27 January 2009

What's Wrong With D&D?

So, the main text of No Dice Core is finished. It's all polish from here on in, yay! During the joyful task of editing I note that I have made a whiney comment about the most popular role playing game in history Dungeons & Dragons. It wasn't really relevant to what I was talking about so I took it out.

I wanted to start this post by explaining that I wasn't anti-D&D per se. Then I realised that actually I would rather bathe in a soup of cow pats and urine jelly cubes before playing a session of D&D. So I guess that does make me anti-D&D.

I am very careful in the introduction to No Dice to state that were it not for Gary Gygax and his dungeon crawling classic No Dice would probably not exist. No Dice disagrees with a combat heavy, quasi-board game approach to Role Playing, just because it was first doesn't make it right every time for every person.

I find it a bit strange that all RPGs to date have been somewhat infected by the D&D way of doing things. White Wolf tried to step away from the model but even they seem to have an obsession with numbers and dice that seems to hamper their rich, detailed worlds.

Also, my colleague the Doodler noted that although Storyteller games offer a huge wealth of setting detail the advice on how to actually role play is somewhat thin on the ground.

I wasn't entirely sure what I would put into the No Dice corebook when I first started thinking about it a year ago. What it has ended up being is a compendium advice on how to roleplay without dice. And actually not just without dice but without many of the trappings of "traditional" RP. The dice, in fact, is so emblematic of Role Playing that's why it became the target of this game's prohibition.

So, what's wrong with D&D? Nothing, if you like that sort of thing, but all those people who do are well catered for. I just wanted to cater for some new people, that's all.

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