A collective memory of Dungeons and Dragons

edited May 2009 in Story Games
When we played Dungeons and Dragons at school, the GM controlled the adventure. Every stage was planned: our choices were irrelevant, because the GM made them fit his adventure. Sometimes, he was blatant, blocking our ideas: "You can't go south. There's a huge cliff.". Sometimes, he tricked us, making it seem like our decisions mattered, even though they didn't: "All right, you go south. You come to a big castle."

We used the rules we liked and ignored the ones we didn't. Often, we'd fudge die rolls: "Let's say you pick the lock". Sometimes, we'd fudge them less obviously: "But then you notice another way in". We'd ignore the character sheets, which would often stay in the drawer.

At the time, it seemed like fun. Looking back, though, it probably wasn't. I'd sit in my room, for hours, drawing dungeons. I'd buy all the latest books. But I wasn't really enjoying myself.


Having read stories like this, many times, I'm getting suspicious. I'm not sure they're entirely true. They're not false, either, but I think we're kidding ourselves, just a little.

Here's what I think happens. We read these stories on forums. Then we look back at their own experience and think: yes, we did fudge die rolls. Yes, we ignored rules. And, gradually, we start to see our experiences a little differently.

Then there's a period of social validation. It's socially acceptable to tell such anecdotes: if I say "Dungeons and Dragons sucks", lots of people agree. It validates our identity a little: we're indie gamers, dammit, and we've moved on! There's a political sense, too. Indie games do things differently from Dungeons and Dragons, so it's useful to point out how the old way was bad.

It's not entirely false. There's definitely elements of truth in these stories. But it's carefully constructed and selective. I think it's a myth: not false, not real, but something subtly in between.

Graham

Comments

  • Maybe, but I think you could substitute D&D with a lot of other things you and your friends did twenty years ago and that would still be true. All memory is part social construct and shaped by the present and present company.
  • edited May 2009
    I was absolutely having fun.

    It is not how I have fun now, 20 years later.

    It was a long journey, trying to figure out what made games fun. It took a long damned time and my game texts were not helping me out at all. This doesn't mean I wasn't having fun. I had damned fun playing my kender thief with his vorpal sword and my mogroth paladin with his yellow hammer called Sunflower. That was fucking fun.

    But now I think I have a better idea of what made it fun and how to grab the fun on any given night.

    EDIT:
    I think D&D is fun but it doesn't do everything fun and it didn't support us as much as we supported each other. That is cool, it is part of the coolness of RPG's but RPG's are no longer synonymous with D&D.

    Also, Graham, shouldn't we be writing papers?
  • I recall having fun playing basic D&D when I was about 13, when we weren't trying for anything more than fighting monsters and didn't care where the DM led us. After that it got less fun.
  • Posted By: GrahamAt the time, it seemed like fun. Looking back, though, it probably wasn't. I'd sit in my room, for hours, drawing dungeons. I'd buy all the latest books. But I wasn't really enjoying myself.
    This sentence is the one I always shake my head at. It sounds like a cult member. It's cool to have had fun and have fun a different way now! (Or the same way, if you're me! Indie games drool, D&D rules.)
  • My D&D experience both was like that and was not like that. It went through phases, and all of those phases were messy and complicated, in the way that most human interactions are.

    In order to make them make sense, especially to make the kind of simple sense things need to make for others to grasp them on forums, I obviously edit down the complexity.

    And yes, sometimes I do edit down the complexity in a way that will make the story fit the rhetoric of the group. I think we all do. Not even consciously (though sometimes so) -- but because talking to the group we're talking to for status reasons and social role is something we all do most of the time we're talking.

    So sure, we edit and select our memories. What you say is true. However, it doesn't mean that it isn't also true at the same time that we had a lot of crap D&D experiences. (And that it isn't also true what Judd says, and that it isn't also true that we had a lot of awesome D&D experiences that would still be fun today.)
  • I played almost no sucky AD&D. It wasn't always awesome, but some of it was.

    So are large numbers of indie gamers those few people who had an overwhelmingly bad experience of AD&D?
  • Posted By: GB SteveSo are large numbers of indie gamers those few people who had an overwhelmingly bad experience of AD&D?
    Which may also represent a significantly high percentage of DMs/GMs in general.
  • My grandmother bought me the red box when I was 10. Jeb and I started out using the rules, but it didn't last long. We looked at the books for inspiration. Drew pictures. Wrote stories. We read books on history and mythology and exotic cultures, and (oh, yes) the occult.

    System-wise, I think there was some infrequent dice rolling, but it was more along the lines of "if you get at least a 12, that happens." Conflict resolution was more often based on the quality of our narration...We didn't do modules, even though we bought them. Our stories were totally improvised, and usually involved more intrigue than murder.

    In Alabama, in the mid-1980s, playing D&D was something we did underground. We didn't advertise it. We felt like members of a secret society. The fact we weren't even playing D&D never crossed our minds.
  • Posted By: JuddI was absolutely having fun.

    It is not how I have fun now, 20 years later.

    It was a long journey, trying to figure out what made games fun. It took a long damned time and my game texts were not helping me out at all. This doesn't mean I wasn't having fun. I had damned fun playing my kender thief with his vorpal sword and my mogroth paladin with his yellow hammer called Sunflower. That was fucking fun.

    But now I think I have a better idea of what made it fun and how to grab the fun on any given night.

    EDIT:
    I think D&D is fun but it doesn't do everything fun and it didn't support us as much as we supported each other. That is cool, it is part of the coolness of RPG's but RPG's are no longer synonymous with D&D.

    Also, Graham, shouldn't we be writing papers?
    I gotta side with Judd on this one. I had a lot of fun playing D&D as a kid, as a teen, and even into college. I didn't stop having fun until 3.0-3.5 came along, because at that point it wasnt the kind of game I wanted to play. And now I'm into 4E, and it scratches that itch for me.

    I no longer have hours to spend drawing maps, but I do have a little bit of money to buy paper maps and minis, so it all works out.

    ME
  • I think the key thing is that the fun we had playing that way isn't reproducible now. NOBODY knew what they were doing, the rules were little help, but we were young and motivated and it was shiny. Of course we had fun.

    But the bloom is long off that rose. You can't go home again. What I discovered about the fun I had playing that way was that no matter what I did, it wasn't portable. It was fun I could only have within a certain social matrix. If I want to have fun playing RPGs now, I want to be able to sit down with people who I haven't necessarily been hanging out with day in and day out for the last N years and find the fun quickly and efficiently.

    We underestimate how much of the early RPG experience is predicated on the social milieu of young adults and teens.
  • in the picture is worth 1000 words dept-

    image

    myself (not in that picture) I usually had fun and I agree that part of it was the newness and a certain openmindedness in trying it out, part the company of certain friends, age etc; part of it was probably that it's just a fun activity in general to pretend, wonder what's behind the next door...
  • Many of us definitely were not playing D&D, AD&D, or whatever by the rules as written. That doesn't mean the rules as written sucked or that we weren't having a good deal of fun. For me personally, I needed a mix of dramatic tension, cinematic framing, and heroism that D&D just didn't promote by any means except color. It's that spirit in the color, in the images, flavor text, and even play examples that guided my DMing. Which in turn shaped the play at the table.

    D&D just wasn't the tool for what I needed. It was pretty much the only tool I had or knew much about though, so I made due using it as a foundation for my improvisation during play. I found out later (through Talislanta,MERP, and other games) that most of the tools out there at the time mostly just changed the setting around. Those tools weren't going to get me where I wanted in play either without use of techniques I was learning and honing on my own.

    Gah, techniques vs. mechanics/rules is a whole different barrel of pissed off monkeys...
  • I had a hell of a lot of fun back in the day. I don't think I would enjoy the same stuff in the same way today. My tastes have changed over the years. That doesn't make the fun I had back then any less fun.

    I think I'm better today at identifying what I find fun and why as well as communicating those things to the people I play with.
  • Have you ever tried re-watching the Thundercats cartoon? I can't personally watch it. But back in the day I loved it! Does me not liking it now mean I didn't like it then? I don't think so.
  • I had fun hanging out with friends and taking imaginary characters through dangerous situations. I'm not sure how much of that came from D&D, the rulebooks, modules, and other junk that I bought and how much came from the idea of the game rather than the game itself.
  • edited May 2009
    Posted By: jenskotHave you ever tried re-watching the Thundercats cartoon? I can't personally watch it. But back in the day I loved it! Does me not liking it now mean I didn't like it then? I don't think so.
    Yeah, I can't stand most 80s programing for that very reason. I would rather remember the good old days in that fuzzy, warm way.

    Edit: Jem and the Holograms was where I learned the word "synergy."
  • Posted By: markvin the picture is worth 1000 words dept-
    Wow--your gaming club had a lot of girls in it! Oh, wait....
    -----
    Now that we've headed into polling, I'll chime in.

    D&D rocked. Period. It will rock again, when I have a kid or two and they hit 10ish. Its (original) moral certainty, its emphasis on min-maxing, and its multimedia/multidisciplinary elements will always appeal to the young and the young-at-heart.
    No, we're not playing with TOYS, we're playing with MINIATURES.
    No, we're not playing PRETEND, we've got rules and dice and statistics driving what happens to whom.
    No, we're not DRAWING a dungeon, we're DESIGNING it, balancing difficulty and theme and aesthetics and problem solving.
    No, we're not playing a BOARD game, we're playing a highly tactical WAR game, with additional trappings to provide a reason behind the competition.

    It's an evolutionary step, for many folks, to go from utterly passive (books, TV) or utterly freeform (pretend, artwork) activities to a middle ground of active, cooperative play within manipulable constraints. Few other hobbies--and DAMNED few professions--demand as much of a balance of creative and analytic skills (only LARP demands more, as I figure it).
  • MarkV: The 80's, it burns! Or was that the late 70's? It burns either way.

    I've been having a bit of a nostalgia trip lately as my son and his friends have been playing D&D. They've got the graph paper and pencils and dice and books strewn around, but they're not using them strictly, if you know what I mean. They seem to transition pretty smoothly between taking it seriously and really roleplaying and then joking around again. It's also sort of jazzy, in that the GM seems to have a plot in mind, but then improvises around it constantly, obviously making it up as he goes along.

    The highlight of the session I eavesdropped on: "OK, and there are rumors of a, a sphinx far to the East in, um... Spokane." Which makes me think that the characters must be adventuring in Seattle, City of Adventure!
  • Posted By: Thor OlavsrudI had a hell of a lot of fun back in the day. I don't think I would enjoy the same stuff in the same way today. My tastes have changed over the years. That doesn't make the fun I had back then any less fun.
    So very true.

    I played AD&D2e in high school, and I know I had fun. It's easy to look back at it now and wince at all the stuff that, decades later, seems awful to me, and extra-double-easy to figure out that I can't have fun playing that game today, but none of that changes the fun I had when I was 16 making crude jokes with my buddies, geeking out over monster stats, and endlessly tinkering with house rules in our constant effort to make AD&D2e better fit what we wanted it to do. Like a lot of high school, I'm grateful for the fun I had when I was there, and I'm grateful that I never have to go back.


    Although in a way, I did go back a little bit...when 3rd edition came out, my current gaming group played us a good old-fashioned kick-in-the-door-and-kill-the-orcs-style campaign, low on seriousness and high on action. It was hilarious and fun and essentially a deliberate mixture of the kinds of games we play today with all the best nostalgic highlights of the games we played back then.

    Only, you know, with rules that didn't suck. Because man, even back in high school I knew that AD&D2e was a terrible, terrible system. :D
  • I also have to give proper respect to the major, major role that certain recreational substances played in my early D&D career. These, too, have lost some of their luster since then.
  • Posted By: markvin the picture is worth 1000 words dept-
    I accept your challenge:

    image

    Yes, that's an entire summer camp for D&D. After several years it was closed down (I kid you not) because of the "D&D is for Satan" backlash.

    You wanna talk fruitful voids? That's old D&D.
  • edited May 2009
    ^ look at those socks!
  • Just had to drop my nerdometer in a bucket of water, it was smoking and giving off sparks.
  • Hmm, well I think that all my bad memories of early D&D have to do with social issues, whether it was my trying to come to terms with authority or with other people's vision. The game itself wasn't quite what I was looking for, but roleplaying in general has continued to be fun for me, and in a sense has grown with me, for many years.
  • Posted By: Ben RobbinsI accept your challenge:
    Bah, that's nothing. Check out our group picture.

    image
  • Yes, all right, hilarious people shut up now, please.

    So my point was that it's a constructed story. We construct it, partly, to justify various things about indie games. And it's a shame, because, actually, I think many of us enjoyed those games we played when we were young.

    Graham
  • Posted By: GrahamYes, all right, hilarious people shut up now, please.

    So my point was that it's a constructed story. We construct it, partly, to justify various things about indie games. And it's a shame, because, actually, I think many of us enjoyed those games we played when we were young.

    Graham
    Graham, I feel like this is a cart before the horse kinda thing.

    Are there people who probably deliver speeches about how they hate D&D in order to fit in among indie RPG folk?

    If you say so.

    Were many indie RPG's made to highlight the techniques that made those early days fun and do away with the parts that were not fun (which, it turns out, are all different parts for different people)?

    If I say so.

    So, what now?
  • edited May 2009
    So...they're both important points and we needn't choose between them?

    It's not just about talking about hating D&D to fit in, although that's part of it. It's also about needing D&D to be flawed, so we can write better games. And about remembering our experiences selectively.

    Graham
  • Fine, I'll contribute materially to the discussion and stuff. You twisted my arm.

    The thing is, when I think back about my D&D experiences, I can't trust my memory. I remember a lot of frustration and some arguments. I also remember that I could not get enough of it. I was addicted. I spent countless "lonely fun" hours on D&D stuff, and it was definitely fun and not something I would give up.

    When it came time to play, there were some brilliant moments, but they were rarer than they ought to have been. I always wanted my games (and they were "my games," with all the stupid high school social dynamics of me being the DM-social leader and them being my player flock) to be more than what they were. I wanted grand and epic stories. I wanted character development, and I don't mean leveling up. I wanted the players to care about the same stuff I cared about, as much as I cared about it -- but they did not.

    I harassed my players. I was awful. I created questionnaires to determine their preferences and find out what was good or bad about each session. They rolled their eyes a lot. I offered XP for their involvement in writing stuff about their characters beyond filling in the boxes on the character sheet. To this day, I still create Player's Guides and hope the players read them carefully; I am disappointed when they do not.

    When I went to GenCon for the first time in 1989, two years out of high school, I returned to that same gaming group (we met much less regularly now that I was away at college) with new ideas about what my games should be. I drifted the rules further and further with house rule additions. The players didn't drift with me. I grew increasingly dissatisfied. I did have some awesome games at college but they were short-lived. I moved away for work and didn't find the magic again until I discovered the indie game scene.

    Those feelings aren't constructed. I'm not saying every moment was miserable. Overall, these games were fun, but a feeling of longing always accompanied them: "This is fun, but it is missing something substantial." The experience was fun but somehow hollow.
  • Good awesome fun. My dad allowed me to join them at the table when I was 5 where I played a Fighter named Flash, and we battled Lareth the Beautiful in the finale of The Village of Homlet. D&D continued to be awesome for a good 15 years as I DMed my group of friends through endless campaigns all the way up and into college. Sure there were disagreements at the table but in no larger a respective portion than there were in any of the other activities we enjoyed. We never thought the system was a mess or incoherent or any of the other negatives that enlightened folk heap on D&D these days. It just existed, and it worked, and it kept us coming back over and over. I wish I were currently playing anything that was as fun as those gaming days were. All my friends share this view as well. Ahhhh, good times....
  • It's funny, but...

    The BEST D&D experiences are ALWAYS in the PAST. "there were the times", "good times", "Ah, the games we played at the time...". And I am not talking only about this thread: when I still didn't know that the Forge existed, I was convinced that the best gaming experience was in the past, never to be lived again, and it was the very first session I played (that was almost ruleless because the GM was only a player in another GM campaign and didn't know the rules). All the other players in the group thought the same. Go in a "traditional rpgs" forum and ask around. It's almost a sacred truth: "the best game experiences are the first ones, and you'll never play like that again".

    The BEST "dirty hippie games" experiences are always in the Future. Every year I "beat" the experiences of the previous year, and another game get the "favorite" spot.

    In one kind of games, the "best part" live only in memory, to be revered and remembered. In the the other kind, lives in everyday experience.
  • Moreno, I dunno, man.

    My best times are when I am gaming regularly, when I have a regular gathering of friends making shit up to look forward to and that time in the game and the afterglow just after it. My best times are generally, hopefully now.

    Otherwise, what is the point?
    Posted By: GrahamSo...they're both important points and we needn't choose between them?

    It's not just about talking about hating D&D to fit in, although that's part of it. It's also aboutneedingD&D to be flawed, so we can write better games. And about remembering our experiences selectively.

    Graham
    This puts us in a fun spot. Those who really did have a bad experience, suddenly might feel like they are saying so just to fit in and those who had a great time might feel like they are creating it just to prove Graham wrong.

    Was my gaming so terrible back in the day and now indie RPG's saved me?

    It wasn't terrible but it just wasn't as consistently as good. I always felt like I was fighting something I could not see or name when I was playing AD&D 2nd edition and Ars Magica 2nd - 4th editions. But the all-night games in junior high and the group of 20-somethings getting together to make a Covenant while we were just figuring out what it meant to have our own homes away from home was a magical thing too.

    Man, I am a Poopy McBlabbermouth today.
  • [Those feelings aren't constructed. I'm not saying every moment was miserable. Overall, these games were fun, but a feeling of longing always accompanied them: "This is fun, but it is missing something substantial." The experience was fun but somehow hollow.]

    This, right here, sums up most of my gaming experiences. When the times were good, they were fucking amazing. Like, holy shit. When times were bad, I was miserable, and tended to, inadvertently, spread my misery around. A lot of the time, they were pretty fun, and grew more fun in retrospect, as the mleh parts drifted into unworthy-of-being-remembered headspace.

    Problem is, for the purposes of this thread, I wasn't playing much D&D. My earliest experiences with a published game was with Robotech. There was some D&D Basic, but then it was on to Shadowrun and White Wolf. It wasn't until 3.5 that I ever played much D&D, and even then, it still didn't fill a majority of my gaming time.

    Now, I still feel the same. The good times are great. Most of the time it's good, but it feels like it's missing something.

    Of course, nowadays I'm so game-starved that I'll lap up the mediocre and call it a feast.

  • edited May 2009
    That's an interesting observation Moreno. May be true but I'm not sure. I think I can add more beneficial stuff to this thread now. Maybe it is like you say Moreno that for the traditional gamer the best times are in the past but I tend to go with Judd on this one. Its obvious that I was waxing very nostalgic in my post but I think most likely it has to do with a lot of environmental factors more than it did the game we were playing. In "those days" we played most Friday nights until the wee hours of the morning and then couldn't friggin' even wait to get started again Saturday!! Hell yeah! It wasn't a problem getting everyone together, and we didn't have to worry about unemployment, or whether our parents were sick, or when the economy was going to turn around. None of that crap. We just had regular gaming, every weekend, where we got together and bullshitted out some wacky adventure together.

    Now, I probably haven't gamed in almost two years. Its a nightmare to get everyone together, never mind getting a regular groove going. So in that sense, those days of gaming are gone. And they were awesome.

    More directly to this thread, I can say that when I first came to rpg.net a couple years ago I was burning out on D&D. None of my friends were, but I was. I honest to God didn't even know there WERE any other RPGs at that time. And I'd played D&D for nearly 25 years at that point! Then I came to rpg.net and got my mind blown. I eventually made my way to the forge. At that point I think I may have went through a short phase where I thought, "Wow, here's a bunch of other people that are burnt out and they're helping me understand why D&D sucks." Maybe I did catch that bug for a bit. But it didn't take me long to realize that I was out of place at the forge, because the folks there (I know you guys are here too and I mean no offense whatsoever) took they're gaming WAY more seriously than I did. The big tip off was all the discussion on Fantasy Heartbreakers. I remember thinking, "Hell, what a shame, that's EXACTLY what I'm looking for....a different style of D&D."

    Anyway, all that to say to the original poster that yeah, I think I sort of had that happen initially. I new D&D wasn't working for me at that point for whatever reason, and it was easy to think I was on board with all of those awesome intellectuals who had figured out a way to game around D&D and it proved why D&D didn't work. It never really made me rewrite my memories of D&D though, I never came to the conclusion that my old gaming days really sucked and that I had just been confused the whole time. Nothing like that. Then and now, there is no doubt that we were having a blast. But we also never really had any of the social posturing, authority power trips, etc. that you hear so much about in association with "the old days" and traditional gaming. I don't know man, we just gamed... A LOT...and it was great. The good sessions were great and the bad ones were still a hell of a lot fun and laughter.
  • edited May 2009
    Posted By: Judd

    It wasn't terrible but it just wasn't as consistently as good. I always felt like I was fighting something I could not see or name...
    I never got into gaming through D&D. I got in through Fighting Fantasy, then Shadowrun, then Vampire and the rest of the WoD.

    Sessions were often a lot of fun. But when sessions were bad, I didn't have the perspective, experience or language to figure out and communicate why they were bad. Often, I'd play bad stuff again and again, hoping they'd turn into good, magically. As if some twist on the 7/5/3 + 13/9/5 + GM-led + 6 player recipe would result in fun. (And I archived the mailing list our group discussed games on. It's fucking awful).

    Last night, I played the third session of a Vampire game I'm not enjoying. I know why.
  • Posted By: Judd
    This puts us in a fun spot. Those who really did have a bad experience, suddenly might feel like they are saying so just to fit in and those who had a great time might feel like they are creating it just to prove Graham wrong.
    Wait... you mean everything we say to each other in life doesn't have the propensity to put us in that spot?

    I mean, not when we're just going along blathering, but if you actually stop and meditate for some time about what you say and why you say it, isn't this kind of question going to come up pretty inevitably about a lot of things?

    Or are Graham and I the only ones that think about shit like that? Cause I sure as hell don't want to be alone in a boat with Graham. Simon tells me he blows goats.
  • Yeah, Brand, it was a shitty post.

    I own it. I am sorry.
  • edited May 2009
    EDIT, less flippantly: I thought Brand was saying that "life is like that, including D&D", which is not necessarily a critique of what you said.
  • Yea, that's it.

    Judd is one of the few people I'll rarely call shitty.

    Unlike that Morningstar jerk.
  • Posted By: GrahamIt's also aboutneedingD&D to be flawed, so we can write better games.
    I'm grinning to myself because in retrospect it's obvious that back in high school I and the guys I gamed with needed D&D to be flawed. Everything that we disliked about AD&D2e was a subject for geeky debate and analysis, as we fiddled around to find some house rule that we liked better. Then we'd test out those new systems, and keep tinkering. The joy of formulating and putting a house rule into practice was a definite draw for us. We'd critique new spells, kits, and rules and if we saw what we considered a flaw, we'd attempt to fix it.

    As far as the play experience of those games goes, we didn't analyze that nearly as much, maybe for obvious reasons (teenaged boys are definitely not your go-to guys for self-awareness and social aptitude). That came later, and turns out to be the thing that makes playing more fun for me today (and why going back to playing like we did in high school would be so unsatisfying to me now). Like others have said, when we had fun, we had a lot of fun. But when we didn't have fun, we accepted the not-fun as something unavoidable and immune to the same tinkering spirit that informed our rules analysis. Hm.
  • edited May 2009
    Posted By: GrahamIt's not just about talking about hating D&D to fit in, although that's part of it. It's also about needing D&D to be flawed, so we can write better games. And about remembering our experiences selectively.
    Bah, you cynic.

    A bunch of us don't hate D&D at all, you know. In fact, we still run it and play it and write stuff for it.

    I don't need D&D to be flawed. For decades, I needed it not to be flawed. Like I said above, for the most part, I had fun, but I always wanted something more out of the experience and it left me feeling hollow. It still does, and that's why I'm still looking for the game that makes me feel like I'm playing D&D but without all the stuff that leaves me feeling that way (i.e., a Fantasy Heartbreaker).

    Also, it's bad form to tell other people they're not remembering what they say they're remembering. If you want to say you're doing it, that's fine, but leave me out of it. ;)

    Edited for grammar.
  • Posted By: Vernon RI had fun hanging out with friends and taking imaginary characters through dangerous situations. I'm not sure how much of that came from D&D, the rulebooks, modules, and other junk that I bought and how much came from the idea of the game rather than the game itself.
    I'm going to echo this. I have a very hard time separating the camaraderie and friendship I shared back then from the fun of the game. I know we didn't play the rules exactly as written and that we didn't have awesome adventures all of the time, but we always had fun. We couldn't get enough of it. While I think my games nowadays are 100% better in terms of structure and story development, I have a hard time recapturing the sheer joy of play that I had back then....
  • Did you first play D&D when you were 12 or when you were 20? 30?

    Did you get into it in the 70s or the 80s or the 90s?

    I'll bet Graham's mythic tale is much truer for the 30somethings who learned to play in the 90s than it is for the teens who learned to play in the late 70s-early 80s.

    The thing I called "playing D&D" was awesome fun in 6th grade, 1980. Me, age 39, 2009, would absolutely not have any fun at all dropping in on my 6th grade crew. "Playing D&D" today would look stuffy, formalistic, competitive and probably unfun to my 12 year old self.

    So I guess I'm saying the mythic tale of inde-validating D&D hate depends on who's telling it.

    p.
  • I got into AD&D in the 80s mostly. I was in my late teens. It was great fun. And recently I've been playing in a campaign that started in the 80s and that's fun too. It's not stuffy or formalistic. It is competitive, but in a good way.

    It's quite a different game to the ones I play with Graham.
  • Shh. You'll let the cat out of the bag about our vast conspiracy to make Graham's games suck.
Sign In or Register to comment.