It has occurred to me recently that the boardgame has significantly affected my roleplaying. In years gone past My group of friends would gather, either on a regular basis or as the opportunity arose. Then we would decide what RPG we felt like playing and get to it. Most of us had a folder with our pregen characters for a variety of games, so we just got into it. If we decided to play a game we did not have characters for we would spend an enjoyable afternoon getting to grips with the rules and making characters. Next time we got together we would have one extra character for that new game.
These days, however, things are different. The boardgame has arrived in a big way and now if we have not pre-organised an rpg we will play a boardgame instead. Sometimes we will play a boardgame even if we had planned to roleplay. They are just so easy; no one has to GM, they are over in a short period, and don’t (usually) require a lot of mental or emotional investment. The boardgame has therefore reduced the amount of roleplaying I do.
The humble boardgame has had another impact on my gaming too. The rpg’s that I find myself collecting these days tend to be playable as “one shots” and many of them are GM-less. Zombie Cinema, Fiasco and Penny For My Thoughts are examples of these games. I think the reason for this shift in the types of rpg’s I play is two fold;
1) I don’t have as much time as I used to to learn new games or prepare campaigns, and
2) I don’t want to prepare games if we are just going to play a boardgame.
What are your thoughts?