As a relative newcomer to blogging (only since February) I can’t say I kept abreast of the blogosphere. Of course I read some blogs but it was not a conscious effort, but since I’ve begun my wonderful foray into this community I’ve discovered great blogs, exciting ideas and made some wonderful friends. I’ve tried to catch up and read some of the blogs out there but this is a titanic endeavor. If only someone had selected the cream of the crop of blog posts out there and placed then in one place where I could read them…
Oh wait, someone has! There are two volumes out there that do just this. Open Game Table, the Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs. I received volume 2 as a review copy and have been enjoying it over the last few weeks. I had mentioned my intention of writing a review to my fellow bloggers but it took me a little longer than expected because I read through the whole thing! I found myself enraptured by the thoughts and ideas in the collection, some I agreed with, others I outright disagreed with but that was what made it so exciting, it got me thinking.
Editor Jonathan Jacobs and his team of collaborators, editors, authors and artists, made a wonderful job of putting together a well balanced mix of topical themes and ideas useful to both game masters and players. As I am almost exclusively a game master, I found the section on Campaign Success and Failure particularly enlightening. Two pieces on Monotheism in fantasy religions and D&D in particular caught my attention on the Campaign Design Choices group (one by Mr. Michael Wolf himself, kudos!). My current campaign deals with a monotheistic religion in a world with a D&D style pantheon and both pieces gave me new aspects to consider and ideas to include in my game.
A post I HAD read before encountering in the anthology was one from Gnome Stew, The Decamer Campaign; it proposes the idea of building a campaign around the ten “silliest” D&D monsters. I had read it and loved the idea but amidst all the things going on I had forgotten about it. Finding it again was like running into an old friend.
I could muse on and on about more pots, probably about the whole book, but let me summarize it by saying this. The idea of collecting a selection of outstanding blog posts must be commended and applauded; it is a great opportunity to share ideas with gamers out there who might have missed them. If you have a friend who loves gaming, but may not be as active in the online community, this will make an excellent gift. If you are a gamer and just don’t have time to follow every blog (and who does), this is an excellent book to get. Even is you are a blogger and follow many of this talented authors, do yourself a favor and pick a copy, it is a different experience readying all these posts together, playing off each other and creating a greater whole out of the awesomeness of its parts.
I guess the only thing I regret is that I didn’t read all this blogs when they first came out. I would have sure loved to leave my opinion. Well it may actually be a good thing, I do need to work and have a family life. Now to get volume one and wait for volume three!