Ryan McRae

Ryan McRae

Creator of Burn the Tavern Down.
Bringing Creativity Back to Gaming.

BTTD #34: Don’t Play the Comparison Game

Chose Well, Not Fancy

A lot of my friends, and I mean a lot will go hard to the paint when it comes to gorging on content, specifically gaming content.

Maybe they have every book, or they are digging every Twitch and Youtube channel out there.

And here’s my opinion when it comes to RPGS and that sort of content: less is better.

I don’t watch people playing D&D or Pathfinder. I might watch the ocassional “how to play this” but I find the quality isn’t that great most of the time.

I have to explain to my friends that someone with a huge disposable income started this stream and had a ton of production value at their fingertips. Watching huge props, long storylines, and other fancy sundries can make your game seem ordinary, even bland.

A lot of us are playing at night; we’ve worked a full day and our responsibilites are hanging over our heads. We play our games to tell a story and see our friends. And what we don’t (bleeping) need is this huge pressure to produce this all encompassing production.

When people are wanting to start playing an RPG it looks like this monstrocity of rules and dice, statistics and equations. But it’s about stories. It’s about being the person that saves the day. (If RPG ever resembles your job, then something is a bit broken. Unless you have a really cool job.) It’s this new potential—this new possibility at every turn. You can use magic, fly a spacecraft or have a secret identity full of power and hope.

Something I try to remember is that comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t compare your game, or your future game, to anyone else’s game. Are you having fun? Yes? Keep going. As long as it is fun even if the rules aren’t perfect, keep doing that. I’d rather create than consume—so create those adventures, that backstory, or that city.

In a world of disconnection, I believe that gaming RPG and board games is foundational to community, friendship and togetherness. Especially now, more than ever.

Things I’m digging right now.

(And when my friends make cool stuff, I share it.)

Florida, a small novella from my friend Matthew.

A newsletter I dig is James Clear’s newsletter on systems and habits. You can find that here. It’s one of my favorite ones (and I read a ton of them per week.) And I can’t recommend his book, Atomic Habits, enough.

Monte Cook is doing this Kickstarter, so if you are looking for a setting that won’t disappoint (and that is massive), here you go.

That’s about it. Have a safe week and wash those hands (and dice!)

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