Thursday, June 7, 2012

Well Done, Sir!

As a general rule, I don't like making posts that are just links to posts by others, but, every now and again, I'll make an exception.

This post, about a simple thing one man did to strike a blow for old school gaming, is such an exception.

30 comments:

  1. Perfect.  While I wouldn't call Pathfinder "junk", clearly when trying to introduce a child into the world of RPG, starting with something simple will take them a lot further. Let them get into the sprawling stuff later.

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  2. Christopher SpatolaJune 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM

     I was just about to write more or less the same thing! I totally concur with you, Paul. I happen  to think PF is a great system, but I only own about 2 books for it and I am doing fine especially with the plethora of other D&D stuff I have at my disposal.

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  3.  Superfluous, that one word sums it up.  I played in a Pathfinder Society game, I own the rule book, the artwork is nice and trendy.  The game was soulless, I'm sorry the people I played with were wonderful polite and nice. But, I made the mistake of only using the main rule book to make a character.  I was utterly useless amid my fellow players who had modifiers that sent there dice roles into the 30+, due to class options, feats, traits and ability modifiers.  The GM was always referencing this rule or that rule, poor guy.  I tried to roleplay and they looked at me like I was wasting there time.  If OSR is wrong, I don't want to be right.

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  4. Thank you for your kind comments.

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  5. I just introduced a new set of gamers who had only played a few games of Pathfinder (which is a good system, just too much bloat already) to Labyrinth Lord. They have been playing in my Barrowmaze game up here in the lovely Georgian Bay area, an said they would take LL or BX over Pathfinder. They love the simplicity and not being confined by the rules. Soon I will introduce them to B/X rules and all will be perfect.

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  6. That post sums up everything that I love about the OSR.  I am currently running a fantasy game using a mishmash of rules from Elric! and   Stormbringer.  It is set in a bare-bones version of the Young Kingdoms, as it is presented in the Elric! rulebook.  Like LL, Elric! is slim, cheap, and provides everything one needs in a single volume.   One book to rule them all!  

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  7. I agree and it'd be nice if WotC got the message.  D&D was at its most popular when there was a decent basic set.  It's industry suicide for them not to have one. 

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  8. That example points to what I've been thinking for sometime: the sheer thickness of the rulebooks actually dissuades people from entering the hobby. Who has time nowadays to read all this stuff? And when I mean "read" I actually mean "study." 

    Because in order to "master" the rules either as a player or a DM you have to study them.  The rules are all integrated now. A change in one area ripples through other systems within the rules. Character creation is more about character building (min/maxing) rather than actually playing the game. And that's just the corebooks. 

    But supposed I'm speaking to the choir. ;)

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  9. Not that I begrudge an OSR sale, but the salesman was an idiot. Why would you recommend several hardcovers when Paizo made the Pathfinder Beginner's Box specifically to be an entry point? That and maybe an intro module like Crypt of the Everflame would be what I would try to sell. Either that or the Dragon Age RPG Set 1, which is an excellent game.

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  10. I have and like Labyrinth Lord,

    but of course this is why Pathfinder has the Beginner Box …http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy8osv

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  11. The soul of a game comes from the players, not the game. The biggest problem with any organize play group is that it caters to everyone. 

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  12. Yup.  Posted this as well.
    http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2012/06/supporting-osr-sell-me-your-game.html 

    Pathfinder is not a bad game, it is however more game than some people want or even need.

    I am glad that LL is in stores and I am always looking to help support the OSR anyway I can.

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  13. This makes me utterly happy!Keith S. 
     I'll be doing my part by drawing players into the OSR via Castles & Crusades and Weird West demo's next Saturday at my buddies' game shop (big Pathfinder Society store so I don't know how it will be received) next week for Free RPG day.   
    The following weekend I'll be running C&C games at Michicon.  One demo and one conversion of S1.

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  14. Beautiful, thanks for the link.

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  15. Cool story and I definitely agree that going with a simpler, one book solution for a starter (or really anyone if they are looking for that which I often am myself) is a good idea.  However, I wouldn't necessarily ascribe nefarious designs to the clerk's actions.   I suspect he may just have been a Pathfinder guy who was deeply ensconced in the game and had "bought in" to the notion that all the splat was essential to play.  He may just have been an overly enthusiastic fan of the game...

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  16. Meh. I grew up playing with the LBBs and a Monster Manual,  and Moldvay/Cook/Marsh is *my* favorite version of the game, but my 12 yo son is having a blast with the Pathfinder Beginner box, after 4 years of trying to get him interested in D&D (with everything from S&W, Frank  Mentzer's beat up personal play copies of the B/X sets -purchased from frank years ago on DF-, LL,  a 3E basic set, and 2 4E basic sets).  Nothing held his interest for more than a session or two.  The PFBB was the only set that caught his imagination. The art, the look  and layout of the books, the smart introductory adventures, the pawns (which he prefers over the minis in the 3E basic set, surprisingly), and creating his own fighter  who is actually halfway decent  @   fighting at 1st level without getting killed every single time he steps up to protect the party.

    Despite being a  definite NON-fan of the core PF game (way too old for that kind of rules mess), I was so enamored of the BB myself and the little sandbox area described in the game, I have picked up the PF campaign setting  book,  flip mats, and a few setting supplements. I am running a very old school style game set in Varisia on Golarion (think OGB Savage Frontier, or the area around the City state).  I  will be converting some of my old classic TSR era modules for him.
    The game plays smoothly, its easy to play fast and loose with the rules (set a DC for a check, and roll the dice), and if some detail is needed because of a circumstance, its there, or I just make a ruling on the spot. Frankly, I'm having more fun with the BB than I have had since *I* was 12 years old playing D&D. we have been playing since November, so I feel the PFBB has done it's job exceedingly well, and I am a grateful Dad for it.

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  17. And this is why I'd take a Rules Cyclopedia over a trinity of  core books anytime.

    Not that such a trinity is inherently bad. It's just a real hurdle for new players if there's not some kind of single entry book.

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  18. The clerk of course completely failed his Profession (Salesman) Check: he was supposed to push only the Beginner Box for a new and young player.

    Five levels are all anyone needs in one cheap box, paper miniatures included.

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  19. "The next week i went back to the store only to find it had closed.  I hastily scribbled a note and taped it to the window: 'Good riddance!  All you need to play can be found for free on the internet.'   As i headed for my car I knew my work there was done. Thank goodness we don't need people trying to make money off this hobby anymore."

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  20. I'd let it be known that guy was not welcome in my store after that.

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  21. Thats a man after my own heart there! Even if I was the salesman I'd steer them to Old school books. Kinda the same principle of some guy driving the same ol' ford for 30 years. Nuthin wrong with it!!

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  22.  True, I do not want to knock Pathfinder the, rules are well written, the company is awesome, I just think that they facilitate a certain way of playing.

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  23. If it were me, I'd go for the Pathfinder Beginner Box... 

    *ducks*

    No, seriously, the PBB is so stripped down, it plays a lot like old-school D&D, and it's worth the money for the dice, battlemat & pawns alone, which could also be used with Labyrinth Lord etc. A much better starting point for beginners than a huge stack of Pathfinder hardbacks, anyway.

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  24. Agree 100%.  The Beginner Box also has a ca 4 hour intro adventure and plenty of content creation tools (very nice random monster & treasure tables, reminiscent of Moldvay or Mentzer Basic), Everflame is nice but you don't even need anything beyond the box for many weeks of play.  The 64 page players' rulebook is not all that much more complicated than Moldvay or Mentzer, either.

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  25. Great story.  It would be interesting to see an OSR luminary like James Mal take a look at the Pathfinder Beginner Box and how it compares to Moldvay, Mentzer, and the B/X retro-clones. I'm using it with EGG's Yggsburgh for a fortnightly sandboxy campaign that's lots of fun.

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  26. What approach will you take when he reaches 5th level? E5 or something else?

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  27. Thanks for the comment/question. I have been pestering Erik/ Paizo for an Expert set and more BB format modules every chance I get, but doesn't look like anything is in the pipeline.:D

    I do own the core book, bestiary1, and the gmg. I bought them a year prior to have a 3.5 ish reference when I was working on converting some 3.5 items to C&C for my old gaming group. They are collecting dust as I find them painful reading. I will just pull a small subset of character options for him as neccessary per level above 5th. I will level up his compatriots. Also use those books for magic items, and monsters. I plan to cap out around 10th level. Assuming his PC lives that long. ;) Not a big fan of high level play regardless of edition.

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  28. Since discovering Grognardia (whilst searching for info about Classic Traveller) and learning about the OSR, I've been fascinated. Let me explain further, by way of a little background. I started in the early-80s with AD&D and went on to DM and play extensively in the 2nd Edition. Quit the hobby when the 3rd Edition came out (had filled that section of my brain labelled "Learning new RPG systems."

    A friend introduced me to 4th edition (which I DO like) and we've been playing that for 3 years or so. I recently started a 4th edition campaign and have come to despise the length of combat, and the way the game caters to Min/Maxers.

    Finally, I decided to buy Labyrinth Lord to see what it was all about, and I'm glad I did. Not that I'm going to necessarily start a new campaign with it, but just knowing that you really don't need thousands of dollars and dozens of books to have fun with RPGs in this day and age, is gratification in and of itself.

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  29. Maybe there was no copy of the PF Beginner's Set left when he gave his sales speech. But regardless, I agree in that I wouldn't have recommended the full PF line-up for a ten-year old. I dislike, however, the preaching tone of that linked post and the condescending way in which the author despises PF. True, it's not my game of choice either, but it is doubtlessly well done and speaks to a large audience. Concerning Dragon Age I wholeheartedly agree with you. Brilliant game, maybe the best introductory game to date that isn't a retro-clone.

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