Saturday, 31 December 2011

State of the RPG Nation

So it's that time of year, and nerds the world over are taking stock.

Over on, people are analysing depressing Google trend searches which seem at face value to indicate that RPGs are in terminal decline (though it is rightly pointed out that this is probably bullshit, and Google trend searches are impossible to glean anything from anyway). Meanwhile, the curmudgeons at are dissecting a column by Richard Baker, one of the main 4th Edition designers, which seems to indicate that WotC is now beginning to assassinate the character of the current edition in preparating for a release of iteration number 5 (as it did with 3rd edition and AD&D in times past before new edition releases).

So the world keeps turning. As for me, this has been a very good year for role playing, though it's been a crazy year of ups and downs in my personal life. As from October I've had actual weekly gaming, and good gaming at that - and it looks set to continue. I've expanded my horizons by playing actual story games, heaven forfend. I've managed to keep this blog going and widen its audience considerably, after learning to embrace periods of down-time when enthusiasm wanes and life gets in the way. And I think I've reached a stage at which I feel comfortable with my own GMing style (objective, dispassionate, improvisational, hands-off), the kind of games I like (relatively crunchy, though without much in the way of skill lists), and my preferences (G, with a touch of S and just a sprinkle of N, thankyouvermuch).

And in keeping with this blog's history, I've also generated a fair amount of what I like to think of as "healthy debate". So I thought I'd round of the year with a list of links to the most commented-on entries I wrote in the last 12 months, in reverse order:

9=. Piledriving D&D, in which I discussed the phenomenon of unintentional rules mistakes that are not corrected and become entrenched (21 comments).
9=. I Blame The Children; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Declaring Actions Before Rolling Initiative, in which I talked about initiative an awful lot (21 comments).
8. The Most Mammoth Bestiary-related RPG Download Ever is Available for Your Perusal, which is sort of self-explanatory really (22 comments).
7. Lord Spare Us, in which I ranted a lot about pseudointellectualism, which is rich coming from me (29 comments).
6. Ooh, Magic Missile, bemoaning how fucking boring D&D magic is (31 comments).
5. Rent-Seeking in the Dungeon, a musing on how productive adventuring is for the economy (33 comments).
4. Pointless and Unacceptable Levels of Pretentiousness, in which I wax pseudointellectual, thus contradicting the stance expressed in item 7 (36 comments).
3. On Lawfulness, in which I do exactly the same thing as in item 4 (40 comments).
2. Faking It; or, You'd Better be Al Pacino; or, Stop Rolling the Fucking Dice, in which I wade into the Quantum Ogre debate and...well...say some things that were apparently a bit controversial (120 comments).
1. What Am I Thinking?, an innocent post about puzzles which developed into something rather more than that and, ultimately, proved how small the gaming world is by uniting two people who'd once played a game of D&D together years ago and happen to both read my blog (125 comments).

Roll on 2012.

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