Can you believe it? We now find ourselves at the end of the longest year in memory. 2020 has been one for the history books, but we're not going to get into all of that again. Instead, I'd like to spend some time to talk about our year here at Mythopoeia; how we set goals back in January wound back to us in unpredictable and wonderful ways.
Vince and I have had RPGs on our to-do list for a while now, going way back to 2015 when Josephe Vandel introduced us to the Blades in the Dark ruleset. At the time I was about two years removed from my last RPG experience - Pathfinder 1E. I distinctly remember the reason why I had to stop - the time and energy spent Game Mastering was drawing straight from the same well as our other creative endeavors. There was simply no way I would be able to do both without one suffering. Given that we had just been funded to make a comic, it made the most sense to me to drop the hobby to embrace the profession.
Reading Blades in the Dark changed all that. I missed the wave of Powered by the Apocalypse a couple of years prior, so Blades was the first time I was exposed to the concept of narrative dice - a system of rules that supports improvisational play designed to drive the story forward, easing the preparatory burden of the Game Master.
I didn't understand everything I read at first, but I knew the rules in front of me were a gamechanger. My years steeped in the hobby told me as such. The problem was it was almost impossible to find a game! Finding people to play RPGs with is tricky at the best of times. We often engage and agree in search of some platonic ideal informed by nostalgic memories from childhood, and the reality is the heights of the hobby are rarely achieved. We chase the dragon because we know how good these games can be, but we often play in spite of the drudgery of how they sometimes unfold.
In 2015, I had no idea where to look for people to play indie RPGs in Los Angeles. I tried Meet Up, online groups, and Google Plus - all to no avail. I knew intuitively it would take playing these games to understand the complexities of the mechanisms laid before me, but had no way to find a game.
And so it went for a couple of more years. On and off we would pick back up the Skies of Fire RPG, a hack of Blades in the Dark, only to bang our head in frustration at trying to retro engineer something we poorly understood. Fits and spurts, fits and spurts until January 2020.
At the beginning of the year, we made it a goal to make RPGs part of Mythopoeia in a big way. We started out with two full revisions of Skies of Fire before jumping into the hobby full force. I found and began attending Story Games Glendale, a local Meet Up group, along with the Blades in the Dark Discord and a handful of other online communities.
My personal playtime skyrocketed exponentially. I played all sorts of games with all kinds of people. Over the next six months Vince and I wrote and published over 12 different games - most of them small, but each improving our understanding of the medium as a whole.
What a year it's been. Good times. Still going. We have a game to publish now, and a whole lot of things ahead of us. Here's to persistence and making plans. The road is winding but intentionality leads to opportunity.