Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Original 7 - An Old School Retrospective - Preliminary Look

I'm a sucker for challenges, so when Castelian from the Chivalry & Sorcery Blog challenged me to an Old School RPG review - thing-a-ma-wop, I couldn't say no.  See, this is why Google+ is evil - it makes you do things you never expected to do.

The retrospective list is as follows:

Original Dungeons & Dragons Boxed Set (1974)- I have the Collector's Edition, so it is original, even if it is like the 6th printing of the boxed set.

Tunnels & Trolls (1975)- I have a reprint of the 1st edition, and I have the Trollgod's personal copy of the 2nd edition rules.  Being that less that 100 copies of the 1st edition D&D rules were ever produced, I think I'm pretty well set between the two editions.

Empire of the Petal Throne (1975)- In this case I'm working off of a PDF of the 1st edition that predates the TSR edition.  Yeah, I don't own an original.

Bunnies & Burrows (1976) - I found the first edition of this FGU game for 5 bucks on RPGNow.  Now that's cheap for a piece of history, even if it is in PDF.

Chivalry & Sorcery (1977) - I picked up a beat up copy of the 2nd ed of C&S last winter on Ebay (this was my first experience with C&S).  Castelian was nice enough to provide me with a PDF copy of the C&S 1st edition rules for the purpose of this endeavor.

Arduin (1977) - Yes, I'm guy who just dropped 90 bucks on Ebay for the Arduin trilogy of books.  It just shipped today.  I take these challenges way too seriously ;)

RuneQuest (1978) - No, I don't have a copy of RQ1e, either in PDF or hard copy.  I do, however, have a hardcover of the 2nd edition of RQ, although the dust jacket is long gone.  So, with this, I'm kinda cheating.  It's either that or leave it off the list.

I'll be looking at such wonderful things as production values, innovativeness, how much it derives from other (think OD&D) RPGs, ease of use, complexity, completeness, fun factor - and whatever else occurs to me at the time.

I may even add some other's before I wrap up, such as Traveller, Metamorphosis Alpha, Boot Hill, Gamma World - we'll see how much gas is in my tank.

I'm guessing I'll be looking at a game a week.  It may need more than one post per game.  I really need to map this out a bit in advance, or I find myself of the rails and going in too many directions ;)

I should have the first post up next week.


  1. Looking forward to this. Only played three of the seven (but not 1st editions). Bunnies & Burrows is the only one I've never had a chance to look at.

  2. This sounds very cool. I'm looking forward to seeing your take on these pioneers of the hobby.

  3. Great project, and really looking forward to this!

    If I may add a footnote:

    The 'green cover' version of EPT is the Professor's play-test manuscript, not a 'published' edition; less then fifty copies were run off on a mimeo machine to give players here in the Twin Cities and in lake Geneva something to work with.

    The current PDf/PoD version of this is from a pristine copy in the Tekumel Foundation's archives, and will be followed by a PDF/PoD version of Prof. Barker's *annotated* copy, which has all of the changes he made for the TSR edition.

    Please feel free to ask any questions, too; I'm the archivist who looks after the collection...



  4. Coincidence strikes again. I'm going to recommend EPT, should you do a continuation of your series. It was published in 1975 after all.


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