Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Rant about Stupid ideas of how we Gamed in the "0eLden" days

I posted this over on Zaks marvelous blog, and suggested, as its rather OT, that people should come over here to give me grief and lumps.  So, I'm reposting it here -I mean, why should his readers have all the fun ?
And, oh yes. Just to further obfuscate rational discussion, I'd like to point out the following comments from the comments [unsourced as these stand for many]:

"Most of the time the old school characters felt like checker pieces. Larger because, in my experience at least, they were treated as checker pieces by the DM."

"Just yesterday I was talking with one of my players who mentioned how he dislikes that in many old games he was in it was like his character materialized out of thin air mere minutes before the start of the first adventure like some damn MMO. "Poof" - First Level Fighter appears. Came from nowhere. Knows nothing. Doesn't matter if he dies. Prepare to die. Hit. Killed. Dead."

"The (very) old school treats characters like checker pieces - I don't cry in my beer when I lose a checker piece. I've got more and if I lose all of them we can just play again. It isn't some kind of grim ethic that makes me do it - I'm enjoying it."

This is utter, utter bullshit. Where in the hell did this come from ? I mean, other than your hat ? "Most of the time" ? "In my experience " Really.   When ? Crap and retardedness. Look, I was there. Maybe you have mistaken the miniatures wargaming and gamers that did use checkers because that's what they are, with the RPG players because that where we all came from. Maybe. But look here Sherlock, the overlap between D&D ('cause thats all RPGs were then) and Minis was far from complete; why ? Because the gamers who didn't give two damns about character, backstory, campaign or fantasy literature, or even god forbid, roleplaying, didn't play. Get that ? The first generation was self selected for caring about those issues. We were the hippy trippy weirdo character playing fringies of mini gaming. Characters and all the above mattered, and the idea that most or all games used up characters like cannon fodder is idiotic -miniature wargames set in dungeons or the wilderness did that, perhaps, but those are skirmish games, and often, post 75, explicitly that way to avoid all that "D&D crap".  This was not the vast majority of D&D games in the "0eLden" days.

Why the bunch of enthusiastic creative character and backstory oriented folks have become stereotyped as boring non-gaming farts is beyond me. Possibly we have, as a group become bitter at finding ourselves stereotyped by a new wave of gamers, some vocal few of which don't seem to be able to make a contribution stand on its own without knocking someone else down to use as a prop (I dig confusing mixed metaphors). Perhaps its some kind of unresolved rebellion against parents crap, prompted by the fact that most of us are parents -or at least look like them. Whatever. Just Stop It. Now. Or you're going to be grounded this semester, kids. 
Next rant:  When the hell did "Grognard" become an insult ?
Or maybe I'll finish up setting the Anti-Thief lobby straight.
Or maybe....who knows.  The stats on this blog suggest that sarcasm is my best drawing point.


taichara said...

This post is awesome and you should feel awesome.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, and good points. There were actually more games than just D&D (TFT, T&T, RQ, and C&S were huge when I started in '78), and I certainly knew people who did view their characters as pieces rather than people. But these are just quibbles, and the main thrust of your argument is correct. Like you I am disapointed in the dogma that has built up about what happened the old days.
The old days were a lot more diverse than current "history" suggests.
Stumbled across your blog from Eternal Keep, so I was not drawn by the rant or sarcasm. Though couched as a rant, there is some valuable thought here. I will stop by again.

Bret Winters

Joseph said...

Hell, I wasn't aware that "Grognard" *was* an insult. Obviously. ;-)

Joseph, the Greyhawk Grognard