October 7, 2009

My Gaming Background

To say I have not been very prolific with this blog is the understatement of the year. Well, like the blog title states, I’m a dad and a busy one with two little girls, not to mention work, etc. I have resolved to get this thing up and running, though, so here it goes.

Let me explain a bit about myself. I have been playing Dungeons & Dragons since I was eight. My older brother taught me the rules back in the day and I’ve been in love with the game ever since. I cut my teeth on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons because it’s the rule set my brother was using at the time. I later found his basic set rules (with the Erol Otus covers) and I recall a friend having the red box, but I never made much use of those rules. To me, AD&D was D&D. I stuck with AD&D 1st edition for quite some time, stubbornly refusing to move to AD&D 2nd edition when it came out. I did later switch to AD&D 2e when I realized that the rules weren’t a hell of a lot different than 1e. Hell, THACO seemed like a damn revolution (although, funny enough, it actually first appeared in the 1st edition Dungeon Master Guide). My gaming group regularly used 1e and 2e materials interchangeably and I DMed tons of 1e modules. Ha, it was an interesting surprise to me, and my players I’m sure, when I started DMing “Against the Giants” without realizing giants had received some steroids between 1e and 2e.

I jumped into 3rd edition as soon as it came out. That version of D&D really got me excited about D&D again. I felt that it brought back much of the great flavor that had been ripped out of 2e in TSR’s rush for political correctness. We had our half-orcs and assassins back! One could even use the words “demon” and “devil” again! Gasp! I was a bit miffed when 3.5 came out because I felt deceived. The gaming community was told it was simply a patch to the old system, sort of like a cleaned up printing of the 3e rules. Well, that wasn’t the case. Yes, one could use 3e materials in a 3.5 game without much difficulty, but the same could be said of 1e materials in a 2e game. I just wish Wizards of the Coast had been upfront and called 3.5 what it really is: the 4th edition of the game.

As for the official 4th edition of D&D (which I see as the 5th edition, really), I have no interest in it. I could go on and on about it, but the simple fact is that it’s not the game for me. I actually wouldn’t mind trying it as a player, but I don’t have the time or desire to learn new rules, especially those that were declared incompatible with my older materials.

While I play D&D 3.5, my favorite system is Castles & Crusades by Troll Lord Games. It is a version of D&D best seen as a simple, rules-light version of D&D 3.5. I’ll explain why I love C&C in another post.

For whatever reason, I never have much interest in systems other than D&D (I see C&C as a version of D&D). I did play in a great Shadowrun campaign back in the day and I ran Gamma World from time to time, but D&D is my home system and I can’t really push myself to move beyond it. I’ll gladly play other RPGs (and would do so if I had more time), but I have no interest in GMing them (although I do have an itch to GM Gamma World again).

Well, that is enough for now. As you can see from the margins, I’m currently DMing a Rappan Athuk Reloaded campaign. I think I’ll detail that in my next post.
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