Tuesday, October 11, 2016

An Exercise for the Reader

This is reaching back a bit into the OSR's past, but I highly recommend the following short read for potential Crypt Keepers. It's written by Matt Finch (Swords &Wizardry's creator) and is a handy way to wrap your head around how to approach games like C&T.

A Quick Primer to Old School Gaming


  1. I made a mistake early in my gaming career. I started with Holmes but then went directly to Advanced D&D and therefore missed out on the exuberant generosity on Moldvay Basic until recently.

    Even though AD&D didn't have feats and such, it was very much of the "if you don't have it on your character sheet, you just can't do it" board game style school of gaming. IIRC in AD&D there was a specific Ranger background option that gave you the ability to light fires. Therefore if you don't have it, you can't light a fire. Moldvay on the other hand defaults all characters to being awesome. By default any character can simply be declared to be able to ride a horse, even fight from horseback, swim, crew or command a ship, etc, etc. Finally there's a rule at TTR back that says any character can try anything not covered by the rules by rolling a characteristic or less on D20.

    In real history I picked up a copy of RuneQuest and sold all my AD&D books, and many of my contacts with D&D since have confirmed the rules-as-permission ethos that unfortunately pervades that part of gaming culture. But in the last 5 or 6 years I've been playing occasional games of C&C and other ISR games and enjoying the old school ethos.

    1. Sweet, nourishing B/X D&D. I loved RQ back in the day, running a Pavis/Big Rubble game for a fair while. RQ/BRP does tend to granularize skills and such a bit, which can inhibit the "just try it" attitude.