Defending The Defender

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on January 5, 2011

This morning we published an article called Make D&D Better, Remove Fighters From the Game. In this article, Bauxtehude attacked the defender role, specifically the Fighter. We expected that his view on this topic would be unpopular, but we didn’t expect the level of negativity and disagreement that resulted. Bauxtehude has long held the opinion that he expressed earlier today and he choose to express his thoughts in a provocative manner.

When I first read the article last week I knew it would raise the hackles of some readers. I also knew there were a few inconsistencies and broad generalizations contained in the article. All that aside I felt the article should proceed as there were many good points of discussion.

One of our goals at Dungeon’s Master has always been to generate discussion about D&D with the underlying goal to make the game better. At the heart of Bauxtehude’s article are a lot of good criticisms about defenders and Fighters. Because he chose to make his points by going over the top, the heart of the discussion didn’t shine through as clearly as we thought it would. He wrote with his tongue firmly planted in cheek, taking an extreme view of what he sees as a problem situation. Unfortunately it seems that many readers took the entire article at face value and took personal offense at some of the broad generalizations.

When we realized that things were not going as expected we had two choices – pull the article or ride out the storm. We choose to keep it up and face the music.

Both Bauxtehude and Ameron have been answering comments throughout the day. As more feedback came in it became clear that some people did indeed see the underling points of the article and although they may not have agreed with everything they were able to find some merit in some of the examples provided.

In the end we’re standing behind the article as we have with everything we’ve published at Dungeon’s Master. We know that some of our articles, especially the editorial pieces, run the risk of alienating those who disagree with us. At the end of the day this article generated a lot of discussion and we saw a lot of support for defenders and Fighters. So even though the article wasn’t received as we’d expected, it got people energized about D&D and that excites us.

We’ll keep publishing new D&D articles every day and we hope that you’ll come back again tomorrow and see what we’re going to say next. Thanks to everyone who visited us today, read Bauxtehude’s article, and felt strongly enough to leave a comment. As a result you’ve enhanced the experience of everyone involved and have made D&D a better game to play.

Looking for instant updates? Subscribe to the Dungeon’s Master feed!

1 square January 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm

pretty funny if you ask me. “they said something bad about a dnd class imma stop reading this blog” QQ. not a bad article just watch out for the dork rage 🙂

2 Alphastream January 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Nicely written. Provocative is ok, so long as there is a point to it. Honestly, follow up on that article and explore some of the topics being raised.

3 The Red DM January 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm

It was a good read, I quite liked it, even if I didn’t agree with it.

And I completely agree that the best way to improve gaming is to talk about every possibility.

4 Kenneth McNay January 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

i liked the article, but didn’t believe that the author’s true intent was to throw away such an iconic character class. I kinda hope that other classes get a unique review such as that. the teasing was palpable to my reading level.

5 Blinkey January 6, 2011 at 5:56 am

Glad you chose to keep the article up rather than follow alternate options. As I commented in the topic itself, this kind of article is good as it makes people think (or at least reconsider) regarding something most players will simply have taken for granted (i.e: the presence of defenders).

Keep up the good work folks. I’ve only been following Dungeons Master for a few months but its become compulsive reading. This firestorm will make me MORE likely to keep reading, not less.


Blinkey 😉

6 alton January 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

I agree with the above. There has been a lot of feedback regarding Baux’s opinion on Fighter. Some positive and some negative.

Regardless, it did make for and interesting read. I prefer Strikers myself, but if anyone wrote that they hate Strikers…so be it. It is their opinion.

Writing like this sometimes gives insight on other aspects of the fighter you might be frustrated with. Hey, it might even give solution on how to get around the problems on why people are frustrated with a certain class.

Keep up the good work!

7 Brian Engard January 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

I certainly don’t begrudge anyone their opinion, and if someone takes a controversial stance on something, I have no particular problem with it. I do believe, however, that if you’re going to take a controversial or unpopular stance in an article, that article had better be well-reasoned, well-researched, and well-written. I don’t think the defenders article was any of those things; there were so many linguistic errors, factual inconsistencies, and leaps of logic that it made it difficult to take the article seriously.

I applaud your willingness to stand behind what’s been posted on this site, but I think some more stringent quality control might be in order.

8 Tallyn Rhoades January 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I do not play 4th and did not understand the particulars of the argument but I did find it entertaining. If people are going to judge a complete blog by one article that is idiotic. This blog is almost 2 years old. Just by the measurement of time is a testament to the blogs credibility. Saying that you may not read the blog (a free service)anymore because an article waited 15 minutes of your life is very petty. Every opinion has its merit even an opinion that is over the top and arguing the opinion is not always the best coerce of action. Many times trying to see the other persons side of the argument gives one new insight. Maybe if you don’t agree with the post as a dm you run a day with out a defender and see how the game differs maybe take it a step further and try running a game without a striker or a controller. There is a lot that can be taken from this argument no game system is perfect so there is bound to be a flaw with the fighter so be weary of Bauxtehude argument. It may come up in some future game.
As a game master of almost 10 years I have a lot of experience but still have a lot to learn. I read articles hear and on other sights to better my own game. Not every article is great but there is something I can take from each and everyone. From this one there were many interesting tidbits that I would like to see in future articles like does D&D encourage role playing or does it diminish role playing as a system or what is power gaming and what is broken or how (jokingly) how do you deal with a constant ranter in your game. All ideas and all things that I have discussed with my gaming group on several occasions. So I say way to go. The article made some buzz and made a great discussion. Keep up the good work I look forward to many more interesting articles in the future.

P.S. To create a little controversy of my own lol
Pathfinder > Dungeons and Dragons 4th

9 SeaMan January 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

@ Tallyn Rhoades
“Just by the measurement of time is a testament to the blogs credibility.”
Ya 2 years and going strong I mean look at dungeon mastering it all but died

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: