Into the Darkness

My love/hate relationship with World of Darkness and its offshoots is pretty well known.  In my early 20s when I first got into gaming (large part thanks to some Airmen in AIT) 3rd edition had just been released and I was all in.  Competing against that in my little microcism was White Wolf's World of Darkness books, particularly Hunter and Vampire.

For some reason I could never wrap my head around these game.  I found them obtrious, finky, and vague as hell in a lot of respects.  Add to that the stereotype of the types of people who played WW games (you know goths, emos, theatre-kids) and I eventually stayed away outside of the Hunter games on the X-Box and Vampire for PC.

Around 2008 a new edition was released that seperated the books into a Core book and theme books (Mage, Vampire, Werewolf, etc). Meaning that all the games played with the same rules, names, etc with very little difference between them ... I got into, and into hard.  Not the theme books, I couldn't give a crap about those, but the core book, the one where the players were normies in a hidden supernatural world.  For me this was mana, it was I had hoped for (and didn't get) in the X-Files and did eventually see in the first three seasons of Supernatural.

Only problem was, no one wanted to play it.  The older WW players loved their systems and boycotted, non-WW players looked down on it the way I had the original stuff in 2002 ... in the end my few World of Darkness books fell to the wayside, gathering dust ...

... Until Onyx Path got the rights and tried to revitalize the series with a rename:  Chronicles of Darkness.  I picked up the core book (an expensive but cheeply produced rebranding of my NWoD book) and went online looking for games ... again none where to be had.

Last year, Onyx Path joined the Community Content groups over at  DrivethruRPG with the STORYTELLERS VAULT but CoD wasn't there ... as of a few weeks ago that has changed and Chronicles of Darkness games are now able to be released through the Storytellers Vault.

So get to it and let's get some awesome adventures, games, creatures, etc going in this new world!

Op-Ed: Future Imperfect

The past few years have been very spotty for Genius Loci Games (or GL Games or GLG as I've been recently calling it).  I have made several planned comebacks to no avail as real life tended to get in the way in one form or another.  Recently I have been thinking of giving it another go ... no releases, no products, or adventures, nothing business related.  Instead, I have been thinking of just getting back to what I started as a guy who loves games, loves to write about games, and likes to share the little hobbyist things he creates.

To that point the blog is a huge part of what made GLG what it was back between 2012 and 2016.  I posted heavily, shared ideas and would like to think I fostered a nice small community.  Going forward I would like to make the blog a big part of that again, however, as a post I made on G+ and MeWe tonight suggested, I am not overly confident that Blogger is going to be around for much longer.

Google has made it clear in the last few months that many of its web projects are on the chopping block.  By August 2019 Hangouts, Inbox, and Google Plus will be gone and who knows what will follow.  By now the clear leader in blog creation is Word Press and many sites have either moved there or are in the process of moving their (or Wix so I am told) ... Google does not like to be second-place and because of that I have little faith in Blogger seeing 2021.

Right now I am up in the air on where to go.  Word Press, Wix, and MeWe pages have all been suggested to me as viable alternatives to Blogger and I am looking into them all.  I will say that despite being "flush" with employed money, I am not keen on paying for a service (Word Press and Wix), however, MeWe offers limitations of its own in terms of community, visablity, etc.  One option would be to try and reorganize my patreon as a means to set-up and sustain a paid service, however, my personal feelings toward that are grim.  I know there are bloggers, vloggers, influencers, etc who do this but my thought is that if I am running a patreon I should be giving something tangible and seperate from the thing I would be doing anyway.

So a lot to look into, to think about, etc going into 2019.

WEG d6 the Lost

A number of years ago the OSR community managed to convince One Bookshelf, the owners of DrivethruRPG and the soon to be redacted RPGNow, to create a category for OSR games, systems, etc with-in the site, seperating it from the d20 systems category of the time.  ON top of this, popular rulesets within the OSR like Dungeon Crawl Classics, Labyrinth Lord, & Swords & Wizardry
were all given there own sections within that category.  This helped fans of individual rulesets - yes the OSR as a whole is largely interchangable, but AAC is better damn it! - to find and support their ruleset of choice far more easily (as a note, GL Games did see a sales increae for a time after this occured) which in my opinion helped to grow the audience, the contributors, and the digital head space of the OSR.

Looking at that today, I noticed that another area of interest to me WEG d6 System (Open d6) gaming is in far more dire straits on sites like Drivethrurpg.  Part of this is because of the popularity of d20 style systems and story system like PotA and FATE.  The other is that DTRPG lumps the vast majority of d6 systems into a single category, making it difficult - damn near exhusting really - to find any settings, sub-systems, etc of the WEG d6 system.  Looking at the category you see the hottest sellers are as follows:

  1. Wraith and Glory:  Core Rules
  2. Wraith and Glory:  Dark Tides
  3. Fragged Empire:  Core Rule Book
  4. Wraith and Glory:  Blessings of the Unheralded
  5. Fragged Empire:  Protagnoist Archive 1
  6. Fragged Empire:  Antagonist Archive 1
  7. Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters
  8. Get Funky
  9. Unbound Rulebook
  10. Gorean Adventures 06: The Green Island

Out of these 10 (again the "Hottest" or best selling) only two are of the WEG d6 style (Unbound and Gorean Adventures).  Fragged Empire and Tiny Frontiers are 2d6 systems with modifiers and Advantages and Disadventages(ala 5e) while Wraith and Glory is  a Warhammer 40k system that looks like more like a Storyteller (White Wolf) game using d6s.    This mix of systems leads to, as stated, confusion to the consumer as finding a WEG d6 game is dependant on three things that may not be obvious depending on the seller.

  • The Open d6 logo
  • Mention in the content blurb that it is Open or WEG d6
  • A Full-Size preview with the OGL for Open d6 plainly seen

Given that these may not be apparent and that the final one requires the consumer to both know what they are looking for leads to eventual abandonment of the search and the continued obscurity of the WEG d6 system.  As of right now, DTRPG has multiple d6 style system entries, none of which leads directly to the Open d6 system and all of which can be confusingly used in place of another.  This is something that does need to be cleaned up because right now systems like Fragged Empire and Tiny Frontiers which are 2d6 systems are listed in the more generic d6 systems instead of the more appropriate 2d6  (xd6) category.

So, what can be done about it?  One thing is to contact DTRPG and ask if streamlining the d6 categories is possible and if they can do it.  Another is education, id you are a d6 creator, familiarize yourself with the DTRPG categories, look at what is in each and place your product accordingly.

2018 - Year in Review

2018 was, for the most part, an extremely quiet year for GLGames, with only a single release (Pyramid of the Lost King Extras - The Howling Dolmen), and blog posting only through April.

For the most part I have spent the year finishing up my latest juant into the realms of academica and reconnecting with family (anyone who follows me on the now doomed G+ should have seen the myraid of photos from camping trips in deep, dark forests)  and looking for new and gainful employment.

On that note:  Success all around.

This was, however, a troubling and turbolent year in other respects.  A year where we saw RPG reviewers and commentators assaulted at Gen-Con, paragons of the OSR alleged to have harrassed and assaulted others, a divide of the OSR into two camps ... and my - how do you say -  tart relationship with both factions have left me drained and very much heading to the door ...

2018 hasn't been all bad though, I was a guest host on the RPG Breakfast Club twice and will be again in January (and maybe beyond).  My far more hobbyist work in the d6 community (especially Mini-Six) has been regarded well with calls for expansion of my house-rules for the system into something releasable (I swear guys, I am working on that!), and I have found a community (online) of fellow gamers to play with on a semi-regular basis.

So with 2018 closing I can say it was a bitter-sweet year, one with a lot of ups and downs, but also leaving me with nudging toward optimistic for 2019.

Happy New Years, everyone!  Let's make 2019 an amazing year in the OSR and gaming in general!

Map Friday - Featuring MapForge

With the fever behind me I now find myself on the cusp of the weekend, that time when family and real world needs take precedence over the m...