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D&D Reading
Jenn brought home an interesting book last night, that's basically a collection of articles about the roleplaying as a game. They tend towards the academic, and cover all forms of media, not just the table top games I'm personally so fond of. I don't recall the name of the book, I'm sure Jenn could tell us, but I did read one interesting article this morning which piqued my curiosity. It's called 'From the Basement to the Basic Set: The Early Years of Dungeons & Dragons' by Erik Mona, and here is an online printing if you'd like to check it out.

It doesn't cover much I didn't already know, but what did catch my eye was one of the sources in the bibliography. It's an article titled 'Basic D&D Points of View ...' from Dragon Magazine #52, written by Moldvay and Holmes around 1982, when Moldvay's edition of the rules came out. I was very curious to read the two early editors thoughts on their respective and each other's work.

I searched Paizo, WotC, and even eBay for a copy of that issue, to no avail. Then I found this site which has all the early Dragon magazines as PDF downloads. It's probably very illegal, but I console myself with the fact that I did try to obtain the issue legally first, to no avail.

Anyway, the article is really interesting. It's three pages by Holmes with his thoughts on the new version, with one page interjected in the middle (what an odd format) by Moldvay. Moldvay's thoughts read like little more than a sales pitch, but Holmes has some very interesting things to say about the game. Such as...

I had disagreements with Gary over some items (I wanted to use a spell point system, for instance), but we kept the rules as close as possible to the original intent.

Wow, could you imagine if basic D&D had a spell point system?

Organizing a Party, The Caller: I think this rule should have been thrown out. I put it into the first Basic Set because it was in the original invention. I have never seen a successful game where one of the players was elected caller and actually did all the talking to the DM. Usually everybody talks at once. The resulting confusion is much more lifelike; one can hear the characters dithering at the cross corridor as the monsters approach. 'Run this way!' 'Charge them!' 'Get out of the way, I'm throwing a spell!' 'Here goes the magic crossbow bolt!' 'Not from the rear of the party!' 'I'm climbing the wall!'

I knew it! I knew that caller crap had to be bogus!
April 1st, 2009 - 08:37 am | Comments (1) | PERMALINK

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