Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ok, The Secret Arneson Gift Exchange Is Happening

So the Secret Arneson Gift Exchange is happening.
Basically, at the beginning of July, everybody who wants to participate e-mails some central someone (me) a request for some specific brand new campaign material--a new race, a location, a one-shot adventure outline, a random table, whatever. The idea is to be as specific as you need to be, but not too greedy (ask for a page or two of material).

Then the person running the Secret Arneson mixes all the campaign stuff requests up and e-mails them randomly back out to the people who entered. (Like a secret santa.)

Everybody gets the requests, and then they have until Gary's birthday to write up something matching the request. Then you post the material on-line or just send it back to the person who asked for that thing in the first place.

(It probaby goes without saying that none of this stuff should get used commercially unless the person who wrote it gets paid. Let's not celebrate the Gygax/Arneson relationship too literally.)

It will be called the Secret Arneson Gift Exchange.

Send your requests, with the (all caps) subject SAGE REQUEST to zakzsmith at hot mail dot calm (don't leave out the middle initial, I won't get your e-mail.)

Be as specific as you need to be, but don't get greedy. Asking for a d100 table is cool, but a d1000?--better let your Secret Arneson know that going that extra 900 miles is optional. Asking for a structure is cool, a whole mega-dungeon isn't.

I will stop taking new requests on July 1. Which is also when I'll re-mail them all out to respondents.

Then everyone has until July 27th to write up responses to the SAGE request he or she got.

On the 27th--Gygax's birthday--everyone must either post their product on-line or e-mail it to the original requester.

The original requester's name and e-mail address will be on the request unless s/he specifically asks otherwise.

One request per person.

You may want to wait 'til June to send in your request--if you send one immediately, you might end up getting past that idea before July 27.

All human undertakings involving interactions between strangers involve a capacity for misunderstanding and idiocy. The Secret Arneson is a gift horse. Do not look it in the mouth. No bad-mouthing people for what they ask for or provide. Serious and simulatory requests may get gonzo answers, gonzo requests may get serious answers, c'est la vie. If you're worried, try to be specific in your request so you get something you can really use.

You don't have to request D&D-specific stuff. I bet anybody could handle a sci-fi or super request--but just be aware that the pool of people responding to your request will be the pool of people who read this blog and act accordingly.

If you want art, accept that some people (non-artists) may merely google some interesting art on the subject and e-mail it to you. Everybody entering is probably a GM, not everybody is an artist.

I reserve the right to completely fuck up since this is the first time, but will try very hard not to.

I also reserve the right to ignore and not re-e-mail any request that's just a dumb joke ("I want stats for your mom." etc.) or otherwise beneath my contempt. If they are funny, I will, however, let you know. Since I had the idea and I'm doing the legwork here, I get total dictatorial say over what's beneath my contempt, but feel free to run your own SAGE's. This is Open Content.


  1. ...just be aware that the pool of people responding to your request will be the pool of people who read this blog...

    Scariest thing I've read all day. And I'm doing my taxes...

    Word verification: twinmatoc

  2. Just commented on the last post when I saw this one that said "You don't have to post a comment on the other one anymore" :P

    I wish you luck with this!

  3. "One request per person. If I get an odd number of requests, then I'll just ask who wants to do two."

    Um, it doesn't matter if it's an odd number of requests. All that matters is that the number of senders is equal to the number of recipients.

  4. @Delta

    Yep. You're right. I'm dumb.

  5. > Um, it doesn't matter if it's an odd number of requests.

    Ha, he's fucking up already. Just kidding. Cool idea, Secret Santa is the only reason I like that holiday.

    Don't know where else to say this -- I just watched #4 and was greatly entertained.

  6. I hope you do this again next year. I missed it this year.