My Gods… what have I done. This review is going to be insane.
DnD was what I cut my teeth on. It’s how I discovered roleplaying. I went over to a friend’s house one night in the wild outback of Washington State, and I woke up chewing on his book. I was about 8 years old.
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a group of four 7 to 9 year olds play Dungeons and Dragons, or any tabletop game, but they don’t precisely follow rules. We would roll up characters, and then roll a die randomly to determine what level we were, and then just pick a bunch of spells that were cool out of the book and hurl ourselves relentlessly at random stuff included in the books.
For those of you that don’t know what DnD one looked like, here’s an archeological reference:
See how it says “Read this book first” up at the top? With a fucking exclamation point? Yeah, obviously that didn’t apply to us. We picked through, tossed out all the bullshit rules (anything our 7 year old brains couldn’t comprehend) and started playing.
The 2nd Ed. Player's Handbook pretty much eclipsed Dark Sun for my friends because, all of a sudden, they didn’t have to worry about dying in a desert from dehydration, or from Jamey psionically controlling them to jump into a large pool of silt that they thought was water. Jamey, by the way, was playing a world-class jerk. His alignment was Lawful Asshole.
3.0 was so entirely, horribly broken that I can’t even believe, for a single minute, that they even bothered to playtest the dice they advised using in this lump of horsecrap. A archaeologist friend of mine got bored one night and created a half-orc paladin who could dual-wield halberds. At first level. Know what a halberd is? It’s an eight foot shaft tipped with a foot-long blade that is used for defending against charging fucking horses and crap. He had one in each hand. Without any negative effects.
The following is an addendum to the preceding article, which originally appeared on Templeofconflict.com:
My thoughts raised some hackles. Some people didn’t agree with my viewpoints, but that’s okay… because that’s just what they are. They’re my viewpoints. Some people took personal umbrage to my viewpoints, like I woke them up with a bucket of moosedroppings to the face before personally pissing in their favorite bowl of cheerios. These people made me laugh a bit, but still, I was thankful to hear the opinions they had.
No, not Pirates of the Caribbean. Banish all thoughts of Johnny Depp. Instead, embrace thoughts of Robert de Niro dressed as Dr. Frankenstein's bastard creation. On second thought, no, don't embrace that thought. Instead, embrace the character that he is meant to portray, a tortured monster hated by all who saw him, given life by one man's unholy obsession. This is the foundation of Promethean: The Created, the more recent of the New World of Darkness line of role-playing games from White Wolf.