes) will be my 10th anniversary since starting this damn thing.

Ye gods. That's a lot of ...

I suppose it would be appropriate to say a few words about my blog journey thus far. Looking back the main thing that strikes me is how darn ignorant I was when I started this a decade ago. They say, teenagers think they know everything and 20-somethings aren't much better, but at age 35 (when I first started B/X Blackrazor), man, I thought I had it together.

Shit. I didn't even know that much about Dungeons & Dragons back then.

Since then, I've written a couple-few books, learned a little about publishing, learned a lot about the history of our hobby and about the industry that sprouted up around it. And, oh yeah, I lived in a different country for three years and pumped out a couple kids...still trying to get a handle on the whole "father thang" (eight years in and counting).

I've learned, and I'm continuing to learn. If you'd asked me where Paraguay was back in 2009 I probably could have told you "South America." Probably, though I wouldn't have been able to locate it on a map. Now...well, there are probably a few caucasian Americans in town that know more about Paraguay than me, but they probably teach or study the subject at university. And I probably know a bit more than them about current events.

And the last week or so I've been spending my spare minutes (few that I have) reading up on the rest of South America. It's a shitty, depressing subject. Ten years ago I'd already read Confessions of an Economic Hitman and was well aware of how collusions between multi-national corporations and certain first world nations have helped bring about economic ruin and instability to the region. What I've only learned in the last few days is how the groundwork for that kind of rape and corruption was laid centuries the bullshit economy of Paraguay is symptomatic of the whole damn continent and the business that's been done there since the 16th century. And how even Spain and Portugal, the conquerors/colonizers of Latin America benefitted precious little from the wealth that flowed out of the region. The kings received their quinto and did bupkis with it, and they allowed their own countries to languish and lag far behind the other powers of Europe, the industrial powers: England, Netherlands, Germany, etc. Not only were they corrupt, evil, and inhumane, but short-sighted...and the Iberian peninsula, while not devastated in the same fashion as their former colonies, isn't on any great, stable ground.

Good food, though. I do love Spain. 10 years ago I'd never yet visited it. I've been there three times now and thoroughly enjoyed every minute I was there (except driving in Grenada. Please God never again).

Anyway...ignorance. Ten years has gone a long way to pointing out the depths of my ignorance on a variety of subjects: gaming and game design, fatherhood, world history and politics. I've gotten to the point where I'll (probably? hopefully?) never claim to be a subject matter expert again...there's simply  too much to learn and I've had the shallow depths of my knowledge exposed too many times.

Also, looking back, I see that I've written a lot of dumb posts over the years. This was more common in the early years, back when I was more prolific ("frequent") in my blogging, and I had the time to spew every last dumb thought I had on the internet...and the lack of restraint to prevent myself from doing so. Not that I don't still write dumb things (I do) but I post them to the blog a lot less frequently. I have another 97 "draft posts" sitting on this blog that will probably never see the light of day, and I'm fairly certain that's for the best. Why make things hard on myself, when I could make them easy instead?

Which is one of the reasons I'm strongly considering retiring this blog.

Not that I'd stop blogging entirely...I'm thinking of starting a new blog, one with a sharper focus. Something to futz around with for the next ten years or so, instead of this rambling string of silly rants and lunatic ravings.


All right, that's about all the retrospection I can stand for one night. I will like to say THANK YOU to all folks who've bothered to stop by and read the blog over the last decade. Your readership, comments, feedback, and emails are much appreciated, and a big part of why I continue to write this thing ("crazy" is the other big part). To all of my It's hard to believe you folks can still stand me after all this time. Really. God bless you all as you have blessed me.

Thanks. Truly.


  1. You've got a lot of good content in those 2000 posts, too. Your old series on saving throws is one that comes to mind immediately as having a direct influence at the table. Here's to more!

    Since you're putting so much thought into the South America campaign at the moment, maybe that'd make a good springboard for a new blog? Even source texts are rich with things to talk about, after all.

  2. Thank you. And it doesn't matter where you write, as long as you keep doing it.

  3. You might kill your writing by being to afraid to write something to poll it down a level - and so stop writing completely, if you start some prestige project on a "high quality" blog. Going back here would be defeat, so thats not easy. After three to four entries we might never read from you again.
    Of cause, no risk, no gain. Go big or go home.

  4. In many ways, you're Rick's Cafe Americain. Don't give out!

  5. Hey man, what can I say? I'm a fan, of course! As evidenced by my eagerness to collaborate with you in some small way on one of your projects. Sure, do we all rant and rave about "this thing of ours"? I think that's a testament to the worthiness of roleplaying: how passionate we are about it, to the point of being sometimes dumb about it! Perhaps if a new blog arises from your fleet fingers, you can carry over some of the BXB posts that you deem worthy? Perhaps the exercise here over the last decade was a crucible for you to refine your RPG wisdom? Again, you've brought passion to the hobby, if not perfection. Sometimes, that's all we can muster, my friendly kindred spirit! All the continued best to you and yours, as usual. Congrats on the milestones! I'm still a big fan!

  6. It's been a fun ride when it comes to reading your blog. I hope the fun never stops! :-)

  7. Late to the party but congrats on the double milestone! Been enjoying your writing for the last 10 years and hope there is still more good stuff to come in the next 10!

  8. If you still want to write, and I still want to read, why make the both of us go through all the hassle of moving?