Saturday, July 30, 2011

Where's the Trail Strider?

The trail through my blog that is. I've been cruising around trying to tidy things up a bit and feel a little discombobulated. I'll be reorganizing some things today. It sort of goes with the idea that you can only do what you do well. I've been trying to keep up with the retro clone/variant market but it's a challenge to say the least. I've spent more time surfing than I have blogging lately. There is literally so _much_ out there.

For instance, Drance just let me know about the very excellent looking Crypts and Things. By D101 Games. It actually looks like it is going to offer quite a few fixes to what people are complaining about with the DCC RPG. Keeping in mind of course that DCC is still in beta test. But I seriously doubt they will drop Elves, Dwarves and the like as standard fantasy races. But it is true that Swords & Sorcery rarely featured such tropes. And I doubt even more that they'll drop Clerics. But they may work in some black/white/grey magic what with all the comments about it on the forums. But these are all elements Crypts and Things is starting out with. And I also love their campaign concept of the exploring of a dying world. Great potential there. Brings Jack Vance to mind.

There are so many good games coming out now. And the fact is it would be a full time job to keep up with just the Swords & Sorcery variants let alone all the new games out there. News is news, but covering it all is just not something I can keep up with. So this realization has led me to reconsider my scope lately and think about narrowing it some. I have spent so much time debating game design and theory along with trying to get a handle on the development and evolution of the game industry that I seem to be missing the forest for the trees. Well, actually that's not an apt metaphor. I've been looking for a forest that isn't there. Oh heck, forget the metaphors. I've focused too much on the differences and not enough on the similarities.

Let's face it we all game because we are looking for a god adventure story. Just like there are all types of genres of fiction, even of fantasy fiction, there are all types of games. We all come to one game, or maybe a small handful of them, to the exclusion of others. We can spend lots of time reading other games or we can spend lots of time playing games and extending the imagination. And I suppose that there are those with enough time to do both. But me, I'm a part time blogger, full time Dad, Husband, Professional and any time gamer. Lately that any time has dwindled to no time.

So, I'm trying to get into a play by post Hackmaster game soon, and the owner of my FLGS called me and asked that I run a game once a month -- any game I want! -- on my schedule. And school is starting soon so the gaming club will be up and running in no time. I've got three schools to cover now, the High School, Junior High and Middle School for club membership. So out of the blue the gaming is falling like rain, blessed gaming rain! And it's really made me think about focusing my efforts some here. I don't think I'll try and spread myself all over the industry anyway. The gaming industry is what it is. I suppose I thought in some Don Quixote type of way I could tilt at their windmills and change them some. But a morning epiphany led me to understand that I don;t do this to change the industry. My crusade is really about keeping the flame alive. The gaming flame. And that my friends happens in our imaginations and at the gaming table.

So the forest appears out of the mist around me. A shaft of leaf-scintillated sunlight stabs the gloom and there ahead I can make out a trail. It's only a game trail, thin and covered over; but the tracks it bears are suspicious. And I am hungry enough for adventure to follow.

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