Archive for the ‘Retro Gaming’ Category

Master of Roles, Revised

Hey, look! A new version of the vintage Rolemaster RPG is out, and they’ve released public playtest documents for the teeming masses to try out. I’d say Rolemaster has certainly earned a new edition—the last serious rules upgrade was in the mid-90s (the Rolemaster Standard System); there was technically a further revised edition around the […]

The dungeon mapper’s lament

In the olden days, mapping a dungeon meant breaking out a stack of graph paper and painstakingly documenting each 10×10′ block. This was true both for paper-and-pencil Dungeons and Dragons games and for early computer RPGs—today most computer games provide in-game maps that track your exploration progress, but back in the First Age you had […]

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone…

As fortune would have it, I’ve read a number of (non-Dungeons & Dragons) novels lately that have contained clever references to D&D. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is chock full of them. Lev Grossman’s The Magicians has a good number as well. Nerd references are the cool thing these days. But The Magician King, […]

Why Are Gary Gygax’s D&D Modules Still Unavailable?

Next month, Wizards of the Coast is reprinting the 1st edition AD&D core rulebooks, with some of the proceeds to benefit the Gygax Memorial Fund. (And if you missed it, yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Gygax’s death.) I’m really glad they’re bringing back, even if just for a limited print run, some vintage D&D […]

The voice behind the filing cabinet

Here’s a fascinating series of posts documenting the experience of playing D&D with Mike Mornard, AKA “Old Geezer,” who himself once played at Gary Gygax’s game table in the earliest days of D&D. There are all sorts of interesting anecdotes about how Gygax played D&D. For example, here’s a story that sounds almost too awesome […]

F.E.A.R. of a flashlight

Been a while, eh? I bet you’re interested in what video games I’ve been playing. Well, you’ve talked me into it. In my spare time, I’ve been playing through an old—and it pains me to use that adjective to describe a game released in 2005, which seems like it was just yesterday—first-person shooter called F.E.A.R. […]

“We’ll have to destroy them ship-to-ship. Get the crews to their fighters.”

I like library used-book shops, because you never know what you’ll find in them. Usually they’re little more than a closet full of James Patterson novels selling for $.25 each. But the library shop in my parents’ hometown is a good one where my family has made many an unusual discovery over the years….

XP for death and failure; and other interesting uses for Experience Points

I recently came across an interesting post at Gothridge Manor about one of AD&D’s weirder rules: experience for death. The 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide rules that a character who dies and is subsequently brought back to life earns 1000 experience points (XP). In old-school D&D, you generally got XP for defeating monsters and gaining […]

Putting D&D in its place

My local Barnes and Noble has finally found the proper niche for Dungeons & Dragons products: So… is D&D Humorous, Helpful, or Odd? Or is the sign suggesting that it’s all of the above? I could live with that. by

The walls of this 10×10 chamber are adorned with…

When my wife and I finally made the choice to became real Americans (i.e. go tens of thousands of dollars into debt to buy a house), one of my requirements was that said house have some sort of subterranean chamber which I could convert into a basement game room. One year later, my game lair […]