I have been gaming, off and on, since I was 12 years old. Now that I'm 45, I don't get to play quite as often as I like, but I still like to keep my hand in the game, as it were. This blog is about the role-playing games I write, the games I play, and the games I wish I could play.
Ok, I've never reacted like this, but I do get irritated.
When I game, I detest character death. As a GM I will help players find ways to avoid it if at all possible. And as a player, I will fight tooth and nail against it. That being said, it has happened. Although the last time was when someone else was running my character in my absence. But, that’s a whole different story.
Anyways, I see a lot of people in the OSR community talking about how character death was the norm “back in the day.” They use it as a way of nitpicking more recent editions of D&D and the options for players to stave off the death of a character. Especially in 5e, with the hit dice as healing, the death saves, and what have you.
When I see these arguments, I just roll my eyes. But, on a deeper level, it bothers me, and irritates me a lot. Because this attitude is indicative of another attitude: the Adversarial DM. These are DM’s who relish character death, and will construct adventures based solely on the idea of killing as many PC’s as possible without breaking or circumventing the rules. These are the jackholes who will lament “I only killed half the party last week. I need to try twice as hard this week.”
Back to the OSR guys bashing 5e, if I had a dollar for every time one of them stated something along the lines of “Kids these days got it easy” in regards to how “deadly” a particularly edition of D&D was…well, I’d probably be able to pay cash out-of-pocket for the 5e Monster Manual next week.