My current D&D group is clinging to 3.5e which got me wondering – is it really worth it? We’ve been playing it for years and we still haven’t gotten all the rules down. Every week we learn something new or realize we’ve screwed something up.
We’re not idiots.
So why is it we can’t get the rules right for something we’ve been playing for several years and is supposed to be a watered down version of 2e?
“Table top WoW” I’ve heard people call 3e (and I hear the same for 4e – that’s odd, no?), but that was also something said about it when my group looked at and resisted adopting it. “Too much like a computer game” was another one I heard – not necessarily from them. But I’ll move away from that line of thought and come back to why we can’t get it straight after several years of playing it.
Here’s what I’ve come up with: I bet a few of the players probably don’t even crack open a sourcebook to give it a during the week between games but I can’t even blame them. Most of us are married, have kids or other hobbies and responsibilities we didn’t have before. We simply cannot give it the attention we need to or once could. We can’t spend hours in the evening or on weekends sifting through manuals and checking out all the rules. We just don’t have it in us anymore or we simply don’t have the time we once did.
It’s like those hideously long patches of hair aging men comb over the top of their bald head and think it means they’re not bald. This is our nasty little comb over.
We don’t need to cling to that patch of hair. We need to shave it off and accept that we can’t deal with convoluted, complex rules that are loaded with cross references and exceptions all over the place (inluding itty bitty little foot notes under a table). We’ve got too much going on in our lives to remember all that. Our heads are filled with technical specs, programming languages, policies, processes, rates, operating systems, security architecture on top of spouses and raising kids – it just isn’t possible. Sadly, the majority of them are “RP > All” types which I think would benefit the most for the streamlined combats that get resolved faster and with less rules confusion. It leaves more room for story and RP and less for debating some obscurity. But maybe we’re also just a bunch of windbags that want to argue about shit, what ever it is.
I feel better. I’m off to go slaughter the group’s characters now. 😀