I'm getting annoyed with my gaming group again. Well, let me be more specific. Two things are annoying me about the gaming group. One is that one person who's bound and determined to ruin any game that's not run to her exact specifications. Can't do much about that except 1) ignore her, 2) quit going to the game. I'm doing my best to do 1 right now. The other thing is that I come to these moments where I'm just sick to death of the method of play at my gaming group. It's not that it's bad. The DM is great: a really nice guy who does what he can with the time he can dedicate to the game to come up with stuff for us to play every week. I appreciate the work he does. I just don't agree with all his rules.
I'm not going to open up a discussion/can o' worms about things like level limits or alignment behaviour. But I heard from the DM this week that he gives human characters a +1 on any one stat when they're created, because, as he's not using level limits, he wants to give an incentive for players to choose humans, who don't have special abilities.
In my opinion, the game is about humans. The original game. The original idea. Humans form the backbone of the civilised world. The demi-humans form the fringes around it. Dwarves want to stay in the mountain and mine. Halflings want to stay in the shire and do halfling things. Elves want to stay in the forests and frolic. It's the oddballs of these races that come out to be player characters. (And at the same time, I love humanoids as PCs. In the setting I'm working on I'm replacing traditional demi-humans with animal men, who ought to operate by the same rule, but I'd love to see them get out into the world as PCs. I'm so conflicted.)
Humans like to get into everything. Humans are curious by nature. We like to know what's over that next rise, or why this-or-that happened in such-and-such a way. Humans are natural adventurers. The other races, not so much.
I find myself longing for classic gaming, for the old days, for the Old School Revival kinds of games, the games that one annoying person at my game despise. Roll 3d6, pick a class, buy armour and weapons and a pack and a torch or whatever, use less than one side of a piece of notebook paper, and we're off. No split stats. No NWPs. No WPs. No out-of-character spell lists that take several splatbooks to contain. No pile of splatbooks that purport to give you more options but really restrict your options. Ever tried making something really unique in Second Edition Skills & Powers? I have. I always run up against something that doesn't quite work. Sometimes I think S&P is designed for people without imagination. They want the game company to do all their thinkin' for them.
So I want to go back to those old days, before Tieflings (blech) and five-foot steps and Disadvantages and Character Points and all. To that end, I have in my little brain the idea to run some short sessions of Moldvay/Mentzer D&D, possibly after the chaos of the holidays has passed and there are players available. I'm feeling rather ranty tonight (no, REALLY?) so I'll save the details for another post.