Thursday, January 13, 2022

On the Barista Thing

 Every time I say "The discourse around D&D couldn't possibly get any dumber," the discourse says "Hold my beer." 

At least I didn't engage this time. I will, however, summarize the broil as I understand it: 


People who never liked 5e continue to dislike 5e. 


Did I miss anything? 

9 comments:

  1. I didn't participate in that particular argument, I avoid these things as much as possible. I do count myself among people who wanted to like 5E, who earnestly hoped that the wizards were going to take the brand back toward something that felt like D&D after the debacle of 4E. I feel... disappointed.


    I bought the core books and one of the adventures. As time goes on, the brand and the culture WotC is fostering feels less and less like Hyboria or Lankhmar and more like Shannara or some fantasy version of a bad highschool drama.

    I guess WotC won't get any more of my money and less of my attention or support. That seems to be what they want. I'll have to accept that.

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    1. Meanwhile, I personally never read much of that source material, so I never needed D&D to feel like Lankhmar. At the risk of some of my tenuous street cred, I first learned about Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser from AD&D1's Legends and Lore book.

      I am with you on the culture feeling less and less like "my" D&D. The stuff I grew up with was the Rules Cyclopedia and AD&D2. I was already starting to recognize the game less when 3.0 came along with it's "everybody needs thirty belt buckles" aesthetic.

      It is what it is. The OSR has a dearth of stuff to appeal to every single idiosyncratic interpretation of Ye Olde D&D, so I'm not starved for material.

      I have a memory of middle school, where my friends and I were crowded around a stack of the PHB brown book series, and one of us was creating a cleric of war and excited to use a sword. My friend's uncle looked up from his game of Populous on the PC and grumbled, "A cleric can use a SWORD? This game is polluted." I guess it's our turn to be old Uncle Randy now.

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    2. Ha! My kid is "Uncle Randy" now (for a year +, we've been looking for a 'male human cleric' blister every time we're in a store that sells minis, and the only ones we've found feature a dude with a sword. His disgust is loud and vocal).

      Sounds like I came into the hobby earlier than you (circa '82) but my first learning of Lankhmar came from L&L, too. At least I knew Conan from Marvel comics (and some vinyl records...remember those?).
      ; )

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    3. Yeah, I was born in autumn '81, so....I think '91 was when I entered the hobby.

      If you're feeling bougie, just shell out twenty bucks and let your kid design his own bludgeon-using cleric on Hero Forge, haha.

      My early fantasy literature dipped heavily into the Dragonlance novels, so a lot of my D&D education was an ouroboros, of sorts. I also got into a weird smattering of David Eddings and a few other things during those early years.

      After writing the reply above, I reached out to the friend whose house and uncle it was, and she totally remembered that moment. She even remembered a detail or two that I had forgotten.

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  2. Um...regarding brouhahas (whether past or ongoing):

    Everything's going to be disliked by someone; everyone's going to have something they dislike. My mother has a magnet on her fridge that says:

    "The more you complain, the longer God lets you live."

    Venting our spleens is cathartic. Wasting too much time on venting is probably, um, "wasting too much time." That's why I just like to work in the occasional barb (when the opportunity presents itself) and save my REAL bitching-moaning blog posts for...maybe...one every 6-12 months.

    Just healthier.
    ; )

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    1. I try not to waste a lot of energy on it these days if I can help it. (And sometimes I can't help it.) The game has moved on. Pretending like OG TSR would've been much different is silly, in my opinion. Look back at all the AD&D merch in the 80's, the cartoon, the (thankfully) aborted movie they tried to do back then. (Not talking about the ones that got made after WotC took the wheel.) Companies make products they think people want to buy, and they make them so that people will buy them. If this is what the present generation wants, this is what WizBro will make. TSR would've had a business plan as well, and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have involved "appeal to the aging and shrinking demographic of people who want to keep D&D ideologically pure." (Whatever the fuck that even means, btw...)

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  3. I was completely unaware of the "barista" problem. And now that I know about it, I don't care.

    I'm really tired of outrage for the sake of outrage.

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  4. Ironically, the parts of that silly little freebie module that bother me most are the bits that are closest to many folks' stated conceptions of what Old School was like. Ungodly deadly monsters jammed into an implausible location with no warning, explanation or thought for ecology? Yeah, that's way more early TSR era than 5e. Those magma mephits in the coffee machine are just the kind of gonzo BS that the crappier old modules loved to use. They're a serious aberration by 5e norms.

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    1. Bro, I'm wondering how many of the howlers have even -read- the module.

      Like, I'm personally not interested in it, but it's whatever.

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