Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boy Scouts, 0e And Things I'd Rather Not Eat

So...yeah, this whole "0e" thing has really captured my imagination. Swords & Wizardry and A Quick Primer On Old-School Gaming did the trick, and I'd be a big fat stinky slimy grit-eatin' liar if I said I weren't jonesing to twirl up a game based on their combined inspiration.

So I'll say no such thing. 'Cause, you know..eyeww, grit.

I'm enjoying the idea of D&D as a game of exploration, where the players' wits are engaged in the discovery of in-game information. Be it traps and secret doors or NPC motivations and personalities, I am enticed by the notion of moving away from abstract die-rolling to pry and learn.

However, I can see prep taking a long time for that style of gaming.

Here's why: If the players are to disarm a trap, I need to know how the trap works, so that I can describe it adequately and they can foil it. If they are to follow a trail through the woods -or a dungeon-, I need to know at least the rudiments of how real-world tracking works, so that I can give them logical clues. And so on.

I don't know a damn thing about this stuff, so I'd hafta haul off and learn. And that means prep time, for research and development.

That's the rub, right there. See, one time I tried running a game for my wife in a style much like this. Her character had trailed an assassin to a sewer/dungeon, and was intent upon finding him therein. When it came time to describe the clues she might follow in tracking this mofo through the dungeon, I was at a loss -- I had no idea what kind of tracks a dude leaves in a moist stone corridor.

Given my tendencies towards obsession and perfectionism, you can see why I feel a bit of trepidation underlying my enthusiasm. Then again, there's the usual Rotwang! caveat: I may be overthinking it, and worrying too much.