Keeping the Interest AliveIn past years, summers have meant gaming conventions. I consider myself geographically fortunate to live near I-70 between Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana, which for a number of years have been host cities to two of the largest annual tabletop game conventions - Origins in Columbus and Gencon in Indianapolis.
A large game convention offers attendees a lot. There are friends there that I only see in person at the conventions. The exhibition hall is a massive showcase of what's new in our hobby. Demonstration games and tournaments, pick-up games and scheduled events, seminars and the list of things to enjoy goes on and on. There is so much to see and do at a big convention that I rarely get much sleep.
This year, of course, the conventions have been cancelled. Well, at least the in-person part of conventions. There are some online convention events and that brings me to my first bit of news. Playing online doesn't totally disappoint me.
I am devoted to face-to-face - at the table - gaming. It is the part of the hobby I most enjoy and my preferred way to spend hobby time. I enjoy the excitement of sharing table space with live humans. I like to share snacks and meals, jostle and nudge, and feel the positive "vibes" of being with people who are having fun together. I like to touch the dice, hold my breath as I watch the person next to me roll their dice during a tense moment while we are all hoping for a successful outcome. The "table culture" appeals to me.
In recent months, in the absence of face-to-face gaming, I have started playing remotely with my regular face-to-face group, as well as watching a few streamed games on YouTube channels. I have also hit the pen and paper solo modules a bit harder than usual. I have even started painting a few miniature gaming figures again in an effort to find things hobby related to fill my spare time. I might say that "adjustments" have been made in how I enjoy the hobby.
The other aspect of personal hobby news I would like to share involves a couple of recent RPG purchases. Browsing in the convention exhibition halls invariably results in a bit of money being spent as something new catches my fancy. In lieu of this "prohibited" summer activity, I have done my "browsing" online.
While neither game strikes me as introductory, both Liminal and Mork Borg are "complete" purchases in the sense that everything one needs in order to play the game is included in a compact volume, even down to the starting adventure - supply your own dice of course. For the gamer experienced with either type of role-playing game - investigative (Liminal), or old-school games (Mork Borg) - these should be easy games to grasp. Even if the rules-lite style of mechanics found herein do not appeal to you, the settings alone in each of these books are worth the price of admission - as they say. Whether online or sitting around the kitchen table, I look forward to uncovering the "Hidden World" through Liminal, or delving into a bleak and decaying dark castle world of nightmares with Mork Borg.