The idea behind this blog is very simple. It is Spring... Spring 1975 to be precise. While I was barely born at that time and I am trying to imagine how it might have been to experience the dawn of roleplaying games first hand. And that's what this blog is about.

It's also a "What if?" blog. A blog asking the question what might have happened had e.g. I stumbled upon D&D in the same way as Ken St. Andre stumbled upon it. Being fascinated and confused at the same time by a totally bewildering new genre of games. Not being able to make sense out of the initial rules. And then trying to improve them.

Ken St. Andre wrote the marvelous Tunnels & Trolls ruleset that lives until today, barely altered from its origins (at least comparing the changes of the last 35 years to what happened to the few other games out there that still exist).

This blog is describing a different scenario: What if I (with my RPG knowledge and experience of today - otherwise things would become boring and even more confusing) had stumbled upon D&D, had been confused, bewildered and fascinated by it and had started a fictional exchange of ideas with the founding fathers of the game with exactly one goal: To take their basic idea and clarify it without changing the basic structure of the game.

Thus this blog is (yet another) experiment of the OSR (old school renaissance, old school revolution, call it what you want) movement that tries to regard the origins of our beloved hobby in the context of the knowledge of today. It is a thought experiment of how the original D&D might have looked had a time traveller with more meta knowledge about RPG systems (but not necessarily specific other systems in mind) tried to revise the original D&D to a more accessible game.

Thus this blog experiment is built upon the following assumptions:
  • Although I may use my knowledge of today about game design, die probabilities and layout I also will assume that only the D&D White Box edition with the three little brown books (LBB) exist.
  • Roleplaying games are something new and exciting and I want to do the "official thing".
  • Fictious conversations with "Mr. G" (represented by what other OSR researchers have managed to find out about how D&D was played in the early days, how it is played by others and which house rules were applied, again originally and later on) will serve to change, revise or elaborate the basic rules.
  • The result will be a clone of the LBB. Just the LBB and nothing else. With the goal of clarifying the rules as far as necessary but not completely rewriting or altering them without significant reasons (of which there should be very few). The goal here is clarity and easy access. Otherwise it should be the game.
The result of the design efforts will be continuously posted on this blog. I am going to use my trusty "Adobe Indesign Typewriter" (1975 edition) to create a new ruleset with an old school feel. Format and scope will be decided during the design process and you will be able to download the most current versions from this blog. I'm hoping for much input during the design process as I sadly do not have enough time to do more than casual skimming of the various OSR forums for detailed research results. Nonetheless I will try my best ;-)