Why you should be playing Classic Dungeons & Dragons

Rules_Cyclopedia_coverI really like the latest edition of AD&D. Ok, 5th edition just calls itself D&D these days, but really, it’s the latest version of the AD&D product line. D&D goes all the way back to 1977 and the original Red Box. Not the Wizards of the Coast attempt at the Red Box. This was a whole different stream of D&D, finally compiled in it’s last main rule release with the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia in 1991. Continue reading Why you should be playing Classic Dungeons & Dragons

Understanding Good and Evil A look at D&D alignment

Classic D&D only has three alignments; Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. While the rules indicate that lawful characters tended to be good, it is not automatic. AD&D on the other hand breaks alignment into two parts, their disposition towards law and chaos, and their morality in regard to good and evil. On the surface, the AD&D system appears to be the more detailed and superior system … but is it? Continue reading Understanding Good and Evil A look at D&D alignment

Game Mastery: Running Horror Tips and tricks for building the right atmosphere for horror

Author’s Note: This article was originally written to help out a little Aussie indie RPG publication. Normally I’d put a back-link to the publication to support them, but unfortunately it seems their general practices are neither legal nor moral. Therefore I thought I’d re-post my article here without back-links so the article can actually be found and read.

There are many good systems available for running a good horror themed game. Call of Cthulhu, as well as any World of Darkness setting being prime examples of systems which beg for the telling of a good horror story. However, it isn’t the system or world setting which creates the experience of horror. Good horror must be a collaborative effort between the GM and the players. Here are a few tips on how to get your players having nightmares after your next session. Continue reading Game Mastery: Running Horror Tips and tricks for building the right atmosphere for horror

Balancing Weapon Mastery How to include Weapon Mastery, but still keep your combat encounters challenging.

Classic D&D weapon mastery is awesome. However, it can also lead the unwary GM down a deep dark rabbit hole where over powered PCs make mincemeat of combat encounters. Suddenly the epic boss fight is done so fast that even the players are feeling cheated, because the game isn’t a challenge any more. Part of the issue is that weapon mastery wasn’t introduced until the Master Set, and modules prior to the Master Set were not written with weapon mastery in mind. Also, by now almost the entire creature catalogue was made prior to the introduction of weapon mastery. Add to that the fact that weapon mastery is an optional rules set, with a huge game changing impact which sort of demands the rest of the system is adapted to allow for it. In short, Mastery was bolted on inelegantly and was never properly incorporated, despite how awesome it is. Continue reading Balancing Weapon Mastery How to include Weapon Mastery, but still keep your combat encounters challenging.