27 July 2010

The Nerdiest Dreams

Sometimes, I have dreams about going into a locally-owned bookstore and finding an obscure, probably out of print RPG product and just trying to sit there and read it. It's all so insanely interesting and original, and it excites me so much to read it, but when I wake up, I can't remember what it's about at all.

The idea of reams and reams of obscure, vital, interesting roleplaying material out there makes me want to plumb the depths of every single yard sale in existence. Honestly. The mass-produced, boring, overly-derivative sludge that gets produced is so uninteresting it's insane. What I want is the early passion for the game, where people would write rules for the first time ever, with no idea whether or not they'd make any money, with one foot in the door and the other in giddy, amateur hobbyism.

Is it too much to ask for a age of more chaos and energy, instead of the saccharine emptiness of overly-glossy product filling shelves to meet revenue quotas?


  1. Well, I get the feeling we're getting that with the retro-clone movement. Everyone and anyone can, and does, publish their own rules, whether a fairly straight clone of a classic game, or with the author's own ideas or improvements.

    And contrary to what Ron Edwards said 10 years ago or so, those 'fantasy heartbreakers' are finding fans. Of course lots are free, so they're not really finding markets, but people are downloading, reading, enjoying, and producing extra stuff to go with them. It's a fun, crazy time to be into RPGs these days.

  2. LG- I agree with you, which is why I'm happy to be around while other people post and post away the products of their creative minds. People come up with more interesting products when they're just making house rules instead of full-blown commercial products. It's a great time to be aware of retro-clones, to be sure.

    Also, fantasy heartbreakers are awesome. I'd rather play LL or OSRIC or The Fantasy Trip or somebody's third cousin's homebrew campaign, because they're so full of enthusiasm and energy that it's contagious. I can't get any inspiration at all from the overly-glossy 4e, which is why I posted my ramble. :)

  3. If you haven't downloaded Encounter Critical you should grab a copy. It's full of the old gritty feeling, literally. Once you've seen the book you'll see what I mean. I just discovered EC in the last two years, or so, and it's given me months and months of fun design material. (which you have to house rule the nines.) My group laughs and laughs when ever we run an EC game.


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