Wolfgang Baur (the_monkey_king) wrote,
Wolfgang Baur

Return'd from the Sandwich Isles

I'm back from vacation, and everything around Seattle seems oddly grey and dark (including the citizenry).

Who painted the place gloomy while I was gone? Put it back the way it was, people.

I got a phone call on March 4th informing me that Mr. Gygax had passed away, which certainly made me think about his great creative endeavor, D&D. I never met the man (and now, sadly, never will), but he influenced my life hugely, even in the echoes and whispers that were all I knew about him in the TSR days, long after he had left the company. He was a presence and a True Name and (by all accounts) a character.

And yet time does its dirty work constantly and inexorably. Together with the loss of Dave Sutherland last year, I get the sense that the first generation of RPG greats is reaching a certain age. I feel this loss distinctly; the founder is gone: now what? I may need to send Dave Arneson a "thank you for inventing RPGs" while I still can.

In the chattering spaces, though, life goes on. John Wick made some very astute comments on what makes an RPG and tells the story of his own brush with Mr. Gygax. Chris Pramas gives his take on what 4E design really reminds him of (hint: MtG).

I'm particularly taken with Wick's assertion that 4E will be a boardgame rather than an RPG. It certainly continues the movement back toward wargaming that D&D took in some iterations of 3E, and the emphasis on using miniatures and so forth. Maybe it really IS time for me to run Ars Magica instead. Interestingly, Mr. Gygax disagreed with this view of games as storytelling, by the way, a point repeated in the excellent Wired magazine article about him.

Assume for sanity's sake that I haven't heard anything much from LJ or the media in the past couple weeks, if it didn't involve a phone call around dawn. What did I miss?

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