Monday, January 6, 2014

In a Slump

A belated happy new year to everyone!

I know i have been neglecting this blog for some time now. At first I thought one of the main reasons was the disaster of a convention I was on (and work ...). I tried to prepare something and failed (some people would say I tried too hard). Tried to improvise and almost no one showed up because so many other things went wrong it was almost cruel (for one thing, my game was to start late at night, but to add failure to bad luck,  they forgot to register I was even there ...).

Another thing was something I overheard while standing near the hangout that announced my game. There were 3 gamers that looked at it and started to be funny about it, too. Something like "Rules Cyclopedia with some AD&D and Hackmaster in it? The guy got to be wrong in the head!". Their dismissive attitude was discouraging. And it raised some questions.

For one, I started to ask myself how compatible the OSR really is. Turns out, as far as I could glean, the idea of keeping old games alive and attempting to customize them seems not to be very appealing to the general audience. Not only because of those three stooges talking about it, but also because of the general vibe at the convention. It's always the shiny new and/or the hyped games that get the attention.

This shouldn't be surprising, at least that's what I tried to tell myself. After all that's the society we have to live in. Idealism only seems to work if it's marketable. Just like everything else.

In the end I had two people at my table (which was, rather fitting to the day I was having, isolated from the others and between the toilets ...). One of them was a buddy of mine that had decided to join me at this convention, the other was a girl that'd rather play something than going to sleep somewhere. I believe we had some fun. After all the game had lasted for nearly four hours and was only ended because we were all to tired to continue. I even was able to test some of the new house rules I had cooked on this here blog.

Nonetheless, it had left a bad taste in the mouth.

It really made me think about quitting gaming and I really wasn't in the mood to read or write about the hobby.

But every story, indifferent to how poorly executed, deserves a happy end. It took a few weeks, but I started to miss blogging. Trying to gather the motivation to do so or coming up with something worth writing about turned out to be difficult, though.

But last weekend the veil seemed to lift and the ideas came back and without every thought process ending in what I perceived as a fail.

In the end it was about time and distance.

The next weeks will tell if I'm able to make a happy ending and successfully revive the blog with some new ideas.

Until then I wish all of you a good start into the new year, with some good writing and reading along the way and a lot of gaming!


  1. Assuming that something new is better than the last is alive and well over on this side of the pond. It's actually a topic of study in an international engineering course I took. Still there are a number of people who appreciate something for it's quality regardless of its age. I'm sorry to hear your convention experience wasn't very OSR compatible but every convention I've been to on the East Coast State-side has involved some manner of AD&D, OD&D, Hackmaster and more recently I've seen Labyrinth Lord and numerous Indie games being offered. Don't let a small sample size inspire gloom and doom in everything you see. I for one am looking forward to more of your house rules.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! At some point in the future I will have to travel over that big pond and see the states. Maybe get some gaming going, too, while I'm at it. Anyway, Germany might just be a few years behind the trend. The rest was bad luck at the wrong time :)

    2. You should definitely come to the states. Germans seem to do really well here and to have a hell of a good time. At least in the south, at any rate.

  2. Don't be discouraged JD.

    I'm always looking forward to your posts and to seeing how you're thinking about the game. You've got a good mind for it, and those fools missed out on a good game if you ask me.

    1. It really helps to get some encouraging feedback, so thank you very much for that, Charles! I'll try and keep that up :)

  3. Bad sessions happen, and it sounds like it wasn't really a bad session. Focus on that. Your players had a good time, and only stopped when everyone was too tired to play. That's pretty awesome. And those 3 games who think you're wrong in the head, well, if so, I am too!

    1. Thank you, David! The OSR is a good, creative and open neighbourhood. That's what I like about blogging here. It's nice to see people really showing interest in their hobby instead of just treating it as the latest nerd accessoir or enforcing an artificial pecking order to get a superficial and hollow feeling of importance ... Well, I have seen evil that day and it ain't pretty.

      But in the end we had a good time and you're right, it's what I should focus on :-)


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