dungeons and dragons

m. werneburg, 2014.12.02

In 1982, I started playing dungeons and dragons with my friends; now I play with my son. We started playing with the 1981 basic &expert rules at Thanksgiving of 2014. The Boy was clearly enjoying himself, and he was soon drawing maps and characters and castles, and asking detailed questions about what was going on. I'd found something we could do together that would encourage him to read, solve problems, and be imaginative. Woohoo!

The Boy in his first D&D game

But those early games, despite being simple, were never well-organized, and it became a chore trying to find things easily. So I dug up my "Advanced" rule books to add the new spells and magical devices and player-classes. And then I remembered that the "Advanced" version of the game was a dice-heavy and rules-heavy bore and if anything even less well organized. So I went looking for an update. What I found was that there is now quite a broad range of versions of fantasy role-playing games available.

I quickly found Labyrinth Lord, which is a cleaned up redraft of the 1981 basic/expert ruleset with some minor refinements. Then I found Dungeon World, a radically different version of the game that focuses on the story and the adventure and dispenses with an amazing amount of the mechanics. Both versions are imaginative and solve some of the problems of the original game (though Labyrinth Lord is a much more faithful reproduction).

What I've decided to do is merge the two, taking my favorites from both, and making a house-ruled hodge-podge that will add more story-and-adventure focus to the basic/expert rule-set, and allow me to fix a number of the glaring "bugs" that have always existed. I'm having a blast!

Update, 2016/10: Since game rules apparently can't be "copyrighted" per se, if you extract the copyright materials (e.g. images) you are supposedly able to share creations based on other game rules. In that vein, here are our three books: Lore; Monsters; and Spells!

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