Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

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Heroism! Romance! Wonder!

The Pulp Revolution scene is flat out on fire right now…!

First up… those Sad Pooka guys have gone and memed the thing:

And if you happened to miss it, my Geek Gab appearance is the talk of the town:

Finally, JimFear138 is off the chaintop book blogger Rwale Nyanzi has released his take on the pulp ethos with Sword & Flower.

And I really should add… one of the more striking things about the old pulp stories is the prominent role that grappling plays in them. Tarzan, for instance, re-discovers the Full Nelson in one of his more exciting scenes of his debut novel. As awesome as that is, somehow it never quite made the transition into the tabletop games that were inspired by this stuff….

UNTIL NOW! Douglas Cole has finally pushed the state of the art forward on this longstanding problem in tabletop gaming. Check out his designer’s notes over at Castalia House for the full story!

Appendix N is Doing Surprisingly Well

The book is selling.

Better than anyone expected, really.

And the five star reviews from people outside of the gaming and book blogging scenes…? They are really, really positive.

This is one of those books that expands your reading list considerably. I am still in the stage of dipping my toe into the SF/F genres and Jeffro’s list, taken from Gary Gygax’s D&D inspirations, is a great starting point. I used to just assume the old SF/F would be outdated and boring, books written for a tiny subculture of rejects and nerds, but I am very wrong. Almost all of the books mentioned in the appendix not only sound interesting, but well written and articulated stories. It’s also just neat to have a little more depth of understanding about the heritage of SF/F, D&D, and other elements that permeate our culture today. I’d say more, but I have to start reading these books now, and I don’t feel like I’m going to be disappointed.

(This sort of thing has happened so often and so consistently now that people on Twitter have coined a term for it…!)

I own many of these books, and I wish there was a way to get them back into publication in Kindle form so they could once again be read and appreciated. I want to thank Mr. Johnson for this fine retrospective on much of the fantasy genre. A fine job and I unreservedly recommend this book. Do not plan on reading it in a couple of days, it deserves for you to take your time, reflect on what is being said, and then take it up again. You will be richer for the experience.

You know… the whole time I was working on this thing, I thought of myself as being sort of three star writer that could occasionally dip up into into four star territory. And I knew there was an audience for what I was doing– even if I had to go out and build that audience while I wrote the book.

Still… the amount of excitement this book is generating is astonishing to me.

Cirsova is Looking for SFF Writers!

If you’re into planetary romance and heroic fantasy… then you may want to consider getting in on this!


Are you a Sci-fi/Fantasy writer?  Then I may be looking for you!  Cirsova is launching a semi-pro zine focusing on Sword & Planet and Heroic Fantasy fiction.  Please share, reblog, retweet, whatever!  Get the word out!

What are you looking for?

4-6 Original short stories between 2000-7500 words.

1 or 2 short essays on the subjects of S&P, Heroic Fantasy, Pulps, Pulp Art, or any of those subjects’ effect on tabletop gaming.

Submissions should be in finished, final draft form.  Please do not send unedited works, excerpts or pitches.  Well, you can send me a pitch, and if it sounds awesome, I will tell you “That sounds awesome, now write that story, make sure it’s edited, and submit that to me”, but that’s it.

What do you mean by “Sword & Planet” and “Heroic Fantasy”?

“Sword & Planet” typically refers to a style of romantic swashbuckling fiction that takes place on Earth-like non-Earth…

View original post 762 more words

Now Would Be a Good Time to Invite the Thought Police to Leave Our Hobby Alone

You know, I got pretty upset when OBS banned their first game last year. I did write to them, but I did not really do anything beyond making a few snarky blog posts. However, this lack of conviction with regards to free expression seems to be growing to the point where things are liable to slip even further at an even more accelerated rate. In my opinion, this will directly impact the quality of independent game design efforts and potentially even cause us to lose some of our most insightful creators. People don’t get into rpg design because of the money– they do it because they have complete freedom to express themselves. Dilute that freedom far enough and they may well find another hobby to devote themselves to.

I really don’t want that to happen. I don’t think I am alone, either. I am therefore instituting Operation Roiling Mumble. Here is how to participate:

  1. Read Steve Wieck’s post on the new Offensive Content Policy for OneBookShelf.
  2. Be genuinely concerned with where this could lead and with how it could impact the rpg hobby.
  3. Contact OBS at or and let them know what you think.
  4. Share your email with me either in the comments here or privately at so that I can get a notion of just how big the pushback is.

To be clear, I am not threatening a boycott if they fail to run their business the way that I think they should. If you feel that way, that’s fine. If you don’t, that’s fine, too. At this point, I am only interested in increasing the volume of negative feedback for Steve Wieck’s proposed policy.

How many “free speech nuts” are active in the rpg hobby right that would take the time to write an email about this? I don’t know! But I would like to think that there are more people like that than, say, the number of people that made it a point to walk out on the Ennie awards ceremony this year. If you are the sort of person that would like to do something to preserve freedom of expression, now would be a good time to let Steve Wieck know that we could really do without him inviting people to be offended at our games.

“Without the ability to freely create, and freely reach people who might be interested in those creations, participation in this hobby and this industry is simply not worth doing.” — James Raggi

“When the Gamergate card game was banned, Steve Wieck boasted about how Onebookshelf had only ever had to ban one thing ever, and hey, it was okay because it was just Gamergate, the maid rape and crack whores were safe. Well, first they came for Gamergate, now they’ve come for Tournament of Rapists. Because that’s how fucking far through the looking glass we are. Yeah, the inoffensive card game satirizing the events of the first few months of Gamergate was banned first, but now Onebookshelf has gone down the ‘We’ll ban offensive stuff when we see it’ slippery slope that everyone said would happen because of some tacky open d20 product that got brigaded.” — Cirsova

“I tried, well beyond the call of courtesy, to speak with Mr. Wieck about the choices he was making, in selling his site over to the would-be censors, the pseudoactivists of the hobby who demand the RPGnow and DrivethruRPG should have to appease their growing demands that anything they personally find offensive be censored, and be censored immediately. He has made it clear that he has no interest in reasoning with anyone who supports freedom of speech, and everything I’ve seen indicates to me that he is determined to go forward with a policy whereby anyone who claims offense will be able to have a product IMMEDIATELY pulled from OBS’ shelves at the click of a button.” — The RpgPundit

I Was Wrong…

I’d called this one as soon as word came that Laura Mixon was on the ballot. But I confess, I actually did think I had a fair shot at it. The number of people that came out to back me was really heartening. And if you look at the posts from some of the big wheels on the other side, they really did seem to think that a couple of puppies would get through. I was among the puppy nominees that were least offensive to the anti-puppies… so if some of us got through, I figured I’d be among them.

It’s silly now in retrospect, but I really was both surprised and disappointed by the results the night before last. I’d actually thought that the File770 commentariat and all those people posting their ballots on Live Journal were a minority that was simply not representative of fandom at large.

But I was wrong.

Ah well, live and learn. Congrats to the winners. Congrats to the Anti-puppies for running such an effective campaign. See y’all next year for round four!