Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thank You For Not Being Ignorant Assholes

First, I'd like to note that the show is doing really well and so for those of you who watch it, thanks. The rest of this is for everybody whether or not you watch it:

Even though it has little to do with the bottom line, once in awhile the pyrotechnic display of bigotry, sexism, self-righteousness and can't-be-bothered-to-google-ignorance that I periodically get in my inbox in response to this TV show that the Escapist pays us to make about our game kind of makes me despair for humankind. I don't mean that as an exaggeration I mean it literally. No matter how many nice letters and traffic bonus checks you get, there's only so many times you can read "Wyverns can't talk, you and your stupid tattood whores don't know shit about D&D stop posing" before you honestly start thinking: "What's the point? What's the point of ever trying to talk to anyone you don't already know? People seem to go out of their way to misunderstand and score snark points off everything you say. Why not just hang out here in my apartment in Hollywood with my stripper friends, making paintings and doing cool Hollywood things and play our game and forget about all these stupid nerds and their stupid nerd hobby?"

This line of thinking, however, only goes so far before I remember you guys and I remember the fact that pretty much everybody who reads and writes to D&D With Porn Stars only says things that seem sane and smart and recognizably human and there's almost no obscure topic I can talk about--game-related or otherwise--that somebody out there doesn't seem to know something interesting about and I just want you all to know that I appreciate that. When I start thinking that there's just no way to make yourself understood about anything even slightly out of the ordinary unless you're standing right in front of people I remember how many people have--for whatever reason--ended up on this site and started reading and then thought "Hey, this porn actor actually sounds like he knows what he's talking about" and although I regret that I live in a world where you actually have to thank people and be surprised when people don't act like assholes I just want you all to know that I know and appreciate the fact that y'all are smart and don't act like assholes.

And I appreciate how rare and nice that is and the girls do too and if it weren't true I wouldn't keep doing this.


  1. I haven't said this before, but I figure I should now: I love this blog and what you do here. I haven't watched much of the show, but that's because I don't have much in the way of an attention span, even for something as cool as your show seems to be. I appreciate, more than I can say, that you have people I recognize, from various media, engaging in a hobby I love. We don't get to see that often enough. The rare comment from someone like Vin Diesel is one thing, but to see, say, Sasha Gray engaging in and enjoying D&D warms the heart and makes us all seems a little less fringe, a little less... I don't know... ignored? Culturally speaking, of course. I like that.

  2. I haven't gamed in close to four years now. Because of this blog, I got introduced to the world of OSR blogs, and that got my juices flowing again, and started me down the path that has led to my being about to start running a new campaign. (I'll be using LotFP:WFRP.)

    So don't think you're not appreciated, too.

    As for the other side: The Escapist seems to target (no disrespect to TE, it's a big market) mostly video game idiots; The kind of person who thinks the absolute height of humor is getting their WoW-Troll to do a touch-down dance. And then they go spend an hour gold farming, just so they can do the same dance again in different colored boots. That's the likely level of those who send you those missives. They're just trying to burn off the frustration of knowing that even their fantasy lives are mostly boring...

    Role-Players, as diverse as we are, do seem to have two traits in common: We're imaginative, and interesting. We're the kind of people who read about a troll and a touch-down dance in the same sentence and thought, "Did he win a game of Blood Bowl?"

    The TE crew comes into your room (via IHIWMA) saying, "Hey I just got done gold-farming, check out my new boots." Looks over at the girls, and says (in your best Beavis & Butthead voice), "Huh, huh, BOOBIES. You guys talk too much. You suck."

    The role-player, comes in, looks at the dice, and goes, "Whacha playing?" Notices Mandy, and thinks, "Hmm, Phil Foglio..."

    So, no... Thank You.

  3. You're blog is great, and the show is pure awesome. Unfortunately this is the Internet, a vast wasteland populated by roaming trolls and lovecraftian nerdspawn bent on the destruction of all that is awesome.

    Looks like we need a few brave adventurers to get rid of these monsters. I hear they're hiding out at the caves of chaos, near that keep.

  4. I didn't realize you guys took so much abuse, and I don't understand it. I don't see how anyone could not find enjoy the blog and show for all the creativity and humor that is offered here.

    I hope you guys never stop doing what you do because I look forward to reading about. I find I can really relate to it with my own dnd group and am constantly inspired to think outside the normal adventure box.

    What you guys do is just awesome, and I feel those who can't see that seriously lack in taste.

  5. Dude, your blog has been an inspiration for me to start a game for the first time in a decade, and it reminds me of the outright pleasure and excitement my friends and I have gotten from role-playing. This has been some creative, fun shit. Thank you!

  6. I already wrote on my blog about how IHIWMA has made it possible to convince my wife to play, which Mandy twitted a link to that sent my traffic through the roof, so obviously both the show and the blog are great any anyone who thinks otherwise is a douche canoe.

    I know how you feel though - back in college I worked as opinions editor, and eventually ran, the school newspaper. I did my best to both run it like a real paper, and to not do all the things we all hate about real papers. Hardly a week went by we didn't get hate mail, a hateful phone call, or grief from the school. Some times it was rampant sexism and homophobia against our sex columnists. Some times it was frothing right-wing rants accusing us of bias. Sometimes it was frothing left-wing rants accusing us of bias. Once my fellow editor and best friend was singled out by Rush Limbaugh and I had to deal with hundreds of all-caps death threats from people who couldn't spell "death". Once we brought Tristan Taormino to campus (who is a lovely person) and got more of the same.

    For me, who basically became obsessed with the idea this little student paper could be a beacon of good journalism when journalism was going to shit, all of this was enough to put me in incredible black moods where I wondered "Why even give a shit? None of these people care. None of them. Why go through so much trying to do the right thing for people who are just going to piss in your eye for it?"

    But, every so often, I'd meet someone who'd actually compliment something we'd done. Or I'd hear that a professor had the class discuss an article. Or that a former staffer landed a job at a paper after graduating (we didn't have a j-school, so that's a big deal). Basically, I figured out that you don't really hear much from the people that like what you do, or that are indifferent. You hear from the ignorant assholes.

    There's gotta be at least one person who digs the show for every "b1tc3s R dumz" comment. Even if not... fuck 'em. You still get paid, the people that like the show still get the show, and as long as they are typing out stupid emails all the fuckwits in the world aren't out fucking up someone else's life. Win win win.

  7. You know how people say 'don't read the comments' on youtube. And every once in a while you forget and read them and then your mind explodes with the stupidity of it all? Yeah.

    Thanks for the blog Zack.

  8. Dear Porn Stars (and Strippers and Hairdressers) Playing D&D,

    Ignore the idiots, they're idiots, and just jealous. The fact that they're angry about stuff like talking wyverns shows how small their lives are.

    I think you guys are doing a great job, so carry on, and you're all welcome at my table if you're ever in Brighton, although I'd probably run Call of Cthulhu, because I've never quite understood D&D.

  9. I love the blog and the show and I've never actually played a game of D&D! Sure I've played some (completely)homebrewed stuff but every time I've started to play honest to god D&D the group just couldn't get their shit together and show up. But I keep trying, mainly because you guys make it seem fun, and the blog makes me think about what I can do to make my gaming experience better.

  10. I'm sorry to hear you get responses like that, but I'm regrettably not surprised. The anonymity created by e-communications of all sort seems to give people license to treat people they don't agree with in some way with complete disrespect. That people--like gamers--who might have been the victim of unfair judgements from others themselves would engage in similar behavior is likewise sad, but not unexpected either.

    So I guess I'm saying don't let the bastards get you down and keep up the good work--which I'm sure is exactly your intention. :)

  11. I think DrDucker hit it on the head. We've become a society of video game zombies who lack the imagination to ever engage in a table top RPG that would require that they, OMG!, think for themselves. The asshats that flame you guys aren't the ones you're making the show for anyway, so fuck them. Those of us who read the blog and watch the show do so because we enjoy it. I don't always get your mechanics and there's times I think "I'd have done that differently" but I still love to watch. Your imagination as a DM never ceases to impress, and the wacky things the girls do to get their PCs into (and hopefully out of [RIP Satine's first character]) trouble are entertaining and even give me ideas for future games of my own.

  12. It's a hazard of the medium in which we write, sadly. If it's any consolation, I catch a lot of flak too and I'm at least 10 times more boring than you are. Put your ideas out there and achieve even a small amount of interest from others and it makes you a target for every crank, crackpot, and bitter used-to-be-a-gamer-but-now-(strangely)-no-one-will-play-with-me type out there.

    Fortunately, those guys are a tiny irrational minority who'll always find a way to be obnoxious, because that's what they do. I can't tell you how often I get simultaneously blasted for being, for example, too deferential to the past and not enough deferential to the past. So I guess what I'm saying is that you're not alone. Hang in there and focus on the good stuff, which, thankfully, is most of what I encounter online.

  13. Man, I've had more "Aha!" moments reading your blog than I can recall. Keep rocking!

  14. Don't let anyone ruin the awesome that you are.

  15. I'm a constant reader of your blog and I fully support your work and IHIWMA.
    Your posts are the most interesting things I've ever read on the subject (e.g. DC v.s. Marvel), and IHIWMA is always a "refreshing" experience.

  16. Zak, I absolutely adore this blog. Sure, I love the stories about you and girls. I bask in the amount of fun you guys are clearly having. But more importantly, I rarely encounter such surprising and insightful observations about our hobby. I recommend this blog to anybody that listens and will continue to do so. Please keep up the good work and don't let the haters get you down.

  17. The thanks go both ways, you could have easily tried to milk this into a spammy lead on site ala 'click here for nekkid d20 rolling' but instead you all are running a great D&D fan site filled with fun gaming ideas. There is an easy low road to be taken when someone googles D&D and Porn, but you all took the fans path instead. Bravo.

  18. I haven't seen the video show but I enjoy and regularly read the blog. I've never had a single real issue with even one OSR blogger. (I know your mileage varies in that regard, but still. In fact, inquiring about what the hell "Porngate" was, seeing as it happened while I was on hiatus, resulted in several people recommending the blog to me.)

    I've "met" some genuinely cool folks through blogging and PBP. I'd say I have 90% of my "friends" on Facebook hidden on my news feed because they're work people, or old high school people, or scene people, or random weirdos, and they don't have anything interesting to say. I don't have a single gaming blogger hidden.

    I do find our occasional tempests in teapots amusing. Or, in the cases of Carcosa and this blog, saddening, despite my keenly developed sense of schadenfreude. But even the really peppery OSR blogosphere disagreements are positively genteel compared to the internet writ large.

    It probably also helps to avoid certain forums. Another lesson from Carcosa.

    Anyway, the porn thing is a non-factor for me. You produce good game-related work, so as far as I'm concerned, you're either doing the Lord's work or doing the Devil's work well.

  19. Keep up the good work. I've been playing for ever seems like and and i've seen all kinds. It's just sad when some have to criticize other people for how or who they play their game with.
    I'm a HUGE sports fan and have had some in the past tell me that i cant be a ture gamer when your attention is on sports. Dont listen to them, their morons. Plain and simple.
    The concept of the game was and is what? TO HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!
    Great page Zak.

  20. I really appreciate you being out there and pushing this idea that yes, women really do play D&D. Sexy women, even -- who aren't they're because they're trying to pick up hopeless nerd dudes or to "break up the group," but because they actually love playing D&D.

    Love the rest of the blog too, obviously. But the women thing does mean a lot to me. Especially since that means y'all are putting yourselves out there for every "Nice Guy" nerd and straight up misogynistic weirdo in online gamedom to harass.

  21. We come for the eyecatching title, we stay for the interesting, funny and insightful writing on the hobby that we all love. You write one of the finest RPG blogs on the internet, and it isn't a field where the competition is exactly slack.

    Just keep on being awesome, no matter what the cat-piss men say.

  22. I read the blog every so often, but I don't watch the show after the first time (and we all remember that one as OSR Situation #23). However, I don't see why people give you guys a hard time. If you like something, give kudos, if you don't, either ignore it or give constructive criticism. Why people go extremely out of their way to send hate mail is really unfathomable.

  23. I dig what you and the girls are doing. Keep up the fine work. I know the cruel words sting, but you're producing some wonderful work.


  24. I used to work as a clerk in video store (World's Largest Video Store, I should mention) and, about daily, I would leave an encounter with a customer thinking that all customers sucked. I always had to rein my bullshit in, then, and consider the fact that 99% of the people I dealt with everyday were either friendly or, at worst, neutral. The assholes leave a big impression - they kind of cut down to your soul with their miserable behavior, but they are a distinct minority. Stick with it dude - you have a great blog, a great show and, it appears, great friends. Next time you're in Vegas and playing a session, let me know - I'd love to put "played D&D with porn stars" on my resume.

  25. For every ignorant as hell email that you get, remember that there are dozens of super positive comments from people who really care about playing games and being creative, not bullshit minutia or trying to browbeat you. Remember all the folks that submitted stuff to SAGE or bounced ideas off of you during the Alphabetical Monster thing. I'd like to think that the good voices drown out the bad, but I know how deep those ignorant comments cut.

    Your blog, on top of all of the other awesome inspirational stuff, has had some of the best advice that I've ever read about getting new folks to try gaming. I'm starting a D&D Teen program at my local library for complete RPG novices and I'm going to try and bring the awesome for the one kid (so far) that's signed up for it.

    As many others have said, your blog is what got me back into tabletop gaming, albeit after a year's absence as opposed to decades. I would be proud to have any one of you guys at my gaming table.

  26. I like that the title of the blog is true to the content and not just a "Zat is why zey send me, I am expert" kinda set up for just porn and lowbrow. Playing interesting games with interesting people leads to interesting ideas - and as long as you keep posting them here, I'll keep reading them.

    I think of it like this - chimpanzees like watching porn - that's a lowest common denominator sort of draw. It takes a lot more brain to like games. Then a lot more brain to like games like D&D that don't require technology. Then a lot more brain still to comprehend using D&D to explore a completely original fantasy landscape, as opposed to playing the game that came in the box.

    I happen to love the juxtaposition of such a primal form of entertainment with such a complex one - after all, we can't escape our more primitive drives. But because you present a wide gradient of subject matter, you're going to draw some people that don't reach from one end to the other. And porn being on the lowest common denominator side, there's bound to seem like there's more monkey brains complaining than smart people complimenting.

    Don't ever let it get to you, as their complaint actually is a form of compliment. Personally, I enjoy annoying assholes I don't like, and if you actually DID suck, they'd just go away and not say anything. Instead, they were provoked into responding. Which means you win anyways.

  27. Word, mah nerd brethren! Those who do not speak up have come across and enjoyed and consume your product and leave it at that. Those foul and twisted ignorants mis-misguidedly feel they are somehow empirical in their opinion and that somehow the people they don't like will care what they think.
    I've never cared what someone I've never met who didn't like me thought, but then I guess I am not as omniscient as these learned trolls. And, what started as two sentences to say "Good Job" has almost turned into a full rant.
    Anyway, this is me being active and telling you, I enjoy your blog, your show, the ladies and so does my fiance who HASN'T played with my group in a long time until your show came along.
    Thank you Zak & crew for bringing table top back into my future marriage.

  28. Zak, your blog is one of the smartest blogs out there, up there with Raggi and Malizewski. It's actually intimidating, for me personally, to comment because of this, and I highly respect you, your game, and your participants.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Hey Zak, I read this blog all the time, watch the show as soon as it's posted every week and adore them both. I've never commented before (because I've not had much to say).

    Though I have a long history of buying and reading RPG books and deep seated interest in genre fiction in general, I'd only played D&D once before reading the blog.

    I now play D&D at least once a week and love it, largely inspired by how much fun, how imaginative and how compelling you and your players make it look.

    And I remain fascinated by your opinions on fiction, art, gaming and etc.

    That's it, just words of encouragement really. My internet experience would be much poorer without you guys.

  31. I like the talking wyvern and keep up the great work! Love the blog!

  32. Alas, the second you posted anything on the Internet you had to begin dealing with result of John Gabriel's greater Internet fuckwad theory:

    But I hope you don't let the fuckwads get to you, because without your show I never would have learned the joy of dipping bacon in spiked coffee.


  34. @joesky

    send pictures, brawler

  35. Zak, the next time you read a letter from one of those guys, think to yourself. "That poor guy! He has to wake up every morning and be him for the rest of his life."

  36. These comments have really made me feel a lot better about the whole thing. I honestly can't say my experience doing the show has been altogether-especially-positive (due to the massive sexism issue and the amount of exposure I opened myself up to--knowingly) but everything you all are saying helps heal whatever regret I have and makes me feel like I'd like to continue with it given the opportunity.

    Personally I'd like to thank Oddysey for her comment. Being women who enjoy this hobby we really are a minority--so thanks for the support!


  38. You guys are very brave to do what you do with IHIWMA. It's always going to be a minority that has a go but it only takes a few harsh words to bring you down. As the other 30 odd people have said, fight the good fight, ignore the dickheads. This is fame, you are our figureheads and quite frankly I'm in agreement with Odyssey - it's great female representation, SEXY female representation. Not sexy as in the girls are 'modelling' the game, they're playing it and enjoying it. That's what people like to see.

  39. And we appreciate your appreciation. We live in the Circle of Appreciation :)

    I have to keep reminding myself that 99% of all people aren't actually moronic kneejerking arseholes. It's probably only maybe 95%.

    Alas, I've never been able to watch IHIWMA; for some reason I've never been able to resolve the Escapist's server. I don't suppose there's any chance of back-issues being released into the wild on YouTube or something?

  40. I think brandon constans is on to something: My take is that many of these people have perhaps not learned the social "rules" that is life, but instead they have learned the rules of a certain game. Then they use the only rules they happen know as a foundation for interaction with people. Which is sad really.

    I thoroughly enjoy your show. Zak, you have once again made me want to be a GM, and I find myself browsing your archives for ideas. While doing that I often find myself suddenly playing an old IHIWMA episode, smiling, recognizing because myself and my friends have played like that. Done that, loved it. Will watch again. Et.c. :)

    Gmail needs a douche filter next to the spam filter…

    Fitz, if you are comfortable playing around with your network settings, have you tried using Google public DNS?

  41. This must be the episode of IHIWMA that was guest directed by Frank Capra, whose ghost you summoned with Satanic porn magic. It is a wonderful life.

    Like so many folks have said, your show and your blog are beyond what I expected they could be when I first started reading these OSR blogs a few months ago. Your ideas and imagination constantly open my mind to the possibilities of what the game can be. Smart, fun, intense, full of art, full of laughter. As Charles Mingus said, "All the things a real good person should have." And it's just fucking paper and dice.

    For the show and the ladies:

    In the first place, it's a show about smart creative people having a good time. There is too little content like that in the world, period. As my former Catholic priest Msgr. Moreton told me about people that don't understand me, "If they can't take a joke, then fuck 'em! Just fuck 'em!"

    And secondly, Oddysey and others have said it's important to represent smart sexy women gaming, and that's good for the game and good for women. I'd also add that it's not just women that need smart sexy female role-models, boys and men do too. So thank you for that. Mandy, Satine and everybody make me want to play, because they are fucking bad-ass. I aspire to be bad-ass as well.

    I commented way back in the "Old School threatens to undermine our Porn Revolution" days (isn't that how it went?) that most of the negative reaction is based on fear: fear of sex, fear of women, fear of difference. The bullshit is just the product of the fears of really sad little people, lashing out at what they don't understand, what they secretly envy, and what they don't allow themselves to experience.

    So rock on.

  42. Just as nobody on the Internet knows you're a cat, nobody knows whether or not you're in junior high. I work in online media too (incredibly innocuous online media at that) and a large part of that job is moderating the fuckwads. If there is no required registration for your site's content and/or discussions, once your audience reaches a certain critical mass flamers and trolls will appear. At that point it is the audience's size itself which is bringing in the sub-humans -- not your content and not your featured content creators.

    If anything, it's a badge of success. Kind of a sticky brown "badge," but then one should never go online without their raincoat.

  43. Illegitimi non carborundum ( don't let the bastards get you down)

    On a side note--the way Gia was looking a Mandy at 01:40 was VERY interesting to say the least. lol!

  44. I first heard about your blog from a friend. I'll admit, it was the odd (at the time, to me) juxtaposition of D&D and Porn Stars that brought me to the site. I saw no porn, but wasn't particularly put off by that fact. :)

    I read the whole blog in one day, from newest to oldest post. I can get a bit OCD, mind you, but I also get a bit ADD when shit is not worth the time. You are a great writer, Zak, and reading your stuff makes me wish I had the good fortune to know you personally. I've played a lot of D&D, but not for a while. Lately I'm GM for a Dark Heresy campaign, fwiw.

    As for IHIWMA, I like it a lot, mostly because I like the people who are in it. It's pretty clear that you folks are just plain nice to be around. I'm a bit sociophobic, so I lurk pretty much as a rule (odd given that I'm a professor, and teach public speaking, but true), but I really wanted to let you know that I appreciate the time you all take, and the amount of exposure you incur by doing so. Yes, I know the business you're in requires a certain amount of exposure, but I mean the exposure of your private time, and the faces you wear when you're with your friends. That's courageous in a way I find very difficult.

    That, and (trying very hard not to be a fucking creeper) Frankie. She is just too cute! Though, I think if I ever met Justine I would probably just stare and babble. That skin! Those eyes! No one should be that pretty. It's just not fair!

    And Zak, anyone who goes so far as to tattoo on his flesh the various ailments afflicting his partner, just to make sure she'll be taken care of, that's the sort of person who is always to be admired, and who will always have friends to back him up. This is the sort of morality I admire, not the morality of the snide and hurtful bastards who dare EVER to try to make you folks feel like shit.

    Thanks for doing what you do, and don't stop because of a bunch of dickheads.

  45. I've never commented before, but as someone else who gets paid to put their creativity onto the internet, I just wanted to say I'm glad you're keeping your chin up because I fucking love what you do here. I can't even *tell* you how many posts I've emailed on to myself and tagged "Use this in the next fucking game, idiot, it rules".

    Keep up the great work, and thanks for doing what you do.

  46. I long ago stopped caring what people think and quite honestly, given what I know of you and what I've seen, I'm honestly surprised these...I'll be kind and call them "people"...warrent the bandwidth needed to make this post.

    Not that we, your pleased as punch viewing public, don't appreciate your thanks. I'm really glad you're really glad we're really glad. But the naysayers love saying nay. Its who that are and what they do.

    Just keep doing that voodoo that you do so well and those who like it will like, those who don't can screw off.

  47. I gotta say I love the show! It is the closest thing to real RPG entertainment there is. The adventure seems to be going well and the players are all engaged and sometimes too much lol! I love watching them fall into the same trappings that all first time players get into. It also helps that they are all gorgeous and witty. Keep it up Zack! I am anxious to see if you tape your TMNT Mutant based game!

  48. I think what you guys are doing is important. I wandered across you all via "We Did Porn," which is also excellent (and less controversial? odd world.) I felt that book was the best memoir I have read by someone of my generation. (and of my aesthetics, if you will. for example I was wearing the Burning Witch "born dead" T when I read about you attacking yours with a sharpie on set. Serendipitous.) I was unfamiliar with porn pretty much completely, so I looked up a lot of the stuff you mentioned to get in the loop. I found all this via your blog, Mandy, and the rest followed from there. (So thanks for posting Mandy.) I went and read all the blog entries, which were several months old at that point.
    There is a strong corollary between woman gaming and queers gaming. I am saddened by your comment Mandy about IHIWMA being a negative experience. I also completely relate. I can’t enjoy myself in a room of people who use the word “Gay” as a stand in for “Lame”. I’m happy to be a crusader, and stand against that shit, but I game to relax and think about fireballs and axes. (More of an issue playing Magic, which I do, because to play competitively you have very little control over who you game with.) I had stopped identifying myself as a gamer over time. Which is sooooo funny, when I think of all those years I did identify myself as a gamer, but not queer. I had gotten into to this secret/self-hating/closeted gamer kind of zone, and frankly – fuck that.
    I think this is the best of what the Internet has to offer. Not, “this is the greatest website ever,” but that this kind of engagement, connecting like minds, is the best thing that the Internet does well. Monoculture is omnipresent, and people who fall outside the spectrum can feel isolated very quickly. Having this zone where people can discover, “hey, this hobby/interest/whatever isn’t nearly as limited as I have experienced, at all…” Is crucial.
    I agree with the above poster. It’s not just nice that woman can come here in solidarity. It’s good for everybody, men and woman. It’s important for that reason alone, but the whole project would be forgettable if this was not a rock solid gaming blog. And it is.

  49. Zak, I have enjoyed everyone of these videos. what you are showing is a group of people having a lot of fun playing a gamer they love or want to love. It reminds me so much of the fun I have had playing with my friends. Ignore the idiots that judge others. You keep doing what you are doing man, because you are building a memorable experience with your friends and no one should be allowed to steal that. I appreciate you sharing it with us. These girls rock and have mad me laugh so many times, I enjoy it. I am glad you found a cool group of open minded people to play with. I know you guys are just having a blast man. Smoke some weed, have a beer and keep doing what you are doing, it is highly entertaining...and I must as it gets.

  50. I can be ignorant. I can also be an asshole. But NEVER with gaming... only with the people that deserve it. ;)

    You and the ladies do a fine show (the few I've watched... GADD and all that is rough).

    The blog is top notch... not a title that I'd leave on my iPad at work if I were to venture away from my desk tho'... heh

  51. I really dig the blog and show too. Surprisingly there are very few "real play" videos out there; I reckon in general people are too camera shy or whatnot, and just seeing another group game is fun and instructive.

    And I have to agree that I find your posts on this blog of a level equal to the "big boys" of RPG blogging. Very interesting and thoughtful.

    Anyway, don't sweat the goons, the Internet allows the 1% of psychos out there mass-hate on everyone. Keep up the good work and have fun!

  52. If you get that much hate mail, you must be doing SOMETHING right...

    Your blog has easily been the biggest influence in how I have been thinking about the game since I got back into it.

    The show is easily the most watchable video on role playing out there.

  53. The bullshit is just the product of the fears of really sad little people, lashing out at what they don't understand, what they secretly envy, and what they don't allow themselves to experience.

    Brendan stole the words out of my keyboard. It's a shame sometimes that we're hard-wired to remember and react to the bad stuff so much more than the good stuff, but please keep up the good work! And ladies: keep representin'.

  54. Dude, you play D&D with fucking porn stars... There's so many levels of WIN! in that statement that some troglodyte complaining about wyverns talking and shit shouldn't even ping the radar. Haters are gonna hate man, and it's best just to ignore them. I've only been following the blog for a few days, but it's been enjoyable and entertaining. To me, that's the fundamental reason to play D&D, to have fun and be entertained, and I think you've accomplished that. And you play with fucking porn stars... Cheers man, keep up the good work.

  55. I felt the love.

    Good post, man.

  56. I don't care whether you play with pornstars or Morlocks, your blog with well-written and well-thought out. That it gets mostly well-thought out responses doesn't surprise me, or at least, it shouldn't surprise me. Well-thought ideas don't generally have any appeal to the "You make me despair for humankind"-crowd, so you're not going to have them frequenting the blog nearly as much as the much more easily digested TV show.

    I fully admit that when I was first told about this site (fittingly, by the guy who introduced me to D&D when I was 13), I thought it was a joke. Then I read it, and was impressed. Then I ran across you talking about picaresque story-telling (a word I had to look up, which I appreciate, because expanding one's vocabulary is always good), and I become a convert. I started telling all the DMs I know to read your blog. Since then, you've changed the way we all DM, and for the better. You've made a game we all enjoy even more enjoyable by making us look at it in ways we didn't previously.

    That all said though, I haven't seen a single episode of the show yet because I'm a "watch a full season of TV in one sitting" kind of guy. I expect it will be interesting and fun though, because your blog is interesting and fun.

    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to watching IHIWMA when it's all viewable.

  57. If it's so bad, why do I want the show to be an hour long.

    Please? One hour every week isn't so much more work.

    P.S. I stole-ded without remorse your ophidianbiblograph.

  58. You're welcome. As for the situation, it's res ipsa loquitur.

    Zak - Kickass DM, games on video. Fans.
    Mandy - Fun to DM, games on video. Fans.
    Troll - Likely sucks, pissant comment. Who?

  59. For myself, I find Zak's blog of more interest because I can interact with it and the people reading it, instead of being a passive observer.
    I've come to respect Zak's creativity and intellect. Whether I agree or disagree, he gets me thinking and noticing things. His humanity has not gone unnoticed, either.
    That said, I usually try to keep quiet and absorb and reflect upon what's on the screen, and not get in the way of things.
    Thanks also to Mandy, KK, Satine, Frankie and whoever else.

  60. Well I'll chime in too. I love the show and I get what you're saying.
    My two penneth is this: with ANY creative endeavour - and RPGs are essentially and art form in my eyes - you will get responses to your output that are ridiculous, negative and ill-informed which [if you listen to them] can stunt you're creativity and make you want to sit alone in a darkened basement for ever.
    The trick is to have fun, and it looks like you do that just fine. Just enjoy what you do. So what if others don't "get" it then let them bitch all they like - they're not playing YOUR game. After all this is rolePLAYING - fun is implied and should be essential.
    I really enjoy the maps, your artwork and the plotlines in the show, the debates on each move the party makes and the out-of-play pieces discussing what happened.
    Please keep going, the work you all put in is really appreciated.

  61. Fuck the haters.

    I'm a hardcore PC gamer who found your show because I watch Zero Punctuation. I've watched since Ep 1 and you guys have single ( many are you? forget it) handedly convinced me to start poking around the tabletop gaming scene in NYC.

    I won't lie, the novelty of seeing these ladies who are known for being professionally deviant play D&D was my original draw, but since then I've grown genuinely fond of everybody on the show and appreciate them on a completely different level. (epic run-on)

    Blah Blah, love the show, blah I have a crush on Mandy and Satine blah blah...whatever, you guys are awesome. Trolls are an intrinsic part of the internet and the tabletop. Without them, you'd be able to get the treasure and save the princess too easily, right?

    Cheers, dude. I wish the show came more than once a week.

  62. Personally this is one of my favourite blogs that I read on a daily basis, and most days there's something new for me to read, and enjoy. I love watching your group play, it's funny and interesting and nice to see a slightly different take on how people play; and you must be applauded for your work on this, and your imagination is superb and one day I intend to gleefully steal your of goblins in pig-balloons lobbing flasks of green slime at folks; inspired!

    There are plenty of idiots out there who shout and moan with no idea what they're going on about, that enjoy hurting others, and I hope one day that they all implode (in the nicest possible way, of course) ;)

    Keep up the good work Zak, ignore the fools out there, and hi to all the girls who are great :)


  63. Hey

    Thanks for being around Zak. Stay cool.

  64. I'm an old school geek who last played over 20 years ago. Recently inspired by your blog and others I've dug out my rpg stuff (I can't believe they let us play with lead), gathered some friends, and begun playing again. Having a blast, and I enjoy visiting your website. One thing I see hasn't changed from when I was in high school: role playing games attract the socially inept. I'm running into the same sort of folks that made it not fun back then except now they are 45 instead of 17. Don't let the haters drag you down. You are doing great!

  65. Zak - you're a creative, intelligent and absolutely metal GM. It's fun reading your writing and I've enjoyed pretty much everything you've written. Your players also impress with their creativity, willingness to play aggressively (which people I've gamed with for years still haven't grabbed well) and lateral thinking abilities. I'd be privledged to play with anyone who had as much genuine fun playing as they seem to. About Trolls - fire or acid, best way to deal with them.

    Steve - if you're looking for a gaming group in NYC, I'd reccomend checking out - I'm australian, but when I went to new york I caught up with a couple of guys from there.

  66. Every time I watch IHIWMA I can't help but smile. You guys all look to be having such fun and you run such a creative and inspiring campaign. As John Williams said above the internet is infested "by roaming trolls and lovecraftian nerdspawn".
    It's sad but the interwebs have become somewhat lame.

  67. I don't have anything to add that hasn't been said before and well by many others. Idiots are an unfortunate part of the world. Take solace in the fact that you're doing great things, both here and on Axe.

    Beyond that, the guy who shouts that "wyverns can't talk" is living in a sad world where even fantasies have to color within the lines. For me, the best thing about gaming is that it encourages people to use their imaginations. The guy who can't imagine a talking wyvern simply because he's read one book for one system that says that it's the case is the one who's missing the point. You've come up with a host of interesting and NEW ideas on the blog and in the game, and I appreciate your sharing them.

    So as others have said, thank YOU.

  68. I have always consider the worst part of D&D to be the bulk of its players. I've met a lot of great people playing, but far more awful ones. It is often just nerd-on-nerd violence, one nerd trying to be the cool guy by shitting on others, and it is a shame.

    And, in case it has not been said, you're the DM. Wyverns talk if you want them to. ;-)

  69. Every day I log in and check my feeds for something new from Zak or something new from Joesky. Don't either of you ever quit.

  70. Thank You for this Blog and the show because you gave me Hope that I too can one day introduce new people to role playing. Something I was beginning to think I could never do. Thank you for being awesome. And i am am sorry that it took me this long to say how great i think you guys are.

  71. I enjoy both the show and the blog.

    Please try to ignore the agents of douchebaggery and misogyny that infect the internet. You guys all seem like intelligent, creative people who love to game, and you've crazy cool stuff going on here.

    Example: I'll never look at goblins the same way after watching your show.

  72. love what ya'll are doin'. seriously, it gives ME faith in mankind and moreover, is a great reason to look forward to wednesdays. keep it up. i DM'd (i guess GM'd is more appropriate) my first ever game of Dark Heresy with my wife yesterday. just me and her. it's mostly because i've been inspired to start doin' this stuff again by your blog, the show and everyone. it was awesome. 5 hours. thanks! ~b

  73. wait, I think there is something wet glistening in my eye...ok its gone...

    Seriously now, how could anyone not see the promethean spark in you that makes you one of the most interesting and funniest dungeonmasters I have ever known?

    Jealous little kids without experience and knowledge could fail in that I guess...

    You inspire me to a degree that I reactivated my German D&D group and started playing again... how could I have endured my past years without the simple fun of friends gathering around a table and having fun with nothing but some dice and their imagination?

    I love you man, I really do. Thank you so much for this blog. Keep up the high quality and ignore the goblins of THIS world...

  74. Zak, Mandy and gang,

    I don't say it enough but I love this blog and IHIWMA quite a lot. You just have to ignore the assholes in the world. Someone is always going to hate you. Hell I got treated like I kick puppies because I happen to teach at a for-profit school. So ignore that shit. I love the blog and show because you are showing everyone something very important about gaming.
    Not why we are different, but why we are all the same.
    More than once per show I have laughed out loud because your group has done the same thing my group has done.

    So to quote Strong Bad, "you keep doing yer thing there man!"

  75. Awesome post. It is indeed true that the "griefers" among us can make us doubt the value of going forward on a bad day. The fact that you'd think to make this post is emblematic of the many signs that make this blog so worth returning to on a regular basis.

  76. @spidercat

    Holy shit, thanks for the link. This is great.

  77. @steve - no probs. hope gaming works well for you!

  78. I started reading your blog because of the title, thinking porn stars and D&D were very odd to see in the same sentence. Turns out they aren't - they're might good and always interesting. (Pig-ballons will stick with me for some time and I can't wait until I can unleash them on my players. Also - my goblins now sound like your goblins.)

    You named my blog (Bugbears for Breakfast) before I knew I was going to start one, which pretty much required I start write stuff for it. I keep writing for it because I'm a writer, but I do my best to keep the quality up because I feel I owe you for the name.

    You remind me that I am terribly far behind in my viewing of IHIWMA. Need to correct that...

  79. I can't seem to figure out how to email you, so I've created a blogger account w my gmail.

    I think your blog is fucking awesome, your game sounds awesome, and I am constantly talking it up to my nerd friends insisting upon its legitimacy as a really thoughtful gaming blog. People hear "porn stars" and the think it's a gimmick, or all about sexy hipster kitsch, but you are clearly enjoying and good at what you do.

    Oh, and at least one D&D session has been run thanks to you giving me the itch, in a big way. I DM'd my first game last week, and intend to follow up with a bunch more. Love the stuff about snakes & wizard brains, too.

    And what D&D player thinks they can point at any other D&D game and say "that's silly/lame/wrong!" ?! This whole hobby is silly, and it's awesome, and everyone needs to step back and enjoy that.

    Rock on.

  80. @ABamonte

    google my name. a website will appear. push the "Contact" button.

  81. I just want to say something I read in a right-wing anarchist newsletter once: "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. Hell, daddy, fuck 'em even if they can!"

  82. This seems like a right place for thanks. So, thanks for sharing all the inspirational stuff and knowledge.

    I found this blog only recetly and it already made our games so much better.

    (sry for my english, not native)