I don’t play, but I like to watch.

I have been inspired by a lot of the OSR (Old School Revolution) blogs about enjoying the venerable game of Dungeons and Dragons. I love to go surfing for new maps, stocked and unstocked, as well as adventure reports and ruminations on the functionality of various rules.

I have enjoyed the free content and the inspiring discussions. This blog is initially my way to give back.

I don’t play Dungeons and Dragons.

I have played B/X and houseruled it extensively. I have spent years kicking around in 3E and 3.5. I totally skipped AD&D, and I have zero interest in 4E. I have not played the clones or new games inspired by old school D&D.

I have no interest in edition wars. I believe role playing games are like poetry; use the tool that hinders you least. Writing with a pen is not superior to writing with a keyboard. However, tools, like languages, shift the way you think. There are ideas you can express in Spanish that you’d struggle with in English; for multi-lingual people, when you speak in a different language, your tone shifts, your body language, your volume, your expression. And that’s how it is with role playing games, too.

There are ideas you can express in B/X that you could not get across as well in 3E. Dungeons and Dragons did not fit my voice at all–finding the old Hogshead Warhammer Fantasy game was a tremendous relief to me as I could make my stories work in a way that D&D just couldn’t. Now, even that era is in the past.

Now, my focus is on Masks, a home-built system with years and years of playtesting, development, and adaptation of my favorite stuff from a variety of other games. I play about every other Friday night for about five hours, and approximately once a month have an all-day Saturday effort. I play in a fantasy setting, and also in a modern supernatural investigation/superpower setting–good times. However, at least initially, that’s not what I’m here to do. If you want to know more, check out my fledgeling online presence for Edge City, my “playing catch” version of my fantasy setting in the Brodlian Freeholds (the adventure writeups are a hoot), and the not-yet-activated spinoff quest to find the Sleeping Goddess.

I plan to post maps, stock them, provide random tools, a background setting, new magic, monsters, and all sorts of stuff that is of use to the B/X OSR community. The world at large is not yet interested in the massive books I’m producing that detail my very favorite way to play this RPG thing. Maybe someday it will be. But for now?

Thanks, guys. Really. I’m looking at you, Dyson Logos, and Blackrazor, and lapsus calumni, and Risus Monkey, and Jeff’s Gameblog, and Dave’s Mapper, and Inkwell Ideas, and so on. The very first blog to pull me into this blogosphere and alert me to its existence was the Alexandrian, the work of Justin Alexander. My thanks.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. And the best thanks bring with them tangible reward. So, off we go.

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2 Responses to I don’t play, but I like to watch.

  1. JB says:

    Does this mean that Masks is your own pseudo-clone of B/X? Or a campaign setting for B/X (that includes necromantic dwarves)? Or is it its own RPG?

    I would love to see a B/X campaign setting book published, and wouldn’t mind collaborating on such a venture. I want to know MORE. And since you seem intent on “giving back” anyway, you might consider a series of posts on the subject.

    Cheers!
    : )

  2. fictivite says:

    Masks is foundationally based on White Wolf “Aberrant” as a starting point–but I couldn’t make Batman, and I couldn’t handle the “handwavium” that disempowered the players. So I have spent years working on it.

    I have an EXTENSIVE modern/super power setting with a rule book over 500 pages long, but I’ve recently turned my efforts to doing a fantasy version.

    While it is in development, I got to a good starting point and will be filling it out to print at the end of the year for my game group. If you want to look at it, it’s about 172 pages long, and can be found here.

    http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/fantasy-masks/wikis/character-generation

    I do plan to work on some setting and background for B/X, and some of it will cross over with my Masks setting in the Brodlian Freeholds.

    The unfortunate thing (for crossover purposes) is that the heart of my Masks system is the skill system, and that’s antithetical to the OSR philosophy. We’ll both end up with great games, most likely. But my style and thinking for my game of choice will never line up with the OSR primary focus. I love the OSR reflection on rules, and production of cool magic and dungeons and etc. But I don’t want to use that rule style.

    If you would like to look Masks over and give me feedback, I’d be delighted to hear it! As for collaboration, I think detailing a setting is lots of fun, I’m all for it. I have some upcoming plans for handling deities in B/X a little differently… My email is kaprou@hotmail.com.

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