04 December 2008

Cookie cutters

OK, it’s been a month since a role-playing game related post. Non-gamers, bail-out now.

Anyone else have fond memories of cookie cutters? There’s absolutely nothing negative about my memories of using them. They do what they are meant to. They do it well. They add to the experience of making cookies and take nothing away.

While they give you a reliable shape, they don’t limit what you can put inside. Sugar cookie, snicker-doodle, peanut butter, chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, oatmeal raisin, whatever. Heck, they don’t care if you’re cutting sandwiches or Jell-O jigglers.

When someone criticizes D&D classes (especially classic D&D) as being cookie-cutter, I don’t mind. Like cookie-cutters, they do what they are meant to do without limiting what I can do with them. All I have to do is accept them on their own terms.

If I expect a cookie cutter to be a piping bag, I’ll be disappointed. The strange thing is that there was a time when I expected D&D classes to be piping bags. Or...something like that.