Thursday, August 21, 2008


Welcome to the Society of Torch, Pole and Rope.

Perhaps you know the type: grungy, ill-kempt adventurers who down ale while waiting for a mysterious stranger to appear at the local tavern, bearing tales of vast treasures and ancient magic lying deep under the ground. The kind of folks you’d rather see headed out of your local hamlet than into it. That is, unless you run the local trading post and have a shipment of rope and 10’ poles you’d like to unload.

Perhaps you yourself may count yourself amongst this type of person, even if it’s only once every two weeks and the tavern looks more like a modern kitchen, dining room or basement. I know that I certainly do.

If you’ve found this blog, chances are you’ve been wandering the web and taking a peek at similar sites. If that’s the case, you may have noticed a trend. It seems a lot of people have been looking back at not only their own gaming roots, but the roots of the hobby in general. There’s a sea-change occurring in the gaming community. In the wake of the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, many older gamers are beginning to wonder what exactly happened to the game that they once knew. A movement is developing out there to try and preserve the origin, playing-style and general feel of what this game once was.

As with any movement, there are people on both sides of the fence, and quite a few mugwumps straddling it as well. The various role-playing forums have been both the halls of debate and the bloody battlefields of flame wars when it comes to “old school,” “retro,” “classic,” etc. gaming. Thanks to the web, folks have begun disseminating copies of home-brew or OGL clone titles that seek to recapture those Saturday afternoons of the 1970’s and 80’s. The 4th edition of D&D has it staunch supporters who champion the new edition, as well as opponents who display a form of fierce opposition unseen since the days of B.A.D.D.

As usual, I’ve come a bit late to the party. There are many fine blogs and forums out there already dedicated to chronicling this return to the older editions, many be people who who’ve kept a closer eye on the development of the hobby than I have. You’ll see some of those listed over there on the side of the page. What I hope to accomplish here is to bring my own perspective to the table. A perspective which is by no means unique, but may be shared by others out there.

I don’t have a tidy definition for that perspective. I just have my own experiences and an idea of what I like to see and do when it comes to the gaming table. Perhaps this blog will help focus that perspective a bit finer, and if anyone gets something out of it in the bargain, so much the better.

(*saha: traditional greeting between travelers on the roads of R'Nis.)

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