Monday, July 14, 2014

Where's the awe in D&D?

Many of you may remember the text in the book that read something along the lines of "Stop reading here". There was a section reserved for DMs only. A place players didn't enter. It was a time when being a DM wasn't an all powerful endeavor to punish players for all their sins.

In those days being a DM was a sacrifice so to speak. One in the group took a step through that portal from which there was no turning back. He forfeit the "innocence" of being a player and took on the task of being a DM. He took on a burden so the players could enjoy the adventure.

Players concentrated on the adventure. They explored the dungeon, drove deeper and deeper into the earth and brought forth treasure and fame. All that nitty-gritty stuff like modifiers, rolls, advancement, etc., was the domain of the DM. It filled player with a sense of facing the unknown. Both in regards to the adventure and the game mechanics. The unexpected drove the adventure. There was awe in the game. Where did it go?

Rules, complaints, bickering, more rules and more bickering now plague the dialogue. They have pushed the awe aside. Players complaining that things should be this way or that. Why? Don't like the rules, write your own. Don't like the game, write your own. Imagine how many great games would exist today if all that energy was spent creating something new instead of bickering?

The most amazing thing for me is that this bickering is about something that shouldn't be the player's concern and should in no way stop the DM from changing it to meet the group's needs. When players concern themselves with this issues about rules they step into the realm of the DM and in doing so forfeit this sense of awe and suspense I speak of.

Have we lost the "innocence" in playing D&D? Have we lost the awe?

How do we get it back?

No comments: