Today's #RPGaDAY2020 prompt is
What do I want? (GAMING when do I want it a reasonable portion of my time)
This prompt has me thinking about what I actually want out of gaming. Kind of as a companion piece to an earlier post about how my approaches to gaming have changed in the past, maybe this one is about looking to the future. So, unordered:
A weekly game. There's something about the regularity, of meeting with the same friends in the same world week after week, that builds into something marvelous. And maybe this is only with a long-running campaign, or maybe weekly one-shots would work just as well. I think it's the high frequency that matters--I don't think its something that can be captured with an occasional pick-up game, or monthly. Maybe bi-weekly. Too bad that it's impossible to find a time that works for everyone as adults.
A healthy discourse. There was rpgnet and then G+, there was the Forge and Storygames, there's always been twitter (feels like), now there's the discord and The OSR Pit, but there's still no sensible critique, no teaching, no professionally-run recognition (did you see the ENnies??). This is an indie scene, people swirling around the same ideas and disagreeing, sometimes violently, and while that has advantages with a low barrier to entry and punk/zine/DIY aesthetic it also means that it's too easy for toxicity to just fester and for poison to spread and for good ideas to get lost and forgotten. There is building-work coming out tho, in multitudinous forms (did you see Anti-Sisyphus?? and the RPG Design Zine is so cool). I dunno, building a scene is hard. Ask me about magicians some time.
Interesting stories. There's a lot of different ways to get these, and I'm not sure I have a preference. Shared narrative control is just as cool to me as emergent story from gameplay, so OSR ideas can overlap with weird GMless improv exercises and both with everything else like bennie systems to Fate-ian aspect-calling. And what about baking the story into the system through genre-specific actions like PbtA playbooks or mechanics like Dread or even hard-coding characters and plot like Lady Blackbird? There's more than one way to bind a book.
Players who want to try new things. I think conditions have to be right for this, and they all involve the above three things. People who meet regularly, built trust together, and maybe want variety. Players need to feel they're not trying something too esoteric or toxic or otherwise off-putting, and maybe have a vague familiarity with alternate systems. And the game needs to be worth playing, by the resulting stories being fun/memorable/engaging.
What do you want?