What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook - 7th Print Edition

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Throwing out the Orc Baby with the Bath Water?

One of the many blogs I follow is Jim's of LotFP.  He posted an entry today entitled "What's An Orc Baby's Maximum Strength Score?" as a criticism of some of the crap being tossed around on the WOTC forums talking about the design of the new edition of D&D.  From what I understand, the hot topic which got some people fuming was concerning 'Sexual Dimorphism'.  In what will serve to be a reminder, people who get copies of the AD&D reprints WOTC is putting out will see that, in terms of Strength males and females aren't equal and nor are males or females when comparing to their gender to those of other races.  When I started playing AD&D, I didn't mind that an Elf might not be as strong as a Dwarf and so on... in fact, it made a lot of sense to me back then.  The gender thing was something I just something I ignored.  There are *many* things that I chose to ignore and not use.

However, being someone who had read and followed his blog and publishing efforts for a few years now, I also did have a big laugh at something he wrote:

"Game design is not a checklist, and a good game is more than the sum of its mechanics."

I applaud this comment but I laughed because of who it's coming from given his previously demonstrated distaste for newer editions of D&D and some 'modern gamers'.  Truly, there is nothing wrong with that and I'm sure that without his perseverance and dedication to his vision, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the many fruits of his labors!  My point is that, mechanics *are* important -- if they weren't, Jim may have never found the need to create his Weird Fantasy Roleplaying.  On my end, I would never have been compelled to do the work I'm in the process of now with the Ballista Rules Companion.  Mechanics do count.

But I also know what he's saying here.  Regardless of the mechanic, a great game is about how the story is told, how we all interact, as well as the setting we happen to be exploring.  If there is no good story to be told, then not even the 'perfect game system' will help.  I hope I will enjoy what I see with 5th Edition is released because I was really disappointed with what 4th Edition had to offer.  I had the opportunity to play in a 4th Edition campaign and I had a blast but all that had to do with the story that was being told and the participants and nothing to do with the system.  Again, I completely get what Jim is saying.

Thanks for reading!

M