Saturday, November 29, 2008


I started off with an interesting bit on minotaurs and monster canon, but let me back up a moment, and continue on with the introduction of purpose for this blog. I consider myself to be an old school gamer as I have been playing wargames for almost 30 years. That is a bit amazing when I think about it. I started when a good buddy of mine introduced me to some WW2 games, and I have been hooked ever since. We played Midway, Kriegspiel, 1776, and several others. My parents first bought me Richthofen's War and Origins of WW2, and I think I have been hooked ever since.

When it comes to D&D, my early experiences were with the blue Holmes version and then I moved on to AD&D. For much of the first decade of 2000, I have been playing the 3rd edition. Then along comes 4th ed. I am not saying that 4th ed is a bad version, or not a fun game, but it is not quite what I grew up on. 4th ed strikes me more as a miniature game with elements of role-playing, rather than a role-playing game with elements of miniatures. Again, I am not saying that this is bad, only that it is not exactly what I am looking for. I will save further comments on 4th ed for a later date, but suffice it to say, that I am looking for something a little different. Over the past year, I have been surprised at the interest in the older versions of the game. There are a number of fine blogs that focus their attention on the older versions. This is perhaps in part, due to the creation of retro versions of the game such as C&C, Labyrinth Lord, BFRPG, OSRIC, and Swords & Wizardry. I suppose I should not be that surprised, but it is interesting that these are all popping up now, or it maybe more accurate to say that I more aware of these older versions, and I suspect that I am not alone in this.

So with that said, the old versions are interesting to me, but I am not sure that I am ready to take that particular plunge. I think I am still looking for something a little different, but I like the philosophical position on gaming that is found with my old school peers. I call them peers, as it is becoming evident that there is a large number of us in our middle ages looking to recapture the fun of our youth, and we do have a shared purpose in that. While I do enjoy a friendly game of poker with the guys, I also enjoy other games, and that includes games with a fantasy flavor that have slaying dragons as their outwardly stated goal. To be honest, I have nothing against dragons, but I guess it is the same feeling as a big game hunter going after a dangerous animal in Africa. My prey is a bit larger, and more dangerous, but it only exists in a shared world of folks gathered around a table rolling dice.

After deciding that 4th ed is not my game of choice, and the old versions of the game do not resonate with me either, I am left with a middle ground, which I think works for me. Paizo is publishing the final version of their rules in August of 2009. I think it is accurate to say that it is version 3.75, as it represents evolution of the 3rd ed rules. In general I like what I am reading, and I really like what they are doing with their campaign setting. I have decided that I will be using their setting, and I am putting my FR campaign to rest. The FR setting will be a discussion in another blog, so I will leave it at that for the moment.

To bring this full circle, I like what Paizo is doing with Pathfinder, but I am looking to inject a bit of old school flavor to the mix. I touch of the older versions to a new school version. My new campaign will kick off in Sept 2009, when I get back from China, so this blog will serve as commentary of old school meets new school in the creation of something that will interest me, and I hope that engages my players and readers as well.

No comments: