22 May 2008

More from the Kask

Our best early adventures and campaigns were about problem solving, riddle unravelling and a group effort to out-think the DM, not about hack & slash mayhem and gore. That was a part of it, but certainly not the only focus. We would often go two or more adventures without figuring Exp.

Dragonsfoot post by Tim Kask


Matthew James Stanham said...

Good stuff from Tim, there. Few of our early characters lived long enough to be awarded experience, but by the time our AD&D campaigns were hitting full swing this same approach had become increasingly normal.

More recently, our AD&D games were characterised by prolonged periods of planning, puzzle solving (in a general sense) and character interaction, punctuated by periods of intense combat.

Still, this puts me in mind of some of the advice that appeared in the DSG and WSG in the mid eighties and later in the 2e DMG supplements.

Robert Fisher said...

I guess the reason I thought that quote worth calling out is because I get so annoyed by the misconceptions about the early days of the hobby which I see expressed so often that don’t fit at all with the stories told by the people who were there playing it.

I think some thoughts on this topic I’ve been trying to organize are beginning to crystalize in my skull...

Matthew James Stanham said...

Yes, I think people easily conflate their own experiences of playing D&D with how the originators played. I know I went through about half a dozen halfling characters in the Red Box version of BD&D before one finally reached the heady heights of Level 6.

These early experiences certainly contained a lot of combat, but what sticks out in my mind are the times when we had to stop and think about what was going on and how we might solve a problem.

Indended modes of play and communicated modes of play also do not necessarily match up. As Jim Raggi pointed out recently, the process of learning how to play D&D was in the doing, not in the reading of the rules.