In which our intrepid hero offers some game-associated links in a lame attempt to cover for his slackness.

I’m working on a couple of other gaming-related posts, but (given they might take a couple of days to finish) I figured I should put a few gaming links up in the interim.

Firstly, I’d like to recommend the excellent Neitherworld Stories, which features regular OGL content for D&D. It’s the kind of blog I’d like to run, if I wasn’t fixated on putting the rest of my life online here as well.

Veteran game designer Jeff Grubb discusses the differences between character development in Call of Cthulhu and D&D. This exploration joins posts on the popularity of CoC amongst game designers and the history of the Mythos subgenre.

And speaking of Cthulhu, Ken Hite, veteran designer and master of the weird, continues his capsule critiques of HP Lovecraft’s works. His most recent, on At the Mountains of Madness, examines Lovecraft’s role as the Copernicus of the modern horror genre.

Lastly, the gaming blog community has been abuzz about the pending closure of Dragon and Dungeon magazines. I recently posted the following reply to former D&D Brand Manager Ryan Dancey’s comments on his blog:

I couldn’t agree more [to Mr Dancey’s post, here].

You mentioned the older gamers, but it’ll have a significant effect on the younger end of the market, too.

I started playing D&D when I was 10. Every month or two through my teenage years, I went down to the newsagent or my FLGS to pick up a copy of Dragon. It was cheap, (usually) high-quality material, and I’d gladly hand my pocket money over for a copy. Although I never subscribed, I often bought consecutive issues (particularly with Dungeon).

At 31, I still don’t have a credit card (in my case, by personal choice)—but neither do any current D&D fans under the age of 18. If WotC moves to a paid online model, then they’ll lose a large proportion of that younger generation of magazine readers. Although the young’uns might not spend nearly as much on the hobby as their elders, they’ll have access to a fair amount of disposable income in years to come.

In the early days of 3e, companies like AEG catered to the cheaper end of the market with short adventures and the like, and probably provided some competition to the magazine sector. But the cheap products and the competing magazines are more-or-less gone now. As are Dragon and Dungeon, at least as of August this year.

As much as I anticipate Pathfinder, I don’t know that it’ll be able to plug that particular gap.

Maybe there’ll be a shift in the market towards CCGs and miniatures games—I don’t know either sector well enough to make an educated guess—but I believe that the RPG sector will suffer in the long term.

And now, back to reading and watching The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss