August 20, 2008

Michael Goldfarb's Reckless Remarks Threaten the GOP Coalition
— Ace

A blog called RPGDigest:

I am thoroughly disgusted with the comments of Mr. Goldfarb [linking Goldfarb's recent crack about D&D players].

I am further to the right, politically, than John McCain. I’m also a Dungeons and Dragons player. I don’t know why Mr. Goldfarb felt the need to connect liberals with D&D, but his comments were ill-informed. Most of the D&D players I know aren’t liberals. In fact, most of them don’t live in their mothers’ basements, either.

There are more than 1 million gamers in the United States. I’m glad to know that Mr. McCain’s lead is so pronounced that he can alienate this segment of the population.

As for me, I won’t be voting for John McCain in November, certainly not as long as Mr. Goldfarb remains on staff.

Okay, just so everyone knows what's going on: My personal "spat" with Goldfarb is entirely contrived for humorous effect. And Goldfarb, once I demanded an apology (okay, once I joking suggested he write a humorous apology), wrote back thus:

If my comments caused any harm or hurt to the hard working Americans who play Dungeons & Dragons, I apologize. This campaign is committed to increasing the strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores of every American.

That was an apology for his first D&D joke, he's now made a second, but come on.

Obviously this guy knows his way around a d20. He looks like the sort of guy most comfortable viewing the world over the top of a Dungeon Masters Screen. The sort of guy who carries 4d6 in his pocket "just in case." The sort of guy who still remembers the name of his Top Secret character ("Brock Cordite") and his weapon of choice (12mm gyrojet with plutonium "hot rounds").

Although -- while I'm kidding -- other people seem pissed off.

And, just to razz him some more, I have to say it's pretty bold for a political blogger to play the "dork" card on anyone. That's like RenFair groupie telling her boyfriend-slash-liegelord, "Let's be practical about this."

Then again, his girlfriend's cute. I guess he thinks that's like a +5 Periapt of Protection.

Not in an Anti-Magic Field, Michael. Not in an Anti-Magic Field.

It's Not Just the Crime, It's the Hypocrisy! Slublog says he was passed this incriminating photograph by a mystery woman calling herself Lucy Ramirez (who also passed the fake TANG documents to Bill Burkett).

Michael Goldfarb preparing to again slam D&D players,
or, as he knows them, "My Thursday Night Crew."
He's thinking about really nailing them this time--
that's right, Owlbears.

How Silly Can You Get? Over at Pandagon, one of Amanda "Hot Sticky Loads of the Lord" Marcotte's cobloggers has posted this "spat." The post and many of the comments are humorous (but not as funny as our stuff, natch), but some people seem to be taking this... a bit too seriously.

A quick Gamer Poltics update for those not in the know:

when RPGs first got big, with D&D;, they were by and large a conservative pastime. There’s a couple of reasons for this.

First of all, D&D;evolved out of wargames, not as one might assume from acting/storytelling stuff. It was big at MIT and Caltech, and then more generally among technical types. Most middle-aged gamers now are the ones who were in engineering school back when it came out, and engineers tend to be pretty conservative.

D&D;also has a pretty conservative bent as a game, though this is avoidable. The first few versions were all about tracking down “evil” races, killing them and taking thier stuff. These days the rules less directly reward genocide, but it’s still a big thing. Although the polytheistic bent offends some wingnuts, the fact of the matter is that essentially every edition has presented, as a major hero archetype, a crusading cleric of a pseudo-christian sun god. And weirdly, despite the presence in D&D;of multiple gods, clerics are usually encouraged to send prayers and offerings to only one, and attempt to convert other people ot his faith.

Plus D&D;has long been associated wiht LotR, which is itself a conservative fantasy.

My understanding is that not until White Wolf published Vampire did anyone realize there was a secondary RPG market among liberal actor/writer types who might come fo rthe storytelling, stay for the violence, rather than the other way around. Two this day the gaming community is divided long essentially political lines, with the Tough, Manly D&D;players deriding White Wolf and other more free-form, less rules-intense games as pansies, gays, goth chicks who can’t do math, etc., etc.

I actually prefer D&D;, but D&D;players do have a tendency toward anxious wingnuttiness.


It’s one of those “if I offended....” non-apology apolgies. Try this, Goldfarb: “I sincerely apologize for my intemperate comments about D&D;players, and going forward I promise to restrict my ignorant generalizations to groups that deserve it, such as homosexuals and blacks.”

That would be funny if the guy was being cheeky, but I don't think he is. I think he's actually annoyed.

Goldfarb didn't offer an "if I offended" apology -- but, coincidentally, that's exactly the sort of non-apology I suggested he make.

At first glance this variation on anti-intellectualism would seem to make sense since McCain is trying to court the Xtian fantasist and psychopath ex-jock demographics that make up the Bush voter base. But this former neutral-good ranger is reminded of those cursed wands that backfired on the wielder.

Geeks of Gaming past and present may be a politically diverse bunch (I recall the wargamers and miniatures guys being more right-wing than the pencil-and-paper RPGers) but there appears to be an “attack on one is an attack on all” treaty in place when real dorks like Goldfarb try to smear us.

I think the treaty he's referring to is the celebrated Wad Accord.

And of course:

Just as a quick note, upyernoz is correct—this appears to be an “apology” for the *first* time Goldfarb insulted gamers, based on the date of the article and comments at Ace of Spades. He did, indeed, mock D&D players again yesterday. Which goes to show just how honest the first apology was…

Having been involved in contriving the "apology," I can assure you it was never particularly serious, and I'm a bit perplexed that someone could imagine otherwise.

I invoke the William Shatner Diktat: Get a life.

You don't want to be that guy. Don't be that guy.

Obviously, he's a Druid. You know, the whole Commune with Nature thing; he's like a Vegan, sickly-pale Beastmaster. He doesn't actually fight monsters; instead, he casts one of his many Summon Squirrels spells, shouting out, "O, my Friends of the Silver Forest! Come to me, O Woodland Creatures! Protect me from this fell beast!" You know, that kind of pansy shit.

And the big problem isn't that he's played the game. No, the problem with [him] is that he's the guy that got way, waaaaay too into D&D. The guy you worry about.

He's the guy that just can't limit himself to a two page character sheet; no, he's written a sixteen page opus about his character, tracing his family's lineage back to the Age of Chaos, and he's spent three months sculpting his own miniature because it's just imperative that his figurine displays his correct arms (broadsword in the right hand, sickle in the left) and armor (dragonhide studded leather). He's always talking in that godawful British accent he got from hearing other people repeat Monty Python bits, and he's forever nattering on about his character's improbably-convoluted backstory, how he was the bastard son of the Black King Gondorad, how he served in his youth as a guard in the King's Royal Concubinage (and what ribald tales he can tell you of that!), and that his evil half-sister Orgasma is forever scheming against him, lest he ever lay claim to the Black Throne.

And you're like, "Dude, that's all well and good, but I just need to know your Armor Class so I can see if this gnoll hits you with the stick."

And he's just so freaky and creepy, you're all on pins and needles around him, wondering when exactly this lunatic is going to have his next regularly-scheduled psychotic break. The Dungeon Master in particular is absolutely scared shitless, and always fudges his saving throws to keep him alive, because you just know that if his Druid Lord ever goes down in a fight, [he's] going to go all Mazes & Monsters on the whole group. He'll kill you, skin you, make soup out of your meat, and store your polished skeletons the crawlspaces of his parents' basement.

And so that's how it goes. Every time you find a treasure, the Dungeon Master is like, "Oh, look, [dude], another +6 Vorpal sword for mighty Baradach Brightsword!" Until he's got like eight of the frigging things, like they're a set of Ginsu steak-knives or something. And when the other players complain -- "Why does [he] keep getting all the kick-ass magic items?" -- the Dungeon Master just takes them aside and says, "Dude, give me a break. This is life and death here. I want to live long enough to make blue belt in my aikido class."

Posted by: Ace at 10:13 AM | Comments (228)
Post contains 1551 words, total size 10 kb.


Obviously this guy knows his way around a d20.


Posted by: BumperStickerist at August 20, 2008 10:19 AM (NnAGL)

2 He didn't just say Dungeon and Dragons players.

He said those who fit all three of these criteria:  Playing RPGs, Adult living in Mom's basement, Believing in unrealistic and unfair attacks.

If you play D&D and live a fruitful live and are not a paranoid schiz Internet Warrior for Obama, then this didn't apply to you.

If you do play RPGs enough, you will eventually run into the people Goldfarb is talking about, and they are indeed worthy of being singled out for derision.  Further, if you play D&D as an adult and don't have a sense of humor about it... can't take a joke about it... then I suggest a bit of perspective.

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 10:21 AM (8jYMc)

3 But I won’t be voting for McCain in November. Not as long as Mr. Goldfarb remains on staff.

He needs psych help. The idiots are also slamming McCain for breaking under torture. They break anytime someone insults D&D and they have the nerve to criticize a man who was tortured for years?

Posted by: grc at August 20, 2008 10:21 AM (YleVG)


What if you play Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, ghy?

There *is* a difference.

accept no substtiute.

Posted by: BumperStickerist at August 20, 2008 10:23 AM (NnAGL)


Not sure what the big deal is offending D&D dorks, doesn't the GOP normally lose the homo vote anyway?

Someone had to say it.

Posted by: AndrewsDad at August 20, 2008 10:26 AM (C2//T)


The Adults Living in Mom's Basement demographic always talk and blog a good game, but they never actually show up at the polls because of the, uh, effort and all.

So mock away on them.

Posted by: Maetenloch at August 20, 2008 10:34 AM (tX/+f)

7 This was all going to blow over until Ace stirred the pot.  Now this thing has a life of it's own and won't go away anytime soon.

We're fucked.


Posted by: mesablue at August 20, 2008 10:36 AM (5yNaE)


This campaign is committed to increasing the strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores of every American.

He forgot hygiene.

Posted by: CornFedBeauty at August 20, 2008 10:36 AM (8r/RM)


I'm one of those bitter people still clinging to St Cuthbert and my d20s.

Posted by: joh at August 20, 2008 10:37 AM (1DPb/)

10 Lightning bolt!  Lightning bolt!

Posted by: Some Guy at August 20, 2008 10:42 AM (lPxkl)

11 There are more than 1 million gamers in the United States.

Get a grip. 118,118,928 voted in 2004. How many of the 1 million gamers A) Can't vote, or B) Don't vote?

Posted by: PolarBear at August 20, 2008 10:44 AM (qzcNU)

12 "Top Secret character"

Remember the execution methods in this game?  They'd all, even if you survived, leave your character brain-damaged.  I could never figure out whether you were supposed to keep playing James Bond as a retard or what.

Posted by: someone at August 20, 2008 10:45 AM (8WyNq)

13 Whoa... when Ace tells someone to "get a life", that person seriously needs to reconsider the direction they're taking.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at August 20, 2008 10:49 AM (rf03a)


'T'wern't  Amanda that posted that comment, ace.

T'were Jesse "The Kobold" Taylor.

Posted by: BumperStickerist at August 20, 2008 10:50 AM (NnAGL)


a fact which is made clear by the actual syntax of your post. 

Damn these Eyeglasses of Opportunistic Reading


Posted by: BumperStickerist at August 20, 2008 10:51 AM (NnAGL)

16 I think the 'gals' over at Padagon missed something else that was cool about D&D...illustrations of big breasted women in revealing tight leather clothing. I'm sure there was something anti-feminist in that. At least I hope there was.

Posted by: DrewM. at August 20, 2008 10:51 AM (hlYel)

17 Wow I haven't thought of AD & D (ADD) in ages. We used to play in a tattoo shop in the Virgin Islands run by a Honda driving satanist...Bunch a 14 year old kids running around the waterfront with swords and makeshift armor and  a Black Sabbath soundtrack - scaring Christians and Rastas alike.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 10:55 AM (cEE8N)

18 Hmmmm

Top Secret?  Lame.

D&D?  El Phantasmo-lamo.

Paranoia?  Now you're talking!

Posted by: memomachine at August 20, 2008 10:56 AM (3PLow)

19 It’s one of those “if I offended....” non-apology apolgies. Try this, Goldfarb: “I sincerely apologize for my intemperate comments about D&Dplayers, and going forward I promise to restrict my ignorant generalizations to groups that deserve it, such as homosexuals and blacks.” Well they liked that kinda apology when Hamsher blacked up a white dude.

Posted by: St. Andretard of the Scared Stupid at August 20, 2008 10:56 AM (LRJ8a)

Where is Amandicotti? Is she still working for Edwards?

Posted by: grc at August 20, 2008 10:56 AM (YleVG)

21 Hmmmm.

Right now I have vision of an Army of Urkels attacking.

And yes.  I was a D&D dungeonmaster.  Plays D&D, AD&D, Gamma World, Top Secret, Paranoia.  A whole list that I won't bore people with.

Posted by: memomachine at August 20, 2008 10:58 AM (3PLow)

22 Hmmmm.


Where's the ass fucking?

Posted by: memomachine at August 20, 2008 11:00 AM (3PLow)


Issues D&D players care about:

Use of Diplomacy skill in college so-called "Free Speech Zones"

Vorpal-free zones around schools

Lower taxes on loot recovered from dungeons

Tax-exempt status of Wild Elf reservations and Churchs of St. Cuthbert

Saying Helm's Prayer in school

The rising price of mithril

Hope and Polymorph

Government scrying on international communications

Drilling in Icewind Dale

Bringin troops home from the war in Mulhorand



Posted by: Shillelagh at August 20, 2008 11:00 AM (Oz4Bj)

24 Memory lane. Gamma World was the shit!
What was the name of that Wild West one?

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 11:01 AM (cEE8N)

25 the chainmail bikini.  THE CHAINMAIL BIKINI!!

Posted by: blogRot at August 20, 2008 11:04 AM (EKMxC)


I had to write back to him too.


Subject: Oi! What's with the DnD slam?
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 02:19:06 +0000

.ExternalClass .EC_hmmessage P { PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px } .ExternalClass BODY.EC_hmmessage { FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Tahoma } Foul! I resent the implication that as a DnD player that I've either vote Obama or be a member of the fever swamps! (The basement crack was a fair cop for a few years but happily I've moved on to better digs.)

I may have to roll dice in your general direction...! (Pity I'm a Canuck and can't vote for McCain anyway.)

A lot is riding on McCain's efforts for all of us even outside your borders. Your team has done a great job in the last month and I look forward to seeing what you do next. I'm sure it will be close, and I look to see John take the oath next January.

Cheers, and best of luck with the campaign.


(Also known as "Broken Fang the Gnoll" a 8th level Ranger/Barbarian, "Bolt the Kobold" a 6th level Ninja Sorcerer, "Terjon of Dreadwood" an 8th level Sorcerer....... etc.)

Posted by: BC Monkey at August 20, 2008 11:07 AM (phzv/)

27 Can I ask a question to those who are very into D&D:

Have you guys tried video games?  They take all the math out of the game, and as best as I can tell, provide a more engaging role play experience.  If you like to socializing, what's wrong with playing WoW Southpark style (a bunch of computers in the same room)?  I am not into WoW, but games like Oblivion and the older Final Fantasy games seem to be a lot of fun.

What am I missing?

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:08 AM (8jYMc)

28 Ha,  the dorks who played D&D at my high school were definitely not the conservative type.  Stoners all. Most hadn't seen the Sun in years.

I spent my summers in D&D ground zero -- Lake Geveva, WI and manged to stay away from the game.

Once you could play a decent game on a computer, though -- all bets were off.

Posted by: mesablue at August 20, 2008 11:10 AM (5yNaE)

29 Cheetos, anyone? 

They're 30 friggin' years old, but much like puberty, this is a special occasion.

Posted by: Fritz at August 20, 2008 11:11 AM (zAvxs)

30 No video game will ever be as open-ended as D&D, or allow you to invest as much into the creation of your character, let alone the fact that computer games totally remove the roleplaying aspect, where you get to be the character.  I play WoW too, and it's a fun enough hack 'n slash, and I can play it with my friends... but in WoW you don't have characters.  They don't have a backstory, or motivations, or relationships.  They're required to be what every bad D&D player is doomed to be: random number generators on legs. 

Posted by: Shillelagh at August 20, 2008 11:12 AM (Oz4Bj)

31 WWGD?

What Would Gygax Do?

He'd laugh, and tell these pinheads who are offended to lighten up, that's what.

Posted by: grognard at August 20, 2008 11:12 AM (5npD/)

32 Yes, Boot Hill. ;^)

I might have to head over to Scandi-Land and pick me up some of those...For research purposes.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 11:13 AM (cEE8N)

33 If Goldfarb wants to hit someone as a liberal pinhead, he ought to stick to LARPers.  The VAST majority of larpers are incredibly left-wing.

Posted by: grognard at August 20, 2008 11:15 AM (5npD/)


We had a 1st Edition AD&D campaign going in the Honor Guard Company barracks in Korea for the every other week we were locked down on alert status. Then I PCS'ed to Campbell and it's all Warhammer and other Games Workshop stuff. I'd kill for a decent Battletech game right now.

One of my college D&D buddies dragged me to a Vampire LARP as a "hired assassin" and he implied there were a lot of skanky Goth chicks who'd fuck on a first date. It fit, I had a skinhead ROTC haircut and benched about 400. I got thrown out because Dave neglected to tell me Airsoft guns weren't a legal way of settling "live-action combat". Shot eight people center-chest in about six seconds just because head shots aren't safe without eye protection, y'know. Didn't get laid out of the deal either. None of the three attractive women there were going to bang a guy who just gave their "vampire lord" a sucking chest wound with silver .45 hollowpoints.


Posted by: SGT Dan at August 20, 2008 11:18 AM (bhyDz)

35 D & D taught young impressionable me that yes, you actually can kick the shit out of annoying Chaotic Evil people.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 11:20 AM (cEE8N)

36 SGT Dan, you mean the UNC Honor Guard?

With the 4 hours guard 4 hours QRF 4 hours shine boots detail?

I loved that detail.  I got to go to a proper D-Fac for a few weeks.

Airsoft has been a major part of USFK life for at least a decade.  I used to shoot my roommate when he snored.  He was convinced he was getting stung by bugs for months.

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:22 AM (8jYMc)

37 Speaking of Wads I think they have been officially blown here.

Posted by: Rocks at August 20, 2008 11:23 AM (Q1lie)

38 Hmmmm.

@ ghy

"Can I ask a question to those who are very into D&D:"


"Have you guys tried video games?  They take all the math out of the game, and as best as I can tell, provide a more engaging role play experience.  If you like to socializing, what's wrong with playing WoW Southpark style (a bunch of computers in the same room)?  I am not into WoW, but games like Oblivion and the older Final Fantasy games seem to be a lot of fun."

*shrug* they're ok.

"What am I missing?"

Your own creativity.


And if you think D&D is bad for math.  Jesus H. Christ!  Never fucking play Rolemaster.  What a goddamn table-based fuckstick that was.  A D&D character takes about 15 minutes to do well.  A Rolemaster character can take upwards of an hour.  And Warhammer Roleplay is just as bad.

Which is why I like Paranoia.

Posted by: memomachine at August 20, 2008 11:23 AM (3PLow)

39 Shillelag, it sounds like you aren't up to date on video games.  There are lots of games that pretty much rip-off those aspects of D&D, with characters with no background beyond your imagination, letting you go whichever direction you want in the game.  Sure, there are limitations, but the same applies to D&D.  As far as the ability to invest time into your character, I think you can do a lot of that in both, and there are limitations in both.

But many games aren't like Zelda where you have a mission you have to accomplish to beat the game, are specifically a certain type of character, and have a certain set of relationships.

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:25 AM (8jYMc)

40 LoTR Online lets you manage many of the traits of each character class plus you get to shoot stuff.  Also, it's the only MMORPG that I know of that lets you spend destiny and contribute to group only special attacks.

Lvl 20 Elf Hunter on Silverlode if anyone else is playing.  A moron kinship would be funny.

Posted by: mesablue at August 20, 2008 11:29 AM (5yNaE)

41 memomachine, I don't see how D&D forces you to use creativity in a way Oblivion doesn't.   Perhaps you could be more specific in exactly what you are being creative about when you play.  Sincerely, I think I just don't understand this benefit.

How do you decide whether or not you're coming across a cave or a troll?  Does the person fighting the troll get to decide?  How is that challenging/interesting?  Is it another player?  Randomization?  Those later two are much alike a modern video game.

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:29 AM (8jYMc)

42 You'll have to pry my hand-painted paladin out of my cold dead hands.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 11:31 AM (cEE8N)

43 ace, I had to look up the FYNQ.... guess I'm more out of touch than ever.

But to answer your question, of course you barter in modern video games that are basically ripping off the D&D experience.  On rope, even.  those that permit you to voice chat I guess can use a British accent if you want to pretend you are British (I prefer to pretend I'm Speedy Gonzales, Senor).

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:32 AM (8jYMc)


Scattered thoughts here =

Gygax, Arneson, and Mentzer weren't concerned with politics at first. They did, especially Mentzer, attempt to model feudal kingdoms, which included "confidence levels"; arguably a gentle introduction to Macchiavelli.

The first D&D players were military; the hit point and armour class system is (famously) hardly at all like the way the human body weathers trauma; that is because Arneson was Navy and had in mind how a ship handles getting holed by cannon-balls.

The settings generally reflect a military point of view, in that you support a kingdom and the established order against aliens like orcs and monsters like dragons. The early D&D games run from internal threats to order (Keep On The Borderlands) to external threats to order (Vault Of The Drow). There weren't many settings about upending unjust rulers until, I daresay, the 3E revolution and Midnight (and there you're a reactionary trying to restore the old kingdoms) Feudalism is hardly ever unjust in D&D, although the Desert Nomads series had you defend a Republic.

Most of the gamers I've run across in various fora are hard Left, true (or Ronulans). Possibly much of this is as a result of running afoul of televangelists in the 1980s, but unfortunately Christian authors continue to slander us to this day (c.f., Randy Alcorn's books).

Posted by: David Ross at August 20, 2008 11:34 AM (GwV+j)

45 David, of course anything worth doing was probably a conservative idea at origin.  Even many basic liberal ideals are just perversions of good ideas.

But the whole shtick Ace posted about how it's white Christians practicing genocide, and the whole idea is rooted in military games strikes me as naked bullshitting (not from you). 

Like you, I've got a few friends who play D&D, and I'm only basically familiar with it because those friends are often very dumb-liberal (you know.. the stubborn type that don't really have any ultimate end in mind to their need for resisting 'the man').  I think D&D is just a series of rules that is much more fairly implemented by an automated system like a video game (apparently a lot of people think I'm a jackass for suggesting it), and that a lot of conservatives have moved on to better versions of the game.

After all, D&D obviously can get tedious and involves a lot of turn taking (at least to ADHD crackheads like me).

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:40 AM (8jYMc)

46 "Shillelag, it sounds like you aren't up to date on video games."

Dude, if you think Oblivion is a P&P substitute...

Oblivion is basically fantasy tree porn, with occasional killing.  There's no story, no characters -- dialog is in a stupid minigame! -- and no point.  You can do anything but it means nothing.

Posted by: someone at August 20, 2008 11:40 AM (8WyNq)

47 What you probably want is a NWN/NWN2 Persistent World...

Posted by: someone at August 20, 2008 11:43 AM (8WyNq)


"A quick Gamer Poltics update for those not in the know: "

Then he proceeds to describe his own fantasy version of D&D for a bunch of people he can be confident don't know he's completely and utterly Full Of Shit.  "Tracking down 'evil' races, and taking their stuff"...?  WTF?  I guess I was playing it wrong. 

"Top Secret"....damn, I'd forgotten that.  Let me bathe in the waves of nostalgia. 

And mesablue is right.  I was probably the only person in our group that (looking back) could have been called a conservative, but I was a "South Park conservative" long before the show existed (I called myself a "scientific rationalist" at the time).  Frankly, I doubt anyone else in the group really had any political leanings.  We drank and did naughty illegal drugs and had girlfriends (none of whom played, but they tolerated it) and did other fun shit like caving, hang gliding, and rally driving.  None of us lived at home and we all had jobs.  We were, apparently, a complete and utter disgrace to the accepted image of an AD&D player.  Gosh, it makes me cringe with embarassment to remember it.  Why couldn't we have lived up to the stereotype?  No guts, that's why.

Posted by: Flubber at August 20, 2008 11:44 AM (tvI8L)



Yes, I know not every game is as linear as Legend of Zelda. 

I'm 23 years old, and an avid gamer by any standard.  I'm up on games.  I think you're not up on pen and paper RPGs.  The very fact that you're going to tell me that D&D can be as limiting as video games demonstrates that. 

Can you get an exhaustive player's guide to any video game ever?  Yes, you can be told where every NPC, every item, every enemy, and every quest is in any game, and be told how to handle every single one.  Can you get an exhaustive player's guide to any pen and paper RPG?  Of course not.  Why?  Because the possibilities are endless, or at least practically so.  New and unexpected things can be introduced at any time, and are limited only by what you and your friends can imagine.  When playing video games, I always end up thinking, "You know what would be great to try right here?  Too bad the game doesn't support mechanics for it."  In pen and paper games, I can actually go ahead and try it!  It's really a fun thing, and if you've never gotten the chance, I recommend you find a friend who is a really good game master and get a campaign going. 

Posted by: Shillelagh at August 20, 2008 11:45 AM (Oz4Bj)

50 someone, Oblivion is just the example that seems to be the closet to D&D to my limited knowledge.

you're right that the dialogue sucks ass, and that the game is so open-ended (like D&D), that you never get the idea that you're making progress.  It's still an impressive step forward, and I think Fallout 3 (Oblivion set in a Mad Max style world) will improve on its mistakes.

Though there is a story, and there are characters, they progress slowly over the course of multiple games.  You can have smaller stories that are completed in a day or an hour, and then you forget them (partly because the stories are lame).  But many aspects of this type of game seem to be an obvious attempt to take from D&D.  And don't forget that the game is enormous, and in some respects, endless.  When you add in the idea of playing MMORPGs (I hate them, but whatever), then the game is expanding for years and your dialogue is with actual people, though the game is even more endless and pointless unless you erect your own role-playing (many Oblivion players also do their own role-playing as necromancers or whatever).

I'm not all that worried about it.  I just am curious what D&D has that defeats the allure and comfort of technology and graphics and a big couch.  You can insert many games to fit your taste (video or basement style).

Another question: how much money does it cost to seriously play D&D?

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:51 AM (8jYMc)

51 Over 50 comments about D&D and not one girl.

Go figure.

Posted by: runninrebel at August 20, 2008 11:53 AM (0n9wc)

52 Hey as long as that gamer can pull BS out to support his view of gaming politics [LOL] I'll do it too:
Players are Libs, but DMs are Conservatives.

C'mon, its obvious. Players are whiny little bitches who want want want the money/magic/power/experience points and DMs are always telling them to STFU and talk one at a time and NO I'm not giving you that artifact - watch it melt in a volcano in front of you hahaha

Posted by: Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight at August 20, 2008 11:54 AM (gIga4)

53 Having a twisted but fair DM was always the key to a good session. We'd have games last all summer.

ghy: "how much money does it cost to seriously play D&D?"

Beer costs more.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 11:55 AM (cEE8N)

54 Shillelagh, you're right that I'm not up on pen and paper games.  But many video games, certainly including Oblivion, permit you to add all sorts of things when you get an idea.  The logical limitations of the Half-life game engine exist, of course, but there are huge benefits to an internet community of new game aspects that you can insert.

I'm glad you get a lot out of your pen and paper games, of course.  How do you negotiate with your friends what the rules will be, if the game is truly limitless?  Maybe I'm just being dense, but it seems like it would get old trying to keep some sort of basis in your created reality.  But you've answered my question, for the most part.

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 11:55 AM (8jYMc)


ghy, I got into heated flamewars on Usenet over whether "Keep on the Borderlands" was racist and genocidal. It was a valley filled with goblins of various types, including women and children, and Gygax (the author) didn't give you any guidance over what to do about it when you got there.

So, if you were an 11 year old DMing this, you probably figured that the adventurers were supposed to slaughter the lot.

I suppose if you were 15 and DMing it you'd allow the goblins to surrender, to reveal the location of the evil temple and owlbear cave, and to go back to foraging or whatever it is goblins do.

Quite a few D&D modules assume that goblins have free will, like IQ-85 brutish humans. In LotR they don't, they're so corrupted that they're basically mortal demons.

Posted by: David Ross at August 20, 2008 11:59 AM (GwV+j)

56 Oh how I miss the Succubi...

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 12:03 PM (cEE8N)

57 ghy, it's one of those situations where you actually have to try both to know the difference.  The differences are huge - from someone who is enthusiastic about both.

I could describe the differences at length, but I think that's a waste of time when it's possible to go out and find the rules and actually learn how things work in practice.

Posted by: grognard at August 20, 2008 12:15 PM (kZVsz)


Oh, a truly genocidal, Heart Of Darkness style module did exist. It was called Night Below and written by a certain Carl Sargent. Sargent was before that a parapsychological investigator or some such. Think Peter Venkman from Ghostbusters.

Night Below was a trip, an absolute trip. Wonderful setpieces. But it demanded that you take out an entire (kuo-toa) city in order to get to the endgame. And you had to do this by means of terror raids, destroying their hatcheries (i.e. children) etc. Kuo-toa are, in D&D canon, not mortal demons; they're a dying race and know it, more neurotic than evil. In most of their appearances, including this one, they're being dominated by the real bad guys.

I understand that Sargent had some sort of accident and/or nervous breakdown immediately afterward. At any rate (unlike Trampier of Wormy fame, who switched to driving taxicabs) he hasn't been heard from since.

Night Below is a classic but it does not define the genre in the way of, say, Vault of the Drow. No-one hates VotD; lots of gamers hate NB.

Posted by: David Ross at August 20, 2008 12:16 PM (GwV+j)

59 Gamers do, in fact, tend to be more on the conservative side. It has something to do with creativity, wanting to smite evil, the understanding of the use of force, and a desire to save the damsel in distress rather than sit down and understand the dragon.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 20, 2008 12:16 PM (0+Ggj)

60 ghy, from the way you write it seems you've never actually played Fallout 1 and 2!  You should.  And the other classics:  Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape: Torment (these actually implement D&D Second Edition).

And, of course, NWN and NWN2, though perhaps more for user-created content -- including the only real online RP venues -- than the original campaigns.  These two games include a DM client, and people do use them to play regular homebrew campaigns.

Posted by: someone at August 20, 2008 12:16 PM (8WyNq)

61 Oh yeah, in case I didn't make it clear:  NWN1 is an implementation of D&D 3.0.  (So are IWD2 and ToEE.)  NWN2 is an implementation of D&D 3.5.

So no, Oblivion isn't the closest to D&D.  Neither in ruleset (obviously) nor form...  BG1 is probably the closest to the old-school D&D feel, and of course Fourth Edition D&D has decided to become World of Warcraft.

Posted by: someone at August 20, 2008 12:24 PM (8WyNq)

62 Over 50 comments about D&D and not one girl.

Yeah, but I'll bet there's a lot of atomic wedgie induced PTSD in here...

Posted by: Che Pizza from the bathment of the thience Bldg at August 20, 2008 12:26 PM (SPSOE)

63 David Ross, unfortunately, I hardly ever get to play video games, though I love to.  I never get far into them.

My first impression of Oblivion was that it was basically a better version of that old Hilsfar game (that had D&D branding).  Anyone remember that?

I'm no expert on which game is a better argument or anything like that.

Someone, I will probably actually look into some of those games you're mentioning.  I've got some downtime lately thanks to an injury. 

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 12:34 PM (8jYMc)

64 We could never afford many of the modules so our DM's were the key. They  created the world, the quests, the mood, and every detail. It kept a few of us bored island kids out of serious trouble in the absence of wind....At least most of the time.

I eventually became one of our group's DMs and remember the wonder, and camaraderie (not to mention the pure fucking god-trip) fondly.

It was like writing a novel and quite educational for 14 or 16 year old kids to transcend the fight-drink-fuck of the beginner phase and actually participate in a rich tapestry of our own creation with a common purpose. It certainly beat whatever was on TV or our Atari 2600s. Anyway, It beat everything but the Six-million dollar man and Wonder Woman's ass.

Needless to say we weren't getting laid but then again neither were many of our peers either.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 12:40 PM (cEE8N)



I wanted to let you know I really appreciate the tone of your last post.  Honestly, I was feeling confrontational, and you defused that quite well.  Bravo on your internet diplomacy. 

I understand the attraction of video games, and the avenues of entertainment they offer are vast.  I love the ones I play.  They are, however, the making of people you'll never meet, and who don't know you either. 

Pen and paper games do have set mechanics.  Those rules are generally undisputed.  What I meant by limitless was you could attempt anything, rather than you could do anything.  In most video games, for example, not only are the mechanics set, but things also have set options for interacting with them.  Unless it's programmed in, you can't challenge an orc champion to a farting contest, or bribe your way into a dungeon instead of beating up the guards, or vandalize an opposing fortress.  Pen and paper has mechanics to use that prescribe the way in which actions are resolved, but don't have preset programming that limits the actions that can be taken in the first place.  I think that's the real allure for me. 

Posted by: Shillelagh at August 20, 2008 12:42 PM (Oz4Bj)

66 At what point do you realize that the jocks were right to call you a loser, strip your pants off and make you walk past the cheerleaders in your yellowstained tighty whities, but you'd get your revenge.  Someday you'd make them pay.....  Sorry, I was lost in the past for a minute there.  What was I saying?

Posted by: fozzy at August 20, 2008 12:59 PM (ccEuN)

67 You must have been around a different breed of D & Der than me.
We were not fucked with at all.

You see the dynamic is kinda along the lines of the hard left with all their talk of 'revolution' against the knuckle-dragging rednecks who happen to have all the guns and training.Only we had machete's, swords, and bows and we knew how to use them.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 01:12 PM (cEE8N)


All the games I was referring to were pen-and-paper, not video. I've barely touched video fantasy RPGs since 1990s era Might & Magic.

Posted by: David Ross at August 20, 2008 01:52 PM (GwV+j)


Atleast he didn't rip on those who write fan-fiction.

#18 Drew:  They knew their market well.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at August 20, 2008 02:20 PM (TUWci)

70 If my comments caused any harm or hurt to the hard working Americans who play Dungeons & Dragons, I apologize. This campaign is committed to increasing the strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores of every American.

That is the best political apology I've ever heard. 

Posted by: alexthechick at August 20, 2008 02:21 PM (SHHaV)

71 And without the goth girls.

Posted by: sandy burger at August 20, 2008 02:22 PM (VC56G)


I love it when you do D&D stuff.  It's the only time my high school memories don't feel unbearably dweebish.


Posted by: Prufrock at August 20, 2008 02:30 PM (vISQb)


Posted by: h2u at August 20, 2008 02:30 PM (TZKUw)

74 Vote for McCain, RPGers.

Obama will steal your lunch money.

Posted by: sandy burger at August 20, 2008 02:37 PM (VC56G)

75 But how many of those 1 million players are actually going to vote? Will Mom let them borrow the car? What if Mom didn't put gas in the car? What if Mom doesn't unlock the basement door?

Posted by: Penfold at August 20, 2008 02:40 PM (lF2Kk)

76 I tried to get into D&D when I was in school but I didn't want to spend all recess, every fucking day,  in the classroom.  It seems like a fun game though.

Posted by: uniball at August 20, 2008 02:54 PM (27iEn)

77 Diet Mountain Dew is the nectar of the gods.  I gotta trust this guy.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at August 20, 2008 03:03 PM (6L459)


D&D;also has a pretty conservative bent as a game, though this is avoidable.  The first few versions were all about tracking down "evil" races, killing them and taking thier stuff.  These days the rules less directly reward genocide, but it's still a big thing. 

Who the f*ck thinks like this? Really? He probably sees the crypto-facist implications of the Airplane! movies too.

D & D and Gamma World kept this former 15 year old out of the scary world of talking to girls.

Posted by: Gordon at August 20, 2008 03:08 PM (STDOx)

79 Funny.  I thought it was a motherfucking game, not a fucking ethnic group.

Posted by: Stinky Esposito at August 20, 2008 03:22 PM (MMC8r)

80 I'd like to comment, but Mom's calling me upstairs for supper.

Posted by: Loren Heal at August 20, 2008 03:27 PM (s9Ak0)

81 monkeyfan, you are claiming that you defeated bullies with your knowledge of swords and bows?

Are you serious?  You're practically a stereotype saying that kind of thing.  I always laugh when I walk by that store int he mall that sells shurikens and Highlander swords.  Trust me, it's not intimidating to threaten people with ninja and elvish weapons.  It's fun to play games, and jocks that pick on kids having fun are assholes that will often lose in the long run, but it's no defense to have a ninja sword in your trunk.

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 03:40 PM (8jYMc)


Hey, howzabout a roleplaying game called Aholes and Academics?

Adventurers would be challenged to enlighten the Eldar race to their inherit hatred of the hordes of the Other.

Using non-violent magicks, wizards, dwarves and gaywads tear down fortress walls and welcome the marginalized trolls and balrogs into a true multi-cultural society, much like Chicago.

Posted by: Gordon at August 20, 2008 04:07 PM (STDOx)


Over 50 comments about D&D and not one girl. 

I've been busy cleaning up the mess you dorks left in the basement.

Posted by: kevlarchick at August 20, 2008 04:26 PM (TNuqz)

84 I'm pretty sure this thread is loaded with comedy gold. The problem is that some of us don't speak this particular dialect of nerd. Can anyone point to a geekspeak-to-moron transmogrifier?

Posted by: AnonymousDrivel at August 20, 2008 05:42 PM (sI5Ho)

85 Hmmmm.

@ ghy

"Another question: how much money does it cost to seriously play D&D?"

1. About $30.  And that's in books, dice, paper and pencils.

2. As far as creativity goes here's one of my campaigns.

Perusing the AD&D Players Manual I noticed that Dwarves could be Assassins either straight up or in combinations.  And I kinda wondered about that.  Why Dwarves and assassination?  Aren't they usually underground?  How much opportunity is there for assassination there?  So I wondered if each Dwarf King in his underground Hall had a small elite corps of Assassins that would act as couriers, spies and whatever.  So I made up a campaign and sold the concept to the players that it would almost be like Top Secret (i.e. Jame Bond) but in AD&D and as Dwarves.

I lied to them. (I do that a lot to my players btw)

Instead the campaign started with the Dwarf King dying on the floor in a storeroom made into a makeshift hospital, a crowd of dwarven children quietly crying ... and a huge army of Orcs and goblins advancing through what remained of the kingdom's army.  And a last command given to the players by a dying King.

Me: "You (the players) had been on a mission for the King to see if allies could be found to gather an army and take down the orcs but the orcs moved first.  Though the orcs took terrible losses, what of it?  They don't care.  But now the Hearth Guard itself is in the fight and soon will crack.  Hammer blows by Hill Giants and soon the Hearth Guard, the last line of defense of every Hall ... but one, will fall themselves.  And in their falling comes the doom of the Hall and all within it.

The King motions to you and gives you his last command.  Amidst the bloody froth on his mouth he commands you, the Hall's *last line of defense* the vaunted Key Guard, to ... kill every last surviving dwarf child.  None, he croaks, must remain alive to be tortured and eaten by the orcs.  Save them from an ignoble and terrible death.  There are none else that can do this.  And it must be done quickly or else even the very last hope of peace in death will vanish."

-- I give the players 2D6 minutes to make up their minds.  That's all the time they have.  If they don't complete the task in that time, they have failed and the dwarf children will be captured by the orcs because the children simply cannot use what physical escape routes that remain.  These routes are made, and practiced by, the Key Guard and they alone.  To escape this way requires the skills of a practiced Thief or Assassin.

(btw the players failed, the children were captured, sold into slavery to the Deep Dwarves.  And then in a later campaign I used them mercilessly against the players

And the players failed because when I fucking tell you in the story line that there's a time limit then there's a time LIMIT.   Jeesz.)

Me: "The bloody tasks done and the last dying screams echoing in your mind the King beckons you again.  He tells you that your final duty to the Hall must now be completed.  You must take the secret ways to the Myriad of Memories and having retrieved it you must now deliver it to a Dwarf King that is kin to your King. 

The Myriad of Memories is a special gemstone that can be encoded with memories of dwarves of the Hall.  It stands as the record keeping method for contracts, weddings, deaths, sums owed or paid and obligations.  It's obvious this Myriad will accomplish nothing for your Hall.  But it's contents might offer some hope or help to other dwarves who may have been away on business and were not killed in the attack.  With the Myriad there is always hope of using debts owed to regain control of the Hall.  Without it the players will have the clothes on their backs, their weapons and precious little else."


What I imagined the Key Guard was literally a guardian group that guarded the keys to the entire kingdom.  They literally were extensions of the King in that they could deliver an order and it would be as if the King were right there.  Plus they acted as spies, assassins and couriers and could be sent on a wide variety of missions to human cities and even sometimes to the Drow in the Darkened Deeps.  Their King was very smart and wise, and knew to keep his options open.

His problem was that the Hall had grown very wealthy, cf. Myriad of Memories, and sometimes the Drow figure it's easier to liquidate the creditor than to pay one off.

The Key Guard are very secretive and generally do not travel without being veiled unless they're on a mission that requires otherwise.  Anonymity is a byword and none of them will respond to a given name.  They do have names, but those are only for use by other Key Guards.

A notable tactic that Key Guards use, that require a lot of training, is *Blind Fighting*.  Essentially the Keys are taught to use senses other than sight, even though dwarf vision is exceptional even in the dark, as an advantage.  Each is given an ritual tattoo that allows them to cast a Sphere of Darkness 30' radius spell at any time, centered on the tattoo.  This spell extends 15' in every direction which means even a 15' tall giant will be completely blind.  No form of vision works in a Sphere of Darkness, not even dwarf.

So while opponents caught within the Sphere stumble about and blinded.  The Keys go to work and harvest their prey.

Another point the Keys can have some spells, in addition to the Sphere, tattooed to their person.  Too many tattoos and it becomes easier to spot you.  And tattoo allows one use, takes one month to recover from and costs a bundle.


*shrug* interesting ghy?

Posted by: memomachine at August 20, 2008 07:03 PM (3PLow)

86 Let's see...

Option 1 - Play D&D
Option 2 - Shave the rat brain with a rusty razor to make it "pron star smooth"

Who's got an old razor lying about???

Posted by: Eeyore's Swinging Sack at August 20, 2008 07:07 PM (vYc9j)

87 Hmmmm.

"And tattoo allows one use, takes one month to recover from and costs a bundle."

Sorry.  One use per 24 hour period.  When a tattoo is used it disappears until it is recharged, then it reappears.

They're hard to get because they cost serious money, you have to find a specialist and the specialist has to be willing to do it.

Posted by: memomachine at August 20, 2008 07:09 PM (3PLow)

88 Not worth the effort, but some of us of a certain age ought to go over to pandagon and post our own "Winter RPGer" comments. Stuff along the lines of how when we were in junior high we learned to hate the Arabs by playing the "Master of the Desert Nomads" and "Temple of Death" modules; that way, when we graduated from high school, just in time for Desert Shield and Desert Storm, we were primed for war. Damn them Bushes, conspiring to rob us of our rights and steal oil for their corporate cronies since the Reagan administration.

Posted by: Schreiber at August 20, 2008 07:50 PM (8u+0v)

89 ghy No.

I'm saying we were not shrunken geeks.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 20, 2008 08:32 PM (cEE8N)

90 ghy,

If you're still reading: There's really no comparison between pen and paper and CRPG. That's not to say that there couldn't be, and NWN takes a step in that direction, while the new 4E D&D is meant to have a computer-aided "helper" program to handle things. They're both sort of approaching the same idea in different directions. Still, CRPGs are just shallow distillations of mechanics (and I say that as one who has played and loved both "Nethack" and "Planescape: Torment").


As a guy who was a DM (almost exclusively, in fact), I can say that when I write a scenario, I might think of several different ways for the players to handle it, and only hit about 50% of the time the way they do handle it.

I sort of hate the new rules (4ed) precisely because they seek to reduce everything to a computer game.

CRPGs are generally combat-oriented. Go someplace and kill something. Even the most number crunching combat-oriented D&D games are more than that, with a good DM.

A good DM doesn't do "level grind".  Good CRPGs--actually many computer games--live off the level grind. That's their feedback mechanism. RPGs can be far more outcome based.

DMing is part performance art, as well: I once had a game where the characters started in the typical tavern, and never left. It wasn't part of my plan (I used the scenario later on in a game with the same players), but it was a necessary reaction to the players' actions. And one of the most fun games any of us ever played.

Good DMs don't let the game get boring any more than a musician lets his set get boring.

Stereotypes aside, we had jocks and hot chicks and musicians and average joes along with the more stereotypical nerds.

Although I don't play much any more, I wouldn't trade the past experience for the world. Being a DM helped me think about how the world works. Playing CRPGs makes me think about how the game works.

Posted by: moviegique at August 20, 2008 08:58 PM (1y5Vr)

91 I can't believe nobody's even mentioned Traveller yet.

WTF is wrong with you people?

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at August 20, 2008 08:59 PM (GIXnP)

92 I'm sure there was something anti-feminist in that. At least I hope there was.

That's the second best part.  The best part is the tits of course.

And do not mock the fandom girls.  For lo, they are scary as shit and will hunt you down, rip off your head and shit down your throat.  Not necessarily metaphorically either.

Posted by: alexthechick at August 20, 2008 09:25 PM (jCGID)

93 memomachine it sounds pretty sweet, I admit.  I'll see if I can look into it in town sometime as long as there is a lot of beer involved.

Posted by: ghy at August 20, 2008 10:02 PM (8jYMc)


Will someone clue me in as to how these comments work?  Do we get more props for posting on the old site?


I was comment #10 in this thread.  I know that comments here get usurped by comments there, but I was surprised to find myself at comment #50 not long after.  As of this writing I'm at comment #79, but by the time you read this I'll surely be comment #112.  Which, sort of detracts from the appearance of spontaneity.

So, my considered question to the members of the bar who control the levers to this thing is:

What the fuck?

Posted by: Prufrock at August 20, 2008 10:34 PM (vISQb)

95 What the fuck?

Old site comments get imported into the new site, up above all the new site comments, because old site users are so insecure and inconsiderate.

New site comments do not get exported to the old site, since those old site users wouldn't be capable of following our more elevated discussions anyhow.

Posted by: sandy burger at August 20, 2008 11:59 PM (xdzVW)

96 Second Edition Noob.

Posted by: Cluebat from Exodar at August 21, 2008 02:41 AM (Mv/2X)

97 Hmmmm.

@ ghy

"memomachine it sounds pretty sweet, I admit.  I'll see if I can look into it in town sometime as long as there is a lot of beer involved."

It can be a lot of fun.  And it can be a lot of work because the Dungeonmaster, or if you prefer the Gamemaster, has to figure out a world and a campaign.  A lot of people simply purchase an existing world and use that as the backdrop.

IMO if you like strange kinds of games I'd highly recommend your first paper-and-pencil RPG be ... Paranoia.

Google it.  A lot of resources can be downloaded for free and it's a "freestyle" sort of game.  Most RPG games fall into one of two categories.  Either they're very rules bound or they're freestyle.  A rules bound game means referring to references, tables, looking up pieces of information to make everything consistent.  A freestyle sort of game doesn't care much about that.

I've found, as a Gamemaster, that a good Paranoia game generally lasts no more than about 1-1 1/2 hours.  And if it runs a little long you can go ahead and kill everyone.  Paranoia is also very fun in that, unlike most games, other *players* are most often the source of death for players.  Because in Paranoia, you can't trust anybody!

"Stay Alert! Trust No One! Keep Your Laser Handy!"

My favorite game of Paranoia had the players investigating a sector where a R&D lab used to be but now was filled with strange creatures where the normal laws of physics didn't seem to hold.

Their special equipment consisted of a couple containers of Hot Fun and a half-dozen mops.

Basically I had them playing off the Looney-Tunes bunch in a cartoon universe where the only people who could die ... were them.

Posted by: memomachine at August 21, 2008 02:45 AM (3PLow)


RPG wasn't for me.  Strictly board wargames, until my son started an MMORPG in 2004.  When I say board wargame, this is after going thru Risk, Stratego, and the 4 Milton Bradley games.  My Dad bought Midway from the Avalon Hill Game Company in 1965.  3 of my brothers and my Dad played.   We ended up with over a hundred games.  Good times.

I have played Runescape and WOW.  It's great to record the experience in the game, but I don't have enough time to enjoy either one.  Blogs take up free time as I get it now.

Posted by: TomJW at August 21, 2008 03:10 AM (xRCpL)

99 I'd like to correct an earlier post.  Playing D&D for $30 is a myth.  Hasbro owns the IP for D&D now.  With every subsequent *edition* (read: bastardization) the number and price of the books needed gets larger.  I believe the 3.5 PHB was $40 by itself. With their newest edition, you can't even get the full Player's Handbook in one volume.

My advice to anyone feeling nostalgic or wanting to check it out - visit eBay or Amazon Marketplace and get the 1st edition rules on the cheap.  Books in good condition can be had for between $4 and $8.

Alternately, visit  They have a system, Castles & Crusades, which is probably what 3rd edition *should* have looked like.  It's also cheaper than any of Hasbro's crap, and it's still supported by in-print material.

Posted by: grognard at August 21, 2008 03:44 AM (kZVsz)


"Freestyle" RPG's is basically LARP without the cosplay.

This is what you're into when other dorky pursuits aren't safe, because even asthmatic chess champions steal your lunch money.

Posted by: Entropy at August 21, 2008 08:28 AM (m6c4H)


ghy, damn right, 2nd Platoon, Aug '99 to Aug '00. Our DM was 1st Platoon so we had some scheduling issues. Shoot me a line sometime, azrael556 at the hot mail.

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