Yay! We've raised two kids with Once Upon a Time--I bought the first edition way back in 1994, maybe?Once Upon a Time, Interactive Fantasy, and your column in Valkyrie were the first things I ever read by you. I sometimes wish you still wrote about role-playing.
Yeah; I just don't find I role-play any more. Richard ran a 20th anniversary (oh, god) session with some of the old college Star Wars characters a while back, and that was a lot of fun, but I dropped out of the Pendragon campaign. It was all just numbers. I don't know whether that's because I've changed, the group's change, or 3rd Edition Pendragon has changed. My theory, is that RPGs are all about virtual communities; at it's simplest it's about the internal dynamic of "the party" -- the sneaky one, the clever one, the strong one, the good one, the cynical one, etc. So they work best when there's a kind of feedback loop going on: "the party" is fun because the players are a group of friends, and the friends become a group because they pretend to be "the party" once a week. That dynamic is very hard to re-create outside college. I don't want to RPG with strangers; trying to run a "long distance campaign" (meeting up every few months to play) never seems satisfactory. I guess that The Young People are so used to communicating on Facebook and Twitter that forming virtual communities in World of Warcraft or whatever seems more natural to them. I rather suspect that sitting in bars listening to people with guitars singing songs about pirates, highwaymen and fairies has rather filled the RPG shaped space in my life...
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