Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yes, you can!

I can't help but noticing that most of my readership is from the Oz side of the fence, rather than the gaming side. To which I say: What's keeping you from gaming?

You might be thinking that gaming is too complicated, with all the rules and dice and charts and tables. It isn't that complicated, really. It's basically like all the pretending games you played as a child, but with a layer of rules to prevent the "I shot you!" "No you didn't" arguments. Some rules systems are more complex, such as Burning Wheel or GURPS, while others are intended to be quite simple and intuitive, like my own Adventures in Oz or Chad Underkoffler's PDQ system. Many systems, simple or complex, offer an explanation of the process of roleplaying in the book itself.

You might be thinking that it's too expensive, with so many books to buy. You have something of a point there, as Dungeons & Dragons, the most popular RPG in the world, requires 3 rulebooks for play, with each one right around $35 a pop. Exalted, a popular anime-style game, requires only one book for play, but that one book costs around $40. And both games have supplementary materials available to enhance play at an additional cost.

This is not always the case, however. The Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition retails for only $10. And let's not forget the burgeoning PDF market. At sites like e23 and DriveThruRPG, you can purchase electronic copies of these games for much less than the price of the print version. And I am intending the retail price of Adventures in Oz to be $19.95.

You might be worried that you don't know enough people that can get together. I have heard stories of people who play with only 1 other person, with one of them as Game Master and the other as a character. The campaign that spawned Zorcerer of Zo consisted of only 2 players and the Game Master. Also, it is increasingly possible to play over the internet, connecting people with text or voice chat, or even emailing or posting "moves" onto a forum. Distance or timing issues are becoming irrelevant in this age of modern technology.

You might be worried that you wouldn't be an entertaining Game Master or that your ideas for stories might not be all that fun. Well, for one thing, if these guys are your friends, they'll accept at least a little oddity from you.

Also on that note, RPG author William H. Stoddard once compared roleplaying to music. You have the performance that is polished and rehearsed, and then you have the "jam session." In music, a jam session is where the musicians perform for their own entertainment and the entertainment of their peers. It is informal, noisy, decidedly imperfect, and most of all, fun for all involved. This is your roleplaying session. No need for perfection, just a group of people having fun, riffing off of what the others are doing.

If you're still intimidated, try listening to the Sqaure One podcast by Sam Chupp. I know that I mentioned it a while ago, and misattributed it to Bill Walton, but this time it's relevant and I got it right. Also, the latest episode was uploaded last week.

For those of you on my playtest mailing list, I probably will not have all that I promised by the end of the month. The redesign of the magic system is taking some time. There will be a new playtest kit emailed soon, but it will not be as complete and polished as I'd like. I am still dedicated to making sure that every bit of the game gets a good going over before the playtest closes at the end of June.

1 comment:

SambearPoet said...

Actually, The Square One Podcast is a joint project between Bill and you are right both time.

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