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Thread: Should I stay or should I go?

  1. #1
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    Should I stay or should I go?

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    I've been out of tabletop gaming for quite a while. I was thinking of getting back into it but I'm debating whether it's worth the time investment, partly based on my past experiences. These are the pros and cons I'm weighing.

    Pros:
    1) When I last stopped playing, I was developing a homebrew system, but I never had the chance to test it. If I got back into tabletop, I could resurrect this project. I've always wanted to see this through.
    2) I'm getting sick of video games. Actually, I've been sick of them for a while. I've been thinking about taking another run through the Baldur's Gate series to get my gaming fix, but I'm having nothing but headaches with the mods I want to use. Things like this aren't a problem with tabletop gaming.
    3) It's more fun to hang out with people than play staring at a computer screen.

    Cons:
    1) I'm in my 30s. I know, a lot of people still game in their 30s, but it was rather frowned upon by my friends/family when I was younger, nevermind at this age.
    2) The main reason why I left gaming was my last two gaming groups. We were all in our 20s, so nobody had any excuse to be immature. In Group A, the GM was a total prick. Gaming, for him, was just an excuse to live out his failed dreams of becoming an actor/director/whatever. One of the other players was of a similar way. He was a total douche and used gaming to work that out of his system. In Group B, the GM smoked a lot of pot. I mean, a LOT of pot. On one hand, it's great if you like pot...and I certainly don't hate it. On the other hand, he ran this homebrew system/setting that must have been telepathically beamed to him by aliens from Neptune, because nothing made a damn bit of sense. I blame the pot. The bottom line is that both groups were really lame, and the reality of the experience didn't match up with my expectations.
    3) I live in the middle of nowhere. The fact that I was previously in not one, but two, gaming groups was practically a miracle.
    4) To be honest, I'm a crappy RPer. I don't care to perform at/pretend that I'm something I'm not. Douche gamer from Group A was really into it, and I get why that's part of it, but it holds no appeal for me. I'm more into the actual "game" aspect of it. The story is great to provide context and flavor, but otherwise, I'm pretty happy just being me.
    5) Time commitments and reliability. Something like a video game can be picked up and played casually at one's whim. Not that I wouldn't be able to fit a gaming group into my schedule, but between working, vocational training, volunteer work, and family/friends, it would be a tight fit.
    6) Regarding my game design interests, I could always just make board games instead. It's not as elaborate as a tabletop RPG, but it might still be fun.

    It does seem like a lot more cons than pros, but if you measure them qualitatively, it's pretty neck and neck. So, anyone have an opinions? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    addressing the cons:

    point one: go for grognard status. while it is very important not to spend too much time on gaming, and especially not at the expense of time with family and friends, there is nothing wrong with gaming at nearly any age. i've been playing for around 25 years. my wife is on one hand not for gaming at all, and on the other wants to support my interests. we've agreed on a set amount of time each week that i can game. works for us.

    point two: it is all about who you game with. i've stopped gaming for months and even a few years once so that i could find a good group or game with who i wanted to. i would rather not game than put myself into crappy or potentially crappy situations. having said that, it can be hard to find good people and groups to play with. quality is worth the wait.

    point three: internet can help a bit with that. but there are still issues with even that: jerks are everywhere, scheduling and communication is just as hard on the internet because humans are humans, and you still don't get face to face, unless you vidchat.

    point four: nobody should be forced to "rp" according to a particular style or method. just because you don't enjoy a particular style doesn't make you a crappy rp'er. describing what the character does is just as good as acting it out. admitting you don't know how to describe what you want and asking for help is also just as good.

    point five: online can help, but it can also be difficult, as described as above. it usually works out best when

    point six: ever think of trying a kickstarter for your game ideas?
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  3. #3
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    I have to say that your list of cons are mostly shared here. Especially the time investment. I've started playing on OpenRPG and it really helps with that. There's a good crowd of players that love to just jump into games and play for as long as they have.

    I have a homebrew system as well that I've optimized for this kind of playing. I say keep at it. It's totally worth it, as long as you can get away from the jerky players. If you find a person that you can't play with then don't force yourself. One of my best friends hate's to RP with me, but we still get along famously doing other things.

  4. #4
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    What's a kickstarter?

    And, I am leaning towards the online/chat side of things. Pickings are slim around here, but if I can find a decent group online, it'll be worth it.

    The time thing is a killer, though, especially for someone designing something new and planning to GM it. I semi-resurrected the project after my first post, but haven't had much time to put anything down on paper (or computer, as it were. )

    Edit: Also, is there an appropriate forum on here in case I want to bounce a design idea or two off the community?

    Edit 2: I did some research on kickstarter. The website itself looks nice, but the reviews for the service are horrible. You do all the work yourself (including PR and marketing) and they take about 7% of your pledges in exchange for hosting a project page for you.
    Last edited by Kneller; 06-20-2012 at 09:44 PM. Reason: added a question and comment

  5. #5
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    You just described yourself as a video game player, i don't run drama class but i don't run video games either. Role players fall somewhere in the middle, there is no challenge to playing yourself, you don't have to act, you can tell people the tone of your characters voice so they can imagine, imagination is the core piece to role playing games. Non role players trying to get into the game either wanna do drama class or like you aim to just focus on combat ect like a video game, you would fit in with the majority of "wow" gamers.

    You asked for people to share their opinions, which i did an this is the answer to your main question - "You should go", i am not being rude, just being very forward an honest an not wasting your time, just responding as you have requested.

    If your looking to hangout with friends then maybe start a movie night or something in that range.

  6. #6
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    I think you should look at some Old School Renasaince games like OSRIC, or Swords and Wizardry, or Labryinth Lord or some newer ideas on old school themes like Stars Without Number. Fast, simple games. Stars Without Number and the Post-Apocalyptic Game by the same company called Other Dust, have superb support for GM prep, creating sandbox style games. Just form a group and play for fun!
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

  7. #7
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    kickstarter is a website that allows you to find supporters for your system. I am not sure of its success rate with RPGs, but I have seen many board games go from simple prototype to full scale production via kickstarter. Essentially, you post a project with a monetary goal within a certain timeframe. Supporters can allocate as much money as they want from $1 to $2000 (or whatever). The more you give, the more you get. So while all supporters get a copy of the game, the bigger supporters usually get something cool. Like full size prints of the original art. A wooden case for all the bits. That kind of thing.

    All, correct me if I am wrong or exaggerating/underselling this. But google kickstart campaign RPG, and you can see for yourself.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

  8. #8
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    Sounds like what I know about Kickstarters yukonhorror.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



  9. #9
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    I have never heard about this "kickstarter"

  10. #10
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    here is a great kickstarter project: Game Master's Campaign - The Fantasy art kit
    ive backed a few different kickstarter rpg type projects.
    this is a very successfull one that finished just recently: Numenera: A new roleplaying game from Monte Cook
    by my rough count over 350 rpg projects were listed on Kickstarter ranging from $500 to $1,000,000 and more than half got funded.
    also there are some great virtual table tops out there, combine with voice chat for a close to table top experience, and some of those based on google hangouts also support video chat for 6 players: Fantasy Grounds (my preference), Epic Table, RPG with Me, Roll 20

  11. #11
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    steve jackson has some successful kickstarter projects, namely ogre. i'm looking forward to the car wars reboot, myself. i have recently been investigating hiring people to do the pr work for a kickstarter project, and funding them partly out of the proceeds. it is also a good target for college students in marketing, they'll work cheap/free since it can be part of their grade, especially if the college/teacher is using real life projects in the 3rd and 4th year.

    any luck finding a game / group online yet, kneller?
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  12. #12
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    I would recommend an online game, using a vocal program (like Skype) or Maptools. However, finding a good game might be a little difficult, as there is a disparity between the number of players clamoring for a game, and the number of competent DM/GM/ST's.

    As for writing your own setting/game system, it's a long and difficult road. Once you have it written, you need play-testing to get things hammered out. I would also recommend contracting out a few artists to really spice up your work and make it really stand out, as there are a plethora of writers out there that have published game systems, but the amount of them that are illustrated are fewer.

    Once you have your game published, it's still a struggle. While you can advertise all over, what I've really seen selling books is players that get addicted to the game. One of them tells a friend, or runs a game for a new group of players, and it spreads via word-of-mouth. As a writer and an artist for Arcanum Syndicate (the link is down in the signature), I run games once or twice a week, just to put the word out, in addition to the weekly company play-test session.

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