Sunday, 22 April 2012

We All Grew Up On a Square Planet

So yeah, the wife and I just fell over laughing the other night trying to read aloud Zak's Helm-of-Opposite-Alignment smashup of that much-celebrated indie game, whose alignment is apparently opposite to "Hakim Bey's Ledjinndery Subventures."

But I want to point out that Zak's procedure:

1. Take an RPG product you find profoundly uninspiring
2. Turn to the first page
3. Going sentence by sentence, write the exact opposite until you have a whole game.

sounded very familiar. Because when the guy who wrote this in 1975:
If the time ever comes when all aspects of fantasy are covered and the vast majority of its players agree on how the game should be played, DandD will have become staid and boring indeed. Sorry, but I don't believe that there is anything desirable in having various campaigns playing similarly to one another. DandD is supposed to offer a challenge to the imagination and to do so in many ways.
Applied rule 3 to come up with this in 1978:
 Returning again to the framework aspect of ADVANCED DUNGEONS 8 DRAGONS, what is aimed at is a "universe" into which similar campaigns and parallel worlds can be placed. With certain uniformity of systems and "laws", players will be able to move from one campaign to another and know at least the elemental principles which govern the new milieu, for all milieux will have certain (but not necessarily the same) laws in common. Character races and classes will be nearly the same. Character ability scores will have the identical meaning - or nearly so. Magic spells will function in a certain manner regardless of which world the player is functioning in. Magic devices will certainly vary, but their principles will be similar. This uniformity will help not only players, it will enable DMs to carry on a meaningful dialogue and exchange of useful information. It might also eventually lead to grand tournaments wherein persons from any part of the U.S., or the world for that matter, can compete for accolades.
He made sure that every single edition of D&D  from then on would come from that  Bizarro universe.


  1. The alleged idea was that AD&D would be the standardized game and straight D&D would be the "whatever floats your boat" game.

    Is my understanding.

    1. But Basic turned out differently ... more like the training-wheels system. I guess they failed to imagine how you could indefinitely monetize "do whatever you want."