The Evil DM

The Evil DM
The Evil DM

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 16 - Do you remember your first edition war? Did you win?

The first edition war I remember was between Original D&D (OD&D) and Advanced D&D (AD&D or 1st Edition). I remember how many considered Gary Gygax evil incarnate for what he did to the game. I tended to side with that view. I did not like the changes Gary Gygax was pushing. I am amazed at how people now revere someone I revile for figuratively stabbing Dave Arneson in the back.

The popularity of AD&D eclipsed OD&D. Even though I ran AD&D games, I ran a much looser game, more in the spirit of OD&D. In the end, I say I lost the war. OD&D tended to foster player-vs.-player conflict. I miss the old days where a player would play an assassin masquerading as a thief so he could join the party only to kill them for the loot.

When I run a game today, I ask the players for their character name, race, class, and gender. I used to ask players to introduce their character and describe to the party what race, class, and gender they appear to be. That is a very subtle difference. You never knew who or what was really in the party.

A good assassin could tell the rest of the party he was going to do a reconnaissance of the enemy. In reality, the assassin is not only doing a reconnaissance but also sneaking in and applying poison to the enemy's weapons. That way when the character dies from the poison on the blade the assassin gets the experience points but the party assumes the enemy/monsters just had poisoned weapons and they blame the DM.