May 29th, 2013

closeup samurai

Gygaxian Anagrams. (21, 22, 23.)

AD&D Players Handbook, First Edition by Gary Gygax.

AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, First Edition by Gary Gygax.

AD&D Monster Manual, First Edition by Gary Gygax.

The demon idol:
pry the rubies from the eyes,
or the coward's route?

The efreet chuckled.
"Ha, your wish is my command,"
already scheming.

The dragon has come.
dwarves, your gold is his bedroom,
hero's flesh his meal.

I blogged about these Old School AD&D books over at, so there isn't much to say about these books here. Having just finished fordmadoxfraud's Stories of Our Youth Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign, the system was in my head. Technically, that was AD&D Second Edition, but the changes are cosmetic more or less. I really like the "roll under attribute" mechanic, that is my major take-away. A d20 system based around "roll low" could work; I think that a stripped down system-- where, say, skills just allow re-rolls if you fail a check, & things like saves, attack & AC are all replaced by attributes-- would be fun to play, where rule features like Sneak Attack are sort of ad hoc "feats." Then again, didn't I just describe how the World of Darkness works? I guess I have a type! To give a succinct rundown of my post, I'll say that the Monster Manual was my favorite of these books by a fairly wide margin, with only the items in the Dungeon Masters Guide rivaling it.

Zatara '66.

As I mentioned, I am playing Preston Stagger in the ravenface penned play, Strange Tales of Preston Stagger. After a month of memorizing lines, the show goes up this week. It involves dueling warlocks, anthropomorphic pandas, crimefighting rabbits, & gratutious use of the word "pony." Personally, I've summed up my inspiration for the character as "Zatara '66," as I am trying to filter the campy Adam West Batman though the script. I am of course a nervous mess; I enjoy having done a play, but the actual doing of it, yikes. A sense of accomplishment, of some kind of artistic endeavour, that is all well & good. I stretch the proverbial muscles on all of my attributes, whether it is going to the gym for Strength, reading articles & books for my Intelligence or playing role-playing games & acting in plays for my Charisma. Also, I grew a beard for the role of Preston Stagger. Anyhow, if you'd like to come-- I'd encourage you to do so!-- the show is $15 with a two drink minimum. Starts at 7:00 & it is at Don't Tell Mama, the piano & cabaret bar at West 46th between 8th & 9th Avenue. If you reserve tickets in advance, it is actually only $10 (with a two drink minimum...the joke being "a one-act play with a two drink minimum!") so that might be a tactic worth pursuing? Here are the links for Thursday, Friday & Saturday.