Friday, February 24, 2012


"What follows herein is strictly for the eyes of you, the campaign referee."

And this is how one of the best RPG references written (bias mine) begins. The Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, First Edition Dungeon Masters Guide (Notice, it's not Master's btw) was written by E. Gary Gygax and published in 1979 (begun in '76).

My aim here is to write down those things that I find either important, obscure, or just plain bizarre. I'm not intending to stay strictly to the DMG, rather I'm going to traverse the first three books, but stay "mainly" to the grandfather, the opus, the DMG.

Today's tid bit:

Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinion an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does litttle to attempt to simulate anything either. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek to use imagination and creativity.

p. 9 From the section titled "The Game"

I think that a few of us might benefit from reading this time and again. We seem to take our hobby pretty seriously. This statement alone also seems to go a long ways towards explaining (for the most part) why the rules are as "vague" as they are. Sure, they're plenty detailed when it comes to things like disease, and governments, but as far as mechanics they're pretty spartan compared to many of today's offerings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Post and Intent

So there's this old school movement that's been growing in popularity, well since the announcement of 4E. Heck, it started before that of course, but it really picked up speed when Hasbro / WotC came out with the newest iteration of Dungeons and Dragons.

This blog isn't going to be about differences. It isn't going to focus on the negatives of any edition. I'm not interested in edition wars. This is a game. Games are fun. Fun is different for different people. Like you've heard hear and there: No such thing as "wrong" fun.

I don't have a pedigree like a lot of the popular old school folks out there. I have been playing the game for quite some time (since about '76 or '77). But that doesn't avail me any special knowledge. I just like the game, and my game of choice, if there is a "choice", would be AD&D. It's the game I played for the longest time. First edition, written by E.G.G. I played it from '77 (mixed w/ Holmes) until sometime around '93.

That's by far the longest I've played any game. Heck, longer than all the rest of the games combined. And I've played a lot of games.

What's this about then? It's about the random tid bits of knowledge that you run across in the "Big 3". The original three AD&D books; The PHB, the DMG and the MM of course. But mostly it's about the crazy stuff you find in the DMG. That thing is a gold mine.

For instance:

Most of you know that Dwarves get an armor class bonus when fighting giants. But did you know that you don't get that bonus against ranged weapons? Also, did you know that your dexterity bonus to armor class does not apply to catapults, trebuchets...OR giant-thrown stones. Yeah. Kind of a double whammy there eh?

Anyway, it's that kind of dictum obscura (I think I just made that up btw) that completely intrigues me. And hey, maybe it's inspiring in its own little way to you as well. I certainly like to think so. But even if I'm just yelling into the void, it's great to be going through the DMG like this.