Some folks speak to a therapist, others their family, some choose their pastor or priest. Not your friendly neighborhood Geek. No, I am (with frightening regularity) finding revelations at my local gaming store. Much like the realization that even geek girls wouldn’t have dated me back in the day, I discovered that I am quickly becoming a bitter old man; granted I haven’t even hit my thirties. However, it should be noted that gamer years are very similar to dog years, but not quite as extreme as computer life years. So, let’s say that in gamer years I’m pushing my mid-fifties. I’ve been an unabashed dice tosser since the transitional days of AD&D 1st edition to 2nd edition. Although sadly, the first RPG I was allowed to play was DragonQuest, the Striper of role playing games. I could go into the delicate nuances of that stunning Christian role playing game, but I simply do not have the time, it will have to wait…
Anyway, I am finding myself increasingly annoyed with the current crop of games and often catch myself looking at the sad and broken cardboard box filled with
“collector games”. Yea, collector games, that’s code for “games you stubborn bastards refuse to let die”. As I rifled through the box I heard a couple of kids (who were probably 20 – 21, but, you know…gamer years) snickering behind me. I was clearly some Neanderthal who should just deal with the fact that the D20 system is the Dungeon Master of the new gamer. Reverting to my high school survival skills, I pretended I didn’t hear them…little bastards!
What did they know? Why in my day we didn’t need any fancy miniature to fight Orcs, all we needed was a Monopoly figure or a stiff Gummi Bear. And any REAL gamer didn’t even need that, hell, all we needed was funky dice, a piece of graph paper, a mechanical pencil, some Dorritto’s and strong coffee. Ah yea buddy! Only Battletech and War Hammer nerds used those little metal figures. You little punks, you wouldn’t survive one full turn in Aaron’s dungeon of death. I was a ROLE player dammit… Not a lame as ROLL player! You guys wouldn’t know a good gaming system if is sneaked up behind you and backstabbed you for 8d6 extra damage!
Then it hit me.
It wasn’t the gaming system. To be fair, for all its power gamer faults, the D20 (and all its connected systems) is a pretty elegant and simple system. It is rather simple to learn, as logical as a gaming system can be, and is flexible for multiple genres.
Crap, it’s me. The problem is me. I’ve turned into the guy who just refuses to grow and expand his mind when it comes to new things. Sure, I own a couple of D20 games, and I even run them. However, deep down I find myself annoyed every time I have to write an adventure with this system. I find myself longingly looking at my older game books and wishing I could convince my current gaming group to convert back to the old school. Alas, I go back to my D20 books and keep writing. Deep down I know that the system I played back in the day was massively flawed and allowed for all kinds of power gaming.
It’s all me.
I’ve turned into Andy Rooney.
Until next time, remember… Roll high to hit and roll low to save!