Jul 26, 2010

Blogs Worth Checking Out

Some of my favorite blogs:
I love old-school d&d themed dandddoodles.blogspot.com for all the wonderful maps and characters that CrazyRed draws and posts. Plenty of inspirational material here for any system you use. He also has a Cthulhu inspired blog that isn't as frequently updated.

Those of us old-schoolers who loved, and still love, the original Fiend Folio will appreciate artist Russ Nicholson's blog where he posts plenty of drawings that still look and feel as great as they did back in the early 80's.

Speaking of Cthulhu, if you like a little Yog-Sothothery in your Swords & Sorcery, this is the blog for you.

Jul 20, 2010

Solo Dungeoneer?

There have been a number of solo rules variants created over the years for Dungeoneer. A version that I favor is posted in the Optional Rules that have been available on the Atlas Games website nearly since they began publishing the game.

Dungeoneer player Robert Oleson has posted a solo Dungeoneer game he recently played using his own custom solo rules, based on this version by Donovan, which are inspired in part on the optional rules, and rely on the Number Reference Rules (which have proven to be the best and most coherent set of Dungeoneer rules so far).

Check out his excellent play-by-play session here.

Jul 18, 2010

Swordmaster of Mars

Martian Chess scored an interview with Kev McCurdy, the swordmaster who is training the actors for martian swordfighting on Andrew Stanton's Princess of Mars movie.

Makes for a fascinating read and gives some small insight into where the film is going.

Jul 4, 2010

Original Edition Combat + Chainmail

Combat in D&D has often been complicated or confusing as described in the original rules, yet simple in principle and in action. When I first acquired an original white box set it was always the combat that seemed most challenging to wrap my head around. If there is any flaw to the original set (other than the delightfully chaotic organization) is that it required Chainmail in order to properly use. It is strange to me Gygax's decision to not properly cover Combat, one of the cornerstones of any adventure, in the original rules.

The reasons for the omission of combat only become clear when you understand the cultural context of the white box set: that it was aimed at the existing war gaming hobby crowd. They didn't need rules for handling combat, they already had a good understanding of that, what they needed was the form and breadth of the concept of role-playing in general.

Over the years I have collected bits of wisdom and information on how combat was handled by players in those precious early years of D&D, with some intent of formally organizing them into a legible document. Fortunately

Using Chainmail Combat with OD&D.

I particularly like the way Aldarron gathered information from Swords & Spells, combined with published Q&A's from Gygax, and the Chainmail rules all applied to OD&D into a legible format. If you've ever tried to make heads or tails of Swords & Spells you will really appreciate the work that has been done here.