Friday, July 30, 2010

My lawn: get off it.

My patience with games seems to be sliding inexorably toward the Abyss.

Large page counts dampen my enthusiasm.

Any complexity north of AD&D sours me.

Games that get too meta with the narrative no longer appeal to me.

I find that, while I have a substantial collection of rpgs, my tastes continue to grow narrower. When a game doesn't fit my increasingly exacting specifications, it goes back on my shelf, or I take a scalpel to it. (As I have been doing with Dead Reign and want to do with RIFTS. gods help me.)

I want quick character generation. I want quick combat that doesn't require minis. I want task resolution to be either ad hoc or incredbilyfrigginsimple. I want books that aren't thick enough to double as anti-shiv body armor. I thought this was just a phase, but my brain and attention span continue to reject games that I even want to learn, like Shadowrun 4e and The Dresden Files RPG.

This may my brain going into survival mode, as my unlimited free time will be quite limited starting next week and progressing into next May as I edumacate them chilluns. It might also be precipitous slide towards the age of thirty (one year, one month, and four days...) It might also be one of those phases I go through.

Another pop-psychology theory is that my previous career was so mentally unengaging that I needed my hobby to step it up to keep my brain from pickling inside my skull. That subject, however, goes beyond the scope of this blog.

Save the complication for the dilemmas the PCs find themselves entangled in, I say.


  1. Amen brother. Even Rogue Trader has defeated my best efforts to knuckle down and get a handle on the game which is infuriating as it's predominatly WFRP, a game which I know like the back of my hand.

    I too have noticed that there is a indirect correlation between challenge in the workplace and challenge in my hobby interests.

  2. I don't know may just be that I'm older AND crankier than you, but there's a lot of style withOUT much substance these days. I feel your pain.

    And, no, I don't think it's ONLY that I'm too old. It's like when I turn on the hard rock radio station and everything not written by someone pushing 50 is crap. Sometimes I wonder, am I just getting too old to appreciate the new stuff? Then I hear the 2005 Wolfmother album and say, oh wait, there ARE some people still making cool tunes.

  3. Oh, I agree... not everything new is automatically crap, just like everything old isn't automatically golden. See also: last summer's failed attempts to learn Rolemaster 2nd edition.

    A lot of the new stuff is gorgeous... Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Dresden Files, etc, etc... but my brain has entered a mode where I want to get playing without having to read a book that rivals a Brit Lit anthology in terms of thickness. I want a game system that I can run more-or-less from memory.

  4. @ Ryan: But do you mind looking at tables? Or would you prefer everything to be calculations in your head?

  5. Actually, I do like tables. I just don't want to do things like look up Skill X because I can't remember what the difficulty is to do Action Y, etc, etc.

    Now, I do like fun tables: wandering monsters, technological mishaps, random mutations. I don't care for Wilderness Survival Guide-esque things like chance for food to spoil in humid enviornments, or chance to start fire when you have a cold and you're in sub-temperate plateaus and you're kind of in a bad mood.

  6. TL;DR


    I feel your pain and sympathise wholeheartedly. My newest rule of thumb is "Rulebook thicker than my index finger = Kthxbye"

  7. hm, edumacate... are you from Hawaii by chance?

  8. Aberrant- No, I was be facetious. I am far from Hawaii, unfortunately.

  9. I hit this after I finished a D&D 3.5 campaign, got married, and started looking towards parenthood. I went on a quest to find a replacement game, and am now an official Savage Worlds fan. Simple rules, universally applicable (or as universal as any ruleset).

    Yes, it uses minis, but they're not critical. I only break 'em out for the Important Stuff.