D&D General Why the resistance to D&D being a game?

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
I don’t get it.

Even if the game is about simulating a secondary fantasy world the PCs inhabit and they are on a hard-scrabble quest to survive from zeros to heroes, encumbrance and torchlight are of dire importance, etc…it’s still a game.

Even if the game is about sitting around with your friends, drinking some beers and eating some pretzels while killing some orcs…it’s still a game.

Even if the game is about epic quests and cosmic heroes tearing down gods…it’s still a game.

D&D is a game. So why do people object to it being treated like a game?
 

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I can't say I ever came across anyone who thought it wasn't a game. I'm sure there are folks who take it too seriously, but that would apply to any game/sport/hobby I suppose.
I think the OP is referring to arguments about design aesthetics that seem "gamey" to some people. It pops up from time to time in the martial/caster balance discussions. There will occasionally be people arguing that, for example, you can't give martial classes abilities that reset on a long rest or short rest or whatever, because it's not "realistic" to have abilities with limited uses.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I think the OP is referring to arguments about design aesthetics that seem "gamey" to some people. It pops up from time to time in the martial/caster balance discussions. There will occasionally be people arguing that, for example, you can't give martial classes abilities that reset on a long rest or short rest or whatever, because it's not "realistic" to have abilities with limited uses.
Which is silly, really. You can't do your best martial moves all the time. It doesn't "realistically" work that way. Realism is, as always, a poor argument.

The real issue, AFAICT, is that those that don't like limited-resource martial "powers" don't like the idea that you (as a player) get to chose what you (the character) get to accomplish with a mechanically acknowledged disconnect between the two "you"s.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I don’t get it.

Even if the game is about simulating a secondary fantasy world the PCs inhabit and they are on a hard-scrabble quest to survive from zeros to heroes, encumbrance and torchlight are of dire importance, etc…it’s still a game.

Even if the game is about sitting around with your friends, drinking some beers and eating some pretzels while killing some orcs…it’s still a game.

Even if the game is about epic quests and cosmic heroes tearing down gods…it’s still a game.

D&D is a game. So why do people object to it being treated like a game?
Can you be more specific? What aspects of "gamism" (broad not Forge) do you think people reject?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think the OP is referring to arguments about design aesthetics that seem "gamey" to some people. It pops up from time to time in the martial/caster balance discussions. There will occasionally be people arguing that, for example, you can't give martial classes abilities that reset on a long rest or short rest or whatever, because it's not "realistic" to have abilities with limited uses.
Can you be more specific? What aspects of "gamism" (broad not Forge) do you think people reject?
Basically as the other poster suggests, that acknowledging it’s a game so designing it like a game some seem to object to. Vehemently. Arguments about realism and verisimilitude, etc. We can’t have fighters with cool stuff because that’s “not realistic” while the wizard is casting fireballs and has a wish in their back pocket for later. It’s not limited to that. But that’s the one that comes to mind right now.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Basically as the other poster suggests, that acknowledging it’s a game so designing it like a game some seem to object to. Vehemently. Arguments about realism and verisimilitude, etc. We can’t have fighters with cool stuff because that’s “not realistic” while the wizard is casting fireballs and has a wish in their back pocket for later. It’s not limited to that. But that’s the one that comes to mind right now.
I think that there is a cohort that thinks of an RPG as a world simulator and there is a cohort that thinks of an RPG as a character simulator and a cohort that thinks of an RPG as a story simulator and all three will forever be at odds. I'm not sure that we can pin "anti-gamism" on any one of them. Rather, people have their preferences and broadly speaking they bristle when the mechanics of a game run counter to those preferences.
 

Pedantic

Legend
Basically as the other poster suggests, that acknowledging it’s a game so designing it like a game some seem to object to. Vehemently. Arguments about realism and verisimilitude, etc. We can’t have fighters with cool stuff because that’s “not realistic” while the wizard is casting fireballs and has a wish in their back pocket for later. It’s not limited to that. But that’s the one that comes to mind right now.
Oooh, I thought I was going to be on board with the premise, but I'm not particularly interested in "it's a game!" as a defense for failed aesthetics. That's an orthogonal issue, concerning what you're trying to do with your game. If you have a specific fictional purpose in mind, that's just a constraint on your design that has to be accounted for.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
There's another part

Recognizing, playing, and designing D&D as a game can result in recognizing that your realism or narrative preferences make bad gameplay or isn't fun.​


It's the old "wizard with 1 spell and 3 HP" problem. It might makes sense in your idea of the story or reality. But few people see this is fun. So enforcing it makes you unfun unless you are one of themost convincing salesmen on Earth.
 

I can only speak for myself and to anyone who cares about my thoughts and opinions. I like video games. I like board games. I like D&D. All 3 of those things I like for different reasons. I like video games for escapism. I logged a lot of hours in Skyrim after my mom passed. I just needed somewhere to go and tune out the real world for a couple hours a day. It might not have been a healthy way to deal with that issue but it worked. I like board games with friends in a casual setting, but even my board games of choice are specific. Axis and Allies minis as well as the board game itself. I like strategy type board games in that particular setting. I like D&D (rpgs, but we mostly play D&D) because I can co-create with my friends. D&D just hits different as an experience. So if I'm wanting that D&D experience, I don't want video games or board games. Sometimes D&D can feel like the other two and throws me off. I don't know of that makes sense but it's the best way o can put it in words.
 

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