Archive for October, 2009


More on Basic D&D

   Posted by: Jim   in Role-playing games

Looks like it’s D&D month at The Escapist. This time it’s an article by James Maliszewski, talking about how he figured out Basic D&D with his friends — or didn’t really.

My friends and I were only a few years older than he was, and I’m still not sure how we figured it out. Determination, maybe. Ah well, as he says, a lifetime of gaming ensued…


Monte Cook critiques Original D&D

   Posted by: Jim   in Role-playing games

I had planned at some point to cover the original version of Dungeons and Dragons on the podcast. It’s pretty unlikely at this point that this will happen — I planned it all out and found that I really didn’t have much to add to the mass of critique and commentary that the game has received. In fact, I’d say it’s safe to say that this episode, which was to be the next one, has been a factor in the long delay of the podcast in general. I keep trying to rework it and it just doesn’t happen. So in the interest of moving on, check out Monte Cook’s brief critique of the original three books.

As a side note, I have to agree with Mr. Cook about the quality of the writing. After looking at my basic D&D rules (the blue book mit dem Dragon), I can’t figure out how I and my seventh-grade compatriots figured out how to play. While conversational in tone, it’s nearly incomprehensible and certainly incomplete, especially compared to today’s RPGs. But then, I doubt the original Basic D&D was meant to be complete. I believe that Gygax intended that Advanced D&D was the One True Path, and Basic D&D was nod to the past (a lot of the material came from the original three books) but ultimately a gateway drug to the New Shiny. But enough of the customers disagreed that we ended up with the odd case of two different flavors of D&D (AD&D and Basic/Expert) for many years.

But enough of that. I’m moving on. I think.