Shadowdark looks so good!

The Moldvay Basic set is a disaster, not particularly better organized than the OD&D booklets.

(And yes, people love it, but it's by no means a paragon of good design or marketing.)
You think? Admittedly, I'm not super familiar with it, but from the pdf I have I'd say the writing is fairly clear, the layout keeps topics to one or two pages (something 5e still can't manage to do), and at 60-some pages is a complete (dungeon crawling) game with a sample adventure. Granted, there is a reason that OSE has value as a more efficient presentation of these rules, but compared to the mess that is AD&D, I'll take any of those basic sets.

I started with the 1991 Black Box, which is designed around teaching the game and does a great job on that account.
 

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JohnSnow

Hero
You think? Admittedly, I'm not super familiar with it, but from the pdf I have I'd say the writing is fairly clear, the layout keeps topics to one or two pages (something 5e still can't manage to do), and at 60-some pages is a complete (dungeon crawling) game with a sample adventure. Granted, there is a reason that OSE has value as a more efficient presentation of these rules, but compared to the mess that is AD&D, I'll take any of those basic sets.

I started with the 1991 Black Box, which is designed around teaching the game and does a great job on that account.
The Moldvay Basic Set is perfectly easy to understand...if you're already familiar with D&D. As a starter introduction to a very complicated game, it pretty much fails utterly.

I started with it, and it was a mess. There's a reason people like me tend to look back nostalgically on the Red Box Starter Set - it was the presentation we all wished we had gotten.
 

The Moldvay Basic Set is perfectly easy to understand...if you're already familiar with D&D. As a starter introduction to a very complicated game, it pretty much fails utterly.

I started with it, and it was a mess. There's a reason people like me tend to look back nostalgically on the Red Box Starter Set - it was the presentation we all wished we had gotten.
Well the red box rule book is double the page count, so Mentzer had more room to work with. The authors of the basic box sets were also somewhat limited by the unintuitive aspects of the base game, e.g. attack matrices etc.
 

JohnSnow

Hero
Well the red box rule book is double the page count, so Mentzer had more room to work with. The authors of the basic box sets were also somewhat limited by the unintuitive aspects of the base game, e.g. attack matrices etc.
And?

Those are all failings of TSR's earlier decision not to include more pages, rethink the unintuitive aspects of the game, and so forth. In other words, it was a bad decision made by someone in the course of designing the product. It may be hard to point fingers at whose "fault" it was, but that doesn't change the reality.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Today's Monstrous Monday new monster is, as far as I know, an original Shadowdark monster: the Crabstrosity, a giant crab with a toxic tentacles in its mouth that have a short-term mind control toxin. So it can wade into a group, bite a few members and have them turn on the other prey before it finishes off its thralls. It also includes a new barnacle monster/hazard and a table of random treasures to be found in a crabstrosity's lair or its gut.

So a very situational monster is made more useful with things that, as a DM, I might want to use independently of it.
 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Oh, and the backer poll ended up going for the ranger, but there was such a passionate outcry for the bard (including people pointing out that there's no class built around the Charisma stat yet), that she's doing both.

With all of this new content, I suspect we're seeing the groundwork being laid for an Unearthed Arcana-style supplement in a year or so.
 

darjr

I crit!
How to make monsters.
20477829-E1F3-4D9D-BC37-DA6DF2D9CD26.png
 




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