James Mishler’s post, The Doom of RPGs: The Rambling, downright gives me chills. What he describes about how adventure gaming will change seems so eminently plausible.
The best case scenario seems to be that longtime enthusiasts, invested in that particular mode of play — around a table, using printed material — hunker down and stick with what they’ve got. It could be the new iteration of roleplayers sticking with the game they began with — Advanced Dungeons & Dragons back in the day, some other, equally large 800 lbs gorilla today — relying on whatever books they can scrounge up.
After all, tabletop games give one of the best return rates on leisure money around, compared to competition like a movie or a video game. As James says at the end of his post:
Like baseball, once you buy a bat and a ball and a glove, you’ve got everything you ever need to play the game a thousand times over; heck, my father still used the glove he had when he was a kid when we threw the ball around when I was a kid!
Whatever your game of choice is, once you own it, you’re good to go. That is one of the go-to arguments for the dissenters in discussions claiming that RPGs are over-priced. Dollar for dollar, spending a certain amount of money on an RPG book pays off better in terms of hours of entertainment than a number of movie tickets or video games bought with an equivalent sum.
Unless, of course, it’s an ebook Amazon pulls back without warning, or it’s so shoddily bound that the pages just fall out in a rain of wood pulp. But when does that ever happen?