In which read the disclaimers

Warntsr2101ing: Geek content substantially higher than normal.

I genuinely consider getting rid of my old-school D&D rulebooks to be one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my adult life.  I’m serious, here: I experience active regret about getting rid of my first and second edition D&D rulebooks at least three or four times a year, and sooner or later I’m gonna break down and just go find used editions somewhere and pretend I never got rid of them.  I still have my original Dungeons and Dragons boxed sets (all the BECMI books, from the red “Basic” set through the gold “Immortals” box) although I don’t have the boxes anymore. I know exactly where they are in the house and I’ll never get rid of them.  But I never really played basic D&D, whereas I spent most of high school and college playing 2nd edition.  I’m such a 2nd edition nerd that I’m convinced the only reason I’m any good at adding and subtracting negative numbers is because of THAC0.

Also, I still think THAC0 was a good idea, to the point where I’ll fight you if you say otherwise.  I’ve played a few games of D&D under the 3rd or 3.5 edition rules, and for some reason I could never wrap my head around how anything worked under the new rules.  I bought the full set of core rulebooks when 4th edition launched a few years ago, read through them once, and put them away, because 4th edition was a videogame-saturated horror and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Point is, when I left college I knew I was moving somewhere where I wouldn’t be playing anymore, and in a weird fit of altruism where I wanted the books to be with people who would use them more often, I either gave them away or sold them to the guys in my gaming group.  Never shoulda done it.

(Hell, I may just have to go to The Griffon tomorrow.  They carry used rulebooks.  I might get lucky.)

(Also, have I said this?  Grond, one of the two main characters of The Benevolence Archives, was originally one of my D&D characters.)

I downloaded the .pdf of– what the hell are they calling it?– the new basic rules for the newest, we’re-not-gonna-call-it-the-fifth-edition version of D&D.  The .pdf is free; their “starter set” is, I think, in stores now, and the traditional hardcover books are gonna trickle out over the next few months– no jump straight to the three-hardcover box set like the 4th edition did.

(Note that I still have my 3.5 and 4th edition rulebooks– the ones I hate.  Just not the rules for the game I played.)

Anyway, this is a really long lead-in for a really short observation: based on what I read in the .pdf, they’ve gone a long way to strip the obnoxious video-game and wargaming elements out of the game, which was my biggest problem with the 4th edition.  I no longer feel like it’s required to use a mat and miniatures with the rules.  I’m a purist, remember; I’ll draw out a map on graph paper if necessary as I play, but I’ll be damned if I’m counting hexes to decide if something’s in range or not, and the positioning rules were a God damned sin against man and nature.  Fuck did I hate 4th edition.

Right, got distracted: I think I like how this game looks like it plays.  I know at least one person who has already expressed some interest in running through the adventure that comes with the starter set, and it looks like only one person has to actually buy that to run through everything.  I may have to go ahead and join.  I miss playing D&D every now and again, as I said, and I miss enjoying D&D rather more often than that.  Finding the time is always tricky, but I think in this case it might be worth it.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

3 thoughts on “In which read the disclaimers

  1. Oh cool. If 5th Ed isn’t a nightmarish sack of crap I might even go buy a copy. I haven’t felt like trawling eBay for a 2nd ed copy, and it’s not the same using pdfs. Hope it’s as good as it looks


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