Dungeons & Dragons

JOdel at aol.com JOdel at aol.com
Thu Aug 22 12:34:46 EDT 2002

<< The original D&D rules left a lot unexplained. They
gave the impression of being guidelines for people who
already knew how to play, which when we were trying to
start a campaign in Australia with no contact with
other players made for some interesting times.  >>

Austrailia was not alone in that, although I gather there was a wider pool of 
potential players cross-country on this side of the ponds. I used to play 
with the Cal-Tech D&D crowd back in the early '80s. There was a group of 
about a dozen dungeon masters who agreed on a basic set of guidelines so 
everybody's characters could play in everybody's dungeons. There was 
considerable variations between the various dungeons, too.

But everybody who wasn't a part of this crowd who played D&D generally agreed 
that the Cal-Tech dungeons were seriously WEIRD.

D&D had a fairly big impact on the fantasy novels that were published over 
the following 20 years. Quite a few (mostly new) authors seem to have thought 
that structuring a novel in the basic format of a D&D session (i.e., VERY 
episodic and almost at random) was how to write one. Some of them weren't 
actually bad, but most seemed awfully contrived. The better writers outgrew 
that stage pretty quickly. 

I've always suspected that D&D was how a number of them got interested in 
fantasy in the first place. 
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