Yeah, I know. I tried, I really did. I said I’d start posting again last August, and it just didn’t work out.  Sorry about that. I got pretty busy with theatre stuff and personal stuff and the time just got away from me. I even missed doing a 1d12 Days of Christmas last year – I tried to get it going, but couldn’t find very many holiday-themed gaming posts and products to make it worthwhile.  Sorry about all of that.

I have a couple of good things to report, if it’s any consolation. The 5E D&D group that started up last May has been meeting ever since, and has grown from 4 to 6 members (and we’ll soon be adding a 7th). They’ve been adventuring in Ashenhurst, a setting of my own design. It’s a massive, cursed city that is constantly crumbling and being rebuilt (think of a fantasy version of Kowloon Walled City, and you’ll have the idea).  So far they’ve thwarted an assassination attempt and helped contain a disease outbreak, and they are currently standing trial for conspiracy to aid a necromancer.

On the weeks we can’t meet up, I run some other stuff, like the one-shot Star Wars REUP game we played last week. And a friend has recently invited me to run some Introduction to RPGs events at the Dover Comicon, which has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years.

Now that I have a regular group of gamers in place, I should have more material for the blog – play reports, details on my custom setting, product reviews (with actual playtesting this time!), and all that sort of thing.  I hope. I’m making no promises. But I’ll try my best.

But right now, let’s discuss a more serious matter.

There’s a blog post going around that is difficult to read. I’ll link it here, but be forewarned that it contains some very disturbing (and possibly triggering) subject matter.It’s one woman’s account of negative experiences she has had while being involved with tabletop games – sexism, sexual harassment, racism, homophobia, and more. It’s been making the rounds among most of my gamer friends online, and I shared it myself on the social feeds for The Escapist.

Sharing it seems to bring a bit of backlash. Some state that the claims are unsubstantiated, and we shouldn’t believe everything we read on the internet. And there’s a valid point in that. It’s easy to let your outrage switch get flipped by things like this, and I really don’t have any knowledge of the author’s veracity. It could just as easily be a completely fabricated attempt to stir the pot.

Know what? Doesn’t matter.

The fact is, whether the claims made in that post are true or not, even if none of them happened to the author – they are happening to others. And regardless of who is the culprit and who is the victim, it is always wrong and unacceptable.  It’s poisonous to our hobby and harmful to the people who want to enjoy it.

Pretending it doesn’t happen won’t make it go away. Discrediting the claims of one doesn’t make the rest disappear. Turning a blind eye to it when it’s happening right in front of you is despicable.

Some time after the post started to gain some legs, someone else (I’m not sure who, I’d love to give credit) started a little hashtag campaign – #SafeGamerPledge – to encourage gamers to reject those behaviors, and not allow them at their tables.  Despite the innocuous nature of such a pledge, there was a little pushback as well. I suppose that will always happen, no matter what.

Regardless, I participated. The pledge I posted on the site’s Twitter, Facebook, and G+ accounts, is below.I’m not encouraging anyone to participate. I’m not bullying anyone for not doing so, or even shutting down discussion on the matter. I’m just making my own statement, and standing by it.  I’ll be back very soon.

All of the wonderful varieties of people are welcome and safe at my game table. Intolerance, hatred, & harassment are not.