I only run one kind of game setting. I only run one gaming system. I'm not interested in running other settings. I'm not interested in running other gaming systems. Nor do I identify with the desire to do either.
If the gentle reader and I and our friends were to get together to play baseball, and if we could count enough people to play two teams - not necessarily nine each, but enough to cover the field - then I would not be interested in playing any other kind of baseball except baseball. I would not be interested in a variant whereby the batters ran to third base, then second, then first and home. I would not be interested in a variant where second base was skipped, or where two batters were allowed to bat at one time, or where the batter was entitled to five balls instead of four and four strikes instead of three. I wouldn't be interested in any variant at all, really, except perhaps some contingency plan to cover the fact that we had ten people in the field instead of nine, because there were twenty people playing altogether and no one wanted to sit on the bench.
But I would accept if others felt that one person ought to sit on the bench, because those are the rules.
At the beginning, baseball, town ball, rounders and a lot of other similar games had many differing rules. In my youth, I played scrub baseball and of course T-ball was forced on us in elementary school. I liked scrub; if I could get together eight people this afternoon I'd be happy to play scrub. It's not that I don't appreciate that there are other ways to play baseball. It's only that, having played a lot of other ways, I have found that where it comes down to choices, I would rather just play baseball.
The process of creating baseball as we understand it took a long time, and involved a lot of different groups of people playing in a lot of ways. Ultimately, however, the formulation of consistent rules for baseball began as a means to have different people from different parts of the country be able to agree on playing according to the same rules ... because arguing over rules is stupid, tiresome and doesn't get the game played.
Obviously, I don't think my particular way of playing D&D is going to surpass all other variants and become the way to play. I don't have any such hopes. But at my table, after 30+ years of turning over the rules, considering them, tweaking them, tossing them out or honing them down to a sharp edge, why would I ever be interested in tossing them all out in favor of other rules that other people have created, that have been in existence for a few months? Particularly rules that haven't been game-tested at my table?
The argument goes, "variety." New rules equals new game.
I don't want "variety." No variants, remember? Changing the rules isn't what incorporates the excitement - the excitement is in yourself, and what your capable of, and learning to rely upon the capabilities of others.
Every game of baseball is different. People make surprising plays, people miss balls, people get beaned and so on. You never know what is going to happen. The fact that we are playing according to rules that have been in existence for more than a century doesn't change that. Baseball does not cease to be exciting because the rules are old and established.
That is because they are good rules. They are rules that allow maximum effort and maximum risk. Modifying the rules does not improve those conditions - in fact they devalue those conditions. Those who want to change the rules do so for their own benefit. Ninety feet between the bases is too far for them to run. A hardball or a softball are too difficult to hit with the bat. They're not able to throw or catch. They want to level the field, not in the way of making it flat, but in the way of reducing the superiority of people who can catch, throw, hit and run.
The rules developed as they have not because they favored any person's ability, but because they favored no one's ability. They are simple, direct rules which do their best to eliminate anyone's feelings or emotional identification with the game. The opposing team does not care how much it hurts that you struck out. They do not care that you didn't reach the base. There's no emotional appeal in the game for your failure to match the requirements of the game. You just have to suck it up and keep playing.
D&D needs to remain that way. It can't be diceless, because the diceless game fails to hold everyone to the same standard. It can't be sympathetic, because we can't sympathize with everyone according to the same standard. The rules have to be indifferent, heartless and blind. They have to exist in a manner that makes everything hard, so that everyone who succeeds or fails does so according to their own maximum effort. The easier the rules are, the less effort is required in the game, and the less game there is.
It is said that the hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a fast ball. But of course people do it. It has to be equally said that the hardest thing to do in D&D is to survive from first to ninth level. This does not say people won't do it ... but it has to be ungodly hard, or else there's no game there. There's no point in coming to play.
I've worked hard to make the rules in my world live up to every point I've made in this post. I've worked hard to create an environment, a world, where the rules best apply, where they're bloody hard to apply, and where the players have the highest possible identification with the environment - because one consistent environment (with the real world) gives them one consistent playing field.
Why would I want to fuck with that?