Friday, March 13, 2015

The Fifth Year Ennui

Kid (in back seat): I have ennui!
Mother (looking at a map): You should've come to terms with the absurdity of everyday existence before we left the house.
Father (driving and wearing a tee shirt stating "Sarte"): There is no exit, anyway.

I think, a good role-playing session can do a lot of good for a persons soul. A lot of us here, as in the link that you're reading this from, have been doing it for most of our lives. A few of us, wouldn't mind not seeing some movies, well maybe seeing them later, if there was a intriguing RPG session somewhere nearby. But every few years, I tend to watch good players and blooming GMs get bored. Everybody else in the world is happy to hear it.

The folks that always thought the dude was cool, if a little into D&D, like wives and buddies that are bad golfers finally get some attention.

The folks that thought that she should have studied more in school, even start expecting her to pick up a doctorate course now that her 17 year-long Vampy  campaign finally concluded. Or at least she will finish that damn book.

The folks that produce RPG games as a basis to sell to other games (cards, miniatures, board games, and video) , love when that happens. Final one of those loafing pencil and eraser sorts stop moping around the FLAG reading the 9E Critter Manual for free instead of buying it, to get around to buying some (miniatures/packs of cards/boardgames) and people can get on with improving the economy.

Everyone except the role-player gets happy. The cool dude reaffirms that he never really liked golf and his wife is finding more friends' kids to babysit along with theirs. The author finds out that her the average chapter in her 3,678 page novel is 700 words long, and the 40 re-started plots seem a bit convoluted at best. The "hobbyist" realizes that the guy with the most amount of storage space wins every $15 entry-feed tournament. When the depression breaks, it's not just books and a couple pewter figures getting dusty.

I've noted that a couple of my fellow fantasists have fallen into the trap of mundane, yet don't know why. Here's some things I've noticed from my helicopter mode of existence.

Decide if it's entertaining or not? If it isn't ask yourself why isn't it and then what it take to be for it to be interesting again. For most people it's that their expectations from an RPG session can be met from playing boardgames that have popped up of late. Arkham Horror in the place of Call of Cthulhu comes to mind. Perhaps this means that things were getting a rote, more so than you need cardboard maps, a whole lotta special cards, and placement on the map to make your horror role-playing fun again. 

Mix up the groups both as a GM and as a player in differing types of games, outside of conventions. If you have a core group, that is great. Cleveland is the first place that I have lived anywhere long enough to essentially have one. Having moved around a lot, I was able to get over the fears of actively seeking out new people to role-play with starting around 1984. Since the age of the net-tubes, this has gotten about 1,000 times easier. Even the bad groups, and there will be at least one, will give you a line for something new when they wrap up. The mixes of players keep people reinforcing what they like about RPGs, not so much focusing on the dramas of the clique.

Don't get too overwhelmed by the industry of our hobby. For a lot of small businesses this whole game is about moving tonnes of books. It has become pretty clear d20/OGL brought in a horde of unheard of authors, and heard of authors started looking into maybe doing their own works. Luckily WOTC's 4E removal of role-playing from D&D helped non-d20 users get some sun. This developed into for many of us as many as a Kickstarter commitments that a lot of individuals can budget. Books about paladins, werewolves, orks, robot-suits, half-elves, blimp navies, and unspeakable horrors are all great but they only sell so much. They only need to sell so much, if you think about it. Keep in mind what you're into and where you are going next, you might not want to invest too heavily in that Needy Soul Sucker: The CCG-RPG if you're doing fine with Harry Potter and Doctor Who: the Dragonslayers D20 rule set though it is now a year old.

Do conventions, sometimes it's meeting new people, other times it's hanging with your group in nice places. It still does you good.

No comments:

Post a Comment