193: Internet Killed the Tabletop Star

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slxiii:
is it just me or did this article contain entirely too many links? it seems to me that at least every tenth word was a link, and the article as a whole suffers because of the assumed knowledge of what all of these sites and utilities are

not joust you!
btw can some one here make song "Internet Killed the Tabletop Star" would be nerdtastic!

slxiii:
is it just me or did this article contain entirely too many links? it seems to me that at least every tenth word was a link, and the article as a whole suffers because of the assumed knowledge of what all of these sites and utilities are

That's really the point of the article: to show you all this stuff that's out there that most tabletop gamers don't know about at all.

New software, new communities, new ideas, new games.

I find that those new games beat the shit out of the old ones. So much that I have no interest in playing the old ones.

(Well, actually, I lost interest in playing the old ones before I found the new ones, since the old ones sucked so hard and you had to fight them every step of the way to get true juicy fun out of them. But, fuck, the new ones even show you how to get more mileage out of the old ones, with simple techniques that are super-easy yet never, ever, ever mentioned by the old-game books or old-magazines or the copious amount of text that old-game writers and old-game players post online. Forget "bringing the fire" -- the RPG industry needs these print-on-demand keep-your-dayjob solo-project guys just to bring the basic competence.)

-- Alex

Since you mentioned the death of Dragon, don't forget the Phoenix that is Pathfinder.

Every new article by AV is as much an education about how to break into the games industry as it is entertaining. There's a lot to chew on, and that's one of the reasons Allen Varney is one of my favorite essayists here.

Allen also fixed my favorite pen and paper game, he's to Paranoia what Christopher Nolan was to Batman. Thanks for the wonderful article, and I hope to see more soon!

neispace:
Problem was that most tabletops weren't roleplaying games at all, but more focused around mechanics. If you open a pen and paper rpg manual, most of it will be things like encounter tables, experience tables, charts of armor, weapons, creature data, etc.

Videogames did that far better, so many people went to them. I used to be a hardcore Battletech player, but very little of that game couldn't be replaced by an online variant. Same with steve jackson's car wars.

Most people actually don't focus on the roleplaying as much as they think. Look at most MMOs, where the roleplaying crowd is a minority on a few servers. Once pen and paper rpgs were trumped in terms of simulation by computer and videogames, they quickly became niche.

Actually, I play 1.0, and most of the mechanics are thrown overboard in place of "What will make the game more awesomely fun? Oh, there's no mechanic for jumping on a dragon's back, running towards the skull, and screaming "For the En'fidal!" while cleaving its head in two? Improvise!"

In the words of Pirates of the Caribbean:

They're more like a set of guidelines compared to rules.

neispace:
Problem was that most tabletops weren't roleplaying games at all, but more focused around mechanics. If you open a pen and paper rpg manual, most of it will be things like encounter tables, experience tables, charts of armor, weapons, creature data, etc.

Well, it's not so much that the books are chock full of game mechanics as it is what the mechanics themselves focus on.

Just making game-mechanical stuff the centerpiece of play doesn't make a game suck. It just makes it strongly structured -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing in an RPG, as long as the structure the game mechanics create is worthwhile, e.g. when it provides momentum for the fiction or pushes interesting choices. The real problem is that many people write games with game mechanics that don't do that at all.

-- Alex

*sigh* I miss playing AD&D. And magic the gathering.

All this talk of D&D is giving me an itch.... would anybody be interested in running through the "worlds largest dungeon" via online post? It has been converted into 3.5 already. I figure, it even be done on one of these just to be lazy. I'll run it if I can get ahold of enthusiastic participipants. It will all be done thru individual posts, and no like enforced "grouping" or any of that sillyness. It is open gaming license as far as it is known.

In the early 80s I thought RPGs and computers would kill boardgames, but it hasn't quite happened. Odd that now computers have helped "kill" RPGs, though I'd qualify that. Lots of people play, but they no longer buy lots of products. So many fanboys (and girls) are willing to write material for free, or cheap, that publishers cannot afford to compete with the "crowdsourcing". The market is moribund, but there are still lots of players.

Unfortunately, tabletop RPGs require imagination and thinking, while conmputer RPGs require much less of both. In a way we're doomed by the "Easy Button".

Khada:
i loved warhammer 40k, aparently the games workshop stores are a little bare now that warhammer online has come out... i wouldnt know tho... i havnt been since... :|

(i wish 40k wasnt such a bitch to get into.. u gota buy $500+ worth of gear, spend FOREVER painting stuff just so you can play proper games... i mean.. its freaken great but cmon lol)

I enjoy the painting more than the playing XD

Plus you don't really have to spend $500, the small scale games are more fun anyway.

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