Indie RPGs saved my relationship (and they can save yours too)

I was, on reflection, probably too busy with the other elements in my life to dedicate the time and the attention she needed. She was inflexible, demanding, frustrating, a source of great joy that left me burnt out and miserable.

D&D is a harsh mistress. We had a difficult relationship for many years, through 4e and 5e and variations on 3e, and it took something new to change that. Indie games turned my relationship with gaming right around, so a big thanks to their creators and to the November RPG Blog Carnival for prompting me to get out of my rut and blog about how much I love them!

Indie RPG books
My collection so far

I have said it before: the moment I read and played Stars Without Number and Dungeon World it was like a light went on in my head. Suddenly I saw so many other, better, ways of doing things in my games. Better ways of prepping, organising, running, and playing games. Better mechanics and frameworks, better tools, better abstractions.

"Better" is often subjective but every game has something you can use to improve any other game. Indie games are built by passionate people who see something in mainstream games that could be done differently, or better. Indie games often take a sideways angle on familiar games, looking through a different lens or taking them apart and rebuilding them differently, and the ones where it really works are often the ones that (rightfully) hit the mainstream spotlight. Can't fight against evolution.

I get such joy from indie games that I've started a collection.  No one of them is the perfect game but they all have something to add; some new wisdom to impart or a refreshing angle on something familiar.

Every game has something you can use to improve any other game.

It doesn't matter whether any of these games becomes my forever game. I'll probably never play most of them. But I urge you to play the field; broaden your horizons before you settle down to your table with your forever game. Before you buy the next splat book. There's so much out there. Find the joy and wonder in exploring and learning new games, and come back enriched and refreshed and enlightened.

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