Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

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Morfie
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Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Morfie »

I'm not going to post the screenshots here, but it appears Bob Bledsaw II has gone unrepentantly overboard with some very controversial posts, leading to JG licensees such as Bat in the Attic cutting ties with them, quite rightly IMO.
These acts are much worse than what a couple of other RPG writers have said and been vilified for.

In addition to an old unfulfilled Kickstarter for CSIO, it appears the legacy of Judges Guild has been severely tarnished by a son of the deceased founder and will not recover.
I am dismayed and saddened that I expect to never see another JG product expanding the Wilderlands, and I will no longer support any existing products.


https://www.enworld.org/threads/compani ... ts.670222/

https://www.geeknative.com/71137/rpg-pu ... ry-expose/

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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Dread Delgath »

:facepalm: Wow. Disgusting. Glad I'm not a JG customer, I'd hate to see any of my money supporting evil.

Kudos to Rob Conley & Frog God Games and to others who stand up to evil.
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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Big Mac »

Morfie wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:30 am
I'm not going to post the screenshots here, but it appears Bob Bledsaw II has gone unrepentantly overboard with some very controversial posts, leading to JG licensees such as Bat in the Attic cutting ties with them, quite rightly IMO.
These acts are much worse than what a couple of other RPG writers have said and been vilified for.
Thank you for not reposting the comments of Robert Bledsaw II or Robert Bledsaw III here (they both said similar things).

We try not to do drama at The Piazza, especially drama that may well upset people who come here to have a nice chat about RPGs and then stumble onto a topic with some sort of offensive views in it.

One of the problems with discussions about "someone saying something offensive" elsewhere, is that there are trolls out there that see that sort of a mention as a way to leverage a topic or thread towards being a full blown discussion of the offensive topic. If you don't stay on top of these things a post about "someone saying something offensive elsewhere" can turn into a debate on if they are right or wrong.

And then you get people claiming they have "freedom of speech rights" to hold the same view as the person who spoke about something offensive elsewhere and you end up having to come in with a ban-hammer to shut up anyone who is talking down to people in one minority group or another.

I don't expect to have to deal with that sort of nonsense here, but I did get some nasty surges of it on a Facebook community I used to look after for a friend. It caused a lot of drama (in that place) and upset people who didn't have anything to do with the people who started it.

So just to nip that in the bud, this is news, and I'm going to get the topic moved to The Wishing Well later and leave the topic open, but...

ADMIN NOTICE (by Big Mac): We are not doing a discussion of the specific aligation that Bob II or Bob III made. If there are any posts that go into that sort of offensive detail, they will be removed, as soon as we see them and this topic will be locked without notice.

(If someone is really curious, you can go look this up elsewhere, but please do not spread this sort of nonsense, especially at The Piazza. We do not want that sort of stuff here.)
Morfie wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:30 am
In addition to an old unfulfilled Kickstarter for CSIO, it appears the legacy of Judges Guild has been severely tarnished by a son of the deceased founder and will not recover.
I am dismayed and saddened that I expect to never see another JG product expanding the Wilderlands, and I will no longer support any existing products.

https://www.enworld.org/threads/compani ... ts.670222/

https://www.geeknative.com/71137/rpg-pu ... ry-expose/
A lot of people have worked on Wilderlands over the years (and it looks like some of them have not been fully paid for the latest Kickstarter yet). So it's kind of sad that Bob II and Bob III have done something that is going to have a financial effect on people who do not share the sort of views they posted.

The Wilderlands forum at The Piazza is here to support fans of the campaign setting. And it's going to stay. But I can imagine that the stupid actions of Bob II and Bob III are going to make it very unlikely that we are going to see more new products coming out.

And I can imagine that it would tarnish the fun memories of some fans.
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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

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:(

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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Kythkyn »

I think it's important to shine a light on these things, and then to let people make their own decisions on how to go forward for themselves. I'm not surprized to find this out, but I am disappointed
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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Big Mac »

Kythkyn wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:33 pm
I think it's important to shine a light on these things, and then to let people make their own decisions on how to go forward for themselves. I'm not surprized to find this out, but I am disappointed
Actually the Council for Countering Digital Hate suggests that it is a bad move to give signal boost to any sort of hate speech.

If you look at social media platforms, like Facebook, there are people specifically creating "rage-bait" meme spam, in the hope that people will put it onto their Facebook pages and talk about it. Saying you disagree with "rage-bait" is just as useful to them as saying you agree with it (because every share boosts the signal of their message).

So, sure, if you are disappointed that Bob II and Bob III posted these thing, then feel free to say so.

I just don't want anything they said ever shared here, if that makes sense. :)
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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by JamesMishler »

My first post on my blog on the subject, through which I disassociate myself from Judges Guild, Bob II, and Bob III.

My second post on my blog the subject, in which I maintain that this should not in any way tarnish the true legacy of Bob I.

Here is the text of the first post:

Regarding Judges Guild

Henceforth I shall not be associated with, nor work with, nor in any way support Bob Bledsaw Jr., the Bledsaw family, or the works of Judges Guild.

My former AGP products are, by the terms of the contract I had with Bob Bledsaw Sr., owned by Judges Guild, and it is no longer my right to determine their fate.

I have however requested that they be removed from publication. I have further requested that if that is not possible, that Judges Guild replace all references in the products to "Adventure Games Publishing" with references to "Judges Guild," and all references to my name to references to "Alan Smithee."

I have also requested that in any case I be removed from the royalty streams of these products.

Should these last simple requests not be met, there is little I can do about the situation, as there were no clauses that would require these requests be honored.

Should for some reason Bob Jr. not see fit to remove me from the royalty stream of the products, any royalties earned from those products will be donated evenly to the ADL and the NAACP.

I have removed my old Adventures in Gaming and Adventure Games Publishing blogs, as well as my Hanging Out in the City State blog.

For those who have somehow missed developments (as I did working all day and then gaming tonight), you can find out more at Bat in the Attic and Tenkar's Tavern.

And that is the last I will ever have to say about Judges Guild, barring new ownership.

Here is the text of the second post:

Regarding Robert Bledsaw I and Bob's Legacy

Robert Bledsaw I (herein “Bob,” the only one worthy of the name) would not have put up with any of the filth his son and grandson cleave to, and would be ashamed and heartbroken to know what they have become.

In the 10 years of my friendship with Bob we spoke not only of games and gaming, but also of life, death, philosophy, politics… the full spectrum of human life. And I know he had no truck with any of his son and grandson’s beliefs. He was a gentle, kind soul, wishing harm to none and good toward all.

And so, I have chosen not to allow the gross moral and ethical failings of his son and grandson to taint Bob and his legacy.

After all, Judges Guild is not Bob’s Legacy.

Bob’s Legacy lives in every fantasy role-playing game campaign; is reflected in the glint in the eye of every player-character who sought fame and riches in strange cities and fantastic lands.

True, Blackmoor was the First Fantasy Campaign, and Greyhawk the second. But it was the City State of the Invincible Overlord and the Wilderlands of High Fantasy that spawned or most greatly influenced the development of Dungeons & Dragons campaigns at thousands of tables over the last five decades.

Far more campaigns, I’d wager, than even Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms.

And most folks never even know it.

In the early days, Blackmoor and Greyhawk were merely mysterious, legendary names – the Temple of the Frog all but a myth. Far more player characters in those days explored the streets and alleys, palaces and dives of the City State than ever even saw the walls of Greyhawk; far more adventurers earned fame (or infamy) and won riches (or death) in the wilds of the Wilderlands than ever explored the forests and swamps of Blackmoor.

From the judges who ran those games to the players whose characters experienced the City State and the Wilderlands, Bob’s creative “DNA” spread out to become the grandfather of far more campaigns and the ancestor of more adventurers than anyone can ever count.

No two damn fools can ever destroy that Legacy!

The Wilderlands has survived worse; the Invincible Overlord is, after all, invincible for a reason.

And so, while I will not have anything to do with Judges Guild so long as it is owned, operated, or benefits unrepentant Nazi- and Confederate- sympathizing, Holocaust-denying, Anti-Semitic Racist Misogynistic Dominionists, I will not let that stop me from enjoying Bob’s Legacy.

And that includes the City State, the Wilderlands, and everything in between.

Fortunately, my collection of classic Judges Guild materials is one of the few series of lines I own that remains essentially intact; and of course, I have almost 40 years of my own developments to fall back on, when I encounter lacunae in the canon (such as one can say there is “canon” for the City State and the Wilderlands).

Others may not be so fortunate. To you, I say, seek out those who run a City State and/or Wilderlands campaign; join in a campaign exploring Tegel Manor or the Glory Hole Dwarven Mine.

Take a sheet of blank hex paper and build a world; create a new region of the Wilderlands or generate something entirely new!

Judges, let your dreams run riot, build empires of imagination; players, seek out the rich kingdoms of your judge’s world, shining jewels each and every one, and crush them under your sandaled feet!

Take Bob’s Legacy and run with it; expand and build upon it; share your creations and discoveries; but above all, take what you find, and make Bob’s Legacy your own.

Have fun.

That’s what Bob always wanted you to do.

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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by genghisdon »

I do not know how one can discuss or decide about such a thing without seeing the evidence (which i have, and yeah, it's bad), and good for those cutting ties over it (as I noted on dragonsfoot before someone loosed an anti-semitic screed to get the thread locked fast).

Or: Kythkyn is correct, and the Council for Countering Digital Hate is dead wrong. Censorship or similar methods DO NOT counter hateful speech. The antidote for bad/wrong speech is good/better speech. The counter for lies is truth. No one is persuaded to change by being blocked, nor is anyone protected by "hear no evil, see no evil" nonsense; that just makes people unaware of the evil that is there. It can then fester & spread. And everyone HAS to look for themselves, because if one does not, and allows institutions or groups to decide for them instead, those groups will be inevitably corrupted by that power given them to allow/disallow associations & use that power to go after their perceived enemies or opponents...be they guilty, innocent, or in-between...but the un-thinking follower will never know.

"Don't feed the troll" is good advice. Not everything malicious online is merely trolling, however.

That said, my reason to post was from/for the OP: I do not think it means "no more JG or wilderlands ever". Not at all. It's already had decades long hiatus(es). They don't do anything themselves. The bigoted current owners will sell it for peanuts or a song in a year or 5 after making nothing from having it. Then it will be back.

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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Dread Delgath »

genghisdon wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:32 am
I do not know how one can discuss or decide about such a thing without seeing the evidence (which i have, and yeah, it's bad), and good for those cutting ties over it (as I noted on dragonsfoot before someone loosed an anti-semitic screed to get the thread locked fast).
THAT was a surprising turn of events! Err, I don't mean that the thread was locked because of one bigot, that's expected; I mean that DF had such a member go so long without being outed long ago - that is surprising to me.
Or: Kythkyn is correct, and the Council for Countering Digital Hate is dead wrong. Censorship or similar methods DO NOT counter hateful speech. The antidote for bad/wrong speech is good/better speech. The counter for lies is truth. No one is persuaded to change by being blocked, nor is anyone protected by "hear no evil, see no evil" nonsense; that just makes people unaware of the evil that is there. It can then fester & spread. And everyone HAS to look for themselves, because if one does not, and allows institutions or groups to decide for them instead, those groups will be inevitably corrupted by that power given them to allow/disallow associations & use that power to go after their perceived enemies or opponents...be they guilty, innocent, or in-between...but the un-thinking follower will never know.
Spot on. Censorship never solves anything - it just shunts the argument to somewhere else under the pretense that talking about it is bad and gives the other side a platform for spewing hate, but: there is a strong argument that having such discussions on sites like the Piazza and DF is beyond the scope of forums discussions about dragons and elves.

I believe that the current social climate model believes that if you shut down unpopular opinions, you are winning. This spreads to shouting down others where debate should be encouraged instead. Some opinions are clearly wrong, but society grows and prospers only through discussion of whys & hows - NOT censoring.

I think that DF & the Piazza owners have the absolute right of drawing the line wherever they want, however, and we are free to discuss and debate elsewhere, so we are told. (But I've never looked for these places - in fact - I'm rather kind of scared of discussing these sort of matters in the OPEN public where all kinds of nasty people can come after you and call you at 3AM demanding that you kill yourself because you don't agree with their opinion on The Last Jedi...)
"Don't feed the troll" is good advice. Not everything malicious online is merely trolling, however.
Some troll to get a rise out of you. Some troll to get yuks. Some conflate the two - they get their own yuks by getting a rise out of you. I don't mind the yuks, as long as its friendly ribbing and not malicious.
That said, my reason to post was from/for the OP: I do not think it means "no more JG or wilderlands ever". Not at all. It's already had decades long hiatus(es). They don't do anything themselves. The bigoted current owners will sell it for peanuts or a song in a year or 5 after making nothing from having it. Then it will be back.
This is the best outcome possible. However, BBII & III could hold onto the licenses for a long time just to screw JG/Wilderlands fans. ;(
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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by genghisdon »

Dread Delgath wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:10 am
Spot on. Censorship never solves anything - it just shunts the argument to somewhere else under the pretense that talking about it is bad and gives the other side a platform for spewing hate, but: there is a strong argument that having such discussions on sites like the Piazza and DF is beyond the scope of forums discussions about dragons and elves.

I believe that the current social climate model believes that if you shut down unpopular opinions, you are winning. This spreads to shouting down others where debate should be encouraged instead. Some opinions are clearly wrong, but society grows and prospers only through discussion of whys & hows - NOT censoring.
Well said :D
Dread Delgath wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:10 am
I think that DF & the Piazza owners have the absolute right of drawing the line wherever they want, however, and we are free to discuss and debate elsewhere, so we are told. (But I've never looked for these places - in fact - I'm rather kind of scared of discussing these sort of matters in the OPEN public where all kinds of nasty people can come after you and call you at 3AM demanding that you kill yourself because you don't agree with their opinion on The Last Jedi...)
Well, they have the right to, but I don't think it IS right to choose that. I always hear a refrain (whatever site I actually visit: mostly games, comics, movies, in that order) about "there are places for that" but I do not know of any, and frankly, would care more to discuss with people I have some common ground with, such as D&D or whatever, anyway. I "get it" from mods' perspectives, but I do not "get it" from members at all...it makes me wonder about their motivations for silencing discussion & debate. Nobody is forced to participate or even look at a given thread. So how/why is it an issue at all? Aside from properly naming a thread, anyway. This one is named like a news report, so I suppose a discussion beyond that ought be started in another thread, were it allowed at all.
Dread Delgath wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:10 am
This is the best outcome possible. However, BBII & III could hold onto the licenses for a long time just to screw JG/Wilderlands fans. ;(
Unlikely...they did & do nothing with the company, so if they aren't getting any $ from licensing, and are shunned to boot, I suspect they will be pragmatic. Time will tell, though. Sure, I'm trying to counter some despair from the OP with a best case, but it's more plausible than "JG/Wilderlands are never heard from again". Hell, it's a kitchen sink ripping off tons of fantasy like most campaign worlds...people can "file off the serial #'s" & make stuff up for it RIGHT NOW, if they wish.

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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Dread Delgath »

genghisdon wrote: but I do not "get it" from members at all...it makes me wonder about their motivations for silencing discussion & debate. Nobody is forced to participate or even look at a given thread. So how/why is it an issue at all? Aside from properly naming a thread, anyway.
I'd much rather have a discussion of this sort with you - even though I have no idea who you really and you don't know me either - but our common interests should put us on the same level of understanding and goals (the same alignment, if you will) than somewhere like a site devoted to religion & political topics where there is an entire spectrum of interests, hobbies and alignments. Its easier to get on the bad side of anyone in those places, where the discussion turns into an argument, or gets shut down because someone is looking to get easily offended.

(And that has sadly happened here, based solely on supposed "edition bashing".) :(
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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by genghisdon »

yep!

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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Kythkyn »

genghisdon wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:32 am
Or: Kythkyn is correct
My favourite phrase :mrgreen:

But, I do believe that in order to cast out your demons, they need to be named. The OSR community overwhelmingly has a bad name because of bad actors. And they only way we can take it back is to not affiliate with said bad actors, and be ourselves good actors. But if we don't name them, they continue to breed their bigotry. I don't think it needs to be dwelled on, but it's always best to be aware
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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by pawsplay »

I know it's a fine line of moderation, but when ideas and speech begin to threaten the safety and decency of your community, at some point, people in authority do need to choose a side.

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Re: Companies Cut Ties With Judges Guild

Post by Dread Delgath »

pawsplay wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:58 am
I know it's a fine line of moderation, but when ideas and speech begin to threaten the safety and decency of your community, at some point, people in authority do need to choose a side.
The board mods make the rules here, yes. But in the real world, idiotic crap needs to be exposed for what it is, ridiculed, and stamped out in the court of public discourse, debate, and social/scientific logic.

This is the point of, and goal of free speech. Like weeds that grow in a garden - they cannot be uprooted and destroyed until they are long enough to pull up by their roots.

Now that BBII and III have been exposed, the gardeners can uproot their hate and lies - but here's the trick: we are the gardeners and our garden tools are public discourse, debate, and social/scientific logic.

The alternative - disallowing free speech will only fill the garden with cancer, poisoning all plants - beneficial and detrimental from growing, like DDT. All we are left with then is nothing but poisoned earth.
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