Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A-Gaming We Shall Go

After my last post about Dragon Age, I began to think once more about tabletop (or, in most recent cases, internet) gaming, and what I could do to get in on it, hopefully with any of my friends still willing to humor me. This has been brought to the forefront both by the experience of playing Dragon Age, which had a compelling story, and also by the release of a few products that have really made me rethink the way I look at a certain game, that being Exalted.

I first bought Exalted back in 2001, when the 1st Edition was released; I have the Collector's Edition, slipcover and all, and I really thought the ideas behind the game were cool. As time went on, the products printed for the game began to drift into an area that I wasn't too thrilled with, but then a 2nd Edition came out, and for a while, I was happy with it again - until the same drift started, and I stopped buying Exalted books. Recently, though, since I am in a somewhat oddly-timed Exalted game (once every couple months or so), and since a number of prominent Exalted freelancers post to a board I frequent (, my interest has been rekindled.

My experience with online games has been mostly good, but also rather limited; the last time I ran a game online, or participated in one, we all played in chatrooms provided by the AOL Instant Messenger service. Since my computer no longer seems to like that program, I'm looking to move on, and at the same time pick a program that won't scare prospective players (or GM, who knows) away. Currently, I'm thinking of using Gametable, a fairly simple, easy-to-use, non-graphically intensive program.

I've heard good things about Google Wave for use with gaming, but since I don't have any access to the program, I can't say much about it. Gametable is nice, but ideally I want something that can deal with two open chat windows at a time - one for in-character action, one for out-of-character stuff like rolling dice and rules discussion. If 4th Edition D&D is the game on the table, then I'd need something with a map and the ability for all the players to move their own icons, or at least see the map so they can tell me where to move them.

Mostly what I need, though, are willing players who can actually show up at a given time. This has been a problem for me in the past, and it tends to discourage me pretty easily. This is a problem because, as someone recovering from severe clinical depression, being discouraged can cause me to give up on an idea pretty quickly, and though I've been told I have good ideas, they never see play if I can't get myself to start the game. I can run a number of games and the program we use doesn't matter much, but it's no good without players - otherwise I'm just playing with myself, and our mothers all have something to say about too much of that.

(Seriously, if you know of any players crazy enough to put up with me, let me know.)

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