Thursday, May 22, 2008
Why OD&D? part 4
As I’ve stated before, this blog is not concerned with belittling any of the subsequent versions or editions in the D&D family. After all, they are the offspring of OD&D, and all of us share an interest in the hobby for one reason, and one reason only. To have fun. As long as you are having fun under the D&D Umbrella, regardless of which edition you might use, please, carry on, but perhaps take a moment to read why I like the original version so much.
So I’ve explained the D&D concept, talked about why OD&D is for me, and theorized about why OD&D is probably not for everyone. Now comes the hardest question fromThe Why Of It All, that being How would I go about sharing my enthusiasm with others?
Well, for one, I have my tiny, often confusing little Grog ’n Blog, wherein I attempt to make people understand what exactly I am trying to talk about, to varying degrees of success. I can certainly share my enthusiasm, but if no one wants to actually hear or see it, I find it’s ultimately pointless. Us old school fans are so often, as my blogging buddy Max says, prone to a general vibe of phlegmatic crankiness, or worse, fogged up with complaining about the new and amen-brothering the old. This gets me nowhere fast. I’m not here to preach to the choir and get some pats on the back. I’d genuinely like to somehow dispel the OD&D misconceptions, and share some of my enthusiasm within our little corner of the gaming world.
It’s not about converting the masses, it’s about enlightening and showing the unbridled fun and limitless approach of OD&D. Perhaps it’s an essence of gaming greatness that was in the air back in the late 70’s, an innocent feeling that anything is possible, so why not dream it up, and go play it. Perhaps it is actually fool’s gold, a rarified time that will never be experienced again. Somehow, though, when I think about OD&D, and that philosophy that surrounded it, I can’t help but become enthused about playing it.
So how then? Word of mouth worked in the 70’s, but can it still do anything for OD&D? I’m afraid that simply talking or writing about it isn’t going to help accomplish the task of dispelling OD&D’s misconceptions. Much like actually learning, understanding and embracing that original D&D concept, I believe that people need to be shown. Players need to be willing to look past the shortcomings I posted about in the last article. The only way, I believe, is by letting the players play, and letting the DM take on the prospect of running OD&D.
So in that vein, I encourage anyone reading this who has not tried to play OD&D to do some research, discover the nuances of OD&D that make it appeal to you, spend some time considering the advantages of the original version, admit that you agree that playing the real thing is enticing, explore the wonderful resources available (thank you Al Gore) on the internet, and as Philotomy says, Approach it fresh. Read the rules, and don't assume that you know how things work. There are differences that may surprise you. Fluff it up, dress it up, make it your own version, and then play it! If you can share my own enthusiasm, we will, each of us a handful of players at a time, be contributing to dispelling the misconceptions of OD&D.
To get your own PDF copy, follow this link. For the price, I can't see why anyone wouldn't want to own the original edition of D&D. Also, check this out to make a facsimile copy in booklet form from your PDF's.
Aside from that, I will continue to post here and share my enthusiasm for the game. It’s not one limited to OD&D really, and much of what I ramble on and on about here can be applied to any of the various games I enjoy. Hopefully that enthusiasm will rub off and spread and possibly contribute in some small way to realizing once again that elusive essence of gaming greatness.
Why OD&D, part 1
Why OD&D, part 2
Why OD&D, part 3
~Sham, Quixotic Referee