So I had a chat with my old mate Gaz and he bemoaned the lack of anything gaming related to buy these days. Really? I think it depends what you’re into obviously. I can’t keep up with the D&D release schedule it’s so demanding. There’s always new Traveller stuff, Dark Heresy too. And then there’s Dragon Warriors, which is the actual point of this post.

I owned DW in the 80s. I played the arse out of it. Wrote a fanzine (The Ereworn Ear) and everything. Still have the books upstairs, and I’ve held off ebaying them because of my good times with those lovely little books.

Now it’s back, published by James Wallis, a man for whom I have no little respect. (Remind me to tell you one day about how I buttonholed him in Games Workshop’s reception.) His aims are laudable, and anyone who is passionate enough to put their cash into RPGs gets my vote. The really weird thing is the fan reaction. There’s two parts to this, the bizarre (IMO) desire for new rules (which would destroy the game they want to save), and the desire to promote their new favourite game, because of the fear of it disappearing, again.

I know this is a churlish point of view but, where exactly were they when the game went out of print the first time round? It’s because of their lack of support the game went away in the first place. I get the feeling that there’s a large proportion of gamers who can only get interested in games that are in hobby stores today. Then there’s this odd behaviour where they attempt to champion the game (which is fair enough) but then it goes beyond that. It becomes about evangelising the game, in order to save the game. From what exactly? No game ever really goes out of print. between PDFs and ebay you’ve got the history of gaming at your fingertips.

This is why I like the old school D&D movement so much, not for the games they’re playing but for the fact that they are playing, not worrying about the state of a publishers bottom line. Why can some gamers only get excited with a brand new book? Does new necessarily mean good?

Let’s get real. Role playing is a tiny hobby. Tiny. I love it to death but I don’t think anyone has any right to expect it to spawn an industry. Dragon Warriors was a great game, in it’s day.That day is over.  Seeing folk fawn over it now reminds me of the feeling I get when I see a teenager in a Nirvana t-shirt.



Filed under RPG

3 responses to “Neophiles?

  1. Yes really Baz. You know where I’m coming from. As I said, I’m never going to play D&D and although its a staple, and always going to have support, its not something I’m going to buy into. I’ve always been one of the DOG types at GenCon rather than the mass-table D&D crowd.

    “There’s always new Traveller stuff, Dark Heresy too. And then there’s Dragon Warriors, which is the actual point of this post.”

    Ha ha. Traveller is so old school its almost D&D and the stuff that I’ve seen is still of the same mould, its not really “new” for what I want. Dragon Warriors? What? That’s the same – its not even very good, and as your post says, its got nostalgia factor but… DH? I’ve had variable comments about the new publisher and again, its basically the WFRP engine with old fashioned background and world.

    I want *new* stuff to buy Baz – new games, interesting settings, if you’re into games from the 80’s then maybe you’re sorted, but where’s the freshness in the hobby? Even the hippies have gone a bit quiet.

    Now, looking at the rest of your post, I know what you’re saying about people viewing games as dead when there’s not a constant flood of splat books, which is a bit silly. I’ve recently played Blue Planet, Pendragon, Earthdawn (1st Ed) and a host of other things (but to come back full circle, it doesn’t stop me wanting to buy new stuff).

    As I believe we’ve discussed several times, many games are great as core books – in fact they’re finely balanced mechanically etc., its when you have to start buying tons of sourebooks, with power creep, or crucially, very little content, that I get frustrated. I want more books, but I want good ones. To go Old Skool myself – check out Over the Edge as a fine example. Lots of adventures and source material – and you know what – one book was 8 pages long, but had more ideas and gaming punch then many 96 pages offerings from other companies.

    I want new and interesting stuff to buy. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to buy new things as well. I’ve got cash, will purchase.

    And somewhere in the recesses of my wardrobe there’s a nirvana t-shirt. I’m not going to buy another one *again* though. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.


    • I think the new stuff you want is out there, but it’s increasingly hard to find without serious effort, or more likely, a personal recommendation. I don’t think the new release shelf at your FLGS is the place to look any more, and indie gaming is even more impenetrable now than it ever was.
      While my back was turned Savage Worlds, and Triple Ace Games in particular went and did loads of new staff. Hellfrost anyone?
      Then there’s Mutant City Blues from Pelgrane Press. Spycraft has been quietly churning out e-books for ages. Same over at Green Ronin, and they’ve just gotten Song of Ice & Fire on the shelves too.
      Now this is just from memory. It could be that there is in fact a dearth of new games, and I’m just too busy playing to notice!
      (Feel free to shoot down all those new releases one by one if you like;))

      • Ha ha! You asked for it…

        TAG stuff has got some good reviews and recommendations. I’m not really a pdf man though and that’s been most of their stuff. I’m currently waiting on a couple of people to tell me if Hellfrost is good. Savage makes a good fantasy game, so it just needs the setting.

        Spycraft is D&D with a different hat on.

        MCB is Gumshoe and has been discussed at length, that’s not a good thing.

        SoIaF is something I’m interested in, but the intrigue and war the cover talks about it belied by the floorplan on page on of the preview – I might look into that, but think its using the wrong vehicle. I’d arguably be better for what I want using Unknown Armies and one of the novels.

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