Question on why people play AD&D and all

5 views
Skip to the first unread message

wayne wallace

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 05:58:2302/12/1992
to
I've been thinking for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that after
you reach a certain stage, the AD&D rulebooks become useless except as a tool
to introduce new RPGers into the "trade", as it were.

Think about it. Other game systems, most notably Champions/Hero and GURPS
do character generation and combat much better, (although nothing beats the
adrenalin feel of rolling a 20 on a d20) and if you don't use rules, then
the PHB and DMG are meaningless, since you're choosing whatever you feel like,
with minimal reference to mechanics.

Even if you like the Forgotten Realms (Which is a REALLY nice fantasy setting)
or Dark Sun or whatever, the rules as written, even in 1st edition, reach their
limits quickly, as they are only suited to playing a "group video-game" where
you kill things and acquire "power-ups". If you are doing a lot of roleplaying
in AD&D, and doing character generation on the fly, then you never needed rules
in the first place. Just determine the strengths and weaknesses of characters,
and by comparing them to landmarks.

(DM thinking: only Samson could lift this boulder. Is Bozo the Warrior as
strong as samson? No, he's half as strong, so I'll be nice and give him a 50%
chance. Nah, I don't want this boulder moved so I'll have him roll, and
irregardless of what he rolls, I'll tell him he failed.)

So, why do you still play AD&D if one of the following is not true:

1) Players and DM are too ahem... "learning challenged" to comprehend anything
more complicated.

2) Too much money is invested/Everyone is too poor to shell out money for
another game.

3) Haven't heard of a game system better than AD&D.
(If you're in 3), I recommend Fantasy Hero and assorted books, or if someone
has been buying GURPS books, GURPS Fantasy, Fantasy Folk, Magic, and Magic
Items 1 & 2, as well as the main GURPS rulebook.)

4) The rules never mattered, because as DM and God, you've had every scenario
go just like you planned, allowing for minor player changes to your setting.

So what's going on here? Why are you playing AD&D if your situation is not
one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
convertable to one of the point systems? What strengths does AD&D have that
keep you from switching to another system?

Wayne

--
* // Only /\ |Lord Zar,Commander Of All He Surveys|Stay Alert! Trust *
*\\ // /--\MIGA |(and hater of spaces near commas.) |No One! Keep--AHHHH*
* \X/ Internet: at...@galaxy.ucr.edu wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu GEnie:W.WALLACE9 *
* I'm a Purple Hearts & Yellow Moons kinda guy; I'm vay-teeng for you, dahlink*

Sea Wasp

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 09:29:4002/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>I've been thinking for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that after
>you reach a certain stage, the AD&D rulebooks become useless except as a tool
>to introduce new RPGers into the "trade", as it were.

This is true of ALL game systems, since once you get settled into
a given mode of play, you know virtually all the rules that you really
need, and probably improvise the rest rather than go to the bother of
looking them up.

>Think about it. Other game systems, most notably Champions/Hero and GURPS
>do character generation and combat much better, (although nothing beats the

THAT, my friend, is a matter of opinion. I find both the games
you list above to be nothing short of titanically annoying insofar as
combat is concerned, and I don't see their superiority in the "character
generation" area. Sure, they're great for DESIGNING a character, if the
character fits within the unspoken assumptions of the system, but
they can't help you create a character from nothing. Sometimes I LIKE
letting the dice tell me about the character.

>2) Too much money is invested/Everyone is too poor to shell out money for
>another game.

This can certainly be *A* motivation. Upgrade/conversion costs (in
both time and money) can be prohibitive. Try taking a complex, fully
developed AD&D style campaign and do a full conversion to, say, GURPS.
I'll see you in the insane asylum during visiting hours...

>3) Haven't heard of a game system better than AD&D.

I haven't yet heard of "The Perfect System". Sure, I've heard rumors
of its existence, but all the candidates put forward thus far are... well,
imperfect. There ARE tons of systems which are better than AD&D IN SOME
AREAS... but AD&D has several advantages, the largest one being ubiquity;
virtually everyone knows it and can understand it. My favorite fantasy
system is actually The Arcanum, but it's impossible to get copies of it
these days.

>(If you're in 3), I recommend Fantasy Hero and assorted books, or if someone
>has been buying GURPS books, GURPS Fantasy, Fantasy Folk, Magic, and Magic
>Items 1 & 2, as well as the main GURPS rulebook.)

Point based systems have their problems. Some of us simply don't
like them because, while D&D has its Munchkins, most of the PB-players
we've encountered seem to be minmaxers whose greatest joy is wringing
the very most out of their points. Forget ROLE playing.

In fact, I sometimes think that the abysmal mechanics of AD&D
sort of encourage roleplaying (both by Players and GM) because they'd
rather interact than deal with the mechanical frustrations. :)

>So what's going on here? Why are you playing AD&D if your situation is not
>one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
>convertable to one of the point systems?

"Easily convertible"???

Oh, Gog, that's the funniest thing I've read in months!

Please convert, say, Forgotten Realms into GURPS, retaining all
the flavor, spells, functionality, etc., that was built into the campaign.
To show how easy it was, please have the whole thing done in, say, two
weeks of a few hours a day.

To REALLY convert even one CHARACTER between systems as disparate
as GURPS and AD&D takes hours, and the result is NEVER particularly good
unless there was a fortunate matchup between the character and some of
the mechanics. This is not always, or even commonly, the case. I tried
converting my campaign to RoleMaster once; RM is closer to AD&D, but
I gave up. It would just take FAR too long.


Sea Wasp

Shawn M. Witzki

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 10:04:3102/12/1992
to
Okay, I'll bite.

wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>1) Players and DM are too ahem... "learning challenged" to comprehend anything
>more complicated.

Thin ice, here. ;-)

>2) Too much money is invested/Everyone is too poor to shell out money for
>another game.

Much more likely. Don't overlook the fact that many of us have acquired AD&D
material since god knows when, back before there *were* many viable
alternatives.

>3) Haven't heard of a game system better than AD&D.

Possible.

>4) The rules never mattered, because as DM and God, you've had every scenario
>go just like you planned, allowing for minor player changes to your setting.

Quite likely.

>So what's going on here? Why are you playing AD&D if your situation is not
>one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
>convertable to one of the point systems? What strengths does AD&D have that
>keep you from switching to another system?

For a conglomeration of reasons, many of which you have alluded to above.
RPG rules, IMHO, are little more than a vehicle to steer the game and provide
consistency in a form of recreation that is incredibly cerebral in nature.
As such, rules are malleable according to mutual consent, and the "brand name"
attached to them is little more than an indication of where your money went
when you bought the product. Someday (in my copious free time ;-) I intend
to develop my *own* set of rules and my *own* campaign setting, but until that
time I am more than happy to modify what's available to suit my needs. I have
been familiar with the AD&D system for over a decade now, and so I have reached
the point where I rarely, if ever, need to spend a lot of time hunting through
the manuals for rules decisions. My players recognize this and appreciate
it, so rather than learning a new system and fumbling our way through it, we
decided to stick with what we know in what little free time we have.

I am *not* adverse to learning new systems, and, in fact, I have looked at
several. However, time for me is at a definite premium, so I conservatively
stick to what I know best. Perhaps this summer. . . .
--
============================================================================
Wave after wave, each mightier than the last \\ Shawn M. Witzki
'Til last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep \\ swi...@cs.indiana.edu
And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged \\ Shadizar Blackstone
Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame \\

pac...@ohstpy.mps.ohio-state.edu

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 10:51:0802/12/1992
to


Well, there he goes again. A person deciding to bash ADnD in favor of much
more 'superior' games. (Please note superior is in single quotes, I am
trying to apply sarcasm :-->). How can anyone do this. I've played a
super-hero based game, I've played Gurps, etc. And it all boils down to
they are games. The mechanics on all (including ADnD) SUCKS!!! The don't
even come close to mimicing real life in even the simpliest of scenarios.
Point based people? I don't consider myself having a 21 str, a 49 int,
etc. And rolling, or going off of charts to do combat? Have you ever been
in a fight, anything from a bar fight to kung-fu tourny to a re-eneacted
WWII battle. The thousands of different styles, moves, etc never is done
in any game. For that matter I like ADnD since one roll for your turn
succeed or not. It doesn't pretend to be real.

I enjoy playing ADnD. I used to modify the rules alot. I finally have
realized my mistake, Why? The game to me is playing, I could care less if
the rules are realistic. And I am so tired of people on the net who try to
pretend to be superior in describing how the games are more realistic. You
are probably fat, where funny glasses, and are doing this in a dank and
smelly basement. Now I hope you flame me for this but I want you people to
get off of the box and realize this is a game. The games are not even
simulations, they don't even come close to reality. None of them!

It does not matter why a person plays one game or another, the joy of any
of these is role-playing. Let's take that one step further. The joy in
playing is role-playing with a group of people. Getting together, having
fun, drinking Coke (or beer), eating pizza, saying stupid jokes and going
around in a fantasy world and having a rousing good time there.

Now, back to why I play ADnD most (and by now totally, giving up the
others). In 5 minutes I can create a character. Faster if I don't have a
concept in mind and just do it. And bang, I have someone I can run around
in this fantasy world and have a good time with. I will start to develope
a personality for this guy, and eventually he will die (all first levels
will die :-->). So bang, out comes another, and lo and behold, this one
sticks around till 9th level, when a dragon breaths fire, and I have
invented roasted beef in aluminum foil. In the meantime, I have to remember
a few simple things, AC, THAC0, hit points, uh what else do I really need
to know. Combat I attack don't ask me how, I use my broad axe. I miss.
The devilkind attacks he misses. Etc. Simple. It doesn't try to mimic
real life, which I explained in the above paragraphs just doesn't happen.
Quick and dirty but hey, it works. I still had my good time.

The rules never defined the game, I did. I no longer worry about the
rules. A fine example is Monopoly. Everyone knows Monopoly, right? Well
theoritically its a role-playing game with everyone being realistate
investors. But no one complains about the rules. Its not even close to
reality right. You can't complain about the rules. Well, someone decided
Gurps, ADnD, Torg, etc simulates reality in the rules, but lets face it
they don't. Reality doesn't have a set of rules that fit in 15 pgs or
less. Why should we expect the more from these games then we do from
Monopoly.

So in the future before you bash ADnD stop and think. Are you bashing it
in favor of another game? If so Stop. Realize the game you are applauding
has as many failings as ADnD and don't bash ADnD. If you do that, I'll
promise not to bash Top-Heavy-Women-With-Guns (or GURPS for short).

Friends don't let friends bash ADnD (unless you are a member of 700 club in
which case you don't have any friend, just comrads in arms).

mike
pac...@aplcomm.jhuapl.edu
P.S. This is a kludge job for me top post on the net, please reply back to
me at the above address and not from whereever I post from.

stee...@woods.ulowell.edu

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 10:53:1902/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu>, wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
> I've been thinking for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that after
> you reach a certain stage, the AD&D rulebooks become useless except as a tool
> to introduce new RPGers into the "trade", as it were.
>
> So, why do you still play AD&D if one of the following is not true:
>
> 1) Players and DM are too ahem... "learning challenged" to comprehend anything
> more complicated.

Not so. I've played many games besides D&D, and while I may not fully
understand all of the mechanics of the game, but have learned enough while
playing to enjoy myself.



> 2) Too much money is invested/Everyone is too poor to shell out money for
> another game.

Kinda sorta, but not really.



> 3) Haven't heard of a game system better than AD&D.
> (If you're in 3), I recommend Fantasy Hero and assorted books, or if someone
> has been buying GURPS books, GURPS Fantasy, Fantasy Folk, Magic, and Magic
> Items 1 & 2, as well as the main GURPS rulebook.)
>
> 4) The rules never mattered, because as DM and God, you've had every scenario
> go just like you planned, allowing for minor player changes to your setting.

Never DM'ed over a length of time....



> So what's going on here? Why are you playing AD&D if your situation is not
> one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
> convertable to one of the point systems? What strengths does AD&D have that
> keep you from switching to another system?
>

Hard as this may be to understand, some of us like the system. Sure, it
doesn't do much in the way of skills, etc., but it forces you to emphasize
more on characterization. Since the stats et al are not as advanced as some
of the other systems, there are more "grey areas" that you are forced to
sorta take on the fly. The game system is outdated and simplistic, but I for
one like it that way. I don't get bogged down in huge rules guides and dicing
for every last thing. That may mean that AD&D is a shitty game system for you,
but not for me.

-darkelf
-----
"I have no brother, am like no brother;
And this word "love", which the greybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another
And not in me. I am myself alone."
-Gloucester, Henry VI Pt. 3
-----

tfpa...@ulkyvx.louisville.edu

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 11:34:3502/12/1992
to
In article <14875.2...@ohstpy.mps.ohio-state.edu>, pac...@ohstpy.mps.ohio-state.edu writes:
> In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu>, wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>> I've been thinking for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that after
>> you reach a certain stage, the AD&D rulebooks become useless except as a tool
>> to introduce new RPGers into the "trade", as it were.
>>
[the shorter version]

>> one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
>> convertable to one of the point systems? What strengths does AD&D have that
>> keep you from switching to another system?
>>
>> Wayne
>>
>> --
>> * // Only /\ |Lord Zar,Commander Of All He Surveys|Stay Alert! Trust *
>> *\\ // /--\MIGA |(and hater of spaces near commas.) |No One! Keep--AHHHH*
>> * \X/ Internet: at...@galaxy.ucr.edu wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu GEnie:W.WALLACE9 *
>> * I'm a Purple Hearts & Yellow Moons kinda guy; I'm vay-teeng for you, dahlink*
>
>
> Well, there he goes again. A person deciding to bash ADnD in favor of much
> more 'superior' games. (Please note superior is in single quotes, I am
> trying to apply sarcasm :-->). How can anyone do this. I've played a
> super-hero based game, I've played Gurps, etc. And it all boils down to
> they are games. The mechanics on all (including ADnD) SUCKS!!! The don't
> even come close to mimicing real life in even the simpliest of scenarios.

[Once again, shortened for brevity's sake]


>
> Friends don't let friends bash ADnD (unless you are a member of 700 club in
> which case you don't have any friend, just comrads in arms).
>
> mike
> pac...@aplcomm.jhuapl.edu
> P.S. This is a kludge job for me top post on the net, please reply back to
> me at the above address and not from whereever I post from.
>
>
>

--

Hear hear! More intelligent spokesmen of such disclaimer
should speak their minds on this group, and all others for that matter!

I quit playing DnD before the 2nd edition showed up (Yikes! Showing my
age...). REASON? Too many weird people playing the damned game. People who's
lives where lost somewhere between the 4th dimension and some Wizard's dungeon.
REALLY! ADnD IS exactly as Mike's put it, a means for relaxation and
enjoyment, and a chance for eveyone to become something they're not for a
while. NOT PERMANENTLY. If you become your character, and carry that over in
to your everyday life, you may need to visit your local psychiatrist, 'cos this
ISN'T the reason RPG's are around..

As I explained to a girlfriend's parents, RPG's are just like
professional acting. You get a part (fighter, F/MU, etc...), you research your
part, and you attempt to act the part as best as you can, gaining reward from
your actions and skillful use of your part. HOWEVER, like any GOOD actor, you
leave your character on the set, and DON'T take it home with you. YES, yes yes,
we all do some research on how we can improve our part/character, and that's no
big thingie. But when you centralize your life AROUND this character, and ADnD
becomes your only outlet for ANYTHING, then we have a problem. I'm not some
high and might A****** trying to stomp the little people, I've been there, so
I've seen this from both ends. AND there's nothing wrong with getting behind
something you enjoy. Look at soccer players, they get into fights after their
games, 'cos they enjoy what they do, and feel what they do is right, and anyone
who gives 'm crap about it or about themselves is asking for the two-fisted
introduction to bruises.


Hey, I'll be the first to admit that I really enjoy the game, it's one
of my favorite things to do.

Look, I'm not trying to flame anyone, I'm just hoping that those of us
who take this all just a LITTLE too seriously might see ADnD for what it is.
Heck, Gary Gygax once replied to a flame concerning the 'satanity' of DnD that
the game is like any game, but allows for more creative input and output, but
isn't anything like Ouja, etc, which could be considered more
'demonically-oriented'.

Well, that's my $3.00 worth.

If you're considering return fire, please take note of the sig.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Tom.

/ / // / / / / / / / // / / // / // / / / // / / / / / // // / / / // /
// // / / // /// // / / /// /// // /// /// // // /// / ///// // / / // // /
/ / ________|\_______________________________________________ / / // / /
/ // |\_\_\_\_| |_____________________________________________/ / / / / / / /
// / / / |/ / / // // / / / / // / / / / / / / / / / / / /// /
/ / / / /// / / / Tom Payne *** Louisville, KY / // / / / / / / /
/ //TFPA...@ULKYVX.LOUISVILLE.EDU / / INFT...@ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU /// /
/ // / / / / / / / /// // (502) 635-2473 / / // // // / ///// / / // // /
<><><><><> ARE <><><><> YOU <><><><> READY <><><><> TO <><><><> DIE? <><><><><>

Doug Easterly

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 12:53:4502/12/1992
to

In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>I've been thinking for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that after
>you reach a certain stage, the AD&D rulebooks become useless except as a tool
>to introduce new RPGers into the "trade", as it were.
>
(lots o' flame bait deleted....)

>
>Wayne
>
>--
>* // Only /\ |Lord Zar,Commander Of All He Surveys|Stay Alert! Trust *
>*\\ // /--\MIGA |(and hater of spaces near commas.) |No One! Keep--AHHHH*
>* \X/ Internet: at...@galaxy.ucr.edu wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu GEnie:W.WALLACE9 *
>* I'm a Purple Hearts & Yellow Moons kinda guy; I'm vay-teeng for you, dahlink*

Other than questioning the wisdom of posting this mildly inflammatory
message on r.g.f.dnd, I think you are overlooking several reasons
people still play xdnd...

1) Familiarity and comfort. Most people I know with are comfortable
with and understand xDnD games. This leads many to consider
it a pretty crappy investment in time and effort to learn
a new system. Is this attitude lazy? Perhaps, but if the
whole point is to have fun, and you are having fun, why change?
In addition, it is easier to role-play if you know the rules
enough to avoid thinking about them. This has helped many of
the ADND and DND games I have played become the most role-
playing intensive.

Oddly enough, I am a big fan of the Hero System, but have had at
least as many, if not more, problems with roll-playing and
rules lawyering in Hero as I have with xDnD....

2) Large installed user base. Makes it easier to find a game.

3) Lots of support materials.

4) Previous effort. Who the hell wants to convert several years worth
of campaign materials, NPCs, etc to another system? Oi!

5) And some people actually (gasp) like the DnD and ADnD systems.
Really. Taste is an odd thing. For instance, I personally
hate the Tri-Tac game system used in Stalking the Night
Fantastic, yet it has won awards as an excellent game
system. Odd, eh? And I thought I was always right... ;)

Anyway, I'm going to shut up now and go back to lurking.

Doug

(followups to .advocacy)


--
Sandra's seen a leprechaun, Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Eddie touched a troll, Susy spied an elf,
Laurie danced with witches once, But all the magic I have known
Charlie found some goblins' gold. I've had to make myself.
-Shel Silverstein

Matthew D. Goldman

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 12:19:1102/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>So, why do you still play AD&D if one of the following is not true:

<Junk deleted>

>So what's going on here? Why are you playing AD&D if your situation is not
>one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
>convertable to one of the point systems? What strengths does AD&D have that
>keep you from switching to another system?

Hard as it may seem to you, some of us actually like AD&D. Dark Sun,
Forgotten Realms, etc? Don't use them. We have our own worlds. You
know, creativity?

AD&D is really not a bad game, nor is it the only game the people I
game with play. I really think that you are too snobbish. AD&D can
be fun. GURPS can be fun. Most frp's can be fun.

Matt 'Yes I still run Classic Traveller' Goldman

--
Matthew Goldman E-mail: gol...@orac.cray.com
Fax: (612) 683-3099 Work: (612) 683-3061
"Say George, I don't mean to interrupt, but
there's a glowing red dot on your forehead."

Matthew D. Goldman

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 12:52:4002/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>I've been thinking for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that after
>you reach a certain stage, the AD&D rulebooks become useless except as a tool
>to introduce new RPGers into the "trade", as it were.

Five or ten minutes at least, eh?

>
>Think about it. Other game systems, most notably Champions/Hero and GURPS
>do character generation and combat much better, (although nothing beats the
>adrenalin feel of rolling a 20 on a d20) and if you don't use rules, then
>the PHB and DMG are meaningless, since you're choosing whatever you feel like,
>with minimal reference to mechanics.

ROLL SOME DICE, ROLL SOME DICE, ROLL MORE DICE, ROLL EVEN MORE DICE!

>So, why do you still play AD&D if one of the following is not true:
>
>1) Players and DM are too ahem... "learning challenged" to comprehend anything
>more complicated.

Naah, we play everything from Amber to Aftermath.

>2) Too much money is invested/Everyone is too poor to shell out money for
>another game.

Naah, we buy everything that comes out. Well, almost everything.
Well, at least the good stuff.

>3) Haven't heard of a game system better than AD&D.
>(If you're in 3), I recommend Fantasy Hero and assorted books, or if someone
>has been buying GURPS books, GURPS Fantasy, Fantasy Folk, Magic, and Magic
>Items 1 & 2, as well as the main GURPS rulebook.)

I'm a little fuzzy on this better than AD&D question. My rule of
thumb is "Did I have fun?, do I have stories to tell my friends who
were not there? Was there pizza?" Okay, so there were three rules,
but you get the idea.

>4) The rules never mattered, because as DM and God, you've had every scenario
>go just like you planned, allowing for minor player changes to your setting.

Minor player changes to my setting? They never do what I expect! I
spent a great deal of time preparing cargo information for the planets
in the Jewell subsector. I planed what was available in great detail.
I skipped a couple of planets, they couldn't possibly go there. Buzzt,
wrong.

>So what's going on here? Why are you playing AD&D if your situation is not
>one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
>convertable to one of the point systems? What strengths does AD&D have that
>keep you from switching to another system?

The last AD&D game that I was in passed the following:

1) I had fun. Our characters got a lot done.
2) I have a great deal of stories to tell. I managed to beat the king
of the Drow at his fixed card game.
3) There was pizza.

It was a great way to pass a cold wet Sunday.


Oh boy, here is the fun part, where I pick apart his signature file!

>--
>* // Only /\ |Lord Zar,Commander Of All He Surveys|Stay Alert! Trust *
>*\\ // /--\MIGA |(and hater of spaces near commas.) |No One! Keep--AHHHH*
>* \X/ Internet: at...@galaxy.ucr.edu wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu GEnie:W.WALLACE9 *
>* I'm a Purple Hearts & Yellow Moons kinda guy; I'm vay-teeng for you, dahlink*

Commander of all he surveys? Yea, right.

Too much time with the fancy mottos. Just shoot first and blame
later!

Only Amiga? No thanks, I'll keep my Sparc station and the network.

Purple Hearts & Yellow Moons? Don't forget the orange stars and green
clover.

Grow up K'haznik. (Sorry, the Cyrillic letters don't work, and my
transliteration is so so.)


flame off.

Matt 'We've got more than 5 Cray mainframes onsite, so there!' Goldman

P.S. K'haznik is intended to be the word for collective farmer in
Russian. Currently one of my favorite insults.

Marius

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 14:20:2702/12/1992
to
Well... I think I for one have definitely had a change of heart
(at least until it stops again)

...

The point of all games (RPG included) IS to have a good time.

I think for many players the thrill is accompanied by(for extremist
Role-Playing types at least) a sort of parallel story construction existing
inside the player's head. When I churn out a series of moves --

"The priest laughs maniacally and breaks free of your grip."

"I club him on the back of his neck with both fists."

[dice rolling]

"Okay, he collapses to the floor, still weakly laughing."

"I pick up his mace." [shown to be magical in the combat]

"Ouch!" [damage (minor) ensues] "Your hand is slightly frostbitten from
the nightmarish cold."

Now, when my character [Thist Thrombin, specialist fighter in the quarterstaff]
is doing all this, (from the X5 Curse of Xanathon module incidentally),
of COURSE I'm not thinking "Great; I rolled a 19 and then a 08% for the
knockout. What a great fighter I am." No! Images are unfolding in my
mind's eye of Thist ducking and grunting as the mace painfully connects with
his midsection, then looking up at the priest, snarling, putting him in a
hammerlock (which is then broken by the priest's supernatural strength),
and eventually knocking him unconscious with a carefully timed blow, the
culmination of years of training with the Desert Nomads.

I think this builds into a growing experience; after hours and hours of
accumulated synthesized experiences (again, that mind's eye picture of the
character/party/villain/whatever), the character begins to take on life of
its own in the player's mind. This is why it often takes a session or two
for a player to completely warm up to his character in roleplaying. Instant
rapport with your alter-ego is difficult in the extreme unless you've taken
some preparations (I know friends who (myself included) write a short story
or two about the hero's exploits (perhaps pre-adventuring days) to make
themselves familiar with their characters.)

And the DM can similarly build this up, making his NPCs and villains and
townships as vivid to the imagination as the PCs are. This is more difficult
as there are more elements in a DM's game world.

Let me say, however, that the previous point was well made. There are times
when you just want to screw around and ADnD or whatever other RPG you're
talking about is a great way of having a good time with friends and pizza
or whatever... I think the recent birth of the White Wolf StoryTeller games
(based on almost pure role playing with very few rules -- comparitively --
to weigh things down) was meant to represent this increasingly popular new
breed of roleplaying -- that capturing of lifelike scenarios, personages,
and adventures.

Of COURSE the game mechanics are bullshit. All you can do is try your best
to describe how reality looks to you. If I were to see a dragon (a real
dragon) land in front of me, speak to me, and then take off again and vanish,
my description of its glory and beauty (wingspan, sheer size, rumbling voice,
etcetera) would not be one tenth so impressive as the real thing. This is,
unfortunately, true for roleplaying. But what is different here is the
capability to internalize... I can IMAGINE that dragon and, the more time I
spend on it, the more vivid and impressive it gets... eventually I might
see myself with the dragon (perhaps riding it or fighting it) and an epic
might unfold. (Bram Stoker's Dracula was based on a nightmare he had about
a creature with long fingernails and hairy hands that had bared fangs and
stalked men... he merged this creature of horror with an actual Romanian
noble, Vlad V, (nicknamed Tepes from tzepes, or "impaler") to create an
immensely vivid character. He didn't start his novel until this character
was so three-dimensional to him that he could envision any possible reaction
to a scenario that this created intelligence would encounter. THAT's a
vivid imagination synthesis.)

I gotta thank you though... when I read the bit about "Top-Heavy-Women-
With-Guns" (GURPS for short) I just about shit my pants, I was laughing so
hard. That's got to be the funniest response/pseudo-flame I've read in a
long time.

Thanks for bearing with me.

* * * * * * * * * *

Marius
ses5...@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu

* * * * * * * * * *

Roy Daniel

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 14:54:3702/12/1992
to
I think I play AD&D because of it's presence in the subconsious mind of
everybody @:-}

In fact I've played many other games, and I have discovered many that were much
better both for Role-Playing and Rules System. One thing remains:

The basis is so simple and familiar, it takes no effort to play at all. For my
part, the only books I have are the DMG and PHB; I decided not to buy the otherssimply because all I needed was a basis. The rest was only "superflu".

So, why do I play AD&D? Because we all been there before...


Daniel Roy
of the "Voyageurs sans Permis"

_____
Mr. Cole's Axiom:
"The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant;
the population is growing."

Roy Daniel

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 15:00:3502/12/1992
to
In article <14875.2...@ohstpy.mps.ohio-state.edu> pac...@ohstpy.mps.ohio-state.edu writes:

.Reality doesn't have a set of rules that fit in 15 pgs or less.

You bet that it doesn't! My physics books are far from being 15 pages in
lenght. ;-]

Daniel RoY

David Covin

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 15:05:1802/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:

So, why do you still play AD&D if one of the following is not true:

1) Players and DM are too ahem... "learning challenged" to comprehend anything
more complicated.

There is more involved in this than you imply. xD&D is a gaming
standard; you're almost guaranteed that any gamer will be fairly
familiar with the rules. This makes it ideal for "pick-up games,"
single-evening runs with people who might not all have any other game
system in common.

Likewise, you have to consider whether it's worth the trouble to learn
a new game system. I'll have to spend a while reading rules and being
confused-- will I have more fun? If it isn't broke enough to be worth
the trouble of fixing, why bother?

2) Too much money is invested/Everyone is too poor to shell out money for
another game.

This is a soft barrier, not a hard one. In local gaming circles, it's
likely that *someone* will have any given game; and it's only really
essential to have one copy of the rules for the game to be run.
However, it's much easier to learn the rules if everyone has their own
copy.

3) Haven't heard of a game system better than AD&D.

Heh. Yes & no. I consider Fantasy Hero to be much better than AD&D
for skills and character generation. It avoids the bizarre "hit
point" abstraction, and thus provides combat rules that make much more
sense, while still giving lots of bias in favor of PC survival. BUT,
see question #2. I own everything that's been written for Fantasy
Hero, and I still don't consider it a complete game system. I would
have to write up all the monsters myself, and design a magic system
from the ground up, in order to use FH. Perhaps I will try it some
day (I've heard that Ars Magica has an excellent magic system; I could
try to convert that); but in the meantime, I'm running AD&D.

4) The rules never mattered, because as DM and God, you've had every scenario
go just like you planned, allowing for minor player changes to your setting.

No, although like many xD&D players I've changed a number of the rules
that particularly bugged me. Also, I've started to run into a *lot*
of situations where I had to make up rules on the fly, and in which it
would have been a lot easier to make up those rulings in other game
systems. But so far, sticking with AD&D has required me to do the
least work while still getting a reasonably fun game.

Actually, there's a minor political reason for running xD&D, here at
the University of Chicago. The Science Fiction Club is trying to
attract new members, as is the Gaming Club; and a lot of entering
1st-years have never played anything else. Getting them started on
other games is nice, if they're interested; but telling them that
they're icky and stoopid for playing "THAT game," is not gonna make
us popular. And, face it, xD&D is a fine beer&pretzels game.

--
David Covin co...@despair.uchicago.edu

David Bump

unread,
2 Dec 1992, 13:12:4102/12/1992
to
wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:

>So, why do you still play AD&D if one of the following is not true:
>1) Players and DM are too ahem... "learning challenged" to comprehend anything
>more complicated.

This is not the case.

>2) Too much money is invested/Everyone is too poor to shell out money for
>another game.

Usually the case....

>3) Haven't heard of a game system better than AD&D.
>(If you're in 3), I recommend Fantasy Hero and assorted books, or if someone
>has been buying GURPS books, GURPS Fantasy, Fantasy Folk, Magic, and Magic
>Items 1 & 2, as well as the main GURPS rulebook.)

We're not *completely* stupid, we've heard of (and played) better.

>4) The rules never mattered, because as DM and God, you've had every scenario
>go just like you planned, allowing for minor player changes to your setting.

Nope, not with my players....

>So what's going on here? Why are you playing AD&D if your situation is not
>one of the above, realizing that Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, etc. are easily
>convertable to one of the point systems? What strengths does AD&D have that
>keep you from switching to another system?

General familiarity. A lot more people know ADnD where I am than
they do any other system. That and ADnD is best at hack-n-slash,
and a lot of people I know (sadly enough) find that their favorite
part of rpgs. I personally hate the class-level system. However,
until people get more familiar with other systems (something I
am working on now), if I want to role-play with more than one or
two other people, I have to use ADnD. We still have a lot of
fun, mind you, but I know people who are severely distracted by
stereotypes ("He can climb walls?!? THIEF!!!") and hack-n-slash.
Those are the only people who make me really want to play other
systems.


David Bump
da...@midway.ecn.uoknor.edu

tfpa...@ulkyvx.louisville.edu

unread,
3 Dec 1992, 07:58:1403/12/1992
to

Yeppers! THAT's the way to make any game more fun for the players!
Sticking to the rules like glue makes it an inflexible textbook (Particle
Physics, the RPG! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!). Using your imagination (mind's eye as
someone already posted) allows the scenario to become more realistic, and hence
allowing your players to visualize the scene better.

Example: I had a group stomping through a tomb. They get caught in a
stun tile trap, and set loose a large group of zombies down the hall from their
location. Being a tomb, it was dark, and the person nearest to the zombies was
a drow (don't ask). Now, the rules for infravision say that the zombies
wouldn't be decipherable from the cold background, which WAS the case. AH! but
one of the PC's was carrying a torch, frozen 20 feet behind the elf.
Hmmmm...well, let's see, the only effect, according to the rules, is that the
torch will disturb the elf's nightsight. Ah! But the torch will cause
reflections on the walls, as they were made of granite! So! Tho' they didn't
figure out they were about to become someone's snack until they were 15 feet
away (coming into the torchlight), the motion of the monsters outlined their
shapes (humanoid, I told them) against the lighter background of the walls!

Silly example, but an idea nonetheless.


>
> Actually, there's a minor political reason for running xD&D, here at
> the University of Chicago. The Science Fiction Club is trying to
> attract new members, as is the Gaming Club; and a lot of entering
> 1st-years have never played anything else. Getting them started on
> other games is nice, if they're interested; but telling them that
> they're icky and stoopid for playing "THAT game," is not gonna make
> us popular. And, face it, xD&D is a fine beer&pretzels game.
>
> --
> David Covin co...@despair.uchicago.edu

--
Beer & pretzels? I'm hurt! What ever happened to beer and pizza! I
thought Chicago was supposed to have the BEST pizzas in the world! *smirk*

Tim Spock Larson

unread,
3 Dec 1992, 20:40:3203/12/1992
to
Leave this guy alone. He started up the same "I'm gonna slam the D&D game
system" thread on ADND-L. He doesn't get the picture that his problem
is with the DM's that have screwed him over and not the game system
itself.
Give it up, Wayne. Go home. I've read too many of your posts already.

Tim


Bret Indrelee

unread,
3 Dec 1992, 23:34:2603/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> wwal...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>I've been thinking for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that after
>you reach a certain stage, the AD&D rulebooks become useless except as a tool
>to introduce new RPGers into the "trade", as it were.

[ Text deleted ]

>1) Players and DM are too ahem... "learning challenged" to comprehend anything
>more complicated.

This is close, but not quite the reason a group I used to play with never
switched.


The actual reason was that we were too "time challenged" to master another
game.

We all have full-time jobs. No students in the group. I don't think there
were any of us who had not played AD&D for less than about 5 yrs. We were
familiar with all the rules, very seldom (three times I can think of) having
to refer to the books during combat.

The GM had all the hit tables and most of the saving tables memorized. He
could design an adventure that would last about 6 hrs in less than an hour,
and it was balanced to our power level. The GM didn't have to worry about
if the starting character was unbalanced -- no combat monsters like are
possible in GURPS or Hero.

We play the game for fun. None of us was particularly concerned about
how 'realistic' the game was. It was a social gathering, like other
people get together to play cards.


It takes a while for a player to learn a new system. I have experimented
with both Hero system (Champions mostly, some normal-based levels) and
recently started playing GURPS. Both are superior (in my opinion) to
T$R's AD&D game. It still takes longer to generate a new character in
either of these than in AD&D. Someone who has done it a few times has
much better insight into what is important to them than a newcomer.

Few players want to give up characters that they have invested lots of
time in. Even fewer GM's want to change the whole world over to a new
system, and go through the misery of learning the ins and outs of a
new system again.

For the GM, the problem is much more severe. If the GM has to take time
out to look up a rule, it really slows down play. A GM must MASTER the
game system, not just know the basics. Figuring out how capable characters
really are takes experience. Conversions really don't allow you to
judge relative power, need experience.


There are much better systems out there, if you have the time to
look at all of them and then choose a system to master. Otherwise,
go with a system you know.

I have a job. I don't have the time to go out and read every system
out there. The same held for everyone else in my group.


A new system has to be MUCH better in VERY IMPORTANT ways in order to
convince a GM to switch from the current system. If you can't switch
the GM, you can't switch the players.


-Bret

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bret Indrelee | Insanity is all in the mind.
email: br...@technix.mn.org |

wayne wallace

unread,
4 Dec 1992, 08:05:3104/12/1992
to

You guys still don't understand, and if you've read my other two letters
in ADND-L, and the last one, you'd understand something:

I wrote the first one poorly, with little sleep, and instead of the 'survey'
feel I wanted, everyone thought it was a bash.

Simply put, the poor rules (I think we can all agree on that) drove me away
instead of delivering all the nice things an RPG should. It's like having
100 IBM PCs, and you have to rewrite a program for each because the CPU (DM)
is different on every one, even though AD&D/IBM is "standard". And on some DMs,
they never get anything right... AD&D has no standard, only a bunch of
variants, and while the rest of the world views that as a strength, I view
it as a weakness that the poor rules led to it. Check out .advocacy where
people are saying "why can't good role-playing and good mechanics go together?"

Well, all I want is a reason to play AD&D again. DMing actually works, because
I am in the .001% of DMs who don't use variant rules. I can't play without
rewriting my character, especially at conventions. Basically I want to
see help in making AD&D 3.0 with REAL rules for those who like them, or
an overriding reason to come back. I can get good role-playing anywhere, in
any game. I can't get good mechanics, and evening DMing AD&D can be a pain,
keeping a listing of my ruling on every ambiguous rule, in the vain hope
of maintaining conitnuity.

Shortly: I want an overriding reason to come back to playing AD&D.
It cannot be one of the following:

Simple system
Fast system
Easy to teach
Lots of Supplements

I need an AD&D strength that overrides the poor, inconsistent rules from DM
to DM to come back. Ideas?

(Longer reasons and missives can be found on ADND-L.....)

Paul Goodwin

unread,
4 Dec 1992, 15:32:2504/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu>, at...@galaxy.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) says:
>
>is different on every one, even though AD&D/IBM is "standard". And on some
>DMs,
>they never get anything right... AD&D has no standard, only a bunch of
>variants, and while the rest of the world views that as a strength, I view
>it as a weakness that the poor rules led to it. Check out .advocacy where

Hmmmm.....Kinda makes AD&D sound like Un*x, huh? :)


Paul Goodwin

Geof...@yvax.byu.edu

unread,
7 Dec 1992, 00:40:0307/12/1992
to
Good luck. I doubt that you will get your wishes.
To me, it sounds like you'd like a gaming system whose rules are perfect enough
that no one will want to change them...so would I, but of course this just
isn't going to happen. People are going to change the rules to better suit
them. I've never met a DM who goes "straight by the book". I don't think I'd
like to. I like gaming with people who are intense...but in the right areas:
I'd much prefer to game with people who care about roleplaying and having a
good time over people who get stressed about the rules. The fun is in the
adventure, not the process. After all, we do this for fun don't we? If it is
just for fun then change the rules if you feel like it.

Concerning conventions: if a referee has changed the rules for the campaign
he's going to run at a convention, he should consider making a list of his
changes and making them available for all to see before play actually
begins...perhaps, his changes should be sent to each player after they have
mailed in their registration forms. I guess that means that those individuals
registering for the convention the day of would be out of luck.

My ideas can sometimes be subject to change whenever I feel like it but usually
never unless there is a really good episode of star trek: TNG on that
evening...sometimes. I guess I'm not sure...yes I am...damn.

Geof...@yvax.byu.edu

Q: Why does Smokey the bear have no children?
A: Because everytime his wife gets hot he beats her with a shovel.

Matthew D. Goldman

unread,
8 Dec 1992, 12:04:5408/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> at...@galaxy.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>Simply put, the poor rules (I think we can all agree on that) drove me away
>instead of delivering all the nice things an RPG should.

Think again.

>Shortly: I want an overriding reason to come back to playing AD&D.

Why Wayne? We don't want you.

Matt

Cameron Huang

unread,
9 Dec 1992, 14:09:5709/12/1992
to
In article <24...@galaxy.ucr.edu> at...@galaxy.ucr.edu (wayne wallace) writes:
>In article <1992Dec4.0...@dunix.drake.edu> tel...@dunix.drake.edu (Tim "Spock" Larson) writes:
>>Leave this guy alone. He started up the same "I'm gonna slam the D&D game
>>system" thread on ADND-L. He doesn't get the picture that his problem
>>is with the DM's that have screwed him over and not the game system
>>itself.
>>Give it up, Wayne. Go home. I've read too many of your posts already.
>>
>>Tim

I agree!!!!!

>Simply put, the poor rules (I think we can all agree on that) drove me away
>instead of delivering all the nice things an RPG should. It's like having
>100 IBM PCs, and you have to rewrite a program for each because the CPU (DM)
>is different on every one, even though AD&D/IBM is "standard". And on some DMs,
>they never get anything right... AD&D has no standard, only a bunch of
>variants, and while the rest of the world views that as a strength, I view
>it as a weakness that the poor rules led to it. Check out .advocacy where
>people are saying "why can't good role-playing and good mechanics go together?"
>

> [Junk Deleted]

Whoopie!!!! Then we can all get taken over by pitiful rules lawyers like
YOU!!!!!!!! I know why you don't play! You were probably kicked out of every
campaign 'cause you quoted every rule, and when you couldn't find a rule, you
killed the rest of the party! If you don't want to play DnD, then go somewhere
else, 'cause none of us are gonna hold your sweaty hand and give you reasons
to play DND!!!!! We are not missionaries!!! Go to
alt.dnd.I.dont.like.the.rules.so.give.me.a.reason.to.play, but GET OUT OF HERE
AND STOP FUCKING BUGGING US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


>
>Shortly: I want an overriding reason to come back to playing AD&D.
>It cannot be one of the following:
>
>Simple system
>Fast system
>Easy to teach
>Lots of Supplements
>
>I need an AD&D strength that overrides the poor, inconsistent rules from DM
>to DM to come back. Ideas?
>

Yes. So that I can play with you and utterly squash every character you make.


--Lord Bane

PS: Flame me all you want, it's like Dan Quayle calling me stupid.
--
"If love is blind, I guess I'll buy myself a cane."
--W. Axl Rose

"There can be only one!"
--Kurgan

ba...@choate.edu

Reply to all
Reply to the author
Forward
0 new messages