Yesterday, I posted a quick note letting everyone know that I had to push back the release of this week’s Feature Article and Megadungeon post by a day. So you were probably expecting a new article today. It was a simple delay due to some job interviews and general chaos and the need to give the Feature a second rewrite because I wasn’t happy with the original and I don’t like to release crap. If you follow me on Twitter, though, you probably already know something pretty awful happened shortly after I put that post up.

Firstly, yesterday, I offered up a crappy Unity game I had done as part of my coursework for an online course I had been taking casually. I thought people might find it funny and I was proud of my work, so I figured I’d give it away. But I f$&%ed up the links. The PC link didn’t work and the Mac link had the file structure screwed up. So here are the links again. They work now. I would have fixed them yesterday, but disaster kind of struck. I’ll get to that.

Download Escape the Angry GM’s Prison for PC
Download Escape the Angry GM’s Prison for Mac OSx

I got robbed. That’s not a metaphor for anything. Someone broke into my apartment and took a bunch of stuff. If you don’t care about the whole story – and why should you – I’ll skip to the end. I’m going to get the damned Monster Building Article up between tonight and tomorrow sometime. It’s going to happen. Because I made a f$&%ing promise and you people have pledged a lot of money in return for at least one good article a week. I believe in that promise. And the support everyone has shown me has been invaluable. It’ll be here. Megadungeon has been pushed off a week. I can’t help that.

The Angry GM Live Show is postponed. Unfortunately, I a bunch of electronic equipment, including my AV stuff that allows me to record that s$&%. Once I can replace it, we’ll get that back online. But I’m also cash-strapped right now and I’m doing my best. Same with the online game. In addition to my AV equipment, I also lost a portable hard drive with a LOT of data archived on it. Nothing sensitive or useful to anyone. It was mostly just gaming related. But that was a crippling loss. For the same reason, I won’t be Livestreaming video games anytime soon. Not even PC stuff. In the end, though, the articles will keep flowing. And they, thankfully, didn’t get my laptop because I had it with me.

So that’s it. That’s where we are at right now. But, if you’re curious what happened, because the Twitter Tweets were confusing and disjointed and may have ended up with me wandering the streets homeless in the middle of the night depending on what you saw, I’ll share the story.

Yesterday, I went to the local coffee shop in my neighborhood as I do almost every morning. I posted the update I mentioned and then worked on finishing the rewrite for the Monster Building article. But the WiFi there was being an a$& and I was having trouble hitting my Google Drive. When I came home to finish the work and format it so I could post it, I discovered someone had broken into my apartment.

I’m on the ground floor. Someone managed to dislodge and shove aside my window air conditioner and work their way in through the small gap. They grabbed my backpack and filled it up with all of my game consoles and video games, a bunch of computer peripherals and equipment, what cash I had in the apartment, the chargers for all of my electronic devices, and a bunch of other odds and ends. In the end, I kind of count myself lucky because most of what they got was just entertainment and luxuries. Nothing I’ll die without. Nothing that I can’t eventually replace. Someday. Because, right now, I’m still struggling to find work here in the city. The Patreon is keeping me alive and fed, but I need part-time income to supplement that. They did manage to ruin a couple of things that did hurt. Break some stuff. And they got a few things by accident that they didn’t want because they were in the backpack. And they grabbed a checkbook, but I froze my account immediately. I’ll have to get my finances squared away. Fortunately, I had my cellphone and laptop with me and they didn’t take the TV, the printer/scanner, or anything else bulky. They also rooted through a few private, personal items. And that made me feel sick and ashamed and violated.

The police were polite and made a report, but the evidence tech was a massive asshole who lectured me about the state of my apartment, how easy I had made it for the criminal, and how hard the fact that I didn’t clean the exterior windows or dust my entertainment unit recently made it for him to get fingerprints. Fuck him.

It took eight hours for the evidence tech to show up after the robbery, and during that time I couldn’t touch or disturb the apartment, so I was pretty much unable to do anything. Not that I wanted to do much anyway. So it was a lot of sitting around and assuring friends and family over the phone that everything was all right.

After I sorted things with the police, I knew that, at minimum, I would need to be able to charge my iPhone immediately so I set out to buy a replacement charger. But not before removing the window air conditioners and screwing the bars back into my windows. I left the apartment and discovered I was locked out of the building.

See, the day before, the exterior side door that I use (along with one another tenant) had been replaced. And new locks were installed. But the new locks were supposed to be keyed to the old keys. Well, turns out they weren’t. And I discovered it first. The other tenant was nowhere around – he comes and goes and keeps an odd schedule – and the landlord doesn’t live onsite. And she’s not reachable outside of normal business hours.

Fortunately, two friends who live in the city let me crash on their couch for the night. This morning, I still could not reach the landlord (turns out she had a new phone number and I only had the old one), so I eventually had to shell out for a locksmith to break me into the apartment. The irony of course is that, had I not replaced the bars on the windows, I could have broken in myself.

There are a few other minor screwjobs mixed into all of this and a few personal details about some of what was damaged and lost that I’m omitting. But that’s what happened. That’s the whole story, for the most part. Which is why my article is late. I like to think it’s a pretty damned good excuse all told. But I am still sorry that it’s getting held up. I hate not living up to my promises, no matter the reason.

In the end, though, I am okay. And what was lost was just stuff. Yeah, it really kills me to lose my entire collection of consoles and video games. And a few other things that got wrecked really hurt. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing I can’t live without. Losing some of my computer setup is harder. That stuff, I will have to replace. But that’s going to be as I can afford it. But I am okay. I’m not hurt. I have a roof over my head and electricity and food and gas and water. And I have all my tabletop RPG stuff because the idiot thieves had no idea how valuable all of that stuff is. So, while I appreciate all of the offers of support I’ve gotten, in the end, all I really lost was a bunch of toys. And no one needs toys. If you have extra cash and want to help out, winter is coming, the holidays are coming, and there’s a lot of people in the world who need a lot of the things that I take for granted. Think about making a cash donation to a local charity.

If you want to support me, just keep reading. And commenting. And talking. And having great games. That’s honestly more important to me. I know how many people read my site. And I read all the comments and threads that grow up around everything I post. That keeps me going. And have patience with me. I really want to get all the Patreon rewards off the ground and keep the stretch goals going, but it has been way harder to start a new life in a new city than I ever thought possible. I will make good on every promise I’ve made. And, most importantly, you will get a Feature Article every week.

42 thoughts on “Setback

  1. Did you have any sort of Renters Insurance or anything like that? I know they’re generally not that helpful, but it sounds like any little thing could help out in this situation.

  2. Good luck getting everything sorted. Not sure what else to say, you seem to be handling it well. Just didn’t want to read this and not post anything.

  3. Man, that blows. Your articles are mostly the only things rpg worth reading. They made me think about – and appreciate narrative structure. Not just in dnd. They gave me that first glimpse behind the scenes.

    Anyway. Stay strong. Or not, but then get back up. All super hero movie style 😉

  4. Hey,

    I just want to say, Angry, that without your articles on action adjudication I probably never would have tried DMing, and my players would be playing magic every Wednesday instead of 5E. You make a difference.


  5. Hey Angry,

    Glad you’re alright. Violence against your stuff is better than violence against your person.
    Having grown up in a house that was prone to break-ins, I think it’s often the feeling of being invaded that hurts the most.
    Stuff can be replaced, but it can take awhile to get over the heebiejeebies of some punk ass invading your space.

    And man… that “accidental” stuff is SUCH a pain in the ass. Whatever, take my money… but leave my stinkin’ house keys, drivers license, key-cards and crap alone… they don’t help you, they just make my life more miserable than the break in itself already did! Yay, you got my stuff… don’t rub my damn face in it.

    Hope the bureaucracy of getting all your “have to have” things replaced goes alright… better yet if they catch the bastard and you get some things back.

  6. Holy cow, what a terrible series of sucker punches 🙁 Kudos for keeping a positive perspective, but man I’m sorry that happened. For what it’s worth, I’m glad you’re safe and can rebuild what you lost. Best of luck!(gotta be better than the luck you currently have?)

  7. Sorry to read that – most unfortunate. Patreon is the way to go I think. You know, a lot of people would enjoy to have you master a session for them. Why not have a pledge level at 50$ per week, limited to 6 seats, which guarantees games, let’s say on a friday night? Anyway, first thing I thought when I saw your 25 seat pledge level all booked out.

  8. I sincerely hope that that everything goes amazing for you from here on out. Goodluck, dealing with these difficult circumstances and know that there are a lot of people out there who wish you the best!

  9. Really sucks that happened to you Angry! Human kind can suck at times. Hope your situation gets better soon. I have been a fan of your work since your 4e posts on Schrodinger’ Dungeon article (forgive the wrong title but you get the point).

    Thanks for your work and take care.

  10. I’m really sorry, Angry. 🙁 I hope things work out for you soon.

    Take as long as you need on those patreon rewards. I don’t mind waiting, and I’m sure the other backers feel the same. I’m just glad my pledge helps you in some small way; the reward levels are just a bonus.

  11. Take a breather and take all the time you need Angry. I know what it feels like to be robbed like that, and for whatever consolation this may be, you got several of your readers hoping everything works out fine and that you manage to get back on your feet asap.

    You, your safety and (in)sanity matter a lot more than your awesome articles 🙂

  12. Holy carp. That bites.

    Having had my home broken into a few times in my life (twice when I lived with my parents and once when I owned my own home) I can relate to the feelings. Like you said, stuff is just stuff. It can be replaced eventually. The feelings of having your personal space violated is really the worst.

    Anyway, this is about you. You really are a person of integrity and your fans (myself included) understand and appreciate your efforts to keep things moving forward despite setbacks. Thanks a lot for all that you do. Thanks for the articles and entertainment and even the things you’ve posted that make me think “What on this green earth’s is he even thinking?!?!?!?”

    We’ll all wait as long as we need to for what you do. Thanks again!

  13. You know what shocks me. How is Angry not a consultant for the various RPG companies out there? Why isn’t WotC, for example, commissioning him to write the DMs Companion book or something like that? Angry has an incredibly readable style. As posted above, this is the best how to RPG content on the web. Someone give this man a job!

      • If I’m ever in Chicago I’ll look forward to buying you a beer and hearing the story! Looking forward to your published adventures very much!

      • I’m sure pointing out flaws in people’s production and marketing doesn’t win you any friends in a Corp$ environment- and THAT’S how we get those craptastic previous Dungeons & Dragons movies, ladies & gentleman.

        Ugghhh, dude, my deepest sympathies! Having lived in Philly for the better part of a decade, I can speak to the challenges of an urban environment. One little tidbit of advice is that when you put out your trash, turn the boxes of anything alluring to would-be thieves inside-out and only set it out the morning garbage is collected. Though I haven’t had a ton of interaction wih you, Scott, I think you’re a genuinely awesome person and I’d love to be able to sit-down to a beer with you some time! -Nerdarchist Ryan

  14. That’s awful. Sorry to hear that. Take your time, Angry. I’m not donating because I want your backer awards. I’m donating because you provide a service I am glad to have, and I can wait until you are ready to deliver again. We all get hit with setbacks, so take your time and keep up the awesome. I’m sure all your other supporters feel the same way.

  15. Just want you to know in your time of difficulty that you’ve made me a way better DM and that I love your posts. Sorry for your loss, but I’m glad you’re not bodily injured. Keep the up the awesome work 🙂

  16. Thanks everyone for the support. And I appreciate that you want to help me out. But, look, when I think about it, I’m a really lucky guy. Yeah, I’m having a rough time right now and I’m struggling, far from friends and family, and I’ve had a couple of shitty setbacks, but…

    Right now, I have a roof over my head and food and everything I need to survive. Its a bare bones sort of existence right now, but I can survive. And the best part is, that is all coming from the fact that people love what I do and are willing to throw a few bucks at me a month to keep me doing it. That’s not something everyone can say. Yeah, in the long run, I can’t live off the Patreon and I wouldn’t want to. You never know when that will go belly up and you never want to take it for granted. But it’s keeping me alive. And it also means I can devote most of my time to doing what I love, creating, and helping people enjoy their games more. And it means I can work on publishing games and supplements instead of just analyzing them.

    I’m lucky. And every one of you people commenting already made that happen. And honestly, the best part is hearing from people who think I’ve made their games better. Because – aside from all the Angry bluster – that’s all I ever really wanted to do. I love games and I wanted to share that love. That passionate, angry love.

    So, you know what? I’m out a few video games. I’m not going to be watching any TV any time soon. And I’m going to be struggling a little harder for a little while. But I’m still way ahead of the game. And I’m grateful for that.

    Thank you all for making that happen. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

    For those asking through various channels: no… keep the GoFundMes, don’t pump your pledges, I’m doing okay. I don’t need it. We all have struggles and I’ve got a lot more to carry me through mine than most people do right now. But thank you for offering and asking.

    ~ Scott “Angry” Rehm

    • You’re taking this far better than I would be in such a situation, and I have to say I commend you for that.

      Just remember you have a lot of people out here in the interwebs that care for you and will do whatever they can to help you through this. Stay strong and things will work themselves out…

  17. So sorry to hear this. I hope you get things back on track soon. Thanks again for all your awesome advice, it’s definitely making the game I run more fun for my players.

  18. Hey Angry GM, so sorry to hear about your place getting broken into. I’ve been meaning to send you a story about how much you’ve helped me and the kids I play with, but this has finally gotten me off my butt to do it. Spoiler alert: it ends with you saving a kid’s life.

    I run a gaming club for teens at the high school where I teach, and every week I DM a 5e game for these five awesomely nerdy boys. Each one has their own interesting story, but there is one who has been suffering from some serious depression. D&D has been a real bright spot in his life, but I had no idea how much until this week, when his counselor came up to me and said that D&D literally saved his life. It was a constant source of joy that gave him something to look forward to, and made it possible for him to work through his demons.

    Truth is though, I almost quit DMing early on. When I first started, I kind of hated it. I loved the preparation, but I always felt like I did a shitty job at the table. Reading your articles has made it a lot easier. There was at least one article where you straight up said “Look, you’re going to suck for awhile until you get enough experience to feel like you’re sorta good.” and that resonated with me, And so I just sucked it up, kept going, and now I have a great time. And apparently so do the kids.

    And get this: next week, this boy is going to DM his first game. And he’s so excited, his counselor tells me. She doesn’t have a clue what D&D is, but she said “And he’s so excited to be the ‘Master’ or whatever you call it, and he’s just a different kid than he was five or six months ago.” Kids are lining up to be in his game, and I’ve sent him your articles to get him off on the right track.

    So, thanks so much for all you do.

    • I didn’t save a kid’s life. You did. You had to take the advice and you had to stick with it. All I did was give you the tools. Still, I’m glad to be your tool.

      That didn’t come out right.

      Thank you for sharing that story. And I wish both you and that kid all the best gaming forever.

  19. “I was robbed, I’m sorry.”
    Well you shouldn’t be, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in any way your fault. I hope everything will get on track finally and you’ll be able to feel at home in Chicago sometime soon.
    and this might sound weird, but it’s actually good to hear that you can take it like this “all I lost was mostly just luxuries, I’ll live”. I think it’s important to be able to know the true worth of things and be able to let go stuff that is not essential. I know, it sounds kinda preachy, but still I’m kinda happy and proud of you. Keep hanging in there 🙂

  20. Just going to follow up with support – glad you’re doing okay given the setbacks, glad you can keep your chin up, and hope you see some of your stuff again! To echo the sentiment, you are, hands-down, one of the best DM resources out there. If I could print out your site and substitute it for the contents of EVERY DMG EVER, games around the world would improve markedly :).

  21. I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, but still wanted to show my thanks and support. I look forward to your articles every week, and I feel for you man. Frickin welcome to Chicago right? But I’m not worried because you’ve got passion for what you do and gratitude in your heart. Don’t sweat the deadlines on our accounts, but if hammering out the work keeps your mind occupied, do what you need to do 🙂

  22. Have you even been in Chicago long enough to accumulate dust on anything? I guess moving in always generates a layer of dust. That cop, though. 🙁

    I haven’t been able to sign up for the Patreon yet – mainly because I’m in a semi-homeless, unemployed situation of my own – but I’m glad that enough other people have done so that you’re staying afloat. That’s really fantastic.

    Be wary, though. What with all these people sending positive energy your way, you might end up collecting too much and exploding, or maybe metamorphosing into a ravid or something. Don’t forget to cling to the correct balance of negativity in your life to balance everything out.

    … Never mind; I almost forgot who I’m talking to. >.>

  23. Hey, that really really sucks for you 🙁
    But I am glad to see you are reasonable about it. Not much people would react in a cool way like that. You’re awesome man, keep it up !

  24. So sorry this happened. My wife and I were robbed a few times last year – it’s devastating. I really look forward to your stuff, especially the Megadungeon stuff, but I can wait.

  25. Glad to hear you’re OK, Angry. Looking forward to more articles whenever you’re able – make sure you take care of yourself first though.

  26. Thought I’d add my support, too. I hope things work out and keep the great articles coming. Your ability to deconstruct, analyze, and assess the game is something I respect and admire. But your ability to go the extra step: construct quality examples that build off of the well-grounded thought process, is truly remarkable. I appreciate the articles. Keep up the great work.

  27. Angry, I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your articles. You put so much thought and research into everything that it just blows my mind. I still haven’t even DM’d my first game, but I’m working on it, thanks to you.

    Keep moving forward with that positive attitude. That angry, positive attitude. I know that with your tenacity you’ll pull right through, stronger than ever.

    All the best and more to you.

  28. Just wanted to chime in. Your stuff is the best on the web, and I look forward to when I can bask in your knowledge daily once more.

    Until then, best of luck, and I will run my game strong in your honor!

  29. I’m a lurker on the site but just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work on the articles and engaging advice, and am glad you’re taking the who break-in in stride – it’s a crappy situation and I hope the thief gets devoured by one of the city’s infamous owlbears. (That’s what Chicago is known for, right?). 🙂

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