This will be the third or fourth time today I sit here in front of my computer and try to think of something to post that doesn't involve my dislike of Dungeons & Dragons. It is my sixth try in the last three days.
I used to like D&D. There were actually two times in my life when it was the game of choice for me and the fellowship of players I had the pleasure to game with. The first was from the time I first learned it and played it in 1977 until roughly 1983 or 84 when I learned there was a Star Trek RPG. The second time was when I taught the game to my ex-wife, who fell in love with it and wanted me to run it for her pretty much every day.
In the first instance it was Basic and than AD&D 1st Edition and in the second it was 3.0 and 3.5/D20.
I have so many issues with this game but the main one, right now, is this...
If you read the blogosphere and see what people say they are doing with it and its variations (such as Pathfinder, Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardy, etc.), you get the feeling that some amazing stuff is being run. I mean between Jeff Rient, Zak Smith and the other much frequented sites you've got some crazy cool ideas being generated.
Thing is, that's not happening near me. It hasn't happened in any D&D game I have seen in the last 10 years. Its always the same damn town, in the same damn pseudo-Western European area, fighting the same damn monsters, ad nauseum. The DMs are telling the Player's what they can't be, can't have and can't do. Perfectly intelligent and creative people who read comics, play computer and video games and watch anime add NONE of it into their games. There is never a feeling of kinetic energy, no romance, no wow.
What I'm actually doing here is complaining for no good reason other than sour grapes. One of my New York groups is strinking rapidly do to work schedules changing while I notice that others, especially the D&D ones, keep going strong. Unfortunately, I can't play with my old NJ crew more often since time, distance and money still hinder that option.
So, what does a GM who likes story, is indifferent towards rules and likes to play something, anything, other than cookie cutter medieval fantasy do to find new players? If I put up something at my FLGS with the words Dungeons & Dragons on it I'd be bum rushed by inqueries in seconds no doubt. What about Star Trek, Ars Magica, Galaxy Quest, Monsters and Other Childish Things, Adventures in Oz? Can you hear the crickets?
I can. They keep me up at night.