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Editorial On the birth of Dungeons and Dragons

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by VentilatorOfDoom, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Tags: Dungeons & Dragons; Gary Gygax

    A couple days ago DnD Beyond penned a retrospective on the birth of Dungeons and Dragons, in memory of Gary Gygax (PBUH) who's rolling the dice in Sigil right now or on whatever plane of existence he ended up on.

    On this day, we celebrate the birth of the founder of our hobby, and look back at the story of its creation. Where did D&D come from? What inspired Gygax and Arneson to create this game that has become not just a hobby but a lifestyle for so many people? Could they have possibly anticipated the success of the fifth edition of their game, or that it would ever become a mainstream sensation that attracts not just Hollywood actors, but millions upon millions of normal people like you and me to play this game, and even broadcast their gameplay online for others’ enjoyment?​

    Wait... what? Did this soyboy not just imply that 5th ed. isn't irredeemable garbage but that oldschool nerds are "not normal" and that thanks to their butchering of a once splendid system the game can now be enjoyed by "normal" people, i.e. idiots? I don't even...

    One more excerpt:

    TSR released a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons in 1977. In fact, two new editions were being created at once. One was J. Eric Holmes’s Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, which was essentially a cohesive and unified revision of the game created by Gygax and Arneson. The second, known as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D), was produced by Gygax himself. AD&D was separated into four hardcover books: the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide—a tradition that has been replicated by AD&D’s descendants for decades—plus a final book, Deities and Demigods. As Gygax’s creation, AD&D went on to become the “official” version of D&D. It received a 2nd edition in 1987, and by the time its 3rd edition was produced by Wizards of the Coast in 2000, it was so ubiquitous that AD&D was simply known as “Dungeons & Dragons.”

    As this new edition was made following Arneson’s departure from TSR, Gygax declared the game his own creation and excluded Arneson from any royalties related to AD&D as a separate entity from the original Gygax & Arneson D&D books. Arneson sued TSR in 1979. While he emerged victorious, the lawsuit over AD&D (and a second lawsuit over the AD&D Monster Manual II) ended the partnership between Gygax and Arneson for good.

    The story of Gygax and Arneson ultimately ended in tragedy for both men. Brian Blume’s brother, Kevin Blume, became the new COO of TSR by buying out his father’s stock, and dozens of TSR employees were laid off in the wake of his ascension. Some voiced support for Arneson and disdain for Gygax and the Blumes, but the Blumes were no friends of Gygax’s, either. In 1982, Kevin Blume forced Gygax to step down from TSR’s board and supplanted him as CEO. Gygax remained with TSR for the next 3 years, but his influence over the company only waned—with a brief but glorious resurgence in 1985 with the release of Unearthed Arcana and other major hardcover books—until he finally left TSR, defeated, on the final day of 1985.​
     
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  2. Bocian Arcane

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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Volrath Arcane Patron

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    5e is fantastic, fuck y'all.
     
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  4. FireKing Reginus Maximus Patron

    FireKing
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    3.5e for the win!
     
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  5. Black_Willow Arcane

    Black_Willow
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    4e is 100% the best!
     
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  6. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    1st edition=best edition
     
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  7. DragoFireheart all caps, rainbow colors, SOMETHING.

    DragoFireheart
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    3rd edition is pretty good for video games but kinda drags the game down on table top via math.

    4th edition is shit. 5th edition looks like a variant of 1st edition.

    2nd edition is the best.
     
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  8. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
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    Defeated? No. The ultimate victory, evidenced by an enduring legacy and his influence on the hobby, belongs to E. Gary Gygax.
     
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  9. Sacibengala Learned

    Sacibengala
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    Normal people are destroying the hobby.
     
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  10. Ocelot570 Novice

    Ocelot570
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    This soy boy can't even understand the richness and greatness of 2nd edition. The mere statement of making D&D watered down dribble for the masses is an insult to the role playing community as well as the people who toiled away creating the greatest game of all time!
     
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  11. Mr. Magniloquent Educated

    Mr. Magniloquent
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    1st Edition is what it was--a good rough draft.
    2nd Edition was very charming, but mechanically a bit obtuse, a bit confining, and arbitrary.
    3rd Edition and its variants are good for cRPGs up to level 20. It scales poorly beyond that. Suffers from all manners of bloat.
    4th Edition was an abomination.
    5th Edition is has the charm and efficiency of 2nd edition, while retaining none of its confines. It's 2nd and 3rd brought into harmony. It is by far, the best edition of D&D yet.
     
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  12. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    For me I rate the versions:

    1) 1st edition
    2) 2nd edition
    3) 3.5 edition
    3a) Pathfinder/D20
    4) 5th Edition
    98) 4th edition

    anybody ever play with the actual armor rules in first edition, like the specific AC differences each type had Vs. piercing, blunt, slicing weapons? I liked those rules, but can't ever really recall people using them. Did this specific armor variations exist in 2nd edition, or only 1st? I can't recall..

    How about the prime component rules for magic? I sort of understand not using these because it would be kind of a hassle to keep track of, OTOH using them would make each spell cast much more expensive monetarily and provides extra incentive and purpose for adventuring to either find rare components or get the money to buy them.

    I wonder if anybody will ever make a Gamma World CRPG? Has anybody ever tried? I realize fallout/wasteland sort of fill this niche, but Gamma World was different, the mutation system for player characters was fun and unique. Maybe I could start a kick starter?
     
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  13. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    I actually like some of the arbitrary confinements, these type of rules make for fun game decisions. Like the limit on Cleric using edge weapons, or magic users wearing armor...I don't like the modern way of game making where they make every single class able to do whatever they want via workarounds or whatever, it destroys the class system and combined arms tactics type strategy and sort of counter intuitively makes each choice less meaningful.
     
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  14. Grampy_Bone Cipher

    Grampy_Bone
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    Apparently someone never heard of the D&D cartoon.
     
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  15. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    1st edition actually had books produced, so, not really.
     
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  16. Naveen Arcane Patron

    Naveen
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    They were in 2nd AD&D too. It's one of those complicated things that work better in computer games because you don't have to keep track of them, as in Baldur's Gate. Ex:

    Armor Class
    Full Plate Armor 1 (-3 vs. slashing, -2 vs. piercing and missile)
     
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  17. Grampy_Bone Cipher

    Grampy_Bone
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    3.5E 4 life, dawgs.

    I never understood the complaints that 3e was unbalanced. There was a high skill curve for character building, where a well-built character was vastly stronger than a poorly-built one, but isn't that a good thing?

    All the complaints about Class X or Spell Y being overpowered and unbeatable never seemed to come up in my games. I never had a problem challenging my players or having them "ruin" the game by winning. Once in awhile I would miscalculate and they would find an easy way out of a challenge or fight, but again, isn't that good? I figured most of the complainers were petulant DMs who got annoyed when the PCs flew over their traps or disintegrated the bad guy in one shot, because they were ignorant of the rules and spell effects.

    Mike Mearls seemed to belong to this group who just couldn't stand the idea of players using their skills to actually win fights. WotC lost my business forever with 4E, I've heard good things about 5E but it also has tranny elves and shit, so why bother.
     
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  18. Lord Rocket Erudite

    Lord Rocket
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    no, because character 'building' is metagaming -- this should be obvious as assigning points is something you do between sessions, not during actual gameplay, and is more easily learned from wiki entries rather than direct experience. 3.xe in a nutshell

    anyway the difference between 1e and 2e weapon/AC modifiers is that 1e ones are specific to each weapon while 2e weapons are generalised into types (blunt etc.) and have their modifiers assigned that way. this rule makes the most sense in the early 0e context where all weapons do 1d6 damage (although I'm p sure that the d20 based mods were introduced at the same time as the varying damage dice, ie. in Greyhawk, although they were cribbed from the 2d6 duelling rules in Chainmail), since the varying damage dice already differentiate the weapons in later eds, and are more intuitive for players. I am not currently using them in my Basic/1e mashup as I have been too lazy to generalise them (although I'll abstract the armour types rather than using the aforementioned 2eism) into a form that will also apply to monsters as well as armoured humanoids
     
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  19. Xorphitus Learned

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    OD&D WAS best D&D.
     
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  20. Ebonsword Arcane

    Ebonsword
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    Maybe I'm misremembering, but I don't think the 1E armor class adjustments worked that way. It was actually much more detailed than that. Instead of just having broad blunt/piercing/slashing categories, each specific weapon had it's own set of adjustments. So, while a quarter staff and a footman's mace were both blunt weapons, a quarter staff received massive penalties against hitting someone in plate mail while the footman's mace actually received a small bonus. (It's on pg 38 of the Player's Handbook).

    And, yes, I used to use those rules all of the time when I played 1E. But me and my friends almost always played it as a straight dungeon crawl, emphasizing the tactical combat and exploration over any story.
     
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  21. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    I think you are right, your description makes me recall it that way as well. That is even cooler, although I can understand why it was never widely used, but I still like it... I wish I still had my 1st edition books, my mom lost or threw them out when she moved a long time ago.
     
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  22. Grampy_Bone Cipher

    Grampy_Bone
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    Oh lord, were you one of those 2E players who thought gaining levels was a form of cheating?
     
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  23. Darkzone Arcane

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    I kind of agree especially with the last 5th Edition statement, but it is only due to the fact that other edition had their problems, which the 5th doesn't have because it is dumbed down and streamlined for normies (to reach higher sales numbers). I strongly disagree with the statement "It's 2nd and 3rd brought into harmony." it has neither the finess of ADD2E with its expansion, nore the good skill approach of D&D3.5E. If 5E would be a mix of ADD2nd and D&D3.5, then it has been stripped from this systems main strong attributes. It is only Pathfinder that tries by its expansion to mix this both systems, but i also dislike many things in Pathfinder. I cannot state what i like more ADD2nd or D&D3.5, because they are so different, but it is certainly not the 5E despite the fact that i currently play only the 5E. Nevertheless i think that 5E has many very good things and the Archetype approach is one very good thing and a good organisation for classes and their mix forms. What i would prefer is a ADD3rd Edition with the tactical finesse of the ADD2nd ( it's class kits and all expansions ) and the skills system of the D&D3.5 edition with the limitation for "base classes" advancement based on the character level and additional possible class levels for prestige classes. Therefore i also admit that i think, that the best class in 5E is the Battlemaster Fighter and the College of Swords Bard.
     
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  24. Falksi Magister

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  25. Mr. Magniloquent Educated

    Mr. Magniloquent
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    I very much like 3rd edition. I was actually in the process of designing my own RPG when 3rd edition was released. It solved basically every complaint I had with 2nd. Ultimately though, 3rd is very cumbersome. It lends very well to cRPGs, but suffers on the table-top. Also, what it gained in freedom is lost a bit in "soul". 5th Edition brought back what we loved about 2nd edition--both in terms of flavor and snappy resolution (without memorizing or hunting tables). I really love how they revamped monsters. My only complaint, is how they have obviously weakened the potency of spells that impart status effects. The spell-slot system is ok. It functions as a tiered mana system. It's inelegant, in that they didn't want it to be a mana system. Maybe they'll improve that for 5.5 edition.
     
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