This post isn't about the show, and how they did a D&D episode. For one thing, I haven't seen that episode yet. For another, everyone else has written all about it, so I probably won't.
No, this post is about us. Our community, the OSR community, and what it means to be a part of it. I've already touched on the subject, but I wanted to back away from the extreme of the nuclear option and to talk about what it means to me to be a member.
Like any neighborhood, our small circle is made up of a fairly diverse group of people, from all over the place. Because of our common interests – namely Dungeons and Dragons of the pre-3rd edition variety – we spend time with each other. Some of us game together, some argue, some inspire, some push the boundaries, some are good neighbors, while others don’t clean up the mess their dire wolves leave on everyone’s lawn.
I know I try my best to be a good member of the community, and I’m not the only one. But how do I do it, or try to do it?
Last editorial post for a while. Keep gaming, and be excellent to each other!1. I leave comments. They aren’t always deep or informative critiques of what someone else has written, in fact they rarely are. Most of the time it’s me stopping by and saying “Hey, I saw your post, and thought it was cool” in the same way I tell my physical neighbors that I like their new flower garden. There are hundreds of bloggers in our community, and many of them post daily. How many do you read, and never comment? My personal goal is 3 comments a day. I try to spread them around so that I hit everyone I read. Why? They’re interesting enough that I keep them on my to-read list, and if they’re interesting enough to read, they’re interesting enough to comment on. I do focus more on the less popular/newer blogs for my comments, because really, does Grognardia or Porn Stars need or even notice a comment from me?
Also, I love getting comments, and I figure that you do too.
2. I post. I started off pretty slow, but over the last year and a half (this week!) I’ve geared up to almost daily posts. Now I am in no way saying that if you don’t post near daily updates you’re a bad neighbor. You aren’t even a bad neighbor if you take a break. Everyone needs one now and again, and even in real life people go on vacation. If you are going to be away for a bit, maybe stop back once in a while. Pick up the accumulated newspapers, mow the lawn, and say hi. Let us know how you’re doing. We care.
3. I am respectful, if not friendly. I’m a 4th generation D&D player, and while I am getting older, I am in no way a grognard. I never played OD&D, or the original red box and I wasn’t a part of the larger gaming community until 3e. There are lots of things I don’t know and many who know way more than I do. On the other hand, I know what D&D is to me. I know what Old School is to me. Does that make someone else wrong? No. It’s my opinion, and I have every right to it, just as you have a right to your opinion. If and when our opinions on something don’t match? Maybe we’ll talk about it, post about it, comment back and forth about it, and in the end we may simply agree to disagree. Nothing changes. It doesn’t stop feeling awesome to roll a 20. The game goes on… As long as we’re respectful about it. In other words, try not to be the neighbor everyone wishes would move!