Saturday, September 15, 2007

Back to the Old (Weird) West
Gaming With Blake

So, Blake & I are getting ready to start a old school Deadlands game. We'll be using the original rules, rather than the Savage Worlds rules. I'm okay with that, but eventually, I plan to try and get him to convert over. We'll see how far it goes.

I'm kind of excited to run this for him. He seems to really enjoy reading the rulebooks. I helped him make his character, an Indian Brave, but left the naming and background up to him. No background yet, but he settled on the name, "One with Buffalo." Quite frankly, it blew me away. I've made a preacher character, and my wife may join in with a character as well.

We'll see what happens.

Since this is my first post here about Blake, I'll take a moment to explain why I'm planning on singling him out. Blake is 13 years old and has Aspbergers Syndrome. He definately has the book smarts, but Blake lacks in areas of Common Sense and general sociability. With RPG's being the social vehicles they are, I think it will be an interesting experiment to see how he adapts to the challenges that face him. He's done okay in previous sessions of D&D that's we've played as a family, but this will be a first solo test.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Gaming Evangelist
Expanding the Hobby

The other night, my wife and I were out with another couple, and the conversation eventually found itself on the topic of Gen Con. Being the only one of the four of us ever having attended (and also the only regular gamer), I had the opportunity to talk about the convention, as well as the hobby itself. This, of course led to talking about the games I played, notably Dungeons & Dragons. As I have done in the past when this conversation comes around, I extended the invitation to show the other couple how to play, and run a session for them. They expressed an interest, beyond the normal courtesy given in such matters.

I fully intend to follow through.

This exchange got me thinking about what we, as gamers do to pay the hobby back. It's given us plenty of enjoyment over the years, and we owe it to the hobby to encourage and enlist new gamers into the ranks. Take a moment to think about what you can do to expand the "player base" in your area. Is it offering to run demos at your Friendly Local Gaming Store? Is it starting a club through your local library? Teaching people how to play a certain game via Community Education? Just offering to show some fellow employees how to play? There is a lot that can be done.

Pay it back.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Looking Ahead and Back
Gen Cons Past

This past Gen Con came the announcement that D&D 4e was coming out next May. I didn't attend the announcement and to be honest, I still feel rather ho-hum about the entire thing. I will still check out the rules and changes when I get the time, but I'm happy with my 3.5 right now, thank you very much.

The 4e Announcement made me think back to the days when 3e was announced and released. And after listening to episode 68 of Fear the Boot, I started thinking about it even more. I was there, and shot video of it. Both the announcement and the day it was released a year later. Did it then because we were hot & heavy doing the Wounds Unlimited webzine.

The release was crazy. Because I was press, I was allowed to go into the Exhibitor's Hall early and get a good spot to shoot the throngs that came running in. It was a friggin' madhouse, more so than is shown in the video.

What is in the clip? Well, I have bits and pieces from the announcement session in 1999, with Peter Adkinson, Ryan Dancey (along with some humor as to why 3e was being released), and appearances by Gargy G and Dave Arneson. Some shots of concept sketches and a little reaction from a fan at the session. Then we jump forward to 2000, and where you see a bit of the press conference for the release, then to the real action where folks are rushing in, and a walkthrough of the line of people waiting & hoping to pick up their copy (WotC had 10K copies of the 3e PHB, if memory serves).

What impressed me the most about the 3e release and made it exciting for me, was the legitimacy that Ryan Dancey and WotC efforted to put on the entire event. From the announcement in '99 to the press conference and release party in 2000 (got a sweet D&D shot class that eventually broke). Any effort to make our hobby more mainstream is good in my book.

I ask for forgiveness for the shaky elements in the video. I was usually far away and with no tripod. Also, the audio was weak in some spots, mostly due to the old tape.