Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Finally Created a Blog

   Well, this is it. Time to show a little professionalism and start putting forth a few things about all those 'dated' D&D games I love so much. What things? Well... I have a few rule ideas of my own. I mean, everyone else is creating clones and copies of the game, and nearly every edition is getting cloned, why don't I give it a stab?

   That may actually be a problem, because unlike a lot of other clone publishers, I am not interested in publishing anything that isn't my own baby, and I cannot consider a clone to be anything original by me, thus, unpublishable. Yes, I know there are guidelines and criteria to follow that will still allow me to publish a clone of D&D by following the OGL, but that isn't what I mean; I'm not here to publish. I'm here to post a few things.

   Now, if I get a good response to what I post, I may continue. Then again, if I wind up with NO followers, I may still continue, if only to immortalize my not-so-noteworthy rules scribbling in a faceless blogosphere that no-one but me will ever read!

   From what I understand, anyone can make a blog and be edgy, snarky, sarcastic, caustic, or down-right nasty towards any number of pet peeves and other perceived slights one might experience whilst perusing favorite sites and forums. I really don't want to do that. I simply want to put a piece up for view, and then explain to the best of my ability why I think it is or isn't good, bad, or forgettable. Opinion, yes, but hopefully always in a constructive way. Occasionally I may ask for other opinions, but I suppose that some snark or rudeness is to be expected. There are a lot of different versions of D&D out there, original - and 'clone'.

   I hope to make this blog mainly about the original D&D versions, whether it be 0e, Holmes, BX, or AD&D. However, I expect that there will be well intentioned replies that may direct the blog reader to one or other of the decades of clones that are freely available. Now, please don't take this the wrong way; I do not hate retro-clones, but I do actively avoid using them as the base set of rules for my own campaigns. Why? It is simple really: I still have all the original games, in one form or another, and I would hate to put them on a shelf when there is still so much life and imagination left in them.

   Anything else wrong with the clones, Bob? Re-writing them to mold them into a form for new gamers is fine, or even a common 'house rule' now made canon is also fine. We all house rule, even if our house rule is to stick as closely "by the book" as possible - and not to add one other single house rule. Now, there is also a difference in adding house rule as canon to a new clone, and a different interpretation of the rules that not everyone will agree with.

   Now, my first rule of D&D is to make sure everyone is having fun, and if a rule isn't working as you thought it should, change it. I change things every session if I or my players really think its necessary. My campaign has evolved from a simple series of BX rules related dungeons to a fully integrated BX/AD&D World of Greyhawk campaign. I would expect no other treatment from, or to, a clone.

   That may be my only consistent ruling on the game, but I have friends who would argue that you can only change 25% of the rules in D&D before it can no longer be considered to be "D&D".

   About change: If you think a rule doesn't work because it seems to be broken, examine every aspect of that rule and the context it provides within the game. If it really does not fit your concept of a campaign, it might be tossed, changed, or adjusted. I would also advise to test this rule fully before changing it, discover all the factors that are involved with the rule's affect on the game.

The DM's Toolkit:
    There are a lot of things in D&D that we, as players and DMs take for granted, but strive to be interactive as well as storyteller, narrator, scene director/choreographer during combat, and provide challenges for the players, but in practice, I hardly ever think of a lot of things ahead of time, things that 4 or 5 players can think of all at once - once we are going full speed in the dungeon. On-the-spot ad-libbing and extemporization must also be in the DM's toolkit.

   Remember the difference between a rule and a ruling. Rules are fairly permanent, and they allow the DM to operate the campaign world as the players' journey through it. A ruling is a very temporary, possibly only a situational result made on the spot in the thick of battle or other highly stressful part of the journey, and it may be reversed or nullified in later sessions because a clear meaning of an overlooked rule had been subsequently found.

   But I am getting ahead of myself. This is my first post, and I have a lot of things to consider posting here, and I have a lot more composing to accomplish before actually posting anything with real substance, and I hope that I'm not boring you with a philosophy you already know and master.

Next up: Sleep! and designing the look of this blog, and arranging what, if any different topics I'd love to share eventually.