Sunday, February 6, 2011


It's been quite a month since I decided to get serious about this blog.  Really, I had no idea where what I was doing, and where I was heading. 

I stumbled into the OSR blogosphere when, back in March or so of 2010, WotC posted about about a D&D show over at The Escapist called I Hit It With My Axe.  I loved the show and the fun group of players.  Especially Frankie.  Luckily the guy who ran the show also had a blog. 

Zak's writing on Playing D&D With Porn Stars was never boring and quite insightful.  The titalation factor of the show and blog was just a veneer hiding actual substance.  Imagine that.  And over at the margins, he linked to other gaming blogs. 

Jeff's Gameblog  was always great, and Alexis's mapping work over at The Tao of D&D spurred me to print out some hex paper and start drawing maps again in that time honored fashion.  There were others.  Inspired, I started up this blog.

The big problem was that they were all doing something that I was not - playing some form of earlier D&D.  I was plugging away with 4e.  I had a good group and a good campaign going - but I've never been in love with the system.  Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons is good for what it does - creating exciting and dynamic battles.  But in 30 years of gaming, it's never been the battles I remember.  It is the character interactions.  It is the role-playing.  It is the descriptive voices and the furrowed brows at having to make tough decisions. 

A complicated game of chess didn't inspire me to write a blog at all.  I kept on reading the OSR blogs though.  It never made sense to me why I kept on reading about a game that I didn't play and had no interest in playing.

Early January saw me taking out the old musty AD&D books.  I didn't like handling them.  Something about the dust on them made my fingers itch.  But I just wanted to take a peek.  I started reading about alignment languages in the Player's Handbook.  It got me thinking and having no one to talk to about it, I just kind of wrote myself a note and published it on the blog. 

Strangely enough, a guy named Jayson answered, and we had a little exchange.

My brain exploded.


I've thought about D&D every day since - and have written about it too.  Over the years, I've had countless web sites and blogs.  No subject I'd write about would hold my interest for very long.  And certainly, no one bothered to read them at all.

Now I find myself with the inability to keep quite about a subject - and I'm attached to a community of people who actually will take the time to listen to what I say.  It's a bit overwhelming.  I was in West Texas in my AD&D years.  Only a handful of us knew anything about D&D - and we had to be quiet about it.  Satan was in those dice, you know.

People's responses have been very encouraging. I even got an award from Tim at Gothridge Manor. Talk about an ego boost.

Now it feels like I've been blogging about OSR forever - in a good way.  I'm excited.  I get to introduce my son the the game I enjoyed so much as a kid - and not just a modern glossy version with no soul.  People seem to enjoy hearing about his ride, too.

My mind reals with possibilities.  There is a tiny anime and comic convention coming to our public library next weekend - with some kind of big names there.  I'm thinking of crashing the gates with Labyrinth Lord.  All conventions need RPGs, right?  And there is that Islet Project that  Paul at Quickly, Quietly, Carefully made me get interested in.  Forced me.  At gun point.  I need more hex paper.  Not to mention my own campaign that I'm working on.  I'm getting quite busy.

So you of the OSR blogging community, and you readers too, thanks for helping my find my roots again.  I really feel like I have come back home.

- Ark


  1. Thanks for blogging, it's a cool one you have here. Your take on things is a refreshing one, and it's fun to hear about your interactions with your son and the edition/generation gap.

  2. My brain exploded.

    You must help us to spread this dangerous infection... Erm, I mean 'share your innocent joy at rediscovering an old friend of a game'. Yes, that's it.

    LL at your local anime+comic con could be good.

    Note: the OSR is not in any way at all a deadly plot of the Fungi from Yuggoth who seek vengeance on the unsuspecting peoples of Earth. ("Downgrade our homeworld to lesser planet will ya?")

  3. Cool beans. Here's to more fun blogging.

  4. @Anon - hey thanks. i feel that I'm just plodding in 30 years of previous footsteps when I write about D&D, but I'm enjoying it and glad other people do to.

    @Chris - OSR is a deadly plot! At least, something is growing on those old AD&D books that make my fingers itch.

    Yanno, when 4e came out, I hopped from bookstore to bookstore, attending 'play' events and DMing the heck out of 4e for newbies, even if I wasn't exactly supposed to do so.

    I figure I can do the same thing for LL. I just need to find places that won't kick me out (too fast) for running commando style D&D games. Do you think they will get upset if I yell "NATURAL FRIKKIN' TWENTY!" in a library?

    @Whisk - Yes - cheers! :clink:

    - Ark