The comments and views expressed here do not reflect those of my employer, my doctor, my bookie, or anyone really, including myself.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Redheads and Role Playing Games. It's probably not what you're thinking.

Hey, remember that Dungeons and Dragons cartoon that aired during the previous century? It looked kinda like this:

Well, it seemed cool when I was eight. That's a helluva DM, making Tiamat their first encounter. I watched this show a lot, and I couldn't now tell you the plot of a single episode. Be that as it may, I decided to draw Sheila the Thief...

...and ended up with something that looked almost ,but not entirely, unlike Sheila the Thief. One's drawings do get away from one, from time to time.

Why Sheila? Just one of the cartoon redheads I had a crush on when I was a lad, along with Daphne, Josie, Scarlett and the rest. I would add Pebbles to the list, but when I do that most people say "dude, gross", and the I have to say "No, man, Pebbles when she looked like THIS", and then they say "Well still, you're thirty-seven, why are you crushing on cartoons anyway? And what's with the whistle?", and then I have to say, "I wasn't thirty-seven THEN, you fool", and it all ends up a lot more trouble than it's worth.


Speaking of Dungeons and Dragons (here we go!), I've started playing with some people in an Old School, Basic, Dwarf-is-a-class version of the game, and I think I finally get why so many people flew off the handle when 4th Ed. came out. Now I like 4th, it's my preferred version, but after seeing what the game used to be like, I can see why aficionados would feel that it was an insult of all they had known and loved. To me it seems kind of like American Football: a fine game, enjoyable, exciting and strategic. But don't take it to Europe and try to replace their version of football (We call it "soccer". And corn is "maize") with it, because that would be a good way to get a broken beer bottle in your teeth.

I've also been playing a bit of World of Warcraft (settle down people, just a trial account) and I can sure see why some people feel that 4th was ripping off that game. At least, on the surface. When you get down to it, most of the similarities between the two are only skin deep, and the joy of a living breathing DM is what makes all the difference. Plus in the long run, WOW (and all video game RPG's) had it's genesis in just being a digital version of table top RPG's, so you you could say that by DND ripping off WOW which ripped off DND, that 4th Ed is simply an inbred bastard child. That nobody loves. Hmm, kinda went against my point there.

Still awake? If so, then dig this: Yes, I would agree that 4th is more like a video game than previous versions of DND, simply because video games tend to have a structure and a set of rules that can be followed logically. 4th Ed seems to strive to do this too, with varying degrees of success. Previous versions of DND are more like the games we played in the school yard, with crazy rules that make very little coherent sense and that change on the fly. Don't get me wrong, that's a fun game to play too; and if that's the major thing you found fun about DND, then yes, 4th was bound to disappoint.

That was a pretty long digression for a 5 year old argument that hardly anyone cared about even when it was fresh. I hear they're working on 5th now, and hopefully that means I'll be able to get some 4th stuff on the cheap pretty soon.


That Batgirl was a looker, too.