Sunday, January 9, 2011

Living Forgotten Realms

For the last several months I've been playing Living Forgotten Realms.  It's basically what is left of the RPGA.  What is nice about it is that just about every weekend I can find a couple of D&D games to play.  My preference is to DM, and they even let me do that.  I can choose the time slot, the module, and the people I play with.  What is even better is that my son plays and loves it.  For the most part, it is great.

Except . . .

Except that so much of why I like to play RPGs is not present in LFR game play.  I like world building.  The Forgotten Realms is built.  I like a universe where the characters contribute to the development.  No luck there.  I like characters grow and change as a result of their experiences.  Aside from leveling up and getting better stats, that isn’t happening. 

LFR is basically a 30 minute sitcom.  The formula is already hashed out.  The PCs are all interchangeable.  Lucy and Ricky figured out just about everything you can do in a sitcom over half a century ago.  Evidently, the RPGA figured that out for canned RPG modules as well - and that is what LFR is. 

I'm not saying it's a bad thing.  Even wonder bread will keep you alive.  The LFR experience just isn't filling as a full course meal - and after decades of role playing, I can get pretty snobby.

Living Forgotten Realms has been there for me in a time when I wanted to game, but didn't have the intestinal fortitude to chase down a pack of players to start another campaign up.  So - I'll complain about LFR - but I am still thankful for it.  Since I am almost always a DM, I had never thought that my son and I would sit down and play PCs side by side - and we are.  That in itself is completely awesome. 

- Ark

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