Bigotry from Judges Guild and the endless treadmill of bad actors in the old-school RPG hobby

As a longtime fan of Judges Guild’s output from the 1970s and early 1980s (they turned out some wild, creative stuff back in the day), I was dismayed to learn that the current owner, Robert (Bob) Bledsaw II, posts racist, Nazi, and antisemitic bullshit on Facebook.

Bob Bledsaw II needs to unequivocally apologize, make amends, and step down from his position as owner of the company. The new owner needs to denounce his remarks and take steps to assure the TTRPG hobby that this is not what Judges Guild stands for or represents.

I’ve pulled all of the Judges Guild posts I’ve made here on Yore. Judges Guild will never get another dime of my money until they turn this asshole out.

Mr. Toad’s wild fucking ride

Separately, I have to say that this exhausting treadmill of so-frequently-OSR or OSR-adjacent toxic behavior is a big part of why I’ve more or less stopped blogging.

I’ve gotten rid of substantial chunks of my RPG collection, stopped buying stuff from multiple companies and designers, blocked a parade of toxic asshats on any site where they appear, stopped identifying as part of the OSR (and then stopped participating in the scene at all), done blog housekeeping to convert the OSR category and associated tags to the more generic “old school,” and nuked connections to folks who still follow or promote bad actors in the RPG hobby. It never fucking ends.

I recognize that I have a headache and haven’t slept well in like a week and I’m fucking ornery, but here it is: In the past two years or so, the time I’ve spent removing or otherwise dealing with content related to the worst people in the RPG hobby exceeds the amount of time I’ve spent pleasurably blogging about gaming.

And every fucking time there’s a new revelation, what do you know? It’s like 99% likely to be in the OSR or OSR-adjacent corner of the hobby. There is literally no other segment of the RPG hobby I’m aware of where so many visibly toxic assholes and hatemongers congregate.

7 thoughts on “Bigotry from Judges Guild and the endless treadmill of bad actors in the old-school RPG hobby”

  1. (A bit belated)

    It’s heartbreaking that the continual parade of bullshit and awful folks is something that’s driven you away.

    I’m not gonna give up the gameplay I care about and the folks I do trust within this scene. But I’m certainly a *lot* more reluctant to engage with folks just based on a shared OSR connection, and I think your “Schrodinger’s Nazi” comparison over on Twitter is apropos.


    1. Martin Ralya

      Yep, you’ve summed it up pretty well. I still enjoy the play style and my shelves still creak under the weight of some of my favorite RPG books, but engagement is something I’m seeing in a whole new light.

  2. Happy you are back on the blog, Martin. Super sad about the OSR shits. I love the playstyle, but there is toxicity there.

    1. Martin Ralya

      Thanks! It’s good to be back and I’m really enjoying getting back into miniatures.

  3. Erick Eckberg

    Naziism in gaming? I guess I’m missing something in my 40 years of playing. I’ve yet have seen, heard, or met anything of the sort.

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