Monday, February 18, 2019

A Note on Reviews

Most of my reviews are products that I have purchased. When this is not the case, I will note that in the review. This has still only happened a few times since I've been doing these reviews, but I will definitely disclose that fact whenever it comes up.

I would love to receive more review copies. That said, I feel like I need to make something very clear about review copies.

  • If you send me a review copy, you haven't sent me a gift
  • If you send me a review copy, that isn't payment for writing a review
  • When I write a review, I'm not doing marketing for your company or product, I'm writing a review
It is true that sometimes I will pick one product over another to review because I want that product to get more exposure. But I'm still writing a review first and foremost, and I'm still doing so because I'm assuming better-known products will get discussion and analysis in other venues.

Small Neighborhoods

I think there are times that because the RPG industry is a smaller hobby in a lot of ways, there is a lot of informality to it. This is cool. People talk online, they meet at conventions, and they actually play games together. Regardless of familiarity, it cheapens the concept of a review to expect a review to serve primarily as a marketing tool. It certainly can, but that's not its primary purpose.

I want to tell you what is in a product, how it expresses the material within it, and how the product has made me feel as I read it, and why. I don't want you to just take my opinion and make it your own. I want you to see what my priorities are, and to measure those against your own, so you can decide if the things that are important to me are also the things that are important to you.

I try to do reviews on games that are relatively current, but again, I can't always hit whatever target dates you may want me to hit. This isn't my full-time job. This is something I do because I love the hobby, and I love to discuss and analyze products. I have more flexibility to schedule on my own blog, but even then, I have a finite amount of time to do what I do.


There are better gaming journalists in the world. There are better reviewers in the world. But this is what I do, and why I do it. If you view this process as you giving me a gift, so I will say nice things about that gift, not only are you disrespecting what I do, you are disrespecting the concept of reviews. 

Please understand the above if you want to send me something to review. Please understand the way I write my reviews and what I look at. I say this because you may not care for how I review things. You may not care for how I write my articles. This is all fine, but if you don't care for how I do things, please don't expect that I'll change the way I do what I do to fit what you want to be done.

You may think the RPG hobby isn't supposed to be that formal. You may think that reviews aren't something important to the hobby. That's fine. If you do hold those views, however, please don't send me any gifts in an attempt to hire me for temporary marketing. That's not what I'm doing.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Dual Gnome Action This Week

This week has be super busy at work, and I'm neck deep in fairly involved reviews for both the Stew and for this blog in the coming weeks.

If you happen to be in the mood, and oddly follow me here but not on the Stew, I've got two separate things going on at Gnome Stew this week.

First, I've got a review up for Shadow of the Century, a Fate Core setting for over the top, gonzo 80s action movies (think of a setting where Buckeroo Banzai and Big Trouble in Little China could both happen, and you're off to a good start).

Shadow of the Century Review at Gnome Stew

In addition to my review this week, I'm also on this week's Gnomecast, talking with Ang and Camdon about initiative and managing turns in games.

Gnomecast #59--Roll of Initiative

Hopefully I'll have more content up here on the blog soon, once everything levels out, and nothing is frozen solid, and . . .

You get the idea. Oh, one more bit of gnome gnews:

I won't be on the stream this time around, but I'm pretty excited about this.