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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Playing the Game the Way I Want!

These Cereals weren't afraid to be who they were...Sugar Delivery Systems!
Says it right on the box...

[Feel free to get triggered before you start reading, might save you time. Personally, I like to read the whole article before I trip out so I get to feel the full effect and rage appropriately]

It's Thursday, it's slow here in the pawnshop now that the rush of the 1st day of the month has abated, and all of the government subsidized folk have repatriated their belongings with my hard-earned tax dollars, and I wanna talk about some stuff.  Earlier this week I posted some lovely new gaming goodness about the City of Elbion, and last night I played and DM'd a bit.  I'm feeling like it's time for some commentary...

I love playing RPGs, and specifically  B/X, AD&D1e and derivatives and retroclones of these games.  For most of my life I've played as often as I could.  As a kid, entire weekends would be consumed by playing these games, and as I found myself busier with the 'real life' i've still made time weekly to play.  During those times when I was unable to play for long stretches, I missed it.  Reading and writing were not substitutes for playing, but they made adequate bed-mates when no one was around to play my favorite game.

When I first experienced the internet (ok not my times on BBS's in the 80's, but later in the 90's with the advent of AOL and then the 'net as a whole), I had little notion that it would become my primary mode of play.  Now, as busy as ever, it's relatively easy to schedule time to play or DM in short bursts.  Is it the exact same as playing at the table?


Is it a new and interesting way to meet, play, and interact with folks from all over the interwebs?


Thanks to  gaming and RPG culture on the internet I've been able to keep my hobby alive and vital, but I'm not 100% sure that I like what that culture has become.

[now is the time in the post where some of you will get triggered.  enjoy the rush!]

We don't all play the same way, and I don't mean with specific regard to RPGs.  There aren't just different games, or different rules, but there are different people.  Some of you often praise the 'peace & love' aspect of the hobby, and quite frankly that shit is really aggravating.  Someone replied to my post with the proposition that playing an RPG would be fun if there was no combat, no enemies.  Really?

[this is the part where, if you've been triggered, you get really mad that I'm telling you how to play.  I'm not, I'm really just reacting to this one supposition about a method of play that seems silly to me.  I don't care how you play.]

Listen, I'm sure it's POSSIBLE play D&D this way, but why would anyone want to?  I can't fathom it, but I'm sure someone wants to, someone has, and others will.

Last night I spent 2 hours in Stonehell, kicking in doors and bashing heads (well, cleaving them.  My dwarf is an axe-man)  Certainly Stonehell would be an awfully boring place if insane inmates, greedy kobolds, and hordes of undead weren't lurking behind every corner of the place trying to end my character's life before he manages to get out with fists full of gold.  This is not everyone's idea of a good time, but I enjoy this way of playing as much as I love sessions that are full of great role-playing and I never pull a sword, axe, or bow.

If we, the older guys, the folks who have been playing the longest are really looking to teach younger folks how to play, as so many posts claim, then we have to talk about the good, the bad, AND the ugly parts of the hobby and it's participants.

Sometimes, I use this space...MY air my feelings about current game culture.  The 'culture' may or may not agree with me, or like what I have to say, but I'm pretty sure I still have the right to say it.  Left or Right, I think we usually agree that freedom of speech is an important civil right, and just because you want everything to be 'peace & love' does NOT give you the right to tell me what to say or think.

Just like in the game, life is full of people you love, people you protect, and most of all people you never interact with.  It's also filled with people you don't like.  Assholes.  Douche-bags.  Morons.  Why does the gaming culture refuse to accept the wonderful and beautiful diversity that is humanity?  This week I was called crotchety, which I most definitely can be at times.  The writing was called 'dickish', which seems like a weak term but ok, maybe it was written with some snark.  I was also called a 'Bad DM' which is not correct.  I'll own the shit I am, but fuck if I'm going to own the shit I'm not.  I'm a damned good DM, I'm a great player, and anyone who says otherwise can fuck an Owlbear.

[uh oh, now he talked about owlbear sex, which we all know is both wrong AND dangerous]

[triggered:  those who think inter-species, mythical sexual relationships are fine as long as they are monogamous and consensual]

[double triggered: the poly rpg inter-species mythical-beast community]

To bring this all back around, I blame the internet.  Yup, that wonderful technology that keeps me in games and gaming buds is also the problem.  Is there a widely adopted technology that doesn't have positive and negative affects?  I don't think so.  So it is with a humble heart that I accept the new generation of 'no enemy having', 'super-inclusive', 'anti-murder-hobo', 'don't tell me how to play' rpg gamers who sit around the table never rolling dice and eating cruelty-free fava chips.  They aren't gaming wrong, they are having fun.

I'm just gonna hang back here with the old dudes and listen at the door, look for traps everywhere, kill the creatures between me and the chest, check the chest for traps, smash the lock on the chest with my axe, steal the gold and gems that don't belong to me, and then spend that ill-gotten gain on more equipment to repeat the process.

...and maybe I'll chat with a whore, steal a ship, and then become a pirate.

If I save a village, it was probably an accident.

If I burn it down, that was on purpose.


  1. Fuck. Yes.

    Personally, while I AM "anti murder–hobo," I'm NOT "anti beat-the-savage-bloody-crap-out-of-your-enemies-and-take-all-their-stuff" … I just like being one of the White Hats.

    That said, I'm tickled fucking PINK that someone is calling out all the bullshit in the gaming community. Enough of this "be nice" crap. Let's be REAL for a change.

    I want to go head-to-head with you in a very competitive, player-vs-player game of 2e. You be the villain, I'll be the hero. Or you be the antihero, I'll be the bigoted, crusading paladin. Same thing, really.

  2. As both a DM and Player I can confidently say that most of the poorly written drivel in this post is the absolute truth. I have burned down villages with said crotchety, dickish, stomper of goblins and am currently trying to figure out how to DM through more flaming goodness being planned by his current group. Of course this is probably payback for the time(s) we burned shit down when he was the DM.
    The internet gave me access to crazy shit like THIS
    and access to gamers across the world. Thank Nerull...or Obod-Hai whichever way you swing.

  3. The most important part of roleplaying is that you are playing a role. If the player plays themselves and injects their own modern morals and ethics into it, they ARE doing it wrong. They aren't playing their part in the story. D&D is medieval with medieval sensibilities and fantastical and mythylogical at that.

    It is a world where good people do terrible things because the evilist and cruelist thing would be to do nothing. The ends justify the means. There is no room for any other way. The stakes are too high.

    Maybe they feel compelled to drop to their knees and beg forgiveness for what they had to do or maybe they have just become so jaded in the struggle against absolute evil. But, the actions they take are necessary in the fight between good and evil.

    It is a world where NOT killing the orc is the greatest sin of all-- because that orc may rape and pillage 100's of human females in his lifetime and you could have prevented it.

    We kick down their doors and take their stuff as spoils of war to tip the balance in the fight. We kill everything and take no prisoners, because they have no souls to be redeemed. That is not my law. It is the law of nature. We have to take the world as it is with wide eyes open and do what we must in this neverending fight to push back the dark.