Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Real Old School D&D

Courtesy of Messrss Butterfield, Parker, & Honigmann
Many claim Old School status, but few truly have it.
And you can't get more Old School than Old Etonians. Ah!  Pleasant days and nights, spent looking out over lazy Windsor, dice in hand.  You haven't rolled until you've rolled in bum-freezers.

To wit: I was pleased to lay hands on a copy of What is Dungeons & Dragons? (1982) at Ye Olde Halffe-Price Bookes.  Even if it was the less attractive, later Warner Books edition, and less than a buck can't be beat.  This introduction to the game was written out of years spent at Eton College playing.   The authors favor house-ruled B/X, which would seem to indicate that they kept playing after their days at Eton.  I'm looking forward to reading and reporting any gems I find herein.

For another Eton connection, be sure and check out Provost James' ghost stories, as recommended in the Linkography.

Mike has been sick and I have been swamped, so the last Frightful Friday and Mythopoeic Monday posts did not come off.  Stay tuned, however!  We may slow and miss occasionally, but we muddle -- er, ramble -- on!


  1. What's with the oriental dragon on the cover old chap? It seems rawther bad form. A good stout wyrm like the one good old St. George defeated seems more cricket to my monocled eye.


    Lord Monkus, fifth vicount Montisstercus.

  2. I actually bought my copy at Walden books, new off the bookshelf the year it came out. I actually have it on the shelf across the room, but haven't cracked it open in quite some time. Now I have a reason to do just that.

  3. I remember buying that when it came out and arguing with some of it in my high school "I've been playing since 1977" mindset.

    Good time.

  4. I snagged a copy of this off Amazon. The Shrine of Kollchap is a nice starter dungeon.

  5. I almost bought that a few years ago, but it had this cover, inviting one to "indulge in the fastest-growing fantasy cult of the 80s". I don't know why the combination of the ridiculousness of Old Etonians having the connections to publish this book and the subject matter didn't win me over to a purchase. This cover seems like the best one.

  6. Curious Monkey: I can only assume that the oriental dragon is an imperfect prophecy, dimly grasped, of the coming of New Big Dragon.

    Herb: You come by it honestly!

    M W Schmeer: The Shrine of Kollchap could easily be somewhere below Waterdeep...

    Nathaniel: I agree that the cover with the dragon shooting dice from his eyes is the best, although none of them are going to win any awards.