Saturday, July 11, 2020

House Dungeons & Dragons Systems - Some Eighties Thoughts on the Grand Game of Arneson & Gygax

Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set | RPG Item | RPGGeek

Its hitting about Eighty five or so degrees & we've been going full guns here at Casa De Fabiaschi. I want to take a bit of time to talk about our house system back in the Eighties. The house system  was a combination of a hybrid of AD&D/ Mentzer - Moldvay/Cook/Marsh B/X Dungeons & Dragons.  Why is this important because it will help to clarify my position in the OSR as well. 

Connecticut is an rpg wasteland especially the Northwestern corner of the state. Therefore anything Dungeons & Dragons or Advanced Dungeons & Dragons related that we could get our hands on through mail order or locally  as kids back in the Eighties was fair game. 

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (Second Edition) | RPG Item | RPGGeek

Why?! Because our Dungeons & Dragons game  was literally a down in the basement out of sight activity. In the Eighties the Satanic panic was in full swing. My uncle's group consisted of every outcast imaginable, math geeks, bullied kids of every nationality & ethnicity, you name it & we were there. 

1982 Dungeon Hobby Shop Catalog - Catalog - Noble Knight Games

And we played & played hard! There were times when games went on late into the night. 
 The house system  combination of a hybrid of AD&D/ Mentzer - Moldvay/Cook/Marsh B/X Dungeons & Dragons was one done outta of necessity & invention. We used our books until they were raw & ragged. But those were games back then so my personal preference still is hybrid Dungeons & Dragons. 

Ten reasons why this still works : 

  1. House rules not rulings allow the players more flexibility and allow the flow of play to continue. 
  2. A hybrid of AD&D/ Mentzer - Moldvay/Cook/Marsh B/X Dungeons & Dragons takes the burden of the system to allow the dungeon master to concentrate on the actual play. 
  3. OSR systems & clones essentially are hybrid systems & works very well with this style of play. 
  4. Modern rules & rolls allow the following of actual role playing allowing for actual campaign play. 
  5. There are infinity numbers & style of genre to bring the game to life as the players & DM like. 
  6. OSR Modules can be customized to fit the hybrid system & style of play not the other way around. 
  7. Classic modules fit & can fix the holes that crop up in hybrid play allowing for smoother flow of play. 
  8. Appendix N Sword & Sorcery fits into this campaign style & world play really well. 
  9. Hybrid games service both the classic style of play & modern sensibilities without losing the integrity of the campaign during play. 
  10. Its all Dungeons & Dragons! 

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