Quick Thought: No DDI for me

(A very quick thought today. This past week has been murder on my free time.)

Although I have been playing in a regular 4E game for a couple years, I still don’t have a DDI subscription. And even though I hope to be DMing the game again soon, I still don’t plan on ponying up for it. There are several reasons for this, none of which include piracy. You might say I’m old-school, a masochist, or a skin-flint–all of which would be correct.

First and foremost, I enjoy creating my own references. It helps me understand the game mechanics better and reduces research time when I’m at the table. Sometimes that seems to be more work than it’s worth but I usually learn something in the process.

Creating my own references isn’t just about D&D. I now routinely create an HMTL file for my character’s powers and I’ve tweaked the CSS so that it is formated 90%+ like the powers in the book. (I really need to learn how to format powers in LibreOffice next.)

Second, I’m not the type of guy to go out and buy everything. I typically pick up just the three core books in any edition. This has been particularly problematic in 4E since I think that the subsequent /Player’s Handbooks/ and /Powers/ books have /felt/ just as ‘core’ as the first PHB. (Great Job, WotC, for that).

Also, I’m married with a mortgage now, so extra cash is kinda thin on the ground. Fortunately, I have good friends who are willing to lend me whatever books I happen to need at a given time.

Another reason not to buy everything is that I like making things up. It’s nice to have the work done for you, but I really want to be more creative and learning to, *ahem*, “roll-your-own” in D&D is not only an old-school right of passage, but it also can increase your understanding of the game.

The subscription comes with a lot of things that I don’t want or need. For the same amount of money, I could cherry-pick a few books that I *do* want over the year and own it forever.

All in all, I like putting in the extra effort to create characters and encounters that comes with the old, analog way of playing and running D&D. It is an inherent part of the mystique, for me, and it also forces me to practice skills that I don’t ordinarily use in my day-to-day life: note-taking, drawing, writing, editing, research, etc…

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t mind a top-notch character builder or mapping tool. I just don’t want to be tied to a subscription or require internet access (except for updates).


~ by Hunter Rose on June 3, 2011.

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