Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'm having fun, how about you?

A bunch of posts this past week and weekend about the supposed creative dearth in modern RPGs.

If you have not seen them, here are some round ups.

And a few analyses.

I am sure there is more.

Now Long and Sheppard have earned their stripes with Hero Games and White Wolf respectively and RPGPundit has...what exactly has he done anyway?  Anyway, they are not some RPG noobs or someone on "teh internets" with a half-baked opinion.  But I think they are missing a very important point.

RPGs are supposed to be fun first.

Sure creative, well manufactured RPGs that take advantage of the medium they are in is a great thing.  But sometimes what is great for me is not great for you or some other group.  There are a lot of designers out there doing really cool things, but some of those "really cool things" would bug the shit out of me as a player.

D&D still works for me now for the same reason it worked for me in 1981; it is fun.

I think that is what games should be about.


Pun Isaac said...

I don't know, Sheppard and Long's blogs really just rubbed me the wrong way. I know a lot of players, playing a lot of different games (liscensed and unliscenced) and they all seem to be having fun.

I've stopped playing D&D before because it stopped being fun (not the game itself but group dynamics). I'm currently running an M&M 3E game (using the DC Adventures book) and I'm having a blast.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I play to have fun and any game that does that is good.

And while licensed properties have their problems, sometimes they do bring new players into the hobby.

Pun Isaac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tommy Brownell said...

In Pundit's defense (I can't believe I'm doing this)...he was actually defending the idea that RPGs are still fun and creative.

He has also produced at least two RPGs, the most recent of which was released last year.

But yeah, I think RPGs are fine, at least creatively...I've read and played some great stuff over the last year alone, and I still get tons of mileage out of games like Marvel SAGA as well.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but look at the posts, and go "Okay, I understand the emotion, but really, it's not the game." Hell, it's not even about Licensing.

This is the hurdle that prevents me from finishing games, really. It's not system. It's not creativity. It's nothing that this rant has brought on. It's all about players and play styles.

I think this really came to point when I was working with a game concept when d20 Modern had first come out. I had patched together a concept and it was... freakish. I don't think I'll ever get the intent behind what I wanted the world to be about to balance right, but I had good players who were into it, and loved the concept, and the few play tests that I did were really fun, and everyone had a blast.

I think I would have finished the first version (And a lot of the structure is still there for me to play with), if it wasn't for 2 things. The group I was running just broke up due to the pressures of the Venue, and 9-11 happened, which really put a damper on 'playing characters who others saw as terrorists, even though they were not angle.'

Jim said...

I think you hit on the key point. If the games aren't fun, the rest is just theoretical nonsense of the "my game is quantitatively more creative" variety. Who cares? If the games are fun, people will play them. If not, they won't.

There are more games in more diverse genres than ever before. As a gamer, it's an embarrassment of riches. As a publisher, we're talking "long tail" economics here and it might be hard to make a living on such things. But that's more of a business issue than a creative issue.

You don't see RPG sales of the kind that occurred in the 80's and early 90's by any individual company because the market is so fractured. There are hundreds of systems to play instead of dozens. This bodes well for attracting new players to the hobby. Someone interested in Mormon history may stumble across references to Dogs in the Vineyard and inadvertently join the hobby. Similarly, I've seen buzz about Fiasco on movie forums by fans of Coen brothers films who are new to "gaming."

Media and fiction properties like Leverage, Serenity, Dresden Files and Small world have rabid fan bases. These games in particular have generally had good reviews. If the hobby picks up even a fraction of these fans as a result of their exposure to these (well reviewed) games, so much the better. People exploring the fun of their fandom inadvertently discovering the fun of gaming.

Who can argue with that?


oh, right.


But still, my point is made.