Is that the one with the 'blue book' manual? That was my first foray into D&D, figured out later about AD&D and it being a separate game and all. The book only covered PCs up to level 3 though.The first attempt was the 1977 Holmes Basic Set, which for some reason is probably the most obscure of all D&D editions.
uh... really? While I agree that the books were rather chaotic and unclear in details in places, I never had any problems understanding just how the game was supposed to work. Later editions definitely did a better job of organizing it all...I tried reading the PHB and DMG, and I have to say they are still really esoteric tomes that remained very much incomprehensible to me,
And I think it's interesting that you pretty much universally see new crazy stuff based on 1981 B/X, but pretty much nothing on 1983 BECMI. BECMI basically includes B/X, but with a lot of additional material added to it, particularly for higher levels. The crowd that is interested in D&D as a toolkit, BECMI seems to have no appeal.
But the echoes of the original debates continued on, because D&D had never closed. People kept treating it both as a commercial product, and as a toolkit. As bizarre as that seems to some (it's both a desert topping AND a floor wax!), that's the history of the product. The product continues to be both a highly commercial product demanding standardization, as well as a malleable product amenable to customization. Whether that makes it a good product at either of those is usually an exercise left for the individual gamer.
Your essay and this article have been going around and around in my head for a bit, chasing each other. At odds is the idea that commercialization was inherently a bad thing for D&D. D&D is more popular than ever, and inspiring more people than ever. And not just to play it, but to hack it, take it places not intended (I'm reminded of the person that used the D&D Next rules to run a Downton Abbey campaign). And even if you don't do any of your own customization of the game, it's still inspiring people's art and creativity. People make art, music, cocktails, stories, and more inspired by D&D. Even if you run a bog-standard fantasy world, you're still creating.
Yes, D&D was raw and broken when it first came on the scene, and inspired people by dint of people needing to do their own game design to get it running. But as you said, it's never stopped inspiring people and acting as a toolkit. I get that it's also important to support indie RPGs, but contrary to what that article says, D&D still continues to bring joy and inspire.
To be clear- I don't think commercialization is a bad thing!
The obvious benefits include, for example, the fact that it can spread to a much, larger audience. I am truly grateful that D&D maintains those norms that include using it a toolkit, and I am always amazed and impressed with what the people are doing today- the only way for a game to truly be evergreen is for each generation to make it their own.
Yeah, I think that author missed the mark a good bit.Oh no, I didn't think so - in that regards I was talking more about the Jacobin article. Indeed, without commercialization, D&D as we know it might not even exist. The argument of the Jacobin is dangerously close to "kids today don't know what real D&D."
Oh no, I didn't think so - in that regards I was talking more about the Jacobin article. Indeed, without commercialization, D&D as we know it might not even exist. The argument of the Jacobin is dangerously close to "kids today don't know what real D&D."
Over a multi-miles slog you go up and down over multiple hills, so of course there is uphill both ways. The epic scope just makes the past seem like it worked on different physics when taken out of context.I mean, in fairness, unless you've walked 10 miles in a snowstorm, uphill, just so you can play a first level MU with 2 hit points, that gets killed in the first combat by a kobold with a dull butter knife before you get off your single spell ... and then have to walk 10 miles back (also uphill, because physics worked differently back then) in that same snowstorm ...
Have you really played D&D?