Sunday, September 6, 2009

Everything that can be invented has been invented

An urban legend has it that Patent Commissioner Charles H. Duell uttered these words in 1899 and resigned from his post.

While this legend has been never proven I had this in my comment section.

A problem I have with the OSR is that I already own everything they have published or ever will publish. I own it in the form of all my old AD&D books, modules and Dragon mags.
James Raggi has a succulent reply.
err, you really think the adventures being released are just copies of the old ones?
One of the many things that the OSR has to overcome is to convince today's gamers that playing older editions of D&D is just as fun as latest RPG. But then within the ranks of existing fans of older editions we run into the attitude of the poster above. Once Old School gamer goes as far to say

I actually have this naive/idealistic/hippy-commune belief that individual players and GMs should be creating their own stuff for use in their home games rather than either buying someone else's stuff or attempting to sell their stuff to someone else -- that passive consumption of pre-packaged modules and settings and books of new rules isn't really what it should be about.

Some days you just can't catch a break.

James' sentiment is right on the money. The people in the OSR are not interested in taking older material mixing it up a bit and selling under a new package. We went with that route to get the core rules out for newer customers. But now that phase is largely over. People like James Raggi and others are working on expanding the envelope of D&D taking it in directions that were not explored because of the commercial and personal interests of the game designers of the time. (see the upper right corner of my blog for a fuller statement)

Has everything been done that could be done with D&D, B/X D&D, or AD&D 1e?

No it hasn't and the best is yet to come


Anonymous said...

James Raggi's stuff is revolutionary:

1. His Random Esoteric Creature Generator has made me look at monsters in a whole new light. It was the catalyst that made me sell my AD&D Monster Manual and Fiend Folio (which had been unthinkable). This is the only monster book you'll ever need. It is qualitatively better than any other one. It's about 30 pages long, and it has billions are awesomely weird monsters within, along with hard-hitting essays on how to use monsters in D&D.

2. People of Pembrooktonshire is the best FRPG city/town supplement I've ever seen. It's the only one that feels "real" to me.

3. No Dignity in Death: The Three Brides is a module that uses the setting of Pembrooktonshire to good advantage. That's right: a town-based module. Not just another dungeon.

4. Death Frost Doom is perhaps the single most atmospheric module I've ever read. While it has some elements that are not to my taste, the module's sheer imaginative power easily transcends any of that. One of the best modules ever, and not very similar (if at all) to anything TSR or Judges Guild ever published.

And may I humbly point out my own CARCOSA, along with Cameron DuBeers' Carcosa module, Obregon's Dishonor, plus the fan-created Carcosan Grimoire. And my Carcosa adventure "Fungoid Gardens of the Bone Sorcerer" (in Fight On!) #4.

All of the above is indubitably quite different from AD&D products published back in the day. While they might not be to everyone's tastes, IMO they are better than the products published by TSR or Judges Guild.

[Last point: I don't have enough money to buy much OSR stuff, so I pass over so much other stuff simply because I haven't seen it, not because I dislike it.]

Robert Conley said...

I don't think I would call James Raggi's stuff Revolutionary. But he has developed a distinctive style that will serve him and the market very well.

Much if it not stuff I normally go for. But from what I read myself it is really good. He is becoming a true master of his craft.

And the same for your Carcosa. I think it adapt D&D to the weird fantasy/horror of Lovecraft far better than anything I seen. And it does it by setting in it's own fantasy world. Which can be a hard trick to pull off right.

However I thought the graphic nature of the ritual as unnecessary. Not because of I am a prude but rather it a far better thing to write it in a way that leaves it to the reader's imagination.

This is why in my own POL II, in Mazatl, I wrote the cause of the god's madness was due to the fact that his sister was brutalized at the hands of her demon captors. Rather than pick something specific, like rape, from the many things that could happen to a women in that situation. The readers will supply something much worse than I can some up with.

I am impressed that you decided to released the the expurgated version of Carcosa side by side with the original. While annoying to be subjected to that kind of criticism it shows true class to accommodate your customer base like that.

Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

I find the attitude of the two comments quoted both sad and small-minded. While I love many of the original TSR modules, I don't want to spend the rest of my life replaying them over and over. When it comes to new and fresh material, I am always stunned at how vastly more imaginative than me some folks are. I couldn't come up with half the stuff they do. The above thinking also overlooks or disregards the meaning of growth, something I want to see in my little corner of the hobby.

Pulp Herb said...

Has everything been done that could be done with D&D, B/X D&D, or AD&D 1e?

No it hasn't and the best is yet to come

Can I get a "hell yeah".

I mean, poets still write sonnets. Didn't Shakespeare say everything that could be said in a sonnet? And if he didn't wasn't that done by Milton, Wordsworth, or Browning finish it off?

Given Seamus Heaney is still writing them I guess not.

No creative form is done as long as creative people are still embracing it.

Unknown said...

No creative form is done as long as creative people are still embracing it.

No but it normally grows with the time and new generations. D&D is dead let it rest in PEACE

Anonymous said...

D&D is dead let it rest in PEACE

I know I should be smarter, but yep I'll take the bait - what a load of crap!