Sunday, November 2, 2014

Revisiting Moldvay Basic

As our ongoing AD&D/Lamentations of the Flame Princess mash-up continues, I've been increasingly interested in digging back into the roots of the hobby and picking up a couple games of it the way it was originally played.

From the perspective of someone interested in game design, it's interesting to see how the early mechanics formed, changed and adapted over time. With so much of how people played OSR style games being a mish-mash of house rules and home-brews, going back and studying the original books is an extremely handy tool to help unlearn the assumptions we've gathered over the years.

I've read through the white box pamphlets, and while oozing with flavor and a certain charming niavete, they aren't exactly complete rules as written, so I moved forward. I seem to remember Moldvay Basic being the preferred setup for a lot of people growing up, so I thought it would be the best place to start for me.

I'll have a more in-depth review later, but I have to admit: I find the game absolutely charming. The rules are fairly simple, the information is clearly presented and the entire book seems written in a tone that is suggestive rather than declarative, which is something I really miss in modern books. The entire thing is an invitation to do something awesome.

The world needs more awesome. 


  1. Replies
    1. There's a certain simplicity to it that is beautiful. It really is a perfect sort of core operating system for the game. I need to find an excuse to run a session or two - or, god forbid - actually play one.