Monday, November 29, 2010

How's The Current Gaming Scene In Your Area?

Our group has definitely had some ups and downs as of late, as has my gaming circle at-large, but you definitely get a feel for whats going on in gaming, at least locally. One of the things I love about anecdotal reporting is how two cities less than an hour apart, or even different slices of town, can have such radically different gaming scenes. Here's a quick overview of how things seem to sit in my little area of the world:

-4e holds steady. One of the local stores was having some trouble with its Wednesday night Encounters planning, but I know of a couple groups running 4e campaigns. It's very much a hot or cold game, I think, but fortunately not as polarizing as it once was.

-Pathfinder remains the game of choice among my more immediate contacts; I'm in a Pathfinder game currently, but I know of several others. I'd say in terms of actual play, it's running roughly even with D&D 4e.

-I don't get the feel that a lot of groups are "locked in" to a system. I think that folks are willing to try lots of different games; there isn't as much of the "we play 3.5 and that's all we ever play" deal anymore. Why, I don't know, but that's just how it seems to me.

-Dresden Files still excites a lot of comment and interest, but aside from the brief flare-up from the unusual format of Warhammer Fantasy 3e, that game seems flatter than flat right now.

-I've been invited to two "OSR"-type games, one with Labyrinth Lord and one OSRIC, but I have been unable to make either. Still, it's nice to be asked.

-Aside from what I and several others introduce, small-press games and products are still, well, small-press. ICONS and Eclipse Phase have made an appearance, as have Swords & Wizardry and some issues of Fight On!, but it's spotty.

So how are things right now in your neck of the woods?


A.L. said...

I live in a college area, so the flow is a bit weird at times. In general things seem to be going good, at least when school is in session.

I know of a couple of 4th Ed games around, but they're both store run events, still, that means there is a market for the store to do that.

There are several pathfinder games that go on in/around the local gaming store I frequent.

I've seen the books, and I've seen people buying the books, for small press games like Icons, but I haven't seen any of those games being run. Maybe they're just home games?

Fantasy Flight's stuff with Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, and Deathwatch seem to all be growing in popularity here.

Most of this stuff is fairly observational only. While the group I play with is large and diverse, and open to new members, it has also pretty much pulled in the friends of all members already in one form or another.

Loquacious said...

What I've seen shows a lot of versatility. There is one solid D&D 4E game, several Pathfinders (Some Society and some not), one each of Star Wars, Deadlands, WOD, and LL. Also some Rogue Trader, some Hero System, Dresden Files and an occasional indie press or weird game like Eclipse Phase or Starblazers.

Theeo123 said...

I currently run a pathfinder game, but we started pretty recently.

I think theres hardly a week gone by in the last, almost decade, that we haven't had some flavor of Old World of Darkness or another going.

Theres a healthy dose of Wargaming in my local area, most of the hobby stores focus more on that then table-top RPG's, I'm also seeing a small resurrection of Battletech (as an RPG not just the wargame) and Shadowrun too

Evan said...

4e seems to be the game of choice for many here, especially the Essentials version. Still, Pathfinder is a very close second.

There are a surprisingly high number of Shadowrun games, and many lonely players looking for someone to run a few more as most are full.

There is at least one LBB D&D game, and tomorrow night I'm going to trial run Labyrinth Lord with a group that was previously playing AD&D.

Apparently Witch Hunter is also popular, as is Call of Cthulhu but it is easier to find groups for one shots than it is for whole campaigns.

Tom said...

My gaming group is a large collection of old friends. Game group ranges from four to eight players on a regular basis.

Our go-to game is GURPS, mostly GURPS Supers. I also run a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game. Call of Cthulhu is another regular, with other games occasionally showing up. Our philosophy has always been that if someone wants to run it, we'll play it.

tonybro001 said...

My regular group The Hobbits Hole are lucky in that we rent a community hall which can easily hold 30 or more people, so space isn't an issue.

However, we tend to recruit in dribs and drabs (ie: 1s & 2s), and from quite a wide area (for the UK that is). Our problem is most of the DMs favour player groups of between 4-5 (ie: 6 including a DM) this means that 2 groups requires 10-12 people, 3 groups: 15-18, 4 groups: 20-24 and so on. We therefore need to achieve a critical mass of extra players before an extra group becomes viable. We regularly get 3 stable groups but can't seem to bridge the gap to 4.

That said we do have a good mix of games on the go; some homebrew systems, the usual mix of D&D versions, CoC, Alternity, Pendragon as well as a few wargames and boardgames. We also hold an annual memorial event where the previous years winner has to come up with a new game for around 20 people to play.

Consonant Dude said...

Purely anecdotal:

-4e has the lion's share of the hobby around here
-Lots of 1st and (especially) 3rd edition games still going

I'm seeing something strange in some of the smaller local stores: the three main gams being pushed seem to often be 4e, Pathfinder and... ANIMA. Major WTF here. I've also seen local ads looking for Anima players. And a clerk at one store was pushing the game like crazy to prospective customers when I was there.

Some games like GURPS, Savage Worlds, Star Wars, etc... are still being played.

There's a sort of gaming gathering every few months (like a mini con) and lots of indie and smaller games being played there. From Savage Worlds to Burning Wheel to DRYH. Almost no DnD and people seem to be really into discovering games there, a contrast with the yearly convention where it was major games-only (mostly DnD).

I'm not seeing any OSR talk around me. Completely dead it seems.

Overall, it seems a fairly representative scene to me. Very distinct market leaders, a few local quirks and underneath, a lot of variety spread around.

Tim Shorts said...

Rob is running his Swords & Wizardry Majestic Wilderlands, but outside of that there is little to no old school action. Lots of card games and 4th edition, some WoD.

Mark Gedak said...

We are running an ongoing Second Darkness Pathfinder campaign. However on weeks we are short too many players we have been playing delves using the D&D Essentials ruleset.

Jason said...
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Jason said...

The scene in Pittsburgh is strong. In general, so far as I can tell, the only people here playing 4e are the RPGA (and they positively crusade for it), but in general, yeah...I have three gaming groups playing four games (my Sunday group switches off weeks), and I still don't have enough time to play all the games I'd like to.

Current games: Star Wars Saga, AD&D 2, WitchCraft, and a Cinematic Unisystem game. Just wrapped up an OD&D Age of Conan game and about to start a mashup of WitchCraft, Conspiracy X and Delta Green

Joseph said...

Judging by the local group, it's mostly 4E here, aside from my own 1E game.

At the FLGS, there is a TON of Warhammer 40K being played. I would imagine it comes to close to 75% of their sales, based on the amount of stock they carry.

mxyzplk said...

I'm part of a gaming group that has overlap with other groups, in total the guys in my Sunday group are in 4 games throughout the week touching 15 or so gamers in total. It's about 50% D&D and 50% other. The D&D is all Pathfinder, no one I know plays 4e. The other 50% rotates - most recently Savage Worlds, Dresden Files, Alternity, WoD. I know there's people in town that do show up to game stores for those 4e encounter nights, and there have been one or two OSR meetups here I've missed. Seems pretty lively and diverse in general. No real major changes in volume from when I moved here 8 years ago.

da trux said...

From what I see in Columbus, it is mostly 4th edition and 3.5. I can't remember the last time I saw an add or gaming schedule at a store that wasn't either of those. No Pathfinder, no Rifts, definitely no OSR. I DID see a couple ads looking for 2nd Edition AD&D players recently, which is neat. There are always Warhammer games going on and various CCG tournaments too.

I'm in a Heroes Unlimited Game and just started a 4th Edition D&D game recently after a disastrous attempt at playing 3.5 at a game store (won't make that mistake again).

Emmett said...

I have to say, it's encouraging to hear that there is still life out there. My group is small, occasionally a prospective comes along, never with any kind of experience. Then again I live out in the sticks. . .

Anonymous said...

We've been playing lots of Savage Worlds in our group. We also play Pathfinder and I just recently discovered Warrior Rogue and Mage and will be running a campaign using it.

We're all older gamers over 40 and play all kinds of stuff including friendly Magic the Gathering games. We don't really like 4e but we don't look down at people that play it either. ANYTHING that keeps people gaming is great.