Saturday, October 18, 2008

D&Dish musings on campaigns of yore...

After talking to Todd Lockwood a bit, and sifting through his artwork for prints to get...I found myself falling in love again with the often ranted about drow: Drizzt Do Urden.

While in general I like my heroes to be cut from the cloth of everyday men and women who rise to the occasion to become HEROES. Drizzt, superheroic and munchie if there ever was a character reminds me a lot of my older days playing D&D.

Not necessarily AD&D 2nd Edition or older...I've had a blast playing D&D 3.0 and 3.5. But I'm reminded of our games, and how we roleplayed it to the hilt. We had fun playing what we wanted and dealing with the consequences of it in-game. We had some great GMs over the years who let us play anything we wanted and built the world and stories around us...but things were going in in-world as well...and we as characters were assholes...we usually ended up having people after us...if we were heroic...people flocked to us as well...but for different reasons.

Point here is that we were able to have an effect on the campaign setting to a degree and we did actually roleplay the hell out of it.

This is not what many people think D&D is good at. Looking at just the rules, D&D is a wonderful vehicle for killing monsters and gaining loot...but so many people see the rules as the sum and whole of the game.

When did THIS happen?

I love the idea of taking a character, making a dude who sets off as an ADVENTURER...not really knowing full well what it means...turning him in to a character who gets in a lot of trouble, fights his way free and learns something. Later becoming a champion of sorts (pick a cause), gaining notoriety and slowly gaining prestige and power...eventually gaining lands and power...finding the trouble now follows HIM.

At some time the character is ready for retirement and we make new characters and the old PCs become NPCs...and we keep on rockin in the free world so to speak. Hell even dust off the old PCs a year or two later for an uber campaign. A war or other campaign world changing event.

Point is, during this whole time, we're still playing D&D in the same campaign setting. Maybe had 3-5 characters over the years and had a helluva lot of fun.

All of this with a system that is derided as "a bad vehicle for Roleplaying".

I call bullshit.

I don't see D&D4E as being anything like it's older roots. The OD&D we could easily do that style of play, mix it up with some homebrew rules, and have a blast. D&D4E seems refined down for a very specific style of play...which is what a LOT of folks say D&D always was.

I can see how that would be true...if the rules are all there is to a game. If that's so, then yeah, D&D has always been just for killing shit and getting loot.

It just seems like such a waste and unimaginative.

When I started out playing D&D...the very point of the game was imagination. We're making a lot of it up and the rules were for the most part a guideline we learned along the way and mix-matched to fit our needs/ wants.

THAT was Roleplaying.

Now it seems Roleplaying is something else and Roleplaying Games something else entirely.

Honestly...I do miss picking up a pile of books I love, with tables and charts, and *crappy artwork...make a character and play it how I want to.

* least I can make the artwork better. :)

I think the game it was then...or as some are written today can be played however I want, outside the rules and made up if we like.

Unfortunately some games are written so there is only one true way...and really...I have no interest in them at all. I'm sure there are folks that do. More power to em.

There's a lot of games out that people are calling NEW, and More Efficient, and Better than old style gaming that was "incoherent" and sloppy and "not catering to it's strengths".

How arrogant!

I another game that caters to what YOU want. Rock on! More power to ya! I totally support you and your effort, and know enough of game design that if you want a finely tuned system to do what YOU want...I can help make that happen.


Better?'s better for YOU maybe.
Leave me and mine alone!

I actually am coming to the realization that the gaming we've always played...that we've enjoyed for decades is fun because it IS open enough for making adjustments on our own...for making it up as we go...not in spite of it.

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