Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Retooling for 2015

At first this was going to be an RPG blog. That was fun for a while.

I don't play or run a lot of RPGs these days. So I'm going to write about more things. I hope that'll be fun for a while.

Why don't I play or run RPGs much? I'm getting old. That has two consequences. One is time -- I have more to do with my days. Working my day job, working my side gigs, doing some parenting, doing some now-the-kids-are-out-of-the-house-so-who-is-this-person-I-married stuff, and just wasting time. After grad school and then the rush of other family graduations, I like having time to waste on pointless solo projects.

The other is what, for lack of a non-snobby term, I'll call refinement. Not in the sense of "being better," understand, but the sense of "honing and sharpening." I've been roleplaying for a couple decades now. I have a pretty good sense of what I enjoy: PRETENDING. I like being a fictional person in an imaginary setting. I like character history, troubled pasts, shiny goals, personalities. I like players who are allowed to make up stuff about their characters and I like GMs who use that stuff to help everyone tell cool stories.

I like RPG groups made of people who are actors but who weren't theater majors.

And those people are hard to find. Lots of people roleplay to solve puzzles, or to imaginarily kill imaginary monsters and get imaginary treasure, or to have weird power trips, or whatever. That's fine by me. But that's not fun for me. I like games with players who pretend to Be Somebody and then Want Something and then Pursue That Something Goddammit Because It's IMPORTANT. Plus, y'know, playing nicely with everyone else in the sandbox.

That's hard to arrange.

I don't need an all-actor group. But I don't enjoy no-actor groups anymore. If rolling up stats or assigning character points or being handed a sheet and told "This is you" doesn't wake something up in the pretendy part of your brain, the bit that generates names and histories and a drive to explore/create simultaneously, we might not be a good match. So it goes.

We'll talk about more stuff down the road. It's good to be back.