Category Archives: Two Minutes of Hate

You’re Responsible for Your Own Fun

Ever hear that old saying, “You’re responsible for your own orgasm?” Well, this is sort of like that but without the awkwardness and clean up afterward.

This isn’t about just you having fun at the game table and ignoring everybody else. Everybody should be having fun. You see, I keep seeing posts (usually on FB), “Is there an adventure that has….?” “Why isn’t my favorite class part of this game?” and so on. And, of course, I got thinking. Just make the damned stuff yourself.

I may be just plain crazy or an RPG conspiracy theorist but I’m getting the feeling that it’s becoming all too common for folks to look for “officially sanctioned” adventures and other gaming material. Those things do make life easier but they aren’t necessary. If somebody hasn’t made what you want then DIY it.

I don’t have the time to write adventures. Work with what you have. Do your best. What if the adventure or custom class for my friend is totally screwed up. Then fix it. What if I post online and people don’t like it. Screw ’em. Everybody makes mistakes. Not every adventure, class, or whatever is perfect. Some times things go well and sometimes they suck. Deal with it and do better next time.

But here’s not what to do. Whine that somebody else hasn’t made that exact something that you want. Like I said at the beginning. You’re responsible for your own fun.

I did a little experiment

I don’t often do posts like this but a did little experiment in July. I was wondering just how much Facebook mattered vs Mewe when it came to my blog posts.

I know a lot folks feel that there’s not that much engagement on MeWe vs Facebook. And by engagement, in this case, I mean comments on posts. Which is true but then if we really look at some of the comments on Facebook, there’s many that don’t really add to the discussion and the most popular posts are the controversial ones. Yes, I know YMMV and everyone’s experiences are different.

So what I did for the last half of July is stop cross posting to Facebook Groups and see what happened. The posts still went up on the blog’s Facebook page but Facebook is nice and let’s me know that less 5% of the folks who follow the page actually get to see the post .

What happened in July? Well, it may be an anomaly but the blog reached its second highest volume of traffic for the year and third highest in the last three years. I don’t know if it was just luck or I just happen to post the “right” things for the time.

I don’t know if this small experiment really gives me a large enough sampling to make a concrete determination about the value of posting in some Facebook groups. However initially, I do get the feeling that on Facebook posts get “likes” and maybe comments but a lot more folks don’t even read the accompanying blog post. But on MeWe while there might not be as much conversation about a post, more folks are actually reading the post.

I know there’s lots of factors that go into this. What Facebook groups I post in. When I post. What else is being posted at the time and so on. I also know that this little sampling might not accurately reflect traffic long term or some one else’s traffic.

Maybe I’ll do another little experiment this month and just see what happens.

D&D Live. Where’s my Steak Knives?

You’ve probably heard that this last weekend was the whole D&D Live thing. It streamed live via Youtube, Twitch, and Peacock. It was sort of a virtual WOTC pat itself on the back event.

OK, yeah. They did announce two new products. And there were some celebrity actual plays. I do admit there were a lot of the celebrities were folks who’s work I have followed over the years and have enjoyed. And even some panel type discussions. I didn’t torture myself with whole thing but I did do a lot of skipping around and watching as much as I could until I started to feel sleazy.

I understand that this was just a corporate marketing push. But they could have at least been a little more subtle about it. Watching as little as I did, I still couldn’t help feel like I was being force fed saccharine. As soon as I got through the sales pitch for the time share then they’d give me a free set of steak knives.

Rant over.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships, Really?

I keep hearing this and as 5E gains in popularity, I keep hearing it more. At first, I did buy into it but I’m starting to wonder about that.

I get the idea. 5E D&D does well and by default so does the rest of the RPG market. It brings more people into the hobby. More things are sold. But I think that it does get to the point the the rising tide can start to swallow up the smaller ships. Let’s look at a few things.

It brings more people into the hobby is the big one. But how many people come into the hobby via 5E stray from the 5E fold. And how many stay for any long period of time? I can only offer opinion on these two points based on my own observations. There’s a hard core sector that won’t stray from 5E. They don’t look outside that box. And I’ve seen lots of folks who I thought weren’t gamers, get into 5E for a while but not stay that long and just move on. I don’t think many of them will be still be playing their “old” game decades later. I think some are just playing it because it’s popular right now.

It’s mainstream now. So many times, I see this as more of a curse than a blessing. Sure you can get D&D stuff at big box stores and even on Amazon and usually at a lower price than available at your friendly local mom and pop gaming store. So much for supporting local businesses. Along with that, there’s plenty of folks who want to pop in start a shit storm then walk way because they have actual interest in the hobby. And then there’s the higher profile articles about RPG’s from “news” sources that don’t cover table top gaming. Any one who’s been around a while notices that a lot of those articles are very poorly researched and do nothing for other RPG’s and often puts them into a less than stellar light.

Celebrity endorsements! Ugh. There is no gentle way to put this. If you’re playing just because some celebrity is playing then you aren’t going to be looking around for more games. I put these folks in the same bucket as the “playing because it’s popular” crowd.

Corporations kill creativity. Let’s just say that corporate D&D will do for RPG’s what McDonald’s did for hamburgers. And don’t forget the lawyers and accountants. Lawsuits and bean counting aren’t the most creative of environments.

Hello, small publishers. Congratulations. You’re even more insignificant. There’s a steep hill to climb for small publishers. That hill gets steeper as bigger companies dominate the space. Just ask all those local bookstores when Amazon started selling books.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Yes, I’ve heard “so goes D&D, so goes the hobby”. That’s bad but it’s an unfortunate reality. Paizo did pull of Pathfinder when many fans disliked 4th Edition. But as WOTC’s influence grows, it makes it even more difficult for another Paizo to come along.

Having one company has so much influence over the market, tone, and community doesn’t lend itself to a long term healthy community. As I said, it kills creativity when the dollars and conversation are centered just one publishers/game. It makes competition even more difficult for mom and pop games stores and small publishers.

What do do? Well, keep the home fires burning and keep the grass roots growing. Support the local games stores. Support the odd ball small publishers. Have fun and talk about it.

Happy Anniversary: LOTFP Ref Book

Well, it’s been a year since the last update on Indiegogo as of this writing. What can I really say? According to that they’ve got the complete draft and no follow up after that on Indiegogo. There was a little update in December on the LOTFP Page: “But now it’s time to advance again. Looks like the next releases won’t be to the printer until March or so (five months later than I’d hoped… sigh) and then the release cycle after that… seriously… the Ref book. So I need to conserve resources for all that, but there is much to do between now and then.” So maybe some months after March? I dunno.

I want to laugh but Raggi’s been sitting on the other people’s money (including some from me) for a long time. The last video on Youtube was basically, we’ve got a plan and we’re coming back! I can only take this as, we’re trying to keep the lights on (after last year’s financial troubles). But then everybody has had some pretty tough times last year.

Plenty has been written about the missteps and faux pas that have occurred over the past years so I’m not going to reiterate all that crap here. But I will say this, if the goal is to rebuild the brand then a good place to start is fulfilling those past commitments or at least be more transparent about what is going on.