Friday, August 17, 2007

Time For A Change

NOTICE: do not read this post if you are offended by foul language... I mean the kind of language you'd hear in a port bar where sailors hang out and get drunk.

You were warned.

Watching the videos for the upcoming 4th edition drove me to an inescapable conclusion:

Our hobby was long ago hijacked by robber barons intent on nothing more than making money off gamers. The two videos I just watched confirmed my long-held theory... D&D is nothing more than someone's money cow and has been since the Blume brothers took over TSR in the early 80s.

Frankly, this makes me sick. It always has to an extent, but more so today.

When it comes to table top gaming, all I want to do is recreate the excitement I once had as a teenager with 1st edition. I don't think there's much wrong with the game... yeah it needed a tweak here and there... but it was more playable than a phalanx of other games I've tried over the years. It gave me excitement and pleasure.

So now WOTC comes along with 4e, and they tout it as "adding to the excitement."

HOW MUCH FUCKING EXCITEMENT CAN A PERSON HANDLE? What the hell, are people that fucking jaded? What... fighting a gaggle of trolls is old hat, so now we have to color-coordinate them or something?

I sat there and watched these two videos... wait a minute, if you haven't seen them, then here they are... look for yourself:

YouTube 1
YouTube 2

Seen'em now? Ok... they're not selling an RPG anymore... they're selling a product. What's the difference?

When you read the 1st edition books, you get a sense that Gygax... and yeah, he was selling you something in the process, true... is speaking from gaming experience... the dude basically created the whole hobby as it is, and gave you wizened advice on how to enhance your own game. For sale, yes. Backed by years of personal experience, valuable.

These braniacs sat around the office and developed a new product for you to buy. They don't give a damn about gaming... they give a damn about what's in your wallet.

Nothing else.

The crazy thing is: for the past seven years I've had to put up with 3tards and C&C fanatics telling me how much better their games are. Now I have to deal with the 4e bunch as well, and you know their coming.

Calm down, Jimmy.

No, I'm not calming down, dammit. I want my fucking hobby back without a bunch of shit, that's what I want.

But wait, there's more.

So we have the "old school" community online... Grognard's Tavern, Knights-n-Knaves, Dragonsfoot (the UN of gaming... and about as effective), and many others. One out maybe one hundred posters on any of these boards has the creative ability to come up with something to give back to the OS community. Create something, put it on sale, and maybe 100 posters will buy it. Most will be silent, then some asshole comes along and says "I'd have done it better."

Writing for RPGs is like fucking in a fishbowl... you can't make a move with someone voicing their opinion on your technique.

To top it off: you get guys like Stuart Marshall and Matt Finch, who love the game and want to give something back to the hobby, bust their asses to come up with OSRIC (with a little help from their friends), and the jerks come out of the woodwork screaming that "it's illegal."

Listen, asshole: there were enough lawyers to recreate the Nuremberg Trials involved in the creation process... no one wants to hear your crap. I know who "you" are... you're the same little punk who annoyed everyone at the table in your youth with your fucking rules-lawyering. People found you annoying then... they find you annoying now.

How about a little support there for your hobby?

I don't know if I'm violating any confidences there, but there you are. Solid as a rock, OSRIC is.

I've seen one established publisher take advantage of OSRIC... XRP. One. Joe and Suzi saw the potential. A couple of publishing "companies" have arisen to bite the cookie, but that's it. Rob Kuntz, Goodman Games, Kenzer... the rest who tout themselves as "old school" have their own agendas.

Where the hell is the old school community? They won't buy these products... no one's. Each publisher is lucky to make a hundred sales on any given product. What the hell?

No, we'd rather sit around and debate the initiative rules for the 40th time.

I'm tired. I'm tired of going on boards and reading the same old stuff that I read two years ago. I understand Gygax now and owe him an apology.

I'm tired of a multi-board community that sits and spins in the mud, while its innovators like Marshall and Finch get slandered for actually giving people what they want. Those who've gone the extra mile to give something back to the hobby they love get discouraged. I'm discouraged.

It ain't about the money... it's about the hobby itself, and for it to survive it needs a fresh shot of material every once in a while... good stuff that recaptures the essence of a good game.

You're getting it... with XRP, Magique, or other smaller labels. You're not getting it from Kuntz and his 30 year old crap he's recycling because TSR wouldn't buy it back when it actually had standards. You're not going to get it from WOTC either. It's right here.

I'm through. I promised Joe Browning a manuscript that I haven't completed through absolute ennui. Maybe he'll still want it. But these days of banging my head and swallowing Mylanta are over for me. I set this blog up to give something back, and after several posts I can count on one hand the number of comments that have been made. Why the fuck should I bother? By and large, the OS community is a bunch of Millerites sitting on a hill waiting for Jesus to come back.

So, this blog goes on hiatus until... well, I've got ideas and those ideas won't be directed just toward the same incestuous crowd but also at the market that's out there... those that are looking for what we've got. Somebody's gotta get smart... might as well be me.