Yeah, I know what you are thinking..."Get with the times!"
I have watched all of four in the last week, all of them got this old brain doing some thinking. Though I better stop before I hurt myself.
So, I will toss out some further thoughts on a subject or two touched on this one in particular to start with: The Gathering of Dorks. As I have said before, I enjoy gaming. Pretty much doesn't matter the system or setting (yes, there is a difference - but that's another post and commentary on another podcast) I am willing to give it a try at least for a couple of sessions. I started with 1E and played a whole lot of different systems since then - no 4E or 5E yet. My first 5E game is this weekend at the FG Con.
Now, in this particular podcast one of the gang mentions something about they had they had gotten more into "meta-gaming rather than just gaming" or something along those lines. I don't remember who actually said it, or when during the podcast but it stuck with me.
They did admit in the podcast that it was likely from them doing a bunch of one shot type adventures trying out different systems. I think that's what one shot adventures are ideally suited for...trying out new games, mechanic systems, and new settings without getting tied up too much in the character itself. After all, if you decide that the system or setting is not for you after one or two sessions you won't have a lot invested in a character.
I think, personally, that the whole "meta-gaming" fell started with the introduction of the Player's Option series of books for 2E. Yes, totally optional for a campaign, but that's where I fell that players started to become focused on the mechanics of the character rather than the character itself. Yes, 2E needed some work with the weapon/non weapon proficiency system, kits and a few other odds and ends. Oddly, THAC0 worked for me..I got it then, and still get it now. At that time I was playing in a long running campaign that had been converted over from 1E and we having a blast playing multiple sessions a week. We were still focused on character and story building rather than trying to push the mechanic envelop.
Again, to me it only got worse with 3E and the introduction of the D20 system. Not that I don't like the system, or won't play it or any game based on it. I just feel that it got caught up in the "meta-gaming" of the mechanics. It kind of felt like the designers were trying, even at that time to cater to the MMO crowd...instant gratification. Yeah, I know, it isn't just a "gaming" problem. Keep in mind, Ultima Online was released in '97, and Everquest in '99. Every level your character had to get something - an new feat or power - it was more about character-mechanic building than about character-building. From the little bit I read of 4E, I did purchase the Quick start rules and "The Keep on the Shadowfell" starter adventure, it got even worse with the introduction of per encounter/per day powers for everyone. The crazy popular, World of Warcraft came out in 2004, with 4E being released in 2008. Coincidence that 4E is very MMO like? Maybe- maybe not, but I certainly feel that way.
I have rambled on enough, time for your thoughts on the matter. Flame away.