Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Best & Worst of Gaming 2009, Part IV

We're back with a few final thoughts on some of the best & worst of gaming from 2009.

Best Trend

Gold: Do-It-Yourself. There has been an explosion of the "DIY" mindset online, which means we are seeing more cool dungeons, games, ideas, and supplements than ever before.

Basically, more people are producing more awesome things. And that's great. It's also nice when those things are Creative Commons or Open Source, to allow someone to riff off of them further.


Worst Trend

Gold: Losing more people who were friends and a part of the legacy of this hobby. RIP Dave Arneson, Jerry Mapes, and all the other folks we're missing from this past year.

Silver: $99 RPGs with 30 specialty dice, cards, and special pieces I need to play. OK, Warhammer 3e, it isn't totally your fault, but that's not what I want in the hobby. Give me inexpensive books, OGL pdfs, and accessible games.


Best Free Product


Gold: Castle of the Mad Archmage. Joseph Bloch has given us multiple installments of a worthy successor to the never-finished Castle Zagyg/Greyhawk. While they aren't canon, they are evocative, and and a great boon to those of us who were left wanting more.

Silver: Swords & Wizardry Quick Start. If you regularly read this blog, you've probably heard of this product. If not, I can tell you this self-contained beauty is one of the best ways to jump back in to classic-style gaming.


Trend I Hope To See In 2010

Gold: More Boxed Sets! I know there are several on the horizon. To a greater extent, start giving me everything I need to play in one product, two at most.


Product Of The Year

Gold: Pathfinder. Even as my tastes slide towards less complex games, Pathfinder looks to have successfully become the continuation of the 3e/3.5 legacy. It has a claim as a continuing lingua franca for the hobby. From their open beta to their massive Gen Con debut, it's hard to think of a product that had a better year.

9 comments:

Joseph said...

Oh my Gods...

I am more than honored by this. Wow... just... wow.

Fumers said...

The actual retail price for WFRP 3E is much lower than $99. It's cheaper or at least comparable to the PHB-DMG-MM 4E combo in price.

The game itself looks fantastic too. You should really check it out.

da Trux said...

How about a Gold medal for Gold: the series? that show kicks all kinds of ass!

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Ryan said...

Silver: $99 RPGs with 30 specialty dice, cards, and special pieces I need to play. OK, Warhammer 3e, it isn't totally your fault, but that's not what I want in the hobby. Give me inexpensive books, OGL pdfs, and accessible games.

Q to the F to the T.

You can actually get WFRP3 on Amazon for something in the neighborhood of $65, but the last time I dropped 60+ bucks to try a new edition of a fantasy roleplaying game I felt completely burned.

JimLotFP said...

I think your Silver Worst Trend and your Gold Trend I Hope to See in 2010 are at odds.

Zachary The First said...

Not so, Jim. I want affordable, all-in-one boxed sets. I can see where you'd think that.

@daTrux: Gold: The Series would definitely get the Gamer Culture award, or Gamer Emmy Award.

Marshall Smith said...

So, what does a boxed set entail, exactly? Besides, obviously, a box. I'm actually quite happy to see the WFRP 3e set. While I probably won't buy it, as the setting has never done anything for me, I think it is a strong, valid option for an RPG. It's not that different from Ptolus or World's Largest Dungeon. I think it was Rob Donoghue that made the comment I liked best though. The set would be 100% worth it if I could use it to run other games. From the reviews I've read, it's actually got some really neat utility for simplifying bookkeeping and making it visceral and obvious.

Zachary The First said...

I like boxed sets to have dice, rulebooks (GM’s book/player’s book), a starting adventure, a map if applicable, and a couple of character sheets.

Oh, and a decent price threshold. I appreciate some expensive boxed sets (I bought Castle Zagyg, after all) and what drives them to be made, but it ain’t my scene, nor do I see it as good for accessibility.