Pal and one-time collaborator, Chris Radtke, writes to ask if I might turn the mighty tide that is the Beeswax audience towards a vital debate raging on his website: Who would win in a fight, a minotaur with a trident or a centaur with a crossbow?
What makes this different from other nerd fights circulating the internet is the caliber of celebrity judges. George Clooney? Paul Reubens? Jennifer Love Hewitt? Ozzie? Yes, all these and more. My favorite may be unflapped Tiger Woods, who responds as though it was the most normal, even routine, question in the world.
Okay, now, the subject of this debate is as close as I'm going to get to an appropriate segue-way for a topic that has been weighing heavily on me these last few days. Bear with me a moment, will you? I'm not shy about letting my geek flag fly, right? You've seen me draw superheroes in the past, and you know I'll do it again. But before I was a comics geek, I was a role-playing geek. And any role-playing geek my age was weened on the polyhedral teat of Dungeons & Dragons. It's not a system I remember fondly. In fact, I hold D&D in the kind of disdain you can only summon for a childhood love outgrown: the rules are sloppy; the random attribute generation means either lopsided characters or cheating; the emphasis on walking through rooms killing monsters and looting their bodies is narratively impoverished; and, worst of all, the untextured high-fantasy aesthetic is just plain puerile and annoying. And, goldang it, why all the dice? Build a game on a pair of ten-sided percentile dice and be done with it.
So why do I keep daydreaming about this?
What's even weirder is that I don't even want to play. I just want to read the new Player's Handbook and roll up a few characters. What the hell is wrong with me?