Keepers of the Lantern

I designed a game tonight!

It’s time for Game Chef, which is an annual game design contest of sorts that’s been running for…um…ten years now, I think. A number of published games have come from this contest, including some significant ones like Polaris, The Mountain Witch, The Shab-al-Hiri Roach, and A Penny For My Thoughts.

I somehow doubt that Keepers of the Lantern (PDF) will have the same kind of impact. It’s just a short one-shot RPG poem. Mostly disposable, in fact.

But I really wanted to write it.

This year, the Forge is closing down. The site will remain with an archive of threads, but that’s it.

Eleven years ago, I signed on to the Forge forums. (Aside: through a funny convergence of events, I actually have had a user account on the Forge longer than Ron Edwards. Serious! Here’s my profile, and here’s Ron’s.) And, for that eleven years, the Forge has been a major part of my life.

I’ve launched three games through the community at the Forge.

GNS/The Big Model/Whatever we’re calling it now was a major boon for me, as it helped me broaden my enjoyment of games by coming to see that different people are looking for different things from the same experience.

I’ve made friends and colleagues across the country through the Forge. In fact, I connected with Ralph Mazza largely through the Forge, before either of us lived in Peoria.

My thinking on rituals and ritual design was shaped in part by an article by Chris Lehrich that was posted on the Forge.

There were years–years, I say–where reading the Forge and grappling with the ideas being pushed around there was a major component of my intellectual life. In fact, the Forge proved to me that it is possible to have productive discourse on the Internet.

Over the last couple of years, my life hasn’t allowed as much room for interaction at the Forge. For better or worse, the Forge Diaspora moved on most of the people I was really interested in continuing to connect with. And, as my life changed, my ability to devote the time to this place was hampered. I stopped checking the Forge regularly. Then, over time, it fell off my radar.

I’m probably not alone in this. Ron’s right; it’s time for the Forge to move on.

But still, I like that the last hurrah for the Forge is about design. At its heart, the Forge was all about quality design, leading to quality play. And, from where I’m sitting, it succeeded brilliantly.

So, Ron, Clinton, Vincent, I salute the work you’ve done over the years. Thank you for what you built.

Thank you for the Forge.


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