Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson introduced roleplaying to the world more than 40 years ago.
During the seventies and the eighties, roleplaying was all the rage, all around the world. Then corporate intrigue like Lorraine Williams vs. the roleplayer enthusiast leaders of TSR, coupled with tabloid speculation into the occult aspects of roleplaying, and the like, brought tabletop roleplaying low in the 1990's.
Where I come from, in my hometown, the police had undercover cops trying to infiltrate the roleplaying crowd, surveillance vans parked across the street; the reason: the son of a priest had been slain, and he played roleplaying games.
The leadership of TSR, by Lorraine Williams, a woman that claimed roleplayers was a socially inferior species, flooded the market with s**tty products, more geared towards sales than quality. I remember it vividly, the time when these products hit the market. I stood in my local game store, proudly buying some game module or rules supplement, only to come home later and then realize I had bought le crap. Stuff that would get 2 stars here at the citadel.
That is when I stopped buying their stuff. Lorraine Williams, for all her self-proclaimed skill, killed TSR with her short sighted business strategy.
Then, with the advent of better and better computer games, roleplaying shops started to disappear, something Murometz and I truly learnt when we visited the biggest tabletop roleplaying store in the Big Apple, only to learn that they had nothing left, and that they knew of precious few other stores like that in NYC.
I mean, come on! It was hard digging up a decent table top roleplaying store in the big apple! Really? Wow! And they used to have them even in the obscure little backwater I am from!
Reading Caesar193s posting of systems here, alongside contemplating Chaosmarks fine work on generators and our editor valadaar's good work on the Strolenite ebook made me think that Strolen's Citadel could fill that hole.
In this day and age, you don't go to the gaming store any longer.
You log onto Strolen's Citadel and get your fix.
Knowing that we have a collaboration with artists and other gaming sites, we are in a position to make this really work.
But we need more systems, settings and adventure modules that are illustrated and easily accessible.
Because for all of us, the artwork really captivated us at first. For me, flapping through my Dungeons and Dragons books, looking at artwork from Larry Elmore, it was really something.
And we can give that experience to new generations of promising roleplayers.
Cause I know that roleplaying still has a hold. I have young players and let me tell you: The fire is still there.
We just have to rekindle it!