The Advantages of Advantage

Every time I go back to reading The Angry GM, that sonavabitch makes me want to try running a game again. Not just any game, but good ol’ DnD. What can I say? Either he’s a persuasive writer or I’m just a gullible sod.

In either case, reading the latest batch of rants and articles got me thinking about player agency. After looking up some old stuff of bankuei’s on fictional positioning, and I’m thinking the two go hand-in-hand with 5e’s Advantage and Disadvantage system.

A brief overview: In 5e, players can sometimes either get “advantage” or “disadvantage” when performing an action. If they have an advantage, they roll two d20’s and take the higher number, if they have a disadvantage they roll two and take the lower result. As part of 5e’s unifying superstructure, there’s a lot of conditions, statuses, and spells that grant advantage and disadvantage in specific situations, but there is also a surprising amount of leeway given to the GM.

Continue reading

Mom and Pop DnD

The old trope is that when you start going in for psychoanalysis, they start by asking you about your parents. I guess if you’re going to start talking about traditional games, you should probably start with Dungeons and Dragons.

Not that Dungeons and Dragons is not necessarily the first traditional game we all play; far from it. I was playing Jr. Monopoly and Battleship long before I picked up my first D20. But it kind of marks the threshold, at least for a lot of people. The point where games stop being the thing you do when your bored out of your skull on a rainy day and starts being the thing you love.

Continue reading