... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blind Passion For The Biggest Thing In Role-Playing

I don't have much to say at the moment, so I'll indulge in a little philosophical commentary on some announcements I've been seeing.

You know, most of us have other interests besides role-playing that we might get really passionate about. We sometimes think everyone else feels the same, and cross our other passion with role-playing, creating that new realistic economics system for D&D or baseball resolution system for Call of Cthulhu, which a couple other people like, but never anywhere near as many people as we expect, and we're crushed, even though we should be happy.

Sometimes, we get so excited, we think we've found The Biggest Thing In Role-Playing that's going to revolutionize everything we know. Except it never is, and it doesn't. I saw this a lot when I used to hang out at The Forge, but it happens in every RPG clique. Somebody will go off on a tear about how RPGs are Art, or start mixing post-modernist theory with gaming, and a couple people will buy into it, until they have a tiny echo chamber going and they convince themselves RPGs are going to change forever. And then, assuming they don't lose steam completely and never bring their dreams to fruition, their ideas don't actually change anything, and they feel utterly crushed.

I'm not trying to tell people like this to not be passionate, but I do want to tell them to not be crushed. And to those who see or hear someone promoting the heck out of something as The Biggest Thing In Role-Playing, I'd like to say: of course it's not going to be The Biggest Thing In Role-Playing... but go easy on the guy. You've probably been in his shoes yourself, and will be again.


  1. And just when I was thinking I had the next best thing..! Well, you've let me down gently, and I'm glad of that.

    I don't know what those announcements are, but I'd sure like to read them. You're spot on for me, though I differ only on the possibility someone could have the next best thing. It really might be it, and may well be worth looking at and using even if not.

  2. How did you know I was about to announce Next Big Thing the role-playing game? It's going to be the biggest thing in role-playing!


  3. Well, yeah, someone might come out with the Biggest Thing. But my point was that no one should be disappointed when it doesn't happen. Creators need to focus on actual success instead of imagined failure, and gamers need to focus on what they can use rather than on what they thought they'd get.

    I cut a lot out of this post, specific examples I remember and stuff I did myself. I decided not to babble or risk antagonizing anyone when I'm trying to be positive. The announcement I'm referring to was a series of teaser posts; I have no idea what the guy's planning, but I've seen a lot of wild speculation as to what he may be up to.

  4. I get what you're saying and I think you're right. It's easy to get over-enthused about one's own stuff--and in doing so set yourself up for disappointment.