Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making Gamers

It has been said that it is next to impossible to make gamers. You cannot just give people an RPG and expect them to go for it. That is one of the many things I picked up from the very experienced Aldo Ghiozzi and I have no reason to doubt him.

But the fact remains that it did happen. When Dungeons & Dragons debuted, there was no existing RPG market for them to draw off of. Vampire: The Masquerade also drew people into the hobby that might not have otherwise played. Several other games have tried this and failed. What did they do that worked?

Both games appealed to the non-roleplayer. D&D started life as a miniatures wargame with a few innovations. Vampire came out during the heyday of the goth subculture and gave players an opportunity to create a consistent world where they were all vampires and had plenty of reason to be goth and emo. Also, as we can see, they both connected with these groups when they were at their height.

With the 70th anniversary of the MGM movie this year, and the 100th anniversary of The Road to Oz for the Oz nerds, it seems like that is starting to happen. The third novel in The Wicked Years (A Lion Among Men) came out this year and Wicked is still going strong on Broadway with talk of a film adaptation. All of this sets a pretty fertile field for Oz activity of all sorts.

And I think an Oz RPG like Adventures in Oz has a lot to offer the Oz community. Oz gamers can finally have a rule system designed with Oz in mind. Oz scholars can enjoy picking apart the Oz reference material I have compiled for the book. Oz collectors can have one more item for their ever-growing collections. Oz art fans can bask in the new art that I have commissioned for the game. Oz writers and storytellers can have one more outlet for their imagination.

I think I can make some gamers. Are you going to be one of them?


James C. Wallace II said...

When I was but a yung'un, I too played D&D... and yet, I never really caught on to the video game craze. I loved the imaginative role-playing aspect of D&D, which relied more on the inner mind than a vid screen. And writing up a set of game characters is very hard, even for me...

Oz RPG said...

If you need help with those writeups, just let me know.

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