I'm shocked by the general lack of reviews

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Toadmaster

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There are a handful of good rpg reviewers on YT but not many.

YT is infamous among film-nerds for having particularly clueless film 'reviewers' who have little to know knowledge of film and film history. I've seen it myself, lots of factually incorrect statements parading as expertise.

Not sure why that is, perhaps because there is a long tradition of film criticism in writing and so that's where the truly film obessive are most likely to gravitate towards.

I particularly enjoy the reviews with a computer generated voice spewing out generic info (basically reading descriptive blurb on the the back of the book, video etc). :tongue:

Yeah, 26 seconds I'll never get back.
 

Toadmaster

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On YouTube I like to watch flip-throughs of games, with some commentary to point out certain highlights. That usually gives me a much better idea of whether I would be interested in a game than a more traditional review, written or otherwise.

Video does have some benefit, I find it of particular use for high production books or games that include minis and other extras since it can often show these features off to better effect than a simple photo or two.
 

Bunch

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Toadmaster Toadmaster so one big difference that I feel justifies why I expect a much lower price for a PDF than a physical book. I have the absolute right to sell that book when I want or need money. If it's a newish item I can expect to get 50-75% of Amazon retail price. PDF i can't resell.
So for me that's why if someone says I want more than 50% of physical cost for a PDF it's a no go for me.
 

Fenris-77

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At this point I'd probably just ask the Pub for opinions on a game instead of hunting about for an internet review. As a group we have a lot of bases covered and are pretty relaxed about discussing even our darlings (I'm looking at you Mythrasites).
 

Teotwawki

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At least the lines are fairly clear at the site, unless things have changed drastically in the past year-18 months you know which topics and view points are likely to lead to trouble and Pundit will at least make an effort at debate. At dot net that shit changes on a weekly basis and no dissention is permitted, the ban hammer is swift and merciless (well unless you consider that a ban from that place is in effect a mercy killing, so the poster can move on and find someplace actually worth the effort).

True. One side has been rather firmly entrenched for decades in what they despise, while the other finds news things to be offended by each sunrise.

As you suggest, finding someplace worth the effort is... worth the effort. :grin:
 

Toadmaster

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Toadmaster Toadmaster so one big difference that I feel justifies why I expect a much lower price for a PDF than a physical book. I have the absolute right to sell that book when I want or need money. If it's a newish item I can expect to get 50-75% of Amazon retail price. PDF i can't resell.
So for me that's why if someone says I want more than 50% of physical cost for a PDF it's a no go for me.

Resale is a fair point, and I wouldn't argue your max of 50% point. I'd probably buy a physical copy or just go without before that point and I am strongly on the side of include a pdf free or at most a small add on with the purchase of a physical copy. In that regard PDF is an insignificant cost as a bonus.

I'm mostly referring to those who say no pdf is worth more than (pick a number $5, $10, $20) attitude. People are free to decide it isn't worth it to them, but the paper is just a cost of business, the IP is where most of the work was actually performed so the fixation of the physical just seems misplaced (says the guy who only recently broke down and started buying digital music vs ripping CDs so I could put them on a shelf never again to be touched). Big difference between buying a pdf of a 10 page rules lite game for $4 and the 338 page GURPS basic set book 1 for $30.
 

Brock Savage

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At this point I'd probably just ask the Pub for opinions on a game instead of hunting about for an internet review. As a group we have a lot of bases covered and are pretty relaxed about discussing even our darlings (I'm looking at you Mythrasites).
A solid Pub review of a few sentences is enough to sell me on a product but people are often frustratingly brief or vague in their endorsement. For example Pubbers have mentioned Sunken Lands favorably here and there but I couldn't find a satisfactory explanation of why they liked it. This isn't a knock on the Pub! It's still my preferred source for gaming info. Oftentimes the Pub is where I first learn about a product which spurs me to investigate further and then buy it.
 

TJS

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There are a handful of good rpg reviewers on YT but not many.

YT is infamous among film-nerds for having particularly clueless film 'reviewers' who have little to know knowledge of film and film history. I've seen it myself, lots of factually incorrect statements parading as expertise.

Not sure why that is, perhaps because there is a long tradition of film criticism in writing and so that's where the truly film obessive are most likely to gravitate towards.
I think it's mostly that writing prompts people to really organise their thoughts and to read over and review them.

It's a lot more difficult to do that in video form and so most people don't tend to bother, that's why you get so much blather. There's a few channels that are professionally organised or well scripted but they tend to be the exception.

There's also the narcissism element too I think. Video tends to put the presenter front and centre - it's obvious that many creators seem to really like the sound of their own voice.
 
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Toadmaster

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A solid Pub review of a few sentences is enough to sell me on a product but people are often frustratingly brief or vague in their endorsement. For example Pubbers have mentioned Sunken Lands favorably here and there but I couldn't find a satisfactory explanation of why they liked it. This isn't a knock on the Pub! It's still my preferred source for gaming info. Oftentimes the Pub is where I first learn about a product which spurs me to investigate further and then buy it.

It is also hard to beat an actual discussion of a game vs a fairly short statement of opinion (review). I find the Let's Read posts, actual play and review / discussion threads infinitely more useful than a static review. I can't even start to count how many times I've had an epiphany on why I like / dislike a game after reading somebody else's description of an issue that I've seen but hadn't been able to put my finger on.
 

opaopajr

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Orthogonal to this tangent on The Big Purple moderation, I find it reflective of degrading discussion AND creation in various other creative fields. How can you handle complexity, ambiguity, coherent (if perhaps not classical) structure, social friction, even any narrative villainy, if you cannot handle basic dissent? Conflict resolution through "nukes" only works through "MAD" (Mutual Assured Destruction), everything else becomes tyranny.

Strident polemicism only ends in tears on a wasteland.

It's an object lesson on how NOT to be creative. And imagination land is predominantly about creative expression. Dealing with what you don't like or want can only be done through the art of communication, therefore bringing people together, especially when you don't agree. Basic conflict resolution understanding.
 

Teotwawki

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Did someone mention film criticism on YouTube? :happy:


The title caption of that video calls to mind a peeve of mine that will ensure that I don't watch, read, nor listen to what the author offers: telling me what I NEED to do or--more often--what I DIDN"T KNOW ABOUT whatever.

I seriously don't think my list of needs includes watching Vampirella. But if it does, I'm fuct, because even if I were a vampire with a thousand years to waste, I don't think I'd have the extra time to watch it. :goof:

I do love a good written opinion. Even if--or maybe especially if--it's of an opinion I find disagreeable. If I only surrounded myself with things that reenforce my beliefs, how would I know they were mine and not something I'm just carrying around for someone else?
 

Bilharzia

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"Reviews" are all over the place, they just are not all in a traditional format. There are podcast discussions, reviews, interviews with the authors, youtube flip-throughs of entire books, preview PDFs, Kickstarter videos, campaigns, updates, blogposts, video streams of people playing pre-release games, long-form, short-form, live shows, in-progress previews it is all over the place in terms of format and what is being shown and discussed.

The idea that there are authoritative reviews written by sober-minded writers who will present a detailed and nuanced review of a RPG seems a little absurd. I can't think of a reviewer who I would go to to get an opinion of something. There are people who use a format that I am interested in - like Questing Beast usually presents a flip-through of a book, in contrast the Grognard Files provide long discussions about how something works, or the consequence of a rule, or the feel of a game, "reviews" which are far removed from the consumer-review formats typical of most RPG reviewers.
 

Toadmaster

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"Reviews" are all over the place, they just are not all in a traditional format. There are podcast discussions, reviews, interviews with the authors, youtube flip-throughs of entire books, preview PDFs, Kickstarter videos, campaigns, updates, blogposts, video streams of people playing pre-release games, long-form, short-form, live shows, in-progress previews it is all over the place in terms of format and what is being shown and discussed.

The idea that there are authoritative reviews written by sober-minded writers who will present a detailed and nuanced review of a RPG seems a little absurd. I can't think of a reviewer who I would go to to get an opinion of something. There are people who use a format that I am interested in - like Questing Beast usually presents a flip-through of a book, in contrast the Grognard Files provide long discussions about how something works, or the consequence of a rule, or the feel of a game, "reviews" which are far removed from the consumer-review formats typical of most RPG reviewers.

This used to be a thing, a very common feature of gaming magazines. Time moves on, and I agree it isn't that much a of thing anymore, magazines are pretty much dead too.
 

Neon

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I've written a few reviews on DTRPG. I'd like to write more, but I actually make an effort to make my reviews thorough, so they take a bit of time. I could do what many, many reviewers on there and slap a couple of sentences into the box, but I just don't see the point of that. Honestly, on DTRPG I find the full previews _vastly_ more useful than most reviews.

Bryce Lynch is kind of the gold standard for OSR reviews, though he slips in some 5E and even other game systems occasionally.

Melan writes some great reviews, primarily OSR stuff.

Gnome Stew has reviews, among other articles.

Merric Blackman has lots of reviews, primarily D&D stuff both old and new.

On YouTube, of course you have Ben Milton of Questing Beast.

I also like Todd of Hexed Press, who mostly focuses on OSR products, but does some other products as well. His channel is super useful.

Captcorajus does reviews of lots of older games, a lot of D&D, but also other games.

Dave Thaumavore mostly focuses on newer games.
The osr definitely have an active reviewing community. I guess I'm just surprised call of cthulhu, traveller etc don't have the same level of active community reviews.

If I'm not mistaken call if cthulhu is estimated to be the second (very distant) game played behind 5e. There should be tons of in depth adventure reviews that aren't just shills regurgitating the info on the back cover and table of contents.

Btw: thanks to everyone who recommended blogs and provided specific links.
 

AsenRG

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There are a handful of good rpg reviewers on YT but not many.

YT is infamous among film-nerds for having particularly clueless film 'reviewers' who have little to know knowledge of film and film history. I've seen it myself, lots of factually incorrect statements parading as expertise.

Not sure why that is, perhaps because there is a long tradition of film criticism in writing and so that's where the truly film obessive are most likely to gravitate towards.
Because YT, much as I like it, is a social network. In other words, most of the opinions are going to be ill-informed, prejudiced, from someone who might not be competent enough to be giving any kind of opinion, abridged to fit into a certain time slot, intentionally sensationalist-sounding, or any combination of some or all of the above:thumbsup:.
So take any opinion with a cube of salt unless you know the source. Then only have a grain of salt:shade:.

If you're doubting that, consider that this goes far beyond just movie reviews. I remember recently seeing some MMA chick reviewing combat scenes.
One of the gems in the video (not the only gem) was hearing her say "there's a judo throw like this, but it's not done as Chuck Norris performs it here, so sorry, Chuck, it's nope".
What I see on the screen: Chuck Norris performs an aikido throw almost by the book:angel:.

So yeah, biased (probably subconscious bias) in this case. The same would happen with RPG reviews, kitchen utensils reviews, or whatever...because it's a social media:grin:!

At this point I'd probably just ask the Pub for opinions on a game instead of hunting about for an internet review. As a group we have a lot of bases covered and are pretty relaxed about discussing even our darlings (I'm looking at you Mythrasites).
We love Mythras, man...but no system is perfect:tongue:!

Mythras is just one of those that get closest, in our opinion.
 

TJS

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The issue with rpg reviews anyway, is often they're not written on the basis of six months of playing the system.

So they're good for knowing what's in the book, but frequently not much else. They won't tell you if the game's design in fundamentally flawed. Often I find you can get more useful information about a game from a forum search.

- If no one's saying a game's broken then it's probably fine.
- If a few strident angry people are complaining amidst a lot of people who seem to be having fun then it's probably fine.
- If a large group of people are insisting that a game is not broken then it almost certainly has a major problem.
 

Voros

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Just read an OSR review where someone authoritatively claimed that the 1e Monster Manual was the first monster bestiary since medieval times, apparently unaware of this classic by Borges.

918pviVNiOL.jpg

I don't expect an rpg reviewer to have an extensive knowledge of literature or history, although a basic literacy seems not too much to expect considering the nature of rpgs but pretty sure this would pop up via a quick google search.
 

Brock Savage

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It's a lot more difficult to do that in video form and so most people don't tend to bother, that's why you get so much blather. There's a few channgels that are professionally organised or well scripted but they tend to be the exception.
It blows my mind that people make YouTube presentations shooting from the hip in a steam of conscious ramble without any kind of scripting. Even improv troupes rehearse, practice, and workshop.

The issue with rpg reviews anyway, is often they're not written on the basis of six months of playing the system.
I don't need a deep dive review when deciding whether to buy a pdf or video game. That said, since my living space is limited I rarely commit to physical media like board games without a solid body of evidence.
 

Voros

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The osr definitely have an active reviewing community. I guess I'm just surprised call of cthulhu, traveller etc don't have the same level of active community reviews.

If I'm not mistaken call if cthulhu is estimated to be the second (very distant) game played behind 5e. There should be tons of in depth adventure reviews that aren't just shills regurgitating the info on the back cover and table of contents.

Btw: thanks to everyone who recommended blogs and provided specific links.

The aforementioned Pookie who runs Reviews from R'lyeh writes excellent reviews of CoC and lots of other rpgs. I think he and Seth S. are the two best rpg reviewers out there who write well, have a sense of humour, don't have any particular axe to grind and have enough broad knowledge to not embarrass themselves.


Bryce at Tenfootpole can be quite good at locating the diamonds in the rough of the OSR but he embarrasses himself when not talking about the OSR and his reviews are riddled with typos which drives me a bit batty.
 

Brock Savage

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Bryce at Tenfootpole can be quite good at locating the diamonds in the rough of the OSR but he embarrasses himself when not talking about the OSR and his reviews are riddled with typos which drives me a bit batty.
Huh, I didn't know Bryce reviewed things outside the OSR or maybe I just never bothered to look- shoot me link via PM if you could.
 

Shipyard Locked

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Video does have some benefit, I find it of particular use for high production books or games that include minis and other extras since it can often show these features off to better effect than a simple photo or two.

Not to mention the option of increasing the playback speed of the video by 25% to 50% without losing sound accuracy. My media consumption rate has improved enormously since youtube and podcasts added that feature. Some brilliant guys are so miserably slow at making their points that speeding them up is doing them a favor.

8wBX29o.gif
 

Shipyard Locked

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The title caption of that video calls to mind a peeve of mine that will ensure that I don't watch, read, nor listen to what the author offers:

Yes. Any of these common formulas in a title will also lead me to skip it:
"We need to talk about..."
"... just broke/blew up the internet."
"... and the internet is freaking out."
"... and that's OK."
"... and that's a good thing."
"The top 10..."
"... is the [thing] we/America/the UK needs right now."
 

The Mad Hatter

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And now, you it's a bannable offense to say you think a game is too expensive, which isn't exactly conducive to people wanting to give their opinions on games. I can't see a lot of value of reading reviews on a site with an explicit stance of supporting game companies over consumers.

That debate was probably about the new HtR 5E, which in my subjective opinion is overpriced as a pdf.
Nevermind, that it isn't HtR. You know the game, where hunters are Imbued, have voices from the Messengers in their heads and cool powers called Edges. It doesn't have any of that, it's more of a Hunter's Hunted 5E. Which is cool, if that's what you wanted. But for me it felt like false advertising.
I was so disappointed, that if I had bought it in a physical store, I would have returned it.
 

Teotwawki

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I typically don't read the video titles, I just look at the thumbnails, and "Vampirella is a terrible movie and I love it" caught my attention, being that I am a fan of both Vampirella and bad movies.

For my own part, none of my criticism was directed toward you-as-messenger. Just the video / YT poster being a touchstone example of several points of critique. :grin:
 

Savage Schemer

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I use YouTube to watch Me, Myself & Die and to put on those 5+ hour song playlists (in various musical genres). I watched Kurt Weigel back when he was putting out consistent rpg review material, but that's about it.

I deeply, desperately miss the written word and that includes for game reviews. But I need somewhere other than TPB or Pundit's site to get em from. I really appreciate the list of blog sites doing that earlier in the thread. Keep em coming!
 

Neon

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I use YouTube to watch Me, Myself & Die and to put on those 5+ hour song playlists (in various musical genres). I watched Kurt Weigel back when he was putting out consistent rpg review material, but that's about it.

I deeply, desperately miss the written word and that includes for game reviews. But I need somewhere other than TPB or Pundit's site to get em from. I really appreciate the list of blog sites doing that earlier in the thread. Keep em coming!
Oh man. I really like kurt weigel. Rpg review in 5 to 7 minutes. Lol Not in depth by any means but he delivered the essential.

Dave thaumacore is also good, but more scripted and procedural in his approach.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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At this point I'd probably just ask the Pub for opinions on a game instead of hunting about for an internet review. As a group we have a lot of bases covered and are pretty relaxed about discussing even our darlings (I'm looking at you Mythrasites).
I second that. I have asked for opinions of old and semi-obscure games before and I always get helpful info from pub goers. Heck, I was sure no one plays Bureau 13 but the Pub proved me wrong.
 

opaopajr

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That debate was probably about the new HtR 5E, which in my subjective opinion is overpriced as a pdf.
Nevermind, that it isn't HtR. You know the game, where hunters are Imbued, have voices from the Messengers in their heads and cool powers called Edges. It doesn't have any of that, it's more of a Hunter's Hunted 5E. Which is cool, if that's what you wanted. But for me it felt like false advertising.
I was so disappointed, that if I had bought it in a physical store, I would have returned it.

Bait and switch? Oh that sucks!

Thing is, I like Hunter's Hunted. Hunter the Reckoning was a bit, how to be polite... weaboo fightan magic? That said, if you wanted humans Imbued with equalizing powers (of good?) from the beyond, it served as a solid counterbalance to end-game White Wolf oWoD splat excesses in a grand Royal Rumble.

But bait and switches are unwise.

I'll go out on a limb and state some blanket guidelines for future creativity:
Polemics make bad art.
Bait and switches pisses off audiences.
Mary Sue (and Gary Stu) cannot be believably and likeably humanized.
Deconstructions only work AFTER things have been constructed.

Seems like the gauntlet was thrown down some years ago on these. Every professional creative sphere has been trying to be the exception to these maxims. It's not working, but only reinforcing their strength. Please stop, take the L, and go home to reflect.
 
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