Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Gamer's Creed

I see little point in "edition war" arguments where one side tries to convince the other that they play a superior form of D&D. That isn't to dismiss debates on the merits and flaws of different games. Nor am I saying that no one should not be able to gripe and complain from time to time. That's pretty much the purpose of most blogs, if I'm not mistaken.

No, I'm against useless debates where one angry fan tries to pass his opinions and preferences off as some kind of fact, as if he's going to convince someone else to change their own feelings via an internet message board. While I've been guilty of contributing to these sorts of ego-driven discussions in the past, I would very much like to avoid doing so in the future.

This got me thinking about other common behaviors that I'd like to avoid, if I can. I thought it might be useful to write these down and that it might be amusing if I did so in a fashion similar to the Soldier's Creed or other such mottos. I already have a manifesto, why not a creed as well?

by Andrew Branstad

I am a fan of tabletop roleplaying games, as typified by Dungeons and Dragons and the games that it inspired, either directly or indirectly.

I enjoy many roleplaying games. I like to play them, read them, and collect them. I think that all three of these activities are a viable part of a hobby that includes many separate but related pursuits.

I believe that there is a shared culture among gamers created by a variety of common interests. I feel that this culture is important to maintain and I will try to build and preserve it through my behavior and actions. I will also remember that games are meant to be fun and I won’t take them too seriously.

There are games that I don’t enjoy. I will not disparage others who play games that I do not like. Doing so creates unnecessary rifts among otherwise like-minded people. I will remember that my opinion is not a litmus test of what is good or bad; it is only my opinion.

I believe that roleplaying game rules were meant to be altered and I enjoy creating rules of my own. The best rules are created through play. Second best are rules developed independently and then rigorously tested. The least useful are those rules that were created in a vacuum.

Most game designers are experienced players and I value their opinions. However, I will not hold the ideas of a designer above those of any other experienced player. No person can be an expert on how to play roleplaying games because there is no single correct way to play roleplaying games.

I believe that roleplaying games are part of a unique hobby that can bring a lifetime of fun. I will strive to teach this hobby to others. I will actively support the games and activities that I enjoy so that they will carry on through subsequent generations.

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