Posts from 18th September 2007

Sep 07

I WAS A GOBLIN: I Was A Gothling

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The World Of Darkness series of RPGs, beginning with Vampire: The Masquerade, were nineties gaming’s great success story. They appealed to an older audience than D&D and its imitators; they brought new gamers, including a lot of women, into the hobby; they drew on and seemed relevant to wider popular culture. 

They also built into their systems a lot of modifications designed to make gaming more story- and character-oriented, correctly recognising that this was the one real point of difference the tabletop hobby now had in a world where videogames could handle the dice-rolling and levelling-up more efficiently and enjoyably. Characters in Vampire and its successors were created with personality traits and flaws to the fore, things that would make a real difference to how a game might progress – and there were game mechanics to allow decisive player interventions in the story flow that might override the throw of the dice.

I ought to have loved Vampire – it aligned with everything I wanted from a RPG and represented a major break from the wargaming tradition. But, though I played a handful of games, I never liked it, and its success marked the end of my involvement in structured, rule-led gaming.