Saturday, July 18, 2009

Palladium Week: A Look Back

Thanks to everyone who made Palladium Week work. I hope you enjoyed it, and I wanted to thank everyone who left the time to leave a comment or an email. If you got something out of it, that makes my day.

I wanted to end with something elegant about what Palladium means to our hobby and to the thousands upon thousands of gamers still enjoying their RPGs. But here it is: whatever you might think about their system, presentation, business philosophy, whether you love it or hate it, their games always get me excited about gaming, and I almost always have fun playing them. That's the best testimonial I can give.

On that note, I wanted to share something I wrote back in 2006, when it looked like Palladium was closing its doors forever. I put a plea for my fellow fans to help. I think it's held up pretty well:

I know all too well some of you out there don't share my enthusiasm for Palladium Books. Heavens knows there's been enough internet animosity out there to fill a novel, and I in no way wish to add that. Instead, I would just like those of you out there to patiently listen to a dedicated fan say his piece.

Palladium was my first RPG system.
Robotech, Rifts, Palladium Fantasy, TMNT, Beyond the Supernatural, the whole of the Megaverse...these were the building blocks, my mother's milk, when it came to gaming. In time, I started to play other systems as well, but Palladium always retained a special spot in my heart--the amazing world of Palladium Fantasy, the incredible diversity and craziness of Rifts--these are thing that ignited a kid's imagination and led him to a hobby and kind of entertainment he hadn't known existed.

When I began the program Games For G.I.s, designed to donate games and RPGs to our troops deployed overseas, Palladium Books donated more books than any other company. I had box after box to pick up at the post office. Every time I thought that I had seen the last one, another would arrive. It was an exhibit of generosity that was nothing short of amazing.

Today, we have learned that through some act of theft and embezzlement, Palladium, just at a time when matters could not seem more promising, finds itself in a spot where it may be soon forced to close its doors.

And so, as a last resort, Palladium has called on its supporters, its long-time fans, its adherents, to step up and help save the company. I'll let you read all the details for yourself, but suffice it to say, if you profess any love or goodwill towards this company or any of its products, now is the time to make your stand.

I cannot expect the readers to understand what Palladium has personally meant to me; one's experiences are, in a way, their own, no matter how they share them, and so it likely is with the inspiration and feelings their titles continue to evoke with me. However, I will say this: For 25 years, Palladium has been out there, fighting the good fight. They've always made it a core belief that their books should be cheap, accessible, and fun. Every year, they offer their Holiday Grab Bags, full of personal touches, surprises, and a generous amount of material to their fans. Many might consider their books too kitchen-sink or over-the-top, but I like to think they leave that judgment for the players. There's a pure, old-school feeling of high adventure, the impossible made possible, and of sitting around the table with old friends, Mountain Dew and Doritos in hand, as unlikely groups battle away against amazing odds. There is a beacon at Palladium, one that the gaming world would be darker for were it allowed to go out. Whenever the spirits of creativity, inclusiveness, and adventure are stilled, we are all the poorer for it.

Gamers can be the some of the best people on earth. We'll fight ferociously over rules interpretations, edition changes, or even the proper spelling of "magic". But when it comes to helping each other out and doing what we can, I'm proud to be a part of this hobby. I love Palladium Books. As a personal plea, make me proud one more time.

5 comments:

Andreas Davour said...

Thanks for a good week!

Zachary The First said...

Thanks for reading!

Dyson Logos said...

Yeah, thanks for Palladium week. It's easy to get the feeling that everyone outside of the Palladium forums is a Palladium hater on the internet.

To this day I steal material from the classic Palladium Fantasy RPG for my fantasy games - and I'll always be a fan of the Robotech Saga RPGs.

Zachary The First said...

@Dyson: I can't tell you how much the general feel and attitude of Palladium Fantasy has impacted other fantasy RPGs I've run. It's a good system.

And yes, there are a lot of folks who don't care for Palladium, but I didn't want to address that this week--I wanted the tone to be more celebratory as much as anything. But I won't rule out a future post on the topic, either.

Quim said...

I double those thanks! :D