T&T is the Ramones – D&D is Yes

Passend zum veröffentlichten Cover von dT&T: Reflexionen in den Tiefen der Nerdforen. Diesmal von Fiendishgames March 25, 2014 at 9:49 AM.

Irgendwie verspüre ich ausserdem das Bedürfnis, vorauszuschicken, dass ich früher doch sehr gerne Yes gehört habe.

I once interviewed Ken St. Andre for my fanzine „Take That You Fiend!“ and he gave a not totally convincing rationale for the spell names. If memory serves, it went along the lines of the jokey names being the ones used in common parlance, so as not to frighten the non-magical population at large.

Thus, the “proper” spell name might be “identify new person who has little or no experience” but the T&T version of this would be “Find newbie” or even “Find nu-be”.

Another example. A spell’s proper name might be “Head butt applied in aggressive manner” but the T&T version would be “Stitch that, Jimmy”.

D&D might have a “Resolve conundrum” spell; T&T’s version would be “WTF?”.

Those are silly examples, but hopefully you can see where I am going with this. Society will always create slang versions of words and phrases, bro’/bestie/mate/me ol‘ mucker. Just think of it as shorthand, or a forerunner of text speak.

One intrinsic element of the T&T philosophy was: if you don’t like it, change it. Although there was a house magazine (Sorceror’s Apprentice) that offered scenario ideas, rules modifications and so on, there was never an ethos of “the rules are gospel”, and certainly no incentive to learn the rules (and monster manuals) backwards so that when a luminous lurking pippledopper (a monster I have just made up) appeared, you knew exactly how to defeat it.

I am in danger of reviving the D&D vs T&T wars of the mid-seventies (T&T was the first FRP game published in the UK) so I’ll stop there, except to say different strokes for different folks (or, as D&D players might say: People are different and therefore it should not be altogether surprising that they enjoy different aspects of a game design).

OK, that was the last dig at the occasional pompousness of the D&D system.

If I can use a musical analogy, T&T is the Ramones; D&D is Yes. Both good at what they did.


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