Monday, May 4, 2015

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

I was up till 4am or so and I was thinking, you know, if I was back in Seattle I'd probably be willing to take a crack at playing 5E. I might even throw down for a PHB to see what kind of character builds I could wrangle from the system.


This is probably more a sign of gaming withdrawal then a sign of kindled interest in 5E. And yet, I find that there is interesting stuff to do (still) with the dumb-dumb brain of D&D that my more "serious" concepts can't. I mean, where else can you find a halfling fighter coupled with a dwarf cleric, a half-elven thief, and a human "pick it." Thematically, such a group is ridiculous outside the confines of one's favorite console fantasy game (and I'm really not into video games these days). But in D&D, it's just "the way things are;" I don't think anyone playing D&D with any amount of enjoyment is looking too closely at the logic of the thing. There's nothing terribly logical to it.

And I'd love to play a halfling fighter. Really!
: )

I went so far as to dig out my PDF of 5E "basic" and (mentally) go through the steps of creating such a character...something that would fit the concept in my head, yet still be kind of mechanically badass. I was struck again by just how terrible and incomplete the new "Basic Rules" incomplete they are, while still being needlessly wordy with pages and pages of dross. But even so, a halfling fighter of the kind I envision could be created pretty easily, and better (i.e. more satisfying to me) than any edition ever. Yes, for the kind of ridiculously non-standard character I imagine, the new Basic can make it the best, much as I hate to admit it. I could fall in love with such a character fairly easily...but would the rest of the game as written support my enjoyment of play?

Mmm...maybe not so much.

Something like this guy...but shorter and acrobatic.
Much as I like where my "Holmse-ian Knock-Off" was going (with the ancient South American setting and skill trees and whatnot), is it too serious? Probably. At the expense of fun? Maybe. Would I like to play it? Yes, yes I would...but I'd also like to run a half-orc ranger chick named Hark the Huntress. Just for kicks. 'Cause I'm weird like that.

There's space in my brain for both sides of fantasy...there's just not the time in my life to play both.

[of course, at the moment, there's no time (or opportunity) to play either]

I can list problems with most every edition of D&D...personal dislikes, perhaps, but ones that others have echoed to me over the years. There's stuff about 5th edition I dislike a lot, just with regard to system mechanics (spell inflation, cantrips, "channeling divinity," rogues rolling D8s for Hit Dice?!, and most everything about the wizard class), but there are other bits that I think are pretty good. Being able to create some bizarre character combos is one of those things.

*sigh* Sorry...I don't have much time at the moment, and my brain is a little out of practice for the blogging thing. Last week was fairly hectic. First, my housekeeper (who also acts as my translator for Guaranii and occasional nanny help) did a face-plant off her motorcycle the one day she forgot her helmet here, then there was the four day weekend (happy Paraguayan Teacher's Day! happy Paraguayan Labor Day!) that shut down most everything in town except my wife's work, then there's the normal bullshit like the internet in this country being so very, very subpar. Suffice is to say, with another four day weekend coming up (happy Paraguayan Mother's Day! happy Paraguayan Independence Day!...have I mentioned they really like their holidays here? skipping work and shooting fireworks are major pastimes) and still trying to get the household in order, posting will probably be sporadic and dismal with regard to quality.

Apologies in advance.

[hmmm...upon reflection, perhaps the desire for ridiculous escapism stems from "real life" events]

Anyway...I don't have access to funny shaped dice at the moment, nor do I have any way to purchase hardcover games (the new PHB isn't available as a PDF), so hopefully this madness will pass before I actually blow any cash on WotC. But...well, it's stuck in my mind now. I really do need to do some more reflection on the subject.



  1. I have a dice-rolling app on my iPhone. It makes travelling without dice a lot easier.

  2. @ BTS:

    Yeah, I've considered that. For me, it just ain't the same thing.

    Though I suppose it's better to be prepared (with such technology) than not.