Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Give It A New Name

It still sucks.
I'm looking at you D&D Next, or Next Gen, or 5e or whatever the hell it is called.

I know it looks like you can do so much with it, but frankly you can't do enough.  It's like having some drugs, but not unlimited drugs.  If you'd just stayed off the drugs in the first place (you know, stuck with the old school edition(s)) you would have enjoyed yourself, but not now.  Now you are doing lines and lines of coke and getting really fired up and you suddenly realize there's just enough coke to keep you almost high.  But not enough to get you really high.  I mean, into the stratosphere high.  
You need a lot of coke.
But you don't have a lot of coke.  You have 2 adderall and a half a sixer of Bud Lite.  
That's D&D 5e.

You can do much, much more.  Be what you want to be; go crazy.  Have unlimited cantrips at first level that actually do things!  Resist death not one, not two, but three times before you lose all of your hit points!  Be a monk, a barbarian, a druid, a fighter that shoots fireballs!
Be a tiefling!

Can I be an undead cyborg with matched Colts Dragoons?


Sorry, then; your drug-fueled insanity fails.  Either go gonzo or go home.  Don't half-ass it, WOTC.

Because the old game, it was gonzo.  I mean that cave you are exploring is a spaceship that wrecked a century ago and you've just activated the defense robots with rayguns gonzo.  I mean the monster you are fighting has a face full of tentacles and will eat your brain gonzo and after you've found the secret door of the cave you learn that said monster is a time-travelling alien from beyond your galaxy but that's okay because those strange pistol grip wands you picked up on your adventure 3 sessions ago, the one where you ended up in a town of wooden buildings, dusty streets, and people with strange hats, seem to work just fine to open big holes in the wang-faced creeps.  Besides, your wizard has been saving that scroll he found last adventure for just such a situation.  The one that casts delayed tac-nuke and due to circumstances that aren't likely to be repeated anytime soon Aphrodite owes your thief a favor, so it's teleport out and send these monsters to the 9 hells time, gonzo.

I'm talking about the kind of gonzo where the only treasure in the game is attached to the floating evil skull and you have to destroy it to kill the bloody thing, gonzo.  Unless you just happen to be crazy enough to have thought of the one thing that nobody would think of in a million years but the DM has it in his back pocket just in case you ate as many paint chips as he did when you were a toddler, gonzo.

The kind of game that has 3 rules and a book full of guidelines all supporting the single important principle which is ADVENTURE!

Where galleons fly in space and hippos wear Prussian uniforms and fire black powder pistols at spider-eels.  

That's what it takes, WOTC, and you just missed the 60s, so you don't have the chops.

Enjoy your rules.  Sell some books.


  1. This drug metaphor has been brought to you by Coleman. Serge passed out, because he's been awake for three straight days on a walking tour of scenic parts of Florida.

    Back on track, simple is better. It's more fun to play a simple streamlined set of rules (if such exists anymore), have fun and not get bogged down with complicated rules for how to do the shit you want to do in a game. Damn, haven't gamed in a long time.

    1. I don't know anything about metafours, but in my rock vault the soundtrack to that rant was In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.
      Back on track. 8 Track, that is. A simple, streamlined system offers, basically, a core set of rules that all good gamers can modify as they see fit to make the game whatever they want it to be while still playing the game itself. It's about rulings, not rules. The DM is part storyteller, part referee and the skill of it is in making the decisions in the moment and a good decision at the right time can become a rule. A house rule. All games are, essentially, agreements between the players. Like the famous Free Parking rule of Monopoly. That's not an official rule, but is one of the most famous house rules of the game. Everyone knows it. Since practically everyone learns Monopoly from someone else vice reading the actual rules, through popular consensus Free Parking is a rule. Even if it was not, it wouldn't matter because if the players agree upon it, then it, whatever it is, is a rule. Dig?
      Let the music flow through you now. You're starting to dig it, and if you aren't you are an emo twat. The game survived, even thrived for years on a small set of books and issues of Dragon magazine because it was just a kernel, like Linux, that clever and inventive gamers could use to program their own righteous games. Rock and Roll some dice, man.