This week, several other RPG bloggers and I are celebrating Small Press Week, with a look at some of the works coming out of the smaller publishers in our hobby. And I think this week will show that just because a company is small, that doesn't mean they can't go toe-to-toe with some of the big boys. I'll be linking and rounding up other coverage periodically throughout the week.
I had hoped to have my review for FireWater Productions done today, but I'm just not done yet. I'll try to have it completed as soon as possible, but it looks like it might slip till next week. Look for a recap posting for all the Small Press Week links across the blogosphere.
Since I can't finish my review, I'm stuck instead with offering up some thoughts on small press companies in general. I'm not going to pretend that every small press offering has the spit and polish of a Wizards of the Coast or White Wolf product, and I won't pretend that there's going to be a Two-Fisted Tales, Don't Rest Your Head, or In Harm's Way game at every local gaming store.
But for those willing to be brave and try something new, there are plenty of rewards there. Innovative mechanics, people trying something new and off the beaten path. Unrivaled publisher and author access, and a one-on-one level of customer service. Games dealing with genres and topics largely untouched by larger publishers. And above all, the spirit of do-it-yourself gaming--of working a 9 to 5 job, coming home, writing, playtesting, scrimping and saving to get your product out the door, and the sheer amazing feeling of knowing someone is playing their game.
It's worth remembering that our hobby started with a couple of colleagues churning out copies of a somewhat rough-looking, novel game. The future of our hobby will undoubtedly begin in the same sort of place.