Saturday, April 28, 2007

Of Dice and Men

Gaming for me was a natural progression from the pen and paper genre, to something substantially more persistent and available. My tabletop days were an era of my life that I reflect upon often and fondly, however my core group was often scattered to the four winds and thus, often defunct.

The founding group consisted of my brother, and my two cousins. I write this because just recently we had a D&D reunion of sorts. My cousin is getting married and for his bachelor party we decided to get the gang back together to consume alcohol and slay orcs. Eventually we ran out of orcs and built a bon-fire to sit around while we tried to finish off the beer. The game has changed quite a bit since I wandered the worlds of AD&D 2nd edition, where last I left it. We played mostly in Forgotten Realms at the time (yes, Ed Greenwood is a demi-god) and the flavor and detail of the campaign realm provided us with endlessly descriptive role playing material. Often we would spend hours just role playing our time in Waterdeep or the high seat of Cormyr and never encounter a single skirmish. Those were the days, indeed.

We adventured for years, often in a campaign continuation style of play, with perma-death being the only obstacle to greatness. However, as the years passed and obligations grew, our binge weekends became fewer and fewer. I tried gaming with other groups, but they often lacked the expertise or seriousness that I had grown accustomed to, and I often found myself frustrated and eventually gave up on it all together. Neverwinter Nights, Ultima Online and eventually Everquest filled the fantasy void created by the loss of my d20 days, and though it is hardly a replacement, time erodes those memories and one begins to forget the joys of dice and men.


Crucifer said...

In my experience, persistant crpg/mmo worlds have yet to offer the true roleplayer something akin to the pen and paper version.

It's akin to playing D&D in someone else's world and having that feeling that nothing that you do has any impact on the world. Monsters killed respawn for another run, world events come and go as simple obstacles to get to the next stage and wizards and warriors are aplenty wherever you look.

Cyndre said...

I agree completly. I have tried to recreate the same roleplay experience in MMOs but the genre either doesnt have the nessesary tools, or it has too many tools and eliminates the freedom and fuidity nessesary to manufature a good campaign and experience. Don't get me wrong, I love them, and hence play and write about them, but its hardly an adequete replacement.