Episode 27 – Setting the Tabletop

We chat with Jason Pitre about settings for RPGs, how they’re presented and used in games.

Genisis of Legend
History Panic

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  1. Hey folks! Enjoyable podcast as always.

    I want to speak to the topic again of online forums and our hobby. You’ve mentioned it before, and spoke to my tweet on this topic as an ending in this episode, which I appreciate. However, I think there is more depth to this topic. Us gamers have always been one of the early adopters of new communication mediums (and old) as a way to talk about and play our games. There has always been Play by Post, for example, and this format has probably been used on even more obscure formats such as shortwave radio, aside from BBs of the old days, then came USENET, Email, and into what came after. Remember, we were using Google Wave during that very short time it was around before it was transformed into G+

    People are certainly gaming on all these mediums and having lively discussions. Podcasts are one of those mediums too, and the popular podcasts, such as Fear the Boot and Happy Jacks even have gained a large enough following to host their own cons.

    In defense of Reddit: Back in the early 90s we had USENET. I can’t spin off a detailed history and lineage of all the mediums. I can say that USENET was a heavily active place for many years, then Google bought it and turned it into Google Groups (I think this has now become G+)– as an additional complication Youtube’s comments have been rolled into G+, so video, audio, and text are all intermeshing in the Google space.

    Sites like Reddit are important because they carry the spirit of USENET more than what G+ and hangouts are probably because of the possibility of anonymity. It is definitely another and very popular medium– there are almost 90 000 subscriptions to r/rpg. I have been regularly posting, commenting and reading r/rpg for the past 4 years, and when we talk about current debates in the hobby, such as older styles juxtaposed against more contemporary storygame styles, that is where people with strong opinions are going to hash things out. So, take another look at these large forums. There are more gems in them than you all seem to realize, and there are more sites and mediums available than you guys mentioned: for example, enworld, Giant in the Playground, Story-Games.com, even format specific PbP sites like myth-weavers.com or campaign hosting sites like obsidianportal.com merit further examination. I am happy to help brainstorm a list of distinct communities and forums to research, if you do decide to give this topic another look.

    I want to emphasize that it is the conversation that is important. I have certainly learned much when participating in such a popular medium as r/r/pg with a very large cross-section of people from so many corners of our hobby (international I wish to highlight.)

    I have learned about how large the Italian and other foreign (to me) markets are, to my surprise. I have learned about how strongly people feel about labels, and I have learned to be more sensitive (yet also to just accept that certain strong opinions I have are ok to have). I have been called poisonous to the hobby for using the word “Trad” to describe RPG play that runs like the old D&D style, and I am very grateful for having this exchange. I am now struggling to talk in a more accepting way, less judgemental, and particularly with more understanding. This is the value of forums like r/rpg which still have some measure of anonymity available allowing a different measure of airing out of frustrations, hurt, and confusion. I think the later is very important. It is as important a tool for community development as things like conventions and G+ where more intimate and actual real identity communication is the norm.

    [as an additional aside, consider a topic to have in the future being the antagonism or synergy between varying gaming styles.]


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