Official RPG Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Is WotC D&D Really D&D?

Discussion in 'The Gazebo' started by JamesDixon, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. SoupNazi rial billionaire Patron

    SoupNazi
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    5,078
    Location:
    DX:HR Fanboy Central
    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands
    I use D&D as an umbrella term for all fantasy TTRPGs with dice. Sue me.
     
    • Funny x 2
    • gimme dem dolla bills x 1
    • not sure if serious x 1
    • feels good man x 1
    • decline x 1
    • Creative x 1
    • WTF am I reading x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    My lawyers will be in contact...

    :hero:
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Sweat gathers upon my brow, let me dab it Sweat gathers upon my brow, let me dab it x 1
    • (autism) (autism) x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. Trans-Financial-Man Prophet

    Trans-Financial-Man
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    868
    No. b/x to AD&D 1E was DnD. All since is just offshoots. Not to say they are bad or you shouldn't play them. Unless it's 4E or 5E. Those are objectively the wrong way to play DnD. I have over 40 years of material for b/x alone. It's not like I'm limiting myself.
     
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 2
    ^ Top  
  4. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    Why isn't AD&D 2E on your list?
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Trans-Financial-Man Prophet

    Trans-Financial-Man
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    868
    Gygax never worked on it. It was made primarily after he was booted out of TSR. I do not completely subscribe to the Holy bible of Gygax but by all accounts he never used AD&D 2E for his games. It is when you started to see the course deviate from what Gygax intended. DnD is Gygax's system. OSR stuff is more DnD than modern DnD. Beyond the mechanics I mean. It goes more into mentality. Death matters, foolishness is punished naturally by either the mechanics of the game or the consequences of the PCs actions, don't fudge the fucking dice, and the GM is the final arbiter of the rules.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    AD&D 2E was just as lethal as prior editions. Also, the DMG repeats the exact same philosophy from prior editions down to the DM being the final judge on the rules. All that changed was cleaning up the rules and presenting it in a better format. In fact, you could use AD&D 1E material just fine in 2E.

    EDIT: David Cook that wrote 2E worked at TSR under Gary for years. He even did work for B/X D&D. He knew what Gary wanted.
     
    • When words are not enough When words are not enough x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    Going through old Dragon Magazines I came across a couple of finds from Dragon #90 and #103. Gary was planning AD&D 2E as early as 1984 as noted in Dragon #90 (October 1984). 13 issues later, Gary goes into further detail on what the second edition will cover plus hopes to have new things. That was Dragon #103 published November 1985. Fits with the timeline for when production of AD&D 2E was started. AD&D 2E PHB clearly states the it is a derivative of Gary's and others work on AD&D 1E.

    Dragon #90

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Dragon #103

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    I forgot to post the cover for Dragon #103. I shall rectify this oversight now.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Salute Salute x 2
    ^ Top  
  9. sgm Educated

    sgm
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    cá nada
    Hey JamesDixon , thought this might interest you.

    Old Dragonsfoot discussion about Gary's ideas for what 2e might have been under his direction. Some of it you've already posted about, but also stuff that he discussed online.

    https://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=39975&sid=c2dd85deab310041d4aa94ed102d866c&start=30

    Keep in mind that when Gary spoke about D&D online he had a tendency to give different answers to the same question depending on who was asking, or what he thought at the moment. He played by his own house rules since the beginning of D&D and was always changing things when he felt it was appropriate. The AD&D 1e rulebooks and even the supplements to the 3 LLBs of OD&D were not just attempts to make the rules more coherent (which in retrospect I don't think were nearly successful enough at accomplishing, i.e.: initiative), but to make TSR money. In the case of AD&D it was also to make some sort of unified rules for convention play (as a number of the early modules published for it were originally used for tournaments).

    If anyone thinks TSR's business side wasn't making the same kind of financial decisions as WoTC in regards to publishing material, even in the early days when Gary wasn't busy with things other than designing material for the games, I really think they should take a look at both the material published and the reception to it. My own opinion is that the rush to put out more material to make money for a company that was growing very fast, or when it was in financial distress (Unearthed Arcana) often resulted in a lot of questionable content, if not out right useless additions that many people just did not use at their table.

    EDIT: Here's a link to some research the Greyhawk Grognard did on Gary's possible 2e (the link in the Dragonsfoot thread was broken).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    Thanks for the head's up. I remember reading that a long time ago. It's fascinating to be honest.

    The entire rewriting and making coherent rules was a challenge. From reading about what was planned for Temple of Elemental Evil is that the writer had to go through 300+ pages of handwritten notes by Gary. That was to make it coherent. Can you imagine the challenge of going through his notes for AD&D?

    Gary was a genius, but a lousy writer. He even admitted that to himself. Only when other authors get their hands on the material does his ideas shine through perfectly. Remember, AD&D 1E was Gary's work and he helmed it. That's why the text and tone is uneven in all the books. David Zeb Cook and his team did a great job taking what was written by Gary and clarified it to be useable at the table. It is also more approachable then the other versions of (A)D&D that came prior. The entire unified class archetypes and putting in the existing classes was a brilliant move. No longer did you have various fighter types using different hit dice or to hit rolls. THAC0 was a vast improvement over the Combat Matrix.

    As for what Gary would have written for AD&D 2E, no one knows. After he was sued and threatened by Lorraine numerous times he got shy about discussing it. He didn't want to have another lawsuit on his hands. However, the key thing is that David Zeb Cook was the third employee hired by Gary and worked closely with him for years while having access to Gary's notes shows that the AD&D 2E that he did was what I believe that Gary would have approved of if he was still with the company. After all, AD&D 2E was started by Gary in 1984 prior to the publication of Dragon #90.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. sgm Educated

    sgm
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    cá nada
    I don't entirely agree that the 2E we got (which I did play a lot and enjoyed) is what Gary would have produced, even if he was fully committed to the role of designer. By the time he was talking about 2E (and even a potential 3E) in those Dragon articles, he was already too preoccupied with the business side of things. It's highly likely that Cook, or someone else would have had to produce the majority of a 2E, even if Gary stayed at TSR under Williams (Bizzaro Universe).

    Even the psionics section of 1E probably wasn't designed by him. Tim Kask edited material that Gary gave him which ended up in Eldritch Wizardry. It's not known how much of that material came from Gary or others, but when AD&D was being produced, the section on psionics may have been done by someone other than Gary (as he never liked the end result). There are plenty of sections in the 1E DMG that's weren't designed by Gary, but by that point putting his name on the cover sold more books than if some other dude was credited along with him. And the whole mess with Arneson (which started before the lawsuit) most likely played a significant role in how TSR handled credits.

    EDIT: I realize that you didn't say that 2E as published was what Gary would have done. And agree no one knows what Gary's 2E would have been. Truth is, I don't believe Gary would have ever produced a 2E like he did 1E. His role in TSR had changed too much for that to have been a real possibility.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Makes you think... Makes you think... x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    We can agree to disagree on the matter then.

    AD&D 2E was produced by a team that was overseen by David Zeb Cook. He was placed there by Gary in 1984. One thing that everyone seems to miss is that everyone at TSR hated Lorraine. Tim Kask and other employees have commented that they pretty much ignored her to do their own thing. Thus, I'm under the impression that David basically did AD&D 2E the way Gary originally wanted within the mandates that Lorraine put into place. One of those mandates was to purify Gary out of the rules, so he couldn't claim royalties. That didn't happen as evidenced by the Forwards and Credits written by David in the PHB, DMG, and MC Volume 1 Binder. He clearly states that everything their team did is from AD&D 1E.

    TSR was a very large company before Gary was pushed out, so it was common to have product line managers to handle the day to day. It's entirely possible that Gary just told David I want a reorganization and rewriting of the rules then let him go his own way. From the way that Tim Kask has detailed on the daily operations that was how it was done. In the end it ultimately comes down to who was in the president's seat when decisions were made to make AD&D 2E. That would be Gary in 1984.

    As for the actual argument about Gary and AD&D 2E, he stuck with his own version of OD&D that he and Dave wrote in 1973. His personal game has no bearing on this discussion.

    Tim Kask had repeatedly said that he didn't like the rules for psionics were done originally. He wanted to redo them to be more in line with how magic worked.

    I'm looking at the credits in the AD&D 2E revised premium edition. The final paragraph says, "This is a derivative work based on the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide by Gary Gygax and Unearthed Arcana and other materials by Gary Gygax and others." That was David Zeb Cook's fuck you to Lorraine.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • How about this as a button How about this as a button x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Old One Arcane

    Old One
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,722
    Location:
    The Great Underground Empire
    To compliment my collection I just bought a box of 50 issues of Dragon, a random mix from #50 through the end of the run. I haven't had a chance to look at them all, but the WotC era issues are crap - they just look horrible (and they jacked up the cover price a lot too). Whoever was doing their graphic design was garbage compared to the old TSR era stuff. It's so bad they're actually difficult to read, because the background behind the text is often busy with some sort of pointless design instead of white or solid colored. Yuck.

    To answer the original question: no, WotC game is not really D&D. It's too different.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Despair Despair x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    Were your Dragon magazines in pretty good condition?
     
    ^ Top  
  15. Old One Arcane

    Old One
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,722
    Location:
    The Great Underground Empire
    The ones I've looked at so far are all really nice. I've been cruising through #201-#205 over the past couple of weeks. I'll be especially interested to see any from < #100. I haven't dug deep enough into the box to find them yet.

    My old issues from the 80s are mostly in less-good shape, simply because I've read and re-read them all.
     
    • nice nice x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Morblot Aberrant Member Patron

    Morblot
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,796
    Location:
    Finland
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    Adventures Dark and Deep is supposed to be AD&D 2e as planned by Gary. I think it's written by Greyhawk Grognard. Can't say if it's any good as I don't own it.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. FriendlyMerchant Learned

    FriendlyMerchant
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    Israel
    No. If it's not AD&D, it's not D&D.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    • NPC #61873 came up with this opinion all by his / herself NPC #61873 came up with this opinion all by his / herself x 1
    • what? what? x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. Trithne Augur

    Trithne
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    546
    Sure it is. They have the legal right to call whatever they want "D&D".

    Just because you think it's not "D&D" if it doesn't have THAC0, a lack of feats or whatever, and Gary Gygax's dried cum in the corner of the page doesn't change that.

    It's not the _same_ D&D you know, the focus of play is different and it's designed with a different mindset, but to care about "IS THIS TROO DEE AND DEE?" is not only pointless, it's juvenile.

    Its an RPG. Who cares what they write on the cover.
     
    • Acknowledge this user's Agenda Acknowledge this user's Agenda x 1
    • cuck cuck x 1
    • retadred retadred x 1
    • Shit Shit x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. JamesDixon Arcane Patron

    JamesDixon
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,554
    Location:
    In the Adventure Master's Lair on Malignost
    Strap Yourselves In
    It's hilarious since you just literally said it's not D&D/AD&D. Thank you for that.

    It's just an opinion. Who cares what you write?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Glop_dweller Cipher

    Glop_dweller
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Messages:
    660
    Ah yes... and Sarah Lee Foods could buy the right to make Vegemite using sugar, chocolate and strawberries.

    [​IMG]
    Seems totally legit!....riiight...sure it does. :decline:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. Trithne Augur

    Trithne
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    546
    As JamesDixon pointed out, I did say that it's a different game in design and spirit. So it's not D&D if you define D&D as specifically the spirit of B/X or AD&D.

    I recall that around the time of 3rd edition, there was a general sense of "Old D&D" vs "New D&D" anyway. I just think of it like that.

    I don't think 3e was really the breaking point though: Monte's "Ivory Tower" stuff was annoying, but the core game, without the hundreds of add ons and broken classes, was fine. It only buckled under the weight of too much fan content.

    That fan content was what informed the design of 4e and 5e, which is why they are what they are.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. Norfleet Moderator

    Norfleet
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Messages:
    10,518
    BDSM elves are evil because the original D&D game worked on the baseline assumption of relatively heroic or at least neutral protagonists. The fact that the BDSM elves are directly opposed to the people who give your characters quests thus makes them "evil". But they can't really consider THEMSELVES evil, because if they did, it'd work like this:

    Hmmm... We ARE All Evil.
    We All Behave In A Mutually Agreed-Upon Fashion Of Murder, Torture, Deceit And So Forth.
    Our Uniform Acceptance Of This Heinous Credo Creates An Orderly And Cooperative Society Which Hardly Seems Evil.
    Evil Is Doing Things That Make Others Hurt Or Fear.
    We ALL Do That, Of Course.
    But Since We ALL Do Such Things, As Sanctioned By Our Culture, It Would Be "Bad" To Do Otherwise.
    Which Means...
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Alex Arcane

    Alex
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,424
    Location:
    São Paulo - Brasil
    You can play it in whatever way you see fit; but personally I see it more like this: Drow worship a spider demon and base their whole society. They probably do see their actions as morally repulsive, but through pride and love for money, power and status believe that it is worth accepting the "uglyness" of evil. Of course if you try to play it as "evil is good" silliness it won't work well unless you are going for comedy. But that doesn't mean the drows need to see their actions as justified by anything other than their own desires either.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. WhiteShark Learned

    WhiteShark
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2019
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    滅びてゆく世界
    Some cultures in real life really do just celebrate immorality. Aside from obvious examples in modern society, consider the Sawi of New Guinea. Not only did they celebrate murder and cannibalism, but in fact treachery itself. When a missionary first came to their tribe and told them the Gospel, they thought Judas Iscariot was the hero for betraying Christ. I don't get any inkling from the account that they thought anything was wrong with that behavior. Drow could very well think just like that. Might makes right and all that.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Non-Edgy Gamer Magister Patron

    Non-Edgy Gamer
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,534
    Strap Yourselves In
    *sacrifices baby to a giant spider*

    [​IMG]
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • nice nice x 1
    ^ Top  

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.