“Just an old fashioned feeling in my bones
Country comforts and the road that’s going home”
— Elton John, Bernie Taupin
It seems for every prompt that is a struggle to come up with a blog entry for, there is another with far too many. Such is “comfort”. As my son and I discussed the word last evening, he immediately jumped to halflings (or hobbits if you will) and I had the image of an aged Bilbo Baggins, curled up in an overstuffed chair with a book in his lap, a pipe in his mouth, and a pint within easy reach.
But as I tried to find a thread that would not be commonly repeated by gamers throughout the day, I kept coming back to the idea of old school Dungeons & Dragons and why it has had such staying power.
Let’s face it, there are a mountain of RPGs out there. I’ve created a few myself. So, why does D&D remain at the king of the hill, and by such a monstrous margin?
Because it’s comfortable.
I liken D&D to comfort food, being that which offers a heaping serving of nostalgia and sentimentality. Almost all of us got our start playing D&D and, though we played other games along the way, when many of us drifted away from the game and then came back — we found ourselves returning to our childhood sweetheart.
For those that never really drifted away, D&D was that first love that they were never able to kick, even though more attractive suitors tried to lure them away.
Most find comfort in Dungeons & Dragons. I did too for so long, but lately, I’ve come to feel unwelcome. The game is shifting, politically and socially. It’s not a good look. More and more, I’m drawn to the OSR and, to be honest, to the games we’re developing in-house.
The thing is, even in the games we and others have created, there is still that wee bit of comfort found buried inside that hearkens back to the progenitor of the form.
And I guess we can all take comfort in that.