Friday, October 15, 2021

D&D: Past & Present

Okay, let's forget all declarations that there's a "true" version of Dungeons & Dragons. I'm still running AD&D, I'm still advocating for folks to try it...and that's about it. Going forward, I intend to use it as my "base template" for discussion, but a lot of what I write will probably apply to other early edition versions of D&D (and they're respective, "clones") and I hope it will still be useful and/or interesting.

With regard to "D&D theorizing" I find that I've been torn in multiple directions, three or four. Something about the lack of heroes in B/X. Something-something about alignment. Ideas about running campaigns. And another thing about the push-pull between designing adventures and designing worlds. Other stuff.

These things...these "concepts"...have changed for me over the years. Some have changed based on my experiences. Some have changed because of time spent in contemplating conflicting view points. Some have (?) that I've held for a while (years) but that have been too amorphous, tough to pin down and are only just starting to "crystalize."

None of which matters much if you're not playing the game. And just lately (like the last month) I haven't been playing. Not nearly enough.

So let me get back to playing. I'm going to knock-off any hard and fast (or loosey goosey) D&D discussions until I have a chance to ramp up my play. Put some of my ideas into action. Do some experiential research, not just theory-bashing and declarative statements of provocation. 

It's Friday. The kids have the day off from school (they're sleeping in, at the moment). I think we're going to a pumpkin patch today. I believe we will be having out Blood Bowl "World Cup" championship game as well. The goblins beat the wood elves in the semi-finals 5-4 (in overtime) but it was a pyrrhic victory as two star players (including their best offensive weapon) were eaten by a hungry troll in successive turns (a 1-in-1296 chance of occurrence) and half the team ended up with broken hips, bashed skulls, or tomb stones. As such, they've withdrawn and the final will be played between the wood elves and the orks...the same match-up that kicked off the tournament back in August.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.
: )


  1. An idea I got from some forum (possibly dragonsfoot) is pitting the guy on the front of the Mentzer red box against a red dragon, as in the picture.

    The fighter is level 3 (since that is the max level in those rules), has the best armor, rings of protection, etc., and the player’s choice of magic swords.

  2. Excellent stuff. I look forward to how you like things in play as opposed to telling me how good it is. - a show me don't tell me experience has my 2356645675 percent support.

    I am truly excited over this news. BRAVO good Blackrazor Bravo!!

  3. It's funny to me that your blog is named after B/X yet you've come around very firmly in the "AD&D is best D&D" camp. I for one am glad for all the B/X content you've put out through the years and look forward to continuing to see what you write.

    I'm pretty firmly of the "use B/X as a base, layer rules on top as needed" mind right now, but I do think AD&D has a ton to offer - I raid it very frequently when I run into a situation requiring adjudication in my B/X game that isn't covered by those rules.

    1. “Ironic” more than funny, perhaps. But thank you for the kind words.

      I will continue to put out B/X content as I can (it’s generally easier to write) as well as ideas that might work for both (incredibly similar) systems. I’m actually working on a couple B/X ideas right now…stay tuned!

    2. Will do!

      If you were to recommend one or two things about AD&D that make it worth trying compared to B/X, what would they be?

    3. Player survivability, long-term campaign construction/running, sweet spot of options/variety (for both players AND Dungeon Masters).

    4. I'm somewhat ignorant about AD&D as a system overall; what is it about AD&D that makes characters more survivable? Just the higher hit dice?

  4. More hit points (generally) than B/X, a negative hit point “buffer” (optional, but generally used), more healing power as clerics receive spells starting at first level including bonus spells for high wisdom scores.