Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Whence class level titles?

Here's a random encounter subtable from Hints for D&D Judges (Joe Fischer, Best of Dragon 1980):

Sub-Table 1
1 Heroes
2 Thaumaturgists
3 Swashbucklers
4 Magicians
5 Evil Priests
6 Myrmidons
7 Enchanters
8 Superheroes
9 Sorcerers
10 Lords
11 Wizards
12 Evil High Priests

Which got me wondering, whatever happened to class level titles?

None of what I would consider the "bigger" retro-clones, SW, LL, nor OSRIC, saw fit to include them. I don't believe that was a copyright omission, as I'm pretty sure no one can copyright a word like "Thaumaturgist", even in the context of a 5th level Magic User.

Original D&D didn't even number levels originally - there was no such thing as a "5th level" Magic User , according to Little Brown Book #1 pg. 16. Yet by 2nd Edition AD&D, 1989, the class level title was gone completely, all that flavor gone, reduced to a sterile number. Something that seems to have been, for a good while, as integral and iconic a part of the game as AC, hit points, and alignment was lost to the mists of time after a scant 15 years of use.

What happened?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

132 Roman Soldiers!

Inside of a lot of comic books,way  back when, were these enticing ads depicting battlefields full of struggling soldiers, cavalry, tanks, airplanes, battleships, etc. And all for just a few bucks, something a 70's/80's kid on a meager allowance could afford!

I ordered several packs of these over the years. At first, I can remember them being sort of underwhelming; the were sort of thin or flat, nearly two-dimensional, compared to the typical barrel-chested, dimestore, olive-drab army man. But they sort of grew on you - it was easy to line up impressive ranks of them across from you friend's battle lines.

A few years back I traveled back home to FL to visit my aging grandparents. In the spare room I slept in I discovered a single yellow roman legionnaire inside a long-unused ashtray, a strangely poignant memento of long childhood summers lost to time. Last spring I traveled there again, this time, sadly, for a funeral, and discovered another gladius-wielding bravo hidden near the couch I slept on.

I have to wonder how many more of those brave fellows are still hiding in my grandparents' soon-to-be empty house, having waited so patiently in ambush these last thirty-odd years?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Still waiting on a retro-clone...

For this awesome game.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Armory AD&D character record sheets

Anyone else remember these thick pads of character sheets? "50 Sheets to a pack!" as the cover proclaims. That was almost enough to get the group through Temple of Elemental Evil. As dense and cluttered as these sheets are, there is no contesting their thoroughness, nor their inestimable old-school charm.

Here's a link to a .pdf version of the sheet kindly cleaned up and reconstructed by a fan over on Dragonsfoot.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Nostalgia Overload

Check out the blog 2 Warps to Neptune for some classic pics of young folks in the 70-80's playing D&D. Its great stuff, and there's some good info on the infamous Summer Adventure Camp from days of yore.

These pics are fun to blow up and look at closely for all the little details - snacks, books, clothes, etc, you probably haven't seen much of since the early 80's.

See lots more at the blog here!

The whole blog in general is pretty cool, actually.


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