Why I Don’t Like D&D Part 00001 – It’s Considered the Standard RPG

It's winter and gaming is on my mind so I'm going to be starting some running commentary about games for your reading pleasure.  This is the first of my running rant about Dungeons and Dragons, note that even though I personally can't stand this game, I have nothing against it's players or their opinions and will be happy to hear contrary opinions on the matter, though I can pretty much guarantee you won't be changing my mind.

#00001  It's Considered the Standard RPG
Can you imagine if when someone discovered the potato, he created fries and then everyone decided that was the only food that could be made out of potatoes, french fries, homestyle fries, salted fries, twisty fries, crinkle fries… that's it.
That's how I feel about the modern computer RPG's.  I acknowledge that Gary Gyjax was a pioneer, but 25 years after he developed D&D, modern computer RPG's are unable to move beyond some of his most rudimentary and simplistic designs even when it's obvious that a variant would serve their purposes better.  D&D is always level-based, it is always Tolkeenesque, which I find quite absurd.  Can you imagine if all science fiction writing had to include Romulans and Vulcans to be accepted as a viable Sci-fi space setting?  So why does every fantasy setting have to include Orc's and Elves?  Sure, they're fine as ideas go, but there's no rule anywhere that says that every fucking fantasy setting has to have them, it's just that one series of games that only a tiny portion of the world ever played plagiarized them from one author, and they're suddenly considered the standard, anything else just wouldn't survive as a fantasy concept in the computer gaming world.
There were games invented that have succeeded that aren't level based, they don't have elves and dwarves and orcs, they don't have rolled stats and they are actually playable without banning a certain class from play, or needing a dozen house rules just so things make sense.  But for some reason these ideas get tossed by the wayside in favor of the same old Tolkeenesque, clunky level-based concepts with no consistency in the rules, or grounding in reality.
So that's the first reason I don't like D&D.

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About Helmsman

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One Response to Why I Don’t Like D&D Part 00001 – It’s Considered the Standard RPG

  1. Knights, elves, orcs, and mages. These characters from Fantasy RPG's.They are based on the mythos of the middle ages. Tolkien didnt create orcs and elves he only used them in his version of a middle earth/middle ages saga.
    Anyway, its not that all RPGs are the same.Take a look at World of Warcraft. Aside from the online game they have an RPG that has aliens. In fact that came out prior to the now infamous WoW (which I admit to playing).
    Theres another type of RPG called "horror survival" which is what all of those Zombie games are and RPG also would include Indigo Dream (no elves,orcs or other guest stars from middle earth) Mirrors Edge, America McGees Alice and Sanitarium. All of those different types of Role Playing Games do not have the fantasy template usually associated with D & D.
    And all fantasy does not follow Tolkein. That would be like saying all science follows Einstien. Fantasy existed before Tolkien and so did his charater sketches with the exception of the "hobbit".
    Tolkien even admitted that most of his characters were taken from books he himself read.
    Ouch…I sprained my nerd gland. Excuse me while I go ice it down….

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