Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dragons at Dawn - some impressions

I just recently ordered the biggest pile of games from Lulu yet. This time it was no less than three issues of the excellent periodical Fight On! magazine, and some other goodness. One of these other books was Dragons at Dawn.

For those of you who have missed it, this is an attempt to collate all the bits of information on how the earliest rpg sessions worked. Due to some luck with the find of an actual manuscript, postings on the web and information from the players of the first campaign, this is as close as we will get to the rules used by Dave Arneson when starting Blackmoor. This is as old school as it gets, the very roots of our hobby.

The executive summary is simple. Get this if you are interested in the history of the hobby! Also, get it if you play D&D and are interested in rules tweaking and design.

Many small details in these rules makes me ponder their implications, and many times I am amazed by how some ways of handle things reminds me of other games which have no relation to the players or designer of these rules.

I really wish that someone could make the book First Fantasy Campaign, published by Judges Guild, available legally in pdf format. I have had the opportunity to browse that august volume, but now it would be fun to see how Dragons at Dawn author D.H. Boggs interpretation compare to how things are represented there. Naturally there are lot of gaps in these rules. We have documentation of rules for subduing dragons, but it makes you wonder if those rules just happens to have survived, or if that was a common occurrence.

Within the near future I will probably post a short series of posts about Dragons at Dawn, and specific reactions to some parts of the rules.

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