Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

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It has come to my attention that many D&D players spend a great deal of time, energy and effort complaining about core concepts in the system: Alignment, Class, Level, the Magic System, incompatibility between optional rules sets, and even things that exist at the setting level rather than the mechanical level, such as the perponderance of monsters that make no damned sense. Rather than just discarding or modifying those aspects of the game to tailor it more to their preferences, they instead apply torturous rationalizations to make sense of inherently arbitrary, irrational rules.

If the objections and rationalizations were isolated, one could justify simply "gaming around them"; however, at some point or another, the same people have brought every core concept of the game into question -- and yet, far too often, the questioners resist both the idea of actively changing the rules (which the OGL/d20 revolution has made more feasible than ever) or finding another system less heavily burdened with the ill-conceived baggage of '70s Miniatures Wargaming (which the OGL/d20 revolution has not yet managed to make impossible).

Granted, this has always been The Nature of the Beast. however, since the introduction of Third Edition and the "d20 Revolution", it often seems as though the players of that system simply refuse to acknowledge the existence of other game systems in any but the most offhand and academic manner ("Yeah, but nobody plays that").

Many D&D players also have a tendency to approach any discussion of game design in terms of whether or not it would work in D&D. Frequently, one person will bring up some aspect of mythology or folklore -- folk magics, for example, or the role of consecrated ritual tools in magickal practice -- and note that few existing game systems incorporate these ideas in their mechanics. Far too often, a D&D player will dismiss the question by saying something that boils down to "There's really no way to explain that in D&D terms."

This tendency to shoehorn every circumstance into an arbitrary and inappropriate frame of reference while at the same time discounting the validity of other frames of reference strikes me as being unwholesomely... Republican.

EDIT: I do apologize for this popping up again in everyone's Friends list. Semagic did something weird and reposted it, over-writing the time stamp on the original.
Tags: clustergeek, game design, gaming, rpg

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