The other day I did a Google search for "Ode to Black Dougal" and below the obvious result was a page on Alex Schroeder's wiki titled "Ode to Black Dougal" that amalgamated all of my B/X is My Favourite posts. It made me feel kind of homesick. The funny thing is that I am still on my blog page nearly every day but usually just to check the blog roll on the right.
The original purpose of this blog was to act as a repository of my thoughts while I got back into gaming and finding a gaming group. Over time it morphed a bit and became more intellectual exercise than anything else. Eventually, I ran out of stuff to say.
Gaming wise, I have a great, stable (almost too stable) gaming group. We have been playing 2nd edition AD&D using Pazio adventure paths and having a great time. We recently finished the Rise of the Runelords campaign, and it was honestly one of the most successful campaigns I have DM'ed. I took great pride when, after having a chance to read the campaign post-completion, one of my players declared:
"Kudos to you, Patrick, for making it a true adventure path. If I had read these ahead of time, I would have declared it a railroad of epic proportions. However, it seems that we hit almost every single major point and I would have sworn it was all of our own free will."Oh, the power of illusion.
However, I am finding my mind wandering to simpler rules, groups with messier dynamics, and campaigns that aren't as organized or as dramatic. This and other things have me thinking about my beloved B/X D&D: The call for DM's has gone out for Underground Con and I am contemplating what games I am going to run; I have been playing a lot of the Dungeon board game with my kids; and, K-Slacker (the player quoted above) has begun DMing a series of old-school one shots at a local game day.
There are a number of things I would love to do using B/X. For instance, my idea of a B/X-based sword, science and sorcery game never really got any legs (even though I would still love to play it) and there is still my sword & sorcery hacks I would love to try out, and I still consider a reboot of the Northern Marches. Of course, the issue is time. Given an active family and a busy career, the one gaming group is stress enough on the schedule.
For now I am going to try to content myself with rereading the B/X rules books and trying to convince my gaming group of a possible change in campaigns. As I read the rulebooks I will post some thoughts here and see how far I get.
- The cover is a classic Erol Otus work and the same as the picture on the cover of the magenta coloured box that the rules came in;
- When I think of D&D, this is still the image I have in my head;
- I love the dungeon layout of the encounter. The stairs leading up to the doorway and the waterway fading into the darkness in the background just scream of exploring the unknown.
- I love the fact that the fighter is wielding a spear instead of the expected sword.
- There is lots of legalese on the cover - "all rights reserved", copyrights, trademarks - this is no longer a small press item done by hobbyists.
- I believe the cover is the only place were "Role Playing" is mentioned (I will try to confirm this as we go).
- The only quibble I have with the cover (and it's a minor one) is that the dragon-like creature is not explicitly in the rulebook. I know that I can make my own but, given this is a "basic" set, I would have expected the cover to portray an image that is easy to replicate with the given rules
Edited to add...
Next: The table of contents
- "For 3 or More Adults, Ages 10 and Up" - this is marketing genius!
Next: The table of contents