In the last couple of days, it was brought to our attention that some comments we made in a previous podcast may have been degrading and kind of marginalizing to our fans that play and enjoy Dungeons & Dragons. After careful consideration, I’d like to apologize to anyone who took offense to our statements. We both got our start roleplaying with D&D, and as time has gone by, we’ve drifted away from the game. While we may have said some disparaging remarks or seemed back-handed about the game, we truly come from a place of love. I assure you, we don’t think any less of you or anyone who chooses to play any game we might not enjoy. Our remarks were not intended to denigrate fantasy role-players or any of our listeners.
I thought it would be important to share the correspondence I received from a listener who took exception to our remarks. Included is our conversation:
Name: Lucas Greene
Subject: Backhanded Apologies
Message: I'll start this off by saying I really enjoy your analysis of the WoD books. It's obvious you have a lot of passion and knowledge about the subject and it has been great getting a history lesson about the system I've been playing for the last decade.
That being said, I really want to address your commentary at the end of your Gangrel episode about Dungeons and Dragons. Your earlier commentary on Dungeons and Dragons exactly what you proclaimed it to be, disparaging of the system but not the people playing it (outside of the Professor Frink voice). Your apology/explanation, on the other hand, was condescending and significantly more offensive.
I understand your commentary about Dungeons and Dragons being a system with too many charts and not enough moral grey area or encouragement of nuanced roleplay. Those comments are absolutely true. However, your soapbox basically concluded with "I pity people who play Dungeons and Dragons" and "Dungeons and Dragons is for people who aren't mature enough to play REAL roleplaying games." You of course followed this with what came off as "and if you don't like it, fuck you, I say I'm right."
I think the thing that pisses me off the most, however, was your ending comment of "we're all the same here." Your soapbox made it very clear that you don't agree with that, that you consider yourself better than those other nerds.
It may not have been meant to come off that way, but it did. I have two short replies. One, you stated in earlier episodes "each to his own," even mentioning more explicit games like Warhammer with more respect, and I would respect your right to your opinion a lot more if you held it consistent. Two, it really seems like your issue is more with modules and the stereotype of D&D than the game itself. I'm sorry your dungeon masters weren't up to the task of telling a nuanced story. I've seen plenty of ham-fisted WoD storytellers who drove everything to mass combat, and plenty of D&D dungeon masters who knew how to promote character development and nuance.
I'm not expecting for you to change your opinion of D&D, but I hope that you take a moment to think before you make these types of statements in the future. If you want to continue saying "fuck off," then I'll be happy to find something else to listen to (and potentially donate to) that isn't going to shit on me.
You're absolutely right.
I could say something to the effect of, "if you knew us, you'd know we come from a place of love," but that really doesn't cut it. Our statements being what they are, our intent - my intent - is not to alienate. Having said that, I offer you a sincere apology for offending you. We will address this. I don't want my brand or product to be known for shitting on what others enjoy. That's not the point or goal. Sometimes, we forget that we aren't just shooting the shit with our buds in the living room. I will personally make it my goal that this doesn't happen again. I appreciate your patronage and loyalty, and hope to keep you as a fan.
Know this, at least half of us spent our Saturday night playing D&D.
Thank you for being forthright about this.
I appreciate the quick and candid response. I totally understand where you're coming from, and I hope to get to get to know you better continuing to listen to your podcasts. This kind of response definitely helps show your character.
No problem. We are opinionated, to be sure, but that doesn't mean we have to make people feel inferior for what they enjoy. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.
For our fans, I want to reiterate, we do not intend to alienate or offend any of you. If we’ve done so, it has been unintentional and we are deeply sorry for it. In the grand scheme of podcasting and just spewing words for hours on end, offending someone is virtually unavoidable. Having said that, it’s not our goal to overtly (or covertly, for that matter) offend our fans. Our promise to you, the listener, is that we will make the greatest effort to refrain from making you feel like you’re unwanted. Our request to you, our listener, is that you please let us know if you feel this way.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a fan.
Utility Muffin Labs