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D&D’s 40th Anniversary: Words to Celebrate, Part Two

In Search of the Unknown; TSR, Inc.It’s hard to believe that Dungeons & Dragons is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week! To help commemorate this most glorious occasion, we asked several folk who are working in or who have worked in the RPG industry to share their memories of the game with us. Come see how they answered four questions we posed in part two of this two-part celebratory series.

Wolfgang Baur

What was the first edition of D&D you played?

Wolfgang: I played the blue box with my sister and a neighbor, and later tried it out on my parents (they didn’t quite get it, but seemed to sense my enthusiasm for it). I was a DM from the start, and really only got to play an adventurer a year later.

What’s your favorite piece of crunch, fluff, art, or text from that edition?

Wolfgang: It’s impossible to pick from the blue box, but my favorite art from that edition is the cover of B1 In Search of the Unknown. I loved the adventure by Mike Carr, and I think the simple sense of newness and exploration was what drew me into the game. It’s impossible to capture that wonder in a bottle, but exploration and strange sights have remained my favorite parts of D&D. Dave Sutherland and Trampier were the defining artists of my first impression.

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D&D’s 40th Anniversary: Words to Celebrate, Part One

In Search of Adventure; TSR, Inc.It’s hard to believe that Dungeons & Dragons is celebrating its 40th anniversary today! To help commemorate this most glorious occasion, we asked several folk who are working in or who have worked in the RPG industry to share their memories of the game with us. Come see how they answered four questions we posed in part one of this two-part celebratory series.

David “Zeb” Cook

What was the first edition of D&D you played?

“Zeb”: The first edition of D&D I played was the original white box (not the woodgrain box, though). Actually at first I think I was playing from bad photocopies. That was back in about 1974-1975, I think, definitely when I was in college. Eventually I found a copy of the box (and had the money to buy it!) at a local campus bookstore. It’s a classic early adopter story for D&D.

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4 New Adventures from Kobold Press

MA6: The Buried PalaceSummer’s almost here! With convention season coming and school letting out, there are more opportunities to play. You could probably use some new adventures to run, yes?

The Kobolds have you covered with four new adventures for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Over at Paizo.com you’ll find two new adventures for Pathfinder RPG:

Beyond the Ghostlight Reef is a convention favorite by Christina Stiles, now available for the first time:  a group of 6th-level adventurers investigates the mysteries of a reef that hides vast treasures from ancient cities, and the odd women to delve its depths and return with arcane treasures.

The Buried Palace by Mike Franke is a dungeon adventure for 7th-level PCs level, who descend into a buried palace beneath a city-state in search of a powerful magic item and find themselves embroiled in a growing conflict between the city’s Lord Marshall and his enemies.

We also have two new adventures for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons at DriveThru RPG!

Fury of the Lords of the Sea by Teos Abadia sends a party of characters level 16-20 up against the Mharoti to prevent the summoning of the Isonade, the ancient and terrible lord of the deep.

The Iron Secret by Brian Liberge pits adventurers level 1-3 against a band of mad mercenaries who plan to flood the kobold warrens and ignite a war between dwarves and kobolds.

If you run any of these for your group and post an actual play report, let us know! We’d love to share your stories from the table.

 

 

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1,000-Word Rebuttal: Against the Fetish of Progressive Design

220px-Action_Comics_1This blog hosted “Penny Dreadfuls: Against the Nostalgia Fetish in Fantasy Roleplaying” yesterday, a pleasant-but-perhaps-confused rant against nostalgia in roleplaying game design, and in favor of progress and modernity. Maybe I’m just old enough to see the upside of the conservative worldview, but let me be the first to say “bah, nonsense!” and offer this brief rebuttal in the voice of reason. I fully realize that in doing so, I can expect to insult every active gamer in a slightly different fashion than Mssr. Hebert did.

Yes, roleplaying games in general and Dungeons & Dragons and the Pathfinder RPG in particular do revel in the antique, the ancient, the dusty tomes—as part of the genre, and as a focus for world building. But this is hardly a fetish for nostalgia or a clinging to the outworn and lackluster rules of yesterday. It’s just part of the character of its novels and settings. Fantasy RPG fans also like Renaissance fairs, medieval weapons, and tales that lean toward sagas and hero-quests. Comes with the territory.

Steady Improvement
But RPG fans preferring antique game design? Not at all, and to the contrary. Most gamers are happy to recognize and embrace a core of functional, pleasurable, and workable rules, rather than chasing after every gaming fad and novelty.

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Defenders of Midgard Are Here! Seven New D&D Themes and More

The Defenders of Midgard coverThe next edition of Dungeons & Dragons is on the horizon, and players have more options than ever to get their tabletop fantasy fix. It’s in this spirit that we present The Defenders of Midgard, available at DriveThruRPG and Paizo, with 7 outstanding new themes — and lots of other crunchy D&D goodness — made possible by the generous patrons of the Midgard Bestiary for 4th Edition.

Lead designer Brian Liberge says,

“The options in this book showcase what makes Midgard unique and fun for players. We focused on granting options that can be of use immediately, so almost everything is for the heroic tier of play. With this in hand, you can craft a Midgard player character who stands out from the PCs of any other setting.”

4th Edition D&D players now have a toychest that offers more options and new powers well-suited to adventures in a Dark World of Deep Magic. Read more about what’s included after the jump:

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