I’ve been listening to a lot of roleplaying podcasts lately and one thing that I always notice when someone is playing D&D or Pathfinder or some other fantasy system, at least when they’re playing them seriously, is that I really lose interest very quickly. I’m fine when they’re playing for laughs, but when they want the listener to take what they’re doing seriously, I just can’t do it. Fantasy roleplaying, to me at least, is a complete waste of time and here’s why.
A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately listening to “let’s play” RPG podcasts and one of them has a serious love of so-called “narrative” games, games that actually accomplishing something isn’t as important as telling a good story.
I hate that.
A little bit ago, I posted about some memories of furry fandom and not long after, I got into a discussion with a friend who was also part of the fandom a long, long time ago. We started talking about roleplaying on the MUCKs and how it really changed over time. One of the biggest changes we recognized was the change from just being in character to playing “scenes” and this really seemed to epitomize the change from just being a fun place to hang out to being a fetish haven.
I was listening to a podcast over the weekend and they were talking about villains and it got me thinking about what kind of villains I like in roleplaying games and what kind I really, really, really hate.
Anyone who has other views, please let me know in the comments, I’d love to have a discussion.
Finally got to sit down and actually play a game of Monster of the Week, a game I talked about a while back and have been really excited to get to the table. I’ve had the game for a while, but I have never had enough people together at the same time to be able to actually play through a game. So, with my oldest daughter home from college for spring break and just before we left for Wondercon, we got in a session, creating characters and jumping into an adventure and honestly, there are some things about the system that I really like and some that I don’t. Some things I both like and hate for different reasons. But here’s my take on the game.
I’ve been roleplaying for a very long time, since the advent of modern gaming back in 1974 with Chainmail, the precursor of Dungeons & Dragons, so you might say I’ve got some experience on the subject, but as time has gone on, it has been more and more difficult to get new people involved in gaming, it seems nobody has the patience for long rulesets and lots of involved planning and thinking. Of course, that’s really where my love of gaming lies, I like complex thinking and planning and, because of my experience, long, involved rulesets don’t bother me a bit.
However, maybe there is a better way.
I really don’t get the opportunity to talk about role-playing much these days, I just have no time and the places I once went to chat I no longer go, so it was great to talk to some people who are old school gamers recently and we got to talk about the kinds of characters that we prefer. By far, I like the anti-hero, which I define as a character who does good without intending to do good. They do it in spite of themselves. So here’s my reason for liking the anti-heroes in RPGs.
It struck me recently, while listening to a board gaming podcast, that there is a significant difference between the modern board game hobby and a hobby that I’ve had for most of my life, playing tabletop role-playing games. I suppose I had known it for a long time but I had never really recognized it, although I think it is an important and significant divergence between the two otherwise similar hobbies.
That difference is, board games tend to focus on buying new games constantly, while RPGs focus on playing the same system almost exclusively for a long time.
It’s funny, when you plan these things far in advance, they tend to get lost in the inevitable flood of posts that come along thereafter. I had meant to write this post months ago but you know how that goes. So here goes Building a Better World Part 13.
War is an inevitability in any space epic and for a lot of people, the bigger the war, the better. Getting virtually every major species involved in a single, long-running, all-out war gets a lot of people drooling and that’s exactly what I did here. This isn’t the only big war I’ve had by any means but it isn’t known by any pithy names like The Great War or The Universal War, in fact, it is remembered primarily because of it’s last battle and that’s why it was called The War of the Aquarian Void.
On a recent episode of The Secret Cabal podcast, they talked about tailoring RPG clues to the players and they said that players shouldn’t be expected to be Sherlock Holmes, just because they might be roleplaying him, they’re just normal people.