BTW, you guys didn't layout MRQ6 in wide screen format, did you?
BTW, you guys didn't layout MRQ6 in wide screen format, did you?
Smiley when you say that.
PDF are written exactly as books made for paper edition. Two columns, for instance, are very easy to read on a sheet of paper, but not on computer screen! You have to go down the page to read the first column and, then, to go back to the top of the page to begin the second column. And it is even worth when there are boxes or tables included in the middle of the two columns. It makes things hard to read on a screen...
So, when I say that PDF is the future of pen and paper role playing games, I'm speaking about PDF made to be true PDF, not just copies of ordinary books. It is possible to do very nice thinks with only one column! And quick links, interactive table of contents and index can help a lot to find what you are looking for during a game... Far much faster than with a printed book.
But this is not yet what is done... With some too rare exceptions.
So, if the game companies want to send again, they have - in my humble opinion - to change things. Not just to do what they are already used to do on PDF rather than on paper, but they have to learn to use PDF with all their advantages... and also their disadvantages. It could help them (and us) to save a lot of time and money. No more paper to buy, no more printing and sending cost...
We entered in the numerical age. Few people sounded to realize it. And when I'm saying that, I'm not only speaking for role playing games. I'm also speaking about newspapers. I don't know for american ones but french newspapers and magazines have more and more problems to sell... They didn't realize that people read news on Internet now!
That is why role playing games companies have to change their way to do thing if they want to be precursors rather than old school editors who publish old fashioned books for old players who have nostalgia of these old good times where role playing games where in their golden age...
I know what I am talking about. I'm playing pen and paper role playing gape for more than 30 years now and have seen the very beginning... But world have change now. So we have to adapt ourselves... Or to dye.
Love books though I do (and I firmly believe that a game book can be a damn good read in and of itself), I agree that the 'book-style' format probably hampers Game-running. I'm sure many of us use utilities to assist us in GMing or writing our adventures, but I'm aware that not everyone has the technology to use, for example, a netbook or laptop as a GMing tool. I am extremely lucky to have access to such technology.
I guess the ideal would be a game that has true integration with the modern tools and devices we have available to us, but formatted in such a way that the game itself would be readable if it were printed. I feel we are lucky that BRP requires a lot less tables than most RPGs. I built my own GM screen and gave some thought as to what would be useful to have on the GM-side, and all I could firmly agree with myself on was the Resistance Table.
Hmm... I may start another thread about what a GM would want in a BRP-supporting GM app. Given the logical construction of BRP, I don't think such a thing would be that difficult... of course, just because such a thing is possible, doesn't mean it's desirable
Damn it... I just built a dice tower and it makes such a lovely noise when you roll dice through it... I'm so torn
I use a laptop notebook for all my role-playing games. It has lovely college-ruled lined paper set at a readable resolution, and I can add all the memory I need merely by popping open the three rings and inserting new pages. Upgrades are relatively cheap, and despite decades of predictions otherwise, the technology has never become obsolete. I never have to worry about loose or too-taut power cords or fading batteries, nor do I struggle to use my laptop because some programmer had a different idea of what to do with it than I do. The learning curve was kind of steep, but I got all the instruction I needed in grade school. Although it is possible to erase the contents, I've never had them disappear because of a lightning storm or hard drive crash. Documents I saved to 5-1/4-inch floppy disk in the late '70s and early '80s are unreadable on today's gadgetry and software, but my RPG files from college are intact and perfectly legible. I never have to worry about them becoming obsolete (despite Hero System v. 6 or Mongoose Traveller), nor am I plagued by annual demands that I renew my license and/or update my copies. I can use my laptop notebook without fear in the bathroom or at the doctor's office, and there's little worry about theft. I can update information in it without disturbing my wife and kids since it makes no noise (unlike my desktop computer).
If it ain't broke ...
Ah, the age-old battle between analogue and digital
I'm not suggesting at all that the major role in our hobby can and must remain printed literature. I'm a book lover anyway, and while I enjoy being able to use my kobo to read 700 free classic Sci-Fi novels, the complete works of HPL etc, I still believe that real books, made of pulped trees, are better...
Conversely, I think software-based tools have their place, at the very least in the development stage of an adventure or setting. I build Solar Systems using programs, worlds are mapped using Fractal Terrains. I store my creatures in a custom-designed database, which also has coded the GURPS Space creature creation rules. This is not for some, I know, and I respect that. All roads lead to Rome, but there are many paths to the same destination.
I too lament the loss of the stores that supported the birth of Roleplaying. I'm lucky I live near enough to London to visit The Orc's Nest, though even that isn't how it used to be. We lose potential players to WoW and other online games. We lost some to just the standalone Computer RPGs. CCGs make my teeth grind, because years ago they had the same effect as computer-based roleplaying. Whilst I don't think the hobby will die, I think it's been diluted, and therefore is not as profitable as it once was.
The bottom line is that the future of RPGs lies in our hands. We write, we GM, we get our kids to play, our families.... we proselitize to show people that sit-down, face-to-face, gamemastered games are so much more immersive than computer-based games or CCGs... it's up to us to establish the market that will help the hobby grow again. Many of us remember the stigma of being a 'geek' or a 'nerd' at school. That stigma is almost dead these days, and I embrace the labels proudly...
The Geek shall inherit the Earth!!
Err... bit preachy, there, sorry
As much as I have tried, I do not tend to read things I buy in PDF form. When I read PDF's of good things I always wish I had bought the dead-tree version. Reading from a computer is just a pain. If I read it on the kindle, it is either too small to read or I get a little column of stuff and I have to flip back and forth and cannot see a whole map or picture. The only success I have had is copying the text and then simply reading the text on the kindle, but still no maps. Looking stuff up at game time is a huge pain when you cannot flip through the book to find what you are looking for.
On the other hand I love the ability to copy and past stat blocks and then print them off and have all the stats ready on a sheet of paper or two at game time. This keeps me from flipping through the book for different monsters and NPC's, and writing all over the book when they take wounds. I learned to do this with the free MRQ monster book. I could easily copy and past 10 monsters, change the couple of stats needed to make them unique, add cool notes, print them and wallah...ready to go. Before this I used to use the Monster Coliseum and encounters book from Borderlands an awful lot.
Hey guys, I apologize if this thread is a bit old to be digging up but I'm an avid BRP player and I joined just so I could reply to this topic. You'll probably get me to hang around and add to the community more often though.
First off, I think we're looking at the idea of promoting BRP in the wrong way. Let's take a look at how we got into RPG's in general and then how we stumbled upon BRP. We need to view the promotion from both a player and a keeper / dm / gm / whathaveyou prospective as well. I've always been the DM of my groups but I always promote open discussion about the scenarios, systems, and other concerns about the games we run. I want feedback to make the games better.
I started with D&D. I was in early high school (10 years ago) and multiplayer video games were starting to become big for me with my family getting DSL and getting rid of dial up. The idea of playing games with friends was starting to take up a large portion of my hobby time. Since I've always been the driving factor of getting my friends to play I just naturally sacrificed my time and effort to be the GM. I got a small group and started to play D&D 3.0~3.5 around 8 years ago. .
We enjoyed it quite a bit. We used a loose game board system (I had card stock gridded and lined then coated with very high quality laminate, making basically a modular portable system of white boards) which I could mark quickly. I had different colored markers so our game boards often looked like primitive Rogue-like games which worked great for us. As a DM I was poor so a friend and I pirated the PDF's from the intrawebz and DM'd from an old laptop I was given. A quick list of page referenced on my scene notes made sure most rules were quickly accessable. However, lots of times I found my group stalemated by rules issues which we would look up and could take forever. As a DM it actually didn't become apparent we could ignore the little rules and just make up spot rules ourselves at first. I was locked into following the rules. Eventually, as a DM, I became more and more frustrated with this and just started to fudge the rules. My players didn't mind the rules fudging and it kept up the action.
As we started to get jobs and eventually graduated and broke up due to college I got the RPG itch again around 5 years ago. I gathered up my friends (all still from high school, but not from my original group) and we wanted to play RPG. I was big into the works of Lovecraft and had stumbled into CoC. We played one game after I made them abundantly sure they were probably going to die, go insane, or "quit" the scenario so they wouldn't be disappointed. It completely changed the roleplaying atmosphere for us. It wasn't about getting the next item, the XP just so we could use the powers we were promised, or any of that insubstantial junk. In fact the character sheets didn't mean much to us at all. We had characters, fleshed out in the mechanics of the game, and we were playing an interactive story.
I had them play "The Haunting." While it was hardly amazing in terms of bad guys vs. the group like a fantasy battle and had very little Cthulhu mythos to it my players fell in love. The combination of supernatural horror and the way you build up suspense while always hiding the horrifying truth until the end had my players hooked. We were going to continue the investigators into delving deeper into the occult around their city but we fell off for a bit again. When we did get back together I wanted to load up a great scenario for them. I purchased the game master's pack and fired up the "Lost Temple of Yig" scenario. They loved it. It ended up devolving into side quests and them developing their investigators a bit more over a few gaming sessions. Again though, we stopped playing. I played a few one shot scenarios with friends here and there since then and I've always had players clamoring for more.
Fast forward to a year ago. I'd had an RPG lull of about 2 years and I wanted to play gain. I had a few willing players and wanted to have a long, overarching fantasy campaign so we fired up D&D 4.0. I did a lot of talking to local RPG players and internet searching and it seemed D&D just became a supplement / miniature / tileset selling endeavor but everyone I talked to said it was OK to DM and OK to play. I played it with my group once and hated it. Combat was a boring "select your skill" system like a button mashing MMO. I felt I needed 10+ books to really run what I wanted to. Then I was having tilesets, miniature, and supplements jammed down my throat by the writing and style. It was miserable. The usual mishmash of looking up tables, rules, and blah blah blah came back up. By the way, I have 3 D&D books in mint condition I'm looking to get rid of.
I started to look to more generic systems. I figured a system that just fleshed out the characters and then left the details to the GM was the best way to go. I looked at JAGS, GRUPS, Fudge, and Fate. I have the PDF's of about a dozen more free, generic systems sitting on my desktop right now. Somehow I either remembered or saw on a post somewhere about BRP being the generic Call of Cthulhu. I instantly downloaded the quick start rules, read them, and it just rekindled my love for the system. I bought the big golden book PDF and I'm in the process of crafting the world for my newest playgroup.
It's a bit long winded, but I have some important points I want to make based on this:
A) Players are introduced to games by other players. I got my friends to play after hearing so much about D&D nerd stereotypes and wanted to try it. I've since played tabletop RPG's with 12+ people and all of them would play again.
B) DM's are looking for different things than players. My players were looking to sit around the table, enjoy some good roleplaying, and spend time together. I wasn't originally, but I currently am looking for specifics in a system.
C) The game store was never really the way I got my books. I either new what I wanted (due to the internet) and purchased some 3.5 and 4.0 books from B&N, or I got the PDF's.
We need to be advertising differently to players and GMs. If you want to get more players into the hobby, YOU have to introduce them. There's pretty much nowhere you can go online to advertise to non-tabletop rpg players to get them into tabletop games. The gamers need to be the one spreading the hobby. Booths at conventions where people can sit down and sling out a 1-2 hour game session is the best way to get more players into the hobby. However, they have to be in places where people who aren't naturally tabletop gamers would go.
To get GMs into the system we have to point out the strengths and weaknesses of their current system and BRP. One of the best ways to do this I believe is 6th edition CoC. Why? The setting is SUPER different from D&D. This forces DM's to evaluate it based solely on the merits of the system instead of comparing every last thing to D&D. It also shows some of the best strengths of BRP: setting up your character in the realms of the playable system, then out of the way. No miniatures, grids, tilesets, supplements, or other clunky-yet-profit-making gimmicks that D&D is pushing down everyone's throats but is getting so much backlash about. I only got into CoC due to the setting and I wasn't particularly happy about learning another system but my love for Lovecraft beat my disdain for learning a whole different system. That has since blossomed into a love of the system and (subconsciously at first) is the benchmark for which I base all other system. Again, I think the best way to do this is playtests. Since the base CoC is so cheap compared to most other RPG's we could go on rpg forums and try to promote CoC and BRP to try to lure the DM's which will of course branch out to their players and beyond.
I've never bought a system because it sat on the shelf, and I don't know anyone who has. I have however glanced through systems on the shelf but due to the rules heavy systems currently in print I've never really consumed the totality of the system in one sitting so I've never purchased them. If you're looking for shelf space for BRP I think the free PDF printed on a binder by the FLGS (or barring that a hard copy) and available for all to flip through with CoC and other complete systems is the best bet. I only see the most optimistic and proactive of DM's picking up BRP on it's own and getting them into the system could promote that.
Good lord this is wordy and the formatting is probably terrible but editing on a 23 inch monitor makes it hard. If anyone wants a follow-up tl;dr post I can do that.
Last edited by Robsbot; November 25th, 2012 at 04:05.
On the note of Local Gaming Stores, the one nearest my location occasionally has Call of Cthulhu and other BRP based games being hosted there.
When I went to the last call of Cthulhu game there, they actually had to commandeer a whole table from TCG players because 6 or 8 people showed up including the Keeper. Awesome. Still, sadly the most I see there are one-shots and campaigns that are likely to peter out after 1-4 sessions. Not like a good group of friends.