Friday, 31 January 2014

At 40 Years Old, Dungeons & Dragons Still Matters - Boing Boing

Ethan Gilsdorf looks back on four decades of pen-and-paper role-playing tradition:
At 40 Years Old, Dungeons & Dragons Still Matters - Boing Boing

"We need D&D and role-playing more than ever. If for no other reason than to help us take back our creativity, our storytelling mojo, from the things that take them from us: Hollywood, publishing, even social media."

Monday, 27 January 2014

Dungeons & Dragons 40th Anniversary

Yesterday was D&D's 40th anniversary. It was also Auckland (Orcland) Anniversary Day here in New Zealand. To celebrate we had a game last night. In the true spirit of D&D it was an epic dungeon crawl - run with an alternate combat system. Song of Blades and Heroes! The pictures below don't tell half the fun. It was certainly a memorable event.

However, the unexpected surprise came earlier in the day (when I was supposed to be setting up). The neighbor invited the kids and I over for a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Our kids have been playing together and it's becoming a regular family activity. My dwarf died last session so I rolled up a new character. Trustworthy Pete, a pirate (thief) adventurer. How many games can you roll up a character and be ready to play in a few minutes time? D&D B/X for the win!

So, it was a fun-filled afternoon travelling to an island temple (built on an active volcano), dealing with some evil Red-Monks, a lava-fueled temple statue/guardian, a weird-hat-wearing-high-priest and his pet salamander, while risking life and limb for a dwarven relic. Upon returning the sacred statue to the dwarves, we also negotiated the return of (the wrongly abducted) elven hostages. All in good humour and the best possible taste.

Then later in the evening, friends gathered for a dungeon bash of legendary proportions!

Happy Birthday D&D! What a day!

Ok, so we never had anything this extensive thirty odd years ago...

...but doesn't it look fantastic! The Dungeons of Vorstmajeva.

Mildred and her amazons arrive, singing tales of woe!

The silent entrance of the legion of the damned.

Spatz and his headhunting savage orcs!

The heroes? Drunkards more like!

There was revelry by night!

Celtic nudists.

The celts examine a holy statue, as the heroes in the next corridor walk on by one.

A magic mouth fortells doom for the orcs. Grunash and Scumbag tear it from the wall.

Chaos on the hoof. Moooove out!

Blair, Brian, Bobby, Lewis, Mark and Phil. 

Door jam!

The undead advance upon the unsuspecting amazons!

Foul ratmen scurry down a side passage.

Soidfelhj, the elf ranger, finds a girdle. Alas, these statues stay inert.

Helga knocks down a skeleton warrior.

Brunhilda joins Helga in the fray.

A battle ensues between the shield maidens and skeletons.

The minotaur's bovine brain wrestles with concept of locked door.

Over acting.

A chest!

Another chest!

A seductive sorceress searches sultry skull mountain... and finds nothing!

"Mooo!" Another door jam!

Chaos creeps.

It ain't pretty.

"Free at last! Mooo!"

Krom is not holding a lantern. Neither is Dweedle.

Elf ranger down!

Dwarven Forgery.

Death knights gnash their teeth .

Maybe we should have left the chest behind?

The knight of Chaos takes exception to statue fiddling.

Party loot? Loot and party!

Soidfelhj leaps to his feet, gutting the savage orc. Man sickle dies. The elf blows his horn.

"Mooo!" Soidfelhj, caught by surprise, is cleft in twain. His horn is sundered. As is the girdle!

Teleporter in full effect. A real game changer, the teleporter room proves popular.

Dungeon denizens deal deadly damage. Two leaders go head to head; Spatz and Sir Alan Scruntley.

The ratmen scuttle forth.

A meeting of old foes!

Grimgold is victorious!

A less than savoury character. Hey, the door works fine!

After trying to take the battered and miserable magic mouth downstairs, the orcs return through the secret door to escape back upstairs (from whence they came). 

An unexpected journey. The orcs were the first to activate the teleporter. Followed soon after by Skuaac, Lord of Chaos.

Another death in The Dungeons of Vorstmajeva.

Left: Celt warrior flies through the revolving statue door. Right: A fight over the pearl necklace.

"Mooooo! More milk for the Milk God!"

Snickety snak. Dirty rats.

"And you call me savage?"

"Hey, he went through here!"

Things begin to heat up.

The Dungeons of Vorstmajeva, enter if you dare!

"Zap! Fizzle! Blast!"

"More company? Hmmm, not what I was expecting!"

"Oh, this is getting ridiculous!"

Falderne the Wise contemplates retreat.

Hugo the Pious and Fred Legless decide to rest a while and drink to their health.

The legend of Vorstmajeva will wait for another time...