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Showing posts from February, 2019

Holy Crap! Ten Days! What Gives?

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Man, time really flies, and it's easy to let blogging get away from you. I'm still working on the next entry in my "Reading OD&D" series, as well as my "Reading AD&D" series. Unfortunately, I'm into monsters and magic items in both, and that takes a lot longer to carefully read and parse than general rules and character classes. I also feel like it's going to yield less useful information, so it may be worth it just to finish reading, truncate those particular entries with some general observations and move on.

What else is going on? My friend and colleague Tim Brannan (of The Other Side blog) and I are working on a pretty big project at the moment. I don't want to say much right now, because there's still a million things that can go wrong between here and release (not the least of which is funding) but if we can get it together it's going to be really badass. I'll be releasing it through Elf Lair Games when it's ready t…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Original D&D

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"Why is he doing this?" you ask. "Buffy? With OD&D? That's insane. Why would you even bother?"

Truthfully? Why not? I've done Star Wars and Conan rules. Why not tackle the Buffy crew using the OD&D rules? And when you think about it, the OD&D rules are so broad and open that it's not insane, and they actually work quite well. Yes, it's a modern game, but most modern technology doesn't need different rules to use, and the character classes present mirror the roles pretty well.

Honestly, Tim Brannan over at The Other Side does things like this all the time, and I am kind of stealing a concept from him just for fun.

So the rules for statting characters are pretty basic. I'm going to try and maintain the spirit of the characters from Buffy, while sticking strictly to the OD&D rules and paradigm. That means no new character classes, though I am opening the doors to supplements and The Strategic Review. Given that Buffy takes place…

Reading Original Dungeons & Dragons

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If you read this blog, you're probably well aware that over the past decade-plus, fifteen years or so, there's been a wealth of scholarship surrounding the original 1974 D&D rules. I was recently reading over...let's just say, an early printing of these rules, and a few things jumped out at me. There are definitely assumptions we make about OD&D that are based on later developments. Things that were written in AD&D, B/X, even some of the later supplements have colored our idea of "how things are supposed to be."

With that in mind, I'd like to go back and interpret OD&D through the lens of someone who had just picked it up in 1974, without the benefit of everything that came later, without actually having gamed with Gary and Dave, and see what comes out in the wash. This is nothing more than a thought experiement--I'm not necessarily trying to challenge common wisdom about how these things work, but the way they are presented and worded at …

What's With Amazing Adventures 5e?

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In my last blog I mentioned the Fifth Edition rules version of Amazing Adventures. I thought I'd take a minute to talk about that for those who hadn't heard about it yet.

Many of my readers are (hopefully) aware that I'm a staff writer for Troll Lord Games. If you weren't before, you are now--full disclosure! I'm currently the sole author on the Amazing Adventures pulp-modern game line for TLG, a modern toolkit game that uses the same system as Castles & Crusades: The SIEGE Engine.

I've been with Troll Lord for about 10 years, now, give or take, and a full staff writer for 3 or 4 years. I started writing for them because I love the C&C system. It's the best of the old-school feel with a simple, elegant, and fast-play attribute check system. I discovered it when it first came out in 2004, and have been hooked ever since.

People are sometimes, however, surprised to hear that not all game designers only play their house system. I actually enjoy a lot o…

It never rains, but it pours

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Life has been stupid stressful lately. Crazy busy with the day job, tons on my plate for TLG, lots of stress at home and work. None of which you fine folks need to hear about, but it's kept me away from regular blogging. I'm determined, however, not to let this blog go again and I'll get back on track as soon as possible.

I'll be at Gary Con with Troll Lord Games in March, if anyone wants to stop by the booth and say hi, and/or get your Amazing Adventures or any other books I've written signed. Same thing at Origins--I'll be there with Troll Lord Games. I understand that Goodman Games may have an announcement involving some work I did for them at Gary Con; if so I'm happy to discuss it if you stop by the TLG booth.

So what's been going on elsewise in the fantasy front? I picked up all three original D&D movies on DVD/Blu Ray. The first one is just as bad as I remembered, but the other two are still underrated and quite enjoyable. I've also recen…