Friday, April 4, 2014

I like Dungeons and Dragons

I don't know how else to phrase it. I just... like D&D. Not just the broad idea, not just the essential salts of the game, but the D&D IP. I like the way that Wizards presented their vision of how it looked and felt during my teenage years (which coincided with 3.x and a goodly chunk of 4e,) even if I grew desperately sick of the mechanical implementations they used in 3.x and 4e.

That right there is the main reason why, since about 2011, I've been very involved in the OSR-- mechanically it is much less ponderous. You've probably picked up on this tendency yourself, given how much effort on this blog I've devoted to backporting one thing or other from WOTC!D&D to whichever retroclone has my attention that week.

From what I've seen of 5e, it works for me. It has all those bits of modern-D&D flavor that accumulated in my brain all through middle and high school and shaped my understanding of my hobby, but in a more streamlined, effective system. It's not perfect, maybe, but it works, and perhaps more importantly, it works while feeling like home to me, like the thing that I turned to for a good time in high school. It feels like the D&D I thought I was playing in those days, until my (then-)girlfriend turned it into a chore of a red queen's race, until I realized that even low-level NPCs had become a second batch of homework.

I know this: I don't want to get on the supplement treadmill again, and I don't want to devote hours to character builds. Unless the final product has some egregious mechanical fuckery, is unplayably broken, or holds back important content to sell more splatbooks, I suspect that once it's released, it will become my system of choice. I don't know what will happen to this blog then. I'll probably keep writing something here. Maybe more fluff articles.


ProfessorOats said...

Same, for the most part, though I've outgrown and gotten sick of some elements. I was also never too into the whole "dungeon punk" look. I'm a bit surprised you include 4E. Granted, it's been some time since I've looked at that edition, but I recall it feeling nothing like the D&D I knew, either mechanically or in terms of the fictional world it offered. Maybe I set my hopes too high, but 4E was such a huge disappointment for me

lars_alexander said...

Interesting; I haven't taken part in the D&D Next playtest, but I'll give it a try, if it's like as you suggest.

"extra batch of homework" is a nice expression. Fits perfectly. ;-)

Rachel Ghoul said...

Lars: It's worth giving a look, I think, even if you find it's not for you. I went in looking for elements to steal and use as houserules and I ended up more satisfied (and optimistic about the final game) than I anticipated.