Monday, January 25, 2021

Kill, Steal, Repeat

This is a ranty post, so skip if you don't have time for bullshit. I have a few of these in the tube. I must be in a mood today.


I think it's not controversial to say that D&D is a game about killing things and taking their stuff in order to get better at killing things and taking their stuff. And that's fine. Hell, we've been playing it that way for decades. That's what it is.

Yes, you can play it differently. As someone once prickishly pointed out, you can roleplay Monopoly. But the rules of Monopoly do not facilitate roleplay. The rules of D&D facilitate combat, theft, and the gaining of power. You can play entire sessions of D&D without combat or theft... but I god damn guarantee the rules are not helpful to you in that endeavor and you're fooling yourself if you argue otherwise.

(Cue that one guy who has an incredible story of an entire campaign in which the only dice rolls were Reaction Rolls. Bravo! You used one table in the entire game book. D&D is good at everything.)

This little rant was inspired by having read a few times recently how some people like to "role play vs. roll play". I thought that cliche died at -10 hit points in 1999. It's a game with 6 different dice. Fucking use them.


  1. Here is a counter rant. When I was younger we played EPT and D&D and liked them. And then Runequest came out with skills and no character classes or levels ... Like WOW! And then Champions arrived with design rules and points build and it was like really Cool and we waited to see how AD&D would innovate on this and it it was a pile of rehashed turds ignoring every improvement that had happened. The world of RPG design has spawned a lot of good ideas since the rough first attempts of the 1970's. Fucking used them!

    1. Oh man I remember when I rebelled against D&D when I was 19. I said no more elves, no more dragons! I found GURPS and was like FUUUUUCK YES! Then I ran a campaign using it and said FUUUUUCK NEVER AGAIN. lol I dislike generic systems.

      Anyway. Yeah, for sure there's been a lot of awesome since 1974 and we should feel embarrassed by our impossible mountain of choices.

    2. We use all the dice! in a wide variety of games as well. I don't play D&D a lot, but all the games end up with fighting (well, Traveller unless you shoot first fighting is likely to just kill you, so most people do tend to avoid combat there). But most RPGs are really about the combat and role playing is just an aspect of that.

      I'll admit we've had sessions where there was never combat but spirited conversations between PCs, but it is usually the combat that gets remembered best: had a Delve game, 1 PC never got even a scratch throughout the entire adventure of about 6 sessions. Final session, we're approaching the Big Bad, and I miraculously managed a magic spell to double the damage of one of the other PCs weapon. He does a critical fumble, and the unscathed Dwarf is killed in a single blow, which, due to my spell, caused a fireball that burned off all his cloths. So all we cannot unsee is the burning, naked Dwarf...good times.

    3. "Naked Burning Dwarf" is my next zine title.