Get your game on the table!

What’s that over there on your shelf?  You know, the dusty game you bought a while back that never seems to make it onto the table!

Wait, what’s that?  Nobody wants to play it?

I find that hard to believe.  Because, I mean, you want to play it, right?  Of course!  Otherwise you wouldn’t have bought it.

So my question to you is: if you want to play, there have got to be 3-6 other people on the planet who want to play it too.  Fair assumption?

Regardless, here we sit with an empty table and a dusty game.

Listen, I get it.  I mean, I’m the guy learning AD&D 1st Edition when D&D 5e is the hottest thing in town!  Even I was at my FLGS tonight flipping through those shiny, sexy 5e books.  But let’s not get distracted.

You’ve got a game you want to play.  So how are we going to get your game on the table?

Continue reading

I don’t always use grid maps, but when I do…

This is the fourth post in a series on responsible and affordable AD&D shopping.

This one goes out to the GMs in the crowd.

Let’s be honest.  You’ve got a tough job.  I mean, sure, you love it.  You love the adventure, the creativity, and of course the unfettered power.  Wait, did I just say that out loud?  Don’t mind that, players.

Anyway, being a GM is great.  Until it comes to prep time.  You gotta read that module or gather those stats.  You’ve got story hooks, plotlines, and story arcs to parse out.  Even if you’re one of those rare unicorn GMs who does minimal prep (not me), there’s still one piece of preparation that you probably think about a bit: maps.

Of course, this could raise a contentious debate as to whether players need a grid map at all.  Here’s my answer to the question:

Continue reading

The Mad Cleric Needs Your Help!

This blog is for you.  I write and podcast week-in and week-out to benefit your gaming and, thereby, your life.  So I want to know how I can help you better.  Below I’ve got a brief ten-question survey for you to fill out.  The first to fill it out and chime in on the comments below will get precedence in online AD&D games later in the year!  So please, give me a few minutes of your time, so that I can be even more helpful to your gaming and your life.

Thanks!

Jason, The Mad Cleric

Create your own user feedback survey

Do Not Read This Blog!

Seriously, don’t do it!

Credit: Richard

Well, OK, you can read this particular post.  But I’m getting at a much larger issue, which is: for whic readers is MadCleric.com, this blog, intended?

And my answer begins with a story…

Last Sunday, I got the kind of text I love to receive.  An old friend with whom I never gamed asking the question, “What do I need to get so me and my friends can learn D&D?”  And instantly, I was faced with a conundrum:

Do I direct him to AD&D 1e or to the shiny new 5th edition?

And with a weight of guilt upon my shoulders, I texted back, “You should definitely get the 5th edition Starter Set.”  And I hung my head in defeat.  How could this be?!  I’m the Mad Cleric!  The defender and proponent of AD&D 1e against detractors everywhere!  I’m the guy that’s bringing it back!

And then I had a realization: my journey is not for this particular friend.  He’s a first time tabletop roleplayer.  His friends are in the same category.  And what do they need?  A good, solid, clear, and fun high fantasy roleplaying game.  And, dammit, that’s fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons.  There’s no buts about it.  In the end, he’s chasing a different dragon than I am.

The dragon I’m chasing is a much more elusive dragon.  A dragon from the darkest hidden dungeons of the late seventies and early eighties.  I’m seeking the dragon of nostalgia.  I’m seeking to recreate the uncreatable.  I’m wanting to peer into the past and experience what they experienced.  It’s not that my friend couldn’t handle AD&D 1e.  But it’s not the game (or dragon) that he’s looking for.  Which leads to a question:

Who’s looking for the same dragon that I am?

Here’s who’s looking for the same dragon: the people that should be reading this blog twice a week.  Here they are!

  1. Gamers who haven’t been playing and want to experience something of yesteryear
  2. Gamers who have played the spectrum of modern RPGs, but have never gone back to the beginning
  3. D&D players who’ve never dabbled with first edition
  4. People who are simply interested in AD&D 1e or my journey in it
  5. Of course, experienced AD&D DMs/players who can help direct me on this journey

So if you’re one of these five people, please continue reading this blog.  And pass it on to your friends.  I’d love to see a community of gamers gathering around this idea of going back and experiencing what AD&D 1e offered so gloriously to the gamers of the past.

So please, dear friends, keep passing on your gaming questions, even if they lead to other games and other systems.  And of course, keep on chasing that dragon…whatever your dragon may be.

What’s your gaming dragon right now?  Are you digging into AD&D 1e with me?  Or do you have something else right now that’s got your goat?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Satanic Panic

The topic has come up in almost every Chasing the Dragon podcast we’ve had: Satanic panic.  That period in the eighties when good, virtuous mothers and churchgoers were warned against the dangers of Dungeons & Dragons.  And the edition that brought on these accusations most powerfully was the exact edition that I’ve been reading, re-reading, playing, and podcasting about: First Edition AD&D.

Some of you may not know this about me, but I am a Protestant pastor in the Southern United States.  I’ve been accused of being too conservative…and also accused of being too liberal, which is probably a good place to be.  But as a Protestant pastor in a denomination that uses the word “evangelical” to describe itself, rest assured I lean right compared to a more liberal, mainstream Protestantism.

Why does that matter?  Well, it seems that if anybody would be sympathetic to the Satanic panic of the ’80s, it would be this guy:

Yep, there he is. That evil gamer type again.

Yep, there he is. That evil gamer type again.

Continue reading

Experienced AD&Ders Needed!

If you’re new to my project, Chasing the Dragon, you may want to read an introduction here.

I need your input on my first house rule.

Now this may surprise you, as I’ve never even played a session of AD&D yet.  Not as a GM.  Not as a player.  Never.

Now I’ve played 4e extensively and the 5e playtest.  I’ve played the FFG Star Wars RPG extensively, as well as FIASCO, Pathfinder, and the Mouse Guard RPG.  I’ve played an RPG or two, but I’m certainly no expert.

So please answer my question, oh experienced grognards of the first edition!

Is the following rule going to work well, while keeping the spirit of the game in tact?

So here we go.

Continue reading

CtD Podcast, Episode 2: Which Edition Now?

Subscribe to the CtD podcast on iTunes!

In my sophomore episode, I am joined by Daniel Fisher, podcaster for Innroads Ministries and owner of knucklebonezdice.com.  I enlisted him to help me sort out the early history of Dungeons and Dragons, as well as why we call AD&D “first edition,” when it wasn’t actually the first D&D.

A few links to sites referenced in the show:

 

And without further adieu, the podcast:

Video:

Audio: