Ahoy hoy fellow nerds! Game snobbery is something that has been floating around in my head lately, especially since The Battlehammer has been road tripping to gaming conventions and seeing a whole new world of possibilities. Now I seem to enjoy all sorts of games from video games and board games to miniature games and rpgs. I’m not talking about a game preference, we’re all entitled to not get excited about the new Mario game if you’re more of a Risk fan. I mean not liking a particular game for snobbish reasons. Now for me the classic example would be the roleplaying behemoth that is Dungeons & Dragons.
Up until a little while ago I hadn’t played it for years. It was my first ever foray into rpgs and was really just a step up from the Fighting Fantasy books. It was a pure dungeon bash with whatever monsters the DM felt like trying out and no sense of internal logic. Occasionally he’d throw a Rust Monster in the mix if he felt we had too much stuff or make us fight something that was immune to the new shiny magic weapon we’d randomly rolled just to be a dick. Any new characters that joined in if party members died would have to start as fresh faced level ones (no doubt getting immediately killed) and towns were just an excuse to check the equipment book to see what we could spend our gold on. OK, we were just kids but from then on it tainted my outlook on D&D till just last year.
Since then I’ve roleplayed in RIFTS, GURPS and all the way through the World of Darkness. I’ve been all through history, from celtic Britain through the crusades via the wild west and medieval Japan. I’ve been in both the big Stars (Wars and Trek) and sci-fi from the near future till the suns start to fade. Somehow, I’d always managed to avoid D&D though. There were always the same excuses: you can’t put your spin on it, the system isn’t great, level progression isn’t realistic and so on. In truth, I just didn’t want to play the game that I’d played as a kid cos I thought I was better than that. I was being a snob.
Now just last year I played Pathfinder (D&D in all but name) and I had a great time. All the roleplaying experience I had could now be used in this game. Strangely, all the “negatives” I had about the game became useful. Our GM has got the whole job and kids thing going on so doesn’t have the time to write adventures from scratch, goo job the world’s full of them. The level system means he can make sure that the ones we play won’t be too hard or too easy. Us players don’t need to worry about how we spend our XP as we go from level to level. Most importantly the game has focussed around the characters and their shenanigans. The time Chris chopped the top off Jons evlen ear with a fumble. Nick scaring the townspeople of Sandpoint by using his flying scroll to whizz all around the place. Or when I ended up facing off against a giant bat creature and it nearly bit my head off. Good times.
What I’m trying to say is give things a chance. As good (or bad) a game can be, it’s the experience that counts. Enjoying time with your mates while creating stories that’ll be remembered. Right, I’m off to dig out Genarro Grush (my level 4 Fighter) and do some adventuring!
Until next time gentle readers!