I came across a Halfling's Luck review for a low magic game very close to a 5e vibe or feel called Low Fantasy Gaming. The product is generally awesome, and decidedly low magic, rules light somewhat old school feel, with new school rules and touches. You can pick up the rules PDF for free with nice art, excellent layout, and a little-brown-book look to it. I also recognized it as a nice accomplishment of sort of what I was going for in my Next Hack. So much so in fact, that I think I'll shift more that direction instead of trying to retool 5e. And frankly, all this retooling I'm doing is getting old.
Yeah, bear with me while I tell you how I really feel ...
I play a 5e game. I don't want to play 5e. I don't like it. I dislike bounded accuracy, I dislike the power curve, I dislike the nerfed monsters and the upped magic, I dislike the art and presentation--I feel like I'm reading a video game manual, I dislike the healing rules and I dislike the optional rules, I ... well, that's enough.
I also am reluctant to leave my 5e game. I could. Yes, I could, and I think my players would humor me. But the pressure to "please" my players with a game I would rather play is not something I want either. I could try and make AD&D as awesome as I feel it is, and really hype it up--but I don't want to have to do that.
I don't want to tweak 5e, or rewrite it, or try and rewrite 1e to try and "please" my players. Why can;t we all just play he damn game and live with it!
Of course, that's rhetorical, because I know the answer. The answer is there are so many games out there and a culture of gaming nowadays that places the consumer as king. Instead of us wanting to the play the game no matter how hard, challenging or brutal it was and learning to really take pride when we accomplished something in a difficult, dangerous and deadly game, we now have a cafeteria line of personal choice so we can "play the game we want to". I hate this new gaming culture.
Or is this just my perspective? Again, rhetorical. Yes it's my perspective. Born of my experiences in gaming and my age and the time I came into gaming. Not even everyone who came into gaming when I did feels this way. It is just me, or a small handful of people like me.
And if there is anything worse than all of this (besides the ranting itself) is not playing at all. So I continue to play 5e. I continue to DM 5e. My other players are simply not ready to DM--they've made this abundantly clear. And so I continue trying to invest myself in 5e, and trying to make it something a little more like I want to play. And in creating content for my game that is almost as schizophrenic as my game is.
And that, my handful of faithful readers, is the hardest part for me. I feel torn, divided, disassociated. Torn between editions, torn between content, torn between ages. Stuck. I keep trying to talk in this blog about old school gaming, all the while grappling with the new school age we find ourselves in. I am having a problem with all of this. And this is certainly one of the things that has kept me from posting more regularly in the past. I have tried to redefine myself and this blog for some time now and it never quite sticks, because nothing really fits and I still end up conflicted. In case you can't tell, I'm suffering a bit of a gaming identity crisis. Don't worry it's not you ... It's me.
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