For those who are interested, here are the answers to yesterday's Grognard Test.
Three brief comments:
1. Several of the questions dealt with wargames, as is only fitting. Though the term "grognard" has been appropriated by the RPG hobby to refer to old school players, it's applied more properly to old school wargamers. Of course, roleplaying grew out of wargaming, so many of the oldest players of RPGs are also wargamers of ancient vintage. And, for a long time, the two hobbies existed side by side and cross-pollinated one another in various ways. I was never much of a wargamer myself -- I did play some Squad Leader and a few other Avalon Hill games -- but I knew lots of them. My friend's dad, one of the guys who introduced me to the hobby, was a wargamer and we sometimes played with him. Anyway, my point is that connection between wargaming and RPGs is a venerable one and, if you don't have any experience of that connection, chances are you're not old enough to qualify as a grognard -- not that there's anything wrong with that.
2. Question 1 was phrased misleadingly, yes, but that didn't bother me. All I needed to see was "retired Scout" and the answer was obvious.
3. I contend that the tiebreaker was a trick question, because both Morgan Ironwolf and Aleena -- female characters drawn by Jeff Dee and Larry Elmore, respectively -- appeared in mass market editions of D&D. Anyone who not only knows who they are but cares enough to argue about the relative merits of their feminine virtues is probably someone who entered the hobby late, during its faddish phase in the 80s rather than earlier. Now, it's possible that some genuine grognards care about this nerdy debate, but I doubt it.
Finally, as the test proved, even many people whose grognard credentials are widely accepted had a hard time with at least a couple of the questions; I know I did. Being old school is, to some extent, as much a function of exposure and interests as it is of time and experience. I have no interest in kicking anyone out of the clubhouse because they didn't know about grues or the displacement tonnage of a Type-S Scout/Courier. I do, however, have an interest in ensuring that collective memories, history, and traditions of our common hobby are known and honored, even by those who weren't around to live through them. Without this past, our hobby has no future.