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Relationships at the Forge

Started by Emily Care, December 06, 2002, 08:08:46 AM

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Emily Care

Hello all,

In Clinton's Cultural Analysis thread, Mike asked Who are you?
I'd like to know: Who do you hang out with? :)

Specifically, who on the Forge do you personally know and game/spend time with socially in real life? And also who of those you have met on the Forge have become your friends, collaborators or allies?

What are the sub-communities among our larger community?  

And how have these relationships, or lack thereof, affected your involvement with the Forge?

This may help us get an idea of what the fabric of this community consists of. Are we mostly solitary individuals who come together online about gaming only, or many cliques of people who know eachother in real life and thus are encouraged to post with one another online?  Are individuals who don't know anyone in real life who posts here at a disadvantage, or feel isolated? Or is this a community that strengthens affinities and creates new social ties, that brings people into new community even outside of its bounds?

My answers:
My gaming group is Meguey and Vincent. We are old friends. We've been housemates over the years and continue to game game together and hang out socially. We've are experimenting with different approaches to rpg in play together.  And Vincent is my main collaborater and buddy to talk with about game design and theory.  The Forge has helped me and my group identify issues we've dealt with better, but is mainly just an additional layer of our friendship, not a major component in any way.

Tom (BlueGargantua) is a good friend of mine, whom I've just met this year, and see socially fairly frequently.  We've never gamed together, but it's nice seeing him on the Forge, and this forum has started a dialogue about gaming and design between us that might not have arisen otherwise. :)  

I don't have any out of Forge correspondence with anyone, but I think of many people I've posted with as friends or at least as friendly. I've really enjoyed the collaboration about the game Enlightenment, with Mike Holmes, Bob McNamee, John LaViolette and others. I think it's in large part because of Enlightenment that I've become as active as I have been lately (and also because I've had the time to spare for once).  Collaborating on it "activated" me, kept me coming back.  It also encouraged me to give input to other people's games and topics, since what I'd been interested in had been so warmly supported and received.

I heard about the Forge from Vincent, and met some other folks from the Forge during a play-by-email playtest of Before the Flood, and have definitely felt encouraged to become more active due to the fact that he's been posting regularly. He's kept me up to date on many topics here when I haven't been on.  

--Emily Care
Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games


Hey Em,

Well... in real life, no one, although Ralph Mazza (Valamir) is the shortest distance. I keep hoping to hook up with him if I can ever make I Con.

On the net, though, I game every monday with the members of the indie-netgaming group. Currently are (semi) regulars are:

Chris Edwards
Mike Holmes
Bob McNamee
J.B. Bell
Four Willows Weeping (Sheryas Splwerithsaljhsdf)
Palefire (Christoffer Lerno)

('dI forget anyone?)

I also hang out with Ralph Mazza (Valamir) over in the sfconsim-l yahoo group, where we talk about space combat. :)

I was introduced to the Forge by Raven a while back when we were allies over in RPG-Create.

Le Joueur

Last time I checked, a Relationship Map (tm) Ron Edwards was about sexual and blood relationships that 'as connections' can be explored by a game.  I don't see how that applies here (I doubt many here are so related); perhaps a change in terminology or thread title are in order?

I don't know.

Fang Langford
Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!

Emily Care

Sure thing, Fang, I was being fuzzy in my application of the term. I was just using it as a humorous note anway.  

Paganini:  So you've found online community here?  Very cool.  Do you have a gaming group where you are, too? What got you active on the Forge?


edited once Fang pointed out the easy way to change the subject. :)
Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games


Quote from: Emily Care
Paganini:  So you've found online community here?  Very cool.  Do you have a gaming group where you are, too? What got you active on the Forge?

Em, no gaming group. As I said, I'm surrounded by cows and corn. My gaming friends are distance gaming friends. That's why the internet is cool. :)

What got me active on the Forge... hehe. Perversity, mostly. We used to argue GDS and game design theory over in RPG-Create. I was always arguing, basically, that System Matters, but never presented it as coherently as Ron. Raven pointed me over here in the interests of establishing common ground (and bringing me up to speed on the state of things too, I think). The next couple of gaming ideas I had I posted to the Game Design forum here, instead of to RPG-Create. Things just kind of went from there.

Mike Holmes

Funny you should post this, EM, because I was thinking that it would be good to get out in the open as well. I occasionally feel some strange guilt that I think that people do not realize that I've played RPGs with Ron and others here. Not that we haven't frequently disclosed that fact, but some people may not be aware.

In other words one of the most important maps here would obviously have to be that which includes we who are publishers who meet at cons. This includes most of the moderators of the fora. It's actually easier to list the moderators who I haven't met:

Cynthia Celeste Miller - who I'd like to meet as The Forge's one and only distaff moderator
Nathan - as he hosts the Universalis site, it's a lot like having met him
Jeff Diamond - I've got a playtest copy of Orbit
James West -  whose system Ive continually tried to mangle
Fang Langford - who I may have debated with more than anyone else

Actually, though I've met the Issaries guys, and Michael Hopcroft, I can't say that I've played with them (though, I'm not sure I haven't either).

IOW, the people who've become moderators seem to be a very tight group as a whole in that most of us have all met in person, and most have played games with each other.

Other non-moderators that I can remember who've shown up and played at Cons include:
Raven - AKA Greyorm - he does our art. Of course he comes. :-)
Josh Neff - who I've actually managed to manipulate into moving to my town so we can play regularly.
Rich - the one who created Shotgun Musashi, and who was in the first FTF playtest of Synthesis with me and Josh.
Travis - aka efindel - who has probably played every indie game on he list that was available at GenCon.
James - AKA Damion - who has acually showed up at smaller conventions.
The guy who showed up at Demon Con. :-) Name's on the tip of my tongue. Only non-moderator/non-Ron's group Forger who showed, IIRC. Cool.

Then there's Paul's group, and Ron's group who all seem to show up more or less. I'll leave their memberships for posts by those two, but they form a substantial portion of the membership here. Also, Tom "Unheilig" Back (who used to post here), and his "Starchildren" associates who occasionally come by; someone may have to cobble that one together for them.

Comes to about thirty or so, total, I'd say. Maybe more. Which is a substantial group.

These are all people loosely associated by play at cons,and some socializing there. That is to say that we might not all be the best of friends, but we've all met face to face, and most have played with each other. Apollogies to the several players that I've almost certainly missed. Please correct my errors of your omissions.

I'd like to see more of The Forge constituency get out and find us at the Cons. After all, we're all about the playing, and I think you'd find us a congenial crowd. (Ok, what I really think is that it's a blast, and you'd be a fool for not coming and playing; I've conga-lined out of a restaurant with most of these folks). Given that we're composed of people who "just show up", there should be no social impediment to anyone joining this list, and expanding our community.

In fact, that might be a good specific goal for this year. To get more of The Forge out to meet at Cons, and play together. The more contact we have that way, the better the community here. Em, you and your group gonna make it out here to the flyover this year? Come one, come all!

For those who can't make it for whatever reason, or who want to play now, or just prefer online play, I remind you that thee exists a group of us called Indie-RPG Net Gaming where you can organize games via chat, various gaming clients, or PBEM. It's not large yet, but I'd encourage anybody interested to check it out:

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.


Let's see.  Here are my answers.

I game regularly with Ralph Mazza.  (He's running Pendragon for myself and my wife.  Some good old-fashioned Sim gaming goodness.)  I met him online at the Gaming Outpost and we corresponded during that time, especially while I was writing the "Dreaming Out Loud" column on Alyria.  We also discovered that we both grew up in the same area (Erie County in NW Pennsylvania) and now we live in the same city (Peoria, IL).  However, this relationship began prior to the Forge.

The same goes for Jason Blair.  I assisted him with Little Fears by writing the opening story and applying my boot to the seat of his pants when he needed motivating.  Again, that predates the Forge.

I have also met Mike Holmes a couple of times and was honored to be involved in one of the early playtests of Universalis back at Origins 2001.  I was really tired but I seem to remember bunnies who were also martial artists.  It was wild and crazy and fun and I want to play again.

I do have hopes for forming relationships with others here, however.  I had the chance to meet several people at GenCon this year whom I have corresponded with or "talked to" in the forums here and formerly at GO.  People like Jared Sorenson, Scott Knipe, Gordon Landis, Josh Neff, Ron Edwards, Todd Luikart, Matt Snyder, and Jake Norwood.  I would certainly hope to have the opportunity to meet with these fine folks more and to work with them in some capacity.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown

Matt Wilson

I found the Forge via Clinton, who mentioned it on a Yahoo Group here in Seattle.

I play in a Thursday game with him and a couple other guys who post here: Dan and James.

Other Forge-ites that I have gamed with on occasion are Alan Barclay and Jeff Miller, who posts as Eogan.

I've been considering making the next GenCon just so I can meet the people I see posting here. Now that alone is a cool thing about the Forge for me.


Quote from: Emily CareSpecifically, who on the Forge do you personally know and game/spend time with socially in real life? And also who of those you have met on the Forge have become your friends, collaborators or allies?
Unfortunately, in the wilds of Salisbury I haven't met many Forgites at all. I've met Sean Hillman (ADGBoss) and Dave Panchyk (ADGConscience), and we're planning on playing Sorcerer, but we haven't hung out much at all yet, this is very recent and the game is still in the planning stages.

I've met Raf at a con and bought Dread. He seemed pretty cool, but we didn't get to interact much, except for: "Hey! A Forge person!"

I'd like to think that some of y'all are friends and allies at a distance, but frankly I don't like to make presumptions like that until I've met someone face to face.

I have a reasonable-sized gaming group that you can see me talk about in various Actual Play threads, but none of them are on the Forge (so much as I know).

QuoteWhat are the sub-communities among our larger community?
Uh, just look at the Independant Game Forums. I think that defines it pretty well, particularly the more active fora.

QuoteAnd how have these relationships, or lack thereof, affected your involvement with the Forge?
Very little at all. While I appreciate the connections I've made, it's the Forge as a whole that I value. I don't just value and respect, say, Clinton's opinion -- tho I do -- but I more so enjoy having access to the Forge as whole, with all its differing perspectives and priorities.

That might change if I actually start meeting more people. I LIKE y'all, you're civil and nice and cool, which is the other reason I'm here, but I just haven't met very many of you. (Plus I have this secret insecurity that certain people, like Jared, would hate me if they met me in person.)
love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT

Clinton R. Nixon

On a local level, I game with Matt Wilson (itsmrwilson), James Cunningham (Yasha), and Dan Root (DaR). I'm also friends with Zak Arntson, and Justin Dagna.

On a larger level, though, there's a large portion of the Forge that I've known for about three years now, through Gaming Outpost,, and GenCon. I'm kind of a transient person in real life, so these connections have meant the world to me - they were my friends before I knew anyone in Seattle, and some of them have helped me through tough personal times. I especially got big props for Ron (of course), Jared, Joshua Neff, Mike Gentry, and Jason Blair, but I've immediately liked every Forge-ite I've met.
Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games

Shreyas Sampat

Similarly, in the wilds of Baltimore I haven't run into any Forgites of my own, though as Paganini mentioned, I'm a semi-regular in indie-netgaming.

Zak unwittingly introduced me to The Forge when he posted about his Fighter-D Alpha game over at Wizards' Planescape mailing list, which I lurk on and occasionally harvest interesting writing from.  Since then, I've become briefly acquainted with some few folks, and hopefully I can be more active in the fora once my finals period ends.


The only other Forgites living in South Florida that I know of are stimuli (who I haven't met due to my job sending me on road trips about the state at random) and deadgirl (who is married to me so I see her all the time).

Any other Forgites I've met was at GenCon and usually was due to my giving them money for their games.

As to my involvement on the Forge, not meeting people in person has little effect on me. I used to play MUSHes and PBEMs heavily and still play a lot of Online Games so I'm accustomed to befriending people I might never meet. But then again growing up on the edge of nothing might have influenced me.
Alex Hunter
Email | Web

Mike Holmes

OK notable ommisions from the con crowd list: Gordon Landis and Mike Gentry. Also, how could I forget Mike Mearls, and Peter Seckler (he has posted here, hasn't he?).

Maybe more like forty or so.

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Gordon C. Landis

OK, first the info - I posted over at GO, and was an early (though not real early) poster here.  When Paul Czege was out visiting California a few years back, I got together with him and Jared Sorensen at Lon's (Uncle Dark) house for an Inspecters game and some game conversation.  This year, I went out to GenCon - I met most of the folks in Mike's list (Mike let me crash at his house one night - my hotel was 30+ minutes away, and it was 3 AM or something when we finished the RoS game with Jake, so it was MUCH appreciated), I saw Ron get the Dianna Jones award (held it in my own hands!), I played many neat games.  Enjoyed the hell out of it all, including the conga line, although "real life" had me a bit wobbly right before the trip.

How has this affected my involvement at the Forge?  I have no clue.  To be honest, I think I don't quite get the notion of an "internet community" - I *never* feel like I actually know the other poster's, even when I follow the links to their personal web pages and blogs and stuff.  The folks I've met in person, or exchanged PM's/Email with, I feel like I know a little, and they're great people, one and all.  But I'm also cautious about thinking I know them TOO well just on the basis of a brief  interaction - maybe I just came across this Web-form of social interaction too late in life to be entirely comfortable with it.  You get to know people by seeing 'em, damn it!  Or maybe talkin' on the phone.  Why, in my day we'd  . . .

Not that that'd stop me from jumping into just about any game these folks chose to run, if they were in my area.  And when I finally get some game designs rolling out of my word processor and into the public, I'm looking forward to hearing the comments.

Gordon (under construction)

Kester Pelagius

Greetings Emily,

In the long winding journey of how I got here there is a funny story, alas I am not sure my writing style is suitable to the telling of such a grand tale, therefore I shall just type the words and let them form into rank and file as they may.

One day I was Trolling RPGnet.  I came upon this interesting "freebie game" post by Pale Fire.  Being intrigued I, in a fit of sudden inspiration, wrote a quickie double-take comicall "2nd ED" kinda silly version of it, as you do when it's past mid-night and you are loopy from caffein and lack of sleep.

Seeing that Pale Fire wasn't offended by it I asked if he wouldn't mind if I reposted it over here, since he included a link to a parallel thread he'd started here.  If memory serves he basically replied "It's your life, do with it as you please." (Ok, maybe it wasn't that harsh ;)

So, in one fell swoop, not only was I moved to actually de-Troll and register at RPGnet but so, too, was I moved to register here at The Forge.
For better or worse.

Don't know anyone here personally.  Have exchanged e-mails with a few, every now and then, mostly when a question has arisen about some odd esoteric point of slightly less than cosmic import.

As to how my interaction, or lack thereof, have affected my posting at the Forge... as with everyone else when I post, if I get a response, I try to respond in kind.  If no one responds, I take that as a hint no one is interested and leave it at that.  Otherwise I post to what spurs my interests or itnrigues me, such as this thread obviously did.

Thank you, and good night.

Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri