Welcome back to Investing In! I wasn’t sure quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!
First, An Acknowledgement
Considering the title or possibly whatever social media verbiage you read before coming here, you might expect this article isn’t quite like the others I’ve done thus far. Every year around this time I grow perhaps a bit more sentimental and squishy than normal (not just from holiday eating). Thanksgiving isn’t the holiday I grew up believing it to be, but thankfully education and open dialogue have increased awareness of its controversial nature due to colonial conquest, the genocide of the native indigenous people of the Americas, as well as the capitalism and mass consumerism of our society. I’m not here to celebrate any of that, but I do want to acknowledge it. We must learn from history and be better than before. In part I feel this time of year reminds us to do so.
Thanksgiving to me is now about remembering what I’m thankful for. My mother started the tradition of asking my brother and I as we sat together for the amazingly well-cooked meal she’d prepared. Well, this year we forgot to do it. I feel guilty honestly and hopefully she or my brother aren’t upset that I’m pointing it out. Now in my mother’s defense she’s been particularly busy with work while also we’ve been preparing for a Christmas / Holiday party we throw for friends, family, and coworkers. For me, Thanksgiving is about family and thanks, but it’s usually a long day for us with decorating and planning before we sit down for dinner. There were a lot of lights this year for one, and many to thank for making the year so bright!
While I think it’s important to give thanks at all times of the year, this time is a special remembrance. It’s not just about being polite but about respect, acknowledging others time and effort, or simply expressing you’re grateful for what they’ve done. You may be tired of me referring back to my Gen Con article but the gaming community really impressed, inspired, and encouraged me this year. I want to encourage you to do the same, let alone the other groups, interests, organizations, and people you know out there.
We’re All Players
We can start here with you reading this! This network and wide gaming community, filled with different viewpoints and interests, and utterly amazing people! These are our players who collaborate with us, who bring us treats, who share in good times and bad, or who help out a starry-eyed buffoon bumbling around the Indianapolis Convention Center and not sure where to go. They welcome new people in, they give them a place to feel welcome, and they engage with such heart that I truly wish more people could experience it readily. Again, I mean you. We’re all a part of this community and we’ve got more joining every day. Yes, we know and acknowledge that not everyone is as kind as we’d like them to be, but love wins out. I saw it at Gen Con, I see it on Critical Role or Knights of Everflame, I see it on Twitter, here at Know Direction, on Reddit… We’re all here to play and we’re here for one another. To our readers and all those who join us in the fun of gaming, thank you!
An Industry that Works for Fun
We wouldn’t have these games, these set pieces, these miniatures, this art without the industry of talented creators and artists supporting it. Yes, of course, I know companies want to make money selling games or other products but they’re all run by people. They’re the ones spending hours investing their ideas to produce the world of Golarion (the Azlanti, the Thassilonians, the Mwangi!) or working tired hands to craft our gaming screens or terrain. These often aren’t large teams like the amazing people at Dogmight or DwarvenForge taking time to engage with us at conventions, on forums, through social media… I expect it can be exhausting work; you’re taking a hobby you probably enjoy, that most use for fun and letting it become that very word: work. As PAX Unplugged is right around the corner (let me know if you’re going!), I encourage you to remember this and give thanks to those people you see whether employee or volunteer giving their time. These people are also helping with marketing or traveling away from friends and family while others are ensuring orders go through for those gifts you’ve purchased. Let me tell ya web commerce is a major process with many supporting players. I’m so thankful they share with us and give us these games, these worlds to explore and build. If you work in the industry and you’re reading this: thank you!
Universes Do Not Build Themselves
Of course our Game Masters and Dungeon Masters have a major part to play in helping make these games a reality. They put a great deal of effort into reviewing materials, preparing maps, building NPCs and monsters, fine tuning story details around your characters, let alone reviewing adventures, studying rules, or otherwise putting together an immersive gaming experience for all to enjoy. I’m a GM or Storyteller if you were to think of World of Darkness. I love hearing if my players had a good time and really that’s often thanks enough for me. Of course I’ve also got GMs in my brother Corey, my friend Rich, and the hard-working Adam Smith of Order of the Amber Die. I applaud your efforts and thank you, a thousand times, thank you. please remember to thank your local GMs and DMs, especially those Venture Captains and local hobby shop game leaders!
An LGBTQIA Community
Like I said I’ve a lot to be thankful for, especially this year. And I know too that’s also because I’m a cisgender white dude living in America. I may be gay but I’m also 6’5” and so that changed how I got to come out, how I would be perceived, let alone how I’d feel more comfortable walking alone down a street. I also live in a pretty liberal part of the U.S. so even if people had a problem there was more likely a majority willing to back me up. But I’m benefiting a lot from those who’ve come before me or who are making a difference now. That includes those working for our non-profits to protect our rights, grow our laws, or fight for our health and community. As an example, yesterday December 1st was World AIDS day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the spread of HIV, the AIDS epidemic, and mourning for those we’ve lost. I know some of the amazing people who work at AIDS Care Ocean State and I encourage you to find similar organizations like the nationally-recognized AIDS United to thank them, to give of your time or resources however you can. I’ve also been privileged to participate in another non-profit, a community building, and very loving group called the Providence Gay Flag Football League. The Boards, its Captains, all players, volunteers, and the fans are an amazing bunch and I thank them for all they do, the fun games we play, and the exciting 2020 season ahead! There are many other leagues supportive of all genders and LGBTQIA persons that you can find through the National Gay Flag Football League.
Tuesday December 3rd is Giving Tuesday, a day created to encourage charitable giving on an International scale. Many non-profit organizations are hoping to gain some donations as the holiday season begins. As part of this day, Facebook is matching 7 Million U.S. dollars in donations made through their fundraisers starting at 8 a.m. Eastern time. I encourage you to donate if you can, however you can. If you’re comfortable doing so through Facebook at that time you can help your chosen non-profits see double the contributions you make! I’ll be encouraging donations to the Providence Gay Flag Football League here should you have interest in doing so. You can find more information at GivingTuesday.org.
My Gaming Community
I want to extend special thanks to a few groups. Adam Smith and the Order of the Amber Die thank you for inviting me into your family as well supporting me before this in my Pathfinder games, notably my current Strange Aeons campaign. I’ve noted a few times before Pride Month posts, my GenCon or Order articles, but I love this group of people, their open hearts, and respect for the gaming community at large and the LGBTQI community’s place within it. Stephen Glicker of Roll for Combat was an immediate friend to me, inviting me to share dinner with him and his friend when I was alone at Gen Con. If you haven’t read his One of Us article, I encourage you to do so! Know Direction team – Perram and Ryan especially – thank you for not only being interested in what I had to say but giving me a place to openly express it, to encourage me in what I’m invested in, and wanting to know what others are investing in too! I am so thankful, so humbled, and so honored to be a part of this Network of amazing fans, players, industry leaders, game masters… I don’t know how 2020 could possibly top the 2019 I’ve had.
What am I thankful for?
Thank you so much for your engagement and for sharing thanks with me during my sugary spiel. Because I forgot to note what I’m thankful for, I’m going to end by doing so here. I encourage you to do the same, whether in a comment below, an email to a coworker, a public tweet to a company you love, or certainly through a Giving Tuesday contribution. However you wish to do it, it’s worth investing in!
- I will mention here every time: my amazing, hard-working, brilliant, loving mother who continues to support me in all that I do
- My late father whose commitment to helping people and pursue my education rang true even when he could not help himself
- Adam Daigle (of Paizo) got me thinking of my teachers this year, specifically my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Susan Caswell. I don’t know exactly what made an 8 year old kid go “no I want to be in the hard teachers class” but she knew. When I wasted time, she asked me what I wanted to be doing with it. She was the first teacher that spoke to me (to the whole class) like we were people. Still kids, yes, but developing people that needed to start to grow and should be responsible (and respectful) of those around us. No cavemen with dinosaurs, lilacs are wonderful, and banana cream pie is delicious. Also, wear deodorant gentlemen. She made me want to grow, to learn, and be better. Thank you!
- On that note my 4th grade teacher Ms. Ward and really my new school. I moved to a new town and I felt like the big dumb guy. No one knew me, I sat in the back of the class, but people like Brendan Pierel were friendly to me and Tara Jean Parsons recognized I was good at math. Ms. Ward pushed me into advanced math lessons, advanced reading lessons (I can still remember kids oooing when I read aloud stalagtites, stalagmites, and columns), and more. It’s remarkable what “feeling smart” can do for a kid’s confidence and encouraged me to try more. Granted we’re not all good at the same things, but you want to try more when you feel confident in something. I know people look down on “award” culture, but it’s important to help find strengths in one another and encourage. Thank you all as those two years changed my life!
- My gaming community including my friends: Kyle, Greer, Rich, John, Jon, Rob, Heather, Mike as well as Order of the Amber Die’s Adam, Dan, Jodi, Sean, Germs, Matt, Julian and many significant others and spouses I see slightly less but love all the same! Thank you!
- The PVDGFFL especially Corey, Adam, Duane, Mancone, Julia, Thom, Ostin, Jorge, Steve, Paul, Jose, Jana, John, Bobby, other John, Bob… All of you are amazing and I thank you for all you do for the community!
- My coworkers are a joy to work with and I’m so very thankful of my time with them
- My health and wellness have certainly benefited from many this year and those supporting me in my weight training and weight loss journey especially.
- Connor and Cassie, thank you for letting me being a part of your love and your wedding day! <3
- Finally to my brother, who I’m sure my friends would note I fight with more than anyone else because we are so close, supporting and challenging one another all the time. He is the first to question me but also the first to have my back. I love him for it. Thank you Corey!
And I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!
Banner – Creative Commons Credit, thank you note for every language by woodleywonderworks