So here's the thing: I'm one of those prolific gamers who is involved in roleplaying with a group on a fairly regular basis.
|The Hobby Pile|
We have been playing D&D 4e for a while, on and off, and we've also dabbled in other stuff. More recently, however, I've been wanting to bring a bad habit under control.
Buying too many books
I buy far too many RPG books, as the photo from my hobby space at home will attest: frankly, it has become slightly overwhelming.
To be honest, the pile is only a fraction of the totally owned stuff - behind the pile is a bookshelf with 4 shelves, all packed... and there is more stuff elsewhere in the house.
Why so many books? Well, partly because I love reading them... but mostly because of a trait that I've finally decided to find an alternative way of dealing with: imagination.
The Imaginative Curse
I'm cursed with an imaginative mind, also called my 'Butterfly Head'. In short, just as soon as we start any particular gaming experience, my head will be off to create and bring to life the next mad idea. This usually means that I begin to cast around for an appropriate 'system' to house my ideas, which leads to a quest for the next cool book to read.
The reason I buy books instead of 'gaming it out' is simple: I can't get enough games in. If your group can only meet so many times a month, and you are involved in a cool game already, then a butterfly'head like mine is easy to please by spending in-between free time reading.
My solution, which is going to take some considerable discipline to enact, is to turn the reading into writing. In short, I'm going to use this free online space to blog out the distracting creative ideas that spring to mind. And, to be frank, I have a bundle of ideas that need expressing right out of the bag.
Is writing a substitute for reading?
Well, no not really... but it is a useful way to draw my gaming hobby into a practical and creative outpouring and free up my actual free reading time for such useful pursuits as reading novels. Writing lets me get my hobby ideas out of my system, as well as storing them up for the time when I am short of a fleshed out campaign idea for the real-life gaming group.
What about the system bug?
A good question is the matter of how writing down creative ideas stops me from buying system books. Truth is, it doesn't. That's why I'm going to use the biggest investment I have made in RPG books together with the biggest gaming itch I've been carrying for years.
There are two major systems that I have long wanted to write for: GURPS and Hero System. These are both universal RPG systems, which is to say that they can be used for any game in any setting, and I own stacks (literally) of the books from both systems. The time has come to harness those systems.
Thus part two of the plan is this: all stuff written here will be for either GURPS (currently 4th ed) or Hero System (currently 6th ed). By scratching the creative itches for those games, and being free enough to move between them, I do two things: I use what I have, reducing the temptation to buy more rules; I also create a repository of cool games I can 'pull out of the bag' anytime I need a game... and we only have to know (at most) two systems.
In practice, I may even just stick to one of the two systems... but right out of the starting blocks I want to set my parameters to allow me to work out which game I like most.
Why would anyone else care?
To be honest, they probably won't. You probably don't.
But that's not the point. This blog is my tool for controlling an addiction to RPG stuff and to help me 'get out there' some of the crazy, half-baked scenarios and campaign ideas that are filling up my head. It's my tool for solving my problem. It'll falter and might even fail, but at least I tried.
On the other hand, if there is something here you like then please feel free to develop it. Nick it, use it and (if you can) let me know how it worked out.
So... without any further a-do, game on!