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Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (Blue Box)

5 Apr

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (Blue Box)

My brother and I slaying the dragon 😉


This is what caused me to get into the hobby.
When it first came out I had no idea what a war game or RPG was, yet. Just like a random encounter or a wandering monster, I stumbled across this mesmerizing beauty   in the strangest place: the old Woolworth’s store that was in downtown St.Paul, MN.

The cover art by David Sutherland drew me in immediately! I quickly spent 2 months worth of my saved allowance get it, because I had to have this new thing!  (I was saddened by his death in 2005 and it was only then that I learned that he had been a Minneapolis native).

The entire experience of opening this box up and finding the treasures inside was an adventure in itself. I pored over the rules and finally shanghaied my little brother to play. He and I both enjoyed D&D and continued to game together in various home brew Holmes campaigns over the years.

I lost my original set in a move 😦
Thankfully, I was able to score a replacement set later, but by that time, AD&D was out and my group had already migrated to it.

As I stated in an earlier post, I found it funny that our earliest characters slew a Red Dragon (at 2nd level! lol) There has to be a dragon in the dungeon, because it’s Dungeons & Dragons, ya know? I probably didn’t know exactly what I was doing then, but Dungeons & Dragons and RPGs in general have been my lifelong hobby ever since those wonderful, whacky days 🙂

The Old School Renaissance has done much to bring back the experience of OD&D, Basic and AD&D to the table again. Whatever flavor you play, Old School or Modern, I wish you happy gaming.

Let the dice roll as they may, forever!



Misc. Tale from the Gaming Table: the Mismatched Party

17 Mar

Misc. Tale from the Gaming Table: the Mismatched Party

The Gamemaster that was over a campaign I played in during the late-80’s to the mid-90’s was very liberal about what kind of characters he allowed. He was a versatile GM and the players were experienced, so everyone was very adaptable.

However, there was this one time…

As players, some of us liked to experiment with concepts we hadn’t played before. The campaign really was good for that, because it was rather large and low-level characters were able to mix with higher level ones easily because of some aspects of the homebrew rules we were using. After a particularly major episode in the campaign was finished, another player and I created some new characters. All characters had to be approved by the Gamemaster before they were introduced into the campaign.. We both did this, so the GM was aware of them beforehand.

The group gathered and play began. I was playing a character loosely based on the movie Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. It was not long before I suspected that an unfortunate coincidence was occurring: the other player with a new character had taken a Half-Vampire! In our game, we tended to keep these details secret and the other players would figure things out through actual play. I was unaware until telltale signs led me to the inevitable conclusion that my own party contained the dreaded enemy… a mismatched party, indeed. Certainly one of us had to go!

It was not long before my character used his fledgling skills to kill the other character when an opportune and secretive moment was available. It was not an epic battle, but more of a “vampire assassination”. In the dark of night, loading a wooden bolt into his specialized crossbow, my character snuck up upon the pseudo-vampire.He placed a called shot to the heart unerringly to its target. Before the undead dude even knew what hit him, he was “cured” of his condition. It was a clean dispatching of an undead foe.

Afterwards, I felt really bad that my in-character actions were inevitably guided to removing a fellow player’s creation from the RPG. I said so, apologized and immediately retired the Vampire Hunter from the game. Sadly, the player and I spent the gaming session creating new characters while everyone else finished playing.

It is funny in hindsight, because it was the only event of its kind so far in my gaming experience. It was not so funny at the time, but it does show that in some games, depending on the way things are handled, such incidents are possible! A GM has to either control the composition of the party or be prepared to allow intra-party character conflict. This can be seen as a hindrance to play or, depending upon the players, can also add to the fun. Looking back, however, I think the Gamemaster derived more pleasure from this conflict than either of us players did! You never know what evil lurks in the heart of a GM!
*loads crossbow*

“DM Retro”

Thieves Guilds

16 Mar

I was very much intrigued by the Save or Die! Podcast Adventure #27 that came out yesterday. I made a comment to the good folks at Save or Die!:

I have played mostly Rogues/Thieves and I was interested in your take on Thieves Guilds.

In some of the campaigns I have played in, in smaller cities and towns the “guild” is sometimes non-existent or just a few thugs that have loosely banded together for mutual protection. Sometimes they are associated with a larger overall Guild that spans many towns and cities.

Some of the best thieves have an alternate identity in “normal” society. They can even work for or have friendly contacts among the authorities.
In general, in games where I DM, those that try to take up the trade w/o being a member of the Guild are eventually visited and given “an offer they can’t refuse” to join the Guild. If they purposely try to run afoul of the local guild, they will be turned in to the local law enforcement or end up in floating in the sewers or something 😉

Not every game needs a fleshed-out Rogues Guild, but whatever one exists, unless it is a slipshod operation, the Guilds are very concerned with keeping a low profile, no matter how powerful they are. An exception may be openly corrupt cities or places where the Guild has grown more powerful tha[n] the official law enforcement.

It is really up to the DM, but these are some ways I have played such Guilds in the past. Just my two cents worth (actually, yours, as I just picked your pocket!)

See ya! 😀

“DM Retro”

Click here to access the Save or Die! Podcast Adventure #27 Cyclops Smash!