Role-Playing Blogs

I’ve been jumping around the blogosphere for the last few months, doggedly attempting to find good science fiction and libertarian blogs. I’ve found a few, which I’ve posted to Nuketown Links, but in all that time it never occurred to me to try and find blogs for one of my other great interests: role-playing games!

It turns out there are quite a few. Hordes of them in fact.

I’ve found myself re-invigorated about gaming ever since getting back behind the DM screen on a regular basis with my campaign’s new “Ulek War” story line (you can learn more about it by checking out our Web site, the Griffin’s Crier). It’s more than just feeling a surge of excitement while digging through my D&D tomes or re-starting work on my Delta Green campaign though — ever since I started DMing again, I’ve been thinking about gaming as an art form. Crazy? Well, maybe a little, but as I surfed the various gaming blogs, I found that I wasn’t the only one who was thinking seriously about the “art” of gaming. Hell, there’s an entire site out there about GM workshopping — I’d never have known it existed if it hadn’t been for my sudden interest in RPG blogging.

The 20′ by 20′ Room (Internet Archive) is a blog covering role-playing in general, rather than a specific genre with in it, and which strives to provide thoughtful commentary and responses on the hobby. Recent topics have included thoughts on extended gaming circles (as in, groups of gamers that are larger than the normal 5-8 that comprise a campaign), thoughts on the transfer of the FUDGE copyright to Grey Ghost and the possibility of it opening its license, and discussions of the “mini-series” approach to adventure design. It’s an excellent blog, and one I’m making a point of visiting every couple of days (or at least reading its XML feed)

In the Shadow of Greatness (web site) is inspired to a certain extent by the Amber Diceless RPG (itself based on Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber). As a huge fan of Amber, I was pleasantly surprised to find this site, as well as all the Amber-related sites it links to. Some day I will run my oft-threatened Amber campaign … I swear it! But it’s not just Amber — there’s plenty of other gaming news and commentary to be found in its blog entries. It’s another site I’ve added to my NetNewsWire reader.

One of the first gaming blogs I came across was Flaming Monkey (web site). Like 20×20, it’s a general interesst blog, with commentary on everything from D&D to independent games to father/son gaming. Well worth a visit.

One of the things that surprised me about gaming blogs was the concept of “memes”. This isn’t something I’ve seen in the libertarian or science fiction blogs I’ve been visiting, and its a concept I find intriguing and useful. The basic idea is that one blog posts an idea — a meme — and then other blogs pick up that idea, and run with it. A good example is “Game WISHes”, a meme created by the blog Perverse Access Memory (Internet Archive) which stands for Game “Weekly Idea Sharing Hegemony”. Each Friday (or there about), Ginger, blog’s author, posted a topic for folks to write about, like #89 “All Good Things Must Come To An End”, dealt with character deaths. Then the various other blogs (like all the other ones I mentioned in this post) would post their thoughts on the topic to their own blogs. Unfortunately, WISH is coming to an end with #100, but there are other memes out there for folks to comment on (and I’ll do a NukeBlog about theme later on). As for Perverse Access Memory itself, well geez, it’s a libertarian Mac site about gaming — how much cooler can you get?

These blogs represent only the tip of the iceberg — there are plenty of other blogs out there as well, and I’m slowly working my way through them. I’ve created a new category for them in the Links section, and you can expect more to start show up there in the coming weeks.

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