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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Putting The "Do" Into "Dodecahedron"

Not sure if any of my readers read as many game reviews as I do, but when it comes to pen-and-paper games, board games, card games, and all other things low-tech and geeky, I do my best to stay abreast. And it's nice to read an off-beat review every now and then, just so that you know someone else out there in cyberspace feels the same way you do about my favorite hobbies.

The latest installment of Out of the Box, a column by Kenneth Hite (who has credits including Call of Cthulhu d20 and the Star Trek RPG), is just such a review.

That's right, as promised, it's time for the Best of Breed d20 Column, Core Game Version, Ultimate Badass Edition. One can be forgiven for believing that all d20 design is simply tired reiterations of the same crappy elf template or desperate tries at jiggering the encumbrance rules or lame attempts to jury-rig "retro flavor" into a far better rule set than any of us had when we were fourteen. (Oh, just a hint -- the reason that your D&D game seemed so much more exciting then? Everything seemed more exciting then. You were fourteen, for God's sake, your blood was approximately 88% hormones and 12% Wild Turkey.)
And you know what? I think the guy may be right. For those of us who long to recapture the excitement and wonder that we first felt when those dice clattered across the table, for those of us who refuse to use a DMG without a big red demon on it, for those of us who think that orcs should have pig noses and that's final, let's all take a step back and remember what it was really like to be a kid, and wonder if Kenneth hasn't hit on something. Sure, gaming was the greatest thing ever back in the day. And sure, we don't all have the same warm-and-mushy feelings that we used to when we sit down at the gaming table as thirty-somethings. But maybe that's just the way of things. Maybe it's not gaming that's changed. Maybe it's us.

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Comments on Putting The "Do" Into "Dodecahedron"
  Comment from Blogger Jay at Wednesday, December 21, 2005 11:59:00 PM
Buddy, it was all about some 12 year old boys who had trouble getting dates hanging around on a saturday afternoon drinking soda, eating chips, pretending to be heroes and thieves and wizards or someone other than who we were and having a quorum to believe it just for the day. Then usually Simon Cromwell's 16 year old sister and her friends would come back from the beach and then we were usually dragged back from the game into the real world of hot chicks in bikinis waking through the game room on the way to the kitchen... sigh, memories. What I would do for a real life baba yaga's hut... woo doggy.
  Comment from Blogger MacFurious at Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:29:00 AM
Jay's got an interesting point. Anyway, I was just going to comment that I have been thinking about that post and that concept in general for weeks previous to you posting it. I'm psychic apparently, anyway I came to a very similiar conclusion. Totally true I think. It's still fun but it will never have that same "magic" so to speak.
  Comment from Blogger MacFurious at Thursday, December 22, 2005 3:07:00 PM
Doesn't mean it isn't my favorite hobby though =)

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.