Why Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder suck

If you haven’t played Role-Playing games, and D&D/Pathfinder in particular, just skip this post. If you have, then you may appreciate my rant.

I have been playing RPGs since 1981 and designing RPGs since 1983. I have tested, played and researched in detail scores of RPGs, and I’ve found many good systems and many well crafted settings. Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder are among the worst RPG systems made. Here’s but a few of the terrible design “features”:

  1. Classes: Enforcing stereotypes is a desgn flaw of any system. It brings with it unnatural restrictions that are hard to explain… “No, you can’t pick up that sword, you’re a Magic User!”
  2. Hit Points increase with level: A medium level fighter can take ten times the damage of an average man in the street. And it takes 10 Cure Light Wounds to get him from fainted to full HP as opposed to one CLW for the average man. You can’t kill an experienced adventurer with an arrow, etc.
  3. Armor Class: In D&D/Pathfinder, waring armor makes it harder to hit you, but the damage done from a weapon is just the same. In reality, armor never makes it harder to hit anyone, it subtracts from damage done.
  4. D20: Using a 20-sided dice with smaller adjustments makes the spread too wide. You’re a dancer with a +7 modifier on the dice roll. One day you throw a 2 on the dice and your dancing is below average.. The next day you throw 19 and your performance is beyond what any everage person can do.
  5. Complexity: With silly basic design flaws like the above, trying to make the system somewhat realistic is a very complicated task. It makes for a complex system with lots of special rules. If the basic design was more realistic, the complete system would be much simpler. Simpler systems make it easer for new players to join in and for new Game Masters to get up and running. Having the GM sift through pages upon pages of complex rules mid-game while players start fiddling with their phones sorta kills the fun. Simpler, more realistic systems let the actual role-playing shine and the playing sessions run more smoothly with less awkward rules getting in the way. The rules should help the game play, not distract from it with surprising unrealism.

</end of RPG-rant-of-the-day>


I made a new page to make it easier to introduce people to my coaching. Always looking to simplify, so this page will change as my approach gets even simpler:

Source: Coaching

Excuse me!

Indignation, grumpiness, annoyance and aggravation, anger, fury and hate, worry and anxiety, fear and sadness, the silent treatment and bullying. These are all natural negative emotions. They are often easily explained. But are they justified?

Usually not. While there are occasions where it is rational to create any of the above mentioned emotions, they are few and far between. Given that you do in fact create your own emotions, blaming other for your creations is the fast track to lose control of your life. To regain control requires that you take responsibility for your own emotions.

Yes, people can treat you like shit. They can be rude, abusive and cruel. While you often cannot control what life dishes out to you, you can decide how you react to any situation. Like the apprentice asking his master fakir, “But Master, do you not feel the pain?” and the old man answered, “Of course I feel the pain. The trick is not minding the pain.”

Ask yourself is, “Does it help to be annoyed?”, “Does it help to worry?”, “Will it improve the situation if I get angry?” If it does help, then go ahead and be really annoyed, worry like hell or blow your top off. If it doesn’t help, then don’t give a fuck.

It’s easy enough to say this, but to live it requires lots of practice. Every shitty situation presents an opportunity to practice not creating an emotion that only adds negativity to the situation.

Celebrate improvements. If it takes you a bit longer before you get pissed, then that’s improvement. If it takes one more insult before you feel hurt, then you’re doing better. Keep practicing and you’ll keep moving toward more control of your life.

The motto: “Only do that which helps. Don’t do that which doesn’t help.

While negative emotions can be considered natural and easily explained, they shouldn’t be excused.

What am I doing?

“If you have a purpose of helping others, then why are you helping people that only help themselves?”

That’s a good question. One that I’ve been asking myself lately. There are some definite pros to helping athletes and others who compete. The results are easily measured and so clearly visible. A placement, a rank, a medal. And my contribution can be discerned. But to help someone win competitions implies helping them to focus – on that specific result, to the exclusion of almost everything else. This is the essence of Two Lengths of the Pool when applied to people who compete. To help people focus on competitive results is to help people become more egotistical. Because so many other parts of life and empathy need to go ta make place for that top position. For glory. For The Win.

I help all kinds of people – from athletes to housewives. And that is why I have come to ask myself this question. Because I can compare so many people I’ve helped. And while helping an athlete win gold is really fun, helping someone with a purpose to help others is far more rewarding in the long run – for the person I help. If the person wants to win a competition, I have to help him become more focused, more egotistical. If the person wants to help others, I have to help him to open up and become more empathetic.

This is the moral dilemma inherent in the question. But it’s not quite a rhetorical question, as maybe a balance is needed?