Bright Future, chapter “Ragar”

(shhh I think I forgot to post a couple of fanfic journals for BF)

Read “Ragar” here.

Chapter Summary

Il-Lashtavar met this exchange with a sense of bemusement. I will shatter your waking mind and free you from this prison of flesh. Its attention rested on Jorlan, suffocating in its disdain. And from this tiresome dreamer who lays his claim on you.

Chapter Front Notes

Previously, on Bright Future…

Mavash and companions found (and destroyed) Gromph’s grimoire, defeated a balor and Quenthel Baenre, and were crossed and double-crossed by Jarlaxle. And then they were met with an even greater threat: Il-Lashtavar, the Devourer of Dreams.

Chapter End Notes

“Ragar” is “find, discover, uncover” in Drow. As in, “oops, they found out who was really behind this shit.”

As always, I changed some things to make this fight more narratively satisfying. Some of that was the consequence of how I changed the last chapter, in terms of stage managing/positioning. But you’re reading a story, not session notes, so I hope you won’t mind.

A lot of the conversation they have afterwards was pretty true to how it played out, however! That said, the “Aumaurae Tlabbar” thing is something I threw in — a bit of backstory about Jorlan’s other justifiable homicides “widowings,” and something I imagine Jarlaxle not only knows about, but actively played a part in. But that, dear readers, will have to wait. Possibly until the next fic 😉

Is this the best chapter I’ve ever written? Hells no. Is it full of spelling and grammar mistakes and typos? Probably. I usually sit on my fic chapters for a day or so before posting, but I decided to YOLO this one, because I need to finish this goddamn fic. It’s already been three years since the campaign ended!

No promises, though; my life has taken many twists and turns in that time, and it will probably continue to.

As always, thanks for reading. I cherish your comments and feedback, including constructive criticism.


Featured image by taylor on Unsplash.

Fanfic Journal: “What Do You Hear In These Sounds,” chapter 2

(I wrote this chapter a while ago but forgot to write a fanfic journal for it. Oops).

Read chapter 2 here.

Chapter Summary

Fel’rekt gets the Bregan D’aerthe orientation, courtesy of Krebbyg Masq’il’yr, and immediately starts questioning everything he thought he knew about drow society.

Chapter Front Notes

Content warnings: (canon-typical) ableism, and some more internalized transphobia. Also implied/referenced sexual assault — which is pretty much gonna be a constant, because consent doesn’t exist for males in an evil matriarchy.

Chapter End Notes

I re-read the description of both Fel’rekt and Krebbyg in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, and realized they are both described as being “young.” For the purposes of having them around in both 1338 DR (when this story begins) and 1492 DR (when WDDH is set), I’m going to generously interpret 200-250 years to be “young” in elf terms, especially in the context of “young to be Bregan D’aerthe lieutenants.” This whole ding-dang fic doesn’t work otherwise, so I hope you’ll excuse that broad interpretation.

I may have speedrun The Silent Blade before writing this chapter just to learn more about Rai-guy. Alas, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know from the Forgotten Realms wiki or from reading Servant of the Shard. He’s really not a well developed character, and only appears in two books. So, uh, free real estate, I guess.

I borrowed the “hair-cutting ceremony” from biichan’s fic “the season it revives,” because I thought it was beautifully symbolic of what being in Bregan D’aerthe means.

I also want to say, re: Fel’rekt’s reaction to Tebrynn’s disability: he’s been raised in a culture that is obsessed with social Darwinism and eugenics. Fel’rekt has probably never even met a drow with a disability, because so many of them are killed. Tl;dr Fel’rekt is ableist because he doesn’t know better.

The next chapter is primarily Jarlaxle’s POV and is going to address Some Things That Happened in 1338 DR (i.e. during the events of Exile). I’ve leave you to do the math.


Featured image by Barby Dalbosco on Unsplash.

Fanfic Journal: Bright Future deleted scenes

Read Bright Future deleted scenes here.

Chapter Summary

Four scenes that never happened. (At least not on screen).

Chapter Front Notes

Welp, the real next chapter is taking some time now — writing fight scenes sucks — so I thought I’d treat you to some deleted scenes to hold you over.

These are things that just didn’t work out as full scenes — whether that be for plot reasons, tone reasons, or whatnot. Some of them got recycled in part in other scenes, so if you see some familiar lines, that’s why. Each is labeled after the file name I gave them, with some notes about where it fits in the timeline.

The last one is kind of saucy; fair warning.


Featured image by Matt Artz on Unsplash

Fanfic Journal: “What Do You Hear in These Sounds,” chapter 1

Read chapter 1 here.

Fic summary

Fel’rekt Lafeen is a very good listener.

Or: how Fel’rekt joined Bregan D’aerthe, became an unlicensed therapist to some Very Sad Elf Boys, kissed a few of them, eventually became a lieutenant, and ended up slinging a gun in Waterdeep with everyone’s favorite pansexual disaster.

Introductory Notes

Listen, I know I have two unfinished longfic about sad drow boys being sad, and I haven’t forgotten them, but this story ambushed me in the dead of night. It combines a bunch of things I’ve been wanting to see together in a fic:

  • The origin story of Fel’rekt Lafeen, the trans male Bregan D’aerthe lieutenant in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Since we are told very little about him, there’s a lot of freedom to invent him. Is that what the kids call “free real estate?” 🤣
  • More internality and introspection from Jarlaxle and his band than we see in canon. (Which is to say, any). In particular, I’ve always been interested to see how Jarlaxle would have been affected by Zak’s death, and how Bregan D’aerthe might have suffered as a result.
  • The boys of Bregan D’aerthe (and their leader) getting some well-deserved therapy. I mean, seriously, most of them probably have PTSD in some form, because #TheInherentTraumaOfMenzoberranzan
  • Sad drow boys kissing. And just generally queering the heck out of Faerûn.

And as we all know, we must write the fic we wish to see in the world. So, one transatlantic flight later, here’s chapter one.

Also, necessary disclaimers:

  • Lolthite drow are pretty awful, and we’re in a period where Jarlaxle’s alignment was listed as neutral evil. Many warnings may apply; I’ll tag them as they pop up.
  • I am not trans. I am agender, however, and I like to think I’m at least somewhat aware of trans/enby discourse, and I’ve extensively researched how to sensitively portray trans characters. But please please please let me know if I fuck it up.
  • Yes, therapy is more than just listening. No, I don’t condone unlicensed therapy IRL. But hey, this is Menzoberranzan and it’s the best they’ve got.
  • There will probably not be explicit smut, unless I somehow manage to break decades of precedent. But there will likely be some non-explicit spice.
  • I’m not going to expend too much effort staying compliant to canon. Because fuck R.A. Salvatore, that’s why. He doesn’t deserve his fans. I reject his canon and substitute my own.
  • That said, I have nothing but love for the folks who worked on Dragon Heist, like Chris Perkins or Matt Mercer, as well as Jeremy Crawford, who was the one who came out and said, “yes, Jarlaxle is pan; did the rainbow cape give it away?” I love how they’ve made Forgotten Realms queerer, and I wish RAS hadn’t missed the memo.

Content warnings for this chapter: casual mentions of slavery, fantastic racism, violence and death, mild transphobia (mostly internalized) and deadnaming.

… so about what you would expect from a closeted trans male character trying to survive an evil matriarchy. This chapter will be the worst of it; I don’t want this to be a story of trans suffering.

Just kissing. Always kissing.

End Notes

“What Do You Hear In These Sounds” is the title of a Dar Williams song about the experience of therapy. Yes, this is the second fic I’ve used a Dar Williams song title for; why do you ask? 😆

House Xalyth is a reference to Xalyth’s Company, a merchant clan that specializes in trading gems, led by a matron. It’s mentioned in the Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue sourcebook.

This time period in Bregan D’aerthe’s history — between Zak’s death and the start of The Legacy of the Drow trilogy — isn’t well developed. I’m honestly not sure who Jarlaxle’s first officers would have been then. I think Kimmuriel — though he works with Jarlaxle as early as the 1010s — didn’t fully become a lieutenant until the fall of his house in 1358. Valas and Rai-guy’s timelines are wibbly-wobbly enough to make it work, so that’s what I decided.

Was Jarlaxle always aware of the circumstances of his birth? Maybe not; just another thing I might know if I could stomach more of RAS’ deathless prose.

As a general rule, any drow words I use will come from here.

In the interest of full disclosure… I really don’t know where I’m going with this. I don’t have an outline. I don’t know how many chapters there will be. (Though it’s gonna cover a period of about 150 years). I don’t know what all pairings there will be (though I do intend to smash Fel’rekt and Jarlaxle together like two Barbie dolls). I don’t know who will find their way to the therapist’s couch. I’m going to try to make chapters semi-standalone, for that reason, because it’s quite likely you’ll be waiting a while between them.

Fanfic Journal: “A Prison Made of Chitin”, chapter 2

Read chapter 2 here

Summary

Test me, Mistress, Kzandr wanted to say. You will not find me wanting. Kzandr discovers his taste for blood, and draws the attention of one of the mistresses of Arach-Tinilith.

Introductory Notes

Content warnings for this chapter: mentions of slavery, incredibly inappropriate teacher/student relationships, power imbalance, and some non-explicit sexual content with dubious consent.

End Notes

Nithrys (briefly mentioned) is my current PC, an aberrant mind sorcerer. He won’t show up much in Chitin, but ideally he’ll get his own multi-chapter fic after I finish this one. 

“Shebali” means “non-noble drow” in the Drow fan dictionary. 

For this, and for all the Drow words that pop up, I use a combination of this Drow Dictionary PDF (which is one part the glossary from 2e’s Drow of the Underdark, one part fan-created), and Chosen of Eilistraee’s Drow Translator (which includes everything from the PDF). I tend to prefer the canon stuff to the fan-created stuff, but there’s only so much one can do with the vocabulary Ed Greenwood gave us!

House Kenafin is one of the two houses that will later merge and become House Melarn, who become major antagonists in the more recent Drizzt novels. They’re definitely the house bringing the religious fanaticism to the party! Kyrnill is actually a minor canon character, named as the matron some years later. 

Vaen’jraa’kah is another PC, a barbarian/ranger. She’ll come up a lot more when we finally get to the actual plot and not just Kzandr backstory.

Ethestra’tana is first priestess of House Vel’bol and… both an NPC and a PC. It’s weird; we’ll get to it! Aksharu, as I mentioned last time, is an NPC, second priestess of the house. 

Kzandr is like 5’2”. Perfectly average for a male drow, but I do enjoy the mental image of him looking Kyrnill directly in the boobs.

The reason I describe this chapter as dubcon is because, even though Kzandr is clearly into Kyrnill’s seduction, he’s also very much in a coercive situation (teacher vs. student, age differences, truth spells used without consent), and in a society where he’s not really free to say no. Pretty much anything involving Kyrnill and Kzandr is going to have this tag. 

Keptolo is described in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes as the consort of Lolth. He’s basically the minor god of “keeping your sugar mama happy.”

“Orthae Thalack” is fan-Drow for “holy war.” As far as I know there’s no canonical place where drow go to train as paladins, so I created one. 

As far as the mechanics go, Kzandr is an Oath of Conquest paladin. By default, that’s a lawful evil oath, as it’s very much aligned with the devils of the Nine Hells, who hate the chaotic evil demons of the Abyss where Lolth lives. But with DM Bill’s permission, I modified it to be more suitable for a chaotic evil paladin.


I missed writing this bastard. It’s funny to me how I can switch seamlessly between writing Bright Future — which I’d gloss as “a sad drow male learns about love from a manic druid dream girl who doesn’t own a hairbrush” — and this story, which is the Udadrow at their worst. (I literally got back to writing this chapter the day after posting the last chapter of Bright Future).

Anyway! I cherish your feedback, positive or constructive! And your opinion: is Kzandr going to be able to keep Kyrnill happy? What’s his next poor life choice gonna be?


Featured image by Max Muselmann on Unsplash

Fanfic journal: Bright Future, chapter “Chiana”

Read “Chiana here”

Chapter Summary

“You don’t see the spider that bites you.” Mavash and companions explore the archmage’s sanctum in Sorcere, in search of the grimoires that will allow them (eventually) to send the demon princes back to the Abyss.

They find more than they bargained for.

Chapter Front Notes

Again I apologize for my long radio silence. I blame *gestures broadly at her life*.

But this chapter is a nice n’ long one, so get a beverage, dim the lights, and strap in!

Previously on Bright Future…

With a haunting vision/nightmare of a different Jorlan fresh in her mind, Mavash joins her companions as they make their way into Menzoberranzan, their goal Gromph’s grimoires in Sorcere, to complete the ritual of the Dark Heart. At the same time, Jorlan contemplates his own secret plans, recently set into motion…

Chapter End Notes

Chiana is Drow for “betrayal.” 😈

Luckily for you, you probably won’t have to wait too long for the resolution. I have taken September as a leave of absence from work, thus I am anticipating more writing time.

Eager to hear what y’all think is going on here. (And as always, I welcome any constructive feedback).

Unrelatedly, I had a bunch of false starts on this chapter, and threw out a few hundred words of Lux/Neheedra banter that just didn’t fit. I still think it’s funny, though, so I might post it as a light interlude before the next chapter.

(I’ll leave the specific footnotes in AO3; they’re sizable, and also somewhat spoilery).

ETA: I got permission from DM Nixon to link his variation on the map I mention in the footnotes. So please enjoy this spoooooky map as you navigate your way through this scene.


Featured image: “white fountain pen,” Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

Fanfic Journal: Bright Future, chapter “Jindurnen”

Read “Jindurnen” here

Chapter Summary

“Even the prey thinks the spider’s web is beautiful.” Mavash and companions set out towards Menzoberranzan and Tier Breche to complete their half of the Dark Heart ritual. Jorlan contemplates faces, both hidden and revealed.

Chapter End Notes

  • When I played through this, I did not know nearly as much about Jarlaxle’s gadgets as I do now, and so did not know about his eyepatch that protects him from any sort of magical scrying or telepathy. In retrospect, I think Mavash should have noticed that he’s psychically invisible to her! At least with some prompting…
  • Um’raxel is an NPC from the drow intrigue game I play in! (And which I have begun novelizing here!) She’s a Circle of Spores druid who is aunt to many of the PCs, including mine. She experiments with drider venom and may kiiiinda be using it to turn one of her nieces (another PC) into a sort of arachnid barbarian. I couldn’t resist the chance to name drop her here.
  • I am very clearly taking liberties with spells here. Seeming is probably the only spell that would disguise this many people, and even that’s a stretch.

“Jindurnen” is “faces” in the Drow fan dictionary.

This chapter is pretty much all my invention. We glossed over the actual journey to Menzo from the Tower, with DM Nixon saying, “okay, you disguise yourself as drow or go invisible, as necessary.” So in writing this, I wanted to play with Mavash taking on a drow disguise, and its effect on Jorlan.

(“Why doesn’t she just wildshape into the shape of a spider or something?” Reasons, I assure you. At least one of which is just “because I decided it worked better narratively”).

Also, this was the part where the DM absolutely insisted there would be no slumming at noodle shops during our infiltration of Menzoberranzan. “None. None-dles,” said he. No time for that when you’re saving the world, I guess!


Featured image: Landscape shaped like a face (state 1), Wenceslaus Hollar, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Fanfic journal: “A Prison Made of Chitin,” chapter 1

Oh no more drow bullshit.

Read “A Prison Made of Chitin,” chapter one, here.

Summary

Kzandr Vel’bol Veldrin is honored to serve as paladin of Lolth, and wants nothing more than to give his life in her service. But when his eldest sister Ethestra’tana is murdered, he finds the carefully-constructed fiction of his life unraveling. Will the mercy of the Spider Queen save him? (Spoiler: it will not).

Introductory Notes

This series — “The Fortunes of House Vel’bol Veldrin” — is the novelization of the ongoing drow intrigue campaign I’m playing in. While the campaign itself is homebrew, it begins in Menzoberranzan in 1325 DR, around the time Drizzt graduated from Melee-Magthere. (Canon characters may occasionally appear). We play members of the 20th house of Menzoberranzan, scheming and murdering their way up the hierarchy of the city.

(“Vel’bol Veldrin” is short for the ancient full name of the House, which basically is “what we do in the shadows” translated into Drow. Oh, we have fun…)

Drow fancier that I am, I had too many character ideas to play just one, so I decided I would play them serially, bringing each character’s arc to a good conclusion. Thus each fic in this series will be primarily the POV of one of my PCs, detailing how they experience the adventure. This work, “A Prison Made of Chitin,” is focused on Kzandr, the elderboy of the house, an Oath of Conquest paladin of Lolth, who in-game I have just managed to kill off in a narratively satisfying way. The first few chapters will be short character history vignettes about Kzandr, and then we’ll go into the adventure itself.

Because (Lolthite) Drow Are Awful ™, this is an evil campaign, and evil shit will happen in this story. In our campaign, we have safety mechanisms in place and have all opted into Some Pretty Dark Shit, though by consensus the darkest shit (torture, sexual violence) is veiled or off-screen. Of course, in this fic, any disturbing content will be tagged appropriately.

Content warnings for this chapter include: child abuse, blood sacrifice, some deep cultural misandry, slavery, and spiders.

Future CW are likely to include: murder (including of children), implied/referenced torture and mutilation, implied/referenced sexual assault, some deeply fucked up and not entirely consensual relationships (because what even is consent in an evil matriarchy??), body horror, transphobia and deadnaming, and probably a bunch of stuff I’m forgetting. I’ll tag them as they come up.

… yes, I do have another campaign novelization going right now, why do you ask? Trust me, I have not forgotten about Mavash and Jorlan and their much, much healthier relationship.

Chapter End Notes

I won’t introduce the PCs yet because you’ve only met Kzandr so far! Aksharu and Zeska are both NPCs — respectively, the second priestess and the Matron Mother.

Darthiir are surface elves.

Your comments are priceless, and constructive criticism is welcome ❤️


The featured image is art of Kzandr I commissioned from iisjah/Natalia Komuniewska

Fanfic journal: Bright Future, chapter “Sarn”

(I have been absolute rubbish about posting fic journals for Bright Future in the past year or so, but I’m trying to get back into it! I have a lot of back-dating to do…)

Read “Sarn” here

Chapter Summary

She’d had this vision before, or something like it. Little details were different, but the idea was the same — a Jorlan-who-was-not-Jorlan, beautiful and empty, claimed by cold darkness at the end.

On the morning of the Menzoberranzan infiltration, Mavash is haunted by another vision from her quori.

Chapter Front Notes

I am so, so sorry this chapter took so long to get out. Unfortunately, not long after I posted the last chapter, my mom passed away. As an only child and the executor of her estate, all the estate work has fallen on me. As well as, you know, that whole grieving thing.

Anyway, four months later and I am just now getting my life back. Please enjoy this short-ish chapter, knowing I am a good 3000 words into the next one!

CW: mention of past suicidal ideation

Chapter End Notes

Sarn is Drow for “warning.”

Mavash’s dream/warning is based on an actual dream I had. After I awoke, I was like, “Wow, I bet Mavash was dreaming something like this the night she saved Jorlan’s life.” I’ve been dying to use it for a while, but I figured now was a good time?

Why Mavash needs a warning now, I leave as an exercise for the eager reader 🙂

Completely unrelatedly! If you have any interest in Pathfinder, I recently wrote a one-shot about my character in that game and her complicated relationship with her mother. If that sounds like your jam, you may find it here: “The Tide Falls Away”

No one asked: Lise’s take on the OGL 1.1 kerfuffle

(Slightly edited from something I posted on Facebook)

For those of you (none of you) who were waiting on my hot take re: the OGL 1.1 kerfuffle, it’s a very boring, middle-of-the-road one. Merely a lukewarm take, if you will.

I am more concerned with the legal side of it than the financial one. It is unethical, if not illegal, to revoke a contract that was intended to be irrevocable. Given that this is the take of my friends who are lawyers, I sort of trust them in this.

(The fact that WotC’s defense is like “we were never gonna take away the rights of creators! This was a draft that was leaked!” when a) said contract had already been sent out to creators to sign, and b) the contract they sent out very specifically DID say they could use OGL content in any way they wanted… is disingenuous, at best).

OTOH, good points are made (by one of my current DMs, no less) that DNDBeyond is essentially a small company that was bought out by a larger one, and that by boycotting it, you are hurting the writers and developers more than you are WotC. This will always be the case in situations like this, unfortunately, because Capitalism™️. The same was said when Paizo workers were fighting to unionize, (and yes, Paizo has done some shitty things, too), or when Blizzard was staging a walkout. Generally my point of view is that it’s best to give support in the way that the workers themselves want support.

Unfortunately, the only DNDBeyond employee that I am aware of who has spoken out is the person who wrote to a bunch of TTRPG YouTubers telling them to boycott DNDBeyond, and I have heard it claimed that that letter is a fake. (Would love to see evidence either for or against — I don’t fully trust any YouTube talking head). But if you believe that letter is real, then I agree, you are perfectly in the right to cancel your DNDBeyond membership.

Have I canceled mine? No. My reason is simple — I have games in progress that depend on it, both as a player and a DM. (And uhh I happen to be writing the epic love story between a druid and a drow, based on a 5e adventure which I sometimes have to reference). Even if I were to do something like scrape the content of all the books I have access to in DNDBeyond before closing my account, I still no longer be able to use those books in what is probably one of the best character sheet generators out there.

And if I wanted to use them in, say, roll20– I say this with great dismay — the best VTT for playing 5e out there, I’d have to buy them again in the roll20 marketplace. Which also gives WotC money, if indirectly. (Or I could enter them in manually to any VTT like. If only I had that kind of time!)

(Foundry/Forge, OTOH, partners with Paizo, so all the rules are built right in and/or it’s easy to get them in there with a script. I haven’t set up a game myself, so I don’t know the details, though).

Which brings me to my next point, and the crux of the matter. D&D is the center of an ecosystem. It is the largest player in this ecosystem. It has financial, legal, social, technological, and nostalgia power. 5e is also a really good system for the type of game a lot of people want to play. Go to r/lfg (… a year ago, not today) and try finding a game that isn’t D&D. I did it, a year+ ago, when I found my ongoing Pathfinder game, and it was not easy.

There’s more. If you look to the newly TTRPG-curious, it’s probably because they watched CritRole or another popular D&D actual-play. (And yes, I know, they used to use PF1e, etc). It’s almost certainly not because they listened to Glass Cannon Podcast. Compare how many people played Baldur’s Gate III –which is still only in pre-release! — compared to Wrath of the Righteous or Kingmaker. Compare who knows about Faerun to what folks know about Golarion.

And here’s the thing. This kerfuffle is widening people’s view of that ecosystem. It is making them aware that there ARE other systems out there. That there are other VTTs, or actual-plays, or podcasts. That there are other ways of licensing Your Basic Fantasy RPG. (I am all-in on ORC, and I think it’s the best idea that’s come out of this mess).

I’ve always been aware of that; back when I played AD&D 2e with my high school friends, we also played Shadowrun and the Star Wars RPG and others that were lost to time (remember Aeon Trinity?) But we haven’t all been doing this for *cough* 25 years.

Most of the migration away from D&D has been towards Pathfinder, because they are the ones heading the ORC charge. r/Pathfinder2e has grown by THOUSANDS in the last week. It added 1,000 just on Thursday.

Paizo is, as my DM rightly pointed out, a big company, too. And Paizo has done some shitty stuff, as well — releasing an adventure about playing fantasy cops in July 2020 was more than a little tone-deaf. And certainly there were specific injustices that led the employees to unionize.

But on the whole, Paizo has taken a much stronger stance on diversity than WotC. There are no longer races; there are ancestries. The adventures contain many queer, non-cis, and non-white-coded NPCs — in fact the prototypical champion is a queer Black-coded woman. The mess with the aforementioned adventure — Agents of Edgewatch, the one I’m playing now — was followed up by an apology directly from CEO(?) Erik Mona and a reprinting of the adventure where non-lethal damage was the default and you also had the option to play as adventurers instead of cops. When Jewish folks objected to the language of “phylactery,” they changed it to “soul cage.”

People, and companies, are gonna fuck up on matters of DEI. It’s how they get back up that matters. And Paizo has consistently done a better job at that than WotC.

(Maybe it’s because they were born out of WotC fucking them over. I dunno).

While I have come to deeply enjoy playing in a Golarion, I still kind of hate the PF2e rules. And I think a lot of these D&D emigrés are going to find that Pathfinder (1e or 2e) is way too crunchy for them, too. But maybe they discover FATE, or Blades in the Dark, or Thirsty Sword Lesbians. Or, yes, Mork Borg (as my friend Alice would heckle me about 😂).

And I think that’s pretty special.

… on that note, there’s something to be said — and it’s not good — that the impetus for this migration away from D&D and to Pathfinder is licensing issues instead of, oh, you know, the continued racism in D&D products. While they’ve done some things in reparation here (like making drow less “elves in blackface”), let’s not forgot that back with Candlekeep Mysteries, they bowdlerized the work of a Black writer without his knowledge (or permission). Or that, more recently, one of the races presented in the brand-new Spelljammer book was a simian race that had some unfortunate tropes associated with.

The former event is about when I said “… maybe I should look into what Paizo is up to lately.” But apparently racism was okay for a lot of people, but licensing issues were a bridge too far? That kind of cheeses me off. Or at least, it cheeses me off that this is what was publicized — you can’t fail to hear about OGL-gate in geek spaces right now — and not the continual racefails.

So that’s where I am. Explore other systems, question shitty legal practices, maybe (or maybe not) cancel your DNDBeyond membership. I hate to be all “both sides,” because I do generally think WotC is in the wrong here. But I respect your opinions and decisions either way.