Archive | May 2012

The Old School Revolution… One Step At A Time!

While waiting while my car was being washed, I decided to amble over to the local game store. In the back, while I looked through the offerings, I overheard one of the staff giving a pitch…

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Falling…

 

“Sheer o’re the Chrystal Battlements: from Morn
To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve,
A Summers day; and with the setting Sun
Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star,
On Lemnos th’ Aegean Ile…”

– Milton

The first thing we can find is a loud snapping sound followed by many waves of light. Then we see a tiny baby driving a golden chariot. I have my own very strong suspicions that this particular lil’ cherub is at least one quarter Korean, but that’s another story. At one point, the child lifts its chubby arm and blows on a trumpet. After that, there’s some more loud snapping sounds, and everything shuts down. When it opens again, we find that each of us has their own private universe. We are the sole and most powerful gods in these personal, infinite realms and can – for countless millennia – do whatever we wish in them. We can subdivide ourselves an infinite number of times, invade our creations or withdraw from them, and experiment and enjoy our any number of myriad worlds, in any way we want, to our hearts’ content.

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Gravitating To Greyhawk

Having gone back through the original supplements awhile ago, I find myself gravitating, once again, to the ideas presented in Greyhawk. All the extra material, divided into three parts that correlate to the original three D&D booklets, is pretty intoxicating. How could you leave it out?

 

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Echos Above

“Beneath the broad tide of human history there flow the stealthy undercurrents of the secret societies, which frequently determine in the depths the changes that take place upon the surface.”

– A.E. Waite

“Philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct . . . academic scribbler of a few years back.”

— Keynes

 

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Return To Tegel Manor

The other OSR bloggers can tend to talk a lot about the “megadungeon” concept. A “megadungeon” is a really, really big detailed environment for D&D. While we would tend to see a “megadungeon” as something that would have to be underground, the term has come to include even “above ground” structures like the Judges Guild’s original “City State.” One of the other classic “megadungeons” from the same time period is another product from the same manufacturer and the same period: Tegal Manor.

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Campaign Questions

How is the local ruler chosen, and what sort of government is it?

The local ruler of Aiken appears to be a religious matriarchy – with a small group trained and selected to rule from a promising pool. The trainees are kept away from the general population in the castle at the south end of the woods they control and, once selected, the trainees have very little freedom. Since the current ruling matriarch is in her 70s and shows no signs of slowing down, the waiting, tutelage, and screening period for this is long.

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How Much Do The Rules Matter?

Back at my old job, the management ran into a bad period when it came to recruiting new workers. On the one hand, without fresh blood coming in the organization was doomed. But if the people that were getting the jobs didn’t work hard enough and well enough, the organization was in trouble. We could, we came to understand, only afford so much time for new workers to learn the ropes and become profitable. If anyone was kept on too long, their salaries and benefits ate up too much money. But if we got rid of everyone quickly, we would be left with less than the number of people we needed. The delicate balance was proving increasing elusive.

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The Visuals

Back when I was playing D&D as a kid, a friend who I had introduced to the game – and who went on to keep playing it far, far longer than i did – asked me a simple question:

“What do orcs actually look like?

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