Monday, April 18, 2005

Kids These Days

or Projection Can Be Fun

A recent thread on RPGnet discusses the theoretical horrors of trimming your D&D book collection down to just 10 texts plus the PHB, DMG, and MM. What do you do? (Highlight the bottom of this post for the correct answer.) These sorts of threads both attract and repulse me. Now I admit that my game collection is pretty dang large. And that I have a room in my house just for gaming crap. And that I can't keep track of how many individual versions of D&D I own. But still, ten books plus the three core? Oh boo fucking hoo, the tragedy of it all. What ten books do I choose? It's questions like these that cause my existential gorge to rise because debating such trifles lays bare the dread truth of the hobby: we're all a bunch of prancing nancy boys spending way too much money on stupid D&D books. We're frickin' diletanttes when we should be gamers. Days like this I get the urge to quit buying game crap cold turkey and just start running a game with a bare bones rules set and my own frickin' imagination. Where did I make the wrong turn? Was it those four Advanced books bought so many years ago at a K-Mart after-Christmas sale? I had hardly played my D&D Basic and Expert sets at that point. Was it all the other TSR games I purchased over the next couple of years? We barely got past chargen for most of them, with an occasional single run of Gamma World or Star Frontiers. Was it Unearthed Arcana? Somewhere along the way I got a nasty combination of the collector bug, variantitis and inflamed completist syndrome. And the hobby is all too ready to feed these dark urges. Meanwhile, I am dead certain that I have yet to fully plumb the depths of any single D&D book I own, including my precious '81 Basic rules.

A: Shoot the hostage.