+Vincent Florio was kind enough to plant this seed in my head earlier this morning and I find it beginning to take root.'
I was brought into the world or RPGs with AD&D 1e, so I was brought in with a fairly structured and rules heavy set of rules. We were high on the words of Gygax, so little meddling was done (although we ignored that which we did not fully understand - weapon speed was the first to go - we just used to it resolve ties with initiative). The only class we used that was "unofficial" was the Bard from Dragon #56. Unearthed Arcana was an offering to us from the Gygax himself - more official rules which meant more complications and contradictions, but we didn't care. More rules was more better.
Heck, we absorbed new rules like a sponge. Runequest 3, with it's three different types of magic? Throw it at us. Rolemaster with charts and modifiers like no one else? Easy peasy. Getting killed during character generation in Traveller? Par for the course.
Somewhere, somehow, as I got older I found myself desiring less complications. Easier rules.
I've compared this in the past to how a younger person generally has an easier time learning new languages, but I think there is more to it that that.
I just want to have fun playing, not learning. Learning new rules is no longer fun for me. Shit, it's damn near annoying.
When I was younger, we had no problem taking 20 minutes right in the middle of combat to figure out the exact modifiers for a laster carbine fired downhill at a target 55 meters away on full auto at a small creature lying prone behind concealment (no cover) that is attempting to put down suppression fire himself. Oh, and it's twilight.
Today? I'd just wing it.
The game is more important than the rules for me these days, which is why I find myself wrapped in the comforting arms of the OSR for any genre I want to play. I can make fair rulings without referring to the rules.
Which isn't to say there are no rules or there should be no rules. It just means I find that there is a point of severely diminishing returns, where more rules slow things down and detract from the gameplay.
Alright, need to love on the Ashley Cat before returning to puppy duties.
More thoughts on this later.