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THE (ALMOST) UNDELETED • View topic - RIP Gary Gygax

RIP Gary Gygax

Any old topic will do, I suppose.

RIP Gary Gygax

Postby Tleilax Master B » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:45 pm

Gary Gygax has died. The man primarily responsible for Dungeons and Dragons. Thanks Gary for helping me waste countless hours of my youth :cry:
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Re: RIP Gary Gygax

Postby Freakzilla » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:20 pm

Tleilax Master B wrote:Gary Gygax has died. The man primarily responsible for Dungeons and Dragons. Thanks Gary for helping me waste countless hours of my youth :cry:


I was such a D&D nut when I was a kid.

\~/ <-- +2 magic shot glass.

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Postby Omphalos » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:22 pm

Not only did I play a TON of D&D when I was growing up, but my life from about age 9 to 13 or so revolved entirely around role playing games. I loved TSR stuff, and I played Top Secret, Dawn Patrol, Boot Hill, Star Frontiers, and lots of others.

I see that Gygax had been pulling himself back up by getting clean and writing some books lately. Its a shame he went now.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:34 pm

:cry:


(Who WASN'T a D&D nut at one time?)
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:40 pm

Omphalos wrote:Not only did I play a TON of D&D when I was growing up, but my life from about age 9 to 13 or so revolved entirely around role playing games. I loved TSR stuff, and I played Top Secret, Dawn Patrol, Boot Hill, Star Frontiers, and lots of others.

I see that Gygax had been pulling himself back up by getting clean and writing some books lately. Its a shame he went now.


I was a Top Secret maniac! :P

I tried to get into Star Frontiers but it didn't really sink the hook in me.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:53 pm

I wrote some great adventures for Top Secret, one set in WWII France and the other set in 1970's Africa. That game was really awesome, but it always needed more support.

Star Frontiers had a supplement for creating star-ships that really changed the game and made it a lot more fun.

Did you ever try Boot Hill?

i jsut remembered my favorite. Gamma World.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:17 pm

Omphalos wrote:I wrote some great adventures for Top Secret, one set in WWII France and the other set in 1970's Africa. That game was really awesome, but it always needed more support.

Star Frontiers had a supplement for creating star-ships that really changed the game and made it a lot more fun.

Did you ever try Boot Hill?

i jsut remembered my favorite. Gamma World.


Never played Boot Hill, not sure if I remember it.
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:34 pm

I remember well my RPG days as a youth. Gary's games were so much fun. I remember playing all kinds of different settings, but Ravenloft and Dark Sun were my all-time favorite adventures. Dark Sun in particular was an obvious favorite for a Dune fan :)

You'd be amazed where news of Gygax's death has appeared on the internet. It's been making the rounds on every forum I visit. From The Almost Undeleted to Star Wars, Anime to Video Gaming, Gamespot to the IMDB. There was a fella on another board who posed a very interesting question that I had never considered: he said to think about the influence this one hobby geek has had on modern gaming culture and where you see the fundamentals of his role-playing game appear.

It got me thinking that so many games now use statistics and RPG concepts that began with Gygax. Virtually every video game now contains some RPG element, even many non-RPGs. The entire realm of Japanese video game RPGs like Final Fantasy owe their lineage to him. Fantasy Football is a direct descendant of RPG-styled conceptualization. And the birth of the collectible card game owes much to the existence of the fantasy gaming market birthed by the system Gygax invented.

Not bad for a gaming geek with a passion for fantasy :) RIP Gary.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:49 pm

Omphalos wrote:I see that Gygax had been pulling himself back up by getting clean...


What was he on?
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:16 pm

Gary was the man. I was such a gaming nut also right up into college. Played Top Secrect, Gamma World, Twilight 2000, etc. etc. in addition to countless hours of D&D. I actually attended a lot of gaming conventions and won a D&D tournament in St Louis and won a signed copy of the original Monster Manual by none other than Gary.

I still have every single game, book, Dragon and White Dwarf magazine, die, you name it that I have ever owned in boxes in the garage. My wife begs me to get rid of all that shit periodically and I refuse too. You never know when a game might break out that I want to be involved in :wink:

But as TPOG said, his influence was incredible on so many RPG games now; he truly was one of the founding fathers of RPGs....

Not to mention Sync Magazine named Gary Gygax #1 on the list of "The 50 Biggest Nerds of All Time"!!! :D
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:19 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I see that Gygax had been pulling himself back up by getting clean...


What was he on?


Cocaine. And a hell of a lot of it at one time, allegedly.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:31 pm

Tleilax Master B wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I see that Gygax had been pulling himself back up by getting clean...


What was he on?


Cocaine. And a hell of a lot of it at one time, allegedly.


If ya gotta go...
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:02 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
Tleilax Master B wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I see that Gygax had been pulling himself back up by getting clean...


What was he on?


Cocaine. And a hell of a lot of it at one time, allegedly.


If ya gotta go...


Well he supposedly had cleaned up. I should have written " a hell of a lot of it, at one time in his life."

The unfortunate thing was that I've read he died due to a heartattack from a bad reaction to a med he was taking for strokes.

ODing on Cocaine would have been waaaaay cooler. 8)
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:33 pm

Tleilax Master B wrote:I still have every single game, book, Dragon and White Dwarf magazine, die, you name it that I have ever owned in boxes in the garage. My wife begs me to get rid of all that shit periodically and I refuse too. You never know when a game might break out that I want to be involved in :wink:


Exactly! I still have all my stuff too. Actually, I was looking at it recently. I still have all my copies of Dragon Magazine, my first impression of Deities and Demigods (with Cthulhu, Melnibonéan, and Nehwon Mythos in it, my original Greyhawk stuff, and all the Judges Guild shit that I had (which was probably most of my collection. I loved Judges Guild). I played AD&D most, but the Greyhawk stuff was lots of fun too. Did anyone ever play any of the stuff that came out after AD&D?
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:59 pm

Never did have a huge collection, but it's all gone except for the original I6 Ravenloft adventure and my three Dark Sun boxed sets. They're packed in a small box somewhere. It may be time to take them out and do some reading in honor of those days many years ago. :)
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:01 pm

Omphalos wrote:Did anyone ever play any of the stuff that came out after AD&D?


Do you mean the different game worlds (Dark Sun, Planescape, etc) or actual different RPG systems by entirely different publishers?
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:00 pm

GamePlayer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Did anyone ever play any of the stuff that came out after AD&D?


Do you mean the different game worlds (Dark Sun, Planescape, etc) or actual different RPG systems by entirely different publishers?


Neither. I mean later rule sets for D&D. I think so far there have been three subsequent versions of D&D that have come out since TSR as an independent entity owned the title. AD&D was the last TSR written set, and it was what was big in the 80's. Its the one with the complicated sets in the Original Dungeon Master's Guide, the Original Player's Manuel, Monster Manuel I & II, Fiend Folio and Deities and Demigods, along with the A through X module series and the fold out maps of Greyhawk.
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Postby tanzeelat » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:32 am

I was more of a fan of GDW's games - Traveller, Space: 1889 and 2300AD. I still have a massive collection.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:42 am

I liked Traveller quite a bit too.
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Postby Phaedrus » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:49 am

Weird. I just started playing my first DnD campaign a few days ago.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:26 am

Omphalos wrote:Neither. I mean later rule sets for D&D. I think so far there have been three subsequent versions of D&D that have come out since TSR as an independent entity owned the title. AD&D was the last TSR written set, and it was what was big in the 80's. Its the one with the complicated sets in the Original Dungeon Master's Guide, the Original Player's Manuel, Monster Manuel I & II, Fiend Folio and Deities and Demigods, along with the A through X module series and the fold out maps of Greyhawk.


Oh, well I haven't played in over a decade now so I stopped well before the latest editions came out. We actually played D&D (you know those old Basic/Expert/Companion/Master sets) with AD&D adaptations and customized rules. I don't think I ever played just straight, unmodified AD&D unless it was in the gold box computer games. We loved the weapon mastery system from the D&D Master set and adapted it to all our games.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:40 am

Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Did anyone ever play any of the stuff that came out after AD&D?


Do you mean the different game worlds (Dark Sun, Planescape, etc) or actual different RPG systems by entirely different publishers?


Neither. I mean later rule sets for D&D. I think so far there have been three subsequent versions of D&D that have come out since TSR as an independent entity owned the title. AD&D was the last TSR written set, and it was what was big in the 80's. Its the one with the complicated sets in the Original Dungeon Master's Guide, the Original Player's Manuel, Monster Manuel I & II, Fiend Folio and Deities and Demigods, along with the A through X module series and the fold out maps of Greyhawk.


I started playing Second Edition AD&D Omph; I really hated it. The way they did the magic-users as specialists ("Enchanter", "Necromancer", Invoker", etc.) really annoyed me and they changed a lot of rules that just didn't need changed. I actually got irritated by it all and finally gave up. I still have most of the main books for it.

After I quit playing 3rd edition and edition 3.5 have come out. Now they are on the "D20" system, like so many other games. Its like a sort of generic set of rules that can be applied to a variety of different game genres. A buddy has given me some of the details and it seems somewhat interesting. Its more visual and board based now. You have to use a battlematt and there are different interesting combat rules based on distance and spacing, etc. I've often thought about trying it again...
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:47 am

Tleilax Master B wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Did anyone ever play any of the stuff that came out after AD&D?


Do you mean the different game worlds (Dark Sun, Planescape, etc) or actual different RPG systems by entirely different publishers?


Neither. I mean later rule sets for D&D. I think so far there have been three subsequent versions of D&D that have come out since TSR as an independent entity owned the title. AD&D was the last TSR written set, and it was what was big in the 80's. Its the one with the complicated sets in the Original Dungeon Master's Guide, the Original Player's Manuel, Monster Manuel I & II, Fiend Folio and Deities and Demigods, along with the A through X module series and the fold out maps of Greyhawk.


I started playing Second Edition AD&D Omph; I really hated it. The way they did the magic-users as specialists ("Enchanter", "Necromancer", Invoker", etc.) really annoyed me and they changed a lot of rules that just didn't need changed. I actually got irritated by it all and finally gave up. I still have most of the main books for it.

After I quit playing 3rd edition and edition 3.5 have come out. Now they are on the "D20" system, like so many other games. Its like a sort of generic set of rules that can be applied to a variety of different game genres. A buddy has given me some of the details and it seems somewhat interesting. Its more visual and board based now. You have to use a battlematt and there are different interesting combat rules based on distance and spacing, etc. I've often thought about trying it again...


About two years ago I got all my stuff out of storage to think about starting up a new campaign, but never got around to it. My brother games weekly with his friends still, but they are all so far past D&D, I think Id have to advertise to get a gang going.

I never really played second edition AD&D. I did like to use some of those character classes, like bard, that came out in Dragon Magazine years before the rule sets changed though. I agree with you though. All those classes get too specialized. Players tend to forget to role play as tehy re so busy making sure that their characters technically comply with the rules. But I hear that d20 makes a LOT of the rules much easier to use. Ragabash got really involved in d20 stuff years and years ago with the White Wolf Vampire games. Kindred I think they were called. I even played a bit back then and thought it made a lot of sense. No idea how that exactly translates to D&D though.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:08 pm

The big thing I heard about later 3rd edition of D&D is the inclusion of the skills or "SPECIAL" system. If anyone here ever played any of the Fallout PC games, you'll know instantly the virtue of this great system. Combined with an actual "role-playing" reward system, the SPECIAL system proved incredibly versatile and allowed players to succeed by taking multiple, and often mutually exclusive, developmental paths. If D&D adapted that well, it would make for a truly vibrant and varied game mechanic.

Basically, anything that simplifies game mechanics while improving game depth is a system worth playing.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:34 pm

I dunno. I kind of liked the really rigid timekeeping system in AD&D that went from turns to melee rounds. I thought that was an incredibly fair way to do it, and I really liked imagining the game go into slow motion when ever combat started. It made it easy to handle what was going on like that, even though there were a lot of rolls and calcs you had to make during that time period. This rigidness of the timekeeping system is what most people bitched about. That and the harshness that could occur when your rolled badly. But playing god as a DM and changing things to keep character alive and in the game was part of the fun too.

I guess that is just my personality though.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:53 pm

I have no idea if they changed time keeping or not in later editions. Not as far as I know, but I'm not familiar with it. It still uses the d20 system with all the other dice, but from what I have read on the wiki, they seem to have removed the tables and silly THACO system. To that I say good riddance, it was always more trouble than it was worth. Personally, the fewer dice rolls in the game, the better. The more players have to act as their characters and think like their characters rather than just reducing games to hack-and-slash table-tipping, the better. I love dice related combat, but I prefer it move fluidly rather than be micromanaged with dozens of dice rolls and table referencing per player.

I think that's why we loved the weapon mastery system so much. It added a simplistic, user-friendly element of "counter" to a system that was traditionally just "attack." There was a level of sword play that was introduced using the Master Rules Set that made battles feel more like duels rather than just having each side lined up like targets for hit roll tables each round. It actually introduced the sword fight to the game system and really have a pair of characters dueling it out.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:23 pm

Omph: Yup, I like the rigid time system too. In fact, in the campaigns I DMed we went a step further and for initiative we rolled 10-sided dice. Whatever number you rolled became the "segment" (6 seconds) that you reacted in. So you would start with segment 1 and start doing intiative up to 10. It worked out really well, and it accounted for spell casting times. If you rolled, for example, a "2" and it took 2 segments to cast a spell, it would go off in segment 4. I loved that system.

TPOG: The elimination of the THACO system and reversing the armor class scores makes a heck of a lot of sense. Much better system. It really just complicates things to make MORE protection a LESSER score :? .

Combat in the new systems is quite a bit different than traditional AD&D. They have apparently added some stuff such as "attacks of opportunity". Since all combat is now visually displayed on a battlematt (like the old miniature games), you know exactly what space you occupy. If an opponent/monster/NPC retreats or moves past you, in any adjacent square, you can take a swipe at them with you weapon and get an extra attack :D .
The skills are supposed to be pretty cool too. Although, I don't know how much I like the multi-class character system now--at least how it was described to me.

Ahhhhh, D&D. This is nostalgic. :D
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:20 pm

Yea, I used segments too. That is actually what I meant.

Ive been trying all day to remember the early D&D, Blackmoor rules for combat, and I cant put my finger on them. I liked them (they relied on miniatures a lot too), but AD&D came along in the late 70's and really did it right, I think. At least for that era. I hear that the storytelling games now do a much better job.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:49 pm

Wow, you guys must really mean first edition stuff from like the late 70's or early 80's. Segments, opportunity, critical hits, and all that were already in place before I started playing in the late 80's. We never used segments though, only suffered through those in PC RPGs, where the computer would do the work :)

But like I said, we never played standard rules. Almost from the very beginning we both invented rules and adapted rules from AD&D, 2nd Edition, Middle Earth, SPECIAL, Master Rules and amalgamated them into what we loosely called "common game" that we would all play. We even drafted a small, dozen page addendum to initiate new players. We altered the initiative system to work on standard d6 but was modified by character Dexterity and each player rolled their own initiative. It wasn't side based but individualized. The DM would arbitrarily include monster modifiers, a brilliant move that always kept the players on their toes. We also had the "gain/lose ground" and "under the knife" rules before anyone else created a game system that featured it (in fact, I think most RPGs still don't have a gain/lose ground rule). We were also playing new character classes and races really early in our gaming life. I remember well the days of Werewolf, Minotaur and Half-Vampire player races and eventually gave rise to some fantastic classes like Sword Mages, Beast Riders, Immortals, Archers, Templars and Gladiators :)

Just to note, multi-class is old school, that's not new to 3rd edition. We were playing multi-class, and more importantly dual-class, in most of our games years before. I can't remember when we started dual-class, but I know it was before Dark Sun which used multi-class and dual class heavily.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:16 pm

I think I started playing in '77. Probalby '78. The rules in place then wre the ones I mostly used, though we did do the first sets and Basic D&D sometimes too. My brother was the whiz at making new spells and sending us on quests for material components. My favorite of his was something called the "moronic whip." It was an advanced spell that created an ectoplasm, and if the magic user could crack the whip on skin and bring blood, and after missing a saving throw of course, the victim's intelligence went to three for 2d6 turns.

I had a really cool assassin character I liked a lot too. I had him for years and he regularly ingested poisons to build up a tolerence to them. I forget where my young mind got THAT idea from. Raggy hated him and sent him to Hell.

Does anyone else have RPG shops in their towns where you can not only buy what you need to play, but they provide massive tables to rent so you can gather and play? We have several here in Sacramento. I never went to one until a year or so ago when Ragabash took me to one for something. Smelled like a stale sweat lodge, and it was full of fat guys, and like two skinny chicks, all of them chowing down the Doritos and micorwave burritos and swilling after it with Mountain Dew. I guess some things just never change, huh? :wink:
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:13 pm

Whoa. :shock:

Obviously, me and my friends were rank amateurs compared to you guys.

WP says the game was first published in '74. I only really got to know the guys I played with in high school, so our games were mainly in the period '76~'79. (I can't remember if we played any while back home during breaks after that; not much, at any rate.)

Towards the end, we had a lot of custom, unorthodox additions. Like the Roving Coke Machine, terror of the deeper dungeons, which emitted irresistible pheromones to lure victims closer and then fired cans that froze them solid on contact; it was based on a rumor (which we started) that one of the senior English teachers hid inside the machine at the gym entrance and abused young freshmen stupid enough to buy from it. It could only be killed by reaching into the dispensor slot and pulling out its beating heart, or later, by conjuring a school bus to run it over. (Based on an unfortunate accident involving the teacher in question one morning in front of the HS. She suffered a broken leg and lost a big toe as a result. And yes, the toe later appeared in the game as well.)

(Omph, the guy who usually acted as DM and whose house we usually played at had a MASSIVE Mountain Dew addiction. [Still has, in fact.] I never made the connection before. :shock: )
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:24 pm

Mountain Dew is loaded with caffeine in a way that virtually no other soda was up til the 90's. With a two liter bottle you could game every Friday and Saturday until 5 or 6 am.

BTW, that Coke machine is some funny shit! :lol:
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:31 pm

My group and I loved creating new spells, but usually we tried to be as creative and mind-bending as possible. It wasn't seeking powerful spells (balance was always rule number one), just incredibly useful spells. "Sonic Boom" and "Acid Stream" were two of my favorite created spells. The system was always geared so monsters were immune to cold or fire or lightning, but it was rare you'd encounter any monster immune to acid or sound :)

Another original creation was the spell called "Fist" which basically encased one of the caster's hands with an indestructible magic glove that caused something silly like 1d4 for every two levels of the caster. With a strategy that involved using items and spells from the whole party, my little old wizard managed to punch a Red Dragon to death all by himself. It worked so well, the GM gave us all extra experience for the creative team effort :)

We also made some great defense spells for wizards, which were some of my favorites. I remember one was like this magic mantle that protected the wizard from a total amount of damage equal to 1d4 for every two levels of casting or something like that. Once the points ran out, the wizard could be harmed directly. It was pretty weak, but for the brief time it took to cause enough damage to bring down the mantle, the wizard could gain a precious round or two without being harmed :) We also had a really fun defensive teleport spell. If the attacker rolled a successful attack upon the wizard, before the attack could harm him both the attacker and the wizard were randomly teleported 10-30 feet away. It was only useful a maximum of once per round, but it was funny as hell sometimes to see what would happen each round the wizard was attacked. It could be very dangerous too because you never could tell where the baddy might end up :)

Omphalos
We never played at any shops or buildings, it was almost always over at someone's place on the weekend. But we had gaming shops where you could go to game or play in tournaments. I never went though. It was better to play in a place you were guaranteed you wouldn't be bothered or told to leave. Sometimes our gaming sessions went well past closing time :)

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Oh, I wouldn't say we where experts, we just loved experimenting. To us, the game was supposed to be dynamic and random. So we had fun screwing with all the conventions just to see what happened. Every time some silly rule came along that said "Should the PC turn into a werewolf he becomes a monster under the GM's control" or some such crap like that, we'd say "Screw that!" and just role play the thing out.

We hated rule criers. Who fucking cared about the rules, just as long as it was fun, interesting and didn't destroy game balance. I mean, what was so damn dangerous to balance to have a minotaur player character? Nothing! Sure he was stronger, tougher and had more attacks than all the other players, but he couldn't wear magical boots, no ring would fit him, he could never use helmets and armor was always too small, he'd be attacked as a monster all the time and could never enter towns or castles (unless we smuggled him in). You just had to...well ROLE PLAY :)
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Postby inhuien » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:39 am

Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby Pardot Kynes » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:20 pm

Here is a very fitting eulogy for Mr. Gygax.

As you probably heard, Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, passed away recently. Since then, nearly every news outlet has taken the opportunity to make a cheap D&D pun at Mr. Gygax’s expense. Well, I for one find it denigrating and disgusting, hardly a fitting tribute to a man who helped provide so much joy to so many.

Therefore, in an effort to ensure no one will make any more terrible puns, I have compressed as many as possible into the following obituary. Hopefully running the premise into the ground will convince others to give it a rest.

Gary “The Beholder” Gygax reached epic level this week after rolling a natural 1 during a battle with Time. Apothecaries have stated that despite his Alertness feat, he was caught flat-footed and failed a subsequent Fortitude save to negate the effects of a Level 8 Finger of Death spell (touch attack), due largely to a -3 Constitution modifier brought about by a Curse of Natural Ageing. Though clerics at the Temple of Pelor have attempted a resurrection, it appears Mr. Gygax has been the victim of a Soul Bind enchantment, and has already passed through the material, astral, and shadow planes into worlds beyond.

Mr. Gygax is best known for his Critical Hit Sneak Attack against an Ancient Red Dragon during a treasure-hunting excursion in Ched Nasad, and for turning a Bag of Holding inside out in order to destroy an evil pocket dimension. Later in life, he retired from adventuring to work with animals, training Mordenkainen’s Faithful Watchdogs for the blind and chairing a committee for the conservation of Gelatinous Cubes.

He is survived by his wife, two half-elf children, and a +5 Mace of Shock.

There, now I hope we can all let Mr. Gygax rest in peace. And if you’d like to contact me about giving a eulogy, I speak Common, Abyssal and Underdark.


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Postby Liege-Killer » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:02 pm

I grew up in a tiny town where I was pretty much the only nerd around, so there was no one to game with, even if I'd known about the game, which I didn't. So I was a latecomer to role-playing, starting in college around 1990.

Most of the people I played with used either 1st or 2nd edition AD&D, or some hybrid of the two. The later versions I know nothing about.

Alas, I have none of my old books or other items, except for a bag of dice somewhere around here. And I haven't played in about a decade now. I don't know anyone who does. I miss it.
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Postby Pardot Kynes » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:27 pm

There are several places to find people to play. If you'd like, I can find you a group in your area. Just let me know in a pm :P
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:18 am

GamePlayer wrote:Just to note, multi-class is old school, that's not new to 3rd edition. We were playing multi-class, and more importantly dual-class, in most of our games years before. I can't remember when we started dual-class, but I know it was before Dark Sun which used multi-class and dual class heavily.


Multi-class came out in basic but was purely race driven--so you could be an "elf" and be essentially a fighter/magic-user. Expanded multiclass and Dual class came out in AD&D (now called "first edition" :D ). Second edition changed those rules, and IIRC got rid of some of the "dual class" system. 3rd ed makes basically everyone "dual class"--you can't split up XP to both your classes and be advancing (nearly) simultaneously--so it pretty much eliminates the "multiclass" as we knew it.

4th edition comes out this fall apparently.
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:09 pm

Well, the elf wasn't really multi-class in Basic, just a class in itself (a magic-using fighter).But I see now how they came about. It's interesting that dual-class was as old as first edition. Like I said, we picked it up sometime during our early days, but Dark Sun really brought dual-class back as the campaing settings used it heavily.

It's funny, but I can remember how unbalanced the elf was in Basic and Expert. Everyone wanted to be the elf because he got the best of both worlds; fighting, armor and magic :) It wasn't until Companion rules came out that the "Magic-User" was finally a class worth playing. I remember always resenting the fact that the rules made magic-users such a loser class because it was my favorite. Luckly, we fixed that right away. Move over memorization, here comes spell points :)

Damn, it really has been a looooong time since I played these RPGs. Fourth edition is already coming out and I didn't even see 3rd :)
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:14 pm

Hahahah, this got me thinking; did anyone ever make some really funny mistakes the first time they played D&D? I remember we didn't rightly understand how the spell system worked when we first played. We figured that once you memorized a spell, you had it and could use it. Each time we'd battle, our first level magic-user was casting Magic Missile, once per round, every round! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:45 pm

We did stuff like that a lot at first too. I tell you what really screwed us up for a while was understanding how psionics worked. We also had a lot of trouble at first with timing, although we had it down in pretty quick order. I think we were all novices when we started, so it took some time.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:06 pm

Omphalos wrote:We did stuff like that a lot at first too. I tell you what really screwed us up for a while was understanding how psionics worked. We also had a lot of trouble at first with timing, although we had it down in pretty quick order. I think we were all novices when we started, so it took some time.


Psionics really was a pain in the ass. As DM I had it done pretty good (with some house rules) but a lot of people just flat out refused to play it.

I can't count the times we screwed stuff up first starting out :D What I hated was joining new groups to find out they had their ridiculous uber-characters. You know the guys. The one that had a 3rd level fighter with a 22 strength, Two-handed Vorpal Sword, ring of wishes and could go to -20 HP before he died :evil: I hate campaigns like that.
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:15 pm

Tleilax Master B wrote:
Omphalos wrote:We did stuff like that a lot at first too. I tell you what really screwed us up for a while was understanding how psionics worked. We also had a lot of trouble at first with timing, although we had it down in pretty quick order. I think we were all novices when we started, so it took some time.


Psionics really was a pain in the ass. As DM I had it done pretty good (with some house rules) but a lot of people just flat out refused to play it.

I can't count the times we screwed stuff up first starting out :D What I hated was joining new groups to find out they had their ridiculous uber-characters. You know the guys. The one that had a 3rd level fighter with a 22 strength, Two-handed Vorpal Sword, ring of wishes and could go to -20 HP before he died :evil: I hate campaigns like that.


I had an advanced Paladin for a while that my brother hated. I cheated a bunch on his experience :shock: But I retired him because everyone hated him so much. But I did have my pet characters that I moved along for more advanced play. After a while it just became lame to do the same-old same-old at lower level play. How many orcs can you slaughter before you just dont care any more?
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:18 pm

Psionics were definitely over-powered when they were first introduced. You could basically bypass traditional game play balance rules and attack enemies without allowing them any defense. No saving throws, no skill checks, just plain ownage. When "The Will And The Way" was published, all hell broke loose and balance went right out the window. We had to re-write quite a few things before allowing psionics. I guess the writers just got too excited about the whole psionics thing and forgot that neither the game nor entire campaign worlds were structured for it. You had magic resistance and all kinds of magical countermeasures that kept wizards in check. Psionics was basically open season on the most powerful players and monsters. Very poorly implemented, IMO.

Regarding character power, that's a totally different thing from newbie mistakes. And really, anyone abusing the game to create over powered characters wasn't playing a role playing game, they were playing a first person shooter (no offense, I'm still an avid FPS gamer myself).

But I have to say, that if you had a proper, reasonably impartial GM that ran things the way they should, there was no way around super characters. I found that in any long term campaign super powered characters were the inevitable result. Just read some of the modules and keep a mental tally of everything a player could gain. In our entire gaming lives, my friends and I only played one campaign with characters starting at level 1 and going all the way to level 36. It was unbelievable what we amassed; all legit and all within the game and adventure rules.

The problem was always accumulation. Individual modules and adventures are fine and balanced on their own. But taken together with the gains made cumulative, there was no limit. Some adventures had rewards that increased abilities, even beyond 18. There were adventures with completely unique magical items found no where else that were never meant to be combined with something else found 2 months and ten levels down the road. There were hit point increases, special armors, weapons, and quest rewards that gave players completely innate powers. I remember my wizard had an armor class in the -20s and had over 150 hit points when the best a wizard could ever hope for was 90. He had some ability scores that were 23 or higher. And the weapons this character had, everything from intelligent staves with x4 damage that could cast their own spells (Expert Rules) to energy blasters taken from fallen space ships (Blackmoor modules). We had magics or items that gave us contingencies for death, low hit points, failed saving throws; you name it. It basically became impossible to kill the characters. And the treasure...it was insane. We each had treasure hoards in the tens of millions of gold pieces and item/weapon/armor stock piles from dozens of adventures that fitted entire armies. I remember my potion stock was in the hundreds. I never used potions, unless it was a luck potion which I started creating myself in batches of tens.

Basically for all the lip service paid to long term campaigns, D&D as a game was never designed to accomodate going through all the cummulative adventures and rewards that it took players through 36 levels of advancement. All a player had to do was play smart and survive and he was well on his way to world domination. Hell, the Immortals feared our characters and couldn't even scry upon us without us knowing it (which would mean almost certain destruction for both them and their plane of existence). Simple insanity.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:59 pm

I never got the chance to play a super high level character. My highest level character was maybe level 13. The core group of friends I played with all had many more years of experience than me, and they had all played those near-godlike characters plenty of times and said they were bored with it. And I can see where they were coming from. Some of my characters around level 10-12 were dripping with so much power it was hard to see how more power could add any more enjoyment. At any rate, some of the best role-playing took place, IMO, at the lower levels. Even when first starting out at level 1, weak as kittens, it's rewarding when you're first fleshing out a character and getting to know the others.
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:33 pm

GamePlayer wrote:Psionics were definitely over-powered when they were first introduced. You could basically bypass traditional game play balance rules and attack enemies without allowing them any defense. No saving throws, no skill checks, just plain ownage. When "The Will And The Way" was published, all hell broke loose and balance went right out the window. We had to re-write quite a few things before allowing psionics. I guess the writers just got too excited about the whole psionics thing and forgot that neither the game nor entire campaign worlds were structured for it. You had magic resistance and all kinds of magical countermeasures that kept wizards in check. Psionics was basically open season on the most powerful players and monsters. Very poorly implemented, IMO.


Psionic attacks and all but one psionic defenses were useless against anything but another psionic. As a DM if I wanted to get rid of psionics, I just didnt put psionic enemies up before them.

GamePlayer wrote:Regarding character power, that's a totally different thing from newbie mistakes. And really, anyone abusing the game to create over powered characters wasn't playing a role playing game, they were playing a first person shooter (no offense, I'm still an avid FPS gamer myself).


My only mega character (the paladin) had three sons after I retired him, and I used those guys as a ranger, a fighter and a bard for most of the rest of the time I played. They got pretty powerful too, and I gotta say I loved playing them more than the weak newbies. Especially as anything other than a fighter, you just died too damn often. What, did a first level magic user get 1d4 HP? What the hell is up with that? Sure, you put them behind the fighters. But missiles anyone?
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Postby Freakzilla » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:58 pm

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Postby Omphalos » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:11 pm

Ragabash used to paint lead figurines. He has one brush with one bristle only for painting the pupils in the eyeballs. I swear that kid would hypnotize himself painting those things. He used to have them on display in the front case of the local hobby store.
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Postby Freakzilla » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:14 pm

I thought painting the figures was the best part about it!
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:57 pm

Liege-Killer
High level play could be a lot of fun, especially because you could engage in play on a whole other level and get involved with adventures that never would be possible with low-level parties. I think the most fun we had were at levels 10-30. There was one module I remember named Twilight Calling which was simple amazing. It was a vast planescape of these pocket planes filled with all kinds of really powerful, and most of the time unique, monsters with really cool abilities. Each plane had a ruler that you had to defeat. It was amazing. It really gave the high level characters a run for their money and was one of the most challenging adventures we played.

But without a doubt, one of the most fulfilling parts long term play: revisiting past locales or adventures. Remember that dragon that sent you all running? The castle lord that had you all thrown out on your asses? The thief that tricked your party and robbed you blind? Oh, the sweet revenge made every energy drain, lost item or scar worth the suffering endured. As Boromir said : today, life is good :)

Ompf
I don't know what rules set you were playing with, but psionic attacks were certainly not limited to psionic players or monsters. That's like magic affecting only wizards. I remember tangents could be easily gained against non-psionists who lacked adequate mental defenses and didn't get any saving throws. And like I said, once TWATW came into play, it was no holds barred imbalance. I always felt psionics was very poorly implemented. We had to do a lot of adjusting to make it workable.

Actually, I really liked the Dark Sun campaign for beginning play. It was a rule that all player characters started at 3rd level, a testament to the brutal difficulty of the campaign world the writers called it. And they actually weren't far off. Dark Sun was definitely one of the most difficult campaign worlds we ever played. Just like Arrakis :)

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Comedy gold :)
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:29 pm

GamePlayer wrote:OmpfI don't know what rules set you were playing with, but psionic attacks were certainly not limited to psionic players or monsters. That's like magic affecting only wizards. I remember tangents could be easily gained against non-psionists who lacked adequate mental defenses and didn't get any saving throws. And like I said, once TWATW came into play, it was no holds barred imbalance. I always felt psionics was very poorly implemented. We had to do a lot of adjusting to make it workable.


I just looked and you are not quite right.

E. Gary Gygax wrote:Non-psionic creatures can be attacked psionically only by attack mode A, psionic blast. AD&D Players Manual, sixth edition, p. 117.


Now that I think about it, I guess we modified that rule most of the time so that not even that discipline could be used. But psionic attacks certainly were curtailed and limited against non-psionic targets in the official rules.
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:35 pm

Is this a first edition thing?
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:36 pm

Isnt that the only edition? :P
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:42 pm

Figured. Dealing with medievalism :)
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:46 pm

Typical Johnny-Come-Lately response. :P
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:18 pm

Johnny-Come-Lately? Welcome to hicksville. 8)
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Postby Robspierre » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:27 am

I hate 3.0 and 3.5. Fourth Edition looks ot be even worse. Less emphasis on roleplaying and more on creating super characters ala World of Warcraft. There is a lot more emphasis on slaying and treasure accumulation and less on the lore and role playing aspects of the game.

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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:38 am

I don't mind good character creation as long as it serves the role-playing game itself. I want players using their characters AS the characters were intended. Skills, special abilities, traits, perks and all that must serve the purpose of role playing, not maximizing combat abilities to turn the RPG into a hack-n-slash game.

IMO, the one major blunder with the D&D system, and most RPGs in general, was the lack of emphasis on role-playing rewards. By far the most experience obtained in many RPGs was by slaying monsters, so naturally the game was geared towards the creation of war machines in each character class. This was obviously stupid since few of the classes were geared toward fighting.

One of the best things we ever did as experienced players was create a variably proportional rewards system that awarded as much, or often more, experience for using character role-playing or skills than fighting monsters. Sure there were still impressive quest awards, but you wanted character and role-playing awards first and foremost. The 1st Thief figured out a way to get past the guards of a bank without a fight; bang 500 XP. The 5th level Warrior uses his hunting skill to teach an NPC how to feed his party in the wild; bam 1,000 XP. The cunning 10th level Mage, in a sequence of encounters, lures a hostile monster away from his lair then he and his party raid the monster's horde; boom 10,000 XP. It was the best system to reward players for actually using their heads and playing their characters. It was also incentive to truly interact with NPCs for a game system reward and outwit the bad guys rather than simply bludgeon them.

Anyone who ever played any of the Fallout PC games would instantly recognize the virtue of such a system in action. Much like that game, a player properly role-playing his character and using his skills/abilities/traits/perks could actually gain levels without ever fighting a battle. WHen I was a GM, I made RP/skill rewards apparent and attractive from the very first game session and made certain that those who embraced it advanced faster than those who didn't. It was truly an "experience" driven system.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:42 am

Yeah, 3.0 and on is quite a change. But I hated second ed. That really sucked. It was pretty much the reason I quit playing sometime ago. These new editions have made combat more like miniature gaming.

And Omph is right about psionics.

Now the whole "life campaigns" or whatever they are called are VERY cool. I wish they would have had those when I used to attend gaming conventions. Now you can build a character that you can take with you to any certified gaming convention. At the end of a tournament, the judges/GMs sign a log book that certifies that your character got such-and-such item, or so much XP etc. You can then take this character to other conventions and play tournaments in campaigns for that characters level range. They never used to have that before; you had to play the pre-made characters they made for the tourney. Apparently guys will travel all over the country, or their region, and play different tournaments building up the same character.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:47 am

GamePlayer wrote:IMO, the one major blunder with the D&D system, and most RPGs in general, was the lack of emphasis on role-playing rewards. By far the most experience obtained in many RPGs was by slaying monsters, so naturally the game was geared towards the creation of war machines in each character class. This was obviously stupid since few of the classes were geared toward fighting.

One of the best things we ever did as experienced players was create a variably proportional rewards system that awarded as much, or often more, experience for using character role-playing or skills than fighting monsters. Sure there were still impressive quest awards, but you wanted character and role-playing awards first and foremost. The 1st Thief figured out a way to get past the guards of a bank without a fight; bang 500 XP. The 5th level Warrior uses his hunting skill to teach an NPC how to feed his party in the wild; bam 1,000 XP. The cunning 10th level Mage, in a sequence of encounters, lures a hostile monster away from his lair then he and his party raid the monster's horde; boom 10,000 XP. It was the best system to reward players for actually using their heads and playing their characters. It was also incentive to outwit the bad guys rather than simply bludgeon them.

Anyone who ever played any of the Fallout PC games would instantly recognize the virtue of such a system in action. Much like that game, a player properly role-playing his character and using his skills/abilities/traits/perks could actually gain levels without ever fighting a battle. WHen I was a GM, I made RP/skill rewards apparent and attractive from the very first game session and made certain that those who embraced it advanced faster than those who didn't. It was truly an "experience" driven system.


Have you ever played Spycraft? Spycraft (Fantasycraft is coming out this summer also) is a D20 system game that rewards good role playing through "action dice." If the GM believes that you are doing something that is good role playing and true to your character, he will award you "action dice." These can be used at anytime to help your character succeed at something. It can be combat, preventing damage, some skill check, pretty much anything. When the GM awards you an action die, he also gains one. Now a good GM will never use his action die to counteract yours, otherwise, what the hell would be the point. But he can use his for NPC's etc. later in the game. Its a nice bonus for good role playing.

(BTW I used to play Fallout and Fallout II until my eyes would bug out :D Those games were a lot of fun)
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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:58 am

I haven't role-played in over 10 years, so I never touched Spycraft.

Tleilax Master B wrote:And Omph is right about psionics.


Not as the handbook ruled. 2nd Edition was obviously very different from first.

As for tournament playing, there's no way we could stand it. Way too many rules and too many jerk offs unimaginatively imposing the rules like the middle managers we would later have to endure in working life :)

The primary goal of any of our games became #1 Fun, #2 Balance and #3 Role-Playing. Hang the rules and hang the sticklers. As long as balance was maintained, fun drove everything and role-plaing was the reward. If our journey from 1st to 36th level taught us anything it was that hack-n-slash and accumulation was overrated. That's fun in itself, but not the only way to play.
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Postby Robspierre » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:10 pm

I usually played West End Games D6 Star Wars games, battleTech, and Cyberpunk 2020. We just used enough rules to maintain game play and concentrated on the role playing, more fun that way.

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Postby Omphalos » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:15 pm

GamePlayer wrote:I haven't role-played in over 10 years, so I never touched Spycraft.

Tleilax Master B wrote:And Omph is right about psionics.


Not as the handbook ruled. 2nd Edition was obviously very different from first.


I have no idea about what second edition says. But your original statement was about psionics when they were "first introduced." That was what we were responding to. I never played second ed., and second ed. was not when they were first introduced.
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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:49 pm

Omphalos wrote:I have no idea about what second edition says. But your original statement was about psionics when they were "first introduced." That was what we were responding to. I never played second ed., and second ed. was not when they were first introduced.


Fine, as first introduced in second edition. I thought we had already established that distinction, and the fact I did not play 1st edition, how many posts ago now? Consider this spelling it out then.
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Postby kangamouse » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:09 am

founder of tactical survey & review, that became d&d?
that guy was a big influence.
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Postby inhuien » Tue May 13, 2008 5:17 am

Enjoy the nostalgia.

"The Dungeons & Dragons Experience"-a documentary about the world's first role playing game, Dungeons & Dragons

It’s in 24 parts so look at page 1 for the rest.
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Postby Phaedrus » Tue May 13, 2008 6:29 pm

Robspierre wrote:I hate 3.0 and 3.5. Fourth Edition looks ot be even worse. Less emphasis on roleplaying and more on creating super characters ala World of Warcraft. There is a lot more emphasis on slaying and treasure accumulation and less on the lore and role playing aspects of the game.


Blasphemy! I wouldn't play WoW if not for the lore. Which is probably why I still haven't got my character to 70... But really, if you want roleplaying in WoW, there are entire servers dedicated to RP. I've heard horror stories about such realms, before, though.

I think everyone who roleplays or even plays RPGs or MMORPGs like WoW play for a multitude of different reasons. For some people, making a super character is enough. For others, it's about roleplaying and interaction. The key is having fun. If you're enjoying the game, does it matter why you're playing?
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Postby Freakzilla » Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm

Don't hate da playa! :P
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will fall upon you because of your innocent mistakes.

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