I have been thinking about game rules and how they perpetuate a theme in the RPGs they are a part of. I looked over at my RPG shelves to pull a couple off that do similar things to what I want to have happen in the current game design project I have going on and I noticed something. Well, something besides the fact that my interest in RPG rule structures has lead me to own a collection of indie and small press RPGs.
What I noticed was this. Why is it that I have so many games that are no longer mentioned on podcasts, by gamers online or even by their respective designers? It’s only been a year or two for some of them and they seem to have fallen completely off the map. There are always the favorites like Dogs in the Vineyard, Dread and Burning Wheel but where is Best Friends, Agon, A Penny for My Thoughts and Don’t Rest Your Head?
I am not seeing a whole series of games (and I’m not even coming from the beginning of the indie game movement) that just aren’t talked about. Sure, we all have time crunches in our lives and there are always new games coming out but a lot of these games need some love. They are excellent games. They (at least many of them) are built to carry a theme or play with a novel mechanic.
Why not look back through your collection of RPGs and see if you can find one you had fun with and pull it off the shelf to another session? It’s not going to hurt those new games that keep coming out and you just might find they are still just as much fun as you remember. For me, I pulled Mortal Coil off the shelf to find some time for.