Monday, July 9, 2018

The Tao of The Clash of The Titans 1981 & The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook By Gary Gygax

I've talked about not burning out or giving in to the apathy that comes with real life & all of the responsibilities that go with it. Sometimes its about going back to the sweet spots of life & grabbing a memory path to tap into. For me its the Summer of Eight One right around June when the original Clash of the Titans film dropped into theaters. It was an exciting time to be in Dungeons & Dragons as a dungeon master & player.

Everything turned pseudo Greek for a bit in campaigns locally or so it seemed to me. Medusa became en vogue as the agents of Chaos in our home campaigns (something that still happens to this day). NPC hirelings were Greek or pseudo Roman warriors a long way from home. Titans were the giant evils that were trapped across the planes & the gods were helpless to stop a mad man or priestess from releasing them.

This was also the Summer when I learned to cherish the ability to take on the smaller joys of running the grand game without giving into the latest in table top rpg fashion. We had a bit of a mouth breather in one of our groups who insisted that the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook couldn't be used for Greco Roman mythological adventures. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings was the only true way! Now bare in mind that we were using a mix of both sorts of fantasy related material. So ancient
Greco Roman mythological warriors rubbed shoulders with Elves, Dwarves, etc.
Arguments ensued game events broke up, food was thrown, & the usual in fighting happened. Then the parents got involved & it all turned to crap. None of that happened!
  It didn't because we got rid of said 'mouth breather' & the game continued. The lesson here was to make the game your own & don't let the influence of events or problems outside of it enter the table top. Its just a game & it can be put down or picked up as needed.

One of the things I've picked up from the AD&D Players Handbook is letting the players find the equilibrium for the campaign world setting themselves. Give the players a general outline & everyone is on the same page & the players will give you reams of material to spin adventures off of. I'm not talking about back story here but world setting details.One of the things I talked about yesterday was to create short convention set style adventures & strung them together in weekly style episodes similar to Nineteen Sixties classic television programs. Gary Gygax talked about listening to the player's voice in the Player's Handbook. Listening to the players wants, needs, & play desires is key to being a good dungeon master.

Dying is a part of the hero's path as much as fighting against monsters & life has its consequences. The Summer & Winter of '81 our characters suffered two complete & utter TPK's. There was one very good reason & that was the dark forces of Hades & the Underworld. It was a dire game between the gods & the Underworld, our party were the chess pieces. Deities & Demi gods really got a work out that season.

There were other forces brewing that Winter that would tear our world apart in Eighty Two but that's another story for another day.
The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook gave our group the second set of tools to make the PC's that the players wanted & needed. The DM's were all in agreement on the overall goals of the pseudo Greco Roman world that we were working on. There is always going to be descent in every group of players but in the end its only a game. Just don't let the mouth breather's get you down.
Keep em rolling!

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