Monday, January 12, 2009

Well Said

Mike, over at the ever-excellent Society of Torch, Pole and Rope has posted a nice quote by Paul Crabaugh from issue 109 of Dragon. I'm going to re-post the quote here, because I think it rather nicely encapsulates a foundational principle of the ongoing old school renaissance:
In the Good Old Days, the days of the original three books of the Dungeons & Dragons game, the number of variants on the rules was roughly equal to X, where X was the number of players in the game.

Alas, we all get older and more conservative, and with the publication of the more detailed, more structured D&D Basic Set, variant rules tended to become one with history.

There’s no reason why that has to be so. The D&D game, by virtue of its inherent simplicity, is an excellent platform for experimental rules…
Indeed.

9 comments:

  1. In terms of sheer utility, I think that was quite possibly the best article Dragon ever published.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought it summed up the old-school movement very succinctly. Considering that's from May of 1986, I think it be difficult to call the underlying motivations and philosophies of the Old School Renaissance a phenomenon of completely recent origin.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I knew Paul C. when I was a kid hanging out at Aero Hobbies. I found out recently that he passed away a couple of years after I stopped hanging around there. He was a pretty good guy. Inspired me to have a stab at a Traveller campaign back in the day.

    I bet he'd be doing a pretty awesome old school blog if he was still around.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Considering that's from May of 1986, I think it be difficult to call the underlying motivations and philosophies of the Old School Renaissance a phenomenon of completely recent origin.

    Indeed. The writing has been on the wall for a long time; it's only now that I'm listening to it. I remember guys back even in the early 80s who felt D&D had "lost its way" and would extol the virtues of the early days to a degree that, back then, I just dismissed as the rantings of "fat bearded guys." Now that I'm one of those guys -- sans beard -- I see exactly what they were criticizing. Better late than never.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ditto the above, actually.

    Personally, I sort of keep a close goatee/5-o'clock shadow thing going these days.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Its a quite interesting article (both Crabaugh and Mike's post), and the system went into the 2ed DMG too. I don't remember whether it was changed a lot, or not, I should take a look. I started with 2ed about 1990, and that part of the DMG was very inspiring for me, although finally we didn't use it, and later we were too much influenced by the kit system, but that's another story.

    It's a quite good system for class building, and gives many great ideas, and very eye opening of what can be done with the d&d system, but it is interesting that it can't be made compatible with the original class system. It shows, that the original class balance has something more to it, than basic mathematics.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The chicks seem to dig a bit of stubble on the kisser these days, so I like to keep a Hugh "House" Laurie two-day growth...

    ReplyDelete
  8. It shows, that the original class balance has something more to it, than basic mathematics.

    That's in fact my main beef with the article, which I do like. Building a good class isn't about "balance" of any sort and I think much mischief has been wrought by promoting the notion that it is.

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://eiglophian.blogspot.com/2009/01/be-my-sensei.html

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.