This month’s blog carnival topic is worldbuilding. How do you get the worlds you use for your game? Do you create your own or use a published world? If you create your own, where did you start? What do you like best about building your own settings? What suggestions and resources do you have for teaching others how to build worlds of the their own? What are the pros and cons of building your own world? Where do you get the inspiration for your worlds.
It’s a broad topic, I know. I’d like to stick to the whys and wherefores of building worlds, rather than details of the worlds themselves. Instead of telling us about your world, tell us how you created it and why, as well as sharing any tips you may have for others who’d like to build their own game world, but don’t know where to start.
I’m looking forward to seeing your posts; just put the URL of your post in the comments section below and at the end of the month, I’ll do a wrap-up post listing everyone’s contributions.
First off, thanks to everyone who contributed to August’s Blog Carnival Teaching the Game. This is my first time hosting the carnival; thanks for making it a success. This post is a little late, but I just got married last week and am only now getting the chance to get back to a regular schedule. We had some great posts this month:
Again, thanks to everyone who participated. I’ll be hosting the January 2011 blog carnival on Worldbuilding, so mark your calendars .
First off, thanks to Mad Brew Labs for hosting the July carnival on Growing the Hobby. It really got some great discussion going. This month’s carnival actually (and inadvertently) extends that discussion. Much of the consensus about growing the hobby focused on how we, as RPG players and GMs, need to teach our games to as many new players as we can. This month, I take that one step further and ask how do we teach them?
I’d originally intended to call this “Passing it Down” and focus on children and roleplaying, but then I realized that was only one type of new RPG player. So this month, I want to focus on the hows and wherefores of teaching RPGs to new players, whether they be adults or children, people just joining their first game or people who’ve been playing for decades learning a new system.
Here’s some possible questions to get you going:
And, of course, anything else you can think of.
I’ve always enjoyed teaching games and most of the convention games I’ve run have been designed to introduce new players the whatever system I’m running. Later this month I’ll post my techniques on running a teaching game. I’m looking forward to seeing your posts; just put the URL of your post in the comments section below and at the end of the month, I’ll do a wrap-up post listing everyone’s contributions.
For this month’s blog carnival Mad Brew Labs has posed the question “Challenge: Growing the Hobby”. Since I started playing in 1980, the hobby has grown exponentially and shows no sign of stopping. Sure, in the general population interest flares up, wanes, and fares again but the sheer number of people who play RPGs has grown considerably since its beginning. Do we really need it to grow more?
I think that before we can really answer the question of how to grow our hobby, we need to define exactly what hobby it is that we’re trying to grow. It’s RPGs, of course. But what, exactly, are RPGs? Tabletop games using traditional rules systems such as D&D, GURPS, Storyteller, Savage Worlds, etc. are obviously RPGs. But tabletop games have grown away from the table or were never there to start with. Are LARPs (live-action roleplaying games) RPGs? I think most of us would answer “yes”, simply because they’re usually based on a tabletop system.
But that being the case then, do the How to Host a Murder games that were popular in the late ’80′s also RPGs? I tend not classify them as RPGs for the simple matter that they involved reading lines from a set script. But what about the murder mystery trains and interactive theatres? How about re-enactment and re-creation such as the Society for Creative Anacronisms and black-powder rendezvous? What makes them different from LARPS?
Moving back to tabletop (in a way), we come to Play by Mail, Play by Email, and Play by Post games. Are they also RPGs? I think most of us would, again, say “yes” because they’re still playing something we recognize as an RPG. But that, then, leads us to open the big can of worms … MMOs. Are MMOs a type of RPG?
My point here isn’t to spark debate about what is or isn’t an RPG. My point is that the hobby may already be more mainstream and wide-spread than we frequently think.
I hate gaming dry spells. I think the longest period I’ve gone without gaming was two years, if you’re talking about actually sitting at the table, either as GM or player. If you’re counting game preparation and research, it’s more like, well, 6 months.
How to do I manage? Gaming is a priority for me: right after the important personal relationships in my life and equal to martial arts. Which puts it way ahead of just about everything else, since rpgGM.com is my job as well as my love. It also helps that just about everyone in my immediate family are also gamers. I’ve been very, very blessed, especially with a fiancé who’s actively encouraging me to (and supporting me while) I get my own game publishing company off the ground.
But this is about how to survive the drought. Like everyone else, I’ve had times when I couldn’t get a group together or couldn’t find one I wanted to play in. Here’s what I do when I’m game deprived:
What can I say? I’m a game junkie. Gaming is one of the things my family does together and that’s something I’m very grateful for.