“The emphasis is on the adventure, the exploration, not the explorer per se. Just a few days ago, Michael Mornard, who played in both Greyhawk and Blackmoor before D&D was even published made this very interesting comment on Finarvyns ODD74 forum ‘… And that was the first year or so of how the game grew… ‘Hey, who wants to explore MY dungeon?’ The game was centered around the referee, and the idea of the game was to explore the referee’s world. At some point this changed. The mindset became, ‘We want play being a bunch of heroes, who can we talk into refereeing?’ The game became centered on the idea of the players’ adventures rather than the referee’s world.'”
– from here
The term “grognard” is a French word meaning “old fighter.” It started being a term for older, more experienced strategic war games players and has been appropriated by the D&D crowd to refer to people who played the game when it started. How does one qualify to be a true D&D grognard? Some insist the term only applies to the folks who played the game in the mid-to late ’70s. Others insist it can apply to the people who were involved in the early ’80s. Some, who missed the boat entirely but who still see the virtue of the game in its earliest forms, refer to themselves as “grognardlings” – or those who aspire to true grognardhood. Since I began playing D&D with the “white box” set of the “little brown books” (“LBBs”), I feel it’s safe to see myself as a true “grognard.”
“There are five invader forces active and one aborning, but the one aborning is not active. It will probably be several million years before you see this one, some of you hit the track 60 trillion years ago MEST universe and some of you didn’t get into the MEST universe until about 3 trillion years ago that is invader force one and invader force two. Now we don’t see anything of invader force three here on earth. I just haven’t found any threes. Invader force four is really holding the fort someplace or other. Every little while, a few million years, some planet will get taken over by an invader force.”
“The world is governed by chance. Randomness stalks us every day of our lives.”
– Paul Auster
L. Ron Hubbard, in his Scientology teachings, frequently used the term “randomity.” What this meant, for him, was the extent to which we experience surprise and the unexpected in our daily lives. An area with high levels of randomity would mean a very frequent level of shock and a marked inability to predict events accurately. An area of very low randomity would be characterized by extreme stability and the prevalence of very, very predictable patterns.
Like many D&D players from the ’70s, I had heard rumors about Hargrave’s unofficial series of supplements known collectively as The Arduin Grimoire. It was, I recall that we were told, “dark” and “crazy.” No one I played with had copies, but I detected a kind of dreadful aura surrounding it. The Arduin materials had a sort of sleazy reputation too.