There are times when I walk into a stocked gaming store but feel more than a bit tired of it all. It's a feeling of being a bit apatheic and dejected about the whole array of products I see on the shelves and how so little of it actually interests me. It's a bit strange actually but I can usually pinpoint what led me down this path.
I think part of it started with the difficulties in trying to reach Troll Lord Games as a customer. I had been having problems with an outdated download link to the newer and revised 'Amazing Adventures' PDF at the very start of October. With increasing misfortune, my actual physical copy came in damaged just last week. During the entire month of October, I was just not getting and word back from TLG. They finally did contact me but only after I took to explain my problems in getting a hold of them on the forums. I was polite, which helped, and the fact that a few other people saw this and probably pointed this out to the company really must have helped.
During the month of October, I was also putting the latest Domesday together -- a labour of love but one that gets little recognition and no mention. Admittedly, it's a C&C / SIEGE Engine fanzine and, in the past, we've always taken what we could get. I say we because, once upon a time there were more people involved in putting out an issue. However, it is something that is time consuming and few people are willing to devote their time for such an effort. After the fourth issue was put out, there was an aborted attempt to put out a fifth and, it was dropped and largely forgotten till earlier this year where I put together a 5th and just recently a 6th issue. Admittedly, as much as I enjoyed putting it together, in the back of my mind I recognized the reality that a handful of people would actually appreciate it. It didn't help that I've not been the happiest TLG customer around these past few weeks either.
In any event, the past month, I have spent more time towards the miniature aspect of the hobby and I'm accumulating more tools and paints to keep me going (5 months or so to go before my Reaper KS order drops). I keep up on what's happening and what's new as far as RPGs go and I love keeping on top of the news and what other people are doing. This is something that usually brings a smile to my face and a twinkle in my eye as I think about gaming possibilities. I also had a friend lend me a bunch of issue of Kobold Quarterly (which may very well be the subject of my upcoming Weekend R&R) which I started flipping through.
As I did so, I realized that there was little in that magazine that truly interested me. Some of the new things being developed left me 'cold'. With a bit of irritation, I decided to take a bit of fresh air (it was a quiet day for a change) and take a trip to one of the larger game stores in Montreal which I only visit once in a while (probably about 4-6 times a year). I like checking out the used section as well as the new but today, I clearly saw signs of what the store was working towards, a third of the RPG material was 'gone' and while the remaining section was still HUGE, I found that there was nothing there that I care for or wanted.
I picked up a few tools for my miniatures -- a small curved set of files, a bit of contact glue (for plastic), and a nifty desk magnifying glass. I was happy about my purchases but couldn't help but wonder about what I was feeling after what I've been seeing. Was it me? Am I the problem?
I considered this for a bit, considered my tastes of gaming material, the genres that appealed to me, the authors I prefer... Thinking about Kobold Quarterly, I also gave some thoughts to the old Dragon Magazines and the reasons why I loved those issues of Dragon so much more in comparison.
You know what? It's not me.
Despite the cool reprints and some of the various OSR efforts that are still going on, I find there is less and less that is interesting me. There are still gems being produced but I'm simply finding it harder to come across something that touches more upon the things I like and care about. The material being put out and advertised is just different that the sort of material that drew me into the hobby in the first place.
I think the solution if probably simple though: I just need to do some good ol' fashioned gaming and just ignore the rest -- at least for now.