As one among the throngs of unemployed in this country—six months and ticking—in an effort to fill my day, I shuffled down to my basement last week to sort through items in storage, some of which I had literally not seen for 20 years.
Among this dusty material were my old AD&D books, all of which were in very good shape tucked into a box with other ‘80s-era RPG game systems including Toon, TMNT, Blue Max, and Villains & Vigilantes. And while I enjoyed fooling with these latter games, I spent the bulk of my time—as did my younger brother—working up new D&D characters with which we could play each Saturday at our local library with other gamers.
Piling these books into a small stack, I gathered them back up to my bedroom where I have spent the past several nights re-reading key D&D rulebooks such as the Player’s Handbook and both Monster Manuals. And in the process, I found myself truly pining for my old playing days which while geeky as hell, were also often great fun.
Perhaps unbelievably, the D&D system still exists today (unlike TSR) yet its basic gameplay rules and class systems are near-unrecognizable—and I would argue, far worse--from the old version, which while having real limitations in combat scenarios (e.g. hit/miss, no parries) was easy to learn and—provided one could find decent players--fun to explore.