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Archive for Gaming

Kobold Press’s Deep Magic 2 Launch

I’m cheating today because work has taken over my life and I like to support my clients.

Kobold Press is a 3rd party RPG publisher (soon to be 1st party with Project Black Flag!). They just launched a new Kickstarter for their book Deep Magic 2. Here’s how they describe it:

Deep Magic Volume 2 is the next installment in Kobold Press’s popular series, presenting potent new options for game masters and players with a penchant for enchantment. . . . And fully compatible with the evolution of the world’s first tabletop RPG!

The great thing about this Kickstarter is that the book will be forward-compatible with the forthcoming Project Black Flag from Kobold Press, so you will be able to play it with an all new system and skip on supporting the world’s first tabletop RPG that shall remain nameless. I hear Project Black Flag will be truly open and have no digital monthly subscription fee.

If you’re semi-illiterate before 10 AM like me, you can watch a video instead!

The team at Kobold Press works really hard on each one of these releases. I’m not involved on the creative side, but I also work hard to help with their websites, so I’m not a neutral third party here. If you support Kobold Press, you support me. So go do that, friends.

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Books, Gaming

Frostgrave Battle Report: The Eclipse

The sudden eclipse was on none of the wizard’s astrological charts. It’s arrival was most unexpected, but not unwelcome.

Eclipses are well-known to be associated with powerful magical surges, and while the wizards who had made camp near the tiny settlement of Hommel were not prepared for it, they quickly flew into action. Mugwump led his band of mushroom folk from the tavern straight into the nearest ruins which were already glittering with newly revealed treasures, perhaps reawakened by the celestial show now unfolding. The Summoner, Dawnbreaker Sweeney, raced out of his library lair with his retinue in tow, ever-eager to capture new treasures and secrets. The newly arrived kobold band led by the wizard Brond interrupted their revelries in the Forest of Hands to also make pursuit. The icy ground began to crackle with arcane energies as the sky grew darker.

With the moon devouring the sun overhead, lines of sight and distances were muddled, even as the wizard’s magics became more powerful. The fungal bear known locally as “Cocaine Bear” made swiftly for the Summoner’s men, taking many arrows into its flanks without effect. A great effort by Sweeney’s thugs were finally able to beat it into submission, all while Mugwump and his apprentice led the others through the village and into the nearest ruined tower.

The Summoner’s troops made headway the quickest, cutting a straight forward path into two ruined houses and quickly located fresh treasures, but were soon bogged down by the arrival of kobolds and mushroom folks hoping to make the steal.

Sweeney himself climbed atop the Hand throne for a better view of the scene, but XXXX spotted him and used a clever push spell to launch him dozens of feet into the air. The Summoner did not recover during the course of the battle, and sadly was not conscious to witness the full eclipse.

So too did Brond fall in battle before the Eclipse had reached it’s zenith, and the only wizard who was left conscious to take notes on the arcane situation was Mugwump, the strangle little mushroom man of unknown origin. He utilized the surge of magical energies to target a thief carrying a treasure across a bridge and catapult him far into an icy river with another use of the Push spell. The treasure Sweeney’s thief carried was lost to the rapid waters, along with the thief.

Unfortunately for him, Mugwump soon fell to the warping of energies of his own failed spellcasting, and a few moments later, in the chaos of battle, Floop, his apprentice, was obliterated by an attack of uncertain provinance. The apprentice was not rescued in the aftermath, and Mugwump will be forced to grow a new one from fresh spores and other ingredients taken from his private stores.

Among other notable events, this scribe is told that Sweeney’s apprentice poured much of his blood into a summoning ritual and brought a major demon onto the field which quickly began to stalk the others. The mushroomfolk’s archers, now able to see better as the eclipse waned, were able to harry it with arrows. It made its way straight for the scrum of kobolds and Summoner’s troops that were skirmishing violently over a single treasure.

As the magical levels returned to normal, the fight seemed to leave the wizards, and a truce was struck to avoid further losses that day. The wizards and their bands made off with the treasure they had already secured: Brond captured one, Mugwump captured two, and Sweeney captured two. One was lost to the bottom of the river, although perhaps some day it will resurface.

There is an uneasiness in the air now amongst the wizards and mercenaries of this region. There are whispers that this eclipse was a herald of something terrible, something that has now awakened and schemes out there in the frozen city. Wizards that have recently departed on expeditions have failed to return. There are also rumors that a new batch of cultists have been spotted making their way through the city, but to what purpose, no one knows. The only thing that is certain in Frostgrave is that things will remain uncertain and ever-changing.

What is this? Each week, I meet with other nerds to play games of the miniatures-agnostic skirmish game, Frostgrave. It’s a cross between an RPG and a miniatures game, with leveling up wizards who learn new spells and gain new treasures. It’s a lot of fun and gives me an opportunity to play in addition to all the RPGs I run for others.

Notes for this session: scenario 50 xp was gained only by Mugwump for being alive in turn 5. We tried a different method of deployment, seeking a way to better balance three players, and all deployed from parts of one end of the board and raced towards the other half where all the treasure was deployed. This resulted in a bit of a bloodbath, but it was a lot of fun. This was the first scenario of the Thaw of the Lich Lord.

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Raising the Black Flag

It’s been a busy day for my clients, and thus it was a very busy day for me. I nearly forgot to write a post, but luckily I can talk about part of the reasons it has been so busy.

All of this activity appears to be at least partially in response to the WotC OGL 1.1 snafu and leak. It’s an absolutely terrible agreement and Wizards of the Coast has misstepped badly with this, it seems. Matt Coville of MCDM has also announced their plans to develop their own system. Just about the only major players we’re still waiting to hear from are Darrington Press (Critical Role folks) and Paizo (Pathfinder folks). I expect we’ll hear something very soon on those fronts.

I expect a Cambrian Explosion of sorts for new fantasy RPG systems, and frankly, I am here for it. Not all of these new creations being announced with succeed, and to some degree, I hope there’s early consolidation of efforts, but I think if we as a community could come together under one flag and create a genuinely open game system, it will benefit us all and provide many people careers and a healthy living despite the best attempts by certain nefarious magic users to eliminate the competition.

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Gaming

What is Frostgrave, Anyway?

I’ve been talking a lot about Frostgrave in my posts, but I haven’t really done any work to explain what that is. Time to fix that!

Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City by Joseph A. McCullough

Frostgrave is a campaign-based, miniatures-agnostic skirmish wargame. Each player control a wizard, their apprentice, and around eight other mooks as they delve into a frozen city, attempting to recover magical treasures and hold off deadly monsters. Miniatures-agnostic means it’s not like a Games Workshop game where you have to buy official miniatures. You can play with pretty much whatever you want. And campaign-based, meaning your wizards gain loot and experience and change from game to game.

For the past several years, I’ve been 3D printing and painting miniatures and terrain to get a group of folks interested in playing.

It’s been something I’ve had an interest in since the early days of the pandemic, but thanks to the pandemic, it took until this past year for me to really get going on organizing and playing. I’ve been running a table of it every Saturday at our FLGS Gamenut (Friendly Local Game Store), for three or four months. Time is a blur these days. Things started out with just me and my friend Gene going head to head, but today, we had five people playing –the most we’ve managed so far, and we have a couple more people who have played in the past or are interested. Growth has been really good, and I’m very happy with turnout lately.

Gene, who also owns Gamenut, has pointed out that the trick to building a play group for these niche games is having one really dedicated person, and in the case of Frostgrave, that has been me. It’s gratifying to me to grow something like this and share my love of the hobby with others. I hope we keep it going and growing because there are all sorts of cool supplements and scenarios I want to play in the future.

Otherwise, not much going on for me today. Yesterday, I finished the first Murderbot novella, All Systems Red, and enjoyed that. I have picked up Lies of Locke Lamora as my next read. I’ve heard so many good things about it over the years, so it’s time to give it a try. After dinner, I painted these two idiots who will die with honor (or not) in Frostgrave games in the future.

A goblin and a thug for Frostgrave.

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white and blue bokeh lights

Gaming, Miniatures

Tips on Running a Murder Mystery RPG Session

I recently ran a session with a murder mystery plot and I found it incredibly difficult to put together compared to one of my more standard style D&D adventures. I read up on the subject some, worked out my plotline, and ran the session all in one day. It was pretty successful, according to my players, so I thought I’d share some tips I have if you want to do something similar in the future.

The best thing to do is start with “who done it” before anything else. Figure out the legitimate facts and the “answer” and work your way backwards. Along the way, develop your cast of characters who are red herrings or other potential suspects. One downside of working this way is that you may discover a character who is a more likely candidate as murderer, but if so, just tweak them in and make adjustments. But starting with the killer means you know your end point, your goal for the players to reach.

For structure, look at existing procedurals for guidance. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. The great thing about being a game master over being a fiction writer is, nobody has any expectations of originality in a game. In fiction, you have to get past the gatekeepers to sell anything and reach the audience, and they want to see things done differently than the way they have before, but if anything, players don’t often want to see things totally new- they want the familiar and fun. For the structure of my dwarven mining family and the murdered patriarch, I borrowed liberally from Knives Out.

Establish a “real” timeline with the facts, then build individual suspect timelines so you can answer the questions the PCs will ask in character. Gaps or conflicts in timelines can be an important clue to discerning players. Really flesh out your supporting cast. Give everyone a beef with the victim so there’s a plausible reason to suspect them all. Your players are going to interrogate them, so you really want to get inside their heads. Try to make them distinct, but again, don’t be afraid to lean into tropes and stereotypes. I have maybe 4 distinct character voices I can do, but you can give them verbal tics or personalities to make them stand out as distinct.

Structure the nature of the relationships such that you can encourage the players to question them in an order that fits your narrative. Giving the right information at the wrong time can completely undermine your structure in a murder mystery. In fiction, the characters figure out the solution at the right time and place for the narrative structure, but you have to work a lot harder when the characters are controlled by real people trying to actually solve the mystery. The only solution I found to this problem is to provide compelling information about everybody and only give clues to eliminate suspects late in the game so that they can begin to narrow things down only after a good build up.

For my mystery, I had four siblings that all stood to gain from their father’s death, and the players naturally took the hint of the birth order to question them, which meant that the actual murderer, the secret fiancee of the youngest son, really only came into the picture late enough that it felt like they were really doing the work to uncover the secrets.

Don’t be afraid for the players to get things wrong. Getting it wrong could end up being just as interesting as getting it right. Getting it wrong could make them new allies or enemies for life. Let the players think they figure it out right if they went entirely off base. Even consider changing your solution to make them feel successful if that matters to you more.

It’s not important here that you tell a good murder mystery on paper. It’s important that you lead an entertaining experience of figuring out a mystery. Let the players enjoy the paranoia of suspecting your entire supporting cast. Have fun listening to them discuss theories and analyze things. That’s where the real fun is, for me — listening to them debate and struggle and theorize. If you can do that, even if the landing isn’t perfect, players will still look back on the session fondly.

For instance, I don’t think that I did the best job of revealing the murderer. Ultimately, I did a good job with the cast and setting up clues, but the murderer was introduced too late and perhaps too obviously. Some lucky insight roles really saw through her – but keeping her introduction until relatively late, and not making her a prime suspect meant that the mystery unfolded at the pace I wanted, just at a minor cost of a little bit of narrative satisfaction that bothered me more than it bothered the players.

Really landing that “surprise” moment of who did it with smart, engaged players is nigh-on impossible, I think, but maybe it can be done. If you have any tips on how to manage that part, I’d love to hear them!

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Five Reasons I Prefer Running Role-Playing Games to Writing Fiction

It’s true. I do, and a testament to this fact is that I’m involved in three games of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons right now, and haven’t really written a story successfully in over a year.  Due to this discrepancy, I’ve been thinking about why that might be.  Here are five reasons I’ve come up with.

Originality doesn’t matter

In my fiction, I work very hard to be as original as I can. If I lean on a trope, I try to subvert it. If I’m inspired by something else, I try to keep that inspiration as hidden as possible.  I work very hard to remain original in my fiction.  I don’t know why.  It’s probably not necessary to be successful. It’s just one of those rules I seem to stick to.

In games I run, all that goes out of the window.  The only hard and fast rule is that I want the players to experience a fun story and just generally have fun. If that means stealing liberally from other sources, I don’t mind.  RPGs wear their influences on their sleeves. They pretty much owe their existence to Tolkien fans, so a little obvious inspiration is accepted and even to some degree encouraged.

No editors.  It’s direct to the intended audience

I don’t mind editors. They do a good job of helping my work improve through their process. But the psychic wear and tear of being a writer is one of being constantly and utterly rejected over and over again. It means that if you measure success in getting your fiction to the reader (which I do), then you’re not going to feel the zing of success very often.   With RPGs, I get to tell stories and I don’t have to worry about selling them to an intermediate who determines if the work is worthy. I produce it. People play it.  There’s no middle man I have to get through. That’s refreshing and good for the soul.

Immediate response

In fiction, getting feedback on a work outside of critiquing is rare, and valuable, but often not very timely.  When running a tabletop game (including “virtual” tables), the feedback is fairly immediate, so long as you pay attention.  A good GM can tell if the players are having a good time, and if not, adjust things accordingly.  There’s little time between what you orchestrate and the reaction of the “audience” (which aren’t really even strictly an audience.  See next item.)

The other players are co-conspirators

We’re fond of saying that writers only bring part of the story, and the reader brings the rest, but I don’t see them in my office typing the manuscript and helping me figure out tricky plot points.  Players in a tabletop game are in on the gag, they’re there to shape things and play their part.  They’re semi-autonomous narrative characters, and as someone who struggles with weak characterization, I very much enjoy out-sourcing that work to sub-contractors.

No writer’s block

Put me in front of a group of eager players, and I will spin a yarn.  I don’t know where it comes from half the time… I do an odd mixture of prep and GMing on the fly. I’m often as surprised by the direction of things as the players might be.  There’s an energy in my GMed games that I don’t capture well in fiction.

I’ve never had GM’s block for more than a day or two.  Given all the reasons above, and their counters on the fiction side, it’s relatively easy to break free.  The problem with fiction is, well, if you want to do it professionally, you cannot make mistakes.  Unless you’re blessed with some remarkable talents, learning to write a good story is like learning to build a bicycle from spare parts.  There are so many moving parts to a story, and getting that right is an outsized effort for the rewards.

A lot of this boils down to me questioning whether i have any interest in being a “professional writer” moving forward, and whether or not I can find the same satisfaction I used to get from writing that I can easily get in the form of playing tabletop RPGs.  I don’t really know the answer to that right now.

The flaw of RPGs is that it’s all work for an audience of 5-6 people.  When it’s done, there’s often little evidence it existed; it’s ephemeral and limited.  Then again, is a short story really all that different anymore?  Certainly very few if any of my stories will outlive me or even their original publications.

Am I done writing fiction? Honestly, I hope not.  I’ve been here before, and it does have a few advantages and thrills over playing around with friends with dice.  It’s entirely possible I wrote this post simply to make myself feel better for utterly failing to produce any in the last 12 months.

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2017: Year’s End Review

I measure three aspects of my life separately: my day job professional life, my writing professional life, and my personal life. It’s important that I compartmentalize these very different aspects of my existence because if one of them is doing somewhat poorly, I can usually count on the others to lift my spirits.

On whole, 2017 has been a profoundly strange year, perhaps the strangest since 2008. I’ll get into the details below for each section.

Web Designer / Day Job Professional Life

We’ve had another record year at Clockpunk Studios in 2017, but I over-worked considerably to accomplish it. I took on too much in limited time frames, and my mental and physical health suffered for it. If we had seen something like 20% growth, that might have felt worthwhile, but it was something more like 3%. It felt like seriously diminishing returns this year.

I still enjoy Clockpunk very much and have no intention of stopping. In late 2017, we added a new major support client, Monte Cook Games. I’ve long been a fan of the man himself, and their new Cypher system is quite enjoyable to play and run. I’m very excited to see what things we will accomplish together.

Having MCG as a major client allows me to reduce the amount of work-seeking I have to do next year. It’s nowhere near enough that I can stop taking on new projects, but it cuts the number of new client sites I have to build to meet my targets in half. This means at the end of the day, I can spend more time working and less time chasing work. It means I can be a little more picky about the kinds of work I do take on, which is important. I had some less than ideal projects this year–not bad clients, but projects for which I wasn’t the best fit, I suspect.

In order to even get to “even” and not lose ground, I also had to raise my rates $5 an hour and the cost of all our support plans. I loathe doing this, because I know if things are tight for me, they’re likely tight for my clients too. But it had to be done, and that’s that. No sense beating myself up about it, and I’m still confident that I’m a bargain.

So in 2018, I expect this area to be a bit more stable, a bit less stressful. A little more 9 to 5, as much as a full time freelance web development business can be (which means, almost not at all). I know I’ll be working on a lot of great new projects in 2018, and I’m looking forward to the challenges.

One last thing – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I had Jenn Reese on board for nearly project in 2017 as a designer. I’ve worked with subcontractors before, but Jenn stands out in a class all her own. She’s talented, driven, responsible, and just a lovely person. It is a delight to work with her, and I hope we’ll continue to do so well into 2018.

Writing Life

I can safely say that 2017 was the best year so far in my writing life. I’m just going to break this one down by bullet points, as there’s a lot of ground to cover.

  • My personal horror-ish/fantasy novelette “The West Topeka Triangle” appeared on Lightspeed Magazine.  This story is eligible for nominations, should you be so inclined.
  • I sold “The Dragon of Dread Peak”, my first novella, and the second Dungeonspace story, to Lightspeed Magazine. It was published in October to considerable fan mail. Dungeonspace seems to have connected with more fans than anything else I’ve ever written.  This story is eligible for nominations, should be ever be so inclined.
  • I sold “The Dissonant Note” to Analog magazine. It looks to be appearing in the February issue. I’ve seen some initial luke-warm reviews, but I’m not too bothered. I’m really happy that the vision for the story that I’ve tinkered with for a decade finally came together, and Analog is a new market for me.
  • I sold “We Mete Justice With Beak and Talon” to the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Charles Coleman Finlay has been a teacher to me for years, and to sell a story to him has been a dream come true. This story is the one I am most anticipating the reaction to in 2018 or whenever it is published. I haven’t heard yet, and it could take a while.
  • My story “Wet Fur” appeared in reprint on Escape Pod. I had an early streak of appearances in Escape Pod back before every online magazine also had a podcast feature. Most of my stories appear in podcast format on Lightspeed, so I haven’t been able to return there until recently. I love getting a chance to be read by their listeners. Also, I felt like this story didn’t get much notice when it first appeared, and I love it dearly. My one and only story to come to me with ease in a dream. It feels like something someone else wrote, more than anything else I’ve actually written.
  • My story “Not by Wardrobe, Tornado, or Looking Glass” was selected for and appeared in Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by John Joseph Adams and Charles Yu. This was also a dream come true and a bingo space on my card. This marks my first Year’s Best reprint.

So all that is the good news. The bad news is that, due to personal life stuff, I haven’t written since March. I hope to spend the winter and spring banging out the next Dungeonspace story and a few other ideas I have ping-ponging around. It’s frustrating that in such a good year of publication and sales, I haven’t had time to keep up the work. A lot about being a writer is building momentum, so I’m determined not to lose what I’ve managed to regain in the last couple of years.

Personal Life

My family life couldn’t be better. I have an amazing wife and a now three year old son who is hilarious and kind and just the absolute light of my life. Every day with them is a genuine blessing and no matter what else happens, as long as we have each other, I think we’re going to be okay.

That said, the state of our country and the world sent me into a deep, terrible depression in mid year that lasted months before, after finding myself near-suicidal, I finally sought out a professional to help me work through things. I’ve been seeing her for a few months and I’m in a much better spot, but there’s a lot of stuff to work through. I’m by nature a bit of a negative person, and I’m trying to change that.

I don’t think I’ve ever struggled with the levels of rage and despair that I have in 2017. My own life is mostly fine, but I’m terrified of the direction things are headed in. It’s almost like the external world is reflecting the interior state of my body, too.

I started the year with a diabetes diagnosis which, with diet and exercise, I’ve been a little bit able to limit the damage there, at least for part of the year. Unfortunately, due to the sheer number of hours I’ve had to spend behind a keyboard, I’ve done significant damage to my back and posture, to the point where I’m in considerable nerve pain for most of the day. My insurance, as a freelancer, is fairly terrible, and I’ve been spending over $100 a week on physical therapy, which works some weeks, and others not so much. Typing in particular aggravates things, which may be playing into how little writing I’ve managed to get done. This is all compounded by weight issues that I’ve struggled with my entire adult life.

It’s been hard, given my negativity and the problems, to not see turning forty as the start of a decline in health. I’m determined to stay in the fight as long as I can, but it can be discouraging when the activity you need to do to make a living becomes so painful on a day to day basis. I have my pain mitigation methods, but if physical therapy doesn’t start to show more consistent results, an MRI and surgery may be in my future in 2018.

I don’t even want to look at my reading and writing goals from last year this year. I’m trying to stay positive and I know my low success rate with them will likely drag me down some, and I’m trying to wrap up the year with a more positive spirit than I’ve had for most of it. Let’s just say that I did as much reading and writing as I could given the circumstances.

Finally–a good chunk of my leisure time this year was spent trying to bring a professional DMing company called the Level Up Guild into the world with mixed success. My time and my partner’s time has been limited, and we missed most of our end of the year deadlines. I’m hopeful that in 2018 we’ll find a way to get it up and running, at least in a reduced capacity. I really hope so, because I invested a rather large sum of money and time into things. I’ll talk more about that when/if it’s ready to launch.

I hope you’ve had success and joy in your 2017 as well. I hope we continue to fight the good fight together in 2018. May the Force be with you, and all that jazz.

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Gaming, Personal Life, Writing

#RPGaDay 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

What I anticipate most for 2018 is actually getting to play, and getting to play a lot.  Because I’m launching a new company, Level Up Guild, with my partner Elwood Schaad, with the express purpose of running high-end games professionally.

Level Up Guild (like us on Facebook for more updates) won’t be a publishing company; we’re going to specialize in offering and developing tools and resources to help people “level up” their games, to help you became game masters yourselves, and by running really, really nice games for people.

Our first product is a local offering called the Mad Wizards League.  This will be a semi-competitive D&D experience launching at the end of October.  You and three of your friends will form a team and take on the Crucible, a difficult and deadly dungeon.  Your team earns a score based on how well you progress in the adventure, and at the end of a season (about 3 months), the best scoring teams will win prizes.  Other awards will be given for “best team theme” and a few other aspects yet to be named.

The Crucible will be played with high-end custom dungeon terrain, miniatures, and other high end tools to make the experience fun and easy.  We’re hoping to really knit together the local D&D scene around our product, to bring all the various groups together in the spirit of friendly competition.  We will be hosted by a local gaming store to be named soon.

I have no idea if any of it will work.  But I’m really enjoying building, designing, and planning it.  I’ll be talking more about it as we get closer to our release.

I tell you what – this has been really fun. I’ve enjoyed thinking about these questions and exploring things that I had sort of forgotten about how important they were to me. I’m looking forward to making RPGs an integral part of my life again with the Level Up Guild and maybe just running a game or two here and there for fun.  I hope that if you’ve never played an RPG, these posts have inspired you to seek out a chance to experience a role-playing game for yourself.  And if you’re like me and semi-lapsed, I hope you get your gang back together and sally forth once more into the realms of imaginary adventure.  In these times, we need escapism more than ever.  Take a break from saving the real world now and then to save a fictional one. I think you’ll feel better for it.

Until the next post, I thank you for reading!

For the month of August, I have been participating in #RPGaDay. I haven’t posted much on this blog about my love for role-playing games, and for a while, I wasn’t really acknowledging that love myself.  But RPGs were my entry point in the the geek lifestyle, and they are very important to me.  I explored my relationship with RPGs all month with these posts.

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#RPGaDay 30: What is an RPG genre-mashup you would most like to see?

Because I’m not nearly enough up on the broader scene of indie RPG development, I know that nearly anything I come up with for this question is going to be pointed out as something that already exists.  African Steampunk, maybe?  Has anyone done that?  I wouldn’t be surprised.

The great thing about RPGs is that it’s the world’s biggest and most flexible playground for fertile imaginations. The diversity of games out there has never been greater. I think this is both and blessing and a curse.

For someone my age, it’s already hard to get a group together to play something. Add a million different options on top of that, and you’re going to find it less easy to agree on one system or setting. I think the proliferation of online games shows that RPGs are going through the same fragmenting of audiences that every other media has since the Internet came along, and it worries me. I personally have never played an RPG online in a video chat or anything like it because for me, the whole point of tabletop games is the tabletop. I spend entirely too much of my time on a computer as it is, and to do so even more doesn’t appeal to me.

There’s something to be said about a homogeneous landscape because it’s easier to create and find shared experiences.  Increasingly, it feels like we’re divided into tinier and tinier serfdoms.  And that’s okay, so long as people are willing to reach out of their narrow, specific pockets, to take chances on other things that aren’t exactly what they want.  So long as people are still willing to take chances, then we’ll be able to keep gathering around tables and performing the ancient art of communal story-telling.

I’m really happy so many people are living the dream and making RPGs.  It really seems to me to be a golden age of creation. I just hope it is a golden age of play too.  For me, it most definitely is not. Although I’m hoping to change that soon.  More on that tomorrow.

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