Thursday, January 12, 2012

Change is Good

No, this isn’t a post about the just-announced and forthcoming version of Dungeon & Dragons (but we’ll get to that in a moment). This is about looking forward to 2012 and new directions in the year to come—which may be important on the off-chance the Mayans knew something we don’t.

Last year, I announced that this blog would be coming to an end. I felt that I had taken the Society as far as it could go based on my original purpose of chronicling my return to the gaming fold and wishing to contribute something to this nebulous thing we call the Old School Renaissance (or whatever OSR stands for this week). In some ways, I still believe that. I’ve done what I set out to do and succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.

Since its inception, this blog and the material produced for it allowed me to establish a presence hitherto undreamt of—by me anyway— in the gaming community and the industry that supports us. I don’t think anyone can dispute that The Dungeon Alphabet and Stonehell Dungeon remain examples of some of the better works created by this movement. The Dungeon Alphabet was especially well-received and is one of the few works that achieved success outside of the OSR, drawing praise from not only grognards but folks who entered this hobby in more recent years. That continues to blow my mind.

Having done what I set out to do, my choices were to either start anew or shut down. My workload made me more inclined to the latter. But with the start of the New Year, my attitude has changed. I’m hacking away at the “To Be Done” list, and although I expect it will fill up again (at least I’m praying it will), I think I’ll be able to dedicate some more time to this blog o’ mine. The Society has been around for more than three years now and maintains a steady readership. And while it doesn’t have the number of fans some older and more prolific blogs have, SoTPR is still in the upper echelon of old school blogs. It seems as shame to throw away all that hard work now.

So what to do? First off, it’s high time this place got a revamp. In the weeks ahead I will be playing with the design a bit to come up with something new, but still legible. I’ll be editing and updating my links section and playing with ideas for a nifty new banner up top (I remain one of the few elder statesmen of blognards who has never gone beyond a text header). It’ll likely be a hack job since the visual arts is not my forte, but I’ll endeavor to keep it classy and discrete.

Secondly, I’m going to fold my side blog Secret Antiquities into this one. The premise of having a secondary blog for material not directly relating to fantasy gaming was sound, but the end result was two blogs I ignored and not much progress made on either. Seeing as we’re all gamers, I don’t think anyone will mind too much if I post the occasional design ideas for a system other than D&D and its various clones. Unless my readership starts abandoning the joint in droves, expect to see some reposting of things from Secret Antiquities here as I integrate both blogs into one.

Thirdly, and I know I’ve stated it before, 2012 will be the year the Stonehell sequel is finally released. The fact that it is so far behind tears me up more than I’d like to admit and since my name is synonymous with that dungeon, I feel its failure to see the light of day reflects poorly on me. To correct this, I’m committed to producing one new quadrant of Stonehell a week. While that might mean it takes all year to complete the manuscript, slow progress trumps no progress.

Lastly, although connected to the above, 2012 will see me at GaryCon IV. I intend to try and play as much as I can, but I will be bringing Stonehell with me to Lake Geneva, hopefully with brand new material to test drive. There are no official Stonehell sessions on the schedule, but if you corner me, I’ll gladly run it during the open gaming portions of the con. I’ll even allow your FLAILSNAILERS to bring your PCs for a visit if that’s cool with how things work in FLAILSNAIL-land. As always, Stonehell’s Save Your Ass T-shirts will be honored, so grab one now and edge out your competition for loot.

More projects and plans will be announced as they develop, but I think the above is going to keep me busy for awhile.

OK, with that out of the way, let me say my piece on the 5th edition which isn’t the 5th edition of D&D. In all honesty, I was completely indifferent about the announcement. That surprised me a little, but it’s the truth. There’s no gnashing of teeth or rending of raiment here. The game will come, I’ll check it out, and if it’s fun and captures my interest, I’ll play it from time to time. I’ve no expectations that it will heal the great edition rift or create the greatest version of the game ever. I might run it or I might not. I signed up to get a look at the beta version once it’s released, but I suspect that will be the extent of my involvement. I’m certainly not going to attempt to steer its direction. It will be whatever Mike and Monte design within the boundaries laid down by management. I wish them the best and hope Wizards comes out with an entertaining diversion that attracts more gamers to the fold. After all, more tabletop gamers are good in the grand scheme of things.

I don’t expect to give much coverage to the game here so this may very well be the last words I say on the game until it is released. Others will certainly be following its development with close scrutiny. I’ll say this though: “5E” looks really, really strange when seen written out to my eyes. I must be getting older.


Keith Sloan said...

I'll be hunting you down at Garycon for a game!

Michael Curtis said...

I'll be wearing a Stonehell T-shirt at least one of the days I'm there, so I should be easy to find!

Theodric the Obscure said...

Sounds good to me! Best wishes as you make this transition.

Necropraxis said...

Glad to hear it! Looking forward to Stonehell II.

Peter D said...

Thirdly, and I know I’ve stated it before, 2012 will be the year the Stonehell sequel is finally released.

That's great news, as is the news that you'll keep this blog going. I've copied a bit of Stonehell for my GURPS megadungeon (literally, I copied and cut and pasted it onto my map). And I've been itching to see what's in those lower levels of the dungeon . . .

HDA said...

As long as you keep posting, I'll keep reading! Glad to hear there will be more updates to come.