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  1. What is “Old School” Play?

    There are two major styles of roleplaying games. The first (and older) style says “Here is the situation. Pretend you are there as your character, what do you want to do?” This style has been superseded over the years with a style that says “Here is the situation. Based on your character's stats, abilities, skills, etc. as listed on his character sheet and your knowledge of the many detailed rules of the game, what is the best course of action to solve the situation?” Old school play strongly favors ...
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  2. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser-Fritz Leiber

    There were many influence books for original D&D. Many of them are out of print or only just being brought back into print. When I talk with people on this site, it is amazing to me that many of them have never heard of the books or the authors. I find this a shame as most of them are a great deal of fun to read. I will be starting this with the books by Fritz Leiber and his creations, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.


    Fafhrd and the Grey Mousers are loners by nature. Fafhrd ...
  3. D&D Word History--Dweomer

    The Spell that Wasn't: Dweomer

    One of the most curious words in the entire corpus of Dungeons and Dragons books
    is dweomer, which is defined in the 1st edition Advanced D&D Dungeon Master's
    Guide (1979, p. 228) as follows: "From dweomercraeft, the art (craeft) of magic
    (dweomer)" . Fair enough, but then whence dweomercraeft? Turns out it is a real,
    if obscure, word used in Middle English (and presumably in Old English). (As a
    side note, I ...
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  4. Another Year, Another Move

    It was little more than one year ago that I last moved. I hated it then. Color me surprised to find I still hate the process.

    And now, here I am, mostly settled into a new apartment with new (read: old) roommates - my dad and his wife. It's been over ten years since I last lived with the man, and I've changed a fair amount since then. He's changed a bit, too, though I'm predicting lots more quality time with my laptop than with my kin, heh.

    I'm very appreciative of his ...
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  5. Week 5 - Die another day

    This week in Encounters I faced a somewhat ominous problem, low health and no surges. When I showed up I found we faced another problem, no DM. Our regularly scheduled DM Chris was out sick. The folks at the store went into scramble mode and asked a player to be the DM instead. Props to Tim for his can do attitude and willingness to DM on the fly. He frantically read through the adventure and borrowed some gear to pull off this week's encounter. So there we were ready to go, party of four, ...
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