This tweet turned up on my feed today:
Daily reminder that no one can “gatekeep” you from playing ttrpgs. You can just, like, buy the books and play.
Boy howdy, those woke people can’t get to you or your vintage rpg collection! You have every reason to feel super smug about this. I mean, as long as you don’t have kids in public school. And as long as you don’t work in a company that has an HR department. But, yeah. At least those freaks and weirdos can’t ruin the very last thing in your life that you can enjoy without them mucking it all up.
Unfortunately for you, you’ve never been a part of hobby to begin with. I mean, sure, you bought the games back in the day. You looked at the pictures. You rolled up some characters. Maybe you even had a long-running game with a group of your best buds.
But none of that matters. The greatness of those really old games that utterly fascinated your teenaged self? You were gatekept out of it even then.
How did it happen?
Well, some gross nerd told you that you couldn’t learn the game just by reading the rules. The guy seemed pretty smart and what he advised seemed to work okay for what you were doing. And you never found out what the game described by the rules was really like. You counted yourself lucky. After all… you were initiated into the hobby– or so you thought.
If you ever had a desire to find out how the game really worked, your DM more than likely didn’t go along with it. The moment he turned you down, there were five gross nerds on hand to insist that as the DM, HIS WORD IS LAW. And that was the end of it.
Still there might have been some lingering doubt about all this. Maybe you wanted to run an rpg by the rules for once just to see how it went. But chances are, you sat down at the table and someone among your on players sagely explained to everyone there, “if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”
Even with you at the helm, you faced an uphill battle.
Regardless, all of these gross people worked tirelessly to gatekeep YOU out of the REAL rpg hobby. And as a result, none of you ever experienced the classic rpgs as they were originally conceived and as they were intended to be played. What’s more, everyone involved in creating your favorite rpg products that you are most nostalgic about all had a vested interest in you never learning the gaming secrets that are routinely detailed on this blog.
You cannot construct a large, successful ongoing campaign on the basis of rule zero and total arbitrary referee authority. Everyone who told you otherwise was selling you a fake hobby and preventing you from experiencing the real thing.