Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Two Opposing Forces In D&D And Their Origins

Reading The Hickman Revolution and the Frustrated Novelist over at Monsters and Manuals got me to thinking about that dark time in the 80's when it was like someone had just switched off the light.

Speaking from being there when the double punch was delivered-Dragonlance and the Satanic Panic - it literally wiped me a player, DM and shop owner.

Those who joined the hobby around that time are the direct ancestors to the modern gamer.

Folks get mad at me for saying so but it seems to be the best descriptions of both camps:

Old Schoolers bought things as inspiration, to be ripped apart and used piecemeal with individual additions and ideas.

New Schoolers are like baby birds who have to have their food chewed for them and deposited in their beaks. I suggested once to a 4e fan, mad about some rule that WotC had recently released in a book, and said 'why don't you just change the rule or not use it'...the response...'If I wanted to write my own f****** rules I wouldn't have bought the book'...and that's a quote.

Thank God I never looked for the 'perfect' game...I would have missed a lot of great gaming.

It is said that the early modules for D&D are the bane of gaming history because these items usually meant for tournament play were looked upon as the only proper way to play D&D...with TPK and Killer DMs around every corner.

But I say it was Dragonlance, the pre-generated characters riding the railroad, that brought us to where we are today, the end of the industry and the birth of the OSR.

Every subject that separates players today goes back to these fundamentally opposed philosophies.

The 'homebrewer' vs. the 'RAW'.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Updates For The CRoA Network

Ok, getting close to being back to square one.

Classic Realms of Adventure - The domain name should be resolving properly again:

I will be back posting there as soon as I finish a few more technical details.

The Eternal Keep
- Is back up and running with a fair amount of linkage back in place. There are problems I know with some blogs that have been turned into ad platforms that will be deleted but I concentrated on getting out the dupes today to maximize the widget content in each widget. The next list will add 5 or 6 more widgets and I will start work on that this weekend. I might as well warn everyone ahead of time that I will be monetizing the blog in the near future. My wish is to put up a PayPal donate button and keep ads to a minimum, but the Keep is even more work now that things have to be broken up but the upside is with the next update it will have 3 times as many blogs to choose from with all the recent updaters easy to scroll through and the ability to show all the blogs in any given widget with just a click of a mouse for older posts.

CRoA: the ezine - I will start working on compiling the first issue of the ezine Classic Realms of Adventure once all the dust settles.

Darkness Over Dunwich - This blog needs updated but I was trying to wait to get through a play test of my alternate rules set for Elder Sign. I have notes for a 2 player head to head version of the game and also notes on integrating items from the Arkham Horror board game for use with ES. I'm also working on notes for an introduction book to the Arkham board game detailing getting started with the base set and adding expansions and their impact on play. I have considered starting a second ezine to join CRoA covering the HP Lovecraft inspired material I'm working on and then compiling the issues into a book down the road.

Forsaken Souls / Fiends & Fireballs (MX83) are being split into 2 separate projects. I was working on the idea of a Basic into Advanced type system, but the things I want to achieve with them are two completely different things. So I will let each follow its own path and find its own audience.

That's it for now. Next up: New videos on the Tumblr account..

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Damnit! Robin Has Done It Again

I hold him directly responsible for bringing me back to the game with Microlite 20. Haven't you done enough?!

But he has done something no other human being has ever been able to do in all my years of gaming-Robin Stacey has opened my eyes to what is great about D&D.

No, not the game, the know...5 boxes or one Cyclopedia.

I started with AD&D1e and I guess there is that something special about your first.

But I have read the D&D accolades, heard them shouted down from mountains high and still couldn't understand why in the hell would anyone want to play race as class?...36 levels? Jesus...

The list could go on...and it was a pure accident... I guess following his recent series on what the various editions have gotten right in the world of D&D (I think he may have a better understanding of the entire line than anyone I have encountered) is what got me to do a bit of paleo-blogging and read his '7 days' series:

A literal lightning bolt. I was in shock. It actually finally made sense to me. After digging through the Holmes edition (my first rpg purchase ever) all those many years ago and how I jumped ship with the meeting of my first AD&D DM.

Now I have to dig through boxes and boxes looking for all the bits and pieces I have collected and actually f****** read the damn thing!

Thanks! Thanks a lot you 18th level Stealer of Time!...I curse thee Robin Stacey!...

My reading pile is now stacked higher than my head where I sit typing this from the floor up...

Oh,thanks, I guess...damnit!...why! Why did it have to click now?!

(PLEASE NOTE: No disrespect intended to any of the fine writers whose blogs I have read with (evidently) closed eyes...until now...DAMNIT!...Now more reading...)


Friday, March 9, 2012

I Tried-I Really Tried (Or The Saga Of WORDPRE$$ AND OTHER PAINS)

So yeah, I have returned to the Blogger world. After feeling like I was playing a slot machine I am abandoning the WORDPRE$$ experiment.

I haven't felt so nickel and dimed to death in my entire life. After wasting hours trying accomplish the simplest of tasks and finally learning those features were only available in the 'PRO' version I have decided to return to Blogger and bring four blogs back up to speed.

I will continue to incorporate the Tumblr acct into things but the four primary sites will now be:

The Eternal Keep

ADD Grognard

Darkness Over Dunwich

Classic Realms Of Adventure

They will all be receiving an overhaul of sorts, some major some minor, but I want to get back to work and that isn't possible trying to swim through the liquid concrete of WordPre$$.

To overcome the Eternal Keep problem of widget limitations I plan on consolidating all the news aggregators into specialized lists on the blog and adding more widgets as required.

ADD Grognard will stand as it has for thoughts and ruminations.

CRoA will now reflect its new job of covering projects like the resurrected journal form of CRoA, Fiends & Fireballs (The name for the MX83 project I have been compiling) and others as time permits me to work on them.

And last but not least the Darkness Over Dunwich blog will pick back up with the completion of my rules re-write of Elder Signs and the material I'm working up on Arkham Horror.

I have to admit, I don't see what people get out of the confusing mess that is WordPress. I wondered why it seemed like everyone who moved over just seemed to disappear and now I know why.

For what it's worth, I'm back....let's get to work...