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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5th ed, inclusiveness, and things i'm doing.

This my friends is going to be one of those long rambling posts that I love so dearly. It will cover more than one subject and probably not do any subject any justice. Again I prove I am a fantastic self promoter.

First off, Rest in Peace Robin Williams. He was a fellow R.P.G. gamer, and possessed an amazing mind, for acting , comedy, and improvisation. As a Gm I can only imagine what it would have been like to have his sitting on the other side of the table riffing off of whatever was going on in character. I think that if anything his death serves to remind us that clinical depression is a real and debilitating issue that many people spend their whole lives struggling with, it needs to be taken seriously.

Enough.

The group I play RPG's with is now waist deep in the 5th ed pool. 

Like many people I'm still waiting for my Amazon pre-order, PHB. However one of my friends traded in some old video games at a local store and picked up the PHB, so I have had some second hand exposure to the book. I know enough now that I am definitely looking forward to mine showing up at the door. Having  played and Run the 5th ed now a couple of times, I think the best change in the game is that I really don't have to change how I run my games. The change from 2nd to third edition was pretty dramatic. The change from Third to 4th edition was paradigm shifting. Playing 5th edition has felt like  putting on an old pair of shoes. That is a victory for the Wizards of the coast crew. It seems they have embraced the idea of directing the product at role playing game players, rather than trying to capture a different audience, which is what they did with the fourth edition. I think D&D and because of a strong D&D the hobby in general, can only benefit from Wizards choice in direction.

Do I love everything about the new edition? No. However if this is the game Wizards is going with then I finally have a D&D that's current and products I can get behind. Good show.

A quick sketch of my 5th ed warrior Orin,
 Sumi , 0.2 tech pen , woefully inadequate paper.

The Hobby, It's inclusive, you have a in choice who you game with.
I am not  going to wade into any of the current arguments going on surrounding who is credited in the  new 5th ed books, what they stand for and all that. This _is not_ about that. 

What I do understand is that at least some of those arguments swirl around the idea of inclusiveness in Role playing games. I can talk about that. I have thoughts about that subject.
It's a projection. A flickering image cast into a void of echos. *

 I'm deeply sorry this issue so obviously stirs up hard feelings and angst. My table is inclusive, If you want to game you can sit at my table and game, male female, LGBQT, black, white, Putrescent Purple, what ever. I am going to hazard a bet that allot of other players and GM's feel the same way.

Many of these issues seem to be projections stemming from bad experience, which is a damn shame because this hobby has allot more to offer than just arguing over if or not a chain bikini is to revealing. **
If you have felt marginalized or somehow otherwise put upon during your experiences gaming, you were playing with dicks. Trust me the hobby is awesome, the hobby did not ruin your experience the ass-holes did.

My  thought? Kill the bad experiences before they happen
Choose the games and the media you use carefully with an eye towards what you feel is a inclusive aesthetic. Play what you are comfortable with. In turn keep in mind that being "inclusive" includes the  concept that just because you don't like a particular image or thing does not mean a person should be  hounded or attacked over it. Some authors use a certain look and feel in their RPG products as a matter of artistic choice, in the pursuit of certain feel or vibe.THAT IS OK.  Being inclusive is not meen  "Include exclusively things I agree with," It is "Make room for everyone." Once everyone has a spot at the larger table, then we're free to choose the type of gaming we want to enjoy.

Then:
Be Inclusive at your tables, play your games your way, improve the hobby by being part of it. Share what you make and enjoy, images you love, game ideas you have. Be proactively creative, don't just shout anger into the void of other peoples echo chambers. Shout awesome things into the much greater pool of awesome people who are already part of this hobby, the awesome will resoundingly drowned out the negative.

Before I am told I am being dismissive. I am not. Sexism, racism, gender bias, discrimination based on sexual preference or any other "ism" are a sociological and societal black eye.

My  point is: We are  a niche hobby we are a small enough group that we have a choice. People who are genuinely toxic deserve to be relegated to the dark corners of a hobby, devoid of sunlight, devoid of an audience beyond their own echo chamber.

(* The void of echos.. I like that ...game-able)

(** All the energy and angst would be better served by being  focused on the more all encompassing  media // that projects a horrible image to young people every second of every day. Remember every time a Kardasian speaks an angel looses it's wings, then dies.)


Things I'm doing:

That's all out of the way let me talk about what I'm doing. I'm going to  be taking a week off, My wife has a family reunion to attend and I'll be more or less out of the loop for a few days. I may or may not post between the 13th and the 20th if I do they will be quick hitters. 

While I am gone I am going to start system work on  "Nova 74" a story game I am writing. The game based around pulp films of the  70's. Pretty much any film with the term -Sploitation in the title is fair game, as well as sci-fy, horror, and cop drama. It's set in 1970's America, only an America where every thing is cranked up to 11, as if it were viewed through the lenses of Gordon Parks Jr or Luiji Cozzi. Legendary America, America with a pounding Funk sound track provided by Quazar, and a bad ass space station behind the moon.


Also,
For our 5th edition players. I'm running WG7 Castle Greyhawk. So that's a thing, and it's just about unplayable, even in  it's native edition. On top of that I have to convert all the stat blocks into 5th ed stat blocks, (Thank goodness for the online conversion tools out there.)
Level 1 has gone alright so far, level two is a bit more of a role-playing experience, so it should go fine. After that who knows.

I wish I still had my dead tree copy of WG7. (I regret trading it in to a recycled book shop many years ago.) Using the PDF while we play online is proving to be a pain, especially considering I have almost zero experience running modules. On the flip side, I am enjoying playing all of the over the top NPC's however, and look forward to moving this along.

This is Fergus
He is not related to this conversation
but he is in my picasa image stream.
As always:
Thank you For reading,
Leave questions and Comments in the peanut barrel below.