Thursday, May 4, 2023

May the Φος Be With You

The only Star Wars product
I have enjoyed in the last decade

Star Wars taught me a tough but valuable lesson: just because something has a particular label on it, doesn’t mean that it is good. This lesson took a long time for me to understand, however. Star Wars was a huge part of my childhood and a formative experience in my life. One of my favorite RPG campaigns of all time was played with d6 Star Wars. One of my favorite computer franchises of all time is the X-Wing/Tie-Fighter series. I was all in.

I couldn’t bring myself to understand that the emotion I was feeling after watching Episode I at a midnight showing on opening day was disappointment. I spent hours and a lot of money watching Phantom Menace trying to convince myself that it was good. Then I saw Episode II in theaters at a matinee a couple of weeks after it opened and came to terms with the idea that Star Wars was no longer a brand I could trust. 

I had hope that Disney could turn things around. So, when my kids wanted to see Episode VII in the theaters, I went. I walked out of the movie with a feeling I was familiar with and now was accustomed to: disappointment. This time, however, I refused to spend another dime.

I suppose that is why I was so adamant to ditch WotC when they put their “warning” labels on legacy products. The disappointment I had when realizing WotC saw me as a racist simply for buying and playing one of the most important games in my lifetime was similar to what I was feeling walking out of Phantom Menace. So, I didn’t spend another dime, despite several legacy products being released in POD that I would have otherwise snatched up in a second.

The last several months have proven my instincts correct. WotC has rendered the label “Dungeons & Dragons” worthless. It seems that the shenanigans Hasbro has pulled have finally woken some people up to the fact that WotC and Hasbro are run by people who care nothing about gamers or the games we play.

I realize I am a small voice in the wilderness, but I not only encourage everyone to stop buying something simply because it has the label “Dungeons & Dragons” on it, but to create your own systems, adventures, and worlds. I can almost guarantee that whatever you produce is going to be a whole lot better than whatever WotC has put the label "Dungeons & Dragons" on.

BTW for those interested, the title of this post comes from the fond memories of an alum of my seminary who went to my school in the 70s. In response to the popularity of Star Wars and the Force, which from an Orthodox Christian POV is a dualistic heresy, one of the bishops printed up a bunch of T-Shirts that said, “May the Φος Be With You.” In Greek, φος (phos as in phosphorescence) means “light” as in John 8:12, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,  ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

Ever since May 4th became a thing where Star Wars fans say, “May the Force Be With You” I have gently corrected their spelling…  


porphyre77 said...

I sometimes pondered a B/X or BECMI "Class-As-TAce" game, where every class is a different species. Dwarves, Elves and Hobbits stay as they are. Fighters are the default Humans, Thiefs are out and Wizards can be Humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, or even talking animals, but who have been so intensely changed by magical energies that they have become a different species altogetehr (think "Adventure Time"-style wizards)

FrDave said...

...or Gandalf or Geralt of Rivia or arguably Sparrowhawk and any other number of characters from fantasy literature. Also, consider the old fable of never eating a meal given to you by the Fey because you can never go back, etc.