Friday, February 10, 2012

The Anti-Old School Conspiracy @ My Club

I thought my first session of Labyrinth Lord went really well.

Not sure about everyone else though.

One guy thought LL and AD&D 1e were identical and he was trying to use his old books and couldn't. I tried to tell him, but he just had to see for himself. Afterwards him and his buddy were kind of bummed.

Another guy kept announcing "You see why Pathfinder is better?!" anytime anything didn't go his way.

Two guys were visibly unhappy at not being able to play PF twice a week, and played as flat as pancakes.

One guy sat in the back reading Pathfinder books the whole time, but he did get into the game some towards the end.

And about three people were actually giving their heart over to it.

Some things they couldn't deny:
  • Nobody had to waste time looking things up in the books.
  • Combat went superfast--two combats in less than thirty minutes!
  • They really liked being freed up as to what they could do instead of being constrained by their skills and the like.
  • Initiative was quick and simple.
  • They like being able to multiclass at first level (we are playing LL+AEC).
  • They liked making PCs so quickly.
I personally thought the game was a blast. It was more creative and imaginative than any session we have had in a long time. I loved it for all of the above reasons as well, but as a GM it was a dream. I felt like I was finally playing the game the way I love to play it, within a system that supports that style of play. I also have been working almost every spare moment on my own homebrewed Labyrinth Lord campaign. My creative juices are running once again; and honestly I haven't felt this way since my High School days, when I would design dungeons, monsters, magic items and world build in class instead of doing my schoolwork.

But then I came to work today, and a bunch of Pathfinder players were busy knocking just about everything different about the game. Worse they were busy trying to convert everyone who was even giving LL a chance into thinking it was an inferior game in every respect imaginable. One kid was telling another kid he didn't have the intellect to play a real game with actual rules, and that was why he like LL.

It was like my own little amateur edition war between the students in the club. And they are being relatively sly about it--going behind my back, not talking about it when I'm not around, and anytime I confront them they just say they were joking and look at me like I can't take a joke. And of course when I joke back about PF they cower down and look hurt and offended. Not to mention that I feel bad about dissing on Pathfinder--it's a fine game, it's just not for me.

This is of course typical Junior High B.S. and perfectly in accord with the way kids act when they are not happy, not getting their way or trying to negotiate uncomfortable social situations. I know all about that I've taught this age of kid for almost 13 years now.

Funny thing is it's kind of getting to me. I suppose when kids normally act this way it's understandable, and I an distance myself. I usually think they are being silly or blowing things out of proportion, or just seeing things from an adolescent point of view. But this is about a game I really love, and about me finding the way I really want to play. This _is_ important to me. And truth to tell it hurts a bit. I suppose it hurts even more, because so much of older school games were homebrewed, and they aren't just rejecting a game they are sort of rejecting your creativity as an inevitable consequence of the rejection of your game. I mean I know that's kind of petty and not totally true--but I still feel it. I'm just mature enough to not let it out like they are.

I don't want to do anything drastic or anything, but I don't want to put up with this very long. I mean I put up with a lot already from this crew. I donate my time after school to run this club, I am often left with clean up duties afterwards, no matter how many times I remind them. They are sometimes borderline disrespectful with me, when I have to cancel for family reasons especially. And now this. I decide I'm done GMing Pathfinder, and if they would like me to GM once a week I'll run a LL campaign. They voted to have me run a LL game on Thursday and a student run a PF game on Tuesday. But I'm seriously doubting the sincerity of their vote now.

Sorry for the pity party, but that's where I'm at. I like Labyrinth Lord better than ever--tho' I'd rather run Pure LL instead of AEC (that was my concession to them). I'm just sick of trying to show the kids what they are missing. And the game is too important to me to have my pearls trod on by swine and then have them tear me to bits with their juvenile opinions.


Dak Ultimak said...

Don't stand for the bickering and snobbery, and remind them that it's ugly and childish. The best revenge is being Awesome. Be an AWESOME DM, and make them want to play your game.

Callin said...

or realize there are some things about 1E and its clones that people just don't like. Some people like the complexity of later editions. Some people dislike the "simpleness" of early editions.
All you can do is show them the various editions and if they don't like them then it is their choice. Every individual is different.

That said, though it isn't easy, try and find a group of players that like the early stuff.

And you are in no way "obligated" to run something you do not like running. Ever.

Chris said...

Thanks both of you. I've calmed down a bit and sort of centered myself. And you're right Dak -- they are simply going to see how awesome old school can be.

And I won't force them down my path Callin, but I may say to them when they get nasty and unfriendly about the whole thing that they are welcome to just play PF with their other gaming buddies. I won't say it in any mean way, but just as a "Why play something you don't like? Go play what you like. If you stick with this, tho' you might find out it can be pretty awesome--your choice. But cut the game snobbery if you're gonna stay :)

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