B/X D&D and the education of a new gamer

When we traveled over the Altamont to visit family and friends in Modesto over Memorial Day weekend, I brought my 9-year-old goddaughter a present: her very own copy of the 1980 Moldvay Basic D&D rulebook.  She played D&D for the first time last autumn with  her folks, Mrs. Gnombient and I.  I gave her a set of multicolored polyhedral dice as part of her birthday present that autumn, and had meant to get her a rulebook but wasn’t on the ball.  Fast forward to a couple months ago: we went out to visit, and she showed up at the door with her dice in hand.  I told her that the next time we visited, I’d bring her a book to go with the dice.  Moldvay Basic was the game I started with as an 8-year-old in 1983, and I figured that since it worked well for me, it would also be a good choice for her — a bit more structured than White Box, well edited, plenty of examples of play, still streamlined and rules-light and plenty tweakable.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to actually play this last time out, but I also gave her some more dice and showed her how to ink them with crayons.

This has gotten me revisiting the B/X rules again, along with its simulacrum Labyrinth Lord.  I last played B/X one or two years ago in BB’s sadly-short-lived World of Stronghold campaign and had a great time.  Now it seems I’m going to be running B/X out in the Valley on a semi-regular basis, so I’ll be shifting gears from White Box.  I’ll also be taking a look at Labyrinth Lord; I’ve read about the differences between LL and B/X, and will defer to the original in such cases.  An extra perk about Labyrinth Lord is that I can practice my foreign-language reading too, thanks to Herr der Labyrinthe and Il Signore dei Labirinti…  I’ll also still be thinking about Zhontaar as a setting; “Valley” adventures will be set on a Zhontaari world, as are my home White Box games.  I haven’t decided yet about whether or not to shift the home game to B/X, we’ll see…


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