YEAR ONE: A Retrospective

It has been a whole year since the Chatty DM talked me into creating a blog. I debated whether to do it or not, and finally decided that there was a need for this kind of deal. 2e resources have dried up considerably since the release of 3e, and I knew that I wasn’t the only clinger to the edition. Besides, 2e is such a good system, that much of what I write about can work just as well with any foundation that your heart desires!

As with any project, this has been a very rewarding learning experience for me. It has forced me to change the way that I look at the game itself and how I play it. I always knew from the beginning, that I didn’t want to be one of those know-it-all webmasters, I don’t think that anybody ever takes anything all that valuable from those kinds of places. If I error, I won’t hide it. I’ll admit my wrongs and in this way I can improve them. I think that this attitude has helped considerably! Not just my game, but the collective who also chooses to come here with an open mind and a willingness to give and take.

I think that my biggest improvement has been in my attitude of the game. I used to be obsessed in storylines, and rather inflexible. 2e’s greatest weakness is found in its modules, they usually seemed geared to effecting the world you play in on a permanent basis, and I really don’t feel that this is their place. Other great webmasters out there have taught me the error of my ways, aiming me towards the older editions which were written by people who were gamers, not professional writers.

I have also gotten into the history of the game itself, information that I honestly never had access to before. Heck, 2 years ago I didn’t know who Gygax was, other then the strange name on the spines of my 1st Edition manuals. His death got a lot of us interested in a side of the game that most of us were not aware existed before that time. It put a human face to the miles and miles of corporate blather that TSR and Wizards put out, and it provides a hint at how to clear away what was created to sell books from what was created to make the game more enjoyable to play. Do I aid in this, or hinder it? Who is to say. I do enjoy finding rules which even hardcore 2ers have forgotten about.

Probably the greatest influence this blog has had on my personal game, is that I have abandoned my plans to create my own gaming world. Not because I am lazy, or don’t want the challenge, but because of Greyhawk. Like I said, I never had access to the history of the hobby before, and I had no idea just how important Greyhawk was to the game, nor even what it was. I ran Ravenloft exclusively, but wanted to explore more fantasy based ideas and games, but why create my own setting when my friends and I have never played Greyhawk?

Now, THAT, my friends, has been an adventure all in itself. I again have to thank Grognardia for pointing me in the right direction with the Greyhawk Folio post he put up earlier this month. I have acquired many of the files I need to get started, but for 60$ a pop, that is just beyond my budget for owning a hard copy. I’m still undecided about how I am going to handle this situation. The PDF scans I’ve got are rather crappy, to put it mildly, and the map that I’m using doesn’t even give me a sense of scale. I’d love to have a hard copy fold out map, but this is just one of the problems that I’ve got to solve. In the meantime, I’m reading up on the world and getting excited. Learning a new world is a very challenging thing, especially for an old hat like myself, I forgot how fun it can be!

This blog has introduced me to some wonderful people, new ways of looking at things, and I get to focus on two of my favorite hobbies, writing and Dungeons & Dragons. It’s been a great year! I am proud to be part of the “Old School Revolution”! But before I close, I do want to tell just a short story.

I had quit playing, like many people had. Life just got in the way and I wanted to explore new things. While going through boxes out in my garage, I discovered that I still had my old D&D collection, neatly packed away. Some of it I didn’t even remember buying! On a whim, I thought about selling them and decided to look on Ebay to see what they were going for these days. They were collector’s items after all, and all in great shape! I was horrified! Absolutely horrified! Sellers were putting up boxes of 1st edition books, things that I was positive was worth mint, but they were going for 4 or 5 bucks. BOXES OF BOOKS FOR 4-5 BUCKS!!!

I am a book horder. I have been known to buy books from the discount bin simply because I didn’t feel that they should be there, and I’m saving them! Books are important to me, and to see these old titles, which gave me so much joy and pleasure not worth the paper that they were printed on, well I was disturbed.

I felt that I needed to do something for the hobby. It had given me so much when I was young, and I knew that if this hobby was to stay alive, then I needed to give back to it, in some way.

I started looking though the books, and getting excited enough that I wanted to host a game . . . for old-times sake, you know? I got my wife in on it, and called an old friend who was jazzed about the idea, and that is what we did for a night, and we had a blast! Once word got out, other people started coming over and now I have a bigger gaming group then I did when I was a kid.

I was looking over the internet to find resources, and nothing against later editions, but I find that I can’t grasp them. I’ve never been all that into what they are calling “Crunch”, if a situation comes up that you need crunch, then you can simply make it up! The more advanced combat is, the slower and clunkier it becomes, which in my opinion is bad. Different philosophies, I know, and I don’t look down my nose at others who are into that, but it makes finding incompatible mechanics really really easy, and stuff that I want to read really really tough. Back in the day, 2e was just as commonly found as 3e is today, and now it is all gone. Only a handful of obscure webpages dealt with it, thus I decided to put one back up. It isn’t exactly everything that I had in mind, but it is close. It is going into directions now that I didn’t foresee back when I was filling out the fields for Blogger, but that makes it a real webpage, doesn’t it.

The moral of the story is that prices for the older stuff is rising, I am not to blame for this, but I do like to think that I played my small minuscule part in it happening. It may be temporary, but then again, it might not be! Of course, I no longer wish to sell my books. I’ve got a full-time group of players, and it too is taking on a life of it’s own. I’ve given up my DM spot so that I can play for a while, before it’s my turn to do it again, and everything is happy!

Happy Birthday Advanced Gaming & Theory! And a special thank you to everybody who reads it! I guess that I could tell you about a new feature that I’ve added. I get comments from .0001% of my readers, which is fine!!! But I have made it easier for you to tell me how I’m doing without having to come up with some comment. Below you’ll see a Rate Me tab, just take some time out to let me know what you thought, it’ll just take a second and it will help me determine what works and what doesn’t.

Thanks everybody! And here’s hoping for another great year! Lord knows that I’m game. (Clink of Non-Alcoholic Champaign Glasses Here)

5 comments:

kaeosdad said...

Congrats on a whole year sir! I don't play 2nd edition but I really enjoy your blog. Good content, lots of cool ideas, and the positive kine attitude.

Keep up the excellent work!

Brad said...

As a serious lurker, one who subscribes to your RSS feed and giddily waits for new posts, I just wanted to creep forward from the shadows and congratulate you on the huge accomplishment. Your do great work here, and often make me rethink things I take for granted in D&D and look at them in an entirely new light.

Here's to one more!

Sturmburg said...

I'm many D&D fans already know this, but you can download many original D&D\AD&D products from Paizo for $5 a PDF. Scan quality varies, but cheap compared to Ebay :)

http://paizo.com/store/downloads/wizardsOfTheCoast/

trollsmyth said...

Congrats on making it a whole year! Here's hoping for many, many more. :D

ChattyDM said...

A year is a HUGE deal for a blogger and I'm happy that I influenced you to start it. While we don't share a love for the same game system we do share a common love for its history.

Here's to many many more years Ripper.

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