Thursday, November 4, 2010

Discussion: What do you look for in a blog?

So, this is going to be kind of a self-serving blog post, but I'm curious as to what you look for when you go looking for an RPG related blog? Are you looking for advice? Situations? Ways to handle things? Humorous situations? News? What?

Obviously, I use this primarily for advice, both for myself and others, and as a way to keep my thoughts in some semblance of order, but everyone comes for different things. Personally, when it comes to blogs, I'm looking for interesting insights. Into systems, situations, characters, and everything else out there. That is why most of the blogs in the blog list are there, at one - and probably several - times over their existence they've given me a sense of perspective on gaming, and I wanted to keep a link handy to know where they are.

So, how about you? Are there any things you'd like to see more of? Less of? What brings you back? What keeps your attention?


  1. I'm looking for the person to be themselves and talk about what they want. I don't want a blog that is just what I look for. I scroll down the list of blogs on the RPGBN and I go into posts that interest me. I want to see the person's perspective and the topics they want to cover. You won't get everyone. You won't get me all the time. But blogs that try to do that are, I've noticed, often the ones that go unread by me. I don't really have specific topics I like. Anything can prove interesting and surprising enough to catch my attention, be it about GMing, playing, designing, storytelling, etc.

  2. Definitely a good point about the self driven blog. As I said (I think), I started this for me, and intend to keep going along that way, and the blogs that do so definitely show.

    I've also found a good title can catch the eye where I may have otherwise gone looking for something else.

  3. What I look for are thoughts upon design, house rules and ideas on how to play, and reflections upon what roleplaying is and can do, and once in a while an AP - but only if that AP reveals to me what is happening around the table, the interaction between the players and the rules. Too many play reports fictionalize the game, and I have no interest in those reports. I am not interested in new monsters, magic items and the like.
    Likewise much advice seems to be endless repetitions of earlier advice, often when I look at a post foung via RPGBN I feel that I have already read that advice in an old issue of Dragon Magazine.
    There is one more criteria, which is important to me, and that is that the post is tied to praxis. Much advice is described in so general terms or suggestions as how to play are described so distanced from actual play, I often doubt that an idea or an advice is based on any concrete experiences - not that people don't play, but rather that their blogposts are too detached from what they play - but that is me at my most cynic mood.

  4. The comment about advice is a good one. I think part of it is there really is only so much universal advice to go around, and people each say it in their own way. Sometimes it is old, but sometimes it has a nice twist on it that I do like.

    The idea of praxis is a good one. I know I'm probably guilty of play advice being too detached, something that happens when you try to make it more practical or wider application.

  5. I like "how-to" stuff from the experience of the GM. For example, I like reading someone's experience on creating and running a sandbox game. I enjoy writing styles in which someone is sharing with me like they would in a workplace setting, not at a bar.

    I like news in blogs too like new games coming out.

    I like reviews that are thorough and professional. I hate reviews in which someone uses tasteless humor or takes cheap shots at the author (even if the author deserves it).

    I'm not really a fan of pointless rants or company or person bashing.

  6. Couldn't agree with you more on the last two points there Yong. Person bashing, or company bashing is kind of...well, ugh I guess.

    Have any recent How-To articles caught your eye as being especially interesting?

  7. I look for insight and ideas that prompt me into thinking about things that I wouldn't have considered otherwise.

    Sometimes "common sense" stuff too...For example: "a penny saved is a penny earned" may seem obvious at first glance, but when you think about it, how many people really live that way? The entire science of budgeting is basic and yet not many people think of it past "I don't have enough money"

    In terms of games, sometimes it's interesting to analyze things that are just assumed to be true, and common sense--hell some of the most creative systems challenge our preconceptions on what's a "given" when gaming =)