Dust Pan Game Resource Pages

Friday, April 24, 2015

Creating New things, The closest a person can get to the roots of our hobby.

Lets talk about role playing games, or not.
There has been a lot of ground covered about RPG's in the past 40 some years. This subject has spawned millions of words , and an untold number of ideas viable and otherwise. And it continues.

I read some blogs regularly, every day I check in on Dyver's,The Tao of D&D, Jeff's and a few others, every day I get an injection of ideas. Sure we go over the same ground a lot but much of the time we try at least to put a new slant on things. (links are in my blog roll on the left margin of this page.)

So why? Is the real game that Arneson / Gygax birthed to us all those years ago the game of constantly reinterpreting the idea of “role playing?”

We have people still playing white box D&D, under the same hobby umbrella as folks doing free form small group larps. Then there is everything between.
Yet the hobby is not satisfied.

I wrote a post the other day about my current projects, all of which are RPG's. Why?
I Could happily play AD&D 2nd ed, forever and not bother with all this writing blogging game design crap.

This goes deep into the history of the games, the roots of the form.
No matter what Wizards along the Coast want us to think, there are zero reasons to buy their stuff, other than to have the new stuff. Which I admit has it's own kind of appeal. I like new books and new art and all that just like a lot of other people. At the end of the day however I could throw all of my 5th ed books in the trash and go back to whatever I was playing in Jr high school. No offense to the rock-solid fans of 5th ed but it's nothing special. Nothing that hasn't been done before.

This is the ultimate do it yourself hobby because it started as a do it your self hobby. If you get a chance look over PDF copies of the of “Strategic review.” That forefather of Dragon mag looks and reads like some guys publishing a zine out of a garage, because it basically was. The only thing that sets those progenitors of this hobby apart from us is 40 years of self publishing technology and that their company was eventually as success, in other words eventually made money. Things do change when an idea becomes a money making idea, then a big business.

It wasn't talent, it wasn't some unfathomable foresight or Genius. Those publishers were doing-then exactly what we are doing now. Taking the games they were playing (war-games) and experimenting with the form. (What if the hero’s went off into dungeons on their own?)

Being born from experimentation is what makes role-playing games so infinitely malleable, breakable and hack-able. The form is from it's roots open to interpretation. When someone (like me) or hopefully a person more talented than me sits down at a computer and says, “I want to write my own RPG to do this Role playing thing exactly the way I want it.” 

That person is acting exactly in the spirit of the original game creators. There is nothing more “Old school*” than writing original material for a game or writing a whole new game which the author and the players will love.
I do it, a lot of other people on the internet do it, and heck even Wizards OtC do it. ( I mean D&D ed 6 will out when? 2019?)


Strategic Review issue 1.1 c.1975


So if you want to be an old school gamer, like really want to? 
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Thank you for reading
-Mark.


* I don't pretend to know what old school means in today's context. It seems to be a point of debate, a debate I don't want to get involved in. It's not really the point of this piece.