Sunday, 31 March 2013

You start at the Inn...

Gygax and Elmore. Two great uncredited influences on my life. I really started wargaming with roleplaying at primary school, aged 9 in 1985 (if I recall). Red Box rules - aka BD&D, Elmore artwork, crappy dice with a white crayon, and an excellent DM who went onto to a professor of pure mathematics at Cambridge.

Nothing else needs to be said except that I played 4e recently, but didn't like it; too much like WoW or Skyrim for those terminally short of internet connection. Too much combat, too much dice, nowhere near enough roleplaying.

Recently chatting to one of the original primary school RPG group on Facebook, and we decided to invest some time with Roll20 online gaming and take a trip down memory lane. This led me taking my original 1983 rules round to another mate's place on Friday evening. He too started with BD&D, so we could roll up some characters.

He's going through rather a tough time at the moment, so once he'd rolled up a cleric (his favourite character type whatever system we're RPGing) I somewhat spontaneously decided to keep him distracted for the evening by pulling up an original TSR module from the netbook's hard drive and have an adventure with his cleric and my new halfling (played as an NPC).

Despite me not having DM'd in any capacity for a quarter of a century, and not having prepped even a little bit, we had a blast for 2.5hrs of fire beetles, a couple of troglodytes, and a smattering of kobolds.

So Saturday evening we reconvened and carried on, only this time skyping in another of the regular gaming group (a BD&D virgin, but well versed in 3.5 and 4e) for further dungeon bashing.

I relearnt a lot of things about being dungeon master;
1) The players will always do exactly the opposite of what you've planned for
2) come prepared with a list of names for the various NPCs they bump into along the way
3) It's bloody good fun, arguably more enjoyable than being a player

The adventure continues!


  1. Ha, this takes me back! I loved the art in the red box. I started around 1985 also, although we originally spent some time with Dragon Warriors as well as D&D. Happy days!

  2. I started on the Blue Box and then went straight into AD&D for several years' adventuring. I am currently playing in a Dragon Warriors campaign and loving every minute of it - exactly my cup of tea. Roll on the new version that is supposedly out sometime soon.