Friday, December 31, 2010

Still fighting after all thease years

D&D and roleplaying has been in the public eye for over three decades. Yet somehow the public still hasn't inderstood or even been made more aware of it. My case in point from my personal experience. I have been for sometime trying to get custody of my children. A few months ago the local branch of the Children's Aid Society sent a woman out to do a Parental Assesment of me. We met twice and she asked questions and filled out a questionaire. Later she wrote in her report that I was an "avid collector of children's games and action figures" She has decided that my apartment is "cluttered with his collection of games and figures" And somehow also has stated that I alluded to the fact that I am a vampire. I am stunned, such a biased and incorrect view of my hobby I have never encountered. None of the games in my collection are "children's games" and I don't own any action figures. As for the vampire thing I can only think it be from a reference to roleplaying I made. Clearly this woman had no idea what she was talking about but presents her opinion as if she did. I am being painted in a negative light because of a hobby that most people don't know much if anything about. She could only do this due to the detrimental way in which this activity is viewed by a largely uninformed public. The media coverage has done nothing to change this. We are being marginalized in the pubic eye as a lunatic fringe. Back in highschool I had expected this kind of thing but that was 25 years ago. To face it again was surprising. Its a sad commentary on our society. I thought the anti-roleplaying hysteria had died down.


  1. Media Coverge has very little to do with it, when the industry markets primarly to young adolescents and the mature gamers are afraid to admit that they have an interest the perception will not change. When the "host a Murder" series was released it was marketed towards adults and was excepted by the public although it really was a simple roll playing game in which adults dress up. I remember doing this as a little kid. If gamers wish to change the percepttion of RPG's in our society they need to behave like the Brave Paladin they play and not hide in their basement like a cowardly goblin, Get out and defend the Hobby there are more Gamers out there than you may realize.

  2. A. Nony Mouse is onto something there. We all need to demonstrate some RPGing goodness to the general public. Fortunately we have one of the Read an RPG Book in Public Weeks coming up (February 27 to March 5), and I gather that a mainstream sitcom will have an episode where the series regulars play D&D without turning into homicidal satan-worshipping steam-tunnel-lurking psychopaths.

    So it looks like the tide is turning, but slowly. If this RPG positive stuff happened back when the D&D fad was at it's height then perhaps the anti-D&D pall wouldn't have held for so long. But that spike of attention was decades ago.

  3. In order to get the Public to take RPG's Serious, the Hobby itself has to take itself Seriously. If that means that the games become more formal with stricter guidlines (eg Oficial GM qualifications and ratings, and national Standings for players "who wish to participate")that would be the price the hobby would have to pay, petty rule squables and inflated character progresion is childish and dosn't help the game progress or make it exceptable in public. There was a time that teens would modify their cars and Race. This was considered Delinquent and Juviniel and frowned upon by a good deal of society. The Hobby took itself serious and became organized and is now a National Industry Suporting a National Sport, very few look at it as childs play now. I'm not saying that we should abandond the free spirit of the game,this could still be done privately, only that it is time that it is taken to a Formal Level that will bring it creditablity and make it an excepted Hobby.

  4. What about this? Instead of taking RPGs Serious, take 'em casual. If you say you meet the guys meet a week for poker night, so what? No big deal. People don't get wierded out. Poker is normal, even before all that Texas-choke-'em nonsense on TV. I'd like RPGs to be generally considered in the same light.

    Formalized and organized play may be worth a try. Or another try, rather. Remember the RPGA? Then there's the Camarilla, and probably a bunch more I don't know. Don't seem to have made much of a dent so far.

    I expect RPGs haven't been picked up by sports TV because it's not really a spectator event. For instance, I tried watching the Robot Chicken guys playing D&D. Not my cup of tea. I guess I should give them a second chance, one of these days. But Zak Sabbath got D&D videos right, or right enough, on the first go.

    Sorry. I should have a point to all this, shouldn't I?

  5. I've forgot something. By order of Joeskythedungeonbrawler I must now offer something usable in a game. So...

    There's an old, fragile, one person capacity bridge spanning a pit so deep the torchlight doesn't reach bottom. Nor does the torch itself when you drop it in. Of course, when a randomly chosen PC gets halfway across something wells up from the depths. Roll 1d6:

    1) It's the singsong voice of a young child chanting through some play-yard rhyme. You can't place the language.

    2) A swarm of bats, all flappy and chittery and buffeting against you. They're just little ones, but they've got a yellow powder growing on their ears and wings and now filling the air around you with fine flakes that taste terribly bitter.

    3) Some kind of gas that is completely devoid of breathable oxygen. If the player uses more words than the character's Constitution score to describe their way out of the situation then the character falls unconscious. Without help, the gas will start to do mutagenic things. Anybody helping also has to do it in CON score words or less.

    4) A blast of heat followed a moment later by powerful, near-infrasonic rumbling. A glance downward and your eyes are almost seared dry from the angry deep azure light of the magma roiling in... wait, azure? Like, blue? Blue magma? Uh-oh.

    5) A gust of wind, followed by a great big levitating metal platform. To one side of the platform is a panel with an array of 65 buttons. The button at the top-right is lit. Have fun.

    6) Y'know, reptilian faces don't do expression very well. It's notoriously difficult to tell what they're feeling by just looking into their eyes. However the dragon that has just flapped and scrabbled itself out of the pit is obviously scared witless. It doesn't even seem to notice your presence as it does a one-lizard stampede past you and through your party. It leaves in it's wake the scent of apple blossoms.

    After each roll, replace the result with a new and better one of your own devising.