Warlock writes: Why don’t you just give it up.

In the comments on the previous post the almost anonymous Warlock (IP: – 24/10/07 – Some Onetel subscriber in the UK who hides by putting false email addresses) writes:

Seriously, you’ve been hacking away at this hobby for donkey\’s years and never produced anything of note other than a blog which demostrates your total inability to GM let alone design a game system.

Why don’t you just give it up?


You download every PDF game going, and buy a shed-load of paper ones too, then mash them up and spin parts of them into candyfloss which can withstand the impact of real players for all of 10 minutes and then you’re off again.

Surely to goodness you’ve noticed by now that you never create anything with any staying power? Gee, perhaps a few minutes effort isn’t the way to produce something of high quality! Who’d have thunk it?

It’s a fair point. Other than a few fans, I’ve not made a significant impact in the world of RPG Design. I’m no Ron Edwards or John Snead. The books of yesteryear made a small impact a decade ago and I’ve not worked hard at it since. I’ve played.

The difference, Warlock, is that I’m not really in the market of producing RPGs these days. I’ve got a lot of spare time and part of the enjoyment I get out of gaming is in the creation of backgrounds. The rules aren’t important to me which, if you’d spent any time gaming with me, you’d know. Sure, I invented the ERIS system in 1996. But it was 1996. And a different faster system for SNCC and Zombi. And yes, a third one a few years later for the Testament/Creed games. That’s not really the same thing.

It’s not about the mechanics, Warlock, it never was. OK, it may be true I have no imagination compared to some of the luminaries out there but it’s a far cry from anonymously whining on someone else’s blog about their “BadWrongFun” I mean – what – were there no adverts on TV you felt the need to complain about tonight?

I write the blog and create games as a hobby. It offends you. Go figure.

It’s true. No-one needs rules to play roleplaying games at all. We did well enough without paper, pens and dice when we didn’t have them. But people write them anyway. And people like reading about them. Am I remotely bothered that the games I create are not in the top ten sellers category in Drivethrurpg.com? Not remotely. Because the creation of the game and the writing of the background material is a heap of fun for me. I’ve downloaded about ten RPG PDFs from DriveThruRPG (it’s a great site) as opposed to “every PDF going” though I do buy a lot of books (yes, even after all these years) and I only have one regular game going at the moment.

It’s not about self-justifying my position here. I don’t NEED to self-justify my hobby. End of the day, Warlock, you’re a gamer. You can’t really point fingers and declare one part of the gaming hobby to be much nerdier than another. We’re all nerds. Some people are rules nuts. Some people want “realism”. Some people want fantasy. Who are you to tell someone they’re not having fun properly?

I have fond memories of some of my games with people and strangely enough it’s not about whether the rules worked well or whether someone scored a critical hit with a natural 20. My blog is part of the cause of people flocking to RPGs? Oh come on. The RPG industry doesn’t need saving, least of all from me.

Are you defending the 10-year-system-design or attacking it. Or are you just attacking me?


Did I kick your dog? Steal your ice cream? Spill your beer? Jealous?

About matt

Gamer. Writer. Dad. Serial Ex-husband. Creator of The 23rd Letter, SpaceNinjaCyberCrisis XDO, ZOMBI, Testament, Creed. Slightly megalomaniac
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5 Responses to Warlock writes: Why don’t you just give it up.

  1. Munz says:

    Your right Matt. RPG’s are all about having fun. I’m well past the age where I should be playing but I still manage to get in a game from time to time. I buy a lot of game books because I enjoy reading them. I don’t download every PDF game going but I do buy a lot of them. I haven’t ran a game in about a year but I still jot down game ideas when they hit me.

    Why do I do these things? Because I enjoy them! Keep on keepin’ on Matt!

  2. Mark says:

    Wow, sounds like you get better trolls then I do.

  3. matt says:

    Yeah, mine have beards, hairy feet, are overweight and have no friends who don’t live in Nerdville.

    Turns out I know him. IRL.

    Go figure.

  4. Mark says:

    Turns out I know him. IRL.

    Oh dear. The worse kind. As long as he is never your boss!

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