Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quoted for Truth

Role-playing is a social hobby, and a being able to be identified as a growing thing is the best way to get more people playing. Absolutely nothing gets people willing to try to play games more than the belief that it will be easy to find people to play with.

That sense of mass and momentum is the greatest tool we have to get more people.

If we disconnect, if everyone takes down their blogrolls, stops talking about each other's work, stops caring about the world beyond their table and just plays the game and says fuck everything else, then this doesn't grow, and it dies with us.

I've been on about this long before I had any sort of financial stake in it, and there's a hell of a lot more people than me that benefits from this. Not just publishers, either. Every single person who thinks they'd like to play but suffers from the old gamer curse, "can't find a group" benefits.

-- James Edward Raggi IV

I owe the OSR my current game group. Technically speaking, I owe it to some combination of Jeff Rients (who linked me to Trollsmyth's blog, and piqued my interest in this old school thing originally), James Maliszewski (who got me really interested in old school mechanics and the principles behind sandbox play and dungeon delving, and convinced Trollsmyth that maybe demi-human level limits weren't such a horrible thing after all), Melan (again, the idea that there really was something to dungeons), Daniel Proctor, for publishing Labyrinth Lord, the Knights & Knaves Alehouse and Dragonsfoot (for kicking off the retro-clones with OSRIC) whoever it was who linked Trollsmyth to me, and, frankly, pretty much anyone who wrote something interesting about old school roleplaying between, oh, the summer of 2007 and the winter of 2009. You guys just made this dungeon and Red Box stuff just sound so dang fun.

And it is. And I could not have gotten to it on my own. Without the OSR? Without old school bloggers and linking to each other and the retro-clones? I might be running Pathfinder, giving a curious glance at OD&D every now-and-again but convinced that it was too arcane, too inaccessible, fundamentally in some way not for college punks with more enthusiasm than sense. Or who knows? I might have picked up a copy of Moldvay/Cook in a used bookstore and figured it out on my own. Maybe. But the OSR sure got me here a lot faster.

Take that for what you will.

And here's your Obligatory Argument Content:

Antoine's Ring of Lizard Power
This white jade ring is etched with crude scribbles that, based on appearance alone, might be large lizards or small dinosaurs. Or birds. Can't rule out birds. Anyone who puts the ring will eventually discern that they were probably intended to be lizards: the wearer gains the ability to understand the speech of lizards, but birds remain unintelligible. Furthermore, there is a 50% chance to understand the speech of any given snake or turtle, a 25% chance to understand any given amphibian, and a 25% chance to understand any given dinosaur.

Once per day, the wearer can cast charm monster on any creature whom the ring allows him to communicate with.

The wearer also experiences one of the following effects while wearing the ring. The effect should be chosen at random, but an individual will always experience the same effect when wearing the ring. If the wearer removes the ring, the effect lasts for another 24 hours.

1. Ectothermic -- irresistibly drawn to sunlight and sources of warmth. Becomes lethargic in surroundings significantly cooler than comfortable room temperature.
2. Forked tongue
3. Yellow, slitted eyes
4. A patch of scales on the back of each hand
5. Clawed toes
6. Nothing visible

6 comments:

  1. Having started playing back in the late 70s, my first exposure to gaming was the old stuff. After a hiatus from gaming in the 90s, I came back at the turn of the century. I didn't really get excited about it again, though, until I discovered the Old School stuff again through exactly the people you mentioned. Now I'm looking forward to getting a new group together, including my teen-aged godson, to play some LL.

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  2. I DELCARE ODDYSEY THE WINNER OF THE ARGUMINT "D&D IS AWESOME'!!!!!1 A VERY GOOD RING BUT I BET TALKING TO A DINO-SAR IS A WASTED TIME.............I BET IT IS A LOT OF YELLING WITH A BAD ATTITUDE AND CURSED WORDS AND THEN THEY EAT THE CRAP OUTOF YOU.

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  3. I am SO pleased that Joesky's rule is being followed.

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  4. I totally agree with you. I believe that "growing" has less to do with the publishers than with the players. I'm running "Encounters" in a book store, in full view of the public and the buzz has been awesome. We started with a game at 6:30 and we just added a game at 8pm. Even though we're half way through the arc, the people are loving it. We could probalbly add a third table. The most important thing to me is that we're having fun talking about nerdy stuff, kids and our crappy jobs AND killing stuff.

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  5. Bob: Sweet! Straight-up LL, or with some rules tweaks/stuff from elsewhere already? Or are you leaving all that until you start playing? ;)

    JOESKY: Dude! 25% of temporary pet dinosaur!

    Zak S: Innit neat? And, frankly, I don't do enough of this stuff. Gotten out of practice.

    Yoo-Hoo Tom: Absolutely. Though I do think publishers have an important role to play in supporting those efforts. LotFP's darn cool box, and WotC's Encounters program, are the kinds of things that make it really easy to say, "Hey, you want to play some D&D?"

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