Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Woke up this morning, and decided to (both literally and metaphorically) put all the RPG stuff away in a big box and forget about it. I've got copies of Rogue Trader, Marvel Super Heroes, OD&D, Swords and Wizardy, Labyrinth Lord, Lone Wolf Multiplayer, Dragon Age and abortive megadungeon projects floating around and I've had enough.

Going to concentrate on all the other gaming interests I have for a while rather than letting the fool's errand of getting some RPGing up and running start to dominate things.


  1. Fair enough mate.
    Life's too short.

  2. The funny thing about our hobbies are what a mindblowingly huge time sink they are.

    Painting an entire army well, or designing a good D&D campaign in advance can easily take years. Yet I think that much of the appeal and selling point of both RPGs and miniatures wargames is that dreaming about the game or prepping for it often outstrip the playtime itself. And that the cure for the hard work of painting minis or designing encounters can be distracted from by consumer therapy in the form of buying more unpainted lead or useless splatbooks.

    We live in denial of these elephants in the room, and companies like GW and WOTC actively try and keep customers on a treadmill of consumerism.

    We are willing fools in this metagame, refusing to play "unsupported" editions or games, and continuously underestimating the time it will take to complete a project. The key seems to be to choose but one or two projects, then make sure you complete them. Most of us lose interest as soon as it becomes tedious to paint the 20th figure, or populate the 20th dungeon room. Far easier to buy another blister pack, or a compleat haberdasher splatbook, or begin to obsess about the new release of Space Hulk or something.

    RPGs are crazy complicated. I wrote an NPC generator for Rules Cyclopedia D&D, and it totaled 27000 lines of code. The monster database I'm writing to go with it is approaching 1000 variations of monster type when you include Creature Catalog. And this is for so-called "basic D&D". I think we kid ourselves that we can handle such complexity easily - if it's taken me weeks to write these programs, then looking up options and typing them out longhand for every adventure encounter would take far longer.

    So good luck with your sojourn, just remember to come back y'all now, y'hear, and when you do, choose a modest, focused project. Then finish it.