Saturday, 29 October 2016

Inspiration and advantage...

Wednesday sees my first foray into DMing D&D for over thirty years. Teaching can be like being a DM for a job and I am sure it will help, weaving a tale together for a group. Dungeons and Dragons was a massive part of my life during the 70's. My good friends were all nerds/geeks before it was trendy to be one. I ran the line between geek and jock without even realising it I suppose. Days belonged to sport but nights belonged to D&D.

It all started when someones dad bought back the original Chainmail and D&D expansion back from the states... We were hooked from the start and I ran the very first adventure, made up basically as we went along - I had a vague story in my head and we played it out. It ended I remember with the very beat up party running away from the dungeon door, I made them plot a line on a map about where they were running and then overlaid my map - yep they ran straight over the pit trap!

This set the scene for years of nightly adventure with a couple of us (out of five regulars) taking it in turns to run adventures. We basically (well my BF Woody anyway) kept Asgard miniatures in business, bi-weekly trips to Nottingham skateboarding at the Malibu Dog Bowl linked with a visit to the Asgard shop. In the end we ended up making all our characters from scratch with milli-put. We were geeks ahead of our time and even used artist acrylics and washes before it was widely accepted - mainly as those were what we could get from the local college art shop.

70's Asgard Dwarf

Mrs. Wood was a heroine in those days, not only did her front room become our exclusive gaming room at least 5 times a week ( I certainly spent more time in that room than at home by FAR) but she provided snacks and milky coffee a couple of times a night without fail.

Asgard Bard

Asgard Wizard
I remember the early days of dungeoneering where we had to map the dungeon as we went on (as the floor tiles disappeared as we left sight of them - so it was easy to actually get lost! My favourite two characters that lasted a fair few adventures each were a barbarian fighter and a Druid who was a pacifist and befriended a 'rust monster' which screwed most armed things we ever came across!

We rolled out of D&D about when the mass army rules (Warhammer prerunner) appeared and we discovered Runequest, Traveller and then Bushido (in Uni holidays). But D&D was always my favourite really.

I tried to get back into it (played a starter set with my daughters at some point I remember as they loved the Hobbit book) but played at our local club in London about 3-4 edition (Jon had melded them in 3.5 lol). BUT the fact a 10 goblin encounter took us all night with the micro management, modifier hell that it came to be... I felt it was a detailed skirmish game at that point, not a RPG, so I WAS OUT.

I came across Critical Role about 6 weeks ago and that was it - this 5th ED was D&D as I remember it... ROLE PLAYING  - I was back in !

I think it is the advantage/disadvantage mechanic coupled with the inspiration mechanic which has bought it back. My next entry will explore these in detail, but now I am off to paint up those adventurers !

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