Sunday, May 3, 2009

Where to begin?

What is Trevail? What do I want it to be? Every author asks these questions of himself as he sits down, pen in hand. I want Trevail to be a world that mirrors the aspects of fantasy that I have always found most interesting, and it will be drawn from many sources.

First off, my D&D is an older version of it. I started by playing Classic D&D by way of the Tom Moldvay Basic rules way back in...oh, '81 or so. Yes, I moved on to AD&D, then Second Edition. I never played 3e as a PnP game, but have been exposed to it via the videogame Neverwinter Nights. I've found that the game has grown so bloated and rules-heavy that I hardly recognize it anymore. Sure, there is a multitude of choices and endless character customization for the players, but it is too much for me - not the game I learned to play. As for the new 4e D&D? Well, that I really don't recognize as D&D anymore. Not the D&D that Gry Gygax wrote, anyway. When my children got old enough to show interest, I began to think about how to play with them. What needed to be simplified or otherwise modified so that they could understand what they were trying to do? I finally realized that the game I wanted them to play was the one I origianlly learned. It had changed, I know. The "Classic" rules had been revamped by Frank Mentzer: five new box sets had been released while I was playing AD&D, then merged into the Rules Cyclopedia. That tome was what I chose to play as I move forward. At least it will provide a place to start, and I will freely modify it to be the game I ultimately want to play. I think that is what D&D is all about. My world, my rules, my imagination at work.


  1. I like the D&D Rules Cyclopedia and Five Box D&D. Back in the day, the DM who taught me to play used AD&D 1e for everything but combat. His combat and movement system was a modified version of RC/FB D&D. I did not realize this until years later. It was never written down. I really liked his system, but never cared for the "Descending" AC System. That big chart. Ugh! The use of this System is the one thing that puts me off Labyrinth Lord.

    I like Swords and Wizardry White Box for its simplicity and Ascending AC System. The only thing I don't like is the combat movement system. I think I would use the one in the Rules Cyclopedia. Otherwise, it is a great set of rules to retro-clone other genres. Top Secret anyone?

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read a bit here and leave a comment! There's no doubt that Ascending AC is a simple system that makes sense and is easy to learn/follow. Just lift it form S&W and drop it into your Five Box game. It's certainly easy enough to change on the fly (19 - Descending AC = Ascending AC). Done!

    I certainly agree with the sentiment WhiteBox is the system of choice if one is making a new genre game. You'll see more discussion of that in other posts here, and my Shadowrun project at