"... These are the guys who like to spend hours poring over their rulebooks looking for the perfect combination of abilities for their characters and who think that nothing less than dozens of nested, cross-referenced encounter charts containing hundreds of entries is sufficient to create a 'realistic' campaign world. That's definitely not what I want in a RPG..."
There's a pretty sweet shot at yours truly. I just helped launch a site (really, the IT-genius Carl did the actual work) deliberately to accomplish exactly that, wasting my time slapping together stale, nested tables that clearly have jack shit to do with real D&D ... not that I need the big G to tell me that this is so. I have dozens of people to do that for me.
Yes, it's true. I have spent hours, days, even years poring over the rulebooks for D&D, and for quite a few other games, and over books at the library, at films and documentaries ... at anything, in fact, that will help me run this game BETTER. It is a quest for me, it is art, it is sex. So fuck G and anybody else who finds this behavior doesn't fit with their perception of what D&D should be for them.
Now, maybe that's my overreaction to his statement. It's the 'definitely' that really cuts close to the bone, I think. Fine, not his cup of tea, ho hum, I wonder what's in the paper today? He's making it clear that it's definitely not his cup of tea ... implying it shouldn't be mine, or anybodys. And I'd like to know why.
(Oh yes, I know, he's not really implying it, he's using that pandering it-could-go-either-way kind of language that exempts him from responsibility, but fuck that, this is a rant)
At this point I'm going to crumble a bit and provide a link; believe me, it's like shit in my mouth to send any readers his way, but here's the post the quote comes from. To this point I have read through the text twice, and I will be honest ... I still don't know what he's talking about. I do get a sort of old D&D is old and out of date and people aren't playing it any more kind of blah, blah, blah rhetoric, calling for some other game(?) to motivate the masses towards some kind of ecology(?) of players who would accomplish ... what, I don't know. At that point I'm asleep on my desk.
I do know that there won't be any groundswell of culture started by people who feel too much poring over books is definitely not the way to go. Which might be why the community has managed to remain in its infancy these past forty years ... because the drum is still in the hands of people banging away at the message, "Rewrite the Game, Rewrite the Game," in expectation of the glorious day that shall come when a perfect rule set shall be written for a perfect game that shall unite the masses and bring in the sheep to play. Yes, dear folks, all we need is some sort of new game that shall inspire All, and end once and forever the in-fighting and bickering. Then the new players that come shall truly be blessed. All praise the game. Let it be proclaimed throughout the land, not tables but faith!
Uh ... yeah.
Strawman argument? Not hardly. I'm reading an awful lot into G's post, lots he didn't put there, and I'll admit that heartily. I'm reading into it a lot of other posts, from a lot of other people, and pulling it together into one song. It's not that I care what G's position is ... I just want an excuse to bitch about things I'm getting tired of hearing.
Namely, that original D&D was an awful game, that people who play it are obviously morlocks who have yet to see the light, and that those of us who stubbornly cling to old ideals along the lines that hacking and slashing is kind of fun are obviously retarded. After all, if we were capable of seeing the light, we'd be playing non-dice roleplaying games like the grown ups, right?
And those of us uselessly wasting our time problem-solving the game by painstakingly building up tables and employing them, to settle arguments at the table ... well, we're only misguided fools. Our insistence that D&D can be more complicated without damaging the flow of gameplay is delusional ... because it can't be done. People who have not done it, who can not do it, who have no interest in trying to do it, have said so.
Yes, gentle reader, the word is in. D&D is out of fashion (again) and pretty soon no one will be playing it (like before). We'll be playing video games, or absolutely something that isn't played with pencil and paper, because those things are dead and gone, don't you know?
Well, maybe I am wasting my time barfing out tables about monsters and cities and trade, but it is my time to waste. I have players who all play video games like addicted freaks, who come to my table because they'd rather use a pencil, whenever my game is available. If I ran my world more often, they'd come more often. And I have this ridiculous blog, in which I talk exclusively about AD&D, stupidly thinking people want to read about that. I'm such a violent, pathological character that I'm constantly amazed I have more than two followers, but yet I go on with my poring and my table-making just as though it's the right thing to do. As I have been doing for 31 years, 11 weeks and 2 days. I feel ashamed that I have wasted my life in this way, and wasted thousands of hours of other people's lives, giving them something to do on Friday and Saturday nights. How foolish of me to do that. Particularly in this worthless, dying game ecology, so vaguely described by the most popular pundit in this community.
Maybe I should see the light and quit.