I'm about to buy the new Kings of War - Vanguard rule set. It's on special half price about $20 for the next few days however before I bought it for use by my sons gaming group I thought I would have a quick look through and just make sure that it's a sort of game that I would like to play. As I began to read through the individual units with their classes, statistics and abilities, moves, attacks and "armour class" it began to remind me of the 1980s in the 1980s there was this little product called Dungeons and Dragons
I was given my first copy of Dungeons and Dragons by my mother who has I have mentioned in a previous podcast thought that it might suit me because Dungeons and Dragons was apparently appropriate for "boys that walk to the beat of a different Drum". Yes I'm still not sure what that really means however from the moment that I open the red box and looked at the bazaar dice and began to try to work out how to actually play this game I was hooked.
So that was 5 years or so of my life that went by in a heartbeat. Along with ending school, getting my first job, going on many real adventures and expeditions, I also spend many, many nights staying up late with friends going on grand imaginary adventures gaming magical items and learning to work together and sometimes even how to work with the monsters rather than "just spooning them over" as I was reminder of the other day.
As I thought back to Dungeons and Dragons and the great times we had and the near impossible puzzles that we solved I began to compare this to the new version of Kings of War Vanguard I begin to wonder why it was that I was buying another game to really do just a cut down version of the existing game that I have, that I have purchased (and repurchased(and repurchased)) but I don't actually have any time to play. I began to ponder on ways The Dungeons & Dragons could be cut down somewhat from the all-encompassing monumental game that it can be to something more manageable that would be akin to the Kings of War type product and it occurred to me that this would be very easy just make it RPG light or RPG 'none at all'. (continued...)
Now I'm a computer guy and in my job I use lots of different software packages I often see cheap products that will do photo editing or video editing or do any manner of other things that I need to do on a daily basis however where possible and where budgets allow I always buy the full on professional product even though I only will be using a small part of that product to achieve the results that I need to achieve. This has held me in good Stead for many years as it has allowed me an entry into a new product or technology that I wouldn't otherwise have had experience with more often than not I will get the opportunity later to reuse and build on. Buying a full commercial product gives me something that has "legs" meaning that it will certainly suffice for my basic needs but as my needs grow and my expertise grows I don't find that I run out of whatever it is that makes that product good and have to go and repurchase and relearn another product from scratch. When I apply this though mentally to gaming I think I would rather play D&D at a reduced level than another product and be found left wanting if I decide to push on into greater depth of gaming.
This brings me to another consideration and that is the sticky question of motivation. What motivates someone to do something commercially vs. what's "best".