Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Temptation of the White Box

It's at times such as these-- when I'm coming off a hiatus in my own campaign and am looking to start it up again in a couple or three weeks-- that I begin to get sorely tempted by the idea of changing from 1E AD&D, which has been my game of choice for the last decade or so, and naturally when it was still the official version, and going to the LBB's.

On the one hand, I know AD&D. I can run it without the books at all if I wanted to. I'm so conversant with the rules, and where I've bent them to my liking (such as with initiative, or taking out psionics) that it's literally no effort for me to run a game.

On the other hand, there's something to be said for the relative simplicity of the white box edition. The trouble is, I'm afraid I'd find myself bringing in enough AD&D material that I do like, such as the expanded spell lists, creatures from the FF and MM2, etc. It might not be worth the effort of running the "white box plus" when I can run "AD&D minus". (There is the "wow factor" of running a game at a convention, and seeing the jaws hit the floor when I have the white box out on the table, but honestly, I get enough of that just having a 1E DMG and goldenrod character sheets on the table...)

Plus, I don't find myself as a huge fan of the demihuman-as-class concept. Heresy to some, I know, but the whole point of this post is personal preference. I can dump it very easily by just using material from Greyhawk, Eldritch Wizardry, or Blackmoor, but then we get into "why not just play AD&D?" territory again.

Can anyone come up with any compelling reasons to run "LBB plus" as opposed to "AD&D minus"?

Adventures in Oz

I'm not sure that it's anything close to an OSR game in terms of mechanics, but for some reason F. Douglas Wall's new Adventures in Oz RPG just caught my imagination. Perhaps it's because I'm developing quite a collection of kids-oriented RPGs (this one is said to be suitable for gamers of all ages), but I'm very much looking forward to reading this new release. I've read through his blog posts on the design process and it seems like he's combined a lot of thoughtful design with an obvious love (perhaps "obsession" is the correct word) with the original source material.

His blog is now linked over to the left, and there's a lot of neat stuff in there, not just RPG, but related to the original Oz books (which, a quick flip of the DMG reveals, were not in Appendix N as I had originally thought) and a lot of other related topics. I think it's worth a look.