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Pbps - fewer and fewer

Pbps - fewer and fewer

I've started playing rpgs in another millenium, when AD&D and Dark Sun were news, when MERP was state of the art and Cyberpunk2020 hot and sexy (and dystopian sci-fi, not a slightly alternative present). A time when everyone thought shadowrun was new crazy shit, vampire a fledgling game nice kids like me didn't play and Ars Magica a nerd's tinkergame in southern France (Mistridge, remember?), a time when supplements were printed in black and white.

Then the internet arrived - and all you had to do in a place like NYC was dial in half an hour before you wanted to be connected and forum games started. Soon there were so many that I had to limit myself to 4 pbp games at the same time. Most of these games died before the magic post number 1000, but a few didn't, and there were some characters that I played for years: a knife-wielding geist, an elven techno-shaman, and a red-haired Traveller pirate trader among them.

Computer games arrived, like Baldur's gate, Masquerade: Bloodlines, and the Elder Scrolls, but they were different then games because you were given fewer choices. I've never joined the chat game community (my time zone is not American), nor the online computer game community (narrowly avoiding gaming addicting at university), so I may not be up to date.

But: Were have all the games gone?
I am too old to play D&D (and I think computers can do the book-keeping better when it comes to roll-playing), but crunchy games like Ars Magica are gone too, and storytelling games like white wolf stuff and fate have become fewer (and if they start you are expected to own a library of supplements)?

Has the world simply moved on? Or am I imagining things? Or is it that young people nowaday prefer typing themselves into whatsapp characters?

Your thoughts are appreciated.

RPGs are bigger now than they've ever been before. Shows like Critical Role and Adventure Zone reach huge audiences, and playing tabletop games is more socially acceptable than ever. There are more games around, more variety to choose from, more styles of play, and more people who play them.

You ask where all the games have gone, but I want to ask you where have you been looking for them.

I have to ask where you have been looking for them as well. Yes, tabletop RPGs have always been a little underground, but I don't think they have gone anywhere. With VTTs like Fantasy Grounds and Roll20, some games may have moved there, but the games are still out there, being played.

And why do you say you are too old for D&D? 5E makes it quite easy to keep the books, and other systems like Fate, Fudte, Powered by the Apocalypse and Cypher are so streamlined that using a computer to run them would bog it down in unnecessary complexity.

Originally Posted by Gris View Post
Has the world simply moved on? Or am I imagining things?
I don't think you are imagining things, but I also don't think your immediate view is an accurate representation of the gaming world. As Actana said, RPGs are more popular now than they've ever been. More books are sold by far. More games are being published. There are more companies. More young people are involved in the hobby than ever before, and the hobby is more diverse than it has ever been. Gaming conventions like GenCon are setting new attendance records year after year. And it is easier and cheaper to get the "library of supplements" than it has ever been. (DriveThruRPG, Kickstarter, Patreon). This is truly a "golden age" of gaming.

It stinks that you are in a black hole right now. I live near Charleston, SC. We have three "hobby" stores near us (RPGs, board games, TCGs, etc.). Lots of people are looking to game. Our problem is finding a group that will play something other than D20 or one of its clones.

Don't despair! Games are out there. I hope you have great luck finding one.

I will use my son as example. He played PbP for awhile. He just became tired of the game application process.
He grew sick & tired of the game failure rate. So he just stopped playing Pbp. He didn't feel that it was worth it. He would rather play the pen & paper rpgs in real life.

Finding live games is much easier nowadays. Every game store has playing space. Live campaigns are advertised online. Also gaming conventions are much more common. We attend 4 to 5 conventions a year. All of which are within a 2.5 hour drive. If time and money allowed it, we could easily double that number.

Him and his friends are playing. They are just not using pbp to do it.

I am not sure if this is helpful advice, but if you are interested in a more specialized system (i.e. non-D&D), and do not want to wait hoping that an ad for that system will pop up here, there's a couple of things you can do.

The obvious one is to GM the game yourself, but I've had mixed results with posting in other forums (e.g. the system's / game company's) for finding players / games. For example, I've recruited players from the old Cubicle 7 forums for a One Ring campaign, back when those forums existed. We still played here in Myth-Weavers, but these players had decent familiarity with, and expectations from, the game.

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