Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grognardia Live

If you read this blog regularly, you obviously find "listening" to me and my crazy thoughts enjoyable on some level. Now, thanks to WalkerP and Midnight's Lair, you can actually listen to me. Issue 5 of their podcast is now online and features 45 minutes of my dulcet tones, answering a variety of questions about old school gaming.

I had a great time doing this podcast, only the second I've ever done -- and the first on the old school. I think there's a lot to be said for the format. It's particularly well-suited to my own rambling ways, for one thing, but, even more importantly, it conveys emotion and inflection in a way that's very hard to do in writing. Hearing someone's voice conveys so much more meaning than does simply reading their words on a page (virtual or otherwise). While I don't say much on the podcast that I've not said many times on this blog, I do think hearing me say them makes my meaning clearer.

Anyway, thanks to WalkerP for giving me the opportunity to appear on the podcast. It was fun and I hope everyone will give it a listen when they have the chance.

14 comments:

  1. Listening right now. you speak well and the questions are good.

    My tipping point for 3E was the same; higher level encounters sucking up all the oxygen.

    The nail in the coffin for me was not 4E, but still in 3.5E with a poor DM replacing all judgement and roleplaying with skill rolls (and in fairness, I think years of playing 3E had made me a worse roleplayer as well). After this, I concluded a D20 roll was too chaotic for skill rolls and from there it was a short hop to being completely done with the whole D20 system.

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  2. Interesting about 4E being your last straw, as it were. I ended up having a similar reaction; even though I started with (and still love) 3rd Edition, and even though 4E is a perfectly fine game and I've had fun playing it, it's gotten me to the point where I'm seriously planning a Swords & Wizardry game for December, rather than just thinking I'll give that old school stuff a shot "someday."

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  3. Hi James, I just listened to the interview and it was excellent.

    I was particularly struck by your comment at the end that the OD&D resurgence needs new people to join in if it is going to succeed. As a 23-year-old who only got into D&D when 3rd edition was released and who is becoming increasingly interested in OD&D (primarily thanks to Grognardia), this struck home for me.

    In terms of projects and new material, what is the OD&D community looking for? Modules? Variant rules? I'm very curious as to how people (particularly those who have just been introduced to OD&D) can help.

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  4. Interesting, thoughtful stuff - you interview as well as you write, ie very well! I noticed at one point you give a cut-off date for 'Old School' (ca 1979) which AIR is an approach you've advocated against previously? I think the Old School descriptor can be legitimately applied to eg Labyrinth Lord, emulating 1981 Moldvay D&D, and I wouldn't in principle object to a ca 1988/2e AD&D retro-clone describing itself as 'old school'. The differences in core rules between 1e and 2e are very minor, after all.

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  5. I think for me, burning out on 3.5e led me to C&C and the beginnings of my journey into Old Schooldom, but it was my negative reaction to 4e that was the last straw in turning me fully grognard.

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  6. I noticed at one point you give a cut-off date for 'Old School' (ca 1979) which AIR is an approach you've advocated against previously?

    I think what I probably said is that I don't consider myself a "true" OD&Der because I didn't start playing until 1979, five years after the release of the game.

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  7. I'm disappointed that you don't sound like James Earl Jones, but, rather, like me. :)

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  8. In terms of projects and new material, what is the OD&D community looking for? Modules? Variant rules? I'm very curious as to how people (particularly those who have just been introduced to OD&D) can help.

    Honestly, as much as I like new products, what the old community needs is new players, people who haven't played the game for 30+ years. That means some form of outreach to younger gamers so that they can experience old school games in a friendly, open environment. Just how that will happen I don't yet know, but I am giving it some thought.

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  9. I'm disappointed that you don't sound like James Earl Jones, but, rather, like me. :)

    Alas, my diction, while perhaps somewhat atypical for my neck of the woods, still reveals me to be a Baltimorean.

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  11. That means some form of outreach to younger gamers so that they can experience old school games in a friendly, open environment. Just how that will happen I don't yet know, but I am giving it some thought.

    Well, you commented in the interview that one of the most essential ingredients in Old School play is face-to-face interaction, so getting new players involved at your FLGS seems like a good way. Didn't Jeff Rients talk about getting new gamers to play OD&D at his local game store?

    On a personal note, I have never actually played D&D in my entire life, I just read about it religiously. I'm hoping someday I can walk into a game store and see a sign that says "OD&D campaign every Thursday, everyone welcome to join!"

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  12. James Maliszewski said: "Honestly, as much as I like new products, what the old community needs is new players, people who haven't played the game for 30+ years. That means some form of outreach to younger gamers so that they can experience old school games in a friendly, open environment. Just how that will happen I don't yet know, but I am giving it some thought."

    The old school blogs (me) very interested in old school gaming, even if I like using homebrew games.

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  13. I listened to the podcast about a week ago. Hadn’t seen this post yet, so it was a pleasant surprise. I enjoy the conversation a lot.

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