Today he posted about "tyrannical DMs" and about the nature of GM/player sharing an experience in a game.
What really got my goat was this comment.
"I actually think that the day of the tyrannical DM has passed. That style suited some of the old versions of D&D, or perhaps suited the age at which many of us played those versions, but I think people (both players and DMs) have moved past that. I, personally, haven’t had any recent experiences with tyrannical DMs. Conversely, I’ve had three in the past four years who are extremely open to shared control, both of the world and its evolution and of consequences/roleplaying (shared narrative).
So my take is that the situation may still exist for some folks, but it’s beyond what I’ve experienced in the last 5 years (with one exception and he had no returning players after session 1)."
Allow me to rant for a moment.
Why is it that someone who admits that they've not had any experiences with bad DMs, and (from the context of statements) hasn't played in the hobby long, can make such a damn stupid generalized statement about how old school somehow makes a bad DM?
Funny, I want someone to tell Dave Arneson that he's tyrannical. Based on what I've read from interviews and his Q/A posts, I think after he gets done laughing his ass off, he'll gleefully "admit" to it and then go on running his 30-odd year campaign. Old school style. 'Cause, yannow, he's from an age that spawned tyrannical bad DMs.
"Bad DMs" can happen, no matter what the version or style or type of game. They happen because people are either exercising their issues/problems at the gametable, or they just are not good DMs, or they are inexperienced and making all the common mistakes that everyone makes at the table. This stereotype that old school somehow makes it easy to be a bad DM is about as stupid as saying that 3E/4E makes it easy to be a bad powermongering player.
I may not like the feel or play of 3E/4E, but I have no doubt that many of the fine people that I share the blog space with are excellent players in that version who have an honest love of the game. Just as I've personally experienced many, many people who run/play old school and have the same honest love and enjoyment. I also have no doubt that there are plenty of jerks and simply bad DMs who can screw up any game. That "age" has hardly passed - I watch it happen in all walks of life.
If someone is going to blandly and blindly post crap about aspects of the game, why not experience it first and get empirical data?
I don't go around slinging shit on games that I don't know about - hell, I want to play them so I can learn and form opinions. I've never played Amber, Fudge and other diceless games, but I also don't support or refute stereotypes about them. I've experienced 3E/4E and I have my opinions based on my experiences. Does that mean I'll turn down a 3E/4E game with people who I know I'll have fun with, because of a stupid stereotype? No. It might not be my "go-to" game, but at the same time, I'm not going to persist a stereotype about it. And I don't believe anyone else should.
Man, I should not read posts before having a few cups of coffee.