Friday, February 25, 2011

When "Elf" was a class...

I cut my RPG teeth on the red box, you know the one, damn near every gamer with thirty years under his (or her) belt knows this box.

I can still remember the feel of those polyhedrals and the look of the dark wax shoved lovingly into those numbers. Ah... brings back memories. My first character was a Magic-user with his feeble single casting of Magic Missile and 1d4 hit points. I named him Thife because I meant to make a thief and misspelled the word so made him a Magic-user instead.

I've talked about my golden days of role playing in the past so I won't go on and on about it, I've got another reason for this post.

I no longer role play but I do still read role playing games because I'm a freak who enjoys rules and rules sets. I've read through thousands of pages and sometimes they blur together but I am aware that they are always compared to my beginnings which would be a standard set; the Red Box, Hero Quest, Risk, and later Warhammer Fantasy Battles (5th edition if you're interested). I'd like to think I'm not biased for the most part but I am very biased when it comes to RPG rules. I am of the mind that rules should be open enough to allow exploration of the character and the fantasy environment while maintaining some boundaries of "reality" within the context of the game world. The basic D&D rules really allow this nicely in my most humble opinion. Sure there were things that could be changed and fleshed out by the basic need was met with a quality that isn't easily reproduced. I've got all kinds of theories about why this is so but that isn't the purpose of this blog post either, it's these guys.

Labyrinth Lord is probably one of the best old schools I've read. The art work is fabulous and the writing is excellent. If I still role played this would be my tool of choice, and not the advanced compendium either! I like the seven classes, I like that there are only 10 levels of elf, and I like that human's great ability was they had four natures.

So, I guess I'm plugging this product for no particular reason than its good. I'm going to try to put together a war games battle using the rules as they are perfectly good skirmish combat rules. When (if) I get to do that I'll try not to forget to photo it and batrep it.

 ALSO! My sons and I sat down to play the new Risk game last night...

...and it was brutal. Risk is a notoriously long game in my experience and it always comes down to the huge trade in that leads to one meanie (usually my wife) running through the world in a single turn of glorious blood shed. That is the essence of what I don't like. Now, if you read the original rules there was a 12 army per territory limit which is logistical in nature and when imposed makes the game better but requires a points system with either turn limits or time limit to play. The current version gives you objects to aim for with three being the game winning combination. Each objective gives you a randomly assigned benefit and all of them are nice. ANYWAY I DIGRESS because really I wanted to say that Christian won the game by turning in a large trade in and stomping through the map going from one objective to three in a single turn.

Well, I guess you can change the rules but not the victory huh?

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