Monday, October 21, 2013

[RPG] I Can't Believe I am Doing This- Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Ed

There are times in my life when I think the universe decides to teach me a lesson, and likes laughing at me while doing so.

I am pretty well known for not enjoying D&D in any way, shape or form. Between the "medieval fantasy as trope", the limiting characters, classes and alignments, the very ridiculous to me armor/to hit rules, and the general... BLAH nature of the genre and game, I have always found it as interesting as milquetoast.

this is far prettier than what I think of D&D 

But recently, this funny thing happened. I made a new friend, and the new friend is a HUGE AD&D nut. He has a group that he plays with regularly and it is massively fun for him. He's genuinely passionate about playing and can't wait to get new people involved in games and gaming. (It's really fun to have a friend that is just invigorated about getting people into gaming as I am- I was sort of burning out for a while. Having him as a friend is feeding my fire, and that allows me to feed his right back. I love the synergy of positive relationships and how they help the people in them grow.)

So very recently, one of the GMs that plays at my shop was announcing that he had openings in his AD&D 2nd Ed Game, and my new friend was very interested in the game. I know this GM well, and he is a really stand up guy. He's very friendly, easy to talk to, and the group he has at the moment seems to be one of the nicest around. I very generously vouched for the fellow in question and while doing so, realized I pretty much talked myself into a corner and that I needed to play in the game or look like an idiot.

So I joined my 2nd ever D&D game.

For me, the best part has been the people I am playing with. I won't lie- it is very hard for me to play with people I don't know, and I HAVE to like them. But I really didn't know the guys at all, nor did I have any idea whether we would get along well. I sat down for my first session, worried about whether I would fit in, or if they would like me, and a million other things.

I should never have worried. Playing with these guys was like finding my way home again. It's super comfortable, fun and wonderful to be back at a table again.

It is super weird to be ENJOYING a game I generally don't like- but it's an important lesson for me, that I can do things and have fun again.


  1. The people that you play with can make playing a game (system) that you don't like a lot more palatable, even enjoyable, as you are finding out.

  2. If you can find enjoyment in the people you game with, it is a lot easier to overlook the flaws you find in a game/system.

  3. How can you have an opinion of a game you don't play? Playing is where it comes alive, and you see that a game which reads badly may be fun, or one that reads well may not work in practice. It's all about playing.

    1. Well, I like to think that I know myself well.

      I don't need to taste haggis to know it's not for me- I don't like either of it's most closely related cousins in American food so it stands to reason I won't like it, too. I don't have to try BudLite to know I won't enjoy it. I love Guinness, and LeftHand MilkStout Nitro- a light, hoppy beer is not going to cut it for me.

      I really don't like "fantasy" much at all. I'm much more interested in modern/future settings, and the games that evoke those are the ones I enjoy most. I have tried all KINDS of systems (gaming 25+ years will do that) and have found that D&D, Pathfinder, or any of the closely linked style of games just aren't for me.

      There's nothing wrong with knowing what you do and don't like.

  4. Uh, if you don't mind me asking, what characters are you and the rest of the group playing?


    1. I am playing a half-elf bard. The rest of the group is SOME variation of fighter, with class and race thrown in for funsies.

  5. My reflex response is to look upon you disappoint and distain. Luckily, I am above such petty reactions.

    I too dislike D&D (very much so) but yeah, it's what all the kids play, so every once in a while I get asked to game and because I like RPGs and people in general I say "Sure!". 9.5 out of 10 times, it sucks but at least I tried and continue to be fair and give it a shot.

    Here's hoping yours won't suck. Cheers!

  6. Good news for sure - any time the pieces fit and a game or campaign goes well is a time to celebrate. We often hear about mismatches and less than stellar experiences, possibly because the people happy with their gaming are just gaming, which makes it all the better you're enjoying it and saying so.

    On the subject of theme, it's true that D&D tends to be understood and played as fantasy and that the fantasy tends to be based more or less real world elements, usually ranging from European mythology and the ancient world through to the early modern, but there's a lot more that's possible of course. A willing GM or shrewd players can nudge a conventional game in that direction - once it gets just a little weird, a lot becomes possible and suddenly you don't know where you are any more. Do you read The Dungeon Dozen?

    This is often set up for laughs I think, but some of the entries show just how immense the scope is. A few examples:

    Hereticwerks also have a vast and growing universe of worlds that defies classification.

    1. I am honestly thinking I got lucky. I don't care about motivation or backstory, or "what am I doing here"; I am just having a BLAST with some wonderful people and thoroughly thrilled for it.

      I will check those links out. I always like to look at new ways to do stuff.

  7. I am not the world's biggest fan of AD&D either, as I think you know, but a) I subscribe to the 'nice people make not-nice games fun' philosophy and b) I (and you, I believe?) have read 0E and remember that there's stats for flippin' Martians in it. I'm aware that Planescape and Spelljammer are things. That the D&D rulebooks have a default setting doesn't necessarily mean your game has to, and the sheer lunacy that I've seen in your previous games should express itself juuuust fine with D&D's rules as the bedrock.

    Have fun with it!