Hints, tips, advice and wisdom for players and runners of role-playing games

Someone Cast Resurrection

In Community, Playing, Storytelling on June 26, 2013 at 10:26 am

IMG_3340No one wants to admit it, but playing role playing games is a dying hobby. The classic days of game stores’ shelves filled with RPG manuals are long past, and even comic book stores (disappearing in their own right) barely stock anything beyond the two main D&D books. Even if the shelf space still existed, there aren’t enough game lines or currently produced books to fill them. The cause of the demise of the industry is debatable. Maybe it was players leaving to play WoW. Maybe it was game developers losing touch with their players. Maybe it was the money lost in pirated pdf’s of their products. Regardless, the number of players is dwindling.

We need to stop hating and segregating, and start acting like a unified community, before the entire hobby slips away. Just because you are a member of the Camarilla doesn’t mean you won’t like a TGN game. Just because you play in TGN doesn’t mean you’ll hate OWbN vampire games. There is bullshit and backstabbing in any organization, and you can choose to keep your head clear of the slinging mud. Playing a character doesn’t require you to play politics.

Playing a good character is, after all, the most important part. Playing a character you love can make even a crappy game enjoyable. A great character transcends specific games. A good character is a good character, and genre is irrelevant. There are very few characters (though I personally believe there are none) that only work in a single genre. The very same well developed character history can be applied to a werewolf, vampire, mage, barbarian, thief or any other archetype/class/creature you might play, with just a little tweaking.

Don’t dismiss a vampire game because you don’t like vampires. Play a good character in any game. Support and encourage other games and their players and storytellers who are in your area. Work with them to coordinate schedules for playing different nights and announce one another’s games during each game wrap. Stop being elitists.

Play.

Play everywhere, often, and don’t let our hobby cannibalize what remains of itself.

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  1. I have often noticed the strange bigotry between my gaming friends. While everyone has their favorite system, style, or setting, it seemed that many people felt the need to mock what they did not play. I too have been guilty of this. When I was a new gamer, I played Magic and Warhammer and mocked the D&D group. As I tried tabletop and larp games I fell in love with them. This led me to realize that too many players set limits on their on fun. They closed off whole genres because of a perception or single bad experience.

    But we have to look at ourselves too. Gamers are plagued with bad stereotypes and we live up to them. We are too afraid to confront the problem players, fearing that we will lose them. We need to be willing to say take a bath, leave her alone, or stop being aggressive. We need to be willing to have a standard of behavior and enforce it. Any other club, sport, or group would be willing to confront, what we put up with. Gaming should be inclusive, not elitist, but we have to push our players to be better.

    Finally, I think we lack review. Everyone is so thrilled to get to play, they don’t care if the game is any good. Systems, settings, and individual games need to be open to critical review. If we want to be taken seriously as an art, we have to be judged like one. We all complain about a bad game or system, but we need to be able to say why its bad or good and needs to change. Plus, good games and systems will be recognized.

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