Back to the Box? OD&D revisited

In honor of the imminent 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, I’ve decided that I’m going to run White Box OD&D (the real thing, not Swords & Wizardry) for the Ink Spell crowd.  To to that end, I’ve been reviewing the Little Brown Books, lurking a bit more at ODD74, and browsing through a few OD&D-centric blogs (Talysman’s Nine and Thirty Kingdoms has been particularly inspirational.) It has been a real pleasure to revisit these rules.  When I was first bitten by the OD&D bug back in 2008, I was thrilled and challenged by the relatively vague, open-ended rules that demanded tinkering.  That said, I’m going to try to hew fairly close to the LBBs, with additional monsters/spells/items taken from the supplements and a few borrowed/invented house rules.  I almost have my act together, and by Sunday — game day! — I’ll be ready to go.

The timing of this couldn’t be better.  For a couple months now, the spike in the number of Ink Spell players who want to run their own dungeons — and the resulting mix of the younger referees’ Monty Haul-ism (to be expected) and rash of vaguely-defined and (I suspect) completely improvised magic items — has had me wondering if it wouldn’t be a good idea for players to have separate characters for “my game” and the “other peoples’ games” so they can go wild and I don’t have to worry about missing important details when I’m not DMing (since I’m usually not there on those days…)


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