Soundtrack for this: Tekkonkinkreet – Beginnings
Let this be an introductory post. One that outlines what I plan on doing here, what I plan on talking to you (and hopefully with you) about. One that I can refer to when somebody asks what the heck I am even doing here, and one that you can refer to when I ask what the heck I am even doing here.
But first, let me take a metaphorical selfie.
I have been a consumer of tabletop RPGs for a large chunk of my conscious life (which might still be comparably short for a lot of the seasoned veterans of this scene). I started playing around the year 2000, when my older brother introduced little 12-year-old me to AD&D (that’s D&D 2nd Edition, for you newcomers to the genre). It wasn’t that much later that I also took up the role of Gamemaster with my own group of friends, while still playing with the older and more experienced people from my brother’s side. Sure, the first couple of years as a DM were a pretty bumpy ride, where I ditched the concept of “preparation” for something like “I’ll just make it up as I go”, which, as you might imagine, didn’t always go so well.
Over the years, I never really stopped playing, I always had either my brother or my own gaming group to sit down with and roleplay the night away. I got more experienced as a Gamemaster, more knowledgeable about the rules and their loopholes, and I also branched out into other RPG systems pretty early.
One of the first ones – and the first RPG I actually played in a larger group – was Vampire: Dark Ages. It introduced me very early on to the concepts of a point-based progression system as opposed to D&D’s level-based one, and kindled my interest in the more story focused RPGs. Over time, I tried my hands on all sorts of systems, many of which were still D20-based, some of which were not: Engel (a German, diceless system) sparked my interest very early on; the New World of Darkness also became a staple at some point; somehow I stumbled across the modular Atomik Fuzion system; and more recently Burning Wheel and especially Legend of the 5 Rings bludgeoned their way into my RPG collection. Those were just a few examples from the top of my head, there’s also been a number of systems that I only experienced for one session or so.
Having played all of that (and read a whole bunch more) over the course of the last 14 years, I am at a point where I’m quite certain about what I do and do not like in my roleplaying games. I am also starting to more and more embrace the idea of creating something… To be clear, ever since this whole mess started, I have been tweaking and tinkering with the RPGs at my disposal, first simply adopting new settings, later on diving more and more into the deep waters of homebrew rules, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes just to accomodate our finer tastes and more outlandish ideas in our games.
Now, this is where I actually get to the point of this whole post:
I specifically want to achieve two things with this blog.
1.) I’d like to take the opportunity and just dump my opinions about all those different RPG systems and about general aspects of our favorite freetime activity on here. Firstly so that I can actually manifest them in written form for the first time, but I’d also like to spark some discussions with you, the readers, as well, just to hear what other people think about these things.
2.) Plagued by the idea of actually creating something on my own instead of just consuming other people’s work all the time, I will gradually present ideas for my very own RPG system on here, from mechanics to setting and beyond. By doing that, I hope to get myself to actually invest more time into this project instead of just brainstorming about it on the bus.
I hope you enjoy at least one of those aspects and decide to stick around and join me in this creative journey, even if it might be quite a lonely one at the beginning.