Thursday, October 11, 2012

Old School Dungeon Crawling is like Baseball *rant*

OK given the current controversy about why a certain semi-famous internet blogger's dungeon is suck, I figured I would not be a blogger worth my salt if I did not climb up on my almighty soapbox and throw my hat into the ring. I will not name names or provide links as I think innuendo and indirection are more appropriate to the rant format. The first comment is to note the disclaimer firmly placed on the blog that lit the fuse ""[name omitted] is a known shit-stirrer. He stirred the shit. He got banned. Asking what he did to stir the shit introduces unnecessary complication to the scenario, therefore he was banned for stirring the shit." The second comment which the basis of this rants title, is as I read the review and listened to what they complained about, it brought found memories of the way game of DnD was played back in my college days. Much like baseballs duel between the pitcher and batter, DnD was a duel between the DM and caller, with the other players waiting to spring into action once the magic words "Roll for Surprise (note: not initiative, that came later)" were uttered. Much like baseball players don't have much do until the ball is hit and have to amuse themselves in other ways, DnD players did much the same engaging in idle gossip and conversation. The empty rooms in the early editions heighten the tension, much like baseball's waiting for the ball to be hit, by introducing a random factor into when springing into action will be required. One factor I though might have contributed to the bad time had by all are that rather than sticking with the old, old, school approach of saying "its an empty room" and moving on, the author in his new improved version felt the urge to provide detailed descriptions for all rooms, thus slowing the pace of play down. Another factor I thought was the DM decision to run the dungeon "as written". To successfully DM one must draw upon the players at the tables motivations and desires to lure them into the shared fantasy, this requires adaptation of whatever you are running to the players at the table. Having been around long enough to run the same adventure for many different players, I know that different groups experience the same adventure differently. I am both bemused and dismayed, by the large quantity of Monday morning coaching going on on the internet (even as I contribute to it now).  If the reviewer was bored by playing the adventure, he was bored, no amount of commentary will change that. As my father was fond of saying "there is no accounting for taste". The current flame war reminds me of a certain other flame war of a year or two passed, when a certain Finnish bloggers abrasive clockwork dungeon was labeled as suck, because the players turned left when they should have turned right. Its not the first flame war in the OSR and it won't be the last. Don't take any one's word for what's good or bad, make up you own mind. And remember "if your not having fun, your doing it wrong".

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