If you have read any of the few first posts, you would see evidence that I have my roots in pathfinder. In fact, my very first post is also my most viewed, by a margin of more than 70 views. Why did I stop? Well, the answer is just that I got writers block.
I was originally introduced to pathfinder by a friend, and my first character was a paladin named Harlan Arvel. I never even played him. I was pretty much immediately thrust the position of GM, because no one else wanted to do it.
Needless to say, the first few games were awful. I tried running a homebrew, but it just crashed and burned. After that I tried running an AP, but I didn’t even have the time to prepare it. We found it so boring, in fact, that we ended that one after the first session. I had spent hours a day poring over various materials and homebrews from the game, and it ultimately just burnt me out. Then one day, I decided to make a blog, in order to post a homebrew class I had made, the Witch-Hunter, and show it to the world. It took a few revisions to get it where it is, and still to this day it goes un-playtested. That’s because my regular games stopped around that time.
After a long break from playing, I started reading content from a few OSR blogs on the internet, it kind of pulled me in. So I tried to start a new game, and I was able to get two of the players from my old one to join. Needless to say, I had a lot longer to prepare for it, and it started out a hell of a lot better than my last one. But why am I rambling on about pathfinder when I’m supposed to be writing about D&D?
The Actual Point
Well, that would be because D&D freed me. When I first learned about OD&D, I was under the impression that it was some kind of less superior version of pathfinder because of how ‘old’ it was. I always thought that with pathfinder, you had an infinite number of choices because you could just homebrew anything you didn’t already have. And of course it had a ‘much more’ sophisticated combat system. I really thought, that rules were better than rulings, but I was wrong.
You see, with my discovery of OSR, I read through some of the original D&D books; and I was surprised. You see, I am a man who enjoys some verisimilitude, and OD&D had a lot more than I had thought. I actually found that, in my opinion, the combat rules were much more sophisticated than in pathfinder, not to mention how much more realistic they were! I mean, the fact that anyone who knows how to fight would never let an enemy get behind them of their own volition being represented in the combat rules, made a lot of sense to me. Unless someone were to sneak up behind you, you would turn your body in a way so as be facing any enemies nearby, the other way for an enemy to get behind you was for a group of them to surround you. I don’t think I can begin to provide how much this single rule meant to me, it was basically the last straw that won me over.
This month marks the 45th year of D&D, that is something that truly deserves to be celebrated; and no matter what edition you play, even among us in the OSR community, it’s just one little child or grandchild to their shared mighty ancestor. If you still check this blog out from time to time for pathfinder, which I know happens occasionally based on traffic sources, I would encourage you to check out some of the stuff OSR presents, you may find it holds more merit than you think.
Anyway, what significance does D&D hold for you, Is it merely a hobby, or something more? Let me know in the comments below.