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Past glories

What really amuses me about this review (warning: 100K GIF file) is how astoundingly accurate it is. I mean, yeah:

In general, the concept and imagination involved is stunning. However, much more work, refinement, and especially regulation and simplification is necessary before the game is managable. The scope is just too grand, while the referee is expected to do too much in relation to the players.

That’s the original three booklets in a nutshell.


  1. Heck, I think that’s a pretty good description of the Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide, as well – especially as regards “simplification.”

    When you consider that the subset of the AD&D rules /my/ group actually used was about as large as the entire ruleset of Tunnels & Trolls… And we were, although young, fairly seasoned.

    But put in the larger perspective of the review as a whole, AD&D certainly was a huge step forward. Anyone capable of meandering their way between the covers was certainly able to run a basic adventure, especially if their players were docile and they hid all the rolls behind their hand. At least, that’s what I’d imagine – when my groups evolved into docility, we also evolved into games besides AD&D.

  2. Oh, yeah. I think it’s really interesting that the reviewer almost entirely dismisses the concept that players would play in the same room. And here, decades later, we’ve got Neverwinter Nights.

  3. Yeah! The remote play concept in particular grabbed me.

  4. Rob MacDougall Rob MacDougall

    Wow! How did you run across this? Do you mind if I post a link to this at The Forge? I’ve been active on some of their D&D history threads.


    ps Has LiveJournal been down for the last day or so, or is it just me?

  5. I have my ways. Sure, go ahead, post on the Forge — seems right up their alley, actually.

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