Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Answer to yesterday's pop quiz

A: Treating retroclone gaming as different from gaming using the original systems is a triumph of style over substance, an ongoing victory for TSR's long-defunct marketing department.

Are you interested in joining a tribe based upon consumer identity/brand loyalty or do you enjoy a specific play experience? Wrong! That's a trick question coming from an OSR guy. The non-hypocritical answer is "yes". But to put it another way: which would you buy, your favorite edition of D&D rebranded as Poop: The Poopening but otherwise identical, or an actual turd with an ampersand and two D's on it? Yes, I know that's a false dichotomy. And it can be read as another anti-4e attack. But I'm not slagging on 4e here. After all, it's only a matter of years before it's dustbinned, like all its predecessors. Why be mean? Let the 4e fans enjoy their Official Support while they've got it, I say.

If you got the answer right, give yourself one of these:

If you spent all your time making fun of the loop-de-loop in the red line then you have to stay after class and pound erasers.

PS to Jim Raggi: Even the coolest band has fans who genuinely believe that the first album was their only good one. Don't knock yourself out selling neoturds to guys with all the crap they need. Great, that metaphor is completely getting away from me.

PPS to Jim Raggi or anyone else that cares: Helloween any good? I was reminded of their existence while researching artists with schizophrenia.


  1. I didn't have time to make my comment on the previous post. But before reading your answer, my comment was going to be:

    "You've been reading too much Dragonsfoot."

    Which, I believe to be the right answer.

    A lot of people want that turd with an official "D&D" stamped on it. They just want it to be THEIR turd.

  2. Helloween recommendations:

    Walls of Jericho
    Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt II
    Better Than Raw

    Most would put Keeper Pt I up there as well.

    Avoid Chameleon and Pink Bubbles Go Ape.

  3. Pink Bubbles Go Ape == really bad.

  4. @Jeff, that is some wicked old-school, schoolin' you've done there my friend!

    On a totally unrelated note, might you add a search widget to your blog so we might procure the wizardly insight in a more timely/effective fashion?

    /Fight on!

  5. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Helloween is great. Keeper of the Seven Keys pt 2 is one of the greatest Epic Adventure Metal albums of all time.

  6. Anonymous5:16 PM

    One day I really think you'll look back on all of these really bitter posts and think of all the gaming you missed out on due to your own brand loyalties, the friends you missed making, and community you separated yourself from and you'll feel embarrassed. It's all just gaming, no matter what edition. Too much resentment eventually just poisons you.

  7. pseckler: This post isn't bitter. Hell, to me it looks like outreach.

    jeff: P:tP was garbage before Rev4. I can't believe you didn't make that distinction in your post!! You OSR guys are all the same. Don't you know that Poopening 4R gives you the exact game experience you want no matter what it is? In *my* 4R games mutants with acidic fart weapons ride skeletal rocs from space station to space station to fight psionic witches from dimension 5. We play entirely BtB and haven't rolled a single D20 in ten months of real time. So there.

  8. Oddly enough, all the talk about....you know what...has made me want to go...you know what. In contrast to all the bitching and moaning for the umpteenth time about "My D&D experience is more authentic than your D&D experience" taking place elsewhere, which has made me want to vomit.

  9. pseckler - We're on such different wavelengths here I don't really know what to say, other than to state that when I wrote "I'm not slagging on 4e here" I meant it.

  10. pseckler's right Jeff, you are. I play Labyrinth Lord weekly and enjoy it immensely, I don't play 4E, but feel I have to chime in to show than not all of us retro roleplayers to put a more moderate point of view across as this post is misrepresenting what old school is supposed to be about: sharing the beauty of playing simpler systems. It isn't supposed to be about slagging off newer, more complex, ones bearing any particular name or brand, no matter how you, I or anyone else might feel about them. That, my friend, is pure tribalism... the very thing you set out to criticise.

  11. Anonymous5:05 AM

    I quoted Helloween in one of my posts a while back, fun band.

    Say, Jeff, did you receive an email from me within the past two days?

  12. Recursion King: I'm giving myself an F for clarity on this post because my whole point was the irrelevance of getting to worked up about whether a game bears any particular name or brand.

  13. "...mutants with acidic fart weapons ride skeletal rocs from space station to space station to fight psionic witches from dimension 5."

    I am sooo going to use this for a future MF encounter...

  14. Anonymous8:14 AM

    Maybe I read it wrong. The thing is, whether it's here or not, there's just too much resentment. It's all just gaming.

  15. The problem is that there's been so much "old school" this and "retro-games" that ... people are starting to resent all the resentment out there, and then new people resent that, and everybody's so fed up that when Jeff posts a basically "let's all get along" message with some humor in it, everyone figures it's just more resentment and they resent it.

    At this point, everybody resents everybody else. We should all lie low and make silly noises for a while, pretending to be army rangers signaling each other.

    Anyone who's an actual army ranger may have to find a different game, or another edition of the silly noises game, or it will seem too much like work.

  16. Anonymous4:10 PM

    We should all lie low and make silly noises for a while, pretending to be army rangers signaling each other.

    The chair is against the wall; the chair is against the wall.

    John has a long mustache; John has a long mustache.

  17. I resent your post Matt.

    Ok, just kidding

  18. Even I, who loves me some New Wave above all else, liked the one Helloween album I've heard.

  19. well, I've been thinking about it more and decided that I'd get offended that you mentioned Helloween. Why not Savatage, man? Why not? ;)