Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The D&D Headache

This is me bitching. Sorry.

Vanilla D&D is the bane of my gaming existence. You see I reinvent myself every few years gaming wise. I was all into Supers recently then put that aside to try the indy push. Recently I'm getting into Pathfinder and a bit of the old school Star Wars/Shadowrun kick I use to enjoy. I still have my GURPS books but haven't really played it since 4E went live.

Now D&D is a love/hate relationship with me. While I enjoy and experiment with the new editions what I dislike is the D&D I like, the weirder fringe material always shows up at the end of the lifecyle of the line. So for me, the new D&D edition drops, I get use to it in a few months and then I grow bored with the material. Hell, I wasn't interested in Pathfinder until they did their Advanced Players Guide. The sweetspot for me was in the height of D&D 2E when Planescape was running. I loved the 2E Psionics rules, I enjoyed the speciality priests, and while I had issues with some of the lack of non-combat options it didn't bother me yet. The Skills and Options showed up and man did it get messy. My 3E sweet spot was at the height of Eberron, psionics were out, they were experimenting with Book of 9 Swords (which was optional at the time) and stuff like Incarnium. There was enough weird new out there to actually play with. And then they dropped a new edition on me.

I hear the arguments, you can keep playing, you can just use your old books. But that's the catch, the players go where they see support eventually. If it wasn't for Pathfinder I'd think a lot of 3.X games would have dried up, at least in the short run. And truthfully I wanted to experiment with the new system. I wanted to try out the 'new' takes on old classes. I'm sure when D&D Next comes out I'll examine the new edition in curiosity.

But then I run into the paradox. There seems to be a fantasy purist vein that GMs and players who enjoy more the OSR experience use to justify cutting out different options from the older editions they don't feel is genre. Psionics is one of my BIG BEEFS. I love Psionics. I feel it has just a much of a place in the D&D pahtheon of play as Rangers and Clerics. And to hear that in Next they are just another class variant of Wizard makes me a little sick. Same goes when they don't 'get' it with other classes. A Druid has evolved from the Cleric that it was based on. There is room enough for dozens of unique character concepts. This was part of the reason why I moved on to Generic systems after my D&D phase ended.

What happens though is I start to see the d20 era and 4E's fracturing of the D&D development and fan base as a problem for me. I like elements of Pathfinder, 13th Age, D&D Next, and the various other d20 children. But none of them (with maybe the exception of Pathfinder these days) have enough development to draw my attention in. Golarion is a fine setting, but I want to see Paizo branch out! Sure, don't do the 2E era of a new setting a year, but maybe 2 to 3 main settings? Or what about WoTC getting off their asses and giving me Eberron again in a NON-4E package. I want D&D Next Psionics to be unique and to play well with the other children.

So, D&DN will most likely gather my money down the line more. When the setting and supplemental material keeps me buying. Pathfinder is loosing me, but Mythic and the Advanced Class Guide might pull me back in.

But my D&D Headache continues. I have to find players willing and find a version of the system robust enough for me to use with out problems.

And then..and then..I might capture the mood I'm looking for.