Thursday, August 29, 2019

RPGaDay Challenge 2019 - EVOLVE

Gaming as we know it first began in 1974 with the publishing of the original Dungeons & Dragons. 

Over the course of the next 45 years, the hobby expanded, improved, changed...Evolved. 

Did we?

That is to say, of course we gamers have changed along with the hobby and its industry, but at the same time many of us have not. We long for the glory days of the hobby's 'Golden Age' and the rules and play style we know by heart and rote. 

However, for anything to survive, it must Evolve. There must always be change. Gamers will design new systems and consider new ways of playing because they are driven to do so. They will do it because that is the only way the hobby continues and thrives. 

So why is it that players and GMs by the hundreds, if not thousands, embrace things like the Old School Renaissance? Why do so many gamers only play D&D, regardless of edition? What is it about this a particular type of game that draws so many in? Additionally, if we all only followed the model of this forty-five year old RPG, would we Evolve. 

My personal Evolution in the gaming hobby was one influenced very strongly by each game I played after my first exposure to it all through Basic Dungeons and Dragons. With each set of mechanics I learned, each additional genre I studied, I began to to see new ideas of how a Gamemaster could tell a story. I watched the reactions of my players to understand what it is players want out of games and campaigns.

My approach to being a GM Evolved from the role of rules referee and oral storyteller to the expanded role of director, writer, editor, and cinematographer. I learned not to sweat the details but be expertly aware of them. I learned to think about much more than my ideas, my story, and my NPCs; the real consideration is why others should be interested in this thing I created. How does what I want to depict relate to the Player Characters? Why does it matter to them? 

Essentially, I Evolved from a simple, water dwelling fish Dungeon Master to a mammalian bipedal, thinking Gamemaster. Like any Evolution, it took time. 

Do we all go through this same journey? I like to think we all go through a journey of some kind, though we surely don't take the same path or arrive at the same place. It is possible some of us don't take this magic trip. Not all creatures have evolved. Some are extinct, having failed to improve or adapt and dying out long ago. 

I like to think I am still Evolving, continuously trying to acclimate to the ever-changing face of the RPG hobby. Like most of us, I will always have my old favorites, but I will also persist in exploring new avenues of what makes a tabletop Role-Playing Game what it is and what it can be. 

Good luck on your own Evolution.

Barking Alien

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