Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Read a Book! Or Maybe a Magazine.

As folks grow weary of the incessant 4th edition discussions, RPG.net is beginning to spawn all sorts of neat new threads. In addition to the previously mentioned one reading through every print copy of Dragon Magazine, there's a new one doing the same thing for Dungeon, and even one for White Dwarf! (Brian "The Silver Key" Murphy, be sure to check it out.)

The latest edition is The Grey Elf reading through the core books of 1st edition AD&D, starting with the DMG.

Use of Miniature Figures With the Game: Ah, now we get to the root of one of the biggest bones of contention between "grognards" and fans of post-3e D&D. Is AD&D a miniatures game at heart? Has it always been designed for the use of miniatures as an important (if not integral) element of the rules? Does it assume the use of such, and is combat complicated if they are not present? This section reiterates what appears in most AD&D books: miniatures are helpful and add color to the game but are not necessary for play. The rest of the book bears this out: whenever an instance requiring movement, mapping, tactics, etc., arises, the book includes what to do if you are using miniatures, but this always comes as an addition to the basic rules, which do not assume or require miniatures. This is in sharp contrast to the current edition of D&D, which specifically states in the text that miniatures are assumed and that if you don't use them, you're not going to get the "full D&D experience." The rationale for the use of the " sign is explained in the Player's Handbook, and we will address that when we get there, but it suffices to say that hit has little to do with actual scale on the tabletop, though such is taken into account.

Lots of interesting tidbits so far. Definitely a thread worth following.

EDIT: The thread just gets more and more interesting:

Were you there?

I was.

Yikes! ;D Ok, ok, I think we got the message.


James Maliszewski said...

Mike Mornard is an invaluable resource for gaming history. What I always find amusing is how often some snot-nosed young'un will start spouting off about this or that aspect of D&D's past and then, as if summoned by an arcane ritual, Old Geezer suddenly appears to set the record straight and send the whippersnapper scurrying away with his tail between his legs.

Does a grognard proud, he does.

Brian Murphy said...

The White Dwarf thread does indeed rock, as do all the rest of the "Let's Read 'X' from the beginning" threads.

I'm probably most interested in The Grey Elf's thread about AD&D 1E--I can't wait until he gets to the artifacts and relics and the initiative sections of the DMG :)