Thursday, April 7, 2011

Because It's What I Like

So - I debated about posting this. Decided to anyway.

Last week, James over at Grognardia posted an article about "cheating-methods" for rolling up characters. It's just the kind of observation that makes Grognardia the king of the OSR blogs on the "who's got more followers than who" thing that somebody has been tracking (what does it say if your blog isn't even on the list?***). But as I read the comments (and as I just checked, people are still not done commenting on this subject) a light bulb went off in my head.

I play 1e AD&D (with smatterings of B/X and 2e, plus houserules) not because I think it's the best system for roleplaying, not because it's (almost) the original, or the codified "right way" to play D&D. I play it because it's the system I learned and so it's comfortable.

All this "the right way to roll up a character" nonsense is just navel-gazing. There is no right way to do any of this stuff. There's the way I like to do it. Period. Someone nailed it in the comments to the "cheating methods" post when they said "if it's in the rulebook, how is it cheating?" Ah...but it's not in the rulebook I prefer (LBB, Holmes, Cook/Marsh, whatever) - plus it's optional so, yeah, if you use the "alternate methods" your a low-life lying cheater. Neener-neener. Every time a rule war breaks out on forums or in blog comments I just don't care. Do it the way you like to do it. But how can anybody really be wrong? Why are there so many freaking retro-clones? Because everybody has a "way I like to do it" - you will note that there are interpretations in every single one of them - even if it's for "legal reasons" - some things are left out (that's not how I like to do it), etc.

It's the same reason that I run Windows PCs instead of Linux or (heaven forbid) a Mac. It's not the best OS, it's not even necessarily a good OS - but it's what I learned and I don't want to learn the "better, newer, shinier, whatever"... So, yeah, 1e isn't the best set of rules*****, it might not even be a good set of rules. But I know it, so I play it (somewhat modified to make it...better).

I like bits and pieces of other systems - MERP has some cool stuff, Ars Magica rocks, I like some of what I've read even in the Post 2e D&D stuff (heck, I quit buying 2e stuff when all that "options" stuff started flowing - too complicated, too much for me to have to learn to play the freaking game).

So, yeah, a bunch of what blogs post, what Dragonsfooters and Knights and Knavers and the lot post... I just don't care. If I even see BtB in a post, I quit reading.

Because I play what I play because it's what I like.

***I know there's precious little on this blog that anyone wants to read, so I don't really care - if I did this post would be called something like JAMES M AT GROGNARDIA IS COMPLETELY WRONG or whatever. Blogging is, in essence, self-gratification anyway, I'm not sure I want the whole world watching me...

***** I know - the BEST set of rules is [your favorite edition here] with, of course [your house rules here]


Trey said...

Rules issues are very important to some people, in that they feel there's an ideal way to play--for them. I don't think James was saying there's "one true way," though I would agree that turns up on the blogosphere from time to time.

I largely agree with you, though. It's not a big deal to me, but to each his own.

As to "the list" you can just email Cycloptrean and he'll be glad to add you, I'm sure.

Daen Ral Worldbuilder said...

Yeah, I got the point of James' post - but some of the comments just struck me as...hostile toward anything but 3d6 in order - suck it up or you're not playing D&D. Of course just as many commenters had some alternate method... Hence the reason I debated about even posting this.

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Helen Wong said...

I must admit that this is one great insight. It surely gives a company the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and really take part in creating something special and tailored to their needs.
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