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Sunday 8 March 2015

More Context on the Uruguayan Gamer Scene

So a lot of people feel pretty perplexed about the stuff I post with regards to my gaming groups and the general scene down here.   They have trouble grokking how, if their own local scene or other North-american or European scenes could be so shitty, the Uruguayan one could be so very good.

Mainly, they can't get how I can talk about running three games ongoing and having so many players. They often don't even grasp the really interesting thing:  that in all those groups, I usually only have one or two guys who are playing in more than one of my games at a time.  Right now I have about 20 separate players total in my groups, which, from the comments some people have made on social media, seems to be like an unreachable fantasy to a lot of the gaming world.

So here's the thing: Montevideo has a pretty big game community, and I'm pretty well known in it.  And unlike a lot of other gaming scenes I've been around, there's much more interconnection.  Like, I've been in other cities with as much or more gamers in it, but those gamers almost never talk to each other, they all just stay in their little groups.

In Montevideo all the gamers interact on semi-regular basis.   There are the cons I already told you about:

Those happen a few times a year.

 There's also the 2d4 orcos forum, where uruguayan gamers can go talk about rpgs, meet up, organize campaigns, etc.  There's also a facebook and G+ group on a similar subject.

And most recently, there's the "noche rolera TabernaOrca" bimonthly RPG-gaming night, where gamers get together to play one-shots or even ongoing campaigns (for those groups that don't have a place to otherwise play):

So this interconnection creates a big pool of gamers from which to recruit players, and if you're a GM with any decent rep you'll more often have more people than room for your games.

Now, one more thing to point out: the closeness of the Uruguayan RPG Gaming community has always been better (at least in the decade+ I've lived here) than anything I saw in North America.  But in the last year, this has gone into overdrive and its largely because of one guy: "Filosoforc", the owner-operator of 2d4orcos.
He was recently interviewed by "runas explosivas", which is probably the best known spanish-language gaming blog.  There he talks a lot more about the whole Uruguayan gaming scene and what's happening in it.

If you don't read Spanish, you'll need to google-translate that sucker, and it's fairly detailed.  But I thought I'd take the pleasure of translating one part:

"Currently the RPGPundit, a controversial figure known worldwide in the gaming industry, is living in uruguay.  Did you know about this?  Does his presence in some way have a repercussion on the local gaming community?  And in any case: what place do you think Uruguay holds in the gaming world, as a producer or a consumer?

A: The Pundit!  Of course I know him.  He's a good friend and gaming-table companion for almost six years now.  When I just arrived from Colombia to Uruguay, it was with him that I played in my first gaming group here: the Legion of Superheroes.  It was a truly EPIC campaign, which lasted for 3 years from when I first joined playing every 15 days (and I had arrived in the 2nd year of the campaign, which means the campaign lasted 5 years in all)!  I also played an entire Aquelarre campaign with him, and an ICONS campaign set in the Golden Age, as well as participating in a number of his other campaigns, including the soon-to-be-published Dark Albion.   Until this very day I keep playing his games when my time permits.  He's also the creator of one of my favorite RPGs, which I'm currently GMing in a game at the "TabernaOrca": Lords of Olympus.

In addition to that, the Pundit is a member at 2d4Orcos and an active GM in most of our events.  His presence has obviously had a repercussion on the local environment.  Beyond his controversial public figure, he's advised me and accompanied me through all this odyssey, and I can say that in certain sense that he was the Godfather of the ideas that helped start 2d4Orcos.  Many of the principle of 2d4Orcos are similar to those of theRPGsite:  absolute freedom of expression in terms of RPG discussion, focusing the community on the game and on creating the right environment, not in personal squabbles, and finally on Fun as the main, essential and greatest objective.

Uruguay is actually in a process, slow but sure, of growing in terms of production of new RPG material.  The Pundit has obviously contributed his creations to RPGs, but besides this we've seen some new personalities like the people from XiphosGames, who have created some worthwhile material like Pharsalia and the upcoming Portus Mundi.  Or Cesar el Profe, with his excellent games like Chaos Magick and Street Strikers, both of which cry out to be published.

From the RPG consumer perspective, on the other hand, things are slowed by the Customs controls of the country; but we see that more and more people are willing to order their games and supplements via the internet.  And we hope that over time, there will be a bigger niche of local and international consumption with the reduction of restrictions in the international mail system."

Anyways, there we have it!   I'm the Godfather, and the local gaming scene here kicks ass. 
How does your local scene compare?


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Image Latakia


  1. "...absolute freedom of expression in terms of RPG discussion, focusing the community on the game and on creating the right environment, not in personal squabbles, and finally on Fun as the main, essential and greatest objective."

    My favorite point, and one I totally agree with.

    As for how things compare ... I live in Westchester NY... At the moment I would say the scene is ok, not stellar, but not bad. We have a lot of enthusiasts, a few gaming stores, but not much in the way of community collaboration and collective engagement. It's not absent, but it's not sizzling either. I'd like to see that improved. I'll be working on that over the course of this year and hopefully have better news to report soon.

  2. You know I dont even know anything about our local gaming scene. Our group consists of sport team and work friends and my brother. We play Ad&d 2e that we mainly picked up at a used book store, so I dont have much need to go to local stores. The group size is about a dozen so not too much need to expand or seek out more players. I guess we are a good example of insular.