- Although excellence is stymied by the huge flexibility of the game, flexibility is too important to be restrained.
- In fact, there are large numbers of editorials promoting excellence – I’m simply incapable of recognizing what excellence is.
- Excellence is restricted only to those with social skills, and social skills can't be taught.
- I shouldn’t give a shit about other people who aren’t excellent.
- As long as I am excellent, no one else matters.
- No one is as excellent as me anyway.
- Since it is impossible to satisfy both teacher and student, don’t bother.
- I’m drunk.
- Grants take effort.
- All of this has something to do with someone named Joesky who can’t spell on his blog.
The editorial style implies the stirring of the pot, to draw the meat up from the bottom and encourage it to meld with the consomme at the top. The longer the stew is allowed to settle, the more clear and tasteless is the liquid that gathers on the surface. If we endlessly write out material that ‘leaves things as they are,’ the more bland the fare we have to eat. That is why, when you serve soup, you do it from the bottom, to bring up the victuals that have drawn in the taste.
It costs me no energy to do this. I am quite comfortable in the ‘rant mode,’ as it might be described. To write scathing, bitter sarcasm is as easy as writing out lines of dialogue or to explain the function of making soup. If I were going to mention writing that’s actually HARD, I’d have to say description of anything that’s not moving.
But we’re moving, so let me readdress the issue.
People suck at this game. And while I appreciate that it is the god-given right of a large number of idiots to suck at anything they want, include trailer hitches (I knew this girl in Kelowna ... but that’s another story). I could quite easily embrace the apathy expressed that these people don’t matter a wit and fuck them.
My problem with that is this: that I can’t tell the difference between those that actively want to suck and those that haven’t any choice – because they haven’t anywhere to turn. And when I think about the latter, I get passionate. I am of the opinion that if there is expertise, and there are people without it who want it, then there ought to be some fucking way to put A and B together. No matter how fucking hard it is, or how fucking unnecessary it is, or how fucking unimportant it is to every other motherfucker on the fucking net. Is that fucking clear?
Sorry. The stew on the bottom of the pot was starting to burn.
Now, in addressing Mincer’s question, “Are there that many players falling out of the hobby because they can’t find a satisfactory GMing experience?”
The answer is yes. A resounding goddamn yes. To the tune of millions of people, who tried playing this game once in high school (when it sucked) and then once again in college (when it sucked) and then one more time when they saw their children playing it (when it STILL sucked). If you’re going to embrace the suck, then you earn the derision of every person familiar enough with the game to have seen it played.
Frankly, it bothers me somewhat that a thing that I love deeply and passionately is seen as a freaking joke – and with good reason. The way that a great many other people in the world play, it is a goddamn joke.
Everytime I sit down at this blog to write another post about my investment with the game, I have to restrain myself with both hands and a virtual reality doberman to keep from simply lifting posts from other D&D blogs and cutting them up line by line. That disturbs me. I ought to be able to stretch out for a few hours and read about the good work that’s being done, the practical efforts to tackle issues or solve lingering problems, like what to do about that rancid list of NPC attributes on page 100 of the DMG, or parsing out the dungeoneering style of most players and how one might raise the bar for one’s players ...
You know, the way its done with every other hobby on earth. Holy shit, do you think fishermen give a rat’s ass about the ‘flexibility’ in methods to hold a fishing rod? People sit down and work out methodological ways to hold a rod depending on the kind of fish ... and if you go fishing, you’ll notice that everyone is holding the damn thing exactly the same way. Because it works. Because it isn’t about personalities or increasing one’s own happiness or fifty other bullshit phrases, its about NOT dropping the rod when the fish hits. This is all I am talking about. I don’t give a butterfly’s rear about whether or not the students are happy ... can they draw a dungeon that doesn’t look like it’s done with crayons by a six-year-old? Hooray, you’re competent now.
You know, where it comes to ‘social skills,’ they teach comportment, they teach public speaking, they teach acting, they teach diction and they teach psychology. Hells bells, there’s nothing in the world you can’t pony up dough to learn – every local library in the country has fifty to a hundred courses on everything. Don’t tell me we can’t teach a few DMs out there to put some marbles in their mouths.
Hey, I know. But I care. I’m 46 in two weeks and I have the energy to care. Where do I get the energy to care?
How fucking hard has the world been on you that you don't?