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RE: (TFT) The day the music died --> Balrog and the Finger of Death

Hi Greg, everyone.
	There was not one moment when the music died
for me, but I remember vividly the time when I realized
that my campaign was out of tune.

	I was reading a essay in The Space Gamer, and
someone (I think it was W.G. Armtrout) told a story
about the "Balrog and the Finger of Death".

	He was talking about a D&D adventure he was in
with the crumby original rules.  The rules were so
primitive and self contradictory, that the DM HAD to 
rewrite them.  There were no published adventures so
the DM HAD to make his own adventures.

	Anyway, they fought a pair of Balrogs and it was
an experience / a story that they remember to this day.

	Then he compared to an unnamed game that he
recently run.  With all of the 'advantages' of the 
modern FRPG industry, he found that his players were
not seeing the balrog in their head, they were far more
concerned about getting the special charge attack bonus.

	This really hit home, because I knew damn well 
that MY players were very concerned about that charge
attack bonus.

	Very soon after that, I was talking to a friend.
And he was saying that he remembered the first time he
ever saw roleplaying done.  He had heard about frpg,
and came to the local game club.  He asked a couple 
DM's if they minded him just watching and they said
yes.  But it was ok with me so he sat in the background
and watched.

	Glenn said that he watched me tell this story,
watched the other players react and respond.  Saw the
plot line begin to develop.  Then a fight started and
everyone leaned forward and started to do paperwork!

	(Glenn eventually joined my campaign and later
started up a TFT campaign of his own.  There was a 
sad ending, he got religion, and in the throes of his
conversion, burnt all his TFT stuff (he had a complete
set) because he had been told that D&D and its ilk was
the work of the devil.)


	Anyway, that period was the time where I was 
sure that the more detailed and accurate the rules 
were, the better.  After that I began to seriously
value simpler rules.  

	And the music never really died for me.  I still
love roleplaying, and every now and then, something 
magical or unexpected happens that keeps it fresh.


-----Original Message-----
From: tft-owner@brainiac.com [mailto:tft-owner@brainiac.com]On Behalf Of
Tasonis, Greg
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 7:29 AM
To: 'tft@brainiac.com'
Subject: (TFT) The day the music died

For me, the great joy in FRPG was the incredible sense of wonder in being
able to take 
part in adventures of Tolkien-like scope and flavor. Your own imagination
was the only
"accessory" required. We were all playing "Dragonslayer"...I think it was
SPI? ... when I 
realized we were all consumed with percentages, rule books, and character
sheets instead
of having fun. Maybe it's an inevitable progression from wide eyed innocent
to jaded, rule-
quoting, game system hording statistician.

While I still enjoy ITL, there will never be another 3 volume white box set
to open again.

"You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain"
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