During the month of August, I’m participating in RPG a Day 2017. Each day I’ll answer a question, or my interpretation of a question, about tabletop roleplaying games. For those who have wanted your beloved UncleBear to get back into RPG blogging, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Where Do You Go for RPG Reviews?
For the answer to this I’m going to refer you back to my answer to Day 3’s question, How Do You Find Out About New RPGs? I don’t go looking for them. The games that I play are mostly older games that I’m familiar with, my own games, and things that have been written by friends and colleagues in the industry. There are people that I have gamed with in the past whose tastes mirror my own, and I will trust anything they endorse. There are designers that I will buy their games without even knowing what the game is about.
While reviewers are absolutely a vital resource for the hobby, especially with the sheer number of professional and fan-based products being released each week, I don’t have time to vet them. I need to know their biases. When someone reviews something for a particular game line, are they familiar with that line? Do they have some beef with the publisher or the creator? Do they simply praise anything that they get a free copy of? That sort of thing requires me to read reviews on a regular basis, to understand the reviewers’ work.
The thing is, I like what I like. In most cases, if something isn’t subjectively to my tastes I respect the effort that was made. Someone created something and put it out into the world, and that’s more than a lot of people can lay claim to. Even if it’s objectively “bad” someone hopefully got paid to do something they love, someone learned something, and someone somewhere found a use for it.