22 July 2018

The Right Way to Play

Recently JB at B/X Blackrazor wrote this,

"I've written in the past (more than once, I'm sure) that "there's more than one way to play D&D." But folks inferring some sort of non-judgmental, egalitarian declaration should note that I'm NOT saying there exists more than one RIGHT way to play D&D. Truth is, I secretly believe that many of the multiple ways in which folks run the game of D&D are wrong, some of them dead wrong."

And Alexis wrote some commentary on it, basically saying that the right way of play lies in the deconstruction and design of the game.

I completely agree with him; I have abandoned my previous efforts to make my own game system for precisely these reasons. I determined that the method in which I designed my game was faulty. My design philosophy has undergone a complete 180 in the past year. As Alexis says, how is what you are designing better? What is the purpose of this difference in design as opposed to all the other game designs that have already been made? I now think that it is paramount to understand your purpose and what exactly you want to accomplish  before even beginning to look at the design of a thing.

Relating to my post from the other day, this is the same problem with every map made for RPGs. Cartographers(if you dare call them that) just start drawing and make maps haphazardly without looking at the purpose of the map. Examine your purpose before laying pen to paper. This is why I'm finding it so hard to actually know how I want to change the maps I make for RPGs. What is the purpose of a map in an RPG? The answer is so varied and vague, that I am beginning to think one map will not be able to accommodate all that is needed. Maybe I should start making multiple maps of the same area for different uses? I really don't know.

Getting back to playing the game wrong, there is one big offense that I see throughout the hobby, among all age groups, in stores and among the games hosted at someone's home. The prevalence of dms or groups to tell others that they are full and aren't looking for new players. Not everyone does this, but in my experience a large majority of gamers behave like this. The idea that you can't dm a group larger than 5 players, or that someone can't join the campaign after the first session, or that they can't play with you because they're not your personal friend is completely wrong. In a hobby as small and niche as ours, it's a tragedy when someone doesn't have a chance to try a game and has a bad opinion of RPGs  because they weren't given the chance. So for those few, who actually read this blog, please just never turn away a prospective player!