Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Embarrassment of Riches

I'm like a kid in a candy store (a really old kid). I am just all tore up over which system to devote my attention to. They are all awesome in their own right, and for their own reasons.

First up is D&D. Most especially Greyhawk. Like I've said, RPGs for me started with my best friend John's hand-copies of the LBBs. But, we very quickly acquired an actual xerox (it's what we called copies back then) of Greyhawk. In those days it was probably more expensive to copy those 70 pages than it would have been to order it, but we could copy it a few pages at a time. So, Greyhawk was the first D&D book that I "owned", and I spent hours studying every single page (when it wasn't with John). I love the original AD&D PHB cover, but nothing says D&D to me like the Greyhawk cover, and contents. The image of each page, taken as a whole, is burned into my brain, indelible and iconic. When I see those pages, my heart yearns for the old adventures like a hound straining at the leash.

When I found Swords & Wizardry, it was like finding D&D all over again. I really should qualify that just a bit. WhiteBox specifically gave me that feeling. It still does. When I look at the cover (the Pete Mullen piece with the giants raining pain down on a colorful little party), I get that Christmas morning thrill I got when D&D was new and each thought of it was pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming. Even though they are very nearly identical, I never get that rush from Core, for some reason.

Then there's S&W Complete. This one ties me up in knots. I want to play D&D from the D&D books, the LBBs plus Greyhawk and a smattering of Eldritch Wizardry (best Supplement name ever, bar none). I wouldn't have noticed if Blackmoor had never been published. Sorry, no disrespect intended. Just not a fan of Assassins, Monks, aquatic adventuring, or toady temples. Complete has everything I want in my D&D (plus a dash of what I don't) all between two covers.

Lastly, there is my Crucible house rules document. I'll get back to it one day. Maybe. I was going too far with it, and when I finished it wouldn't really be D&D anymore. I'm going to do a post on just what went astray with that project later this week.

Now that we understand the riches, here's the embarrassment. With the exception of Crucible, I can't focus on one of these for any meaningful amount of time because one leads me into another. I'll be studying the LBBs and find something confusing, so look in WhiteBox to see if it offers more clarity. As soon as I see that cover . . . BAM! . . . Then I start thinking about adding a class or two, so I think I'll just lift them from Complete . . . BOOM! . . . So, I'm flipping through Complete when I want to see how Greyhawk handled the Thief's progression . . . and the cycle is back at start. What a fantastic fix to find oneself in.

1 comment:

  1. Been there! My solution was to make my own house-rules hack. Been DMing it for the past few months.


    Over the past couple of weeks, the sublime Swords & Wizardry Whitebox has been calling out to me, again!