I knew that I would’ve needed to work til March to get Æthercoil Magazine #4 ready for DriveThruRPG. All that’s left for that issue is a couple illustrations to color as well as the necessary grammar checking. Once that’s done, the issue will be sent ASAP. But that’s not the only development on the site.
As you see on the left, I’ve updated the Social Media and Support Links. You can not only catch me on Google Plus, but also no Gab.ai and Minds.com. You’ll notice that I prefer those two sites over the usual suspects; the reason is on principle. Social Media sites who would censor, ban, shadowbanning which is a real dick move (I mean, come on: Banning someone without telling them? There ought to be a law against that. That’s right, Reddit, I’m looking at you.) demonetizing accounts (that one’s for Youtube.) and outright kick out people for having an opposing view because they made someone feel bad, would just as soon kick someone like me out just because…well, because fuck David Gonterman. It’s been done before. That’s why I don’t do Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and most recently, DeviantART; I’d rather walk out of a place where I’m certainly not welcome in before I get thrown out at best, dragged out on a rail at worst. I find social media that value freedom of speech, thought, and creativity a lot more welcoming. Granted, some might find some of the commentators in Gab and Minds disconcerting, especially when you’re a Millennial College Student, but for someone like me who just want to create for a living without having to hear someone going “Check Your Privilege, White Boy!” every five minutes, I’m more comfortable in the sites I’m on then the more common ones.
“But Davey,” you’d say, “I know that you’re in the Alt Right, but come on. You’re not a provocateur like Milo, or an abrasive Youtuber like Sargon of Akkard, or even someone like PewDiePie. You’re a D&D Dungeon Master creating your own campaign setting. Hell, you still even scribble a drawing or two and post it on that digital fridge door you call your web site. Outside of a snide remark or unconventional view, you’re not that argumentive, you don’t shit post, you don’t go out of your way to be offensive, you just an honest joe trying to make good with your talents. That’s not going to get you banned. There’s nothing about you that will get you banned.”
And I say “Like that is going to stop someone from banning me.”
So, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook are out; and Gab.ai and Minds are in. That’s just the way it is.
(Sidebar: I separate “Alt Right” from “Extreme Right”. “Extreme Right” is the ones that people warn you about: The Spencers, the Stormfronts, the Neo-Nazis, the people who think that 1,488 is more than just a number, the groups that you’d probably see more in Gangland and Lock-up, as you should. The Alt Right, by contrast, is the group of free-thinkers and open-minded folk who are counter to the prevailing Progressive movement. This group might have Right in the label, but that’s not as much “right of center” as “right of Hillary Clinton.” They include Classical Liberals, Classic Feminists, Libertarians, Gay Republicans, Online Philosophers, Gamers, Middle Class people who voted for Obama twice, People of Color who reject Black Lives Matter, and other people who think that the current political establishment is out of touch with them. People who didn’t like where their homeland is going with Obama and Hillary, and did not appreciate being called “Deplorables” while they’re at it. People who might not have voted for Donald Trump, but prefer to live without worrying about Microagressions, Trigger Warnings, Intersectionality, and Pronouns that get that squiggly red line in Word at every turn.
To put it another way, The Alt Right of today is like the Counter Culture of the 1960-70s.
I consider myself part of the Alt Right because it’s the most welcoming group: The Progressives see a Cis White Male, and the Extreme Right sees an Autistic; either side would see someone they’d want to punch.)
By now, the Paytron site is up and running. I have it soft launched now and have some free artwork on it. I’ll announce Magazine launches on there, but this won’t get much progress until I finish creating the Æthercoil Starter Set, which I’ve started work on last month. You’ll get more information about it in Æthercoil Magazine #4, but the gist of the project is that I wanted to make a Starter Set that is more of a “RPG in a Box” than the Wizards of the Coast 5E starter set is. My Starter Set will have everything you need to run a short dungeon delve, which is what you need to get people into both D&D as a game and Æthercoil as a setting, with minimal preparation on the DM’s part. I should have this ready by the Summer.
Meanwhile, there is a more immediate support site linked here, in the form of a Ko-fi page. I really don’t ask for much for you, the visitor, and hopefully someone who likes my work; just a cup of coffee will do. At just three dollars a cup, you show me your appreciation of my work and encourage me to keep going, which only makes the java that much sweeter to my lips.
Also unspoken is the obvious: If I get enough donations, I could get a new computer powerful enough to get me back streaming sessions, which is what I want to do in the first place.
In between issues #4 and #5, there might be a need for me to prepare something that might go into the Dungeon Master’s Guild. My Curse of Strahd customization has been on the back burner, but there’s something else that piqued my interest. While Chapter 3 of Storm King’s Thunder might not see a conversion into Æthercoil—it’s a detailed depiction of Forgotten Realm’s Savage North, after all—I have found both of my groups, the Encounters table on Wednesdays and especially my Thursday Roll20 group, are establishing their own home base in the Realms, with the possibility of creating a guild that their next characters will hail from. A lot of DM’s actually rejoice at that, including myself. It’s why I created the Homesteading Mechanic in the first place (Which will be revised in Æthercoil Magazine #5). But that isn’t the only thing.
As you might know, Tales of the Yawning Portal isn’t a true Campaign per se, but a group of famous dungeons brought up to the current system. Placing them into a believable campaign (instead of just throwing the dungeons onto the party end to end, which I don’t want) is going to be tricky, and might require a bit of overland travel. Even with the main idea for my next campaign, an upgrade of Scourge of the Sword Coast which will link up with the Dead in Thay dungeon in this upcoming book, there’s a need for me to reuse Chapter 3 of Storm King’s Thunder.
Hence my first Dungeon Master’s Guild will be a variation of this Chapter, retooled to be Campaign Agnostic. This version of The North can be used for any campaign needed, as long as it’s set in the North and there’s a need to have quests automatically set up. You can just take the campaign you’re needing—be it purchased or homemade—and just drop the “Reset Savage North” into it, saving you that much headache in the design.
The Reset Savage North document will not be discussed in Æthercoil Magazine, obviously, but I might have it up for discussion in my Social Medias as well as Reddit, which has a well-established community with plenty of people to bounce ideas around. (Until I get shadowbanned for being a Cis White Male, of course)