Monday, December 19, 2011

Still In Love

...with the so called "Old School" style.

I have a lot of DnD pdfs on my computer. I am not a pirate by nature, I would love to have physical copies of stuff like the Little Brown Books and The Tomb of Horrors, but they are just too hard to find at this point for the most part. Anyway, I like to peruse some of the older stuff from time to time, just to kind of understand where DnD came from. I have said before that I never played Basic or 1st Edition, and didn't even know about the Little Brown Books until a year or two ago, so I like to go back into the mists of time and see what was. Now that I understand previous editions and am not a 12 year old trying to muddle his way through a fairly complex system of rules derived from hand copied notes, I have a lot of respect for the older editions of the game.

This old school style of adventuring, this sort of dungeoneering focused style of adventure appeals to me. I like the idea of the players starting out weak and vulnerable and pitting themselves against the environment of the dungeon a lot more than I like the inherent durability and power level of 3.0 Edition+ first level characters. 4th Edition characters are basically tanks when compared with older editions of the game where your ability scores didn't even have an effect on anything until they hit like seventeen or eighteen. A big enemy of older edition characters is the environment itself. How do you traverse miles and miles of wilderness with only a map, compass, and whatever supplies you can manage to carry on your backs? You certainly can't afford a horse or wagon to carry what you'll need. The forest is rife with gnolls as well, and random encounters alone will tax you unto death, unless you fight smart as Hell or straight up flee. 

Now, I've not gone full bore into rose colored glasses land here. There are some definite wonky ass idiosyncrasies to some of the older editions of the game. But so what? THAC0 is a game mechanic, learn it. We survived it for years and didn't once think to come up with something better or more intuitive, it couldn't have been that bad, right?

A very large part of me really really wants to get a hold of physical copies of the AD&D books, the PHB, DMG, and Monster Manual. I have Unearthed Arcana already, and would love to grab the original Fiend Folio. I would like to actually run rules as written 1st Edition AD&D and go into the actual 1st Edition AD&D Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, Against the Giants, etc etc etc. I just think it would be fun. I don't think it is a journey we would all take part in. Eric and John like to have a certain amount of power in their DnD that I feel would be incompatible with the lower levels of AD&D.

I just really love some if the inherent themes of the old editions, the prevalence of the iconic dungeon, the likelihood of death, the need for player interaction, rather than skill interaction with the world. I think these are some very cool themes and concepts that I would like to explore. I'm sure if we ever did such a thing I would immediately institute a dozen or two of my own house rules and that sort of thing, but I would just really love to just run AD&D rules as written just once to see it. I don't think I need to go all the way back to Chainmail or the Little Brown Books, but something in me definitely wants to take a little side trip back in time to try some stuff out. Oh well, we'll see what happens. 

No comments:

Post a Comment