Sunday, November 20, 2011

Twisty Little Passages

My earliest exposure to adventure gaming was not actually D&D but the interactive fiction software produced by companies like Infocom in the 80s, which I played on my trusty Atari 800. In particular, it would probably be hard for me to overestimate the influence the Zork games had on my young imagination. So naturally, as soon as I discovered the existence of Twisty Little Passages by Nick Montfort, which purported to be a kind of history of interactive fiction, I had to buy and read it immediately. I was not disappointed.

According to Montfort, the first work of interactive fiction, Adventure, was inspired as much by its author's Dungeons & Dragons campaign as his caving and spelunking activities; and indeed the book contains a lot of material that I think anyone interested in the history of RPGs in general and fantasy adventure gaming in particular would find fascinating. Chapter three even contains a sort of sub-chapter exclusively devoted to Dungeons & Dragons, complete with quotes from Gary Gygax and Dragon magazine. I'm not going to lie: this book is definitely not for everyone; it's a rather dry, academic exploration of a relatively obscure subject. But for the right reader (me), this is gold.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

File Under "Awesome"

So I was browsing the local Bookman's the other weekend because I browse it every weekend because it's an awesome used bookstore and they're constantly restocking their RPG section and I love RPGs, obviously, and I come across this treasure trove of old Dragon and White Dwarf mags; I can't afford to buy them all of course so I limit myself to only those issues that contain adventures and lo and behold this awesomeness: some vaguely D&D-esque dude riding a giant beetle across a blasted desert wasteland toward a mist-shrouded Death Star type thing. And it contains a cool if short D&D adventure. Score.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Easy Half-Elves for B/X

Either their elven side is dominant, in which case they're mechanically identical to elves and visually pretty much indistinguishable from other elves (think Elrond); or their human side is dominant, in which case they're mechanically identical to humans and resemble humans unless you look really closely (think Tanis). Why bother? Because I love half-elves and I hate unnecessary rules.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thinking About AD&D


So I love me my B/X D&D but I started with AD&D (mix of 1st & 2nd, with whatever else was around thrown in) and I've got like a million AD&D adventures that I've never played, including some classics like the GDQ series and the Slavers series, and I know it's not even necessary to convert these adventures to use them with B/X but lately I've been feeling all those weird, esoteric, fiddly aspects of AD&D calling to me and I don't care what anybody says I love the goddam ranger. There I said it.

But there are things I don't like about AD&D, too, so I've also been thinking about using a streamlined version like OSRIC or maybe just using the AEC with LL and using the advanced hit dice cuz there's a lot about B/X I'd like to hang onto. Or I could just cherry-pick everything I like from wherever and homebrew the whole thing but that would be almost like work and I'm allergic to that.

Anyway I'm still really enjoying my current LL/BX campaign so that's where it's at for now. Just thinking out loud.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My...birthday...present.

So today was my birthday and instead of a tie or socks or a chainsaw or whatever it is real men in their mid-thirties ask for or get i got this. I'm really looking forward to reading this and hopefully running it sometime in the near future. I don't ordinarily like to mix technology jelly with my classic D&D peanut-butter but this just looks awesome and it'll totally throw my players for a loop. Anyway if I remember after I read it over I'll post a review. Friggin love that title. Finally, and almost completely unrelated, it is not just my opinion but an irrefutable LAW of existence that the Rankin Bass Gollum is the awesomest Gollum EVAR. That is all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ingredients

Inspired by this post over at Jeff's Gameblog. I drew inspiration for Shadowbrook Manor from here, here, here, here, here and here - and probably some other places but that's all I can think of right now. If I think of more, I'll do another post. Oh, and the books in the library are "fictional books," with the exception of a few I made up myself and a couple real ones.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Swag!

Received my complimentary hard-copy of Shadowbrook today and it is a thousand times more awesome in person than in pdf, if I may say so myself. I am inordinately proud of this thing; even if everyone else in the world decides it sucks I'll still love it. Because they'd be wrong. But seriously, the important thing is this: from tentative emails to free author's copy, Daniel Proctor, founder/owner of Goblinoid Games, has been awesome in every possible way. Patient, honest, professional, accommodating - everything most people hope for in an editor/publisher but seldom find. Here's to you, Dan - may you live for a thousand years! (In like a forever young way that doesn't suck.)


Some Interesting Linkage

-The artist who did the cover and the interior illustrations for my adventure. The 2 limited edition prints at the bottom are pretty incredible. Not to mention the awesome Labyrinth Lord poster. Orcus kicks ass.

-I love crazy RPG archaeology like this piece on Gygaxian Supernaturalism. Also I friggin LOVE that picture.

-Interesting bit about game theory.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simple Old School House-rule for Swimming in Armor

Characters in danger of drowning must roll their unmodified ac or less on a d10 each round or drown. Strong swimmers may add their strength bonus to the target number.

First Post

This will be a run on sentence: Hello I'm a bookseller and I'm kind of this huge nerd and my hobbies include reading, writing metrical poetry and playing Dungeons & Dragons and I wrote this adventure for a so-called retro-clone of the 1981 rule-set of that game called Labyrinth Lord and that's all I have to say at this time and I'm really just trying this blog thing out for a lark and I'll probably never post again thanks for stopping by.