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MORTAL ENGINES (December 22, 2018)

Sunday, 25 February 2018

SIX OF THE BEST: Barking Alien

Barkley The Barking Alien - mascot of Adam's blog

I know it's wrong, when running a feature like this, to play favourites, but Adam Dickstein's Barking Alien was one of the blogs I really wanted to highlight here, as he posts some incredible ideas about gaming genres I'm particular fond of (ie superheroes and sci-fi). A master of homebrewed games and hacking other systems to his own ends, Adam comes across as a passionate and analytical fan of genre media, able to craft games that I'd want to play in. I can't believe it's taken me this long to contact him.

(1) How long have been blogging, and how’d you get into it in the first place?

I started blogging in 2008, but after a few months it was going nowhere and I stopped. I started again with my current blog, Barking Alien, in February of 2009, so I’d I’ve been doing it seriously and continuously for nine years now.

I got into it after regularly reading other blogs and enjoying them, but noticing very few spoke on the subject of science-fiction and superheroes games, my preferred genres.

(2) What do you blog about, and how frequently do you post?

For the most part I blog about tabletop, pencil & paper roleplaying games, ideas for the them, and thoughts about them. My focus is on science fiction and superhero games. I tend to shy away from traditional fantasy RPGs as they are not my preferred subject matter and there are so many other bloggers talking about them.

I would love to say I blog all the time, but in truth my frequency is inconsistent. There are months where I post five times, and others where I post 30, or even 40 times. I would say I average about 15 posts a month.

(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?

I think my blog differs from others in the subject matter and my approach to the material.

I tend to discuss games and ideas for games most other RPG blogs don’t address. This is probably with good reason, as the subjects don’t necessarily have wide spread appeal.

So many blogs focus on Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder, and with good reason. Those games are the most popular in a still relatively small hobby. I, on the other hand, have no interest in those games. I focus on science fiction and superheroes, especially Star Trek, Star Wars, and Champions, along with subjects like Japanese anime, faerie folklore, and other less often addressed topics.

As for the tone, I prefer not to take my subjects, or myself, too seriously and try to add a good deal of humor to my posts. It makes it more fun for me to write and with any luck, more fun for my viewers to read.

One of Adam's most recent system hacks was to adapt Star Trek Adventures to emulate The Orville

(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?

The best thing about blogging is getting an idea out into the vastness of the internet and reading comments, or responses on it from those who are intrigued by the concept. I love hearing what other people think, especially if they have some opinion on something that interests me. I love the discussion and development of ideas that blogging allows.

The worst thing about blogging is not doing it. Seriously, I get this feeling that combines sadness and guilt when I look at my blog and see that it’s been a while since my last post, or my post count for the month is very light.

(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?

My only self-imposed rules for blogging are to stay away from certain language and subject matter. I don’t use vulgar terminology, strong curse words, or the like because I have no need to and I know there are some younger people who check out my blog.

I don’t get too political, and have no interest in discussing religion or various social issues because it’s a blog about RPGs and simply not the forum for that in my opinion. I have and will discuss such things elsewhere, just not on my gaming blog.

(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).

I would have to say that one of my favorite blogs is by a fellow I’ve come to know and respect by the handle of Lord Blacksteel. His blog, Tower Of Zenopus, is impressive for its clarify of message. He has, on more than one occasion, said something I was trying to say more clearly and concisely than I have or even could. He gets to the point of matters of interest in a way that makes what he is saying immediately digestible and usable. I love that.

3 comments:

  1. I've had the privilege to have played in a few games that Adam has put together. He got me hooked on wanting to play more and more! Every time I was fully immersed in these worlds and storylines he put together. I am a super noob at RPG's and he was able to guide me through and not make me feel stupid for not knowing what to do. The players that he games with are also pretty amazing group of people that were willing to help me out. I can't wait for the next opportunity to game. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First, good luck in your future adventures, and, second, I'm incredibly envious of you getting to play in Adam's campaigns. I enjoy reading - and being inspired by - them whenever he posts write-ups of his games.

      Delete
    2. Yaaay! Thank you! And yes, he's pretty awesome! ^_^ he also inspires me to want to be a better storyteller!

      Delete

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