Because D&D allowed such freedom, because the work itself said so, because the initial batch of DMs were so imaginative and creative, because the rules wre incomplete, vague and often ambiguous, D&D has turned into a non-game. That is, there is so much variation between the way the game is played from region to region, state to state, area to area, and even from group to group within a metropolitan district, there is no continuity and little agreement as to just what the game is and how best to play it. Without destroying the imagination and individual creativity which go into a campaign, AD&D rectifies the shortcomings of D&D. There are few grey areas in AD&D, and there will be no question in the mind of participants as to what the game is and is all about. There is form and structure to AD&D, and any variation of these integral portions of the game will obviously make it something else.I've bolded the phrase "D&D has turned into a non-game," because it's a really remarkable turn of phrase, both in terms of its actual content and because of the way it marks a turning point in the history of the hobby -- the point at which the demands of TSR's business interests took precedence in determining the future direction of Dungeons & Dragons.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Since it frequently gets referenced and because not everyone is familiar with the original quote, here again is the famous June 1979 quote from issue 26 of The Dragon, where Gary Gygax discusses the differences between D&D -- what we refer to today as OD&D -- and AD&D, the latter of which would be completed with the then-imminent release of the Dungeon Masters Guide.