'Outdoor Survival' arrived!

After coming home after my conference week I was surprised with a nice package from the United States containing "Outdoor Survival" in decent shape. Thus I am now complete to resume my OD&D research and quickly progress with 'The Fantasy Game'.

I must admit that - while I still have not read much more of OD&D - I am totally suprised by how much game already was available in those early days. You had the (more or less complete) OD&D rules that provided food for an unlimited number of levels of gameplay (once you manage to get a grasp on them), you had Chainmail to handle everything from mass battles over jousting to siege battles and you even had Outdoor Survival with wilderness and survival rules. Naturally everything was loosely coupled at best but since gamers in those days seem to have been accustomed to making things up, the set of tools available to early "fantasy wargaming enthusiasts" really is amazing.
Compare this to many new rules systems and nowadays you have to buy a much larger set of supplements to get the same depths - at least in quite a number of cases. Compare it to intermediate xD&D editions and the effort was even larger.
So here I am itching to continue my research - races are next. Progress with the rules also is continuing at a decent pace, so that I soon will be able to publish an initial version of the sections so far written for 'The Fantasy Game'. As for 'Outdoor Survival' I plan to include the interesting and relevant sections from it in TFG. Additionally I will provide a new hex map inspired by 'Outdoor Survival' but created with Hexographer for download with 'The Fantasy Game'. Once TFG is finished I also might consider a deluxe boxed edition that will include that full color map, we'll see.
Read ya soon!

1 comment:

  1. I too recently got a copy of Outdoor Survival at a thrift store. Its a good game into itself, and comes with a grate primer for wilderness survival - the sort of stuff you'll find in a boys scout manual. I'm finding (at BoardgameGeek.com) that there is still a lot of love for the game, and people are still making rule variants for it.

    Oddly enough, Outdoor Survival is unessential to playing OD&D. The pamphlets only recommends the game for the use of its game board (where ranger stations counts as towns, and catch-basins as castles), but not its rules. Although, refs are free to make house-rules regarding food & water, and overland travail, using the Outdoor Survival rules, or some variant. Although there was a huge market with hex-and-counter wargames at that time, the Outdoor Survival map was the easiest to find and to work with. In truth, players back then used what was really available.

    I should note, that D&D made the game unintentionally popular, and allowed it to be produced well into the 80s. Its not stated in the rules, but each hex is 4 miles long, and each turn is one day long (naturally, refs can adjust these figures, when using it for their RPGs).