I'm up in the mountains had to help cut some limbs that were a fire hazard and also trying to get some work done up here where it's cooler.
Got to play 4e again last night. I'm going to claim responsibility for warping the DM who is also my player to oldschool ways. I'm always blathering about old school stuff when he's around and I gave him Exquisite Corpses book as a gift. Last time I played his game we fought some sogothy-frog creature (I crawled up its cloaca and was attacking its brain from the inside, heh heh). There was a weird fountain feeding into its pool which had water that gives permanent magical effects. One sip gave me the ability to split my body into a swarm of centipedes and then reform. But there seemed to be an air of danger, so one sip was enough for me. Well, fast forward a few play sessions that I've missed. I show up and the party gnome has shifted gender and the other party member's head is now a skull with bleeding eyes! Apparently the gnome has a craving for drinking the damn magical water and still carries several bottles.
We killed a mummy. Then encountered a bird creature with four strong legs. The DM seemed sure we were doomed when he saw its stats but the gnome offered it some of the special water, DM rolls . . . its thirsty, it starts drinking! Ha ha. Uh oh, one drink heals it, then its immune to poison, suddenly its ESP allows us to hear its squawking in our minds. Finally, it takes one sip too many and dies. And that made us go up in level (of course, in 4e we seem to go up in level like every three fights). Craziness.
Just a bit of anecdotal data. Talking with one of the players from that session, he excitedly told me, "Did you hear they're putting out the old rules again, in the red box?" I don't think this player started as far back as Mentzer, so nostalgia wasn't an issue here, he just seemed to think it was cool. When I set him straight on what came in the red box (a streamlined version of the game we were playing that moment) he seemed disappointed and even put out. Might not be a good idea to get tricky with your marketing.
It looks like I'm going to get to DM again next Friday. Interesting thing is, might have several brand new players again. The young woman asking me about playing was taking it all as a joke, you know ha ha, "Should I wear a costume?" I know some bloggers talk about how people they meet don't really have a conception of roleplaying, or even think roleplaying is interesting, yadda yadda. Listen, I have never met a non-gamer that doesn't consider D&D juvenile, satanic or both. We have a serious marketing issue here. How did a fad that swept the whole nation become such an outsider hobby?
Anyway, for this young woman and her friends I think I'll have to make a very dark gritty adventure, maybe in a sinking dungeon. Filthy water, floating rotten things, traps that sever limbs. You know, to welcome her to the hobby. I'm half joking. I would definitely try to show her, yes we can drink, have fun, be social, even be goofy, but it can be really fun when are hearts start beating quickly because we aren't sure if our character can get out of the muddy temple of evil alive.
I like how a lot of blogs have been doing monsters and movie reviews and all kinds of Halloweeny stuff for October. I thought, "Hey, maybe I should do that." But then I realized almost everything I post is creepy. Maybe I should do the opposite and try to post the most positive, gauzy, elfy, happy stuff I can invent, ha ha. Hope you're having a great weekend.
Everyone keeps mentioning that the negative D&D stereotype persist for them. Maybe it's my social circle, but I've never encountered a negative reaction when I mentioned that I played D&D. Maybe it's an east-coat thing? Maybe the penetration of computer RPGs has made the regular type of gaming more acceptable? I dunno. It would be kind of fun to meet someone who thought D&D was Satanic.ReplyDelete
Then again, I *do* remember a session where one of my very Christian players invited his wife. She spent most of the session in her car reading her Bible and praying for guidance. :)
And yeah, maybe I do remember a few friends from college that think I'm a tad dorky for continuing with the D&D stuff. They must think it's terribly low-tech because they are fine with computer games.
I've heard altogether too many comments along the lines of "you dress up to play, right?"ReplyDelete
And I'm all about taking newcomers to D&D and putting them through a filthy, reeking, perilous, unheroic ordeal when busting their cherry.
I blame the term "role-playing," with its suggestion of psychological fusion with the character, flamboyant play-acting, even sexual games.ReplyDelete
While "cooperative adventure game" may still seem juvenile, it's a more accurate description of what D&D is. Unfortunately, the RPG term is so widely known that a bait-and-switch is not likely to be successful - "Oh, wait, we're playing Dungeons and Dragons aren't we? And me without a costume!"
One gateway product to try might be a boardgame such as AEG's The Adventurers. It's a treasure-gathering dungeon crawl in an Indiana Jones setting, with no combat but plenty of traps, hazards and ways to die.
How did a fad that swept the whole nation become such an outsider hobby?ReplyDelete
I wonder about this a lot. I wonder if, even during the early 80s fad, how many people knew what roleplaying was. I wonder how many people just bought the game but never actually played - or maybe tried a few times and gave up.
In my experience, D&D has pretty negative associations primarily amongst other roleplayers. "Serious roleplayers" seemed to be really focused on NEW games: FATE, Mage, Savage Worlds, WoD, etc. I find many of these folks have a thinly concealed disdain for D&D, and all this old school stuff is totally off their radar.
On the other hand, most non-gamers I know (and tend to play with most often) are intrigued and curious about D&D - it's the only RPG they've ever even heard of in most cases.
Hi all, well, I am prone to hyperbole, so maybe not every non-gamer I meet acts that way. But let me put it this way, no one has every said, "You play D&D, cool!"ReplyDelete
Ah well, remember E.T.? I read the novelization before seeing the movie (I'm pretty sure) and was so stoked to read about the protagonist playing D&D and mention of a portable hole. In a blockbuster!
I do remember practically freaking out when Freaks and Geeks featured D&D as a serious plot element in the game. I remember D&D in E.T. too, but that didn't seem so weird to me because I was so much younger.ReplyDelete
@Cyclopeatron: "In my experience, D&D has pretty negative associations primarily amongst other roleplayers. "Serious roleplayers" seemed to be really focused on NEW games: FATE, Mage, Savage Worlds, WoD, etc. I find many of these folks have a thinly concealed disdain for D&D, and all this old school stuff is totally off their radar."ReplyDelete
Strange. I'm making a game with the Fate ruleset and got fed up enough with trying to figure out how combat works that I added in the health systems from AD&D and Shadowrun. Maybe I'm not serious enough? :D Also, why do you think they have a problem with it? What would have given it a negative aspect (no pun intended)?