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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Classic Rant: RPGPundit's Advice for RPG-Designers Being Targeted by the Ctrl-Left

I'm not going to say who it was, for obvious reasons, but someone recently wrote to me privately, about how there were some of the Usual Suspects (in this case on RPGnet, but it could really have been anywhere) attacking his rpg-writing. This particular designer had never had this happen to him before now, and he was quite concerned and didn't know how to deal with it. They were attacking his present work, looking at old posts to find things he might have said years ago to use against him, whipping up the mob into a frenzy, etc.; all the usual tactics. So, I thought I'd share here what I wrote to him, since other people might also benefit from it someday. 
Names have been withheld, but the rest of this posted for general benefit. You never know when YOU might be the next one targeted, because increasingly, there's no real criteria as to who get's chosen as the Pseudo-activists' next victim.

Without further ado:

Ok, first: don't apologize for anything, don't try to hide anything. Don't delete things you said in the past. If you honestly don't believe in it any more, say so, but don't hide it. If you do believe in it, be shameless about it. They're going to go for the throat anyways, NOTHING will make them stop, so don't think you can try to make some kind of compromise with them. If you show any weakness, they just get more rabid.

Second, why are you engaging them on their own territory where they have all the advantage? They get to say things you don't, they can paint you as the unreasonable one, and if you get mad they'll paint you as 'erratic', and then when they think its the right moment, they'll ban you.
You're already banned there, it just hasn't finished happening yet.

Find better places to promote your product. The rpgnet ruling clique has decided your game is evil, that's it. You're dead there. You should go promote it where you are likely to actually find an audience, in other forums (like theRPGsite), and on G+ or Facebook.

The best way to beat them is to be blatant about how they mean nothing to you, and to succeed in spite of them. Whenever you do that, it weakens them. When you take them seriously, or try to reason with them, it only makes them stronger.

One more thing: in my experience, in the long run, there's no such thing as 'bad press'. Some of it can limit your options in the future, but usually only if you're very clearly a controversy-hound (along the lines of James Desborough). If you are professional about it, getting slammed by a gang of assholes just makes people pay attention to you. You'll be crying all the way to the bank, if you work this right.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Poker + Gawith's Virginia Flake

(Originally posted May 28, 2016)


  1. I tend to ignore most people who target me or respond in a way that gets nowhere. I had one experience in RPGnet *cough that one cough* and basically I stopped responding because no matter what I said they did not care.

    I'm guilty of 'wrong thinking' and 'internalized mis-soggy-knees' even though I am a woman. Let's just say that so far they have not made a dent in our production.

  2. So, in the end how did this person fare ?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Required reading: