Monday, March 26, 2012

An Epiphany of My Next Game

I mentioned in my previous post that I had had an epiphany near the conclusion of the last game in which Chris ran us through Mauve Castle.  It may not mean much and it's probably not that great of an epiphany to any one else, but it certainly gelled several things in my mind.

What was my epiphany?  Well, we were sitting there and just talking about rules, players, games and the talk drifted to the NTRPG con in June.  And as we sat there and bandied about names of the "old guys from TSR days" who'll be there and rulesets were tossed around without explanation (Holmes, B/X, AD&D), it just hit me that we were beginning to sound just like snobs.  I don't mean to put us down or point fingers or anything, but I was just suddenly aware of how "elitist" we sounded.  Just like back during the 3.5/4e edition wars in which each side tried to paint the other as elitist.  I could see where it came from, and I could see how to stop it.  Here's what we do: we say "I'm running a non-serious D&D game.  I'm the DM and here's how you roll up a character." Or "here's the characters, pick one."  Then, "get out your dice, I'll tell you when to roll and what to roll.  You tell me everything else you're doing."  Thus, you choose if you want to play or not.  Ask me questions about the game, not the rules.  And as a player, I'll do the same when you run.  I am responsible for my own happiness with the game.  If I'm not happy, I'll not come back.

So, my next game will start off this way.  Roll 3d6 straight down: Str, Dex, Int, Wis, Con, Chr.  (Don't argue with me about their order.  This is my game.)  If you're not happy with what you have, you may reroll two of these, keeping the highest roll.  Your class choices are: Human Fighter, Human Mage, Human Cleric, Elf Mage, Elf  Fighter, Dwarf Warrior, Halfling Fighter.  No, there are no stat changes because you want to play elf, dwarf, or halfling.  Deal with it.  Now, pick either chain, leather or no armor.  Pick one melee weapon.  Pick one ranged weapon.  It comes with 20 pieces of ammo.  Look at the chart here, and pick a pack.  Choose an alignment: Lawful or Neutral.  Roll a d% and I'll give you a past job to help get a grip on your character.  Now, roll a d12.  That's your starting gold.

I guess this attitude is new, or maybe I'm just more aware of it.  I don't know.  Maybe it's because I'll be 50 very soon or maybe I'm just really sick and tired of tone of voice I sometimes hear when folks talk about other editions.  I really don't know.  I just hope I'm not hurting feelings with it.  And I understand the need to compromise in a group setting because it is a very social game after all.  But despite how small our hobby appears to be, it's actually pretty good sized.  Just look at the numbers for GaryCon (over 500 attendees this year), and the numbers for NTRPG have been almost doubling each year.  So, again, why play something I dislike when I can play what I want?  Join me and let me hear your ideas.  I'll probably use them.
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