Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Not very good at this

It occurs to me that, in the grand scheme of things, I’m not a very good gamer.  At least, I’m not a very literate and thinking gamer.

I often read blog posts and forum posts from other gamers where they dissect games, rank features according to their usefulness, and pass judgement on the game, based on long, thought-out processes.  I don’t do any of that.  To me, the rules of any given RPG are simply a means.  All they do is describe how you roll your funny little dice, and how you interpret the results.  The mechanics don’t have much impact on how I “play” a given game, for the most part.

Ever since discovering the OSR movement a couple of years back, and kind of diving in headfirst, one common theme has come up when reading old-school gamers’ opinions of new-school games (mainly D&D 3+).  And it can be summed up by a phrase I have seen so often I reflexively roll my eyes when I read it now: “I can’t wrap my head around…”

I can’t wrap my head around Ascending AC.

I can’t wrap my head around Monster Levels.

I can’t wrap my head around not having a TPK every other session.

I can’t wrap my head around color artwork in RPG books (Seriously? Yep.).

I’m fairly certain that a number of Grognards are so set in their ways, and so convinced that the old games were perfect, and that any change that didn’t come from their own brain couldn’t possibly be an improvement, that they go into anything new with a closed mind.  So, in essence, anything they “can’t wrap their head around” is because they simply don’t want to.

Which is fine.  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  Cool.  I get that.  But, what I don’t get is feigning not understanding something just so you can claim it’s too complex and bloated.  That just seems arrogant to me.

I dunno I could be wrong.  In which case, I apparently “can’t wrap my brain around” OSR in general.  I like the old games.  I have many fond memories of them.  And I think some of them are actually still quite playable in their original form.  But, I really dig the new stuff.  New editions, new mechanics, new ways of doing things.  It’s all good (except 4E).

Maybe I just need to hang it up.  I’m not into gaming as much as I used to be, or as much as I’d like to be.  I have one game going, and it gets trumped by non-gaming life so often, we rarely get to play regularly.  And I don’t have time to play other games.

Then there’s the fact that I like to play at writing gaming stuff, but it’s all for games that I don’t play. And probably never will.  If I think about it, that actually seems like arrogance too.  And that doesn’t sit well with me.

I’m not sure what I’m getting at here.  But I do know that I will be taking a step back from gaming in general.  If for no other reason than to just to figure out what role it plays in my life (no pun intended).

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