Graveyard of the RPGs

Graveyard of the RPGs

Preserving the origins of tabletop RPGs is more than just a hobby.

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What game is that map in the title from?

Well I'll be damned.

I've known Tim for years; I knew about the Archive, but I never expected to see it featured on the Escapist.

Nice one!

I used to create my own graph paper mazes and games. Do they accept those? lol

Wow, that's amazing. It's great to pore over fantastical maps and the like. As a lover of maps, I am most intrigued.

Maps like these are their own form of art, and while some are crude and simplistic, I've seen tremendous effort both in style and design go into something that was only ever going to be seen by a handful of people. This gallery and archive is a great way to preserve and display some of that.

I'm sure tabletop gaming will never disappear completely, even as it's being transformed by the proliferation of computers and handheld devices. I'm sure I'll always want to roll some physical dice if I've got the chance, but in my current Pathfinder game, everything resides on my laptop or tablet, and could just as easily be handled from my phone as well, if needed.

This actually makes the hobby much more portable than it previously was, as no one needs to be the guy or gal who carts over a briefcase full of rulebooks.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only person who still kept their old maps and characters. I created an entire world with Maps and Descriptions of Countries. It'sup in my attic right now. And my characters are in a folder on the bookshelf next to my computer.

I appreciative the author's writing style. It starts off very Victorian, or almost American Gothic. The latter if someone went crazy.

Holy shit I was just thinking of where I put some of the old maps and character sheets I have lying around the apartment. I wonder if they'll accept stuff that's not in English, though.

There was definitely something lost in translation from table top to computer games. None of us can make a triple-A rated video game, almost none of us can make a single-A rated adventure game, even a Skyrim mod is hard, but most of us can make a pen and paper game module, and if one is a regular game master, using published material is nice, but at some point, our parents got tired of spending money on it, and all of us made our own stuff with our best drawing skills and on our parents electric typewriter.

It was a good community. If you had good enough ties with people at the hobby shop or knew someone who did, probably eventually you'd be invited to play with a published author of some of this. That's what got me into Call of Cthulhu, which after D&D quickly became my favorite.

That spark of originality now feels like a distant memory. Also gone is the social aspect as we trend toward single-player in computer games.

I mean, time was when there was practically just D&D. Now there's all kinds of games to choose from that can fragment the population.

Now I really want to put a group together.

This really speaks to my heart, and why I game. Pen-and-paper play has always resonated with me because of the pure creative power. With the right group of people and the right format, any game became an act of cooperative fiction.

My own gameplay has produced very few artifacts over the years, unfortunately. The memories, however, are among my most treasured. To me, that's what this project does: It's a collection of content, but it's not about the content. It's a representation of the invisible, intangible spirit that creates that content.

We can't see Creativity, but we can display its footprints.

Before computer were around, we used to create our own RPGs on paper. heck, we even used to draw them on pavement with rocks.
But by no menas the RPGs are gone, they still are a lot of people that play it, i signed up for one starting today as well.

**reads**

This exists?!

**spends an hour going through the digital copies**

Wow. I - just... wow.

I think I need to go get one of those Flat Rate UPS boxes. My spouse has been bugging me to get rid of the folders and folders of old game stuff I keep in the closet. Here, at least, it would be going to a good home - and instantly accessible online whenever I wanted to look at it again. ^^

Edit: Although... um, I don't think I'll be looking out for Everything is Dolphins. That... seems a little... yeah, no. Cute, the art is hilarious, but no.

If I ever feel the urge to throw out any RPG records, I'll keep this in mind... I have an 18 year backlog of character sheets, maps, and plot notes... also several homebrew systems (only one of which ever panned out). Definitely bookmarked.
...not big on the dolphins, though. Slightly too nonsensical for me. Interesting art, though.

More than a grave, it seems to be a memorial.

DVS BSTrD:
What game is that map in the title from?

War of the Burning Sky- an EN Publishing module for D&D 3rd Edition. http://plagmada.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=1935

Jenx:
Holy shit I was just thinking of where I put some of the old maps and character sheets I have lying around the apartment. I wonder if they'll accept stuff that's not in English, though.

Some of the collection is from a donor in Zurich and the place names on those maps are in German, so I'd assume so.

Bara_no_Hime:

I think I need to go get one of those Flat Rate UPS boxes. My spouse has been bugging me to get rid of the folders and folders of old game stuff I keep in the closet. Here, at least, it would be going to a good home - and instantly accessible online whenever I wanted to look at it again. ^^

loc978:
If I ever feel the urge to throw out any RPG records, I'll keep this in mind... I have an 18 year backlog of character sheets, maps, and plot notes... also several homebrew systems (only one of which ever panned out). Definitely bookmarked.

I know the archive would love to get your stuff. I'm pulling together a whole campaign's worth of material from an Inquisitor game I ran five years back. If you don't want to ship them, you could also scan them.

Strazdas:
Before computer were around, we used to create our own RPGs on paper. heck, we even used to draw them on pavement with rocks.
But by no menas the RPGs are gone, they still are a lot of people that play it, i signed up for one starting today as well.

On pavement? You mean drawing dungeons, combat maps, etc.? I'll say this-- between the ages of 6 and 12 my friends and I played RPGs without books, pens, paper, or dice, right out of our heads. We'd determine skill rolls with a "pick the number that I'm thinking" system, with the range getting wider the more difficult the task was (i.e. shooting a goblin would be "pick a number between 1 and 10," whereas shooting a goblin in the head would be "pick a number between 1 and 20"). Looking back, I have no idea how we made do with such an arbitrary and cumbersome system, but we had a lot of fun.

Robert Rath:

Strazdas:
Before computer were around, we used to create our own RPGs on paper. heck, we even used to draw them on pavement with rocks.
But by no menas the RPGs are gone, they still are a lot of people that play it, i signed up for one starting today as well.

On pavement? You mean drawing dungeons, combat maps, etc.? I'll say this-- between the ages of 6 and 12 my friends and I played RPGs without books, pens, paper, or dice, right out of our heads. We'd determine skill rolls with a "pick the number that I'm thinking" system, with the range getting wider the more difficult the task was (i.e. shooting a goblin would be "pick a number between 1 and 10," whereas shooting a goblin in the head would be "pick a number between 1 and 20"). Looking back, I have no idea how we made do with such an arbitrary and cumbersome system, but we had a lot of fun.

Yep, we had maps, dungeons ect on pavement. A lot was done on the head perspective. we created our own dice from wood and used that too. the biggest problem was if it rains - its gone. When it moved to paper it got more complex as we woudl have much more space for everything. i sitll have couple notebooks with those somewhere.

That's pretty cool. I hope there's something out there similar to this where old videogames and systems are kept in storage.

I'm not sure how I missed this article on original release, but it is fabulous. I had to look up the dolphin-greaser (of course).

Well written and a fascinating subject matter. Makes me wonder what happened to all the old D&D stuff my friends and I did back in the day.

 

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