Tuesday, September 27, 2011
As I've mentioned in some recent posts, I've been dabbling in some Classic/Basic D&D (to use the terms interchangeably) and retroclones, with the idea that I may want to someday run a Classic D&D game. I have been feeling an urge to play Basic D&D, which I never really did back in my formative years. I've been yearning to do it up, with race-as-class and the rest of it.
But I have to say, as I've read through the original rules sets and their clones, I've found myself doing a lot of house ruling in my head. I've been trying to fight that impulse, and taking the advice of Philotomy to "play it for what it is." I've found that a lot of this mental house ruling stems from my good experiences playing Castles & Crusades.
It should be no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I love C&C. It is elegant. It is modular. I've been thinking that if, say, I want the race-as-class experience, I can use C&C for that. I can just restrict the races and classes that players are allowed to play (and not have to worry about pesky level limits to boot, something I'm not quite sure if I like). Ultimately, I have no fear that I can use C&C to emulate any era of D&D play. And frankly, I don't think it's harder to teach someone to play C&C than teaching them to play Classic D&D. In fact (at least for me at this point in time), it might even be easier to teach C&C to new players.
But still, there seems to just be something about the thought of actually using, say, the Moldvay Basic rules. But what is that something, exactly? Is it just the "bad" type of nostalgia that makes me want to play Basic D&D? Is it just the appeal of the "street cred" or gravitas that seems to come from playing the actual, original editions? Or is it something else?
I assume others out there have experienced this pattern of thought, this questioning of systems, this wondering if one is motivated by a dark form of nostalgia. If so, how have you dealt with this affliction? Please, let me know how you have fought with this questioning, this Gamer ADD, the rose-colored glasses.
In the end, I return to my old adage that any gaming is good gaming. I try to remember that I have a good bit of gaming going on almost every week, and I should be thankful for that. Because there are a lot of gamers out there who do not have the current luxury of being able to game even once a week, such as I do.
Again, I'm not anywhere near giving up on C&C and the current campaign I am running using those rules. But there's still something lurking in me that is thinking about running one-shots using Classic D&D rules. What is the impetus of this impulse, I ask you? The questioning continues...