20 July 2010

I Don't Fit In Anywhere.

I'm a young gamer who loves MMOs, has free-form roleplayed in chat rooms with my friends, and doesn't think 4th edition D&D is anything resembling a good roleplaying game. (It's a decent miniatures game, and a seriously rules-heavy wargame. And speaking of which, if you have more complex rules than Warhammer, then you're headed down the wrong path.)

My first game was BECMI, which I taught myself, and then moved on to 3rd edition which I played for years. We played a seriously bastardized version of the game- it was transformed into a rules-light approximation of itself by ditching multiclassing, wealth by level, skills, grappling, and anything else we didn't really like.

I then went back to playing OSR games like Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC, although LL is the game for my heart. I don't think that race-as-class rules are bad, because humanocentric campaigns are cooler. As a matter of fact, I toyed with the idea of changing all the races into regular human classes (where the dwarf would be a dungeoneer and the elf, a battle wizard.)

I've read Jack Vance, and think Cudgel is a hilarious curmudgeon. R. E. Howard was one of my favorite authors before I ever rolled a die.

So where do I fit? People decry the decline of gaming by a bunch of snot-nosed kids who demand that games resemble the MMOs they love so much, and that they be combat-centered hack and slashing rampages where characters never die and storylines are linear and they win all the time and get newer, shinier swords. But I play MMOs more than I roll dice, due to my recent move, and here I am, reading about LL and oD&D and retroclones and trying to figure out whether or not Dwarfs deserve to exist in a sword and sorcery campaign, and what, exactly, the hit dice of a sand demon is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Don't lose hope for the next generation. We're not all idiots. Some of us are as entranced by the brilliance of Gygax and Mentzer and Moldvay et cetera as you "old guys". The very best of us realize how lucky we are to be accepted among people who've been playing for 20+ years, who are willing to impart some hard-earned wisdom on us.

Thanks to you guys for your patience, and for letting those of us that are trying to "get it" the opportunity to learn before the masters. 


  1. "People decry the decline of gaming..." Right there's your problem. You're listening to people decry. F that noise.

    I'm nearly 32 and my experience is pretty similar to yours. I also started with BECMI. By the time I was in high school, 2nd Edition was the version of choice. We played a highly bastardized version, too.

    So I'd say you fit in about as well as I do. No worries.

  2. I haven't lost hope on people. I only rage against designers and publishers hell bent on torpedoing the industry I enjoy.
    ; )

    But there's always hope, man...

  3. @ Everybody- Thanks for the support. :)

    @ G. Benedicto- I hear you! Everybody thinks their generation is the last one to do things right, and that the next guys down the line are going to mess everything up, like they themselves didn't have an impact on what happened, and that their cherished traditions are themselves bastardizations.

    @ JB: I hear you. The generation that grew up playing AD&D and oD&D are now the guys that have designed and created 4th edition D&D. Keep that in mind...

    @ bighara: You've made my day :)

  4. If I despair at all for gaming -- and I generally don't -- it's not because of the younger crowd but the older. My experience of younger gamers is almost uniformly positive, even when they don't share my gaming preferences. The older guys, on the other hand ...


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