Friday, March 21, 2014

And Now for Something Completely Different

I'm a fighter guy. Nothing different there. One of the things I always hated about my old group was the wild disrespect they had for niche protection. Especially where combat rules were concerned. There was zero effort expended to make sure my fighters were consistently better at fighting. I can dig the thief backstabbing or a magic user with a Staff of Striking. Sure, my fighter won't mete out more damage than everyone else, every single round. But when it comes to laying down the hurt reliably, there should be no substitute for the fighter. I mean, it's right there in his name.

Now, for the "completely different" part . . .

I have noticed this game from afar for quite some time. It seemed far too narrativist for me, though. Even though I was seeing a lot, and I mean lot, of mad love for it, I couldn't get past the product description. There was a part of the blurb that said something to the effect that the players and GM collaborate on the world/setting when the campaign kicks off. Whoa! That kind of talk is like the Black Knight solemnly intoning "None shall pass".

That kind of talk rankles my referee nerves. One thing I despise about the narrativist movement is when it goes overboard with player agency. Said agency is a good thing, in moderation. In many cases, though, it goes too far, to the point that the referee is present to manage the players' entertainment. We're all there to have fun, and that includes the referee. I get it if the players don't want to play in a post-apoc dystopia, and the referee shouldn't be a dick about trying to force it. By the same token, maybe the referee doesn't want to run a game set in Candyland. Obviously, there is plenty of middle ground in which to meet, it's just that I've seen too many systems that think player agency should be Almighty.

Well, something happened (I can't say what happened because I don't know) that prompted me to give Dungeon World another look. I took up arms and approached the Black Knight, intent on passing and learning the secrets he was guarding.

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