It has been a while since I have sat down with the intent to blog. It is not that I do not want to write my thoughts down, but every time I go to I feel like what I want to talk about, I already have on here. I had a brief chat with an old friend that prompted me to start writing entries again, and this is the pointy end! So let us start with a little bit of new content.
What I have been doing.
In keeping with a mysterious feel suitable for role players the big quiet began on this site because of role-playing! I started a business (so long ago now) that was a games store. Board Games and Role-Playing Games were the bread and butter of this store. It was great, but amazingly, small business consumes all of your time. Previous to this I was in paid employment from nine to five which allowed me some freedom.
The store required me to create events, advertise, network and otherwise keep things going. Twelve hours a day seven days a week for a couple of years. There were sporadic posts here, but the store was all-consuming. It was a great time being the person behind the counter offering advice and running games. It was not unsuccessful either. It kept the doors open, people amused and me busy. But while it was not successful, it did not give a lot to me apart from exhaustion and the feeling that I had not seen my family for so long.
So we closed and I went back to getting a wage for a living. Which is great in a way. But I had been away for so long and ran so many games that I felt I could not write about games on a regular basis for a while.
What has changed?
I have been gaming, but I have also been a bit lost in finding my groove. I have played a lot of systems since the store shut down and trying to find the right one has been a task. I love Indie games and old-school games. I love games that offer me something new and exciting. I love reading their systems and imagining what I could do with them.
I have not played D&D 5E since the store closed. I have moved through a number of systems:
- Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC)
- Pathfinder 2E
- Stars Without Number
- Classic Traveller
- Lords of Gossamer and Shadow
- Super Squadron
- Fragged Empire
That is not an exhaustive list and gives you an idea that I have been all over the place. Multiple campaigns started and none of them really brought to a satisfying conclusion. But I have been playing, and that is the main thing.
Finding my groove…
Along the way, I have been doing a lot of self-exploration. I have known that I was not happy in a lot of these games, but not really taken the time to work out why. I even questioned myself about if I even want to continue gaming anymore. I had some discussions with close friends who gave me some good advice and I have taken their advice and taken a step back.
I was gaming with the understanding that I had to run the games that the players want to play. These games were often in conflict with the games I wanted to play. Also, I play virtually and in person. The virtual games I play really need system support, and as I like the games well left of centre there often is not that support. Or maybe you find a Virtual Tabletop (VTT) that says it gives support to a system and you find the support is there in name but broken in so many ways. That translates into hours of extra preparation.
I am getting closer to my groove now. I have shifted to games I want to play. If players do not want to join in on those games, that is OK. That is their choice to make. I am also working to create stories I want to learn about. Of course, that does not mean that I am not stealing things from other places, but it does mean I am invested in creating the cool places I want to see explored. The story is not prescriptive, and I get to find out where the story goes through my players’ interactions with the world.
What can you expect?
I am working in three systems at the moment. They are DCC, Classic Traveller and Degenesis. Most of my energy has gone into the first two of late and so you can expect some posts around those experiences. I am going to talk about some of the tools that I use and some of the games that I run through it.
Tools to create games have begun to get so good that I want to talk a bit about them. I want to talk about the VTTs that I use also. They have come such a long way in such a short period and I feel like I was on that journey with at least one of them!
So hopefully we can explore this new frontier of gaming together. Things sure have changed since I was last here. Let’s explore the brave new world, or at least my little corner of it!
Always keen to play Mark.glad to hear that you are finding your groove.I like Degenesis vtt the best so far.