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Guest Columnist

December 9, 2010

The holiday season calls for differences to be set aside.  Even I have trouble spilling hate amid festive lights and excited children.  With that in mind, I recently reached out to a fellow blogger, someone for whom I have had harsh words in the past.  “Bygones!” I said, and luckily the fine gentleman in question agreed.  In the spirit of caring & giving, I offered this outstanding fellow a chance to express himself here, in my home.  Without further ado, I present to you my first guest columnist… James Maliszeski.

JaMal, take it away…! 




Greetings, YDIS readers.  Just the other day I was writing a column, and, for just a moment, it made me flash back to one of my blog posts from two years ago, which was made in the near-aftermath of a time during which I briefly was unable to put fingers to keys.

Of course, reflections of this nature are inherently circular, which leads me by design to the start of where I intend to begin, namely, with an introduction or, more precisely, a re-introduction, in this case to an old friend upon which I might shed new light.  Thank you, YDIS, for this opportunity to…

Review: My Review of The Random Esoteric Creature Generator from two years ago

2008 was a remarkable year, and one that (for me) has not yet faded into the obscuring mists of history.  At the time, James Raggi the IVth was an unknown young American, new to Finland and to the world of RPG publishing, and so for someone of my esteem and gravity to review his booklet must have quite thrilling and, viewed in retrospect, life-affirming.  But enough about me… let’s talk about my review.

With my initial paragraph, I dove in head-first, with a zesty monologue that turned the conversation squarely back onto myself – I wanted to talk some about the product at hand, but such discussion only has value when placed within the context of me… and to that end, I used the words “I”, “my” and “me” 9 times in the opening paragraph, to ensure a properly self-invested backdrop.  Might I have taken a more personal approach?  Perhaps, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

The middle part of the review, I regret to say, bores even me.  Talk of fonts, and sizes, and this and that.  Sigh.  Did my muse depart mid-review?  Professional duty demands such details, but I’m not too big to admit that I made a mistake in steering the conversation away from myself.

Aaaaaand… huzzah!  I brought it back around in the end with a gleeful report on shortcomings.  Amateurish!  Unfit for newcomers!  Shares shortcomings with others of its pedigree!  Raggi thoughtfully checked into the comments with an appropriately reverential coda.  All’s well that ends well, but I can’t help but think it could have been better.  I’ve grown so much since then, and there is so much more me to talk about, I’m not even sure a comparison is fair… but, such is my burden.

Final Score: 41/2 out of 5 polearms.




Hey, it’s me again.  Wow, thank you James.  That was really enlightening.  I hope you’ll drop in again to share more with us.  Happy Holidays, HeartFriend!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 12:22 pm

    I’m glad you guys made up for the holidays. Its important to remember that the light which grows in all of us is intended by the higher powers to be shared like water from the mouth of the unicorn. Buy yourself a cookie today! 🙂

  2. Radovarl permalink
    December 9, 2010 1:37 pm

    How refreshing, a holiday post from JMal that I don’t have to bust out my tattered Wheelock to translate from Latin! Indeed a rare treat!

  3. Radovarl permalink
    December 9, 2010 1:40 pm

    Just out of curiosity, which polearms are we talking about exactly? A true grognard would specify whether the review of the review receives 4 1/2 Bohemian ear-spoons, say, or 4 1/2 glaive-guisarmes, for instance. In retrospective, a disappointing review. And review.

  4. Sykirobme permalink
    December 9, 2010 3:36 pm

    Well done. All you need is the constant qualifying of opinions to the point that it becomes clear that JMal has no opinion at all. And more links to his spurious Gold/Silver/whatever Age bullshit.

  5. Jack Colby permalink
    December 9, 2010 4:40 pm

    Great job. I’d love to see more posts like this, you nailed it.

  6. FASERIP permalink
    December 9, 2010 8:32 pm

    Meanwhile, elsewhere in the OSR, somebody needs free shit in order to promote himself and/or his product.

  7. Josh permalink
    December 9, 2010 11:18 pm

    Almost one of the best JMal impressions ever. You just forgot to lament that he did not get to sit on Gygax’s lap when he created D&D and how JMal wants to go back to the womb.

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