On the Hateful Campaign

Bryce Lynch wrote a review of my module, Eyrie of the Dread Eye. He tagged it as "The Best" which I am honored and humbled by.

Sadly, wherever I stand to gain some ground so I can continue to produce works, all of which I hope are high quality, there are people who are engaged in a campaign of harassment against me. They show up wherever I am mentioned and spread lies about me, calling me alt-right, implying I'm a racist, and other hateful extremest rhetoric.

I have a million+ words on this blog that anyone who takes the time to check, would find it's not the case. You could check out my inclusive art broadcasts on twitch where I share about my mental illness and decades of service to my country and community.

Below is my reply to the harassment from the review. I'm doing this because there are people engaged in an active campaign of harassment and slander anywhere I attempt to create and share to the community. I would ask that they please stop. This is me publicly asking people to stop harassing and libeling me. It is very important that we do not respond to extremism, hate, and harassment in kind. Please do not—I don't share too much of my personal beliefs and politics on my blog, because that's private. If I believe differently then you, well, I served my country so you could. We don't have to share political views for me to produce great gaming content. I am only sharing here to refute the lies.

The important thing here, is that the toughest reviewer on the internet thinks what I wrote stands among the best work produced. . . and it's only my first. Wait for the next couple of things I have coming out and I'll try and top what I've already done.

Here was my response.

"Hi! I’m the author!

My name is Courtney Campbell. I vote democrat, have donated to both Yang and Warren so far in the coming election. I’m a veteran of the USMC. I’ve spent 20 years doing social work with disadvantaged youth, including 5 years in alaska working with native youth.

I’m an independent creator. I’m sad that people feel the need to harass me and punch down at people who struggle with mental illness (I have a class A personality disorder that causes me significant issues with, well, life). I’ve spent my whole life working at near minimum wage to help disadvantaged youth, mostly of color. When I worked downstates it was mostly adolescents who were victims of family abuse.

I’m horrified there’s people who show up wherever I am being discussed to spread lies about me. I honestly don’t have any idea what to do about it.

I’m shocked and honored brice took the time to review my module and considered it one of the best. I worked very hard on it, and as noted, it isn’t designed to be read, it’s designed to be played.

I am certain if you read my blog or check out my twitch channel or come on to my discord, you’ll find a welcoming inclusive place where we talk about gaming, support other low income people who suffer from mental illness, and share support for each other.

I’m incredibly thankful I can eek out an existence publishing game materials. The fact that someone I respect as much as Bryce likes my work makes me feel like perhaps I can continue to be of service to society.

I don’t have any hate in my heart, and I’m sad people choose to engage in this campaign of hateful attacks.

Bryce, Thank you. To answer your question, I rewrote the 5th edition version of the adventure extensively to fit the style of superheroic play that 5th edition expects. It should work for 5th edition the same way it works for the best version of Basic/Expert in print, Adventure, Conqueror, King."

Stop the hate. Let's do better.

Hack & Slash 
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  1. To address the obvious comment, there is no way for me to continue to be published and pass the increasingly severe purity tests people subject me to. There isn't a publisher anywhere who doesn't engage in behavior that isn't objectionable.

    So my option is to either fail as a creator because I'm not allowed to have anyone publish my work, or talk with publishers and have my work published.

    Which publisher is free from sin? Raggi? Frog God? WotC? Autarch? Evil Hat? Every single publisher is ran by people who do things, some of which are shitty. It is not ok to harass me because I make a living by working with people who someone thinks did a bad thing once.

    I mean, it's not ok to harass anyone, but people will show up soon to justify why it's ok to punch down at people. It's not. If I did something horrible, let's have it so I can address it.

    Otherwise, all I can do is let you know that if you're that angry, I'm sorry. It's a huge burden to carry. I'd be glad to talk to you about it over e-mail, in private, in public, on video, whatever! But if not, it doesn't justify harassment. Especially from people who are supposed to be making the community more inclusive.

    1. Well, Raggi/LotFP, Frog God, and WotC may not be free from sin, but they're all pretty inoffensive, all things considered, and yeah, there are degrees of sin. No one should be asking for absolute purity, but there are things that go too far. Alex Macris is the right-hand man of Milo Yiannopoulos, about whom it's been said that "Based on internal emails and documents from [Breitbart News] … [Milo] worked to develop and advance an agenda that embraced … values … from neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups" (redactions and emendations to focus on the salient part, but you can read the whole thing in the Forbes article if you think I might be unfairly characterizing the article's claims). This occurred during the time that Macris has been instrumental to Yiannopoulos's neo-Nazi-promoting activities and his attempts to paint them as some kind of mainstream conservatism.

      Now, it's true that Macris has alleged that Yiannopoulos has publicly repudiated neo-Nazism and the alt-right, but the internal emails from Breitbart paint a very different picture than Macris's attempts at damage control, so I think that those can be dismissed as mere attempts at PR spin.

      I say these things as a former fan of ACKS, and as someone who also won't be buying anything from Evil Hat or Green Ronin anytime soon, either, for different reasons but also related to their shitty politics. Heck, for that matter, I pretty consistently support BRW Games both by buying products and pledging Kickstarters, so it's not a liberal/conservative tribalism thing to me (and, yeah, I do realize that Joe Bloch would probably disagree with my stance toward Autarch, but I honestly don't care).

      So, as far as I'm concerned, since you sort of ask, I for one am not angry with you. Publish through whoever you want. If it's through Autarch, I won't be buying it, and I think that it's fair to let you know that it is purely because of the publisher you've chosen to work with.

    2. I'm with faoladh. I don't hate you, and I'll still support you through your Patreon, because your work is awesome. But I hate Nazis, and Macris has devoted years of his life to amplifying and aiding Nazis. So... no hate for you, tons of hate for Macris, and I encourage you to hang out with a better class of publisher so the Nazi stench doesn't start to rub off on you.

    3. Guys, What I would suggest is you just ask Alex. I had the same concerns. I asked him.

      He said he was shocked and blindsided when the horrible racist stuff came out, and had legal restrictions that prevented him from severing the relationship immediately, as well as no disparagement and non-disclosure clauses.

      I thought that response was bullshit, and so I talked with him for a few months, challenging him on his thoughts and beliefs. He's held a position and belief that everyone-all living creatures share the same spark. He says what is in him, is in other people. I've never seen him council hate or any kind of racism.

      I wouldn't think or expect anyone to believe me, I think that's a stupid thing to do, so I say, go ask him yourself. Do I agree with his political positions? HEEEELLLLL NO. But you know, I served my country so that he could think what he wants. America is freedom. America is a melting pot. Alex Marcis is not a Nazi, no is he filled with hate.

      Don't take my word for it though.

      That said, You should do what you are doing! You should support who and what you want. I'm not locked into any exclusivity. My next publisher is Raggi. There will be someone complaining that he's tained because of Zak.

      It is just not possible—I am not successful enough to turn down opportunities. I have responsibilities to my daughter, to my community. Perhaps someday I can eschew publishers.

      But since I'm a working writer and author, and it's my literal job to have people publish me—I have to accept that no one will ever allow me to pass a purity test.

      I'd really like to thank you for your comments, and just wanted to let you know I share your concerns. I am a flawed person, and I'm striving to be better. For me, that means less arrogant, less judgmental, and more humble. Trying to love everyone is hard.

      Thank you for taking your time to connect with me. I appreciate you.

  2. Time to go it without other publishers

    1. I mean, I do that. But I'm also trying to not be homeless. Gotta pick your battles.

  3. I consider myself a friend of the author. I see no hatred in his heart. If someone came to me and told me he was an alt-right racist, I would take a spit take from laughing so hard. I don’t believe that nonsense for a second.

    As long as there is an internet, there are going to be people on it who think it’s okay to wage undeserved hatred campaigns on people they decide they don’t like for whatever reason.

    Don’t let them get you down. The people who matter know the truth. We know better. Keep on keeping on.

  4. Honestly, I would take to a lawyer that does defamation litigation. It's ugly, it's slow but there are people trying to take away your ability to make a living. That is actionable under civil law besides being a dick move.

  5. Bravo for choosing compassion rather than anger in your response.

  6. Hey Courtney thanks for posting this in such a positive way. Dragonsdoom is right, compassion and truth is the way forward - these people want to draw you into an angry rant or argument.

    They will then use that as ‘further proof’ against you (as if the initial slander isn’t a load of rubbish..)

  7. Hang in there. You are one of the greats. Love your blog and your work.

  8. I hope that those harassing you open their eyes to what they are doing. I've never understood why so many people hate so many others. Thank you for being a beacon of civility. :-)

  9. Never seen anything shitty about you anywhere
    Your a top bloke

    It would be nice to have a loose alliance of independent publishers perhaps

  10. It is rare to see someone so defamed respond with such dignity. Courtney, I hope it’s ok to use your first name, even though we’ve never met or talked, your blog is one of the highest quality resources for GMs on the internet.
    Unfortunately, we live in an age whereby anyone in the public eye attracts unbridled hatred from some quarter or other. I believe that the quality of your work will withstand such nonsense. Please don’t stop creating, yours is a rare talent.

    1. Yeah, man. For good or ill, I use my real name on the internet. You are welcome and thanked for using it.

      Thank you.

  11. As a controversial man once said: "It has to be this way. You are not a dollar bill, to be liked by everyone." Keep doing your thing man. I'll be reading your stuff as long as I'm still chucking dice, and that won't stop til the day I die.

  12. I'd be done with Macris in a hurry if someone could produce actual examples of extremist or hateful things that the man has actually said. I certainly haven't heard of them myself. So far as I can tell from the rare times when he expresses discernible political stances, he's taken a fairly benign set of classically libertarian positions that are entirely free of racism. In tone, he always seems like an enormously gentle and courteous person.

    I'm a longtime ACKS fan, and these attempts to blacklist authors are increasingly horrifying to me. At this point I'm committed to buying new Autarch releases just as a statement against the new litmus tests being used to enforce ideological homogeneity on the RPG community. The more intolerant the attacks, the more strongly I'll oppose them.

  13. Alexander Macris is a kind man. He is also a business professional. Courtney Campbell is a kind man. He is also a business professional. A Professional works with whom they are paid to work. Both of these men have military experience of some kind. That kind of training teaches us that as Military Members we are required to work with folks from all different backgrounds ethically, culturally, politically and religiously. We may have vehement disagreements about any one of those topics but at the end of the day, the mission still has to get done.

    When many veterans, such as myself get out of the service transitioning to civilian life is a chore. Most civilians who have never served automatically assume that their needs, desires, wants should be front and center over whatever their employer, contractor, benefactor requires/demands. This has only been reinforced over and over as time has gone on. As a Veteran this line of thinking is alien.

    What should also be noted is in the case of Macris, he was hired to manage Milo. As a Manager, he is paid to look out for his client's interests. Not love his client, ascribe to their notions, or even want to work for them. But once that contract is signed, for the term that is your job, your "mission". Macris worked for him until his services were no longer required and they parted ways. Macris is no longer associated with Milo, has nothing to do with Milo and folks that keep spinning this probably need to do this clever thing called "research".

    As for Courtney, we have had several discussion on discord under my name Christopher Bishop. Some of them have been political, societal or otherwise. We have not agreed on some, and while he might have been slightly sarcastic in a comedic fashion he has never once been rude, angry or unprofessional. I have watched a few of his patreon broadcasts and he was nothing but grateful, kind and polite in the broadcasts I watched.

    I may not agree with everything he says. But I respect his right to say it and would give my last breath to support that right. In no fashion are either of these men nazis, bigots or sexists. Not in text conversations, videos, nor have they been that way in verbal chat.

    My Two Cents!

  14. I just went and picked up the module on Drivethru, if Bryce puts it in the best category. I'm in.


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