I moved to a new place, left behind the best gaming crew of my life, and settled into a new routine that didn’t include any tabletop gaming. Boy did that suck.
So I resolved recently to change it. I found another guy in town who plays some D&D and we’re gonna rustle up a couple other players for a monthly (maybe more frequent) game of D&D. I’m running it and I decided to go with 3.5 because… well I really don’t like 4e. I had a lot of opinions about it when it came out, and God knows I’ve complained a bunch about 3.5 and D&D in general, but overall I’ve had more fun with 3.5 than I have with 4e. This got me thinking about my complaining as a habit.
You see, like all people I complain. I have lambasted D&D for being too clunky, too antiquitous. I rail against WoTC for stripping out the roleplaying and turning it into a fantasy board game. I am all about story-based games. I extol the virtues of Indie Press Revolution, or GURPS, or White Wolf… and some of my best games ever were basically homebrew systems. And when I complain about Attacks of Opportunity or Grappling or 2hours to make an NPC in D&D those complaints are genuine.
They are also the complaints of a guy who really loves tabletop roleplaying, and D&D in particular. D&D was my first love, and there remains a deeply nostalgic corner of my heart that secretly enjoys searching through dozens of tables to get the information I seek, while my vocal public side decries bad game-design. I like crunchy tomes full of monsters, and rules to describe every stupid little situation you can imagine. I actually enjoy having so many character options that it takes a week to completely hammer out the details of my next PC.
I’m sure the novelty will wear off again, once the “I haven’t roleplayed in a year” energy subsides. Then I’ll be trying to persuade my gaming group to move on to a better, more streamlined, more narrative-friendly system – like Mouseguard.
For now though… I have to go crack open my Psionics Handbook to figure out how the different modes of psionic combat work when I throw that Illithid at my players.