Thursday, February 27, 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary, Day 26 and 27

Do you still game with the group that introduced you to the hobby?

Technically, for me this ought to be "Do you still game with the group that you introduced to the hobby?"
The answer, unfortunately, would be no.  None of the original crew still plays at all.  I guess they just outgrew it, but I never did.

If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything different when you first started gaming?

Honestly, probably not.  I still remember those early days fondly.  Everything was new and unsullied by long familiarity.  Every monster was fresh and frightening.  Magic felt magical.  We weren't even jaded with +1 weapons yet.  Even the things I screwed up, I wouldn't have changed, because we had fun and didn't worry about whether everything was exactly by the book or not.

In the months and years that followed, I'd have done a lot differently, though.  I wouldn't have gone quite so far overboard with the magic items in treasure hoards.  Knowing what I know now about player agency, I would have resisted the push toward plot-driven adventures.  Sure, they were fun to read, but not so much fun to play in.  Knowing what I know about the appeal of simple and abstract systems, I would have plugged my ears against the siren's song of skill systems, weapon mastery, and all those other optional fiddly bits that seemed to spring up like mushrooms in various supplemental books.

I didn't know, and I can't go back, but it was still a good time, and I'd rather have played deeply flawed D&D than no D&D at all.

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