Gaming With Disabilities


Hello Suzerainians!

This is a tough post to write. It’s not about news, though there’s news in it. It’s about me, and I don’t write a heck of a lot about me. After all, there are magical realms full of adventure, awesome art, and neat characters to discuss. How could I possibly compete? Right?

Still, here I am. It’s been a month since I posted any news about Suzerain or the Legends Awaken initiative. A month ago we should have released our seven JumpStarts to the Savage Worlds community, and that hasn’t happened yet. That’s on me. I gave the green light for a new rules team to develop SWADE-ready rules for the new edition of Suzerain and the task has overwhelmed them. Mostly, they’re not used to working in a publishing environment, and that lack of experience has cost us a lot of hours. They’ll get there, and the rules are shaping up really well, but I wasn’t able to mentor them through it the way I’d like.

Here’s the dirty secret: a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I already knew I had chronic, non-remitting Crohn’s Disease, but I’d been getting other symptoms for a few years before I plucked up the courage to see a doc to get the diagnosis. My grandmother had Parkinson’s so I’d already guessed what was coming.

Basically, my body is at war with itself. Over time it will destroy me. That’s years in the future, but even now I get slammed by one symptom more than any other: chronic fatigue. Here’s the thing about chronic fatigue - it’s not just a little tiredness. It’s a wall you slam into quite suddenly and within five minutes you’ve gone from 100% energy to having nothing in the tank. Muscles won’t work. The brain goes fuzzy. It’s a “lie down before you fall down” situation, and a shot of espresso or a can of Monster can’t do a thing about it. You just have to sleep it off and hope the wave has washed over you and receded by the time you wake again.

When you run three games a week, let alone run a gaming company, that can be quite a predicament!

The start of 2019 has been a super-stressful time with me needing to sell our home and buying a new home closer to my wife’s work. That’s my day job until the process is finished, and Savage Mojo has to take a back seat. Arrogantly I assumed I could do both with neither role suffering, but just like a roleplayer running two characters in a campaign, both suffer.

So this is a public apology to you, who should have seven amazing adventures in your hand right now. They’re coming, and they look great, but it’s not here now. It’s also an apology to the rules team for running out of energy sometimes and unfairly leaving them to figure things out on their own. Stay with it, everyone. Amazing things are happening... although a little slower than intended :-)

Savage Mojo has long had a policy of acceptance and tolerance towards gamers with physical, mental or social impediments in their life. That goes back waaaaaay before I became a Parkinson’s sufferer. We talk about the Legends Awaken initiative being a safe haven full of supportive, understanding people and we mean every word of that.

This is the longest piece I’ve posted since the new savagemojo.com went up last year, and maybe it says the least. However, if it says one thing it’s this:

Gaming with a disability can be hard. I get that, I really (really) do. I’ve been tempted to shut down some of my weekly games, but then I realized... not gaming with a disability would be even harder. There are stories that need to be told. That need to be shared. I’d love to hear about yours.

EDIT: Kind people have asked whether we need any help at Savage Mojo to make the dream happen, and thank you for that. Yes indeed. If you have a little time each week and could reliably help out, then please let me know (any of the contact methods on the bottom of the front page work). There are many tasks that need doing, and we already have a community of kindhearted volunteers so we’d be delighted to have you join us in bringing Suzerain to the world.

Happy gaming,

-MMK

Publisher, Savage Mojo



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