OSRCon Is Cancelled

Sigh. Where to start.

How about reading the Kickstarter for Dwimmermount? Read the latest report from the beleaguered project manager. He’s serious when he says he thinks James Maliszewski is out of his mind. What sells it is the compassion he has for the James. He’s not angry. He’s trying to fathom the situation James is subjecting him to.

And then comes the news James isn’t paying freelancers. It’s starting to look like malfeasance. Three months and no news.

So, from a publicity point of view, the Grognardia blog is dead to OSRCon. And it was the publicity mainstay last year. Now we have no publicity at all. Sure, there are a host of things that could be done to supplement that. None of them make creating the event any easier.

And then there’s the library. They are not thrilled at all that I tried to take the event to Ryerson, failed at that, and came back to them. In fact, they are so angry, they are changing the rules for OSRCon.

Let me back up by saying the director of special collections always resented how much OSRCon had the nerve to charge – $25. She thinks that’s outrageous. It doesn’t matter that last year I brought in somebody from Arizona or that I took a personal loss. It’s effrontery. Pure effrontery. The effrontery of people getting above themselves. The Pulps Show charges $3 dollars for admission. Why shouldn’t that be good enough for Dungeons&Dragons?

One of the things they’re accusing me of now is trying to create a money-making venture out of the event. It’s hard to refute an accusation, when it’s the first you’ve heard of it. They’re going to charge me $1000 for using the basement. A representative of the Lillian H. Smith library told me that flat out.

They also said that I’m not doing enough to represent The Merril Collection. I’m pretty sure that everybody who came to both of events over the past two years saw the Merril banner at the ticket table. They’ve visited the RPG display above on the third floor. I can safely say that people who had never heard of the Merril came to OSRCon and heard about it, visited it, etc.

But the coup de grace is the website. It’s too independent. Again they accused me of  “not representing the Merril” so an image link needed to be added. And, you know, for good measure, the whole site needs to be folded into The Friends Of The Merril website. Now on the surface of it, that’s not a really big deal. I mean, who cares? Redirect osrcon.ca to a page on friendsofmerril.org. No real hardship there, right? Wrong. That would mean OSRCon can no longer collect money.

In 2011 I put my personal PayPal button on the The Friends Of The Merril website. I was naive. I told PayPal that the Merril was a non-profit. Soon after they suspended my account. The suspension lasted for six months. I talked to a guy on the phone and learned that if I could not establish that the Merril was a 401 business in America, then I was imperilling PayPal. Placing it in a legal bind. If I swore that the PayPal button would only be used for capitalism, then I could have my account back. I took the pledge. 

The moment I collect money from a button on The Friends Of The Merril site my account will be suspended a second time. This time finally.

Pretty soon I’ll have osrcon.ca folded into friendsofmerril.org. I’ll have a $1000 bill to use the basement. I’ll have no way to collect money. And I’ll have four times the publicity/marketing burden than I did last year.

I’m stopping this before I take anybody’s money, before I’m committed. This started two years ago as a fun experiment. It’s time to get outta Dodge.

About brasspen

Putting on an old school RPG con in Toronto.
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6 Responses to OSRCon Is Cancelled

  1. Angry Monk says:

    I’m sorry to hear all of this. I attended last year’s con and was really pumped about going this year. I had started playing D&D more than 20 years ago, and I had never been to a con. There were no such things in my area. Now that I’ve rediscovered this wonderful past-time, I was also excited that there was a little con (just right for me) to go and meet other people who enjoyed the same thing I did. I hope that this great idea can be resurrected. I hope James M. can get everything all right (he seemed like such a nice guy). Thank you, Chris, for your hard work. I know you must be disappointed. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

  2. So you basically need a free(ish) venue and people to promote it online. I know there are some other bloggers that attend. I know that from other groups I’ve been in that venue space isn’t cheap. I was really looking forward to this.

  3. Kickstarter for venue costs? I bet the community would get behind keeping OSRCon alive.

  4. olmanfeelyus says:

    Location is always a bear with these things. I think you are making the right choice for your own sanity. Super bad faith behaviour on the part of the Merrill collection. Such a cool place, but it sounds like the people who run it are caught up in that kind of corporate/bureaucratic thinking that is so suppressive to community.

    It’s too bad. But you had a good run.

  5. robertsconley says:

    I will be glad to post any news release or information on my Bat in the Attic blog. I don’t have the readership of Grognardia but I do have a following both on my blog and Google+.

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