Monday, May 21, 2012

Machine Gun Posting

Okay, I've been gone for almost two weeks now. Well, not gone, here and really confused. I have started numerous posts, but either I would start them and realize they weren't what I really felt. Or I would finish a long one, and realize that I sounded way more confident than I feel. Truthfully, I've been suffering a bit of blog paralysis lately. I received a little flak, that threw me off my game. I became worried that I was offending people--which wasn't my real fear anyway. I was really afraid I might drive someone away from the hobby I love so much. And the last thing we need is people leaving the hobby. I certainly didn't want to be the cause of someone feeling bad for playing their edition because some pompous windbag (read: Me) was spouting off.

Well, today I realized it had been almost two weeks since I had posted anything and I felt a bit foolish. Even more so than when I offended someone. I mean I obviously have people that like reading my drivel occasionally as well, so don;t I owe them a thing or two as well? I think so--maybe more than I owe the politically correct police.

It was them that I decided to just post pretty much everything I had written, finished or not in the last few weeks and a few more things beside. I know that's annoying, but it will at least let you know where I've been intellectually these past few days. Don't of course feel any obligation to read it all--I just wanted to get it out there. If there is any redeeming quality to my little blog here, it is that I've been as honest as I can be. Authors license aside (I do tend to melodramatize a bit). So there it is, machine gun style.

So during all of this one of the best things for me were the questions my brother sent me. They really helped me to realize a few things. Here I quote from my most recent email:

"You probably are interested in where I'm at exactly gamewise. I've realized that D&D was what it was and it is what it is. I am kind of torqued at the D&D industry--as they have screwed things up imo. And this goes for TSR, WoTC, Hasbro and the whole lot. It seems to me like they are interested in redesigning the game every so often. This irritates me, as the game was fine the way it was. But hey, who am I, right?
So I'm trying to realize these redesigns are basically a different game with different assumptions. But if you count them (and this doesn't even include all the clones) do you realize there are over 14 different versions of what is basically  the D&D game?! I mean that is ridiculous.
I'm keeping an eye on 5e. But I'm more than a little worried that a 6e redesign will be what comes next. And I know this isn't the only business model out there that works, 'cause Steve Jackson Games, Flying Buffalo Games, Chaosium and Palladium have managed to do it differently. They have their problems, but have been in business since the dawn of the hobby producing the same games they started with. I can only wish that was the case with D&D. I'm just tired of being jerked around like a consumer on a string.
But I've also realized I play how I play, and exactly what I play doesn't matter too much. I do like having a consistent company supporting the same game however--all these changes are annoying."
More than anything I'm pissed off at the gaming companies. But hey, that doesn't really do anybody any good. But don't be surprised if I continue to rant a bit about it from time to time. I mean my plans are still to playtest the new 5e package come Thursday. I'm gonna stay optimistic. And in a way I really am, even if they do piss me off ever other press release. I truly hope they can build a game that lets us old school guys feel at home within. That lets us play the way we like. 
Which leads me to the other point I've re-realized lately. It really doesn't matter what you play. What edition, version or game. What really matters is who you are playing with. I am going to try and spend less time edition analyzing and more time building a good group of gamers. Because I've found that although some games let you play in your style a little easier than others, what will really cramp your style more than anything else is who you play with.  

At the end of this school year, I sent quite a bit of hate Pathfinders way. And truthfully that was unfair of me. It's a good system, a really good one. I have had some good times playing it. For that matter I've had a good time playing 4e as well. It was playing with difficult gamers that made this gaming year difficult, not the game we were playing. I may have blamed Pathfinder, but the blame really lay elsewhere. And I'll also shoulder some of that blame myself. As I said above, I think I learned the importance of investing time in creating a good group. That will pay much greater dividends than spending all of my time trying to find the "perfect system".