I’ve made a terrible, terrible error, and I’ve made it straight out of the gate. In spite of writing at the outset that I wasn’t going to care what other people thought about what I was writing, I began to care about what other people thought. It is an easy trap to fall into.
One of the ways to develop interest in your blog is to go out and leave messages and comments on other people’s blogs; so I put a little effort into doing that. I dug up a number of D&D blogs and I commented. And took a little time to find out what they were talking about - that being fourth edition - and that’s where my problems began.
On some level I’ve been living in a dream world. I’ve felt that, despite being out of the community for twenty years, that there was still some 'connection' I had with others playing D&D. I knew about the changes in the game, but I simply put that down to the rules … I failed to realize how thought processes had transformed.
I won’t say “evolved” because things have, instead, devolved.
I’ve now found that I’m a sort of player who’s become incomprehensible. Which is a mystery to me, as I’ve continued to talk D&D and incorporate new players … it's only that I’ve vastly underestimated what they’ve said about my world being different.
What are the changes? That’s a bit hard to distill into a few hundred words.
First and foremost, it seems to be commitment. The dialogue seems centered around a) not being able to find a campaign; b) not being able to find a committed campaign; c) not being able to find a committed campaign where the players are serious; and d) endless dialogues about what’s wrong with the game.
Apparently my world is different. I’ve been running the same campaign for two years without a break and without resorting to other games. What I should have done by now is come to my players with something like, “Hey people, I was too bored to work on what we’ve been doing. But I wrote up this really neat 12th level dungeon last weekend; since your characters aren’t strong enough for that, let’s roll up some 12th level characters and play this instead.”
Or, “Guys, I’m sick of D&D. But I just bought a complete box set of Hackmaster Space. Let’s start a new campaign!”
Baffling. Like showing up for a baseball game and saying, “I’m sick of baseball… (fill in the rest).”
This is, however, what everyone is doing, according to what I’m reading. And everyone is sick of it, at least in terms of its lack of meaning or purpose. And the just released edition 4 is fully built to make “casual” campaigns easier to start and run.
So I’m out here making arguments about classes vs. non-classes when this is totally yesterday’s news. Classes? What the fuck are classes?
We haven't got a system we can play anymore. What we have is a fucking joke. Is it so impossible to hope for ONE game we could play on a Saturday nights. Every Saturday night? Hah! Are you kidding?
Yeah, I guess so.
Between the people who wish they had that, and those who think it would be boring beyond words, there is no D&D as I understood it. There is no room for the sort of rule changes I’ve made … not for them.
Still, rule changes are all I want to talk about. Not some company’s changes, not another cheap character or town generator … but actual rules. The sort of rules that define the world and how players interact with it. And I will.
But I have to surrender any belief that other people will come on-line, see what I’ve written and incorporate it into their campaigns. They don’t have campaigns. I’m not very clear on what the fuck they do have … weekly random somethings. They tend to post about making their own modules: another fuckwit castle full of whatever the latest monster is. One more Den of Desolation on the Last Outpost of the frigging Desert of Despair. Where a rag-tag party of Indiana Jones’ wannabes can duel it out with traps and Final Fantasy entities to seize the Great Jewel of Arnhem.
Yes, bored they are.
Looking back over this rant, I see it's not that clear. I’m going to let it stand anyway. I’ve been thinking about this since Thursday, and sometimes emotion is not about grammar.