Wednesday, May 15, 2019

From the Ground Up

This post is meant to be a "placeholder" of sorts.

I've been reading, streaming, and thinking a lot these last several days. A lot.

[and here my words just trail off again...jeez, sometimes starting these posts are so hard!]

And just WHAT I've been thinking about, is about the campaign world I want to build. That's the brief of it.

Not just the setting, mind you, though that's part of its elements. I'm talking about the rules, their form and function, as much as anything so worrisome as naming kingdoms and the placing of orc tribes. I'm talking about the purpose of systems, both in what they model and what they represent at the table. I'm talking about deconstructing the game and building it from the ground up...about doing a tear-down of the game engine and seeing how its component parts fit together and why.

And really, the why is more important than the how. It's easy to see how something works, but I'm tired of being altogether lazy about stuff. I want to understand the principles underlying the thing. I want to know why the wheel is round so that I don't have to keep going back to the drawing board and asking, "is there a better shape for this wheel thing?" I've grown somewhat fatigued by that particular exercise.

Over the next few/dozen posts I intend to post my ideas on various design elements here, as this blog has long been a repository for my evolving thought on game design, specifically with regard to Dungeons & Dragons. Probably some of this will be treading old, well-trod ground. Some bits will, no doubt, be counter to things I've written in the past...over time, many of my opinions have changed.  I suspect the end result will still, largely, resemble the B/X game...but maybe not.

Maybe not.

Not trying to be cryptic here, and certainly don't want to sound like I'm embarking on some lofty intellectual journey. Like I said at the top, this is a placeholder...just an introduction to something I'm going to be pursuing, in posts, over the next (who knows how long). Just want folks to know that that's what I'm going to be about for a little while: not about ranting, not about reviewing, not about waxing on about my past or personal stuff. When you see this "Building" label, it's going to be (I hope) something purposeful that may be (some day) incorporated into a larger document.

That's my plan anyway. We'll see how it goes.


  1. Sounds great! Depending on how much of it will look like BX, I might be able to be of help. I (like so many others) wanted to do my own version at some point, so I typed/copy/pasted all of BX into a document as a starting point. I'll send you an e-mail.

    1. Sebastian, I did a copy paste of BX as well. Then merged it all in to one book in publisher. I have a few pictures on my blog. PerilandPlunder

    2. That is really cool sevenbastard! My plan at that time was to have BX as a starting point for all my own rules, so I preferred Word, where text could flow freely among pages and not think about layout until I has a final version.
      I actually remember seeing your post a long time ago while I was working on it myself. I never thought to just ask for it, which is a shame since it looks really good what you made. I'd certainly like to try to print one of those combined hardcovers ;) I also did a vector graphics crisp cover. I saw that the black one circulating the blogs has some issues with the background color when it is printed. My email is on my profile if you click my name.