Ranting. Gaming.

Been a while since I did a state of the gaming or anything, so I thought I’d do a quick update with a few gamer related comments. I have other stuff I want to write about here, but just haven’t had time in light of my aggressive fiction writing schedule. But here’s a few random thoughts on gaming. First, a rant about White Wolf. Then a general update about the state of my gaming.

For several months White Wolf has refused to say anything about their print release schedule. The reasons cited on their forums was that the fulfillment of their print orders was hard to predict, fans got angry when publication dates were missed, and so the solution they came up with was just to stop saying anything about their upcoming print books. Which baffles me since (a) other companies I follow (such as Wizards of the Coast and Catalyst) don’t do that and (b) how can you build interest in upcoming books when you just stop talking about them? And really, that’s the baffling one. How do you market things without talking about them?!

I’ve been visiting their site every couple days for months hoping for some news. They’re major lines have mostly wrapped up. Exalted has put out the basic books that they hinted at, they’ve sourcebooked the hell out of their World of Darkness, they finished the core run of Scion. I’d been really looking forward to finding out what their next WoD setting would be, and was pretty crushed to find out they weren’t going to do one in 2010.

I’ve gleaned some information from secondary locations, mainly the forums. But I’ve learned more about their release schedule from Amazon than I have from them.

Suffice to say I nearly fainted when I saw that they put out a print release schedule for the next year. I just wish I was excited about what I saw. Out of the fifteen new books they are putting out, nine of them are print versions of PDFs they’ve put out over the last couple years. (And, I should add, that none of them are The Scroll of Swallowed Darkness. Ahem.)

The rest of the stuff… kinda lackluster. World of Darkness: Mirrors I’m curious about just because it sounds like this is what they are doing instead of a new setting.

Return of the Scarlet Empress is on my buy list, even though it annoys me that they pushed a bit farther past their “no evolving metaplot” policy with Exalted. My thought was that they would have multiple options for how to handle such a return, similar to the Time of Judgement books they did for the oWoD. But recent reports make it look like it’s an actual storyline bit.

There’s also the haunting reminder that Time of Judgement marked the actual end for the old World of Darkness as a product line. While I’m a huge fan of the new World of Darkness… there’s a certain level of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”

Otherwise… I’m kiiiiiinda interested in New Wave Requiem and Yazata: Gods of Persia. I may even pick up the drips and drabs of Exalted they are putting into print form. But still… the rest of the release schedule is depressing. Hell, between October of this year and June of this year, a span of eight months, they are only doing print versions of PDF books. No new content at all.

Some poking around does turn up that they have other stuff in the works, and will announce more at GenCon. But still… just kinda depressing.

Otherwise, I’m long overdue with the “state of the gaming” updates. In brief:

  • Sealwatch: Our D&D4e game is still going pretty strong. The girlfriend and I have had to miss a few sessions, but it shows no sign of stopping.
  • Gods & Monsters: My Scion game seems to be slowing down. We’ve had one player drop and another player all but drop. I won’t run for less than three, and it’s been hard to get even that many lately.
  • The City That Care Forgot: Our Vampire: The Masquerade game wrapped up a few weeks ago. It ran a little short, which is a lesson in “Don’t get your GM excited to play something else when she’s barely started running her game.” But it ended well, it was very weepy, I’ve demanded a sequel.
  • The Motley Institute: I finally worked up enough content on the Wiki so that I felt comfortable sending info out to players. I have a pretty large-ish group, with something like 10 people emailed about it. Part of my overkill is because I’m fearing a bit of attrition. I’d rather lose a few people and end up around 6 or 7 than lose a few people and end up around 3 or 4. We’ve had people discussing their characters, and it looks like we may have:
    • An adept who was a one-time urban brawler. (And regular at the Billy Goat’s Gruff. Because I’m the sort of person who ponders gay troll and ork subculture in Shadowrun.
    • A free sprite. Not a free spirit. A free sprite, like one compiled by a technomancer.
    • A pixie professor of paranormal research.
    • A Robin Hood style mage.
    • A face with a secret past.

    All in all, shaping up to be pretty fun.

Well, bed time beckons. Time to get this live.

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