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Friday 5 December 2014

The YDIS People Discover the OSR Is Mechanically Similar to Old-School Games; Think Trans-women Can't Look Too Feminine

So yesterday, a blatant troll from the "your dungeon is suck" blog posted a blatantly trolling review of Arrows of Indra over on theRPGsite.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, "YDIS" as its called is a hate-blog created by an SA-Goon (or ex-SA goon, or whatever), usually filled with 4chan-levels of profanity and adolescent dirty-jokes, that attacks OSR games and game designers. They have for a long time had a hate-on for Zak, Raggi, and myself in roughly that order (but they often branch out to attack other OSR designers).

The review itself reveals the shocking (shocking!) fact that Arrows of Indra uses a lot of mechanical inspiration from old-school games, including several editions of D&D, Barker's Petal Throne (which was itself an RPG in a setting inspired by the same Indian myths as Arrows of Indra, but in a much weirder world that mixed in some sci-fantasy stuff), as well as other OSR games.

"An OSR game is using mechanical concepts from old-school RPGs?! GASP!!" (cue dowager fainting)

Next they'll be pointing out the incredible and outrage-inspiring similarities between the spell system in Labyrinth Lord and B/X D&D!

Anyways, in the first link above you can find my near point-by-point to this particularly asinine bit of absurdity they're desperately trying to spin into an attack, but that's not what I wanted to talk about here. There was one point from the "review" (and I use that term loosely for what amounts to a blatantly-biased ill-intentioned hatchet job) I intentionally skipped commenting on there, so I could talk about it here. 

This is the front cover image from of Arrows of Indra:

(shittier resolution than I would have liked, but Bedrock Game's site, and its larger image, appears to be down right now)

In any case, the figure on the farthest right, the Siddhi (magic user) is transgender, or more accurately to the historical context of the setting you could say 'third gendered'.  The idea of making the magic user on the cover transgender was my own (motivated mainly because the existence of the kliba or third-gender was detailed in the book in the setting section, and because I thought it was an illustrative idea of the nature/culture of the setting), quickly agreed on by both the publisher (Brendan Davis) and the illustrator (Michael Prescott). It was remarked publicly but without making any big fanfare about it at the time that the book came out, but the fact of it became more widely known later on when "consultantgate" was happening, as part of the response to the absurd accusations some of the pseudo-activists made about me being transphobic.

Some of the crowd among the pseudo-activists included a number of the same somethingawful-goons that populate the comments section of YDIS.   The same people who posted and endorsed the anti-AoI review, which included this little gem:

"The cover(which is nice and well-executed) allegedly contains a depiction of a transvestite character(as Pundit is quick to remind anyone who cares(i.e nobody), and many who don’t), but this is hard to verify and not immediately obvious."

 So apparently, to these assholes, because the character on the cover doesn't have five o'clock shadow or look like Horatio Sanz in a Sari, it must not be real.  Never mind that a small amount of research would have 'verified' the fact about the character from well before 'consultantgate', the bigger point is that they feel that there's no way that's a transgender character on the cover because she looks too much like a woman.

So here's the thing: somehow, I suspect we won't be seeing any of the Psuedo-activists leading a crusade to get these assholes shut down anytime soon.  Why should they?  They both have a shared hate of regular RPGs, no problem with making up bullshit to serve their cause, and have been at the very least allies of convenience on a number of witch hunts. Who cares if on their own little blog they routinely post grotesquely derogatory material with troubling connotations about gender or sexuality? They consider each other allies, or at least useful idiots.

It says a lot about the maturity level of these fuckers that they think a depiction trans person should be "immediately obvious" or it's not real.  And it says quite a bit about the rpg pseudo-activists that they think of these sorts of people as "allies", and the guy who actually put a trans person on the cover of an OSR RPG as an "enemy".


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + H&H's Beverwyck

EDIT, ADDENDUM:  It gets worse. It turns out that in their original review in the YDIS website, they were using the term "tranny" to describe the cover character.

After I posted this blog entry, they claimed that clearly I must be a 'tranny' myself (you get it? or else why would I care, right?).

Then they started throwing around the term "Spic", in the comments section of a review of a game written by a half-hispanic author living in South America.

Class acts, all.


  1. Is there any reason at all to care what such obvious morons think? There are levels of dumb and mean that we ordinary humans really can't fathom. Nor should we even try.

    1. Probably not. But its always been my weak spot: morons.

  2. I found it to be the best OSR product ive rd this year (OK there are 25 days left) - I have always wanted a Indian setting and this is the best ever, and not because of it's lack of rivals. I found it to be a most interesting emanation of BX

  3. You should publish an AoI boxed set so the hater have even more material to misunderstand/ignore. The publicity couldn't hurt, right?

  4. On the plus side, this post has pushed me over the edge into "Buy Arrows of Indra" territory!

    1. Awesome! Amusingly, you're not the only one.

  5. The core mechanic of story teller games: make shit up and if everyone agrees then it happens. Someone should tell these people that it doesn't work that way in real life.