Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year end crystal ball gazing

The end of a year brings with it reflections over the past and thoughts about the future. The Escapist has an interesting series of articles on the past, present, and future of D&D.

I think that musing about D&D is only natural given the social nature of RPGs. Both in playing and creating things. 
How hard is it to organize or play in a RPG campaign?

Because if that is hard then everything RPG related is in trouble..

3 comments:

jeffro said...

I have to say... running Moldvay Basic and Keep on the Borderlands... I have an instant campaign that can run for months with almost zero prep at all. It would have a premise that is almost universally recognized and that many people would be be willing to try out for multiple sessions. Like penicillin on a petri dish, the rules and module would provide a framework from within which the campaign could grow organically with very little effort over time.

Traveller... I would ruin before starting. First I would detail a subsector... go top down to get the big picture and bottoms up to get encounters with appropriate local color. I'd then derive the One True Traveller rule set from a half dozen versions of the game... and then panic regardless of who showed up to play.

Maybe if I refereed Traveller more like I dungeon mastered....

Akhier the Dragon Hearted said...

For someone who is new to an area the difficulty curve is a bit daunting. I had a tough enough time just finding a game to play in and there are a good number of campaigns around my area for not only newer editions of D&D but the older editions as well.
As for DMing a campaign itself, I guess it depends on how willing you are to put yourself out there. I probably could have started a campaign by just going to the game shop I frequent with some books and eventually just gotten enough people showing up every week to actually call it a campaign instead of a string of one-shots. If on the other hand you want to have a group set up ahead of time it gets a bit harder and of course in the irony that is life the easier it would be for people to get to your game the harder it actually is for them to schedule it. If I tried to get a group of 4 other people my age there would be all kinds of scheduling problems from intersecting collage and job schedules.
When it comes to playing in a game it came down to luck a little more for me then it should have really. I only managed to join in my group because I found out when they played and they let me listen in as they played. When they finished with their one campaign and started a new one for World of Darkness I was there the first game they played and because one of the group members was missing because of work and I was able to get in on the campaign. Previously I had tried to join 3 different games that had been starting up all of which died before their first session and for a month or so was able to play in a 3.5 game which quickly became every other week a 4 and then nothing as the group disintegrated in scheduling problems. The good news in all of this is that likely when you find a group if it lasts for over a month or so it seems likely to keep going even if the campaign or even the game that is played changes.

Of course the above is all just from my personal experience with trying to find a group after moving to a new area so it may be completely wrong in some way but I do not believe so.

Herb said...

That is the key question.

I have heard Darcy's comparison of RPGs to model railroading and understand it but for one thing.

It costs nearly nothing to start RPGing on your own: a set of dice is about $10 and you can hunt down a game free on the net. The biggest cost there is time to learn.

For the traditional method, join an existing game, the cost to try the hobby is about 3 hours of time. What you'd spend going to see Captain America and about $30 cheaper.

The ease with which you can organize a new game and get it rolling is the one thing hurting the hobby, but it is hurting any hobby. Standing game nights and a willingness to plan more than a day in the future seems rare among adults my age (mid-40s) and almost non-existent among those under 25.

It isn't cost or video games that are killing RPGs but the end of planned activities among adults.