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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Once upon a time: "The game was centered around the referee, and the idea of the game was to explore the referee's world."

Here is a concept (that HE noticed) Michael Mornard Played in the original Blackmoor, Greyhawk, and EPT Campaigns
"Gronan of Simmerya" aka "Old Geezer" aka "LORD Grumpy"

IS THIS

Inspired by the other thread in this subforum, I've been thinking about the question of how D&D has changed, and I think I've come up with what seems the biggest change to me.
When Dave started "Blackmoor", which I've been told was a team vs team game, it was his invention... he wanted to RUN a game, and got players. When it morphed into more of what we now call an RPG, it was still "Dave's game" about "Dave's world".
Likewise when Gary started running Greyhawk, it was "Gary's got this cool new game called Greyhawk. You're a bunch of guys exploring an old abandoned wizard's castle." Again, Gary created a world, and found players for it... somewhere around 20 players in the early 70s in the cow's anus that was Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
And that was the first year or so of how the game grew... "Hey, who wants to explore MY dungeon?" The game was centered around the referee, and the idea of the game was to explore the referee's world.
At some point this changed. The mindset became, "We want play being a bunch of heroes, who can we talk into refereeing?" The game became centered on the idea of the players' adventures rather than the referee's world. That's actually a pretty phenomanal paradigmatic shift, and I think it's the core change beneath all the other changes made to the game.

SO Early RPGs were CENTERED around each DM was the artist and maker of a world and players PLAYED in the DMs WORLD!  At some point this changed. The mindset became, "We want play being a bunch of heroes, who can we talk into refereeing?" The game became centered on the idea of the players' adventures rather than the referee's world.


That's actually a pretty phenomanal paradigmatic shift, and I think it's the core change beneath all the other changes made to the game.

AND it has been that way ever since kinda for the most part. VERY profound. PUTS the early DMs into another light...


JDN2006 noticed that: Gary Gygax was designing the sort of game and adventures he liked playing and he seemed to have simple tastes, with a bent towards adventure and "anyone and everyone can play" concepts. I don't know if that is true, but it's the image I get from his work. 

THORSWULF wrote this profound statement: Sadly, so many DM's I know really didn't get into the exploration of creation- they missed the point. I too have been guilty of this. Sometimes the rules seemed to be the master, not the guide. I have to wonder if the very words like handbook, guide, and manual stifle creativity?

Fantastic thread. A few gems of great wisdom and "how we did it back then"! 

HERE is the original thread. 

http://odd74.proboards.com/thread/6104/which-gronan-muses-changed

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great point. When I started playing with groups other than my family, maybe in 1989-1990, there was definitely a mystique about visiting specific worlds designed by specific people.

    With the advent of 2e and 3e and the explosion of the Internet, I feel like things got more homogenous.

    It's less so now. People now have their own worlds again to some degree.

    On the topic of DM-centrism, it's a fact that I do not need any other players to enjoy the game. The journey from a kernel of an idea into a fully realized city, county, country, continent, or cosmos requires none of them. But there is just as much fun seeing them see it for the first time. Indeed, it's not really alive until the heroes come in and start mucking things up.

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