The Fire’s Gone Out

Posted by on January 4, 2010


I subscribe to a bunch of role-playing blogs: Musings of the Chatty DM, NewbieDM, Some Space to Think, At Will, The Core Mechanic, Gnome Stew, Trollsmyth, and others.

I first started reading them in late 2008, when they were full of fire about role-playing. D&D 4th Edition had just come out and debates raged about its advantages and disadvantages compared to 3rd Edition. Cool indie games were getting attention, like Dogs in the Vineyard and Dread. Bloggers wrote about interesting subjects: how to adapt D&D concepts to other genres, how to get more players, how to organize one\’s materials, etc.

I\’m still subscribed to all those blogs, but I realized today that I only glance at them every week or two. And I\’ve been in that mode for several months now Partly, that\’s caused by my growth as an RPG player, runner, and designer; I need less hand-holding. On the other hand, the content of those blogs has begun to pale.

Much of the recent blogging in the RPG community has been very inwardly focused. \”Here\’s what I want to accomplish in the RPG industry.\” \”Here\’s the kind of game I like to run.\” \”Here are some things I\’ve been thinking of buying.\” \”Here\’s my quick review of source book X.\” Nothing wrong with any of this, but it\’s not particularly helpful, and it\’s thin gruel, especially considering the RPG blogging I\’m used to.

I\’d like to see more practical advice culled from real experience. I\’m not referring to campaign logs with a few comments; I mean building a blog post around a key concept illustrated during a play session.

I\’d also like to see a lot more blogging by game designers about the game design process.

While I can\’t change others, I can change myself. So I\’m planning to write those sorts of blog posts myself in the upcoming weeks and months, centering on the design of Gunwave.

Watch this space.

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