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Koil's Korner

Finding a roleplaying game online in 2018 - An OpEd by Skillkoil

Rating: 4 votes, 3.75 average.
The popularity of VTT's (Virtual Table Tops) and being able to augment a game digitally is growing every day. I see many posts in the FG forums of players or groups of players looking for a game. Of course, we see plenty of games posted by GM/DM's as well. I think many people tend to stay in their "comfort zone" of ruleset or genre when looking for a game and this robs them from learning about other games that they may enjoy just as much or more.

Taking the Leap

Change is always a hard thing for us lowly humans to deal with. We like to stay in our "lanes" so to speak. This is doubly true when it comes to the types of Roleplaying games that many people look for. We want to play what we know. However, sometimes change, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, is just what we need to get our creative juices flowing.

My advice, for what it is worth, is to be open to different rulesets and genres of games that you find posted on the forums or discord. There may be a learning curve. However, most of the time, I have found that it was worth learning something new. If I may? I will give you a personal example. I am not a big fan of the Pathfinder ruleset. I find the rules a bit cumbersome for my playstyle and it makes combat last way too long. Now, this is only my opinion from the limited number of games that I have played in. I'm sure if I spent the time with the right GM and group that this wouldn't be the case. Regradless, because of my bias towards Pathfinder, I was very reluctant when a friend of mine invited me to join his Starfinder game. Made by same company, similar core rules (I thought), going to be a similar experience to my Pathfinder games, just in space. I was completely wrong! He talked me into joining the game. Even as I complained during character creation, he guided me through it and the day came for my first session. As soon as the game started I was hooked! I loved the setting, the wide open system wide travel(and beyond), the great genre bend of fantasy/sci-fi. Every aspect of the game was compelling and really got me excited about fleshing out my character and working with my motly group to conquer the universe.

Why bring this up? Something similar happened to me 3 years ago when I tried Savage Worlds for the first time. No D20? Are you crazy? But a very nice woman named Ellspeth guided me through it and I loved it. So, lesson of the story. Eventhough it is uncomfortable and you have to learn all these new rules. Ultimately, it was worth it, for the experience it gave me. I would encourage anyone to give other systems and genres a try. I think you will be surprised by the result.

Can't find a game? Run it yourself!

Talking about scary. You want me to learn how to run a game on a VTT like Fantasy Grounds? I have to keep track of the story, npcs, players, quests, loot, XP AND I have to make it compelling and fun for them? Sorry I'm too scared. This was exactly my response when a friend suggested I start running a campaign. I hadn't DM'ed IRL for years. I had been a player on FG for a few years but I knew nothing of running a game on it. That was 3 months ago. Now I run Two campaigns and love it just as much as playing if not more. Want to know the most surprising part? It wasn't nearly as hard in practice as my fear made it out to be. In fact, I started my Fantasy Grounds DMing career with a homebrew campaign. It is set on a post-apocalyptic future earth with all the fantasy races and using the 5E ruleset. I had to learn to create items, npc's, encounters, and all the things that come along with running a game. Not to mention, trying to create a compelling story and hooks for my players. But it was so satisfying once we started playing to see my players buy-in to this world I thought up and then they filled it with all their interesting and insightful decisions and flare! GMing a game is one of the most rewarding things you can do, in my humble opinion. Don't let your fear of change stop you from having some of the best times you can have in your gaming life.

The Future is Bright

The popularity of table top gaming is increasing daily. In our interconnected world, playing online is a big part of that. There are so many groups and individuals championing Roleplaying that it makes me so happy to be a part of this community. There are games being streamed on every platform you can think of. With millions of people watching and playing along. This means our community is growing and we all need to embrace change. Whether, it is trying a game you have never played or running one yourself. I promise you. You will NOT regret it. Even if it ends in shambles, you will have learned something that you can take with you to your next game. Thanks for listening to my rambles. I hope this encourages at least one person to try something new or take on the challenge of running a game themselves.

If you ever need help, I'm on the forums every day or you can message me for advice.

Happy Gaming!

Skillkoil aka Dallas

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Updated September 19th, 2018 at 09:09 by Skillkoil

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Comments

  1. Mortar's Avatar
    Great points all around! Some I should take into account my myself.
  2. GavinRuneblade's Avatar
    There are actually some really creative games around that I want to try.

    Vampire is getting a new edition that brings it up to date with the world of smartphones and AI, which I think makes it the only "modern" era game to do so. I'm quite interested in this from what I've read.

    Legacy: Life Among the Ruins has each PC running a whole tribe or family not one person and the game takes place over centuries not days. This I NEED to play at some point.

    And I'll nod my head to my favorite older game: RoleMaster is supported here on FantasyGrounds and has an amazingly elegant simulationist combat system. Crossbows are terrifying and armor actually keeps you alive. A master swordsman can dominate in a duel but gang up on him and he's in trouble. It also uses diminishing returns for actions and levelling in a way that is easy and effective and gives players meaningful control over how their characters grow. Only part that turned me off was the way magic is handled. It was a nightmare for players, especially new ones. But the two official settings, Shadow World and Middle Earth are both awesome. Shadow World is still my all time favorite published setting and I would join a Terry Kevin Amthor fan club if one existed. *waves "TKA is #1" giant foam finger*
  3. Skillkoil's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments Mortar!

    Gavin I am going to have to check out some of those games you mentioned. I had not heard about the tech upgrade to Vampire the Masquerade.(I'm partial to Nosferatu). Legacy seems like almost a SIM/RPG hybrid which could be cool. Thanks for sharing!
  4. GavinRuneblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Skillkoil
    Thanks for the comments Mortar!

    Gavin I am going to have to check out some of those games you mentioned. I had not heard about the tech upgrade to Vampire the Masquerade.(I'm partial to Nosferatu). Legacy seems like almost a SIM/RPG hybrid which could be cool. Thanks for sharing!
    GeekandSundry have a great summary of the changes to Vampire.
  5. Skillkoil's Avatar
    Very Nice! Thanks for sharing that link. I think I might get back into VTM pretty soon.
  6. Maasq's Avatar
    Good piece, SK. I enjoyed it, and if I ever stop programming for 5 minutes you may have convinced me to give Starfinder a whirl.

    Maasq
  7. Prozacco's Avatar
    Appreciated article. Though one paradox in the phenomena: Roleplayers rarely choose speakers, as most of them are speakers, no disrespect to the physically or mentally impaired meant with this. It can't be that all groups of the planet prefer one egomaniac or narcissist of the moment to speak in all their names. And online that is, as if toxic roleplayers want to be recognized as their own form of roleplay. Which is, btw, an easier option than luring them (back) into loony bins.

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