RPGaDay: Change

I played my first online game in December 2019, because of Liminal.

It was the hot new thing everyone was talking about on Twitter, and I was thinking of getting the book, but having encountered RPGs that weren't as much fun as I thought they were going to be before, I wanted to try it before spending money. I downloaded the quickstart, and knowing my home group wouldn't want to interrupt our ongoing campaign, I decided I was going to try it online.

Discord was the obvious choice. My home group already used it for voice chat when playing MMOs, and my MK-RPG group had used it once for an online session one week when the GM couldn't make it in person, so I knew about dice roller bots. I set up a server, rounded up a few nerds, and dived in.

It turned out I liked it. While not the same experience as playing in person, I found it had some benefits. Particularly for a modern day game like this, the fact I could drop a link to Google Maps into the chat to show people where they were was pretty awesome. One of the players found a Rightmove page with a floor plan of the house they were heading into. It was great. Running two different groups through the Liminal quickstart adventure convinced me that online was a viable way to run an RPG and something I'd be prepared to consider again.

That said, I was pretty sure that online gaming was never going to replace in-person play for me. Between the home group and the MK-RPG club I was playing two regular games a week, and my goal for 2020 was to get to as many in-person conventions as I could fit in between the LARPs.

And then, in March, everything changed.

My two regular games a week have expanded to four. With no LARPs, my weekends are free for conventions and one-shots. Events that were previously out of reach due to location have become viable online. New, international events have sprung up, unfettered by anything except time zones. In the last week I have played or run seven games. It's reached the point where I'm having to pace myself to make sure I don't end up over-committed.

I want to be back at the table, rolling real dice again. I want the convention experience of being in the room with a crowd of people and being able to talk to them outside the games. I want the fun of physical props on the tables. I want the joy of spotting a familiar face in the crowd.

But right now I've got a whole world of gaming at my fingertips. And while the in-person conventions that have shifted online are likely to return to their physical venues once this is all over, there's a good chance some of the new virtual cons are going to keep going. However long this goes on for, my gaming future is bright.

Continue reading...