The curious case of the three-page rant in the old PHB
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:20 am 

If Gygax is going to be at Gen Con this year, maybe ask him to be the last signer for the symmetry of the thing and get a pic of everyone there with Gygax and that "notorious" PHB...


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:37 am 

VermilionFire wrote:If Gygax is going to be at Gen Con this year, maybe ask him to be the last signer for the symmetry of the thing and get a pic of everyone there with Gygax and that "notorious" PHB...

Just don't let him read any of the comments!  8O

You don't like your job, you don't strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way. - Homer Simpson


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:41 am 

I don't want to derail the conversation, but I'll say this: if I ever, ever disappear (kidnapped, abducted by aliens, putting the lotion on my skin or else I get the hose again, etc.) I want YOU guys to come looking for me.  Screw the cops! :D


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:44 pm 

I missed this when it happened back in 2008.  Dang this is cool!  

Deserves a *bump* of its own.

pro565 wrote:Jim is in Sydney, Australia and sent this e-mail to me for all of you:

(feel free to post this without any contact info for me):

1) No idea how or who or why anyone has that book.  To be honest, right when I started college I gave all my D&D stuff to my older sister who then took it to a group of people she was hanging out with.  Then it vanished.  No idea what happened to it, and a few times went looking for it through storage lockers and whatnot just to get a glimpse of my past, but not really to re-enter the game.  Never found it - now I know why, LOL.  :)
2) Happy that people were amused by what I had to say.  But I need to be honest - I have NO IDEA where my head was at when I wrote that.  Yeah, I must have been full of typical teen angst at the time - heh you tell me.  LOL  
3) As one could expect, I found the world of girls and shortly thereafter shelved my D&D practices.  My very first year of college I played one more D&D game that was a lot of fun, but afterwards gave all my stuff to my sister - books, figurines, original systems, everything.  I am seriously glad I played D&D as much as I did - it really was a charge for the brain for all of us.  I was 100% absorbed into it as you know.  I loved designing all those worlds and coming up with bizarre adventures for all you guys.  Yeah, the Pink Floyd dungeon was a riot!  :D
4) One funny note - all that G,D & H stuff must have touched me pretty deeply.  I ended up choosing Comparative Religion and Mythology as my minor in college, and I actually attribute my first grasp of the various religions and mythologies around the world to two sources: Edith Hamilton's Greek Mythology, and Gods, Demigods & Heroes.  :D
5) When I was a kid I got bitten by the traveling bug pretty bad.  Traveling is one of my greatest passions in life.  Hence I move around a lot.  I prefer to immerse myself in the local community of wherever I live.  But the world is a very big place.  I intend to see almost all of it.  The list of locations everyone saw is a very small portion of the total - LOL.  I designed my life around travel.
6) I hardly ever swear like that anymore.  I think its fucking lame for any asshole to swear so much goddamnit.  LOL  (*j/k*)
7) As it turns out writing became one of my professions.  Words are like colors to me, and my keyboard is the paintbrush.  But I save the foul language for conceptual accents and characterization.  ;-)
8) Irony upon irony - my last gf calls me one day in 2007 to tell me she wants us to get into D&D pretty much out of the blue.  I laughed and told her I had "something of a past" in D&D.  Eventually I told her about the group in high school, the newspaper article, etc.  So she goes out and buys us a whole collection of really nice D&D dice each, and a beautiful little velvet bag for our dice.  She give me my set as a gift.  I figure ok, if she REALLY wants to do this I will get into it for her, and I go online and download all the latest books to see if I can re-learn the new systems.  DAMN have they become a behemoth of complexity!  I cannot believe how many books there are!  So while all this forum stuff was being posted in early-to-mid 2007, I was JUST getting back into D&D very lightly.  I learned system 3 and 3.5, but it was just an idea at the time, a notion of something she and I could do together.  I really had not given much thought to D&D in the intervening years.  My ex then moves to Australia with me, and pursuant to her desire we locate a D&D group here and get back into it slowly.  Sadly our relationship was fraught with problems and when she returned to the U.S. I tried to keep playing D&D here to amuse myself but realized I really was only into it as an activity for she and I to share.  So I gave away some stuff we'd bought and only kept the original dice and bag she gave me as a memento.
9) The legend of Getafix Quick, King of the Warlocks:
A buddy of mine allowed me to roll up a creature from a world he created when we were 12 or 13.  The race was called Warlocks, no relation to a mage.  They were more like well-built trolls, dark green skin, thick long black oily hair, and tended towards being very chaotic and usually evil.  Up to that point I had never played a CE.  I ran the character as much as I could - he was a multi class (and yes the name came from the Asterix comics), but mostly a 7' tall barbarian type.  In one early adventure he killed a gigantic bear with some kind of bad-ass natural armor class, skinned it and wore it, and that became his traditional appearance.  I would take the character to gaming conventions and when the DM ok'd him I would play him as much as possible.  I played him to the hilt, so when I would meet another CE we would almost inevitably spend a great deal of time figuring out how to kill off the whole party or at least steal all the treasure at the end of the game.  Yes kind of mean to do so, but even the people we killed seemed very good natured about it all - everyone just saw it as a game and I don't think anyone ever really got that irrate.  It was more like an atmosphere of "ah, good one!  You killed us fair and square."   So the character grew and grew in power (remember that was back when you got XP 1 for 1 for each gold piece too, so XP ran up fast when we walked away with all the treasure).  Occasionally as Getifix's reputation grew someone would challenge him to single combat down at the gaming shop.  We would find a DM to run the battle.  Getafix never lost.  It was that simple.  After killing a bunch of really nasty characters, gaining their treasure and the concurrent XP, I can honestly say Getafix grew too powerful.  He became kind of boring for me.  So I found a DM to let me start taking on Major NPC's like the king of demons, etc.  Almost died in that one, but Getafix won, skinned the demon king, and then his skin became Getafix's new armor (though he still wore the bear skin over that), making Getafix a hair short of invulnerable.  That was pretty much it.  It was time to end the story of Getafix.  By that point he was far more powerful than any other Warlock so I found a DM to effectively run Getafix's final game.  I had Getafix go back to the homeland of the Warlocks, kicked out the existing king and did a final turn around in becoming Amoral Evil, whereupon he decided to become a provider for the Warlock race, turned them into a prosperous race, ruled with an iron hand, and after all that was achieved went up to the nearest mountain top where Getafix sat in a lotus position and went deep into a trance / meditation from which he has not arisen to this day - and will not - unless it is to defend the race of Warlocks.  
It was loads of fun running this character, but I can now - ironically - say that I do understand why the latest systems don't really like players to be CE.  Heh.

Maybe one day I might take up D&D again, but overall I really only got excited about it recently as a shared activity with my ex, so it's unlikely.

My thoughts on the state of D&D today (from my brief, recent experience):

It still all boils down to the Dungeon Master.  A good DM can take a crappy world and make it fun as hell.  Sadly, top-quality DM's are few and far between.  Anyone can run from a pre-built module, but being a Good DM is a lot more than just reading from the module.  A good DM is first and foremost a STORYTELLER.  It is their responsibility to Bring The World To Life.
You can have "3 kobolds attack from behind the pillars".... or you can, "hear a creak and feel a chill run up your spine....something doesn't smell the smell of soiled in the nearby shadows you (roll listen check) hear a scratchy, quiet sound, almost like obscure words squeaking from someone's is coming from the direction of three gigantic pillars in front of you that are carved at the top with images of Dwarven battle scenes...."
Huge difference.
If there were ever a school for DM's I would make one of the classes be all about just getting good at telling stories, like the way you try when you are all sitting around the campfire.
The next thing is that the DM must be VERY good at balancing Story vs Action.  Too much story and the players start chomping at the bit for something to happen.  All action with no story, no intrigue, equally becomes boring.  D&D is not - to me (and this is just my opinion) - a video game.  In a video game it tends to be either all action or lots and lots of winding through endless rooms and corridors.  D&D should be better than that, like a REALLY GOOD Action Film out of Hollywood where you are totally drawn in to the depth of the story and ALSO getting a good adrenalin rush from the action sequences.

All the books - sheesh.  Dunno.  I guess if people like all that then that's cool.  I was fortunate enough to get a lot of books digitized so I could quickly jump between the pages of 6 or 7 books at once on my laptop while I was recently relearning the game.  I think that is the only intelligent future for D&D - all the materials need to be digitized in a quick-search PDF files (or the like), and then loaded onto your laptop.  Sitting with 3 or 4 books at a table rolling up characters was sooo much slower than using my digital copies.  Even better would be to have the books as well-crafted digital files for people's handhelds & PDA's.  THAT would be cool.
It WAS nice how once the game started the players really only needed the PHB.  :)

As for the overall new sets of abilities and everything - pretty cool I guess.  In contrast to my 13 year old rant, it was fun to see how the spells had evolved and all the new options.  When I was designing my own worlds & rules that was what I strove for - variety and options so characters could be more and more personalized.

The dice - they look beautiful.  
Glad to see figurines turned to plastic - some really nice ones, and much lighter than carrying a tackle box full of pewter.
Movement & combat - seems good and feasible.

One thing I disliked in the new system - multi-classing.  I much prefer the way we did it back at 13 - each class you had needed to amass its own XP.  It was your call - if you got 500 XP and wanted to put it into the warrior side you did.  If you wanted to put it into the mage side, you did.  If you wanted to put 250 into each, you did.  Each class had to simply build at its own natural rate, but effectively two classes meant that overall you grew half as fast, three classes (if the DM allowed) meant you progressed 1/3 as fast, etc.
Now to play my own devil's advocate, I did like the whole concept of the Prestige Classes.  Those were pretty cool.

Again, I am flattered to be the focus here.  Sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping I turned out to be a psycho-killer - hahahhaha.

Sure I would love to see the old book, but also please don't make yourselves crazy trying to get it here to Sydney.  If it arrives I would be happy to autograph it and maybe even add some new thoughts or notes if you guys wanted me to.  If it actually ends up in some kind of D&D museum somewhere I would truly be honored and a bit amazed.  :)

Best to you all,
-- JP  Feb 1, 08

"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:10 pm 

Did this ever get posted back?

Rolls a '3'

"Did I hit.....?"

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