Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Why Basic/Expert?

I've been working on this post since the thirteenth of last month and frankly I'm sick of it, I wanted to put together a rational, coherent argument about why Basic and Expert are the version of D&D that everyone should be using and totally forgot my no. 1 rule of life: Nothing is for every one.

Keeping that in mind, lets try again.

For me, the Basic and Expert books are the most comprehensive while at the same time simplest version of the original Dungeons and Dragons game.  So while I have been struggling to get my thoughts into some kind of coherence that might make sense to another sophont, I've been looking over the opinions of others captured in various forums and blogs regarding Basic and Expert and found this post by Simrion on Dragonsfoot’s Classic D&D forum that says for me what I couldn't manage for myself (emphasis is the author's):

Been pondering this post for awhile and finally have an answer for the doubters and players of other D&D versions (or fantasy rpgs) that seek to understand the appeal of Classic. The Classic D&D Rules are "elegant." Based upon my dictionary the definition of "elegant" appears as follows:

elegant - marked by refined, tasteful beauty of manner, form or style.

The Classic Rules (I prefer Basic - Moldvay/Cook/Marsh) are easy to learn, easy to use and provide an ideally "heroic" feel. They are not bogged down by excessive quantities of skills and abilities and offer simple mechanics for many things not covered in the game (here I refer to pages in the back of the Basic Rulebook B60 - 61, headings That's not in the rules! & There's always a chance.(These mechanics are things like roll under appropriate ability or a certain chance on a d6 for those that don't have access to the rulebook.)

See brain, what was so hard about that?  The Basic/Expert rulesets are elegant, they manage to convey the most information in the least amount of words and in a manner that many have found to be highly adaptable to tinkering or expansion.  I believe that this is the reason why these rules are the best version to teach newcomers to the hobby with, in my experience at least.

In those two slim volumes, 128 pages, Dungeons and Dragons is laid out from its lowly beginnings of those initial delvings to the lofty fruition of the establishing of domains and rulership over former wilderness.  Everything I needed to begin, and ideas and guidelines and hints and inspirations for those things I didn't yet know I needed.

And if you needed any more there always this, from a dream I had on 10-FEB last year:
Hasbro/WotC, to effectively end the Edition Wars, were hunting down fans of previous versions of Dungeons & Dragons. Seems a bit harsh to me. Anyway, they were having quite a bit of success as their targets were all carrying all the books necessary to play their favorite edition; needless to say the third-edition guys were going fast. Only me and few others (my friend George, JB [the guy who writes the B/X Blackrazor blog] and other strangers) were escaping. Why? Because our Basic/Expert edition is two lightweight volumes; very easy to run and hide with. No Monstrous Compendiums, or Dungeoneer's Survival Guides, or Complete anythings to slow us down.
Make of that what you will...

1 comment:

  1. You do love your basic rule set, and I understand why. I like the 2nd edition; the set that was used in Baldur's Gate, but it was always fun playing Basic. It's nice not have memorize a million rules!