Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Not Every Game Is For You, And That's Ok

I apologize for the lateness of the post, and it's brevity. There are some things going on in my real life that are keeping me distracted.

The past couple days I've seen a lot of people talking about some systems coming out. They don't like parts of them - which is fair - but their stated reason for why things are problematic often aren't with the way the game is meant to be run. For example, I've seen several people say the new Strife/Composure mechanic in the upcoming L5R RPG is "penalizing a player for rolling well". The problem with that is that the L5R system doesn't really have a "rolling well" situation. The dice and weighted so that the player has to choose between success - and how much success - and their character becoming emotionally compromised. You aren't "penalized for rolling great" for a couple of reasons. First, the deemed negative aspect is part of the roll so you didn't roll well if you ended up with a bunch of faces showing Success with Strife on them. Second is because your character experiencing emotions, and the other players getting to see how that impacts the character and their choices, is not a "punishment." it is the entire point of the game.

L5R at it's origin was a story of samurai tragedy. Yes, it had thrilling heroics. Yes it has a high fantasy edge. Yes it is full of magical samurai and a cast that makes Game of Thrones widen its eyes in shock. However, it is still a tale about tragedy. The thrilling heroics come at a cost, every action is political in nature, and there are always plots out there to deal with 'heroes.' The struggle between what is right, what is honorable, and what you want to do has always lay at the core of L5R. It is why True Love is a disadvantage while "Heartless" is an advantage. Love, emotions, get in the way.

What this means is that when you sign up to play L5R you are signing up to play a game where characters struggle with those things - including their emotions. And if that isn't what you're looking for, then maybe L5R is not the game for you.

And that is perfectly alright.

Not every game will appeal to you. Some games, even ones with themes you love, just will confound and confuse you. It's fine to not like something. It's fine to like something. And if a game's new edition is changing it from a game for you to one not for you, while that is sad it's not like the new edition removes all the old editions. People still play redbox D&D. People will still play redbox D&D long after D&D 5e is but a memory, except for to those who still play it as the edition for them.

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