Saturday, January 20, 2024

Something New

I wrote three-quarters of a rather long post yesterday (the son's birthday) that I didn't have a chance to finish/publish...what else is new?...

[at least it wasn't particularly maudlin...THAT long post happened a couple days before (when I was more than usually drunk) and will probably stay, lingering, on the draft board as a reminder of my "inner darkness." I was just in a rather depressed mood that evening]

...*ahem* a rather looong post attempting to explain why D&D as designed is eminently suitable to its role as an adventure game, as opposed, pretty much any other game that gets categorized these days as an "RPG."

[we are, of course, NOT discussing "computer RPGs;" for purposes of my writing here, I have zero interest in CRPGs]

Anyhoo, I didn't finish it because A) time constraints, and B) I was having a hard time nailing my point or (perhaps) bringing the argument/thesis around to a satisfying conclusion (satisfying to me at any rate). Why do other not beholden to elves and swords and wizards and dragons...just, flat out suck for long-term, experiential adventure gaming?

Why indeed.

SO, while out driving today, or musing a bit, or...SOMEthing....a new idea popped into my head. A new, interesting (maybe) project. Kind of a culmination, or (better) a possible synthesis of a NUMBER of ideas I've had over the years. For a particular game design. 

As usual, this particular idea is a bit...daunting. 

So that's all I want to say at the moment. If anything comes of it, I'll write more. I just want to spend a couple days/nights tinkering with the idea. That's all; just...tinkering. 

My son is a teenager, by the way. 13. I started this blog two years before he was born. It's been a long road. A long, long road.

Peace and love, folks.


  1. Hm, I disagree with the premise on the face of it, so you're going to have to really work to sell me on it. Traveller is the obvious counterexample.

    1. Traveller is an interesting game. There's a lot I like about it; there's a LOT I dislike about it.

      Set aside those things for the moment: with regard to the procedural game play (which is what I was writing about), Traveller may"fairly close" to D&D (close in terms of simplicity and ease of use). But it lacks the "drivers" (i.e. the things that drive action in play) of D&D. Which is not to say it has NO "drivers;" it just lacks in comparison.

      It's the lack that causes it to fall down over extended play.

      BUT...this may well be due to me being a simpleton when it comes to this style of RPG play (evidence: I've never been able to get it to function on a level even approaching BASIC D&D play, let alone 'advanced'). Non-simpleton folks may have no probs with Traveller and its ilk.

      HOWEVER: I want a game that works even for the simps (like me). Hence the idea behind the new project.
      ; )

    2. Well, I look forward to your more complete essay on it.

  2. I tend to agree that D&D lends itself to more player driven long term play. I would say something like Gama World also does. Maybe T2000 but I have never played. Games with exploration and a mix of uncivilized and civilized areas. Big maps with adventure spots dotting them.

    I've played long campaigns of Shadowrun and CoC. But both were "gig economy" games where the adventures were DM driven basicaly here is the next job. Fun but nothing like the freedom of a good D&D sandbox. Sure maybe in Shadowrun we might make a revenge run on an enemy. Or a Heist to nab equipment but mostly taking jobs from a Mr. Johnson.

    1. As a long time Shadowrun GM I have to disagree with your presentation of the long-term play potential. While you *can* play it 'mostly taking jobs from Mr. Johnson', that is not the only way to play. Just like you *can* play D&D only going into dungeons.

      That said, Shadowrun is still arguably "beholden to elves and swords and wizards and dragons", so it's not a good counter to JBs point. :)

  3. "Why do other not beholden to elves and swords and wizards and dragons...just, flat out suck for long-term, experiential adventure gaming?"

    After I stopped laughing I thought, "My 7+ year long Star Trek Adventures campaign is unable to answer your question." Neither is my 3+ year Champions campaign, our 6 year long Hogwarts/Wizarding World homebrew, etc.

    In all seriousness, I would very much like to read your thoughts though if you do post it.