Friday, May 12, 2023

I'm a D&D Luddite: Digital D&D Woes


Is it just me, or does the sight of virtual tabletops, tablets, and laptops at the table make you cringe. I suppose I'm like the old man yelling "Get off my lawn!!!" 

Or like the stick in the mud shouting you're not having fun right!!!

Perhaps it's just the nostalgia hound in me, but for me it really breaks immersion the more technologized a game becomes. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my cell phone as much as the next guy. Love my laptop and bathe in streaming services. But when it gets into my game, well, something in me dies a little bit. 

Which, of course has got me to thinking ... Clearly this is a personal opinion. There are those who love these gadgets and fusing them into their gamer brain has made them better, not worse gamers. I have GMed and played on Roll 20 and got into all the added little effects one could optimize into your game. I'll still admit to preferring an in person game to a virtual one, but have to agree that virtual gaming has extended gamers abilities to connect and game more than they would otherwise. 

I also have to ponder on whether I'm trying to recreate an experience of 40 years ago, or really making a justified critique. For instance I never really used minis or maps for game play--until that is D&D 4e. Now, as much as I ended up disliking 4e it changed me. I now rarely run combat without maps and minis. 
Very similar to my home map

I've played Roll20 and without a VTT and just by Skype and Zoom. I have not become converted. In fact it is the primary reason why I am not playing now. When I refused to DM 5e anymore, or any other game I'm not really interested in investing time in, I was left with me AD&D books, my Hackmaster Books, Call of Cthulhu and a few others that I simply couldn't find easy play for. 

Here lately I'm rethinking my position. My lawn is so lonely without all those kids playing on it. I think it's time I take down my anti-digital, luddite fence and maybe look for some digital gaming groups. 

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