Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Paul Jaquays collection grows, but with a sad realization

Yesterday I got a package in the mail. It wasn't a White Box, but it was very cool, namely The Enchanted Wood by Paul Jaquays! Since it is considered his best work by himself, and he is a very well regarded adventure designer I was quite keen on getting hold of it. The last time it showed up on eBay it was very expensive, so I got lucky.

Since I have quite some time to spend every morning on commuter trains, I took the scenario with me and read some of it. The parts I have read closely are very good. The parts I have just skimmed look very good. All well that ends well, right? It would make a short post if that was the end of it.

The bad news is that the very cool idea behind this adventure is the very same I have been developing myself, for an adventure I was going to release later this year! Personally I was so proud of that one. It had the proper sense of wonder, and also some atmospheric and moody setting pieces I had hoped would blow your socks off. Now it's already done.

Well, nothing really is new under the sun, is it? Now I wonder if this means I should let my project slide into oblivion. Paul is a way better adventure designer than me, that's for sure. The Enchanted Wood is not exactly widely read (is it?) and is out of print, so I am thinking that maybe it can be redone. The question is of course how much it can be like his adventure with it all looking silly and derivative. I will have to think on that one.

Quite annoying, but fun as well! Great minds think alike, eh?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Old is new again

It seems like the problem I had with the layout of my blog wasn't solved with that new template.

Back to the drawing board.

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Layout

I've gotten an email from Google about the new facility for doing blog layouts. I'm going to try a new theme for a while. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Am I a jerk? Are you?

I noted a short while ago that on some of the blogs I read, people were agitated because some guy somewhere had criticized the OSR gang for some kind of crime. Oddly enough nobody seemed to have bothered to link to the poor guy, probably because they didn't want to help him get any more hits in the visitor statistics.

Personally I think that is a bit rude. If you are bothering commenting upon something, I think it's just decent to acknowledge the existence of the guy standing in the same room as you, and whom you are talking about! Come on guys, you can do better than that.

So. I think I managed to find who it was everyone was up in arms against. One think this guy mentioned I found interesting, and I'm going to comment on that even if it wasn't what everyone found so infuriating.

Why do we speak of "educating" players, and "teaching" then proper play by playing rough? I know the idea of Player Skill, and I know all about brutal character killing adventures. I play T&T, remember? Take a look at those solos. Many of them are so deadly it's just silly. Quite a few are still fun. Most of the time. If you have read my blog some you also know I like that Player Skill part.

Now, imagine real physical people telling you about this cool kind of game where you play a scoundrel doing dirty deeds and some heroics for gold and glory in dank dungeons. Also, try to imagine those people acting like total jerks when you sit down to play and telling you they only stabbed your character in the back to "teach you" to become a better player.

I think we have a problem here.

While I think the idea is still valid, maybe the fact that some people tell you that "old school" just mean some jerks trying their best to rob you of fun means that we have a public relations problem.

While I don't think we need a OSR feel-good-ambassador or anything, I think that if a complaint comes up more than once, it might be a good idea to give the whiner the benefit of a doubt and see if there's something to be learnt. He might still be a whining moron, but you can learn something.

That's my two cents.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Collecting games, or playing them?

A few days ago I got a package in the mail. It was my second copy of DragonQuest. Yes, I have bought a second copy of a game I have not yet played!

This even got me thinking. You could imagine that if you were playing some games fairly frequently, you would like to have another copy for the collection. Sadly, that's not the case. These are the games I have multiple copies of.
  • AD&D1 PHB
  • Menzter Basic D&D
  • B/X D&D
  • Rolemaster 2nd ed. Character Law/Campaign Law
  • Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition
  • DragonQuest 2nd ed.
So how many of these games have I played?

Well, one session of AD&D, two or three of B/X D&D. Yes. That's it.

There are some games which I have played and for which I have multiple copies. Oddly enough they are all just different editions. Looking at that list you find games like Stormbringer, Fading Suns, Call of Cthulhu, Mage: The Ascension, Tunnels & Trolls and Traveller.

From that list I have played FS once, CoC multiple times, Mage a few sessions and T&T I've played a lot and still do. Stormbringer even used to be my main frpg. But, the games I have multiple copies of the same book are games I would like to play, but haven't. This realization made me sad.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Remember your rights, and fight for them

Every day the spectre of totalitarianism haunts us, in the news from China, Iran and very much also in Europa and America. In the country I live in the government spies on its citizens and plan even more intrusive electronic surveillance. Take a moment to remember the fight for civil liberties. Steve Jackson Games of Austin, Texas, fought and won against their government a few years back. Even gamers are a target my friends, even gamers.

R.I.P Gary

You probably know what day it is today. Let's remember Gary and what he did for our hobby.
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