Friday, April 24, 2009

Spoke Too Soon

All right, I took a closer look at the 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide last night, and I will revise my opinion accordingly: the book's only half useless to me. The appendices are pretty handy - in addition to being able to roll up a dungeon layout or a wilderness region (with settlements!), you can randomly generate the physical appearance of a monster or the type of prostitute a character picks up. Oh, and there's an awesome Dave Trampier illustration of a dead displacer beast being eaten by wild dogs. This is the sort of thing I can get behind.

As a side note, I was telling my wife - who has never played a tabletop RPG - that I got more comments yesterday than for any previous post. She asked what it was about, so I told her. Her response:

"Wait, wasn't that a 1st edition book? So... you were talking shit about 1st edition? Even I know you don't talk shit about 1st edition!"

I still don't think I was "talking shit", but point taken.


  1. Game. Set. Match.

    Bliz Hates, Man Kills.

    Colon Parentheses.

  2. Don't worry: I still hate the first half of the book.

  3. Hahaha, that is hilarious!

    2nd ed. FOREVER!!! ;)

  4. Ok, sorry, late to the game here, but...

    Oh yeah. There's a lot not to like in the 1e DMG. It's probably the greatest collection of cringe-worthy stuff from the "evil, my-way-or-the-highway" Gygax. It's damn near impenetrable in parts.

    That said, I use it all the time, even when I'm not playing D&D. The section on gems gets referenced frequently when I'm putting together treasures. I also use the section on political organization and titles when trying to build nations or communities the players will encounter. The section on herbs (pg. 220) is a huge help when one of my characters rummages around for healing plants. And even though I don't often roll on the charts for building NPC personality, just glancing over them usually sparks my imagination if I'm feeling less than inspired.

    As a text on game theory and practice, I can only give it mixed grades (and I give it that much primarily based on the Monsters and Organization chapter on pp. 104-15). On the other hand, as a useful aid for pretty much every stage of running any RPG, it's the best book I've ever bought.

  5. A friend of mind found an old box of 1st ed ad&d books and basic box sets and gave them to me one year as a gift. I accepted them and put them on my shelf to gather dust.

    These two entries have made me go back and actually read the DMG and monster manuals.

    Thanks, Blizack and everyone.

  6. "Thanks, Blizack and everyone."

    Xanadu the Fighter and I say "you're welcome".

    Many times have I looked at your stack of old D&D stuff with lust in my heart. I'm glad you're finally taking a good look at them - there is a lot of good stuff there.

  7. i have to say that, in my opinion, if you can't come up with "the type of prostitute a character picks up" with your own imagination, and require a table to roll on, you don't deserve to be a DM.

  8. I find it telling that Gygax was asked that enough times by his group that he felt it necessary to publish a randomized table about.

    Problem solved, players!

  9. All the best mind-altering substances have an onset time before they take effect. This includes the first rate Gygaxian braincustard found in the DMG.

  10. Dood, they're not wild dogs, they're blink dogs... sheesh! Can't you recognize a Lawful Good teleporting canine when you see one??

  11. kesher: "Can't you recognize a Lawful Good teleporting canine when you see one??"


  12. So are the dogs like six feet to one side eating thin air or does that property stop working when a displacer beast dies?

  13. And does the displacement still apply to half-digested chunks of monster?