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Old 02-08-2011, 11:05 AM   #132
Mithalwen
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,750
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
I write this in full awareness of my many and varied inadequacies as a RPGer. I am aware that many respects that I fail - yes my personal life has made writing genuinely impossible for sixmonths (and I have been correspondingly quiet across the forum) but I cannot claim that there have not been lengthy absences with less reason. Anyway I have participated in several Shire RPGs, dipped my toe in Rohan and have tried to encourage activity in the Perch. Anyway for what it is worth these are my observations.

I do think Werewolf is a factor. It does take a lot of attention and creativity and before its inception the RPG discussion threads were possibly the more sociable ones on forum where chat is strongly discouraged. Personally one of the reasons I stopped playing regularly was that I wanted to RPG more. H Yes it has brought some new members but they often don't get further than mirth. However it isn't the only thing and WW does show that it is possible to write a lot in a short time. Most ww games are longer than most RPGs.

Another factor is that a lot of players simply moved to a different stage in their lives - the young teenagers who perhaps came to the books via the films had important exams and went to unversity and so forth and I think we did lose a lot at the same time and so a lot of impetus is lost and a downward spiral becomes a vicious circle. For this reason I think we do need to review the structures before the likely influx from the next lot of films.

The problems with actual games I have encountered or observed are game owners bailing out, games as "star vehicles" - if the other players are merely a backing chorus for a Prima donna or uomo you may as well just write fan fic. You can't expect people to show a lot of commitment to someone else' s ego trip.

The structure of the game can also make a huge difference. It is harder to keep things going and up together if the roles are divided into various factions operating semi independently, it is harder if the game is set in a very specific time and place -especially if you are nerdy like me and want to work with or at least not against what Tolkien wrote. You can also hamsting yourself with your character. So basically easier games are the ones where you aren't bound by a very specific geography or history, the players are able to interract fairly freely un hindered by race or status (it will be long ere I saddle my self again with a character who is the servant of the only other person who speaks the same language ).

I certainly don't think the location of a game is an automatic indicator of standard - Island of Sorrow was a Shire game presumably only because Anguirel was a first time "owner". It had a group of highly skilled writers and extremely literary. Inexperienced players benefit from writing with the more skilled - I know I learnt a lot from writing with people here even if if it hasn't manifested itself in m own efforts yet! There are players who are generous in their writing - while developing and playing their own role they give opportunities to others to build theirs - in my own experience Aman and Envinyatar stand out in this respect but there have been others - Folwren in her role as Innkeeper particularly.

I haven't finished - I just have to be away for a bit but I do have a few more constructive points to add to the observations.
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