On yet another German blog, Tarin recently argued how great it is to write and share your own material, including homebrew games. How could we do anything but profess our heartfelt agreement to this notion?
In passing, Tarin also touched upon another point:
Roleplaying as a hobby goes beyond the act of gaming.
In the end, this is true for all hobbies. There is always more to them than initially meets the eye.
A sailing enthusiast doesn’t just sail. He learns about his sailing area, he works on his boat (from painting it over making his own ropes, to designing and building custom mast lowering gear – or even building the whole boat from scratch), he reads, learns and debates, all as part of his hobby – sailing. Sailing as a hobby is more than sailing as an activity.
In the same vein, roleplaying is more than playing roleplaying games. We build characters (now, there’s a topic all of its own!), prepare adventures, make maps and handouts, draw pictures of our pcs, design campaigns, make changes to existing settings or build our own from scratch, we fiddle with the rules and design house rules, we put new monsters, npcs and factions into our games, so that the pcs may duke it out with them amidst new locations using new weapons and spells.
This list could go on and on and on, without us ever touching upon subjects such as learning and conducting pre-game research, testing and training (step up if you’ve ever diced out a combat home alone), buying and caring for our very own “equipment” (I’d venture the guess that most of you have given at least some thought to your choice of dice for example), theorizing or discussing all these things.
So, instead of making this second list all the longer, we chose to focus on a few of the more practical aspects of the metagame – that what is surrounding the game. After all, it ties in with what we consider our chief business here at d6ideas.
Writing a homebrew is pretty much the condensed version of all these metagame activities.
When you are writing a roleplaying game, then you have to design rules, you have to build a setting, you have to create characters, monsters, equipment (whatever features will be in there at the end) to populate it, you have to make a plan, you have to learn, to realize and to test. While in another case you may focus on individual aspects, this time everything counts.
Accordingly, writing your own game is both the probably most strenuous and time consuming, yet at the same time the most complete and holistic way to engage in the metagame.
Homebrew systems may thus be the truest incarnation of the hobby itself – combining like no other the game and the metagame with all their different facets
Next week, we are one step shy of presenting a full homebrew game, publishing a compact homebrew setting instead. – And after the treacherous d6 in our name gave us just one article for the coming week, it will also appear in German only.
Shadoms Leymios is a fantasy setting. It will be published on Wednesday.