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Classic and not-so-much D&D
gaming
saxifrage00
Dungeons & Dragons: Celebrating 30 Years of Very Stupid Monsters. I don't agree with all the choices for the article (owlbears are bloody terrifying, and the gelatinous cube is a perfect example of a well-adapted species), but the article is entertaining and even informative for an old D&D geek like myself.

On the subject of old, you might be pining for the days of the Red Box, or perhaps even before they had a box. If so, you'll be delighted with Labyrinth Lord, an Open Gaming License retro-clone of Dungeons & Dragons (back before Advanced D&D force it to get renamed Basic D&D) put out by Goblinoid Games. The simplicity of that system (bolstered by its utter arbitrariness, true) is heart-warming after being immersed in D&D 3.5 so recently. It's a free download, so have at it.

And on that note, did you know that Wizards of the Coast are currently hard at work on the fourth edition of this venerable game? Leaks and sneak peaks galore are to be had (just like for every Magic set they've released in the past few years—they certainly know how to harness the fanbase for free publicity), and EN World is collecting them at their Unofficial D&D 4e news page. I must admit that I like some of what I've read. In particular, making encounters level smoothly with characters instead of the clunky CR system, and leaving large chunks of the Vancian magic system behind. On the other hand, it could possibly turn into "fantasy super heroes" as easily as it could make it simpler and cooler, and only time will tell. (Insert jaded comment here about milking their customers for as much as they can get, for completeness.)

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On a related note, if you look at the above picture, I'm slightly troubled at how much detail the artist spent "ahem" detailing the poor guy's crotch. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong, but he seems to be enjoying this?

I noticed that too.

Also: D&D needs to ditch classes and the current hit point system (you get stabbed in your sleep by a 3rd level rogue - which may kill you if you're a newbie, but not if you're a ancient wizard).

They did sorta fix that in 3e, as being defenceless allows a coup de grâce that will take out both a newbie and an ancient wizard. But yes, the point still stands as the results are still stupid when the characters are awake.

I don't see them ditching classes and hit points ever, though. The system would be unrecognisable then, and they're banking (literally) on its history.

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