View Full Version : RPG Ponderings

10-21-2007, 04:26 PM
AD&D, boy I miss that. Before they wimped out magic users and pretty much hosed the game completely in third edition.



10-21-2007, 11:21 PM
After Gygax gave up control, the game was never the same. That's IMHO, of course, but we played many marathon games that lasted multiple weekends with that first edition. And I mean marathons -- games started around 5PM on Friday evenings, and finally broke up when the sun came up on Sunday. Ahh, the good old days!!! ;D

10-22-2007, 12:04 AM
Yup, we were marathon D&D players as well and we carried over a bunch of the Arduin Grimoire, Chivalry and Sorcery, Prindle and such. I loved the cursed magical items we'd place in dungeons . . . Boots of Involuntary Break Dancing spring to mind.



10-22-2007, 02:07 AM
Twat exactly is prindle looked it up on wik and got a bunch of peps with that last name, so I am guessing its a profession but what?

10-22-2007, 02:15 AM
NOTE: THIS POST IS WILDLY OFF-TOPIC! If you are interested in actual brewlog information for my Pumpkin Mead, skip this post entirely. The next post is the post you seek.

Oskaar: I know not about this "hosing in 3rd edition" of which you speak... :icon_king: (I really do understand what you mean but it's all in the play style)

Before we go too far "out there", I will say that yes, I really, really have played since 1st edition. Heavily. I will admit to an enormous amount of geekdom. That said, the only thing that let 3rd edition get out of hand with some of the more broken things was a DM that forgot about (or let loose his control of) the famous Rule 0. IMHO 3rd edition provided many awesome possibilities and really opened up the game in a lot of ways. However, with lots of possibilities comes lots of broken things when applied in proper combination. When these combinations are allowed to be abused, well, that is where fun goes to die.

My gaming group has a blast, and the ruleset really has very little to do with it. I would stipulate that we would have nearly the same experience using whatever ruleset we chose to play in.

It's all about beer-induced hilarity.

I will now recount the highlight of *my* evening as a DM. This is merely a typical example:

First, some background:

I almost never use modules, but this one module fit into my campaign world so very well that I just had to steal 85% of it for my own uses. In this adventure there is an old Abbey taken over by a demon-cult. Bad people (and outsiders) doing bad things, etc. Naturally that was plenty of motivation for the Paladin-led party to just HAVE to go in there.

Level 10 party vs level 11-ish challenge. The entrance to the Abbey grounds was a big wall with a destroyed archway. All sorts of clues about the general state of "nasty" within were told to the players.

There is this scout in the adventuring party. He is admittably the "plucky comic relief"**. He has the classic combination of very high intelligence, but low wisdom. The player makes sure to roleplay this very well, even if it is to the detriment of his character. He was doing that "scout thing" that he does so well and at the arch he said, "I would check for traps but I know the result." Standing up with arms wide, indicating the sum total of everything within the archway, he proclaims: "ALL OF THIS... IS A GIGANTIC TRAP!"

Oh, how right he was.

The party went in despite the warning.

After a number of battles, the party approached the large steps leading to the Abbey proper. On either side of the steps hidden in the orchard wait two dracolisks, which naturally have the power to turn their victims to stone with a mere gaze. The first one up the steps? Naturally the scout. He finds the monsters, they see him, and one unfortunate saving throw later he is turned to stone.

A while later the party finds a scroll of stone to flesh in the Abbey. How convenient! They use it on the scout-turned-staue. Unfortunately again he fails his system shock roll and dies in the process of turning back to flesh. Fortunately the cleric had a spell ready that keeps you from dying (puts you to -1 HP, which in 3rd edition is merely unconscious, not dead) IF he can cast it on you the very same round you die. HANDY! He is SAVED by a really wise cleric. The cleric no longer has that spell ready, since he just used it - his most powerful spell.

This is where it got funny. The scout now understands that even if he dies, the cleric can bring him back to life with no penalty whatsoever.

They bring the scout inside the Abbey where they continue adventuring. There was a locked door that the party could not open - they needed that scout's skills.

The scout unlocked the door. Good scout. He then proclaims to the cleric, "I am so glad you are around. With you here, I live life without consequences!!" (yes, he literally said this) "I will open the door. BUT WAIT! I have learned from my past experience! I will open it ... like THIS!" (player stands up, makes a door-opening motion with his other hand COVERING HIS EYES!"

As a DM, these are the beautiful moments that make life worth living.

The scorpion-demon that had been drinking potions (haste, spider climb, and greater magic fang), climbing above the door, and generally waiting for the first victim to open the door then lays down the arse-whooping one would expect.

The scout survives the assault, closes the door and gets a quick heal from the cleric. Meanwhile the demon takes a new position within the room and casts darkness in the room. (at this point every player was already laughing nearly too hard to play the game)

The scout then tries again, this time with eyes open. He opens the door to find... utter darkness! He is human, so he can see nothing. He stands there IN THE DOORWAY and lights a torch...

From somewhere within the room a battleaxe flies. Direct hit to the scout! The scout then removes said battleaxe from his person, throws it to the ground, and boldly shouts into the room, "Ha HAAA! I got your axe! NOW what have you got, B---H?!!" (all of us are laughing hard, several of the players are in tears from laughing, and none are in any condition to state their character's actions...)

Well, to wit, he had another one. Another battle axe flies, direct hit to the scout.

It is precicely the following moment that a good DM just has to thank all that is holy for the good fortune to have such a funny moment handed to him:

The scout turns around IN THE DOORWAY, looks at the party and shouts, "WHY IS NOBODY HELPING ME?!!!"

Yes, yes my friends. Another battle axe flies, direct hit to the scout - right in the back.

At this point we had to take a 5 minute break. Even I was laughing to hard to finish him off.

After we stopped with the riotous laughing the party did charge into the room and take care of that pesky (minor) opponent.

I don't think it really matters what ruleset is used. It's all about the fun that results from the collective imaginations of a group of good friends.

**blatant Galaxy Quest reference

10-22-2007, 02:26 AM
10/21 2pm

SG 1.042 - Not quite 2/3 sugar break but I knew I'd be out at dance practice all night and the way it was fermenting it would be past that by the time I got back (English Country Dance for the Renaissance Faire group Sara and I are in), so I added 2g Fermaid-K (didn't have any 2133, oh well) and stirred. Taste was really good - like pumpkin pie!

This is a really good one. I can just tell...

10-22-2007, 07:30 AM

Prindle was another pre-D&D RPG that we played here in So Cal in the early to mid-seventies before we moved on to Arduin and then D&D.


You really have to have been a hard core pre-D&D and pre AD&D to know how profoundly Second and then Third Editions adversely affected us craggy old D&D players who ran campaigns, met Gygax and played in the very early tournaments and such. The game changed dramatically, and not for the better IMNSHO. Your post shows how much you enjoy your RPG experience and I think that's great. Mine was similar, so in order to preserve my memory as fun, we stopped when the rules (and attitudes of new players) changed. This is not a comment on you, or your RPG experience, but reflects me and mine.


Oskaar (Kerrill al Ljurrahl sleeps until his time returns)

10-22-2007, 09:43 AM
I've played RPG's since the mid-70's. I was corrupted in college and DM'd extensively for about the next 15 years...

When I graduated and relocated to Iowa, the group I was gaming with had several intellectual types. One took a system that was designed for arena combat, modified some things, and created a system that was fairly close to GURPS (even though GURPS wasn't released for about 5 more years. I never went back to D&D for many reasons. The biggest reason was I wanted to be a mage that could hide and ride a horse and AD&D forced me to be multi-class. I didn't want to pick pockets, pick locks, climb, or any of the other thiefly skills, I just wanted to hide.

Believe me, Gygax was inundated by numerous requests to make D&D skill based (read the really old Dragon magazines for some glimpse of it). And so many of us were tremendously disappointed when AD&D was published and did nothing to correct the problems. It wasn't until the advent of non-weapon proficiencies that AD&D made any move towards being skill based.

I could go on and on with reasons I left D&D/AD&D and moved on to other systems. Eventually our group ended up playing Chaosium's Runequest (which AValon Hill took over and ruined). I loved the skill based system in which improving took either training or use of a particular skill. The world of Runequest was also a strength of the system with a cohesiveness not available in other gaming worlds (although Harn was really good in some ways). But Runequest's weakness was that the magic started out weak and even rune magic was fairly pitiful in comparison to D&D.

GURPS was great in that it taught people to Roleplay (note capital R). The GURPS disadvantages were particularly valuable in achieving this. I will share "5 fish and 2 spears" sometime which is a lot like the story just told by Bruce in that there was laughter to the point of tears. But moments like a stuttering dwarf with acrophobia tellling the elves of Lorien that he was "not guhgoing tuhto cuhclimb thethat duhduhdamn tuhtuhtree" were always fun. Or Pewter, addicted to gambling, literally losing his shirt (and boots) to a professional (who happened to be a priest) and then finding them hanging on the wall of the pawn shop the next morning when someone pointed them out ("hey look, it's Pewter's boots!").

Ah yes... those were the good ole days...

10-22-2007, 10:22 AM
"You guys are nothing but a bunch of loser D&D geeks who prefer to be in their parents basement playing games than getting girlfriends!"

Sorry. I had to say it because that is what was expected to be said back when I was a kid. D&D was for those zitty overweight kids who could never get a girlfriend and would get the feces beaten out of them at every opportunity. Because of this stigma, I never played it, although I was fascinated with the concept. Some may ask me why I cared what other people thought if I wanted to do something. Unfortunately, when you are in an all boys boarding school, you do everything you can to fit in or the abuse was horrendous. It just was not worth it. So I knew about it, wanted to play it, but just never dared. Sad really.

The funny thing is, the game is still being played, although now it is almost cool to be running around killing Orcs, upgrading armor, fighting evil wizards or aliens. Now it is done on gaming consoles over the internet. Don't mention D&D though, or one of those zitty overweight console players will beat the feces out of you.


10-22-2007, 02:51 PM
I love 3rd edition. Never played the original original version with the booklets with "fighting man" as a class. AD&D was fun but very limiting in what could be done. You are a fighter and thats all you do. Monsters were in locked rooms without sanitation or food supply and often mix and matched. They tried to add in skills and proficencies but it was definately added in after the fact. Its a good game for hack and slash but weak for actual roleplaying

10-22-2007, 03:02 PM
Played d&d, ad&d for years. Never played 3rd. Also played the original Traveler. One of my favorite all time RPG's. THe rumor was that they converted it to GURP's?

The group I used to play with kind of disintegrated and the next group I got into was ShadowRun. It's a fun RPG. Love the universe.

Unfortunately don't really have much time to get into RPG's anymore. :(

Oh well.... Wouldn't mind starting up a Traveller or ShadowRun game with anyone in the area...

10-22-2007, 03:27 PM
MELEE (and there was a magic oriented version named WIZARD as well) was originally an arena combat system.

These evolved into THE FANTASY TRIP which then evolved into GURPS.

GURPS did a Fantasy version, a Space version, a Horror version, et. al. ad nauseum...

I believe that Steve Jackson or Steve Jackson Games owned all of these...

David Baldwin
10-22-2007, 04:00 PM
Yup, we were marathon D&D players as well and we carried over a bunch of the Arduin Grimoire, Chivalry and Sorcery, Prindle and such. I loved the cursed magical items we'd place in dungeons . . . Boots of Involuntary Break Dancing spring to mind.



LOL! I still have a character around somewhere who is still wearing a pair of cursed boots - boots of random direction running... Every now and then the old gang gets back together to dust off the old books and pick up another adventure. Oh yea... Friday we'd start as soon as a few of us were out of college classes for the day, and roll on through early Monday morning - just before our 7:40 classes.

10-22-2007, 05:14 PM
You know - this begs for a D&D session as part of, or probably better after, the IMF. I'm sure that it's too late for this year, but any hard core Dungeonites out there who want to re-create the Olde Days (pre-ed. 3) are welcome to be at my place (up in Evergreen, only 12 miles from the MeadFest venue) after next year's IMF for a day (or two, or...) of D&D. Now who wants to be DM??? ::)

10-22-2007, 07:27 PM
I will agree that gamers have changed over time. It is to my great fortune that my older brothers grew up in the old ways of which Oskaar speaks, and brought me up right!

We have kept up with all of the changes in the AD&D system throughout the years, always making sure to cry BS when BS is present, and fix it via careful application of logic and balance. I've seen a number of other game groups in my day and none of them cut the mustard when I compared it with my core group. I know exactly what Oskaar means about a changing player base. It's all about the people and there are very few left that still play that were around in the beginning.

As far as online games go, I've played EQ, EQ2, WoW, and played in the beta for Vanguard. I don't forsee any possibility of ever roleplaying in that format, mostly because the mainstream public doesn't roleplay at all and the game itself doesn't foster it either. I have had fun in the small "friends guild" environment and I've been in the top "Uberguild" for my server - the whole gamut. Lots of fun to be had but it is definitely nothing like pen and paper D&D.

I guess that's why my favorite D&D campaigns have so little focus on combat. I can get that anytime online! I really tend to focus on various character personalities when I get a handful of actual humans around a table.

I just wish I had more time to play! It's so hard to get together more than once or twice a month anymore.

Anyways, I respect the various opinions about how the game has changed. Everybody has a unique set of adventures behind them and over time it takes a significant effort to maintain any gaming group, changes to the rules notwithstanding. After all, nobody forces anybody to use one ruleset over another. The original rules can still be used!

That does give me an idea. I may try a campaign using a pre-D&D ruleset. I'm sure with the power of the internet I could dig them up.


10-23-2007, 06:34 PM
I know this thread has been about D&D and AD&D, but I play Rifts and other Palladium Books games. I Run Beyond The Supernatural and NightBane.


10-26-2007, 12:05 PM
I enjoy playing the X-box 360 version of "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion"


10-30-2007, 11:58 PM
My brother plays the PC version of that game quite a bit. It looks decently fun. If I had the time for (yet) another time sink I'd probably play that one too :)