King Arthur Pendragon

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Dragon Magazine - Realism in D&D

A very small article in Dragon #8 (1977), penned by Brian Blume, titled Realism in D&D, caught my attention for two reasons: the first is related to the always constant demand of certain players for realism in fantasy; the second because I've seen people do what the article proposes to do albeit in a different manner. The article describes a new system to generate attributes to replace rolling the dice. Here are the two most funny examples:
"WISDOM
To determine your wisdom, calculate the average number of hours you spend playing D&D or working on your D&D Campaign in an average week. Subtract the resulting number from twenty and this is your wisdom."
Some DMs already complain that much time is spent generating stat blocks for high-level NPCs, let alone preparing scenarios. If we take their word for it, then many of us would have very low wisdom scores.
"CHARISMA
To determine charisma, count up the number of times you have appeared on TV or have had your picture printed in the newspaper. Multiply this number by two, and the result is your charisma rating."

Again, I suspect many of us would have very low charisma, particularly in the single digits. I don't spend as much time preparing the adventures, either because I'm lazy or for lack of time, so my Wisdom would be high, around 17 or 18, but my Charism would be very low, like 0 or 1 low.

I don't pretend this article to be anything other than a harmless stab at those who seek realism in their games, especially OUR own world or personal concept of realism. On the other hand, I have seen players trying to play themselves in AD&D with amusing, albeit unintentional, results, so perhaps this article will be of any use to them. Let's not hope anyone out there took this article seriously.

What do you think your wisdom and charisma attributes are? Please comment.

3 comments:

Bobjester said...

My wisdom score is in the negative. High negatives.;)

No comment on the charisma score though. :P

Dwarin said...

I am the opposite Wisdom-wise. I just do the bare bones so my Wisdom should be like 19 or 18. Perhaps I should be a cleric?

Anonymous said...

The idea of realism in D&D, or other fantasy for that matter, is an old bogeyman. The answer should always be, go away and play another game. Fantasy suspends disbelief, immerses you in the fun, and that is all it really needs to do. Fantasy is nothing less than an escape. If it were realistic, or a simulation, it wouldn't be any fun at all. Since I am a cranky ol' curmudgeon in my not so humble opinion this is usually a thinly veiled attempt to argue the rules with the DM. The end result is usually the same, the players who tout "realism" or whatever usually leave. Cut to the chase, kick them to the curb, and bring on the Goblins.