#RPGaDay 2015 Day 29: Favorite RPG Blog

The question for Day 29 asks about our favorite RPG website or blog. I am going to focus on the blog option. Looking back over my past responses to this series, I am wishing now that I had thought to stretch my interpretation to include YouTube Channels as a type of ‘podcast.’ I had initially intended to put my favorite YouTube Channel in for this response, but as the month has passed, I have been reminded how few personal RPG blogs are being actively read and discussed in my circles anymore. That’s a predictable result of the steady increase in bandwidth, I suppose, but it is a loss nonetheless.

My solution to this will be to treat blogs and vlogs as the same thing, but offer one choice – among many – for each. As before with this whole ‘favorite’ aspect, it makes it harder to choose. I think it bears repeating that this series is to spark discussion and sharing of the cool and memorable aspects of our hobby. It is less effective to do this in masses or lists, and choosing one does not mean that the unselected are somehow lesser in our estimation.

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When I first started releasing content on YouTube was a very long time ago as these things are counted. In those days, it was infrequent, and there was very little RPG content out there at all. There were no Channels, the search and comment options were whacky, there were no communities of like-minded producers, nothing like the RPG Brigade, and YouTube felt like the wasteland some people think G+ is. When I decided to start posting regularly to YouTube, all that had changed… well, except for the comments. In my first year of weekly uploads, I voraciously explored content and found new people to interact with. While the number of producers is still growing considerably, the amount of content has not been keeping pace. Old hands ride off into the sunset, new faces arrive, many topics circle endlessly covering the same ideas in much the same way, drawing on the same sources. That said, there is an impressive and active community which tries hard to remain inclusive and positive, even as its growth makes that improbable. There are many channels which now have the freedom to focus on specific aspects of the hobby without having to interact on every single post, comment or video just to keep conversation going. That freedom allows the release of quality content regularly, and better yet allows for more collaboration between those who share a passion and talent for a particular focus.

One channel that I feel embodies the spirit of sharing; excitement; a desire to learn, grow, and improve in the hobby; a clear sense of focus; and an intention to hold itself to a high standard is the Star Wars ‘The Tides of Change’ Roleplaying Club. This is not the only channel that I watch, and it is not the only channel which I feel displays these qualities. It is, however, a very good and consistent example of these qualities. It offers its content for free, is very active, is very familial, and highly interactive. It is in all respects a celebration of roleplaying in the Star Wars universe. The channel’s primary focus is on Actual Play videos, but with a very interesting twist you should see for yourself. Honorable mention in this category would go to Red Dice Diaries, and an older and defunct channel called Emergent Play.

These latter choices demonstrate two different approaches which stem from the same sort of attitude. Emergent Play was a short-run series covering aspects of play and points of view. It appeared, released its content weekly, interacted with the community on a variety of topics, developed some resources for newcomers, and then stopped. The content is still available, free, and relevant. Red Dice Diaries is on a more classic model. This channel is slowly evolving and developing resources and alternate means to access the information such as a written blog, and audio podcasts. It features excellent reviews, actual play videos, GM advice, player advice, and maintains a celebratory and open attitude about the hobby as a whole. The content is free to see, but has been monetized so there are ads which can be watched or clicked through.

For written blogs, the evolution which is happening on YouTube started earlier, but the independent writers who simply want a venue through which to share their thoughts and interact with others who have related interests survive. One example that I read regularly is The Black Campbell. There are lots of blogs that I read, some more regularly than others, some which post more regularly than others, but this one is a great example of the sort of blog I love to read. It blends reports on actual play of interesting games, with GM advice, reviews, and useful content for your own games. It has been running for years and has a steady posting rate with a large catalog of entertaining posts. Honorable mention in this category would go to Ten Years on Terra and The Rhetorical Gamer. The first was an actual play report of learning a new edition of a campaign and running a very specific campaign with it. The blog started with the campaign, and ended with its dramatic conclusion. It was exciting to keep up with it as the campaign was ongoing, but still makes good reading now. The Rhetorical Gamer is a good example of a blog that asks as many questions as it tries to answer. It is thought-provoking at times, and clarifies thoughts at others.

How about you?

#rpgaday2015

Comments
2 Responses to “#RPGaDay 2015 Day 29: Favorite RPG Blog”
  1. Thanks for the plug, sir. I keep thinking of doing the vblog for gaming, but I just can’t bring myself to quite make the jump.

    • Runeslinger says:

      The YouTube audience participates more readily, and communicating on speech and text offers some interesting challenges and opportunities. You might like it~

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