So here’s the thing. I’ve been, let’s just say — grumpy about gaming lately. And I don’t know why. I know every DM and player get’s frustrated sometimes — but I’m especially so lately. And here’s the feeling I get whenever I probe at it. I like D&D. I enjoy Pathfinder… I think they’re both really interesting games and I’ve been playing a version of D&D for the last 28 years.
But I don’t love ’em.
In the 80’s, I was far more in love with the Arcanum (Bard Games) than D&D, and I always wanted someone to come along and run a Chaosium fantasy game. I totally dig Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition, Barbarians of Lemuria, Castle Falkenstein, and Old School Hack (minus the prohibition on only giving one of each character type to the party… that’s just weird to me). And I miss running/playing Amber with all my heart. The most mediocre Amber game is still probably a light year above the majority of other games I’ve played.
And you know, there are certain gaming experiences I like: 7th Sea, Star Wars, Shadowrun… but the systems… ugh. They make me want to cry. I pulled out my Buffy RPG books the other day because I started thinking about how much I’d love to run a Young-Mystics-In-Love kinda game — and I started reading the sections about Combat Maneuvers and Drama Points and I just lost all interest, completely. Just gone.
It’s like that moment in How I Met Your Mother when Ted explains how, “you know, when you finish a relationship and there’s that lingering sexual tension…” and then you hear that glass breaking sound “and then it’s just gone?” Well, I don’t have any lingering sexual tension with my RPGs (maybe with Buffy… a little… I’m not weird) but I certainly have “lost that lovin’ feeling.”
Anyway… I’m not sure I’ve reached “cry for help” stage yet. I think I just need new games, or maybe a return to games I love. The problem is… I think that if I do that, I won’t get to game with some of the people I most want to game with — because they are definitely not into these things. And that really bums me out more… because as much as I might want to play a different game, I care about the people I choose to play with more.