Monday, 26 August 2019

Let's read Basic D&D: Winning


Frank closes the first eight pages of Basic D&D with eight paragraphs that can be summed up as "We play games to have fun and each player "wins" by having fun."

As our Fighter-with-No-Name succeeded, "[our] character 'wins'." While dying in this adventure was likely off the table, though possible, playing can still be fun. Just make a new character. Here, I think Frank validates that early D&D was quite mortal. Dungeon Crawl Classics succeeds quite well at validating this early play style. But is Frank also providing us permission to "let go" and embrace the mortality of D&D characters at low levels? I think so.

Frank reinforces that the fun of D&D stems from succeeding, as does "winning," but no one loses, as the game does not end. The game "is a little of both" story and game. Dying can be part of a larger story. Yet, as one engages further, learning "more and more" the game will come to the forefront and using the rules "you have learned to use your imagination." 

The encounters, Frank hopes, have come to life your mind's eye. Indeed, for me, 36 years later, they still burn in my mind's eye. I have never forgotten Bargle or Aleena. Elmore and Easley brought it all to life (and in the pages ahead continue too). But maybe Frank plays the story elements of D&D down just a little bit:

[The Story] is another part of the fun in a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game.

For me the story is an equal part of any D&D game I run and the rules—or game—provide a way to frame story. The dice provide the friction to possibilities in the mind's eye. I've said to people, without the rules and the dice, "... then we are just playing pretend." In "pretend" I can affirm or deny any result, or in combat, just declare 'I hit you!' and 'You miss me!'"

We'll look at Your character next time, starting with Alignment and examining the Character Sheet, front and back.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:00 AM in d10
« August »