Thursday, March 20, 2014

Defending ‘March Madness’ Non-D&D Bloghop and Day 20 Answers

Since I started this blog challenge, some sad sacks have taken it upon themselves to comment on how worthless it is. It is sad that people feel the need to complain when they should be happy others share their hobby and are blogging at all. There have been a few points of constructive criticism, for which I am grateful, but most of it has been bitching and whining, in my estimation.

Here is a review of the main thrusts and my responses:

Point 1 - It is ‘dull.’
Riposte - Then how vapid and venal must a person who goes to the trouble of commenting on such a dull activity seem? There are almost a dozen blogs who did find it interesting enough to participate, so why waste your time commenting on it unless you’re trolling or dull yourself?

Point 2 - It is ‘attention grabbing’
Riposte - And your responses, your entire blog isn’t? This is why we blog, to connect, to share ideas and shoot the shit, to get likes and replies and all the psychological strokes a healthy ego needs. I’m not afraid to admit that or have such an inflated sense of self that I look down on community exercises.

Point 3 - It is so ‘been there, done that.’
Riposte - Well, good for you, but some of us aren’t the cool kids who’ve been around the block. With the attrition of OSR blogs you’d think this type of motivational exercise would be welcome. I have half a mind to start a repository of requisite blog hops for newcomers, or put them in Links of Wisdom.

Point 4 - It is ‘useless’ and does nothing ‘for the hobby.’
Riposte – EVERY blog does something for the hobby, even the loathsome YDIS. We even have The Other Side’s Timothy and Dennis from What A Terrible Night to Have a Curse participating, both of whom are active publishers and actually done things for the OSR, and I trust their judgment of what is ‘useful’ more than a pundit who stands on their blog alone.

As I said in response to a ‘Blog Dodge’ proposal HERE, by all means declare yourself and your blog ‘Advanced OSR’ and eschew these topics if you feel you want to. But don’t piss on the parade and then wonder why people think you’re a troll.

Anyway, end rantmission. Back to transmission.

20 Which setting have you enjoyed most? Why?

Once again I’ll split this into games for reading and games for playing.

Reading – Jorune was a fantastic read, akin to good fiction, but the buy in was too high to get a game started. Similarly, games like Palladium’s FRPG have great gameworlds, but turn vanilla when you sit down to play in them. Ditto D&D’s iconic gameworlds – apart from really flavourful realms like Dark Sun or Planescape, I never knew back in the day if my character was trudging through the Forgotten Realms, Mystara, or Blackmarsh.

Playing – I suppose this is why established IPs have always stuck with me more. I’ve touched on Stormbringer’s Young Kingdoms many times before, but games I played in the Star Wars and Marvel universes stand out. I guess the only pure RPG gameworld that impressed me was Paranoia, strangely enough. The Kafkaesque dystopia of Alpha Complex really resonates with everyone I’ve talked to who has adventured there. Although Rifts was great for a gonzo shitlaugh, Paranoia’s setting felt real enough to encourage immersion around the table, with previously wooden players becoming animated as they lied and backstabbed others.

Actually, with this question I look forward to reading other people’s responses and discovering the attractions of other worlds. I am looking for a make believe place to vacation after my next thesis deadline is done in May.


  1. Really? People are that negative about these things? I do understand the fatigue of seeing the same topics pop up in my blog reading list, but instead of complaining, I've just clicked on other links. There are plenty of blogs NOT participating in this challenge, it's not like there' nothing else to read.

    Anyway, this exercise has gotten me to remember several gems I tried in the past, and a few clunkers that I'll likely avoid in the future. And some of the little-known gems I post about might be new to some of my readers (or something they've heard of but never checked out).

    If I get a chance to play Kobolds Ate My Baby again, then that's a success in my opinion! Likewise, I've never played Skyrealms of Jorune before, and it's something I'd love to check out some day. And it's doing something for the hobby - at least for my enjoyment of the hobby. :D

    1. Meh, I probably let it get to me a bit with my stress and exhaustion. Whatever - I am having a blast reading other's answers and remembering my own. It's made me resolve to widen my gaming repertoire (via G plus probably) once I crawl out from under school. Hope yours is going better.