Odds are this post is going to come off as “Old Man Yells at Cloud”, but I am frustrated. I tried to vent my frustration on some places on the internet to no avail. Then I remembered, this is my corner of the internet and I can say and do whatever I want here. This is going to be a rant, and I am just doing it to get it off my chest, and release it into the ether so I can move on. Generally, I try to be the mediating voice in conversations, especially when it has to do with D&D. I am try to spread a pro-D&D message regardless of edition. I don’t condone people insulting older editions, and I do not condone people insulting 5e, mostly because I play them both. The issue I tend to have is with the gatekeepers of the 5e world, especially on the 5e FB main group.
|Maybe I am just getting old.|
I try to reach out to the 5e community, but one of two things are abundantly clear; 1) 5e players just do not like reading blogs, or 2) they do not like my personal style. I make allowances for both. The truth is that when I write articles for 5e, the juice is often not worth the squeeze as far as traffic is concerned. I try though to reach out, I really value the opinions of the newer generation of gamers and would love to engage with them more. I was surprised when I posted my article on the D&D Cartoon Review and it picked up traction. It had 100+ reactions and around 60 comments and I was having a great time conversing with the people in the group about the topic. It was up for about 24 hours before it was pulled down for “Not being specifically about 5e”. This is not the first time I have had an article pulled, but this is the first time it was pulled when it had some good momentum around it. Normally I just accept it and move on, but this time I was angered because it was a good post.
Now was my article ABSOLUTELY about 5e, no. Though I did include at the end some best practices for D&D and mention 5e at least once specifically. I talk about the lessons in the episode that a DM can learn from and possibly emulate in their home game. I discuss the cool settings and the colorful villain that might make for interesting encounters for your players. I talk about the idea of facing overwhelming opponents, but using non-combat tactics to subdue them, like they do in the show. All things that could directly help a person running 5e. This time I wanted an explanation, especially because it wasn’t deemed bad for 24 hours.
I respectfully requested that one of the admins contact me, mostly not to get this post put back up, but to ensure future posts will not be taken down. I have talked with some of the admins before, each time we came to a reasonable solution to the issue, and all parties were completely civil. This time was a much different experience. This time I managed to get a certain admin that has a bit of a reputation in this particular of wielding a mighty ban hammer and using it indiscriminately. I am not going to do a word for word of our conversation, but I will give the general overview.
|Should be a ban scalpel.|
I began by stating that I just wanted to know why post had been taken down and that people seemed to be enjoying it. I was told that it should not have gone up, and that it had nothing to do with 5e. I did not come to this conversation unarmed though, because I took several screen shots of things that were approved and seemingly had less, or at least equal to do with D&D as my post. I want it said that I have no problem with any of the posts that I am mentioning, just that I do not understand how they have a direct tie to 5e and my post does not have one. To say it a second time, I did not want these other posts pulled, just and explanation.
The first post was an advertisement for a semi-famous play, She Kills Monsters. This is a play about D&D, and I saw it about a year ago. The person was not talking about 5e, just advertising the play that he is involved with in his local area. I was told that the reason it can stay was, “They play 5e”. Ok, I mention that I play 5e as well, and was told “Great, it’s a fun game.” Seeing this one was not going anywhere, I moved on. The next was a post of a tin with dice in it. I was told that “Dice are used in this edition”. Ok, how about this one? It was a picture of someone painting a five headed dragon medallion. “Yep. That is Tiamat.” I then go on to explain that my article several times talks about Tiamat and I use the 5e picture of her for her representation. If having Tiamat in general in your post is enough to get in, my post should have been fine.
|If you get a chance, go see this.|
I was asked “Is your article a review about a cartoon?” I answered in the affirmative, but also mentioned it was more than that as well. I talked about themes and troupes in D&D. Gave advice to DMs and in general had more to do with D&D than a play that was written before 5e existed. It was also a collective piece of our D&D history. “I failing to see a sufficient link with 5e”. I then try a different approach, which was to say that people were enjoying it, and were actively participating in the post. “People liking it doesn't make it right for this group. People LOVE DnD Memes. People LOVE pictures of naked people. Those don't work for our group either.” At this point it was going nowhere and we parted the conversation. I was upset, but I was going to let it go.
A few days later………
The same admin post an article, from her own blog, about how using the terms guys, dudes, and fellows can be offensive to women and non-binary people. The sad thing is, I don’t disagree with her, but what does this have to do with 5e SPECIFICALLY? There was a torrent of hate that flew her way and the post was locked down either by her or another admin. I do not think it was a bad article, but at a minimum it has to be equal with mine in the amount of 5e content.
This is the crux of the issue though. The application of the policy is incredibly willy-nilly and in my opinion people should err on the side of the creators, then hit something with a ban stick without reading it. I just want to produce content and have it read by people free of charge, I don’t even have ads on my page. I write mostly to connect with people, and that group’s 144k worth of D&D fans is a good place to meet people.
I just had to get that off my chest, I am going to move on with my life and try and get part 2 of the Saturday Moring D&D out tonight or tomorrow.