Between blogging everyday for over a year and finishing The Art of Wargaming, I’m feeling a bit anti-climatic.
I’ve been blogging about tabletop gaming for almost 5 years, beginning with the old website: d20 Dark Ages. Then came the previous incarnation of The Word of Stelios which very few people had read.
I started blogging because of some advice in an issue of Writer’s Digest: “It’s 2012! Why don’t you have a blog?” Since I hadn’t really written any fiction, I posted about roleplaying.
Back then D&D 5e had yet to come out. Pathfinder was still on top. And it was right before Grognardia ended its run, nearing the tail-end of the OSR movement: where a bunch of gamer grognards questioned the state of D&D, reminisced about the old days, and published a lot of great stuff.
Now a lot of those sites have gone dark. A few are still around. Timothy Brannon’s The Other Side blog is always fun read, specifically because he’s not OSR-centric. It’s still nice to drop into Tenkar’s Tavern from time-to-time. Other recommendations include Courtney Campbell’s Hack & Slash, Tim Shorts’ Gothridge Manor, and Mark Craddoc’s Cross Planes.
There’s more. Yet in the last year of so I’ve haven’t been keeping up with whatever the OSR has become. Nor have I kept tabs on the latest in RPG news, save for a weekly glance on ENWorld. So my apologies if your “old school” blog wasn’t mentioned. (Like Dyvers, for example, I’d really see Charles Atkins do another Great Blog Roll Call.)
And then there’s Cirsova, which when from a website about gaming to publishing a “Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.” I’m slowly reading through the first three issues. Most of the stories are quite good.
Not surprisingly, in the last year or so RPGs have become a distant second to wargames. It’s been hard to get a consistent and reliable group together for an RPG campaign (or find one). I’ve run Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG a few times for the Atlanta Intown RPG Day. But those were one-shots.
Wargames have filled in a nice little niche. I can commit to one game at a time, not a campaign. I get more miniatures painted when I’m frequently wargaming than I do with tabletop roleplaying.
And the blogs and websites are fun to look at: lots of gorgeously painted miniatures. The Oldhammer movement has matured, and while I’ll probably never play Warhammer Fantasy Battles, 3rd Edition, I get the appeal. Oldhammers and OSRers share the nostalgia, and I do believe something was lost as both hobbies grew more mainstream by the early 2000s. What that was exactly is up to debate.
Tabletop gaming as a whole has fragmented. Old School. New School. Middle School. Every time I go to my FLGS there’s always a new game being showcased. Older games, which were once hot (or not so hot), are now discounted. Dozens of different gamers play dozens of different games and its hard to find common ground.
A long time ago we used to wait for “the next Big Thing.” And whatever that was, when it finally came out, would sustain us for months, if not years. Now, I swear, for some tabletop games there’s a six month turn around in the rise and the fall of its popularity.
No. I’m not contemplating releasing my own heartbreaker tabletop game. I’m no game designer. (But I will be updating 100 Dramatic Entrances for Your Character soon, and perhaps publish a few more system-neutral supplements).
As for The Art of Wargaming, it’s going to sit for a while before I consider editing it and making into a PDF of some sort.
Here’s the strange thing–and this why you’ve got to get through the first draft of whatever you’re writing ASAP–I now know the theme, the core concept of The Art of Wargaming.
See, I thought it about escaping from Wargaming Hell and overcoming wargamers like The Bearded Bastard. It turns out that’s just the concept. The theme is something else entirely, and I didn’t realize it until I finished yesterday’s post.
That is all for now.
Tomorrow: Mini Monday returns…