Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Online Game Shopping during Covid

In an earlier post I noted my inability/unwillingness to migrate my gaming from the in-person tabletop to the electronic platforms the internet offers during the covid-19 pandemic. Yet the internet has made surviving the pandemic possible...and even bearable. My wife could work from home. My son could attend “virtual learning” at school remotely for a year. And I could continue indulging in game purchases when it didn’t feel safe to make my occasional pilgrimages to area game stores and conventions. Though my gaming didn’t leave the house (with a few exceptions at the local history museum), purchases kept me engaged with reading and learning rules, crafting miniatures and terrain, and playing games solitaire and with family members. Despite a seemingly impersonal online shopping experience (compared to in-person shopping), I discovered some excellent online retailers who brought game-related diversions right to my doorstep.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Tabletop Transitioning Online

We fear change.”

Garth, Wayne’s World

As a member of Generation X who fears change, I feel torn between two worlds. I am reluctantly adapting to the exponential technological advancements of 21st century society despite my preference (possibly nostalgia) for the seemingly better days of my youth. It’s not easy for an old curmudgeon like me ensconced in my old ways. It’s not that I haven’t tried. Long an advocate of print publishing, I adapted to release game product in PDF format and even succumbed to sharing my written thoughts on game matters online in this very blog. Even so, I still prefer to read print books, for my eyes and attention span have limited tolerance for reading text on a screen with any lasting sense of comprehension. The pandemic has forced everyone to adjust, often with the aid of electronic devices and various apps and programs. And I’ve tried to adapt, too, but I find tabletop gaming online doesn’t offer the same experience, the same satisfaction, of gaming in person.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Star Wars: A Dead License

 If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Today it’s hard to imagine a world without Star Wars. We’re awash in everything from that galaxy far, far away: numerous streaming cartoon and live action shows, novels, comic books, action figures, Lego sets, a host of new films in theaters, and even occasionally roleplaying games. It certainly helps that one of the word’s major toy manufacturers (Hasbro) has a license to make Star Wars toys and one of the largest (if not the largest) media company (Disney) owns Lucasfilm (and hence the Star Wars intellectual property) since buying it for $4 billion and change from George Lucas in 2012. But some of us old relics have been around long enough to remember a distant time toward the end of the 20th century when it seemed Star Wars – which for a time played such a huge part in our youthful culture of blockbuster movies back then – was fading into obscurity.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

System -Neutral or OSR Stats?

Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.”

Carl von Clausewitz

I have on occasion been moved to write about the Old School Renaissance (OSR, or whatever you want to call it using those initials). A few years ago I explored OSR rules and supplements. The vast array of adaptations offered some interesting innovations among the retreads of classic D&D mechanics. Settings and supplements tied to rules interpretations provided inspiration easily ported to other games. But now I’m developing two fantasy roleplaying game supplements – an as-yet unannounced setting and the Infinite Cathedral setting currently languishing in limbo – I’m faced with a conundrum. Do I provide stats for the inhabitants in OSR format or in my established but not terribly well-known system-neutral format?