The Inevitable Kilroy Post
The most unpleasant thing about starting a blog from scratch, rather than importing content from previous iterations is trying to figure out where to start with things. When you start, there’s no audience. There’s no one eagerly awaiting the first post, frantically refreshing the page to see what genius you’ve come up with for this solitary post. It is, in a lot of ways, just an exercise in getting your fingers working, collating your thoughts, and bringing your typing speed back up to where it should necessarily be for writing future entries. It is the act of howling into the wilderness, wondering if anyone will actually hear.
A lot of people force themselves into exercises to generate initial content, whether it comes in the form of making a list to then fill out or creating a theme to stick to. Subjects like “My Top Ten Favorite Things” or “Songs That Give Me Ideas” and similar. This is a fine idea, but for the time being, I’m thinking more along the lines of outlining the basic subjects I want to cover on a semi-regular basis. This is not to say that I won’t indulge myself in working on lists when they occur to me, but for the time being, I want to hammer out a sort of schedule that I can stick to, insofar as the broad subjects are concerned.
1.) Older Games.This one is probably going to get the most mileage. As the so-called, self-titled Games Librarian, the main thrust of this blog is to talk about games that I already own. My gaming collection stretches back decades, and it would be a shame if I neglected talking about the evolution of the hobby as I personally see it. While I like a lot of the current crop of games that are hitting the market these days, I still love to dust off the older wares and look through them from time to time. These are where I cut my teeth, after all, and there are plenty of things to talk about with these damned things. And depending on my thoughts at a given moment, there might be something that can be related to more contemporary offerings.
2.) Current Games.
And yeah, I want to talk about new releases. I buy games on a fairly regular basis, when time, interest and money allow me to. There’s a reason I’ve built a damned library, after all. Necessarily, these may be ‘current’ only by comparison, as I have other obligations that prevent me from spending all day, every day reading RPG manuals, but who knows… maybe I’ll manage to crank out a review that’s pertinent to whatever audience I manage to attract.
On the other hand, I’m always available to talk about whatever interesting offerings are coming up on Kickstarter. Since there’s no actual product in hand, I can report on whatever sunshine and lollipops are being offered up in exchange for money on the gaming Kickstarters. (Be warned, however, I am a tad bitter with the way Kickstarters are being handled, as far as the RPG publishers are concerned. There have been a lot of fascinating missteps along the road to the new business model, and I’ve seen a lot of my money tied up for a very long time without anything to show for it.)
4.) Adventures, Modules, and Adventure Paths.
For better or worse, the idea of the Adventure Module has largely been lost to the winds of time for most current products, which I feel is a shame. These were mainstays back in the days of AD&D (both 1st and 2nd edition), but D&D 3.0/3.5 sort of neglected them, and most modern companies don’t bother with them. Except Paizo, of course. And Fantasy Flight, from the look of it. So, since it’s not something that most companies bother with, I’ll devote a little time to the companies who do. And who did, I suppose, since there’s plenty to work with. (The previous was a rambling justification of why I’ll be talking about Paizo products nearly exclusively for these posts.)
5.) Discarded Campaign Ideas.
So, here’s the thing. I have a lot of ideas. What I don’t have is the time to run a dozen different games in order to actually use these ideas. These days, I’m lucky to get a couple of games in during a week, and even then I don’t want to be planning or running all of them. As a result, I’ll be posting these ideas here and there, either for feedback or for people to quietly steal and use for themselves. There’s no guarantee that any of these ideas are any good, so keep that in mind. I’ll try to keep the truly inane word salad to myself, though.
6.) Gaming Philosophy/Critiques.On occasion, my friends link me to these sorts of self-help nonsense that show up on forums, purporting to offer advice on how to be a better GM. For the most part, these ideas are either complete nonsense or ways for the guy posting such things to draw attention to himself. Over the years, I’ve come up with a fairly solid methodology on how to game, and it works pretty well. (And despite my general antipathy towards sports, I’ll borrow from Messrs. Dean and Bryant: “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.”) So every now and again, I’ll deconstruct one of these sorts of ‘how-to’ lists to see what I do and don’t agree with. And who knows, maybe I’ll even offer apologies to the original authors if I go too far.
7.) Systems Discussion.
This is sort of a catch-all category for a number of different things. I’ve played a wide variety of games over the years, and there are aspects of each that I like, as well as things that annoy the living crap out of me. Where the Older and Newer Games categories of posts will deal with overall issues and impressions, this category of Systems Discussion will focus on why I think something or another deserves closer inspection and whether or not it can be pulled free to work somewhere else. Also, it will allow me to consider the ever-popular Hacks that can be done to a given system to alter or improve it. (This is also where things like House Rules will show up, since there are a lot of them that we’ve come up with for D&D/Pathfinder over the years.)
Huh. Inadvertently, I’ve given myself a subject for every day of the week. Somehow, I doubt I’ll manage to be that vigilant in my postings, but it gives me something to shoot for, I suppose. For the time being though, I’m letting myself be lazy and start by talking about Kickstarters with the next post. We’ll see just how ambitious things get once that’s out of the way.