Monday, January 9, 2017

My Life as a Gamer: Return of the Old School

The tabletop RPG world has, quite frankly, been as useless as a rifle to a limbless gimp for about a decade now. As such, I've been turning back to older games over the last decade. Why? Because the first thing you do once you realized that a change done fucked things up is to immediately stop, turn right the fuck around, and revert every single change made--in order of operation--until you unfuck it.

So that's why I've dumped my newer TRPG collections in favor of rebuilding the older stuff, because (a) those motherfuckers don't hate me and (b) that shit actually worked without requiring consultation of external sources or meta-game bullshit to achieve expected results- especially now that I actually know where a lot of those decisions stemmed from. I started with my D&D shelf; just Basic and Advanced (1st edition) now. Then I resumed collection Palladium materials, and now I'm looking to rebuild my original Star Wars RPG collection while I wait to see if the new edition of TORG delivers.

Just as I returned to Car Wars and BattleTech, I'm coming home to the games that I know work and aren't being run by people who hate me. Yeah, as-written there's some issues, but easily handled by some line-item rulings. (Removing the "X Parry" skills, for example, in TORG and Star Wars.) I'm not at all shy about downloading PDFs and using Lulu (e.g.) for personal print copies, when I can't get them on the cheap, and I'm not fussed about a lack of sourcebooks because sites like Wookiepedia have all that I require.

And that's assuming that I'm not making all of my own material, which I now can do quite easily with all of the online resources available to me. I haven't needed some game publisher to tell me how to play in a long time, and no one else does either- something that people with skin in the tabletop RPG game know very well indeed. No, not even for convenience; read wiki articles on your lunch break, jot down notes after dinner before bed, watch some videos for this or that, and DONE! Ready to play.

And while some has proto-versions of the narrative logic bullshit afflicting gaming now, that too can be either turned or destroyed with ease to make the game a better one. Ditto with all of the retarded reliance on randomness that kills the influence of player skill and acumen; the alleged goals can be had by better means, means consistent with being proper fucking games. Time to make good on a promise: that there is no such thing as an obsolete tabletop RPG.

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