What ever happened to them? I’ve spent the last 3 days being ill and spending most of my day in my sickbed barely able to focus on the laptop screen but I got thinking about all the old netbooks I had printed out in my attic. Being ill I couldn’t climb up and get them so I thought I’d have a look around the internet for them.

I’ve managed to track down most of the netbooks I used to have for ADnD that I found on the ADnD mailing list all those years ago. I had another look for my weaponmastery netbook again but still no success. What i did find though was that the number of netbooks seems to have dropped considerably in the last few years. What happened to cause this.

I’m currently assuming that White Wolf’s Game System License for D&D has killed them off as anything worth ‘publishing’ would be pushed through that route. I’m also guessing that the proliferation of blogs and amateur websites has also meant that DM’s no longer had to publish their work on central spots like mailing lists or newsgroups. They could put anything they wanted onto the net but at the same time their audience numbers would dramatically drop. It’s something I miss from the roleplay scene but thankfully I also enjoy surfing through all the blogs to find those ideas and house rules that I’d never be able to write myself.

I’ve decided to host any of the netbooks I come across on this blog. You, my loyal readers, will probably never use them but someone might and with them being spread out over the entire internet hopefully this will make them easier to find.

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  1. Wyatt says:

    Interesting, but I’m not sure I follow the term “netbook”…nor what White Wolf has do with them…maybe I’m just too young, or addled on caffeine.


  2. Bob says:

    Well lets put it this way…I was 18 when the netbooks I’m talking about were doing the rounds on the mailing lists and newsgroups. I’m now 32. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few folk had never heard of them.

    Basically it was DM/Player produced house rules or additional campaign material for published settings. They were typed up and released to the mailing lists for folk to use as they wished. About 90% of them were absolute mince but occasionally you got something that worked well or was a gem that just needed a little love and attention to shine.

  3. DnD Corner says:

    Like so many other old services – gone the way of the dodo. Pretty much these days if someone has something to say they either blog about it or publish it under one a license agreement.

    Plenty of information out there though. Easy to come across nifty house rules and ideas on forums etc.

    Hope the illness passes.

    DnD Corners last blog post..Dragonborn in 4e

  4. Bob says:

    Yeah my only problem is that now everyone and their dog has a blog and there are loads of websites/forums providing similar there is no central place to find that sort of info. You might have to go to 4-5 blogs and a couple of forums in order to get what your looking for but in order to find them you have to look through hundreds of sites.

    The RPG Bloggers network is helping though ;)

  5. Wyatt says:

    Ah, house rules and that sort of stuff. Yeah, I would say that’s the purview of blogs right now. Forums too, but forums have a lot more “mince” as you say than blogs, in my opinion. I and others try really hard to make our rules stuff look on blogs…but every time I go to a forum there’s the most facepalmingly bad ideas everywhere.


  6. Depends what you mean? If you mean free pdf supplements, then, yeah, most of those are starting to crunch out.

    If you mean things like general house rules, pdf game-usable stuff, and the like… err… you could come visit my site. I’m not at *all* sure that it’s what you’re looking for, but it might be.

  7. mxyzplk says:

    Yeah, anyone who had the spare time to put together a netbook now issues it as a PDF on RPGNow… If you’re gonna do all that work, no sense not getting paid! Also, netbooks that were more “compilations” of ideas on forums or whatnot have been subdued by the rampant march of copyright anality.

    mxyzplks last blog post..Ron Edwards Too Good For Indie Press Revolution

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