Over there on your right, unless you hang upside-down while reading, is the list of RPG blogs I actively follow. There are a few more I dip into from time to time when I'm hungry for the particular flavor they offer. If I'm jonesing for someone to be angry about something, it's time for RPGPundit. He'll deliver.
Today the Pundit is talking about people who remove mechanics from D&D, then get unhappy that things work differently, then put other mechanics in to fix the situation. I guess that's annoying... maybe it's homebrewing? Maybe it's Rule Zero? In general it's not a bee in my bonnet, but the two specific examples that the esteemed Pundit grabs are both worth considering.
First is Raise Dead. Once we had a Resurrection Survival roll that characters made when raised. Then it was removed. Now apparently there's hue and cry about how we can possibly control the flood of ex-corpses blatantly living all over the fantasy landscape. I'd agree that something needs to be done about this in the D&D context. But it's not reverting to an old mechanic, as the Pundit advocates.
Get rid of Raise Dead.
Solves the problem very neatly. A character died? They're gone forever. No spell, simple or complex, can return them. It encourages the kind of poke-all-objects-with-a-pole play that many old-schoolers enjoy. It opens up chances for big, funky, mythological quests that would appeal to people like me. It's avant enough for the new-school crowd. By cutting the knot this way, you solve the immediate problem (controlling the flow of people returning from the afterlife) and you help clarify how important PC death will be in your game. Whether a game is incredibly lethal like the DCC RPG, or more like 7th Sea where you'll only die on purpose, eliminating Raise Dead makes death more serious. And thereby it becomes cooler. It's a better solution than raising a clunky old mechanic from the dead.
I might allow an exception for the older Resurrection spell. Letting your PC come back as a swarm of bees or a ficus tree is pretty entertaining.
So then the Pundit addresses the questions surrounding minions. How do we handle a bunch of little enemies in a fight? He disdains complex minion rules. I agree. He says we should return to the old days of Morale rules for NPCs. He's right. Encounters are a lot more fun if you don't know how they'll turn out. Maybe it starts as combat, but maybe not. Once combat starts, maybe the minions will fight to the bitter end, or maybe they'll break and run, or maybe they'll throw down their swords and beg for mercy... and nobody knows until the dice stop rolling.
As a GM, I like that uncertainty. As a player, it's fun when you have to use more skills than just the fightin' ones on a crowd of NPCs. I started using these again after seeing the redoubtable Jeff Rients post about them a few times.