You read gaming blogs, so here's a simple question: Are you a game master or player? I've added a new poll to the right.
I was talking to my players about a recent topic out here, 'The importance of game mechanics', and how the poll came in nearly 75% of the folks saying mechanics weren't that important for character differentiation. The poll asked if the classic D&D fighter class could properly represent a knight, samurai, musketeer, horse archer, Roman legionaire, and so on, without any mechanical differentiaton like prestige classes, special abilities, feats, and so on. I'm wondering how much the results represent a gap between how players and DM's view the question, or new school vs old school players. Full disclosure: I'm a DM, I run a lot of old school D&D, and I'm comfortable representing those fighting man archetypes in the game without any specialized game mechanics. But since 2E AD&D, a sizable portion of the published works is dedicated to providing those little mechanical bits to support players that want that kind of stuff.