2012/02/15

How many rpg's can a game master endure?


Yesterday evening i was seriously thinking about this, how many rpg's can a brain contain?
I mean, rpg rules that a game master is realy capable of mastering without faults.

At times it occurs to me that i am so concentrated on one set of rules that i realize i totally forgot another, for the simple reason that i can't manage to deal with both of them at the same time.
If i tried to be conversant with both, it would perhaps be pernicious. But is it really so?

So i wonder HOW MANY rpg's i can claim to be able to deal with at any given time of my life, and presently i haven't a ready answer.
As i said, the mental effort required to properly mastering a complex set rules hampers the capacity of mastering another one with the same degree of efficacy, or maybe not. I should do that kind of test on myself.

How many set of rules can be present in a brain at the same time? It is important to ascertain this. I assume i am able to master at least five games, but is it really so? Now, we are preparing to play again (we will be starting on March,due to some job issues and the like), but in the meantime i am so engrossed by the game we'll be playing that i think i shouldn't delve into other set of rules, because it isn't a good idea to divert my concentration on another rpg).

Hence this doubt of mine.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to give you a vote of approval for your blog so far. I've only discovered it a few days ago. I am always fascinated with the earliest days of the pen-and-paper RPG industry and the amount of creativity it exhibited.

Like yourself, I became disillusioned with D&D after playing it for years.

As for the presentation of copyrighted materials, such as out-of-print, archaic RPGs (especially the rare ones that you are pursuing), my attitude is that preservation and awareness trumps copyright unless the copyright holders express otherwise.

One example - Decades ago, I designed a module for D&D. I was especially proud of it considering it took me the entire summer to design and playtest it (to be fair, I playtested it with friends so it wasn't the most non-biased of tests). One of my friends was an artist and he made the typical illustrations for it (dangerous-looking dragon, adventurers with swords drawn, a bar scene with rollicking drunks, cave with spider webs, etc.). It got one honest playthrough with strangers at a high school D&D club where it was listed as "OK." Needless to say, I was devastated and boxed it up in one of the many D&D box sets that I had at the time.

Decades later, the box wound up with my niece who opened it up and found the module. She asked me if it would be OK if her friends could adapt the module for a Harry Potter project that they were working on. Abso-freakin-lutely. Do I care if a bunch of 14-year old girls modify my blood-and-guts dragon-slaying module with Hogwarts and Harry Potter and whatever else that franchise has? Nope. I'm just glad that they liked it enough to ask. To them, I'm the guy who made this way cool D&D module (they supposedly even used some of the illustrations!).

So, as a creator, I'd like to think that, unless you feel that your creation can still earn you millions of dollars, that you just want to see your work appreciated.

Anyway, thanks for the blog and I hope you continue to maintain it.

Catacomb librarian said...

thanks for your kind words of appreciation.

"So, as a creator, I'd like to think that, unless you feel that your creation can still earn you millions of dollars, that you just want to see your work appreciated."

that's what i myself think as well.
The risk is- having worldwide access in the future to any editions of D&D but losing the chance to "retrieve" other rpg's which belong to the history of the hobby. From a scholarly and historical point of view it is detrimental.
But after all, it doesn't yet exist a culture of the hobby and the OSR is basically a revamping of d&d and little more than that, so it's basicaly useless for purposes of expanding knowledge.

All the OSR efforts until today could be easily summarized by the intention of WOTC to reprint ad&d 1st edition. That event would have sufficed.

arcadayn said...

I used to think I was a one rpg at a time only guy. However, Google+ offered up the irresistible chance to run several different games a week. Now, I'm running five different systems (Savage Worlds, Rolemaster, Gangbusters, AD&D, and OD&D). I guess the last two could technically be considered one system, but that's still four different systems at a time.

If you would have asked me to run four different game systems a year ago, I would have laughed in your face. Now, I'm trying to figure out how to fit even more games into my schedule. I think one of the biggest aids to success in this endeavor has been the two hour game time limit. Knowing I only need to prepare for two hours of gaming takes a lot of the pressure out of prep.

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