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Author Topic: So Grognardia is back I guess?  (Read 7971 times)

Mistwell

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #105 on: September 10, 2020, 11:11:50 PM »
then they take all the money without delivering anything


When you lie, and I mean intentionally like you just did rather than making a mistake, it makes me not trust you anymore.


He didn't take the money. He paid others who worked on it (like artists, and Kickstarter), and gave the remainder to Autarch. There is ZERO evidence he personally ever got a dime from the whole thing himself. There are lots of reasons to criticize how he handled things, but "He took the money and fled with it," or anything which implies that, is not one of them.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 11:16:44 PM by Mistwell »

Pat

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #106 on: September 11, 2020, 04:51:16 AM »
When you lie, and I mean intentionally like you just did rather than making a mistake, it makes me not trust you anymore.


He didn't take the money. He paid others who worked on it (like artists, and Kickstarter), and gave the remainder to Autarch. There is ZERO evidence he personally ever got a dime from the whole thing himself. There are lots of reasons to criticize how he handled things, but "He took the money and fled with it," or anything which implies that, is not one of them.
You're repeating falsehoods.

Estar has made a statement in this thread that Maliszewski passed through almost all the money, except for transaction costs and payments to artists. But Estar isn't one of the parties involved, and not only is that claim unverified, it contradicts what Autarch has said. Autarch, the only primary source who has spoken on the matter, said they received the funds necessary to complete the project, which was clarified in a later post to be about half the funds. That doesn't match Estar's statement. They also said they suffered a loss of about $20,000, which doesn't confirm anything, but does at least suggest the funds were short. Note any of this would have been trivial to clear up, if Autarch or Maliszewski wanted to do so. All they had to do was write a short post explaining where the money went. That they have not done so suggests it's complicated.

While that's a bit foggy, it's crystal clear that Maliszewski dropped off the face of the internet, stopped responding to backers, and ceased working on the project. As the primary author and rights holder, this put the project in abeyance. More than that, he also controlled the purse strings. So yes, he ran off with the money. There is no ambiguity here, no reasonable alternative interpretations. He ran off with the money, full stop. He didn't board a board or a plane and skip the country, but he fled the internet, fled his responsibilities, and at least figuratively, curled up in a ball and quit.

Now Autarch did eventually reach him, and got him to sign over the rights and pass over what remained of the money. That's a minor positive mark, on Maliszewski's side of the score card. It suggests he wasn't committing deliberate fraud, but that he just gave up and hid because he couldn't deal with the negativity. But it doesn't change that Maliszewski ran off with the money, and only passed it over when his partners chased him down. He hasn't come clean about that, hasn't made amends, and just laid low for a few years, presumably hoping people would forget.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 06:40:50 AM by Pat »

GameDaddy

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #107 on: September 11, 2020, 05:18:49 AM »
There is nothing complicated about it. The Kickstarter was for an old school style game that wasn't delivered on schedule. It was eventually delivered, ...but not by James Maliszewski.

It's clear that some of the Kickstarter monies was not spent on delivering Dwimmermoun first. The original $60 Price point included a hardback book shipped for free in the U.S. and Canada and $5 for shipping to Europe. At the time $39.95 was the going price for a D&D hardbound book, so it was not an unreasonable price for a hardbound D&D book. Free shipping is a project killer though, especially these days, and some of the high end Pledges were very expensive to produce, and in fact not enough people signed up for the high end pledges to make them profitable meaning the other pledges carried the elite pledges, and further drained the profit potential of this project.

$48,756 was collected in total from 1,023 people meaning an average of $ 47.56 was collected per person which was eventually published for Labyrinth Lord, and Autarchs ACKS system. The hardbound books were shipped in January of 2015 more than two years and three months after the original target date of August 2012, and there was some question it was going to be delivered at all because the kickstarter went dark meaning Maliszewski refused to answer inquiries, for quite some time, in fact until his project partners stepped it to rescue the project. Fortunately he hadn't spent all the money so Autarch was able to salvage the project although I would be surprised if he has managed to turn a profit on it, even after all this time and the followup PDF and additional sales this generated over time.

Kickstarter allows a person to collect money in advance for a project, but the monies should be spent on completing the project and delivering the goods. That didn't happen on Maliszewski's watch. Now he wants to return to his previous celebrity status in gaming circles. I get it. I get the medical bill problem and the lack of affordable healthcare in the U.S. That is not something that gamers should be fixing though, especially without being provided prior notice in advance, that paying unplanned medical bills was going to be part of the Dwimmermount project.

You gamers want to fix medical care in this country? Organize and make sure to elect legislators and government officials that will make the necessary changes to the existing healthcare system. That means kicking out the corrupt politicians, judges, lawyers, and doctors that are forcing this evil system upon the general public. It's a system that makes poverty a crime punishable by death and rewards the wealthy, incompetent, greedy, and morally bankrupt.

As for being a leader in gaming again? To this I say no. He doesn't deserve to be a leader, a guide, or a mentor, or any kind of authority figure for gamers. Any gamers. So no, he's not back.   



Reference:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/autarch/dwimmermount
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 05:46:20 AM by GameDaddy »
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estar

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #108 on: September 11, 2020, 06:57:43 AM »
James Maliszewski is a Canadian and lives in Canada.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #109 on: September 11, 2020, 08:56:26 AM »
As for being a leader in gaming again? To this I say no. He doesn't deserve to be a leader, a guide, or a mentor, or any kind of authority figure for gamers. Any gamers. So no, he's not back.   



   (Why am I involved with this? Grognardia is one of the key things that turned me off the OSR back in the day. And Pundit, before you use that as a talking point, you're one of the others. :) )


  I haven't followed either the original or revived blog, but is Malisewski trying to be a leader, or even a creator again? Or is he just trying to participate in the hobby and associated discussions? Not trusting him to run any projects or have any form of fiscal benefit is one thing, but blacklisting him from any and all involvement with the hobby feels rather extreme.

KingCheops

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #110 on: September 11, 2020, 11:47:07 AM »
James Maliszewski is a Canadian and lives in Canada.


Assuming his medical thing wasn't an emergency (ie. he needed to go to the Emergency Room and they solved his problem there) and assuming the typical dirt poor game designer then being Canadian helps shit fuck all.  If you don't have supplementary health insurance up here then once they have you stable and healthy in the emergency room then you are on the hook for everything else.


It's the big lie being fed to you folks that the US system is so bad.  We get lower level of care and if you don't have supplementary health insurance you are going to be paying a lot of money out of pocket.

wmarshal

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #111 on: September 11, 2020, 12:44:29 PM »
If James just wants to discuss rpgs then I have no problem at all with that. People are free to follow his blog or not, and at this point I don’t see why anyone who doesn’t follow his blog ought to care about those who do. I’ll wait to get upset if he tries to jump back into crowd-funding. If a 3rd party decides to use him as part of their project his work would have to be 100% done to not cause a storm.

Omega

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #112 on: September 11, 2020, 04:39:10 PM »
I had the same feeling about Grognardia. There was something... off... about their attitude that dulled my already low opinion of the OSR. Nothing big that I can recall. Just lots of little things in how they acted and treated others sometimes.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 04:41:08 PM by Omega »

GameDaddy

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #113 on: September 11, 2020, 10:59:31 PM »
 
I had the same feeling about Grognardia. There was something... off... about their attitude that dulled my already low opinion of the OSR. Nothing big that I can recall. Just lots of little things in how they acted and treated others sometimes.
 

 Allow me to help you with understanding this perception. I decided to go over to Grognardia and check out the recent posts since James has been posting again over there. I just went back a few weeks, looking over his articles and then it struck me. I'll describe the differences as well, ...a bit later in my post. 
 
 In one article from September third, James goes on about Tony Baths' Hyboria, and about how Tony Bath made his tabletop wargames more interesting by creating novel NPCs. For those of you here that don't know, Tony Bath was a tabletop wargamer from the 1950's. He actually started collecting miniatures just after WWII. Bath founded the Society of Ancients in 1965. In 1973 his Setting up a Wargames Campaign was published by the Wargames Research Group. He worked as an administrative manager for Miniature Figurines, Ltd., helping them expand their selection of ancient and medieval miniatures. In 1973 I was actually wargaming while I was living in Germany using 1/72, or 20mm minis. Now I didn't learn anything directly about wargaming or Fantasy Gaming from Tony Bath until sometime in the mid-to-late eighties, but he definitely influenced my very early 70's games with his original ideas about wargame and fantasy game random campaign generation.
 
 In September of 1974 I received one of many very special birthday gifts. It was a copy of Avalon Hills' Panzer Leader a game that was originally design by Jim Dunnigan. Now this was a tactical level wargame set in the WWII era. There was a set of scenario cards so you could play through some key historical encounters, Before 1974 was through, I had played all of them, as well as a few scenarios of my own devising drawing on actual historical battle reports that I would literally read through, and then recreate from battles reported in the books. These books are available, even now, from the Army War College, and are known as The Army's Official History of WWII.
 
 You can check these out for yourself here.
 https://history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/collect/usaww2.html
 
 At that time though after school you would find me at the Base Library reading through these books looking at actual battle and AAR reports and taking notes so that I could recreate these battles in tabletop wargames, and evaluate how I would do as the commander in the field at the time. Panzer Leader went one up on that though, and in the back of the rules section, there was designer's notes. These were also taken from the Tables of Organization & Equipment that were available from the The Army's Official History of WWII. There was a Macro Game where you could set up a specific unit for a campaign, Say an American Armor or Motorized Infantry Battalion, or Regiment and then run that unit through a random selection of battles facing off against an opponent (or opposing side) to see how well the unit would fare. So very sophisticated roleplaying to determine the effective strength of an actual combat unit under a variety of situations.
 
 Now in January 1977 about the same time as I started playing D&D, Avalon Hill came out with Squad Leader. Which was an even more refined look at WWII Battles. What made this one of my absolute favorite games from Avalon Hill though, was that there was a campaign mode, where you could pick a leader, and he would advance through a series of battles leading the units featured in the battles, facing off against a foe with a similar leader that they roleplayed. They also had a random scenario construction kit built in to squad leader, that featured, you guessed it, a force draw, and victory conditions draw using a deck of playing cards ala Tony Bath. John Hill designed this, ...and of course knew Tony Bath.
 
 So, the first few months playing D&D we were sitting around dungeon delving, but by the winter of 1977 we had expanded our D&D campaign and were playing a wilderness campaign. My first D&D campaign world was a mismash of Tolkien's Middle Earth, and some other stuff picked out of literary fantasy along with some details I just made up. I had this Hobbit vale (With Dwarves nearby), a Kingdom named Brandywine in a high valley situated between two mountain chains, and just east of the mountain chain was another Hobbit Kingdom the Low Vales, then some vast unnamed steppe plains leading to a very tropical Jungle and inland sea. I remember there were Egyptians and Romans that had settled in the tropical inland sea region. To the south there was a vast desert, with lots of Dervishes, and Nomads, and a few lost cities beneath the sand. To the North was a great forest where the Elves lived, but there were some Elves that lived in the Hobbit Vales too.
 
 The mountains contained tombs, old castle ruins (with dungeons), catacombs, and caves and caverns, some of which had been worked by Goblins, Orcs, and Dragons into subterranean cities and settlements. I remember undead being very popular in our earliest games. Wizard's also liked to live out in the wilderness in isolated places, a keep with a dungeon, or a tower with a dungeon. All the NPC wizards had research laboratories in their lairs. They conducted all manner of inquiry and research as well as new spell research, and a high wizard very rarely accepted guests. With the original D&D the wizards often hired guardians to guard their strongholds, and set magical traps for unwelcome guests. Very experienced early players were very reluctant to trespass into a wizard's lair uninvited, or unannounced.
 
 In the original campaigns we had themes, and one of the basic themes of our very first wilderness campaigns was that our fantasy world was an alternate earth, one where history had been changed. The world had advanced into the modern age, or perhaps even into the future, and then some catastrophe or war had knocked it back into the stone age, where the campaign world then evolved forward with magic, mystery, and superstition (almost) replacing all the science, and technology.
 
 With all that setup, we added to our campaign worlds, and setup peripheral kingdoms using the guidelines in the Brown/White Bookset where each new hex being explored might contain a castle or stronghold featuring a noble or lord leading an Army. The original books had the occupants of a stronghold either be a Lord, Superhero, Wizard, Necromancer, Patriarch, or Evil High Priest. We very quickly added on to this, and just randomly rolled up high level NPCs, and randomly rolled the alignment of these NPCs to add variety and surprise into the mix for our players.
 
 Then of course there were wandering monsters in the wilderness, some of which were wandering, and some were in their lair, that the players just stumbled into. ...and the players were expected to rapidly establish their own stronghold, so that their treasures and research could be secured.
 
 You might be asking right about now, ...what does this have in Common with Tony Bath’s Hyboria, or with his Setting up a Wargames Campaign? Well, part of my worldbuilding, I learned from my first GM, who incidentally gave me hex paper and told me to map my campaign world. We used hex paper and it was familiar to us from our Wargaming roots. We could easily measure distances, so hex maps became the defacto standard for mapping out our homebrew outdoor campaign setting, so we could easily calculate the movement of our Player Party, as well as all NPCs, Armies, Legendary Monsters, Nomads,  etc. etc. You’ll see how this is relevant shortly.
 
 The concept of "saves" seems to have originated in the wargaming rules of Tony Bath from the late 1950s. Bath's medieval rules have a system such that after a roll is made by the attacker to determine hits, armored defenders make a separate roll to determine if their armor "saved" them from the hit; e.g. "if he has both armor and a shield, a 4, 5 or 6 will save him." The compound "saving throw" was widely popularized in the wargaming community by Don Featherstone's reprinting of Bath's wargaming rules in War Games (1962).
 
 
Gary Gygax was familiar with Tony Bath's 1966 edition of ancient and medieval rules (Gygax repeatedly credited them in the late 1960s), which use the term "saving throw" freely. From there we see saving throws integrated into Chainmail, where figures roll saves to avoid effects like dragons breath, poison and petrification. Gygax and Arneson's 1972 collaboration Don't Give up the Ship also has saving throws made after ships are hit by guns.
 
 There’s more… Tony Bath’s Hyboria campaign began in 1963. In 1973 he published Setting up a Wargames Campaign. This was published before D&D, by the way. Does any of this look familiar to you?…
 
 Purchase costs: (worked out on a regimental basis, which under my system is same 600 men)
Leather Armour 25 Gold
Armour 50
Full Mail 100
Plate 200
Shield 25
Horse Armour 100
Sword 20
Spear 10
Lance 15
Axe/Halberd 15
Short Bow 10
Composite Bow 15
Longbow 15
Javelin 5
Pilum 10
Pike 15
Crossbow 25
Sling nil
Ponies 50
Horses 75
Heavy Horses 100
Elephant 120 each
Elephant Armour 125
Light Siege Engine 50 each
Heavy Siege Engine 75 each
Gamets 75 each

 
It was also necessary to work out the going price for slaves, since players soon developed the nasty habit of selling off prisoners or eking out revenues by same slave raiding in hostile territory! I
established that values fluctuated from time to time, and that if large numbers were thrown on a local market at once, prices would drop!
Averages were:
Fieldworker 5-10 Gold Crowns
Workwoman 10-20
House Slave 10-20
Concubine 20-100

 
Since I operate in Hyboria on regimental levels and not in individuals, pay was generally quoted on a regimental scale; and to save the trouble of working this out, for anyone who requires it I quote
the regimental pay scales here:
lnfantry 100 Gold crowns per quarter
Cavalry 200
Camel Squadron 50
Chariot Crew 25
Elephant Crew 30

 
These were peace-time rates of pay, and troops have to be paid regutarly every quarter. In war-time, pay rates are increased by 50%. Guard troops receive double rate at all times. In addition to their pay, troops have to be fed, and forage provided for their horses.
 

 
...And so on. Tony goes on to describe shipbuilding, stronghhold building, and making NPCs which he describes as CHARACTERISATION. To wit;
 
 The subject-matter of this chapter is really only for those who have set up a mythical continent of their own, so historically minded readers can skip it if they wish! Even those who have only made up a map for one brief campaign will probably not wish to adopt the whole system set out here, though there may be a few points which would be of use even in this situation. But for those who intend to use their continent, island or whatever it is for a good period, with continuing campaigns, some degree of characterisation is essential.
 
 
 And later…
 
 You now have your families set up and all their members named. You now need to create personalities or characters for all these people, and this to my mind is the most fascinating part of the whole thing. Various methods can of course be used for this; you can if you wish assign arbitrary characters to suitable people, or create personalities and then dice to see who they belong to. The system I use is based on assigned values and playing cards. Originally I also used the number of letters in a person's name, dealing one card for each letter; but later 1 found it was better to use an arbitrary number of cards, and I decided on seven, which gives you a good variety without over-doing things.
So, for each person's character you deal out seven cards. The first card dealt will decide upon his or her's mast outstanding characteristic: a Heart will indicate Good Nature, a Diamond Love of Wealth, a Spade Ambition, and a Club Lave of War in a man, Patriotism in a woman. The value of the card will determine the depth of this passion, a high card being very strong, a low card relatively weak. The rest of the cards are used individually, and each has a value of its own, as given below:

 Ace: Spade ar Club, a disloyal intriguer. Diamond, loyal intriguer.

Heart .exceptional good nature.
King: Spade or Club, Energy: Heart or Diamond, Courage · Great lever
Queen: Great lover
Knave: Spade/Club, Unreliability, oath-breaker, liar. Heart/Diamond, Merciless, revenge-prone.
Ten: Loyalty, absolute in Diamonds, grading down through Hearts, Clubs, Spades.
Nine: Physical beauty, except for Spade, which is Ugliness.
Eight: Spade/Club, Cruelty Heart/Diamond, Generosity.
Seven: Spade/Club, Personality Heart/Diamond, Jealous of Family Honour.
Six: Spade/Club, Lazyness Heart/Diamond, Charm
Five: Spade/Club, Wisdom Heart/Diamond, Cunning
Four: Spade/Club, Stupidity Heart/Diamond, Cowardice
Three: Spade Club, Bad Temper Heart/Diamond, Good Temper
Two: Spade/Club, Arrogance, Pride. Heart/Diamond, Merciful

So Tony has an random generated alignment system including characteristics, and equipment and troop price lists, all of which were added to Blackmoor (...and D&D) much later, and and which were also being used in tsome in early Chainmail games, but Tony had worked out many of these campaign level detail at least a full decade earlier, and even published before TSR Did. What TSR had, that Tony Bath didn’t was a magic system, and legendary monsters, and that’s pretty much it.
So when I see james Malizewski talking about Tony Bath’s wargames, like it’s the greatest thing since sandwiches and sliced bread, I’m all like, WTF? ???

We literally were playing this game, and figuring our way through the lack of rules back in the mid to late 70’s. Even though I didn’t even know about Tony bath until the mid to late 80’s, and not really well until about 2010 or so, we had all been playing an organic version of his wargame as part of our RPG since the time we started playing D&D. It was only later, that D&D changed, and moved away from that model of representing RPGs.

 
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 02:33:38 AM by GameDaddy »
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Omega

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #114 on: September 12, 2020, 03:43:46 AM »
So again we have this fascinating little mystery of what the seed was that sparked this idea off from multiple angles. at around the same time as academia was just starting to spread the "classroom simulation" idea as a teaching tool. Part proto LARP, part town sim. A younger Gary is doing the same with friends and we have the beginnings of elements that would eventually come together to form actual RPGs.

S'mon

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #115 on: September 12, 2020, 03:54:42 AM »
Re 'health issue', I never saw anything about JMal having a health issue. He was supposedly feeling down because of his father's sickness AIR. Might have had some depression. But I got the impression he mostly just got stressed over the Kickstarter and gave up.
My 5e and Mini Six Primeval Thule games blog:
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S'mon

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #116 on: September 12, 2020, 04:00:38 AM »
So again we have this fascinating little mystery of what the seed was that sparked this idea off from multiple angles. at around the same time as academia was just starting to spread the "classroom simulation" idea as a teaching tool. Part proto LARP, part town sim. A younger Gary is doing the same with friends and we have the beginnings of elements that would eventually come together to form actual RPGs.


Military sims, Free Kriegsspiel, Major Weseley, Braunstein.
The you-are-there play came much more from Arneson and the Braunstein setup, which derives from how Prussian Free Kriesspiel and military training sims work, than from Gygax & Chainmail AFAICT. Military training simulations focus very much on the players being in the roles of the commanding officers, with referees adjudicating, rather than the more abstract board-wargaming style you get with games derived from regular Kriegsspiel.
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jeff37923

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #117 on: September 12, 2020, 06:43:58 AM »
James Maliszewski is a Canadian and lives in Canada.


Damnit estar! GameDaddy was on a roll!

estar

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #118 on: September 12, 2020, 08:47:37 AM »
James Maliszewski is a Canadian and lives in Canada.


Damnit estar! GameDaddy was on a roll!


(shrug)  :)

Omega

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Re: So Grognardia is back I guess?
« Reply #119 on: September 12, 2020, 02:59:15 PM »
Military sims, Free Kriegsspiel, Major Weseley, Braunstein.
The you-are-there play came much more from Arneson and the Braunstein setup, which derives from how Prussian Free Kriesspiel and military training sims work, than from Gygax & Chainmail AFAICT. Military training simulations focus very much on the players being in the roles of the commanding officers, with referees adjudicating, rather than the more abstract board-wargaming style you get with games derived from regular Kriegsspiel.
What I meant when referring to Gygax was what he related playing with friends and siblings well before D&D was even a concept. What he described was a proto-LARP with a sort of DM or referee. No rules were mentioned but the person running it had a sort of basic system much like school sims did.