Wednesday, January 23, 2013

50 Days Till GaryCon! Yesterday, Today and B1.

By now everyone has heard about, yes?

Like most everyone else in the OSR that has heard, I also grabbed a free copy of Module B1 In Search of the Unknown. I never had a copy of the original when I started playing D&D. Or if I did it has been long lost and forgotten. But I also have a PDF copy of B3 Palace of the Silver Princess, that I got for free from Wizards of the Coast back when they offered it on their site, and I noticed something interesting about the two modules. They have a lot of instances where they expect the GM to fill in the details of the module themselves.

This is one of those things that I believe separate the OSR from modern games. In the OSR, there is a pretty big 'do-it-yourself' mentality when it comes to gaming, and especially GMing. The idea that a Dungeon Master could take a published module and stock it with monsters, traps and treasures in a completely different manner from another GM is one that seems to call to the old-school gamer and horrify the new generation. For those of us that started in the 70s and 80s it was our game. By that I mean that regardless of the rules, published modules and magazine articles, in the end you were the one responsible for creating the world you ran and/or played in. No rules on how to resolve a particular issue? Make something up. The module you purchased isn't set in your campaign setting? Move it to your campaign and change a few words to make it fit. Party is too high level for the adventure, beef up the monsters for a greater challenge.

Nowadays, too many gamers want something 'official' before they will use it. Creativity has been stifled in the name of uniformity. Somehow, gamers have become afraid of the companies that produce their favorite games rather than seeing them as a provider of resources for their own home game. Any challenge must first be approved by the Powers That Be lest it force the new gamer to think and grow. Players have gone from recalling the time they traveled to the Barrier Peaks to ticking adventures of a to-do list so they can reach the next level and make sure it's been reported in the proper online database.

Pfft. I'm a gamer. I game to have fun. I game to be challenged and to offer challenges myself. To think. To learn. To grow. Give me something I'm not expecting. Give me something me and the other gamers can laugh about for years to come.

I'm in search of the unknown. Give me that.

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