Thursday, May 3, 2012

When is Gamer ADD a Good Thing?

I saw this post on Back to the Dungeon this morning. Actually, I saw the header late last night, while working on a map, but decided to hold off on looking at it. I was feeling somewhat vulnerable to my ADD last night, so I decided not to chance it. The post is about Pathfinder (in case you haven't looked). For all my old school palaver, I love the idea of Pathfinder. Something about the presentation and art, I suppose. It's not as if I had an inordinate love for 3.x that transferred to PF. I even flirted with the idea of trying to use the Beginner's Box as a sort of PF Lite, but that notion died out rather quickly.

The reality of my situation is that I will never play PF, and the chances of ever GMing are slim and none. As I have often lamented, I have no group. If I were to run anything, the players would consist of my 16 y/o son, a 15 y/o family friend, and my wife. Trying to nail down two socially aware teens is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. And my wife is pretty much along for the ride. They have all played D&D to some degree. Trying to teach them anything else is really out of the question. Trying to teach them PF? Not gonna happen.

At the end of the day, pretty much everything I do, gaming-wise, is for my own edification. The maps, the house rules, even this blog, is all just a creative outlet. It's a journey-as-destination sort of thing. That is part of what drives my ADD. I spend a certain amount of time with a particular design and eventually my mind starts to wander. I get another idea for something else, or I read a review or some such, and become inspired by someone's passion for the system they're talking about.

I realized something while reading that PF post, though. My ADD and my situation has become such that I just don't have the patience to read such a monstrous system anymore. I want to work with things that inspire my imagination, not bludgeon it to death with minutiae. That's not a knock against PF. I know it does what it does very well. From the point of someone who would be reading it as an academic exercise, though, it is more than I can to tangle with. As someone who would only ever play it as a GM (and that is a million-to-one shot, anyway), it is far too much to commit to my already dodgy memory.

So, this is like that line from Platoon, after they found their buddy all strung up:
"Barnes was the eye of our rage. And through him, our captain Ahab, we would set things right again. That day we loved him."
Today, realizing my ADD will never hold up to a rules extravaganza like PF, it saved me from shifting focus. Realizing the limitations of it actually kept me concentrated on D&D. Today, I love it.

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