Saturday, April 16, 2016

Tabletop Gaming has a Solution...

I will avoid going into my opinion about a recent article about tabletop gaming. I will also avoid any conversations about the article too. There are numerous blogs out there full of opinions and discussions about the matter. If you want a fight or a soapbox to stand on, find one of those aforementioned blogs and I am sure they would be happy to oblige. If you don't know what I am talking about, Google “Tabletop Gaming has a White Male Terrorism Problem”. I urge all sides to keep an even temper when it comes to discussing this article (just not on this blog), there is enough hate being slung around the world.

I feel super important when I stand on this. It makes me taller than everyone. Being tall is super important.
 Here is the point where I step onto my soap-box for a short period of time. A '#' has never saved a life. An extensive, online rant has never prevented a crime. A blog post has never improved a situation where people have been hurt. Direct action, however, has done all of these things. There are thousands upon thousands of charities and organizations that are working all hours of the day to remedy the problems people face in our world today. I used to be a case manager/social worker for a non-for-profit organization that helped adults with disabilities get the resources they needed and provided them with a supplemental income to boost their meager SSI benefits. A few times a year I would meet with other case managers as well as other individuals who worked for charities and non-for-profits. The biggest problem we all faced were lack of resources. Providing help to the needy has never been a lucrative endeavor, but it has become even more difficult over the past ten years. While money is always needed, the lack of people to help was and still is the biggest issue. Most charities cannot afford to pay the number of workers that are necessary to help fully provide services, so they have to make due with what little staff they have. I live in Illinois, in the United States. It may be better elsewhere, but it really sucks here.


Mole-People like to push innocent humans onto train tracks. Help stop this senseless subterranean violence.

What can a GM do?
As a GM, for the past year, I have placed an offer on the gaming table. If you, as a player, go out and volunteer your time, no matter the amount, I will give you stuff in game. The standard offer was a 2 level bump, or a lot of points for skill based games. I also offered magic items as well, anything they wanted that wasn't an artifact. +5 Holy Avenger? Sure, go with God my child. +1 Keen Vorpal Wounding Chaotic Flaming War Axe? You got it, MORE BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! MORE SKULLS FOR HIS SKULL THRONE! Few have taken me up on the offer, but those that did were rewarded. I'd rather have a better world and an unbalance game than the opposite. I urge every GM/DM/Referee to take the same stance. I have a 40+ hour a week job, I am married, I run 2 games a week, I play in 1 game a week, and I volunteer 20+ hours a month. It is not impossible to have a life and help the world/community. By encouraging, and offering rewards, you can be a part of the solution to the myriad of problems in the world.

What can a player do?
If your GM takes my advice, volunteer and reap the glorious benefits. If your GM doesn't, there is still stuff you can do. Firstly, be supportive of the other players at the gaming table. If someone needs a helping hand with something, offer one. Naturally, if you feel uncomfortable lending a hand, then don't do it. Helping is nowhere near the same as allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Secondly, if you have a couple bucks to spare, donate them. Charities can always use more money. Lastly, you can take me up on my next offer.

You will need these to fully appreciate what I am going to offer.
  What I am offering?
I will write gaming related materials, or stories, without cost to anyone else for those who volunteer their time. I am also extending this offer to people who work or are retired from these fields: law enforcement, healthcare (from mopping the floors to doctors and everyone in between), armed forces, firefighters, social work (this includes anyone who works for a charity or non-for-profit doing anything for the organization), as well as many more. If you think you might qualify, ask me, I will be blunt and tell you if you fit the bill. The proof I ask for is pretty simple. If you volunteer, take a pic of the inside of the place you volunteer at with a note card or piece or piece of paper with the word 'Electrons' on it. If you want to do a selfie, that's fine, I am more concerned about encouraging you to volunteer than who you are. If you are employed in one of the listed fields, take a pic or your badge or identification next to a note card with the words 'Electrons' on it. Please use MS paint or another program to take identifying info off the card/badge, I don't want your info just your help. Finally, you can send me a screen capture of the confirmation of you donating at least $30 (American) to a charity. Once I have this proof, I will write whatever you like. However, I won't write anything that puts a positive spin on these things:
  • Exploitation of minors.
  • Violence against a person or group of people in a way that could be classified as a hate crime.
  • Anything that advocates the inherent superiority/inferiority of a person or group of people based upon ANY ethnicity, sex, gender, culture, or level of physical/mental capability.

I am more than happy to make villains who support the aforementioned things, or involve such things in bad situations that the characters are supposed to fix.

I reserve the right to temporarily, or permanently, end this offer depending on my own life as well as the workload this offer creates. I estimate that each request might take a week, though it may be longer depending on the level of work needed. I ask that your requested writing be of a manageable size. While you may truly deserve to have the 'Great American Novel' written for you, I am in no way capable of delivering it.

In giving you your request I require two things, and request one. Requirement one: That you seek my permission before attempting to make money off the thing I have made for you. I am more than willing to work something out with you, given a good explanation. Requirement two: That if you post the thing I have made for you online, that you include my name and my blog in the post. I am wanting to someday make a career out of writing, so I REALLY need to get my name out there. My Request: When I send you the requested work, I would greatly appreciate it if you could post somewhere online that I fulfilled my promise. There have been many scams out there, and people are hesitant to believe someone when they make any kind of offer. By posting that I actually backed up my promise, you will encourage others to volunteer and take me up on my offer. If I get a response/comment to this offer from someone who is interested, I will post an email address you can send your proof and request to.

I realize I am a nobody when it comes to the gaming world, I published one Pathfinder adventure through 'Headless Hydra'. So, naturally, I understand that having some nobody write something for you is about as big of a prize as that pencil eraser you got at the local carnival. But, if I can add any further enticement to the gaming community to volunteer or donate money, it is worth it for me. By volunteering and encouraging people to volunteer, we can help alleviate some of the problems in our community. I am not crazy enough to believe that 'WE CAN SAVE THE WORLD THROUGH GAMING!!!'. As I wrote before, I worked in social work, I know the level of problems the world faces today. However, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever futile.