Tag Archives: obsidianportal
We’re going to be running a few panels this year at GenCon. We’ll be adding more information here as we get it, so please check back often. Make sure to get your tickets so you can come join us!
If you check out Obsidian Portal on your mobile device, you may get a bit of a shock. Instead of just being the regular site scrunched up onto the screen, you’ll see that it now fits nicely with no zooming and scrolling. We’ve heard your calls for a better mobile version and now we’re getting there.
Welcome to Haste!
Obsidian Portal is experimenting with running a podcast, and this is our first episode. We call it Haste because we know you are all busy people and don’t have time to listen to a group of podcasters drone on and on. The goal of the show is to get you some of the latest news in the RPG industry and get you on your way.
Outro: Black Electric– AFI
My day job has me travelling to San Francisco from 4/9 to 4/16. I looked on the big map, and there are plenty of campaigns listed in that area. I’ll have some free time in the evenings, and I’m wondering if there are any gamers in the area who would be willing to entertain a guest.
I’m willing to put myself to work, and I’d be happy to run a 1-shot. I love Dark Heresy, and I’ve got a 1-shot that I’m planning to run at GenCon. Otherwise, I’m happy to run a guest PC, an NPC, or even just sit and observe.
If you’re a gaming group in the San Francisco area and interested in having a guest, shoot me an email. I’d love to meetup and do some gaming!
Many of you have noticed that your tags aren’t fully case sensitive. In fact, the chosen case of a tag often seems very random. I can assure you that it’s not…but that’s not really what you want to hear. What you really want to hear is that now we will be respecting the case of your tags, so “cleric” and “Cleric” will now be distinct and you can choose your casing however you want.
The downside is that all existing tags will remain. This means that if you have a lot of pages tagged with a particular case, then switch to a different one, you will end up with two different tags. In other words, you can now end up with tags for both “cleric” AND “Cleric”. That’s probably not what you want.
That’s why we recently released DragonTagger, the bulk tag editing tool that works with our API. With DragonTagger you can quickly rename your tags to match whatever case you want. It’s not exactly fast (or pretty) but should do the trick.
When I first started, I knew there would have to be sacrifices made. Either it would be completely neutral, and therefore useless to everyone, or it would be biased toward one system or another. There’s a wide spectrum in there, and I decided that whenever a question came up, I would bias the system toward D&D, which I was playing at the time.
The best example I can think of is that we added race and level to the character sheets. They were freeform fields, so you could type “Elf” or “Dwarf” if you wanted. Or, if you were in a totally different system you could type “Eldar” or “Metahuman” or just leave it blank. It was up to you. Still, the concept of race and level is admittedly a D&D centric concept.
The shift to neutrality
As I migrated away from D&D to other systems, so too did my views on how Obsidian Portal should work. I realized that the central elements to all RPGs were the characters, adventures, and campaign world. As such, I focused on making those entities the core of the site. We politely declined requests to add more detail and fields to the character sheets and instead added things like the quick select popup to help you more easily interweave your story and characters. When the time was right, we released the Dynamic Character Sheets, thereby saying “Make the characters what you want!” Subsequently, we removed race and level from the character sheets, instead deferring that to the DSTs where it belonged. We want characters to embody the story, not the stats.
The commitment to neutrality
I started out thinking we would bias ourselves toward D&D, but I’ve become much more committed to overall neutrality. I’m convinced that the future of RPGs does not belong to any one company, brand, or game. Likewise, the future of Obsidian Portal, in supporting the RPG community, does not belong with any one game. So, when I’m told that we’re being too D&D specific, this is a cause for concern. What do you think? Are we too biased toward one game or another? Or, on the opposite end, are we trying too hard to please everyone all the time, and therefore offering a mediocre experience? We feel like we’ve charted the correct course so far, but I’m curious to hear what others think.